Galapagos cruise extension to horse riding holiday
Galapagos cruise extension to horse riding holiday
Galapagos cruise extension to horse riding holiday
Galapagos cruise extension to horse riding holiday
Galapagos cruise extension to horse riding holiday
Galapagos cruise extension to horse riding holiday
Galapagos cruise extension to horse riding holiday
Galapagos cruise extension to horse riding holiday
Galapagos cruise extension to horse riding holiday
Galapagos cruise extension to horse riding holiday
Galapagos cruise extension to horse riding holiday
Galapagos cruise extension to horse riding holiday
Galapagos cruise extension to horse riding holiday
Galapagos cruise extension to horse riding holiday
Galapagos cruise extension to horse riding holiday
Galapagos cruise extension to horse riding holiday
Galapagos cruise extension to horse riding holiday
Galapagos cruise extension to horse riding holiday
Galapagos cruise extension to horse riding holiday
Galapagos cruise extension to horse riding holiday
If you’re booking one of our Ecuador rides, this eye-opening cruise around the Galapagos Islands makes a perfect extension. The 8-cabin cruiser takes you on an intimate tour to the most significant islands in the archipelago to see much of the unique fauna and flora that make them so famous.

Visit the Charles Darwin Station to see land tortoise preservation work in action, Cormorant Point with it flock of pink flamingos, Suarez Point where sea lions mingle with marine iguanas and pass El Soplador as the giant blowhole blasts water up to 25 feet high, to name just a few things on this tour.

This is a nature lovers dream, with opportunities to see wildlife in its natural habitat that you can find nowhere else in the world. Numerous conservation projects allow you to learn about the unique ecosystem and the superb snorkelling opportunities mean you get the full island experience.

There are no reviews for this holiday at the moment

Depending on trip length and departure date, there are several programmes available.
Programme A and B – 8 days
Programme C – 5 days
Programme D – 4 days
Programme E and F – 6 days
Programme G – 15 days


Day 1
START FOR PROGRAMME A, C and G
On an early morning flight from mainland Ecuador you get your first glimpse of this unique archipelago. Your guide will meet you at the airport and take you to the boat. Over lunch you get to know your fellow travellers and guides as you learn about the upcoming adventures. The first stop is Las Bachas beach, whose white sand is an important nesting site for sea turtles. You can also visit a lake favoured by pink flamingos and many visiting migratory birds before having a cooling swim in the clear blue sea. For your first evening on the ship, the crew will organise pre-dinner cocktails before your welcome dinner to really kick your tour off in style.

Day 2
You will have moved when you wake up for an early breakfast, finding yourself off the shores of Genovesa ‘Tower’ Island in the northeast part of the Galapagos. Anchoring at Darwin Bay, the caldera of an extinct and eroded volcano, you set off on a long, easy-going walk around the island. There are very few terrestrial animals here, assumed to be due to the direction of the currents, but you might see a few marine iguanas and there will be plenty of birdlife to spark your interest along the way. There are also several species of cactus and mangrove here. In the afternoon you can visit El Barranco before going back to the boat for dinner.

Day 3
Today you visit Bartolome Island, a relatively young island created by the lava flows of a now-extinct volcano, and Sullivan Bay. The multi-coloured rock formations give an incredible snap-shot of the volcanic activity of the past as the lava cooled in ripples, bubbles and swirls. A few hardy plants and animals have managed to colonise the rocky expanse, and the views from atop the volcanic cone are some of the best across the archipelago. These two locations were named for Darwin’s lifelong friend and lieutenant of HMS Beagle, Sir Bartholomew James Sulivan.

Day 4
As you enjoy an early breakfast on the boat you arrive at Daphne Island. Formed from the accumulated ash deposits from volcanic eruptions, this island is home to thousands of birds including blue footed boobies, frigate birds and tropic birds. The island has been a central focus point of scientific research over the years, especially concerning one of the cornerstones to the theory of evolution, Darwin’s finches. The boat will circle the cone island but you won’t go ashore here, so binoculars are a good idea. The next stop is Black Turtle Cove, a marine paradise on the coast of Santa Cruz. Depending on the time of year you might see schools of white-tip reef sharks, golden and spotted rays, scalloped hammerhead sharks, and even mating turtles in the red mangrove lagoon. After lunch you head to Cerro Dragon, a small bay which has become the favourite nesting area of the land iguanas for which it is named.

Day 5
END OF ITINERARY FOR PROGRAMME C, START OF ITINERARY FOR PROGRAMME D

After breakfast, you sail to Santa Cruz Island to visit the Charles Darwin Station, a non-profit institution dedicated to protecting the Galapagos ecosystems. You will get to see land tortoises including babies in the Tortoise Rearing Centre as part of the conservation efforts. As well as the Station you can also visit Puerto Ayora, the largest town of the Galapagos and an ideal place to buy souvenirs. Of particular interest is the unique ceramic shop near the Charles Darwin Station. Enjoy lunch on the boat (or in town if you wish) before heading to the upper regions of Santa Cruz ‘parte alta’, a moisture-rich area with fertile volcanic soils which create a strikingly different ecosystem from the lower parts of the island. From here, you get stunning views across the archipelago as Darwin’s finches, yellow warblers and vermillion flycatchers dart about amongst the trees. Your guide can help identify the different plants and animals and teach you more about the area. Anyone wishing to experience the nightlife on the island has a chance to do so here as the boat will be moored for most of the night.

Day 6
You wake up this morning to find the green island of Floreana waiting outside your window. Over breakfast your guides can tell you colourful stories about its history concerning witches, a murderous baroness, blackmail and dubious disappearance. Disembarking from the boat at Punta Cormorant you follow a footpath to find a lagoon, home to a flock of pink flamingos. On your walk you will also come upon Carolina Beach, a nesting site for sea turtles and a great place to watch sea birds and sea life in the shallow waters. Once everyone is back on the boat you ride around to La Corona del Diablo, ‘The Devils Crown’, one of the most impressive snorkelling sites around the Galapagos. In and around the underwater crater you can see a spectacular array of marine life, much of it indigenous to the Galapagos, including purple sea stars, sea urchins, parrotfish and king angelfish. If you’re lucky you might even see a sea turtle, hammerhead shark or manta ray! Return to the boat for lunch and sail to Post Office Bay, named for the island’s original post office. The traditional practice of leaving unstamped mail and picking up any that you can hand deliver on your return home still works – why not try it for yourself!

Day 7
Today you visit Espanola, an incredible place where the animals claim ownership and you are merely a humble guest. The dingy will take you to shore where sea lion pups are basking in the warm sun, kept company by marine iguanas between feeding dives and blue footed boobies which nest here. You might even see a Galapagos Hawk on the wing. During mating season, bonded pairs of boobies do a ‘dance’ to reaffirm their partnership which is a magical site. If you happen to visit outside of mating season, you could ask the guides to give you a demonstration – it might not be so magical but it is their job to teach you about the local wildlife! There is an impressive amount of birdlife on the island, from boobies to the frigate bird, the red-billed tropic bird and even the giant waved albatross which come to the island to breed and nest from mid-April to December. Following the path around Espanola brings you to El Soplador, a giant blowhole which can blast up to 25 feet into the air. In the nearby rock pools you will often find sea lions enjoying the misty spray as they lounge about. Lunch will be on the boat as you travel to Garner Bay, a great spot to relax on the beach or have a swim until the setting sun sends you back to the boat.

Day 8
END OF ITINERARY FOR PROGRAMME A AND D, START OF ITINERARY FOR PROGRAMME B

It’s an early start today as you arrive at San Cristobal, the capitol of the Galapagos. Visit a community of sea lions living at Isla Lobos, a small inlet of volcanic rock, before visiting the town for any last-minute shopping you want to do before leaving the Galapagos.
For those continuing on Programme G the afternoon will involve a visit to the Interpretation Centre in Puerto Bazuerizo to learn about the formation of the islands and their unique ecosystems. You will also have the chance to visit the corrals protected by the National Park Service which are host to several species of giant tortoise.
Guests arriving for Programme B will join the boat in the afternoon before a visit to Cerro Tijeretas, the only place where you can see two different species of frigate bird living together. There are also some great views from Frigate Bird Hill if you fancy the walk! You return to the boat for dinner to get to know your new travelling companions.

Day 9
This morning you sail to Santa Fe Island to be greeted noisily by the resident colony of sea lions. Your guide will take you across the island to a forest of giant cacti among which live many of the archipelago’s indigenous reptiles; marine and land iguanas, lava lizards and land tortoises. Jump into the sea to cool off and go snorkelling amongst the sea lions, lion fish and sea turtles. You might even get to see the marine iguanas grazing on marine plants on the ocean floor. After lunch on the boat, you sail to Plazas Island which has some of the best examples of indigenous plants including huge cactus ‘trees’, along with plenty of birdlife.

Day 10
START OF ITINERARY FOR PROGRAMME F

Today you visit Tortuga Bay and take a guided walk to discover the various fauna and flora here. The beaches here are great for surfing if you want to be more active, although the western side of the beach is calmer for those wishing to be more relaxed! Return to the boat for dinner and meet any new travellers joining the cruise.

Day 11
After breakfast you disembark to Isabela Island to walk around Volcan Sierra Negra, a large shield volcano that rises to 1124m and considered one of the oldest across the archipelago. After lunch you will visit the humedales, a mangrove lagoon full of the small shrimp favoured by the local flamingos. Moving on from here you travel to El Muro de las Lagrimas, ‘The Wall of Tears, built by Ecuadorian prisoners incarcerated on the island.

Day 12
During the night you will have sailed to Punta Moreno on the west coast of Isabel where coastal lagoons in the black lava rocks play host to many species of bird. From here you get spectacular panoramic views of three of the most active volcanoes of the Galapagos; Sierra Negra, Cerro Azul and La Cumbre. Enjoy lunch on the boat as it sails around to Elizabeth Bay to see all kinds of marine life. On the way, you will pass a few islands that are often visited by Galapagos penguins, so keep your eyes open and your camera ready! As you reach the bay, the engines are turned off and you simply drift through the mangrove-lined waters to watch for turtles, rays, cormorants and hawks.

Day 13
This morning you visit Tagus Cove, a historically favoured spot for pirates and whalers. Following a trail, you walk past a small cave inscribed with the names of countless boats which made anchor here, along Darwin Lake until you reach the lava fields of Darwin Volcano. After lunch on the boat, you then visit Punta Espinoza on Fernandina Island, a narrow spit of lava and sand that reaches from the base of the volcano to the sea. Here you will see lava cactus which has evolved to grow on young lava, and many other species unique to the Galapagos including the flightless cormorant, marine iguanas, the Galapagos snake and the Galapagos penguin. Back on the boat you will start the journey to the central islands of the archipelago, passing Punta Vicente Roca on the way which is a good place to spot many different sea birds.

Day 14
Today you visit James Bay on Puerto Egas. The black sand beach gets its colour from deposits made during eruptions of Sugarloaf Volcano to the south. Close by this you can visit El Cráter, a salt water lagoon that has been used as a salt mine in the past. In the afternoon you continue on to Rábida with its red sand beach and coastal lagoons. There is a good trail walk here if you want to explore the island a little more.

Day 15
On your last day in the Galapagos you have an early breakfast before disembarking at North Seymour Island. If you are lucky you may get to witness the courtship display of the male frigate birds as they inflate a red sack below the throat and strut about to gain the attention of the females. This is also a great place to see marine fossils that have been brought to the surface when underwater volcanoes bubbled up to form the island. You will sail back to Baltra before you are transferred to the airport and get to savour one last glimpse of the infamous archipelago as the plane takes you back to mainland Ecuador.

Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.

Horses & Riding

Rider requirements

Guests must have the following documentation to enter and leave the Galapagos Islands:

TRANSIT CONTROL CARD (TCT)/ MIGRATION CARD
This document can be obtained at the Special Regime for Galapagos Governing Council offices, located in Quito and Guayaquil airports, and after the presentation of proper identification, electronic booking, and a payment of $ 20.00.
THIS DOCUMENT IS NECESSARY IN ORDER TO ENTER AND LEAVE THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS Part of this card must be kept by the passenger for its presentation at the time of departure from the islands.

PROTECTED AREA ENTRANCE FEE
It is collected by Galapagos National Park, PNG. The amount to be paid depends on the visitor’s nationality, residence, and age. At the time of going to press these charges are: foreign tourists older than 12 US$100, under 12 US$50, under 2 no charge.

Accommodation for this tour is aboard a 16-passenger cruise ship. The 8 cabins are spread over 3 decks and allocated on a first-come-first-served basis, so if you would like a cabin on the top deck please be sure to book early and request this at the time of booking. Each cabin has 2 beds (upper and lower 'bunk' style) and a private bathroom with hot shower. There is a dining room, living room, entertainment centre and an ample sundeck on board. All indoor areas and cabins have air conditioning.


All meals are taken aboard the boat, although guests have the option to eat in local restaurants on some days (not included). Meals are international cuisine. Vegetarian food is available, please let us know if you have any dietary requirements at the time of booking.

Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip. If Visa’s are required the requirements can change from year to year depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country. Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate on request.

General information:

British nationals are issued with a visit visa on arrival which is valid for up to 90 days. Visit extensions of a further 90 days can be obtained through the local immigration authorities. Your passport must have a minimum validity of six months. In the UK the Embassy of Ecuador can be found at:
Embassy of Ecuador
Flat 3b
3 Hans Crescent
London SW1X 0LS
Telephone: (020) 7584 2648/1367/8084
Email: embajada.ecuador@btclick.com

In Ecuador the British Embassy can be found at:
Citiplaza Building,
Naciones Unidas Ave. and Republica de El Salvador 14th Floor
(Consular Section 12th floor)
PO Box 17-17-830,
Quito
Telephone: (593) (2) 2970 800 / 801
Email: britembq@interactive.net.ec
Website: www.britembquito.org.ec

The British Foreign office gives up to date travel advice on 0845 850 2829 or www.fco.gov.uk



Climate Summary

Though the islands are located on the equator, the ocean's surface temperature ranges greatly from 7 to 28 degrees centigrade. The islands also go through dramatic changes. January to March is considered the hot/wet season, March being the hottest month of the year. The islands are brimming with plant life, and the water temperatures are ideal for snorkeling and diving at this time of year. Because of the climate changes in July through September, there's less rain and the islands are drier, though cooler. The water temperature drops considerably, though this is the ideal time of year to see more aquatic life, as the animals prefer the colder currents.

Climate Chart
Health

At Unicorn Trails, the health and safety of our customers is of paramount importance. While cases of the Zika Virus remain predominantly in Brazil and Ecuador, there have been reports of cases in Mexico, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Cape Verde.
Whilst the symptoms of the Zika Virus are usually mild, customers are recommended to take the strict insect bite avoidance measures. This is particularly relevant if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, suffer from a severe, chronic medical condition, or have a medical condition that weakens your immune system.

Customers due to travel to the affected areas should monitor the World Health Organisation website for further updates and advice.
Customers planning to become pregnant should discuss travel plans with a healthcare provider to assess the risk of infection and receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures.
Customers who are already pregnant should inform their obstetrician or midwife if they have recently travelled to a country where Zika is known to occur.


High altitude, e.g. in Quito (2800 metres) can affect some people's health. You should take sensible medical precautions and seek advice from your doctor before travelling. If visiting Quito you are advised to take it easy for the first few days and drink plenty of water. See your local doctor or the department of healths web site for further details www.dh.gov.uk

Health (ride specific)

The Ecuadorian highlands vary in altitude from 1800m to over 5000m. The hacienda is situated at 2000m and Quito city at 2800m. Altitude sickness has not been a problem on these rides but you will find that all physical activity takes a little longer and is more tiring. It is not recommended that people with heart or respiratory diseases undertake a strenuous trek in the Andean mountains.

Electricity

110V, 60Hz as in the USA. You may need a transformer as well as an adaptor to plug in UK or European appliances.

Film and Camera Equipment

You will be able to recharge any digital cameras on the boat using an appropriate adapter. Film and batteries are widely available for sale in Quito or Otovalo.

Packing List

Lightweight t-shirts, one per day of cruise minimum
2 light t-shirts for snorkelling, lycra is recommended
Shorts/skirts
2 bathing suits
Sunhat
Sunglasses
Jumper
2 pairs of sandals, Teva style or flip flops
One pair of running shoes and one pair of hiking boots
Long-sleeved shirts
2 pairs of long light trousers
Underwear
Sarong or big towel
Sun-block
Insect repellant
Torch
Camera with spare batteries/memory cards
For regular cameras minimum one roll of film per day, for digital cameras we recommend minimum 300mb card
1 underwater disposable camera per every 2 days of cruise/waterproof camera case
Backpack or rucksack, waterproof if possible, for carrying water, cameras , etc during walks or visits.
Light rain Jacket.
Refillable water bottle.
Sea sickness pills as well as a basic first aid kit, vitamins and personal medicine.
Binoculars.

Programmes

This extension can be taken as a 4, 5, 6, 8, or 15 day programme departing Sundays or Thursdays depending on length, on request throughout the year.

Departure Dates

Please enquire

Pricing
No single supplement payable if willing to share with someone of same sex. Should you wish to book a single room, please see supplement price below.

If you would like a cabin to yourself, please enquire about single supplements

Recommended Reading

John Hemming 'The Conquest of the Inca's'; Henri Michaux 'Ecuador'; Robert Ridgely and Paul Greenfield 'The Birds of Ecuador'; Andy Swash and Robert Still 'Birds, Mammals and Reptiles of the Galapagos'.
For an excellent selection of equestrian travel and adventure books visit www.horsetravelbooks.com (part of the Long Rider’s Guild).

Other Activities

A number of activities are available across the islands if you would like to extend your stay, including kayaking, diving and museum and spa visits.

Wildlife

There is an abundance of indigenous and unique wildlife on the Galapagos islands including:
Galápagos fur seal, Galápagos sea lion, Hoary bat, Galápagos tortoise, Green sea turtle, Marine iguana, Lava lizard, American flamingo, American yellow warbler, Blue-footed booby, Brown noddy, Brown pelican, Cattle egret, Darwin's finches, Galápagos dove, Galápagos flycatcher, Galápagos hawk, Galápagos penguin, Great egret, Lava gull, Magnificent frigatebird, Red-billed tropicbird, Waved albatross, Yellow-crowned night heron, Galapagos damsel, Scalloped hammerhead shark, Whitetip reef shark, Red-lipped or Galápagos batfish, Spotted eagle ray, Razor surgeon fish, King angelfish, Galapagos reef fish, Carpenter ant, Carpenter bee, Galápagos sulphur butterfly, Painted ladies, Monarch butterfly, Queen butterfly, Galápagos blue butterfly, Large-tailed skipper, Green hawkmoth, Footmen moths, Praying mantis, Grasshoppers, locusts, katydids and crickets, Galápagos scorpion, Common yellow scorpion, Sally lightfoot crab, Black Mangrove, Beach Morning Glory, SaltBush, Sesuvium, Candelabra Cactus, Cutleaf Daisy, Lantana, Leather Leaf, Manzanillo, Mollugo, Palo Santo, Palo Verde, Tiquilia, Tribulus, Bracken Ferns, Miconia, Scalesia.

Other Information

Bordering the Pacific Ocean at the equator, Ecuador has a tropical climate in coastal regions, getting cooler inland. It is the smallest country in the rugged Andean highlands. The terrain consists of coastal plain (costa), inter-Andean central highlands (sierra), and a flat, rolling eastern jungle (oriente) and the Galapagos Islands. Ecuador is one of the most bio-diverse countries in the world. The Galapagos Islands and the waters surrounding it are both World Heritage Sites and of vital ecological importance. Charles Darwins visits to The Galapogos played a vital role in the development of his ideas on evolution.

Advanced indigenous cultures flourished prior to the arrival of the Incas in the 15th century. The capital, Quito, was once the centre of the Inca Empire. Ecuador was subsequently conquested by the Spanish in 1534, finally gaining independance in 1830. Ecuador has retained an array of vibrant cultures and stunningly well preserved colonial architecture.

Ecuador is five hours behind GMT and they use the metric weights and measures system, so kilometres and kilograms instead of miles and pounds. There is approximately 1.6 kilometres in a mile and 2.2 pounds in a kilogram.

Other Country Information

Bordering the Pacific Ocean at the equator, Ecuador has a tropical climate in coastal regions, getting cooler inland. It is the smallest country in the rugged Andean highlands. The terrain consists of coastal plain (costa), inter-Andean central highlands (sierra), and a flat, rolling eastern jungle (oriente) and the Galapagos Islands. Ecuador is one of the most bio-diverse countries in the world. The Galapagos Islands and the waters surrounding it are both World Heritage Sites and of vital ecological importance. Charles Darwins visits to The Galapogos played a vital role in the development of his ideas on evolution.

Advanced indigenous cultures flourished prior to the arrival of the Incas in the 15th century. The capital, Quito, was once the centre of the Inca Empire. Ecuador was subsequently conquested by the Spanish in 1534, finally gaining independance in 1830. Ecuador has retained an array of vibrant cultures and stunningly well preserved colonial architecture.

Ecuador is five hours behind GMT and they use the metric weights and measures system, so kilometres and kilograms instead of miles and pounds. There is approximately 1.6 kilometres in a mile and 2.2 pounds in a kilogram.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
Seymore Airport, Baltra
Transfer:
Please enquire
Flight Guide:
Quito to Seymore from £314
Riders who booked this ride also considered
Riding on the Hacienda
Ecuador, Hacienda Stay
A warm welcome awaits you at this exclusive Hacienda, from w...Read more >
from Price on enquiry
Ecuador Trail to Pinan Lake
Ecuador, Trail to Pinan Lake
Join this pack trip as personal guests of the owners of...Read more >
from Price on enquiry
Cotopaxi Volcano rising in the background
Ecuador, Avenue of Volcanoes Trail

Point to point trail along the Avenue of Volcanoes in the...Read more >

from $2,045