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Galapagos Express - 2016

Rating
Red-footed, blue-footed – the boobies are all yours in Isla San Cristobal. Swim with sea lions and wander through the Opuntia Forest on Santa Fe. Become acquainted with the Gentlemen’s Club in Plaza Sur. Take a Panga ride through Caleta Tortuga Negra’s mangroves. RIP Lonesome George (? - 2012). He was the last of the Pinta Island giant tortoises and a conservation icon. George is survived by no one. (Previously known as Galapago-go - Southern Islands)

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Day 1 : Quito

Touch down and get acquainted with Ecuador’s super colourful and heritage-listed capital. Set against a backdrop of volcanic peaks and Andean valleys, Quito is a seriously great place to nurse your jet lag. So grab a stool on the streets of old town, enjoy a plate of empanadas de verde (green plantain) and watch the Quiteños go about their everyday.

Day 2 : Baltra - Santa Cruz Highlands

Set the alarm clock for the wee hours, you’ve got a morning flight to catch. Don’t mourn the loss of sleep though; you’re going to the Galapagos, damn it. Arrive in Baltra, say hi to Daphne (your boat, duh) and set off for the Santa Cruz Highlands. As you move through misty forest you might be lucky enough to spot a giant tortoise.

Day 3 : Isla Floreana

Sail on to Post Office Bay, the oldest postal system in the Americas. Wash ashore at Punta Cormorant and check out the green glass beach. Go bird-watching or lagoon-exploring, play with Young Diamond rays off the coast and snorkel the famous Devil’s Crown. What a day.

Day 4 : Isla Espanola

Cruise on over to Espanola for super-duper spectacular views. Not only the breeding site for the world’s 12,000 pairs of waved albatross but it’s also home to colonies of blue-footed boobies (that’s right, boobies). Walk the golden beaches, follow marine iguanas into the sea, snorkel Gardner Beach and make friends with California sea lions.

Day 5 : Cerro Brujo - San Cristobal – Quito

Take a panga ride out to Cerro Brujo for amazeballs volcanic rock thingos. Get a tan at San Cristobal’s near perfect beachfront, but beware the Sally Lightfoot crabs – they’re everywhere! Ditch the Galapagos with one last drink at the makeshift bar. Your head should be full of crazy animals and your shoes full of sand.

Day 6 : Quito

Return to Quito, where actual human people (not Darwin finches, California sea lions or warbling whatsitbirds*) await. Treat yourself to an ice cold Pilsner and try not to bore the people at your hostel with too many photos of flora and fauna.*Not a real species.

Basic Details

Starts in: Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador
Ends in: Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador
Group Size: maximum 16


Highlights

- Frigatebird spotting
- Meet Sally Lightfoot whilst crusing the Galapagos
- Puerto Ayora
- Daphne
- The tortoises of Charles Darwin Research Station
- UNESCO World Heritage-listed Colonial Quito


What's Included

- Services of an expert English-speaking naturalist guide and a crew of 6 onboard the Daphne.- Return flights from Quito to the Galapagos Islands.- All meals and accommodation on board the Daphne.- Excursions during the voyage.- Transfer to and from Quito Airport on Day 2 and Day 5.- Snorkelling equipment (wetsuits can be hired at an additional cost).

Meals Included: 5 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners


What's NOT Included

International flights, arrival and departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, entrance fees, UGalapagos transit card, Galapagos National Park fee, wetsuit hire, other meals, drinks, optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.


Accommodation Styles

- Hotel
- Motorised Yacht


Important Information

Please noteThis trip is operated by our sister company, Intrepid Travel.FUNDAR Galapagos* FUNDAR Galapagos, based on Santa Cruz Island, is an organization that works with the Galapagos community, to develop alternative and responsible approaches to local environmental issues. A key initiative is an organic farming program on FUNDAR’s Pajaro Brujo Reserve. Most produce in the Galapagos is imported from the mainland, and this program is creating opportunities for locals to grow organic food, encouraging healthier and more sustainable lifestyles within the community.Through the Intrepid Foundation we are raising funds in support of FUNDAR’s organic farming program as well as its weekly educational workshops for students on farming, reforestation and leadership skills.Meals & Dietary requirementsAll meals are included whilst on the Daphne. There is a chef on board who cooks up local and international cuisine daily, including a buffet breakfast.Should you have a special diet requirement (for example vegetarian, celiac, vegan, severe food allergies) it's essential that you inform Geckos of the specific details at least 10 days prior to departure, in order to make sure the chef on board the boat or on the island can request the necessary food supplies.Your groupYour group will be a mixture of Geckos booked passengers and other international like-minded travellers from our partner company, Intrepid Travel.
Changes to ItineraryThis maritime component of this trip is operated by a fully licensed Ecuadorian shipping operator. The Captain of the vessel will do all that is possible to adhere to the outlined itinerary however it may be changed without previous notice due to such reasons as weather conditions or changes to the Galapagos National Park's regulations. We ask you for your patience and understanding with any changes outside our control.Minimum ageThe minimum age on this trip is 15. Please note that triple cabins are not available. If travelling with a child, the child will need to share with one of the adults, and the other adult will share with another adult passenger, or pay a single supplement.M.Y DaphneThe Daphne is a motor yacht. She has a comfortable lounge and dining area, as well as a sun deck where you can view the wildlife or just kick back and relax. She has eight well-appointed, air-conditioned cabins each with en-suites and safety deposit boxes.Cabins:4x lower deck twin cabins1x upper deck double cabin3x upper deck twin cabinsSpecifications:Built: 1997Re-furbished: Jan 2015 Length: 21 mBeam: 6 mEngines: 2Speed: 10 knotsPassengers: 16Crew: 6 + 1 English speaking naturalist guideAccommodation on board is based on twin or double share. Single supplements are available on request should you require a cabin to yourself. Single passengers cannot be booked/confirmed in a double cabin unless a single supplement is paid.Please remember that the sun in the Galapagos can be quite fierce. Make sure you bring along a hat, sunglasses and plenty of sunscreen. You should also bring insect repellent for use on some shore excursions and excursions into the mangroves.
Diving in the GalapagosWe do not offer diving as a part of our Galapagos program and due to Geckos internal safety policy our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking this activity.
Wetsuit HireWetsuit hire is not included on the Daphne and can be organised on the boat at an additional cost. Depending on the length of your trip the cost will be as per below:10 day trip: US$407 day trip: US$256 day trip: US$20


About this page

The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. You can check the most up-to-date version of the trip notes online at www.geckosadventures.com. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or your nearest Gecko's office. We are here to help you!

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