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Itinerary A / Southern & Central Route:
Birds, Beaches and Bays
Embark on your wildlife-rich Galápagos journey from San Cristobal Island, where you’ll immediately begin searching for the famed frigatebirds, lava lizards, and namesake mockingbirds. This seven-day route works its way southward to Punta Pitt (considered the single greatest site for birds in the archipelago) before continuing to Espanola Island, home to the greatest number of endemic Galápagos species. It is here, and only here, that the waved albatross performs its spectacular mating ritual each year between April and December. Travelers will next step ashore on Floreana, or Charles Island—famous for its glimmering green sand—followed by Santa Cruz Island, the proverbial social center of the Galápagos, and Bartolome, known for its lunar-like landscape. This itinerary concludes in North Seymour, a small uplift swarming with swallow-tailed gulls, blue-footed boobies, endemic land iguanas, and the largest colony of Magnificent frigatebirds in the Galápagos.
Itinerary B / Northern & Western Route:
On this high-emotion, low-impact adventure, travelers depart from San Cristobal Island and trace a path northwest to Genovesa, or Tower Island. Particularly beloved by birdwatchers, Genovesa’s lava fields are home to red-footed and Nazca boobies, storm petrels and the especially elusive short-eared owl. The journey continues, to the northern tip of Santa Cruz, where sugary white beaches and serene lagoons for snorkeling await. Venture further to Isabela and Fernandina islands, the latter of which is the youngest and most pristine island in the Galápagos. Here, marine iguanas and sea lions bask on the sunbaked shoreline, undisturbed by a single non-native species. At Isabela, colorful Galápagos iguanas contrast with coral skeletons, exposed since a 1954 volcanic eruption. And during a stop at Rabida Island, with is reddish-hued beach, you can hike to a saltwater lagoon frequented by greater flamingos and Darwin’s finches. This itinerary returns to Santa Cruz Island, which has a human population of 24,000 and an impressive reserve of giant tortoises.
Focus on Photography:
Famed local photographers will help you capture and preserve your trip to the Galápagos Islands in beautiful photographs. Travelers will learn basic lighting tips, receive a printed guide featuring images of the Galápagos’ endemic creatures, and participate in a farewell slideshow featuring some of the finest work produced during the sailing. This photography sailing will be held on the Origin.
November 01-08, 2020 - Southern & Central Route
November 08-15, 2020 – Northern & Western Route
Culinary - Tastes of Ecuador:
Join our host chef for a delicious departure to the Galápagos Islands. During our culinary sailing, our host chef will join our talented culinary staff to provide guests with an extraordinary introduction to the flavors of Ecuador.
Departure Dates 2020
To be confirmed
Yoga Retreat Sailings:
Join like-minded travelers and pursue your passion for yoga in the most inspiring place on earth with our yoga-themed sailing in December 2018. Your host, Ecuador-born Gustavo Plaza, is a skillful yogi with more than three decades of experience in a variety of practices, including alignment-based yoga, meditation, Pranayama, eastern philosophy, and Yoga Nidra. Onboard the Origin, travelers will begin each morning with a yoga class, before gathering in the dining room for a nutritious, sustainably harvested breakfast. Throughout your journey, Plaza will lead regular afternoon yoga sessions and will prepare you for a restful sleep one evening with a Yoga Nidra to cultivate relaxation and self-awareness.
November 3 – 10, 2019 - Northern & Western Route
November 10 – 17, 2019 - Southern & Central Route
Travelers with children, teens, and young adults in tow may opt for a designated family departure, created to cater to families with similar-aged children. Family departures are offered during major school breaks and feature exclusive age-appropriate activities that bring the magic of the Galapagos to a multi-generational audience.
During teen family departures, for example, our excursions will be faster in pace and more physically demanding. Expect longer hikes and more kayaking and snorkeling opportunities.
Travelers with teenagers who book on our summer family EPI departures can participate in a cultural exchange with local Galapagueño students through Ecology Project International.
The following 2020 departures are designated as family oriented on all yachts, please inquire at the time of booking:
January 5-12 (A)
February 16-23 (A)
March 08-15 (B)
March 15-22 (A)
March 29-05 April (A)
April 05-12 (B)
April 12-19 (A)
June 07-14 (A)
June 14-21 (B)
June 21-28 (A)
June 28-05 July (B)
July 05-12 (A)
July 12-19 (B)
July 19-26 (A)
July 26-02 August (B)
August 02-09 (A)
August 09-16 (B)
August 23-30 (A)
October 18-25 (B)
November 22-29 (A)
December 13-20 (B)
December 27-03 January (B)
Children aged 6 to 11 receive a 25% discount, and teens aged 12 to 17 receive a 15% discount off the cruise rate (excluding holiday weeks). On Origin & Theory, only college age get 10% discount from age 18 to 21. These discounts cannot be combined with any other discounts or promotions.
Airfare and flight schedule:
Make your trip to the Galápagos a seamless, stress-free experience by booking flights directly with Ecoventura. By doing so, we can assist you every step of the way, from checking-in for your Avianca flight to pre-paying the Galapagos National Park entrance fee. Passengers will find regular flights between Quito, Guayaquil and San Cristobal Island with Avianca.
Airfare and flight schedule to Galapagos:
Flights to Galapagos for Ecoventura passengers are serviced by AVIANCA Airlines from Quito (UIO) and Guayaquil (GYE) to Galapagos (San Cristobal = SCY). Flight reservations for confirmed passengers are made automatically through our seat allotment with Avianca. All passengers who arrive at SCY on AV 1636 on Sunday will receive assistance with the check-in procedure and the option to pre-pay the transit card fee. A representative from Ecoventura accompanies our passengers on this flight. Upon arrival, our crew and guides meet this flight and transport passengers to the yachts. Passengers who chose to arrive on any other flight will not be provided with the same services.
The current flight schedule is on Sundays to/from Galápagos (SCY):
Quito to Guayaquil
AVIANCA 1636 ETD 9:00AM ETA 9:50AM
Guayaquil to San Cristobal
AVIANCA 1636 ETD 10:40AM ETA 11:30AM
San Cristobal to Guayaquil
AVIANCA 1637 ETD 12:30PM ETA 3:25PM
Guayaquil to Quito
AVIANCA 1637 ETD 4:05PM ETA 5:00PM
Airfares in LOW season: January 1 – 30 June & September 1 – 31 December
Airfares in HIGH season: July 1 – 31 August
Airfares include all airport taxes and airfare fuel surcharges. They are subject to change at any time up until the day of departure and even after tickets have been paid in full.
Upgrade to Business Class:
There are twelve business class seats available on the flights to Galapagos. For an additional charge of $57.00 each way from UIO or GYE you will receive preferred seats in the front of the aircraft, you may check two suitcases (up to 70 lbs./ 32 kg) and one carry-on bag (up to 22 lbs./ 10 kg and up to 45″/ 115 cm) per passenger.
The airline allows one checked suitcase (up to 50 lbs./ 23 kg and up to 62″/ 158 cm) and one carry-on bag (up to 22 lbs./ 10 kg and up to 45″/ 115 cm) per passenger. All overweight, oversized and excess baggage will be charged additional and are checked subject to space available. FEES in USD - Subject to change - Please see avianca.com for latest fee schedule
Excess baggage fee: $45 for up to 50 lb/ 23 kg, $60 for 51-70 lb/ 23-32 kg.
Overweight baggage fee: $15 for 51-100 lb/ 23-45 kg
Oversize baggage fee: $80 for larger than 62 in/ 158 cm and less than or equal to 90.5 in/ 230 cm.
Fees do not include IVA (tax) of 12% and are subject to change.
Airlines are required to spray the overhead compartments inside the aircraft with a special process after doors are closed and preparing for landing. This is considered a common procedure for flights bound to fragile island ecosystems that are susceptible to invasive species or viruses being accidentally transported to the islands
Flight check-in procedure :
On the day of departure, please be at the airport in Quito or Guayaquil two hours prior to departure for check-in. A card will be left at your hotel the evening prior to the exact check-in time. You must first have your bags inspected by SICGAL as required to travel to Galapagos. Next, look for the Ecoventura representative at the Avianca Airline ticket counter to collect your boarding pass, transit card (if prepaid) and get assistance with check-in. Do not stand in line to pay the TCT card if you have already prepaid. You will form a line to process passengers for the Park entrance fee. The park representative will have a list of our guests who have prepaid the fee. Once through, our guides will be waiting for you with signs. You will need to claim your checked bag and our crew will deliver them to your cabin. Passengers who choose to travel to Galapagos earlier or choose to purchase tickets with another carrier will not be provided with the same services.
We recommend all travelers protect their trip of a lifetime in the Galápagos by purchasing a comprehensive travel insurance policy. Travel insurance, which is available through World Nomads as well as other insurers, protects your booking in the event that you need to cancel or reschedule your sailing.
Trip insurance also comes with a number of benefits ideal for adventure expeditions, including emergency medical evacuation and repatriation, overseas medical and dental expenses, lost or damaged baggage, and more. We take great care to guarantee that our travelers have a safe, secure, and exceptional experience in the Galápagos Islands—and with trip insurance, our guests can travel an additional layer of tranquillity.
Only a valid passport is required to enter Ecuador. However, passports must be valid for six months and a day after you plan to leave Ecuador. No Visas are required for U.S., Canadian and most European citizens. Visas are required for some Asian, Central American and Eastern European countries. It is the passenger’s responsibility to check with local immigration offices or the Ecuadorian consulate prior to sailing to determine if a visa is necessary. **Visas
At the time of printing, no immunizations were required for visitors to mainland Ecuador and Galapagos (excluding jungle areas). Please check with your local health office at least two weeks prior to your departure.
Passenger information form:
Ecoventura requires that all guests complete all details requested in the passenger information form no later than 60 days prior to departure. It includes information such as passport name, passport number, expiration, nationality and date of birth, your International flight schedule, itinerary and hotel contact in Ecuador. It also includes you specify an emergency contact, medical conditions, food allergies or any special dietary requests.
Click here to download the passenger information form
Transportation contract :
All passengers will receive a cruise ticket at the airport in Guayaquil or Quito upon check in for the flight to Galapagos. The cruise ticket contains the terms and conditions of the transportation contract. In order to review the terms before you leave home, you can view this on the company web site.
Click here to download the transportation contract
Galapagos entrance fee or “park tax”:
The Islands are part of the Ecuador National Park system and the entrance fee is $100.00 per person. Children age 11 and younger get a reduced rate of $50.00. The fee is divided up among various entities including the GNPS, Marine Reserve, agriculture, municipalities, INEFAN and INGALA.
Transit card fee:
All visitors to Galapagos are required to purchase a “Tarjeta de Control de Transito” or TCT card for $20.00. This card allows INGALA, the institution that controls migration to the islands to better regulate the flow of all arrivals and departure to Galapagos. Ecoventura will register all passengers in advance provided the fee is pre-paid and we receive the passenger information form.
Gratuities to guides & crew:
We believe our crew members provide world-class service and we hope you agree. We do not add an automatic service charge to your account as we prefer that guests reward our crew solely based on their performance at the end of their cruise. If you would like to do so, any amount you feel appropriate is truly appreciated. However, for guests who might wonder what the typical amount is, we suggest each of our passengers to leave in between US $250 – $300 per week which is the international standard for a First class vessel Letty and between $300 – $350 which is the international standard for a luxury vessel Origin & Theory. Cash is our suggested method of payment on board. You could also charge the gratuity to your credit card by using your Visa or MasterCard. Gratuities are distributed among all crew members including naturalist guides.
Physical limitations :
The majority of Ecoventura passengers are healthy, active and reasonably fit. Passengers able to walk a few hours a day unassisted will be able to fully enjoy Galapagos. Some of the excursions require more physical activity than others involving short steep climbs or long walks in hot weather or on uneven rocky trails. However, most excursions require moderate activity and the walks are at a leisurely pace. Entering and exiting the Zodiacs require that you need to be sure footed. If you are concerned about your ability to do any particular day hike, please consult with the naturalist before disembarkation. In order to enjoy your trip to its fullest potential, it is a good idea to do some exercise before your trip, such as walking, swimming or bicycling. Please see your doctor for a check-up before traveling to Ecuador. Any medical condition or physical disability that may require special attention or treatment must be advised to Ecoventura at the time of booking.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Due to strong currents, there will be moderate movement of the vessel while navigating. Most passengers are not affected. However, if you are prone to seasickness, we strongly urge you bring some type of medication to prevent motion sickness.
Medical facilities on board:
The yachts carry first aid kits and medical supplies. The Captain and guides are trained in basic First Aid procedures. All yachts have radio contact with the mainland for any medical emergencies.
Most telecommunication providers have signal in Galapagos and passengers can use their smartphones that are activated for international calling on days when the yachts are in close range to port. The Letty does not offer Wi-Fi service.
Is available on the Origin & Theory and starting September 1 2019, Wi-Fi will be included Free of charge. There will be a limit of one complimentary PIN card per cabin.
English is spoken aboard the vessels by guides and Captains. All crew speak Spanish.
Ecuador is in the Eastern time zone (GMT-5 in the mainland). Daylight savings time is not observed. Galapagos is one hour behind mainland Ecuador. On board, we observe mainland Ecuador time.
Ecuador adopted the US Dollar as their monetary unit. Languages: English and Spanish are spoken aboard the vessels by the naturalists and Captains. Be sure to bring small bills ($1, $5, $10 are best) for small purchases and can use larger bills for gratuities.
110/AC 60 cycle (current and plugs are the same as in the US)
Smoking is prohibited in enclosed areas aboard the vessels and on the Islands. Smoking is only allowed on the outside deck in a designated smoking area.
Bottled water is provided in your cabin and is free of charge. Filtered drinking water is provided during meal times. We suggest you do not drink water from the tap in your cabin. Water bottles can be refilled from the water container located in the bar area.
You may order a bottle of wine ($35) or birthday cake ($25) to be served at dinnertime or a fruit basket ($15) for your cabin. It is prohibited to bring flowers to Galapagos. Please advise us at least 30 days prior to departure.
Purchases on board:
Every passenger has an open tab at the bar and boutique, which are paid the last day of the cruise. We accept cash (US Dollars), Master Card or VISA credit cards only.
Island visits/ Activities:
The vessels anchor offshore at two visitor sites or Islands per day. Passengers are ferried to the landing point in zodiac style inflatable landing craft, locally called “pangas”. The landings are either wet (where one must step into water anywhere from your ankles to your knees and wade to shore) or dry (where one steps from the Zodiac directly to the volcanic rock). Your guide and Zodiac driver will assist you with a steady hand. On the Islands, one follows marked trails set by the National Park walking at a leisurely pace together with your guide. You will spend 3-4 hours at each site allowing plenty of time to explore and photograph the wildlife. In addition to the guided land excursions, we offer deep water snorkeling, beach swim/snorkel, kayaking, and zodiac rides.
Yacht & Itinerary Stipulations:
Ecoventura reserves the right at its sole option and discretion and that of the Captain of the vessel or National Park impact studies without liability for damages or refund of any kind to deviate from the vessel’s advertised or ordinary itinerary for any reason including mechanical failure. Ecoventura will not be held responsible for any refund whatsoever for changes to the printed or scheduled itinerary.
There are many opportunities to snorkel during the cruise, sometimes twice a day from the beach and in deep water. Masks, fins and snorkels in average sizes are available on board free of charge for use during the cruise. If you anticipate taking advantage of all snorkeling opportunities you may prefer to bring your own mask and snorkel for a proper fit.
Full 3mm wet suits are available for passengers to use during the cruise at no additional charge on a first come first serve basis. Wet suits are most popular from June to November when water temperatures are between 65 and 72 degrees.
Sea Kayaks and paddleboards:
The Letty carries two tandem and one single kayaks and the Origin and Theory have five tandem kayaks. Each vessel has two stand-up paddle boards (SUP). They are available at designated sites during the cruise at no charge on a first come first serve basis.
Be prepared for the adventure of a lifetime by packing a suitcase full of casual, comfortable, and versatile items. Start by purchasing a soft-sided spinner or a rolling duffel bag—perfect for storage in staterooms.
The use of drones for aerial photography is strictly prohibited in Galapagos and is against park rules and you will not be permitted to use a drone while on board our vessels or in the Islands.
Hosted Departures with Marine Biologist Jack Grove:
Board the Theory in December of 2019 for one of two deeply enriching sailings hosted by a marine biologist, expedition leader, photographer, and author Jack Grove. With Grove supplementing the expertise of our onboard naturalist guides, travelers can expect to explore the Galápagos with a deep and nuanced understanding of the archipelago’s remarkable flora and fauna. Evening “turtle hour” lectures, daily observations of fish behavioral patterns and species identification sessions led by Grove will add an extra layer to these specialty sailings. Guests sailing with Grove will also receive an autographed first edition hardcover copy of his guide, The Fishes of the Galápagos Islands.
December 01-08, 2019: Northern & Western Route
December 08-15, 2019: Southern & Central Route
Guests can also reserve both sailings for a 14-night comprehensive adventure.