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Royal Palm Hotel - 5 Nights Itinerary

Thumbnail Description: On this 6-day/5-night tour in the Galapagos Islands, you will be immersed in a different world. On this journey of a lifetime, you will marvel at the unspoiled natural beauty of these volcanic islands as you are touched by the magic of their evolutionary legacy. When on your Galapagos vacation, the Royal Palm Hotel does its best to allow you to fully experience these islands by giving you as many choices as possible to do what you like, when you like. You are provided with packages of activities to help you plan how much to see and do while you are staying at Royal Palm. Whether you are traveling individually, as a couple or in a group, you can choose different activities and excursions to suit your particular requirements. These packages and their specific activities consist of the following:

Relaxation Activities: Swimming pool, spa treatments, shopping, DVD & games Exploration Activities: Visits to Lava Tunnel, Tortuga Bay, Cerro Mesa, Tortoises in the Wild, Charles Darwin Station, the Fish Market & Lagoon Active Experiences: Biking, Surfing, Hiking, Snorkeling, Kayaking, Gym / Tennis / Table Tennis, Horseback Riding, Plant a Tree Yacht Expeditions: Bartolomé Island, North Seymour Island & Bachas Beach, South Plaza Island & Punta Carrión, Santa Fe Island
Testimonials

“The trip was excellent from beginning to end. The Isabella II was a fine ship and the crew and guides were all of the highest quality. I would recommend them to others. For us, the ship was the perfect size – not too small and not too large.”Walter Squire

Royal Palm Hotel: Highlights

Galapagos Islands, Tortuga Bay Beach, Cerro Mesa, Giant Tortoises Breeding Center, Horseback Riding, Surfing, Hiking.

Royal Palm Hotel: Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Arrival in the Galapagos Islands – Tortuga Bay Beach
Day 2: Cerro Mesa – Trapiche – Garrapatero Beach – Shopping in Puerto Ayora
Day 3: Giant Tortoises Breeding Center – Horseback Riding
Day 4: Yacht Expedition to Santa Fe Island
Day 5: Surfing – Spa Treatments
Day 6: Hiking – Departure
Galapagos Map

Royal Palm Hotel: Detailed Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival in the Galapagos Islands – Tortuga Bay Beach

AM: This morning you will check-in at the Quito or Guayaquil international airport. (NOTE: The flight time from Quito to Guayaquil is 40 minutes, plus a 40-minute layover in Guayaquil, while the flight time from the Guayaquil airport to the Galapagos Islands is 1hour and 40 minutes.) Arriving in the Galapagos archipelago at the Baltra Island airport, a Royal Palm representative will meet you and accompany you on a seven-minute ferry ride across the Itabaca Channel to Santa Cruz Island. From there, you will take a scenic 50-minute trip by private transportation to the Royal Palm Hotel. After checking in, you will have lunch there at the hotel.

PM: Tortuga Bay is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the Galapagos. Going there this morning, you might spot some local surfers trying to catch the best wave. It is also common to sea lions, sea turtles, pelicans, Whitetip reef sharks and marine iguanas in these waters.

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Lunch - Dinner
Day 2
Cerro Mesa – Trapiche – Garrapatero Beach – Shopping in Puerto Ayora

AM: This morning, your guide will take you on a journey from Cerro Mesa hill to the Cascajo lookout point. At Cascajo, we will stop to enjoy a phenomenal panoramic view of Santa Cruz and other islands of the archipelago, while keeping an eye out for a sub-species of giant tortoise that lives in the area around the Cerro Mesa crater. Then we will descend to Trapiche, a local farm where you can see how the locals produce alcohol from sugar cane and produce the famous Galapagos organic coffee. From there we will head to Garrapatero Beach to enjoy some exotic bird watching of flamingos, Frigates, Mocking Birds and Blue-Footed Boobies. (If you want to swim or snorkel here, you’ll have to remember to bring your swimwear and snorkeling equipment with you.)

PM: This afternoon we will drive to the oceanfront town of Puerto Ayora, which is an enjoyable place for spending a leisurely few hours browsing around the small shops on the waterfront. There plenty of souvenir shops and boutiques selling clothes, gifts, sports equipment, artisan crafts, jewelry, ceramics and regular provisions. And, if you feel like just watching the world go by, you can sit outside one of the small bars, cafes or restaurants.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3
Giant Tortoises Breeding Center – Horseback Riding

AM: After breakfast, we will head for one of the most visited spots in the islands. Located on Santa Cruz Island, the Charles Darwin Research Station is primarily an international scientific research station situated on the outskirts of Puerto Ayora. You will be taken to its visitor center to learn about the geology, climate, natural history and the conservation of the Galapagos Islands. However, the highlight of your visit here will undoubtedly be the research facility’s Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Center, which breeds giant tortoises. These enormous and slow-moving reptiles can live up to 150-200 years and weigh between 250 and 300 kg. Approaching them in their humid and forested spaces is always an inspiring adventure. For decades, the Fausto Center was home to “Lonesome George,” who finally died in 2012 as the last of his particular species. The tortoises you will see here are accustomed to humans, so it’s an excellent spot for visitors to take photographs with them. Remember that looking at the animals is allowed, but touching is not; and it’s absolutely forbidden to jump over the walls or open the pen doors at any time.

PM: This afternoon we will mount up for some horseback riding across the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. Only a ten-minute drive from the hotel, you will find the ranch where calm and experienced horses are kept. Many of these horses are descendants of pure-bred mounts that were brought here by an American colonist before the Galapagos became a national park. Today these horses have adapted to the rugged volcanic landscape, giving you a safe, comfortable and enjoyable ride. For beginners and the first ½ hour is spent in an enclosed area where riders and horses can get to know each other. For experienced riders, the camp has plenty of horses to choose from. This tour takes around 2-3 hours, led by one of the camp’s guides. This is a great way to see the Santa Cruz countryside, passing several properties and estates in the lush highland forests inhabited by the giant tortoises.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4
Yacht Expedition to Santa Fe Island

AM/PM: Today we will visit Santa Fe Island, a tiny rocky island covered in small Palo Santo trees and six-meter-high opuntia cactuses. Santa Fe Island is located south of Santa Cruz. A walk around this dry and rugged island offers the chance of spotting the Santa Fe Land Iguana that is only found here. The island is inhabited mainly by large yellow land iguanas, Galapagos buzzards, Blue-footed boobies and pelicans. While snorkeling in the wonderful blue-green bay in which the ship anchors, you can observe the many inhabitants of this underwater world, including countless tropical fish, rays, sea turtles and playful sea lions. Anchored in the crystal clear waters of this beautiful protected bay, here you can snorkel with sea lions. Landing on the sandy beach you will be greeted by colonies of sea lions. A short circular trail takes you along the cliff edge where you can spot the Iguanas as well as many Lava Lizards and even the Galapagos Hawk. The trail brings you back round onto a second beach that is also inhabited by Sea Lions and Blue Footed Boobies who sit on the rocks. Snorkel in the bay with Sea Lions and admire the many species of tropical reef fish and occasionally Sea Turtle and Rays. Lunch is served on board whilst anchored in the bay.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 5
Surfing – Spa Treatments

AM: Thanks to the Galapagos Islands’ unique location, some of the best surfing can be found here, which is the reason why many professional surfers come to the islands. For those who want to learn this sport, Royal Palm offers surfing classes given by members of the Surf Club of Santa Cruz, who participate in international competitions. They hold half-day surf classes at the Surf School and take guests out on the hotel’s small boat to Tortuga Bay, where you can learn theory and then practice riding the waves!

PM: After lunch, you can relax and pamper yourself with a mud facial that uses unique volcanic soil and essences chosen to compliment your skin type. It is believed that the high mineral content in the soil helps cellular rejuvenation. Alternatively, you can choose an aromatherapy massage, a Swedish massage with chocolate oil, or a Reiki experience (which is a treatment for the mind and spirit, as well as the body, leaving you with a sense of wellbeing and peace. It is a simple method of spiritual healing which is suitable for everyone).

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 6
Hiking – Departure

AM: This morning we will head off hiking along an off-the-beaten-path of lava trails. These stretch through different areas of vegetation that are full of exotic birdlife nesting in Miconia trees. The Galapagos is the perfect place to see “nature in action,” and on foot, you can enjoy this firsthand experience with wildlife and nature. The highest point on Santa Cruz is found in the highlands in the center of the island called Cerro Crocker, which is 864 meters high. This is also one of the best places to see the Galapagos Rail, a bluish purple-black bird that spends most of its time on the ground. On a clear day, you may also see Darwin finches, Galapagos Flycatchers, Mockingbirds, Galapagos Petrels and Vermilion Flycatchers.

PM: Concluding this amazing experience in the Galapagos Islands, you will be transferred to the Baltra Island airport for your return flight to the Ecuadorian mainland. Enjoy your last look back at the “enchanted islands,” a unique paradise with inspiring natural wonders.

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Breakfast

Royal Palm Hotel: Prices

2018 - Price per room
Price per room
SeasonDouble
CasitasFamily Highland VillasHighland VillasPresidential VillaPrince of Wales VillaRoyal Villa
High SeasonUS$ 7,690US$ 11,160US$ 8,325US$ 9,660US$ 10,840US$ 9,980
Included in the price:
  • Accommodation
  • All meals
  • Transfers & ground transportation
  • Full board including one soft drink with each meal (alcoholic beverages are available and are charged separately)
  • Your chosen activities & excursions detailed in the itinerary
  • Taxes
Not included in the price:
  • Flights (all flights from mainland Ecuador to the Galapagos Islands can be arranged upon request)
  • Galapagos National Park entrance fee (US $100 per adult/$50 per child under 12)
  • Tourist transit card (US $20 per person)
  • Laundry service
  • Insurance (prior to your journey please ensure your travel insurance is valid in your country of origin)
  • Tips & gratuities
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