Active Travel is offering US$500 travel credit per person for bookings made before 30 April 2017 on its six-day Galapagos Loop tour, which includes hiking, sightseeing, wildlife watching and swimming with sea lions, in one of the richest nature sanctuaries on Earth.
Available throughout 2017, the island-hopping tour links three of the Galapagos islands – Santa Cruz, Floreana and Isabela – by speedboat, enabling Australians to explore the islands’ landscape, wildlife and culture.
The Galapagos Islands were made famous in 1835 when Charles Darwin visited the archipelago as part of a five-year voyage which led to his study ‘The Origin of Species’. Darwin noted that the local wildlife had uniquely adapted to suit their environment, and today the archipelago boasts more than 26 endemic species, including giant Galapagos tortoises, which can measure more than 1.5 metres in length.
Due to a lack of natural predators, the wildlife – including flamingos, Darwin’s finches, sea lions and marine iguanas – are known for their tranquillity, which enables travellers to get up close and personal with them and take some great photos.
The six-day tour will begin with a journey into the mist-covered highlands of Santa Cruz island, where travellers can spot birds such as vermilion flycatchers and Darwin’s finches. A speed boat will take guests to Floreana Island the following day, where they will meet descendants of the original population of the island and have the opportunity to swim with sea lions, marine turtles, manta rays and a variety of colourful coral fish.
The journey will continue to the highlands of Floreana, with a guide telling stories from the island’s colourful history along the way. Travellers will take a low-level hike, exploring pirate caves, freshwater springs and tortoise colonies, before taking a speed boat to the island of Isabela, relaxing on its beaches, and exploring the crater of the Sierra Negra Volcano. Guests will visit Flamingo’s Lagoon and a tortoise breeding centre, before returning to the island of Santa Cruz, visiting the Charles Darwin Station, and transferring to the airport.
Including airport transfers, five nights’ hotel accommodation, breakfasts, excursions and the services of a bilingual naturalist guide, the six-day tour costs from USD$2002 per person, twin-share.
Departures are available every Sunday for the rest of 2017.
Return flights from Australia to Ecuador and on to the Galapagos are extra and can be booked through Active Travel.
Bookings, for travel in 2017, made before 30 April 2017, will attract a bonus USD$500 per person travel credit, which can be put towards flights, tour extensions or travel insurance. Three tour extensions are available, starting at USD$475 per person, twin-share.