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The Galapagos Islands Explorer for Women: November 1-November 12, 2024

  Galapagos, Ecuador

  12 Days

  11/1/2024

  11/12/2024

Female Icon  Women Only

  Moderate Physical Activity

Walk through forests of giant daisy trees, see ancient turtles wander through meadows, and enter a world where animals have no fear of people. This isn’t a fantasy, it’s the Galapagos.

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Ladies, join us on an unforgettable journey on our Galapagos women’s trip. This is a fun, educational, active adventure for women to explore the Galapagos with new adventure buddies and future life-long friends.

Daily excursions include snorkeling trips, birding, and nature walks will introduce you to various habitats from humid highland forests, to lowland marine desert, and white sand beaches. Wildlife we anticipate to see include: two species of giant tortoises, marine iguanas, land iguanas, various sea turtles, white tipped sharks, eagle rays, flamingos, blue-footed boobies, Darwin’s finches, and possibly penguins.

Activities include 80% snorkeling and 20% hiking / nature walks. Participants must know how to swim and have some snorkeling experience.

Tour Highlights:

  • Visit 4 different islands in the archipelago to learn about how species have adapted to survive in these extreme environments.
  • Hike trails through other-worldly habitats like the Scalesia Forest, these trees are giant Daisies, and they are so abundant in the highlands, they have an eco-zone named after them.
  • Snorkel a variety of sites on different islands with amazing marine life like schools of fish, sea turtles, marine iguanas, white tipped reef sharks, sea lions, and possibly manta rays or penguins.
  • See giant Galapagos Tortoises in their nature habitat.
  • See a variety of bird species like Blue-footed Boobies, Magnificent Frigate Birds, lamingos, and all of the species of finches Darwin researched to help him write Origin of Species.
  • Have a drink in honor of the “Día de los Muertos” (Day of the Dead) celebration in Quito, an old tradition that has be in place since pre-Inca times.
  • Walk on a guided city tour of the historic district of Quito to learn about the architecture, culture and history of the city.
  • Visit the Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World) exhibit and participate in experiments that can only be done at the Equator.
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Inclusions & Exclusions

Included:

  • All guided activities and equipment
  • Double occupancy rooms 3 star hotels
  • Most meals (minus 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner)
  • Purified drinking water
  • Galapagos Transit Card
  • Roundtrip airfare from Quito to Galapagos
  • Local guide and tour leader
  • Trip Leader

Excluded:

  • Airfare to Quito
  • Travel Insurance
  • 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
  • Personal spending money
  • Gratuity ($300 minimum)
  • Bottled beverages
  • Wetsuit

Tour Map

Isla Isabela

Quito

Galapagos

Baltra Island

Santa Cruz Island

North Seymour

Tintoreras

Isla Isabela

Payments

Package Price is $6495 

Deposit : $650
Deposit due by: August 1, 2024

Installments: Two equal installments paid in full by October 1, 2024
Travel parameters will be provided.

Travel Documents:
Valid Passport

Travel insurance is available and recommended.

Cancellation Policy

 

 

 

 

 

Tour Itinerary

►Where Do We Stay?

  • Day 1: Hotel Ikala, Quito
  • Day 2: Hotel Ikala, Quito
  • Day 3: Hotel Casa de Marita, Isabela
  • Day 4: Hotel Casa de Marita, Isabela
  • Day 5: Hotel Casa de Marita, Isabela
  • Day 6: Hotel Santa Fe, Santa Cruz
  • Day 7: Hotel Santa Fe, Santa Cruz
  • Day 8: Hotel Santa Fe, Santa Cruz
  • Day 9: Hotel Santa Fe, Santa Cruz
  • Day 10: Hotel Santa Fe, Santa Cruz
  • Day 11: San Jose Puembo, Quito

►Day 1: Welcome to Ecuador

Fly to Quito, Ecuador. Typically, flights will arrive late at night and participants should have dinner at the airport on the way to Ecuador. Overnight at Hotel Ikala or similar. Note, travel parameters will be provided.

►Day 2: Quito Historical City Tour 

Today we will visit the best-preserved capital city in Latin America.  Our first stop is to Teliferico where we’ll board a gondola and travel 4100M from the edge of the city centre up the ease side of Pichincha Volcano for a fantastic view of Quito.

We’ll then continue to northern Quito and visit the equator monument and the Intiñan museum to learn more about Ecuador and view some houses from both the Amazon and the Andes to learn a bit about the indigenous communities living in Ecuador.

From there we head to Old Town and celebrate Dia de los Difuntos (Day of the Dead).  We go to lunch and enjoy a traditional drink – Colada Morada – while learning about it’s history and how it’s made.


After lunch we take a walk through the winding cobblestone streets of Old Town to see La Compania (the Golden Church), the Plaza Grande and Plaza San Francisco. You will take in the splender and energy of the city as your guide introduces you to architecture and history of Quito and Ecuador.

Dinner at the hotel. Overnight at Hotel Ikala or similar. (BLD)

►Day 3: Travel from Quito to the Galapagos

Fly from Quito, Ecuador to the Galapagos National Park. After landing in Baltra we will transfer to Santa Cruz, via the Itabaca Canal, to our bus waiting on the other side. As we journey to Puerto Ayora, we leave the lowland desert and climb in elevation and experience the changes of vegetation. Lunch at a restaurant in town.

After lunch we board a boat to Isabela Island and then take a bus to our hotel for the next three nights.

Dinner in town Overnight at Hotel Casa de Marita or similar. (LD)

►Day 4:  Snorkeling at La Concha de Pearl

After breakfast at the hotel, we head to the harbor to try out our snorkeling gear and snorkel in the calm waters of La Concha de Pearl. This is one of the rare snorkeling spots outside of the national park. Here you will be able to explore mangrove habitats below the waterline. This important transition zone between ocean and freshwater habitats is home to schools of fish like mullet and colorful reef fish like filefish, parrotfish, and big animals like sea turtles and sea lions.

After lunch, embark on a short boat ride to Las Tintoreras, a chain of small islets located in the south of Puerto Villamil, Isabela. This biodiverse site is home to Galapagos sea lions, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, sea turtles, pelicans, and Galapagos Penguins. It is also one of main breeding sites for marine iguanas, and a great spot to get a close-up with them. After a hike around the islet, get back on the boat and cool off by snorkeling in the waters nearby. Swimming next to multi-color fish, starfish, sea urchins, and with luck we will add penguins to our list of animals we will have snorkeled with while visiting the Galapagos.

Dinner in town. Overnight at Hotel Casa de Marita or similar (BLD).

►Day 5: Day Tour of Lava Tunnels & Snorkeling​

This in as all day adventure that is broken into two parts.  The tide and weather will determine which activities we do first.

Part 1: Lava Walk: We will ride on a fast boat to the west of Isabela, towards Cabo Rosa where the area known as the Tunnels is found. This is an extensive lava flow formed by long and numerous lava tubes with collapses that result on beautiful basaltic arches surrounded by pristine turquoise waters.  You will step from the boat to the shore and take an easy stroll in this other-worldly environment. You will see turtles and other marine life meandering through the labyrinth of tunnels below you as you walk on the lava trails. There are Blue-footed Boobies and their nests everywhere. Your guide will explain the courtship dance, and nesting behavior of this photogenic birds. You might even see the dance.

Part 2:  Snorkeling: There are several park-designated snorkeling sites that your guide will choose and you will have two opportunities to get in the water to explore.  Expect to snorkel with schools of golden rays, spotted eagle rays, seahorses, white-tipped and black-tipped sharks, and huge sea turtles.

Late afternoon return to hotel. Overnight at Casa de Marita or similar. (BLD)

►Day 6: Charles Darwin Research Center

In the morning we take a walk through the wetlands looking for birds like flamingos searching for their breakfast.  Afterwards we head by boat to Santa Cruz.

After lunch, we visit the Charles Darwin Station, formerly the home of Lonesome George, the famous of his subspecies on Pinta Island. We’ll learn about the Foundation’s successes in repopulating the islands with the once endangered land iguana and several species of giant tortoise and see the most representative animals of the islands. Be on the lookout for Darwin finches and Mockingbirds.  

Return to hotel.  Overnight at Hotel Santa Fe or similar. (BLD)

►Day 7: Visit Santa Cruz’s Best Swimming Hole

In English “Grieta” translates as Crevasse. So Las Grietas is a long crevasse, or fissure canyon, with high volcanic walls, filled with emerald green waters. Quite the dramatic setting!

The water at Las Grietas is a mix of seawater that enters from one end, and freshwater that filters in from the other. The protected walls mean that the water is crystal clear and very calm with no current – perfect for a relaxing swim. The mangroves and Opuntia cacti along the trail are buzzing with activity. Busy little Galapags finches flit from plant to plant, while flycatchers and woodpeckers do their thing. Large brown pelicans are also a fairly common sight, as are lava lizards hiding between rocks.
 
On our way back we stop at the lagoons to learn about their importance in creating salt for the fisherman. After lunch is time to relax or walk around the town of Santa Cruz. 
 
Return to hotel.  Overnight at Hotel Santa Fe or similar. (BLD)

►Day 8: Primicias Ranch and Tortoise Reserve

Today we take a bus to the highlands of Santa Cruz to visit the Primicias Ranch and tortoise sanctuary.  We walk through the reserve visiting the giant tortoises as they often congregate in this area on their migration between coast and highlands. They enjoy wallowing in the shallow ponds in the area.  

We then participant in a Ecuadorian cooking class with a local chef, enjoying our home cooked meal together afterwards.  

After lunch we hike through the lava tunnels and then head to Los Gremelos the ‘Twin Craters’ or sinkholes. These geologic formations tell the story of the volcanic history of the Galapagos. This area has a very different climate from the other parts of the island and are surrounded by scalesia forests, which are known as “broccoli trees”.  It is the habitat for bromeliads, orchids, mosses, lichens and many birds. Here, you are able to find the famous vermillion flycatcher, eight species of Charles Darwin finches, and every so often, short-eared owls.

Return to hotel.  Overnight at Hotel Santa Fe or similar. (BLD)

►Day 9: Visit to North Seymour Island

Today our group will be picked up from the hotel at 8 am and taken back to the Itabaca Channel where the crew of our boat will be waiting for us. The trip will take around one hour and close to your arrival you will be able to spot the grey shapes of the Bursera Graveolens trees, that almost never carry any leaves. 
 

Seymour was created many million years ago due to the elevation of tectonic plates and the island has a flat shape with many small cliffs that serve as home for the local seabirds. Swallow-tailed gulls and frigate birds fly over the island. Frigate males showing their big red throat pouches to find their mate. Meanwhile, as we walk along the path, we can spot blue footed boobies nesting or executing their mating ritual in which they dance and whistle in a very unique way. It is also common to see these birds flying near the coasts looking for food and dive into the water at high speed, a stunt that they are only able to perform due to a special waterproof protection on their wings.

After lunch we’ll have a chances to snorkel the waters around Seymour.

 

Seymour is probably the island which best represents the known Galapagos species, as you will also be able to see sea lions, sea and land iguanas, pelicans, great and magnificent frigate birds and many others.

Return to hotel.  Overnight at Hotel Santa Fe or similar. (BLD)

►Day 10: Visiting Tortuga Bay

Today we take a boat ride to Tortuga Bay, located on the south side of Santa Cruz Island. This lovely beach is so named for its black sea turtles which nest here. The beach at Tortuga Bay Galapagos is a long, fabulous stretch of white sand.

 

Upon arrival, we take a short walk to a nearby beach where we’ll find a colony of marine iguanas. If we are lucky we might be able to see some of the iguanas swimming in the ocean to eat the algae in low tide.

 

After we enjoy the calm waters to cool down from the heat or we can rent kayaks to go around the bay to look for birds that hanging out on the rocks and mangrove trees. There are pelicans and finches, and in the salt lagoon that backs onto the mangroves there are sometimes flamingos too.

We take a boat back to town to enjoy lunch.  As this is our last afternoon in the islands and we have a chance to visit some local galleries and souvenirs stores to bring back memories from our trip.

 

Return to hotel. Overnight at Hotel Santa Fe or similar. (BLD)

►Day 11: Transfer to Airport + Fly to Quito

Today we say goodbye to the Galapagos.  
 
Late morning we check in for our flight back to Quito. Participants can buy lunch at the airport. We arrive Quito around 4:30pm. Check in to the hotel and relax for the evening.
 
Dinner at the hotel. Overnight San Jose de Puembo or similar. (BD)
 

 

 

►Day 12: Final Day in Ecuador: Transfer to Airport + Fly Home

 
After breakfast, we head to the town of Papallacta to visit an organic rose plantation and to South American Organics to learn about Guayusa, a plant leaf that has many medicinal properties.
 

We enjoy a delicious lunch before heading to the local Ecuadorian Artisinal Markets for a last chance to purchase souvenirs.

After dinner we head to the airport for our flights back home. (BLD)

** Please note: The activities, lodging, guides, and schedule may change without notice as practical considerations arise during program development, onsite, or a determined by weather conditions, or the Galapagos National Park and other authorities.**

Your Tour Guide

Kristen Hoss

Kristen Hoss

Trip Leader

E-Mail: info@greenedventures.com 

Trip Leader / Florida Master Naturalist

Kristen is an engaging and passionate educator who leads the Florida Master Naturalist program in Broward County, Florida. She teaches environmental and science education programs for students of all ages, and provides expertise for ecological surveys and monitoring through her non-profit Youth Environmental Alliance. She has a BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, a Masters in Conservation Ecology and Wildlife Sciences, and more than 28 years in the field of ecology (marine, aquatic and terrestrial) and the management of natural areas and wildlife. Kristen’s passion is making a difference in peoples lives, to the environment and to wildlife through working and partnering with like–minded people and organizations that share her vision of promoting sustainability through self empowerment and education.

You can read more about Kristen here: Meet Trip Leader Kristen Hoss

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