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Galapagos Family Adventure


Galapagos Family Adventure
8 days/7 nights

The Galapagos Islands are a volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean and arguably the world's most dynamic destination for wildlife-viewing. The islands are located about 500 miles off the coast of mainland Ecuador. The protected and isolated location of the Galapagos ensures a unique diversity of plant and animal species, many found nowhere else on earth! Charles Darwin's visit in 1835 and his observation of the species inspired his revolutionary theory of evolution.

The biodiversity, the majestic waters and uninhabited landscapes make the Galapagos a playground for people of all ages. You will have the chance to explore by kayak, boat and foot and always be greeted by curious animals. It is an adventure like no other!


SUMMARY

DAY 1: Arrive Quito

DAY 2: Quito - Galapagos Islands

Day 3: Free Day on Santa Cruz

DAY 4: Boat tour of North Seymour Island and Las Bachas

DAY 5: Isabela Island - Santa Cruz Island

DAY 6: Isabela Island - Island Bay

Day 7: Galapagos Islands - Quito

Day 8: Quito Departure


DETAILED ITINERARY

Day 1

Explore the colonial city of Quito on this free evening.

Arrival in Quito

Upon arrival, we will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel for an overnight stay.


Day 2

Kayaking in the Galapagos offers endless opportunities for wildlife viewing.

Meals: B | L

Flights:
Quito to Baltra (stop in Guayaquil)

Quito - Galapagos

Today we arrive on Baltra Island, the gateway to the Galapagos. This tiny island was a military base during the Second World War and hosts the Islands’ principal airport. The airport was built using the most advanced environmental techniques to reduce emissions and energy use, some of which you’ll notice as you walk through the facility. This was the first ecological airport in the world.

We dive into our adventure as soon as we arrive! We enter the airport through a special VIP lounge where you will have a chance to change clothes, put on some sunscreen and get a cool drink before we transfer to the Itabaca Channel to explore its spectacular turquoise waters. We will have a chance to kayak, snorkel and stand up paddleboard (SUP), as well as encounter some of the most famous Galapagos wildlife such as blue-footed boobies, sea lions, brown pelicans, a variety of herons and white-tipped reef sharks.

There’s no better introduction to the Galapagos than to get on the water as soon as possible! We will glide through beautiful red mangrove forests and along lava rock cliffs on water so clear we can see the marine life in the shallows. Our ocean (sit on top) kayaks come in doubles or singles, and life jackets are provided. A support boat will escort us throughout our water activities to ensure safety and to provide water, snacks and towels between activities.

From the Itabaca Channel we head up to the Santa Cruz highlands to a private reserve that borders the National Park, where we can see the famous Giant Tortoises roaming in the wild.

Overnight in Puerto Ayora.

Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Kayak: 1.5-2 hours depending on fauna activity and skills of kayakers
Means of Transportation: boat, kayak, stand-up paddle board


DAY 3

Explore the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn of the vast research done on the Galapagos Islands.    Meals: B

Explore the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn of the vast research done on the Galapagos Islands.

Meals: B

Free Day on Santa Cruz

Enjoy this day to explore on your own and enjoy the beauty and wildlife of Santa Cruz Island. Overnight in your well-appointed hotel.


OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES (not included)

Should you like to add activities this day, we suggest the following:

Tortuga Bay
After walking through a deciduous forest for 1.5 miles we will reach one of the most beautiful beaches in the archipelago. We will continue walking along this white sand beach for another 0.6 mile until we reach the Playa Mansa where we can enjoy a special kayak paddle around the Bay.

Charles Darwin Research Station
The Charles Darwin Research Center is the nexus of all the scientific research in the Galapagos Islands. It is from these headquarters that all the most sensitive conservation projects are directed. The conservation and preservation of giant tortoises, marine iguanas among others are some of the examples of the Center's work. We can walk along the core of the Research Center where we can find the corrals where the giant tortoises are being bred as well as the corrals where the land iguanas are being studied. The Research Center offers a brand new Interpretation Center with some of the most important samples of the Center's Collection.

We will visit Chocolápagos and will meet the owner Juan Daniel Navarro, who was born in the Galapagos, and will share the history of cacao in Ecuador and around the world. Juan Daniel will show you the tempering process and how to make a delicious Tortoise of chocolate. Also you will have the chance to choose between two types of Ganaches to fill your chocolate, so be ready to choose the more delicious one!


Day 4

Frigate birds dive to find their next meal.

Meals: B | L

Wildlife Tour Aboard the Sea Finch

Today we will set out on our motor yacht for a visit to some of the more remote uninhabited islands with their exuberant wild life and join other travelers. The friendly and knowledgeable crew members and naturalist guide will help you to experience the remote islands in comfort and style.

North Seymour Island was lifted from the ocean floor by a seismic event, contributing to its low, flat profile.  Swallow-tailed gulls sit perched in cliff ledges only meters above the shoreline. A forest of Palo Santo trees stand just above the landing site, usually without leaves, waiting for the rain to bring them into bloom. Among the emblematic fauna of the island you will see sea lions, marine iguanas and blue footed boobies.  The trail turns inland where you will find active and dynamic colonies of both species of frigate birds, the “magnificent” and “great.”

In the afternoon, we explore Las Bachas; a beautiful coral-lined beach located on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, which is the perfect place for snorkeling, swimming or to simply enjoy the white soft sand. Several brackish lagoons only a few steps away from the sea are the feeding grounds of various wading birds, from stilts to flamingos.

Overnight in Puerto Ayora.


Day 5

Soak in the views with the family each evening.

Meals: B | L

Santa Cruz Island - Isabela Island

Today we take an early morning speedboat to Isabela Island where we will check into our hotel. Our adventure begins with a tour of the Tintoreras, a group of small islands close to the town of Puerto Villamil. The islands are named after the white tipped ‘Tintoreras’ reef sharks that swim in these calm waters. On the Tintoreras we will see almost all the archipelago’s iconic wildlife: white-tipped reef sharks, sea lions, turtles, rays, penguins, and of course pelicans and blue footed boobies. This is a Galapagos in miniature! After walking on the island, we will have a chance to snorkel in the bay. Don’t be surprised if some of the penguins or sea lions jump in to play alongside you in the water!

In the afternoon we will hike or bike the Wetlands Trail, where we will see marine iguana colonies and a number of different types of mangrove trees (all four species can be seen here) as well as enjoying the network of trails, beaches and historic sites. At the end of the trail is the ‘Wall of Tears’, built in the late 1940’s by Second World War prisoners held at the former US base on the island. Our guide will explain the importance of the Wall, giving us a glimpse into the lives of the island’s previous inhabitants. On this network of trails you will enjoy some beautiful views of the village below and have the chance to see birds and maybe even some wild giant tortoises.

Overnight on Isabela Island.


Day 6

The land iguanas love to sun themselves and pose for the camera.

Meals: B | L

Isabela Island to Island Bay

We leave from the Villamil dock and the white sandy beaches of Isabela and paddle to Island Bay. En route we will be looking for turtles, rays, penguins, and blue-footed boobies; sea lions will probably paddle along with us as well. After watching the wildlife in the Bay, we will paddle back to the Villamil dock.

Overnight on Isabela.


DAY 7

The iconic Blue-footed boobie.

Meals: B

Flight:
Baltra to Quito (stop in Guayaquil)

The Galapagos - Quito

Today we take an early morning speedboat back to Santa Cruz and then transfer by land to Baltra for our onward journey to Quito. Upon arrival in Quito, we meet our transfer to our hotel for an overnight stay.

Overnight in Quito.


DAY 8

Soak in the beautiful colonial views of Quito before heading out for your flight home.

Meals: B

Depart Quito

Today we say goodbye to beautiful Ecuador. Meet your transfer at your hotel and make your way to the airport for your flight home.


ACCOMMODATIONS

The Hotel Patio Andaluz, is an elegant boutique hotel located just 500 feet from the Plaza Grande, offering a perfect locaiton in the colonial center of Quito, the first city to be declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1978. 

This colonial hotel was built in the late sixteenth century and features original colonial architecture. It is a 5 minute walk from the renowned Church and Plaza de San Francisco and the most important museums, churches and historical sites.

Ikala Hotel was built with a focus on sustainability and protecting the environment. The hotel is protected from the strong Galapagos sun by the surrounding beautiful trees and gardens giving to the whole ambiance a natural freshness.

The hotel features a lovely swimming pool, bar area, and a beautiful terrace located on top of the main building, where you can find the restaurant and resting area. The terrace has an incredible view to the Puerto Ayora harbor.

Iguana Crossing Boutique Hotel is a beach front hotel in Galápagos Islands surrounded by endemic vegetation giving to guests a privileged accommodation for a memorable and relaxed stay. Decorated with genuine and exclusive materials of the Island, it approaches a harmonic atmosphere between nature and modernity. Named after the "iguana crossing" path, is the best place for the Galapagos tour and travel experience.


Included: 

  • Hotel accommodation on a double/twin room occupancy

  • Meals as indicated

  • Ground transportation as detailed

  • English speaking professional guide

  • All entrances fees and taxes, unless otherwise noted

  • All tours as detailed

Not Include:

  • Airfare (International and domestic)

  • Meals not detailed in itinerary

  • $100 per adult, $50 per child Galapagos entrance fee (must be paid upon arrival)

  • Early check-in

  • Alcoholic drinks

  • Gratuities

  • Any other personnel expenses