Fit to Be Adventurous Galápagos 2019
The Gogi-Nahual sisterhood is based on the common goal of seeing the world, its wonders, cultures, and realities through the lens of empowerment, education, and environmental awareness. The Galápagos Islands are a unique and marvelous place. You will be surrounded with beautiful landscapes, intense red orange sunsets, and inspiring wildlife.
The Archipelago is formed by 13 big islands, six medium size, and many smaller islands or rocks poking out of the water. Its formation is entirely volcanic due to the action of an active ¨hot spot¨ located under the eastern most islands.
Galápagos is still in formation; new eruptions happen frequently showing us how life started on earth and evolution in action!
The Galápagos are entirely oceanic; they were never in contact with mainland so all its wildlife arrived by their own means to the islands. All these species had to pass through an interesting process of adaptation to this new environment, some of them change along the way to become different of their ancestor and the Galapagos final arrangement of plants and animals is very special and unique.
Marine iguanas, flight-less cormorants and the famous Darwin finches are a few examples of the special and rare species endemic to the Galápagos. Not to mention the underwater world full of colorful fishes, marine turtles, sharks and the odd Galápagos penguin swimming fast like a torpedo!! The Galápagos wildlife encounters and sights are special, just like its marvelous volcanic setting in these remote pacific Islands. Lots to learn and experience and lots to be conscious about. As all islands ecosystems, Galápagos is very fragile so travelling the islands entails a strong sensitivity and environmental responsibility to undertake.
This is far from a traditional tourism trip. We want to create a hands-on learning experience. Through our interaction with Galápagos locals, working on an established farm from one of the pioneering families we will learn about the human history of the Islands. Through beautiful sightseeing, special places and the good company of a naturalist guide and Nahual´s Galápagos specialist, we´ll understand the intrinsic and fragile life balance of the Enchanted Galápagos and the many initiatives and programs in place to maintain this delicate ecosystem.
Come join us for this week full of mindful work and exploring. On our visit to three of the inhabited islands, we will snorkel with playful sea lions, grazing sea turtles, majestic rays, and an abundance of tropical fish. We'll hike up an active volcano on Isabela Island to one of the biggest calderas in the world and visit incredible lava tunnels formations.
While in the Galápagos, we will support the local economy and interact with the people of each island by immersing ourselves in the culture of the Galápagueños.
DATE: JANUARY 17-27, 2019
All accommodations in Ecuador. We will be staying on Palugo Farm, and at three- and four-star hostels. Each traveler will share a room and bathroom.
Three meals each day, including traditional teas, juices, and water. (You will need to provide a meal for yourself on one day.)
Ground transportation in Ecuador, either by van or taxi. You will be picked up at the airport in Quito and taken to Palugo Farm.
Guided tours of the Galápagos
Gogi Abroad trip leader and Galápagos naturalist
What’s not included:
Airfare to/from Quito (usually around $800-$1200 round trip)
Airfare to/from Baltra (usually around $400- $450round trip)
Excess baggage charges
Meals and drinks at the airport
Personal expenses, such as laundry
Travel Insurance of any kind. Emergency medical and evacuation insurance is mandatory for this trip and can be purchased for $75-$150 through Travel Guard or World Nomads. (Details will be provided with confirmation of deposit.)
Park entrance fee ($100)
Isabela Municipality tax ($15)
Optional activities, such as paddle boarding (around $40-$50)
One additional meal ($15-30)
Tips for trip leaders, naturalist guides, and other staff
PRICE: $4,400 Sign up before May 15th
$4,550 after May 15th
Day 1 – Arrive in Quito, Ecuador
Arrive in Quito Airport (UIO) anytime during the day, and a Gogi trip host will greet you and assist you with your luggage and transportation to the Palugo Farm. Most flights arrive late in the day, so in evening you can get settled and have time to rest after your long journey. Tomorrow is orientation and our travel day to the Galápagos!
Day 2 – Explore Palugo Farm and Quito
Day 3- Arrive on Baltra, transfer to Santa Cruz
In the morning, we will enjoy a welcome breakfast and have an orientation to go over our adventure ahead! We’ll then transfer to the airport for a two-hour flight to Baltra Island, where we will be greeted by a Galápagos National Park naturalist guide. From Baltra, we will take a ferry and cross the Itabaca channel and take a bus to Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. After we arrive and get settled at our hotel, we’ll have a delicious lunch and walk to Tortuga Bay, a beautiful white sand beach. There we can observe and learn about marine iguanas, the only seagoing lizard in the world.
Day 4 – Floreana Island
Today we will travel to Floreana Island by speedboat (public transportation). Floreana is the least populated island of the Galápagos, even though it was the first to be colonized. The town of Puerto Velasco Ibarra has only about 200 habitants. Floreana is full of amazing legends and history, and the town is very peaceful. Once we arrive, we will settle into our hotel and have some time to rest before meeting our hosts, the Cruz family. Visiting their farm, located in the highlands of Floreana, is an unique experience for Gogi travelers!
Day 5 – Floreana Island
After an early morning yoga session, we will have a delicious breakfast then work on the farm harvesting fruit, tending the crops, and learning about agriculture and sustenance in Galápagos. In the afternoon, we will come back to town and have some time to explore before having dinner at the hotel.
Day 6 – Floreana Island
After taking an early walk on the beach and having breakfast, we will go to the highlands and visit Asilo de la Paz, a magical place full of history. Here we will see the only freshwater spring on the island. After our visit, we will arrive at the farm to work for the rest of the morning and have a farewell lunch. In the afternoon, we will go back to town and visit La Loberia or go kayaking in Punta Prieta Bay.
Day 7– Isabela Island
After breakfast, we will say goodbye to Floreana and travel to Isabela by speedboat. Isabela, the biggest island in the archipelago, is one of the most beautiful. From giant tortoises roaming slowly, to active volcanos, the attractions and wildlife are magnificent. After our adventures, we arrive in Puerto Villamil to rest in our hotel and have lunch. In the afternoon, we will meet our naturalist guide and visit Las Tintoreras Islet for some incredible snorkeling.
Day 8 – Isabela Island - Hiking
Today we will spend a full day hiking, exploring, and learning about the geology of Galápagos and the start of life on earth. We will drive for 45 minutes from the coastal area, passing the highland zone toward El Cura, the start of our 8-mile hike. We will enjoy breathtaking views of the second biggest caldera in the world and walk through rugged lava flows of different ages until we reach Volcán Chico, an amazing volcanic formation where we can enjoy a beautiful view of the north of the Island. On our way down in the afternoon, we will stop to visit a local farm where the giant tortoises roam freely in their wild habitat.
Day 9– Isabela Island
After breakfast and an early yoga session by the beach, we will go to the pier and travel by speedboat for an hour until we get to Los Tuneles, an incredible volcanic formation of lava tube collapsing into the water. Once going around and finding our way in this labyrinth we will disembark for a short visit of land to learn about this amazing formations. After we will go to El Finado, a snorkeling area close by where we could see an amazing variety of tropical fishes, rays, sharks, and marine turtles. In the afternoon, we will visit to the tortoise breeding center and Humedales.
Day 10 – Isabela Island
After breakfast, we will rent bikes and ride to El Muro de Las Lagrimas, stopping to visit different attractions along the way. In the afternoon, we’ll go kayaking in the bay to snorkel and search for penguins before a farewell dinner.
Day 11 – Return to Quito, and fly home
Activities in Isabela may change days depending on the tides and climate.
---Early scenic flight from Isabela to Baltra airport. Arrive to Quito and fly home in the evening.