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Cruise for six nights through the dazzlingGalápagos archipelago, visiting islands acclaimedfor their optimal wildlife viewing and iconic sites;strolling among giant tortoises, marine iguanas andblue-footed boobies; and snorkeling and kayakingwith sea lions and penguins. Begin and end yourjourney in Guayaquil, on Ecuador’s sunny coast.
Arrive Guayaquil, EcuadorArrive in Guayaquil, the commercial center of Ecuador,where you are met and transferred to your hotel.Hotel: Hotel del Parque
The Gal��pagosThis morning, after a welcome briefing with your A&KResident Tour Director, fly to Baltra in the remote GalápagosIslands. You are met by your naturalist guide and escortedto ‘La Pinta,’ your home for a six-night cruise through theGalápagos’ Western Islands. Nimble enough to access theGalápagos Islands, yet large and stable enough for safety, ‘La Pinta’ is built for adventure, offering spacious cabins anda comfortable atmosphere. The vessel is ecologically soundas well, and comes equipped with pangas (rubber rafts), aglass-bottom boat and sea kayaks that allow for independentexploration. After lunch, attend an introductory briefing anda fitting for your wetsuit and snorkeling gear. This evening,celebrate your first night in the Galápagos with a welcomereception and dinner.Hotel: 'La Pinta'
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
The Gal��pagosLying 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, the GalápagosIslands are a haven for some of the world’s most variedwildlife. It was this diversity that first led naturalist CharlesDarwin to propose that species evolved in response to theirenvironment. Darwin’s work also helped to alert the worldto the need — urgent even in his own day — to preservethese islands from degradation by humans. Today, tourismto the Galápagos is closely managed, protecting the wildlifewhile allowing you to experience the environment much asDarwin did. Because weather, water and wildlife conditionsare subject to constant change, your cruise itinerary is notfixed, but two daily excursions are planned to the main sitesand islands. This cruise itinerary explores the true originsof the archipelago, and includes landmarks such as PuntaEspinoza on Fernandina Island, the intriguing red beach ofRabida Island, the Champion Inlet of Floreana Island, andthe Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island.Each cruise day begins with a hearty breakfast, beforeboarding a sturdy panga for the morning shore excursion.As soon as your feet touch terra firma, expect to spot floraand fauna (differing species, depending on the island), takephotos and confer with your naturalist guide. You may see sun-bathing sea lions; skittering Sally Lightfoot crabs; tanglesof marine and land iguanas; penguins, flamingos, finches,terns and blue-footed boobies; even a century-old tortoisediligently trudging over the sand. Return to ‘La Pinta’ for arefreshing lunch, perhaps taken al fresco on deck, followedby time at leisure to nap or socialize. Keep your binocularshandy for possible sightings of dolphins or seabirds. In theafternoon, return to the pangas for the second excursionof the day, perhaps with an opportunity to swim, kayakor snorkel. You may well come face to face with a water-dwelling inhabitant, such as a curious sea turtle stoppingby to inspect those visiting its equatorial home.On a selected day during your cruise, enjoy one of theseDesign Your Day activities.Hike Inland to Cerro Dragon, viewing its wild inhabitantsup close, including lagoon birds and land iguanas.Kayak Offshore to experience the islands from a differentperspective, paddling amid marine iguanas and sea lions.Snorkel with Aquatic Denizens, witnessing undersea lifeas diverse as penguins, sharks, rays and cormorants.Back on board ‘La Pinta,’ enjoy time to shower and relaxbefore gathering in the dining room for another wonderfulmeal. Each evening, your time is your own: Attend a lecturepresented by one of your affable guides, who recaps the dayand gives a sneak peek at tomorrow’s itinerary; explore themysteries of the night sky with a fascinating astronomylecture on deck; peruse the ship’s library for further insightinto a species you encountered; or gather in the lounge to capa day of extraordinary discoveries. Drift asleep in your air-conditionedcabin to the rise and fall of gentle ocean swells.Hotel: 'La Pinta'
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
GuayaquilDisembark today and fly back to Guayaquil. Enjoy time torelax before gathering for a farewell dinner at your hotel’srestaurant. The next morning, transfer to the airport to boardyour flight home.Hotel: Hotel del Parque
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
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