JATUN SACHA GALÁPAGOS


LENGTH: 13 Days/12 Nights

FIXED DEPARTURE DATES: Dates available upon request. Please contact Rainforest and Reef by e-mail: info@rainforestandreef.org or call toll-free: 1.877.255.3721.

*Our standard JATUN SACHA FOUNDATION GALÁPAGOS FIELD COURSE itinerary can be modified in content and length for SPECIAL INTERESTS and NEEDS.

*RAINFOREST EXPERIENCES at JATUN SACHA BIOLOGICAL STATION or other JUNGLE LODGES, such as the SACHA, NAPO WILDLIFE CENTER, LA SELVA and KAPAWI are also available to individuals and groups in Ecuador's Upper Amazon Basin.

*Affordable EXTENSIONS including an OLD TOWN QUITO CITY-TOUR (half or full-day); OTAVALO MARKET and NEARBY VILLAGES; SAQUISILÍ MARKET (half or full-day); COTOPAXI NATIONAL PARK and the AVENUE of the VOLCANOES (half or full-day); VILLAGE of BAÑOS and the AVENUE of the VOLCANOES (3d/2n) and CUENCA are available upon request before or after our JATUN SACHA GALÁPAGOS FIELD COURSE. Please contact Rainforest and Reef for details and pricing by e-mail: info@rainforestandreef.org or call toll-free: 1.877.255.3721.

*WHITE-WATER RAFTING and TREKKING are also available in Ecuador upon request.

*An affordable EXTENSION to CUZCO and the LOST CITY of the INCAS-MACHU PICCHU is also available to individuals and groups. Please contact Rainforest and Reef for details and pricing by e-mail: info@rainforestandreef.org or call toll-free: 1.877.255.3721. Pricing and itineraries are also available at http://www.rainforestandreef.org. Look under our PERU A, B and C FIELD COURSES, as well.

Note: Individuals/groups must fly Quito-Lima, Peru or vice-versa if they are going to combine Ecuador and Peru.

*FIELD COURSES for those with SPECIAL INTERESTS, such as BIRDING and GARDEN GROUPS are available upon request. Sample itineraries can be seen at http://www.birdingtours.org (being updated), http://www.gardentours.org (being updated) and also http://www.rainforestandreef.org. Please contact Rainforest and Reef for details and pricing by e-mail: info@rainforestandreef.org or call toll-free: 1.877.255.3721.

*SPANISH IMMERSION PROGRAMS for individuals/groups are also available in Ecuador. A sample itinerary can be seen at http://www.iwanttolearnspanish.org (being updated) and also http://www.rainforestandreef.org. SPANISH IMMERSION is also available in the rainforest. Please contact Rainforest and Reef for details and pricing by e-mail: info@rainforestandreef.org or call toll-free: 1.877.255.3721.

FIELD COURSE COST: 2550.00USD per person. Based on a minimum of 10 full-paying participants. One Group Leader FREE with 10 full-paying participants. Cost is based on triple and quadruple occupancy. Double and single occupancy available upon request, usually at an extra cost.

Notes:

Group Leaders, please contact Rainforest and Reef for details about STIPENDS, FREE SPACE and GROUP RATES.

For individuals, families or groups of less than 10 full-paying participants, please contact Rainforest and Reef for pricing by e-mail: info@rainforestandreef.org or call toll-free: 1.877.255.3721.

Includes: All INSTRUCTION and BI-LINGUAL GUIDE SERVICES; all MEALS and LODGING as stated in the itinerary; all GROUND and WATER TRANSPORTATION within Ecuador; ROUND-ROUND-TRIP DOMESTIC AIRFARE QUITO-GALÁPAGOS-QUITO on DAYS 2 and 12; all ENTRANCE FEES to NATIONAL PARKS and OTHER SITES.

Does Not Include: ROUND-TRIP INTERNATIONAL AIRFARE to Ecuador; DOMESTIC AIRPORT DEPARTURE TAX (6.50USD per person) Quito-Galápagos-Quito on DAYS 2 and 12 (total 13.00USD); INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT DEPARTURE TAX (38.00USD per person); GRATUITIES and PERSONAL ITEMS.

ITINERARY:

MEAL CODES: B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner
Note: On the MEDICAL INFORMATION FORM that you will be receiving shortly after registration, please make us aware of any special meal requests and/or dietary restrictions….vegan, vegetarian, etc., that you or members of your group may have. We will be pleased to fulfill your requests/needs.

DAY 1 Following your arrival at Mariscal Sucre International Airport, outside of Quito, you will be met by Jatun Sacha Staff and transferred to your hotel. Following dinner, there will be an orientation session to our Jatun Sacha Foundation Galápagos Islands Field Course. Overnight Quito. D

Note: Our JATUN SACHA GALÁPAGOS FIELD COURSE is hosted by the largest non-profit organization in Ecuador, the Jatun Sacha Foundation. They now have 8 Biological Reserves in Ecuador, including San Cristobal, Galápagos. The work of the Jatun Sacha Foundation is to promote the conservation of forest, aquatic, and mountain ecosystems of Ecuador. They have accomplished this through technical training, scientific research, environmental education, natural resource management and community development involving structural organization with local peoples. Please visit http://www.jatunsacha.org/ for more information about Jatun Sacha and their remarkable conservation/education efforts in Ecuador. Their work has been featured in National Geographic Magazine and most Travel Guides, including Lonely Planet Travel Guide to Ecuador.

GALÁPAGOS ISLANDS

The Galápagos Archipelago is a cluster of 13 major and six smaller islands, scores of low-lying islets and 47 coral reefs located in the Pacific Ocean, 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, South America. Galápagos is a province of Ecuador and the largest in its' National Park System. Five of the islands are inhabited and the rest are considered a Biosphere Reserve, a protected world of animals and plants, of soils and surf that preceded man by millions of years. Ten million years ago, raging volcanoes erupting over time, created the mystical Archipelago de Colón, that we know today as the Galápagos Islands. Scattered across a vast 17,000 square miles of ocean and discovered in 1535, the archipelago has remained sequestered from the mainland. No mainland connection has ever existed. Here, pirates buried stolen treasure, castaways found refuge, and, in time, a myriad of reptiles, mammals, birds and plants drifted or flew to its' shores. It was Charles Darwin's September 1835 exploration of the Galápagos while serving as the Naturalist on the British ship HMS Beagle, and his subsequent 1859 publication, "On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection" that first brought world attention to the Islands. Long isolated in this unique environment, the Islands, their plants and animals became a living laboratory and were to forever change the course of Biological Science.

Beautiful and bizarre, you are in for an extraordinary experience with some of our planet's most intriguing flora and fauna! So rare are its' species that virtually all the reptiles and many of the plant and bird species here are found nowhere else in the world….curious mockingbirds peck at your shoelaces….prehistoric land iguanas….13 species of Darwin's finches....600 pound land tortoises….boobies with red feet....boobies with blue feet....marine iguanas....crimson-throated frigatebirds showing off for their mates….waved albatrosses….the pinkest flamingos on earth and so much more! Untouched for centuries, these creatures have no fear of humans. Where else can you swim with penguins on the equator, snorkel with a sea-lions in secluded bays or sit for hours and watch birds perform unique and, at times, comical mating dances?

You will be captivated by the moon-like landscapes and mist-covered volcanic peaks, green and red sand beaches, forests of opuntia cactus that grow taller than man. This surreal setting is as mysterious as the creatures that inhabit it. In an effort to preserve the islands just as they were centuries ago, the Galápagos have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The National Park Administration and the Charles Darwin Research Station, founded in 1964, look after the conservation of the Islands where all native mammals, reptiles and birds protected.

Anyone interested in natural history, wildlife and geology will find a visit to the Galápagos a rare and truly unforgettable travel experience.

DAY 2 Flight from Quito, to San Cristobol, Galápagos. Arrival at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno airport. Short afternoon visit to the Lobería in order to observe Galápagos Sea Lions, the San Cristobol subspecies of Marine Iguana. Snorkel to observe marine life. Transfer to the Jatun Sacha-San Cristobol Biological Station at 3 Arroyos. Dinner and introduction the staff and basic facilities at the station. B L D



DAY 3 Trip to the San Cristobol Tortoise Reproduction Center to observe San Cristobol Tortoise subspecies adults, young tortoises which in recent years have been hatched at the station and to learn about reproductive processes for these tortoises and threats to their survival in the wild. Spectacular walk to the Puerto Chino Lookout to view the coastline and then a hike through dry forest habitat to the beautiful, white-sand, Puerto Chino Beach. At Puerto Chino we will have a good chance to observe various shore birds found only in Galápagos. Participants will have the opportunity to swim and body surf in the protected cove found here. Snorkeling is a possibility for advanced groups during calm periods. Snack stop at Cerro Verde and on to source of fresh water for the entire Galapagos chain, El Junco Lake. Evening presentation on the four geographic regions in Ecuador and their importance both nationally and internationally for conservation. B L D

DAY 4 We will begin with a morning hike to the lower portion of the Jatun Sacha Reserve to observe the dramatic vegetation and habitat changes as our group descends in elevation. Various species of the Darwin's finches and the Chatham Mockingbird are common along this trail. The lower part of the reserve is dry forest with some tree sized Opuntia Cactus. Where the three rivers empty into the sea we will observe one of the few fresh water lagoons on Galápagos. From various observation points participants will be able to observe marine, cliff-dwelling and some terrestrial bird species, including the fascinating Blue Footed Booby and Galapagos Hawk. Groups occasionally are able to observe sharks and during cold water seasons Humpback Whales. Lunch will be at the Fresh Water Lagoon. Returning to the station, groups will be given a short tour and explanation of conservation projects in progress under the direction of the Jatun Sacha Foundation in Galápagos. Time permitting, we will participate in a short reforestation activity. Evening talk about the Galápagos Islands, geologic history, ocean currents, why the islands are special biologically and characteristics of island ecosystems in general. B L D



DAY 5 Introduction to snorkeling. Snorkeling at the Tijerrettas Bay (Spectacular snorkel and dive site!). There are more than 500 species of fish found in the Galápagos Islands. About 50% of the fish species arrive in the Galapagos Chain via the warm-water Panama Current, ~7% come from the cold Peruvian waters, ~17% are natives to the Indian Ocean and arrive via the Panama Current, ~15% are endemic to the Galápagos and another small percentage are fish which have world wide ranges. Depending on group interest, there are three additional snorkel sites which can be visited on this same day: Playa Mann, Playa de Amor and the Lobería. Last night at the Jatun Sacha Biological Station, farewell bonfire and folklore musical group. B L D

DAY 6 All day boat ride with three stops for snorkeling at Sleeping Lion Rock, Puerto Grande and Isla Lobos. At Isla Lobos we will observe abundant sea lion colonies, shore birds, chicks and nests, marine Iguanas….on the rock outcroppings of the island and sometimes feeding on algae in water that is only two or three feet deep. Isla Lobos is usually an easy snorkel in very shallow water. Here there are many fish species to observe at close range. Sleeping Lion Rock is a Sea Mount which rises out of the water to a height of over 600 feet. The mount presents a very interesting sea wall for observing marine life including fish, sponges, sea urchins, sea stars among others. There is a narrow channel known as Shark Alley between the two main rocks, and here we are able to observe Galapagos, white tipped and hammerhead sharks. Puerto Grande s a picture post-card white sand beach where we will stop for lunch., snorkeling, beac-combing and birding. This is a great bay for observing puffer fish and great blue herons among many other marine and terrestrial species. Evenning barbeque at one of the local restaurants in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, followed by shopping. B L D

DAY 7 All day boat trip to Punto Pitt. Punta Pitt is characterized by a olive-colored sand beach and is one of the three sites in Galápagos where the Red Footed Booby can be sited. Near the beach are large sea lion colonies, which are very friendly and curious. We should see some very large marine iguanas on the beach. Snorkeling at Punta Pitt is spectacular as there are large parrot fish and giant damselfish. Boat trip to Floreana Island. B L D

DAY 8 Highlands of Floreana Island. The second highest assemblage of volcanic peaks rising up to 1400 meters are found here. This island is located over the geologic hot spot which has fueled the formation of the Galapagos Chain and is therefore very active in terms of volcanic eruptions and seismic activity in general. Afternoon snorkeling Devils Crown. There are very distinct fish species here, compared to our earlier snorkeling off of San Cristobal. Devil's Crown is a sub-merged volcanic crater in shallow waters off the coast of Floreanna. It is one of the most spectacular snorkel sites in Galápagos. Boat trip to Isabela Island. B L D

DAY 9 Highlands of Isabela, which rise to over 5600 ft. in elevation, the highest point in the Galápagos. Each of the volcanic craters here is home to a separate and distinct subspecies of the Galápagos tortoise. Some authorities argue that in the past, during higher sea levels, these volcanoes were geographically separated, resulting in unique subspecies of both flora and fauna. B L D

DAY 10 Visit lava tunnels near the ocean on Isabela. During low tides, we will through black lava tunnels which empty out at the ocean's edge….quite a unique experience. B L D

DAY 11 Boat trip to Santa Cruz Island. Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and observe their successful Galápagos tortoise reproduction and reintroduction program. All remaining subspecies are being produced on Santa Cruz. Giant adults of most of the tortoise subspecies are easily observed on the Darwin Station grounds. Afternoon trip to the Santa Cruz scalesia forest. Scalesia is a tree-sized "sunflower" and provides probably the best example in the plant kingdom of evolution on an island setting. B L D

DAY 12 Travel by bus and ferry to Baltra airport. Baltra provides a last opportunity to view dry forest, marine and land iguanas of Galápagos. Some of our groups have seen both species at on the airport tarmack! Flight Baltra-Quito for our Farewell Dinner and overnight. B L D

DAY 13 Departure for home. B


 
 


Rainforest and Reef

"Outstanding-Affordable Field Courses in Rainforest & Marine Ecology"

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