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Galapagos Experience

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Overview

Join us on this amazing Galapagos Experience and discover the incredible wildlife and unique beauty of this volcanic islands.

An ecological wonderland of largely endemic wildlife, the Galapagos inspired Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection long before the cruise ships arrived. Dotting the Pacific 960km off the Ecuador coast, this archipelago of 19 volcanic islands is noted for its fearless wildlife, a natural response to the lack of large predators.

 The Galapagos Experience
Discover the beauty of Ecuadorian culture in the colonial and artistic capital – Quito. Local architecture and a variety of museums and galleries will bring you closer to Inca Empire inheritance. Make yourself stand in both hemispheres while visiting the Middle of the World memorial or admire World Cultural Heritage Site buildings within the city. Afterwards, another adventure waits for you. Go and explore the unique flora and fauna of the Galapagos on board the La Pinta. Equipt with one of the largest cabins offered, La Pinta Ship is an idyllic option for family travels or those who enjoy spacious accommodation. Floor – to – ceiling windows in cabins offer almost permanent  visual  contact  with  the island landscapes while you are inside the ship.  Floor – to – ceiling windows in cabins offer almost permanent visual contact with the island landscapes while comfortably inside the ship. Make use of on-board facilities like the jacuzzi or gym before relaxing in the lounge, library, sky bar or observation deck. Join evening meetings with a guide about the forthcoming days activities and excursions. Off board guided activities will enable you to explore the Galapagos' unique nature. Kayaks, snorkeling gear, wetsuits or glass – bottom boat can be found on board for your convenience and full enjoyment whilst discovering Galapagos’ wildlife. During your cruise, delightful traditional Ecuadorian dishes wait for you to be served either on the Main Deck or Outside Sky Bar while Observation Lounge & Bar will be available for evening drinks and relaxation.  

La Pinta also offers a 8 day cruise and 5 day cruise and 5 day cruise or discover more of Quito: Discover Quito

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Optional Activities :

Trip Code: ECTSGAEX

Travel Style: Small ship Cruise

Location: Ecuador: Quito, Galapagos, Guayaquil

Ship: La Pinta

Flights: Internal flights included in itinerary. Ask us to help book your flights to/from South America.

WHY CHOOSE THIS CRUISE?

  • This 11 Day itinerary is perfect for experience some of Ecuador's most incredible highlights, from the incredible colonial history to the incredible natural wildlife opportunities of the Galapagos.

  • Encounter the unique wildlife of the Galapagos, from blue footed boobies, marine iguanas, pink flamingos, turtles, rays, a number of multi-colored fish and bird species and of course the legendary Galapagos tortoise.

  • This itinerary is easily tailored to combined with other areas of South America, allowing you to tailor a number of incredible experiences into the one amazing journey. 

CRUISE ITINERARY

Welcome to Quito and Ecuador!. At the airport you will be greeted by a member of our organization, we will escort you all the way to your hotel, giving you a short briefing about Quito and the country in general with valuable information you need to know. Enjoy scenic colonial and artistic Quito, visit museums, monasteries and the golden altars of its many churches. Stand with a foot on each hemisphere on the Middle of the World memorial. The capital of Ecuador has a setting that few cities in the world can match. During the 13th century it was the prosperous center of the Kingdom of Quitus. It later became the northern capital of the Inca Empire. In the 16th and 17th centuries, Colonial architects built formidable temples, monasteries and mansions, creating an urban jewel designated by UNESCO/UN as a World Cultural Heritage Site. Quitos artistic creativity awaits the visitor in cosmopolitan galleries and boutiques filled with contemporary paintings, sculptures and exquisite traditional crafts.

Quito

Quito’s colonial quarter, the largest and best preserved of South America, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will stroll at the Independence Plaza, flanked by the Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, the Municipal Building and the Archbishop’s Palace. We will visit the temple of *La Compañía de Jesús and its awesome gilded interior. We will continue on to the Monastery of San Francisco, one the of great religious buildings of the New World; its impressive façade and atrium that lead to its Baroque interior influenced by Moorish style, with the winged Virgin of Quito at its main altar. The tour ends at a lookout point with a great view of Quito.

Scenic tour of Quito

Shared Transfers from hotel to airport in Quito

Flight Quito – Galápagos islands

Quito / Galapagos islands

Our adventure begins with a morning flight to Baltra Island and immediate transfer to the dock to board Yacht La Pinta. There’s a welcome introductory briefing, boat drill, cabin assignment and then lunch.

North Seymour Island
Following an afternoon disembarkation, we enjoy a walk along the coast and the interior of the beautiful flat island, observing numerous bird colonies as well as sea lions and land iguanas. There are opportunities for coastal exploration by dinghy. Evening briefing, welcome cocktail and dinner.

Baltra Island / North Seymour Island

Since there is no landing site at this location, the coastal exploration is by dinghy, while the naturalist guide explains the dramatic geology of the area, with remains of lava flows and tuff stone layers. There is abundant wildlife and, depending on the conditions of the ocean, we’ll be able to snorkel along the cliffs, hopefully in the company of green sea turtles.

Punta Espinoza (Fernandina Island)
In the afternoon, we visit the youngest and most pristine island of the archipelago, Fernandina, one of many people’s all-time favourites. Punta Espinoza has an amazing combination of barrenness and abundant wildlife. Highlights include hawks, penguins, the flightless cormorant and astounding views of the surrounding volcanic landscapes.

Punta Vicente Roca / Punta Espinoza

After breakfast, we disembark at Urbina Bay, on the western side of Isabela Island, the result of an uplifting of the ocean floor. Here you can find corals, shells, and large and very colourful Galápagos land iguanas, giant tortoises (occasionally). Navigating the Bolívar Channel, there are good chances of spotting species of whales.

Tagus Cove (Isabela Island)
On the northwest of Isabela, secluded Tagus Cove provided a favourite anchorage for pirates and whalers over the centuries, and today makes a great visitor site. An uphill hike takes us to the back of Darwin Crater, filled with salt water. We can snorkel or ride kayaks amid the dramatic landscape before our hike.

Urbina Bay / Tagus Cove

In the morning, we disembark at Rábida Island’s red-coloured beach. A stroll along the beach allows us to observe marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and several species of Darwin’s finches. This is a great place to snorkel from the beach. For those non-snorkelers, we can ride our glass-bottom boat for a submarine exploration.

Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill) (Santa Cruz Island)
The north shore of Santa Cruz hosts the fascinating landscapes of Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill). Our walk includes circling a brackish water lagoon frequented by lagoon birds, while further inland, the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western islands of the archipelago, as well as the chance of observing land iguanas.

Rabida Island / Dragon Hill

The morning visit heads to the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise pens within an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest. These are the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. A delicious lunch is served at the poolside of the Finch Bay Eco Hotel.

Highlands of Santa Cruz Island
After lunch, we wind up to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island by vehicle. This is a great place to look for the brilliant Vermilion Flycatcher and the endemic Scalesia trees. From December to mid-April and July to December a visit to observe giant tortoises in the wild may be included, if weather conditions are good.

Puerto Ayora & Charles Darwin Research Station

After breakfast, we land at Post Office Bay to visit the historic barrel that has served as a post office in the archipelago for over two centuries. Panga rides along the maze of channels on Floreana’s north shore can also be enjoyed. There’s great snorkelling from the beach as well.

Champion Islet & Punta Cormorant (Floreana Island)
Before disembarking at Punta Cormorant we can snorkel or ride our glass-bottom boat along the coast of an extinct cone called “Champion Islet”.
Our visit to Punta Cormorant takes in an olivine-crystal beach for an easy walk by a brackish water lagoon where bird species like greater flamingos may be observed. On the other side of the island, we come to a white-sand beach where sea turtles come out at night to nest.

Post Office Bay / Punta Cormorant

We take the dinghy over to this idyllic sandy-white beach populated by colonies of sea lions. Galápagos hawks are often easily observed, perched atop salt bushes. The endemic land iguana, unique to this island, may be spotted during the walk. Following the walk, we can snorkel and swim along a natural wave barrier.

South Plaza Island
The turquoise waters of the channel here contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline, while a carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents serves as groundcover for a grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cactus beyond, populated by yellow-gray land iguanas. Along the coastline one finds sea lion colonies, while sea birds play with the thermals that form along the cliffs of this small but amazing island.

Santa Fe Island / South Plaza Island

After breakfast, we depart for the port and airport for our flight back to the mainland.

Flight Galapagos – Guayaquil

Shared transfer from airport to hotel in Guayaquil.

Puerto Baquerizo Moreno / Guayaquil

Private transfer from hotel to airport in Guayaquil

Departure day
DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF

ITINERARY ADD-ONS

  • Upgrade your Ecuador experience by the wonders of the Amazon. Stay in a luxurious eco lodge tightly nestled in the Ecuadorian corner of the Amazon rainforest. Explore by canoe or on foot, search for colourful wildlife including toucans, parrots, monkeys or elusive giant otters. Experience the most diverse set of species on the planet. Find out more.

  • Upgrade your Ecuadorian experience to include a unique luxury lodge. Mashpi lodge is located on a scenic plateau. The lodge experience uniquely interweaves Ecuadorian history with exotic wilderness experiences. Enjoy sightings of nocturnal animals and witness the jungle come to life in one of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World. Find out more.

  • Experience unique Andean lifestyles and Ecuadorian culture on an authentic and historic Hacienda. Hacienda Zuleta has been owned by the same family for over 100 years. Enjoy Ecuadorian cuisine from the Haciendas organic garden, visit a cheese factory, take a horse ride to an Andean Condor reserve. This offers an intrinsic cultural experience to any Ecuadorian itinerary. Find out more.

Pricing & date

Galapagos Experience from USD 0
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Important Information

  • Private airport transfers
    Internal flights as mentioned in itinerary
    Accommodation with all meals on board
    Sightseeing with local English-speaking naturalist guide
    Accommodation with breakfast on mainland

    Exclusions 

    International flights
    Visa and reciprocity fees (if applicable) 
    Galapagos Transit Control Card (USD$20 per person subject to change) 
    Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee (USD$100 per person subject to change) 
    Travel insurance
    Beverages
    Gratuities for tour guides/crew
    Any items not mentioned as included

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request, contact us for more details.

  • Please remember that the exact route and programme may vary according to weather and ocean conditions and the wildlife we encounter. It's also subject to change without previous notice due mainly to readjustment of the National Park policies and regulation.

  • Season and availability

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your South American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first hand experience, our consultants will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.

Sustainability

Being environmentally accountable is a crucial part of our organisation. Chimu is currently striving towards using less paper, taking several initiatives to do so and tracking our progress along the way. Our goal: A paperless organisation. For this reason, all information given to you will be sent electronically. We encourage those who choose to travel with us to support our aspirations and actions and ask that you reconsider printing out documentation. To view these documents, you can download them to your iPad or portable computer before and during your trip.

Chimu is passionate and dedicated to sustainability measures and understands the crucial part sustainability plays within the tourism industry.

We use local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprint. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting. Our guides are all highly qualified (most with university degrees) or equip with many years of experience and are paid above the standard wage. Whether it be our knowledgeable local guides, locally produced meals or the transport on tour, we do not use imported goods when local products are available. We aim to minimise our impact on the environment and give as much back as possible to the communities we work in.

La Pinta follows a number of sustainability initiatives in line with Galapagos National Park policy. Fuel and energy consumption are reduced, water recycling and on board desalination as well as a permanent ban on single-use plastics all contribute to preserving the unique archipelago. While visiting the many national parks, heritage sites, museums and landmarks our travellers are encouraged to explore remain culturally aware and sensitive. We further encourage you to buy appropriate souvenirs and discourage the buying of anything wrongfully made or taken from the environment i.e. shells and endangered species products. Information on how you can be environmentally conscious, and travel responsibly will be made available in our Travellers Guides and provided during your travels by guides and staff.

For more information on our sustainability policies, including how we are striving towards being a paperless organisation, click HERE