GALAPAGOS FAMILY ALUMNI ADVENTURE

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Itinerary:
 

DAYS 1 & 2: Arrive Quito & Cotopaxi Region

Upon arrival in Quito, Ecuador, you will be met and transferred to your traditional hacienda, approximately one and half hours’ drive. On the slopes of Rumiñahui Volcano, at an altitude of 3,600m in a truly privileged position, Hacienda El Porvenir is the ideal spot from which to explore Cotopaxi National Park, get to know the Andean way of life at first hand and have thrilling adventures. Tonight, gather for a festive New Year’s Eve dinner at the hotel restaurant where you will meet your fellow NYU Alumni travelers.

 

The next morning after breakfast at the hotel, you will go to the National Park and cross the páramo plains. You will hike up to the hut (or “refugio” in Spanish) at 4,800m. (15,744 ft), and come face-to-face with the imposing, snow-clad Cotopaxi volcano. After descending from the Refugio, we will continue on to Limpiopungo Lake and be served a delicious packed lunch. After lunch, we get back in the vehicle and drive across gorgeous landscapes as far as the Pucará del Salitre, an ancient Inca fortress on the route to the Amazon basin.

 

This afternoon, you will return to the hacienda for a bit of adventure at the Cotopaxi High and Low Ropes Course with top-of-the-line climbing and rope gear and ground support from our specialized guides. Traverse ladders, nets, tightropes, swinging logs, wobbly bridges, and more fun surprises at 20 ft above the ground. Young adventurers, from 6 to 12 years old, can participate on the low-height kid’s course.

 

Dinner is on your own tonight to enjoy at your leisure at the hotel.

 

Overnights in Cotopaxi Region: Hacienda El Porvenir

Meals Included: Dinner (Day 1), Breakfast  & Lunch(Day 2)

 

DAY 3: Quito / San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands

After breakfast, you will embark on your journey to the airport for your domestic flight to the famed Galapagos Islands.

 

Considered a living laboratory, the islands of the archipelago are like nowhere else on the planet and will bring you face to face with endemic specifies amongst stunning scenery. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to the Treasure of the Galapagos where you will spend the next five day and four nights. One of the most comfortable motor catamarans in the Galapagos, its large cabins with private facilities, guarantees an intimate and very exclusive experience in a comfortable way. The certified professional crew and knowledgeable, bilingual naturalist guide on board will do their utmost to convert your once in a lifetime cruise into the trip of your life!

 

After welcome aboard M/C Galapagos Treasure, check-in, lunch, briefing and the safety-drill we leave for a 45 minutes bus-ride to the Galapagos giant tortoise breeding center in the highlands.

In addition to the giant tortoises, on the trail you can spot songbirds as well, such as yellow warblers, endemic Galapagos large-billed flycatchers and the Chatham mockingbird unique to this island that put Darwin on track of his evolution theory.

This evening we set sail for our overnight navigation to the next island, Española.

 

Overnight Aboard: M/C Treasure of Galapagos

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

DAY 4: Española

Our next island, Española, is located in the far southeastern corner of the archipelago. As one of its crown jewels, you will enjoy the alluring Gardner Bay and walk by waved albatrosses, booby colonies, sunbathing marine iguanas and Galapagos sea lions and feel yourself within an exciting nature documentary! Several endemic species give you the opportunity to become an eyewitness of evolution.

 

This morning, make your first ‘dive’ in the alluring turquoise-colored Gardner Bay, and admire colorful reef fish, snorkel side by side with a Pacific green turtle, or find yourself in the middle of playful Galapagos sea lions. The striking white coral sand beach is an important breeding site for Pacific green turtles, but without doubt its main attraction is the Galapagos sea lion colony.

This afternoon you will visit Suarez Point. Huge ocean waves bang on the southern basaltic cliffs of Suarez Point, and form a spectacular blowhole, where a fountain of sea water can spray many feet high into the air depending on the tide and the strength of the breeze.  

 

Overnight Aboard: M/C Treasure of Galapagos

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

DAY 5: Floreana

Historical Post Office Bay seems to be located nearly at the end of the world. In a lagoon at the north cape, American flamingos forage and breed. Floreana offers some of most spectacular snorkeling sites. Galapagos sea lions wait to play with you while snorkeling at Champion Islet.

 

From the dinghy, you may spot the endemic Galapagos penguins, the only location in the southeastern corner, and maybe even with the almost extinct Charles mockingbird. 

 

Bring your unstamped postcards and post them in the peculiar barrel on this historic site. The present barrel commemorates the improvised mail service between British 16th century whalers and poachers. Returning vessels also picked-up letters for home delivery.

The peninsula of Cormorant Point forms the extreme north cape of Floreana, which is pockmarked by numbers of smaller volcanic cones and covered by tropical dry forest. Don’t expect to spot the flightless cormorant at Cormorant Point; instead, its salty lagoon is one of the best places in Galapagos to observe a breeding colony of American flamingos.

Overnight Aboard: M/C Treasure of Galapagos

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6: Santa Fe & Santa Cruz

Santa Fe is even for Galapagos an extraordinary site. Below bizarre giant prickly pear cacti you will encounter characteristic land iguanas and other endemic creatures that are unique to this island.

You will depart on a morning hike led by your expert naturalist guide before enjoying a refreshing swim or snorkel in the azure colored Barrington Bay between tropical reef fish, maybe a curious Galapagos sea lion is willing to play with you!

This afternoon, the catamaran will continue to the island of Santa Cruz. Walking the straight paved trail from Puerto Ayora is the only way to reach the popular beach of Turtle Bay. It crosses tropical dry forest with house-high candelabra cacti, where you can compare different species of Darwin finch among other endemic song birds.

One of Galapagos’ widest crescent-shaped beaches has been formed along Turtle Bay. The coastline of Santa Cruz is no longer reached by lava flows, but threatened by the roaring surf instead. Fine coral sand – ground by parrot fishes – has been washed ashore and can become quite hot in the sunny season, and forms ideal places to breed eggs from Pacific green turtles and marine iguanas.

Overnight Aboard: M/C Treasure of Galapagos

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7: Santa Cruz / Baltra / Quito

After an early breakfast it’s time say goodbye and to leave the yacht. The inflatable dinghies will bring you to the pier of Puerto Ayora, and from there by private bus into the highlands. In El Chato Tortoise Reserve you can see Galapagos giant tortoises in the wild before continuing to the airport.

Santa Cruz offers excellent opportunities for viewing wild Galapagos giant tortoises, roaming through pastures in the agricultural zone and in the transition zone of El Chato Tortoise Reserve. The pond in the native forest reserve is the most authentic setting, but sometimes also requires an adventurous quest for these silent heavyweights.

You will the transfer to the Baltra airport for your return flight to Quito. Upon arrival, you will be met by your local guide and head into the historic Quito city center with a panoramic city tour on route.

This evening you will share one final farewell dinner together in a delicious local restaurant to celebrate the end of this epic adventure.

Overnight in Quito: La Casona de la Ronda

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 8: Quito / Home

After breakfast at the hotel, this morning is at your leisure to explore Quito on your own before transferring to the airport for return flights home.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Trip Details
 

2017/18 Pricing

Starting from $5,995 

Single Supp: $485

Deposit: $500^

 

Prices are per person in USD based on double occupancy. Minimum age requirement of 6 years old to participate.

^Deposit is non-refundable.

 

Dates

Custom dates

arranged on request*

*Contact us for details!

8
days
EXCLUSIVE NYU SMALL GROUP:

Min. Group Size: 7 travelers

Max. Group Size: 16 travelers

 

The best way to connect with fellow travelers from your alma mater and the local culture is in a small group, which is why we limit the group size to no more than sixteen travelers. The Galapagos Family Alumni Adventure will be exclusive to NYU alumni, friends and family if there are a minimum of twelve travelers. If the program has less than twelve participants, the Galapagos cruise portion will be shared with other travelers. In the unlikely event the program does note meet the minimum enrollment and cannot run, all payments made will be refunded 120 days prior to departure.

EXCEPTIONAL ACCOMMODATIONS:

The properties throughout our  itineraries are selected because of their unique sense of place, allowing you to enjoy the destinations in comfort and explore them to the fullest.

INCLUDED:

Accommodations including daily breakfast, lunches & dinners per the itinerary, airport transfers on Day 1 and the final day of the itinerary only, domestic flights between mainland Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands*, services of expert local guides throughout, transportation, entrance fees for included activities, Galapagos National Park tax and entry fees*, all taxes and service charges.

*Domestic airfare and Galapagos National Park fees subject to change.

NOT INCLUDED:

Airfare to/from Quito, gratuities for drivers, guides and boat staff, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages with meals, personal expenses, airport taxes and baggage fees, any required passport, visa or other government entry fees if applicable, optional travel insurance.

ARRIVE / DEPART:

Please plan to arrive Quito by 3pm on Day 1 of the itinerary.  You may depart anytime on the final day. If you need assistance with your flights, Destination Partners air department will be happy to assist with your round-trip travel arrangements, per person ticketing fees apply.