Galapagos Islands Adventure with Melissa Groo

Galapagos Fur Seal

Galapagos Fur Seals may be found resting on the rocks at Genovesa Island.

Why go with Wildside to the Galapagos?
• Kevin has been to the Galapagos 25+ times and knows the best itineraries!
• We spend more time on the islands than any other company.
• We usually arrive 90 minutes before any other boat and stay long after they leave!
• We visit the islands at the best time of day as well!
• You get personal attention from two tour leaders PLUS a local Galapagos naturalist!

Everyone should visit the Galapagos Islands… the experience is magical! During our adventure we will seek out the endemic species of birds and other animals of the Galapagos. Some of the bird species include Darwin’s finches, Galapagos Penguin, Galapagos Hawk, Galapagos Dove, Swallow-tailed Gull and Waved Albatross—doing their wonderful courtship dance! Other creatures we will see include Land Iguanas, Marine Iguanas, Lava Lizards and two endemic species of butterflies.

Photographic opportunities abound as each day will include land excursions on different islands. Most days will also include snorkeling opportunities to enjoy swimming with sea lions, sea turtles and hundreds of species of fish! We will also fit within our schedule mini photo workshops to help you get the best images of each location we visit.

Melissa Groo is a wildlife photographer, writer, and conservationist with a passion for educating people about the marvels of the natural world.

Kevin Loughlin, founder of Wildside, has lead over 25 trips to the Galapagos since 2001 and is intimately familiar with the landscape and wildlife.

“Galapagos and mainland Ecuador was incredible, even better than I expected — and I had had high expectations. Kevin Loughlin, the president of Wildside Nature Tours, is an expert birder, naturalist, and photographer as well as being helpful and a genuinely nice guy. A great tour leader, he smoothly led us through complicated logistics that would have been formidable for a single traveler. The tour was so well done in fact that one of the first things I did upon returning home was to sign up for his tour of Costa Rica. I will be going there next April.”
— David M, Boulder, CO

 

Galapagos Hawk

Galapagos Hawks may be seen on several islands we visit.

  • Workshop Cost
  • 13-days/12-nights

     

    2017 Cost

    $8450 per person, double occupancy from Quito Ecuador

     

    Single Room Preferred (HOTEL ONLY)
    Prices are per person double occupancy. If a single room is preferred in our Quito hotel, a single supplement fee of $300 will be charged.

     

    Single Cabin on the YACHT and HOTEL
    Due to the limited number of rooms (8 cabins) on board the yacht for our small-group adventure, a single room request would require us to take one less person on the tour. Due to this, the single supplement fee will be an additional 75% of the tour cost and will only be offered less than 60 days from departure, if available.

     

    Included in the Tour Cost

    All ground transportation, including transfers from arrival airport. R/T flights Quito/Galapagos/Quito. All accommodations (hotel and yacht). All meals from breakfast on first full day through breakfast on departure day. Tips for meal service on.

     

    Not Included in the Tour Cost

    International air travel, passport fees, luggage fees, trip insurance (required), tips for boat crew (optional), $100 National Park Entrance Fee, alcoholic beverages, bottled beverages on board the boat, departure taxes, phone calls, laundry, or other items of a personal nature.

  • Itinerary
  • BASIC ITINERARY

     

    Day 1 Arrive in Quito

    Day 2 Photograph hummingbirds (and other species) of the Andes western slope

    Day 3 Fly to Galapagos - San Cristobal / Cerro Colorado

    Day 4 Española

    Day 5 Floreana

    Day 6 South Plaza / Santa Fé

    Day 7 North Seymour / Baches Beach

    Day 8 Mosquera / Cerro Dragon

    Day 9 Rabida / Sombrero Chino

    Day 10 Genovesa

    Day 11 Isla Santiago / Bartolomé

    Day 12 Santa Cruz Highlands / Baltra / Quito

    Day 13 Return to USA

     

    FULL ITINERARY

     

    DAY 1 ARRIVAL IN ECUADOR

    Arrive in Quito and transfer to hotel.

     

    DAY 2 PAPALLACTA PASS AND GUANGO LODGE

    Today we’ll drive east through Papallacta Pass (where we’ve seen Andean Condors), to Guango Lodge to enjoy many hummingbirds in their gardens. Lunch at the lodge and return to Quito for dinner.

     

    DAY 3 SAN CRISTOBAL / CERRO COLORADO

    Flight to San Cristobal and transfer to our yacht, the Galapagos Odyssey. Our rst excursion will be Cerro Colorado, the tortoise breeding and reintroduction center in the highlands.

     

    DAY 4 ESPAÑOLA

    The only nesting area of the endemic Waved Albatross! Blue-footed and Nazca Boobies nest along the trails. Warbler nches and Large Cactus Finches it among Sea lions and Marine Iguanas. Española is one of the most scenic islands as well, with white sand beaches full of sea lions and mockingbirds plus tall volcanic cliffs with blow-holes rocketing sea water high into the air.

     

    DAY 5 FLOREANA

    On Floreana we will nd several more of Darwin’s nches. Flamingos and White-cheeked Pintail Ducks inhabit the shallow hyper-saline ponds. On Flour Beach we can wiggle our toes with rays that patrol the shallow cove. Snorkeling opportunities here offer the best sea turtle views!

     

    DAY 6 SOUTH PLAZA / SANTA FÉ

    South Plaza is populated by land iguanas sunning themselves and feeding on cactus pads. Swallow-tailed gulls nest on the rugged southern cliffs, along with Red- billed Tropicbirds and Galapagos Shearwaters.

    Santa Fé is well-known as a great place for watching (and swimming with) sea lions. Galapagos Hawk, Galapagos Snake, Galapagos Rice Rat, Galapagos Mockingbird and a variety of nches will all be seen.

     

    DAY 7 NORTH SEYMOUR / BACHAS BEACH

    On North Seymour Island we’ll walk along the beach and trails full of nesting Great and Magni cent Frigatebirds, as well as many Blue-footed Boobies, Swallow-tailed Gulls and Lava Gulls!

     

    Bachas Beach offers ghost crabs, marine iguanas and hyper-saline ponds full of shorebirds and possibly amingos.

     

    DAY 8 MOSQUERA / CERRO DRAGON

    Mosquera Island, is full of sea lions, lava herons and more. This relaxing morning will allow freedom to wander along the beach or rocky shoreline in search of fun subjects!

     

    An afternoon hike on Cerro Dragon will offer a fantastic hyper-saline pool full of shorebirds and possibly Flamingos, plus many Land Iguanas along the trails.

     

    DAY 9 RABIDA / SOMBRERO CHINO

    Rabida, the ‘red island’, offers an odd variety of opuntia cactus, replete with cactus nches. Sombrero Chino (Chinese Hat), named for its shape, offers large corals along its beach as well as a great volcanic landscape and fun snorkeling.

     

    DAY 10 GENOVESA

    Genovesa is also known as Bird Island, because of the large and varied bird colonies which nest here, including Great Frigatebirds, Nazca Boobies, Red-footed Boobies and Storm-petrels, which can sometimes be seen avoiding their chief predator, Short-eared Owls.

     

    DAY 11 ISLA SANTIAGO / BARTOLOMÉ

    Bartolomé Island’s Pinnacle Rock is an icon of the Galapagos landscape and the snorkeling at its base is the best in the islands! A hike on Santiago will introduce us to incredible volcanic formations from a eruption just over 100 years ago.

     

    DAY 12 SANTA CRUZ HIGHLANDS / BALTRA / QUITO

    This morning we will visit the highlands of Santa Cruz to witness Giant Tortoises in the wild. A tting end to an amazing trip full of wondrous wildlife and landscape. We will return to Quito from the Baltra Airport.

     

    DAY 13 RETURN HOME

    Fly back to the USA — ights throughout the day.

     

  • Accommodations
  • Garden Hotel San Jose

    In Quito we will enjoy the wonderful Garden Hotel San Jose, located only 15 minutes from the new airport near Quito. Spacious rooms and an excellent restaurant sit in a small town surrounded by rolling hills. Birds, llamas and beautiful flowers can be found in the hotel's gardens. While here, enjoy the relaxing hot tub

     

    LUXURY MOTOR YACHT - GALAPAGOS ODYSSEY

     

    Our 135’ luxury yacht, the M/Y Galapagos Odyssey, offers very spacious accommodations for only 14 participants plus leaders. A crew of nine caters to our needs. The large, luxury cabins are all above deck with private, en suite facilities, hot showers and air conditioning. A sun deck/observation deck with lounge chairs and hot tub offer great viewing and relaxation. For more yacht info visit:

     

    FOR IMAGES AND MORE INFO ON OUR YACHT, PLEASE VISIT

     

    http://www.yachtgalapagosodyssey.com

     

  • Additional Info
  • Additional Costs

    $100 Galapagos Islands National Park Fee

    $150 (Optional, but recommended) Boat Crew Gratuities

  • Previous Trips
  • The Galapagos Islands are very regulated and every trip has a different itinerary. The birds and wildlife we see will vary with the islands we visit as many species are only found on one or two islands.

     

    Kevin Loughlin, your trip leader, has been to the Galapagos more than 15 times and he chooses our itineraries wisely in order to see the most possible birds and wildlife as well as the most diversity of scenery and habitat on every trip!

     

    Galapagos Island Trip 2012 by Sarah

     

    TRIP REPORT Galapagos Oct 2005

     

    Galapagos-Birds-2002

     

    Systematic List of Species Seen GALAPAGOS ISLANDS Oct 2005

     

    2012 galapagos bird list