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Galapagos Birding Island Hopping Tour

Country: Ecuador
City: Galapagos
Duration: 8 Day(s) - 7 Night(s)
Tour Category: Bird Watching Tours
Departure Date: Thu 01 Jan '99

Package Itinerary

BIRDING GALAPAGOS ISLAND HOPPING

8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS

Day 1: QUITO – GALAPAGOS

Early in the morning, you will have to be at the airport in Quito in order to catch your Galapagos flight, here you will have to go to the Galapagos national park counter to pay the 10 dollar fee of the entry card, and to have your bags checked by the national park staff. Then proceed to the airline counters.

At your arrival, you will have to pay the Galapagos National Park entrance fee (US$ 100 cash per person). After you pay and get your bags, your guide is going to be outside waiting for you in order to transfer you to our hotel. Lunch in a local farm in San Cristobal highlands, then you will visit El Junco Lagoon, the only freshwater spring of the islands, it is a crater of an extinct volcano, where we will find Stilts, White-cheeked pintail ducks and Common Gallinules, and the Great Frigate Bird and the Magnificent Frigate Bird, these two last species will be taking a bath in the lagoon, this is something very uncommon in these birds.

In San Cristobal Highlands we will look for the Galapagos Rail, Galapagos Flycatcher, Paint Billed Crake, small ground finch, medium ground finch, yellow warbler, Woodpecker finch, and the two species of Frigate birds. Late in the afternoon return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

(L.D)

Day 2: SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND: ISLA LOBOS – KICKER ROCK – PUNTA PITT

After breakfast you will take a speed boat in order to travel to Lobos island to swim and snorkel with sea lions, fish, marine iguanas, and sea turtles, later we will continue to Kicker Rock, a tuff lava formation rising at around 150 meters above the sea, you will surround this formation with the boat to look for some of the species that are resting and flying around in this rock, besides you will enjoy of snorkeling with rays, and reef sharks and if you are lucky maybe hammerhead sharks.

Lunch in Pto Grande beach and in the afternoon we will visit Punta Pitt located at the north of San Cristobal Island, please take note that it is not possible to disembark in this place. Punta Pitt is a combination of eroded volcanic cones and scarcely populated by endemic vegetation on the islands. This environment provides protection and warmth for species like sea lions, lava lizards, marine iguanas, frigates, pelicans, and boobies. Punta Pitt is one of the two only places on the Galapagos islands where you can see three species of boobies nesting in the same area, red, blue, and Nazca boobies.

On the beach, you can see dozens of sea lions, frigates, pelicans, herons, and lava gulls flying over the site. Return to San Cristobal to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

This day it is possible to see Storm Petrels, Shearwaters, Phalaropes, Lava Gull, Lava Heron, Gray Blue Heron, Nazca Boobies, Blue Footed Boobies, Red Footed Boobies, Peregrine Falcon (M), Galápagos petrel, Great Frigate Bird, Magnificent Frigate Bird, Chatham Mockingbird, Small Ground Finch, Dark Billed Cuckoo, Large Ground Finch, Large Cactus Finch, and others.

(B.BL.D)

Day 3: SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND - ESPAÑOLA – FLOREANA ISLAND

After and an early breakfast you will depart to Española Island to go around it, surround this Island looking for the amazing Albatross (only available from the last days of March until November), Galápagos shearwater, phalaropes, storm petrels, and the Galapagos hawk, please take note that it is not possible to disembark in this island either.

Then we will continue to Floreana Island where we will try to see the Charles mockingbird from the boat, an endemic specie located in two islets close to the main island, then we will visit the highlands looking for the Medium tree Finch the only site for this super rare bird and others. The Charles Mockingbird and to learn about the history of Galapagos visiting the pirate caves. Besides, you will visit a tortoise reserve and the freshwater spring. Lunch and in the afternoon you will have time to search for more wildlife like penguins and sea lions on the steep, rocky shore and rays and tropical fish beneath the crystal-clear waters. Dinner and overnight in Floreana Island.

Some of the bird species that you will see this day are Albatross, red-billed Tropic Birds, Swallow-Tailed Gull, Galapagos Hawk, Medium Tree Finch, and Charles Mockingbird, Baird's sandpiper.

(B.L.D)

Day 4: FLOREANA ISLAND - ISABELA ISLAND

After an early breakfast you will have the last opportunity to find the Medium Tree Finch, then departure to Isabela Island. At your arrival, you will be transferred to the hotel, lunch at noon and in the afternoon you will visit Tintoreras Islet, snorkel, and hike. At Las Tintoreras you can find a colony of white tip sharks resting in a lava canal. Here you can snorkel or swim in this unique habitat of these animals.

Besides you can find hundreds of marine iguanas, sea lions playing and relaxing in the sun on the sandy beaches. This is one of Isabela's most beautiful visitor sites. Later you will have the opportunity to snorkel around Calera and Loberia inlets. Late afternoon you will return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

Some of the species that you will see this day are the Galapagos Penguin, Lava Gulls, Gray Blue Heron, American Oystercatcher, Lava Heron, Small and Large Ground Finches, Yellow Warbler, Galápagos, wedge rumped, band rumped Storm Petrels and Galápagos Shearwaters.

(B.L.D)

Day 5: ISABELA ISLAND: SIERRA NEGRA VOLCANO

After breakfast our guide will be waiting for you in order to visit the Sierra Negra Volcano that is located at the southern end of Isabela Island, it is one of the most impressive volcanoes of the Archipelago. Its caldera measures 10 Km across from north to south.

A visit to this area is quite impressive in addition to its attractiveness. Return to Pto Villamil to enjoy your lunch in the afternoon you will visit the Breeding Center where National Park Wardens collect adults (to mate in captivity) and eggs of giant tortoises from the two southern volcanoes on Isabela Island. Hatchlings are raised for several years and then reintroduced to their habitat.

Then you will explore the Humedales (marshlands) in Isabela Island, this place has a pristine ecosystem of tidal lagoons that is the habitat of flamingos and migratory birds. Four species of mangroves can be found here. At night we will go to the upper part of Isabela to enjoy an incredible dinner surrounded by one of the most beautiful views of the Galapagos, return to the hotel overnight.

This day it is possible to see vermillion flycatcher, dark billed cuckoo, Galapagos hawk, Galapagos Rail, Paint Billed Crake, Galapagos Flycatcher, Dark Billed Cuckoo (M) Galapagos Mocking bird, short-eared owl, small and Large Ground Finches, Yellow Warbler, Black-Necked Stilt, White Chicked Pintail, warbler finch, Great Flamingo, Bairds’ Sandpiper, and others

(B.L.D)

Day 6: ISABELA : TUNNELS – PLAYA DE LOS PERROS OR PTA MORENO

After an early breakfast, your guide will transfer you to the Tunnels, one of the best places of Isabela for Snorkeling, then in a smaller canoe you will continue to Playa de los Perros or Pta Moreno to have the opportunity to see one of the most amazing endemic species of Galapagos the Flightless Cormorant, here you will have the opportunity to snorkel with this bird and the incredible Galapagos Penguin. Box lunch on route and in the afternoon return to Pto Villamil, time to rest and walk to the lagoon to look for the Flamingos. Return to diner and overnight.

This day it is possible to see Galapagos Penguin (except from June to August), Frigate Birds, Shearwaters, Phalaropes, Flightless Cormorant, Greater Flamingo, and some species of finches.

(B.BL.D)

Day 7: ISABELA – STA CRUZ

After an early breakfast transfer you to the port of Puerto Villamil where our speedboat will be waiting for you in order to go to Puerto Ayora in Santa Cruz Island, on the route we will enjoy great snorkeling in Four Brothers. Once in Puerto Ayora, you will take your private land private transportation in order to travel to the highlands of Santa Cruz, where we will see how the vegetation is continually changing, and you will ascend through all seven different vegetation zones.

There you will be are able to see the Giant tortoises in the wild at a private farm where you will have lunch. In the afternoon you will visit a pair of large pit craters called “Los Gemelos" and the largest lava tunnels. The Highlands of Sta Cruz is one of the best areas to spot the amazing woodpecker finch. Late afternoon return to the hotel to have dinner and overnight.

(B.L.D)

During this day you will have the opportunity to spot Galapagos Rail, Woodpecker Finch, Paint Billed Crake, Dark Billed Cuckoo, vegetarian finch, and others.

DAY 8: GALAPAGOS – QUITO

After breakfast, your guide will be waiting for you in order to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station where you will learn firsthand of the conservation and research efforts in the islands seeing the tortoise hatchlings and breeding programs that are saving several races of tortoises from extinction. After this visit, you will have the last chance to look for some of the finches, Galápagos mockingbirds, that surround the Charles Darwin Station, transfer to Baltra airport in order to catch your flight back to Quito.

(B.L)

END OF THE SERVICES

B- Breakfast; L-Lunch; BL-Box Lunch; D-Dinner

A NOTE ON THE ORDER OF THE ITINERARY:

Itinerary subject to change based on local conditions and Galapagos National Park regulations.

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PRICE INCLUDE:

Transportation, transfers airport – hotel – airport, local guide, bilingual naturalist guide specialized on birdwatching, accommodation based on double rooms, all excursions, meals as described on the itinerary, snorkel gear, Ingala Card.

NOT INCLUDE:

Local flights: Quito- Galapagos – Quito, Galapagos National Park entrance fee, meals not specified, alcoholic drinks, tips, and personal expenses.

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