Ecuador welcomes with Spanish colonial architecture, though chances are you’re here for the wildlife. Get in a snorkel with green sea turtles or a guided amble past blue-footed boobies, flamingos, penguins, and iguanas. Darwin’s famed giant tortoises watch over their natural habitat reminding you that this is the ancient world—for you to explore.
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Get a glimpse into Galápagos the UnCruise way.
UnCruise Adventures specializes in small ships, BIG adventures (86 travelers or less).
2019 Departure Dates:
- April 4
- May 30
- June 27
- July 25
- August 8
- October 17
- UNESCO World Heritage Site, Galápagos Islands
- One night pre-cruise hotel stay at the riverfront Wyndham Guayaquil
- Six night Galápagos cruise aboard La Pinta
- Set foot on seven islands and islets
- Charles Darwin Research Center
- Nesting birds and wildlife in their natural habitat
- View marine life by snorkel, panga, and glass-bottom boat
- Certified guides escort small groups of 12
- Roundtrip air between Guayaquil and Galápagos
- Alcoholic beverages on La Pinta
DAY 1: Guayaquil – Arrival:
Welcome to Ecuador! Begin your journey in this port city known as the gateway to the Pacific. Your first stop is Wyndham Guayaquil, voted the #1 Hotel in Guayaquil on TripAdvisor and where you’ll stay the night. This dazzling riverside hotel is a short walk to the vibrant Malecon 2000 boardwalk as well as historic Santa Ana Hill and its famous lighthouse. Explore the city sights on your own, relax at the rooftop pool, and get a good night’s rest before your adventure.
DAY 2: Guayaquil / Isla Baltra – Embarkation / Isla Seymour Norte: Up and at ‘em. Get an early start and travel to the legendary Galapagos Islands—UNESCO World Heritage Site. From Guayaquil, fly to Isla Baltra where your captain and crew welcome you aboard Yacht La Pinta. As Charles Darwin certainly was in 1835, you’ll be awed by the unique beauty of the islands as you take your first exploratory steps on Isla Seymour Norte—home to Blue-footed boobies and Magnificent Frigatebirds. Formed by volcanic uplift, the small island of scruffy vegetation is ideal nesting terrain. Get an up-close view of these birds’ quirky characteristics by hike and panga ride. (BLD)
DAY 3: Isla Isabela / Isla Fernandina: Explore Punta Vicente Roca, a marine site of impressive geological formations, by panga—your guide helps with decoding the visible clues of the islands’ fiery beginnings. Beyond the geology, spy winged residents including Blue-footed boobies and flightless cormorants. The wildly rocky coast with a partially sunken cave provides phenomenal conditions for a menagerie of fish and green sea turtles. If conditions allow, don your mask, fins, and snorkel and dive in for a close-up view! Later, stretch your legs on a guided walk experiencing one of the most pristine islands in the Galapagos, Isla Fernandina. The island’s active volcano erupted as recently as 2009. Thousands of bright land iguanas reside here, and it’s also a favorite haunt of Galapagos penguins. (BLD)
DAY 4: Isla Isabela: Large in landmass and young at 1 million years old, Isla Isabela supports abundant wildlife and sea life. An Urbina Bay shore walk reveals large, colorful land iguanas and perhaps giant tortoises. Crossing from Urbina Bay to Tagus Cove, scan the water for whales and dolphins that frequent Bolivar Channel from one of La Pinta’s spacious decks. At Tagus Cove—an otherworldly landscape of eroded tuff cones—there’s a chance to snorkel, kayak, or ride a panga before hiking the backside of Darwin Crater to a saltwater lake. There’ll be excellent opportunities for viewing penguins, Galapagos Hawks, cormorants, petrified rain (bits of lava that cooled quickly after contacting water), and old signatures from pirates and whalers etched into the rock. (BLD)
DAY 5: Isla Rabida / Isla Santa Cruz:
Isla Rabida’s unusual red beach is a favorite sunbathing spot for sea lions and marine iguanas. Go eye-to-eye with Blue-footed and Nazca Boobies, Yellow Warblers, several species of Darwin’s Finches, and pelicans. The warm maroon-colored beach also makes a great jumping in spot for from-the-beach snorkeling. Or keep your eyes above the waterline, inspecting marine life from the glass-bottom boat. You’ll have a birds-eye view from Isla Santa Cruz hiking Cerro Dragón—or, Dragon Hill—and enjoy a well-earned panorama of the western islands, the bay below you, and possibly even lounging land iguanas.
DAY 6: Isla Santa Cruz: Today, it’s all about the magnificent giant tortoise. Touring the Charles Darwin Research Station, you’ll witness the exceptional conservation program where baby tortoises, “galapaguitos,” are reared in protective captivity until they are old enough to safely repatriate back to their native areas. Embrace Galapagos conservation by learning about threats that still endanger this fragile ecosystem. After a lingering poolside lunch at the Finch Bay Eco Hotel (bring your swimsuit just in case), explore the misty, forested highlands and see the lumbering and charming tortoises in their natural habitat. You’ll also have a chance to walk inside the island’s famed lava tubes for a geological exploration of these remarkable volcanic channels. (BLD)
DAY 7: Isla Floreana: Your day will be chock-full of adventure, with opportunities to snorkel, hike, kayak, skiff, ride the glass-bottom boat, or simply relax on the beach. Send a note home from Post Office Bay, dropping your postcard in Isla Floreana’s famous, historic barrel mailbox. Then take in the island’s geologic history with a panga ride or kayak investigation of its maze of volcanic channels. A stop at Baroness Viewpoint provides the perfect vantage for a photo-op. A tale of two beaches, walk along the green olivine beach of Punta Cormorant to a brackish lagoon known to be a flamingo hideout, then on to a white-sand beach where green sea turtles come ashore to rest at night. (BLD)
DAY 8: Isla Baltra / Guayaquil – Disembarkation: Your adventure of a lifetime aboard La Pinta concludes back on Isla Baltra. From here, transfer to the airport for your flight to Guayaquil—where you’ll await your connecting flight home, or if you’ve opted for our Machu Picchu extension, your flight to Lima, Peru. (B)
A passport is required on this itinerary. Itineraries are guidelines and variations and the order of days will occur to maximize your experience.
To reserve space call UnCruise Adventures at 888-862-8881 or firstname.lastname@example.org and mention you are with NPCA.
Check out NPCA’s full tour lineup at www.npca.org/trips