A trip to the Galápagos Islands is an experience of a lifetime, the history and mystery of the islands will inspire you to understand more about this amazing ecological system. This isolated group of volcanic islands spans 620 miles off Ecuador’s coast in the Pacific Ocean, it has on almost mythological status as a showcase of biodiversity which inspired Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. Most of the islands are void of vegetation and it is with this lunar landscape, that makes this one of the most amazing places on Earth. The Galápagos Islands comprise a mysterious landscape of land and sea with some of the most unusual wildlife found anywhere on Earth.
With the lack of natural predators, the Galápagos animals are completely fearless of humans, and this is possibly the only place in the world, where you can see such diverse wildlife. You can snorkel with sea lions and penguins, walk with the giant tortoises, view a wide variety of birds such as the blue footed boobies. Walk the beaches lined with sea lions. On Board: Swimming pool, gym, game room, library, 24-hour medical service, laundry service, piano lounge, well-stocked bars, massage room, observation decks, sun decks, chill out zone.
The Main focus of this tour is the abundant biodiversity and the geological wonders of the Galápagos Islands, also highlighted by exploring the Capitol city of Quito, Ecuador and its history and color.
There will be an extension tour to the Amazon after the cruise to go deep into the jungles and wilderness of this biodiverse area.
Day 1: October 29 Tuesday – Arrive in Quito, Ecuador. There are no planned activities this day. Arrive at the airport and then have a private transfer to your hotel. For those who may arrive early in the day you can enjoy Quito at your leisure or book an optional tour.
Dinner at leisure tonight
Hotel La Casona del a Ronda for 2 nights.
Day 2: October 30 – Enjoy a guided tour of Quito
Today we tour the capital city of Quito. Offering native South American traditions interwoven with European culture and Catholic religion, Quito offers a fascinating mix of monumental Spanish gothic and baroque cathedrals and churches set against the modern, gleaming skyscrapers. We will visit such sites as the Independence Square flanked by the Presidential and the Archbishop’s palaces from the 13th and 14th century, the Moorish-styled Metropolitan Cathedral, the baroque Jesuit Church and Convent, and Plaza of San Francisco. We will stop at the “Middle of the World” site and the Equator Monument situated at 0º0’0” latitude, where an 18th century multinational expedition located the Equator and established for the first time the Earth’s accurate measurements.
Remainder of the day an evening at leisure to explore on your own. (B)
Day 3: October 31 – Depart Quito for Baltra Island to board the Boat
Depart the hotel and transfer to the Quito airport for the flight to Baltra Island. Transfer to the boat then set sail for the first stop. Arriving at Mosquera Islet located between North Seymour and Baltra Island. This flat, sandy island has a large colony of sea lions. It is also an excellent site to observe shorebirds such as herons and lava gulls. There is no trail on the islet, you can enjoy the open area. Most of the islet is covered with sand and barren lava rock. Very little plants grow on the sand. Opportunity to go snorkeling today. (L, D)
Day 4: November 1 – Santiago Island: Egas Port & Rabida Island
AM – This morning we depart and sail to Santiago Island: Egas Port Wet landing. Egas Port is a black volcanic sand beach, visited by Darwin in 1835. The first section of the trail is formed of volcanic ash (eroded tuff) and the other half is an uneven terrain of volcanic basaltic rock. The unique, truly striking layered terrain of Santiago shore is home to a variety of animals including the bizarre, yellow-crowned night heron and marine wildlife including lobster, starfish and marine iguanas grazing on algae beds alongside Sally light-foot crabs. It is easy to see colonies of endemic fur seals swimming in cool water volcanic rock pools.
PM – Rabida Island: Wet landing. Dark-red sand covers the unique beaches of this island, home of sea lion colonies; Rabida is considered the epicenter of the Galapagos Islands due to the diversity of its volcanic geology. Nesting brown pelicans are found from July through September plus nine species of the famous Darwin’s finches. Here a dinghy ride along marine cliffs is done to observe nesting seabirds. Snorkel off the coast, where marine life is particularly active. (B,L,D)
Day 5: November 2 – Isabela Island: Urbina Bay and Tagus Cove
AM – Urbina Bay (Isabela Island): Wet landing. On the volcanic black beach depending on the season it is possible to find giant tortoises, land iguanas, and the unusual flightless cormorant. After a short walk inland it´s snorkeling time, a chance to swim with sea turtles, sea lions, and countless tropical fish. Urbina Bay features a wide variety of plants with a different range of colors in flowers, attracting different insects, birds, and reptiles. One of the highlights of the island is the uplifted coral reef that resulted from the 1954 seismic activity; here the views of Alcedo Volcano are remarkable. When navigating from Urbina to Tagus Cove whale watching is usual in May – December.
PM – Tagus Cove (Isabela Island): Dry landing on Galapagos’ largest island where we will learn about the eruption of the five volcanoes that formed it. The trail leads to Darwin’s salt-water crater lake with excellent views of lava fields and volcanic formations. We will return for a dinghy ride along a shoreline full of marine wildlife, where we will admire a variety of seabirds, such as blue-footed booby, brown noddy, terns, the flightless cormorant, and depending on the season, a large number of Galapagos Penguins which are only 35 cm tall; the only penguin species in the world to live in the tropics. The population of penguins on the islands is about 2,000 individuals, most of which live on this western portion of Isabela; others are scattered further south. We will have an opportunity to snorkel here. (B,L,D)
Day 6: November 3 – Fernandina Island: Espinoza Point & Isabela Island: Vicente Roca
AM – Espinosa Point (Fernandina Island): Dry landing. From Espinosa Point, is possible to admire a wide view of Isabela Island across the Bolivar Channel, an area that boasts some of the highest diversity of endemic sea fauna in the Galapagos. Here the largest, most primitive-looking marine iguanas are found mingling with sea lions and Sally Lightfoot crabs. Fernandina displays a wonderful opportunity to encounter flightless cormorants at their nesting sites, Galapagos penguins and the “King” of predators on the islands, the Galapagos hawk. Pa-hoe-hoe and AA lava formations cover the majority of Fernandina terrain. Vegetation is scarce inland, with few cacti. In the shore, mangrove can be found.
PM – Vicente Roca Point (Isabela Island): Great deep-water snorkeling at one of the richest marine havens on Earth, the Bolivar Channel. Accessible by water, we take a dinghy ride along the coast to observe a great diversity of sea and coastal birds; Nazca and blue-footed boobies, noddies, brown pelicans, penguins, flightless cormorants. The upwelling of cold-water currents in this part of the Galapagos gives rise to an abundance of marine life, a perfect place for deep snorkeling. (B,L,D)
Day 7: November 4 – Santa Cruz Island: Highlands – Depart to Quito
AM – Highlands Tortoise Reserve (Santa Cruz Island): Dry landing. In the mountains of the Galapagos, it is possible to admire different kinds of birds, such as tree and ground finches, vermillion flycatchers, paint-billed crakes, yellow warblers, and cattle egrets. The journey to the reserve offers great opportunities to see the contrasts that the island offers in reference to the variety of ecosystems. The road goes from the coast through the agricultural zone and straight up to the dense humid forests. Often, Galapagos Giant Tortoises are also seen on the way, wandering through pastures in the paddocks. This spot is a birdwatchers’ haven since almost every land bird present on the island lives or migrates here.
PM – Baltra Island Airport: After the visit, you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight to Quito. Flights arrive Quito at 4:15 PM (B,L)
Visitors going to Ecuador require a current passport, valid for at least 6 months from the date of departure from Ecuador. Citizens of the US, Canada, UK and Australia do not require a visa to enter Ecuador. Before traveling abroad it’s a good idea to make two photocopies of your passport, your driver’s license and your credit cards. Leave one copy at home with a friend or family member and bring one with you.
Quito, the capital of Ecuador is 5 hours behind GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), and it does not observe daylight saving time, Quito is in the same time zone as New York or EST.
Ecuador is located right on the Equator so you should be prepared for warm weather. However, Quito is located at 10,000 feet, so it is never very warm there, and it has mild. Expect daytime temperatures of the high 60’s with cooler evenings in the high 40’s. In the Galápagos Island November is the dry season. Expect daytime temperatures around the high 70’s and evenings around low 70’s. The sun is still intense due due the equator location.
The official unit of currency in Ecuador is the U.S. dollar. You can use American or Ecuadorean coins, both of which come in denominations of 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, and 50¢. Otherwise, all the currency is in the paper form of American dollars. It can be hard to make change, especially for any bill over $10, and especially in taxis. Have small bills available. Credit cards are accepted by most shops and restaurants however check with your credit card company regarding foreign exchange fees. You will also have a better chance making deals at local shops if paying with cash.
Amex is NOT always accepted so have a Visa or MC with you.
The majority of outlets in Ecuador are standard North American style two- and three-prong electric outlets with 110-120V AC (60 Hz) current.
All goods and services are charged a 12% value-added tax. Hotels and restaurants also add on a 10% service charge, for a total of 22% more on your bill. There is an airport departure tax of $40.00 from Quito, although it is usually included in the airfare cost. Please confirm with your airline.
No vaccinations are officially required of travelers to Ecuador, unless you are arriving from a country that has reported cases of yellow fever, such as Panama. As a tropical South American country, Ecuador presents certain health risks and issues. The most common ailments for visitors to Ecuador are diarrhea and altitude sickness. If you are affected by altitude sickness, you may experience headaches, nausea, sleeplessness, and a tendency to tire easily. If you are experiencing these problems, try to rest, abstain from alcohol, and drink a lot bottled water. To help alleviate the symptoms, you can also take acetazolamide (Diamox); consult your doctor for more information. Be very careful about eating food purchased from street vendors. Foreign visitors to Ecuador should drink only bottled water. Do not drink tap water, even in major hotels.
Average to Above Average – This trip has a descent amount of activity. At each stop you will be walking quite a bit on the dirt or uneven ground. At each port on the cruise we will have either a “Dry” or “Wet” landing. Dry means the tender pulls up to a dock and wet means you get off the tender and step into the shallow waters. To be able to fully enjoy the tour and participate in scheduled activities, you need to be able to walk, at a leisurely pace, up to 3 or 4 miles on some days. There is swimming and snorkeling available most days. You should be able to stand unassisted for up to 30 minutes at times during the tours. You will need be able to keep up with the group without any assistance. At times you will need manage your own luggage. This trip is pretty easy for the average person however if you can’t or choose not to participate in certain activities this is at your own discretion. However, it cannot affect the groups participation nor can any tours or activities or refunds be offered or changed due to an individual not being able or not wanting to participate.
The following items are suggested to help make your tour run smoothly.
Good walking shoes, hiking tennis shoes or hiking sandals. Shoes that can get wet and are quick dry are best. Get these on Amazon. Travel purse with a shoulder strap, small backpack to use during the day for hikes. Refillable Water Bottle, P. J’s, Light weight sweater or jacket for cool evenings. Hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, bathing suite, cover up. Quick dry shorts, T shirts.
All toiletries needed to a minimum. Hotels provide hair dryers, soap, shampoo, sometimes conditioner. Clothing needs to be warm weather clothing, Evenings are cooler. For Day: leggings, shorts, bathing suites, long and short sleeved tops. Many days you are walking so bring comfortable stretchy clothes and layers to protect against sun. Evening is casual with pants, jeans, long or short sleeved tops, casual dresses. Dressing in layers is always good.
This document outlines what Women Traveling the World LLC agrees to provide when you sign up for a tour, and what you agree to do in return. This information is very important, please read it carefully.
Current tour prices are listed on the page corresponding to each tour. Due to currency fluctuations, cost increase and situations out of our control tour prices may change without notice at any time. Tour participants who already registered for a tour will not be affected by any price changes.
Included in the price of the tour:
A full-time tour leader/guide with 6 or more clients and licensed in-country tour guides are used for tours.
Any tours, meals, activities or otherwise stated for each individual tour.
Any tours, meals, activities or otherwise stated for each individual tour.
Tour prices DO NOT INCLUDE: airfare (unless noted) and airport/departure taxes (unless stated as such in the tour), other transportation to the tour location, laundry charges, telephone calls, room service charges, mini-bar charges, all items of personal nature. Travel, accident, baggage, health, or life insurance policies. Gratuities for guides and drivers are not included in the itinerary. Passport and/or visa when applicable. Additional tours or activities not listed in the itinerary.
In the case of computer or human billing error we reserve the right to re-invoice Participants with correct billing.
ADDITIONAL EXPENSES INCURRED AS A RESULT OF DELAY, CHANGE OF SCHEDULES, ILLNESS, WEATHER, STRIKES, HOSTILITIES, QUARANTINE, GOVERNMENT REQUISITION OF HOTEL SPACE, OR ANY OTHER REASONS BEYOND THE CONTROL OF WTTW, SHALL BE BORNE BY THE PARTICIPANT.
Single supplements are available on a limited basis at additional cost. The actual cost of a single supplement for each tour is listed on the Tour Details page for each tour.
Roommates: The Tour Organizers will attempt to match you with a roommate based on age/smoker or not. If the Tour Organizers match the Participant with a roommate whom the Tour Participant deems unsuitable, then the Tour Participant must either change roommates on her own or simply accept the current roommate and make the best of it. There will be no refunds for complaints about roommates, and if any Tour Participant departs the tour because of a roommate, there will be no refund. We try to match you up the best we can but cannot promise a guarantee as to companionship. If WTTW cannot find a roommate due lack of enough participants wanting a roommate then a single supplement will be charged.
Baggage: We recommend that Tour Participants take a carry-on bag as per airlines restrictions and include any needed toiletries, medications a change of clothes or anything else you simply can’t’ live without for 24-48 hrs in case of baggage loss or delay. Baggage is carried at owner’s risk and baggage insurance is strongly recommended. We are not responsible for baggage loss/delay due to airline error.
Health: Woman traveling the World tours includes a lot of walking, stairs, hiking, and standing while sightseeing. All Tour Participants should be prepared to walk at least three miles a day on uneven surfaces, including steps, during days on which excursions are scheduled. If you have any concerns regarding your physical ability to participate in the tour, we strongly recommend that you consult your physician before signing up. Any pre-existing physical, mental, or emotional disability that may require attention or treatment must be reported in writing prior to the beginning of a tour. Tour Participants who require any form of assistance must be accompanied by a helper who is capable of and totally responsible for providing such assistance. The group’s itinerary will not be adjusted for people who are not able to keep up with the rest of the group. All Tour Participants are required to complete and sign a Medical Release and Waiver Agreement. On the day the tour begins, or any day thereafter, if you leave the tour for an, unforeseen medical or family emergency, money will be refunded, “ONLY” if you have purchased “trip insurance” then the terms of that policy will apply and the insurance company would be responsible for any refund as per the policy. Woman Traveling the World is not responsible for any refunds for a trip interruption or delay of your own cause. The minimum age for participants is 18. There is no maximum age, however you must be able to keep up with the pace of the group. Smokers may smoke only outdoors and downwind from the group – never in hotel rooms or during group meals or activities. Smokers will stay in a single room, unless they share a room with another smoker.
Travel Insurance: Not included in the tour price. We highly recommend obtaining individual travel insurance for the duration of the tour (trip cancellation, foreign medical, flight delays and cancellations, medical evacuation). For an overview of available options in travel insurance coverage please contact us. You acknowledge that trip insurance has been presented to you in the Tour Booking form if you decline to purchase trip insurance then you are on your on for any cancellations of your own doing or non covered issues as mentioned herein.
Travel documents and Visas: Tour Participants are required to have a valid passport and a visa, if necessary. Incomplete documentation will result in the airline and airport authorities refusing permission to enter the country. The Tour Organizers will not arrange for passports or visas and will not be held liable for any irregularities caused due to improper documentation. Each Participant is responsible for determining specific passport and visa requirements in the Participant’s country of origin and for obtaining the necessary documents prior to departure. Passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the anticipated tour date. It is suggested that all Participants check with the appropriate Consulate regarding their visa requirements.
Tour itineraries are subject to change: Due to unexpected circumstances, we reserve the right to cancel, change or substitute an activity or a service. During local or national holidays abroad, certain facilities such as museums, sightseeing tours, and shopping may be limited. Uncompleted portions of the tour itinerary are not cause for refund.
Waiver of responsibility: Women Traveling the World and its representatives (“Tour Organizers”) are making all ground arrangements pertaining to the Tour, including, but not limited to, hotel and restaurant reservations, sightseeing and side trips, subject to the condition that the Tour Organizers will not be held liable to injury, death, delay, theft, damage, or irregularities, however caused. Tour Organizers will take no responsibility or liability for: 1. injury, loss, or damage to persons or property, including luggage. 2. Additional expenses resulting from changes in exchange rates, tariffs, or schedule. 3. The act or default of any company or person engaged in conveying the Tour Participants, or in carrying out the arrangements of the Tour, or otherwise. 4. Additional expenses incurred or due to sudden sickness, weather conditions, strikes, or other causes or acts of God. 5. Losses due to cancellations.
Travel: Participants are responsible for their own travel arrangements to and from the tour location. Please note that some tours start and end in different cities and an “open jaw” or “Multi City” air ticket is required. This is noted in each itinerary.
Tour Payments: To reserve space on any tour, a deposit of $500.00 per person per tour is required at the time of booking. Some tours require a higher deposit and this is noted in the tour details.
No reservation is considered confirmed until the deposit is received by Women Traveling the World. The deposit is part of the final payment which must reach us no later than 60 days prior to the start of the tour. Returned checks will incur a fee of $50.00 For all deposits and tour payments, we accept personal checks, Visa, Master Card, bank wires, Zelle. Missing the final payment deadline may result in being removed from the tour.
Cancellations and refunds: The tour deposits are not refundable if you cancel for a non insured reason. All cancellations must be sent in writing via email. Do not consider a cancellation received and effective until you get a cancellation confirmation from us.
Tour Cancellation: Although we do our best to avoid this, it may occasionally become necessary for Women Traveling the World to cancel any tour due to insufficient sign-ups or any other cause. We recommend NOT to purchase your air until 60 days prior to departure unless you have been informed otherwise that the tour is a definite go. If a tour is cancelled due to low enrollment, you will be notified at least 60 days in advance of the tour departure date. In this case, your entire payment will be refunded to you within fourteen days after the tour cancellation. Refund of payments made constitutes full settlement, and releases Women Traveling the World from any further liability. We are not responsible for any additional expenses incurred by tour members preparing for a canceled tour, such as nonrefundable airline tickets, travel insurance cost or passport fees. If a tour is cancelled due to a natural disaster, strike, or other event outside our control, we cannot guarantee the 60 days notice.
Loss & Liability: Women Traveling the World strongly encourages all tour Participants to purchase Travel Insurance to cover additional costs (airline tickets, loss of luggage, trip delay or tour cancellation, personal accident, medical evacuation, etc.). We assume no liability for the safety of any Participant while in transit or during the tour. Women Traveling the World is not responsible or liable for loss, damage or theft of luggage or personal injury, accidents, or illness while on tour nor for any type of trip interruption.
Photographs: Representatives of the Tour Organizers may photograph the Tour. The Tour Organizers reserve the right to publish any such photographs without obtaining further consent from any Participant. Each Participant releases the Tour Organizers and their representatives from any liability in connection with any such use of such photographs.
Leaving the tour: The Tour Organizers reserve the right to accept, decline, or retain any person as a Participant on the Tour at any time without liability and without any obligation to pay a refund or any other amount whatsoever. The Tour Organizers take no responsibility or liability for any Participant who leaves the Tour prior to its conclusion or for any activity undertaken by any Participant that is not included on the Tour itinerary. There will be no discounts or refunds for any Tour Participant who temporarily leaves the Tour and then returns to the Tour later.
Unruly guest. We at WTTW ask all our clients to conduct themselves in a mature and courteous manner while on tour. If a client becomes unruly, argumentative or drunk beyond control and interrupts the tour or other clients in any way it is our right to call this person aside and issue a formal warning. If this behavior becomes consistent and creates a problem for other clients WTTW reserves the right to ask the participant to either leave the tour early, get her own room at her own cost if she has a roommate who has been interrupted due this behavior or take any and all necessary action to protect the health, safety and well being of the other travelers. Any such action taken that results in additional cost shall be the sole responsibility of the client who has created the issue. This is to protect all clients and assure them of a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience.
Special Requests: We will advise hotels of any special requests of Tour Participants provided we receive the request at the time of booking. However, we cannot guarantee all requests.
Allergies/Dietary Restrictions: Please answer these questions on the booking form so we can advise the restaurants for the included meals.
Payment of deposit or full payment shall be deemed as consent by the Tour Participant to the above Terms and Conditions.
PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY: I am entirely responsible for my own personal safety, physical and health mental and general well-being during and after the Tour. I release Women Traveling the World LLC and its representatives and any of their employees, assistants, and affiliates of any liability for any injuries or damages mentally or physically I or any of my family members might incur during or after the Tour. I understand that no health insurance or travel insurance will be provided by the Tour Organizers, and, if I wish to be insured, I must do this myself.
Women Traveling the World is registered with the state of Florida as a seller of travel, Registration No. ST38808. We are also bonded.