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Galapagos Encounter – Central Islands (M/Y Coral)

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Galapagos Encounter – Central Islands (M/Y Coral)

From: AUD $4,953.00

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Product Description

Highlights

As you board your vessel, M/Y Coral, and follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin, you will encounter nature at its finest.. Explore the islands from on deck, on foot and in the water, no doubt with your eyes open for your next unique sight.. You’ll encounter giant Galapagos tortoises, blue-footed and masked boobies, pelicans and frigate birds, as well as land and marine iguanas, sea lions, fur seals and perhaps dolphins, whales and sea turtles.. This is indeed the Galapagos journey with something for everyone.

Overview

As we fly from Quito to the Galapagos Islands, located in the equatorial water of the Pacific Ocean, we suddenly find ourselves in a very different world. As we board our vessel, the M/Y Coral and follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin, we start to encounter nature at its finest. This is indeed the Galapagos journey with something for everyone.

 

Breakfast Included: 5

Lunches Included: 3

Dinner Included: 3


Galapagos Encounter - Central Islands (M/Y Coral) 1 Galapagos Encounter - Central Islands (M/Y Coral) 2Galapagos Encounter - Central Islands (M/Y Coral) 3Galapagos Encounter - Central Islands (M/Y Coral) 4

 

 

Trip Dates

Start Date End Date Price Room Type Status
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Quito

On arrival at Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day will be at your leisure. A welcome meeting will be held in the evening at either 5pm or 6 pm when you meet others travelling with you on your cruise to the Galapagos Islands. Please check with hotel reception or check the reception notice boards for the time and place of the meeting for your trip. As today is an arrival day, you can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). Quito sits at high altitude under the towering Pichincha volcano. It is a beautiful city, arguably one of the most beautiful in South America. The city stretches along the valley and is surrounded by the Andes. The Old Town of Quito is awash with history, with more than 30 churches to explore, and a number of fascinating museums. La Compania de Jesus is considered to be the most beautiful and ornate churches in the Americas. The city's oldest street, Calle La Ronda, is well worth exploring. As this trip spends very little time in Quito, we recommend you spend a few extra days before or after your trip to experience all the city has to offer. You may even wish to explore further beyond the city and visit Otavalo, Cotopaxi, the Cloud Forest or the Equatorial Monument.

Quito - Baltra - Charles Darwin Research Station & Fausto Llerena Breeding Center

This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to the Galapagos Islands. Please note the pick-up time can be as early as 4:30 am (a boxed breakfast will be provided), as the airport is a one-hour drive away and you must allow for delays and check-in times. (Your tour leader will confirm this time with you at the Welcome Meeting on Day 1). A US$20 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 on the islands. Please have cash on hand for these transactions as credit cards are not accepted. The flight to the Galapagos will make one stop in Guayaquil to pick up other passengers. (Total flight time is about 3.5 hours). On arrival in the Galapagos, you will be met in the arrival hall of the airport (look out for ‘Coral’ signs) by a transfer guide and transferred to our yacht - ‘MY Coral’, anchored a short distance away. A 10 minute drive will take you to the pier to board the Coral. Once on board, cabins will be assigned and you will get to meet our crew members and get to know your naturalist guide while enjoying a delicious lunch. After lunch, cruise along the east coast of Isla Santa Cruz to Puerto Ayora where you will visit the *Charles Darwin Research Station and Fausto Llerena Breeding Center. Here the Galapagos Giant Tortoise breeding program takes place as part of the efforts to preserve the fragile Galapagos environment and where the famous Lonesome George (the last surviving specimen of his species) lived for decades. Admire a prickly-pear cactus forest, a variety of Darwin’s finches and various land birds. The Darwin Station also works providing environmental education to communities and schools within the islands and to tourists visiting the Galapagos. There will some free time to visit the town of Puerto Ayora for some shopping in its boutiques where uniquely designed handcrafts, jewellery, ceramics, T-shirts, and souvenirs can be found. You may also have time to try some local food, go for a beer or enjoy an ice cream with the locals. Then head back to the boat for your first evening in the amazing Galapagos Islands.

Isla Santa Cruz - Cerro Dragon - Isla Bartolome

An overnight sail will take you to the west coast of Isla Santa Cruz and in the morning your first landing will be at Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill). You will take a walk by a brackish lagoon frequented by lagoon birds including stilts, pintail ducks, sandpipers, sanderlings and occasionally flamingos. The trail leads across a typical dry zone vegetation and offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western area of the archipelago. The area is an important nesting ground for endemic land iguanas and is constantly monitored and assisted by the Charles Darwin Research Station. The arid-zone vegetation makes for a rewarding location for birdwatching with Galapagos mockingbirds, Darwin’s finches, yellow warblers and the endemic Galapagos flycatcher all regulars here. Isla Bartolomé (Bartolomé Island) is one of the most spectacular volcanic landscapes in the Galapagos and you will travel back in time to lava tube formations, spatter cones and the remains of two types of hardened lava: AA and pa-hoe-hoe. You will experience beautiful and breathtaking landscapes as you climb up the Summit Trail in a moon-like scenery. Here you will find tiquilia and spurge plants, various cactus species, lava lizards and blue-footed boobies. Pinnacle Rock is possibly the best known and photographed sites in the Galapagos. It is an abrupt jag of rock protruding from the earth like a tooth, while nearby two golden bays back onto each other. For many, this may turn out to be one of the greatest snorkelling experiences because is the best chance to see zigzagging penguins chasing small schools of fish, white-tipped sharks and marine turtles, just to mention some.

Isla Rabida - Isla Santiago - Buccaneers Cove & Espumilla Beach

Sitting at roughly five kilometres south of Isla Santiago, is Isla Rábida. Also known as Jervis Island, it is one of the most diverse in terms of volcanic activity as it lies at the very heart of the archipelago’s volcanic origin. In this deep red beach, surrounded by cliffs and steep slopes of volcanic cinder cones it is usual to find nesting colonies of brown pelicans, as well as, nine species of Darwin finches, fur seals, and Nazca boobies. Introduced species were eradicated in 1971, meaning that the indigenous wildlife has now been returned to a state of splendid isolation. Additionally, volcanic activity here has produced vivid, fantastical colours, not least the beached of red sand and cliffs of scarlet. From the shore, the trail leads through to what is one of the finest lagoons in the Galapagos for viewing flamingos. Rabida is also a wonderful place to spot nesting pelicans. Elsewhere, pintail ducks, marine iguanas and sea lions are all present. There is an opportunity for snorkelling in a place where sea stars, damsels, gobbies and surgeon fish are numerous. You will have the chance to snorkel off the coast, where marine life is particularly active and colourful. This afternoon you will head to the northern coast of Isla Santiago visiting Buccaneers Cove and Espumilla Beach. Buccaneers Cove is an amazing location, featuring the remains of an eroded shoreline that is home to seabirds, fur seals and the playful sea lions. Its different shapes and high cliffs have been made throughout a process caused by erosion of the waves and the wind. In the 19th century, it was a popular refuge for pirates. Espumilla Beach is a white-sandy beach in James Bay and is a popular place among visitors. There are mangroves and a small palo santo forest that lead to salty-water lagoons that are home to wading birds like flamingos. The upper dunes are a nesting site for sea turtles. You will have the chance to go snorkelling here and search for rays.

Isla Santa Cruz - Black Turtle Cove - Quito

As flights to the mainland from Galapagos depart mid morning, it is an early start for our last morning on the islands. Depending on the time of your flight, your time spent on this final excursion could be limited. This morning you will take a ‘panga’ to Caleta Tortuga Negra (Black Turtle Cove). Located on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, four species of mangrove crowd form an internal lagoon. Turtles visit the calm waters, peaking their heads above the surface, while the fish and rays circle below. White-tipped reef sharks can be seen beneath the boat, plus sea birds including pelicans, herons and egrets feeding from the cove. This cove has been declared as a ‘Turtle Sanctuary’ as it is a breeding area for turtles so it is not uncommon to see them mating. This is your final excursion before you return to the airport in Baltra for your flight back to Quito. As you will be leaving the boat this morning, please remember that if you have enjoyed the services provided by your guide and crew, a tip would be very much appreciated by them. As a guideline we recommend each passenger consider US$15 per day for the crew and US$10 per day for your guide. You can leave tips in envelopes that are placed in your cabin on the last day of your journey. Upon arrival in Quito Airport you will be transferred back to your hotel for an overnight stay.

Quito

Your Galapagos adventure will come to an end today after breakfast. There are no activities planned for the final day so you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. There are many fascinating things to do in and around Quito, so please speak to our customer service representative about any optional activities that might be of interest. They can also assist you in booking a departure transfer to the airport.













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TRIP MAP

TRIP OVERVIEW

Trip Code: PSCGC

Group Size: 36

Start: Quito

End: Quito

Duration: 6

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