2017: Cruising the Galapagos on the Galapagos Sea Star Journey (ISD)

9 days from Quito to Guayaquil

Lions, and tigers, and bears. Oh my! No, you won't see those animals in the Galapagos Islands. But you will see the 'Big 15' including sea lions, tortoises, land iguanas, marine iguanas, flamingos, frigatebirds, and so much more. And Monograms makes it easy! On this 9-day vacation package, we've arranged your hotel and cruise accommodations (including porterage), most of your meals, sightseeing, and private airport transfers to/from your intra-vacation flights. Plus, a service unique to Monograms is the Monograms Local Host, a local resident in Quito who will be there to answer your questions and offer suggestions on restaurants, shopping, activities, and more.

Your vacation begins in Quito, where your Local Host will greet you with a set of materials to familiarize you with the city. The next day, after included breakfast, we'll pick you up at your selected hotel for a private city tour of the must-see sights with a local expert, someone who will share the city's secrets and fascinating stories. Then you're off to the Galapagos Islands for a 5-night cruise. On board the Galapagos Sea Star Journey, you'll cruise to Santa Cruz, Isabela, Fernandina, Santiago, and San Cristobal Islands.

On Santa Cruz Island, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn about the Galapagos conservation efforts and to see a tortoise breeding center. On Isabela Island, take a panga ride to Tintoreras, where you'll see white-tipped reef sharks in the crystal-clear waters, Galapagos penguins, sea turtles, sea lions, and more; see Sierra Negra volcano, with the second-widest crater in the world; walk a lava flow formed into a complex of lagoons with flamingos, white-cheeked pintails, paint-billed crakes, and common gallinules; see the largest penguin colony in the Galapagos at Elizabeth Bay; and observe sea turtles, flightless cormorants, brown pelicans, sea lions, and more.

A walk on Fernandina Island offers you the opportunity to see a large colony of marine iguanas and the flightless cormorant, a bird that swims the ocean for its food and no longer flies. On Santiago Island, enjoy a panga ride, see a common nesting area for sea turtles, and enjoy the black-sand beach and landscape of lava flows. Snorkel or swim from the beach, and keep your eyes out for land and marine birds, a colony of fur sea lions, Galapagos finches, and marine iguanas. On the last day of this amazing Galapagos cruise, visit Isla Lobos, where you'll see blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, herons, frigatebirds, and various shorebirds.

All of this and more await you in the Galapagos Islands. And did we mention that throughout your cruise, you will be joined by a Naturalist, an expert who will share his/her vast knowledge, point out the flora and fauna, and help ensure your vacation is everything you want it to be? All meals are also included on board, so all you have to do is grab your camera, sit back, and enjoy this amazing experience!

Call (520) 445-6812 for more information or to book today! Mention code 12910740

Tour Operator
Monograms
Duration
9 Days
Escorted
Escorted - No
DayDestinationDescription
Day 1QuitoQuito, where you will be met by your Local Host.
Day 2QuitoYour private city TOUR showcases the rich legacy left by the Incas and, later, the Spaniards. See Independence Square, dominated by its formidable Cathedral, San Francisco Plaza Church, and the Basilica with its marvelous stained-glass windows. (B)
Day 3Cruising: Santa Cruz IslandFly to the Galapagos and visit the CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH STATION, where you will learn about conservation in the archipelago and see the tortoise breeding center. The Charles Darwin Research Station is home to tortoises ranging from 3-inches (new hatchlings) to 4-feet long. Sub-species of tortoises interact with one another and many of the older tortoises are accustomed to humans visiting and looking for great photo opportunities. Board the Galapagos Sea Star Journey later this afternoon. (B,L,D)
Day 4Cruising: Isabela IslandA panga ride brings you to TINTORERAS, small islands named after the white-tipped reef sharks found in the crystal-clear waters. White-tipped reef sharks are fairly common in the archipelago. Their name in Spanish is tintorera, thus the name of this site as they are always found here resting in the shallow waters. You may also see the Galapagos penguin, rays, marine iguanas, sea turtles, and sea lions. Isabela Island is the largest and one of the youngest islands in the Galapagos archipelago. This afternoon, we land in Puerto Villamil and head up to the highlands of Isabela to see SIERRA NEGRA volcano. Learn about the seismic evolution of the archipelago as you veer into Sierra Negra's crater, the second-widest one in the world. From this viewpoint, you'll enjoy fantastic sights and the option to hike to Chico Volcano to watch the striking lava formations, examples of the geological occurrences that have created the Galapagos Islands. (B,L,D)
Day 5Cruising: Isabela IslandAt PUNTA MORENO, walk a lava flow formed into a complex of lagoons that hosts a wide variety of life, including flamingos, paint-billed crakes, white-cheeked pintails, and common gallinules. This afternoon at ELIZABETH BAY, see the largest penguin colony in the Galapagos on a scenic zodiac ride. The excursion continues into a cove that is surrounded by red mangroves where you can admire their red roots and green leafs. Here, you are able to observe sea turtles, flightless cormorants, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, brown pelicans and sea lions. Frequently visitors have been able to see Galapagos Hawks soaring overhead while schools of Pompano and Dorado fish swim below. (B,L,D)
Day 6Cruising: Fernandina & Isabela IslandsA walk on Fernandina Island's PUNTA ESPINOZA reveals a large colony of marine iguanas as well as the flightless cormorant, a bird that swims the ocean for its food and no longer flies. This bird, due to the lack of predators, has adjusted its way of survival and improved its skills of finding food in the ocean. Their wings, tails and feet progressively adapted for swim¬ming. To see these birds, is to witness evolution happening right in front of you. Other wildlife includes penguins, sea lions, Sally Lightfoot crabs, Galapagos hawks, and land iguanas. Back on Isabela, visit TAGUS COVE to see the Galapagos penguin, flightless cormorant, and other sea birds. Tour along the cliffs in a zodiac for a good chance to see these fascinating species and enjoy a short hike along a trail to the top of the cliff. From the cliffs you can view Darwin Lake, an uplifted ultra-saline lake, saltier than the sea, as well as volcanos. Look carefully at the graffiti on the surrounding cliffs of the cove, it has been written by pirates, whalers and buccaneers in past centuries. (B,L,D)
Day 7Cruising: Santiago IslandA short panga ride to Espumilla Beach on SANTIAGO ISLAND reveals a mangrove forest and common nesting area for sea turtles. Learn how the last presence the El Nino phenomenon caused one of the two lagoons in this site to undergo a process of sedimentation, causing the disappearance of a representative colony of flamingos. Keep an eye out for Galapagos finches, marine iguanas, and sea lions, as well as flamingos and pintail ducks in the nearby lagoons. Land at PUERTO EGAS, known for its black-sand beach and landscape of lava flows. This is a great opportunity to see land and marine birds as well as a colony of fur sea lions and marine iguanas. You have the chance to snorkel or swim from the beach. (B,L,D)
Day 8GuayaquilDepart for ISLA LOBOS, home to sea birds like blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, herons, frigate birds, and various shore birds. Explore the island by a trail leading across a dry vegetation zone, volcanic rocks and sandy areas. Also watch for the Chatham mockingbird and Chatham lava lizard seen nowhere else in the Galapagos. Head to the airport for your flight to Guayaquil. (B)
Day 9GuayaquilYour vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
Disclaimer
US$ Price Details

Dates & Prices do not include air travel.
Participation in this vacation requires purchase of the following flights from Monograms, not included in pricing: (1) roundtrip air from your U.S. gateway and intra-vacation air segments; or (2) intra-vacation air segments only, starting at $634. Required intra-vacation air segments are Quito/Galapagos; Galapagos/Guayaquil. Air prices were effective on July 13, 2016, and their availability is limited. At the time you purchase your vacation, air prices may be higher.

Cruise pricing is based on Galapagos Suites on the Sea Star Journey. Cabin upgrades are available.

Galapagos package includes Galapagos National Park entrance fee and transit card ($120 value).

2018 departures are subject to itinerary and price modifications. Details will be available in July 2017.* The "Starting at" or listed price is based on the lowest price available to book. Price is per passenger based on double occupancy and does not include airfare; additional fees/charges are not included. Pricing may vary on this date due to hotel availability. Some packages require intra-vacation flights (and in some cases intra-vacation segments must be purchased from Monograms).

Travel Terms & Conditions
The purchase of any travel services offered by Monograms, constitutes a contractual arrangement between you (the Traveler) and Monograms, and represents your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions. Please ensure that you read carefully and understand the Terms & Conditions prior to booking. These Terms & Conditions cover Deposit & Final Payment information, Air-Inclusive Deposits & Final Payment, Revisions & Revision Fees, Air Arrangements, Participation, Travelers Who Need Special Assistance, Young Travelers, Smoking, Price Policy, Visas and Passports, Hotels & Accommodations, Baggage Allowance, Travel Documents, Not Included in the Land Price, Refunds, Service Inquires After the Vacation, Holidays, Safety, Photos & Pictures, Optional Excursions, and Responsibility.

Important Notes
  • Vacation departures, itineraries and prices are subject to change.
  • A non-refundable, non-transferable deposit is required for Monograms to reserve space for you. View Terms & Conditions for limited exceptions.
  • The following charges are not included in the land vacation price unless otherwise noted: airfare to and from the start of your vacation; Intra-vacation air unless specified in the itinerary; airline baggage fees including checked and/or excess baggage fees; Federal inspection fees for the Federal U.S. Customs and Immigrations; International Air Transportation tax; agricultural tax; other per person taxes imposed by government entities; airport taxes and fees including the September 11th Security fee up to $10 per person, passenger facility charges up to $18 per person, Federal domestic flight segment fees up to $3.70 per segment, and U.S. and International arrival and departure and other government-imposed added by the airline and applicable at time of booking; port taxes; passports; visas and vaccinations; tips to your Cruise Director, Local Host, driver, Local Guides, and/or ship's crew; gratuities on ferries, trains, and cruise ships; laundry; telephone; minibar; alcohol, beverages, and food outside of the contracted Monograms menu as presented at a hotel or restaurant or onboard your vessel (these extra items will be billed to you before leaving the hotel, ship, or restaurant); airport transfers on non-qualifying flights; optional excursions; additional activities and excursions purchased online; porterage at airports and train stations; Travel Protection; and all other items of a personal nature.

    Booking your Vacation with Air
    For air departure dates within 331 days, you'll be offered a choice of carriers and flight schedules as well as price points to choose from when selecting your flights. Your schedule will be provided to you at the time of booking (schedules are subject to change by carriers). Monograms offers 2 air options: Flex Air and Instant Purchase Air. Flex Air allows flexibility if you want to make changes to your vacation schedule. Instant Purchase Air may offer additional airline options but has more restrictions. Some vacations may only offer one Air type option. Guaranteed air-inclusive prices: air is only available to passengers traveling from the United States and only available when booked in conjunction with a land vacation. An additional $300 per person non-refundable air deposit is required for Flex Air booked in conjunction with any land vacation (i.e. air-inclusive vacation). Air can only be booked by Monograms in conjunction with a vacation package. Instant Purchase Air requires air payment in full at time of booking (i.e. air-inclusive vacation) plus non-refundable service fee ($30 per person for North America, $80 per person for South Pacific, $50 per person for all other destinations). Once booked, Instant Purchase Air is non-refundable, and non-changeable. Some vacations may only offer one Air type option. However, once your airfare is confirmed and Monograms has received your full air and land deposit, your air-inclusive vacation price is guaranteed.

    Air-Inclusive Vacations - Applicable Taxes & Fees
    Air-inclusive vacations include government-imposed taxes and fees applicable at the time of booking and will be shown as a Total Amount. Additional airline fees for baggage may apply. At the time of booking your air-inclusive vacation online, carrier Websites will be provided to check baggage fees, or you can visit www.iflybags.com for up-to-date baggage pricing/restrictions. For return travel from some countries, international travelers are required to pay entry and/or exit fees at the airport. These fees will be collected by the local government and are payable by the traveler at time of travel. Your confirmation booking information will contain information about these fees.
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