Fish & Ships - Southern Islands
Get ready to see blue footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, iguanas, sea lions, rays, sharks – and that’s just on North Seymour. Sally Light Foot crabs await on Cerro Brujo, sea turtles at Kicker Rock, birds galore on Isla Española and tortoises at Puerto Ayora.
The Galapagos are not only a world-famous haven for wildlife, but an incredible archipelago of diverse islands that each offer different experiences. From close-up wildlife experiences with the weird and wonderful local inhabitants to walks along secluded beaches and up to the summit of volcanic outcrops to enjoy stunning views, there is plenty for nature lovers to savour. This journey is the perfect overview and showcases the eclectic mix that combines together to make up the panoramic Galapagos mosaic.
Day 1 - Quito
How's this for a title. Quito is the highest capital city in the world with a judicial building. Not sure that would fit neatly on a business card. Arrive whenever you like and poke around.
Attend a welcome meeting in the evening, check with the hotel reception for details
Quito is located at 2850 metres above sea level and at this altitude you may possibly experience some effects from the high altitude, we suggest that you avoid any strenuous activity on this day
Wander through the narrow, winding cobblestone streets and explore the lively Plaza Grande and Plaza San Francisco, see The Baroque art and architecture when visiting the churches, monasteries and public buildings
Perhpas head for one of the many viewpoints over the city, El Panecillo (The Little Bread Loaf) offers views of the city’s white houses and surrounding volcanoes, the 30-metre high statue of La Virgen de Quito sits atop this small hill and can be seen from all over the city
La Cima de la Libertad, the site of Ecuadorian independence from Spain also offers great views
Day 2 - Fly Baltra, visit North Seymour
Settle into your home away from home. We imagine you'll probably spend a lot of time on the sundeck with a drink in hand. It's what we'd do if we could. But instead we are stuck here in the office writing about it. Hrmph.
Transfer to Quito Airport and fly to the Galapagos Islands (you may depart as early as 4am)
A US$10 per person transit card is payable on departure at Quito Airport and a US$100 per person national park entry fee is payable on arrival - have cash on hand for these transactions to save time
You'll be met and transferred to the boat (the Nemo III) when you arrive
You'll be assigned cabins, meet the crew members and get to know our naturalist guide and fellow travellers over lunch
Travel to North Seymour, where you'll see blue footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, both species of frigate birds (Great and Magnificent), land iguanas, marine iguanas, California sea lions, endemic incense trees
Go for a walk and snorkel while you're there - see variety of fish, and possibly white-tipped reef sharks, rays and sea lionsBreakfast | Lunch | Dinner
Day 3 - Isla San Cristobal - Isla Lobos, Cerro Brujo and Kicker Rock
Get your snorkel on today, because Kicker Rock is perfect for it. Cerro Brujo has an excellent beach for those who are more inclined to read a book on the sand.
Go for a walk and see one of the largest colonies of sea lions, frigate birds, blu footed boobies, Sall Light Foot crabs, lava lizards, lava herons, marine iguanas, common sandpipers and yellow warblers
Head to one of the best snorkelling spots in Galapagos, Kicker Rock, where you'll see Galapagos sharks, and possibly a hammer head shark among sea turtles and an incredible biodiversity of invertebrates
Take a Panga ride to Cerro Brujoto admire the volcanic formations
Swim and snorkel here and see lake and sea birds, Sally Lightfoot crabs, brown pelicans, blue-footed boobies and enjoy views of Kicker RockBreakfast | Lunch | Dinner
Day 4 - Isla Española
Española is pretty remote, unless you're one of the 12,000 pairs of waved albatross who call it home. Keep your eyes peeled for marine iguanas, hood mockingbirds, waved albatross, Galapagos hawks, boobies and a all sorts of finches.
Cruise to Española, the oldest island in the Galapagos with a variety of endemic fauna
Go for a walk and see waved albatrosses, colonies of blue-footed and masked boobies, sea lions, marine iguanas, Galapagos doves and mockingbirds
Head to the beautiful Gardner Beach and spy sea lions and hood mockingbirds, snorkel and relax
Go to Punta Suarez, go for a trail walk to a lookout
Keep your eye out for more wildlifeBreakfast | Lunch | Dinner
Day 5 - Isla Floreana - Post Office Bay
At Post Office Bay, there's a wooden barrel where the 18th century whalers would leave their letters. Those letters would get picked up and delivered to their destination. You can leave a letter of your own, or grab one with a nearby address and post it when you get back home. It's tradition.
Visit Floreana, go ashore at Punta Cormorant where the sand is an olive green colour
See Galapagos sea lions, pink flamingos and other water birds
Walk to see an Easter Pacific Green Sea turtle nesting site, see young diamond sting rays in the shore line
Visit Post Office Bay to learn about the quirky maritime history
Snorkel and go on a panga ride hereBreakfast | Lunch | Dinner
Day 6 - Puerto Ayora, the Charles Darwin Research Station - Quito
Visit Santa Cruz, the second largest island in the Galapagos
Puerto Ayora is home to the Charles Darwin Research Station, perhaps spend time at the station's vistor centre and museum - learn about the history of the area and conservation efforts and see giant tortoises
Enjoy free time here, maybe check your email or have a drink local bar and see the local’s way of life
This is your final excursion, head to the airport for your flight back to Quito
Upon arrival at Quito airport you'll be transferred back to the hotelBreakfast
Day 7 - Quito
It's all over red rover. Share some breakfast, say goodbye to your new mates then head off home to spend the next year shaking sand out of your backpack.
The adventure ends today after breakfast - there are no activities planned for todayBreakfast
What to Know
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What to know
On arrival in the islands you must pay the US$100 national park fee to enter Galapagos National Park and a US$10 transit fee.