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Galapagos Encounter Overview
Encounter the extraordinary wildlife and landscapes on a tour of the Galapagos
This figure-of-eight sailing adventure through the eastern constellation of the Galapagos Islands will surprise even the worldliest of explorers with its lunaresque, volcanic landscapes and peculiarly tame wildlife. Like a strange parallel universe, the Galapagos is evocative of a time before human beings were around. In fact, the clarity of evolution exhibited here is so vivid that it inspired Darwin to form his theory of natural selection. Visit the Galapagos, and it will be as close as you can get to visiting another planet.
What's included in this trip
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Travel to Quito and soak up the Ecuadorian atmosphere on a free day of exploring. Quito’s churches and cathedrals frequently punctuate the junctions of winding alleyways and cobblestone streets, so get lost amongst the charming architecture and history that abounds in this city.
Catch a flight out to Baltra in the Galapagos islands, and hop aboard the ‘San Jose’ – home for the next week. Venture out to Caleta Tortuga Negra, and discover the underwater riches of this remote area of wetlands. In the afternoon, visit Isla Mosquera and spot red rock crabs as they scamper sideways over the black volcanic sands.
Take an overnight voyage to Isla Genovesa – one of the most far-flung islands in the archipelago. Awake to the call of the rare red-footed booby, and the chuckle of dolphins investigating their new island visitors. Head ashore and climb Prince Philip’s Steps, and experience a bird’s-eye view of the rocky plains below.
Make friends with the notoriously tame sea lions on the tiny island of Plaza Sur. This is also a great spot to watch the marine iguanas sunning themselves on the sand as they prepare for their extended dip in the ocean. Why not pre-empt them and take a dip yourself?
Keep cameras at the ready on the cruise past Leon Dormido – a huge rock that juts steeply out of the water, and is named after it’s subsequent silhouette of a sleeping lion. Refuel with some lunch, and then hike to the highlands site of ‘Galapaguera of Cerro Colorado’. It’s a genuine privilege to visit this giant tortoise habitat, so soak up the chance to learn about their fragile existence. A fitting crescendo to this Galapagos encounter, this is a tranquil spot to relax and absorb the immense diversity of the islands, before returning to the hustle and bustle of Quito.
Fly over the Galapagos for a bird's eye-view of the unique habitat. Touch down back in Ecuador's lively capital.
Say a fond farewell to your Intrepid travel group after a final breakfast. Perhaps stay on in Quito and make the most of the bustling markets and scrumptious local fare.
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