3 nights aboard the M/Y Coral, 3 nights Kapawi Ecological Reserve
11 days /
From $4,509 per person, double occupancy for 2013
Day 1: Quito
Airport reception and transfer to your Quito hotel. Overnight accommodations at the Patio Andaluz, breakfast included.
Day 2: Quito - Galapagos
Transfer to the airport for your flight to the Galapagos Islands. Upon arrival, transfer short distance to the Itabaca Canal, cross to the island of Santa Cruz and ride to Puerto Ayora. On the way to Puerto Ayora you cross the highlands of Santa Cruz, the second largest island of the archipelago with 374 square miles and also the most populated, and will hike around the twin pit crates or sinkholes known as "Los Gemelos", surrounded by Scalecia forest, and later you will visit Cerro Chato. There are opportunities to admire the famous giant tortoises that gave name to these islands and a great number of birds like the vermilion flycatcher and Darwin finches.
Board the yacht M/Y Coral I/II and check in to your Moon Suite Cabin. (B,L,D)
Day 3: Española (Hood)
Disembark at Punta Suarez, dry land and walk on lava terrain. Aside from the sea lion colonies, this is one of the most important sites for bird watching. Here as soon as you disembark many species can be spotted up close, including the hood mocking bird and red-billed tropicbirds. You will also spot large marine iguanas, lava lizards and colorful sally light foot crabs. After a short trek, you will run into colonies of masked and blue-footed boobies and their nesting grounds sometimes overlapped over the path. You will also find Galapagos doves, hawks and swallow-tailed gulls. After crossing the nesting grounds, you will reach the world colony of waved albatross (around 15,000). They all come to the Galapagos for their mating rituals. Finish your morning with a visit to the blowhole, where water shoots into air at almost 75 feet.
In the afternoon, disembark at Bahia Gardner on a white coral beach amidst a large colony of sea lions. This site has no trails but is considered an open area where you can spot Galapagos hawks, American oyster catchers, Galapagos doves, hood mockingbirds, Darwin finches, yellow warblers, lava lizards and marine iguanas and a great place for swimming and snorkeling, the best spot being the turtle-looking islet. Here, if you are lucky, you can admire many of the Galapagos marine species including king angelfish, Creole fish, damsel fish, parrot fish, manta rays, white tipped reef sharks and more. Among the vegetation you will see are Acacia, Palo Santo and Cacti. (B, L, D)
Day 4: Floreana
Wet landing on Cormorant Point, a greenish colored sand beach in the island of Floreana. Passengers will hike a well marked trail beginning in the Black Mangrove beds heading towards the back of the lagoon. The large, brackish lagoon holds one of the biggest populations of flamingos in the Galapagos. This island is best known for its endemic plant life, such as the Galapagos millwork, Passion flower, and unique button mangrove. Novice snorkelers can practice back on the main beach where the sea lions are playful, while experienced snorkelers can roam the waters around Devils Crown.
Afternoon visit to Post Office Bay. Located on the north side of Floreana Island, the bay is so-named because in 1793, Captain James Colnett installed an empty barrel of rum which works as an informal post box for the sailors who periodically passed through the Galapagos, taking with them letters for their next ports of call or final destinations.
Today, our visitors continue the tradition by placing postcards without stamps inside the barrel which reach their destinations free of charge. Sometimes it takes weeks, sometimes months, and sometimes the cards never get there at all! Do you want to try this easy mail, please be ready your post cards and letters, it is a good way to get Galapagos friends.
A short walk from the famous barrel, across typical vegetation of the island, we come to a tunnel formed by lava flows. It’s quite a tricky way down to a path where we can observe land birds such as mocking bird of Galapagos, some species of Darwin’s finches, yellow warblers and lava lizards.
After we’ll make a wet landing on “Mirador de la Baronesa”. Your naturalist guide will tell the murder and mystery legend of the Baronesa. This viewpoint is located on the north of the Floreana Island. It is a tuff basalt formation between Cormorant Point and Post Office bay. The climb on the trails is very easy. Steps are placed in this area for security. (B, L, D)
Day 5: North Seymour - Quito
On this island you might come across sea lions waddling on the beach, frigate birds displaying their red throat pouches, and colonies of blue-footed boobies about. In the late morning, you will transfer to the airport for your return flight to Quito. Airport reception and transfer to your hotel. Overnight accommodations are at the Hotel Patio Andaluz, breakfast included. (B)
Day 6: Quito City Tour
Today set off with your private guide for a drive around one of the most charming cities in all of Latin America. Enjoy the colonial center of Quito, and the stone-carved facade of Ecuador’s House of Congress depicting scenes from Ecuadorian history. The tour ends with a trip to the Panecillo Hill, which commands a striking view of Quito, the surrounding valley and the snow-capped mountains beyond. (B)
Day 7: Quito - Kapawi Ecological Reserve
Access to this remote region is complicated, and getting there can depend on weather and other operational factors. You may depart Quito by domestic and charter flights or overland and charter flight. Upon arrival at Shamentza, set off in a motorized dugout canoe for a two hour ride down the Rio Pastaza and up the Rio Capahuari Kapawi Lodge. En route, keep your eyes out for flocks of green-winged and yellow-and-blue macaws returning to their roosts in the late afternoon. Kapawi Lodge accommodates 40 guests in single and double luxury cabins. All the buildings were constructed in the Achuar Indian architectural styles. As a result, not one metal nail was used and fast-growing forest products make up the roof, floors and walls. But far from roughing it, you will be provided with the comforts you would expect of a first-class hotel such as modern bathrooms with hot running water and flush toilets, large rooms with views of the rainforest and excellent international cuisine that incorporates delicious tropical fruits of the region. The Lodge’s flexible programs let you tailor your excursions to your particular interests. Options include birding, hiking, herpetology, canoeing, photography, relaxing and swimming. The local Achuar community is evident in every field trip, and all excursions are accompanied (B,L,D)
Days 8 – 9: Kapawi Ecological Reserve
Days spent exploring Kapawi through guided excursions. (B,L,D)
Day 10: Kapawi - Quito
Transfer to Sharamentza for your return to Quito. Airport reception and transfer to your hotel. Overnight accommodations at Hotel Patio Andaluz, breakfast included. (B)
Day 11: Int'l departure
Hotel pickup and transfer to the airport. (B)
Price includes domestic airfare and Galapagos Entrance Tax