Galapagos Islands Yacht Adventure

About the Experience

The Galapagos Islands seem otherworldly for good reason. There are 45 species of birds that are endemic to the isles–you won’t find them anywhere else in the world!

The juxtaposition of landscapes seems impossible. Mangrove forests shift to islands peppered with prickly pear cacti or the skeletal Palo Santo (Holy Stick) trees. The beaches move from Oreo-black volcanic sand to porcelain-white coral shores. On Rabida, the sand is as red as paprika. The lava tunnels and spatter cones of Bartolome will make you feel like you’ve landed on the moon!

Whether you are on a panga scanning for whale spouts or underwater snorkeling synchro with a curious sea lion or penguin, the wildlife surrounds. Frigate birds trail the ship, blue-footed boobies do vertical torpedo dives with the agility of Olympic swimmers. Red-billed tropicbirds delight with their kite-like tail streamers while Darwin’s finches, bubblegum pink flamingos, lava herons and barn owls surprise seasoned and newbie birders alike.

You can safely expect to see sea lions and marine iguanas by the dozens. Possibly hundreds. Each island has its own unique pocket of species but through the western navigation, the biodiversity is constant. Crimson Sally lightfoot crabs skitter about on basalt rocks in the company of prehistoric marine iguanas, yellow warblers and gangly pelicans. The startling red carpet weed of Chinese Hat is electric against the indigo sea.

If you want a GIANT fill of incredible birds and intimate encounters with wild tortoises, fur sea lions, sea turtles and penguins, this small-ship expedition delivers ten-fold. Snorkel, hike and tandem kayak under the watchful eye of the Galapagos hawk, nesting brown noddy terns, shearwaters and flightless cormorants.

Aboard the Tip Top II, you’ll be well-spoiled by the 360 views on the upper deck and the authentic local menu prepared by Chef Willy in the galley.  Pamper yourself and light up your sense of wonder on the islands that captivated Charles Darwin long ago. We’ll visit the Darwin Research Centre and a tortoise ranch on Santa Cruz Island too!

This western voyage crosses the equator four times! The syrupy sunsets will stop you in your tracks. Come experience the genuine, unmatchable magic of the Galapagos and discover the secrets in the deep fissures and lava folds of the Pacific.

 

 

 

Click here to see the full itinerary!
Galapagos Islands Yacht Adventure

About the Experience

The Galapagos Islands seem otherworldly for good reason. There are 45 species of birds that are endemic to the isles–you won’t find them anywhere else in the world!

The juxtaposition of landscapes seems impossible. Mangrove forests shift to islands peppered with prickly pear cacti or the skeletal Palo Santo (Holy Stick) trees. The beaches move from Oreo-black volcanic sand to porcelain-white coral shores. On Rabida, the sand is as red as paprika. The lava tunnels and spatter cones of Bartolome will make you feel like you’ve landed on the moon!

Whether you are on a panga scanning for whale spouts or underwater snorkeling synchro with a curious sea lion or penguin, the wildlife surrounds. Frigate birds trail the ship, blue-footed boobies do vertical torpedo dives with the agility of Olympic swimmers. Red-billed tropicbirds delight with their kite-like tail streamers while Darwin’s finches, bubblegum pink flamingos, lava herons and barn owls surprise seasoned and newbie birders alike.

You can safely expect to see sea lions and marine iguanas by the dozens. Possibly hundreds. Each island has its own unique pocket of species but through the western navigation, the biodiversity is constant. Crimson Sally lightfoot crabs skitter about on basalt rocks in the company of prehistoric marine iguanas, yellow warblers and gangly pelicans. The startling red carpet weed of Chinese Hat is electric against the indigo sea.

If you want a GIANT fill of incredible birds and intimate encounters with wild tortoises, fur sea lions, sea turtles and penguins, this small-ship expedition delivers ten-fold. Snorkel, hike and tandem kayak under the watchful eye of the Galapagos hawk, nesting brown noddy terns, shearwaters and flightless cormorants.

Aboard the Tip Top II, you’ll be well-spoiled by the 360 views on the upper deck and the authentic local menu prepared by Chef Willy in the galley.  Pamper yourself and light up your sense of wonder on the islands that captivated Charles Darwin long ago. We’ll visit the Darwin Research Centre and a tortoise ranch on Santa Cruz Island too!

This western voyage crosses the equator four times! The syrupy sunsets will stop you in your tracks. Come experience the genuine, unmatchable magic of the Galapagos and discover the secrets in the deep fissures and lava folds of the Pacific.

 

 

 

DAY ONE: GALAPAGOS ARRIVAL

Meet your fellow Wild Women and Tip Top II ship representative at the Quito Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) before proceeding to check-in. We’ll board a domestic flight to Baltra Airport (GPS) on Baltra Island, Galápagos. A Wild Women guide will be waiting for our group at the arrivals gate of Baltra Airport. A short 5km shuttle will take us to the pier where we will board the Tip Top yacht by panga. Start looking for land iguanas and Darwin’s finches on the barren island studded with prickly pear cacti and skeletal Palo Santo (Holy Stick) trees. At the pier expect a welcoming committee of cormorants drying their wings, fishing pelicans and dozing sea lions! As the crew weighs anchor, our guide will provide a brief introduction and ship orientation over a light snack and local fruit juice prior to lunch.

After lunch, we will have our first wet landing on Mosquera Islet, just 20 minutes from the pier. This windswept reef of volcanic rock, coral fragments and wide expanse of powder-white sand beach is a fan favourite of sun-lovin’ sea lions. They cluster in sleepy colonies or find independent nooks of their own among the bleached driftwood. 

Crimson Sally lightfoot crabs appear like scattered Christmas decorations on the black basalt rock. Electric yellow warblers like to hop around the shoreline and fearlessly alight near the prehistoric marine iguanas occupying the prime beach real estate. Keep watch for the red-billed tropicbird and its kite-like white tail streamers as it takes dramatic vertical plunges to feed.

In the evening, after a solid introductory dose of wonder, we’ll gather for a deeper discussion about the origin and evolution of the Galapagos Islands. Afterwards, we’ll meet the M/C Tip Top II crew and celebrate our expedition with a bubbly cocktail before an impressive three-course dinner.

Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: M/C Tip Top II

GPS Setting: Baltra Island

 

DAY TWO: DISCOVERING WILDLIFE

After navigating for a few hours in the star-studded night, we will awake in the looming volcanic shadows of the isles of Santiago and Rabida. After a sweet and savoury breakfast offering, we will make a wet landing on Sullivan Bay, to learn about the magma-deep origin of the islands. This 30-minute walk is a relaxed and incredible opportunity to walk on a field of 100-year-old hardened lava. It undulates and wrinkles like elephant skin and chocolate macaroons. 

The ropy lava or “pahoehoe” underfoot is actually a Hawaiian term meaning ‘braids.’ Walking across such natural history elicits all sorts of comparisons and respect for the earth’s violence and evolution.

The silence here can be unsettling but will be embraced by those who seek meditative moments. Little life exists here beyond the odd locust, tiny coral-like Mullogo plants sprouting in the fissures and resilient lava cactus. 

On the panga ride back to the ship, be on high alert for the curious, tiny Galapagos penguins, blue-footed boobies, lava herons and sea turtles below! The silver and gold flashes are probably mullets (fish, not 80s hair!). We will return to the boat for a filling lunch distracted by the views of the cinnamon hills and basalt rock beyond the ship’s dining room windows!

In the afternoon we will have the opportunity for a calm kayak (tandem) along the sheltered shoreline where boobies and pelicans pay little attention to the human commotion. Fun fact: You can determine the sex of a booby by their pupil size. Males have pinprick pupils while females have substantially larger pupils.

After kayaking, we’ll jump in the pangas for a wet landing on Rabida Island to see the sea lions that have gathered along the paprika-coloured sandy beach to absorb the last rays of the day. Look for sea stars of all sizes, creating an unexpected constellation on the beach.

On this short walk, we’ll split from the sandy beach in hopes of finding white-cheeked pintail ducks and bubblegum pink flamingos hanging out in the small saltwater lagoon. There are only 400 flamingos found in the Galapagos–seeing them in their natural habitat is a pure treasure. There are eleven lagoons in the Galapagos where new and old nests have been found by park rangers and their increased presence is encouraging.

We’ll walk back along the shore in the glow of the syrupy sunset. On the equator, the sunset is predictable and fast–the silhouettes of Rabida and the sea lions make for an incredible photo opp.. 

Depending on the day and flamingo activity, we’ll have a nightly briefing before or after dinner. Tonight, while we are sleeping, we will cross the equatorial line as our captain navigates us around Isabela Island to our next southern destination.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: M/C Tip Top II

GPS Setting: Santiago Island, Rabida Island

 

DAY THREE: ESPINOZA POINT

After an early breakfast, we make a dry landing on Espinoza Point to observe the enormous colony of marine iguanas that inhabit the isle. This is where the Planet Earth II episode featuring the harrowing chase scene between dozens of racer snakes and a young iguana was filmed. There are hundreds of iguanas here, camouflaged on the rocks–sometimes only noticed when they snort salt water from their flared nostrils.

We’ll also see sea lions, green sea turtles, Great blue herons and lava herons stalking their lunch. This is biodiversity at its best and the aquarium-clear tidal pools illuminate the motley crew of relationships. Sally lightfoots scurry along, sometimes right up and over the iguanas. Smaller lizards use the stock-still iguanas as lounge chairs–sometimes perching right on their heads. The flightless cormorant is found here too–this endemic species is only seen on Fernandina and Espanola! Long ago the species realized it didn’t have to fly to seek out a food source. Instead, the cormorant relied on swimming and essentially stopped the exhaustive flights. Much like humans and their evolution pattern of UberEats versus cooking at home. The flightless cormorants are comical to watch as they spread their now-phantom wings to dry, as though they still have their wingspan of the past.

Above the mangroves, keep watch for the effortless glide of the Galapagos hawk. On the water’s surface, look for the activity of penguins. Underfoot, marvel at the remains of perfect pencil urchins!

Before lunch, we can snorkel or opt for a panga ride. Snorkelers will be rewarded with toothy parrotfish, chocolate chip starfish and hognose fish. There’s always a chance for a penguin or sea lion swim-by too. Those who opt for the panga will be able to see many fish and rays as well due to the gin-clarity of the water!

After lunch, we’ll have a 4-hour navigation that will be peppered with whale spouts. Bryde’s whales following clouds of krill add to the thrill of being on the upper deck.  Once anchored, we’ll take a panga ride around the islets of Elizabeth Bay and into the mangrove lagoon. Here, countless sea turtles float in a suspended dance. Keep binoculars at the ready for sightings of the black-billed ani, warblers, lava herons,  finches, boobies and whimbrel. 

After dinner, we’ll gather for a deep-dive into the geology of the Galapagos. If time permits, there  might be a slide show of the underwater images captured earlier in the day by the snorkelers. Tonight, there will be a three hour navigation back to Urbina Bay so we can rise, down some punchy coffee and strike off early on a walk tomorrow morning!

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: M/C Tip Top II

GPS Setting: Isabela Island

 

DAY FOUR: URBINA BAY

After breakfast,  we will have a wet landing on the surprising surface of Urbina Bay. The shoreline was elevated more than 4 metres from sea level in the 1950s during the eruption of the Alcedo Volcano.  We will be walking on what was once the sea floor! Dried corals, mollusks and other sea creatures remain imprinted like geological tattoos. We’ll also find the skeletal remains of giant tortoises who died of natural causes. The bones and shell fragments show the incredible anatomy of the centenarians.

On Urbina we will find pancake-sized sand dollars, Dijon-coloured land iguanas, flightless cormorants, mockingbirds full of song, tree finches and giant tortoises–provided they haven’t toddled off to find shade. Our naturalist will point out the poisonous apple trees and translucent berries of the muyoyo and their significance. 

Before lunch, we can snorkel or hop on a panga ride to look for marble and spotted eagle rays skating below the surface. Whether you choose to go above or below the surface, penguins, sea turtles, diving boobies and brown noddy terns, tuna and Sally lightfoot crabs will follow. 

In the afternoon, we’ll kayak around Tagus Cove, situated between the shoulders of two hulking volcanic craters which protect it from the open sea. This cove was a treasured anchoring site for pirates and whalers–and they certainly left their mark. On the cliffs you will see the names of dozens of ships that have been carved and painted onto the surface. This practice is now prohibited of course!

For those who want to check out Darwin Lake, there will be an interpretive hike planned to explore the dry vegetation zone, Darwin volcano’s remains and the stellar view from above. The hike takes less than an hour and begins with a steep incline up natural stone stairs and wooden steps until it flattens out through the perfumed forest of Palo Santo trees.

Tonight, depending on the time of crossing and if the captain gives the A-OK, we might have the opportunity to visit the ship’s bridge to watch the GPS roll to 0’0’0’ as we cross the equatorial line again!

It will be a full night of navigation (around 11 hours) as we make our way back to Bartolome.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: M/C Tip Top II

GPS Setting: Isabela Island

 

DAY FIVE: BARTOLOME

After an early breakfast,  we will make a wet landing on Santiago Island. James Bay (Puerto Egas) is the site of an abandoned salt mine that belonged to the government of Ecuador in 1963. On a relaxed coastal walk, we’ll search of yellow-crowned night herons, scorpions, green and pencil urchins and acacia (“Galapagos rosemary”). And hornitos! Though it sounds like something salty and tempting to eat with guacamole, it’s actually a unique conical oven-shaped mound of lava.

The beach and its eroded rock formations are a cool place to poke around for sponges, snails, crabs, barnacles and intertidal life like the four-eyed blenny. Researchers are frequently stationed here, observing sea lions and sea turtle populations. 

Before lunch, there will be time to go for a dip, snorkel or panga ride. This is a perfect place to look for Franklin’s gulls and noddies landing on pelican heads as they fish. Yes, they are cherry-picking freeloaders!

After lunch, there will be another opportunity to snorkel in search of whitetip reef sharks, penguins and mosaic starfish. Or, grab your journal, novel or sketchbook and  take advantage of some lazy beach time. Look for the tell-tale divots of nesting sea turtles! Later, we will have a dry landing on Bartolome Island where we will hike to the super scenic summit. This windswept landscape is dotted with a few tiquila plants (not that kind! Skip the lime and salt!) and is dramatically lunar-like with its spatter cones and lava tubes.

On the summit, we’ll take in an unmatched sunset view of the crescent beaches below, surrounding islands, and the iconic eroded tuff cone of Pinnacle Rock (which was once used as target practice by the US Army). The walk is steep but with a secure boardwalk and staircase to the top.

We’ll gather after dinner for a chat about the next day and possibly share photos of the day’s snorkeling highlights on the big screen.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: M/C Tip Top II

GPS Setting: Santiago Island & Bartolome Island

 

DAY SIX: CHINESE HAT

Before breakfast, we’ll make a dry landing on Chinese Hat (Sombrero Chino), a small island with a porcelain white coral beach on the coast of Santiago Island. Spatter cones (hornitos) and small lava tubes provide an irresistible backdrop for photographers honing in on playful sea lions and seemingly morose marine iguanas.

The red carpet weed is a brilliant, nearly neon contrast to the black lava rock. Lava herons and oystercatchers with carrot-orange bills poke along the shore while bull sea lions patrol, protecting their harem. The tidal pools are crystalline–look for sun stars and urchins! Candelabra cacti and the indigo sea create a knock-out juxtaposition. Just add a spotted eagle ray taking flight over the surface of the water, flipping its angelic body to remove crustaceans with each propelled turn.

We’ll navigate for 2 hours (keep looking for Bryde’s whales and sea turtles alongside the ship!) and have lunch al fresco on the top deck if conditions permit.

Later in the afternoon, we’ll make a dry landing on Dragon Hill where you can opt for an interpretive walk or beach time. On the walk we’ll see land iguanas; and a hypersaline lagoon (saltier than the ocean) that is known to attract flamingos. Feral dogs and goats were eradicated from this island in 1990 and massive efforts were made to build a peninsula that would protect iguana populations. Almost all of the iguanas here are repatriated and are successfully reproducing. The Dragon Hill trail cuts through three radically different environments–we’ll check out land iguana nests and be followed by mockingbirds.

We’ll begin navigating after dinner towards Puerto Ayora, on Santa Cruz Island.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: M/C Tip Top II

GPS Setting: Santa Cruz Island

 

DAY SEVEN: GIANT GALAPAGOS TORTOISE

After breakfast we will take a panga to Puerto Ayora’s main pier and transfer to a bus that will take us into the highlands. We’ll visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, the Twin Craters (collapsed magma domes) and a lava tunnel that has delighted many with its resident barn owl.

The Darwin Research Station is a wonderful wander through conservation efforts that support the safe release of young tortoises to the islands (once they reach the age of five or  20cm in length–this size allows them proper defense from introduced predators like rats, dogs and pigs). Since 1970, over 2000 ‘galapaguitos’ (artificially incubated eggs from Pinzon, Santiago and Santa Cruz Islands) have been born, reared and returned to their native areas. The semi-natural pens are divided according to the four different stages of development: eggs, neonates, juveniles and adults.

The Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Center at the Charles Darwin Research Station is dedicated to the 43-year service of tortoise keeper Fausto Llerena, who cared for Lonesome George. He was the last known Pinta Island tortoise–George died at the Breeding Center on June 24, 2012. His body was shipped to New York to be taxidermied. Spending a few minutes in the climate-controlled environment of Lonesome George is a dynamic moment that won’t be forgotten.

Learn more about Darwin’s unswervable passion and marvel at the skeletons of  Bryde’s whale and blue-footed booby in the center. There are also revolving photo exhibits by children and university students.

With Lonesome George’s shadow on our shoulders, we’ll travel through an ever-changing forest of banana, mango, guava and Spanish cedar to a local ranch that serves as a sanctuary for giant tortoises. Wild tortoises can be seen along the roadway–they often create traffic jams with their slow-mo crossings! Have your camera at the ready for  the tortoise crossing caution signs!

We’ll have lunch at the ranch and enjoy all the spoils: close encounters with the tortoises, moor hens and signature Boobies beer! The restaurant also provides fiery samples of the local moonshine infused with passionfruit and coffee.

Smiley from our sacred time in the company of tortoises, we will return to Puerto Ayora for some free time in the ‘city.’ Be sure to check out the local fish market (it attracts buyers AND birds of all species! Pelicans, frigates, gulls!) and Santa Cruz Brewery, the first craft brewery in the Galapagos. Support local shop owners and artisans on your search for the perfect take-home reminder of the enchanted isles.

We’ll meet in a few hours at the pier to take a panga back to our ship for a farewell cocktail and dinner. Tonight we will be anchored in the twinkly glow of Puerto Ayora.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: M/C Tip Top II

GPS Setting: Santa Cruz Island

 

DAY EIGHT: DEPARTURE

Before breakfast, we’ll take advantage of a dry landing for an early walk along the rugged coast and interior of North Seymour Island. It’s a gorgeous collection of everything we’ve seen in the last week: boobies, frigates, sea lions, Sally lightfoots, iguanas…

This entirely flat island that was uplifted from the sea by underground seismic activity and this last look, feel and deep inhale of the Galapagos won’t be forgotten.

We’ll return to the ship for a nourishing breakfast and one last panga ride to the dock.  Our guide will accompany us on the bus ride directly to the airport. Note: one of our Wild Women guides is known for her territorial sea lion call and you will definitely hear it as she departs the airport! 

The 3-hour flight back to Quito (UIO) will arrive in the late afternoon. From Quito, you can opt to spend a few days exploring the city’s vibe or continue your adventure on the Amazon Extension!

A note about island walks and snorkeling: The ships anchor offshore and passengers are ferried to the landing point in pangas (Zodiac-style inflatable boats). The landings can be a wet or dry exit. Wet exits mean you will be entering ankle or knee-deep water and wading to shore. Dry exits permit you to step directly on to land/volcanic rock or a natural pier. There will be a guide and/or crew member to assist with your entry and exits from the boat to land. On the Islands, the trails are marked by the National Park and must be followed. Your guide will describe the terrain of each island so you are prepared and know what shoes to wear and what to expect. The walks are no longer than 2 hours and allow for ample time to take photos, explore and meditate.  In addition to the guided land excursions, there are opportunities to go deep water snorkeling (with wet exits off the panga) or to snorkel from the beach (walk-in entry).

Meals Included: Breakfast

Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Your own bed, at home! (*Provided you’re not going on the extension!)

GPS Setting: North Seymour Island & Baltra Island

 

 


 

 

 

BERTH SPECIFICS

All cabins offer incredible ocean views and a private bathroom with hot/cold water and air conditioning with independent controls. Cabins on the upper level (four) have private balconies and are available on a first come, first-served basis to those who opt for the single supplement.

Traveling as a couple? We have a limited number of rooms with double beds. For more details on accommodation options, please inquire for adventure@wildwomenexpeditions.com!

Please note that there is no Wi-Fi on the ship for most of the trip’s duration. Close to Santa Cruz island, on Day 7, a signal may be picked up but is not guaranteed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to see upcoming trip dates to book your spot!

AMAZON RAINFOREST EXTENSION! (4 DAYS)

Want to stay on for a few extra days of adventure to explore more? We are offering the option of a 4-day Amazon Rainforest extension.

Please contact adventure@wildwomenexpeditions.com to book!

 

Located in the heart of one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet, Ecuador’s Yasuni National Park is rich with extraordinary wildlife and vibrant local culture. Spanning nearly 2.5 million acres of the Amazonian rainforest. Napo Wildlife Center is a gem to be cherished and the only lodge within the Yasuni park boundaries, an important biosphere reserve and the largest tract of tropical rainforest in Ecuador.

Napo Wildlife Center is one of the most successful projects of community tourism in Ecuador. The project has an excellent standard of accommodation and service, making your stay an unforgettable experience in the most biodiverse place on the planet! It is located in the territory of the Añangu Kichwa Community totally inside of the Yasuní National Park, here, hunting and fishing are forbidden in all the area of the Community. And this is one of the main reasons why you can see so much wildlife in its natural state!

 

DAY ONE: CANOE ALONG THE NAPO RIVER

Depart from Quito on your 30-minute flight to Coca over the eastern Andes mountain range. Land about mid-morning and go through airport procedures. Take a 5-minute transfer in local chiva (hired bus) or local taxi from the airport to Port La mision / Francisco de Orellana, which will drive us to embark onto a comfortably covered motorboat.

Here we start a canoe ride along the Napo river for about 2 hours. There will be a lunch box in route. Along the way birds like herons, kingfishers and others can be spotted. After arriving at NWC’s entry dock we disembark for a restroom break and then take a majestic and peaceful 1 to 2 hours dugout canoe ride surrounded by trees overhead, paddling along a narrow creek that connects to the lake where the lodge is located. There is a good possibility we’ll see monkeys of various species, as well as large birds like toucans, parrots or even macaws. Late afternoon arrival to the NWC lodge with the overwhelming view of the Añangu lake, welcome drink and facilities.

Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Napo Wildlife Centre

 

DAY TWO: PARROT CLAY LICKS

Early wake up to reach the parrot clay licks, about 1 hour away from the lodge. Arrive just before parrot activity kicks off at the clay lick between 7:30 to 8:30 AM. A total of 11 species of parrots, parakeets and macaws can be seen. The visit is weather-dependent but usually successful. Later, hike along the forest trail to visit the Kichwa Community of Añangu for sharing time with a family and an intro to their daily activities. Return to the creek and hike through a Terra Firme Forest for about 30 minutes until we arrive at the second parrot clay lick where, if the weather conditions permit, we’ll be able to find different species of parrots, parakeets and even macaws. Lunchbox served at the parrot clay lick observatory. Late afternoon arrival to the lodge.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Napo Wildlife Centre

 

DAY THREE: NAPO WILDLIFE CENTER

After early breakfast, depart from the lodge to the finest experience at a canopy tower on the Napo. This 36m high canopy tower is a great way to experience life above the forest floor. This is the second tower at the Napo Wildlife Center (the first is attached to the dining hall and allows great views of the lake).

The tower is located about 30 minutes from the lodge deep within the terra firme forest. As you ascend the 12-floor tower, you pass through different levels of the forest and emerge on top of a huge Ceiba tree. Here you cross onto a wooden platform that is built into the tree and experience a view formerly reserved only for birds. The metal tower itself was constructed to the highest standards, galvanized, and carefully inspected by engineers. Safety is the priority. The platform at the top of the tree was constructed by tree platform specialists as well.

From top to bottom, there is no finer canopy experience in Eastern Ecuador. Flocks of colourful tanagers weave through the canopy; blue and yellow Macaws fly past; a nearby Spider Monkeys searches for fruit; two species of large toucans call in the early mornings and afternoons, and the life of the forest canopy opens before you. Birds that are virtually impossible to see from the forest floor far below are suddenly right beside you, oblivious to your presence.

The canopy tower opens a whole new world to guests of the Napo Wildlife Center! Lunch served at the lodge. Afternoon visit to a terra firme trail, hike along primary forest to discover the forest interior, with possibilities of finding lizards, colourful manakins or the unique and endemic golden mantle tamarin monkeys. After the hike, explore the lake and creeks by dugout canoe with great possibilities of running into a giant otter family on the way…

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Napo Wildlife Centre

 

DAY FOUR: NAPO RIVER SIGHTS

Early departure and last canoe excursion back to the Napo River. The creek may reveal new sights of giant otters, monk saki monkeys or many other rare birds. Arrive at docking area, use of restrooms and embark on motorized canoe back to Coca; approximately 2-hour boat ride. Check-in for Coca – Quito flight.

Meals Included: Breakfast

 

Additional Details


  • March 18 – 21, 2023
  • April 4 – 7, 2023
  • October 24 – 27, 2023
  • November 14 – 17, 2023
  • November 22 – 25, 2023

  • Pricing for the Amazon Rainforest Extension starts at: USD$2,495 for 2023.

    The extension starts with a flight to Coca. Please be at the Domestic Departures section of Quito International Airport (UIO) 2 hours before your flight departure. Flights are included in the extension price. You’ll meet your Napo Wildlife Centre representative at the corresponding flight counter and this person will provide you with a boarding pass and guide you through the check-in process.Below are the flight details:

    • Route: Quito (UIO) – Coca (OCC)
    • Airline: AEROREGIONAL/ LATAM
    • Flight Number: Will be communicated 30 days prior to your trip
    • Departure Date: Day 1
    • Departure Time: Approximately 10:00 AM – to be confirmed
    • Arrival Time: Approximately 11:00 AM – to be confirmed

     

    Note: Domestic flights in Ecuador sometimes change. If there’s a flight change, Wild Women Expedition will send an email at least 1 week prior to your trip.

     

    Please consider that the Amazon extension could start and end any day of the week, with the exception of Sunday.

    Bear in mind flights´ schedules are always changing, therefore we cannot confirm this information. Depending on the airline, the departure time will be around 9 am to 10 am and will be communicated in your pre-trip departure bulletin, sent 30 days pre trip.


    DeparturesThe extension ends with a flight back to Quito.

    Below are the flight details:

    • Route: Coca (OCC) – Quito (UIO)
    • Airline: AEROREGIONAL/ LATAM
    • Flight Number: will be communicated 30 days prior to your trip
    • Departure Date: Day 4
    • Departure Time: Approximately 12:00 PM – to be confirmed
    • Arrival Time: Approximately 1:00 PM – to be confirmed

    Note: Domestic flights in Ecuador sometimes change. If there’s a flight change, Wild Women Expedition will send an email at least 1 week prior to your trip.


    The following hotels are recommended and all have an airport shuttle service to and from Quito Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO). 

    For convenience:

    • Wyndham Quito Airport Hotel

    Recuperate from your flight at this brand new hotel, which opened its doors in 2016. Every one of its 150 rooms and suites comes equipped with pillowtop mattresses, a 51” plasma TV with satellite, free Wi-Fi, safety deposit box, hairdryer, and ironing board. The hotel offers a regular shuttle service to and from the airport. To book, click here.

     

    For experiencing Quito:

    • Patio Andaluz

    Patio Andaluz is an elegant boutique hotel located in the heart of Quito’s Historic Center. Just two blocks from the Plaza Grande and within easy walking distance of churches, museums, and historic sites, this colonial style hotel will allow you to experience the true culture of Quito. Enjoy complimentary services and amenities, including free WiFi in all 32 available suites. Relax and enjoy the El Rincon de Cantuna patio restaurant, the Marquez de Jerez Cava bar for wine and tapas, and the Olga Fisch folklore artisan shop. To book, click here.


    • Rooming Arrangements

    All accommodation is double occupancy unless you upgrade to a Single Supplement. Contact us at support@wildwomenexpeditions.com to upgrade.

    • Overnight Arrangements

    Napo Wildlife Centre

    Expertly situated with breathtaking views of the Añangu lake and pristine rainforest. Our facilities offer a unique twist on your vision of a dream vacation and are designed for nature lovers hoping to experience all the sights and sounds of the Amazon.

    • Potable Water

    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.

    If you would like to join Wild Women Expeditions in its commitment to reducing single-use plastic, you can travel prepared with your own water treatment system!

    Lifestraw

    GRAYL Canada | OnePress™ Global Protection

    Travelers Against Plastic | Take the TAP pledge


    Tips are not mandatory, but appreciated.The suggested amounts for the extension are:

    $10USD per person per night for guides.

    $5USD per person per night for the rest of the staff.

    Prices listed in USD


    Wild Women Expeditions and our local partners intend to adhere to the described itinerary. This is only a general guide to follow on your tour of the region. Our itineraries are subject to change, as we cannot predict the weather or other environmental conditions. We are continually striving to make improvements to all our trips based on feedback from Wild Women members, guides, partners, and other research. We reserve the right to alter itineraries based on the above at any time.

    Arrival into QuitoPlan your arrival to Quito Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO). We recommend that all passengers traveling to Galápagos consider two nights in mainland Ecuador prior to their cruise to allow for potential flight delays, and so that you are well rested and ready to meet your group on Day 1!

     

    Traveling to Galápagos from Quito:

    Day 1: At approximately 7:00 AM or earlier (your morning flight will be confirmed about one month before your trip) please be at the Domestic Departures section of the Quito Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO). This will allow us at least 2 hours prior to departure for Baltra Island, Galápagos Islands (GPS) for check in. Here’s what to do when you get to the airport:

    • Do not check into the airline desk or purchase a Tourist Control Card. Your tourist control card is included in your trip, and you will be checked in at the airline counter with our staff’s assistance AFTER your bags are inspected by SICGAL (see below).
    • When you walk into the Domestic Departures section of the airport, you’ll see a SICGAL inspection area. Please go there with your luggage to have your bags scanned for any illegal substances, like non-native plants and animals. This is required to travel to Galapagos, as the government needs to protect the environment from foreign substances.
    • A Wild Women Expeditions representative holding a Wild Women Expeditions sign or wearing our t-shirt will meet you. They will assist you with the check-in and provide you with your boarding pass, bag tag and your receipt for the transit card.
    • Upon arrival on Baltra Island, Galápagos, you will form a line to process passengers for the Park Entrance fee. Inform the park representative that you are traveling with Wild Women Expeditions and that you have prepaid the park fee. They will have a list of prepaid passengers.
    • Once you go through, claim your bags, and meet your guides outside!

     

    Group Rendezvous Point Day 1

    • Time: approximately 7:00 AM or earlier (your morning flight will be confirmed about one month before your trip
    • Location: Quito Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO).

     

    The trip orientation will occur when we board our yacht in the Galápagos!


    The following hotels are recommended and all have an airport shuttle service to and from Quito Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO)For convenience:

    • Wyndham Quito Airport Hotel

    Conveniently located next to the airport. Shuttles are free. Please book your shuttle when you make your reservation. To book,.
    click here.

     

    For experiencing Quito:

    • Patio Andaluz

    Patio Andaluz is an elegant boutique hotel located in the heart of Quito’s Historic Center. Just two blocks from the Plaza Grande and within easy walking distance of churches, museums, and historic sites, this colonial style hotel will allow you to experience the true culture of Quito. Enjoy complimentary services and amenities, including free WiFi in all 32 available suites. Relax and enjoy the El Rincon de Cantuna patio restaurant, the Marquez de Jerez Cava bar for wine and tapas, and the Olga Fisch folklore artisan shop. To book, click here.


    Departure from the Galápagos

    • The return flight to Quito (UIO) is included and will depart around noon from Baltra, Galápagos Islands (GPS). The flight is around 3 hours back to Quito, with a stop in Guayaquil.
    • Arrange for your international departure flight from Quito (UIO) for any time after 8:30 PM. Be sure to add your flight departure information to your Travel Details Form.
    • Alternatively, if you plan on joining our Amazon Rainforest Extension, arrange to spend the night in Quito because the departure for the extension is on the next day.

     

    Drop-Off Point:

    • Date: Day 8
    • Time: At around 5:00 PM, local time
    • Location: Quito Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO)

    The following hotels are recommended and all have an airport shuttle service to and from Quito Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO)For convenience and airport proximity:

    • Wyndham Quito Airport Hotel

    Conveniently located next to the airport. Shuttles are free. Please book your shuttle when you make your reservation. To book, click here.

     

    For experiencing authentic Quito:

    • Patio Andaluz

    Patio Andaluz is an elegant boutique hotel located in the heart of Quito’s Historic Center. Just two blocks from the Plaza Grande and within easy walking distance of churches, museums, and historic sites, this colonial style hotel will allow you to experience the true culture of Quito. Enjoy complimentary services and amenities, including free WiFi in all 32 available suites. Relax and enjoy the El Rincon de Cantuna patio restaurant, the Marquez de Jerez Cava bar for wine and tapas, and the Olga Fisch folklore artisan shop. To book, click here.


    You are responsible for booking your own flights or other transport arrangements to the trip start location. These arrangements and any other independent arrangements that you may make are not a part of the trip booked with Wild Women Expeditions and are entirely at your own risk. Wild Women Expeditions accepts no responsibility, directly or indirectly, for any loss, damage or injury to property or person in connection with such arrangements. Should you require assistance with your travel arrangements, please contact: 

    Megan and Zale | ****Travel Edge Travel Specialist

    Email: wildwomen@traveledge.com

     

    Note: Travel Edge only provides services of 3-star quality or greater. For budget alternatives, please refer to the Lonely Planet guide for your destination.

     

    Important: For international and remote destinations, there is always the risk of flight delays, baggage delays and flight schedule changes which may cause late arrivals, which may, in return, result in you missing the group tour departure. For these reasons, we encourage you to consider arriving a day early, which will also help you overcome any jet lag from traveling!


    You are fully responsible for your own visa requirements, permits, and certificates for your trip. It is the sole prerogative of each country or region to determine who is allowed to enter. It is your responsibility to check with the country’s Consulate and your country’s travel website such as Canada’s for up-to-date information about traveling internationally.

    • Passport

    Most countries and airlines recommend passports be valid for at least six months beyond the date of your expected return to your home country. Before you leave, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

    Important: A copy of your passport must be emailed to the Wild Women Expeditions office by 130-days pre-trip.

    • Visa

    No visas are required for U.S., Canadian and most European citizens. Visas are required for some Asian, Central American and Eastern European countries.

    Note: As fees and policies can change, we highly recommend that you contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent.


    For guides & crew: Aboard our yacht, gratuities are not included. We prefer that our guests reward our crew based on their performance. Tipping is a personal matter and passengers are encouraged to tip an amount they find appropriate. For those passengers who inquire, we suggest they budget $350 USD to $400 USD in total. This can be divided like so:

    • $160 USD for crew. Can be placed in an envelope in the tipping box, which will be divided amongst them.
    • Naturalist Guide can be tipped directly approximately $80
    • $100 USD for Trip Leader and given to her directly

    • Rooming Arrangements

    All accommodations are shared double occupancy. A limited number of single room upgrades are available for $1,295 USD. Please email support@wildwomenexpeditions.com

    • Internet / WiFi / Cell Coverage

    There is no WiFi service onboard – most telecommunication providers have signal in Galápagos and passengers can use their smartphones that are activated for international calling on days when the yachts are in close range to port (Day 7 only).

    • Potable Water

    Filtered drinking water is provided in the dining and bar areas. We suggest you do not drink water from the tap in your cabin. Water bottles can be refilled from the water containers located in the dining and bar areas.</>

    If you would like to join Wild Women Expeditions in its commitment to reducing single-use plastic, you can travel prepared with your own water treatment system!

    Lifestraw

    GRAYL Canada | OnePress™ Global Protection

    Travelers Against Plastic | Take the TAP pledge


    M/C TIP TOP II – YOUR YACHT!Built in 2008 and completely refurbished in 2016, this 104-foot superior first-class yacht accommodates 16 guests in ten comfortable cabins distributed between the main and upper decks. All cabins feature panoramic windows offering guests the opportunity to enjoy the fascinating landscapes of the enchanted islands from their cabins. All cabins are fully air-conditioned and have a private bathroom (hot and cold water showers), biodegradable soap/shampoo dispensers, hair dryer, closet, drawers, and separate climate controls for your comfort. Our vessel has spacious social areas including indoor and outdoor dining room, a well-stocked bar (*alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are not included), a lounge with a flat-screen TV and small resource library, and a sundeck with lounge chairs.

    • 16-guest superior first-class motor catamaran
    • 10 fully air-conditioned outside staterooms with private bathrooms
    • Impressive fusion cuisine, wonderfully prepared by our culinary school-trained chefs
    • Fully-stocked bar, 24-hour coffee and tea station with cookies
    • Lounge for briefings with TV, DVD, and library
    • Wildlife observation areas, open and shaded sun deck with loungers

     

    Deck Plan

    • Sun Deck

    • Upper Deck

    • Cabins average 106.35 square reef / 9.88 square meters.
    • Upper deck cabins include small private balconies, can be requested, and are allocated on a first come first served basis.
    • Main Deck

    • Cabins average 97.95 square feet / 9.10 square meters
    • Single: Middle deck Cabins # 5 & 6 cabins have one double bed and picture windows.


    • Full country name: “Republic of Ecuador” or in Quechua, “Ikwadur”
    • Capital City: Quito
    • Language: Spanish, Quechua, Shuar + 12 other Indigenous languages
    • Area: 283,560 km2
    • Population: 16 million
    • People: 71.9% Mestizo
    • 7.4% Montubio
    • 7.2% Afroecuadorian
    • 7% Indigenous
    • 6.1% White
    • 0.4% others
    • Religion: Predominantly Roman Catholic
    • Government: Unitary presidential constitutional republic – President Rafael Correa
    • Major Industries: Petroleum and agricultural products
    • Currency: United States Dollar (USD)
    • Electricity: 110/AC 60 cycle (plugs are same as in the USA)

    Ecuador is in the Eastern Time Zone (GMT-5). Daylight savings time is not observed. Galápagos is one hour behind mainland Ecuador.

    Due to the Galapagos equatorial location, it is a destination that can be visited during any season. However, the fall months can create rougher sea conditions.Between December and May, the islands experience a “wet (but warm) season.” The Galapagos’ climate is more tropical—you should expect daily rain showers and cloudier skies. Bonus: The ocean temperature is much warmer for swimming and snorkelling!


    Wild Women Expeditions recommends that each participant should bring enough cash in local currency or available credit/debit funds to cover their meals during travel to and from their destination. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, meals not included in the trip package, shopping, etc., and we also suggest you have access to emergency funds.

    • Cash

    The currency in Ecuador is USD.

    Be sure to bring small bills ($1, $5, $10 are best – bills over $20 USD are rarely accepted). Automated banking machines (ATMs) are on some of the islands, however bank fees can be as high, there is sometimes a limit on how much you can take out, and sometimes the machines are not well stocked with bills. The only cash machines in the Galápagos are in Puerto Ayora in the Baltra airport and on the main island of Santa Cruz (which is visited on the second to last day of the trip).

    • Onboard

    They accept cash, Visa and MasterCard only.

    • Currency Exchange Offices & Banks

    Please check online for current exchange rates. Wild Women Expeditions likes XE Currency Converter

    We highly suggest you read this article: Where to Exchange Currency Without Paying Huge Fees for more information about this for your trip.

    • Credit Cards

    Major credit cards (Visa and MasterCard) are widely accepted in big cities and resort hotels but not in family-run guesthouses or restaurants.



    Please be sure to provide complete, accurate, and up-to-date information about your health & fitness level and keep us updated if there are changes. Wild Women Expeditions trips travel to remote areas where limited or no sophisticated medical facilities exist.A medical emergency situation is extremely unlikely; however, should it arise we need to be prepared with the necessary information to help you.

    Important Note: If you choose not to disclose a condition, infirmity, injury, or ailment herein and are subsequently deemed to be unfit for expedition travel due in whole or in part to such condition, infirmity, injury or ailment, Wild Women Expeditions guides, and partners shall have the right to remove you from the trip with no refund or compensation payable. Any evacuation expenses incurred are payable by the evacuee via their medical travel insurance or personal expense.

     

    Getting Fit

    You don’t have to be a professional athlete to enjoy your Wild Women expedition. Not by a long shot! You’ll be surprised at what you can achieve with our experienced guides at your side and a little camaraderie.

    That said, you’ll definitely enjoy yourself far more if you do some preparation so your body is conditioned and ready to enjoy and make the most of the outdoors.

    Here are a few ideas to help you get ready:

    • Take every opportunity you can to be active.

    You can improve your fitness a lot just by adopting some new habits; take the stairs at work, go for a walk at lunchtime, park your car away from work and walk. Aim for 30 minutes a day and keep a diary so you can look back on it and feel proud. These may sound trivial but they’re all building blocks!

    • Rev up your ticker!

    Think ‘interval training’, which means doing short bursts of high-intensity work with recovery time in between. Depending on how fit you are this can mean strolling with bursts of power walking, or jogging with sprints. Either way, the aim is to get your heart rate up.

    • Join a local walking or running group.

    This is a great way to get fit and you’ll also see new places, meet great people… and make them all jealous when they find out what you’re about to go on your travels.

    • Warm up, cool down and stretch.

    If you’re doing a workout then make sure you start and finish gently and stretch any tight muscles – this will help you avoid any aches, pains and pulled muscles. If you’re a member of a gym try some yoga, tai chi or pilates classes to build up your flexibility, stability and balance.

    • Take a kayak lesson!

    Although this trip is beginner friendly and your guides will lead you through a full orientation once on the trip, if you haven’t paddled a kayak before and if you have the opportunity, take a lesson or two with a local kayak outfitter in your neck of the woods. Even a pool session is good! This will give you the basics, boost your confidence which will allow you to enjoy your trip that much more.

    • Hydration.

    When you suddenly ask your body to walk or be active, it needs a bit more fuel than it needs when, say, sitting at a desk all day! The main thing your body needs is water, so stay hydrated and practice sipping water often. Getting a water bottle or hydration bladder is a great way to make sure you have it on hand at all times. Make a habit out of taking a bottle of water with you wherever you go.

    • Nutrition.

    Eating little and often will keep your body well fuelled for outdoor exercise, especially food like nuts, dried fruit and bread. The odd bit of chocolate and a few boiled lollies are good for keeping your blood sugar levels up while you’re hiking as well!

    • Have fun!

    The most important point of all! You are about to embark on the trip of a lifetime. You’re going to meet some amazing people, see some wonderful places and create memories that will stay with you for life. The more prepared you are to tackle the various challenges, the more fun you will have. Also, with all the endorphins you create from all this training, you’ll be smiling from ear to ear! It’s a great way to boost your happy vibes.


    For general Wild Women Expeditions FAQs please click here.