Galapagos Islands Small Yacht Cruise IVS

11 Days from From $5,650

Cruise the Galapagos in an upscale yacht on this exciting International Veterinary Seminars course.

The Galapagos are a wildlife treasure. Nothing quite compares to the joy of observing animals in the wild here, or the sense of wonder and privilege felt while spending time with creatures that don’t run or fly away when humans approach.

Galapagos Adventure with International Veterinary Seminars

Cruise the Galapagos in an upscale yacht on this exciting International Veterinary Seminars course!

The Galapagos are a wildlife treasure. Nothing quite compares to the joy of observing animals in the wild here, or the sense of wonder and privilege felt while spending time with creatures that don’t run or fly away when humans approach.

An outstanding natural history guide will lead us on exciting hiking trips each day through incredible habitats in this unmatched wildlife spectacle.

You’ll enjoy watching the world’s only seagoing lizards, to flightless cormorants and penguins, flamingos, inflatable frigate birds, wave albatrosses, clownish boobies, patriarchal giant tortoises, and 13 species of Darwin finches. There can often be thrilling encounters with animals–up close and in large numbers.

This expedition often provides extraordinary opportunities to swim with marine mammals such as sea lions, fur seals, dolphins, and manta, eagle, and golden rays, as well as thousands of the 300 species of colorful fish.

We have selected the “Coral I” motor yacht for our travels as it is a spectacular small yacht with only a maximum of 36 people, making this is the ideal way to explore these enchanting islands.

April 2020:
Dr. Terri Bonenberger will provide 18 CE hours on “Managing common dermatologic problems in practice today”. Dr. Terri Bonenberger works in a busy referral practice in Charleston, SC and is known for her practical and informative presentations.

October 2020:
Dr. Howard Seim IIIis a graduate of Washington State University. He did his internship at Saskatoon, Canada, residency at the Animal Medical Center in New York City and has been teaching small animal surgery at Colorado State University for 26 years. He was Chief of the Small Animal Surgery section at Colorado State University from 1992 to 2002.

Seminar registration fee is $795.00.

IVS in the Galapagos Trip Highlights:

  • Deluxe, upscale yacht limited to 18-36 passengers (depending on the date you choose)
  • Enjoy up close and personal encounters with wildlife in one of the world’s top nature destinations!
  • The most comprehensive Galapagos experience available, with nature hikes, swimming, and sea kayaking excursions
  • Knowledgeable and personable naturalist on board our yacht to lead all hikes and activities.
  • Optional opportunities to SCUBA dive

SCUBA option!
For adventurous and certified divers looking for the best diving sites in the Galapagos Islands, now you can add a diving tour in the Islands along professional masters and instructors to your itinerary. Most divers consider the Galapagos Islands the best diving experience of their careers.

The massive amounts of sharks that swim on the Galapagos waters, the feeding frenzies to be witnessed in several locations, the playful sea lions and the diverse volcanic formations, make this location a unique diving experience.

This is an optional activity for certified divers, which you can enjoy during our cruise tour. The diving experience is the most rewarding complementary activity for those who know the secret of the underwater world. Please call for more information!

 

Itinerary Snapshot

(Meals included: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
Please note the change in cruise itinerary for October 2020 (see below)

Day 1
Arrive to Quito and check in to hotel, SwissÔtel. Hotel website: http://www.swissotel.com/hotels/quito/

Day 2
Walking tour of historic Quito. B

Day 3
AM – Depart from Quito to Baltra.
PM – Visit Charles Darwin Station with some free time to visit town and shop. B, L & D

Day 4
AM – Dragon Hill, dry landing. Walking tour followed by snorkeling.
PM – Bartolome Island, dry landing. Walking tour and snorkeling. B, L & D

Day 5
AM – Rabida wet landing. Walking tour along beach and dunes. Dinghy ride with snorkeling.
PM – Buccaneers Cove & Espumilla Beach, wet landing. Walking tour followed by snorkeling/swimming. B, L & D

Day 6
AM – Black Turtle Cove, dinghy tour.
PM – Highland Tortoise Reserve, dry landing. Drive followed by walking. B, L & D

Day 7
AM – Punta Vicente Roca. Dinghy tour followed by snorkeling.
PM – Punta Espinosa, dry landing. Walking followed by snorkeling. B, L & D

Day 8
AM – Urbina Bay, wet landing. Walking tour followed by snorkeling.
PM – Tagus Cove, dry landing. Walking tour in volcanic zone followed by snorkeling/swimming. B, L & D

Day 9
AM – Egas Port, Santiago wet landing. Walking tour on varied volcanic terrain, followed by snorkeling/swimming.
PM – Sullivan Bay, dry landing. Walking followed by snorkeling/swimming. B, L & D

Day 10
AM – Bachas Beach, wet landing. Then catch return flight to Quito.
PM – Check-in Hotel Casa de Hacienda La Jimenita, near the airport: hotelnuevoaeropuerto.com

Day 11 Fly out of Quito. B

 

October 2020:

Day 1
Arrive to Quito and check in to hotel, SwissÔtel. Hotel website: http://www.swissotel.com/hotels/quito/

Day 2
Walking tour of historic Quito. B

Day 3
AM – Depart from Quito to Baltra.
PM – Visit Charles Darwin Station with some free time to visit town and shop. B, L & D

Day 4
AM – Mosquera Islet, wet landing. Walking tour followed by snorkeling.
PM – North Seymour Island, dry landing. Walking tour and snorkeling. B, L & D

Day 5
AM – Santa Fe Island, wet landing. Walking tour with snorkeling.
PM – South Plaza Islet, dry landing. B, L & D

Day 6
AM – Kicker Rock circumnavigation & Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve, dry landing.
PM – Interpretation Center & Tijeretas Hill, dry landing, dry landing. B, L & D

Day 7
AM – Cerro Brujo, wet landing. Walking followed by snorkeling.
PM – Punta Pitt & Islet, wet landing. Walking followed by snorkeling. B, L & D

Day 8
AM – Punta Suarez, dry landing. Walking on the oldest extant island in the archipelago.
PM – Gardner Bay, Osborn or Gardner Islets, wet landing. Walking, then snorkeling. B, L & D

Day 9
AM – Punta Cormoran/Devil’s Crown/Champion, wet landing. Walking tour on varied volcanic terrain, followed by snorkeling/swimming.
PM – Post Office, wet landing. Walking followed by snorkeling/swimming. B, L & D

Day 10
AM – Highlands Tortoise Reserve, dry landing. Then catch return flight to Quito.
PM – Check-in Hotel Casa de Hacienda La Jimenita, near the airport: hotelnuevoaeropuerto.com

Day 11 Fly out of Quito. B

*Note: depending on availability we may choose a different hotel of similar type and equal quality.

Meals: Breakfast is served from 7:30 to 8:30, except for Sunday when it is served at 6:00 and Wednesday at 7:00. Lunch is at 12:30 and dinner at 19:30, except on Monday and Saturday when it will be served at 18:30.

Dry Landings: Passengers step directly from a dinghy onto rocks or a dock. We recommend: walking shoes. Special care is highly recommended when walking on wet rocks.

Wet Landings: The dinghy edges toward the beach, where you step into knee-deep water assisted by crew members and guides. We recommend: swimming suit or shorts, walking shoes or sandals, towel (provided by the crew while disembarking)

Please note the change in cruise itinerary for October 2020 (see below)

Day 1
Arrive in Quito, Ecuador where a representative will meet and bring you to SwissÔtel. For more information on our hotel accommodations, please see their website at www.swissotel.com/hotels/quito/

A bit about Quito
The capital of Ecuador was founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city and stands at an altitude of 2,850 m. Despite the 1917 earthquake, the city has the best-preserved, least altered historic centre in Latin America. The monasteries of San Francisco and Santo Domingo, and the Church and Jesuit College of La Compañía, with their rich interiors, are pure examples of the ‘Baroque school of Quito’, which is a fusion of Spanish, Italian, Moorish, Flemish and indigenous art.

Day 2
Guided informational hike of Quito. Quito’s old-town is like walking through time and back again amidst splendid 16th century architecture, churches bathed in gold, convents tucked away behind hand–carved, baroque doors and block upon block of Spanish-style.

Day 3
AM – Baltra Airport
Departing from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra Island in a 2:30-hour flight. Upon arrival, passengers are picked up at the airport by our naturist guides and taken on a ten-minute bus drive to the pier to board the Coral I or Coral II.

PM – Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz Island)
Once home to the famous Lonesome George, the last tortoise of the Pinta race, the breeding and relocation center is named in honor of his long-time guardian. The center is set in the Galapagos National Park Service where various interpretative buildings are available to visit. The grounds, with large stands of native vegetation, are one of the better places to spot some of the seldom seen Darwin’s finches such as the woodpecker, cactus and vegetarian finches.

Disembarking: dry landing
Physical condition: low
Type of terrain: flat
Activities: 1 hour 45 min bus ride round trip / 1 hour 30 min hike and visit

Day 4
AM – Dragon Hill (Santa Cruz Island)
Arriving to a small lava dock our first encounters are with marine iguanas that blend-in perfectly to the dark rock. As we walk past large prickly pear cacti we arrive to one end of a long, sickle-shaped, beach with Dragon Hill standing in the distance. Our walk takes us on a circular path, past a shallow lake where flamingoes frequently come to feed. Waders such as stilts, turnstones and sandpipers work the muddy edges frenetically looking for food as we continue inland to a dry, forested habitat where land iguanas nest and burrow.

Disembarking: dry landing
Physical condition: medium
Type of terrain: rocky
Activities: 1 hour 45 min hike / 45 min beach or deep-water snorkeling

PM – Bartolome Island
Considered the most iconic landscape of the entire archipelago the view from the top of Bartolome Island, overlooking the famous Pinnacle Rock and the austere Santiago Island beyond, is well worth the climb up the wooden boardwalk. This volcanic scene has often been likened to a lunar landscape. Our subsequent snorkel here might put us face to face with Galapagos penguins, white-tipped reef sharks and playful sea lions.

Disembarking: dry landing
Physical condition: medium
Type of terrain: wooden path of 372 stairs.
Activities: 1 hour hike / 45 min beach snorkeling

Day 5
AM – Rabida Island
Lying at the heart of the archipelago this dramatic island, with its distinctive red-sand beach, is home to sea lions, mockingbirds, finches, endemic Galapagos doves and vermillion flycatchers. A walk takes us through a forest of palo santo and cacti to a beautiful overview of the bay. Snorkeling here can be excellent, often with large schools of black-striped salemas, sea lions and the ubiquitous turtles.

Disembarking: wet landing
Physical condition: low
Type of terrain: sandy & grabble
Activities: 1 hour 30 min hike / 1 hour beach snorkeling or 45min kayak under request / 1 hour dinghy ride /

PM – Buccaneers Cove & Espumilla Beach (Santiago Island)
This is an amazing location, featuring the remains of an eroded shoreline that is home to seabirds, fur seals and the playful sea lions. Its different shapes have been made throughout a process caused by erosion of the waves and the wind. Espumilla Beach is a white-sandy beach in James Bay and is a popular place among visitors. There are mangroves and a small palo santo forest that lead to salty-water lagoons that are home to wading birds like flamingos. In the upper dunes are a nesting site for sea turtles. A good place to snorkel to see rays.

Disembarking: wet landing
Physical condition: low
Type of terrain: white sand
Activities: 1 hour hike / 45 min beach snorkeling

Day 6
AM – Black Turtle Cove (Santa Cruz Island)
Here, we can find four species of mangrove in the extensive tidal lagoon system that stretches for almost a mile inland. During our dinghy ride through the labyrinth we will spot many turtles, herons of several species, sharks and rays. The experience is otherworldly and seems to transport us back to the beginning of time.

Physical condition: low
Activities: 1 hour dinghy ride

PM – Highlands Tortoise Reserve (Santa Cruz Island)
In the central highlands of Santa Cruz Island, we have our best opportunity to interact at close quarters with totally wild, Galapagos giant tortoises. A short walk among these huge, 600lb reptiles will also offer the chance for more highland species, especially several species of the famed finches.

Disembarking: dry landing
Physical condition: low
Type of terrain: flat & muddy
Activities: 1 hour 30 min bus ride roundtrip / 1 hour hike

Day 7
AM – Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela Island)
This is a spectacular visitor site, surrounded by immense cliffs of the eroded volcano. Studded with resting sea birds such as brown noddies and Nazca boobies, we will enjoy them in close proximity from our dinghies. Snorkeling here is superb, with certain species of fish only found in the west of the archipelago. We also have a very real chance of swimming with penguins and potentially a plethora of green turtles.

Physical condition: low / high
Activities: 1 hour 15 min dinghy ride / 1 hour deep water snorkeling

PM – Punta Espinosa (Fernandina Island)
The youngest island of Galapagos and one of the most pristine in the world. Fernandina is simply the ‘marine iguana capital of the world’, This desolate volcanic backdrop is home to a huge concentration of these enigmatic reptiles. Incongruously, sharing the same shoreline, we can find the diminutive Galapagos penguins. Here we also have the exciting opportunity to snorkel with marine iguanas feeding underwater, penguins, turtles and the bizarre, endemic, flightless cormorants.

Disembarking: dry landing
Physical condition: medium
Type of terrain: rocky & lava
Activities: 1 hour 45 min hike / 1 hour deep water snorkeling

Day 8
AM – Urbina Bay (Isabela Island)
At the far end of a long, level hike we arrive at a strange phenomenon where large blocks of coral lie completely exposed after a dramatic geological uplift in 1954. Located at the western base of Alcedo Volcano we hope to run into a few very impressive land iguanas as well as some of the volcano’s endemic Galapagos giant tortoises during the wet season.

Disembarking: wet landing
Physical condition: low
Type of terrain: flat
Activities: 1 hour 45 min hike / 1 hour beach snorkeling

PM – Tagus Cove (Isabela)
A well-known hideout and deep-water anchorage in the days of pirates, Tagus Cove was also one of the few sites visited by Charles Darwin and the HMS Beagle in 1835. A beautiful hike leads us past an overview of Darwin Lake and on to a stunning volcanic landscape revealing Isabela island´s dramatic northern volcanoes. Once back at sea level the perfect activity is to snorkel along a submerged wall with turtles, lots of fish, penguins and potentially flightless cormorants. You might even be tempted by a dinghy ride or kayak!

Disembarking: dry landing
Physical condition: medium
Type of terrain: steep & eroded tuff
Activities: 1 hour hike / 45 min dinghy ride / 1 hour deep water snorkeling or 45min kayaking (under request)

Day 9
AM – Egas Port (Santiago Island)
The black volcanic sand sets this landing apart from most. It is best known for the dramatic shoreline where we meet a host of species that chose to live between land and sea. Particular among these are the endemic Galapagos fur seals which maintain a small colony at the end of our walk. Other species of note include American oystercatchers, sea lions, waders, herons, lava lizards and even Galapagos hawks. An optional visit takes us to an abandoned salt mine famous in its day for supplying salt to mainland Ecuador.

Disembarking: wet landing
Physical condition: medium
Type of terrain: flat & semi-rocky
Activities: 1 hour 45 min hike / 1 hour deep water snorkeling

PM – Sullivan Bay (Santiago Island)
Although, when viewed from the sea, the site does not look especially interesting visitors are always totally enthralled by the amazing beds of pahoehoe lava from the recent flow on the island. It is a landscape and macro photographer´s dream. The importance of pioneer plants such as the tiny Mollugo will be discussed as we hike over the lava. After our land visit we can enjoy a refreshing snorkel in the company of sea lions, turtles and rays.

Disembarking: dry landing
Physical condition: demanding
Type of terrain: flat volcanic lava
Activities: 1 hour 30 min hike / 1 hour snorkeling or beach time

Day 10
AM – Bachas Beach (Santa Cruz Island)
Named for some wrecked World War II barges whose ribs are still visible in the sand this visitor site offers a lovely walk along the shore and a visit to a lagoon behind the high tide line with wading birds, marine iguanas and sometimes even flamingoes. The two beaches are also favorite nesting sites for green turtles which often leave tractor-like tracks in the sand.

Disembarking: wet landing
Physical condition: easy
Type of terrain: sandy
Activities: 1-hour hike / beach time

Baltra Airport
After the visit, passengers will be transferred to the airport for return flight to Quito and land around 4pm. We will check into our hotel, Hotel Casa de Hacienda La Jimenita, which is near the airport in Quito.

Day 11
Transfer to airport for your flight back home, or begin your trip extension.
Call for details.

October 2020
Day 1
Arrive in Quito, Ecuador where a representative will meet and bring you to SwissÔtel. For more information on our hotel accommodations, please see their website at www.swissotel.com/hotels/quito/

A bit about Quito
The capital of Ecuador was founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city and stands at an altitude of 2,850 m. Despite the 1917 earthquake, the city has the best-preserved, least altered historic centre in Latin America. The monasteries of San Francisco and Santo Domingo, and the Church and Jesuit College of La Compañía, with their rich interiors, are pure examples of the ‘Baroque school of Quito’, which is a fusion of Spanish, Italian, Moorish, Flemish and indigenous art.

Day 2
Guided informational hike of Quito. Quito’s old-town is like walking through time and back again amidst splendid 16th century architecture, churches bathed in gold, convents tucked away behind hand–carved, baroque doors and block upon block of Spanish-style.

Day 3
AM – Baltra Airport
Departure from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra Island (2 ½-hour flight). Arriving in the Galapagos, passengers are picked up at the airport by our natural guides and taken to a ten-minute bus drive to the pier to board the M/Y Coral I or M/Y Coral II (depending on date booked).

PM – Charles Darwin Research Station & Fausto Llerena Breeding Center (Santa Cruz Island)
Dry landing. Once home to the famous Lonesome George, the last tortoise of the Pinta race, the breeding and relocation center is named in honour of his long-time guardian. The center is set in the Galapagos National Park Service where various interpretative buildings are available to visit. The grounds, with large stands of native vegetation, are one of the better places to spot some of the seldom seen Darwin’s finches such as the woodpecker, cactus and vegetarian finches.

Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: flat
Duration: 1½-hour walk

Day 4
AM- Mosquera Islet
Wet Landing. This tiny, low lying islet, covered in coral sand, is set between North and South Seymour Islands. It is home to a group of sea lions that come to laze on the soft white sand. It is a good spot to observe shorebirds as well as herons, lava gulls, and boobies. Snorkeling or diving here one can often see sharks, rays, and barracudas.

Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy
Duration: 1 ½-hour walk & snorkeling

PM – North Seymour Island
Dry landing. This flat, uplifted, island is an important spot to see both magnificent and great frigatebird males courting the females by clicking, bill-clapping, shuddering and flapping their wings, all while showing off their grossly inflated, bright red, gular pouch. We will also likely see courting blue-footed boobies displaying their unique feet while ‘dancing’ to a prospective mate. Sea lions, swallow-tailed gulls, crashing surf and distant views of the Daphne Islands top off a great visit.

Difficulty level: moderate
Type of terrain: rocky
Duration: 2-hour walk / 30-minute snorkeling

Day 5
AM – Santa Fe Island
Wet landing. After a fabulous snorkel in the turquoise waters of the protected bay, we may have enjoyed time with sea lions, turtles, reef sharks and spotted eagle rays. Landing onto a sandy beach we are immediately distracted by the abundant sea lions there with us. We begin a walk past a forest of island-endemic giant Opuntia cacti. Here we search for another island-endemic the Santa Fe land iguana, paler than its cousins on other islands. Galapagos hawks and even endemic rice rats are also things to look out for.
Difficulty level: moderate
Type of terrain: rocky
Duration: 1 ½-hour walk / 1-hour deep water snorkeling

PM – South Plaza Islet
Dry landing. Sea lions, swallow-tailed gulls, and land iguanas are all present at the landing site. The small island is covered with a carpet of a red succulent studded with Opuntia cacti. At the cliff edge, we spend time watching birds fly past at eye level in the updraught. These include frigatebirds, flocks of Galapagos shearwaters and of particular note, flights of displaying red-billed tropicbirds. Back at sea level, we once again encounter land iguanas, some of which have hybridized with their resident marine cousins.

Difficulty level: moderate
Type of terrain: rocky
Duration: 2-hour walk

Day 6
AM – Kicker Rock Circumnavigation & Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve (San Cristobal Island)
Kicker Rock can be seen directly from the vessel. In the sea northeast of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is this ancient and eroded volcanic tuff lavanamed Leon Dormido or Kicker Rock it is formed by two rocks approximately 148 m, named for its resemblance of a sleeping lion.
It serves as home to many of the typical Galapagos sea animals, such as birds, sea lions, blue and Nazca boobies and frigate. With rare sightings of swallow turtle gulls, tropic birds, and pelicans.

Difficulty level: easy
Type of Terrain: water
Duration: 1-hour circumnavigation

Later in the AM – Dry landing. In the moist highlands of San Cristobal, we will visit the giant tortoise breeding center “La Galapaguera” to witness the most iconic creature of the archipelago in its various life stages. The tortoises wander in a semi-natural habitat which lends itself to good photographic opportunities. The aim of the reserve is to help restore populations of the threatened San Cristobal tortoise back into the wild. In town, there are shops to purchase local handicrafts and souvenirs.

Difficulty level: moderate
Type of Terrain: sandy
Duration: 40-minute bus drive to the Reserve / 1-hour visit

PM – Interpretation Center & Tijeretas Hill (San Cristobal Island)
Dry landing. The interpretation center is full of interesting information and offers the perfect overview to the formation of Galapagos, its significance in the world, threats and conservation efforts. Followed by a hike to Frigatebird Hill (Cerro Tijeretas) we will have great looks at both species of frigatebird, with the bonus of a beautiful view of the bay below.

Difficulty level: easy /moderate
Type of terrain: flat/stairs/rocky
Duration: 1-hour visit / 1-hour walk

Day 7
AM – Cerro Brujo (San Cristobal Island)
Wet landing. From our pangas, as we head to shore, we are first humbled by the immensity of the stunning cliffs of “Sorcerer’s Hill”. We can enjoy simply sharing the beach with sea lions, snorkeling from shore or take a walk to a hidden lagoon where we might spot black-necked stilts, ruddy turnstones, whimbrels and white-cheeked pintails.

Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy
Duration: 1-hour walk / 1-hour snorkeling

PM – Punta Pitt & Islet (San Cristobal Island)
Wet landing. Sea lions will greet us as we land on the beach and prepare for our climb to a high point on the steep eroded tuff cone. This is the only place in the islands where we will enjoy the chance to see all three of the booby species in the same place. The red-foots will be perched on the Cordia lutea and small trees, the Nazca’s on the ground near the cliff edge while the blue-foots will be a little further inland. Frigatebirds will be all around and the views are breathtaking.

Difficulty level: demanding
Type of terrain: rocky
Duration: 2½-hour walk/ 40-minute snorkeling or kayaking

Day 8
AM – Punta Suarez (Española Island)
Dry landing. One of the highlight visits of the trip. Punta Suarez seems to have everything – a naturalistís paradise. A slew of marine iguanas and sea lions greet us at the landing site from where our walk continues with close encounters of boobies, endemic lizards, gulls and even a dramatic blowhole. The oldest extant island in the archipelago it is our only opportunity to commune with the endemic waved albatross during their breeding season between April and December. With luck, we can watch their complex courtship display.

Difficulty level: demanding
Type of terrain: rocky
Duration: 2½-hour walk

PM – Gardner Bay, Osborn or Gardner Islets (Espanola Island)
Wet landing. One of the most stunning beaches in all of Galapagos. The long, white, sandy beach, lapped by turquoise waters is home to a colony of Galapagos sea lions, indifferent to the humans that walk amongst them. The Hood mockingbirds, endemic to this particular island, will be eager to inspect the visitors and satisfy their innate curiosity. Darwinís finches may also join the throng including the reclusive warbler finch. We can also snorkel here from the beach, in the shallows of the bay.

Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy
Duration: 1-hour walk / 1-hour snorkeling

Day 9
AM – Punta Cormoran/ Devil’s Crown/Champion (Floreana Island)
Wet landing. On arriving, the observant visitor will notice that olivine, a volcanic crystal, has proffered a subtle green hue on the dark beach. Our walk takes us past island-endemic Scalesia plants to a large, shallow, lagoon often inhabited by a variable number of shockingly pink greater flamingoes. We continue through a forest of palo santo trees to arrive at a powdery white beach, a nesting area of green turtles. As we paddle barefoot in the shallow water we will spot diamond stingrays and white-tipped reef sharks.This coral-sand beach marks the end of our trail, and we head back to the olivine beach we landed on, to swim or snorkel amongst sea turtles, reef fish, sea lions and, on a good day, white-tipped reef sharks. A small colony of penguins resides on Floreana and can sometimes be observed as well.

One of the favorite snorkeling sites in the islands. Devil’s Crown, an eroded volcanic cone, is home to an abundance of fish and marine animals. We will swim with big schools of yellow-tailed surgeonfish, salemas and creole fish and with luck may spot turtles, spotted eagle rays, parrotfish, and even hammerhead sharks! The jagged crown is a roosting area for boobies, noddies, tropicbirds, and frigates.

A truly magical place to snorkel. We would expect to see here green turtles, harmless white-tipped reef sharks, an impressive diversity and abundance of fish as well as some playful sea lions often approaching very close, itching to show off their prowess in the water. Champion Islet also happens to be the last remaining home of the island-endemic Floreana mockingbird which we may be lucky enough to see from our pangas.

Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy & flat
Duration: 1-hour walk / 1-hour snorkeling

PM – Post Office (Floreana Island)
Wet landing. A very short walk from the beach leads us to the famous Post Office Barrel. Claimed to have been the first set up in 1793 by Captain James Colnett it remains the oldest functioning ëpost officeí in the Pacific. The system was that whalers and fur-sealers would leave addressed letters in the barrel to be picked up by homeward bound colleagues. In the spirit of maintaining tradition visitors, today will often take letters and hand-deliver them in their home countries.

Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy
Duration: 30-minute walk / 1-hour snorkeling

Day 10
AM – Highlands Tortoise Reserve (Santa Cruz Island)
Dry landing. In the central highlands of Santa Cruz Island, we have our best opportunity to interact at close quarters with totally wild, Galapagos giant tortoises. A short walk among these huge, 600lb, reptiles will also offer the chance for more highland species, especially several species of the famed finches.

Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: flat & muddy (depending on season)
Duration: 45-minute drive / 1 ½-hour walk

Baltra Airport
After the visit, passengers will be transferred to the airport for return flight to Quito and land around 4pm. We will check into our hotel, Hotel Casa de Hacienda La Jimenita, which is near the airport in Quito.

Day 11
Transfer to airport for your flight back home, or begin your trip extension.
Call for details.

The Coral I is the perfect combination of classic beauty and exquisite style.  Built in Germany,  she surpasses all the standards you would expect from a high-class yacht in order to make your cruise among the enchanted islands extraordinary.

Every cabin features handsome wood decoration, along with air-conditioning, a private bathroom, safe deposit box, telephone, and your choice of background music.  Additionally, the Coral I has plenty of room to relax with three sundecks (some shaded), a Jacuzzi, comfortable dining room and lounge.

360* tour of the Coral I Yacht

View photos of the cabins

Departure Dates:

2021
October 4-14
October 15-25

Trip Length: 11 Days
Trip Price:

2020:
$5,650 (Standard Plus Cabin) or $6,150 (Junior Cabin), per person, based on double occupancy.
Does not include price of flight between Quito and Baltra or National Park entrance fees.

18 CE hours (optional): $795.00

Child pricing (ages 16 and under) for July 2019 trip only*:
Standard Plus – $5,250
Junior Cabin – $ 5,750
*Families: please call for cabin configuration availability so that we can ensure proper cabin assignments to fit your family’s needs.

April 2020:
Dr. Terri Bonenberger will provide 18 CE hours on “Managing common dermatologic problems in practice today”. Dr. Terri Bonenberger works in a busy referral practice in Charleston, SC and is known for her practical and informative presentations.

October 2020:
Dr. Howard Seim III, DVM will provide 18 CE hours on the following topics:
Topics to be discussed include:

  • Howie’s tips for dealing with linear foreign bodies in dogs
  • Intestinal resection and anastomosis; are you by yourself in the OR…….then you need a couple of my tips to make it easier!
  • Are you still placing multiple ligatures to remove a bleeding splenic hemangiosarcoma? Well, how about we take the spleen out with 4-5 ligatures.
  • How do you like operating GDV cases at night – alone! Let Howie put a plan together that will reduce your anxiety in the OR by showing you a tried and true way of gastric derogation and a technique for rapid gastropexy (10-15 minutes!).
  • Have you ever had a male dog with a stone lodged in his urethra that you were UNABLE to retropulse! Never again…… Howie has the ‘secret weapon’ for getting the tough one’s back in the bladder!
  • Ever leave a calculus in the urinary bladder of a dog after performing a cystotomy for cystic calculi? Never again…… Learn an easy to incorporate set of criteria that will guarantee ‘no stones left behind’!
  • Do you hate doing anal sacculectomies? Not after this lecture. You will learn a technique that will protect anal sphincter damage and guarantee removal of the entire sac! It will change your life!
  • Clinical cases will be presented for small group discussion.
Youth Price: From $5,250
Deposit: $600

Extensions available:

  • Galapagos Safari Camp

    Galapagos Safari Camp is a new way to experience the Galapagos, either in addition to a cruise or as a unique destination in itself.

    This eco-luxury tented camp – one of the first in Latin America – follows the African safari tradition in which guests enjoy total comfort under canvas while experiencing nature in its purest form.

     

    5 Days from $4,035.00 per person, based on double occupancy
  • Ecuador Amazon Extension

    In only 4 or 5 days, it is not uncommon for even the most casual birder to see over 250 species here. With only minimal effort you can expect to see dozens of colorful parrots, toucans, hummingbirds, tanagers, hawks, and oropendolas, as well as many monkey, frog and snake species, to name a few.

    4 Days/3 Nights or
    5 Days/4 Nights from $1,190 Per person, based on double occupancy
  • Hacienda Zuleta in the Andes

    Built in 1691, Hacienda Zuleta lies in the spectacular Andean mountain range of Ecuador at 9,600 feet. Explore the mountains by horseback, mountain bike or foot. Learn about the rich culture of this community that still operates as they did hundreds of years ago. Dine on food that is locally sourced and fall asleep to the crackling fire in your room’s fireplace.

    Customizable from $280 per person, based on double occupancy