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Ecuador Travel: Galapagos Tours
A cruise around the Galapagos Islands is a great addition to any Ecuador travel itinerary. The Galapagos Islands offers travelers an unforgettable trip that can include snorkeling, diving, wildlife viewing, kayaking, land safaris and much more. The isolated Islands have many plant and animal species that you can’t see anywhere else in the world, making it a truly once in a lifetime experience. Global Basecamps works with the most ecologically friendly and sustainable small ships on the water. Our unique Galapagos tours feature a variety of cruising options, incredible multi-day walking safaris, and lodge-based island explorations.
First class yachts accommodate no more than 20 people and have multiple decks, spacious rooms, a dining room, bars, and a conference area with flat screen TVs. Tourist class ships accommodate no more than 16 guests. Currently both cruise options can be for 3, 5, or 8 days. You will arrive at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristobal Island to be escorted to the boat. As the sun sets, the cruise begins. The cruises include all meals, non-alcoholic beverages and daily excursions. The itineraries focus on spending time on the islands and interacting with local wildlife.
In an effort to contribute to the conservation efforts of the islands, we have hand-picked every ship we work with in the Galapagos Islands based on their commitment to ecotourism, both during the cruise and on the islands, the expertise of the naturalists and guides, and the level of comfort of the ships. All the ships we work with are certified SmartVoyager ships and include the only hybrid vessel on the water. Additionally, all of our Galapagos cruises help support the Galapagos Marine Biodiversity Fund, which advocates environmental education and marine conservation efforts by strengthening the local communities’ ability to manage natural resources.
Galapagos Walking Tours
The Galapagos walking tours, which were developed in participation with the local community, offer a new land-based expedition of the Galapagos Island of Isabela. Isabela’s main attractions include 5 active volcanoes, the most extensive wetlands in the archipelago and a beautiful beach. Travelers can also enjoy trekking with giant tortoises, swimming with white-tipped sharks, snorkeling with marine turtles, and kayaking among flamingos.
Visit the Island's breeding center where the giant tortoise population is presently recovering. Our expert guides will explain the process and how the tortoises are released into the wild. You can walk up the crater of the Sierra Negra, and then to Volcán Chico (little volcano) at the eastern rim of the crater. You will be able to picnic at the top of the volcano and enjoy the spectacular views. A short distance away, you can also visit the small islands of Tintoreras to see white tipped sharks, sea lions, turtles, rays and penguins.
Galapagos Safari Camp
Explore the Galapagos in a whole new way at the Galapagos Safari Camp, a luxury tented eco lodge, where guests can camp in comfort while still feeling close to nature. Either as an addition to a cruise or as a destination by itself the camp gives travelers a unique look at the Galapagos. The camp borders the National Park of Santa Cruz Island and is located near the tortoise reserve. The camp sits on a 55 hectare farm that offers magnificent views of the ocean and the Islands of Isabela, Santiago, Pinzón, Baltra, Rabida, Guy Fawkes and Daphne.
The main lodge sits on a hill with panoramic views, where guests can enjoy local and international dishes made with local produce. The lodge also has a lounge and bar, with a fireplace. Located near the main lodge are the camp’s nine luxury tents. The interiors are luxurious and spacious. The bathrooms are en-suite and include hot water showers. Each tent has a large balcony with a hammock and chairs to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Additionally, the infinity pool is a great place for guest to cool down and enjoy nature.
The farm on which the camp is situated has incredible wildlife, including a variety of birdlife and tortoises. The area surrounding the farm, known as the highlands, has a tortoise reserve, lava tunnels, and volcanic craters. Walking, cycling, or horse back riding are great ways to explore the area. The lowlands of Santa Cruz Island have pristine white sandy beaches, where you can snorkel, dive, kayak, surf, or swim. The main town on the island, Puerto Ayora has many restaurants, shops and galleries to explore.
The Islands were made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978, and conservation efforts continue to change in order to preserve the islands. According to a recent Gadling article, the Government of Ecuador will be introducing new travel rules in 2012 for the Galapagos Islands. The new regulations state that a ship can’t visit the same island more than once within 14 days. These ecotourism efforts are to protect the islands and help create a better travel experience for all visitors.