Itinerary

Journey to the Galapagos Islands January Cruise 2023
Date:
January 19, 2023 - January 29, 2023
Meeting point:
Stuart, FL (KSUA)
Length:
11 days / 10 nights
Mileage:
3,435 NM
Day 1 - Thursday, January 19: Stuart, Fl. (KSUA) → Cartagena, Colombia (SKCG) (1,035 nm)

Air Journey along with your Journey Director will greet you at Signature Flight Support FBO at Stuart International Airport this morning for a briefing about our forthcoming flight.

Our flight for today will take us to Colombia – one of the most ethnically diverse nations in South America – for our visit to Cartagena.

Undeniably one of Latin America’s most beautiful cities, Cartagena is lost somewhere in time between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, with the Caribbean sea as a sparkling backdrop. Sir Francis Drake laid siege to the city but the fortress walls and cannons remain, making the area within the old walled city a living museum.

This evening we will gather for a welcome cocktail and dinner.

Hotel : Sofitel Casco Viejo
Welcome cocktail and Dinner included
Day 2 - Friday, January 20: Cartagena

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cartagena is a city with a wealth of character and well-preserved colonial architecture. With restored mansions, horse-drawn carriages and Old World-style plazas, it is a perfect walking city.

With our local guide we’ll enjoy a walking tour of the historic walled old town as we discover the hidden history of this colonial city. We’ll see Puerta Del Reloj (Clock tower entrance), a symbol of Cartagena, the Plaza San Pedro Claver with its stunning Church, and Plaza Bolivar.

After lunch our tour continues with a drive to visit the impressive Castillo San Felipe. Built in the 17th century to protect the city from marauding invaders, it is the largest Spanish fortification in the Americas. Next, see the 17th century Convent of La Popa, a beautiful convent building that sits atop the highest point in the city, commanding spectacular views of the bay, old town and Caribbean Sea beyond.

 

Hotel : Casa San Agustin
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 3 - Saturday, January 21: Cartagena, Colombia (SKCG) → Guayaquil, Ecuador (SEGU) (795nm)

Fly to Guayaquil, Ecuador – gateway to the Galapagos Islands. Guayaquil is Ecuador’s largest city and an important trade center. Upon arrival, we will transfer to Hotel del Parque, located just 10 minutes from the airport.

The hotel provides easy access to area attractions such as the colourful Las Peñas neighbourhood, Catedral Metropolitana de Guayaquil, Isla Santay, and the Museo Antropológico y de Arte Contemporáneo.

After we have settled in, we will go for a short city tour exploring these nearby places. Ecuador’s “four worlds” of attractions and experiences such as The colonial city of Cuenca, the stunning “Avenue of the Volcanoes,” rides aboard the historic railroad, or the pristine beaches along the Pacific Coast’s “Ruta del Sol” are also within easy reach.

 

Hotel : Sofitel Casco Viejo
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 4 - Sunday, January 22: Guayaquil, Ecuador → Baltra, Galápagos (commercial flight)

Today we will fly commercial airline (ticket not included) to Baltra in the Galapagos.

Upon arrival, transfer to Dragon Hill which is located in the north-western part of Santa Cruz island. Here you will have the opportunity to walk into the island and view the land of iguana.

Be among these magnificent reptiles, that just a few decades ago were on the brink of extinction. Moreover, at Dragon Hill you will see a flamingos’ lagoon, pintail ducks and other endemic birds including flycatchers and warblers.

After a short trek, an amazing view awaits us up the hill. At the end of the tour we will board the luxury yacht Endemic - our home for the next few days as we explore the Galapagos Islands.

Hotel : Endemic Luxury Yacht
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 5 - Monday, January 23: Galapagos Islands: Cruise Kicker Rock → San Cristobal Island

In the morning, we will first visit Kicker Rock, an impressive geological formation due to erosion. This is a nesting place of sea birds and a nice spot to take pictures while the vessel circumnavigates around the rock. 

The next attraction is Witch Hil, a tuff cone hill located south west from San Cristobal. This name comes from the Spanish name of the bird known in English as the Vermilion Flycatcher.

A zodiac ride will take passengers into amazing rock formations along the island shore. A white sand beach and crystal - clear waters are part of this enchanted location, a fantastic opportunity for snorkeling!

This afternoon we will visit Lobos Island, home to a small population of blue-footed boobies, frigates, marine iguanas, and great frigate birds nesting. Snorkeling with sea lions in this calm bay is also part of the excursion. 

 

Hotel : Endemic Luxury Yacht
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 6 - Tuesday, January 23: Galapagos Islands: Osborn and Gardner Islets → Española Island

Gardner Bay is a pristine white sandy beach (one of the longest in the Galapagos), that is home to colonies of sea lions and inquisitive mockingbirds. It is also one of the world's most important breeding sites for the waved albatross. A short dinghy ride will take us to the Osborn and Gardner Islets, which are superb locations for snorkeling with a greater variety of tropical fish and corals. 
 
This afternoon, we will visit Suarez Point, an area with an outstanding variety of wildlife. The walking trail will take us past the nesting sites of Nazca and blue-footed boobies, whilst Galapagos doves, mockingbirds and finches can be seen foraging nearby. Along our trek we will encounter a geyser which can spray water up to 25m into the air; a spectacular feat of nature. Before reaching the top of the breath-taking cliffs, where we can enjoy watching waved albatrosses launching themselves out across the ocean.

Hotel : Endemic Luxury Yacht
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 7 - Wednesday, January 25: Galapagos Islands: Santa Fe Island

Today we set out to explore the island of Santa Fe. Santa Fe Island was formed as a result of volcanic uplift millions of years ago and is inhabited by the endemic yellow-green Santa Fe iguana, Galapagos snake and rice rat. There are two main trails on the island, one that leads to a beach through a forest of tall Opuntia (prickly pear) trees; another that takes you into the highlands and culminates in a stunning cliff top viewpoint where Galapagos hawks can be sighted. 

The Darwin research center is instrumental in carrying out important scientific research into the preservation of the archipelago's ecosystems and initiating a significant breeding program in 1970 for giant tortoises. Here you will have the chance to see tortoises at all stages of their development. Having been raised in captivity, they are very accustomed to humans so don't miss out on getting a photo with one of these remarkable animals.

 

Hotel : Endemic Luxury Yacht
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 8 - Thursday, January 26: South Plaza Island, Galapagos → Baltra Airport, Ecuador (commercial flight, not included) → Guayaquil, Ecuador

One of two small islets, South Plaza island houses a rich diversity of wildlife and vegetation. After passing the large colony of sea lions and ascending the slopes, we may catch a glimpse of swallow-tailed gulls, Nazca boobies, red-billed tropic birds, frigates or the rare lava gull. The ground is carpeted in Sesuvium, which transforms from a bright red in the dry season to a vibrant green in the wet season, and land iguanas crowd around towering prickly pear cacti, waiting patiently for their juicy fruits to fall. 
 
At the end of our tour we will disembark and head to the airport for our commercial flight back to Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Hotel : Hotel Del Parque
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 9 - Friday, January 27: Guayaquil, Ecuador (SEGU) → Panama City, Panama (MPMG) (665 NM)

We will retrieve our planes and fly to Panama. Enjoy a scenic approach to Panama City including a beautiful view of the Panama Canal.

Hotel : Sofitel Casco Viejo
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 10 - Saturday, January 28: Panama City, Panama

After breakfast we will depart for our full-day sightseeing tour including a one hour tour on the Panama Canal with the pleasure to enjoy the vegetation and wildlife (monkeys).

We will continue to the Miraflores Lock where you will be able to watch ships entering the lock and discover the new museum where you will have 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.

This evening before dinner we will meet for a pilot’s briefing for tomorrow’s flight.

Hotel : Sofitel Casco Viejo
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 11 - Tuesday, January 29: Panama City, Panama (MPMG) → Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (MWCR) → Key West, Florida (KEYW) 

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

Breakfast included