When to Travel

What's the climate like in the Galápagos Islands?

There are two main seasons on the islands: wet and hot, and dry and cool. December to May (inclusive) are hot and humid (28°C / 82.4°F average temperature); although it is warm during the day there might be heavy rain showers that can last for 20 minutes or more. That is why the islands can be very lush and green at this time of the year. Consider using insect repellent while visiting the islands. The water temperature is perfect for swimming and/or snorkelling. It is wise to use a T- shirt or dive top while in the water to prevent sunburn. Between June and November, it is cooler and windy (24° C/ 75.2°F average although at noon it can reach 33°C / 91.4?F). It is also the garua season (local term for occasional light drizzle) especially around the southern islands. You might want to consider bringing a light rainproof windbreaker. The water temperature is also cooler (20°C / 68?F) at this time of the year. This means it is the best time for snorkelling, since the cold waters are rich in nutrients for the marine ecosystem, but you might want to have a wetsuit to keep warm.

Key Info

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Galapagos Explorer

M/Y Eric, Flamingo & Letty – Itinerary A Southern/Central route

Highlights

1. Cruising through the Galapagos in comfort

  1. 2.Constelations on a clear Galapagos night


3. Playing in the water with sea lion pups
4. Sunbathing with the iguanas


5. Snorkelling with turtles and sleeping reef sharks


FRIDAY - FLY TO QUITO

Arrive Saturday

Overnight in Quito - transfer to hotel

M/Y Eric, Flamingo & Letty – Itinerary A Southern/Central route

SUNDAY: Fly to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, SAN CRISTOBAL Island, our crew is waiting at the airport to escort you to your anchored yacht. After the welcome briefing, buffet lunch and safety drill, we set sail for Playa Ochoa where we have a wet landing. Here, we can test our snorkeling equipment and at the same time swim with a small colony of sea lions. Behind the beach, there is a tidal lagoon where bird can be spotted including the rare Chatham mockingbird. At sunset, we cruise around Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido), a vertical tuff cone formation that abruptly juts up almost 500 feet out of the ocean. On the cliffs, we spot Blue-footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies and Magnificent Frigate birds.

MONDAY: This morning, we visit the northeast tip of San Cristobal, PUNTA PITT, a tuff formation that serves as a nesting site for many sea birds including Blue footed, Nazca and Red-footed boobies, Frigate birds, Swallow-tailed gulls and Storm petrels. Punta Pitt is considered to be a first class site for birds and equal to Genovesa (Tower) Island. This afternoon we visit CERRO BRUJO, a breathtaking white power-sand beach, said to be one of the most spectacular in Galapagos and have an opportunity to snorkel or kayak right from the beach.

TUESDAY: This morning we have a dry landing at Punta Suarez, ESPANOLA, where we witness the highest rate of endemic species in Galapagos. Sea lions noisily green us as we land on their beach. Curious Hood mockingbirds peck at our shoelaces. From April to November, the waved albatross, found only on Espanola, perform their wild mating ritual. Colonies of blue-footed boobies engage in “sky-pointing” to show off for potential mates. Nazca boobies busily care for their young. Stunning swallow-tailed gulls are the only nocturnal gulls in the world. Red-billed tropicbirds take shelter under the cliffs. We also find Darwin’s Finches, Galapagos Doves and Galapagos Hawks. Observe a unique specie of marine iguana identified with traces of red and green colorings. Colorful sally light-foot crabs crawl along the shoreline near to the famous "blow hole".

In the afternoon, we have a wet landing on Gardner Bay, ESPANOLA (HOOD). Walk along seemingly endless stretches of this white sandy beach where you’ll find large colonies of sea lions. There is no trail to follow so this is a chance to explore and you may find a Galapagos Hawk, Darwin’s Finches or Hood Mockingbird. Swim with sea lions right from the beach, explore by kayak or just relax. There’s an excellent snorkeling site off Gardner Islet with a colorful diversity of sea life near Tortuga Rock, explore caves covered with invertebrates.

WEDNESDAY: This morning we step ashore at Punta Cormorant, FLOREANA (Charles). one of the few populated islands in the Galapagos. Floreana presents a rich history with mystery and intrigue. Set food on a green-sand beach alive with the sounds of sea lions. Follow a trail to a brackish lagoon, home of the pintail ducks, common stilts, and the pinkest Flamingos in the world. Wind your way past a rich variety of plants including Morning Glory, Cut Leaf Daisies, Palo Verdes and Scalesia leading to a beach with power soft sand. Sea turtles lay their eggs in the sand dunes and rays swim in the shallow water. After the walk, we have an opportunity to snorkel at Devil’s Crown, a shallow sunken crater colonized by a brilliant array of colorful fish and corral. This afternoon we visit Post office Bay, not the most scenic, but probably the most famous sites in Galapagos. Here is where a post barrel was put into use in the late 18th Century by English whaling vessels. You are invited to leave a post card and to pick up any mail from your home area.

THURSDAY: This morning we visit a hidden gem on Isabela Island called Los Humedales and Muro de Lagrimas which translates to “wetlands” and “wall of tears”. This area has trails from which you find all four species of mangroves, secluded sandy beaches with rocky shores lava tunnels and natural pools View migratory birds including Whimrels, Short-billed Dowitchers, Wilson’s Pharlarope, Common Tern, Osprey, Semi-palmated Plovers as well as mating Flamingos. The national park has released young tortoises from the breeding center in this area so you may encounter tortoises in the wild. The Wall of Tears was constructed between 1946-1959 when Isabela was a penal colony. In the afternoon, we visit Sierra Negra Volcano, located in the Southwest portion of Isabela, and considered the oldest and largest volcano on Isaleba. From Puerto Villamil, we travel by motorized vehicle to Santo Tomas. From here, we continue to the rim of the

caldera, traversing a lava field through a series of craters and fumaroles until we reach Volcan Chico. Along the way, you will usually spot the vermillion flycatcher, Galapagos Martins, Whimbrels, Egrets, Galapagos Hawks and possibly the Dark-billed Cuckoo.

FRIDAY: This morning we visit Mosquera, a tiny islet between Baltra and North Seymour with a long narrow beach and large population of sea lions. After a wet landing, we will have time for swimming and snorkeling on this volcanically-formed islet. This afternoon we visit Bartolome, where it seems like we are walking on the moon. This young Island is inhospitable to most plants and animals. After a dry landing, climb 30 minutes up stairs leading to the summit of a once active volcano. Along the way, we pause to marvel at lava bombs, spatter cones and cinder cones. From the top of the wooden stairs, we can gaze out across the island for a panoramic view of the island and "Pinnacle Rock", an eroded tuff cone. Crystal clear water is an invitation to snorkel from the beach or Zodiac with schools of tropical fish and Galapagos Penguins.

SATURDAY: This morning, we visit SOUTH PLAZA, a small geological uplift with tall cliffs offering spectacular views. After a dry landing, the trails lead us through Prickly Pear cactus or Opuntia and Sesuvium. Here we can find the Galapagos Land Iguana feeding on the cactus leaves. Toward the end of the hill, we encounter a colony of bachelor sea lions. The dominant bulls are in various stages of recovery from battles lost over prime beach territory. We also find Swallow tailed gulls, Shearwaters and Red-billed tropicbirds who build their nests along the cliffs. Travel by bus to the highlands of SANTA CRUZ Island. The scenery gradually changes as we wind our way through all seven vegetation zones found in Galapagos. Here, we visit the tortoise reserve at one of the private farms in the highlands where we encounter giant tortoises In their natural habitat. We visit Los Gemelos, Spanish for “The Twins”, a pair of large pit craters where we find the bright red male vermilion flycatcher. We stop at "the tunnels", the largest lava tubes found in Galapagos.

SUNDAY: We visit the Interpretation Center opened on San Cristobal Island in 1999. Here we gain a more complete understanding of the natural and human history of the Islands. Afterwards, we spend time in port before heading to the airport for our flight back to the mainland departing noon time on Aerogal. Fly to Quito.

Overnight in Quito


MONDAY: Transfer to airport for flight home.

Itinerary stipulations

Starting January 29, 2012, the fleet we use will alternate two unique full week 7 night itineraries approved by the Galapagos National Park. The change is a result of park efforts to reduce the impact on erosion, reduce the pressure and possible stress on wildlife at the 14 most popular visitor sites in the archipelago, by redistributing visitor numbers across more sites. All tour boats in Galapagos must comply with this new regulation which will ultimately enhance visitor experience.

You will be able to combine the two itineraries for a comprehensive 15 day itinerary as no visitor site can be repeated twice. Guests who book two consecutive weeks back to back are eligible for a discount applicable any week - please enquire (excluding holidays). For scuba divers who want to combine diving in Galapagos with wildlife top side, we offer one week on our dive vessel, the Galapagos Sky combined with one week on Eric, Flamingo or Letty with a discount on selected departure dates. - Please enquire for details.



Passengers will be assigned to any of the three identical sister yachts Eric, Flamingo or Letty at the company’s discretion. On a 7 night itinerary, passengers are scheduled to visit twelve visitor sites. The first and last day of the cruise are transportation days and there is no guarantee of a land excursion. Visits scheduled for the first and last day may change due to schedule changes or delays.

We reserve the right at its sole option and discretion and that of the Captain of the vessel without liability for damages or refund of any kind to deviate from the vessel's advertised or ordinary itinerary. Itineraries are subject to change at any time for any reason including mechanical failure and without prior notice. We will not be held responsible for any refunds whatsoever for changes to the printed or scheduled itinerary. All passengers will be given a cruise ticket that contains the terms and conditions of our transportation agreement at the airport in Guayaquil or Quito. In order to review the terms before you leave home, a copy of the transportation agreement can be requested any time.

We include two nights in mainland Ecuador (a night either side) to allow for potential flight delays and misconnection. This is particularly important for passengers traveling over holidays when flights are more likely to be overbooked and delayed caused by bad weather conditions. Passengers who miss the flight to Galapagos on Sunday morning will not be able to meet up with the yacht until later in the week provided seats are available and will need to hire a private speedboat (at their own expense) to transport them to the vessel. Delivery of delayed baggage can be arranged during the cruise for an additional cost of $40 for up to 3 pieces of luggage. We highly recommend passengers purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy to protect their travel investment from any potential loss.



Tour Includes

Cabin accommodation, all meals and snacks aboard cruise, non-alcoholic beverages, purified water, Captain’s welcome and farewell cocktail party, house wine and local beer with dinner, guide services, shore excursions, use of wet suits, snorkeling equipment and sea kayaks, transfers in the Islands between the airport and dock.


All land transfers as per itinerary in a private vehicle


All sightseeing as per itinerary with an English speaking guide.


Excursions as per itinerary


All accommodation on a B&B basis on mainland Ecuador, please enquire for hotel options used in Quito


Meals as per itinerary (B = Breakfast, L=

Lunch & D= Dinner - excludes drinks)


Public liability insurance


All applicable taxes


Tour Excludes:

All International flights & Visa fees


Domestic flights – we organise these on your behalf however the price is quoted separately and the rate is payable directly to the ground agent or airline.


Additional Meals, unless mentioned

Differently


Optional tours & activities mentioned in the itinerary.


Beverages and personal expenses


Other excursions and entrance fees


Travel insurance (cover against all cancellation costs, medical expenses, including repatriation, in the event of accident of illness)


Galapagos entrance fee (park tax),Transit control card fee, alcoholic beverages, gratuities to guides and crew, purchases on board and travel insurance.

Conde Nast World Saver Award - top scoring cruise line in education, preservation, poverty and health (2009)

2012 “A - departure dates

APR 8-15,

APR 22-29,

MAY 6-13,

MAY 20-27,

JUN 03-10,

JUN 17-24,

JUL 01-08,

JUL 15-22,
JUL 29-05 AUG,

AUG 12-19,

AUG 26-02 SEP,

SEP 9-16,

SEP 23-30,

OCT 7-14,
OCT 21-28,

NOV 04-11,

NOV 18-25,

DEC 02-09,

DEC 16-23