February 17-26, 2024
A visit to the Galapagos Islands is a remarkable experience with an abundance of wildlife and a natural landscape unlike any other in the world. Whether you seek quiet relaxation or active exploration, WTA offers an adventure unlike any other to this “untouched” corner of the world. Journey along the Galapagos Islands by private yacht for an immersive experience discovering the islands of Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal, Floreana, and Isabela. Witness nature’s magnificent splendor as you spend ten days deep within the natural habitats of Earth’s most awe-inspiring species: Giant Tortoises, blue-footed boobies, and marine iguanas. Learn about the conservation efforts of the archipelago at the Charles Darwin Station and Galapagos Turtle Breeding Center. You have the opportunity to do it all on the Galapagos Islands in Ease, Comfort, and Style with Women Travel Abroad.
Note: This tour requires multiple journeys by water on a private yacht. Please be aware if you are prone to seasickness.
Note: We recommend leaving the US on February 17 so that your flight arrives before 2pm – early enough to participate in Day 1’s activities. Should your flight take longer, and you wish to arrive on February 16 instead, pre-trip hotel charges will be added to your final bill.
- Activity Level
DAY 1 – February 17 – Welcome to Ecuador! Arrive at Mariscal Sucre Quito International Airport (UIO) and private transportation will take you to your accommodations. After settling into your hotel, join your new travel companions for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
Note: We recommend your flight from the US arrives before 2pm on February 17 to allow adequate time to join the day’s activities.
DAY 2 – February 18 – After a leisurely morning in Quito, join a guided tour to visit the Old Colonial town of the Capital of Ecuador. Situated at over 9,300 ft, Quito features magnificent 18th-century architecture, priceless colonial treasures, and wondrous natural sights including volcanoes. Witness the Plaza de la Independencia where the government Palace is located, followed by the beautiful La Compañia Church. From El Panecillo Hill, you will have the best vantage point of the entire city before driving to a small village known as La Mitad del Mundo (“the middle of the world”), marking Latitude 0°0’0”. This evening, enjoy another fabulous dinner in Quito before your island-hopping adventure begins!
DAY 3 – February 19 – After a quick flight to Baltra Island, your day begins on the beautiful Itabaca Channel where you will get the first amazing view of the Galapagos landscape. After traversing the Channel to Santa Cruz Island, enjoy a picnic lunch before hiking the trails in search of the Galapagos Giant Tortoise in their natural environment. From a distance, you will observe their unique characteristics and learn about conservation efforts to help their populations. This afternoon, check-in to your hotel in Puerto Ayora where you are free to relax or explore the surrounding area.
DAY 4 – February 20 – Today begins with a walk along Tortuga Bay Beach, considered one of the most beautiful on the islands. Surrounded by the Opuntia Cacti Forest and dotted with small colonies of marine iguanas and flocks of blue-footed boobies, your walk will eventually bring you to a fine, which coral beach at Playa Mansa. Here, you can choose to swim in the water (perhaps be accompanied by sea turtles), rent a kayak, or just relax on the sand. Upon returning to Puerto Ayora this afternoon, you will have the opportunity to visit both the Charles Darwin Station and the Fausto Llerena Interpretation Center where you will observe turtles of different sizes and species.
DAY 5 – February 21 – At sunrise this morning, your group will depart via private yacht for the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno – the Capital of the Province of Galapagos. Along your travels, keep watch for sea turtles, pods of dolphins, whales, and other marine creatures! Once in town, enjoy a guided visit to the highlands of San Cristobal where you will visit the Laguna El Junco and Puerto Chino – a beautiful beach where you will discover a colony of sea lions. Enjoy lunch in town and then walk to Cerro Tijeretas to witness two species of fragile birds that inhabit the area. Your walk will continue to “Shipwreck Bay” to find even more sea lions before retiring for the evening in town.
DAY 6 – February 22 – Another early morning on the water will bring your group to the historic Floreana Island, where you will disembark at the small town of Puerto Velasco Ibarra. Keep your eye out for marine iguanas and sea lions who like to hang out at the dock! Using the local transport known as “chiva”, arrive at the highlands of the island known as the area where the first inhabitants used the natural rock formations as their rudimentary homes. The atmosphere here is one of tranquility, with a landscape of lush vegetation and a Pacific Ocean view. Enjoy lunch in town followed by an opportunity to snorkel in the company of sea lions and sea turtles. This evening, retire to your lodge where dinner awaits with a fantastic view of the sunset.
DAY 7 – February 23 – Isabela Island is today’s destination – the biggest island on the whole archipelago. Once at our new hotel for the evening, your group will begin a hike to Humedales to learn about and see four unique species of lush mangroves and trees. Catch glimpses of flamingoes and wetland birds, such as the black-necked stilt, along your hike. Your adventure concludes at the Galapagos Turtle Breeding Center where your guide will describe the different activities developed by the National Park to protect the Giant Tortoises. This afternoon, a trip to Las Tintoreras provides to prospect of viewing white tip reef sharks, often found resting in cracks formed by lava flows.
DAY 8 – February 24 – Today, you remain on Isabela Island to visit the checkpoint of the Galapagos National Park. Here, you will begin a gentle hike towards the impressive Sierra Negra – a huge shield-type volcano that rises to a height of 4,000 feet. The crater is considered one of the largest in the world! Observe the remains of lava flows from recent volcanic eruptions (the last being in 2018) before returning to Puerto Villamil for lunch and afternoon relaxation.
DAY 9 – February 25 – Returning to Santa Cruz Island this morning, where you will be met by a local family in Puerto Ayora. There, they will offer an authentic lunch consisting of ceviche accompanied with green fried bananas. Continue to visit a local artisan who will demonstrate how he makes his beautiful handicrafts. In the afternoon, your group will tour a coffee plantation to learn about the different techniques that make this local coffee so rich. Take advantage of one final evening of shopping in town or a relaxing poolside before returning to Quito in the morning. Celebrate an adventurous week on the Galapagos Islands with your new travel companions at your farewell dinner.
DAY 10 – February 26 – This morning, take in the sights of the Los Gemelos craters before crossing the Channel back to Baltra. After your connecting flight to Quito (included in your tour), transportation will return you to Mariscal Sucre Quito International Airport (UIO) for your connecting flight to the US. Please book your departure flights from (UIO) for after 5pm.
*Please note that this is a tentative itinerary and it is subject to change.
- 10 days & 9 nights’ accommodations
- Single occupancy, luxury hotels
- Airport transfer
- Local transportation, including domestic flight
- Island hopping on private yacht
- Professional, local guide and naturalist
- Entrance fees to all museums and centers listed
- Guided interpretive hikes
- Lunch with local family
- FREE AFTERNOONS to explore
- Daily breakfast
- Daily group lunch
- Daily group dinner
- COVID antigen testing for USA re-entry, if applicable
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:
- Roundtrip airfare from US to Mariscal Sucre Quito International Airport (UIO)
- Travel insurance
- Items of a personal nature
- Meals not listed above
- Optional excursions and tours not listed above
- Gratuities and tips for personal services
Your trip is a BIG investment. If you cannot afford to lose the money you have invested to travel, for whatever reason, WTA strongly recommends you consider travel insurance. We encourage you to do your due diligence by researching and finding the best plan for YOU.
Suggested Travel Insurance companies are below. Ensure you inquire about a “Cancel For Any Reason” plan.
Traveler must make a NONREFUNDABLE deposit payment of $400 at time of registration to secure her spot.
Monthly minimum payment of $400 is required every month until paid in full to keep your reservations current.
Trip balance must be PAID IN FULL by November 17, 2023.
Penalty of $250 will be assessed on any balance due after the November 17, 2023 final payment deadline.
Cancel by December 17, 2023 for a 50% refund (not to include your non-refundable deposit).
NO REFUNDS after December 17, 2023.
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