Take a Bow - Northern Islands
This short journey is the perfect introduction to the amazing and varied wildlife that call the Galapagos Islands home, it is astounding how close our encounters will be with the animals.
Day 1 - Quito
Feeling a little out of breath? Not surprising, considering Quito sits about 2800 metres above sea level. Take it easy today, and stock up on any supplies you might've forgotten (sunhat, deck of cards, flip flops).
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 to Baltra, visit Bachas beach
Fly to Baltra and set sail. Visit Las Bachas beach and see loads of eggs. The eggs belong to the sea turtles, so don't touch them. Sea turtles may be slow but they're hard as nails. Literally.
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
Santa Cruz Island is a nesting site for the Pacific green turtle, and marine iguanas are also commonly seen
The sand here is particularly white and soft - it's made of decomposed coral
The rocks provide great snorkelling and are the perfect habitat for the Sally Lightfoot crabs
A saltwater lagoon near to the beach is home to flamingo and whimbrel, and also look out for great blue heronsBreakfast | Lunch | Dinner
Day 3 - El Barranco - Bahia Darwin - Genovesa
Red-footed boobies, get your red-footed boobies. Hot off the press. For your eyes only. Extra, extra read all about it.
Dolphins are often spotted in the waters around Genovesa while the island itself has abundant wildlife
All three kinds of boobies live here, including the rare red-footed booby, and numerous other species such as tropic birds and frigate birds
Walk the steep path known as Prince Philip's Steps to the heart of the seabird rookeries
Look out for storm petrels on the islands rocky plains
Cool off with a snorkel
See breeding colonies of seabirds and frigates and other birds such as lava herons, swallowed tail gulls, mocking birds and hopefully the vampire finch on Darwin Beach
Pass by tide pools with Sea Lions and Diamond Sting Rays and perhaps encounter manta rays, sharks, turtles and moray eels while snorkellingBreakfast | Lunch | Dinner
Day 4 - Isla Santiago and Cerro Dragón
Brightly coloured lava lizards are endemic to Española - they're basically marine iguanas that look like they got in a fight with a rainbow and lost. Very cool.
Walk on Pahoe-Hoe lava from an eruption that occurred in 1897
Hopefully see some marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs, sea lions, finches, turtles, sharks and sometimes penguins
Learn about the geological history of the islands from your guide as you walk
Set sail for Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill), on Santa Cruz's north coast
Walk to a brackish lagoon frequented by lagoon birds including stilts, pintail ducks, sandpipers, sanderlings and occasionally flamingos
Walk further to see views of the bay and the western area of the archipelago - this area is a nesting site for land iguanas, which is constantly monitored and assisted by the Charles Darwin Research Station
Bird watch, perhaps see Darwin's finches, Galapagos mockingbirds, the endemic Galapagos flycatcher and yellow warblers
The path can be challengingBreakfast | Lunch | Dinner
Day 5 - Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz and the Charles Darwin Research Station, fly to Quito.
Pop into the Charles Darwin Research Station and pay your respects to Lonesome George. Head back to Baltra Airport for the short flight back to Quito.
Visit Santa Cruz, the second largest island in the Galapagos
Puerto Ayora is home to the Charles Darwin Research Station
Perhaps go to the visitor centre and museum - learn more about conservation efforts to preserve the unique ecosystems of the Galapagos and see giant tortoises up close
Spend free time exploring Puerto Ayora, check your email or have a drink at a local bar and see the local’s way of life
Farewell the Galapagos Islands and head to the airport for your flight back to Quito for the last night of the tour
Upon arrival in Quito Airport, transfer back to the hotel for an overnight stayBreakfast
Day 6 - Quito
All good things must come to an end. It's time to reflect on the last 6 days of your life, and all the new animal (and human) friends you made along the way. Trip winds up after breakfast.
The adventure ends today after breakfastBreakfast
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.