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Tuesday, 25 June 2019
A+ R A-

XAVIER - GALLERY

Xavier Itinerary A - 8D / 7N

ITINERARY “A”

DAY 1: QUITO / PUERTO BAQUERIZO MORENO

San Cristóbal

Fly to San CristóbalIsland. Meet the guide and transfer to the boat. Visit Isla Lobos in the afternoon to spot blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas and sea lions.Isla Lobos VisitIsla LobosExplore this tiny island by foot and boat for some great wildlife encounters. Take a panga ride to view the sea and shore birds nesting and feeding. Spot a small colony of blue-footed boobies as well as two species of sea lions.Snorkelling (Isla Lobos)Isla LobosSnorkel right off the beach at peaceful Isla Lobos, amid the families of sea lions and their inquisitive pups looking to play. Spot nesting frigatebirds and the famous blue-footed boobies resting on the shore. Be sure to bring your camera to catch some snaps at this prime wildlife watching haven.DAY 2: NORTH SEYMOUR/MOSQUERA ISLETExplore two tiny islands that are big on wildlife. North Seymour offers great views of nesting seabirds, including frigatebirds and Mosquera is home to large colonies of sea lions.North Seymour Island VisitNorth SeymourHave an amazing wildlife experience visiting North Seymour Island –this island is teeming with life! Follow trails to see all the action (you may need to give way to a passing sea lion or marine iguana while walking). See blue-footed booby nests where mating pairs perform their courtship dance. Head to a rocky shore to see flocks of pelicans having lunch in a dive bomb feeding frenzy, then turn inland to a large nesting site of magnificent frigatebirds. These huge, dark acrobats have two-metre (6.5 ft) wingspans, and males, with their puffed-up scarlet throat sacks, sit precariously perched in low bushes to watch over their equally large chicks. Top off the excursion with a snorkel among sea lions and rays.

Snorkelling

North Seymour Island (45m-1h)

Take your time exploring the underwater world along North Seymour's beach. Be greeted by large schools of tropical fish and sea lions, and keep an eye out for sea turtles and reef sharks.

Mosquera Island  Excursion

Mosquera Islet (2h-3h)

Wander along the beach and keep a look out for wildlife on land, in the air, and at sea. Relax on the sand or search for aquatic life in the tidal pools that dot the coastline.

DAY 3: SANTIAGO ISLAND/BARTOLOMÉ ISLAND

Visit Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island to witness the giant lava formations contrasting the white-coral sand beach. Continue to Bartolomé Island for a guided tour to see the dramatic volcanic features before hiking to a panoramic viewpoint.

Sullivan Bay Visit

Sullivan Bay

Visit Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island to see one of its star natural attractions –striking and fascinating giant lava formations. Very few plants have managed to survive on this island due to its harsh environment and relatively new lava flow. Enjoy a walk along the lava formations before coming to a white-coral sand beach, where abundant Sally Lightfoot crabs and sea lions gather on shore.

Snorkelling (Sullivan Bay)

Sullivan Bay (45m-1h)

Enjoy a cool dip after exploring SullivanBay on foot. Grab a snorkel and discover many species of fish and other marine life in the shallow waters. Keep an eye out for turtles, rays, and large schools of fish!

Bartolomé Island Landing

Bartolomé Island

Hike to Bartolomé's summit for a stronger perspective of the islands' not-too-distant volcanic origins, and enjoy a panoramic view –it’s one of the best among the islands! See other Galápagos Islands in the distance as well as Pinnacle Rock, the island’s famous towering landmark.

Snorkelling (Bartolomé Island)

Bartolomé Island (45m-1h)

Take the opportunity to swim and snorkel around Pinnacle Rock, one of the most iconic volcanic rock formations on the islands. Home to Galápagos penguins, friendly sea lions, sea turtles, and a huge variety of fish,Bartolomé and its surrounding waters are a fantastic place to explore the natural wonders of the Galápagos.

DAY 4: PUERTO AYORA

Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to see the giant Galápagos tortoises and go on an excursion to the Santa Cruz Highlands. Free time for shopping or exploration of Puerto Ayora.

In the morning, arrive in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. Santa Cruz is the second biggest island in the Galápagos, and has the largest population. Puerto Ayora is its main town. In the afternoon, there may be the opportunity to visit the highlands and see giant land tortoises in the wild.

Charles Darwin Research Station Visit

Puerto Ayora (45m) Visit Fausto Llerena Breeding Center a great place to observe many species of tortoises and land iguanas in captivity. Brought back from the brink of extinction, see the famous Galápagos tortoise up close –a corral houses adult tortoises, and a nursery cares for the young until around age three when their shells have hardened.

This area also houses the Charles Darwin Research Station, a scientific organization initiated in 1964, which works to preserve the Galápagos' ecosystem through the conservation efforts of scientists, researchers, and volunteers. While the offices themselves are not open to visitors, the research station provides a study location for international scientists and environmental education for the local community.

Highlands Giant Tortoises Visit

Santa Cruz Island

Head to Santa Cruz’s verdant highlands and the El ChatoReserve, a perfect place to see giant tortoises in their natural environment. Explore the reserve’s lagoon and lava tunnels, keeping an eye out for owls that often roost in the tunnels’ entrances.

Free Time

Puerto Ayora

The tiny town of Puerto Ayora offers some unique shopping opportunities and a fish market to checkout.

DAY 5: RÁBIDA ISLAND / BACHAS BEACH

Land at RábidaIsland for a visit to a saltwater lagoon and sea lion colony. Afternoon excursion to Bachas Beach for walks to observe the bird and wildlife as well as free time for swimming and snorkelling.

In the morning, go on an excursion to Rábida Island, and land on a red sand beach.Afternoon excursion to Bachas Beach to see the sea lions and plentiful bird life.

Rabida Island Excursion

Rábida Island

Arrive at a red sand beach at Rábidato explore its trails. A short trail leads to a saltwater lagoon; another trail goes past the lagoon to the interior, where the revered palo santo trees grow. (When burned, the branches of this tree give off a pleasing aroma and ward off mosquitoes.) Headback to the beach to see prehistoric-looking pelicans nesting among low-lying bushes –it's a rare treat to watch parent pelicans return with gullets full of fish for the squawking youngsters.

Bachas Beach Landing

Bachas Beach (2h-3h)

Head to Bachas Beach where the sand is made of decomposed coral, making it soft and white, and a favourite site for nesting sea turtles. Spot abundant Sally Lightfoot crabs on the lava rocks along the water's edge --these crabs will eat anything they can get their claws on! Trek to see a wide range of wildlife, including flamingos, hermit crabs, black necked stilts, and sea lions.

DAY 6: FLOREANA ISLAND

Land at Punta Cormorant on Floreana Island. Guided walks to observe the bird and wildlife and learn about the natural history. Visit Post Office Bay in the afternoon. Snorkelling excursion at Champion Islet.

Morning visit to Punta Cormorant on the northern part of Floreana. This is a perfect spot to go snorkelling, as the waters are home to a multitude of colourful fish and sea lions. Please be sure you are a comfortable swimmer, the water here can be rough and the currents are strong.

In the afternoon, visit Post Office Bay, which has an older and less mysterious history. A short hike up past the post barrel takes you to an interesting lava cave.

Punta Cormorant Visit

Floreana Island

Visit Punta Cormorant, the only landing site on FloreanaIsland, and discover two amazingly different beaches: one with green sand, coloured by olivine crystals, and another with white sand particles known as 'Flour Beach'. Spend the afternoon observing flamingos and other shore birds feeding in the lagoon. Spot penguins and marine iguanas at the water’s edge.

Post Office Bay Visit

Floreana Island

Visit Post Office Bay and learn about its unique history. In the late 18th century, English whaling vessels placed a barrel here to be used as a post office. Today, the box is used mainly by tourists, who may drop off and pick up unstamped letters to be carried to far destinations. Continue the tradition –leave a letter and take one to deliver (be sure it makes it to the correct location)!

Snorkelling (Champion Islet)

Champion Islet

Jump on in and get up close and personal with the playful sea lion colony that reside in the waters off this tiny island. Keep an eye out for sea turtles, rays and colourfulfish swimming by. There can be currents in this area, this activity should be done by strong swimmers only.

DAY 7: PUNTA SUÁREZ / BAHÍA GARDNER

Visit Punta Suárez and Gardner Bay on Española Island. Enjoy guided walks to observe wildlife and free time for swimming or snorkelling.

Punta Suarez Excursion

Punta Suárez

Head to Punta Suárez on Española Island, the southernmost island in the Galápagos archipelago and home to several wildlife species. Hike to the top of the cliff for spectacular photo opportunities, and explore the island's untamed natural beauty.

Gardner Bay Visit

Bahía Gardner (1h-3h)

Visit Gardner Bay's magnificent white sandy beach, home to sea lions and sea birds. Be sure to explore the beautiful turquoise water and its incredible sea life. Spot young sea lions and large schools of surprisingly big tropical fish, including yellow-tailed surgeonfish, king angelfish, and bump-head parrot fish.

DAY 8: PUERTO BAQUERIZO MORENO/QUITO

San Cristóbal

Visit the Interpretation Centre on San Cristóbal Island before flying back to Quito.

San Cristóbal Interpretation Center Visit

San Cristóbal Island

Pay a visit to the Interpretation Centre to learn everything you wanted to know about the Galápagos from the islands' natural history to their ecosystems and flora and fauna.

 

CHECK OUR GALAPAGOS LAST MINUTE DEALS FOR JUNE, JULY AND AUGUST

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TREASURE OF GALAPAGOS (LUXURY CLASS)

JUNE 14 - 18 / 5 DAYS / IT. A - $2895**

CATAMARAN SEAMAN (FIRST CLASS)

JUNE 21 - 24 / 4 DAYS / IT. A - $1390

GOLONDRINA YACHT (TOURIST CLASS)

JUNE 07 - 11 / 5 DAYS / IT. B - $1307

NATURAL PARADISE (LUXURY CLASS)

JULY 06 - 09 / 4 DAYS / IT. A - $2945 - $1945**

GALAPAGOS ODYSSEY (FIRST CLASS)

JUNE 11 - 16 / 6 DAYS / IT. A - $3845**

ALYA CATAMARAN (LUXURY CLASS)

JUNE 03 - 10 / 8 DAYS / IT. B - $6545 - $3273

CORMORANT (LUXURY CLASS)

JUNE 08 - 15 / 8 DAYS / IT. B - $6880 - $3440

SEASTAR (LUXURY CLASS)

JUNE 06 - 11 / 6 DAYS / IT. C - $2980

QUEEN BEATRIZ (LUXURY CLASS)

JUNE 09 - 12 / 4 DAYS / IT. A - $1452

DAY TRIPS IN ECUADOR

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