Galapagos — West & Central Islands Photography Tour

Marine, Quito to Quito

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

Picture it: the Galápagos, viewed from the deck of the comfortable Monserrat as she cuts through blue waters bound for another island paradise loaded with natural splendour. But it’s not just a “look but can’t touch” situation – on this trip, you’ll get up-close and personal with aquatic wildlife like sea lions and turtles, hike over volcanic lava flows to check out the landscapes of Bartolomé, and relax on the stunning white-sand beaches of Santiago. Get out onto the high seas and start making better memories. Best of all, you'll get expert guidance in photography and adventuring from our Wanderer-in-Residence Gary Arndt, founder of Everything Everywhere, and travel photographer of the year for both the Society of American Travel Writers and the North American Travel Journalists Association.

What’s included

  • 7 nts in the Galápagos Islands aboard the Monserrat
  • Arrival transfer on Day 1
  • Flights to and from the Galápagos Islands
  • 2 Certified Galápagos National Park Service guides
  • All landings, excursions, and transportation
  • Snorkelling equipment
  • Visit to a wildlife interpretation centre
  • Learn travel photography tips from host Gary Arndt
  • City tour in Quito

Highlights

  • Seven nights cruising the galápagos national park aboard the monserrat
  • Hike over the dramatic volcanic flows to a viewpoint on bartolomé
  • Snorkel with sea lions and sea turtles
  • Hike the sierra negra volcano – the largest basaltic caldera in the galápagos
  • Choose to search for sea turtles or simply relax on the white-sand beaches of santiago. expert guidance in photography and adventuring from our wanderer-in-residence gary arndt.

Itinerary

Day 1 Quito Arrival transfer is included in the tour. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting Transport: Private Vehicle
Day 2 Quito (1B) Enjoy a day in historic Quito. Take a city tour to seek out photo opportunities, this tour of Quito is perfect for seeing fascinating panoramas, churches, and historical architecture of Quito. Learn about colonial art, culture, legends, and traditions. Included Activities: Quito City Tour
Day 3 Quito/Puerto Ayora (1B, 1L, 1D) Upon arrival, meet the naturalist guide, who will assist with the transfer to the Monserrat moored in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island. Additional Notes: 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 onto the boat in time for lunch on Day 2 before your afternoon activity. The National Park charges a visitor fee of USD100, payable on arrival, which 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 Transport: Early transfer to the airport to catch the flight to the Galapagos. Private Vehicle (0.50-1.00 hours) Plane (2.00 hour(s)) Local bus Private Vehicle Monserrat
Day 4 Sullivan Bay/Bartolomé Island (1B, 1L, 1D) Visit Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island to see giant lava formations contrasting the white-coral sand beach. Continue to Bartolomé for a guided tour to see the dramatic volcanic features before hiking to a panoramic viewpoint. Included Activities: Sullivan Bay Visit Snorkelling (Sullivan Bay) Bartolomé Island Landing Snorkelling (Bartolomé Island) Transport: Monserrat
Day 5 Bachas Beach/Cerro Dragón (1B, 1L, 1D) Visit Bachas Beach in the morning, located on the northeastern tip of Santa Cruz Island. A great beach to stroll on with crystalline waters perfect for swimming, Bachas Beach also gives visitors the opportunity to see frigatebirds, blue-footed boobies, and sea lions. In the afternoon, visit Cerro Dragón, on the west coast of Santa Cruz Island. See land iguanas as well as a saltwater lagoon frequented by flamingos and various species of birds. Included Activities: Bachas Beach Landing Snorkelling (Bachas Beach) Cerro Dragón Visit Transport: Monserrat
Day 6 Black Turtle Cove/Mosquera Islet (1B, 1L, 1D) Take a morning panga ride and look for marine life in Black Turtle Cove before navigating back to Baltra for lunch. In the afternoon, sail to Mosquera and walk along the beach and observe the vast sea lion colonies. Included Activities: Black Turtle Cove Excursion Mosquera Island Excursion Transport: Passage from Black Turtle Cove to Baltra Monserrat Passage from Baltra to Mosquera Monserrat Passage from Mosquera to Puero Villamil Monserrat
Day 7 Isabela Island (1B, 1L, 1D) In the morning, visit Las Tintoreras, a small island in front of Puerto Villamil. Its bay is known to be home to a colony of whitetip sharks. Check out the tortoise breeding centre to see some of the famous giant tortoises of the Galápagos. Additional Notes: Please note - due to increased volcanic activity in Sierra Negra for safety reasons some hiking areas are restricted at this time. Included Activities: Las Tintoreras Visit Sierra Negra Volcano Hike Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre Visit Transport: Monserrat
Day 8 Chinese Hat/Rábida Island (1B, 1L, 1D) In the morning, the boat arrives at a small uniquely shaped island off the southern tip of Santiago called Chinese Hat. Here it is often possible to see Galápagos penguins, and the marine life is fantastic for snorkelling. There is also a large sea lion colony as well as many marine iguanas that can be seen while walking amongst the volcanic scenery. Trek to see good views of the island's volcano. Included Activities: Chinese Hat Visit Snorkelling (Chinese Hat) Rabida Island Excursion Snorkelling (Isla Rábida) Transport: Monserrat
Day 9 Puerto Egas/Santiago Island (1B, 1L, 1D) Morning excursion to Playa Espumilla, one of the most idyllic beaches in the Galápagos Islands, which has thick mangroves and flamingo and sea turtle nesting sites. Continue to Puerto Egas to see the salt crater as well as a dark sand beach and tidal pools. Santiago Island has seen its share of human activity from whalers and pirates over the years, and despite the introduction of goats to the island many years ago, the wildlife of Santiago has otherwise flourished and provides outstanding viewing opportunities. The island boasts marine iguanas, sea lions, fur seals, land and sea turtles, among others. Enjoy great wildlife viewing both on land and in the water. Additional Notes: Please be sure you are a comfortable swimmer. The "crown" provides protection from the open sea, but the water here can be rough and the currents strong. Included Activities: Puerto Egas Visit Snorkelling (Puerto Egas) Playa Espumilla Excursion Buccaneer Cove Visit Transport: Monserrat
Day 10 North Seymour/Quito (1B) Visit North Seymour, just north of Baltra, home to sea lions, marine iguanas, swallow-tailed gulls, magnificent frigatebirds, and blue-footed boobies. Transfer to the airport on Baltra Island for a flight to Quito. 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: North Seymour Island Visit Transport: Monserrat Plane (2.00 hour(s))
Day 11 Quito (1B) Depart at any time. Included Activities: Departure Day
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