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Galapagos: Wildlife Wonderland (BBC Earth Journey, For Families)

8 days with Tauck   Rating: Deluxe

Tauck Offers for this Trip

  • Young travelers receive $500 per person off family departures. Click here for eligible departures.

Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some offers are not combinable.


Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices Day 1 Arrive Quito, Ecuador
Tour begins: Swissôtel Quito. A transfer is included from Mariscal Sucre International Airport to the Swissôtel Quito, where you'll enjoy an Executive Level room. Join us for a special reception with local entertainment before our welcome dinner at the hotel. Then get a good night's sleep so you'll be rested and ready for your family's unforgettable Galápagos experience. (D)

Day 2 Visit the Equator and explore Quito
Quito is not only 9,200 feet above "seal" level, it's also on the Equator... the "middle of the world." Take the opportunity to stand on both the northern and southern hemispheres at the same time, and learn more about Quito's unique geography at the Inti Ñan Museum before enjoying an Ecuadorian brunch near a volcanic crater. Explore centuries-old Colonial Quito on a guided tour. Then spend the rest of the day and evening at leisure as you get set for tomorrow... when your Galápagos cruise gets underway! (B, L)

Day 3 Cruise to islands time forgot
Fly to Baltra Island for the start of your Galápagos cruise* aboard Santa Cruz II. We'll be charting a course for Santa Cruz Island today, where a wet landing takes you to pearly white Las Bachas Beach (named for the US military barges, referred to as "bachas," that were beached and abandoned there after WWII) - an important nesting area for the green sea turtle - surrounded by saltwater lagoons. Look for pintail ducks, flamingos, stilts, and sandpipers on a guided walk. Join our expert naturalists for an informative briefing back aboard ship this evening, prior to the Captain's welcome reception followed by dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 4 Meet the locals on Santiago Island
Go ashore on Santiago Island for a walk through a mangrove forest to see flocks of pink flamingos. This morning we'll take a boat ride off Buccaneer's Cove to observe seabirds like frigates, pelicans and boobies and go snorkeling off the panga. After lunch, a wet landing at Puerto Egas provides even more opportunities to see seabirds, along with a colony of sea lions, and marine iguanas. Go for a swim and a snorkel, and learn more about the sea lions and marine iguanas who live here. (B, L, D)

Day 5 Explore Rábida & Hike on Bartolomé
Meet Darwin's finches and other rare birds today after a wet landing on Rabida (Jervis) Island, with its red-colored beaches. Experience both wet and dry landings on your excursion to Bartolomé Island; hike up to the summit and drink in amazing vistas of its volcanic features and the neighboring islands. Ride a panga around Pinnacle Rock, and view sea lions, sea turtles and tiny tropical Galápagos penguins in a panorama of life found only here. Tonight you'll find out more about the Galápagos Islands with our shipboard naturalists. (B, L, D)

Day 6 Towering sights & birds at Darwin Bay
Explore Genovesa (Tower) Island by panga and a dry landing; climb up Prince Philip's Steps for a hike across the island, where you'll see masked boobies, frigate birds, storm petrels and more. An afternoon cruise and a wet landing at Darwin Bay offers more amazing views of thousands of rare birds, including red-footed boobies, gulls, mockingbirds, herons and finches, as well as an optional walk across volcanic terrain. Back aboard the ship, celebrate the end of your cruise at our Captain's farewell dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 7 Disembark on Santa Cruz & fly to Guayaquil
Disembark Santa Cruz II on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, and visit a tortoise reserve to observe in the wild one of the rarest forms of wildlife that continue to thrive here on the Galápagos Islands - the giant tortoise - and efforts being made by the Ecuadorian National Park Service to preserve and protect life on the islands for future generations. Late morning, travel to the airport for your flight to Guayaquil on the mainland, and an overnight at the Wyndham Guayaquil. Join us this evening for a poolside farewell party at your hotel as your family's memorable Galápagos experience comes to a close. (B, D)

Day 8 Homeward bound
Tour ends: Guayaquil. Fly home anytime. A transfer from the Wyndham Guayaquil to José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport is included. You should allow a minimum of 3 hours for flight check-in. (B)
Map
All This Included
Mysteries of the “enchanted islands” that time forgot, a virtual wildlife wonderland... but how did the birds, reptiles and small mammals, found nowhere else on Earth, first make their way here... what is the real story behind the disappearance of the Galápagos Tortoise... how did naturalist Charles Darwin miss the pink iguana – discovered 150 years after his visit but millions of years old... Get ready to sleuth!

This eight-day family adventure takes guests to the exotic Galápagos Islands, a region rich with a variety of local wildlife, flourishing flora and on-island excursions. Sailing through the four-island system by panga and by expedition ship, Santa Cruz II, as you and your family take in the beautiful views on both land and sea. Across this island society; explore the lagoons on Baltra Island that have a variety of birds within its ecosystem including pintail ducks, flamingos and stilts. Snorkel in Santiago Island in Buccaneer Cove where local sea lions may sneak up alongside you and surprise you. Hike up Bartolomé Island accompanied by incredible views at the summit. See the intricacies of the island firsthand! From the red sand of Jervis Island to the marine iguanas who forage for food in the sea, even the crabs are different here, with their bright red and yellow shells that provide quite a contrast to the black-lava rocks of these volcanic islands. Learn from Galápagos naturalists who travel with you... take walks on lave terrains... travel ashore via pangas... swim and snorkel... And much more!



  • TAUCK EXCLUSIVE – On-tour film vignettes custom-made for Tauck by BBC Earth natural history experts plus other select BBC Earth touches
  • All gratuities to Tauck Directors, local guides, drivers, naturalists, and ship staff
  • On-Tour Air included (2 flights)
  • 4 nights aboard the new 90-guest Santa Cruz II, designed especially for Galápagos Islands cruising; dry and wet landings
  • Your cruise may be a shared ship experience with non-Tauck guests onboard as well; all Tauck guests will be accompanied by one Tauck Director for approximately every 40 Tauck guests, and your itinerary will always be highlighted by exclusive, private Tauck shore excursions
Highlights
  • 4-night Galápagos Islands cruise aboard new Santa Cruz II with expert naturalist guides
  • On-tour film vignettes custom-made for Tauck by BBC Earth natural history experts
  • Average of two shore excursions per day
  • Explore Quito and visit the Equator
Accommodations
Quito: Swissôtel Quito
Cruising: Aboard Santa Cruz II
Guayaquil: Wyndham Guayaquil
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Tour has optional activites which may incur additional costs.
  • Children under 18 must be booked in a room with at least one adult.
  • Triple accommodations are not available for more than two adults, age 18 or older, sharing a room. 
  • Interconnecting cabins (subject to availability) can be booked onboard Santa Cruz II.
  • Quads will be accommodated in two double rooms.
  • Aboard ship, triple cabins are two beds and a pull-out couch; they are limited to two adults (age 18 or older) sharing a room with one child under age 18. In hotels, triples are usually a two-bedded room plus one rollaway bed.
  • Gratuities to Tauck Director, local guides, and ship staff included.
  • Recommended age: 8+ – the minimum age for this trip is 6 years.
  • Galápagos: Wildlife Wonderland  is a very active journey with considerable walking on uneven terrain.For activities marked with an asterisk (*) in the day-by-day descriptions, participation is at your own risk; a signed liability waiver will be required. Please note activity and pace level details as detailed on the Overview tab. Departures are hosted by one Tauck Director for approximately every 40 guests. We may not visit each of the islands in the order outlined, but we typically visit two different sites per day. Our Galápagos itinerary is subject to change due to wildlife encounters, atmospheric conditions and Galápagos National Park directives.
  • Tours of March 24, April 7, June 16 & 30, July 14 & 28, and August 11, 2020 will operate on a Western Islands itinerary.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Tauck terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.