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Classic Galapagos Safari

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Phone
1-800-688-1804 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Date: Your choice of dates - 5 Days. Ask for recommended seasons and to combine with other itineraries. 
Host: Local guides
Cost: Starting at US$ 3,720 per person
Trip Type: Custom Civilized Adventure

Overview

The classic safari is a combination of land activities and boat excursions that take you to beautiful neighboring islands. This unforgettable journey is filled with opportunities for adventure and relaxation. 

Questions? Please contact one of the Civilized Adventures' Adventure Travel Specialists at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Giant Tortoise

 

Day 1 - Land of the Giant Tortoise

The Galapagos safari begins after you meet your bi-lingual naturalist guide at the airport or dock. Guests and baggage in tow, the journey begins; traveling by private transport from the arid zone through the transitional zone, into the lush highlands of Santa Cruz.

The first stop is Los Gemelos or the Twins; two overgrown, lava tunnels that formed massive sink holes when they collapsed. The larger of the twins is 2,300 feet deep and almost 1,300 feet wide! On a short hike around the rim, your guide will point out the birds of the endemic Scalesia forest such as Galapagos doves and eight species of Charles Darwin’s finches. 

From Los Gemelos the day takes you to a tortoise reserve. The reserves of Santa Cruz are home to Giant tortoises with domed shells and short necks to accommodate the environment of the island. The many trails of the highlands, including those around the camp, lead to sightings of the reluctant giants resting in ponds and slowly traversing the land. Keep a look out for short-eared owls, if you are lucky they can be spotted in the trees dotting the landscape.

Elsewhere in the highlands are elaborate, underground lava tubes, created centuries ago by the Santa Cruz volcano. The tubes formed when the lava at the surface cooled, insulating the molten lava underneath. As the lava flowed, it left these tubes in its wake. Some of the tunnels on Santa Cruz go for miles and are 60 feet high.  Local folklore says that they were used by pirates to hideout and store supplies.

Descend into the caves for a mysterious look into the island’s formation, following a lit path with your guide through cavernous tunnels dating back at least one million years. The experience can be daunting in spots where the tubes get narrow, but it’s a worthwhile trek into the geological past of the island.

After stopping for lunch, the group makes way back to the camp.  Enjoy a sunset cocktail on our lookout, and a four-course, tapas-inspired meal in the main lodge before retiring for the evening.

Days 2 and 3 - Explore Neighboring Islands

Days 2 & 3 - Explore Neighboring Islands

Early morning finds you on a motor vessel to one of the neighboring islands: North Seymour, Bartolomé, Plazas, Santa Fé, Floreana or Isabela. Each island is an endemic treasure to explore and enjoy. The Galapagos Marine Reserve is the second largest marine reserve in the world, and snorkeling off the boat is highly recommended.  Destinations will be given when we have your dates.

Day 4 - Experience the east

Day 4 - Experience the east

Located on the eastern highlands of Santa Cruz, Cerro Mesa is a private reserve, rich in endemic flora and bird life; with six subspecies of finches, mockingbirds, and short-ear owls. The area is also home to Galapagos tortoises, endemic to Santa Cruz.  

The trip is a short drive from the camp.  In the morning, you can explore the various trails at the reserve and end the circuit at the lookout where you can contemplate the lush landscape of Santa Cruz and the nearby islands on a clear day.  After lunch, you will make your way to Garrapatero Beach.  Depending on your level of energy you can hop back in your vehicle or take a gentle eight-mile bike ride for the rest of the way.

The striking contrasts of the black lava, white sand, and turquoise water of Garrapatero Beach catch many by surprise.  Nearby, dense mangroves play host to all of the Galapagos ground finches, including  the cactus finch, which feeds off the Opuntia cacti that dot the trail on the 15-minute hike to the area. As the beach comes into sight, watch out for the Manzanillo trees along the path. The small apples on their branches are inviting but poisonous, and even the sap touching your skin can cause burns and rashes. Other creatures above and below the waterline that call Garrapatero Beach home are marine iguanas, sea lions, blue-footed boobies, rays, and sea turtles. 

Through the mangroves skirting the sand is a freshwater lagoon where you can often spot flamingos, white-cheeked ducks and black-nested stilts in the morning or in late afternoon. Just past the tide pools on the beach, clear waters offer a secluded spot for swimming. We can also arrange kayaking off the beaches’ shores in search of sea turtles; a great way to actively explore the bay.

On your way back to the Camp you will visit to El Trapiche Ecológico, a working farm in the highlands that produces sugar cane liqueur and Galapagos coffee. Learn about the different methods used to refine sugar cane, including the use of a mule-driven press.  There is also a demonstration of how artisan coffee is produced, from picking the berries to roasting the bean.

As the day winds down, you head back to the camp for a relaxing drink or dip in the pool before an inviting dinner and some independent stargazing if it is a clear night.

Day 5 - Departure

Day 5 - Sunrise walk and departure

Enjoy the serenity that Galapagos Safari Camp has to offer. Relax, walk, or enjoy the sunrise from our observatory before departure to your next destination. (Here’s where you’ll wish you had extended your journey!) . 

 

Call us to create YOUR Custom Civilized Adventure!

Cost

Cost

  • Trip cost from USD $3,720 per person.
  • Single supplement USD $840.
  • Child in triple cost USD $2,875 per child
  • Child in double cost USD $3,505 per child. 
  • Family suite from USD $3,250 per person.   

All pricing is based on 2 people travelling together, twin share. 

Accommodation and tours are subject to availability. Any prices we list are applicable at the time of posting (Sept 29, 2017). Please contact us for more information.

This trip includes:

  • Accommodation
  • All meals
  • Airport VIP services
  • Transfers & ground transportation
  • Boat excursions with snorkelling on a shared basis (additional option to take a private guide or to charter the boat for a fully private experience)
  • Wetsuits and snorkelling equipment
  • English-speaking naturalist guide
  • Activities and visits detailed in the itinerary

 

This trip excludes:

  • Flights
  • Galapagos National Park entrance fee (US $100 per adult/$50 per child under 12)
  • Tourist transit card (US $20 per person)
  • Beverages
  • Laundry service
  • Insurance (travel insurance is required to enter Ecuador)
  • Gratuities

 

(Posted Sept. 29 '17)

 

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