Today we fly from Quito on mainland Ecaudor to Santa Cruz, in the Galapagos Islands. Lying some 1,000km off the western coast, the islands are some of the most remote on the planet.
Upon arrival in the Galapagos Islands, after passing through immigration and baggage claim, we will head to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island for the opportunity to view the islands' most famous reptile - the giant tourtoises in their wild habitat. The vegetation of the area includes the Scalesia Forest (an endemic giant daisy tree) and birds such as the vermilion flycatcher will delight everyone with its scarlet feathers against an emerald green forest. Look for Darwin’s finches (most of them from the tree-finch group), particularly the famous Woodpecker Finch.
PM — Charles Darwin Research Station and boarding yacht
Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and Galápagos National Park headquarters and learn first hand of the conservation and research efforts in the islands. There, you’ll see several subspecies of adult tortoises, lots of hatchlings, and learn of the repatriation programs that are saving several subspecies of tortoises and iguanas from extinction.
Later in the afternoon, be transferred to M/Y Integrity where you will be met by the crew. After a briefing and safety meeting with the guide and crew, we'll start our Galapagos adventure. You will live aboard the yacht and spend as much time exploring the islands as park rules permit. Each night, you’ll travel on to the next destination.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner