Seaport of Guayaquil & Galapagos Land of Evolution – Opt B
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Seaport of Guayaquil & Galapagos Land of Evolution – Opt B
11 Days

Explore and learn about the evolutionary and geological significance of the islands while still having the opportunity to relax and enjoy the warm Ecuadorian sun

 
About

This extraordinary journey begins in the seaport of Guayaquil and continues to the Galapagos Islands. You will begin with a day in Guayaquil, exploring the boardwalk along the Guayas River and the botanical garden and the contemporary art museum.

The following day, you will set out to explore the Galapagos Islands. Your English-speaking naturalist guide will make your experience both fun and educational since you will have ample time to learn about the evolutionary and geological significance of the islands while still having the opportunity to relax, enjoy the warm Ecuadorian sun, and snorkel and swim in the pristine turquoise waters. During this once-in-a-life-time experience you will have the opportunity to view and photograph extraordinary wild life, many of them endemic, including species such as: the marine iguana, 7 species of lava lizards, two species of land iguanas, Galapagos sea lions, giant tortoises, Galapagos fur seals, Pacific green sea turtles, bottlenose dolphins, and over 100 species of birds. Some of the bird species include the blue-footed booby, brown pelican, masked booby, red-footed booby, frigate birds, Galapagos hawk, lava gull, Galapagos dove and thirteen finch species made famous by Charles Darwin.

Galapagos Cruises: Mondo Verde Expeditions LLC alternates two different full week 7-night itineraries as required by the Galapagos National Park in an effort to better reduce usage on heavily visited sites. The order of visits may vary slightly depending on the yacht assigned.

Highlights during your Ecuador and Galapagos Journey:

  • seaport of Guayaquil tour
  • 7-night yacht expedition
  • Superior first-class motor yacht
  • Dining room featuring Ecuadorian and international cuisine
  • Fully-stocked bar
  • Conference room for briefings with TV, DVD player and library
  • Observation areas and open sun deck
  • snorkeling
  • kayaking
  • nature hikes
  • time to enjoy pristine beaches

Enjoy during the cruise:

  • Three meals daily, snacks and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Captain's welcome and farewell cocktail parties
  • Excursions daily with English-speaking naturalist
  • Complimentary snorkeling equipment, custom wet suits and clear-bottom kayaks included during the Cruise

 
D1

Arrival in Guayaquil
Arrival in Guayaquil, (Friday) Ecuador. Meet Mondo Verde Expeditions representative. Transfer to hotel for overnight.

Meals aloft


 
D2

Guayaquil City and Historical Park
Morning tour of Guayaquil’s seaport, which has gone through a metamorphosis over the past few years. Its crown jewel is the Malecon (boardwalk) 2000, a two-mile pedestrian walkway along the Guayas River, with restaurants, cafés and shops, botanical gardens and a contemporary art museum. Many buildings in the city have been refurbished, especially in Las Peñas, Guayaquil’s oldest neighborhood, where centuries-old houses line narrow, atmospheric streets. Another new attraction is the Guayaquil Historical Park, an in situs museum of the region’s history and culture. Here you’ll find a wildlife park with the flora and fauna that once populated the area including parrots, tapirs and deer, a historic zone that recreates Guayaquil from the early 1900s, and an area that celebrates the indigenous cultures complete with recreated haciendas and people in native dress. Overnight in Guayaquil.

B,L


 
D3

Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, SAN CRISTOBAL (Chatham)
CCJG (La Galapaguera Cerro Colorado), SAN CRISTOBAL

Transfer back to airport for flight to Galapagos. Upon arrival to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, SAN CRISTOBAL, our crew is waiting at the airport to escort you by bus to the dock and then by Zodiac to your yacht anchored in the bay. After the welcome briefing and safety drill, a delicious buffet lunch is served.

We travel by bus to the highlands to visit Centro de Crianza Jacinto Gordillo aka La Galapaguera Cerro Colorado where the National Park has established a breeding program for the giant land tortoises that you will encounter in their natural habitat. Learn about their origin, evolution and threats by introduced animals at the information center for visitors. Along the trail, we find the San Cristobal (Chatham) mockingbird and Calandrinia plant, both endemic to this island. Join your fellow yacht mates this evening for your first briefing followed by our Captain’s welcome cocktail party and dinner prepared by our well-trained chefs.

B,L,D


 
D4

Darwin Bay (SN, PR, KY), GENOVESA (Tower)
Prince Philip’s Steps (SN, PR) GENOVESA

We spend the entire day on TOWER (Genovesa), considered to be one of the most spectacular Islands in Galapagos for bird species. We have a wet-landing on Darwin Bay, a coral sand beach where Swallow-tailed and Lava gulls gather near the tide pools. Enter a forest of Optuntia cactus and mangroves where colonies of Great Frigate birds nest. The males inflate their red-throated pouches to attract females as they fly overhead. The trail leads through a rich inter tidal zone where we find a wide diversity of wildlife. After lunch, we have a dry landing at Prince Philip’s Steps. Red-footed boobies nest here in Palo Santo trees and Nazca Boobies nest near the trail. In an open lava field, we find Storm Petrels in large numbers. If you are lucky, we will see the elusive Short-eared owl.

Chose to have a picnic lunch on deck or dine inside. Look for the beautiful Red-billed Tropic bird found in the crevices along the cliff by kayak or Zodiac. You can choose to swim or snorkel from the beach with sea lions in these northern warmer waters or for those with experience, we offer snorkeling in deeper water. Return to the yacht for briefing and dinner before we cross the equator.

B,L,D


 
D5

Las Bachas (SN) or Black Turtle Cove (PR)
Cerro Dragon (SN) SANTA CRUZ

Today we visit Las Bachas, which is the Spanish translation for “barges”. There is a long stretch of a soft white sand beach and interior lagoons where we find the Greater Flamingo. There is also a wonderful chance to snorkel here from the beach. At Black Turtle Cove aka Caleta Tortuga Negra we have a zodiac ride through a series of coves and inlets surrounded by mangroves. Here you can view pairs of mating sea turtles (Sept to Feb), white-tipped reef sharks and golden cow-nosed rays. Located on the northern tip of Santa Cruz is Cerro Dragon aka Dragon Hill.

Along the trail, we find Darwin Finches, Galapagos Flycatchers, Yellow Warblers, Audubon Shearwater and the endemic land iguanas, orange-yellow in color with large spines along their backs, were once part of the Darwin Station’s breeding program. We find pink flamingos feeding in the salt-water lagoon as well as other lagoon birds; stilts, pintail ducks, sandpipers and more. From the top of the hill, we enjoy a majestic view of the bay island covered in Opuntia cactus, Palo Santo and Cordia Lutea (muyuyu). After the briefing and dinner, we sail toward the western islands and cross the equator line for the second time.

B,L,D


 
D6

Punta Espinosa (SN), FERNANDINA (Narborough)
Urbina Bay, ISABELA (SN) (Albemarle) or Punta Vicente Roca

We have a semi-wet landing at Punta Espinoza, FERNANDINA, the youngest and most pristine Island in Galapagos with no introduced mammals. Recent lava flows formed by an active volcano stretch their way around the coast. Hundreds of Marine Iguanas, the largest colony in Galapagos, bask in the sun along the rugged shoreline. Observe sea lion harems with resident bulls carefully guarding their territory.

Flightless Cormorants build their nest on the point and Galapagos Hawks fly overhead. There is a chance to snorkel here with sea turtles. After lunch, we cross the Bolivar Chanel where we often spot whales and dolphins riding the bow wave.

We disembark at Urbina Bay, ISABELA, where we find four miles of its coastal seabed, with marine life exposed due to a dramatic uplift in 1954 when the volcano erupted. The marine remnants of coral skeletons, some of them waist-high, are visited after a wet landing on the beach. Urbina is home to the very large and colorful Galapagos land iguanas, occasionally giant tortoises, Darwin Finches. Brown Pelicans and Flightless Cormorants also nest here. Giant Marine Iguanas are seen along the coast. You may encounter penguins while snorkeling here. At Punta Vicente Roca, a Zodiac ride offers an incredible view of the tuff walls, we can enter the wave-sculpted cave and find sea turtle who frequent this area. You may spot the dorsal fin of a Mola Mola, an odd looking giant sun fish. Return to the yacht for briefing and dinner.

B,L,D


 
D7

Elizabeth Bay, ISABELA (PR)
Tagus Cove, ISABELA (SN, PR, KY)

We visit Elizabeth Bay, ISABELA by zodiac starting with a visit to a secluded cove, lined with large red mangrove trees. Here, turtles, rays, and shore birds can be seen. We motor to the rocky islets known as “Las Marielas”, where a colony of nesting Penguins, Flightless Cormorants and giant Marine Iguanas are found. Isabela was created when six volcanoes flowed together and formed the largest Island in Galapagos.

We have a dry landing at Tagus Cove, located on the western Island of ISABELA and a favorite anchorage for pirates and whalers over the centuries. Old graffiti dating back to the 1800′s is written on the rocky cliffs. Explore the Coves by Zodiac or kayak to find Galapagos Penguins, Boobies, Pelicans and other seabirds. An uphill hike brings us to a salt-water lagoon, a scenic overlook with a spectacular view of the ocean, lava fields and volcanic formations. An excellent snorkeling site is offered from the zodiac or take out a Kayak and explore the shoreline. After dinner, a sky full of stars beckons to go on deck and observe the galaxy while crossing the equator for the last time.

B,L,D


 
D8

Puerto Egas, SANTIAGO (SN) (James)
Rabida Island (SN, PR, KY) (Jervis)

We stroll along the shoreline at Puerto Egas, SANTIAGO (James) looking for octopus, starfish and other sea life caught in the tide pools. At low tide, catch a glimpse of marine iguanas as they feed on exposed green algae. Watch for great blue herons, lava herons, American oystercatchers and yellow-crowned night herons. Our walk ends at the grottos, deep pools of clear water where we encounter fur sea lions once on the verge of extinction. Before returning to the yacht, there is a snorkeling opportunity. After lunch, take a seat on deck to view the dramatic landscape and dolphins that are often spotted here. We disembark on RABIDA (Jervis), located near James Island.

Rabida is considered the geographic center of Galapagos because this island sports the most diversified volcanic rocks. The dark red sand beach originated from the high content of iron in the volcanic stones. While strolling along the trail, you may find marine iguanas, mocking birds, yellow warblers and several species of Darwin Finches leading to a salt water lagoon where Greater Flamingos migrate. After the walk, there is not-to-miss snorkeling option with a large colony of sea lions. We return to the yacht for the Captain’s Farwell cocktail party and dinner as well as a special slide show presentation by your guides.

B,L,D


 
D9

Highlands of SANTA CRUZ (Indefatigable)
CCFL (Darwin Station) SANTA CRUZ

We travel by bus to the highlands of SANTA CRUZ Island. The scenery gradually changes as we wind our way through all seven vegetation zones found in Galapagos. Here, we visit the tortoise reserve at “Las Primicias” one of the private farms in the highlands where we encounter giant tortoises in their natural habitat. We stop at “the tunnels”, the largest lava tubes found in Galapagos. Look out for the bright red male vermilion flycatcher. After lunch, we will have our last briefing. Today we visit the Centro de Crianza Fausto Llerena aka Charles Darwin Research Station. See all three tortoise corals and the breeding center with new hatchlings and miniature tortoises not yet ready to be repatriated.

Scientists from all over the globe work at the station and conduct biological research from anatomy to zoology. We stop at Van Straelen Hall where there are exhibits and a short video presentation. Visitors can see the tortoise and land iguana corrals. Puerto Ayora is the social heart of the islands with the largest population of 24,000 inhabitants. This evening you have the option to return to your yacht for a buffet dinner or remain in town on your own account. Those who return to the yacht will be provided zodiacs to return to town to shop for souvenirs or stop at an Internet café. Zodiacs will be provided for your return to the yachts.

B,L,D


 
D10

Interpretation Center, SAN CRISTOBAL

We visit the Interpretation Center opened on San Cristobal Island in 1999 by bus. Here we gain a more complete understanding of the natural and human history of the Islands. Afterwards, we spend some time in port before heading to the airport for our flight back to the mainland departing before noon time on Aerogal.  Afterwards, we head straight to the airport for our flight back to Guayaquil. After arrival transfer to hotel for overnight. Dinner at the hotel on your own.

B,L


 
D11

Guayaquil - USA
Morning transfer back to the airport for flight back to USA. Afternoon arrival in US.

B

Abbreviations: B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner, SN = snorkel, KY = kayak, PR = panga (dingy) ride

 

Note: We offer private extension to Peru for participants looking to travel to the Cusco and Machu Picchu of Peru. We also offer private extension to the Colca Canyon/Arequipa, the Amazon Basin and the Lake Titicaca regions of Peru.


 
Included

All hotel accommodations based on double occupancy. Round-trip airfare Guayaquil to Galapagos (there may be a fuel surcharge added). Galapagos park and transit fees. Cabin accommodation, all meals and snacks on the boat, non-alcoholic beverages, mineral water, Captain's welcome and farewell cocktail, guide services, shore excursions, use of wet suits, snorkeling equipment and sea kayaks, transfers in the Islands between the airport and dock. Other meals as specified in the itinerary, entrance fees, transfers, and English speaking guides. B=Breakfast; L= Lunch; D=Dinner.


 
Not Included

Does not include international airfares, airport departure taxes or visa fees, meals not specified, tips and gratuities, excess baggage charges, alcoholic beverages, insurance of any kind. Tips


 
Basics

Pricing: Per person based on double occupancy on Superior Cabins. For Deluxe and Super Deluxe cabins price increases will apply. Cabins subject to availability at time of request. All transfers and services in Quito and Otavalo are private. First Class motor yacht has capacity for 20 passengers. Four star hotel accommodation in Quito.

Price per person based on double occupancy:
US$ 4,390.00

Flights: Guayaquil/Galapagos/Guayaquil. Prices Subject to change
From US$ 425.00 to US$ 469.00 for adults
From US$ 282.00 to US$ 322.00 for children

Park Tax:
US$ 100.00 adults. US$ 50.00 Children (Subject to Change)

Transit Card:
US$ 10.00

Note: Government Fuel Surcharges may apply without previous notification.


 
Moderate

Journey requires moderate walking along trails and sufficient mobility to board small boats in variable land and sea conditions. In the Galapagos several islands require "wet landings" meaning passengers must step out of a small zodiac in shallow water in order to reach the beach. Passengers are not required to go out on every outing and have the option to remain on board the large boat to relax. Travelers with heart conditions and high blood pressure should consult their physician before traveling at high altitude (Quito & Otavalo)


 
Predeparture

Entry requirements
A valid passport, with at least six months remaining before expiration, is required to enter Ecuador.  Visas are not currently required for visitors for up to 90 days, however it is the passenger’s responsibility to check with their Ecuadorian consulate prior to traveling to determine if a visa is necessary.

International Flights to Ecuador
Flights to Ecuador are currently serviced by American Airlines (Miami), United (Houston), DELTA (Atlanta), LAN (Miami and JFK), LACSA/TACA (San Jose), COPA (Panama), IBERIA (Madrid) and KLM (Amsterdam). All international tickets have the airport departure taxes included in the cost of the ticket.  Local customs authorities allow two suitcases with a total combined weight of 60 kilos per person.  A fee of $200.00 is charged for a third suitcase and $400.00 for a fourth suitcase, excluding carry-on bags.

Immunizations
No inoculations are currently required for visitors to Ecuador and Galapagos. Please do check with your local health office at least two weeks prior to your departure for an update.

Time Zone
Ecuador is in the Eastern Time Zone (GMT-5). Daylight savings time is not observed. Galapagos is one hour behind mainland Ecuador. On board, mainland Ecuador time is observed.

Local Currency
US Dollar is the monetary unit. Be sure to bring small bills ($1, $5, $10 are best).

Language spoken
English is spoken aboard the vessels by guides and Captains. All crew speak Spanish.

Electricity
110/AC 60 cycle (plugs are same as in the USA)

Passenger information form
All passengers must complete and send this form no later than 60 days prior to departure. It includes information such as passport name, passport number, expiration, nationality and date of birth, International flight schedule, itinerary and hotel contact in Ecuador. It also includes you specify an emergency contact, medical conditions, food allergies or any special dietary requests.

Included in your Land Journey and the Cruise rate
All transfer from/to the airports. Airline tickets (priced separately since they are subject to change) Entrance fee to the park and Transit Card (TCT) which are priced separately from main program.  All activities as described in the itinerary. Hotel and cabin accommodation on board, all meals and snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, filtered water, house wine and local beer with dinner, welcome and farewell Captains parties, guided shore excursions, use of snorkeling equipment, wet suits and kayaks, transfers between the airport and dock in Galapagos (Sundays only).

Not Included in your Land Journey and the Cruise rate
Airfare to Ecuador. Any extras due to delays, lost flight connections, excess luggage fee, personal expenses such as laundry or calls, gratuities for guides and crew, alcoholic beverages and purchases from the boutique. Travel insurance meals not specified in the program. Upgrades on flights or hotels.

Gratuities to guides & crew
Aboard our yachts, gratuities are not included. We prefer that our guests reward our crew based on their performance. Tipping is a personal matter and passengers are encouraged to tip an amount they find appropriate. For those passengers who inquire, we suggest they follow our guidelines of $200.00 per person. Gratuities are divided among all crew members including guides.

Galapagos entrance fee or “park tax”
The Islands are part of the Ecuador National Park system and the entrance fee is $100.00 per person.  Children age 11 and younger get a reduced rate of $50.00. The fee is divided up among various entities including the GNPS, Marine Reserve, agriculture, municipalities, INEFAN and INGALA.

Transit card fee
All visitors to Galapagos are required to purchase a “Tarjeta de Control de Transito” or TCT card for $10.00.  This card allows INGALA, the institution that controls migration to the islands to better regulate the flow of all arrivals and departure to Galapagos. Mondo Verde Expeditions LLC will register all passengers in advance provided the fee is pre-paid and we receive the passenger information form.

The park tax and TCT fees
These are included in the cruise rate. These fees are added to your cruise invoice and prepaid by Mondo Verde Expeditions LLC for your convenience provided that you arrive on Sunday to Galapagos (SCY) on the Aerogal flight or you decline to prepay. For those who decline to prepay or do not arrive on Sunday with Aerogal, you will need to pre-register on line and pay the fee at the airport.

Flights to Galapagos (San Cristobal)
Flights to Galapagos for Mondo Verde Expeditions LLC passengers are serviced by AEROGAL Airlines from Quito and Guayaquil.  Mondo Verde Expeditions LLC makes flight reservations for confirmed passengers automatically through our allotment of seats on Sunday’s to/from San Cristobal (SCY).  Passengers who purchase their tickets through Mondo Verde Expeditions LLC for the Aerogal flights will receive assistance with the check in procedure and can chose to pre-pay the park tax and transit card. A representative from Mondo Verde Expeditions LLC accompanies our passengers on this flight. The airline allows one checked suitcase (maximum 44 lbs.) and one carry-on bag per passenger.  Aerogal Airlines is required to spray inside the aircraft with a special process once doors are closed and is preparing for take-off.  This is considered common procedure for flights bound to fragile island eco-systems that are susceptible to prevent any invasive species or virus being accidentally transported to the islands.

Flight check in procedure
On the day of departure, please be at the airport in Quito or Guayaquil two hours prior to departure for check-in. A card will be left at your hotel the evening prior with the exact check in time. You must first have your bags inspected by SICGAL as required to travel to Galapagos. Next, look for the Mondo Verde Expeditions LLC representative at the AEROGAL Airline ticket counter to collect your boarding pass, transit card (if prepaid) and get assistance with check in.  Do not stand in line to pay the TCT card if you have already prepaid.  Upon arrival in Galapagos, you may be selected to be fingerprinted to complete the process of the migration control. Next you will form a line to process passengers for the Park entrance fee. Do inform the park representative that you are traveling with Mondo Verde Expeditions LLC if you have prepaid the fee.  They will have a list of prepaid passengers.  Once through, our guides will be waiting for you with signs. You do not need to claim your bags; our crew will collect all baggage and deliver them to your cabin.  Passengers who choose to travel to Galapagos earlier or choose to purchase tickets on another carrier will not be provided with the same services.

Transportation contract
All passengers will receive a cruise ticket at the airport in Guayaquil or Quito upon check in for the flight to Galapagos. The cruise ticket contains the terms and conditions of the transportation contract.  In order to review the terms before you leave home, you can view this on the company web site.

Travel Insurance
We recommend guests purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy to protect you and your investment before and during your trip.

Flight misconnection
We recommend that all passengers traveling to Galapagos consider two nights in mainland Ecuador prior to their cruise to allow for potential flight delays and misconnection.  This is particularly important for passengers traveling over winter holidays when flights tend to be overbooked and/or delayed caused by poor weather conditions

Physical limitations
The majority of Mondo Verde Expeditions LLC passengers are healthy, active and reasonably fit. Passengers able to walk a few hours a day unassisted will be able to fully enjoy Galapagos. Some of the excursions require more physical activity than others involving short steep climbs or long walks in hot weather or on uneven rocky trails. However, most excursions require moderate activity and the walks are at a leisurely pace. Entering and exiting the Zodiacs require that you need to be sure footed. If you are concerned about your ability to do any particular day hike, please consult with the naturalist before disembarkation. In order to enjoy your trip to its fullest potential, it is a good idea to do some exercise before your trip, such as walking, swimming or bicycling.   Please see your doctor for a check-up before traveling to Ecuador.  Any medical condition or physical disability that may require special attention or treatment must be advised to Mondo Verde Expeditions LLC at the time of booking.

Motion sickness
Due to strong currents, there will be moderate movement of the vessel while navigating.  Most passengers are not affected. However, if you are prone to seasickness, we strongly urge you bring some type of medication to prevent motion sickness.

Medical facilities on board
The yachts carry first aid kits and medical supplies. The Captain and guides are trained in basic First Aid procedures. All yachts have radio contact with the mainland for any medical emergencies.

Communications
Most telecommunication providers have signal in Galapagos and passengers can use their smart phones that are activated for international calling on days when the yachts are in close range to port. The yachts do not offer WiFi service.

Smoking policy
Smoking is prohibited in enclosed areas aboard the vessels and on the Islands.  Smoking is only allowed on the outside deck in a designated smoking area.

Drinking water
Bottled water is provided in your cabin and is free of charge. Filtered drinking water is provided during meal times. We suggest you do not drink water from the tap in your cabin. Water bottles can be refilled from the water container located in the bar area.

Special Occasions
You may order a bottle of wine ($30) or birthday cake ($20) to be served at dinnertime or a fruit basket ($10) for your cabin.  It is prohibited to bring flowers to Galapagos. Please advise us at least 30 days prior to departure.

Purchases on board
Every passenger has an open tab at the bar and boutique, which are paid the last day of the cruise. We accept cash (US Dollars), Master Card or VISA credit cards only

Island visits/ Activities
Passengers will be assigned by Mondo Verde Expeditions LLC to any of the three identical sister yachts at the company’s discretion. The vessels anchor offshore at two visitor sites or Islands per day.  Passengers are ferried to the landing point in zodiac style inflatable landing craft. The landings are either wet (where one must step into water anywhere from your ankles to your knees and wade to shore) or dry (where one steps from the panga directly to the volcanic rock). Your guide and Zodiac driver will assist you with a steady hand.  On the Islands, one follows marked trails set by the National Park walking at a leisurely pace together with your guide. You will spend 3-4 hours at each site allowing plenty of time to explore and photograph the wildlife.  In addition to the guided land excursions, we offer deep water snorkeling, beach swim/snorkel, kayaking and zodiac (dingy) rides. Mondo Verde Expeditions LLC is not currently offering any optional scuba diving until further notice.

Yacht & Itinerary Stipulations
Mondo Verde Expeditions LLC reserves the right at its sole option and discretion and that of the Captain of the vessel or National Park impact studies without liability for damages or refund of any kind to deviate from the vessel’s advertised or ordinary itinerary for any reason including mechanical failure. Mondo Verde Expeditions LLC will not be held responsible for any refund whatsoever for changes to the printed or scheduled itinerary.

Snorkeling equipment
There are many opportunities to snorkel during the cruise, sometimes twice a day from the beach and in deep water. Masks, fins and snorkels in average sizes are available on board free of charge for use during the cruise.   If you anticipate taking advantage of all snorkeling opportunities you may prefer to bring your own mask and snorkel for a proper fit.

Wet suits
Full 3mm wet suits are available for passengers to use during the cruise at no additional charge on a first come first serve basis. Wet suits are most popular from June to November when water temperatures are between 65 and 72 degrees.

Reserve a Wet suit
Passengers who would like to reserve a wet suit prior to the cruise may do so for a charge of $25.00 for the week. The fee will be charged to onboard account and paid at the end of the cruise. Reserved wet suits will be removed from the inventory and set aside for your exclusive use during the cruise.  In order to reserve a wet suit, we need to know your approximate size (size selection may vary by yacht):  Men: S, M, MT, L, XL, XXL, XXXL / Women:  S, M, MT, L, XL   / Children:  S, M, L

Sea Kayaks
Each yacht carries two tandem and one single sea kayaks. They are available at designated sites during the cruise at no charge on a first come first serve basis.

PACKING LIST
Dress is casual and comfortable, and informality is basic to all activities.  We recommend you pack in a collapsible, soft-sided suitcase. Checked bags should be securely locked for your security.   We recommend that you leave all valuables at home.  The yachts do not have safety boxes and cabins lock from the inside only.

  • Small backpack or knapsack
  • Walking shoes or lightweight hikers (Keens), socks
  • Sport sandals with a Velcro strap (Tevas)
  • Boat shoes or flip flops to wear on board
  • Comfortable lightweight pants
  • Shorts or nylon zip-off pants that convert to shorts
  • Short sleeve t-shirts, long sleeve t-shirts
  • (2) Bathing suits, sunscreen, lip balm SPF 30+
  • Wide brimmed hat, bandana, Sunglasses with UV filter and a strap
  • Lightweight wind breaker
  • Sweat shirt or fleece vest or light weight jacket (July to Nov only)
  • Camera equipment in a waterproof bag
  • Binoculars
  • Underwater camera
  • Personal medication, Sea sickness medication
  • Ear plugs
  • Small flashlight
  • Water bottle – non-polycarbonate plastic (or BPA free) that can be refilled from our containers of purified water made from our reserve osmosis water makers.
  • Toiletries – we ask that you bring only biodegradable sunscreens and lotions if possible.
  • Mondo Verde Expeditions LLC supplies you with biodegradable soap, shampoo and conditioner.
  • Although provided, you may want to bring your own snorkeling equipment (mask and snorkel)
  • Beach towels and hair dryers are provided and therefore it is not necessary that you bring these

Weather condition
The Galapagos have a surprisingly cool, sub-tropical climate. The larger islands with volcanic peaks have a variety of climatic zones. The coastal areas are arid and covered with plants adapted to desert conditions.  The highland areas receive moisture almost all year round, which support lush vegetation.  Temperatures are determined almost entirely by ocean currents, which are influenced by the trade winds. There are two seasons, both of which have some precipitation. Galapagos gets an average of ten inches of rain per year, it is never considered “rainy”. During the months of December to May, the cooling currents subside, temperatures rise and the climate is warm and sunny with occasional showers. In June, the trend begins toward cooler temperatures with moderate breezes, which continue through November. This period is referred to as the “garua” (pronounced gah-ru-ah) season, which means mist in Spanish.

MONTHLY TEMPERATURES

JAN      FEB     MAR    APR     MAY    JUN     JUL      AUG    SEP     OCT     NOV    DEC

MAX AIR TEMP:

84         86        88        86        82         78        76        74        76         77         78        80

MIN AIR TEMP:

70         74        74        72        72         68        66        64        62         64         66        68

AVG SEA TEMP:

74         76        76        76        74         74        72        66        68         70         72        74

AVG RAINFALL (In inches)

1            1           2       1.5        .75       .25       .50      .25        .50        .25        .50       .50

 

Follow the National park rules & regulations
The National Park establishes and maintains nature trails and interpretive signs.  Signs posted on board our vessels list the National Park Rules & Regulations. During the orientation, your guide will go over the Galapagos National Park rules, which you are required to follow. Visitors cannot legally go anywhere in the designated National Park area without being escorted by a licensed guide. During the cruise, listen to your naturalist guide and follow all the National park rules; they are as follows:

  1. Please do not disturb or remove any native plant, rock or animal on land or in the water.
  2. Be careful not to transport any live material or sand from one Island to the next.
  3. Do not take any food or drink except water to the uninhabited islands.
  4. Please do not touch, pet or feed the animals. Approaching them too closely or taking flash photography will disturb them.
  5. Please do not startle or chase any animal from its nesting place.
  6. Please do not leave any trash on the Islands or throw any litter overboard.
  7. Please follow the marked trails at all times and do not walk out of their limits.
  8. Please stay with your naturalist guide who must accompany all groups on the trails.
  9. Please do not buy souvenirs of objects made from native Galapagos products (except for wood) especially black coral, sea lion teeth and shells of the Galapagos tortoises.
  10. Do not smoke on the islands.

Suggested Reading – short list

  • Galapagos, Preserving Darwin’s Legacy, by Tui de Roy, 2009
  • Galapagos, Both sides of the Coin, by Pete Oxford & Graham Watkins, 2009
  • Darwin in Galapagos, Footsteps to a New World, by Greg Estes & Thalia Grant, 2009
  • Galapagos, Exploring Darwin’s Tapestry, by John Hess, 2009
  • Galapagos at the Crossroads; Pirates, Biologists, Tourists and Creationists Battle for Darwin’s Cradle of Evolution, by Carol Ann Bassett, 2009

Best Field guides

  • Galapagos, A Natural History Guide, by Michael Jackson
  • A Traveler’s Guide to the Galapagos Islands, by Barry Boyce
  • Galapagos Wildlife, by David Horwell & Pete Oxford, Brandt Publication
  • Galapagos, Reef Fish Identification Guide, by Paul Human

Lightweight and easy to pack

  • Galapagos, Smithsonian Natural History Series, by JC Kricher,
  • The Enchanted Isles, by Herman Melville, paperback
  • Galapagos, A Novel, by Kurt Vonnegut, paperback
  • The Voyage of the Beagle, by Charles Darwin, in paperback
  • On Natural Selection, Charles Darwin, Penguin Books
  • Galapagos, World’s End, by William Beebe

Insightful reading

  • On the Origin of Species, The Illustrated Edition, by Charles Darwin & David Quamman
  • The Beak of the Finch, by Jonathan Weiner (Pulitzer Prize-winning book)
  • The Reluctant Mr Darwin, by David Quammen,
  • Charles Darwin, The Concise story of an extraordinary man, by Tim Berra

Movies

  • Galapaogs Affair: Satin came to Eden (2013) murder mystery documentary
  • Galapagos 3D with David Attenborough (SKY) (2013) nature documentary series
  • Creation (2010) starring Paul Bettany as Charles Darwin, Jennifer Connelly as Emma
  • Master & Commander, The Far Side of the World (2008) starring Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany
  • Galapagos, The Islands that Changed the World (2007) Tilda Swinton
  • Galapagos (IMAX) (2002) follow marine biologist Carole Baldwin to the ocean floor

Relevant Links

  • Galapagos National Park Service:  www.galapagospark.org
  • Galapagos Conservency  www.galapagos.org
  • Galapagos Conservation Trust  www.gct.org
  • WildAid  www.wildaid.org
  • World Wildlife Fund www.wwf.org
  • Resaca, Aroma de Cafe or Santay – located on the Malecon 2000
  • Lo Nuestro – Victor Emilio Estrada 903 e Higueras  Tel:  238 -6398, Urdesa
  • Riviera – VE Estrada 707 y Ficus, Italian, Tel 288-3790,
  • Mi Tierra – Las Terrazas via Samborondon, Ecuadorian food, Tel 0483-7759

 
Reading List

http://www.longitudebooks.com/find/d/24856/r/3A/mcms.html


RELATED TRIPS
Galapagos Islands & Quito