Galapagos Islands Small Group Tour
June 17th - 23rd 2021
A custom-designed adventure in style throughout the best of this sacred place for so many & from all walks of life. Anyone with a love for nature, science, wildlife, snorkeling, diving, hiking, photography, or just plain adventure, should have this iconic destination at the top of their bucket list. This Galapagos group tour also offers a glorious blend of luxury, adventure, & up close and personal experiences! Our 2020 trip sold out fast, so get your deposits in ASAP and don't miss out next year!
The Galapagos is an expensive, "up-market" destination but fortunately, we've created something special at an amazing value! Take a look at the details below and you will see that our small group trip is arguably the best deal out there when you factor everything we have been able to include!
Part 1: Santa Cruz Island & Her Nearby Gems
Santa Cruz is the most important Island in the Galapagos archipelago with the only substantial port town of Puerto Ayora. The "bustling" town is home to the vast majority of all residents of the islands combined topping out at a staggering 12,000 people. This offers insight into the the amount of conservation and protected land on the island despite having the only major town in the whole volcanic island chain. From white sand beaches teeming with endemic marine iguana, lush highlands where some of the only giant tortoises in the world still roam, turtle coves, thriving reefs, ancient calderas, & of course, Darwin's Finches all live in harmony with the small human population here (for once!).
* Highlands & Tortoise Reserve: Journeying across Santa Cruz into the highlands, we'll be delighted by the variety of life and geology. Santa Cruz Island offers excellent opportunities for viewing wild giant tortoises, both roaming through pastures in the agricultural zone and in the El Chato Tortoise Reserve. Walk into the forest overgrown with lichens & ferns, and listen carefully for the sound of heavy footsteps and shrubs being slowly crushed as the tortoises make their way through the brush! The pond at El Chato is surrounded by forest where short-eared owls, Darwin’s finches, Vermilion Flycatchers, Yellow Warblers, Galapagos Rails, and Paint-billed Crakes can also be seen.
* Charles Darwin Research Station: An awesome and fascinating visit to give true perspective for the rest of the adventure! Founded in 1959, it has a Natural History Interpretation Centre and carries out educational projects in support of the Galapagos National Park Service. The Park has the following development programs: conservation of natural resources, management of flora and fauna, sustainable use of resources. Others are related to environmental education, marine resources, agricultural development, monitoring and vigilance. Their aim is to conserve this natural habitat and allow tourists to appreciate all these unique species.
Day Boat Excursions
*For our two full days staying on Santa Cruz, we'll head off island on exciting day trips via boat and in search of biological wonders!
* Santa Fe Island, White Sands, Cactuses, & Giant Iguanas: White sand beaches surrounded by sea lion colonies lined with endemic cactus forests is just one appeal to this natural wonderland. It is also home to the Santa Fe land iguanas, the largest in the entire archipelago. Other species that reside here are the Galapagos hawk, Galapagos snakes, rice rats (one of the few endemic Galapagos rodents), a variety of finches, and one of the four mockingbird species on the islands.
* South Plaza Islet, Land of Red & Yellow: An impressive cactus forest where colorful yellow and red land iguanas live will be our introduction to this small landmass. Another peculiar thing to see in South Plaza is the unique, hybrid iguana (sea and land). During the time of year we'll be here, the landscape should be gleaming with the vegetations glow of reds, greens, and yellows (Great landscape shots!)
* North Seymour Island: Formed by a series of underwater volcanic eruptions, this island is the home to large nesting colonies of blue-footed boobies (awesome to photograph!), great frigate birds, and swallow-tailed gulls. Land iguanas and Galapagos snakes can be encountered on a lucky day as well!
* The tours to all islands listed above are subject to availability and regulation guidelines. The park service sometimes changes regulations and rotates the islands which tourists are allowed to access with little or no prior notice. The above islands are the most likely places we will get to visit and may be substituted with other nearby sites/islands which have similar and/or different flora and fauna.
Part II: Private Luxury Yacht Island Hopping
Our next experience is very special. We'll board our very own private cruising yacht and embark on a journey throughout the eastern Galapagos Islands. Aboard the Coral II, we'll live in the perfect combination of classic beauty and exquisite style. Built in Holland, the ship surpasses all the standards you would expect from a high-class yacht, providing a slightly larger than average (and therefore more stable) cruising vessel while maintaining the friendly atmosphere of a small expedition yacht.
Every cabin features handsome wood decoration, along with air-conditioning, a private bathroom, safe deposit box, telephone, and your choice of background music. Additionally, the Coral has plenty of room to relax with three sundecks (some shaded), a jacuzzi, comfortable dining room, and lounge. Our very own naturalist guide, captain, and full board service staff will pamper us throughout!
*Since we are chartering this amazing boat just for our travel club, the rooms range from standard, standard plus, & jr. suite. The first guests to sign up will automatically be placed in the standard plus rooms. The Jr. Suites have a total supplement of 275.00 USD per person (a ridiculous steal!) and first to submit deposit & request these rooms will get them. *More details on rooms within the daily itinerary- E-mail us!
AND, Check out this amazing 3D tour of our yacht! (https://www.gogalapagos.com/Coral_I_II/vtour_coral_II/index.html)
* Dragon Hill: Bright, pink flamingos thrive as we walk by a brackish lagoon to the trail which leads across typical dry zone vegetation. Dragon Hill is an important nesting ground for endemic land iguanas, not to mention incredible views & photograph opportunities of the anchored boats and neighboring islands at the top. The surrounding forest is home to mockingbirds, Darwin’s finches, yellow warblers, and Galapagos doves.
* Bartolome Island: Formed by different volcanic parasitic cones known as lava bombs, spatter, & cinder cones, the combination will feel as if we are walking on the moon. En-route to the summit, impressive views of the surrounding islands, including the eroded tuff cone Pinnacle Rock make for incredible & iconic panoramic photographs. We'll also encounter & photograph marine iguanas, lava lizards, and blue-footed boobies along the way. Next, we'll make our way down to the beach for snorkeling and a chance to see the famous Galapagos Penguins, sea turtles, and White-tipped Reef Sharks among a great variety of colorful fish.
* Rabida Island: Dark-red sand covers the unique beaches of Rabida, home to thriving sea lions colonies. This island is considered the epicenter of the Galapagos due to the diversity of its volcanic geology. Nine species of the famous Darwin’s finches can also be found here. We'll take a dinghy ride along marine cliffs to observe nesting seabirds & then jump into the water for a snorkel off the coast where marine life is particularly active.
* Santiago Island; "Buccaneers Cove" & Espumilla Beach: This is an amazing location due to the remains of an eroded shoreline, home to seabirds, fur seals, and playful Galapagos Sea Lions. Photograph these beautiful creatures along with the cove's unique shapes created by wave and wind erosion. The white, sandy Espumilla Beach nearby is in James Bay where mangroves and a small palo santo forest lead to salty-water lagoons home to wading birds like pink flamingos. We'll visit and photograph a nesting site for sea turtles in the upper dunes of this area before another great snorkel to search for rays!
* Black Turtle Cove: Back on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island and accessible only by sea, four species of mangrove crowd and form an internal lagoon & turtle sanctuary where sea turtles visit the calm waters. Peaking their heads above the surface, fish & rays circle below and White-tipped reef sharks can be seen beneath the boat along with sea birds including pelicans, herons, and egrets.
Single Supplement: $1495.00
E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org for the daily itinerary!
Cancellation Policy & Refunds
*There is a $100.00 administrative fee for all cancellations. Cancellations made 160 days (January 7th, 2021) or more prior to trip departure date are fully refundable except for the $100 fee. Cancellations less than made 160 days (January 7th, 2021) prior to the trip departure date will receive no refund of the full amount due. No refunds on unused portions of the tour. Credit card fees and paypal processing fees cannot be refunded. After airline tickets are issued, airline cancellations are per the airline’s policy and are usually non-refundable and changeable with a fee plus new ticket price. Travel insurance strongly encouraged (ask us about policy options).
*Hotels subject to change based on availability
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Local Planet Travel
1754 Woodruff Road, #211
Greenville, SC 29607
CST # 2101181-40