Galapagos – Ecuador, March 21st-28th 2020

Overview

Dates of trip
March 21st-28th 2020


Getting to Galapagos islands

From any world destination you need to reach Quito or Guayaquil and then take a local flight to Baltra airport located in Santa Cruz island. The most popular airlines to reach the Galapagos islands from Ecuador are LAN http://www.lan.com/es_ec/sitio_personas/index.html# and Tame https://www.tame.com.ec/index.php/es/ .
At your arrival in Baltra meet our guides. Start of the Swimtrekking-expeditions tour of the Galapagos Islands.


Accommodation

We will be staying in two different Hotels, in Santa Cruz island and in Isabela island. They will be the ideal double bedroom accommodation where to start and end our expeditions around the Galapagos tour. Santa Cruz Island - Posada del Mar; Isabela Island - Casa de Marita.


Food

Breakfast will be at the Hotels each morning from 7:30. Lunches will be a selection of sandwiches, fruit and snacks. Typical Galapagos dinners will be served in local restaurants every night. The restaurants can cater for vegetarian and gluten free diets but please ensure you inform us of your dietary requirements on booking.


Equipment/Clothes

Each participant should bring a waterproof jacket, walking shoes/sandals, sun hat and sun glasses. It will also be given a wetsuit, fins and a mask and snorkel. Each Swimtrekker will tow a Barkino during swims. This allow swimmers to carry anything they'll find useful. An under water waterproof camera is a must for a Swimtrekking holiday.


Average temperatures and conditions 

The average air temperature in February is around 28 C°. Water temperature is around 26 C°.


Fees
€ 3100
Association membership 2020: € 30
Flight: € 1300 (approximately from any European destination)


What’s included
Full board accommodation (breakfast – packed lunch – dinner); 7 nights Accommodation in double bedrooms; Fully guided tour on the expedition; Swimtrekking guiding and coaching; shuttle service on the island; association insurance for Swimtrekking activities; Swimtrekking equipment; Swimtrekking T-shirt.


What’s not included
Flight and travel costs to and from the start of the expedition; Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee ($100 in cash for most adults); Immigration Card ($20 cash); Banks commissions; Other travel insurances.


 

Galapagos – Ecuador, March 21st-28th 2020

Experience a life adventure, swim in the most beautiful natural paradise of the world. We will exploring the wild sea of this incredible archipelago and visiting the two islands of Santa Cruz and Isabela. A 7 days tour always to be remembered.

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Equipment

Swimtrekking involves the use of specifically designed equipment.
Each Swimtrekker will tow a light weight, water tight barkino during swims. This is attached to the swimmer by a harness worn around the waist. Barkinos allow swimmers to carry drinking water, aqua shoes, lunch, spare equipment and anything else you will find useful for the days adventure as well as being a visible piece of safety equipment. In addition to this, Swimtrekking will provide all guests with a mask and snorkel, wetsuit and fins. These items allow you to freely explore your underwater environment whilst giving you the personal protection required. Guests are free to bring along their own equipment.

About Galapagos

The Galápagos Islands are located 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) from the South American mainland but a world apart from anywhere else on Earth.The archipelago and its surrounding waters, located where three ocean currents converge, are famed for the unique animal species that piqued the interest of Charles Darwin in 1835. Decades later Darwin drew on his experiences here when penning his landmark theory of evolution by natural selection.

The actively volcanic islands are home to fascinating creatures found nowhere else on Earth, including marine iguanas, giant tortoises, flightless cormorants, and a diverse variety of finches. Darwin noted that although all of the islands shared similar volcanic compositions, environment, and climate, each isolated isle was home to its own set of unique species. Darwin suspected that these species had adapted to a unique diet and the microenvironment of their locale.

Most exciting for visitors is the lack of fear and even curiosity with which the Galápagos animals typically regard humans. Incredible, up-close encounters are the norm here. And while the islands are a living laboratory of evolutionary change, their ecosystems have remained remarkably unchanged. Some 95 percent of the islands’ pre-human biodiversity remains intact—a remarkable figure. But even this paradise hasn’t remained totally pristine.

Dates of trip

March 21st-28th 2020

About the trip

Start point: Santa Cruz island (Baltra airport)
Start time: 12:00 (depending on the flight arrival)
Finish point: Isabela island
Finish time: 10:00 (depending on departure flight)

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Swimtrekking Galapagos program

March 21st (Santa Cruz)
Day 1
Dry Day – Airport pick-up with guide and VIP services
Highlands/ Tortoises with guide (on the way from airport)
Lunch at Rancho Primicias
Evening meal at a local restaurant.

March 22nd
Day 2
Full Day Swimtrekking   Daphne Major Island and Pinzon Island – private charter/guide (swimtrekking/fishing options)
max. 10 pax per boat, Sandwiches and snacks – included onboard
1 boat  Transportation from canal VAN
Evening meal at a local restaurant.

March 23rd (Santa Fe)
Day 3
Full Day Swimtrekking   Santa Fe Island and Playa Escondida – private charter/guide (swimtrekking/fishing options)
max. 10 pax per boat, Sandwiches and snacks – included onboard
1 boat
Evening meal at a local restaurant.

March 24th (Isabela)
Day 4
Half Day Swimtrekking – Tortuga Bay Beach with guide
Lunch in town included
Boat from Tortuga Bay to town
PM Charter boat Santa Cruz / Isabela
Isabela transportation from PIER to hotel (Isabela entrance tax included)
Evening meal at a local restaurant.

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March 25th
Day 5
Full Day Swimtrekking 4 Hermanos Islands – private charter boat/guide (swimtrekking)
Max. 10 pax per boat, Sandwiches and snacks – included onboard
1 boat
Evening meal at a local restaurant.

March 26th
Day 6
Full Day Swimtrekking   Tortuga Island and Loberia Grande – private charter/guide (swimtrekking)
Max. 10 pax per boat, Sandwiches and snacks – included onboard
1 boat
Evening meal at a local restaurant.

March 27th
Day 7
Short Swimtrekking max. 16 pax per boat   Bay Tour Isabela/Tintoreras – private charter/guide (hiking/swimtrekking) 
1 boat
Lunch in town included
Breeding Center, Wetlands, Wall of Tears – with guide/taxi (hiking/biking)
Evening meal at a local restaurant.

March 28th
Day 8
Isabela transportation from hotel to pier
AM Charter boat Santa Cruz / Isabela
Transportation to Baltra Airport (GPS)
with VIP services and GUIDE.

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Getting to Galapagos Islands

From any world destination you need to reach Quito or Guayaquil and then take a local flight to Baltra airport located in Santa Cruz island. The most popular airlines to reach the Galapagos islands from Ecuador are LAN http://www.lan.com/es_ec/sitio_personas/index.html# and Tame https://www.tame.com.ec/index.php/es/ .
At your arrival in Baltra meet our guides. Start of the Swimtrekking-expeditions tour of the Galapagos Islands.

Accommodation

We will be staying in two different Hotels, in Santa Cruz island and in Isabela island. They will be the ideal double bedroom accommodation where to start and end our expeditions around the Galapagos tour. Santa Cruz Island – Posada del Mar; Isabela Island – Casa de Marita.

Food

A continental breakfast is served at the Hotels each morning. Lunches will be a selection of sandwiches, fruit and snacks. Dinners will be served in local restaurants every night. The restaurants  can cater for vegetarian and gluten free diets but please ensure you inform us of your dietary requirements on booking.

Temperatures and conditions

The average air temperature in February is around 28 C°. Water temperature is around 26 C°.

What to bring

On top of your normal clothes you should bring with you: a waterproof jacket, walking shoes/sandals, sun hat and sun glasses. There are no cash points on the island so be sure that you bring some money for your drinks, etc.

Important

Average daily swim exploration will be around 5chilometers. All swims will be guided by qualified Swimtrekking Instructors.

Swimtrekking instructors are responsible of all the organizational aspects and logistics of the trip.

Please remember that programs and daily timetables can be changed or cancelled according to the weather conditions by the instructors.

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Point of interest

Santa Cruz Island

Is home to the Galapagos’ largest town, Puerto Ayora in addition to The Charles Darwin Research Station (the most visited of all visitor spots), and the National Park headquarters. Tortuga bay is an expansive white sand beach a few mile’s hike from town is a popular half-day excursion. Turtle Cove, an impressive Galapagos marine site, consists of a deep maze of a tranquil seawater inlet. Its waters are still, often murky, and are the resting (and sometimes mating) place for marine turtles, rays, and small sharks. Cerro Dragon, a newly opened visitor site, is located in the north of Santa Cruz Island, and provides access to a hypersalinic lagoon, which is saltier than the ocean.

Isabela Island

Isabela, the largest island in the Galapagos has myriad points of interest. Urvina Bay, on the western coast of the Island, at the foot of Alcedo Volcano, was uplifted from the sea in 1954. The site is relatively flat, distinguished by sun-baked coral reef remnants and other marine formations, which were lifted out of the ocean. Flightless cormorants and pelicans nest along the coast during their nesting seasons. A tour along the cliffs of the Caleta Tagus (Tagus Cove) provides sensational views of the exclusive Galapagos penguin, the flightless cormorant, and other sea birds. Elizabeth Bay is an extremely interesting area for observing many different forms of marine life. The Experimental Station is located very near the Villamil port in the south of Albemarle. The Galapagos National Park conducts experiments to learn more about the reproduction process of the subspecies of tortoise (Geochelone elephantopus gunteri). White-tipped sharks can be observed a five minute dinghy ride from Villamil Port in Las Tintoreras. Alcedo Volcano is one of five shield volcanoes that form Isabela Island. There is a famous “Geyser” or a hot steam fumarole, on the west side of the caldera that is often surrounded by the giant Galapagos tortoises specific to Alcedo. At least one night should be spent on the rim to fully appreciate the beauty of the area (something that very, very few visitors get to do). Volcano Sierra Negra, located at the southern end of Isabela Island, is one of the best and most impressive examples of a volcano in the archipelago. Following the edge of the caldera to the north Volcan Chico is reached. Volcan Chico comprises of a group of small active fumaroles craters. The Sulfur Volcano, an active fumarole, located in the surrounding area, expels large amounts of sulfur that over time has been deposited in the area creating a unique landscape. Volcano Sierra Negra caldera is the second largest in the world after Ngorongoro in Africa.

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