Galapagos Encounter: Central Islands (Grand Queen Beatriz)

Galapagos Encounter: Central Islands (Grand Queen Beatriz)

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6 Days
From

$3974

$2741

Galapagos Encounter: Central Islands (Grand Queen Beatriz)

6 Days Starting and ending in Quito

Visiting: Quito, Quito - Isla San Cristobal, Bartolome - Bahia Sullivan, Isla Santiago - Espumilla Beach - Buccaneer Cove - Puerto Egas, Isla Santa Cruz - Quito.

Tour operator:

Intrepid Travel

Tour code:

GMQI

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

1 - 16

Physical rating:

Medium, Medium

Age range:

12-99 years

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians

Tour operated in:
English
From:
$3974
$2741 (USD) Operator discount: -$1156 The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$77 -31%
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Tour Overview

Encounter the Galapagos on a sailing voyage that takes in the very best of the central islands. Rub shoulders with the local wildlife as sea lions, iguanas, giant tortoises and exotic birds of all shapes and sizes go about their daily business all over this wild slice of paradise. Go snorkelling in the presence of mighty manta rays and lively turtles, and see tropical fish fill the surrounding water with fluorescent colour. Experience firsthand the natural, rugged landscapes of the Galapagos, and see what Charles Darwin saw when he arrived on the isles more than 180 years ago and began formulating his theory of evolution. Prepare to get fully acquainted with the natural wonder of these far-flung islands on this breathtaking Galapagos Encounter.

Highlights

  • As you board your vessel, M.Y. Grand Queen Beatriz, and follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin, you will encounter nature at its finest.

  • Explore the islands from on deck, on foot and in the water, no doubt with your eyes open for your next unique sight.

  • Sea lions and iguanas await you at Plaza Sur and Santa Fe, whilst in San Cristobal you meet the grand-daddy of the Galapagos - the giant tortoise.

  • A hike on Bartolome offers panoramic views across some of the other islands, showcasing the dramatic volcanic landscape. This is indeed the Galapagos journey with something for everyone.

  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll learn about our Intrepid Foundation partner, The Galapagos Conservancy. Donations support their Women in Sustainable Entrepreneurship (WISE) program, providing capital for sustainability initiatives and empowering female entrepreneurs in the Galapagos. Intrepid will double the impact by dollar-matching all post-trip donations made to The Intrepid Foundation.

Itinerary

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Day 1: Quito
Location: Quito
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: dinner

Welcome to Quito! On arrival at Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day will be at your leisure. A welcome meeting will be held in the evening at either 5pm or 6 pm where you’ll meet the other travellers on your cruise. After your welcome meeting, head out with your local leader and fellow travellers for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Try some traditional flavours and get to know you group as you settle into the coming adventure.

Quito sits at high altitude under the towering Pichincha volcano. It is a beautiful city, arguably one of the most beautiful in South America. The city stretches along the valley and is surrounded by the Andes. The Old Town of Quito is awash with history, with more than 30 churches to explore, and a number of fascinating museums. La Compania de Jesus is considered to be the most beautiful and ornate churches in the Americas. The city's oldest street, Calle La Ronda, is well worth exploring.

Day 2: Quito - Isla San Cristobal
Location: Quito - Isla San Cristobal
Accommodation: M/Y Grand Queen Beatriz
Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to the Galapagos Islands. Please note the pick-up time will usually be as early as 4:30 am (a boxed breakfast will be provided), as the airport is a one-hour drive away and you must allow for delays and check-in times. (Your tour leader will confirm this time with you at the Welcome Meeting on Day 1).

The flight to the Galapagos will make one stop in Guayaquil to pick up other passengers. (Total flight time is about 3.5 hours).

You will be met in the arrival hall of the airport by the National Park Guide, and transferred to your catamaran ‘M/Y Queen Beatriz’.

This afternoon you will travel into the interior of the island to visit the highlands site of ‘Galapaguera of Cerro Colorado’ (Red Hill) where the national park has established a breeding program and information centre for tortoises. Here, we will be able to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat and learn all about their origin, evolution and their threatened future.

Estimated travel time/distance:
Puerto Baquerizo (Isla San Cristobal) to Bartolome: 8 hours (70 nautical miles)

Included Activities:
-Isla San Cristobal - Highlands Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing

Day 3: Bartolome - Bahia Sullivan
Location: Bartolome - Bahia Sullivan
Accommodation: M/Y Grand Queen Beatriz
Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

Bartolome is one of the most spectacular volcanic landscapes in the Galapagos, full of parasitic spatter cones, lava flows, Galapagos penguins and lava lizards.

It is a relatively new island in the archipelago and traces of its volcanic past can be seen everywhere, as evidenced by the amazing lunar-like landscape.
The Pinnacle Rock is one of the most photographed sites in the Galapagos – an abrupt jag of rock protruding from the earth like a tooth, while nearby two golden bays back onto each other.

You can hike to the top of a once-active volcano here (360 wooden steps), and enjoy superb views across to Sullivan Bay, on nearby Isla Santiago. If you are in luck you might catch a glance of the Galapagos Hawk here. You also have the opportunity to go snorkelling with plenty of tropical fish, starfish, white-tipped reef sharks, rays and hopefully penguins.

On Santiago's eastern coast sits Bahia Sullivan. Here you walk on Pahoe-Hoe lava, from an eruption that occurred in 1897, and witness the colonisation of plant species since the last eruption. Hopefully see some marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs, sea lions, finches, turtles, sharks and penguins. On a walk, your guide will explain the geological history of the islands.

Estimated travel time/distance:
Bartolome to Isla Santiago (Bahia Sullivan): 0.5 hours (1 nautical mile)
Isla Santiago (Bahia Sullivan) to Espumilla Beach: 3 hours (25 nautical miles)

Included Activities:
-Isla Santiago - Sullivan Bay - Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
-Isla Bartolome - Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
-Isla Bartolome - Snorkelling (1.5 hours)
-Isla Bartolome - Panga ride (30 mins)

Day 4: Isla Santiago - Espumilla Beach - Buccaneer Cove - Puerto Egas
Location: Isla Santiago - Espumilla Beach - Buccaneer Cove - Puerto Egas
Accommodation: M/Y Grand Queen Beatriz
Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

Today you will visit some wonderful places. Espumilla Beach, on the northern coast of Santiago Island in James Bay, is one of the most idyllic locations in the Galapagos Islands and is an important nesting site for marine turtles. With large waves, it is also often a favourite amongst beach lovers.

Potentially we will see Galapagos hawks up close, ghost crabs, blue-footed boobies (often plunging for fish) and brown pelicans. It is also well known for its palo santo forest and some extraordinary lava formations.

You will also visit Caleta Bucanero (Buccaneer Cove), a natural monument of rocks caused by sea erosion. This cove was used by pirates to careen their ships. It is a place of local legends and stories! It is also where Darwin camped for nine days while making his study of the islands and their wildlife. If conditions are favourable, you can enjoy some further snorkelling.

Puerto Egas is a black sand beach located on the west side of James Bay and northwest of Santiago Island. South of the beach is Sugarloaf Volcano, which has deposits of volcanic tuff. This site is named Puerto Egas, after Hector Egas who last attempted to mine salt here. The walk along the beach offers hundreds of marine iguanas and Galapagos sea lions. You will also see amazing tidal pools formed from ancient lava flow and home to sponges, snails, hermit crabs, barnacles and fish. Snorkelling with the seals always offers the possibility of thrilling encounters.

Estimated travel time/distance:
Espumilla Beach to Bucaneer Cove: 0.5 hours (1 nautical mile)
Bucaneer Cove to Puerto Egas: 0.5 hours (1 nautical mile)
Puerto Egas to Puerto Ayora: 7 hours (60 nautical miles)

Included Activities:
-Isla Santiago - Puerto Egas - Walk (1.45 hours) - Wet Landing
-Isla Santiago - Puerto Egas - Snorkelling (1 hour)
-Isla Sanitago - Espumilla Beach - Snorkelling (45 mins)
-Isla Sanitago - Espumilla Beach - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing

Day 5: Isla Santa Cruz - Quito.
Location: Isla Santa Cruz - Quito.
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: breaksfast

Flights to mainland Ecuador from the Galapagos Islands depart mid-morning, so an early start is necessary to make the most of today’s visit to the small town of Puerto Ayora is the economic centre of the archipelago, and home to the Charles Darwin Research Station. As well as undertaking vital conservation work, the station also makes for interesting exploration and offers the best opportunities for close encounters with giant tortoises. You may also see baby tortoises and land iguanas.

This will be your final excursion before you head to the airport.
Upon arrival at Mariscal Sucre International Airport, enjoy an included transfer to your hotel. Choose whether to join your fellow travellers for an optional dinner this evening.

Upon arrival in Quito Airport you will be transferred back to your hotel for an overnight stay.

Included Activities:
-Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Research Station (1 hour) - Dry Landing

Day 6: Quito
Location: Quito
Meals Included: breaksfast

Your Galapagos adventure will come to an end today after breakfast. There are no activities planned for the final day so you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. There are many fascinating things to do in and around Quito, so please speak to our customer service representative about any optional activities that might be of interest. They can also assist you in booking a departure transfer to the airport.

What's Included

  • Isla Santa Cruz - Highlands Visit (3 hours) - Dry Landing

  • Isla Bartolome - Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing

  • Isla San Cristobal - Highlands Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing

  • Isla Santiago - Sullivan Bay - Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing

  • Isla Bartolome - Snorkelling (1.5 hours)

  • Isla Santiago - Puerto Egas - Walk (1.45 hours) - Wet Landing

  • Isla Bartolome - Panga ride (30 mins)

  • Isla Sanitago - Espumilla Beach - Snorkelling (45 mins)

  • Isla Santiago - Puerto Egas - Snorkelling (1 hour)

  • Isla Sanitago - Espumilla Beach - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing

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What's Not Included

Accommodation

  • The stylish modern design of the Grand Queen Beatriz features large en suite cabins all with individual air conditioning and ocean views. There are 4 Standard twin cabins on the main deck and on the upper deck there are 2 Junior Suite cabins  and 2 deluxe balcony cabins. The upper deck cabins all have private balconies. All cabins are equipped with a safety deposit box, hair dryers and toiletries.

Included Activities

  • Isla San Cristobal - Highlands Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Santiago - Sullivan Bay - Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Bartolome - Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Bartolome - Snorkelling (1.5 hours)
  • Isla Bartolome - Panga ride (30 mins)
  • Isla Santiago - Puerto Egas - Walk (1.45 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Santiago - Puerto Egas - Snorkelling (1 hour)
  • Isla Sanitago - Espumilla Beach - Snorkelling (45 mins)
  • Isla Sanitago - Espumilla Beach - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Highlands Visit (3 hours) - Dry Landing

Transport

  • The Grand Queen Beatriz is a modern motor yacht. She has a comfortable lounge and dining area, a jacuzzi 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 and yet, at 41 metres, she is small enough for us to offer an individual level of service. She's just perfect for a more personal look at this great marine reserve.
  • Cabins:
  • 4xStandard twin cabins
  • 2xJunior Suite cabins
  • 2xDeluxe Balcony cabins
  • All cabins are fully air-conditioned with private facilities
  • Specifications:
  • Built: 2017
  • Length: 40.96 m
  • Beam: 9 m
  • Engines: 2
  • Speed: 12 knots
  • Passengers: 16
  • Crew: 8 + 1 English speaking naturalist guide
  • 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 Grand Queen Bea 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.

Important Information

  • 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.
  • From the 1st of August 2024 the Galapagos Islands National Park fee will be increasing from USD100 to USD200. This applies to everyone aged 13 years and above. For children aged 12 the fee will be USD100.
  • ARRIVAL TRANSFER:
  • This tour includes a complimentary arrival transfer in Quito. Please advise flight details 30 days prior to travel so that the transfer can be organised.
  • 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.

Check out our Q&As

  • Are internal flights included in this tour?

    Yes, Quito to Galapagos Islands and Galapagos to

  • Is this trip right for you

    This trip involves lots of active adventure and we ask that you read through the itinerary carefully to ensure that this trip is right for you. You’ll need to feel comfortable with the included activities and with moving about the boat. The cabins and communal areas of the boat are spread over three decks and the steps between the decks are steep.

    You will be entering and exiting a Zodiac boat (panga) during wet and dry landings and when returning from snorkelling. Although the waters we sail are usually calm, there are times when the sea can get rough and choppy. Steady sea legs (and a sturdy stomach) are needed when walking around the boat during bad weather. Rain or shine, your trusty crew will always be on hand to assist you.

    While at sea and when exploring the islands, you may be exposed to the sun for large parts of the day. It’s important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water.

    Please note that while there is an itinerary in place, some changes may occur due to the weather or because of direction from the local authorities. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for potential modifications to the route or activities. 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.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Please contact us for latest COVID-19 policies

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Intrepid Travel has been taking travellers around the world for over 30 years

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Yes

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Since 2002, The Intrepid Foundation has supported over 130 organisations across the world. We’re creating positive impact through the joy of travel, community and connection.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Over 50% of traveller travel solo with Intrepid. You can choose to share a room with another solo travelle of the same sex for no additional charge, or choose to pay a single supplement if you’d like your own room. Please request this when booking, and we will secure you a single supplement wherever possible. Please note, if you are booking a last-minute trip, it may be harder for us to secure a single room

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Dates & Availability

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Saturday - Thursday

Apr 27, 2024 - May 02, 2024
$4510 $3105 (USD)

Operator discount: -$1317 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$88 (USD)

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May 11, 2024 - May 16, 2024
$3974 $2741 (USD)

Operator discount: -$1156 (USD)

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$3975 $3304 (USD)

Operator discount: -$578 (USD)

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$3974 $2741 (USD)

Operator discount: -$1156 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$77 (USD)

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Jun 22, 2024 - Jun 27, 2024
$3975 $3866 (USD)

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$3974 $2741 (USD)

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Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Intrepid Travel allows you to make 10 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 56 days before the start of the tour.

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Intrepid Travel allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform intrepid travel, 56 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Intrepid Travel requires a minimum deposit of 400 USD per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 56 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of intrepid travel charges.

    Up to 56 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 55 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 60% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

  • COVID Protection

    Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
    From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

    However, we continue to strongly recommend that all travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and other Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

    This policy excludes all Polar trips and select adventure cruises, where testing and vaccination remains a requirement. Please refer to the Essential Trip Information of your chosen tour for more details.

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