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Tour: Birding Galapagos Island Hopping

Tour: Birding Galapagos Island Hopping Packages
Country: Ecuador
City: Galapagos
Duration: 10 Day(s) - 9 Night(s)
Tour Category: Bird Watching Tours
Departure Date: Thu 01 Jan '99

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Package Itinerary

DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN QUITO, ECUADOR

Upon your arrival to Ecuador, our guide will be waiting for you to meet and transfer you to your Hotel overnight.

DAY 2: QUITO – GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

Early in the morning, our guide will pick you up to transfer you to the airport to catch your Galapagos flight. Upon your arrival, you will have to pay the Galapagos National Park entrance fee. Outside, your guide will be waiting for you in order to transfer you to your hotel.

Then you will depart to the Highlands of San Cristobal island where you will take your lunch on a local farm and then you will visit El Junco Lagoon, the only freshwater spring of the islands, it is a crater of an extinct volcano, here you 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 you 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 3: SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND: PUNTA PITT

After breakfast, you will take a speed boat in order to travel to the Galapaguera a place where you can learn about the different species of Galapagos Tortoises in their natural habitat. Later you will navigate to Punta Pitt, which 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. If you get lucky you might get to see the rare Galapagos Petrel at sea. Return to San Cristobal hotel for dinner and overnight.

On this day it is possible to see Storm Petrels, Shearwaters, Phalaropes, Lava Gulls, Lava Heron, Gray Blue Herons, 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 4: ESPAÑOLA ISLAND: PTA. SUAREZ – GARDNER ISLET BY ESPAÑOLA

After an early breakfast, you will depart for Española Island. In the morning you will visit Gardner Islet (Española), a great place for snorkeling, where it is possible to see fascinating creatures including snake eels, marble rays, diamond rays, Galapagos pufferfish, plenty of red-lipped batfish and the occasional hammerhead. Lunch on board and in the afternoon you will visit Pta. Suarez is a rocky point of land that sustains one of the most impressive and varied colonies of sea birds in the Galapagos.

Along its southern shore, steep cliffs rise up from the sea, for a spectacular view of soaring birds and the famous blowhole. A noisy colony of Sea Lions and curious mockingbirds (Hood Mockingbird) greet you as you land on their beach.

You will meet a multitude of Blue-footed Boobies, Masked boobies, Albatross, Red-billed Tropic Birds, Galapagos Shearwater, Phalaropes, Storm Petrels, Large Cactus Finch, Galapagos Hawk and endemic Marine iguanas with unique traces of red and green soak up the heat from the sun. (B.BL.D)

DAY 5: SAN CRISTOBAL – FLOREANA – ISABELA ISLAND

After breakfast you will be transferred to the pier in order to depart to Isabela Island, on the route, Important: **This visit will be subject to regulations of Galapagos National Park and the local conditions situation**. It is a possibility to circumnavigate Champion Islet to search for the extremely rare Floreana Mockingbird. The specie is Critically Endangered and the surviving population is tiny. It survives on two small satellite rocks that are located close to Floreana (Champion and Gardner Islet by Floreana).

Then you will continue to Floreana Island where you will visit the highlands looking for the Medium tree Finch, the only site for this super rare bird and others.

Besides, you will visit a tortoise reserve and the freshwater spring. Lunch in a local restaurant and in the afternoon you will depart for Isabela. Transfer to your hotel for dinner and overnight. (B.L.D)

DAY 6: ISABELA ISLAND: SIERRA NEGRA VOLCANO – MARSHLANDS

After an early breakfast depending on Galapagos National Park regulations and the established schedule for our excursion, your guide will be waiting for you in order to depart to Sierra Negra Volcano, which is one of the most impressive volcanoes in the archipelago. You will hike up the trail to the caldera, which is the largest of all of the Galapagos volcanoes (c. 10km wide). The caldera is our best place to look for the Galapagos Martin, in Sierra Negra it is possible to find Galapagos Rail, Woodpecker Finch, Green Warbler Finch, Small Tree Finch, and Galapagos Flycatcher.

Box lunch en route and then you will stop in a transitional zone where you will look for species like Vegetarian Finch. Then on the way back to Puerto Villamil, you stop at the Flamingo pond.

In the afternoon you will visit Humedales or Marshlands, 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. This is a great place to see several species of Darwin Finches, Mangrove Warbler, and others. Return to the hotel and after a delicious dinner, you will look for the Short-eared Owl, which is an endemic sub-species of the Galapagos, return to the hotel overnight. (B.L.D)

DAY 7: ISABELA ISLAND: IGUANA COVE – EL RADAR – TUNNELS

After an early breakfast, your guide will transfer you to the pier where a small speedboat will be waiting for you in order to depart to Iguana Cove where you will have the opportunity to see one of the most amazing endemic species of Galapagos, the Flightless Cormorant, this amazing Galapagos endemic is the largest specie of cormorant in the world, it is unique because it has lost its ability to fly.

Also, you can see other bird species like the incredible Galapagos Penguin (except from June to August), Frigate Birds, Shearwaters, Phalaropes, Flightless Cormorants, Greater Flamingos, and some species of finches. Box lunch en route and in the afternoon you will visit the Tunnels, one of the best places in Isabela for Snorkeling, then you will return to Puerto Villamil where you will dinner and overnight. (B.BL.D)

DAY 8: ISABELA – STA CRUZ ISLAND: HIGHLANDS

Early in the morning, you will be transferred to the pier where a public speedboat will be waiting for you in order to depart for Santa Cruz Island. Once in Puerto Ayora, transfer to your hotel, some time to rest, and then you will travel to the highlands of Santa Cruz that is continually changing and you will ascend through all seven different vegetation zones. There you are able to see the Giant tortoises in the wild at a private farm where you will lunch.

This is a good place to see the Vegetarian Finch and with luck the Paint-billed Crake. In the afternoon you will visit a pair of large pit craters called “Los Gemelos", one of the best places to spot Woodpecker Finch, Large Tree Finch, Green Warbler Finch, and others. If time permits you will search for Galapagos Rail at Media Luna. After this visit, you will return to Puerto Ayora where you will dinner and overnight. (B.L.D)

DAY 9: 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 about the conservation and research efforts on the islands seeing the tortoise hatchlings and breeding programs, which are saving several races of tortoises from extinction.

After this visit, you will have the last chance to look for some of the finches that surround the Charles Darwin Station, species like Small, Medium, and Large Ground Finches and Galápagos Mockingbirds can be found here. Transfer to Baltra airport in order to catch your flight back to Quito. (B, BL)

Day 10: HOME FLIGHT OR ECUADOR MAINLAND TOUR

People traveling back home will be picked up at their hotels in Quito and transferred to the airport for their international flights. (B)
END OF SERVICES!!

A NOTE ON THE ORDER OF THE ITINERARY:

The itinerary is subject to change based on local conditions and Galapagos National Park regulations. The Hotels are subject to availability, we will provide you with the hotels mentioned in this itinerary or similar according to each category.

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

IMPORTANT: This itinerary is subject to Galapagos National Park regulations.

PRICE INCLUDES:

Transportation transfers airport – hotel – airport, local guide, bilingual naturalist guide specialized in birdwatching, accommodation based on double rooms in all hotels mentioned in the itinerary or similar depending on availability, all excursions, meals as described on the itinerary, basic snorkel gear, Ingala card, Isabela tax, bus ticket Itabaca channel – airport.

NOT INCLUDED:

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

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