Galapagos Adventure - Nemo II Itinerary A

11 days
from
£4,349
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Trip code: 
WGNA
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Wildlife Holidays
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–14

Seven nights on-board a First Class Motor Sail Catamaran exploring the Galapagos Islands

The extraordinary archipelago of the Galapagos left a lasting impression on Darwin and is likely to do the same for you if you travel on board the Nemo II, a First Class Motor Sail Catamaran. An enchanted world, characterised by stark lava fields, cactus forests, volcanic craters, mangrove lagoons and turquoise waters. Step over snoozing sea lions, watch the courting rituals of Blue-footed boobies or snorkel with turtles, sharks and rays.

Highlights

  • Spend seven nights on-board a First Class Motor Sail Catamaran exploring the Galapagos Islands
  • Have incredible wildlife viewing and photographic opportunities with near-tame animals
  • Snorkel with iridescent fish, playful sea lions and turtles 
  • Experience the fantastic on-board service with an expert naturalist guide 
  • Join a small group on board the well equipped Nemo II

Key information

  • Travel by internal flight, catarmaran and minibus
  • Island walks and snorkelling excursions included
  • Group normally 4 to 14, plus local leader. Min. age 16 years
  • 7 nights on board the Nemo II in en suite, air-conditioned cabins, 2 nights comfortable hotel

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 7 lunches and 7 dinners included
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Compulsory Galapagos taxes USD120 (approx. GBP95), paid locally

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

London
to
London
  • Day 1

    Fly to Quito.

    The group flight usually arrives into Quito this evening. Land Only clients should aim to arrive at the hotel this afternoon/evening. Free transfers are available for all clients. A local guide will welcome you to Quito and explain the schedule for the next few days.

    Accommodation: Hotel Vieja Cuba (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

  • Day 2

    Discover Quito at your leisure.

    Today is free to relax, recover from the flight and explore the fascinating city of Quito. Quito is the second highest capital in the world, standing at 2,850m on the western cordillera of the Andes. It is one of the smaller and more attractive of the colonial capitals of South America. Because of the altitude visitors to Quito are advised to take it easy at first.

    Accommodation: Hotel Vieja Cuba (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Fly to Galapagos; board Nemo II.

    This morning we transfer to Quito Airport for our flight to the Galapagos Islands. Be prepared for an early start as this could mean leaving the hotel around 5.30am. A USD20 per person transit card is payable on departure at Quito and a USD100 per person national park entry fee is payable on arrival in the Galapagos. Please have cash on hand to pay for these.

    On arrival in the Galapagos we are met in the arrivals hall and then transferred to our boat, the Nemo II, which will be anchored a short distance away in Santa Cruz. Once on board we'll be assigned our cabins, meet the crew and get to know our naturalist guide and fellow travellers over lunch. The rest of your schedule will follow itinerary A.

    Navigate to Bachas beach. The name is “Spanglish” for 'barges', which were wrecked offshore during World War II. There is a delightful swimming beach here with a lagoon behind, and a longer beach for a stroll and wildlife-watching. The saltwater lagoon often has Great Blue herons and small waders such as Sanderlings. Both beaches are nesting areas for Green sea turtles which leave tracks in the sand, especially from November to February. After dinner we navigate the short distance to Santa Cruz.
    Nemo II

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Galapagos Cruise Day 2

    Today's excursion allows us to discover the highlands of Santa Cruz and its incredible vegetation zones. We visit a private finca called 'Las Primicias' which offers the best possibility to see Galapagos giant tortoises in their natural habitat. Our next visit will be the Charles Darwin Research Centre to begin learning about the ecology of the islands, their origin and formation. You can also see the famous Galapagos giant tortoise hatchery which is based here.
    Nemo II

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Galapagos Cruise Day 3

    A day at San Cristobal Island to discover Cerro Brujo, a striking eroded tuff cone and one of the first sites visited by Charles Darwin. We have a landing to explore the white sand beach where Blue-footed boobies, Brown pelicans, sea lions and marine iguanas are all found, before making our way to explore the striking spear of Kicker Rock and the nearby sea lion colony of Isla Lobos.

    Nemo II

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Galapagos Cruise Day 4

    Arriving at Espanola Island, we spend the morning at Punta Suarez on the western tip where sea lions, sea birds and the largest marine iguanas of the Galapagos are found, along with Masked boobies nesting among the rock formations. A 45 minute boat ride from Punta Suarez takes us to Gardner Bay, a stunning stretch of white-sand beach with excellent possibilties for swimming and snorkelling. Visitors can find migrant, resident and endemic wildlife include brightly coloured marine iguanas, Espanola lava lizards, Hood mockingbirds, Swallow-tailed gulls, Galapagos hawks and a large colony of Waved albatross.

    Nemo II

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Galapagos Cruise Day 5

    Today we arrive on Floreana Island, where the famous Post Office Bay is found. In 1793 British whalers established a Post Office barrel to send letters to and from England, a tradition that has continued and thrives to this day, with many visitors collecting and leaving postcards to destinations all over the world! We also visit Cormorant Point today, an area with a green sand beach (caused by the olivine crystals) and large lagoon where Pink flamingoes and other shore birds can be seen. This is also a good spot for seeing Large-billed flycatchers and numerous finch species.

    Nemo II

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Galapagos Cruise Day 6

    After naviating to Santa Fe Island we spend some time in one of the most beautiful coves in all of the Galapagos, with its white sandy beaches and turquiose waters. In the large sea lion colony bulls vie for the right of beachmaster whilst cows laze in the sun. The loop trail leads us past salt bushes where Galapagos hawks can be seen at close range, alongside the largest land iguanas in the Galapagos. This afternoon we navigate to South Plazas island, where the biggest population of land iguanas in the Galapagos can be found. The iguanas here are yellow-brown and feed on the fruit and pads of the Prickly Pear Cactus. As we walk alongside the sea cliffs, Swallow-tailed gulls, frigatebirds, Audubon shearwaters, Red-Billed tropicbirds, Brown pelicans, Blue-footed and Masked boobies are frequently seen.

    Nemo II

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    Galapagos Cruise Day 7

    Sombrero Chino is a small islet located near the south-east coast of Santiago. Shaped like a Chinese hat when seen from afar, it is geologically fascinating, with many lava tubes leading from the cone to the coast. We land on a beautiful crescent-shaped white sand beach, home to sea lions and Sally Lightfoot crabs. The trail on Sombrero Chino explores its volcanic origin, one of the most evident in the islands. Snorkeling in the waters near Sombrero Chino can create a stir; white-tipped sharks frequent these waters, as do the playful Galapagos penguins and sea lions. This afternoon we navigate to Bartolome, a desolate landscape made famous by the tuff cone known as Pinnacle Rock, which has become one of the most visited and photographed parts of the islands. Very little vegetation grows in this barren place. Mangroves border the beach and the small shrub Tiguilia grows in the volcanic sands. The seeds and tiny white flowers of the Chamaesycae provide food for the island's finches. These plants are common to arid regions and are able to survive in harsh volcanic conditions.

    Nemo II

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    Fly to Guayaquil; depart Guayaquil.

    An early start to explore Black Turtle Cove, a red mangrove wetland on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island. This is a wonderful spot to see Green turtles and is a nursery for rays and Galapagos sharks. There is also abundant birdlife, such as the Yellow warbler and Lava heron.

    We say farewell to the Galapagos Islands after this mornings excursion and head to the airport on Baltra for our flight to Guayquil where the holiday ends. At Guayaquil airport it's possible to connect with international flights this evening from 6pm onwards. 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Arrive London

    Flight inclusive clients will arrive in London today.

Essential Info

Visas

Ecuador

British passport holders do not need a visa for Ecuador. Very few other nationalities need a visa for Ecuador, but if you are in any doubt you should contact the nearest Ecuadorian Embassy.
Please note that if flying via the US (even as a transit passenger) you must clear US immigration. Most UK citizens are eligible for visa-free travel, but you must register on the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), which costs USD14 and is valid for two years. Please go to http://www.exodus.co.uk/USvisa for more information.

Vaccinations

Ecuador

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Typhoid and Hepatitis A. If you will spend any time in the Amazon Rainforest we recommend a Yellow Fever vaccination. Please note that your certificate of vaccination may be inspected on arrival to this region. Malaria is also a risk in some areas of the country (including the Amazon Rainforest) so we suggest you consult a Doctor for more advice. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up‐to‐ date information.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 7 lunches and 7 dinners included.

All meals onboard the Nemo II are included and will be served in a buffet style. There is a wide choice of food available, including vegetarian options.

Should you have specific dietary requirements it is essential that you inform us at least 2 weeks prior to your departure.

Weather

In Quito and the highlands it should be warm by day and generally dry. Maximum daytime temperatures are almost constant throughout the year at 20ºC, nights 8ºC. Some rain can be expected in February to May and October to November but storms, though heavy, are generally short, and Quito is considered to have quite a pleasant climate.

It is possible to visit the Galapagos at any time of year, though the weather patterns are complicated and cannot be reduced to easy formulas. The weather is controlled by the two main ocean currents of the region, the Humboldt, bringing cold water from the Antarctic, and El Nino, which brings tropical water from the Gulf of Panama. How close to Galapagos they converge (which varies from year to year) is the key to the weather.

'Dry season'

Generally speaking, late May to early December is the cooler 'dry' season. In this period it is not necessarily dry, as there is a persistent light mist (garua) and often light drizzle, and the higher mountain slopes are covered in cloud and fog or rain. At this time the winds are in the southeast and are higher than at other times, so seas can sometimes be choppy and anyone worried about seasickness might be better advised to avoid it. Daytime maximum temperatures lie between 27ºC and 31ºC, the cooler months being July to November. In July and August the fairly strong winds introduce a chill factor, and it can feel quite cold at nights, though throughout the year the official night temperatures vary between 19ºC and 24ºC.

'Wet season'

Depending on how close the convergence of the two currents comes to Galapagos, there may or may not be a wet season from January to April or May. Approximately every seven years the El Nino current actually hits the islands and there will be heavy rains in these months. In other years there will be more or less rain, usually falling sporadically from otherwise clear skies. The ocean temperatures are higher, with generally calm seas and strong sunshine: pleasant, but potentially very hot. Apart from an El Nino year, the weather is usually better from December/January to April/May than at other times even if there is some rain, and most people would regard these months as the best time to go.

Is this trip for you?

This trip has been graded 1 (Leisurely) with a Safari Rating of 5.

It is ideal for wildlife enthusiasts, photographers and those with an interest in history or geology. Though you do not need to be particularly fit, you should note that due to the volcanic nature of the Galapagos islands there will be some walking on rough ground and sharp volcanic rocks. The ability to withstand high temperatures and swim will maximize your enjoyment. Due to local regulations in the Galapagos we have specific time slots for making our landings and site visits. There is usually very little disruption to the schedule, but this can mean little room for deviation in the event of poor weather or other circumstances.

Each day will feature a mixture of walking, snorkelling and exploring the islands by boat. To get closer to the designated landing sites on each of the islands we disembark the Nemo II into small pangas (motorised dinghys). Landings on the islands are divided into two types - wet and dry. For dry landings, the panga will take you right up to a landing stage or rocky outcrop where you can disembark without getting wet. However in some places where there is no landing stage the panga will stop close to a beach and you will be expected to walk through shallow water (generally no more than ankle-deep) to the shore. The leader will always advise conditions prior to leaving the Nemo II and it is possible to skip any particular excursion if you would rather relax on board the boat.

There are plenty of opportunities for snorkelling in the Galapagos and this is one of the best ways to experience the marine life. A mask and snorkel will reveal an exciting underwater world with sea lions, rays, turtles, marine iguanas and a colourful array of fish. On most days of the itinerary there will be time set aside for snorkelling. We offer these cruises in conjunction with our Ecuadorian partners, and Exodus participants will join an international group, not all of whom have booked through Exodus. Occasionally some of these may be younger than Exodus' minimum age for this trip.

Accommodation

Catamaran - Nemo II

The Nemo II is a First Class Motor Sail Catamaran with an outside lounge and dining area, an inside lounge/bar area and a spacious sun deck, perfect for relaxing and observing the incredible Galapagos landscape. There are two superior cabins with double beds, two standard cabins with a lower single bed and an upper double bed, and three twin cabins with two single beds. All cabins have air conditioning and en suite bathrooms. Beach towels are provided and there are also two sea kayaks on board for passenger use. Please note that a lot of the travelling between islands is done overnight, so some cabin noise and movement should be expected.

Boat specifications:
First Class Motor Sail Catamaran
14 passenger capacity with 2 superior cabins, 2 standard cabins and 3 twin cabins.
Crew: 6 + 1 naturalist guide
Length: 21.88m
Beam: 10.39m
2 Engines

Expert Blog Entries

Part archipelago, part biodiversity showcase, the remarkable volcanic islands of the

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Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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