Opuntia Wildlife Elite Journey 5 Days
Activities: Wildlife encounters, walking, snorkeling, relaxing on the beach.
Opuntia Wildlife Elite Journey 5 Days
With our Galapagos Wildlife Elite journey, a five day land based tour, you will experience the best in hospitality while you immerse yourself in the wonders of Santa Cruz and Isabela Island. Enjoy deluxe suites, exclusive social areas, upgraded gourmet meals, fine wines, delicious picnic lunches, and special amenities at the elegant Iguana Crossing Hotel and Galapagos Safari Camp. Our top naturalist guides will lead the way as you hike through incredible scenery, snorkel in turquoise waters, and relax on pristine tropical beaches, all while surrounded by the incredible wildlife that make the Galapagos unlike anywhere else on earth. For those who value the best in accommodations, cuisine, and service, our Galapagos Wildlife Elite Journey invites you to experience the best of the Galapagos, Opuntia style!
- Enjoy exceptional service, deluxe facilities, gourmet dining, and amazing settings
- Snorkel pristine waters full of sea turtles, sea lions, penguins, sharks, rays, and tropical fish
- Enjoy walks through a wide variety of environments and ecosystems with stunning scenery
- Relax in style on gorgeous tropical beaches surrounded by sea lions and marine iguanas
- Follow Darwin’s footsteps to meet endemic animals and plants
- Upgraded gourmet meals feature the best local ingredients, fresh seafood, and fine wines
- Enjoy special amenities and personalized touches like in-room snacks and drinks
- Sit down to delicious, full-service picnic lunches during outings
- Every step of your journey is expertly led by our top naturalist guides
DAY 1: Explore the Santa Cruz Highlands
DAY 2: Charles Darwin research Station & Tortuga Bay – Santa Cruz Island
DAY 3: Transfer to Isabela, Snorkel Tintoreras Islets – Isabela Island
DAY 4: Explore Isabela’s Coastline & Highlands – Isabela Island
DAY 5: Transfer to Baltra Island Airport
DAY 1: EXPLORE THE SANTA CRUZ HIGHLANDS
Your guide will meet you at the Baltra airport, where we’ll transfer to our first hotel in the Santa Cruz highlands, the one-of-a-kind Galapagos Safari Camp. After you settle into your luxurious private tent and enjoy your welcome amenities, we’ll take a tour of the stylish central lodge, with panoramic views of the coastline below, a huge fireplace, and an infinity pool, and enjoy our first gourmet lunch.
In the afternoon, we set off on a hike to El Chato, a nature reserve where we will observe the famous Galapagos giant tortoise in its natural habitat. We explore the reserve in search of these gentle giants, as well as other highland species like pintail ducks, egrets, flycatchers, finches, and frigate birds bathing in freshwater lakes. Nearby, we explore a cavernous lava tunnel created by hot flowing magma. As we walk into the lava tunnels, our guide relives tales of the buccaneers who once used them to hide from Spanish ships and hide Inca gold.
Our last stop is Los Gemelos, a pair of huge crater-like sinkholes created by the collapse of underground magma pockets, and now covered by a beautiful forest of endemic Scalesia trees. As we hike through this lush, quiet forest, we keep an eye out for the elusive short-eared owl, one of the two owl species that live in the Galapagos. Finally, we return to the Galapagos Safari Camp, where we enjoy a delicious dinner and spend the evening relaxing in the luxurious facilities. Overnight at Galapagos Safari Camp (L, D)
DAY 2: CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH STATION & TORTUGA BAY
We enjoy an energizing breakfast in the highlands before heading to our first stop of the day – the Charles Darwin Research Station, the most important research and conservation facility in the Galapagos. Scientists at the Research Station rear endemic plants, land iguanas, and giant tortoises for scientific, educational, and conservation purposes. Here, we learn more about ongoing efforts to conserve the natural environment of the Galapagos, as well as interesting details about the evolutionary history of many endemic species, including the giant tortoise and Darwin’s finches.
After our visit, we head to nearby Angermeyer Waterfront Inn to enjoy lunch at the waterfront restaurant before setting out on a short walk. Our destination is Tortuga Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Galapagos. Its tranquil waters and soft, fine sand make Tortuga Bay a preferred nesting site for the black turtle. The trail passes through a unique dry forest environment, full of interesting plant and bird species. After a relaxing afternoon on the beach, we retire to the Galapagos Safari Camp to savor another tasty dinner and enjoy our last evening on Santa Cruz. Overnight at Galapagos Safari Camp (B, L, D)
DAY 3: TRANSFER TO ISABELA, SNORKEL TINTORERAS ISLETS
Today our journey continues with a small aircraft flight to Isabela Island, the largest island in the Galapagos. Isabela’s six volcanoes make it one of the most volcanically active places on earth. After a short flight, we settle in to our next hotel, the handsome, modern Iguana Crossing hotel, where a gourmet lunch will be waiting for us. After lunch, we set out to explore Tintoreras, a group of small, rocky islets within the bay.
The islets of Tintoreras conceal many isolated beaches and coves, where we’ll observe the local residents, including sharks, sea lions, sea turtles and rays. The islets are also home to the charming Galapagos penguin, the world’s northernmost penguin species. After our day of exploring, we head back to Iguana Crossing, where we are welcomed with a cold bottle of sparkling wine and a gourmet seafood dinner. After dinner, we can head out to explore Puerto Villamil, the island´s lazy beach town, known for its flamingos and sand streets. Overnight at Iguana Crossing (B, L, D)
DAY 4: EXPLORE ISABELA’S COASTLINE & HIGHLANDS
Today we embark on a walk that will take us through an incredible variety of coastal ecosystems. As we hug the coastline, we will pass through exotic white sand beaches, brackish mangrove lagoons, a lava tunnel, and a shady, aromatic poison apple forest. This region is inhabited by a large group of reintroduced Galapagos tortoises, as well as mangrove finches, American oystercatchers, herons, flamingos, and hundreds of marine iguanas.
We’ll stop at a secluded location along the way, where our guide and service staff will prepare a gourmet picnic lunch. The trail then takes us past a stunning lookout point and ends at the Wall of Tears, a relic that dates back to the era when Isabela was used as a penal colony. The prisoners were forced to build this wall of lava rock for no purpose other than to keep them distracted from the madness of isolation.
In the afternoon we’ll visit Campo Duro, a private nature reserve that works with the National Park to breed and develop giant tortoises. Here we will have the chance to interact with the youngsters of the species, and even get to adopt and name a tortoise and receive updates about its growth and health. Next, we visit Cuevas de Sucre, a fantastic formation of lava tunnels located within an endemic forest. Finally, our journey culminates at a vantage point where we can look out over several nearby islands, a majestic final touch to a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Overnight at Iguana Crossing (B, L, D)
DAY 5: TRANSFER TO BALTRA ISLAND AIRPORT
Time to bid a fond farewell to these enchanted islands. After breakfast, a small aircraft takes you to Baltra Island to connect with your flight back to the mainland. (B)
Rates for Private tour if:
|Number of Guests||1||2||3||4||5 and More|
|Rate per person in double accommodation||$7243||$4024||$3793||$3545||$3455|
Private trips may be confirmed at the date of your choice... contact us to check availability!
Note: rates are valid until December 31/2015.
Accommodations in deluxe suites at Iguana Crossing and Galapagos Safari Camp, all meals as listed, bilingual naturalist guides, all land and sea transportation, two inter-island flights, all non-alcoholic drinks and two glasses of wine per meal.
Four buffet breakfasts, three gourmet restaurant lunches and one gourmet picnic lunch, four gourmet dinners. All lunches and dinners include wine (2 glasses per person).
Personalized welcome card, locally sourced bouquet, fresh fruit platter, bottle of sparkling wine, Ecuadorian tasting platter.
Welcome glass of sparkling wine and canapés, seasonal fruit bowl, in-room massage, upgrade to Casa Baronesa private oceanfront villa.
Flights to and from Galapagos, entrance fee to Galapagos National Park ($100 USD p.p. subject to change), Galapagos transit card ($10 USD p.p. subject to change), tips, personal expenses.
This itinerary is subject to change without notice due to seasonal changes, inclement weather conditions, and adjustments of Galapagos National Park policy.
SMALL AIRCRAFT FLIGHT TIME: 40 minutes
WEATHER: During the warm season from January to May, air temperature is around 77 to 83 F (25 to 28 C) at sea level. During the cool season from June to December, air temperature is around 70 to 75 F (21 to 24 C) at sea level. Temperature decreases with altitude.
WATER TEMPERATURE: During the warm season from January to May, water temperature hovers around 77 F (25 C). During the cool season from June to December, average water temperature is about 72 F (22 C). Water temperature also varies significantly by location.
SUGGESTED ITEMS TO PACK: Hiking shoes, rain jacket, water bottle, non-cotton trekking clothes, sunblock, sun hat, and repellent.