Galapagos Gay Cruise

 

The wondrous archipelago made famous by Charles Darwin awaits.

 

Experience Mother Nature at her most extra as you glide through the Galápagos Islands on this boutique cruise. Things start and end in Quito, the second-highest capital city in the world. A walking tour is the perfect introduction before we head out of town to see The Equator. Then we fly off the mainland and board a yacht to follow Charles Darwin’s trail of discovery. These islands went untouched by civilization for thousands of years and developed exceptional ecosystems. It’s basically Paradise, and the animals are completely comfortable around (or totally indifferent to) the curious tourists. Our Galápagos Gay Cruise also features plenty of snorkelling to immerse you in the marine life.

Please note: this tour has special booking conditions. Please click here for more details.

QUICK FACTS

  • Who's it for? Gay men, friends and family

  • Countries visited: Ecuador

  • Duration: 9 Nights/10 Days

  • Starts in: Quito, Ecuador

  • Ends in: Quito, Ecuador

  • Group size: Min 10; max 16

  • Accomodations: 4-Star Hotel (2 nts), Private Yacht (7 nts)

  • Physical Rating: 3/5

  • Theme: Cruise

  • Activities: Beach Time,Hiking,Kayaking/Canoeing,Safari,Snorkeling,Swimming,Wildlife

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Kickback on a luxe 7-night cruise

  • Snorkel through awe-inspiring marine biodiversity

  • Experience a range of flora and fauna unlike anything else on Earth

  • Begin the adventure by exploring Quito, the second-highest capital city in the world

  • Feel truly balanced standing on the Equator line, and then enjoy an ‘Equator Experience’

  • Pay homage to the Father of Evolution at the Charles Darwin Research Station

  • Swim through Pinnacle Rock, one of the islands’ most iconic landmarks

  • Paddle through the mangrove wetlands of Black Turtle Cove

  • Sunbathe with sea lion pups on pristine beaches

  • All meals are included

TOUR MAP

ITINERARY

 

Day 1 Quito / Arrival Day

Hola! Welcome to Ecuador, and the second-highest capital in the world. After a 10AM Kickoff Meeting we’ve planned a full-day city tour including La Compañia de Jesus, the most beautiful church in the Americas, and Calle La Ronda, Quito’s oldest street. Then we’re off to the Equator museum where you’ll get a keen sense of what it means to be equidistant from the world’s two poles. A Welcome Dinner ends our day, but officially starts the holiday. PLEASE NOTE: Given the city’s high altitude consider arriving the day before, so your body can adjust to the thinner air.

Day 2 San Cristobal

Today we fly to the Galapagos, and board the sumptuous Queen Beatriz, our home for the next week. This is mainly a travel day, but in the afternoon we’ll explore Red Hill, a national park with an established breeding program and information center for tortoises. See the creatures in their natural habitat and learn about their origin, evolution and threatened future.

Day 3 Bartolome Island / Sullivan Bay

Bartolomé is a newer island with traces of its volcanic past visible everywhere—it really feels like you’re on the moon. Here’s where you can check out Pinnacle Rock, one of the most photographed landmarks in the Galapagos that thrusts out from the water like a tooth. Then consider a hike to the top of a dormant volcano for superb views of Sullivan Bay across the water. Our day ends with 1.5 hours of snorkelling plus a ride on a panga boat.

Day 4 Espumilla Beach / Egas Port

Rise and shine as another busy day awaits, starting with Espumilla Beach, in James Bay. The beach is an important nesting site for marine turtles. It’s also known for its Palo Santo Forest and extraordinary lava formations. Check out Buccaneer Cove, a natural rock formation caused by sea erosion, where pirates would careen their ships. Finally, Port Egas is a black sand beach set against Sugarloaf Volcano, where you can walk among marine iguanas and sea lions. Today includes two snorkelling stops.

Day 5 Santa Cruz Highlands / Charles Darwin Station

Today begins with a visit to Santa Cruz, the second largest island in the Galapagos. Puerto Ayora, the island’s hub of life, is also home to the Charles Darwin Research Station. Undertaking vital conservation work, the station offers amazing opportunities to encounter giant tortoises, their babies, and land iguanas. Then it’s off to the highlands with a total change of scenery en route: misty forests, inactive volcanic cones, plenty of endemic plants, and perhaps the bright red feathers of a vermillion flycatcher await.

Day 6 North Seymour / Mosquera Islet

This morning we venture to North Seymour. The trail crosses inland through the island and on to the rocky coast. Along the way we’ll see colonies of blue footed boobies and even frigates—large black birds known for the red pouch on their necks. During mating season males throw back their heads and inflate the pouch—sometimes to the size of a soccer ball—in a flashy display to woo the females. After lunch the sandy island of Mosquera makes for a picturesque stop. Red lava crabs scamper and skip across pools of water in search of supper. Bright red on top and blue beneath, they are a stunning crustacean contrast to the black lava.

Day 7 Black Turtle Cove / Dragon Hill

Black Turtle Cove is a mangrove wetland on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island. Paddle through and discover the region’s underwater riches. It’s a wonderful place to see green turtles, and is a nursery for rays and Galapagos sharks. Birds like the yellow warbler and lava heron also call the cove home. In the afternoon, a walk on Dragon Hill offers iguana and flamingo sightings.

Day 8 Chinese Hat / Rabida Island

The small island of Rabida is one of the most striking in the archipelago. Introduced species were eradicated in 1971, letting indigenous wildlife return to a state of splendid isolation. The volcanic activity here produces vivid landscapes like the red sand beaches and scarlet cliffs. Look out for nesting pelicans, pintail ducks, and sea lions. Our gay Galápagos cruise’s last stop is Sombrero Chino, or Chinese Hat islet, which takes its name from the island’s shape: snorkel away!

Day 9 Bachas Beach / Baltra / Quito

We’ve planned an early start for our final day on the Galapagos. We’re off to Las Bachas, named after the barges abandoned by the American Navy in the 1940s. The sandy white beaches are a nesting site for the Pacific green turtle with marine iguanas commonly seen. The sand here is particularly white and soft, made of decomposed coral. A lagoon near the beach is home to whimbrels and great blue herons. Sadly our cruise has come to an end, but we have one final night and a Farewell Dinner in Quito after our flight to the mainland.

Day 10 Quito / Departure Day

As the last day of our tour no activities are planned. Please confirm departure transfers with your trip leader, and safe travels home.

WHAT’S INCLUDED?

  • Arrival & departure transfers to/from the Out Adventures Joining/Finishing Point Hotels

  • Accommodations throughout

  • All meals except two lunches

  • Transportation by private coach

  • Domestic airfare

  • Expert local English-speaking Tour Leader and Host

  • Hotel porterage

  • Gratuities for basic porterage, included meals and day guides

WHAT ISN’T INCLUDED?

  • International airfare

  • Alcoholic drinks

  • Items of a personal nature

  • Travel insurance – mandatory for all travellers. Click here for more details.

  • Visa fees

  • Gratuities for your Local Tour Leader & Ship Crew ($10 USD/day x 7 and $15 USD/day x 7 = $175 per guest)

  • International airport departure tax

  • Galápagos National Park entrance fee: $100 USD, and Transit Control Card: $20 USD per person, paid at entrance.

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RAINBOW TRAVEL INC.