Ultimate Galapagos: Central Islands (Grand Daphne)
from $8553
Duration: 10 Days
When it comes to encountering wildlife up close and personal, a voyage to the Galapagos Islands really is an experience like no other. Head underwater off Isla Santa Cruz, Bartolome or Isla Isabela and you'll be snorkelling with sea lions, white-tipped reef sharks, sea turtles and penguins. Look to the skies in North Seymour or Cerro Dragon and you'll spot frigatebirds, boobies, pelicans and more soaring above. Head out for a wander across the volcanic landscapes of Punta Espinosa and you'll see land iguanas and flightless cormorants. This 10-day sailing expedition through the central islands of the Galapagos is an adventure waiting to happen.
  • Experience the benefits of small group travel aboard your vessel, M/Y Grand Daphne, sailing through the natural beauty of the Galapagos, day and night.
  • Explore the remote west coast of Isabela on a small panga boat, and venture to the far-west Fernandina, home of the highest density of marine iguanas.
  • The old pirate haunt of Buccaneer Cove has something for everyone – soaring birds overhead, striking cliff faces framing the bay, and the tales of Darwin remaining to this day.
  • Encounter the unique Galapagos wildlife in their natural habitat, from giant blue-footed and masked boobies, pelicans and frigate birds to iguanas, sea lions and turtles.
  • Las Tintoreras is like one big wildlife party. Snorkel among the iguanas and turtles and spot sea lions, penguins and frigate birds at every turn.
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Bachas Beach Walk (1 hour) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Bachas Beach Snorkel (45 mins) - Wet Landing
  • Isla North Seymour - Walk (2 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Bartolome - Snorkelling (1.5 hours)
  • Isla Bartolome - Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla North Seymour - Snorkelling (1 hours)
  • Isla Santiago - Puerto Egas - Walk (1.45 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Santiago - Puerto Egas - Snorkelling (1 hour)
  • Isla Sanitago - Espumilla Beach - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Sanitago - Espumilla Beach - Snorkelling (45 mins)
  • Isla Sanitago - Buccaneer's Cove - Sail (15 mins)
  • Isla Isabela - Tagus Cove - Walk (1.45 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Isabela - Tagus Cove - Snorkel (1 hour)
  • Isla Fernandina - Punta Espinosa - Walk (2 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Fernandina - Punta Espinosa - Snorkel (1 hour)
  • Isla Isabela - Elizabeth Bay - Panga Ride (2 hours)
  • Isla Isabela - Punta Moreno - Walk and Panga ride (2 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Isabela - Punta Moreno - Snorkel (45min)
  • Isla Isabela - Las Tintoreras visit (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Isabela - Sierra Negra Volcano Crater Walk (3.5 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Day 1 Location: Quito
    Bienvenidos! Welcome to Ecuador. This country might be smaller than its heavyweight South American neighbours, but it stakes a legitimate claim as the continent's most complete package, blessed with interesting cities, perfect beaches and the remarkable Galapagos Islands. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 5 pm or 6 pm tonight. You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel by early evening, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you arrive early, get out and explore Quito (2,850 m), one of South America’s most attractive cities. Stroll around the Old Town, and be sure to visit the majestic Monastery of San Francisco if you have time. Alternatively, check out Cotopaxi volcano, the Cloud Forest, the local hot springs or the Equatorial Monument.
    Day 2 Location: Isla Santa Cruz
    Transfer to Quito Airport for your early morning flight to the Galapagos Islands. Keep in mind that you may leave the hotel as early as 4:30 am (a boxed breakfast will be provided). Your flight to the Galapagos Islands will make a stop in Guayaquil to refuel and pick up other passenger (total flight time is around 3.5 hours). On arrival in the Galapagos, you’ll be met in the arrivals hall by your naturalist guide and transferred to your boat, M/Y Grand Daphne, which will be moored close to Isla Baltra. Once on board, you’ll meet the crew, be assigned a cabin and enjoy a delicious lunch with your fellow travellers. Try on the snorkelling gear to ensure it fits, before your first snorkelling session. Wetsuits can also be hired at an additional cost. Sail from Baltra to Las Bachas, on the north shore of Isla Santa Cruz, which is a nesting site for the Pacific green turtle. You may also see some marine iguanas. The sand here, made of decomposed coral, is particularly white and soft, and the nearby rocks make for an excellent snorkelling spot, where you might see some of the many Sally Lightfoot crabs on the island. A saltwater lagoon just near the beach is home to flamingos, whimbrel and great blue herons. Estimated travel time/distance: Isla Baltra to Las Bachas: 30 minutes; 4 nautical miles
    Day 3 Location: North Seymour - Bartolome
    Sail from Baltra to North Seymour, one of the most visited islands of the Galapagos. First up is a walk around the island to spot some blue-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls. Boobies and frigates have an interesting relationship, sharing the same nesting area on North Seymour. Blue-footed boobies nest on the ground while the frigate birds nest just above them in the saltbushes. As you walk, look out for land iguanas, marine iguanas, Galapagos sea lions and the endemic incense tree. After the walk, cool off and go snorkelling and encounter a great variety of fish and perhaps some white-tipped reef sharks, rays and sea lions. Next it’s off to Bartolome – a spectacular volcanic landscape full of spatter cones and lava flows, and home to Galapagos penguins and lava lizards. Bartolome is a relatively new island in the archipelago. Put on your walking shoes and climb up 360 wooden steps to the summit, where an amazing view of Pinnacle Rock awaits. This is one of the photographed sights in the Galapagos – an abrupt jag of rock protruding from the earth like a tooth, providing a focal point for two nearby bays. Hike to the top of a once-active volcano and enjoy superb views across to Bahia Sullivan on nearby Isla Santiago. If you’re in luck, you might catch a glimpse of the Galapagos hawk. There’s also the chance to go snorkelling among the colourful marine life. Estimated travel time/distance: Baltra to North Seymour: 45 minutes; 5 nautical miles North Seymour to Bartolome: 2.5 hours; 18 nautical miles
    Day 4 Location: Isla Santiago
    Head to Puerto Egas, a black-sand beach on the west side of James Bay, northwest of Isla Santiago. It’s home to some amazing volcanic tuff formations. Take a stroll along the beach with the native marine iguanas, pelicans, finches, mockingbirds, oystercatchers, Galapagos sea lions and Galapagos fur seals. You can see the amazing tidal pools, formed from ancient lava flow, providing a home for sponges, snails, hermit crabs, barnacles and fish. You might also end up snorkelling with a Galapagos fur seal – they’re always looking for a friend! After Puerto Egas, sail to Espumilla Beach, located on the northern coast of Santiago. Espumilla has soft sands, tranquil waters and the chance of some large waves, making it a favourite among beach lovers. Not only is this island a nesting site for marine turtles, it’s also a place to see ghost crabs, blue-footed boobies (often plunging for fish), brown pelicans and Galapagos hawks up close. It is also well known for its palo santo forest and some extraordinary lava formations. Head to Buccaneer Cove and witness its spectacular geology of volcanic ash (tuff). Here you might find the remains of objects used by pirates in centuries past. This is where Darwin camped for nine days while making his study of the islands and their wildlife. If conditions are favourable, you can enjoy some more snorkelling. Estimated travel time/distance: Isla Bartolome to Puerto Egas (Isla Santiago): 4.5 hours; 35 nautical miles Puerto Egas to Espumilla Beach (Isla Santiago): 45 minutes; 5 nautical miles Espumilla Beach to Buccaneer Cove (Isla Santiago): 15 minutes; 2 nautical miles
    Day 5 Location: Isla Isabela - Isla Fernandina
    You’ll take an overnight sail from Isla Santiago around to the western shores of Isla Isabela. Wake up near Tagus Cove, where pirates and whalers used to collect tortoises for their travels. Enjoy a short visit here (approximately 2 hours), perhaps snorkelling or checking out the graffiti on the walls (the oldest of which is from 1836). Witness flightless cormorants, blue-footed boobies, a variety of waterfowl and the most northerly penguins in the world. You will walk to a lookout point for a stunning view of the north of Isabela Island and Volcan Wolf (Wolf Volcano). This morning, you will also visit nearby Fernandina Island, the youngest of the Galapagos Islands. It’s also volcanically active and the most westerly island, making it one of the least visited. The absence of introduced mammals gives it a unique landscape, and it boasts the highest concentration of marine iguanas in the archipelago. The northeast tip, Punta Espinosa, is a narrow ledge of lava and sand extending from the base of La Cumbre volcano. Take a walk around the beautiful peninsula, which boasts such wildlife and plant life as lava cacti, marine iguanas, barking sea lions, tiny penguins and Sally Lightfoot crabs. Keep a lookout for that marvellous Galapagos predator hunting from the treetops: the Galapagos hawk. Top-notch snorkelling opportunities await in the clear waters, and turtles and sea lions can be seen swimming around and feeding on the shore. This is also a great spot to see flightless cormorants drying their atrophied wings on the rocks. Estimated travel time/distance: Buccaneer Cove to Tagus Cove (Isla Isabela)/Punta Espinosa (Isla Fernandina): 9 hours; 77 nautical miles Punta Espinosa (Isla Fernandina) to Elizabeth Bay (Isla Isabela): 4.5 hours; 37 nautical miles
    Day 6 Location: Isla Isabela
    Today you will land at Isla Isabela: the archipelago's largest island. Here you will take a panga (Zodiac boat) ride along Elizabeth Bay, which is located on the west coast of Isabela and does not permit landings. Keep your binoculars and camera at the ready to photograph the second-smallest penguins in the world. You might also spot blue-footed boobies perched on the islets or diving for their next meal. Then head for the mangrove forest to see sea turtles, sea lions, penguins, lava herons, rays and plenty of colourful fish, like pompanos, dorados and mullets. In the afternoon, head to Punta Moreno on Isabela’s south-west coast. This coastline has some of the most beautiful blue lagoons and rocky terrain in the Galapagos, with a backdrop of three active volcanoes, myriad flamingos and incredible lava formations. Landing is impossible here too, due to the delicate ecosystem. Depending on the season, you can see brown pelicans nesting on top of the mangroves, lava and candelabra cactus, plus lava lizards. You’ll pass brackish water lagoons, covered with several different plants, where pink flamingos, ducks and black neck stills rest. Then jump aboard once again and head out for a snorkel, keeping an eye out for the elusive sea horse. An overnight sail will then take you to Puerto Villamil, on the other side of Isabela. Estimated travel time/distance: Elizabeth Bay to Punta Moreno (Isla Isabela): 2.5 hours; 18 nautical miles Punta Moreno (Isla Isabela) to Puerto Villamil: 8 hours; 64 nautical miles
    Day 7 Location: Isla Isabela
    This morning, visit Las Tintoreras, a small peninsula at the entrance of Isla Isabela port. Here there’s a viewing walkway from where you can look down into the narrow channel to see a colony of white-tipped reef sharks swimming and sleeping, plus the occasional sea lion among them. Blue-footed boobies, penguins, marine iguanas and crabs also make their home here. Enjoy a nice long walk on a gravel path, heading through lava flows and spotting plenty of marine iguanas. Locally, these white sharks are called ‘tintoreras’, hence the name of this spectacular site. This is where everything comes together for one big marine and wildlife party. Without trying you will see sea lions, penguins and frigate birds. After breakfast, take a bus to Sierra Negra Volcano where you will see the crater and explore with a moderate hike (approximately 1.5 kilometres) to a viewpoint over the area. This volcano last erupted in 2018, and so is an interesting active site. In the afternoon, you will visit the Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center to see the giant tortoise, and the wetlands of Isabela, Los Humedales. You’ll reach the wetlands via a complex trail which winds around for some 6 kilometres. Upon arrival, you’ll find an unusual spread of flora and fauna, including some flamingos (fingers crossed). Tonight, sail to Cerro Dragon. Estimated travel time/distance: Puerto VIllamil (Isla Isabela) to Cerro Dragon (Isla Santa Cruz): 5 hours 45 minutes, 45 nautical miles
    Day 8 Location: Isla Santa Cruz
    Wake up this morning on Santa Cruz's north coast and visit Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill.) From the dry landing, walk to a brackish lagoon that’s frequented by birds such as stilts, pintail ducks, sandpipers, sanderlings and occasionally flamingos. Further inland, the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western area of the archipelago. This area is a nesting site for land iguanas and is constantly monitored by the Charles Darwin Research Station. The arid-zone vegetation makes for some fine birdwatching. Darwin's finches, Galapagos mockingbirds, Galapagos flycatchers and yellow warblers are all regulars here. The path can be challenging, but the reward is a spectacular view of the bay. In the afternoon you will visit Punta Carrion in north-eastern Santa Cruz. First sail to the Isla Baltra dock to refuel and then to Punta Carrion. This is a shallow and protected cove, ideal for snorkelling and swimming. Wildlife is plentiful here – keep your eyes peeled for blue-footed boobies, Galapagos herons and great blue herons. Go swimming among the rays and white-tipped reef sharks. Afterwards, sail to Puerto Ayora. Estimated travel time/distance: Cerro Dragon to Baltra (Isla Santa Cruz): 2.5 hours; 18 nautical miles Isla Baltra to Punta Carrion (Isla Santa Cruz): 1 hour; 6 nautical miles Punta Carrion to Puerto Ayora (Isla Santa Cruz): 4 hours; 30 nautical miles
    Day 9 Location: Isla Baltra - Quito
    Flights to the mainland from Galapagos depart mid-morning, so it’s an early start for your last morning on the islands. You will visit the Santa Cruz Highlands. Travel through the agricultural region and into the misty forests where you can see the unique scalesia cloud forest, dome-shaped giant tortoises in the wild, different species of Darwin finches and possibly the world-famous woodpecker and warbler finches. You might also glimpse a vermillion flycatcher. Then it’s time to bid farewell to the archipelago and head to the airport for your mid-morning flight back to Quito for the last night of the tour. This flight takes approximately 2.5 hours with a transit in Guayaquil. Upon arrival at Quito Airport, at about 4 pm, you’ll be transferred back to your hotel for an overnight stay. A local Intrepid representative might stop by the hotel this evening to get your feedback on the trip.
    Day 10 Location: Quito
    There are no activities planned for the day so we are able to depart our accommodation at any time. If you have not spent time in Quito beforehand, we recommend you stay on a few days as there are many fascinating things to do, such as the Cotopaxi volcano, the Cloud Forest, hot springs, the Equatorial Monument or perhaps city tour of the fascinating Old Town. If you want to spend more time, we'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability) and can also assist you in booking a departure transfer to the airport.
    Dates
    Prices
    Availability
    Departure Date:
    07JUL2020
    Return Date:
    16JUL2020
    8375NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    07JUL2020
    Return Date:
    16JUL2020
    8375NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    07JUL2020
    Return Date:
    16JUL2020
    9635NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    07JUL2020
    Return Date:
    16JUL2020
    9005NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    21JUL2020
    Return Date:
    30JUL2020
    8380NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    21JUL2020
    Return Date:
    30JUL2020
    8710NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    21JUL2020
    Return Date:
    30JUL2020
    10020NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    21JUL2020
    Return Date:
    30JUL2020
    9365NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    04AUG2020
    Return Date:
    13AUG2020
    8375NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    04AUG2020
    Return Date:
    13AUG2020
    8710NZD
    available
    Last modified (date)

    18 Feb 2020

    Trip title

    Ultimate Galapagos: Central Islands (Grand Daphne)

    Trip code

    PSGDD

    Validity

    Validity: 30 Jun 2020 to 31 Dec 2022

    Introduction

    When it comes to encountering wildlife up close and personal, a voyage to the Galapagos Islands really is an experience like no other. Head underwater off Isla Santa Cruz, Bartolome or Isla Isabela and you'll be snorkelling with sea lions, white-tipped reef sharks, sea turtles and penguins. Look to the skies in North Seymour or Cerro Dragon and you'll spot frigatebirds, boobies, pelicans and more soaring above. Head out for a wander across the volcanic landscapes of Punta Espinosa and you'll see land iguanas and flightless cormorants. This 10-day sailing expedition through the central islands of the Galapagos is an adventure waiting to happen.

    Style

    Peregrine

    Themes

    Adventure Cruising

    Transport

    Boat,Plane,Bus,Zodiac (Panga)

    Physical Rating

    3

    Physical preparation

    Galapagos Voyage We don't ask travellers to complete a physical participation form for this trip however we do ask you read through the trip notes carefully to ensure that this trip is the right trip for you. This applies to the included activities and moving around the boat. You will also need to enter and exit a zodiac during wet and dry landings and when returning from snorkelling - please note crew members will be on hand to assist you. The cabins and communal areas of the Daphne are spread over 3 decks. The steps between the decks are steep however, there are hand railings to hold on to. Snorkelling There are many opportunities to go snorkelling on our voyages. Confident swimming skills are required to take part in this activity. Depending on the weather conditions and park regulations, you could be snorkelling twice a day. If you take part in the snorkelling, you will not miss out on any land activities. For those not wanting to snorkel, there will be time to relax on the boat. Altitude Quito is located at 2850 metres above sea level. At this altitude you may experience some of the milder effects of altitude sickness, such as dizziness, insomnia and a shortness of breath. If so, we recommend you avoid any strenuous activity.

    Joining point

    Hotel Reina Isabel

    Av. Amazonas N23-44 y Veintimilla

    Quito

    Quito

    ECUADOR

    Finish point

    Hotel Reina Isabel

    Av. Amazonas N23-44 y Veintimilla

    Quito

    Quito

    ECUADOR

    Important information

    FELLOW TRAVELLERS: Your group will be a mixture of Peregrine booked passengers and other international like-minded travellers from our sister company Intrepid Travel. GALAPAGOS PARK, TRANSIT CARD & ISABELA ISLANDS PORT FEES: Before checking in for the flight from Quito to the Galapagos, there is a US$20 transit fee that needs to be paid. On arrival in the islands you must pay the US$100 national park fee to enter Galapagos National Park. If your voyage visits Isabela Island, there is also a US$10 fee to be paid on arrival at the island. PASSPORT DETAILS: When booking, please make sure that your name is spelt correctly, and that you book using the name in your passport (particularly if you are recently married). If you are issued a new passport with a different number between the time that you book and the time you travel, please take both the old and new passports with you. DIETARY REQUIREMENTS: Should you have a special diet requirement (for example vegetarian, celiac, vegan, severe food allergies) it's essential that you inform us or your agent of the specific details at least 10 days prior to departure, in order to make sure the chef on board the boat or on the island can request the necessary food supplies. MINIMUM AGE: The minimum age on this trip is 15. Please note that triple cabins are not available. If travelling with a child, the child will need to share with one of the adults, and the other adult will share with another adult passenger, or pay a single supplement. SEA SICKNESS- GALAPAGOS: Please note that from June to August the water is rougher than usual. Consequently travel times will be longer than usual. If you suffer from seasickness you may want to reconsider travelling during this period. DIVING IN THE GALAPAGOS: We do not offer diving as a part of our Galapagos program and due to our internal safety policy our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking this activity.

    Group leader

    Our local representative will meet you in the evening of day 1 of the trip and conduct the group briefing. They will then also transfer with you to the airport on day 2 for your flight to the Galapagos. On arrival in the Galapagos you will be met your Guide. Our Guides are registered and trained in conservation and natural sciences by the Charles Darwin Foundation and licensed by the Galapagos National Park Service. The Guide will be on board with you for the duration of the trip and will accompany you on all excursions. Our boats are also staffed by highly experienced shipboard staff and crew.

    Safety

    Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. In addition to any included activities on your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. Our local representative may be able to assist you with available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that our local representative has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Petty theft & Personal Safety : While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing. Water Safety: Please take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water, where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It's expected that anyone taking part in water activities is able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water. Life Jackets: Peregrine will provide life jackets for private boats, but cannot guarantee that all public ferries will have enough life jackets or life rings for all clients. Diving in the Galapagos: We do not offer diving as a part of our Galapagos program and due to our internal safety policy our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking this activity.

    Communications

    Electricity in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands is 110 - 120V and requires US plugs so you may need to take an adapter. Wi-Fi is not available on the boat at all whilst in the Galapagos Islands. There is limited access on the bigger islands of Santa Cruz, San Cristobal and Isabela and there may also be internet cafes for you to use if there is time. Like Wi-Fi, mobile phone coverage is pretty non-existent whilst travelling around the islands. Again, you may find that you have limited service when you are closer to the bigger islands. There is a radio on board, for the use of shipboard staff, in case of emergency.

    Visas

    Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent. Australians, New Zealanders, Americans, Canadians and British do not currently require a visa for Ecuador. For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa requirements with your travel agent. Visa requirements for Galapagos Islands are the same as Ecuador.

    Why we love it

    Experience the benefits of small group travel aboard your vessel, M/Y Grand Daphne, sailing through the natural beauty of the Galapagos, day and night.

    Explore the remote west coast of Isabela on a small panga boat, and venture to the far-west Fernandina, home of the highest density of marine iguanas.

    The old pirate haunt of Buccaneer Cove has something for everyone – soaring birds overhead, striking cliff faces framing the bay, and the tales of Darwin remaining to this day.

    Encounter the unique Galapagos wildlife in their natural habitat, from giant blue-footed and masked boobies, pelicans and frigate birds to iguanas, sea lions and turtles.

    Las Tintoreras is like one big wildlife party. Snorkel among the iguanas and turtles and spot sea lions, penguins and frigate birds at every turn.

    Is this trip right for you

    The Galapagos Islands are a largely untouched natural paradise. In order to experience the splendour of the diverse landscapes and waters, the included activities on this trip often require a moderate level of fitness. We ask that you read the trip notes and itinerary carefully to ensure that you will be able to participate fully. Our small ships make cruising from island to island a breeze, so you can spend more time exploring the gorgeous surrounds than stuck onboard. Compact size means that the steps between the decks are steep, and as they are designed to maximise living area space, sleeping quarters are cosy. For getting to small islets, coves and prime snorkelling spots, it is sometimes necessary to use a Zodiac boat (panga). You will need to be comfortable climbing in and out of one during wet and dry landings. The waters of the Galapagos are generally calm and serene. However, there is always the possibility of choppy water at sea. Steady sea legs (and a sturdy stomach) will be needed when walking around the boat during bad weather. Rain or shine, your trusty crew will always be on hand to assist you. Things are never set in stone when you’re travelling on island time. A sense of humour and flexibility will ensure you have a fun, relaxing trip through this beautiful part of the world no matter what happens. While the crew will do their best to follow the itinerary, variations may occur due to weather or under direction from local authorities.

    Health

    All Peregrine travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Peregrine reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared. The Galapagos Islands are located about 1000kms off the coast of Ecuador mainland and many of these islands are uninhabited by humans. The populated islands of Santa Cruz and San Cristobal have medical facilities however they are limited in what procedures they can perform and have limited medical supplies. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, please ensure you have travel insurance to cover this. Travel insurance should also cover the cost of repatriation or if any additional supplies are needed to be flown in from the mainland. We know that many travellers have travelled to other parts of South America before the Galapagos and during this time have contracted a stomach bug. If you are feeling unwell at the time of the briefing or at anytime on the voyage, please let our representative or guide know. Travelling on a boat means that everyone is sharing the same common areas which means that if one passenger is feeling unwell, this can be spread to your fellow travellers. We want to maximise your time on the boat and for you to enjoy the experience and the best way to do that is to ensure that everyone is healthy. ALTITUDE SICKNESS Please note a very small number of travellers do feel the affects of altitude sickness when they arrive in Quito. Please refer to https://www.peregrineadventures.com/en-au/altitude-sickness SEA SICKNESS- GALAPAGOS Please note that from June to August the water is rougher than usual. Consequently travel times will be longer than usual. If you suffer from seasickness you may want to reconsider travelling during this period. YELLOW FEVER A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It's also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home. It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you'll be visiting. SUNSCREEN It's important to always apply sunscreen in Ecuador and particularly when visiting the Galapagos. Beware, the sun is stronger than usual! CPAP Machines: If you are travelling with a CPAP machine there should be uninterupted power throughout the night however we suggest you travel with a fully charged back up battery just in case. If you are travelling by yourself, we highly recommend that you book a single supplement to limit disruption to other passengers. The sockets on board the Daphne are the two pronged plugs used in the US, Canada and Japan. There is a choice of voltage on board, 220-240 for Australian, New Zealand, UK & Europe, and 110 for US, Canada & Japan. 

    Food and dietary requirements

    All meals are included onboard the Daphne, this includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Tea, coffee and cold water is available at any time during the day [or night]. Most meals are served buffet style. Here is an example of the typical meals served Breakfast Toast, spreads, muesli, eggs with fresh fruit and fruit juices Lunch A mix of hot and cold dishes plus salads or vegetables and fruit salad and juice Dinner Fresh seafood, chicken or pork, pasta, rice, vegetables, salads and dessert. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies please notify us at the time of booking so we can determine the extent to which your dietary requirements can be met. We will endeavour to accommodate all requests but please note that we have limited refrigeration and storage space on board the Galapagos boats and there is very limited (if any) access to shops or supermarkets. Vegans, coeliacs or those with specific meal requirements might choose to supplement meals with supplies bought from home, e.g. protein bars. Please note that the Galapagos does have strict quarantine laws when it comes to bringing in goods from the mainland. The airline we use to and from the Galapagos Islands is unable to provide gluten free snacks. If you require a gluten free diet, we recommend you carry your own snacks for these flights.

    Money matters

    The official currency of Ecuador is the US dollar (USD). Please note that in Ecuador automatic money machines often limit the amount you can withdraw. This can be $100 or $200 per day depending on your card. ATM's are available in Puerto Ayora, Isla Santa Cruz and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, Isla San Cristobal however there are no ATM's in Puerto Villamil, Isla Isabela. Credit cards are accepted in some shops and stores in Puerto Ayora, Puerto Baquerizo and Puerto Villamil. For boat trips only: On board the Galapagos voyage, alcoholic [beer and wine] and soft drinks are available to purchase in cash and if you wish to tip the crew this will also be paid in cash. Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than others, others prefer to visit more optional sites. Remember that alcoholic beverages are expensive compared to other foods locally. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities. We recommend you carry at least US$100 to allow for additional meals and snacks. There is a bar on board where the settlement of the bill is by US$ cash only. The boat doesn't have credit card facilitites. Please make additional allowance for bar expenses, however you will find the drinks to be moderately priced. All prices are quoted in US$. Cocktails: $6 - $8 Wine*: $30 - $40 Spirits: $6 - $10 Beers: $3 - $5 Softdrink: $1.50 - $3 *Red, white and sparkling wines are available by the bottle only. It is not possible to take your own alcohol on board. Please refer to the tipping section for additional information with regards to recommended amounts for tipping. During stops in Santa Cruz, San Cristobal and Isabela Islands, you will have the opportunity to visit souvenir shops and internet cafes. NATIONAL PARK AND TRANSIT CARD FEES: Before you check-in for your flight from Quito to the Galapagos Islands you will need to purchase a US$20 transit card [which you will need to hold on to as you will need to present it on your return from the Galapagos]. On arrival in the islands you will purchase the Galapagos National Park entry fee, US$100. Please make sure you have clean, unmarked notes to pay these fees. WETSUIT HIRE: Wetsuit hire is not included on the boat and can be organised on the boat at an additional cost. Depending on the length of time you spend on the boat, the cost will be as per below: 17 day trip (PSGDE): US$75 10 day trip (PSGDD/PSGDA): US$40 7 day trip (PSGDC): US$25 6 day trip (PSGDB): US$20 TIPPING If you are happy with the services received, providing a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate.  While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many of our destinations. Boat Crew: If you have enjoyed the services provided by your guide and crew, a tip would be very much appreciated by them. As a guideline we recommend each passenger consider US$12-14 per day for the crew (there are 7 crew members) and US$8-10 per day for your guide. You can leave tips in envelopes that are placed in your cabin on the last day of your journey. Restaurants: Please check the bill and if there's an addition of 10% service charge, there's no requirement for tipping.  Otherwise, 10% of the total bill amount is appropiate. Markets & local shops: At local markets, shops & basic restaurants, leave loose change. Hotel porters/local drivers: We suggest US$1 - US$2 Please use the amounts listed above as a guide. Tipping is entirely a personal preference; of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED: Any airfare unless otherwise specified in the itinerary. Passport and visa expenses. Government arrival and departure taxes. Galapagos National Park fee and Galapagos transit card. Isabela island port fee (if applicable). Baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance. Excess baggage charges. Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified. Telecommunications charges. The voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew. Wetsuit Hire. CONTINGENCY FUNDS We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved. The recommended amount is listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers, however the local currency is needed in the countries you are visiting.

    What to take

    What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage, although you won't be required to walk long distances with it (max 30 minutes). Many travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are also convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips. Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:

    Although each cabin on the Daphne has cupboard and space to store your bags, space is at a premium so we suggest that you take a back pack or soft sided duffle or sports bag with you. These bags should be easily stored in your cabins. Larger, fixed, sided suitcases are usually too large to store in the cupboard space. If you are travelling with a larger bag you do have the option of borrowing one of our kit bags [which take approx 12kg] and leave your bag behind at the start hotel. This service is provided by the hotel and although we haven’t had issues with theft in the past we highly recommend that you don’t leave any valuables behind. Below is a suggested packing list. The weather in the Galapagos is quite temperate all year round. In most cases you will be in water snorkelling or swimming for a portion of the day with the other time taken up with an island visit/walk or time to relax on the boat as you travel between islands. Daypack [a smaller back pack that you can take with you on island excursions] Comfortable clothing for warmer temperatures [shorts, t-shirts, light long sleeved tops and pants] A fleece or warmer jumper for the evenings or early mornings A light rain coat or poncho Comfortable shoes [trainers or walking shoes are sufficient for most trips]* Sandals or thongs/flip flops/jandals Sunscreen [bio degradable and waterproof if available] and lip balm [to combat the effects of wind burn] Sunglasses Sunhat [that can be secured as it can get windy out on the water] Swimming costume Water bottle [filtered water is available on board the boat] Bio-degradable conditioner and cleanser [please do not bring facial or body cleanser with microbeads] - shampoo and soap are provided on board Dry bag Pegs [so you can hang your swimming costume or towel out to dry] Insect repellent [for island visits] US adaptor/electrical plug For keen birdwatchers, Binoculars Camera [underwater if you have one] Earplugs Please ensure you travel with all required medicines, pain killers and toiletries that you may need while in the Galapagos. If you are prone to motion sickness, you might want to pack some preventative medication. You are travelling to quite a remote destination and even though there are a number of settlements throughout the islands there are times we it could take a day to reach these towns and even then they may not stock your required medication. Please ensure you also bring your passport with you as it is an entry requirement for the Galapagos to present your passport on arrival in Galapagos and returning to the mainland [photocopies of your passport are not permitted]. *a number of trips include a volcano walk and some travellers may feel more comfortable in hiking shoes or boots.

    SNORKELLING ON THE DAPHNE There are many opportunities for snorkelling during your Galapagos voyage. Diving masks, snorkels and fins are provided onboard the vessel and are for use by all passengers. Wetsuits are available for hire at an additional cost. Some passengers choose to bring their own equipment, however this is a personal choice. Beach towels are also provided. An underwater disposable camera is also recommended.

    AIRLINE BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE: The airline that we use for our Galapagos trips, has a checked in baggage allowance of 23kg per person and a cabin baggage allowance of 10kg.

    Climate and seasonal

    Being located on the equator, Ecuador is a year round destination. In Quito temperatures do not fluctuate that much throughout the year with average temperatures around 19°C to 24°C during the day with lows of 9-10°C in the evening. There are two 'seasons', the wet and dry. The dry season runs from June to September and the wet season is from October through to May. The surprisingly thing with Quito is its altitude and proximity to the equator means that the sun has a little more kick to it so it can feel like it's warmer than it actually is. Even on cooler days, if the sun comes out make sure you use sunscreen. The Galapagos weather is pretty reasonable all year round, so it is never freezing cold but it can get very hot [February-May being the hottest months]. The seasons are not exactly fixed and weather conditions are changeable around the ends of the seasons. Note that the "wet" season is still drier than many places in the world. Daily temperatures range from 22°C to 25°C with overnight temperatures dropping to around 10°C. Up in the highlands [which you will cross on your way from Baltra to Puerto Ayora] it is cooler and the garúa mist hangs about as a kind of permanent dampness, and sometimes descends to the coast as well. The waters surrounding the Galapagos are influenced by the Humboldt Current. Water temperatures sit around 20°C to 24°C from January through to May and drop to 18°C to 20°C from June through to October. Although you may be required to wear a wetsuit at this time of year the same currents that bring the cooler water temperatures also bring nutrients which means wildlife are very active at this time of year.

    A couple of rules

    Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information. Strict rules apply in the Galapagos Islands aimed at protecting and preserving its unique biodiversity. Peregrine strongly agrees and supports these rules which range from times of the day that a destination can be visited to the distance kept between people and wildlife – all these rules will be explained in more detailed by your crew on the ground. Not adhering to these rules can lead to hefty fines for travellers and can result on Peregrine losing the license to operate in the Galapagos Islands – these rules must be adhered to by all, without exception. For more information, please follow this link: http://www.galapagos.org/travel/travel/park-rules/

    Feedback

    Can’t stop thinking about your adventure? Tell us all about it! We read each piece of feedback carefully and use it to make improvements for travellers like you. Share your experience with us at: https://www.peregrineadventures.com/feedback

    Emergency contact

    While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete. In case of missed transfers, a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local operator on the number below. +593 9 94014877

    Responsible travel

    Latin Americans can be very conscious of appearance so try to be casual but conservative in your dress. Outside of beach areas halter tops and very short shorts should not be worn. When visiting churches or religious sites shoulders and knees should be covered. Responsible travel is important to Peregrine. Maintaining our integrity and upholding principles of sustainable development are core to our travel ethos. Our values are ingrained in the culture of our business and in the design of our trips. We respect the people, cultures and local environments that we encounter while travelling and encourage the spread of good will and cross-cultural sharing. We are committed to making a positive contribution wherever possible. Read more about responsible travel with Peregrine here: https://www.peregrineadventures.com/responsible-travel

    The Intrepid Foundation

    Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation are matched by Intrepid Group dollar for dollar (up to AU$10,000 per donor and AU$500,000 in total each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And because Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

    Accommodation notes

    Le Grande Daphne features en suite cabins all with air conditioning and a safety box. The airconditioning is a centrally controlled system for the lower deck cabins and the upper deck cabins have individually controlled systems. The upper deck cabins have large windows and the lower deck cabins have portholes. Due to the lower deck cabins being close to the water, the portholes cannot be opened. There are 4 lower deck twin cabins, 1 lower deck double cabin, 1 main deck double suite cabin and 2 upper deck twin/double cabins. Please note that single passengers cannot be booked/confirmed in the double cabin unless a single supplement is paid.

    Transport notes

    Le Grande Daphne is a motor yacht. She has a comfortable lounge and dining area, as well as a sun deck where you can view the wildlife or just kick back and relax. She has eight well-appointed, air-conditioned cabins each with en-suites. Cabins: 4x lower deck twin cabins 1x lower deck double cabin 1x main deck double suite 2x upper deck twin/double cabins Zodiacs (locally known as pangas) are modest-sized, open, outboard-powered boats which are very common throughout Galapagos. The boats are used to get you to and from the Daphne when you do activities. Depending on the type of activity, this could either be a wet or dry landing. The boat crew are there to assist you getting into and out of the zodiac.

    Travel insurance

    Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php The Ecuadorian government has declared that travel insurance is compulsory for all travellers entering Ecuador. Proof of insurance may be requested at upon entering the country by immigration officials.

    Your fellow travellers

    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and if you are willing to share a twin cabin there will be no compulsory single supplement [this also applies to the first and last night in the hotel in Quito]. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in the twin cabins. The double cabins are set aside for couples or friends/family who are willing to share a bed. If you are a single traveller and wish to have a room to yourself a single supplement is available for this trip. This trip is a package tour and is therefore made up of a combination of shorter trips. This can mean you will have other travellers joining at different times of your tour.

    Itinerary disclaimer

    ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour. The maritime component of this trip is operated by a fully licensed Ecuadorian shipping operator. The Captain of the vessel will do all that is possible to adhere to the outlined itinerary however it may be changed without notice due inclement weather or changes to the Galapagos National Park's regulations. We ask you for your patience and understanding with any changes outside our control. Any changes to the itinerary will be undertaken with your safety and comfort in mind. There may be some early starts to the day for the scheduled activities to be conducted as per the itinerary due to specific visiting hours for some sites. All travel distances/times and durations for the activities listed in the trip notes are a guide only and are subject to change.

    Accommodation

    Hotel (2 nights),Overnight boat (7 nights)

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