This is a Private Tour
8-days from £5,000 / $6,100 (Single Supplement £990 / $1,208)
Spend a week Island hopping the Galapagos with a bird expert. You will be in good hands with our bird leader and a local Galapagos guide. There is a good chance to spot most of the endemic species. The tour stops on three main islands of San Cristobal, Isabela and Santa Cruz and visits Española and Floreana. The trip has been carefully designed to maximize sightings.
All transportation, airport transfers, local guide, bilingual naturalist guide specialized on birdwatching, accommodation based on double room, all excursions, meals as described, basic snorkel gear, Ingala transit card, Isabela tax.
International flights, Local flights: Quito- Galapagos – Quito (US$570.60 subject to change), Galapagos National Park entrance fee (US$ 100), wetsuit, meals not specified, alcoholic drinks, tips, mainland stays and personal expenses.
Maximum chance of spotting the endemic birds
All three species of Booby, red-foot, blue-foot, and Nazca
All four species of Galapagos mockingbirds
Several species of Darwin’s finches
Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorants & albatross
Tortoise captive breeding programme
To book this tour or start creating your own tailor made itinerary call us on: 0207 407 1478 (UK) or contact us.
8-days from £5,000 / $6,100 (Single Supplement £990 / $1,208)
Day 1: Quito – Galapagos – Fly to San Cristobal / Casa Opuntia
Day 2: San Cristobal – Punta Pitt / Casa Opuntia
Day 3: San Cristobal – Visit Española Island / Casa Opuntia
Day 4: Isabela – Boat to Floreana then Isabela / Casa Marita
Day 5: Isabela – Sierra Negra volcano and wetlands / Casa Marita
Day 6: Isabela – Iguana Cove and snorkel / Casa Marita
Day 7: Santa Cruz – Boat to Santa Cruz visit highlands / Ikala hotel
Day 8: Galapagos – Quito – Visit Darwin station then fly to Quito
THE LONG ITINERARY
Day 1: Quito – Galapagos Islands
Take early morning flight to Galapagos. Arrive at San Cristobal. This is the easternmost island and one of the first stops of Charles Darwin in 1835. After lunch take a trip up to the cooler highlands. Visit the freshwater lake of El Junco, set in an extinct crater. Here you will find stilts, white-cheeked pintail ducks, common gallinules and frigate birds who like to bathe in the lagoon. Keep an eye out for the Galapagos rail, flycatcher, paint billed crake, small ground finch, medium ground finch, yellow warbler, and woodpecker finch. Late afternoon return to the hotel for diner and overnight. (L/D)
Day 2: San Cristobal Island – Punta Pitt
Take a speed boat to the Galapaguera a place where you may see Galapagos Tortoises in their natural habitat. Later navigate to Punta Pitt, a place of striking eroded volcanic scenery. The place is home to many native species like sea lions, lava lizards, marine iguanas, frigates, pelicans, and boobies. Punta Pitt is one of two places where you can see all three species of boobies: red, blue and Nazca. On the beach you can see frigates, pelicans, herons, lava heron, grey blue heron, and lava gulls flying over. Look carefully for the rare Galapagos Petrel at sea. Other seabirds are storm petrels, shearwaters, phalaropes, lava gull. Land birds include Chatham mockingbird, small ground finch, large ground finch, large cactus finch, dark billed cuckoo, and others. Return to San Cristobal hotel for dinner. (B/L/D)
Day 3: Española Island – San Cristobal
Take a boat to Española Island. In the morning you will visit Gardner Islet a great place for snorkelling, to see fascinating creatures including snake eels, marble rays, diamond rays, Galapagos pufferfish, red-lipped batfish, and occasional hammerhead. Lunch on board and in the afternoon, visit Punta Suarez, a rocky point of land teeming with life, with breeding colonies of sea birds. Along its southern shore, steep cliffs rise from the sea, for a spectacular view of soaring birds and the famous blowhole. A noisy colony of Sea Lions and curious mockingbirds (Hood Mockingbird) greet you as you land on their beach. Meet a throng of blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, albatross, red billed tropic birds, Galapagos shearwater, phalaropes, storm petrels, large cactus finch, Galapagos hawks. Here the marine iguanas have a unique red and green colour. Return to San Cristobal hotel for dinner. (B/L/D)
Day 4: Floreana Island – Isabela
Take a private boat trip to circumnavigate Champion Islet to search for the extremely rare Floreana or Charles mockingbird. The species is critically endangered and population tiny. They survive on two small satellite rocks Champion and Gardner Islets, close to Floreana. On Floreana Island visit the highlands to look for the medium tree finch another rarity. Stop at a tortoise reserve and a freshwater spring that was crucial to pioneers. Lunch in a local restaurant and in the afternoon, depart for Isabela. Transfer to your hotel for dinner and overnight. (B/L/D)
Day 5: Isabela – Sierra Negra Volcano
After an early breakfast join your guide to head up Sierra Negra Volcano. This is one of the most impressive volcanoes in the archipelago. Travel by vehicle to the trail head. Take a hike to the caldera ridge, which is one of the largest in the world (c. 10km wide). The caldera is our best place to look for the Galapagos Martin, it is also possible to find Galapagos rail, woodpecker finch, green warbler finch, small tree finch and Galapagos flycatcher. Picnic lunch on route and stop to look for the vegetarian finch.
In the afternoon you will visit Humedales or marshlands, this place has a pristine ecosystem of tidal lagoons that is the habitat of flamingos and migratory birds. Four species of mangroves can be found here. This is a great place to see several species of Darwin finches, mangrove, warbler, and others. Return to the hotel and after dinner, look for the endemic sub-species of short-eared owl. (B/L/D)
Day 6: Isabela – Iguana Cove
After breakfast, join your guide at the pier where a small speedboat will take you to Iguana Cove. Here you can find the flightless cormorant, this amazing endemic bird is the largest cormorant in the world. It is unique in losing the ability to fly but is a great diver. Other bird species to be seen are the Galapagos penguin (except from June to August), frigate Birds, shearwaters, phalaropes, flamingo, and some finches. Picnic lunch en-route and in the afternoon enjoy snorkelling in a wonderful place on Isabela Island. Return to Puerto Villamil for dinner and hotel. (B/L/D)
Day 7: Santa Cruz – highlands
Early in the morning take the public speedboat to Santa Cruz Island. Once in Puerto Ayora, transfer to your hotel, some time to rest and then travel to the highlands of Santa Cruz. Ascend through all seven different vegetation zones. Giant tortoises can be seen in the wild at a private farm where you will lunch. This is a good place to see the vegetarian finch and with luck the paint-billed crake. In the afternoon stop at a pair of large pit craters called Los Gemelos, one of the best places to spot for woodpecker finch, large tree finch, green warbler finch and others. If time permits, search for Galapagos rail at Media Luna. Return to Puerto Ayora for dinner and hotel. (B/L/D)
Day 8: Galapagos – Quito
Early visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station where you will learn about conservation and research efforts in the islands. Visit the tortoise hatchlings and captive breeding programs, which are saving several races of tortoises from extinction. After this visit you will have the last chance to look for some of the finches that surround the Charles Darwin Station, species like small, medium, and large ground finches and Galápagos mockingbird can be found here. Transfer to Baltra airport to catch your flight back to Quito. (B)
- Note: Itinerary subject to change based on local conditions and Galapagos National Park regulations. Hotels are subject to availability, at the time of booking, or similar class will be provided.
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