- Starts at: Quito, Ecuador
- Ends at: Quito, Ecuador
- Duration: 10 Days / 9 Nights
Wild Tracks is excited to offer this very special itinerary in support of the Galapagos Conservation Trust (GCT). Not only will you be able you explore the picturesque islands of the Galapagos on board the Beluga, but you will have unique access to some of the GCT’s conservation initiatives. You will lead through these projects by some of GCT’s best scientists, naturalists and guides.
5th – 6th June 2019
- Arrival in Quito, Ecuador (leaving LHR on 4th June ’19)
- Spend two nights at La Casona Ronda, Quito
- Morning tour of Quito, and welcome cocktails on 6th
Constructed on the foundations of an ancient Incan city, Quito is known for its fascinating blend of European, Moorish and indigenous architecture. It is also officially the second highest capital in the world, perched dramatically in the Andes at 2,850m above sea level.
7 June 2019
- Fly from Quito to Baltra Island, Galapagos
- Transfer to the Beluga on Santa Cruz Island
Highlights of Santa Cruz include a chance to see the Galapagos giant tortoises in the wild, in the highlands of Santa Cruz. Visit the Charles Darwin Station – a research facility and National Park Information centre and is also home to a giant tortoise and land iguana breeding program.
8 June 2019
- Sail to Floreana Island
Floreana Island is best known for its colourful history of buccaneers, whalers, convicts, and early colonists. You will visit some of the Island’s bays and beaches: Punta Cormorant, Devil’s Crown and Post Office Bay.
Punta Cormorant has two very different beaches and a large, inland lagoon where pink flamingoes can be seen. Located just off Punta Cormorant is Devil’s Crown – a stunning snorkeling site. This site is formed by completely submerged volcano that has eroded to create the appearance of a jagged crown. Finally Post Office Bay gives you a glimpse into some of the human history of the area: visit the wooden mail barrel where letters are dropped off and picked up, as well as the remains of a Norwegian fishing village.
9th June 2019
- Sail to Isabela Island (Albemarle)
Isabela Island was formed by the fusing together of five volcanoes. It is the largest of the Galapagos Islands, with Wolf Volcano being the Galapagos’ highest point at 1707m. With so much to explore, you will have three days on Isabela, taking in the coves, beaches and bays. Today, you will visit Volcan Sierra Negra’s cauldron-like caldera (diameter of 10km), view recent lava flows, moist highland vegetation, and parasitic cones. You will also visit the charming village of Puerto Villamil, situated on a stretch of sand white beach. Highlights here include the Tortoise Breeding Station and the flamingo lagoon.
10th June 2019
- More exploration on Isabela Island (Albemarle)
This day of exploration includes a visit to Punta Moreno, located in the central southwestern coast of Isabela Island, and an outing to Elizabeth Bay by dinghy . Punta Moreno boasts spectacular views of the Alcedo, Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul volcanoes. Some highlights include impressive lava flows, desolate and pristine landscapes, as well as varied and unusual arid zone vegetation. While Elizabeth Bay is a great place to spot Galapagos Sea Turtle and rays, and to watch penguins at play. The bay is long and narrow, and is surrounded by three species of mangroves.
11th June 2019
Your third day exploring Isabela Island includes a trip to Urbina Bay and Tagus Cove. Urbina Bay is located at the central-west coast of Isabela Island at the foothills of Alcedo and Darwin volcanoes. Highlights include the colourful land iguanas, Galapagos Giant tortoises and the coral uplifting from 1954. Tagus Cove is a natural harbor where centuries ago whalers and pirates left their ship’s names painted or carved on the rocks. A walk uphill to Darwin’s Crater salt-water lake will provide an excellent view.
12th June 2019
- Final day on Isabela Island (Albemarle), sail to Fernandina Island
Your final port of call on Isabela is a dinghy ride along the cliffs to the sunken cave of Punta Vicente Roca, where flightless cormorants Nasca and blue-footed boobies inhabit the shoreline. You will then sail on to Fernandina Island – the youngest, still active volcanic island in Galapagos. Here you will visit Punta Espinoza, home to unique species like the flightless cormorant, Galapagos penguin, Galapagos hawk, Galapagos snake, as well as large marine iguana colonies.
13th June 2019
- Sail to James (Santiago) and Bartolome Islands
Located between Isabela and Santa Cruz, James Island is home to a wide variety of seabirds (such as the rare oystercatcher), marine iguanas and fur seals. At Puerto Egas, you will walk along the rocky coast line exploring some of Galapagos’ most dynamic tidal pools. Other highlights include: Sugar loaf volcano and the old salt mine.
On Bartolome Island you can hike to the highest point for a spectacular view. Sea lions and penguins can be seen around Pinnacle Rock, and the sandy beach is an ideal swimming and snorkeling spot.
14th June 2019
- Sail to North Seymour Island, before returning to Baltra Island to catch a your flight to Quito
- Evening Flight from Quito to London
North Seymour Island is a piece of land that formed thousands of years ago when oceanic lava bubbled up from the ocean, leaving a interestingly flat piece of land. It is home to endemic Palo Santo trees, colonies of blue-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, and magnificent frigate birds.