Galapagos 2020

 

The Galapagos Islands are located in the Pacific Ocean 1,000km (621 miles) off the coast of Ecuador.  This group of islands is one of the planet’s last wild and surprising locations to explore. They are world-renowned for numerous endemic species such as giant tortoises. It was here, in the Galapagos Islands, that Charles Darwin established his theory of evolution by natural selection. The entire archipelago consists of 19 islands surrounded by a marine reserve that has been called a “living museum and showcase of evolution”. Continuous and ongoing seismic and volcanic activity reflects the process that formed these islands. This  process combined with the remote isolation of the islands, led to the development of unusual animal life.
We will explore the Galapagos archipelago aboard the S/S Mary Anne, one of the most beautiful ships in the Galapagos. We will float on azure waters visiting the islands while enjoying the beautiful weather at this time of year. Each island that we visit has its own unique landscape ranging from barren black volcanic rocks, mountainous peaks to white sand beaches.
Since the Galapagos wildlife evolved without any natural predators for thousands of years, they have no fear of humans and may even approach us quite close. This makes for a very special and unique experience – one that can only happen in the Galapagos Islands. During our trip, we will be snorkeling in the clear ocean waters surrounding the islands. We will interact with playful sea lion pups and swim with sharks, penguins and sea turtles. On land, we will find blue and red-footed boobies, albatross, marine iguanas basking in the sun at our feet and more.
Join us on our explorative journey to a world apart from anywhere else on Earth. Discover together the “living laboratory” that inspired the works of Charles Darwin, and that is home to fascinating creatures found nowhere else on our planet.  Come with Wild Focus Expeditions to the Galapagos islands.
Travel Different
Duration
9 Days
Group Size
14 people
Price

$7,650.00

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Travel Information

Hotel del Parque, Guayaquil

SS Mary Anne

Letters correspond to points on the map in the map tab.

Day 1: December 04: Arrive in Guayaquil

Transfer to hotel. Dinner on your own.
Overnight at Hotel del Parque
A

Day 2: December 05: Fly to the Galapagos (Baltra, South Seymour Island)

After breakfast, we will depart for the airport and our flight to the Galagagos.
After arriving at Baltra airport we will be transferred to or home for the next seven nights, the S/S Mary Anne. Upon arrival we will have lunch and then we will navigate a short distance to Black Turtle Cove, a large mangrove lagoon on the north coast of Santa Cruz
Island. Pelicans and herons roost on the branches, while marine dwellers such as green sea turtles and golden rays may cruise right next to the panga as we make our way through the mangroves.
Overnight S/S Mary Anne (B,L,D)
B

Day 3: December 06: Genovesa Island, Darwin Bay

Today we travel to Genovesa Island and reach Darwin Bay (wet landing), a unique site lined with red mangroves and soft‐haired prickly pear cacti where red‐footed boobies and great frigatebirds perch tamely.
After lunch we will make a dry landing at El Barranco , where we climb the edge of a cliff where frigatebirds, masked boobies, and red‐ footed boobies nest. We will be seeking out the impressive red‐billed tropicbird amidst Galapagos storm petrels.
Overnight S/S Mary Anne (B,L,D)
C

Day 4: December 07: Bartolome Island (snorkeling, short hike)

This morning we will make a dry landing at Bartolome to climb up the wooden steps and reach the summit of this spatter cone for a most breath‐taking panorama of the island’s well photographed Pinnacle Rock and views of neighboring Santiago and many other central islands in the distance.
Less than a quarter of one square kilometer in size, this island gets its name from being shaped like a Chinese hat. The hat shape is best appreciated from the north side. Lava formations can be seen on the western side of the island, formed under the sea and raised upward and for this reason it is possible to observe coral heads on the lava. Is is here that we will find landscapes covered by sea lions colonies, marine iguanas and Galapagos penguins.
Overnight S/S Mary Anne (B,L,D)
D

Day 5: December 08: Rabida Island, Santa Cruz (snorkeling, hike)

After breakfast, we will make a wet landing onto Rabida’s deep‐red beaches to explore the red island’s fascinating interior and saltwater lagoon. Darwin’s finches, Galapagos mockingbirds and yellow warblers feed off the vegetation. At this time of year, we may see brown pelicans nesting on salt bushes that fringe the beach.
After lunch, we will head across to Cerro Dragon on Santa Cruz Island’s northwest shore (dry landing) to visit a saltwater lagoon, home to Greater Flamingos, black‐necked stilts and white‐cheeked pintails. Further inland we find a fantastic land iguana nesting site.
Overnight S/S Mary Anne (B,L,D)
E

Day 6: December 09: Santa Cruz Island

We will spend this day visiting Santa Cruz Island´s most famous highlights. We will have a dry landing at the dock of Puerto Ayora to then board our transportation and head to the island’s highlands. This area, in contrast to the coastal region, has lush vegetation and forest due to the humidity in the higher regions.
We will visit one of the ranches of the area where we will see giant tortoises in their natural habitat. As these animals migrate from the coastal area to the highlands and back, the chosen ranch will depend on the presence of the tortoises since they roam free and change locations. This is also a good place to see the Galapagos hawk and barn owl of this island and the surrounding forests are filled of birds such as the vermilion flycatcher or the yellow warbler.
Today we will have lunch at the ranch before heading back to Puerto Ayora for a visit to the Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Center. At the Center we will see tortoises from different islands. The animals are found in large semi‐natural pens for their protection, but also to ensure an easy view for the visitors. The pens are divided according to four different stages: eggs, neonates, juveniles (held here until they are mature enough to be "repatriated"), and adults.
Overnight S/S Mary Anne (B,L,D)
F

Day 07: December 10: Sante Fe Island, Isla Plaza Sur (hike, snorkeling)

When we are finished with our breakfast, we will make a dry landing on one of the oldest docks of the archipelago. The colorful Plaza Sur is home to vibrant green prickly pears, deep red Sesuvium and coppery‐orange land iguanas. Impressive seaward cliffs are excellent for a variety of coastal birds. This is also a great place to observe the adult and pup sea lions swimming along the shores.
This afternoon, after a wet landing on Santa Fe onto a white beach where sea lions are usually resting, we will be looking for the endemic species of land iguana, larger and yellower than land iguanas on other islands. The largest prickly pear cacti in the Galapagos are also found here.
Overnight S/S Mary Anne (B,L,D)
G

Day 08: December 11: Española Island (hike, snorkeling)

After our breakfast, we will have a dry landing on Española Island and walk up to Punta Suarez. The hike is about 4 km (2 miles) and since we will be photographing along the way, it will take about 2 hours. A geyser near the trail sprays water about 25m (75 feet) into the air. Today we will see sea lions near the landing place, sometimes to be seen body‐surfing in the large breakers; large marine iguanas, with red‐colored males in the breeding season; oystercatchers; blue‐ footed and Nazca boobies; Galapagos hawk; Galapagos dove; swallow‐tailed gull; red billed tropicbirds in flight; and three species endemic to Española – waved albatross (present only from April to December), Española mockingbird, and Española lava lizard.
We will spend the afternoon in fantastic Española starting with Gardner Bay (wet landing), an outstanding beach with sea lions, marine iguanas, and the intrepid Española mockingbird.
Close to Española there is a great spot for snorkeling called Gardner Islet. Where we will have a good chance to swim with playful sea lions. We will also snorkel at Osborn islet, a great place to observe lots of different marine life.
Overnight S/S Mary Anne (B,L,D)
A

Day 09: December 12: Baltra Island

This is our last day in the islands. After breakfast we will disembark in Puerto Ayora to take our transport to the Baltra airport. On the way we will be making a short stop to visit the Twin Craters. The Gemelos (twins) are two deep craters located to the side of the road that leads to Puerto Ayora from the other side of the island. These huge holes were probably created in a volcanic explosion or by magma chambers underneath the island´s surface.
This is also a good place to see the Galapagos hawk and barn owl of this island and the surrounding forests are filled of birds such as the vermilion flycatcher or the yellow warbler. Something worth mentioning is the contrast of the vegetation of the highlands with the arid coastal zones.
After our stop at the Twin Craters, we will make our way to the Baltra airport for the flight to mainland Ecuador.

Included

  • Round trip domestic flights to/from the Galapagos
  • Galapagos National Park Entrance Fees
  • All ground transportation
  • Migration control card
  • Overnight hotel in Guayaquil
  • All meals where indicated on itinerary

Not Included

  • International flights to/from Guayaquil, Ecuador
  • Change of itinerary
  • Meals where indicated on itinerary
  • All beverages on the S/S Mary Anne (drinks payable directly on board by USD or credit card)
  • Laundry
  • Shopping, telephone, and any items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities / tips to crew and ship staff
  • Travel/medical insurance
  • Credit card fees
  • Visa fees (please check for visa requirements for your country)

This is an interactive map. When you click on it you will activate the link to google maps. You can then either enlarge or reduce the map by clicking on the +/- signs. You can also scroll it in all directions. The dots A,B,C etc correspond with the letters on the itinerary. Also when clicking the letters a small window with location details will pop up.

Expedition Leaders

Straddling the equator, the Galapagos Islands are a tropical paradise. This trip is a combination of so many elements: relaxation and downtime aboard a beautiful schooner, options to be as active as one would want during their holiday (hiking, snorkeling, kayaking), beautiful and extreme landscapes, balmy weather, and an abundance of marine wildlife at every turn. One has to actually be careful to avoid stepping on animals while we are walking on shore. If you want to enjoy a relaxing or an active trip full of unique wildlife every day, then come with us to the Galapagos Islands.

Wild Focus Expeditions

Wild Focus Expeditions provides specialized, small group photography tours. Our photography expeditions are designed to get participants into distinctive, engaging locations around the world at the optimum times for photography. Our photo tours are created by our team of photographers who want to experience and photograph the world's top wildlife, nature and traditional cultures locations.

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