Galapagos island hopping tailor made holiday
Description of Galapagos island hopping tailor made holiday
There are generally two ways to explore the Galapagos Islands: either staying on an island such as Santa Cruz, or aboard a cruise vessel. This tailormade 10-day tour gives you a little of both, with land-based accommodations but regular excursions by motor cruise to other islands, plus an itinerary that of course can be shaped to your own interests.
Begin with a guided tour of UNESCO-listed Quito, capital of Ecuador, before your flight over to the islands, which formed much of the research for Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of the Species’. Begin on Isabela, where you can visit the Giant Tortoise breeding centre, tour wetland lagoons and white sand beaches, and walk the rim of the world’s second-largest volcanic caldera.
Take a short boat ride out to the Tintoreras islets to see marine iguanas, sea lions and white-tipped reef sharks; discover the darker side to Isabela’s history at the Wall of Tears; meet the inhabitants of North Seymour – blue-footed boobies, frigate birds and fur seals, before cruising over to Puerto Ayora, the largest settlement on the islands, on Santa Cruz.
Staying in a stylish eco-hotel on Santa Cruz, explore the highlands, walking alongside Giant Tortoises as they meander slowly between grazing areas and wallowing pools; look out for Darwin’s finches; zip over to the volcanic island of Santa Fé for some snorkelling, and then in Tortuga Bay either put your snorkel back on, or take to kayaks and stand-up paddleboards for a little fun in the sea.
The Galapagos Islands is one of the world’s most incredible destinations, a living laboratory where you can get amazingly close to the wonderful wildlife. This tour gives you the convenience of land-based holidays with a range of more active excursions you normally only get with cruise holidays.
PlanetWe realise that travel and tourism can benefit as well as harm the environment, the economy and the social and cultural structures of communities. The concept of sustainable tourism - the travel trade’s principles of using tourism to benefit local communities, conserve natural resources, and bolster the survival of cultural heritage – lies close to our heart. Our love and passion for Latin America encourages us to do everything in our power to protect the destinations we take you to. As members of AITO, we are committed to AITO’s Sustainable Tourism Guidelines, which means that we ensure that environmental and cultural demands are kept as low as possible.
The Galápagos Islands are recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and a biosphere reserve. It can be seen as a world-wide model for eco-tourism. We’ve developed strong relationships with local suppliers who all share our vision and agree to uphold a commitment to the safekeeping of the environment. We will always encourage you to keep a few basic things in mind, including refilling your water bottle, disposing of rubbish in a responsible way and not leaving the lights or air-conditioning on in your hotel room when you’re not there.
In addition, we carefully select accommodation and give preference to hotels, lodges and cruise vessels which have a verifiable commitment to eco-friendly practices. On Santa Cruz Island you stay at Finch Bay, which has been voted the World’s Leading Green Hotel 2016 at the World Travel Awards event which acknowledge and celebrates excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry, with votes from the general public and travel professionals. This award recognises the hotel’s responsible environmental management in one of the world’s most delicate and pristine ecosystems and the teamwork of its staff.
As a company we actively support the Galapagos Conservation Trust, the only UK registered charity to focus exclusively on the conservation and sustainability of the Galapagos archipelago. They have supported a vast array of projects since its launch in 1995, including pioneering projects across science, education and culture and raising awareness of Galapagos in the UK. The Trust strives to ensure the Galapagos archipelago is protected into the future for the benefit of its unique wildlife and for humankind.
We’ve also partnered with Water to Go UK in hope to reduce waste by offering clients a 50% discount on filtered water bottles.
PeopleMost people working in the Galapagos tourist industry are recruited locally, by law. In addition to providing work for the island’s population, this serves to increase the awareness of the environment and promote its conservation, as guides, office, hotel and restaurant staff all receive training which includes education in these matters.
During your stay we encourage you to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station on Puerto Ayora town (Santa Cruz Island), a centre for research, conservation and education that aims to study and protect the ‘living laboratory’ that is the Galápagos Islands.
In addition, we also actively support the Latin American Travel Association Foundation, which runs social and environmental projects throughout the continent. In the Galápagos, LATA Foundation supports a youth-led campaign aiming to reduce the damaging effects of plastics in the islands. During 2018, the Galapagos Conservation Trust and the local environmental community Group, Grupo Eco Cultural Organizado, aim to reduce plastic bag use on San Cristobal Island by 50% through raising awareness across the local community together with businesses and schools.
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