Grand Galapagos - (Queen Beatriz) Trip Notes

Grand Galapagos - (Queen Beatriz)

These trip notes are valid for departures from 01 January 2015 to 07 January 2017. View the trip notes for departures between 21 January 2017 - 31 December 2017


Last Modified: 15 Aug 2016
Grand Galapagos - (Queen Beatriz)
Trip code: GLGG
Validity: 01 Jan 2015 to 07 Jan 2017
Get on board this comprehensive journey through the unforgettable Galapagos Islands. Encounter the region’s incredible wildlife up close – unique birdlife, giant tortoises, gnarled iguanas and playful sea lions are just some of the animals you’ll see. Cruise from Santa Cruz to the islands of Isabella, Floreana, Espanola, North Seymour and more, and explore the diverse landscapes that range from lava flows, rocky outcrops, forests, mangroves and sands of green red and white. Spend evenings and down time on the spectacular Queen Beatriz, with its spacious sundeck, chilled bars and bubbling jacuzzi. For a relaxed discovery of the Galapagos that is filled with beauty, wildlife, fascinating landscapes, snorkelling and plenty of sunshine, this Grand Galapagos adventure ticks all the boxes.
Table of Contents
StyleYour fellow travellersEmergency contact
ThemesAccommodationVisas
Is this trip right for you?Accommodation NotesWhat to take
Why we love itMeals introductionClimate and seasonal information
MapMealsCommunications
ItineraryTransportHealth
Itinerary disclaimerMoney mattersTravel insurance
Physical ratingGroup leaderA couple of rules
Included activitiesSafetyResponsible Travel
Important notesJoining pointThe Intrepid Foundation
Group sizeFinish pointFeedback
Style
Comfort
Themes
Sailing, Wildlife
Is this trip right for you?
- Although we don't ask travellers to complete a Physical Participation Form for this trip, we do ask that you read through the trip notes carefully to ensure that this trip is right for you. You’ll need to feel comfortable with the included activities and with moving about the boat. The cabins and communal areas of the boat are spread over four decks, and the steps between the decks are steep.
- You will be entering and exiting a Zodiac boat (panga) during wet and dry landings and when returning from snorkelling. Although the waters we sail are usually calm, there are times when the sea can get rough and choppy. Steady sea legs (and a sturdy stomach) are needed when walking around the boat during bad weather. Rain or shine, your trusty crew will always be on hand to assist you.
- A typical yacht/boat for sixteen travellers is equipped with eight cabins each with ensuites. They are designed to maximise living area space, so sleeping quarters can be a bit cramped. That being said, the adventure and exhilaration of an authentic Galapagos trip more than makes up for any discomfort.
- While at sea and when exploring the islands, you may be exposed to the sun for large parts of the day. It’s important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water.
- Please note that while there is an itinerary in place, some changes may occur due to the weather or because of direction from the local authorities. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for potential modifications to the route or activities. A sense of humour and flexibility will ensure you have a fun, relaxing trip through this beautiful part of the world no matter what happens.
- All of our Galapagos tours begin and end in Quito which is located approximately 2850 metres above sea level so you may experience some altitude sickness.
Why we love it
- As you fly from Quito to the Galapagos Islands, located in the equatorial water of the Pacific Ocean, you will suddenly find yourself in a very different world.
- As you board your vessel, M.C Queen Beatriz, and follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin, you will encounter nature at its finest.
- Explore the islands from on deck, on foot and in the water, no doubt with your eyes open for your next unique sight.
- You'll encounter giant Galapagos tortoises, blue-footed and masked boobies, pelicans and frigate birds, as well as land and marine iguanas, sea lions, fur seals and perhaps dolphins, whales and sea turtles.
- Because of the extreme isolation of the islands, nearly a quarter of all species are endemic and much of the wildlife has no instinctive fear of man, allowing you to observe nature in its full glory.
- This 17-day program is the ultimate Galapagos exploration and our most comprehensive voyage.
- It includes the volcanic wonders of Isabela Island and offers the best opportunities to encounter the magnificent flora and fauna that make the Galapagos unique.
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Quito
On arrival at Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day will be at your leisure.

A welcome meeting will be held in the evening at either 5pm or 6 pm when you meet others travelling with you on your cruise to the Galapagos Islands. Please check with hotel reception or check the reception notice boards for the time and place of the meeting for your trip. As today is an arrival day, you can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting.

If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

Quito sits at high altitude under the towering Pichincha volcano. It is a beautiful city, arguably one of the most beautiful in South America. The city stretches along the valley and is surrounded by the Andes. The Old Town of Quito is awash with history, with more than 30 churches to explore, and a number of fascinating museums. La Compania de Jesus is considered to be the most beautiful and ornate churches in the Americas. The city's oldest street, Calle La Ronda, is well worth exploring.

As this trip spends very little time in Quito, we recommend you spend a few extra days before or after your trip to experience all the city has to offer. You may even wish to explore further beyond the city and visit Otavalo, Cotopaxi, the Cloud Forest or the Equatorial Monument.
Accommodation
Hotel Le Parc, Quito (1 nt)
Special Information
Quito is located at 2850 metres above sea level. At this altitude you may experience some of the milder effects of altitude sickness, such as dizziness, insomnia and a shortness of breath. If so, we recommend you avoid any strenuous activity. Please see the "Medical & Health Information" section for more details.
Day 2 Baltra - Punta Carrión
This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to the Galapagos Islands. Please note the pick-up time will usually be as early as 4:30 am (a boxed breakfast will be provided), as the airport is a one-hour drive away and you must allow for delays and check-in times. (Your tour leader will confirm this time with you at the Welcome Meeting on Day 1).

A US$20 per person transit card is payable on departure at Quito Airport and a US$100 per person national park entry fee is payable on arrival on the islands. Please have cash on hand for these transactions as credit cards are not accepted.

The flight to the Galapagos will make one stop in Guayaquil to pick up other passengers. (Total flight time is about 3.5 hours).

On arrival in the Galapagos you will be met in the arrivals hall and then transferred to your catamaran, M.C. Queen Beatriz, anchored a short distance away in Baltra Island. Once on board you’ll be assigned your cabins, meet the crew members and have a welcome briefing and safety drill before getting to know your naturalist guide and fellow travellers over a delicious lunch.

Your first stop in the afternoon will be Punta Carrión, located on the eastern side of the Itabaca channel that separates the islands of Baltra and Santa Cruz. This is a shallow and protected cove, ideal for your first snorkel and swim in the Galapagos! From a boat ride, wildlife is plentiful - keep your eyes peeled for occasional sights of blue-footed boobies, Galapagos herons, great blue herons and underwater swim among rays and white-tipped reef sharks.

Tonight, enjoy a welcome cocktail and crew presentation on board.

Estimated travel time/distance:
Baltra to Punta Carrion: 1.5 hours (10 nautical miles)
Punta Carrion to Isabela Island (Puerto Villamil): 9 hours (64 nautical miles)
Included Activities
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Punta Carrion - Snorkelling (1 hour)
    Accommodation
    MC Queen Beatriz (1 nt)
    Meals
    1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
    Special Information
    Today is predominately a long travel day with an early morning start. Your first activity on the islands will not commence until after lunch.
    Day 3 Isla Isabela - Las Tintoreras - Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre
    Today you will wake up on the south Coast of Isla Isabela (Isabela Island), the largest of the Galapagos Archipelago. Isabela was formed by five giant volcanic craters, all of which are still considered active. The island is located in one of the youngest geological areas in the world, having been formed less than 1 million years ago.

    Please note that there's a US$5 fee to be paid upon landing on Isabela Island.

    This southern coast of turquoise blue waters has the largest area of beaches in the Galapagos. You will visit Las Tintoreras, where from the viewing walkway you can look down into this narrow channel to see a colony of white-tipped reef sharks swimming and sleeping, and the occasional playful sea lion among them!

    Blue-footed boobies and penguins, marine iguanas and crabs also make their home here.

    Enjoy a nice long walk on a gravel path through ‘Ahh-ahh’ lava flow and see plenty of marine iguanas. The natives of the islands call white sharks 'tintoreras', hence the name of this spectacular site.

    In the afternoon we visit the Arnoldo Tupiza Tortoise breeding center. We have a leisurely walk through a coastal lagoon, where you might see Flamingos. This mangrove-lined path leads to Isabela’s Giant Tortoise Breeding Center (Arnoldo Tupiza) where you'll observe giant tortoises in all stages of development. Here you can see the five sub species of tortoises from Isabela Island, some of which are bred in captivity.

    You will then have the choice for optional swimming at the beach or out for some shopping in Puerto Villamil.

    Estimated travel time/distance:
    Isabela Island (Puerto Villamil) to Post Office Bay: 6 hours (40 nautical miles)
    Included Activities
    • Isla Isabela - Las Tintoreras visit (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
    • Isla Isabela - Concha y Perla beach visit or snorkelling (1.5 hours)
    • Isla Isabela - Arnolda Tupiza Tortoise Breeding Center including Flamingo Lagoon (2 hours) - Dry Landing
      Optional Activities
      • Isla Isabela - Beach visit or freetime in town (1 hour) - Free
        Accommodation
        MC Queen Beatriz (1 nt)
        Meals
        1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
        Day 4 Isla Floreana - Post Office Bay - Devil's Crown - Punta Cormorant
        The island of Floreana is a highlight of any Galapagos cruise, rich in natural wonders and wildlife. Enjoy a panga ride around the loberia to observe marine iguanas, sea lions and crabs before taking a leisurely walk to Post Office Bay, where 18th century whalers used a barrel as an unofficial mail drop. This custom continues to this day with visitors to the Galapagos – post one of your own, or see if there are any you could deliver back home! You will also have the chance to go snorkelling with sea turtles.

        Today is also one of your finest opportunities to see pink flamingos and other water birds wading in the lagoons, including pintails and stilts. Just offshore, the Devil’s Crown is an old eroded volcanic cone and a popular roosting site for seabirds such as boobies, pelicans and frigates. Red-billed tropicbirds can also be seen nesting in the rocky crevices.
        The centre of the cone is an outstanding snorkelling spot, perhaps the most remarkable in the entire archipelago, full of sea lions and colourful fish.

        You will go ashore at Punta Cormorant where the sand is made up of fine olivine crystals, a glassy volcanic mineral, giving the beach an olive-green colour. It is the best place to see Galapagos sea lions.

        Estimated travel time/distance:
        Post Office Bay to Punta Cormorant: 0.5 hours (3 nautical miles)
        Punta Cormorant to Puerto Ayora: 4 hours (32 nautical miles)
        Included Activities
        • Isla Floreana - Loberia Panga Ride (30 mins)
        • Isla Floreana - Post Office Bay - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
        • Isla Floreana - Post Office Bay snorkelling (45 mins)
        • Isla Floreana - Devil's Crown snorkelling (1 hour)
        • Isla Floreana - Punta Cormorant walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
          Accommodation
          MC Queen Beatriz (1 nt)
          Meals
          1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
          Day 5 Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Station - Santa Cruz Highlands
          Today you will visit Santa Cruz, the second largest island in the Galapagos.

          The small town of Puerto Ayora is the economic centre of the archipelago, and home to the Charles Darwin Research Station*. As well as undertaking vital conservation work, the station also makes for interesting exploration and offers the best opportunities for close encounters with giant tortoises. You will also observe baby tortoises and land iguanas.

          Afterward you will head up into the highlands for a total change of scenery. Beginning at the coast you'll travel across Santa Cruz through the agricultural region and into the misty forests with the journey taking about 45 mins. This is a lush humid zone containing miconia bushes, scalesia and inactive volcanic cones. Santa Cruz has more endemic plants than any of the other islands and you are likely to see Galapagos giant tortoises in their natural habitat and perhaps even the bright red feathers of a vermillion flycatcher!

          Today there will be some passengers leaving the tour and some new passengers joining.

          Estimated travel time/distance:
          Puerto Ayora to the Highlands: 45 mins by bus
          Puerto Ayora to Santa Fe: 2 hours (16 nautical miles)
          Included Activities
          • Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Research Station (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
          • Isla Santa Cruz - Puerto Ayora free time (1 hour)
          • Isla Santa Cruz - Highlands Visit (3 hours) - Dry Landing
            Accommodation
            MC Queen Beatriz (1 nt)
            Meals
            1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
            Special Information
            The Charles Darwin Research Station is currently under maintenance and therefore some areas are restricted or closed. The visit here might be of a shorter duration.
            Day 6 Isla Santa Fe - Plaza Sur
            Santa Fe Island is home to many sea lions and these ones are very eager for swimming partners! It’s a lovely place to take a dip, offers a dense concentration of wildlife, and is a fantastic place to see many of the stars of the Galapagos in one relatively small area. Expect to see Galapagos hawks, land iguanas, a variety of finches, Galapagos mockingbirds, sea lions, marine turtles, frigatebirds, Galapagos doves and lava lizards. It’s a naturally beautiful island as well with one of the most attractive coves in the archipelago and the jade-green waters are ideal for snorkelling. A trail follows the coast into the opuntia forest, where you see Santa Fe's trees - the largest in the Galapagos. The island is also home to a unique sub-species of land iguanas. Hiking towards the cliffs on Santa Fe will lead you to a forest of prickly pear cactus. A member of the cactus family, their name comes from the pear-shaped fruit the plant produces. Santa Fe is home to endemic land iguanas. Once back at the beach you will have free time to snorkel back in the lagoon. Playful sea lions pups and florescent fish make for fascinating company.

            A small island, Plaza Sur is nonetheless a place of great beauty, where you will get close to sea lions and on to trails past one of the Galapagos’ largest land iguana populations, resting amid cacti and volcanic landscapes coloured bright red and green by sesuvium. The island’s rugged southern cliffs are an excellent place to spot tropicbirds and swallow-tailed gulls, as well as the 'Gentlemen’s Club’, a gathering of male sea lions either too young or too old to be beachmasters!

            Estimated travel time/distance:
            Santa Fe to South Plaza: 2 hours (16 nautical miles)
            South Plaza to Espanola Island (Punta Suarez): 7 hours (60 nautical miles)
            Included Activities
            • Isla Santa Fe - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
            • Isla Santa Fe - Snorkelling or panga ride (45 mins)
            • Isla Plaza Sur - Walk (2 hours) - Dry Landing
              Accommodation
              MC Queen Beatriz (1 nt)
              Meals
              1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
              Day 7 Isla Española - Bahia Gardner - Punta Suarez
              After an overnight night sail you will wake up on the island of Española - the southernmost island of the Galapagos and one of the most spectacular. Because of its remote location, this island has a large population of endemic fauna. It is the breeding site for nearly all of the world's 12,000 pairs of waved albatrosses and also home to colonies of blue-footed and masked boobies.

              Trails from the golden beaches, where sea lions bathe and marine iguanas make their way towards the water, will lead you right through the middle of booby colonies, and Galapagos doves and mockingbirds are also often seen. You will also visit the beautiful white sandy beaches at Bahia Gardner, which are great places for swimming and relaxing. The rocks off the coast provide excellent snorkelling opportunities, with reef sharks, turtles and many species of tropical fish, including surgeon and angelfish, often seen. The small white-tipped reef sharks are also often spotted resting under the rocks.

              You will also pay a visit to Punta Suarez, one of the most attractive locations in the Galapagos and home to large and varied wildlife population - a walk along its trails will take you to a cliff top viewpoint, where you'll gain a magical panorama. Boobies line the rocky shoreline beneath you, while frigate birds may be seen overhead; nearby enormous male sea lions can be seen lounging and albatross use the cliffs as their ‘runway’, helping become airborne by the southeast winds that blow across this part of the island.
              If you’re lucky you’ll see the elaborate courtship rituals performed by albatrosses before the female chooses her lifelong mate!

              Stop at Bahia Gardner (Gardner Bay), which is considered by many as one of the most beautiful beaches in the Galapagos Islands and full of sea lions and hood mockingbirds. Enjoy the beach and do some snorkelling which could be great for playing with sea lion pups and lots of fish. The rocks off the coast provide excellent snorkelling opportunities, with reef sharks, turtles and many species of tropical fish, including surgeon and angelfish, often seen. The small white-tipped reef sharks are also often spotted resting under the rocks.

              Estimated travel time/distance:
              Punta Suarez to Bahia Gardener: 1 hour (7 nautical miles)
              Bahia Gardener to Punta Pitt (San Cristobal Island): 7 hours (50 nautical miles)
              Included Activities
              • Isla Espanola - Punta Suarez - Walk (3 hours) - Dry Landing
              • Isla Espanola - Bahia Gardener - Snorkelling (1 hour)
              • Isla Espanola - Bahia Gardener - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
                Accommodation
                MC Queen Beatriz (1 nt)
                Meals
                1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
                Day 8 Isla Cristobál - Leon Dormido - Isla Lobos - Punta Pitt
                This morning you will visit Punta Pitt on the eastern end of San Cristobál Island. Walk to the top of the volcanic hill for expansive views of the sparsely vegetated area. A variety of seabirds nest here, including blue-footed boobies and frigates.

                On a 'panga' ride you can observe the three varieties of boobies nesting in the Galapagos and enjoy a snorkel from the beach.
                Close by you will pass through Leon Dormido (Kicker Rock), the magnificent basalt remains of a crater in the middle of the sea, the shape resembles a sleeping lion. The rock rises 150 metres above the surface and is divided into two parts by a narrow channel. You cruise through the channel with nesting seabirds on either side of the boat, tropic birds overhead, marine iguanas in the water and many sea lions present including many resting on the rocks. Snorkelling gives us the opportunity to see Galapagos sharks, and possibly a hammerhead shark among sea turtles and an incredible biodiversity of invertebrates on the rock wall.

                You will also visit Isla Lobos, a tiny island almost touching San Cristobál Island. This is the perfect time to witness the always friendly sea lions as they play in the calm shallow waters here. Blue-footed boobies, frigate birds and marine iguanas are also easily seen.

                Estimated travel time/distance:
                Punta Pitt to Kicker Rock (San Cristobal): 2.5 hours (27 nautical miles)
                Kicker Rock to Isla Lobos: 1 hour (7 nautical miles)
                Isla Lobos to Puerto Baquerizo (San Cristobal): 1 hour (5 nautical miles)
                Included Activities
                • Isla San Cristobal - Punta Pitt - Walk (2 hours) - Wet Landing
                • Isla San Cristobal - Kicker Rock - Snorkelling (2 hours)
                • Isla San Cristobal - Isla Lobos - Walk (1 hour) - Dry Landing
                  Accommodation
                  MC Queen Beatriz (1 nt)
                  Meals
                  1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
                  Day 9 Isla San Cristobál
                  Visit San Cristobal Interpretation Center in the morning. This centre brings the history and geography of the archipelago to life, from its volcanic origins to the present day. The human history exhibit offers an insight into the discovery and colonisation of the Galapagos, and the reality of the problems the islands face today is also explored.

                  Enjoy some free time for shopping before going on board for lunch and to meet the new travellers who will be joining you today.

                  This afternoon you will travel into the interior of the island (approx. 45 mins bus ride) to visit the highlands site of ‘Galapaguera of Cerro Colorado’ (Red Hill) where the national park has established a breeding program and information centre for tortoises. Here, you will be able to see giant tortoises and learn all about their origin, evolution and their threatened future.

                  Today there will be some passengers leaving the tour and some new passengers joining.

                  Estimated travel time/distance:
                  Puerto Baquerizo (San Cristobal) to Bartolome: 8 hours (70 nautical miles)
                  Included Activities
                  • Isla San Cristobal - Highlands Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
                  • Isla San Cristobal - Interpretation Center Visit (1 hour) - Dry Landing
                    Accommodation
                    MC Queen Beatriz (1 nt)
                    Meals
                    1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
                    Day 10 Isla Bartolomé - Bahia Sullivan
                    Isla Bartolomé (Bartolomé Island) is one of the most spectacular volcanic landscapes in the Galapagos, full of parasitic spatter cones, lava flows, Galapagos penguins and lava lizards.

                    It is a relatively new island in the archipelago and traces of its volcanic past can be seen everywhere, as evidenced by the amazing lunar-like landscape.
                    The Pinnacle Rock is one of the most photographed sites in the Galapagos – an abrupt jag of rock protruding from the earth like a tooth, while nearby two golden bays back onto each other.

                    You can hike to the top of a once-active volcano here (360 wooden steps), and enjoy superb views across to Sullivan Bay, on nearby Santiago Island. If you are in luck you might catch a glance of the Galapagos Hawk here. You also have the opportunity to go snorkelling with plenty of tropical fish, starfish, white-tipped reef sharks, rays and hopefully penguins.

                    On Santiago's eastern coast sits Bahia Sullivan, also known as James Island. Here you walk on Pahoe-Hoe lava, from an eruption that occurred in 1897, and witness the colonisation of plant species since the last eruption. Hopefully see some marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs, sea lions, finches, turtles, sharks and penguins. On a walk, your guide will explain the geological history of the islands.

                    Estimated travel time/distance:
                    Bartolome to Santiago Island (Sullivan Bay): 0.5 hours (1 nautical mile)
                    Santiago Island (Sullivan Bay) to Espumilla Beach: 3 hours (25 nautical miles)
                    Included Activities
                    • Isla Bartolome - Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
                    • Isla Bartolome - Panga ride (30 mins)
                    • Isla Bartolome - Snorkelling (1.5 hours)
                    • Isla Santiago - Sullivan Bay - Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
                      Accommodation
                      MC Queen Beatriz (1 nt)
                      Meals
                      1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
                      Day 11 Isla Santiago - Espumilla Beach - Buccaneer Cove - Puerto Egas
                      Today you will visit some wonderful places. Espumilla Beach, on the northern coast of Santiago Island in James Bay, is one of the most idyllic locations in the Galapagos Islands and is an important nesting site for marine turtles. With large waves, it is also often a favourite amongst beach lovers.

                      Potentially we will see Galapagos hawks up close, ghost crabs, blue-footed boobies (often plunging for fish) and brown pelicans. It is also well known for its palo santo forest and some extraordinary lava formations.

                      You will also visit Caleta Bucanero (Buccaneer Cove), a natural monument of rocks caused by sea erosion. This cove was used by pirates to careen their ships. It is a place of local legends and stories! It is also where Darwin camped for nine days while making his study of the islands and their wildlife. If conditions are favourable, you can enjoy some further snorkelling.

                      Puerto Egas is a black sand beach located on the west side of James Bay and northwest of Santiago Island. South of the beach is Sugarloaf Volcano, which has deposits of volcanic tuff. This site is named Puerto Egas, after Hector Egas who last attempted to mine salt here. The walk along the beach offers hundreds of marine iguanas and Galapagos sea lions. You will also see amazing tidal pools formed from ancient lava flow and home to sponges, snails, hermit crabs, barnacles and fish. Snorkelling with the seals always offers the possibility of thrilling encounters.

                      Estimated travel time/distance:
                      Espumilla Beach to Bucaneer Cove: 0.5 hours (1 nautical mile)
                      Bucaneer Cove to Puerto Egas: 0.5 hours (1 nautical mile)
                      Puerto Egas to Puerto Ayora: 7 hours (60 nautical miles)
                      Included Activities
                      • Isla Sanitago - Espumilla Beach - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
                      • Isla Sanitago - Espumilla Beach - Snorkelling (45 mins)
                      • Isla Sanitago - Buccaneer's Cove - Sail (15 mins)
                      • Isla Santiago - Puerto Egas - Walk (1.45 hours) - Wet Landing
                      • Isla Santiago - Puerto Egas - Snorkelling (1 hour)
                        Accommodation
                        MC Queen Beatriz (1 nt)
                        Meals
                        1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
                        Day 12 Isla Santa Cruz - Puerto Ayora
                        Today you will again visit Isla Santa Cruz, the second largest island in the Galapagos.

                        You will have the chance to see the island from a different view as you join other passengers to explore the love tunnels and some hidden beaches. Take a short speed boat taxi from Puerto Ayora followed by a 15 minute walk over a lava field and through a cactus forest to Las Grietas for a swim in the cool waters that is situated between a couple of tall volcanic cliffs.

                        This afternoon, get active with some kayaking around Santa Cruz’s bay.

                        If you are after a more relaxing day, you can have freetime on board the boat or go for a wander in town.

                        Today there will be some passengers leaving the tour and some new passengers joining.

                        Estimated travel time/distance:
                        Puerto Ayora to North Seymour: 4 hours (35 nautical miles)
                        Included Activities
                        • Isla Santa Cruz - Kayaking (2 hours)
                        • Isla Santa Cruz - Tour of the Bay (3 hours) - Dry Landing
                          Accommodation
                          MC Queen Beatriz (1 nt)
                          Meals
                          1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
                          Day 13 Isla North Seymour - Isla Mosquera
                          Today you will take a morning excursion to Isla North Seymour (North Seymour Island) which is one of the most visited islands in the Galapagos. The trail on North Seymour crosses inland through the island and then explores the rocky coast. Along the way the trail passes colonies of blue footed boobies and frigate birds.

                          The magnificent frigate bird, a large black bird with a long wingspan, and a hooked beak, is extremely fast and has excellent vision. Frigate birds are known for the large red pouch on their necks. During mating season the males throw back their heads, inflate the pouch (sometimes to the size of a soccer ball), and shake trying to capture the attention of female frigates.
                          Boobies and frigates have an interesting relationship. Sharing the same nesting area on North Seymour, blue-footed boobies nest on the ground making their nests from the twigs of the palo santos trees, while the frigate birds nests just above them in the saltbushes. Your walk is followed by snorkelling where you will find a great variety of fish and possibly white-tipped reef sharks, rays and sea lions.

                          After lunch you will visit the small sandy island of Mosquera, a relaxing, picturesque stop situated between Baltra and North Seymour. Along the rocks and in the tide pool, Sally Lightfoot crabs (red lava crabs) scamper back and forth, skipping across small pools of water in search of food. These crabs with their bright red shell tops and blue under shells are stunning against the black lava. The island also has a very large colony of sea lions as well as a sizeable resident brown pelican population. Depending on the tides and visibility, you may have a chance to go snorkelling here.

                          Estimated travel time/distance:
                          North Seymour to Baltra: 4 hours (35 nautical miles)
                          Baltra to Caleta Tortuga: 1 hour (7 nautical miles)
                          Included Activities
                          • Isla North Seymour - Walk (2 hours) - Dry Landing
                          • Isla North Seymour - Snorkelling (1 hours)
                          • Isla Mosquera - Beach Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
                          • Isla Mosquera - Snorkelling (1 hour)
                            Accommodation
                            MC Queen Beatriz (1 nt)
                            Meals
                            1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
                            Day 14 Black Turtle Cove - Cerro Dragón
                            Today you will take a morning excursion on a 'panga' to Caleta Tortuga Negra (Black Turtle Cove) - a red mangrove wetland on the north shore of Isla Santa Cruz. You will paddle among the cove’s peaceful waters, for your first taste of the underwater riches of this region – it’s a wonderful place to see green turtle and is a nursery for golden cow-nose rays, eagle rays and Galapagos sharks. There is also abundant birdlife, such as the yellow warbler and lava heron. This is also a breeding area for turtles, so it is not uncommon to see them mating.

                            In the afternoon, cruise over for a walk on Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill) this afternoon - one of the best places to see land iguanas in the islands. From our dry landing we walk to a brackish lagoon frequented by lagoon birds including stilts, pintail ducks, sandpipers, sanderlings and occasionally flamingos. Further inland, the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western area of the archipelago. This area is a nesting site for land iguanas, which is constantly monitored and assisted by the Charles Darwin Research Station. The arid-zone vegetation makes for a rewarding location for birdwatching with Darwin's finches, Galapagos mockingbirds, the endemic Galapagos flycatcher and yellow warblers all regulars here. The path can be challenging but you will be well-rewarded with a spectacular view of the bay!

                            Estimated travel time/distance:
                            Caleta Tortuga Negra to Cerro Dragon: 2 hours (12 nautical miles)
                            Cerro Dragon to Sombrero Chino (Chinese hat): 1.5 hours (9 nautical miles)
                            Included Activities
                            • Isla Santa Cruz - Black Turtle Cove - Panga ride (1.5 hours)
                            • Isla Santa Cruz - Cerro Dragon - Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
                            • Isla Santa Cruz - Cerro Dragon - Snorkelling or swimming (1 hour)
                              Accommodation
                              MC Queen Beatriz (1 nt)
                              Meals
                              1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
                              Day 15 Isla Rabida - Sombrero Chino
                              Sombrero Chino is a small islet located near the south-east coast of Santiago. It's shaped like a Chinese hat (Sombrero Chino) when seen from afar, and is geologically fascinating, with many lava tubes leading from the cone to the coast. We approach Sombrero Chino via a beautiful crescent-shaped, sandy beach that is home to sea lions and Sally Lightfoot crabs. Opposite Sombrero Chino, on the rocky shoreline of nearby Santiago, Galapagos penguins are often seen. We follow a trail that circles the cove and passes through a sea lion colony and innumerable marine iguanas. The cove also offers some great snorkelling opportunities, hopefully with penguins and sharks.

                              Isla Rabida, also known as Jervis Island, is a tiny island sitting roughly five kilometres south of Santiago and is one of the most striking of the archipelago. Introduced species were eradicated in 1971, meaning that the indigenous wildlife has now been returned to a state of splendid isolation. Additionally, volcanic activity here has produced vivid, fantastical colours, not least the beaches of red sand and cliffs of scarlet.

                              From the shore, the trail leads through to what is one of the finest lagoons in the Galapagos for viewing flamingos. Rabida is also a wonderful place to spot nesting pelicans. Elsewhere, pintail ducks, marine iguanas and sea lions are all present. There is an opportunity for snorkelling in a place where sea stars, damsels, gobbies and surgeon fish are numerous.

                              Estimated travel time/distance:
                              Sombrero Chino to Isla Rabida: 1 hour (7 nautical miles)
                              Isla Rabida to Bachas Beach: 1 hour (7 nautical miles)
                              Included Activities
                              • Sombrero Chino - Walk and Panga ride (2 hours) - Wet Landing
                              • Isla Santiago - Sombrero Chino - Snorkelling (1 hour)
                              • Isla Rabida - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
                              • Isla Rabida - Snorkelling (1 hour)
                                Accommodation
                                MC Queen Beatriz (1 nt)
                                Meals
                                1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
                                Day 16 Las Bachas - Baltra - Quito
                                As flights to the mainland from Galapagos depart mid morning, it is an early start for our last morning on the islands. Depending on the time of our flight, our time spent on this final excursion could be limited.

                                As you will be leaving the boat this morning, please remember that if you have enjoyed the services provided by your guide and crew, a tip would be very much appreciated by them. As a guideline we recommend each passenger consider US$15 per day for the crew and US$10 per day for your guide. You can leave tips in envelopes that are placed in your cabin on the last day of your journey.

                                Today you will take an early morning excursion to Las Bachas, which was so named after the barges abandoned by the American Navy here in the 1940s. The sandy, white beaches of Las Bachas on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island are a nesting site for the Pacific green turtle, and marine iguanas are also commonly seen. The sand here is particularly white and soft as it is made of decomposed coral.

                                The rocks provide great snorkelling and are the perfect habitat for the Sally Lightfoot crabs, which are plentiful on the island. A saltwater lagoon near the beach is home to flamingo and whimbrel, and look out too for great blue herons. This is your final excursion before you return to the airport in Baltra for your flight back to Quito. The flight will stopover in Guayaquil to drop off/pick up new passengers.

                                Upon arrival in Quito Airport (approx. 4pm) you will be transferred back to your hotel for an overnight stay. Our local representative may stop by at your hotel this evening to get your feedback on your Galapagos experience.

                                Estimated travel times/distance:
                                Queen Beatriz to Baltra: 15 mins
                                Flight time Baltra to Quito: approx 3.5 hours (including transit in Guayaquil)
                                Transfer Quito Airport to Hotel: 1 hour (depending on traffic)
                                Included Activities
                                • Isla Santa Cruz - Bachas Beach Walk (1 hour) - Wet Landing
                                  Accommodation
                                  Hotel Le Parc, Quito (1 nt)
                                  Meals
                                  1 breakfast
                                  Special Information
                                  Today is predominately a long travel day with an early morning start. There will be a short morning activity before our mid-morning flight back to the mainland. The flight back to Quito is not due to arrive until late afternoon getting back to the hotel in time for an optional final group dinner.
                                  Day 17 Quito
                                  Your Galapagos adventure will come to an end today after breakfast. There are no activities planned for the final day so you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. There are many fascinating things to do in and around Quito, so please speak to our customer service representative about any optional activities that might be of interest. They can also assist you in booking a departure transfer to the airport.

                                  ** Please note ** all travel times/distances and activity durations are approximate only and subject to change.
                                  Meals
                                  1 breakfast
                                  Itinerary disclaimer
                                  Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of this Essential Trip Information a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

                                  The maritime component of this trip is operated by a fully licensed Ecuadorian shipping operator. The Captain of the vessel will do all that is possible to adhere to the outlined itinerary however it may be changed without notice due inclement weather or changes to the Galapagos National Park's regulations. We ask you for your patience and understanding with any changes outside our control. Any changes to the itinerary will be undertaken with your safety and comfort in mind. There may be some early starts to the day for the scheduled activities to be conducted as per the itinerary due to specific visiting hours for some sites. All travel distances/times and durations for the activities listed in the trip notes are a guide only and are subject to change.

                                  OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
                                  Physical rating

                                  Galapagos Voyage

                                  No particular level of physical fitness is required for our Galapagos voyages, although you should be reasonably agile and enjoying good health. We do ask that you read through the trip notes to ensure that this trip is right for you. Please keep in mind that there are a number of shore excursions on your cruise. This involves boarding a small dingy or zodiac from the rear transom of the cruise boat. Disembarkation at some locations will be at steps or a small pier (dry landing), whilst at other locations you may be required to disembark on the beach (wet landing). This can involve having to wade ashore a short distance through shallow water. A degree of agility will be required for this. Once you are on shore you will undertake several walks, some across volcanic rock. For this a reasonable level of fitness is beneficial, as is a pair of good walking shoes or boots.  You are more than welcome to opt out of activities or talk to your guide about tailoring a less physical option for you.

                                  The cabins and the communal areas of the Queen Beatriz are spread over 4 decks:

                                  From the zodiac to the main deck there are 4 steps
                                  From the main deck to the first level there are 10 steps
                                  From the first level to the second there are 10 steps
                                  From the second level to the sundeck there are 10 steps

                                  Snorkelling

                                  There are many opportunities to go snorkelling on our voyages. Confident swimming skills are required to take part in this activity.  Depending on the weather conditions and park regulations, you could be snorkelling twice a day.  If you take part in the snorkelling, you will not miss out on any land activities. For those not wanting to snorkel, there will be time to relax on the boat.

                                  Altitude

                                  Quito is located at 2850 metres above sea level. At this altitude you may experience some of the milder effects of altitude sickness, such as dizziness, insomnia and a shortness of breath. If so, we recommend you avoid any strenuous activity.
                                  Included activities
                                  Isla Santa Cruz - Punta Carrion - Snorkelling (1 hour)
                                  Isla Isabela - Las Tintoreras visit (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
                                  Isla Isabela - Concha y Perla beach visit or snorkelling (1.5 hours)
                                  Isla Isabela - Arnolda Tupiza Tortoise Breeding Center including Flamingo Lagoon (2 hours) - Dry Landing
                                  Isla Floreana - Loberia Panga Ride (30 mins)
                                  Isla Floreana - Post Office Bay - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
                                  Isla Floreana - Post Office Bay snorkelling (45 mins)
                                  Isla Floreana - Devil's Crown snorkelling (1 hour)
                                  Isla Floreana - Punta Cormorant walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
                                  Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Research Station (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
                                  Isla Santa Cruz - Puerto Ayora free time (1 hour)
                                  Isla Santa Cruz - Highlands Visit (3 hours) - Dry Landing
                                  Isla Santa Fe - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
                                  Isla Santa Fe - Snorkelling or panga ride (45 mins)
                                  Isla Plaza Sur - Walk (2 hours) - Dry Landing
                                  Isla Espanola - Punta Suarez - Walk (3 hours) - Dry Landing
                                  Isla Espanola - Bahia Gardener - Snorkelling (1 hour)
                                  Isla Espanola - Bahia Gardener - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
                                  Isla San Cristobal - Punta Pitt - Walk (2 hours) - Wet Landing
                                  Isla San Cristobal - Kicker Rock - Snorkelling (2 hours)
                                  Isla San Cristobal - Isla Lobos - Walk (1 hour) - Dry Landing
                                  Isla San Cristobal - Highlands Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
                                  Isla San Cristobal - Interpretation Center Visit (1 hour) - Dry Landing
                                  Isla Bartolome - Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
                                  Isla Bartolome - Panga ride (30 mins)
                                  Isla Bartolome - Snorkelling (1.5 hours)
                                  Isla Santiago - Sullivan Bay - Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
                                  Isla Sanitago - Espumilla Beach - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
                                  Isla Sanitago - Espumilla Beach - Snorkelling (45 mins)
                                  Isla Sanitago - Buccaneer's Cove - Sail (15 mins)
                                  Isla Santiago - Puerto Egas - Walk (1.45 hours) - Wet Landing
                                  Isla Santiago - Puerto Egas - Snorkelling (1 hour)
                                  Isla Santa Cruz - Kayaking (2 hours)
                                  Isla Santa Cruz - Tour of the Bay (3 hours) - Dry Landing
                                  Isla North Seymour - Walk (2 hours) - Dry Landing
                                  Isla North Seymour - Snorkelling (1 hours)
                                  Isla Mosquera - Beach Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
                                  Isla Mosquera - Snorkelling (1 hour)
                                  Isla Santa Cruz - Black Turtle Cove - Panga ride (1.5 hours)
                                  Isla Santa Cruz - Cerro Dragon - Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
                                  Isla Santa Cruz - Cerro Dragon - Snorkelling or swimming (1 hour)
                                  Sombrero Chino - Walk and Panga ride (2 hours) - Wet Landing
                                  Isla Santiago - Sombrero Chino - Snorkelling (1 hour)
                                  Isla Rabida - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
                                  Isla Rabida - Snorkelling (1 hour)
                                  Isla Santa Cruz - Bachas Beach Walk (1 hour) - Wet Landing
                                  Important notes
                                  GALAPAGOS PARK, TRANSIT CARD & ISABELA ISLANDS PORT FEES:
                                  Before checking in for the flight from Quito to the Galapagos, there is a US$20 transit fee that needs to be paid. On arrival in the islands you must pay the US$100 national park fee to enter Galapagos National Park. If your voyage visits Isabela Island, there is also a US$5 fee to be paid on arrival at the island.

                                  PASSPORT DETAILS:
                                  When booking, please make sure that your name is spelt correctly, and that you book using the name in your passport (particularly if you are recently married). If you are issued a new passport with a different number between the time that you book and the time you travel, please take both the old and new passports with you.

                                  DIETARY REQUIREMENTS:
                                  Should you have a special diet requirement (for example vegetarian, celiac, vegan, severe food allergies) it's essential that you inform us or your agent of the specific details at least 10 days prior to departure, in order to make sure the chef on board the boat or on the island can request the necessary food supplies.

                                  MINIMUM AGE:
                                  The minimum age on this trip is 15. Please note that triple cabins are not available. If travelling with a child, the child will need to share with one of the adults, and the other adult will share with another adult passenger, or pay a single supplement.

                                  SEA SICKNESS- GALAPAGOS:
                                  Please note that from June to August the water is rougher than usual. Consequently travel times will be longer than usual. If you suffer from seasickness you may want to reconsider travelling during this period.

                                  ELECTRICITY, WI-FI & PHONE COVERAGE IN THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS:
                                  Electricity in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands is 110 - 120V and requires US plugs so you may need to take an adapter.
                                  Wi-Fi is not available on the boat at all whilst in the Galapagos Islands. There is limited access on the bigger islands of Santa Cruz, San Cristobal and Isabela and there may also be internet cafes for you to use if there is time.
                                  Like Wi-Fi, mobile phone coverage is pretty non-existent whilst travelling around the islands. Again, you may find that you have limited service when you are closer to the bigger islands.
                                  There is a satellite phone on board, for the use of shipboard staff, in case of emergency.

                                  DIVING IN THE GALAPAGOS:
                                  We do not offer diving as a part of our Galapagos program and due to our internal safety policy our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking this activity.

                                  Group size
                                  Maximum of 16 travellers per group.
                                  Your fellow travellers
                                  GROUP TRAVEL
                                  As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

                                  YOUR FELLOW TRAVELLERS:
                                  This trip is a package tour and is therefore made up of a combination of shorter trips. This may mean you will travel with a different guide and passengers on each section.

                                  This trip is run by our sister company, Peregrine Adventures. Your group will be a mixture of Intrepid booked passengers and other international like-minded travellers from Peregrine.

                                  Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and if you are willing to share a twin cabin there will be no compulsory single supplement [this also applies to the first and last night in the hotel in Quito]. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in either a Standard Twin or Deluxe Twin cabins. Double cabins are set aside for couples or friends/family who are willing to share a bed.
                                  If you are a single traveller and wish to have a room to yourself a single supplement is available for this trip.
                                  Accommodation
                                  Hotel (2 nights), Overnight boat (14 nights)
                                  The Queen Beatriz features large en suite cabins all with individual air conditioning and ocean views, There are 3 standard twin cabins, 2 deluxe twin cabins, 2 deluxe double cabins (couples only!) and 1 suite (double bed). The deluxe cabins have private balconies and the suite is more spacious and has a small lounge area. All cabins are equipped with a safety deposit box, hair dryers and toiletries.
                                  Meals introduction
                                  Whilst you are on board the Queen Beatriz all your meals are included and breakfast is included at the Hotel Le Parc (as you have an early departure to the Galapagos on day 2 the hotel prepares a packed breakfast).

                                  All meals are included onboard the Queen Beatriz, this includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Tea, coffee and cold water is available at any time during the day [or night]. Most meals are served buffet style. Here is an example of the typical meals served:

                                  Breakfast
                                  Toast, spreads, muesli, eggs with fresh fruit and fruit juices

                                  Lunch
                                  A mix of hot and cold dishes plus salads or vegetables and fruit salad and juice

                                  Dinner
                                  Fresh seafood, chicken or pork, pasta, rice, vegetables, salads and dessert.

                                  If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies please notify us at the time of booking so we can determine the extent to which your dietary requirements can be met. We will endeavour to accommodate all requests but please note that we have limited refrigeration and storage space on board the Galapagos boats and there is very limited (if any) access to shops or supermarkets.

                                  Vegans, coeliacs or those with specific meal requirements might choose to supplement meals with supplies bought from home, e.g. protein bars. Please note that the Galapagos does have strict quarantine laws when it comes to bringing in goods from the mainland.
                                  Meals
                                  16 breakfasts, 14 lunches, 14 dinners
                                  Transport
                                  Minibus, Plane, Boat, Zodiac

                                  The Queen Beatriz is a modern Catamaran. She has a comfortable lounge and dining area, a jacuzzi as well as a sun deck where you can view the wildlife or just kick back and relax. She has eight well-appointed, air-conditioned cabins and yet, at 30 metres, she is small enough for us to offer an individual level of service. She's just perfect for a more personal look at this great marine reserve.
                                  Cabins:
                                  3xStandard twin cabins
                                  4xDeluxe cabins with balconies – 2 x Twin and 2 x Double
                                  1xSuite
                                  All cabins are fully air-conditioned with private facilities
                                  Specifications:
                                  Built: 2008
                                  Re-furbished: Aug 2014
                                  Length: 30.2 m
                                  Beam: 11.2 m
                                  Engines: 2
                                  Speed: 12 knots
                                  Passengers: 16
                                  Crew: 8 + 1 English speaking naturalist guide

                                  Zodiacs (locally known as pangas) are modest-sized, open, outboard-powered boats which are very common throughout Galapagos. The boats are used to get you to and from the Queen Bea when you do activities. Depending on the type of activity, this could either be a wet or dry landing. The boat crew are there to assist you getting into and out of the zodiac.
                                  Money matters
                                  The official currency of Ecuador is the US dollar (USD).

                                  Please note that in Ecuador automatic money machines often limit the amount you can withdraw. This can be $100 or $200 per day depending on your card.

                                  ATM's are available in Puerto Ayora, Isla Santa Cruz and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, Isla San Cristobal however there are no ATM's in Puerto Villamil, Isla Isabela.
                                  Credit cards are accepted in some shops and stores in Puerto Ayora, Puerto Baquerizo and Puerto Villamil.
                                  For boat trips only:
                                  On board the Galapagos voyage, alcoholic [beer and wine] and soft drinks are available to purchase in cash and if you wish to tip the crew this will also be paid in cash.

                                  Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some  travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than others, others prefer to visit more optional sites. Remember that alcoholic beverages are expensive compared to other foods locally. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities.

                                  We recommend you carry at least US$100 to allow for additional meals and snacks. There is a bar on board where the settlement of the bill is by US$ cash only. The Queen Beatriz does not have credit card facilities.

                                  Please make additional allowance for bar expenses, however you will find the drinks to be moderately priced.

                                  All prices are quoted in US$.

                                  Cocktails: $6 - $8
                                  Wine*: $35 - $60
                                  Spirits: $8 - $ 16
                                  Beers: $3 - $5
                                  Softdrink: $1 - $3

                                  *Red, white and sparkling wines are available by the bottle.
                                  Please note that a 10% service charge from the boat and a 14% government tax will be added to the total of your bar bill.

                                  It is not permitted to bring your own alcohol on board the boat.

                                  During stops in Santa Cruz, San Cristobal and Isabela Islands, you will have the opportunity to visit souvenir shops and internet cafes.

                                  NATIONAL PARK AND TRANSIT CARD FEES
                                  Before you check-in for your flight from Quito to the Galapagos Islands you will need to purchase a US$20 transit card [which you will need to hold on to as you will need to present it on your return from the Galapagos].
                                  On arrival in the islands you will purchase the Galapagos National Park entry fee, US$100.

                                  If your tour visits Isabela Island, you will also be required to pay a US$5 port fee.
                                  Please make sure you  have clean, unmarked notes to pay these fees.

                                  TIPPING:
                                  If you are happy with the services providing a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations.

                                  The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:

                                  BOAT CREW QUEEN BEATRIZ:
                                  If you have enjoyed the services provided by your guide and crew, a tip would be very much appreciated by them. As a guideline we recommend each passenger consider US$15 per day for the captain and crew [this amount is pooled and shared amongst the crew] and US$10 per day for your guide. You can leave tips in envelopes that are placed in your cabin on the last day of your journey.

                                  RESTAURANTS
                                  Please check the bill and if there’s an addition of 10% service charge, there’s no requirement for tipping. Otherwise, 10% of the total bill amount is appropriate.

                                  MARKETS AND LOCAL SHOPS
                                  At local markets, shops and basic restaurants: Leave the loose change.

                                  HOTEL PORTERS/LOCAL DRIVERS
                                  We suggest US$1-$2

                                  Please use the amounts listed above as a guide. Tipping is entirely a personal preference; of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip.

                                  Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

                                  There are no international departure taxes to be paid at Quito airport.

                                  WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED:
                                  Any airfare unless otherwise specified in the itinerary.
                                  Passport and visa expenses.
                                  Government arrival and departure taxes.
                                  Galapagos National Park fee and Galapagos transit card.
                                  Isabela island port fee (if applicable).
                                  Optional activities
                                  Baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance.
                                  Excess baggage charges.
                                  Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified.
                                  Telecommunications charges.
                                  The voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew.

                                  OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:
                                  The optional activities noted are subject to availability. The prices are a guide only and subject to change.

                                  EMERGENCY FUNDS
                                  Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (e.g. a natural disaster, civil unrest, strike action or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
                                  Group leader
                                  On our Galapagos trips you will be meet on arrival by our experienced local representatives. They will conduct the group briefing on the evening of day 1 of the trip and also transfer with you to the airport on day 2 for your flight to the Galapagos. On arrival in the Galapagos you will be met your Guide. Our Guides are registered and trained in conservation and natural sciences by the Charles Darwin Foundation and licensed by the Galapagos National Park Service. The Guide will be on board with you for the duration of the trip and will accompany you on all excursions. Our boats are also staffed by highly experienced shipboard staff and crew.
                                  Safety
                                  Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
                                  We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
                                  In addition to any included activities on your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. Our local representative may be able to assist you with available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that our local representative has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
                                  Petty theft & Personal Safety :
                                  While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
                                  Water Safety:
                                  Please take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water, where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It's expected that anyone taking part in water activities is able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water.
                                  Life Jackets:
                                  Intrepid will provide life jackets for private boats, but cannot guarantee that all public ferries will have enough life jackets or life rings for all clients.
                                  Diving in the Galapagos:
                                  We do not offer diving as a part of our Galapagos program and due to Intrepid's internal safety policy our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking this activity.
                                  Joining point
                                  Hotel Le Parc
                                  República de El Salvador N34-349 e Irlanda
                                  Quito
                                  ECUADOR
                                  Phone: +593 22276800
                                  Finish point
                                  Hotel Le Parc
                                  República de El Salvador N34-349 e Irlanda
                                  Quito
                                  ECUADOR
                                  Phone: +593 22276800
                                  Emergency contact
                                  In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Ecuador Operations Office can be reached on:


                                  For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

                                  While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

                                  We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

                                  You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

                                  PEAK Ecuador: +593 9 94014877
                                  Visas
                                  Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.

                                  Australians, New Zealanders, Americans, Canadians and British do not currently require a visa for Ecuador. For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa requirements with your travel agent.

                                  Visa requirements for Galapagos Islands are the same as Ecuador.
                                  What to take
                                  What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage, although you won't be required to walk long distances with it (max 30 minutes).

                                  Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

                                  Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:

                                  http://www.intrepidtravel.com/pdf/trips/packinglist.pdf

                                  The cabins on the Queen Bea are quite spacious and come equipped with wardrobes. If you are visiting the Galapagos at the end of a longer South America holiday and have a number of larger bags with you, you can store them in our hotel in Quito, the Le Parc Hotel. The hotel offers a luggage storage service. If you choose to leave your bags at the hotel we recommend that you bring a small backpack/daypack with you so you can transfer the clothes you wish to take with you into this back. We also highly recommend that you don’t leave any valuables [money, credit cards, electronic goods such as lap tops etc].

                                  Below is a suggest packing list. The weather in the Galapagos is quite temperate all year round. In most cases you will be in water snorkelling or swimming for a portion of the day with the other time taken up with an island visit/walk or time to relax on the boat as you travel between islands.

                                  Daypack [a smaller back pack that you can take with you on island excursions]
                                  Comfortable clothing for warmer temperatures [shorts, t-shirts, light long sleeved tops and pants]
                                  A fleece or warmer jumper for the evenings or early mornings
                                  A light rain coat or poncho
                                  Comfortable shoes [trainers or walking shoes are sufficient for most trips]*
                                  Sandals or thongs/flip flops/jandals
                                  Sunscreen [bio degradable and waterproof if available] and lip balm [to combat the effects of wind burn]
                                  Sunglasses
                                  Sunhat [that can be secured as it can get windy out on the water]
                                  Swimming costume
                                  Water bottle [filtered water is available on board the boat]
                                  Bio-degradable shampoo, conditioner and soap
                                  Dry bag
                                  Pegs [so you can hang your swimming costume or towel out to dry]
                                  Insect repellent [for island visits]
                                  US adaptor/electrical plug
                                  For keen birdwatchers, Binoculars
                                  Camera [underwater if you have one]
                                  Earplugs

                                  Please ensure you travel with all required medicines, pain killers and toiletries that you may need while in the Galapagos. If you are prone to motion sickness, you might want to pack some preventative medication. You are travelling to quite a remote destination and even though there are a number of settlements throughout the islands there are times we it could take a day to reach these towns and even then they may not stock your required medication.

                                  Please ensure you also bring your passport with you as it is an entry requirement for the Galapagos to present your passport on arrival in Galapagos and returning to the mainland [photocopies of your passport are not permitted].

                                  *a number of trips include a volcano walk and some travellers may feel more comfortable in hiking shoes or boots.

                                  SNORKELLING
                                  There are many opportunities for snorkelling during your Galapagos voyage. Diving masks, snorkels, fins and some wetsuits are provided onboard the vessel and are for use by all passengers. Some passengers choose to bring their own, however this is a personal choice. Beach towels are also provided.


                                  AIRLINE BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE:
                                  The airline that we use for our Galapagos trips, has a checked in baggage allowance of 23kg per person and a cabin baggage allowance of 10kg.
                                  Climate and seasonal information
                                  Being located on the equator, Ecuador is a year round destination. In Quito temperatures do not fluctuate that much throughout the year with average temperatures around 19°C to 24°C during the day with lows of 9-10°C in the evening. There are two 'seasons', the wet and dry. The dry season runs from June to September and the wet season is from October through to May. The surprisingly thing with Quito is its altitude and proximity to the equator means that the sun has a little more kick to it so it can feel like it's warmer than it actually is. Even on cooler days, if the sun comes out make sure you use sunscreen.
                                  The Galapagos weather is pretty reasonable all year round, so it is never freezing cold but it can get very hot [February-May being the hottest months]. The seasons are not exactly fixed and weather conditions are changeable around the ends of the seasons. Note that the "wet" season is still drier than many places in the world.
                                  Daily temperatures range from 22°C to 25°C with overnight temperatures dropping to around 10°C. Up in the highlands [which you will cross on your way from Baltra to Puerto Ayora] it is cooler and the garúa mist hangs about as a kind of permanent dampness, and sometimes descends to the coast as well.
                                  The waters surrounding the Galapagos are influenced by the Humboldt Current. Water temperatures sit around 20°C to 24°C from January through to May and drop to 18°C to 20°C from June through to October. Although you may be required to wear a wetsuit at this time of year the same currents that bring the cooler water temperatures also bring nutrients which means wildlife are very active at this time of year.
                                  Communications
                                  Electricity in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands is 110 - 120V and requires US plugs so you may need to take an adapter.
                                  Wi-Fi is not available on the boat at all whilst in the Galapagos Islands. There is limited access on the bigger islands of Santa Cruz, San Cristobal and Isabela and there may also be internet cafes for you to use if there is time.
                                  Like Wi-Fi, mobile phone coverage is pretty non-existent whilst travelling around the islands. Again, you may find that you have limited service when you are closer to the bigger islands.
                                  There is a satellite phone on board, for the use of shipboard staff, in case of emergency.
                                  Health
                                  All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

                                  You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

                                  ALTITUDE SICKNESS
                                  Please note a very small number of travellers do feel the affects of altitude sickness when they arrive in Quito. Please refer to http://www.intrepidtravel.com/sites/default/files/pdf/trips/Altitude_Sickness_Information.pdf for more information

                                  SEA SICKNESS- GALAPAGOS
                                  Please note that from June to August the water is rougher than usual. Consequently travel times will be longer than usual. If you suffer from seasickness you may want to reconsider travelling during this period.

                                  SUNSCREEN
                                  It's important to always apply sunscreen in Ecuador and particularly when visiting the Galapagos. Beware, the sun is stronger than usual!

                                  YELLOW FEVER:
                                  A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It's also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home.

                                  It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you'll be visiting.

                                  January 2016: ZIKA VIRUS.

                                  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Zika is a mosquito-borne disease. The disease symptoms may include mild fever, skin rash and conjunctivitis. These symptoms normally last for 2-7 days.

                                  Recently in South America local health authorities have observed an increase in Zika virus infections in the general public as well as an increase in babies born with microcephaly (smaller than normal skull) in northeast Brazil.

                                  As of January 15, 2016 6 cases of the disease have been confirmed in Ecuador; 4 cases imported and 2 cases locally acquired. The health authorities in Ecuador and neighbouring countries are intensifying surveillance, implementing vector control measures and public education about the associated risks.

                                  Basic precautions for protection from mosquito bites should be taken by people traveling to high risk areas, especially pregnant women. These include use of repellents, wearing light coloured, long sleeved shirts and pants and ensuring rooms are fitted with screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering.

                                  In line with the above, Intrepid (Geckos/Peregrine) recommends all woman pregnant or trying to get pregnant to consult with their doctors before booking their trip to Central and South America.

                                  WHO does not recommend any travel or trade restriction to Ecuador based on the current information.

                                  More information on the Zika virus can be found on WHO’s website: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/zika/en/
                                  And the Centers for Disease, Control and Prevention’s website: http://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00385.asp
                                  Travel insurance
                                  Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

                                  When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

                                  If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

                                  http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php
                                  A couple of rules
                                  Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader or local representative has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

                                  Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.

                                  Strict rules apply in the Galapagos Islands aimed at protecting and preserving its unique biodiversity. Intrepid strongly agrees and supports these rules which range from times of the day that a destination can be visited to the distance kept between people and wildlife – all these rules will be explained in more detailed by your crew on the ground. Not adhering to these rules can lead to hefty fines for travellers and can result on Intrepid losing the license to operate in the Galapagos Islands – these rules must be adhered to by all, without exception.

                                  For more information, please follow this link: http://www.galapagos.org/travel/travel/park-rules
                                  Responsible Travel
                                  Travelling responsibly is all about making good choices. It's about ensuring you have an incredible trip while also having a positive impact on the local environment, community and economy you're travelling in. How can you be a Responsible Traveller? See our tips below:

                                  - Choose to travel with a responsible travel company like us! We've already offset the main carbon emissions of your trip, so your footprint is already lighter.
                                  - Consider offsetting your flights when you book your trip/flights with us or your travel agent.
                                  - Bring a refillable water bottle and some water purification tablets (or a Steripen) to cut down on plastic bottle waste.
                                  - Be an animal-friendly traveller. Only go to venues that respect animals by allowing them to live normally in their natural environment. Steer clear of venues that use animals for entertainment or abnormal activities and/or keep animals in poor and unnatural conditions.
                                  - Eat at local restaurants, buy from regional artists and support social enterprises so you can contribute directly to locals and their economy.
                                  - Always be respectful of local customs and ask permission if you want to take a photo of someone.
                                  - Learn a few words of the local language and engage with the people around you.
                                  - Carry a cloth or re-usable bag so you can avoid plastic bags.
                                  - Give back by making a donation to a local project via The Intrepid Foundation.

                                  Share your thoughts with us by completing your feedback form after your trip. This helps us to continue to improve our commitment to responsible travel.

                                  http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

                                  The Intrepid Foundation
                                  The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation set up to enable our travellers to help make a difference by supporting local communities, projects and non-government organisations in the places we travel. The smallest contribution can make an enormous difference and all donations to The Intrepid Foundation are matched dollar for dollar (yes, we’ll double your donation!). We support a range of initiatives – from wildlife protection and environmental conservation to supporting vocational training for underprivileged individuals – all with the aim of helping to improve lives and empower communities across the world to make meaningful change. All administration costs are covered by us so you can be assured 100 per cent of your donation will reach your chosen project. To learn more about the projects we support, ask your trip leader for more information about projects in the region you are travelling in or visit www.theintrepidfoundation.org

                                  FUNDAR Galapagos, based on Santa Cruz Island, is an organization that works with the Galapagos community, to develop alternative and responsible approaches to local environmental issues. A key initiative is an organic farming program on FUNDAR’s Pajaro Brujo Reserve. Most produce in the Galapagos is imported from the mainland, and this program is creating opportunities for locals to grow organic food, encouraging healthier and more sustainable lifestyles within the community.
                                  Through the Intrepid Foundation we are raising funds in support of FUNDAR’s organic farming program as well as its weekly educational workshops for students on farming, reforestation and leadership skills.

                                  Feedback
                                  After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

                                  http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback