Complete Galápagos - Estrella del Mar

Marine, Quito to Quito

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

This two-week-plus adventure is loaded with astounding experiences among the wildlife of the world-within-a-world of Galápagos Islands. Observe giant tortoises doing their thing, go snorkelling with the beautiful fish of Devil's Crown, take coastal walks, roam through lava tunnels, and marvel at the thousands of sea lions, frigatebirds, and (sometimes) flamingos that call this region home. Just another day (or 15 of them) in the Galápagos.

What’s included

  • Cruise the Galápagos Islands aboard the Estrella (14 nts)
  • All meals aboard the Estrella
  • Certified Galápagos National Park Service Guide
  • Excursion to see giant tortoises in the wild (Santa Cruz Island)
  • Visit to the largest marine iguana colony in the Galápagos (Fernandina Island)
  • Chance to see flightless cormorants and penguins (Isabela Island)
  • Sierra Negra Hike (Isabela Island)
  • Visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz Island)
  • Hike to Tortuga Bay (Santa Cruz Island)
  • Visit to a wildlife interpretation centre (San Cristóbal Island)
  • Post Office Bay visit (Floreana)
  • Spot frigatebirds and blue-footed boobies (North Seymour Island)
  • Hike to the Bartolomé Island viewpoint overlooking the famous Pinnacle Rock
  • Excursion to see red-footed boobies (Genovesa Island)
  • Onboard snorkelling equipment and wetsuits
  • Internal flights
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Highlights

  • 14 nights cruising in the galápagos islands aboard the estrella
  • Explore the least visited islands of isabela and fenandina to see massive bird colonies and impressive volcanoes
  • Relax on santiago island's white-sand beach
  • Hike to the top of the sierra negra volcano the most recently active volcano in the galápagos
  • Go snorkelling with sea lions and search for turtles and rays

Itinerary

Day 1 Quito There are no planned activities, so check into the hotel and enjoy the city. A G Adventures representative will greet you at the hotel and brief the group on the various aspects of the tour. Additional Notes: If you are not able to attend the welcome meeting, a representative will leave all important information at the hotel’s reception indicating what time to be ready on Day 2 of the trip. If there is any confusion on arrival, please do not hesitate to call the contact number listed in this dossier. Booking pre- or post-trip accommodation is highly recommended to fully experience the city and take advantage of the optional activities available. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting with G Representative
Day 2 Quito/Puerto Ayora (1B, 1L, 1D) Take an early flight to the Galápagos Islands and transfer to Puerto Ayora and board the ship. Spend the afternoon in the highlands seeing giant tortoises in the wild and exploring lava tunnels. Additional Notes: The Consejo de Gobierno (local government council) have implemented a system of Transit Control Cards at a fee of $20 USD per person. This card is to be purchased in CASH at a counter in the Quito airport before boarding the flight to the Galápagos. Please retain this card along with your passport as you will be required to present this upon arrival to the Galápagos Islands. Please note that this applies to all tourists entering the Galápagos Islands and is a supplement to the existing entry fee to the National Park and is not controlled by tour operators or travel agencies. It is the first of a number of initiatives to track, control, and maintain the sustainable tourism targets set out by the Galápagos National Park and the Ecuadorian government in an attempt to preserve the fragile environment of the archipelago. The Ecuadorian government currently levies a Galápagos Islands Park entry fee of USD100 per person. This is payable at the airport upon arrival in the park. It is not included in the cost of the tour, and must be paid in CASH. This fee funds park maintenance and supervision in the Galápagos as well as ecological study, conservation, and infrastructure development in Ecuador's other National Parks. Entry fees and the funds they generate for the National Park System are among measures taken by the Ecuadorian government to protect its natural heritage. Included Activities: Highlands Giant Tortoises Visit Lava Tunnels Visit Transport: Flights from Quito to Baltra depart between 6:40am and 9:40am depending on the day of the week. These will arrive into the Galápagos between 9:30am and 12:30pm with a short refuelling stop in Guayaquil (you will not disembark the plane). You will generally arrive at the boat in time for lunch on Day 2 before the afternoon activity. Plane (2.00 hour(s)) Estrella Del Mar
Day 3 Chinese Hat/Rábida Island (1B, 1L, 1D) Spend the morning exploring lava flows and lava tunnels on the small island of Chinese Hat. After, enjoy a refreshing dip in turquoise waters. Search for fish and sea turtles in the protected bay. In the afternoon, explore the red sand beaches and salt water lagoons of this tiny island. Look for wading flamingos and nesting pelicans before heading out to do some snorkelling. Included Activities: Chinese Hat Visit Rabida Island Excursion Transport: Estrella Del Mar
Day 4 Playa Espumilla/Puerto Egas (1B, 1L, 1D) In the morning, see the towering cliffs of Buccaneer Cove and keep an eye out for the hundreds of birds nesting on the edge. Later, land at Puerto Egas home to the elusive Galápagos hawk. Visit the salt crater as well as a dark-sand beach and tidal pools. Included Activities: Playa Espumilla Excursion Puerto Egas Visit Transport: Estrella Del Mar
Day 5 Punta Espinoza/Urbina Bay (1B, 1L, 1D) Enjoy a morning visit to Punta Espinoza on Fernandina, the youngest of the Galápagos Islands. Witness the large colony of sea lions, marine iguanas, and a variety of birdlife. In the afternoon, travel to Urbina Bay, located at the base of Alcedo Volcano. Keep an eye out for land iguanas. Included Activities: Punta Espinoza Visit Urbina Bay Visit Transport: Estrella Del Mar
Day 6 Elizabeth Bay/Punta Moreno (1B, 1L, 1D) Pay a morning visit to Elizabeth Bay which offers amazing bird and marine life viewing opportunities. Head out on the pangas and explore the shallows and mangroves to look for sea turtles and penguins. In the afternoon, land at Punta Moreno on the southwest coast of Isabela to see lava formations, flamingos, and amazing views of the three most active volcanoes in the Galápagos Islands. Included Activities: Elizabeth Bay Panga Ride Punta Moreno Visit Transport: Estrella Del Mar
Day 7 Isabela Island (1B, 1L, 1D) Early landing in the small town of Puerto Villamil before beginning the hike to the Sierra Negra Volcano, which has the largest basaltic caldera in the Galápagos. Later on, visit las Tintoreras, one of the best places to see sharks and other marine wildlife. Choose to visit the wet lands or the tortoise breeding centre in the Puerto Villamil area. Included Activities: Sierra Negra Volcano Hike Las Tintoreras Excursion Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre Visit Transport: Estrella Del Mar
Day 8 Santa Cruz Island (1B, 1L, 1D) Take the morning to explore Puerto Ayora, the largest town in the Galápagos. Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, do some shopping, and see how locals live in the islands. After lunch on board, hike to the beautiful beach at Tortuga Bay. Choose to relax on the white sand or rent a kayak and search for rays and turtles in the shallow waters. Included Activities: Charles Darwin Research Station Visit Tortuga Bay Hike Transport: Estrella Del Mar
Day 9 San Cristóbal Island (1B, 1L, 1D) Visit the Interpretation Centre and learn more about the history of the Islands, after, enjoy free time to explore the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. In the afternoon visit Isla Lobos. Included Activities: Interpretation Center Visit Isla Lobos Visit Transport: Estrella Del Mar
Day 10 Punta Pitt/Cerro Brujo (1B, 1L, 1D) Enjoy a morning visit to Punta Pitt, the only site in the Galápagos where it is possible to see the three species of boobies as well as frigatebirds, all nesting in the same area. Walk up to the colonies along the lava flows of this volcanic island. In the afternoon, visit the beautiful white powdery sand beaches of Cerro Brujo and snorkel with the marine life at the famous Leon Dormido, otherwise known as Kicker Rock, off San Cristóbal. Included Activities: Punta Pitt Visit Cerro Brujo Visit Snorkelling (Kicker Rock) Transport: Estrella Del Mar
Day 11 Bahía Gardner/Punta Suárez (1B, 1L, 1D) Sailing south, arrive at Española Island, the southernmost island in the Galápagos archipelago. In the morning, visit Bahia Gardner and the small islands around the bay. Start the day with a walk on the white sandy beach home to a large colony of sea lions and a great chance to see them up close. After getting a picture taken with them, head out into the bay to the islands of Osborn and Gardner, two amazing snorkelling spots. Keep an eye out for many varieties of fish species, rays, and, of course, sea turtles. Included Activities: Gardner Bay Visit Snorkelling (Gardner Bay) Punta Suárez Visit Transport: Estrella Del Mar
Day 12 Floreana Island (1B, 1L, 1D) Spend the morning visiting Mirador de la Baronesa on Floreana island and send a postcard from famous Post Office Bay. In the afternoon, enjoy a snorkelling excursion at the Corona del Diablo and landing at Punta Cormorant. Take guided walks to observe the birds and wildlife and learn about the natural history. Additional Notes: Please make sure you are a comfortable swimmer. Despite the protection from the open sea provided by the "crown," the water here can be rough and the currents strong. Included Activities: Post Office Bay Visit Snorkelling (Corona del Diablo) Punta Cormorant Visit Transport: Estrella Del Mar
Day 13 North Seymour/Bartolomé Island (1B, 1L, 1D) Early breakfast and landing at North Seymour in the morning to observe frigatebirds and blue-footed boobies. Afternoon hike up to the top of Bartolomé Island to see pinnacle rock one of the most famous views of the Galápagos. Cool off with a swim from the soft sandy beach. Included Activities: Bartolomé Island Hike North Seymour Island Visit Transport: Estrella Del Mar
Day 14 Genovesa Island (1B, 1L, 1D) Take a morning walk up the caldera to see red-footed boobies and other birds before searching for marine life in the protected Bahia Darwin. Enjoy an afternoon hike to the Prince Philip steps to get an amazing view of the island. Included Activities: Darwin Bay Visit Snorkelling (Darwin Bay) El Barranco Visit Transport: Estrella Del Mar
Day 15 Islas Plaza/Santa Fé Island (1B, 1L, 1D) Enjoy a morning walk around South Plaza islet looking out for marine birds and sea lions swimming in the turquoise waters. Later, explore Santa Fé keeping a close eye out for land iguanas in the unique cactus forest. Included Activities: South Plaza Island Visit Santa Fe Island Visit Transport: Estrella Del Mar
Day 16 Puerto Ayora/Quito (1B) Disembark in Baltra. Transfer to the airport for the flight back to Quito. Additional Notes: Flights from Baltra to Quito depart between 10:00am and 1:00pm depending on the day of the week. These will arrive into Quito between 2:30pm and 5:30pm with a refuelling stop in Guayaquil (you will not disembark the plane). You will arrive back at the hotel in the early evening in time for dinner. Included Activities: Highlands Giant Tortoises Visit Lava Tunnels Visit Transport: Plane (3.00 hour(s))
Day 17 Quito (1B) Depart at any time. Included Activities: Departure Day
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