Explore the Galápagos waters aboard the luxury yacht offering uncompromising comfort for an intimate, rewarding adventure.
|9 Days||£6100||Year Round||Ecuador & Galapagos Islands||Tailor-Made|
Sailing on board the luxurious Integrity yacht, spend 9 days exploring the natural highlights of the Galapagos Islands; snorkelling with sea lions and sea turtles, observing the abundant birdlife and encountering marine iguanas and other endemic wildlife.
Spend time navigating the isolated Galapagos Islands with pristine facilities aboard the exclusive Integrity, a luxury 16-passenger yacht designed specifically for exploring these remarkable islands. A dedicated crew and assigned certified naturalist guide will accompany you on your expedition, providing you with comfort, style and safety on your journey to discover the Galapagos “Big 15”. Side by side with the expert naturalist guide, you will see a place as unique and well-studied as any on earth with new islands and animals to discover each dawn with each dawn including penguins, tropical fish, sea lions, rays, turtles, blue-footed boobies, and many more!
Today you will arrive in Guayaquil or Quito late in the evening. A hotel room has been reserved for you for a brief overnight stay before your departure to Galápagos the following morning.
You’ll be transferred back to the airport for your flight to Baltra, Galápagos. Upon arrival, you will be escorted to the VIP arrivals lounge where staff will collect your passport and facilitate your entrance formalities with the Galápagos National Park. Once you’ve collected your luggage, you will transfer from the airport across the Itabaca channel to the Island of Santa Cruz for lunch in the highlands and the opportunity to search among the lush grasses for grazing giant tortoises. The vegetation of the area includes the Scalesia Forest (an endemic giant daisy tree) and birds such as the vermilion flycatcher will delight everyone with its scarlet feathers against an emerald green forest. Look for Darwin's finches (most of them from the tree-finch group), particularly the famous Woodpecker Finch. Time permitting, explore a lava tunnel. Continuing to the town of Puerto Ayora, you’ll visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, Here, you'll see several subspecies of adult tortoises, lots of hatchlings, and learn of the repatriation programs that are saving several subspecies of tortoises and iguanas from extinction. Later In the afternoon, we will board our yacht, Integrity, for dinner and set sail on our Island cruise. We will live aboard the yacht and spend as much time exploring the islands as park rules permit. Each night, we'll travel on to the next destination.
This morning we will stroll along a magnificent white sand beach where sea lions lounge, marine turtles nest, and the curious Española mockingbirds follow our every footstep. We can take a brief swim on the beach or wait for an amazing snorkel in the company of schools of colorful fish, turtles, sea lions, and possibly small sharks along the underwater cliffs of Gardener-by-Española, a small satellite islet. In the afternoon visit Punta Suarez, one of the Galapagos' most famed visitor sites. You'll be dazzled by spectacular cliff views of pounding surf and seemingly unlimited populations of an amazing variety of seabirds. Brightly colored marine iguanas and the largest lava lizards of Galapagos frequent the coastline and rest on the trail. From the cliff top you'll watch a blowhole spray water 30 meters in the air. Española is the only island where you'll see waved albatrosses and possibly observe their fascinating mating dance.
Today visit Punta Pitt, a steep gully leads up the cliff to a breeding ground for Boobies of all three varieties: Red-footed, Blue-footed and Nazca. It's the only place in the Galapagos where you can see all three species nesting together. Two species of frigatebirds are also present, as are Swallow-tailed Gulls and Storm Petrels. The view of sea lions from the top of the cliff over the beach is magnificent, as are the contours of the barren, wind-eroded peaks of the island. The trail across the Punta Pitt site offers a closer look at the hardy vegetation that manages to thrive in this volcanic wasteland. From Saltbush and spiny shrubs next to the beach the trail leads up to an area of Palo Santo trees, big yellow-green shrubs, tiny cacti and, in the dry season, carpets of red vesuvius. The afternoon will consist of a short panga ride along the cliffs of Cerro Brujo will be followed by a visit to the lovely coral sand beach, frequented by waders and migrant birds. Guests will enjoy a leisurely evening sunset cruise as INTEGRITY navigates to the following day’s activities
After landing on a white beach usually covered with sea lions, we'll walk into a giant Opuntia cactus grove where we'll have the opportunity to see the endemic land iguanas. The land visit will be followed by snorkeling and/or kayaking in the turquoise waters of the bay, full of sea lions, rays, urchins, eels, and fish of all colors. In the afternoon, we will see another species of Galapagos land iguana as well as cactus finches. Both North and South Plazas were formed by geological uplift and tilt to the north, with cliffs on their southern coasts. On small islands like this, terrestrial and marine species interact more than on the larger islands, and the occasional hybrid iguana (land and marine) with its "zebra-like" stripes can often be observed. The south-facing cliffs swarm with a myriad of bird species. Bachelor sea lions climb steep cliffs in the late afternoon to spend nights away from the larger dominant bulls.
This morning visit the north side of Darwin Bay, this beach was formed by the rim of a sunken crater. Red mangroves along the hiking trail provide habitat for yellow warblers, yellow-crowned night herons, and pintail ducks. The highlight of this site is the incredible abundance of Red-footed Boobies, Great Frigatebirds, Swallow-tailed Gulls, and Yellow-crowned Night Herons. Although the most abundant booby in the islands, this is one of the few places visitors can observe Red-footed Boobies. While riding in a panga along the base of the eastern cliffs of Darwin Bay, we'll scour the cliff crevices for all kinds of animal life. We'll come to a rockfall that forms a natural staircase up the cliffs, known as Prince Phillip's Steps or the "Stairway to Seabird Heaven." We'll walk through massive colonies of Red-footed and Nazca Boobies and an extraordinary Palo Santo forest on the way to a lava ridge where thousands of storm petrels dart about while short eared owls stalk them for prey.
We'll walk across a recent lava flow and view its beautiful structural characteristics. Formed in the second half of the 19th Century, the flow is too young for much plant or animal life. It is the lava itself and the contrasting black pahoehoe flow and the reddish-yellow tuff cones that are the stars of this visit. The colors and shapes of the lava are fantastic for photos. Arguably the most recognized landmark in Galapagos, Pinnacle Rock juts straight out of Bartolomé's northern bay. Snorkeling in the bay provides visitors with a chance to swim with Galapagos Penguins. Climbing up the 600-m trail to the top of the island provides spectacular views of Pinnacle Rock, Santiago Island, and Daphne Major and Minor.
This morning we'll land at Red Beach where wading birds and ghost crabs dot the sand. Behind the beach is a saltwater lagoon where Pintail ducks and Common Stilts are frequently seen along with a group of bachelor sea lions. Brown pelicans nest in the nearby salt brush. A short trail inland provides a chance to observe finches, Galapagos Doves, Yellow Warblers, and mockingbirds, as well as the occasional snake. The turquoise waters near Sombrero Chino provide one of our best opportunities to see Galapagos Penguins. A panga ride in search of wildlife is followed by a snorkel that often includes sharks, sea lions, penguins, and rays. We will land at a beautiful white sand beach for a short walk along a trail that meanders over varying types of lava.
This morning we'll have breakfast on board Integrity. From anchorage in the Baltra harbor, say "adios" to Integrity and her dedicated crew and return to the Baltra airport for your flight back to the Ecuadorian mainland, where a dayroom will be waiting for you to relax before your late-night international departure.
A tailor-made safaris is one designed specifically for you, around your taste, budget, people travelling, interests and more. This itinerary is just an example and can be refined and changed to make it perfect for you
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