8-daagse bijzondere Galapagos cruise

Een bijzondere 8-daagse Galapagos cruise. De wonderen van de Galapagos archipel zijn een bezoek meer dan waard. UNESCO heeft de eilanden als Wereld Erfgoed verklaart en dat is natuurlijk niet voor niets. De vulkanische eilanden staan bekend om hun fraaie landschappen, unieke en inheemse dieren- en plantensoorten en het bezoek van Charles Darwin, inspiratiebron van zijn evolutietheorie. U kunt de eilanden, die elk een divers en bijzonder karakter hebben, allemaal ontdekken middels een mooie cruisetocht. De eerste dagen van uw reistocht verblijft u tevens in Quito: zeker één van de mooiste steden van Zuid-Amerika.


Dag-tot-dag programma

Dag 1: Vertrek naar Ecuador

Vandaag is het zover! Uw rondreis door Zuid-Amerika gaat nu echt beginnen. U vliegt vanuit Nederland richting Ecuador. Bij aankomst op de luchthaven in Quito wordt u verwelkomd door onze lokale agent die u naar uw accommodatie brengt. U overnacht in het Vieja Cuba Hotel, waar u kunt bijkomen van de lange vlucht.


Dag 2: Vrije dag in Quito (O)

Vandaag kunt u geheel vrij besteden. Er is genoeg te doen en te zien in een van de mooiste hoofdsteden van Zuid-Amerika. U overnacht wederom in het Vieja Cuba Hotel.


De stad ligt in een smalle valei tussen, in het westen, de vulkaan Pichincha en de valei van de Machángara rivier in het oosten. Quito is een indrukwekende stad met klassieke koloniale architectuur en moderne gebouwen in contrast met de bossen en vulkanen die de stad omringen. In Quito is vooral het centrum de moeite waard om te bezoeken. Het historisch centrum met vele oude kerken, enkele goede musea, winkels, cafés en restaurants zijn zeker de moeite waard. Quito is het bruisende hart van Ecuador en zonder een bezoek aan deze stad is je bezoek aan Ecuador niet compleet.


Dag 3: Quito - Galápagos Islands Cruise M/Y Coral II/I
(O, L, D)

Na het ontbijt wordt u naar de luchthaven gebracht en neemt u het vliegtuig naar de Galápagos Islands. Hier wordt u opgewacht door een representative van de cruise en naar het schip gebracht. Uw Galápagos Islands Cruise gaat van start! U vaart vandaag naar het eiland Santa Cruz en brengt een bezoek aan het  Charles Darwin Station.


Located in the Pacific Ocean, 1000 kilometers from the South American mainland, this Ecuadorian Archipelago, made of 14 major islands and more than 60 smaller islands and islets, surrounded by its Marine Reserve, the world’s second largest, is known as a “Living Laboratory” or “Showcase of Evolution”…


The combination of converging marine currents, a volcanic geological structure and their oceanic isolation has resulted in this “melting pot” of unique species, found nowhere else on earth.  Some of the most notorious samples are the marine iguanas, the giant tortoises (called “Galapagos”) and the 13 varieties of Darwin’s finches.


This uniqueness inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, following his visit to the islands in 1835. Since then, they have become a Mecca for scientific investigation.  Today, as a strictly protected National Park, and the world’s first natural area designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, the Galapagos are also one of the world’s most fascinating tourist destinations and a true Wonder of Nature…


Dag 4 t/m 9: Galápagos Islands Cruise M/Y Coral II/I (O, L, D)

U vindt het uitgebreide reisprogramma voor uw Galápagos Islands Cruise verderop in dit voorstel evenals uitgebreide informatie over het schip.



Dag 10: Terug naar huis (O)

Uw cruise eindigt vandaag. U vaart via Daphne terug naar de haven. Hier wordt u naar de luchthaven gebracht  voor uw vlucht naar Quito  (aankomst 2e helft van de middag). In Quito neemt u vervolgens de aansluitende vlucht terug richting Brussel of Amsterdam.


Cruise dag overzicht


Hieronder volgt het cruise dag overzicht samengesteld door onze partner Klein Tours. Dit is Engelstalig en voor het gemak overgenomen.


DAY 1: Wednesday - Baltra Airport

Departure from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra (2 ½ hours flight). Passengers are picked up at the airport by our naturalist guides and taken on a ten minute bus drive to the pier to board the M/Y Corals.

PM – Ballena Bay / Edén Islet  (Santa Cruz)
Wet landing. Ballena (Whale) Bay is a beautiful green sand cove at the base of Dragon Hill on the west coast of Santa Cruz Island. The beach* contains a large amount of olivine crystals of volcanic origin. The crystals were formed when the magma was still underground. The content is magnesium, iron and silica. A small population of tortoises from Pinzón Island lived at the site, but were probably taken by whalers or previous inhabitants.  Opportunity to see marine iguanas* and sea birds* followed by snorkeling.

Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: rocky
Duration: 1 hour walk / 1 hour snorkeling/swimming


DAY 02: Thursday – AM Tagus Cove (Isabela)

Dry landing on Galapagos’ largest island where we will learn about the eruption of the five volcanoes that form it.  The trail leads to Darwin’s salt-water crater Lake and excellent views of lava fields and volcanic formations.  We will return by the same path for a dinghy ride along a shoreline full of marine wildlife, where we will admire a variety of seabirds*, such as Blue-footed Booby, Brown Noddy, terns, Flightless Cormorant and depending on the season, a large number of Galapagos Penguins* which are only 35 cm. tall; the only penguin species in the world to extend its range into the northern hemisphere along the equator. They are monogamous and lay their eggs in small cracks of lava, on the lower parts of the island near the shoreline not reached by the ocean waves. The population of penguins on the islands is about 2,000 individuals, most of which live on this western portion of Isabela; others are scattered further south on the island. We will have an opportunity to snorkel in deep water. Graffiti believed to have been left by19th-century pirates is a curious reminder of an intriguing past.


Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: flat and steep


PM - Espinosa Point (Fernandina)
Dry landing. Espinosa Point is the only spot that we visit on Fernandina, and from it we can see the island of Isabela across the Bolívar Channel, an area that boasts some of the highest diversity of endemic sea fauna in the Galapagos. The largest, most primitive-looking race of marine iguanas* are found mingling with sea lions and Sally Lightfoot Crabs; a wonderful opportunity to encounter Flightless Cormorants at their nesting sites, Galapagos Penguins and the “King” of predators on the Islands, the Galapagos Hawk. “Pa-hoe-hoe” and “AA” lava formations* cover the majority of the terrain. Vegetation is thus scarce inland, but we encounter Brachycereus cacti and extensive mangrove beds lining the shores.

Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: rocky
Duration: 2 hours walk / 1 hour snorkeling
Duration: 1 hour walk / dinghy ride 40 minutes / deep water snorkeling: 1 hour


DAY 3: Friday – Elizabeth Bay (Isabela)
We take a dinghy ride along the coast surrounded by mangrove forest for an opportunity to admire Flightless Cormorants*, Galapagos Penguins*, and a nesting area for sea turtles*.

Duration: 1 hour

PM  - Urbina Bay (Isabela)
Wet landing on a volcanic “black” beach. Depending on the season, we may find giant tortoises*, land iguanas* and the unusual Flightless Cormorant. After a short walk inland, snorkeling time is allotted, giving you yet another chance to swim with sea turtles, sea lions and countless tropical fish. Urbina Bay features a wide variety of plant life that changes depending on the season. We can observe the beautiful colors of plants that attract different insects, birds and reptiles. We will explore the uplifted coral reef that resulted from 1954 volcanic activity, with a spectacular view of Alcedo Volcano.

Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: flat
Duration: 1h30 walk / 1 hour snorkeling


DAY 4: Saturday – Buccaneer Cove & Espumilla Beach (Santiago)
Wet landing. This visitor site is surrounded by mangrove forest, which makes for a pleasant walk, taking us to a magnificent viewpoint of the entire bay. We will see Darwin finches, mockingbirds, and White-checked Pintail. There’s also a lagoon where Flamingoes can occasionally be seen. Buccaneer Cove was a safe haven for pirates, sailors and whalers during the 18th and 19th century. It is very scenic with steep cliffs made of tuff formations and the dark reddish-purple sand beach.

Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: flat / steep
Duration: 1 hour walk / 1 hour deep water snorkeling / 30 minutes dinghy ride

PM – Sullivan Bay (Santiago)
Wet landing. This visitor site located at the southeastern portion of Santiago Island, and of important geologic interest, features extensive lava flows believed to have been formed during the last quarter of the 19th century.

Difficulty level: difficult, 1.5 km path.
Type of terrain: flat volcanic lava
Duration: 1h30 walk / 1 hour snorkeling/swimming


DAY 5: Sunday – El Chato (Santa Cruz)
Dry landing. We will reach the Santa Cruz highlands and visit a private farm, Primicias (El Chato), where giant tortoises are found in their natural habitat. The road to the reserve is one of the best places to observe land birds. Tree and ground finches, vermillion flycatchers and Cattle Egrets inhabit the area.

Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: flat & muddy sometimes (depending on season)
Duration: 45 minutes drive / 1h30 walk


DAY 6: Monday – Cormorant Point / Devil’s Crown / Champion (Floreana)
Wet landing on an olivine green sand beach. We hike from the black mangrove beds to a brackish lagoon, which usually holds one of the largest flamingo populations in the Galapagos. This island features some endemic plants such as Scalesia villosa, white and black mangrove, and holy stick. The trail continues to a beautiful white-sand beach, one of the most important nesting sites of Green Pacific Sea Turtles. It is important to avoid walking in the water due to the Sting Rays that may be hiding in the sand, which can be dangerous if accidentally stepped on.  From the beach one can spot sea turtles, Blue-footed Boobies plunging into the water, and small reef sharks floating along the shoreline in search of food. This coral-sand beach marks the end of our trail, and we head back to the olivine beach we landed on to swim or snorkel amongst sea turtles, reef fish, sea lions and, on a good day, white-tipped reef sharks.  A small colony of penguins resides on Floreana and can sometimes be observed as well.

Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy and walk on a flat terrain
Duration: 1 hour walk / 1 hour snorkeling

PM – Post Office (Floreana)
Wet landing. Located on the north side of Floreana, the bay is so-named because in 1793 Captain James Colnett installed a wooden barrel which served as an informal post office for sailors passing through, who would take letters with them to their destinations. Today, our visitors continue the tradition by placing unstamped postcards inside the barrel that should reach their destinations for free. It can take weeks, months, even years, not arrive at all, or even arrive before you! We may also encounter Darwin’s finches, Yellow Warbler and lava lizards. Great snorkeling opportunities with Green Pacific Sea Turtles as well, this island is best known for its endemic vegetation: Scalesia villosa, Lecocarpus pinnatifidus, and Galapagos milkwort. Snorkelers can practice on the main beach among playful sea lions.

Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy
Duration: 30 minutes walk / 1 hour snorkeling


DAY 7: Tuesday – Gardner Bay / Gardner & Osborn Islets (Española)
Wet landing on a beautiful white coral sand beach guarded by a colony of sea lions.  There are no trails, so we stay along the shore where we can spot Galapagos Hawk, American Oystercatcher, Galapagos Dove, Hood Mockingbird, Yellow Warbler, lava lizards, marine iguanas, and three species of Darwin’s finches: a subspecies (Geospiza fuliginosa) of the Large Cactus Finch, which is similar to the large ground finch, the Small Ground Finch (Geospiza fuliginosa) and the Warbler Finch (Certhidea Olivacea) which is another endemic subspecies.  Swimming and snorkeling offers a great variety of Galapagos marine animals: King Angelfish, Creole Fish, Damsel Fish, parrot fish, manta rays, and White-tipped Reef Sharks.

Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy
Duration: 1 hour walk / 1 hour snorkeling

PM - Suárez Point (Española)
Dry landing. An island of geological interest, we explore volcanic formations and a riveting wildlife: large sea lion colonies and seabirds including Española mockingbird, Nazca boobies and the spectacular red billed tropic bird. You will also encounter marine iguanas, lava lizards, and the colorful sally lightfoot crabs. A somewhat lengthy hike will bring you among Nazca and Blue-footed Boobies, right up to nesting grounds that sometimes overlap the trail. Other birding favorites include Galapagos Dove, Galapagos Hawk, Swallow-tailed Gulls and the world’s largest colony of Waved Albatross, an unequivocal highlight during mating season (May-December). Admire the island’s dramatic backdrop, featuring the famous Soplador, a seaward blowhole that shoots water at some 23 m. (75 ft.) in the air.

Difficulty level: difficult
Type of terrain: rocky
Duration: 2h30 walk


DAY 8: Wednesday - Daphne
We circumnavigate the islet of Daphne, an eroded tuff cone formation* that was created by successive volcanic activity, for an opportunity to see Darwin’s finches, Blue-footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies, Red-billed Tropicbirds, Swallow-tailed Gulls, Brown Noddies.
Afterwards, you will go straight to the airport for return flight to Guayaquil or Quito.



Kantoor- & Bezoekadres (op afspraak):
Kleine Gartmanplantsoen 10
(op het Leidseplein, in gebouw van 'de BALIE')
1017RR Amsterdam
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