GENERAL INFORMATION

AGELESS WILDERNES

Ecuador’s Galapagos Archipelago is located in the Pacific Ocean some 612 nautical miles west off the coast of Ecuador. This amazing group of relatively young volcanic islands includes 13 large islands, and some 48 smaller ones, where the isolation from the mainland and the isolation between each island, have produced over time unique wildlife. It is without any doubt, a living laboratory and observatory of evolution, where the processes of natural selection are felt in every outing taken.

In 1835, the English naturalist Charles Darwin visited the islands and discovered this “living laboratory” which inspired his writings on the Theory of Evolution. Many of the animals on the Galapagos Islands have developed into different species from their continental relatives, and because they have never experienced man as a predator, they show no fear of humans today.

The world’s most wondrous group of islands is yours for unhurried exploration. Follow the nature trails and enjoy the amazing sights; wade and even dive among the animals of land and sea.

Passengers are taken to shore in small groups with a bilingual naturalist/guide, who will explain the fascinating geology and history of an eco-world that takes you back millions of years. There is ample time for walking, swimming, snorkeling, photography, and to observe the abundant variety of wildlife on each island. You can swim with sea lions, walk among black marine iguanas basking in the sun and observe the elaborate mating rituals of boobies, albatrosses, or male frigate birds displaying their red pouches.

Itineraries with different number of cruise program days offer a variety of options for trekkers and swimmers, writers and readers, painters and photographers, bird watchers and stargazers, visionaries and dreamers…

SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

Santa Cruz Island
The second largest island of the archipelago is Santa Cruz. Its area of 4,588 km2 (1,771mi2), and its altitude of 864 m (2,835 ft) hold an incredible array of ecosystems that make this island a jewel to be discovered. The largest human population of Galapagos lives here in Puerto Ayora, and it is here where the first conservation efforts started around the early 1960’s. For general information on the different islands, please visit www.xxxxx.com

TRAVELING TO THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

There are two ways of reaching the Galapagos Islands by air – to either Baltra or San Cristobal airports. Which airport you arrive or depart depends on the cruise tour program you selected or the hotel location you plan to stay.

Air service between Quito or Guayaquil and Baltra is at present time operated by AEROGAL, LAN Ecuador and TAME. Air service between Quito or Guayaquil and San Cristobal is offered by TAME Airlines and AEROGAL and starting October by LAN Ecuador.

The ninety-minute flight is certainly an enjoyable experience. Once approaching the islands, you will see the peaks of giant submarine volcanoes that broke the ocean’s surface some five million years ago. As the descent and approach continue you will see the turquoise waters near Baltra and North Seymour Islands. Many Galapagos features can be seen right from the plane including sea lions, frigate birds, and the many nests of blue-footed boobies. Few minutes later you have landed on Baltra Island or San Cristobal Island.

Even though in the tropics, the islands have a very unique landscape where cacti, brush, and palo santo trees dominate the dramatic setup. After registering with the National Park authorities, staff members of your cruise or hotel will greet you and assist you with your luggage before beginning your transfer to the cruise or the hotel.