Summary

Destinations: South America
  • 10 Days From
    R 99500
  • Trip code: WAVA
  • Activity: Wildlife Holidays, Marine Wildlife, Birdwatching
  • Min age: 16
  • Group size: 26 - 32
Leisurely / Moderate

Spectacular landscapes and distinct endemic wildlife that so intrigued Darwin

The Galapagos Islands are a treasure meant to be experienced with a small group of true nature enthusiasts. Our group size of just 32 aboard the Evolution ensures you enjoy ample time and attention as you explore. Plus, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort and world-class service to discover the Galapagos. Each day during this Galapagos Islands tour, you “come home” to a comfortable, intimate expedition ship. The Evolution is the perfect haven for relaxing between daily hiking and snorkeling excursions, or for joining fellow travelers for a briefing by our knowledgeable naturalists.

During our intimate Galapagos Islands cruise, you will find yourself just inches away from giant tortoises, comical blue-footed boobies, sea lions, penguins, iguanas and many other animals, and you’ll gain an appreciation for how remarkable life on Earth can be. Voyage the famed waters of Galapagos amid the spectacular landscapes and distinct endemic wildlife that so intrigued Charles Darwin. From the spouting whales crossing the Bolivar Channel to the waved albatrosses nesting along the cliffs of Espanola, you’ll experience the undeniable wonder of these enchanted isles.

Key information
  • Skip the Crowds on our Galapagos Islands Cruise
  • Explore More with International Expeditions
  • The Highest Rated Galapagos Islands Travel Guides
  • Remote Central and Northern Islands Itinerary
Activities
  • Skip the Crowds on our Galapagos Islands Cruise
  • Explore More with International Expeditions
  • The Highest Rated Galapagos Islands Travel Guides
  • Remote Central and Northern Islands Itinerary

Highlights

* Snorkel, kayak, hike & even enjoy an intimate picnic in the highlands with giant tortoises * Spend seven nights aboard the Evolution, featuring the most public space & largest cabins of any yacht in her class * Visit a family-run coffee & sugar cane farm * Enjoy the archipelago’s best guest-to-guide ratio on small-group departures of just 26-32 guests * Learn about conservation efforts at the Charles Darwin Research Station

Dates & Pricing

 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
26 Apr 2019
05 May 2019
Limited Availability
R 123400
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
10 May 2019
19 May 2019
Limited Availability
R 123400
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
28 Jun 2019
07 Jul 2019
Limited Availability
R 99500
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
09 Aug 2019
18 Aug 2019
Limited Availability
R 99500
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
11 Oct 2019
20 Oct 2019
Limited Availability
R 123400

Full Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1 Land Only

Arrive Guayaquil

Fly independently to Guayaquil, Ecuador, and transfer to the Hotel. *Accommodation:* Hotel Oro Verde

Day 2

Fly to the Galapagos islands and board the Evolution.

Fly to the islands and board the Evolution. Stroll along the beach at Playa Ochoa, where a nearby tidal lagoon plays host to flamingos, finches and Chatham mockingbirds. At sunset, we cruise around Kicker Rock. *Accommodation:* The Evolution

Day 3

South Plaza is one of the smallest islands in the archipelago.

At only 426 feet wide, South Plaza is one of the smallest islands in the archipelago. Look for yellow land iguanas on a walk to a grove of prickly-pear cactus.  Non-hikers can enjoy a Zodiac ride, watching for swallow-tailed gulls, red-billed tropicbirds and blue-footed boobies. Since there is no true trail on Mosquera Islands, you are able to stroll at your leisure. *Accommodation:* The Evolution

Day 4

The tiny uplifted island of Sombrero Chino – or Chinese Hat

The tiny uplifted island of Sombrero Chino – or Chinese Hat – features a primeval landscape of volcanic rubble and lava tubes. The “land” is made of a few adjacent craters and old, fragile pahoehoe lava flows. Vegetation is just starting to take hold, including colorful carpetweed plants. Enjoy a Zodiac ride and swim before lunch. This afternoon, search the tide pools of Puerto Egas for sea life. During low tide, we may see marine iguanas feeding on algae. Our naturalists will point out the birdlife, including great blue herons, lava herons, oystercatchers and yellow-crowned night herons. *Accommodation:* The Evolution

Day 5

Enjoy an opportunity to swim, kayak and snorkel in the calm caldera of this partially eroded volcano.

Genovesa is often referred to as “Bird Island” for the vast numbers of pelagic seabirds that come here to nest. And while Genovesa harbors one of the Galapagos’ largest and most diverse bird populations, there are no land reptiles — with the exception of some very small marine iguanas. This is due to the direction of the ocean currents, which couldn’t carry the terrestrial animals here. Climb Prince Philip’s Steps to an area with colonies of red-footed boobies. Watch for short-eared owls which feed on the petrals that fly about. Explore Darwin Bay, home to the rare lava gull. While anchored at Genovesa, enjoy an opportunity to swim, kayak and snorkel in the calm caldera of this partially eroded volcano. *Accommodation:* The Evolution

Day 6

See blue-footed boobies perform their comical courtship dance in the open areas.

North Seymour is the nesting site for a large population of magnificent frigatebirds and the only place where we can always find males showing their red pouches to attract females. Plus, we are sure to see blue-footed boobies perform their comical courtship dance in the open areas. Hike to a scenic lagoon, where we may observe Galapagos hawks, mockingbirds and a variety of Darwin’s finches. You may kayak and snorkel from the beach. *Accommodation:* The Evolution

Day 7

Swim and kayak in the bay before a walk along the olivine beaches of Punta Cormorant.

Hike to Post Office Bay, once used by navigators to send mail with homebound messengers. Swim and kayak in the bay before a walk along the olivine beaches of Punta Cormorant. After hiking to a flamingo lagoon, spot fish and sea turtles during a relaxing stroll along the beach. Enjoy superb snorkeling at Devil’s Crown, where sea water has filled the sunken cone of an extinct volcano. *Accommodation:* The Evolution

Day 8

See and photograph giant tortoises in the wild.

Begin our day in the forested highlands, with ample opportunity to see and photograph giant tortoises in the wild. Stop at a family run farm before learning about the work being done to study and preserve wildlife at Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Centre at the Darwin Research Centre. *Accommodation:* The Evolution

Day 9

Enjoy a Zodiac ride through Black Turtle Cove then fly to Guayaquil.

Enjoy a Zodiac ride through Black Turtle Cove, drifting silently through this area of mangroves. Fly to Guayaquil, with time to relax at the Hotel. *Accommodation:* Hotel Oro Verde

Day 10

Flights home.

Board flights home.

Included

* Daily shore excursions, interpretive walks, swimming, snorkeling, hiking & panga rides * Seven nights on the Evolution * Hotel accommodations pre- and post-voyage * 23 meals (and lots of snacks) * Two Level 3 naturalists; Three naturalist guides for groups of 26-32 * Snorkeling gear & shorty wetsuits * Kayaks * All bottled water * Onboard doctor * Full educational program, including lectures on history, ecology & marine life and field interpretation * Arrival & departure transfers * Tips to porters & to waiters for included meals

Food

At a Glance
  • Skip the Crowds on our Galapagos Islands Cruise
  • Explore More with International Expeditions
  • The Highest Rated Galapagos Islands Travel Guides
  • Remote Central and Northern Islands Itinerary
Is This Trip for You?

This tour is operated in partnership with our sister company International
Expeditions. As such the departures are not exclusive to Exodus and groups
may be a mixture of Exodus, International Expeditions, and other clients.
This trip is booked through Exodus and you will receive the same award
winning customer service that you would expect. International Expeditions
operate with the same core principles used by Exodus and champion the
benefits of small group travel.

International Expedition’s in-depth Galapagos Islands tour offers more than
a typical "tourist" overview – we expose you to the greatest variety of
wildlife. Our Galapagos Islands cruise pass dormant volcanoes; lets you
snorkel with sea lions; and even includes watching the giant tortoises graze.
These are the moments of wonder you expect on this small-ship cruise.

Our highly qualified naturalist Galapagos Islands travel guides are
authorities on the wildlife, history, geography and fauna of the Galapagos
Islands. You’ll learn from an expedition leader and local naturalist who
are passionate about the islands and licensed at the highest level — Level
3 — by Galapagos National Park.

Accommodation

Seven nights aboard the Evolution

For our Galapagos Islands cruise ship we have selected the M/V Evolution,
accommodating just 32 guests. This intimate ship features a great deal of
public space, including an observation deck and a canopied bar on the roof
deck, perfect for enjoying a snack and drink on the canopied roof deck while
whale watching or chatting with fellow passengers. Two-person kayaks also are
available and a doctor is aboard on every voyage and even accompanies your
small group off-ship.

Because there is an "open bridge" policy aboard the M/V Evolution, you are
welcome to visit the captain and crew and learn all about the ship’s
operation and navigation. Each day our naturalist guides will give talks and
briefings on the day’s events and about the natural and human history of
the Galapagos. They will help you understand the context of what you’ve
seen and help prepare you for the next day’s activities. A convenient
boarding platform makes it easy and safe to board our excursion boats.

*Cabins*

Your air-conditioned cabin is the perfect haven between excursions, featuring
private facilities and ample storage space. During every excursion, cabin
stewards will service your spacious cabin.

Group

Two Level 3 naturalists; Three naturalist guides for groups of 26-32

Eating Drinking

Meals are served in one seating in the dining room, and each meal boasts
international and traditional Ecuadorian cuisine, fresh fruit and sumptuous
desserts.

Transportation

Joining Instructions

Transfers Details

Essential Equipment

Sunglasses
Sunhat
Sunscreen
Strong-soled shoes for walking on the islands
Flashlight/Torch
Due to the limited storage facilities available on the boat, hard suitcases
will be difficult to store so we recommend that you take a soft holdall or
rucksack for this trip so that your bag can be unpacked into the cabin
storage and your holdall stowed away in the small space under the bed.
Internal flights in the destination country are subject to a weight limit of
20kg.

Optional Equipment

Canvas shoes or waterproof sandals for wading ashore if you don't like wet
landings
Swimming gear
Waterproofs
Camera with telephoto lens, spare memory cards and batteries
Binoculars

Money

You should carry your money in US Dollars cash, since sterling can be
difficult to change and may incur a poor exchange rate. Please note that
obtaining change for larger denomination banknotes (US$100 and US$50) can be
difficult. Try to carry a number of small notes (US$1 or US$5) as many small
businesses and taxis do not carry large amounts of change. On this trip there
is a compulsory Galapagos Tax of US$100, which can only be paid locally and
will be collected by the National Park Service on arrival at Baltra. In
addition, all visitors to the Galapagos are required to obtain an immigration
control card in mainland Ecuador - this costs US$20 per person and will be
supplied and paid for locally. Please note that Galapagos taxes are subject
to increase without notice, and any such increase will be collected in Quito
or Baltra. 

All food is provided in the Galapagos, but for the days in Quito we provide
breakfast only and you should budget roughly USD10 - 15 for lunch, and
USD15-20 for main evening meals (22% tax included). It is of course possible
to eat more cheaply or expensively than this, and the cost estimates don't
include alcohol. Tipping is customary in restaurants and cafes throughout
Ecuador, and we recommend leaving a tip of between 10 and 15% of the total
bill if the service charge is not already included. Drinks and incidentals
are quite expensive in the Galapagos as everything is imported from the
mainland.

Snorkelling equipment (mask, snorkel and fins) is available free of charge on
board, but wetsuits are charged at USD5.50 per day. Additional fees apply if
the equipment is damaged. Alternatively, you can bring your own equipment to
ensure a good fit.

On board the boat all transactions are in cash only. Only US dollars are
accepted on board.


*Optional Excursions*

The following optional excursions are available from Quito. Arrangements and
payment can be organised on arrival subject to availability.

Otavalo Day Tour (Saturday only) on a sharing basis, approx. USD90 per person
Cotopaxi National Park Day Tour (Thursday only) on a sharing basis, approx.
USD90 per person 
Mindo Cloud Forest Day Tour on a private basis, approx. USD226 per person
(minimum of 2 people required) 
Quito City Tour on a sharing basis (3 hrs approx) USD 33 per person
Equatorial Monument Tour (3 hrs approx) USD 21 per person
Bellavista Cloud Forest Day Tour approx. USD135 (1 client), USD125 per person
(2 clients), USD105 per person (3 clients).

Tipping

Tipping is an optional but very much customary practice in Ecuador and forms
part of the service culture. Due to the dominance of US visitors in the
destination, tips are reasonably high and this is likely to add up during
your stay. Please remember that you are never under any obligation to give a
tip and you should only do so when you are happy with the service you have
received.

To show appreciation to local guides on the mainland, a tip of around USD3-5
per day from each group member is sufficient. Drivers and other local staff
may be given closer to USD1-2 in tips per day.

It is also usual for groups to tip the boat crew in addition to the guide. It
would be reasonable for each group member to contribute about USD 20-25 a day
for the crew and staff in the Galapagos. You may also wish to tip the
naturalist guides directly and this is at your discretion, but USD 5 - 6 per
person per day would be a good gratuity.

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