Trips

Absolute Galapagos (Daphne)

AUD $9,513.00

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Product Description

Highlights

With over two weeks spent on the archipelago, this trip takes a more leisurely pace. Spend more time on each island, soaking up the sun and the sea (lions).. Hike, snorkel, sleep, repeat – this isn’t your average cruise. Get active in the rugged and isolated Galapagos Islands.. Sea lions are like the dogs of the ocean: playful, goofy and curious. And while you can’t pat them, you’re bound to fall in love with these furry frolickers.. Pink flamingos, red-throated frigates and blue-footed boobies will have you craning your neck, snapping photos and contemplating a career in ornithology.

Overview

Discover the endemic wildlife, bizarrely beautiful landscapes and underwater treasures of the Galapagos Islands on this immersive 17-day cruise. Explore both the traveller’s favourites and quieter parts of the archipelago, all with a passionate local naturalist on hand to guide you over pahoehoe lava and through marine iguana colonies. Snorkel in clear waters off the coast of Isla Espanola, paddle through a green turtle breeding grove on Isla Floreana, look out for mottled Galapagos hawks on Isla Fernandina, and wander between sea lions lounging on beaches with red, black and white sand.



Breakfast Included: 16

Lunches Included: 14

Dinner Included: 14

 

 

Trip Dates

Start Date End Date Price Room Type
02-JUL-2019 18-JUL-2019 AUD $12,042.00 lowerDeckTwin-Bunk
02-JUL-2019 18-JUL-2019 AUD $13,122.00 upperDeckTwin-Bunk
02-JUL-2019 18-JUL-2019 AUD $13,762.00 upperDeckDouble-LowerBerth
02-JUL-2019 18-JUL-2019 AUD $13,762.00 upperDeckTwin-LowerBerth
16-JUL-2019 01-AUG-2019 AUD $12,042.00 lowerDeckTwin-Bunk
16-JUL-2019 01-AUG-2019 AUD $13,122.00 upperDeckTwin-Bunk
16-JUL-2019 01-AUG-2019 AUD $13,762.00 upperDeckDouble-LowerBerth
16-JUL-2019 01-AUG-2019 AUD $13,762.00 upperDeckTwin-LowerBerth
30-JUL-2019 15-AUG-2019 AUD $12,042.00 lowerDeckTwin-Bunk
30-JUL-2019 15-AUG-2019 AUD $13,122.00 upperDeckTwin-Bunk
30-JUL-2019 15-AUG-2019 AUD $13,762.00 upperDeckDouble-LowerBerth
30-JUL-2019 15-AUG-2019 AUD $13,762.00 upperDeckTwin-LowerBerth
13-AUG-2019 29-AUG-2019 AUD $10,261.00 lowerDeckTwin-Bunk
13-AUG-2019 29-AUG-2019 AUD $11,179.00 upperDeckTwin-Bunk
13-AUG-2019 29-AUG-2019 AUD $11,723.00 upperDeckDouble-LowerBerth
13-AUG-2019 29-AUG-2019 AUD $11,723.00 upperDeckTwin-LowerBerth
27-AUG-2019 12-SEP-2019 AUD $10,261.00 lowerDeckTwin-Bunk
27-AUG-2019 12-SEP-2019 AUD $11,179.00 upperDeckTwin-Bunk
27-AUG-2019 12-SEP-2019 AUD $11,723.00 upperDeckDouble-LowerBerth
27-AUG-2019 12-SEP-2019 AUD $11,723.00 upperDeckTwin-LowerBerth
10-SEP-2019 26-SEP-2019 AUD $9,887.00 lowerDeckTwin-Bunk
10-SEP-2019 26-SEP-2019 AUD $10,771.00 upperDeckTwin-Bunk
10-SEP-2019 26-SEP-2019 AUD $11,298.00 upperDeckDouble-LowerBerth
10-SEP-2019 26-SEP-2019 AUD $11,298.00 upperDeckTwin-LowerBerth
24-SEP-2019 10-OCT-2019 AUD $9,887.00 lowerDeckTwin-Bunk
24-SEP-2019 10-OCT-2019 AUD $10,771.00 upperDeckTwin-Bunk
24-SEP-2019 10-OCT-2019 AUD $11,298.00 upperDeckDouble-LowerBerth
24-SEP-2019 10-OCT-2019 AUD $11,298.00 upperDeckTwin-LowerBerth
08-OCT-2019 24-OCT-2019 AUD $9,513.00 lowerDeckTwin-Bunk
08-OCT-2019 24-OCT-2019 AUD $10,363.00 upperDeckTwin-Bunk
08-OCT-2019 24-OCT-2019 AUD $10,873.00 upperDeckDouble-LowerBerth
08-OCT-2019 24-OCT-2019 AUD $10,873.00 upperDeckTwin-LowerBerth
22-OCT-2019 07-NOV-2019 AUD $9,513.00 lowerDeckTwin-Bunk
22-OCT-2019 07-NOV-2019 AUD $10,363.00 upperDeckTwin-Bunk
22-OCT-2019 07-NOV-2019 AUD $10,873.00 upperDeckDouble-LowerBerth
22-OCT-2019 07-NOV-2019 AUD $10,873.00 upperDeckTwin-LowerBerth
05-NOV-2019 21-NOV-2019 AUD $9,513.00 lowerDeckTwin-Bunk
05-NOV-2019 21-NOV-2019 AUD $10,363.00 upperDeckTwin-Bunk
05-NOV-2019 21-NOV-2019 AUD $10,873.00 upperDeckDouble-LowerBerth
05-NOV-2019 21-NOV-2019 AUD $10,873.00 upperDeckTwin-LowerBerth
19-NOV-2019 05-DEC-2019 AUD $9,513.00 lowerDeckTwin-Bunk
19-NOV-2019 05-DEC-2019 AUD $10,363.00 upperDeckTwin-Bunk
19-NOV-2019 05-DEC-2019 AUD $10,873.00 upperDeckDouble-LowerBerth
19-NOV-2019 05-DEC-2019 AUD $10,873.00 upperDeckTwin-LowerBerth
03-DEC-2019 19-DEC-2019 AUD $9,513.00 lowerDeckTwin-Bunk
03-DEC-2019 19-DEC-2019 AUD $10,363.00 upperDeckTwin-Bunk
03-DEC-2019 19-DEC-2019 AUD $10,873.00 upperDeckDouble-LowerBerth
03-DEC-2019 19-DEC-2019 AUD $10,873.00 upperDeckTwin-LowerBerth
17-DEC-2019 02-JAN-2020 AUD $9,887.00 lowerDeckTwin-Bunk
17-DEC-2019 02-JAN-2020 AUD $10,771.00 upperDeckTwin-Bunk
17-DEC-2019 02-JAN-2020 AUD $11,298.00 upperDeckDouble-LowerBerth
17-DEC-2019 02-JAN-2020 AUD $11,298.00 upperDeckTwin-LowerBerth
31-DEC-2019 16-JAN-2020 AUD $9,513.00 lowerDeckTwin-Bunk
31-DEC-2019 16-JAN-2020 AUD $10,363.00 upperDeckTwin-Bunk
31-DEC-2019 16-JAN-2020 AUD $10,873.00 upperDeckDouble-LowerBerth
31-DEC-2019 16-JAN-2020 AUD $10,873.00 upperDeckTwin-LowerBerth
14-JAN-2020 30-JAN-2020 AUD $9,513.00 lowerDeckTwin-Bunk
14-JAN-2020 30-JAN-2020 AUD $10,363.00 upperDeckTwin-Bunk
14-JAN-2020 30-JAN-2020 AUD $10,873.00 upperDeckDouble-LowerBerth
14-JAN-2020 30-JAN-2020 AUD $10,873.00 upperDeckTwin-LowerBerth



Quito

The adventure gets under way in Quito, Ecuador’s sprawling but refined capital city. A welcome meeting will be held this evening at either 5 pm or 6 pm, but aside from that you are free to check out the city on your own today. If you arrive with time to spare, perhaps head to Quito’s Old Town and pick one (or more) of the 30 churches to explore.

Isla Baltra/Santa Cruz Highlands

Rise and shine! An early start is necessary this morning to make it to the Galapagos with time to play today. This could mean leaving as early as 4.30 am, and an Intrepid representative will confirm the exact departure time during the welcome meeting on Day 1. Transfer to Mariscal Sucre International Airport (aka Quito Airport), enjoying a boxed breakfast en route. Fly to the Galapagos (approximately 3.5 hours). On arrival, collect your luggage and meet your naturalist guide in the arrival hall. Follow your guide on a public bus for a short distance (approximately 5 minutes), then board the public ferry and head across the Itabaca Channel (approximately 7 minutes). All public transport fees are included in your trip price. Once you reach Isla Santa Cruz, board a private bus to the highlands. After a short journey (approximately 10 minutes), arrive at Los Gemelos – twin sinkholes created by the collapse of surface material in underground fissures and chambers. They are surrounded by the unique scalesia cloud forest, so be on the lookout for the abundant birdlife including different species of Darwin finches, woodpeckers, warbler finches and vermillion flycatchers. Continue further into the highlands (approximately 30 minutes) and explore a rancho farm, where you will take a walk and later enjoy lunch. The approximately 2-kilometre walk around the area will likely reveal giant tortoises in their natural habitat. After lunch, travel to Puerto Ayora (approximately 45 minutes) where Le Grande Daphne and her crew will be waiting for you. Once on board, you’ll be assigned a cabin and have a chance to settle in for your first night on the islands before a safety briefing.

Isla Floreana

Discover the quirky maritime history of Post Office Bay, home of the oldest postal system in the Americas. There’s a post box here that was first built by 18th-century whalers and is still in use today. Perhaps leave a letter to be collected by another traveller or look for one you can deliver. Snorkelling and a Zodiac ride are also included in this outing. Afterwards, head ashore at Punta Cormorant where the sand is made up of fine olivine crystal, a glassy volcanic mineral that gives the beach an olive-green colour. Take a 1-kilometre walk in search of sea lions, flamingos, pintails and stilts. Finish at a sandy beach where Eastern Pacific green turtles nest. Just offshore, the famous Devil’s Crown waits for those who want a special snorkelling experience. The partially-submerged remains of a volcanic cone, Devil’s Crown is now a unique swimming hole and home to rays, sharks, sea lions and turtles. Estimated travel time/distance: Puerto Ayora to Isla Floreana: 4 hours (32 nautical miles) Punta Comorant to Punta Suarez: 6.5 hours (52 nautical miles)

Isla Espanola

Wake up and take a hike on Isla Espanola, the southernmost island of the Galapagos. It is the breeding site for almost all of the estimated 24,000 waved albatrosses on earth. If you’re lucky (and the timing is right), you might spot the elaborate courtship rituals performed by albatrosses before the female chooses her lifelong mate during your walk. Hike through booby colonies to the rocky trails of beautiful Punta Suarez. This 3-km hike culminates at a clifftop viewpoint. Gaze out over views of rugged cliffs framed by swooping frigate birds, watching while albatross use the cliffs as their ‘runway’, getting airborne on the southeast winds. Next, head to Bahia Gardner for a walk along the beach. Dodge lounging sea lions on this 1-kilometre walk, then cool off with a spot of snorkelling. The rocks off the coast are rich with reef sharks, turtles and many species of tropical fish (such as surgeon and angelfish). Small white-tipped reef sharks can also be spotted resting under the rocks. Estimated travel time/distance: Punta Suarez to Bahia Gardener: 45 minutes (5 nautical miles) Bahia Gardener to Kicker Rock: 5 hours (8 nautical miles)

Isla San Cristobal

Shake off any early morning doziness with a trip to Leon Dormido (Kicker Rock). This basalt crater rises 150 metres above the water and is divided into two parts by a narrow channel. Cruise through the channel as nesting seabirds flank the boat, tropicbirds soar overhead, marine iguanas swim about and sea lions lounge on the water. Snorkelling here gives you the chance to see Galapagos sharks, sea turtles and an incredible biodiversity of invertebrates living in the rock. Later, sail to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on the island of San Cristobal. Some passengers will be leaving and others joining the group today, so you have some free time to explore the town of San Cristobal. In the afternoon you will visit the San Cristobal Interpretation Centre, which brings the history and geography of the archipelago to life, from its volcanic origins to the present day. If there’s time, your guide may be able to organise an optional visit to the highlands of San Cristobal, for a chance to see giant tortoises in the wild. The price of this optional activity depends on the number of passengers attending. Relaxing on the beach is a great option for those who don’t wish to partake in this excursion. Estimated travel time/distance: Leon Dormido to Isla San Cristobal: 1 hour (8 nautical miles)

Isla Santa Fe/Isla Plaza Sur

Sea lions, iguanas and hawks – oh my! Isla Santa Fe is home to all three, plus Galapagos mockingbirds, marine turtles, frigate birds, Galapagos doves and lava lizards. This stunning island boasts one of the most attractive coves in the whole archipelago. Take a hike along the coast into the opuntia forest (approximately 1.5 hours). The trail is rocky, so mind your step and make sure you’re wearing good walking shoes. Afterwards, continue to Isla Plaza Sur, a small, picturesque island. Take another walk (approximately 1.5 hours), getting close to sea lions and passing one of the Galapagos’s largest land iguana populations. The southern cliffs are great for spotting tropicbirds and swallow-tailed gulls, as well as ‘the Gentlemen’s Club’ – a gathering of male sea lions. Today there may be an extra stop on the way to Plaza Sur to restock the provisions for the boat. Estimated travel time/distance: Isla San Cristobal to Isla Santa Fe: 3.5 hours (26 nautical miles) Isla Santa Fe to Isla Plaza Sur: 2 hours (16 nautical miles) Isla Plaza Sur to Bahia Darwin (Isla Genovesa): 7.5 hours (59 nautical miles)

Isla Genovesa

Explore Isla Genovesa, the archipelago's north-eastern outpost. The island’s varied landscapes are a twitcher's paradise, with all three kinds of boobies, including the rare red-footed booby, nesting here. Next, Bahia Darwin (Darwin Beach) is another superb birding site with large breeding colonies of seabirds, frigates, lava herons, swallow-tailed gulls, mockingbirds, and vampire finches. Enjoy a moderate walk (approximately 2.5 hours) that passes tide pools, sea lions and diamond stingrays. This walk involves sand and some rocky sections. The steep Prince Philip's Steps lead you to the heart of the seabird rookeries, with birds swirling overhead and nesting among the cliffs. Look out for storm petrels on the island’s rocky plains – Genovesa is the only place in the world where these birds can be seen flying during the day. Afterwards, perhaps cool off with a snorkel, during which you could encounter manta rays, sharks, turtles and moray eels, plus many species of fish. Later tonight, depart Isla Genovesa for Isla Santiago. Estimated travel time/distance: Prince Philip's Steps (Isla Genovesa) to Bahia Sullivan (Isla Santiago): 8 hours (48 nautical miles)

Isla Santiago/Isla Rabida

Explore Bahia Sullivan, a beach along Santiago Island's eastern coast. Take a walk along pahoehoe lava (approximately 1 hour), which was created by an eruption that occurred here in 1897. With some luck you might see some marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs, sea lions, finches, turtles, sharks and penguins. During your walk, as always, your naturalist guide will take you through the geological history of the island. Travel to Isla Rabida, known for its gorgeous red-sand beach (coloured that way due to rusting iron). This is one of the most striking islands of the archipelago. Starting at the shore, follow a walking trail (approximately 45 minutes) through to 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 present. Here you will find opuntia cactus forest, which suggests previous existence of land iguanas and possibly flamingos, Galapagos hawks, mockingbirds, doves, finches and lava lizards. You’ll have the chance to snorkel among sea stars, damsels, gobies and surgeon fish, and take a Zodiac ride in search of wildlife. Estimated travel time/distance: Bahia Sullivan (Isla Santiago) to Isla Rabida: 2 hours (16 nautical miles) Isla Rabida to Caleta Tortuga Negra (Isla Santa Cruz) 2 hours (16 nautical miles)

Isla Santa Cruz

Explore Caleta Tortuga Negra (Black Turtle Cove) on a Zodiac. This red mangrove wetland is located on the north shore of Isla Santa Cruz. Cruise through this peaceful cove and look out for mating green turtles, as well as golden cow-nose rays, eagle rays and Galapagos sharks. Head to Las Bachas, where the soft sand made of decomposed coral is a nesting site for the Pacific green turtle. Marine iguanas are also commonly spotted along the beach. The rocks make for excellent snorkelling and are populated by Sally Lightfoot crabs which are plentiful on the island. A saltwater lagoon just near the beach is home to flamingo and whimbrel – you might also see a great blue heron. Remnants of a floating pier, a testimony to the US presence in the Galapagos during World War II, can also be seen. Estimated travel time/distance: Caleta Tortuga Negra (Isla Santa Cruz) to Las Bachas: 30 minutes (4 nautical miles)

North Seymour/Bartolome

Sail from Isla Baltra to North Seymour, one of the most visited islands of the Galapagos. First up is a solid walk, the highlight of which may well be blue-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls. As you walk, look out for land iguanas, marine iguanas, sea lions and the endemic incense tree. Strap on a snorkel and explore a different side of the island, looking out for white-tipped reef sharks, rays and sea lions. The next stop is Bartolome, one of the most spectacular volcanic landscapes in the Galapagos, full of parasitic spatter cones, lava flows, Galapagos penguins and lava lizards. Make sure you’ve got cool clothing and sturdy shoes, because there is a challenging walk ahead. Climb over 360 wooden steps to the island summit, where an amazing view of Pinnacle Rock awaits as reward. This is one of the photographed sights in the Galapagos: an abrupt jag of rock protruding from the earth like a tooth, near two back-to-back golden bays. If you’re in luck, you might catch a glimpse of the Galapagos hawk. There’s also the opportunity to go snorkelling among the colourful tropical marine life to cool off afterwards. Estimated travel time/distance: Isla Baltra to North Seymour: 45 minutes (5 nautical miles) North Seymour to Bartolome: 2.5 hours (18 nautical miles)

Isla Santiago

Head to Puerto Egas, a black-sand beach on Isla Santiago. Take a stroll along the beach where marine iguanas, pelicans, finches, mockingbirds, oystercatchers, Galapagos sea lions and Galapagos fur seals are known to frolic. Along the way you can see the amazing tidal pools, formed from ancient lava flow, providing a home for sponges, snails, hermit crabs, barnacles and fish. Later, sail to Espumilla Beach, located on the northern coast of Isla Santiago. Kick off your shoes and feel the flour-soft sand beneath your toes while you take in the vivid green vegetation that lines the coast. Not only is this island a nesting site for marine turtles, it’s also a fantastic place to see ghost crabs, blue-footed boobies (often plunging for fish) and brown pelicans. There’s also the chance to see Galapagos hawks up close. Finally, pay a visit to Buccaneer Cove. Volcanically active, steeped in myth and flanked by gorgeous cliffs, the old pirate haunt has something for everyone, from birdwatchers to history buffs. If conditions are favourable, you can enjoy some more snorkelling around the cove. Estimated travel time/distances: Bartolome to Puerto Egas (Isla Santiago): 4.5 hours (35 nautical miles) Puerto Egas to Espumilla Beach (Isla Santiago): 45 minutes (5 miles) Espumilla Beach to Buccaneer Cove (Isla Santiago): 15 minutes (2 nautical miles)

Isla Isabela/Isla Fernandina

Visit Tagus Cove, where pirates and whalers used to collect tortoises for their stews (and occasionally, to keep as pets). Enjoy a short visit here (approximately 2 hours), perhaps snorkelling or checking out the ancient graffiti on the walls (the oldest of which is from 1836). Witness flightless cormorants, blue-footed boobies and a variety of waterfowl and penguins (the most northerly penguins in the world). Walk to a lookout point for a stunning panorama of the north of Isla Isabela and the Wolf volcano. Visit nearby Isla Fernandina, the youngest of the Galapagos Islands. It’s also volcanically active and the most westerly island, making it one of the least visited. The third-largest in size, it erupted most recently in 2018. The absence of introduced mammals gives it a unique landscape, and it boasts the highest concentration of marine iguanas on the archipelago. Take a walk around the beautiful peninsula, which boasts such wildlife and plant life as lava cacti, marine iguanas, barking sea lions, tiny penguins and Sally Lightfoot crabs. Keep a lookout for that marvellous predator hunting from the treetops – the Galapagos hawk. Top-notch snorkelling opportunities await in the clear waters, and turtles and sea lions can be seen swimming around and feeding on the shore. Estimated travel time/distance: Buccaneer Cove (Isla Santiago) to Espinoza (Isla Fernandina): 45 mins (6 nautical miles) Espinoza to Elizabeth Bay (Isla Isabela): 4.5 hours (37 nautical miles)

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TRIP OVERVIEW

Trip Code: GMDE

Group Size: 16

Start: Quito

End: Quito

Duration: 17

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