tripPhoto
"C.H.H. has done it again!
Wow! Wow! Wow! What a fantastic trip and what an amazing experience this was!
The Samba is a beautiful motor yacht. Juan (the naturalist) and his crew were all outstanding. Juan's supreme enthusiasm for the flora, fauna, and the environment was delightful and very infectious. I also appreciated his vast knowledge and his sincere dedication to the conservation and preservation of all living things on the islands.
Days were jam-packed with lots to see and do as well as ample opportunity to just relax and enjoy the camaraderie of the group. The snorkelling was beyond my wildest dreams!! It's a beautiful world undersea. The hiking and kayaking were also breathtaking, with sightings and up-close encounters of hundreds of beautiful birds and marine and land animals living in such a unique environment."
Tammy T. (Galapagos NW, 2019)

Galapagos Islands - NW

This trip is part of the Comfortable Hiking Holidays Adventure Collection.

 

There are very few spots left in the world that are untouched by human development and preserved in their natural form. The Galapagos Islands is one of them.

 

Located 1000km from mainland Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, the archipelago is made up of 13 major islands and 7 smaller ones plus dozens of islets, all surrounding the equator. This is one of the most volcanically active regions in the world, and the islands emerged from the bottom of the sea in the form of astonishing volcanic upheavals. In 1978, UNESCO designated the Galapagos Islands as the first World Heritage Site. Most of the islands are remote with no human life. The number of visitors permitted into the Galapagos National Park per year is restricted, so there’s no mass tourism, big cruise ships or tacky souvenir shops.  Most days we’ll feel like we’re the only humans around. 

 

The focus of our adventure is the nature around us and the abundant wildlife both above ground and underwater. The Galapagos is a wild landscape with some of the most unique wildlife on the planet; many of its animal species are found nowhere else in the world. You will be amazed by how we can get so close to giant tortoises, sea lions, iguanas, blue-footed boobies and Galapagos penguins, without threatening their territories. The animals here are unfazed; the lack of natural predators has left them fearless. They will allow you to walk around them taking paparazzi photos, and they will carry on with their daily lives as usual. 

 

Our accommodations will be the Samba, a 78ft motor yacht (Tourist Superior Class) with seven twin-share cabins, all with private bathrooms, hot water and air conditioning. This means that the group size is limited to 14 guests. It is modern, impeccably clean and fully staffed, and wait until you get a taste of the great food our chef has in store for us!  

 

We are an active bunch and this is an active action-packed holiday. Each day will feature the opportunity to hike (2 hour/light hikes) – often among messes of iguanas and sea lion colonies, to kayak – exploring quiet coves and bays, spotting sea turtles and reef sharks, and to snorkel – with quite literally thousands of colourful fish, starfish and maybe even manta rays. Aboard ship, relax as we sail alongside pods of dolphins and at the end of the day, catch the sunset, cocktail in hand.

 

We have partnered with a top-notch local outfitter to offer you two trips like no other. This one explores the Northwest (NW) cluster of islands, 6 in total, and reaches the more remote areas of the archipelago and the most geologically active.  Our ship is the ONLY one in Galapagos that takes you snorkeling at the remote Marchena Island. These more westerly islands are famed for their striking lava landscapes and giant uplifted coral beds. You are more likely to see the flightless cormorant, and there is more diversity of marine life here because the waters are cooler and richer in nutrients. Additionally, there are more and larger marine iguanas, more penguins, more red-footed boobies and more sea turtles.

 

Both options include free time in Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz Island) - a perfect opportunity to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. Darwin’s connection to the Galapagos is legendary and dates back to his original visit when he discovered several species of finches that varied from island to island, which helped him to develop his theory of natural selection. Years later, he consolidated all of his observations into his famous book On The Origin of Species, drastically and controversially altering the scientific view on the biological origins of life.

 

One itinerary is not better than the other. Each island is a little different but they all have one thing in common; beautiful landscapes and incredible wildlife. Expect this to be a trip of a lifetime; the Galapagos routinely exceed expectations, and you’ll gain a whole new appreciation for Mother Nature by the end of this tour!

Dates

November 7 to 19, 2021

Grade

Light to Moderate

What's Included

- 12 nights' twin share accommodations which includes 2 nights in Quito on arrival, 7 nights aboard a motor yacht (Tourist Superior Class), 2 nights in Puerto Ayora in the Galapagos, and 1 night in Quito at the end of the trip
- 12 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 8 dinners
- Services of a Level III certified naturalist guide
- Domestic flights between Quito and Galapagos (return)
- Free use of kayaks and paddle boards while on board & at dedicated sites
- Wetsuit, snorkel, mask and fins
- Ground/sea transportation and transfers

Cost

$5575 USD land

For this trip, we believe that pricing in U.S. dollars is the fairest way to offer you the best rates - with no artificial inflation of prices or lack of protection against fluctuations in exchange rates.

Send $300 deposit to reserve - balance is payable October 1, 2021

My Own Room

Single rooms are not available on this holiday. All rooms are twin-share.

Meeting Times/Places

Group airfare is not offered for any of our trips, but we will recommend a flight schedule and will provide a meeting time and place for you. It will be your responsibility to ensure that you coordinate your schedule to fit with the trip's itinerary. We will be more than happy to help you with this so that you can take advantage of transfers between airports and hotels together with the group.

Status

This trip is full but we will be glad to add your name to the waitlist.

  • Daily Synopsis

  • Map

  • Photo Gallery

  • Accolades

  • Waitlist

  • Terms & Conditions

Daily Synopsis

Day 1

ARRIVAL INTO QUITO

Day 2

LEISURE DAY IN QUITO

Day 3

QUITO TO GALAPAGOS
BOARD THE YACHT
MOSQUERA
- Imagine sand grains as soft as sugar. Now imagine a sea lion colony and a fabulous sunset. You are here!

Day 4

GENOVESA
AM: DARWIN BAY
PM: PRINCE PHILIP'S STEPS
Considered a birding paradise, the volcanic sea cliffs offer prime breeding places for frigate birds, swallow-tailed gulls, storm petrels, tropic birds and the largest colony of red-footed boobies. It is home to Darwin Bay and the popular hiking trail Prince Phillips Steps.

Day 5

MARCHENA
AM: PUNTA MEJIA
PM: PLAYA NEGRA
The Galapagos National Park Service granted us the opportunity to snorkel and kayak along Marchena's magical shorelines. Punta Mejia is one of the best sites in the Archipelago to snorkel. Apart from great fish diversity, when we snorkel we often see rays, reef sharks and sea turtles.

Day 6

ISABELA
AM: PUNTA ALBEMARLE
PM: PUNTA VICENTE ROCA
Human history has left its footprint on this small corner of the Galapagos. Punta Albemarle, the northernmost point of Isabela, was an important US radar station trying to prevent any Japanese attempt to destroy the Panama Channel. In addition to the ruins of the radar base, the lava flows are the nesting ground of the only flightless cormorant in the world.
Punta Vicente Roca offers an overwhelming diversity of geological formations. We will admire the dramatic structures from our dinghies, as we also enjoy watching the Galapagos penguins, blue-footed boobies and other marine life. When the waters are calm enough, the snorkelling is fascinating. The walls of the tuff cones are full of colourful invertebrates and rich in algae giving us a chance to watch sea turtles feeding.

Day 7

FERNANDINA AND ISABELA
AM: PUNTA ESPINOZA, Fernandina Island
PM: URBINA BAY, Isabela Island
Fernandina is the youngest island in the archipelago and one of the world's most pristine island ecosystems. At Punta Espinoza the shoreline is teeming with life. Reptiles, birds and mammals all coexist, singing and sexing. Snorkeling with turtles, iguanas, cormorants and plenty of fish is the best way to refresh after the lava walk.
Urbina Bay was created when a volcanic eruption in 1954 lifted a chunk of seabed, including a coral reef, 6m above the water's surface. The brand new land became the perfect nesting terrain of the most beautiful land dragon - the land iguanas of Isabela (the largest in the Galapagos).

Day 8

ISABELA
AM: ELIZABETH BAY
PM: PUNTA MORENO
Elizabeth Bay is the only place on the Earth where old tropical mangrove forests and penguins can be talked about in the same sentence. The ecosystem is also home to spotted eagle rays, sea turtles and a nursery for fish and marine invertebrates.
At first glance, Moreno Point appears to be a lifeless lava flow. But our walk will reveal where lava tunnel roofs have collapsed and brackish water has accumulated, giving life to greater flamingoes, moorhens, black-necked stilts and Galapagos Martins.

Day 9

FLOREANA
AM: ASILO DE LA PAZ & CERRO ALIERI
PM: DEVILS'CROWN
In the highlands of Floreana, climb Cerro Alieri to a breathtaking view of the fantastic landscape before continueing on to Asilo de Paz to learn about the Floreana "affair".
In the afternoon, snorkel at one of the best spots in the world - Devil's Crown, a volcanic crater that has been eroded away by the waves. Inside the crown is an underwater oasis of coral reefs, playful sea lions, angel fish, eels, white-tipped sharks, and sea turtles.

Day 10

SANTA CRUZ
AM: CHECK OUT
HIGHLANDS & EL CHATO TORTOISE RESERVE
Morning disembarkation and then off to explore the Highlands of Santa Cruz, including Los Gemelos and El Chato Tortoise Reserve where giant tortoises roam in the natural habitat.

Day 11

PUERTO AYORA (Santa Cruz)
This is a free day in Puerto Ayora and a perfect opportunity to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station.

Day 12

FLIGHT TO QUITO

 

Interactive Trip Map

 

Click on the interactive map to see where we'll be hiking.

 

Select satellite view to get even more detail.

 

Photo Gallery

We have some great photos of previous tours of this location.
Click on the photo gallery link to view the gallery.

 

polaroids

What an experience!

 

"C.H.H. has done it again!
Wow! Wow! Wow! What a fantastic trip and what an amazing experience this was!
The Samba is a beautiful motor yacht. Juan (the naturalist) and his crew were all outstanding. Juan's supreme enthusiasm for the flora, fauna, and the environment was delightful and very infectious. I also appreciated his vast knowledge and his sincere dedication to the conservation and preservation of all living things on the islands.
Days were jam-packed with lots to see and do as well as ample opportunity to just relax and enjoy the camaraderie of the group. The snorkelling was beyond my wildest dreams!! It's a beautiful world undersea. The hiking and kayaking were also breathtaking, with sightings and up-close encounters of hundreds of beautiful birds and marine and land animals living in such a unique environment."
Tammy T. (Galapagos NW, 2019)

 

Make a Reservation

We're so glad you've decided to take a trip with us! We will do our very best to ensure you have a great time. Thank you for your business and we look forward to seeing you.

Please fill out the registration form below.

It is important that you read the Terms and Conditions before completing this form.

Note that this trip is currently full but you can complete the registration form to get your name on the waitlist.

Destination

Galapagos Islands - NW

Dates

November 7 to 19, 2021

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Insurance

Both medical and cancellation/interruption insurance is mandatory for all our tours.

COVID-19 Waiver and Release

On this date, I requested that Comfortable Hiking Holidays, an independent contractor (the 'IC') with Vision Travel DT Ontario-West Inc., make one or more travel bookings on my behalf, as well as on behalf of my family. Vision Travel DT Ontario-West Inc., its officers, directors, employees, agents, servants and contractors, including the IC, are hereinafter called the 'Agency'. As the worldwide COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic remains ongoing at this time, I acknowledge that for this reason, and other reasons not reasonably foreseeable at this time, these travel plans may be interrupted or cancelled by the supplier that is providing them, a government entity or other third party over which the Agency has no control. I further acknowledge that the supplier's own cancellation, rebooking and refund policies, subject to any applicable law that is now or may later be in effect, will govern my rights and remedies, including my right to receive a refund, in such an event.

Moreover, I understand that should I elect to purchase travel insurance, the terms of the individual policy I have chosen will dictate whether, and to what extent, coverage for any financial loss may exist under the circumstances.

By signing this waiver you also agree to take responsibility for reading, accepting and completing the necessary Covid travel requirements required by the country or state of your destination. These requirements are continually changing and you agree to keep updated to the current details of your trips departure date. In addition, future testing availability and costs cannot be guaranteed for future travel dates.

By agreeing to these terms, I hereby agree to hold the Agency harmless and release it from any and all liability for any damages, including but not limited to monetary losses, I may incur as a result of such interruption or cancellation of these travel plans.

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Terms & Conditions

 

RESERVATIONS AND PAYMENTS

A non-refundable deposit (1) is required at the time of booking (see individual trips for amount required for deposit). The balance is due 60 days prior to departure unless otherwise specified. Late payments causing penalties to be levied by the airlines or any other supplier shall be the responsibility of the traveller.

 

Reservations are to be made online. We accept E-interac transfers (Canadian funds only), credit cards and personal cheques (payable to Comfortable Hiking Holidays). If paying by cheque, mail cheque along with a reservation form to:

 

Maddalena Molino

Comfortable Hiking Holidays

251 Consumers Road, 7th floor

Toronto, ON  M2J 4R3  Canada

 

6079113 Canada Inc., doing business as Comfortable Hiking Holidays, is an independent travel affiliate with Vision Travel DT Ontario-West Inc., a Canada corporation registered under the Ontario Travel Industry Act, 2002 Registration Nos. 50023501 and 50023502.

 

 

CANCELLATIONS

All deposits are non refundable. (1)

(1) Deposits are refundable or transferable up until the date of final payment unless otherwise specified. You can choose to have your deposit refunded or transferred to another holiday (pending availability).

After the balance has been paid, a refund can be made (less $50 per person and less any incurred charges by hotels, airlines etc.) if YOU can find a replacement person. If no replacement is found then all monies paid will be forfeited. No refund for any unused portion of a trip. All cancellations are only considered to have been received on the date of receipt of written cancellation in the office of Comfortable Hiking Holidays.

 

AIRFARE

In order to allow for greater flexibility and competitive pricing, Comfortable Hiking Holidays does not offer group airfare for its trips. However, we will gladly book your airline tickets on an individual basis. We can accommodate any itinerary that suits you and from any city, including stopovers. (2)

 

(2) We are considering re-introducing group airfare. This was something we phased out over the years because the airlines’ terms were very inflexible, but we understand that for the next little while, our guests might feel more comfortable travelling together. This decision will be made on a tour-by-tour basis. You do not have to purchase the group airfare if it is offered, but we thought some guests might like to have this as an option.

 

Comfortable Hiking Holidays will provide a meeting time and place for each trip. It is your responsibility to ensure that you coordinate your schedule to fit with the trip’s itinerary, and we will be more than happy to help you with this so that you can take advantage of transfers between airports and hotels together with the group.

 

Do not book your airfare until you check with Comfortable Hiking Holidays that we have the minimum number of participants to move ahead with the trip. Comfortable Hiking Holidays is not financially responsible for additional expenses incurred by you (such as non-refundable airline tickets) should a trip be cancelled.

 

Call us to discuss and we will tailor your flights to meet your needs.

 

TAXES

H.S.T.

The Harmonized Sales Tax will be added to all trips taking place in Canada.

 

INSURANCE (3)

(3) Medical and cancellation/interruption insurance is MANDATORY. You are welcome to purchase travel insurance through us (we work with ManuLife Global) or through your own insurance provider. All participants will be required to show proof of insurance.

 

TRAVEL DOCUMENTS AND HEALTH REQUIREMENTS

It is the traveller's responsibility to determine what documentation is necessary for each country to be visited. All Canadian and U.S. citizens require valid passports for travel. It is recommended and sometimes necessary that passports have a minimum of 6 months to expiry. Other nationalities should check with Comfortable Hiking Holidays. For more information on travel requirements per country, visit www.voyage.gc.ca. (4)

 

(4) Entry and exit requirements for the various countries are changing day by day, so today’s conditions may or may not hold true by the time the trip actually takes place. For up-to-date information on entry/exit requirements, go to https://apply.joinsherpa.com/travel-restrictions.

 

It is imperative that the traveller discloses to Comfortable Hiking Holidays any medical condition(s) that may affect his/her ability to complete the hike and/or tour. Examples include (but are not limited to): allergies, ailments, diseases, medical conditions, special diets, medications and so forth. This information will be kept strictly confidential.

 

Our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, but if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, they are authorized to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity. Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be responsible for additional costs incurred.

 

(5) Should a participant fall ill with Covid while on the tour, the participant will be expected to isolate themselves until they have recovered and have a negative Covid test. This may require a change of hotels or even hospitalization. Such additional costs associated with care, isolation, and repatriation if necessary will be borne by the participant him/herself and/or his/her travel insurance. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed.

 

In booking this trip, you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described. If you have any doubt about your abilities, please call us to discuss.

 

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Prices are quoted are in CANADIAN DOLLARS (with some exceptions which are quoted in USD). They were calculated based on the exchange rates at the tme of publishing and are subject to change without notice. Should tour costs increase, Comfortable Hiking Holidays reserves the right to increase the price accordingly. If the price change is more than 7% of the total price for the travel services (except for a price change that is a result of Government Taxation), you are entitled to cancel if you wish, with full refund. You must notify us of your intention at least 48 hours after notification or if the change is a last minute change, within 24 hours of notification.

 

ACCOMMODATIONS

Prices quoted are for shared accommodations (two to a room). A roommate (of the same sex) will be arranged  when possible, otherwise the single supplement will apply. Single rooms are available on most holidays; cost for the single supplement is available on request.

 

PHOTOGRAPHS

The scenery is always picture-worthy so please take as many photos as you wish. We will do the same, but please note that it is customary for us to use photographs taken on actual hikes for our promotional materials. If you do not wish to have your photo used in any of our promotional materials, please inform your hike leader at the BEGINNING OF THE TRIP.

 

SMOKING

As the great majority of trip participants do not smoke, those who do are requested to refrain from smoking while with the group (e.g. on the bus, during the hikes, at meals, in the bar and in your room if sharing with a non-smoker).

 

CHILDREN

All participants must be at least 18 years of age.

 

SITE ACCURACY

Comfortable Hiking Holidays has attempted to make this site accurate. However, changes might occur for reasons beyond the control of Comfortable Hiking Holidays. In addition, the right is reserved to substitute hotels or change the itinerary when necessary, provided the travel facilities or other services are of at least the same standard or value.

 

HIKE LEADERS

All of our leaders are experienced hikers and have had first aid training. A representative of C.H.H. will accompany all of the trips (unless otherwise specified) to ensure they run smoothly and efficiently. Our hike leaders will be your guides on most holidays, but in some cases we will use local guides. C.H.H. reserves the right to make changes in hike leaders when necessary.

 

FORCE MAJEURE

Neither Comfortable Hiking Holidays nor Vision Travel shall be liable for any claims, losses, damages, costs, expenses, delays or loss of enjoyment of any nature or kind whatsoever, resulting from events beyond their control or a supplier’s reasonable control, including but not limited to acts of God, strikes, lockouts or other labour disputes or disruptions, wars, blockades, insurrections, riots, terrorist acts, fire, earthquakes, weather conditions, storms, hurricanes, flood, civil or military authority, government requirement or restriction, disease, epidemic or pandemic.

 

OPERATOR'S RESPONSIBILITY

Comfortable Hiking Holidays and Vision Travel the operators, its agents, and/or suppliers of services act only as agents for the traveler and accept no responsibility for services of any hotel, aircraft, vessel, train, motor coach or any other conveyance used in connection with these tours, nor any delays, loss or accident to travelers or baggage occasioned by such services, from whatsoever cause. In the event it becomes necessary due to changes by supplier's airlines, or for the comfort or well being of passengers, or for any other reason, to alter the itinerary or arrangements, such alterations may be made without penalty to the operator. The extra cost, if any, resulting therefore, shall be paid by the tour members. Conversely, refunds will be made to passengers if any savings are effected thereby. The right is reserved to cancel any tour and to decline to accept any person as a member of the tour, at any time. Acceptance of the initial service to be provided under the tour shall be considered an acceptance of all these conditions. There may be different living standards and practices and different standards and conditions with respect to the provision of utilities, services and accommodations outside Ontario. Climate conditions may affect the provisions of services and the accommodations included in our tours. Accommodations offered in the tour are, to the best of our knowledge, available at the time of printing and accurately described.

 

COVID WAIVER (6)

(6) Participants are required to sign a “Covid Waiver” form, which acknowledges that your travel plans may be interrupted or cancelled through no fault of ours, and as such you may or may not be eligible for a refund should things go awry as they did in 2020.

 

AIRLINE CLAUSE

The airlines concerned are not to be held responsible for any act, omissions or event during the time the passengers are not on board the aircraft. The Passenger Ticket in use by the airline(s) when issued constitutes the sole contract between the airline(s) and the purchase of the ticket and/or passenger.

 

Although every precaution is taken for your safety, this type of excursion involves, by its very nature, a certain amount of risk. All participants are therefore required to sign a form releasing Comfortable Hiking Holidays and Vision Travel of all liability.

 

Clauses numbered (1), (2), (3), (4), (5) and (6) are amendments to Comfortable Hiking Holidays Terms & Conditions, effective July 1, 2021 until further notice.