Galapagos Islands Tour - Nov 25th to Dec 5th, 2023Galapagos Islands ... "A wonder of the natural world" The Galapagos Islands are situated in the Pacific Ocean, approximately 1000 km from the continent of South America. Seismic and volcanic activity reflect the process that has formed the islands.
Photographers are invited to join us on our photo adventure to these intriguing Islands, we will be visiting the north most island of Genovesa, home of the Red Footed Booby and south most islands home of the wide winged albatos during our tour. We will photograph and explore the many coves, lagoons, landscapes, birds and animals that make this region one of the most unique places in the world.
As a private photo group this is a great opportunity to capture these remote islands, unique inhabitants, and one of the few places left on the planet where the footprint of the human presence is kept to a minimum. We work with our guides to get on the islands early each morning. Our group will be sailing and onboard our own private yatch. Please note we are pleased to offer three days in Quito during our tour two pre Galapagos and one post.
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Galapagos Islands - Nov 25th to Dec 5th, 2023What's spectacular about the creatures that call the islands home is that they act as if humans are nothing more than slightly annoying paparazzi.
Day One: Saturday Nov 25th, 2023 10:30 Morning coach departure offered from London and along the 401 corridor to Toronto. Toronto and area guests will meet at Pearson International. We are flying from Terminal 1 via Avianca Airlines to Quito International Airport. Our flight departs at 3:25 p.m. After clearing customs and immigration in Quito, we will be met by our local tour representative who will assist with luggage and transfer to our hotel for check-in. Two nights Quito, Swiss Hotel (B)
Day Two: Sunday Nov 26th, 2023 After breakfast at our hotel we will visit the Markets, touring some of the old world streets, and the Spanish Quarter. We have an optional cable car adventure today. This is an opportunity for a high vantage view of Quito and the surrounding mountains. Those who do not wish to do the cable car will visit the central quarter of Quito. Overnight Swiss Hotel. (B) (D)
Day Three: Monday Nov 27th, 2023 After breakfast at our hotel we will check-out and take our shuttle transfer to Quito airport to board the flight departing from Quito to Baltra, Galapagos Islands, which is approximately a two and a half hour flight. We will meet our guide at the airport and board our shuttle bus to our ship the Archipell 1. We will have time to settle into our cabins, have lunch and then in the afternoon we will visit the island of North Seymour Island. (B) (L) (D)
Day Four: Tuesday Nov 28th, 2023 Our Galapagos continues with our visit to Genovesa Island, an imploded volcano. Its distinct horse-shoe shape was formed from the eruption of a shield volcano. A volcano with broad gentle slops built up over time by repeated lava flows. We will visit Darwin Bay. Genovesa has developed the reputation as being know as bird island because of the numerous and varied bird species that nest here. You will have opportunity to photograph an abundance of Frigate birds, Nazca and Red-footed Boobies, Swallow-tailed Gulls, Storm Petrels, Red-billed Tropic birds, Finches and Mocking birds. Genovesa is one of two places in the Galapagos Islands where Red-footed Boobies are found in large populations. This evening we sail for Baratolme Island. (B) (L) (D)
Day Five: Wednesday Nov 29th, 2023 This morning we will have a dry landing on Bartolomé. We will see volcanic formations such as lava bombs, spatter, and cinder cones. We will follow the board walk and stairs as we hike to the summit. From here great panoramic photographs as you enjoy a great view of the surrounding islands, including Pinnacle Rock’s eroded tuff cone. Later in the morning we will also photograph the Galapagos penguins, sea turtles, and white tipped sharks. Later we will visit Sulivan Bay on Santiago another dry landing. Most of the landscape is comprised of layers of rocks and lava flows. Here we will photograph the interesting striations and patterns in this 100 year old lava flow. We will also see Marine Iguanas and red sally light-footed crabs. Also a colony of Fur-Seals swimming in pools of cool water along the shoreline. (B) (L) (D)
Day Six: Thursday Nov 30th, 2023 Today we will visit the Darwin Research Station on the Island of Santa Cruz to see the giant Galapagos tortoises. The research station is 10 minutes from the centre of town and conducts research and provides technical assistance to other researchers and governmental agencies, including the Galapagos National Park. After lunch we travel to the Santa Cruz highlands to see the giant tortoises that inhibit the region. Beginning at the coast and traveling north along the road to Baltra, the road climbs through the agricultural zone and into the mist covered forests of the highlands. Late in the afternoon we will return to Puerto Ayora village and transfer back to our ship. (B) (L) (D)
Day Seven: Friday Dec 1st, 2023 This morning we will visit Commorant Point on Floreana Island. The island offers two contrasting beaches; the first is a green sand beach, made green by the presence of olivine crystals, and the second Flour Beach, made of fine, pulverized coral. The main highlight is the flamingo lagoon. Later in the afternoon we sail to Post Office Bay, this is the old meeting point of 18th century ships. A group of whalers placed a wooden barrel in 1793 and called it post office. Traveling seamen would leaved addressed letters in the barrel and hope that the next seaman to come along might be headed in the direction of their letters destinations. Today you can leave your own postcard and sift through the current pile of cards - if you find one, you can hand deliver or mail it when you get home. (B) (L) (D)
Day Eight: Saturday Dec 2nd, 2023 This morning a visit to the island of Espanola best known for being the sole breeding ground for the entire population of the world’s Waved Albatrosses. We will hike the trail past rugged shore lines. The beach of Gardner Bay offers one of the best beach experiences in the Galapagos. Three species of Darwin’s finches and Espanola Mockingbirds may be seen at this site. This afternoon we will visit Suarez Point to experience the sea lions and the brightly coloured red and green marine iguanas. These are the only marine iguanas that remain coloured throughout the year. (B) (L) (D)
Day Nine: Sunday Dec 3rd, 2023 This morning we will visit San Cristobal Island and travel to Punta Pitt Islet where we drop anchor and experience spectacular landscapes and if lucky all three species of boobies. This afternoon visit Cerro Brujo which is located on the north side of San Cristobal Island. Cerro Brujo offers an excellent landscape, from where you can see the Leon Dormido (Sleeping Lion) rock formation. We will have opportunities to photograph lake and coastal birds. Another day of beauty in the Galapagos. Tonight will be our farewell dinner and toast to our ships crew. (B) (L) (D)
Day Ten: Monday Dec 4th, 2023 This morning we will visit Isla Lobos home of two different species of sea lions and a small population of blue footed boobies and common frigate birds. Then return to San Cristobal where we and disembark, saying goodbye to the crew and our ship. We will then transfer to the airport for our flight back to the mainland and on to Quito. On arrival in Quito we will transfer to our hotel for check in and over night Wyndham Hotel located 5 minutes from Quito International Airport. (B)
Day Eleven: Tuesday Dec 5th, 2023 Travel Day, we will transfer to the Quito airport for our flight home, via Avianca Airlines arriving into Toronto Pearson International Airport at 1:45 p.m. After clearing customs we will say good bye to our Toronto guests and those from London and region will meet our motor coach arriving in London at approximately 5:30 p.m. in the afternoon. (B)Our Ship:
The Archipell I offers space and comfort; the stability and speed make this catamaran a perfect partner for the adventure of discovering the Galapagos Islands. The catamaran has 6 twin cabins and 2 cabins with matrimonial beds all on the main deck. All of the cabins have private bathrooms and air-conditioning. The Archipell I also has a comfortable dining room, TV, DVD, stereo, library, an indoor bar, a bar on the upper deck and a spacious tanning deck with reclining chairs. In addition, all cabins are located on the main deck with an outside view. The boat also has a complete crew of 9 including a naturalist guide level III, who has been trained and licensed by the Galapagos National Park at the Charles Darwin Research Station.
** Please note, this ship will be a private charter for our Photo Group.
Ships Capacity: 16 PAX plus Crew: 9 and 1 Naturalist Guide
Facilities on Board: All the social areas are fully air conditioned, comfortable lounge, deck bar, dining room, library, observation deck.
Cabin Facilities: 8 exterior cabins. All cabins have ocean views and air conditioning.
The Galapagos Islands are Max 27 C (81F) Min 19.5 C (67F) Sea Temperature 21C (70F), and minimal rainfall the highest average of clears skies in the year.
The Galapagos is a place that can be visited at any time of the year, from June to December the southern trade winds bring the colder Humboldt Current north to the Galapagos. This means that the water is cooler, and a layer of high atmosphere mist pervades the island skies. In effect, the highlands of the larger islands are kept green and lush while the sea level islands and shorelines have little precipitation. Thus, June to December is generally called the "dry season" which is known for its blue skies and mid-day showers. Temperatures range from 24C to 26C daytime and 16C to 20C overnight.
The cost of Galapagos Island Tour is $7,990.00 per person CAD based on double occupancy including air departing from Toronto, plus air taxes of $343.92 CAD plus HST $12.09. Single supplement is available only for Swiss Hotel and Wyndham Hotel 3 nights for an additional $525.00 CAD.
Booking space for this tour may be done online by clicking on the link above:
A non refundable deposit of $850.00 CAD is required at time of booking, a second deposit of $850.00 July 5th, 2023 with the balance due 60 days prior to departure.
Photo Tour Trekkers and Tourcan Vacations recommends the purchase of travel and health insurance as our tour takes us out of country. Proof of out of country medical insurance is required to enter Ecuador.
Your Tour Includes:
- Round trip coach for those joining us from London region to Pearson Airport, Toronto
- Departures from London, Woodstock, and Toronto other points may be requested
- Round Trip Toronto to Quito Airfare via Avianca Airlines
- Round Trip Airfare Quito to San Cristobal Airport, Galapagos Islands
- Two nights accommodations Swiss Hotel in Quito with breakfast pre Galapagos
- One night accommodation Airport Wyndham Hotel with breakfast post Galapagos
- All airport and hotel transfers
- Seven nights onboard the Archipell I
- Three Meals per day while onboard the ship
- Daily visits to the islands as per itinerary with naturalist guide and host photographer
- Snorkelling, all transfers to / from the Islands to the ship, snorkelling equipment included
- Fuel Surcharge
- Photo Workshops and briefings about the Islands
- Welcome Dinner Achiote in Quito
- Tour hosted and escorted by photographer James Cowie
- Ingala Tourist control card $20 US
- Galapagos National Park entrance fee $100 US
- Wet suits available for rental onboard
- Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks onboard the ship, laundry and crew tips
** Cruise Schedule may vary and park entrance fees according to Galapagos National Park Rules
- We are pleased to offer a 5 day Machu Picchu add on tour -
Explore and experience the beauty of Sacred Valley and the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu. On this trek we will fly from Quito to Lima, spending time exploring the Peruvian city of Lima, then fly from Lima to Cusco, Sacred Valley then travel via train to the visit the ruins Machu Picchu.
The Incan built structure know as the “Lost City” was only discovered in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham. Machu Micchu is located some 7,000 feet above sea level.
Archaeologists estimate that approximately 1,200 people could have lived in the area, many theorize it was a retreat for Incan rulers due to it’s isolation from the rest of Peru.
This add on tour may be selected when registering for the Galapagos Islands Tour.
Machu Picchu Photo Tour - December 5th to 11th, 2023
Our Photo Tour in Peru will see us visiting Lima, Cusco, Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu, traveling by air, bus and train.
Day One: Tuesday Dec 05, 2023: Arrival in Cusco / Sacred Valley (D) Early morning transfer from the hotel to the airport for a short but spectacular flight over the snowcapped Andes to the oldest inhabited city in the hemisphere, Cusco, at an elevation of 11,440 feet. Immediate transfer to the Sacred Valley at 8,200 feet of altitude.
Visit Awana Kancha on your way to the Sacred Valley. Upon arrival a host will meet and assist you in transferring to the hotel and in registering.
Visit Awana Kancha, the living museum of the Andes
This Living Museum of the Andes showcase the South American Camelidos such as llamas, vicuñas, guanacos and alpacas in their native environment. You will also enjoy a spinning and weaving demonstration of ancient techniques on how to make clothing from the wool fibers of these animals. You can also see native flowers and some agricultural terraces from the Inca times. Dinner at hotel. (D)
Day Two: Wednesday Dec 06, 2023: Pisac Market and Ollantaytambo Archaeological Complex Breakfast then morning departure for a drive through the fertile countryside of the Urubamba Valley to the colonial village of Pisac where a unique Indian Market takes place daily. The variety of products offered is overwhelming, from pottery with reproductions of archaeological pieces, to all kinds of textiles, jewelry and Peruvian handicrafts. During your visit to this bustling marketplace you will have the opportunity to bargain with the artisans and indigenous traders. Grab the items you like, you will hardly see the same one again.
Lunch at Wayra with Peruvian Paso Horse Show
“Caballo de Paso” known worldwide for their smooth gaited movements and unusual spirit. No other horse combines strength, intelligence and beauty so perfectly as the Peruvian Paso Horse. The particular characteristic of the Paso Horse is precisely the reason for its name: the sublime charm of its typical step. As it walks, its front legs step very high and forward while the hooves sway to the sides in a graceful and synchronized movement. Enjoy a delightful demonstration of the skills of this unique member of the horse kingdom. Lunch at the celebrated Wayra at “Sol y Luna” in the Sacred Valley.
Continue to the Ollantaytambo archaeological complex, the Incas built it as a fort that included a temple, agricultural terraces, and an urban area. There are two distinct sectors: The religious and worship zone, and the residential area. Ollantaytambo was an important administrative center with probable military functions if one considers the walls and towers. There are also traces of ancient roads and aqueducts. The town of Ollantaytambo is called a "Living Inca Town" since the inhabitants maintain very old practices and customs. Overnight and Dinner at our Hotel (B) (L) (D)
Day Three: Thursday Dec 07, 2023: Machu Picchu and with lunch at Belmond’s Sanctuary Lodge Morning train ride through the sacred valley of Urubamba to the "Lost City of the Incas," Machu Picchu. Perched 8,200 feet above the valley, it was hidden by mountains and semi-tropical jungles for 400 years until discovered by Hiram Bingham of Yale University in 1911. Archaeologists believe that the Inca "Virgins of the Sun" took refuge from the Spanish Conquistadors here. Guided tour of the ruins upon arrival. Lunch is at the Belmond’s Sanctuary Lodge located just a few steps from the Inca citadel. Dinner at hotel. Overnight stay in Aguas Calientes.(B) (L) (D)
Day Four: Friday Dec 08, 2023: Machu Picchu Free Day / Return train ride Morning to enjoy one of the most incredible sights on earth, the sanctuary of Machu Picchu. Take as much time as you need to study these magnificent ruins or hike the steep stone-paved trail of Huayna Picchu, the pyramid-shape mountain above Machu Picchu for a breathtaking “condor view” of the citadel (reservation and extra fee are needed). Or stroll to the Inca Bridge a secret entrance used by the Inca's army or walk toward the Inca Trail to find the historic Intipunku or “Sun Gate” or visit Manuel Chavez Museum or hike in Mandor Valley or just enjoy the thermal springs of the town. Afternoon return train ride. (B)
Day Five: Saturday Dec 09, 2023: Cusco / Lima / Home Tour of Cusco and Nearby Ruins – Visitors are caught up in the excitement of touring the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, a delightful combination of Inca and colonial architecture. The tour visits important landmarks such us Cusco's Cathedral, Plaza de Armas and Koricancha “The Temple of the Sun”. This tour of the oldest continuously inhabited city in the western hemisphere also includes the nearby ruins of Kenko, Puca-Pucara, Tambomachay as well as the Sacsayhuaman fortress, an imposing example of Inca military architecture.
Dinner at Inka Grill
Known internationally for more than 10 years, and conveniently located in the Plaza de Armas, Inka Grill offers a delicious variety of dishes, from traditional Peruvian and Andean food, to pastas, pizzas, and sandwiches, as well as vegetarian dishes and unforgettable desserts. (B) (D)
Day Six: Sunday Dec 10, 2023: After breakfast we will transfer to the airport for our flight to Lima. Upon arrival, our local guid will meet the group and escort to reception and transfer to hotel. We have day rooms set up for the group as our flight departs after midnight. The group will have some free time this afternoon for one last photo walk, and some last minute shopping in the Indian Market. Day rooms at Casta del Sol Wyndham Lima Airport (B)
Day Nine: Monday December 11 2022: Transfer to the airport just after mid night for our departure international flight. Arrival back at Pearson with many photographs and great memories of Peru.
Our Machu Picchu Photo Tour is Please Note: Our Machu Picchu Photo Tour is $2,870.00 per person CAD plus $197.77 CAD air tax - Single supplement is an additional $850.00 this may be selected as an option below.
Booking Macchu Picchu tour add can be selected when registering for our Galapagos Islands tour.
Machu Picchu Tour Includes:
- Return international airfare from Toronto
- 4 nights accommodations while in Peru
- Breakfast included each day of the tour,
- Meals included as per itinerary B Breakfast L Lunch D Dinner
- Excursion to Machu Picchu aboard the Vista dome train
- All tours and excursions indicated in the itinerary
- All entrance fees
- All airport and hotel transfers
- All train tickets, bus tickets and boat services
- Air between Lima and Cusco return
- Group ground mini bus / van transportation
- Entrance Fees
- Train from Cusco to Machu Picchu and Machu Picchu to Cusco
- Tour hosted and escorted by photographer James Cowie
- ** Schedule may vary according to weather and travel conditions.
** Guests must have a valid passport, your passport must be valid for a min of 6 months from return date.
- Any item not listed on the itinerary, gratuities, airport taxes, personal insurance coverage, incidentals, alcoholic beverages, and laundry.