• Galapagos

Birding or Birding & Photography - 9 Days GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

The Galapagos Islands are recognized worldwide for their great biodiversity and endemic-ism. In the enchanted islands you will enjoy photographing wildlife only a few meters away.

This can be a stand-alone tour or an add on to any of our other Ecuador tours with the option to customize the itinerary on the mainland.

Our itinerary is specially designed to photograph the most beautiful and emblematic species of the islands. The next eight days we will spend on the islands and visit the best places for wildlife viewing and/or photography.

Itinerary tab directly below, next to the gallery tab
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Gallery

Itinerary

Click on each day to see daily itinerary & target species

Day 1 Arrival - Guayaquil

Arriving on your flight in Guayaquil you will be met by your guide in the airport arrivals hall and transfer to your lodge. We may have time to do birding around the lodge depending on your arrival time.

Day 2 San Cristobal

We will catch the earliest flight available today to San Cristobal Island. After checking-in at our hotel and lunch we will depart at 2pm to La Lobería, a 20 minutes’ drive from our hotel.

Target Birds: Yellow Warbler, Greater Frigatebird, Cactus Finch, Small Ground Finch, Medium Ground Finch, Vegetarian Finch, Red-billed Tropical Bird.

Depending on how much time we spend at La Loberia we may also visit Laguna El Junco.

Target Birds:  Yellow Warbler, Magnificent Frigatebird, White-cheeked Pintail, Galapagos Flycatcher, Small Ground Finch, Woodpecker Finch, Galapagos Petrel.

 Accommodation: Blue Marlin Hotel

Day 3 San Cristobal - Espanola Island

An early start at 7 am by speedboat to Española Island (2 hours).

Our first stop is Punta Suarez where we will disembark for around 1,5 hours. Lunch will be on the boat as we head to Garnes Bay. Here we will have the opportunity to observe different species of birds and go snorkelling.

*Note: This is a scheduled tour, the boat has capacity for 12 people and there could be other people joining the tour. If you wish we can hire a private boat at an additional cost.

Target Birds: Swallow tailed Gull, Red-billed Tropicbird, Blue-footed Boobie, Nazca Boobie, Small Ground Finch, Medium Ground Finch, Large Cactus Finch, Waved Albatross, Hood Mockingbird, Galapagos Hawk, Small Ground Finch, Cactus Finch, Warbler Finch, Blue-winged Teal, Common Nighthawk, Pink-footed Shearwater, Galapagos Shearwater, Common Barn Owl, Hood Island Mockingbird.

Accommodation: Blue Marlin Hotel

Day 4 Isabela Island – Galapaguera & Tintorera Islets

At 6:30am we will catch our transfer to the airport for our flight to Isabela Island. After check-in at the hotel we will take a tour of the wetlands and visit a turtle breeding site known as Galapaguera, a mere 5 minutes from our hotel. In the afternoon we will go down to the pier to visit the Tintorera Islets located in front of the bay, a short just 5 minutes by boat. This is a good place for snorkelling.

Target Birds: White-cheeked Pintail, Greater Flamingo, Cactus Finch, Small Ground Finch, Large Ground Finch, Medium Ground Finch, Black-necked Stilt, Wimbrel, Yellow Warbler, Galápagos Mockingbird, Lava Gull, Cactus Finch, Blue-footed Booby, American Oystercatcher, Sanderling

Accommodation: Casa Marita

Day 5 Isabela Island - Punta Moreno

Our day starts at 6am as we take a private boat to Punta Moreno, a 3,5 hour trip. Punta Moreno is located on the north coast of Isabela Island between the volcano Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul volcano. It has a panoramic view of three volcanoes, the most active of the Galapagos.  Whales, sea birds and dolphins are often encountered along the way with good photographic opportunities. Large marine iguanas can be viewed spread around the volcanic rocks at Punta Moreno and this is the best place to observe the enigmatic Flightless Cormorant and Galapagos Penguin. We will return in the afternoon.

Target Birds: Flightless Cormorant, Greater Flamingo, White-cheeked Pintail, Galapagos Penguin, Black-necked Stilt, Ruddy Turnstone.

 Accommodation: Casa Marita

Day 6 Sierra Negra Volcano and Santa Cruz Island

After breakfast we will visit the Sierra Negra Volcano, 40 minutes from our hotel. It is the largest and one of the most active volcanoes in the Islands, it also has one of the largest calderas in the world.

Target Birds: Dark-billed Cuckoo, Galápagos Mockingbird, Galapagos Hawk, Tyrant Flycatcher, Galapagos Flycatcher, Large tree finch, Small Ground Finch, Large Ground Finch, Medium Ground Finch, Small Tree Finch

We will return for lunch at our hotel before our transfer to Santa Cruz by speed boat that takes around 2 hours with more opportunities to observe sea birds along the way.

Accommodation: Casa Judy

Day 7 Santa Cruz Island – Media Luna, Tortuga Bay

A mere 20 minutes from our hotel we will visit  Media Luna (The Media Luna sector is located in the Miconia area, nesting habitat of the Galapagos petrel, the same species that prefer the high parts of several islands such as Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal, Floreana, Santiago and Isabela). We will have lunch at Rancho Primicias where we can observe several species of giant tortoises as well as some species of birds. In the afternoon we will take a 10 minutes boat ride to Tortuga Bay, famous for its white sand and nesting place of green sea turtles.

Target Birds: Greater Flamingo, Magnificent Frigatebird, Lava Gull, Small Ground Finch, Cactus Finch, Galapagos Rail, Tyrant Flycatcher, Galapagos Petrel, Large Tree Finch, Woodpecker Finch, Warbler Finch, Large Ground Finch, Medium Ground Finch, Small Tree Finch, Lava heron, Galapagos Dove

Accommodation: Casa Judy

Day 8 Santa Cruz Island – North Seymore, Bachas Beach

Our day starts early as we head down to the pier and take a boat to visit North Seymor, a 45 minutes trip. This small island is one of the most important feeding sites for Marine Birds. The site is located next to the nesting area both Magnificent and Common Frigatebirds that roost here on the trees all year round. Witnessing the mating dance of the Blue Footed Boobies is also one of the highlights of the experience. Additionally the Palo Santo forest, that spreads on the south shore of Seymour, offer a spectacular views of nesting birds and of the channel formed between Bartolomé and Seymour. After lunch we will visit Bachas beach before returning to our accommodation.

Target Birds: White-vented Storm-petrel, White-faced Storm-petrel, White-bellied Storm-petrel, Waved Albatross, Madeiran Storm-petrel, Wedge-rumped Storm-petrel, Leach's Storm-petrel, Great Frigatebird, Magnificent Frigatebird, Nazca Booby, Red-footed Booby, Swallow-tailed Gull, Lava Gull, Sooty Tern, Vermilion Flycatcher

Accommodation: Casa Judy

Day 9 Gemelos Craters and return to Quito

After breakfast we will visit the Gemelos craters 20 minutes from our hotel. This location is characterized by a dense forest where you can observe up to eight of the thirteen Darwin Finch Species and is one of the best places to observe Vermilion Flycatcher. Afterwards we will be transferred to Baltra airport for our return flight to Guayaquil  arriving between 5 and 6pm. Please inquire if you need additional accommodation in Guayaquil or want to add on an additional 3 day birding around Guayaquil.

Lunch at airport not included.

*This trip can be combined with any of our central or southern Ecuador birding or photography trip.

Rates

The tour starts and end in Guayaquil city.
The best months to travel to the Galapagos are from May to August, this is the nesting season, but September and October are still an excellent birding months.

2021/22 Price:

2 pax US$ 6800 per person

4 pax US$ 5900 per person

6 pax US$ 5500 per person

8 pax US$ 5000 per person

Included:
All accommodation (land based accommodation on the Galapagos islands), meals and transfers, photography/wildlife guide, entrance and park fees, boat trips and flight between islands and internal flights: Guayaquil - Galapagos - Guayaquil, snorkel gear

Excluded:
International flights, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, travel and medical insurance, laundry or any other additional services, tips.