Described as “nature’s greatest experiment” by Sir David Attenborough, the Galápagos Islands offer a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience. To celebrate the launch of its brand new — Galapagos Odyssey, adventure cruising specialists Aurora Expeditions share their favourite things to do and see in one of the world’s wildest archipelagos.
Geology lesson - The Galapagos Islands is the ideal location for travellers looking for an educational experience. Popular activities include hiking up Espanola Island’s four-million-year-old volcano, visiting the 100-year-old cactus-dotted lava fields on Bartolome Island and taking the 600-metre walkway up to the hills for stunning views of the sea-cooled hot lava formation at Pinnacle Rock.
Snorkelling - Visitors can jump into the warm, crystal-clear waters and interact with the spectacular underwater world. There are plenty of opportunities to encounter various marine life, including playful sea lions and peaceful sea turtles. The glass-bottom boat is ideal for travellers who prefer to stay dry.
Floreana Island’s first Post Office - This is a wooden barrel left by English whalers in the late 1700s in which men heading out to sea would deposit their letters for sailors returning home to collect and deliver. The system still works on the same premise today and visitors are welcome to see if they can find a letter to hand deliver!
The oldest Galapagos tortoise - the world’s oldest yet endangered animal, the Galapagos giant tortoise is a conservation icon. Visitors can learn all about the local giant tortoise breeding programs and pay tribute to late ‘Lonesome George’, the last of the Pinta Island giant tortoises, and icon of the conservationist movement.
Green sand beaches - The green sand beaches of Punta Pitt (San Cristobal) and Cormorant Point (Floreana) are a unique experience indeed. They get the green tint from the olivine crystals found in the sand, and offer splendid photographic opportunities.
In the footsteps of Darwin - The Aurora Expeditions team consists of naturalists who are on-board to teach visitors all about the unique history of the Galápagos Islands through lectures, talks and shore excursions. These expeditions will shed light on Darwin’s theories and observations that redefined the modern day understanding of how today’s species came to be.
Serious bird watching – San Cristobal Island is the only place on Earth were you can see three species of boobies – the red-footed, blue-footed and the Nazca booby – nest and cohabit together. Swallow-tailed gulled, flamingo, finch, pintail duck, flycatchers, Galapagos hawk, frigatebirds, stilts, egrets and more also await avid twitchers.
Newly added to Aurora Expeditions’ Ecuador program, the Galapagos Odyssey offers a rare chance to discover the best of the Galapagos Islands on a small ship. Sailing aboard 38-passenger Isabela II, travellers will be joined by a team of naturalists and wildlife specialists and explore the archipelago over nine days, jam-packed with Zodiac and shore excursions, incredible wildlife encounters, interpretive talks and lectures and complimentary kayaking and snorkelling.
The Galapagos Odyssey departs Baltra in the Galapagos on 3 October 2016 and includes 8-night accommodation with meals, return flights from Quito, Ecuador, airport transfer (Galápagos only), all
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