Sail the Galapagos Islands

About the Experience

In 1820, the 2-masted HMS Beagle 10-gun brig-sloop was launched on the River Thames near London. The 28-meter (90 foot) vessel’s second voyage (1831-36) was a circumnavigation of South America and then the globe–Charles Darwin was aboard as a naturalist. The ship was so crowded with crew that Darwin had to sleep in a hammock that was slung above the drafting table in the poop cabin!

Aboard the 3-masted Mary Anne, you will have a more pampered experience than Darwin!  She has 1,000 square meters of canvas sails and is the only schooner in the Galápagos. A silent sail, powered by wind offers the distinct charms of the past but with all the comforts of present-day. Weather-permitting, Mary Anne’s sails will be hoisted once per trip so we can feel her power. She is the only ship in the Galápagos Archipelago that can navigate by wind power alone and our expert crew will gladly welcome your help in the hoisting!

Sailing the Pacific and navigating around the biodiverse Galápagos  Islands is an unforgettable expedition for snorkellers, bird lovers, Darwin fans, sailors (greenhorns and sea dogs alike) and those who love extreme landscapes and experiences.

Feel the power of the equatorial wind and waves with like-minded women in this truly utopian destination.

 

 

 

Click here to see the full itinerary!
Sail the Galapagos Islands

About the Experience

In 1820, the 2-masted HMS Beagle 10-gun brig-sloop was launched on the River Thames near London. The 28-meter (90 foot) vessel’s second voyage (1831-36) was a circumnavigation of South America and then the globe–Charles Darwin was aboard as a naturalist. The ship was so crowded with crew that Darwin had to sleep in a hammock that was slung above the drafting table in the poop cabin!

Aboard the 3-masted Mary Anne, you will have a more pampered experience than Darwin!  She has 1,000 square meters of canvas sails and is the only schooner in the Galápagos. A silent sail, powered by wind offers the distinct charms of the past but with all the comforts of present-day. Weather-permitting, Mary Anne’s sails will be hoisted once per trip so we can feel her power. She is the only ship in the Galápagos Archipelago that can navigate by wind power alone and our expert crew will gladly welcome your help in the hoisting!

Sailing the Pacific and navigating around the biodiverse Galápagos  Islands is an unforgettable expedition for snorkellers, bird lovers, Darwin fans, sailors (greenhorns and sea dogs alike) and those who love extreme landscapes and experiences.

Feel the power of the equatorial wind and waves with like-minded women in this truly utopian destination.

 

 

 

DAY ONE: BLACK TURTLE COVE

Our adventure begins bright and early in Quito, Ecuador! We will rendezvous at the airport and fly onward to Baltra Island. Here, we will be greeted by our awesome Wild Women naturalist guide and board the famed Mary Anne schooner for lunch.

In the afternoon, we will navigate a short distance to Black Turtle Cove, a large mangrove lagoon on the north coast of Santa Cruz Island. Pelicans, egrets and herons share real estate on the rocks and branches of the sheltered cove. Below, green sea turtles, spotted eagle and golden rays are often part of the welcoming committee. We’ll take a panga ride through the mangroves and instantly feel the incredible biodiversity of the islands. Yellow warblers, blue-footed boobies colour the cove but keep watch for life in all directions. Whitetip reef sharks and brown and white pufferfish can also be seen in the gin-clear waters.

Sea turtles mate here between December and March, taking sanctuary in the cove’s calm waters. Their nests are easily recognized as giant divots in the sand.

Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: The Mary Anne

 

DAY TWO: GALAPÁGOS DISCOVERIES

In the morning, we’ll travel to Genovesa Island and have a wet landing on Darwin Bay. Expect to see yellow-crowned night herons, lava herons, red boobies and frigates cruising the airwaves. The swallow-tailed gull with its unmistakable red eye-ring and salmon pink legs is the only nocturnal gull in the world. They forage for fish and squid exclusively at night. Lava gulls, Galápagos storm petrels, Nazca boobies and tropicbirds with their kite-like white tail streamers are also documented here.

Darwin Bay is a coveted dive site and beach bums will appreciate it’s unique sandy coral beach fringed by prickly pear cacti, saltbush and mangroves. Instead of donning scuba tanks, we’ll be outfitted with snorkel gear (and wetsuits, to ensure the sizing is comfortable). We’ll have a safety briefing and chat about what to expect in preparation for our first snorkel after lunch has digested. (*For those not interested in snorkelling, you can enjoy a little leisure time during the debrief).

Later in the afternoon, we’ll explore the seabird colony of “El Barranco”. We’ll make a dry landing and climb Prince Phillip’s Steps (so named after the Duke of Edinburgh visited this isle in 1964) over the lava rock gully to the 25m (82 ft) eroded cliffs where frigatebirds and red-footed boobies nest in the trees. Nazca boobies are less particular and nest on the ground. The trail will take us to the inner part of the island that is peppered with cacti and the sweet perfume of the Palo Santo (Holy Stick) trees. If we are lucky, we’ll spot the endemic short-eared owl which preys on the storm-petrel population or the elusive fur sea lions.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: The Mary Anne

DAY THREE: CHINESE HAT

In the morning, we’ll make a dry landing on lunar-like Bartolome (featured in the image above) to climb up the steep wooden steps to the panoramic summit of this spatter cone. The iconic Pinnacle Rock (once used as target practice by the US Army), neighbouring Santiago and several central islands in the distance make for guaranteed gorgeous photos. This windswept hardened lava landscape is dotted with a few tiquila plants (not that kind! Skip the lime and salt!) and the odd locust–that’s it!

Afterwards, we will visit the impossibly white sand beach that is favoured by sea turtles as a nesting site. Bartolome is also a reliable place to spot the darling 30cm-tall (12 inches) Galápagos penguin along the shores or bobbing beside the panga! There may be two opportunities to snorkel today (before and after lunch) but this will be dependent on the weather and timing.

We’ll make a dry landing on Chinese Hat or Sombrero Chino, on the coast of Santiago Island. This is an isle of juxtapositions: porcelain white coral beach, spatter cones 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 of Chinese Hat 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 view. 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.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: The Mary Anne

DAY FOUR: CERRO DRAGON

We’ll start the day with a wet landing on Rabida’s paprika-coloured beach to explore the island’s fascinating interior and saltwater lagoon, where bubblegum pink flamingos can be seen. For early birds who like to be in kayaks or underwater before a second cup of coffee, there may be an opportunity for a paddle and/or snorkel before our lagoon visit.

Darwin’s finches, Galápagos mockingbirds, yellow warblers and white-cheeked pintails are common sights here too. Depending on the time of year, we may see brown pelicans nesting on saltbushes that fringe the beach. Further inland, the land iguana nesting sites are an impressive site. Look for sea stars of all sizes, creating an unexpected constellation on the cinnamon sand.

We’ll then head across to Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill) on Santa Cruz’s northwest shore (dry landing) to visit another hypersaline lagoon (saltier than the ocean and Dutch licorice!), home to flamingoes and black‐necked stilts. 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.

Feral dogs and goats were eradicated from Santa Cruz in 1990 and massive efforts were made to build a peninsula that would protect the land 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 full of song (or mockery?).

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: The Mary Anne

DAY FIVE: SANTA CRUZ HIGHLANDS

Today we will visit Santa Cruz Island’s famed hotspots. We’ll have a dry landing on Puerto Ayora’s dock and board a shuttle to the highlands. This humid area, in contrast to the coastal region, is verdant with lush vegetation–banana, mango, guava and Spanish cedar. We will visit one of the sanctuaries where it’s possible to have a close encounter with giant tortoises in their natural habitat. As these animals migrate from the coastal area to the highlands and back, the sanctuary we visit will be dependent on their movements. 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! Keep watch for Darwin’s ground finches and possibly (no promises), the brilliant vermilion flycatcher as well.

We will return to the ship for lunch and then head back to Puerto Ayora to visit the Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Center at the Charles Darwin Research Station. The name of this breeding center is in  recognition of the 43-year service of tortoise keeper Fausto Llerena, who cared for Lonesome George. When George died in 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.

At the Breeding Center we will see tortoises from the different islands–the semi-natural pens are divided according to the four different stages of development: eggs, neonates, juveniles and adults. The tortoises are held here until they can be reintroduced to their wild habitat around the age of five (or when they reach 20cm in length). 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.

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

After this visit, we’ll have some free time in the ‘city’ of Puerto Ayora. 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.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: The Mary Anne
 

DAY SIX: SANTA FE ISLAND

In the morning, we’ll have a dry landing on one of the oldest docks of the archipelago on South Plaza off the east coast of Santa Cruz. Of the twin islands, only South Plaza is open to tourists–North Plaza’s rocky cliffs are reserved for scientific research only.

On South Plaza, green prickly pears, vibrant red Sesuvium (sea purslane) and Djion-yellow land iguanas populate the desert-like island (land iguanas LOVE the prickly pear fruit while marine iguanas will opt for dried high-calcium sea lion droppings if vegetation is scarce).  The sloping island was uplifted from the heaving ocean floor and the seaward cliffs attract squawking colonies of coastal birds. This isle is also a great place to observe the antics of adult and pup sea lions. Watch for the bull tending to his harem! Bachelor colonies tend to safely inhabit the southwest side of the island. 

We’ll look for the brown noddy, swallow-tailed gulls, red-billed tropicbirds, frigates and lava gulls too. Before or after lunch, there will be an opportunity to slip on our flippers and get back into the water to see what lurks below!

After a wet landing on Santa Fe (Barrington Island), we will poke along the powder-white beach where sea lions like to hang out. We will be on high alert for the endemic species of land iguana which is larger and more yellow than land iguanas on other islands. The largest prickly pear cacti in the Galápagos, the Opuntia, is also found here. They can grow over 10m (32 feet!) tall.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: The Mary Anne

DAY SEVEN: ESPANOLA ISLAND

This morning, we will head to Suarez Point, one of the most popular landing sites in Galápagos. Flora and fauna highlights include sea lions body-surfing on the large breakers like Laird Hamilton, breeding large marine iguanas (the males will adopt a reddish tinge or green hue to woo the gals during this time), carrot-orange beaked oystercatchers, blue-footed and Nazca boobies, Galápagos hawks, Galápagos doves, swallow-tailed gulls and red-billed tropicbirds. Birders, get your checklist ready for these two highly-coveted endemic species (only found on Española): the waved albatross (present only during breeding season: April to December) and the Española mockingbird. This mockingbird is carnivorous with a diet that includes sea turtle hatchlings, sea lion placenta, insects and marine iguana eggs. They will also siphon blood from blue-footed booby chicks as there is no freshwater source on the island. 

The albatross population (12,000) gathers here for comical 5-day long mating dances (can you say Kama Sutra?) that involve elaborate ‘beak-fencing’ displays to impress the ladies.

The endemic Española lava lizard deserves some limelight too! The trail ends at El Soplador, a blowhole that dramatically sprays water some 25m (75 feet) into the air from a deep volcanic fissure. Move over Ol’ Faithful!

Depending on Mother Nature’s mood, we’ll take advantage of another snorkelling adventure before and/or after lunch if she permits.

We will spend the afternoon on mesmerizing Gardner Bay on the northwest side of this southernmost, remote island. We’ll have a wet landing on Española and absorb the marvels of the icing sugar beach and barking sea lions. Expect marine iguanas and mockingbirds! Close to Española, there is a coveted spot for snorkeling called Gardner Islet. Sea lions often opt to join in on the face-to-face fun. Snorkelers may see King angelfish, Creole fish, darting damsels, toothy parrotfish and whitetip reef sharks. We’ll take advantage of another snorkeling opportunity at Osborn islet too!

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: The Mary Anne

DAY EIGHT: DEPARTURE

This is our last day under the dizzying spell of the magical islands! After breakfast we will disembark in Puerto Ayora for transport to Baltra airport. We’ll make a stop to visit the Twin Craters en route. The Gemelos (‘twins’) are in fact not true craters, but magma domes that have collapsed, leaving two deep and wide holes located on the side of the road.

After this visit, we will make our way to the Baltra airport for the flight to mainland Ecuador. Don’t forget to take one last look at the prehistoric wild land iguanas and prickly pear cacti on your way to the tarmac! Darwin’s finches are usually found at the airport too–one last sweet reminder of all that you have seen!

Meals Included: Breakfast


BERTH SPECIFICS

 

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. This trip extension is only available as an add on to the Galapagos Islands Kayak Adventure.

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

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    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 Quito

    Plan 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:

    1. You must first have your bags inspected by SICGAL as required to travel to Galápagos. This area is located near the entrance of the Domestic Departures section of the airport. Your luggage will be scanned to protect the vulnerable and unique Galapagos habitats and wildlife. No non-native plant or animal species must be allowed to arrive on the archipelago.

    2. Next, take your bags with you and look for the Wild Women Expeditions sign held by our representative near the AVIANCA Airline ticket counter. Do not check in with airline personnel or ask them for assistance.

    3. Do not stand in line to pay the TCT (Transit Control Card), as this has already been prepaid for you. The Wild Women Expedition’s Representative will assist you with check-in for the AVIANCA flight and provide you with your boarding pass, cruise ticket, bag tag and your receipt for the transit card.

    4. Upon arrival in Galápagos (GPS), you will form a line to process passengers for the Park Entrance fee. You will present your Passport and you are already registered, inform the park representative, you are traveling with Tip Top II and that the guide already prepaid the park fee, they will have a list of pre-paid passengers.

     

    Group Rendezvous Point Day 1

    • Time: 5:00 AM (your morning flight will be confirmed about one month before your trip, in your pre trip bulletin.)
    • Location: Quito Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO).

     

    Notes about Pick-Up

    • Please be at Quito Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) at least 2 hours prior to departure to check-in for your domestic flight (included in trip price) to Baltra Island, Galápagos Islands (GPS).

     

    • A Wild Women Expeditions representative will greet you with a sign at the airport, and help to facilitate the group’s check-in. Upon landing, you’ll see your guide holding a Wild Women Expeditions sign.

     


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

    For convenience:

    • Wyndham Gran Condor 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. Take advantage of the 24-hour room service, or head down to the Gran Condor restaurant and bar to enjoy some live music. The hotel offers a regular shuttle service to and from the airport. To book,
    click here.

     

    For experiencing Quito:

    • Casa Ilayaku

    If you are looking for a cozy and comfortable hotel that enables you to experience the countryside of Quito, Wild Women Expeditions’ House in Ecuador (Casa Ilayaku) is the right choice. Located 20 min from Mariscal Sucre International Airport and 30 minutes away from Quito’s Historic Center, Casa Ilayaku has a strategic location whether you want to explore the largest oldtown in Latin America or hike the Ilalo Hill. It features comfortable rooms and social areas and a very relaxed environment with excellent service.

    • Casona

    Come back in time and enjoy all the modern comforts incorporated in the original facilities; colors and stone walls that reflect the passage of time. The rooms have been designed to provide an authentic stay that reflects the true atmosphere of the unique colonial center of Quito.

    • Hotel Le Parc

    Unwind in style at the hip, upscale Le Parc. This truly exclusive hotel is a symphony of contemporary chic, from the 5-foot gas fireplace in its lobby restaurant, to the stunning rooftop bar with spectacular views of the city. Twenty-six unique suites are available with king-sized beds, and four suites with two full-sized beds. All rooms feature Egyptian cotton linens, duck down duvets, and a spacious modern bathroom. The hotel has a compact gym with a sauna and a full-service L’Occitane Spa. You will be within walking distance of Carolina Park’s jogging trails, botanic gardens, and close to some of Quito’s top restaurants. To book, click here.


    Departure from Ecuador

    • The return ticket to Quito is included, and it leaves around noon from Baltra.
    • The flight is about 3 hours back to Quito, with a stop in Guayaquil. We recommend arranging your international flight departure the following day instead of the evening of the last day of your trip. Flights can be delayed, and missing international air tickets can damage the complete experience.
    • Be sure to add your flight departure information to your Travel Details Form.

     

    Drop-Off Point:

    • Date: Day 8
    • Time: ~ 3:00PM
    • Location: Quito 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:

    • Wyndham Gran Condor 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. Take advantage of the 24-hour room service, or head down to the Gran Condor restaurant and bar to enjoy some live music. The hotel offers a regular shuttle service to and from the airport. To book,
    click here.

     

    For experiencing Quito:

    • Casa Ilayaku

    If you are looking for a cozy and comfortable hotel that enables you to experience the countryside of Quito, Wild Women Expeditions’ House in Ecuador (Casa Ilayaku) is the right choice. Located 20 min from Mariscal Sucre International Airport and 30 minutes away from Quito’s Historic Center, Casa Ilayaku has a strategic location whether you want to explore the largest oldtown in Latin America or hike the Ilalo Hill. It features comfortable rooms and social areas and a very relaxed environment with excellent service.

    • Casona

    Come back in time and enjoy all the modern comforts incorporated in the original facilities; colors and stone walls that reflect the passage of time. The rooms have been designed to provide an authentic stay that reflects the true atmosphere of the unique colonial center of Quito.

    • Hotel Le Parc

    Unwind in style at the hip, upscale Le Parc. This truly exclusive hotel is a symphony of contemporary chic, from the 5-foot gas fireplace in its lobby restaurant, to the stunning rooftop bar with spectacular views of the city. Twenty-six unique suites are available with king-sized beds, and four suites with two full-sized beds. All rooms feature Egyptian cotton linens, duck down duvets, and a spacious modern bathroom. The hotel has a compact gym with a sauna and a full-service L’Occitane Spa. You will be within walking distance of Carolina Park’s jogging trails, botanic gardens, and close to some of Quito’s top restaurants. 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 sailboat, 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. Please email support@wildwomenexpeditions.com if you are interested.

    • Internet / WiFi / Cell Coverage

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

    • Potable Water

    Filtered water is provided onboard 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!

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    THE MARY ANNE – YOUR SHIP!

    The Mary Anne is a ship that can run on motor, as well as sails, offering a one of a kind boating experience in the Galapagos Islands. The classic decorations take you back in time while being comforted by the simple designs and amazed at the same time by the natural history and wildlife sightings of the archipelago. The Mary Anne carries kayaks and has a spacious sun deck, ample social areas, and a beautifully crafted wood-trimmed lounge and bar. Keep in mind that the Mary Anne will keep her sails open as much as she can, depending on the ever-changing currents and winds in the archipelago. All other boats’ passengers will envy seeing you on a truly unique boat, different from anything else cruising the Enchanted Islands.



    • 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.


    Moving into winter, November offers excellent weather on the Galapágos Islands with temperatures around 79 °F. As the sea turns warmer, temperatures rise to around 73 °F. November is a part of the dry season and the skies are usually sunny, so it’s the perfect time to travel if you prefer a milder climate, without too much heat and humidity. Bring some warmer clothes with you for the evenings, or if you plan on boat tours or sailing between the islands. You might occasionally experience mist and drizzle, although it is not that common. The weather is excellent for snorkeling, swimming, and hiking.


    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 airport on Baltra, on the main island of Santa Cruz and in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal.

    • Onboard

    Cash only!

    We recommend bringing enough USD to allow for Tipping, as well as any drinks onboard that you purchase from the bar.

    • 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.