Neblina Forest Birding Tours

Galapagos Islands & Ecuador

Napo River/Amazonia extension Aboard the First Class, spacious yacht - M/Y San Jose**2010 dates available!

Join Neblina Forest and local Galapagos guides as we venture to this treasured World Heritage Site – the volcanic archipelago of Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands.

Overview

Napo River/Amazonia extension Aboard the First Class, spacious yacht - M/Y San Jose**2010 dates available!

Join Neblina Forest and local Galapagos guides as we venture to this treasured World Heritage Site – the volcanic archipelago of Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands. We have carefully selected and chartered the modern, more spacious M/Y San Jose yacht to provide an intimate voyage designed with natural history and photographic interests in mind. The itinerary for this year’s trip is one of our best to date, for in addition to sampling some of our favorite islands, we’ve booked ample time to explore the remote western islands of Isabela and Fernandina in detail. Take in the remarkable beauty and diversity of the islands away from crowds and among endemic species such as Galapagos Penguins and the very local Flightless Cormorant. Isabela, the largest island of the archipelago, is 80 miles long and though it is remarkably beautiful it is not one of the most visited islands in the chain, accessible only to faster boats or those with longer itineraries.

In the Galapagos, wildlife is truly extraordinary and remarkably tame. Many species are found nowhere else in the world. Don’t be surprised if you have to step carefully over a nesting Blue-footed Booby, or wait for a young Galapagos Sea Lion to uncurl from resting on the daypack you left on the beach

Seabirds are abundant on the outer islands and you’ll have a chance to observe and photograph birds in various stages of courting, nesting, feeding, caring for young, and in flight. We should see three species of Boobies (Red, Blue-footed and Masked), the beautiful and nocturnal Swallow-tailed Gull, Magnificent and Great Frigatebirds, Waved Albatross and Red-billed Tropicbirds.

Land birds are also plentiful and include Dark-billed Cuckoos, Large-billed Flycatchers, and the richly-patterned Galapagos Doves. Sorting out many of the thirteen species of Darwin’s Finches provides a challenge, and among familiar birds such as Yellow Warblers and Vermilion Flycatchers you’ll notice slight variations. Several species of mockingbirds are very bold when seeking fresh water. We also search for Galapagos Flamingoes, Galapagos Hawks and the Galapagos form of the Short-eared Owl.

Other creatures will also captivate your interest. The intense color of Sally Lightfoot Crabs contrasts dramatically with the dark lava rock. Marine Iguanas are plentiful and vary in color patterns between islands. Land Iguanas are rare and shy, while the huge land tortoises, which give the islands their name, are found in the highlands. Almost every day we can snorkel in quiet coves amidst active and colorful fish, possibly seeing dolphins and sea turtles as well.

So much is said of Galapagos wildlife that other parts of the experience often go un-described. Volcanic geology is fascinating and unobstructed -- from the texture of lava to patterns of spatter cones and stunning moonscape-like views found on younger islands. Using small boats, we explore the mangrove lagoons where sea turtles bask and feed. On some islands, prickly pear cacti grow tall like trees. Over 500 species of plants occur on the Galapagos, including some 180 endemics

The Galapagos Islands have been protected since 1834 and in 1986 their pristine marine environment gained added protection. Responsible tourism is a key factor in promising continued protection – our itinerary is carefully designed with that in mind. After our 7 night voyage, we stay on for an additional night in a local hotel on Santa Cruz Island. From here we visit the highlands, and the renowned Charles Darwin Research Station.

Don’t miss this opportunity to visit one of the world’s top wildlife destinations! Our journey begins and ends in Quito, Ecuador, where we visit the colorful market at Otavalo and a lake in the Andes before our next-day flight to the Galapagos. If time allows, we strongly encourage you to join our pre-trip adventure to Ecuador’s Amazonia region, featuring a four night stay at Napo Wildlife Center. This is our pick for the best rainforest lodge experience anywhere.

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