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©Wolfgang Kaehler

2018 Galapagos and Ecuador

May 29 - June 8, 2018

2018 Galapagos and Ecuador

I have traveled to these fascinating islands more than a dozen times since 1982 and enjoy going back every time.  The park rules are constantly changing and it is getting more and more difficult in creating a photo tour with the most interesting itinerary.  I was able to adjust the itinerary (I had to pay an extra fee in order to see the tortoises in the wild) which allows us to cover all of the important wildlife you will find in the Galapagos; and at the best time of the year because we will observe all different kinds of behavior.  This itinerary covers the southern part of the Galapagos which allows us to see the Waved albatrosses and Blue-footed boobies in their breeding colonies as well as many of the other species, some of them endemic to the islands.  The time of our trip is perfect – the Waved albatrosses come to Hood Island the end of April to lay their eggs and we will still see the bowing, beak clacking, and hear a whoo hoo sound, part of their courtship behavior.

 

I hope that you can join me for the Galapagos in 2018.  At the moment there are only a few spaces left because everyone who emailed me that they wanted to go, signed up before I posted the trip.

 

Please feel free to call or email me with any questions.  Thank you.

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TOUR CLOSED. Please email us at photos@wkaehlerphoto.com for information about future editions of this tour.

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Trip Details

SOUTH AMERICA, ECUADOR,GALAPAGOS ISLANDS ESPANOLA (HOOD) ISLAND,BLUE-FOOTED BOOBIES COURTSHIP BEHAVIOR

Optional pre or post extension to the Ecuadorian Rain Forest available – please contact me! 

Itinerary Map

Day 1 Tuesday May 29, 2018 – leave USA

 Arrive Quito on May 29, 2018 in the evening (Arrival transfer included).  Depending which airline you fly, you might have to leave on May 28, 2018.

ECUADOR, QUITO, PLAZA DE ARMAS AT NIGHT

Colonial Quito at night

 

Day 2 Wednesday May 30 – QUITO (B,D)

 ND4_0073 ND4_0077 ND4_0044

 

You´ll have the morning free in order to rest from your flight and enjoy a bit of the city on your own. Your hotel is located in the commercial area of the city so if you don´t want to have lunch in the hotel you can chose from one of the restaurants around.

 

In the afternoon around 14h00 our guide will pick you up from your hotel, first you´ll visit the famous Historical Center of the city, which was named as World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO. Walking in the old town you´ll discover interesting architecture and city scenes where unique photos can be taken. Before sunset you´ll reach one of the city´s viewpoints to enjoy the last rays of the sun and the lights of evening.

Accommodation HOTEL: Mercure

 

Day 3 Thursday May 31 – COTOPAXI (B,L,D) 

View of Cotopaxi volcano with 5,897 m (19,347 ft) the second highest mountain in Ecuador. It is a stratovolcano in the Andes Mountains, located about 28 km (17 mi) south of Quito, Ecuador

View of Cotopaxi volcano with 5,897 m (19,347 ft) the second highest mountain in Ecuador. It is a stratovolcano in the Andes Mountains, located about 28 km (17 mi) south of Quito, Ecuador

 

Today you’ll head south through the Avenue of the Volcanoes, on they if the weather permits you´ll be able to have a view of all the mountains till you arrive to Cotopaxi  National Park.

 

First you´ll pass for the indigenous market of Saquisilí, here you´ll witness the interchange of products and domestic animals, one of the oldest ways of commerce in the Andean region.

ECUADOR, HIGHLANDS, SAQUASILI ANIMAL MARKET, PIGSECUADOR, HIGHLANDS, SAQUASILI ANIMAL MARKET, SHEEP AND LLAMAECUADOR, HIGHLANDS, SAQUASILI ANIMAL MARKET, LOCAL ARTIST SELLING PAINTINGS

Saquisilí market

 

Afterwards we will go inside the park and see the Cotopaxi volcano with its 5898 meters. will welcome you. Your tour will take you to the plain of Limpiopungo where you’ll take a short trip to the lagoon with the same name which is formed with the water collected form Rumiñahui. This is a special spot for bird watching as well as some amphibians.

 

We will stop at a local hacienda where you´ll learn about the famous Ecuadorian roses and you´ll get to see some of the most beautiful types, followed by a special lunch.  After lunch we will drive back to Quito.

 

Accommodation HOTEL: Mercure

 

Day 4 Friday June 1 – Flight to Galapagos

The guide will pick you up at drive you to the airport and fly early morning from mainland Ecuador (Quito) to the Galapagos Islands, with AEROGAL Airlines.

 

After clearing the formalities, we will drive to the highlands of Santa Cruz and have lunch at a hacienda.   After lunch we will visit to the tortoises in the wild. Afterwards a short visit to the Charles Darwin Station is planned. Time permitting we will have some free time at the Port to take more pictures before getting on board for dinner.

ECUADOR, GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, SANTA CRUZ ISLAND, HIGHLANDS, TOURIST PHOTOGRAPHING GALAPAGOS TORTOISEECUADOR, GALAPAGOS ISLANDS SANTA CRUZ,HIGHLANDS,GALAPAGOS TORTOISE (Geochelone elephantopus)

 

Day 5 Saturday June 2 – Santa Fe Island and South Plaza 

ECUADOR, GALAPAGOS ISLANDS SOUTH PLAZA ISLAND, GALAPAGOS SEA LIONECUADOR, GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, SANTA FE ISLAND, LAND IGUANA

 

Today we make a wet landing on Santa Fe Island to visit the cactus forest and a colony of land iguanas native to Santa Fe, as well as other wildlife including marine iguanas.

Optional: time for those who would like to swim, snorkel and/or kayak.

Return to the Yacht for lunch and sail to South Plaza, where we make a dry landing on the pier of the island.  Here we can enjoy the Galapagos sea lions. A walk through a cactus forest allows us to observe more land iguanas and many species of tropical birds. At the end of the afternoon, we return to the Yacht for a delicious dinner and our nightly orientation.

 

Day 6 Sunday June 3 – Chinese Hat and Rábida

 

ECUADOR, GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, BARTOLOME ISLAND, GALAPAGOS PENGUIN

After breakfast, we make a wet landing on Chinese Hat (Sombrero Chino), a small island off the Coast of Santiago Island, we can observe on the rocky shoreline: Galapagos penguins, eagle rays, sea lions and marine iguanas. This is an excellent snorkeling site.

Optional: time for those who would like to swim, snorkel and/ or kayak.

We return to the boat for a delicious lunch.

60023437

After lunch, we make a wet landing on Rábida, to walk and observe marine iguanas and sea lions, pelicans, blue-footed boobies, masked boobies and brown pelicans. We walk and we arrive at a small saltwater lagoon where we can see pink flamingos.

Optional: time for those who would like to swim, snorkel and/ or Kayak.

Return to the Yacht for dinner and our nightly orientation.

 ECUADOR, GALAPAGOS ISLANDS SALLY LIGHT-FOOT CRAB, CLOSE-UP

Day 7 Monday June 4 – Santa Cruz Island

 

ECUADOR,GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, BARTOLOME ISLAND, TOURISTS BOARDING PANGAECUADOR, GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, SANTA CRUZ ISLAND, TOURISTS IN PANGA TOURING LAGOON

The pangas will bring us safely ashore

 

After breakfast we make a panga (small boat) ride on Black Turtle Cove on Santa Cruz Island, which is a series of mangrove-surrounded coves and islets; where we can observe white-tipped sharks, marine turtles, spotted eagle rays, and yellow cow-nosed rays. We return to the boat for a delicious lunch. Later in the afternoon, we make a dry landing on Dragon Hill, where we can see land iguanas; we walk to a hypersaline lagoon (saltier than the ocean), where we can observe flamingos, common stilts, pintail ducks and other species of birds.

Optional: time for those who would like to swim and snorkel.

ECUADOR,GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, FLOREANA ISLAND, FLAMINGOS STANDING IN LAGOONECUADOR, GALAPAGOS ISLAND, FLOREANA ISLAND, FLAMINGOS SILHOUETTED AT SUNSET

We return to the Yacht for dinner and our nightly orientation.

 

 Day 8 Tuesday June 5 – Floreana Island and Devil’s Crown

 

ECUADOR, GALAPAGOS ISLAND, FLOREANA ISLAND, POST OFFICE BAY, (POST OFFICE)

 After breakfast, we make a wet landing on Post Office Bay, a historic site that recalls the days of the whalers, who presumably placed a wooden barrel in the 18th century to use it as a post office.

Optional: time for those who would like to swim and/or snorkel.

ECUADOR, GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, HOOD ISLAND (ESPANOLA), SEA TURTLES HATCHINGECUADOR, GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, SANTA CRUZ ISLAND, TURTLE SWIMMING IN LAGOON

Then, we make a panga ride on La Lobería of Post Office, where we can observe sea lion rookeries (the main attraction) on the beach and in the bay of the Lobería, sea turtles and marine iguanas. Return to the Yacht for lunch. In the afternoon, we visit the Devil’s Crown, a submerged volcano, for optional snorkeling (this is one of the best snorkeling sites in the Islands), then we make a wet landing on Point Cormorant for a short walk to the Flamingo Lagoon of this island. We then continue the walk until we reach the beach called “La Picona” to see marine turtles and their spawning grounds.

ECUADOR, GALAPAGOS ISLAND, FLOREANA ISLAND, WHITE SAND BEACH, TOURISTS

 Optional: time for those who would like to swim and/or snorkel.

 

Flamingos are walking through the water of a lagoon on Floreana Island in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

We return to the Yacht for dinner and our nightly orientation.

 

Day 9 Wednesday June 6 – Espanola (Hood Island) – my favorite island…

 

ECUADOR, GALAPAGOS ISLAND, HOOD (ESPANOLA) ISLAND, WAVED ALBATROSSES, COURTSHIP DISPLAYECUADOR, GALAPAGOS ISLAND, HOOD (ESPANOLA) ISLAND, WAVED ALBATROSSES, COURTSHIP BEHAVIOR

    Waved albatross

 

Today we make an early dry landing on Punta Suarez to walk along lava beds where we will observe unique colonies of marine birds, including Albatross and Blue-footed boobies. Return to the Yacht for lunch. In the afternoon, we make a wet landing in Gardner Bay for a walk on the beach and observe a colony of sea lions, which inhabit the beach in great quantity during the breeding season; this is also an important nesting area for sea turtles. Then we make a panga ride around the Osborn Islet and the islets of Gardner.

Optional: time for those who would like to swim and/or snorkel.

60059230ECUADOR, GALAPAGOS ISLAND, HOOD ISLAND, BLUE-FOOTED BOOBY, COURTING BEHAVIOR, SKYPOINTING

ECUADOR, GALAPAGOS ISLAND, HOOD ISLAND, GARDNER BAY, GALAPAGOS SEA LION, YAWNING

Return to the Yacht for dinner and our nightly orientation. 

 

Day 10 Thursday June 7 – San Cristobal Island 

ECUADOR, GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, HOOD ISLAND (ESPANOLA), NASCA BOOBY (Sula granti)ECUADOR, GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND, M/V EVOLUTION, PASSENGERS ON DECK AT KICKER ROCKECUADOR, GALAPAGOS ISLAND, TOWER ISLAND, MALE FRIGATE BIRD WITH INFLATED THROAT POUCH

After breakfast, we make a wet landing on Punta Pitt in San Cristobal Island; the trail includes an olivine beach approximately 90 meters and a trail that ascends to the top of a volcanic tuff hill passing through several natural viewpoints. Punta Pitt is composed of volcanic tuff substrate. High winds present there have led to natural erosion. This is the only site in the Galapagos Islands, where you can watch the three species of boobies and 2 species of frigates nesting in the same area. We come aboard for a delicious lunch. Later in the afternoon, our experienced Captain sails easily around Kicker Rock (León Dormido), a massive tuff-rock that juts abruptly almost 500 feet straight from the ocean. Kicker Rock serves as nesting place for many sea birds.

Optional: time for those who would like to swim and/ or snorkel.

60012240 60058391

 

Then we make a wet landing on Cerro Brujo to walk on a white sand beach and observe sea lions, brown pelicans, marine iguanas and blue-footed boobies.

Optional: time for those who would like to swim, snorkel and/ or kayak. We return to the Yacht for dinner and our nightly orientation.

 

Day 11 Friday June 8 – North Seymour Island 

ECUADOR, GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND, BLUE-FOOTED BOOBY, SKYPOINTING, COURTSHIP BEHAVIORA blue-footed booby (Sula nebouxii) is walking with a stick to present it to the partner (courtship behavior) on North Seymour Island in the Galapagos, Ecuador.

After breakfast we make an early dry landing for a walk along the coast and the interior of North Seymour Island, a low, flat island that was uplifted from the sea by underground seismic activity. We observe blue footed boobies (they nest from May to November – I planned our trip for the perfect time), marine iguanas, pelicans, frigate birds, shore birds, sea lions and endemic Palo Santo.

ECUADOR, GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND, LAND IGUANA

We return to the Yacht for disembarking on the pier at 09:00. Our guide will accompany us on the bus ride directly to the airport and we will fly back to Quito, connecting with our flights home.

THE ITINERARY IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT A PREVIOUS NOTICE, DUE OPERATIONAL REASONS, WEATHER CONDITIONS OR BY THE AUTHORITIES OF THE GALAPAGOS NATIONAL PARK.

 

Our Yacht: First Class Yacht TIP TOP II

Our M/C Tip Top II was built in 2008 and redesigned in 2015-2016 to offer the highest level of comfort and the best experience in the Islands.

TECHNICAL INFORMATION:

Length: 104 feet

Beam:   40   feet

Draft:   5 feet

Cruising speed: 12 knots

TIP TOP II 5TIP TOP II 28TipTop2deckplan

TT CAB 1 C

Cabin 1

TT CAB 2 B

Cabin 2

TT CAB 3 B

Cabin 3

TT CAB 8 C

Cabin 8

TT CAB 10 A

Cabin 10

TIP TOP II 38