Galapagos Family Journey
June 02, 2018 - June 14, 2018
Meeting point:
Key West, FL (KEYW)
13 days / 12 nights
3,340 NM
Day 1 - Saturday, June 2: Key West, Florida → Flores, Guatemala (645nm)

We'll meet at Signature Flight Support FBO of Key West International Airport (KEYW) for a briefing about the forthcoming flight.

Fly to Mundo Maya (Flores) International Airport where we will clear customs in Guatemala.

The old part of the city of Flores is located on an island in Lake Peten Itza. It was here, on this island on the shore of Lake Petén Itzá, that the last independent Maya state held out against the Spanish conquerors. The Spanish did not manage to conquer the island until 1697, when they marched in, attacked via boats, and destroyed it. From the ruins of Noh Petén arose the modern city of Flores.

At the end of the day we will meet to have a welcome cocktail before dinner.

Hotel : Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel
Welcome cocktail and Dinner included
Day 2 - Sunday, June 3: Flores

In the early morning, for those who desire, and prior to sunrise, we will head to the famous Mayan ruins of Tikal to walk through the jungle and climb on top of the Jaguar Temple to await the awakening of the jungle with its unique sounds and amazing light! We will spend part of the morning exploring the other temples of this unique site and return to the hotel for lunch and an afternoon on the shores of Lake Flores.

Hotel : Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 3 - Monday, June 4: Flores → Panama City, Panama (770nm)

Fly to Panama. Enjoy a scenic approach to Panama City including a beautiful view of the Panama Canal.

Hotel : Finch Bay Hotel
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 4 - Tuesday, June 5: Panama City

Our full day sightseeing tour includes a one-hour tour on the Panama Canal with an opportunity to enjoy the vegetation and wildlife (monkeys).
We will then proceed to the Miraflores Lock where you will be able to watch ships entering the lock and discover the new museum with the opportunity to enter the Lock on a simulator. A buffet lunch will be served at the Miraflores Restaurant offering a great view of the canal. In the afternoon, we will continue our tour including the Old City with the most important sites.

Hotel : Finch Bay Hotel
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 5 - Wednesday, June 6: Panama City → Guayaquil, Ecuador

Fly to Guayaquil, Ecuador - getaway to the Galapagos Islands. Guayaquil is Equador's largest city and an important trade center.
Strategically located in the downtown commercial and banking heart of the city, the Hilton Colon Guayaquil is only a short transfer from the airport.

Hotel : Hilton Colon Guayaquil
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 6 - Thursday, June 7: Guayaquil to Baltra, Galapagos

Embarkation:  Today we will fly commercial airline (ticket not included) to Baltra in the Galapagos. Upon arrival, transfer to Yacht La Pinta for a welcome introductory briefing and lunch.

Afternoon: South Plaza Island:  The turquoise waters of the channel here contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline, while a carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents serves as groundcover for a grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cactus beyond, populated by yellow-grey land iguanas. Along the coastline one finds sea lion colonies, while sea birds play with the thermals that form along the cliffs of this small but spectacular island.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 7 - Friday, June 8: Santa Fe Island and Cerro Colorado Tortoise Habitat

Morning: Santa Fe Island:  We take the dinghy over to this idyllic sandy-white beach populated by colonies of sea lions. Galapagos hawks are often easily observed, perched atop salt bushes. The Santa Fe land iguana, unique to just this island, may be spotted during the walk.
Following the walk, we can snorkel and swim along a natural wave barrier or ride the glass-bottom boat.
Afternoon: Cerro Colorado Tortoise Habitat:  After lunch, we disembark at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the island's capital, and drive 40 minutes to the island's southern shore.
At Cerro Colorado, we visit the breeding center for highly endangered giant tortoises in the midst of a fantastic deciduous forest, home to dozens of bird species, including the San Cristobal mockingbird, and the San Cristobal lava lizard, both island endemics.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 8 - Saturday, June 9: Punta Pitt (San Cristobal Island) & Cerro Brujo (San Cristobal Island)

Morning: Punta Pitt (San Cristobal Island):  We land at the eastern tip of San Cristobal Island this morning. The tail that ascends from the beach provides spectacular views of the shoreline; we can observe frigates, plus a colony of bachelor sea lions. After the walk, if conditions are favorable, there is a chance to swim from the beach and snorkel.
Afternoon: Cerro Brujo: In the afternoon following lunch on board, a dinghy ride along the shores of tuff-stone layers takes us to Cerro Brujo's expansive, white coral beach, great for walking, with rewarding bird-watching featuring seabirds and shore birds. Also, look out for Galapagos sea lions. These are the same shores that Charles Darwin walked upon, back in September 1835.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 9 - Sunday, June 10: Punta Suarez and Gardner Bay

Morning:  Our morning outing at Punta Suarez provides an exciting walk on lava/boulder terrain to visit its unique sea bird colonies, including the Galapagos albatross, boobies, swallow-tail gulla, and the famous "blowhole" lava formation. Also, look for red-green-black marine iguanas.
Many regard this site as the best in the Galapagos. Back on board for lunch.
Afternoon: Gardner Bay:  In the afternoon, we set down this beautiful, white coral beach for a short walk to observe the sea lions, mockingbirds, finches, or enjoy the beach. There is great snorkeling in this area, or else there's time to kayak or ride the glass-bottom boat.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 10 - Monday, June 11: Disembarkation, Charles Darwin Research Station and Guayaquil

Disembarking in the morning, we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and the 'rearing in captivity' program for the giant tortoises. Here we witness the efforts and results of all the field work done in the name of science.
We transfer by bus across Santa Cruz Island and a short ferry ride to Baltra. Transfer to the airport and take the commercial flight (ticket not included) back to Guayaquil.
Transfer to the Hilton Colon hotel.

Hotel : Hilton Colon Guayaquil
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 11 - Tuesday, June 12: Guayaquil → Managua, Nicaragua → Granada

We will retrieve our planes and fly along the Pacific coast of Central America to Nicaragua. Upon arrival in Managua, we'll transfer to the colonial city of Granada.

Hotel : Hotel Colonial
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 12 - Wednesday, June 13: Granada

We'll enjoy a superb day of sightseeing including a climb (in a specially equipped army vehicle) to the rim of the active volcano Masaya and stand on the edge of the earth's furnace. Afterward, we'll take a boat among the 356 Las Isletas (the Small Islands) on Lake Nicaragua. Fianlly, we'll see the hightlights of Granada.

Hotel : Hotel Colonial
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 13 - Thursday, June 14: Managua → Grand Cayman (510nm) → Key West, FL (315nm)

We will transfer to the airport and fly to Key West to clear US customs. There will be an optional technical stop in Grand Cayman to refuel.

Breakfast included