Texas Ski Council
2012 TSC Summer Expedition
Galapagos Adventure Tour
Expedition Coordinator – Christine Augustine
Come with the Texas Ski Council to the most interesting wildlife destination on the planet – the Galapagos Islands. Rather than being confined to a live-aboard, we will be land based. We will bike, hike and snorkel around 4 diverse and majestic volcanic islands. We will spend two nights on each island – Isabela, Floreana, San Cristobal and Santa Cruz.
Meet giant tortoises and iguanas. Swim with manta rays at Kicker Rock. Snorkel with reef sharks at Floriana and Santa Fe Islands. Cycle down San Cristobal Island. Explore Sierra Negra volcano and Santa Cruz Island on foot. Explore lava tunnels. Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station.
See lots of Boobies – the famous Bluefooted Boobies! These are just a few of the activities planned.
We will be staying in clean, comfortable and interesting accommodations. This means we will not be staying in fancy hotels. But, we will be closer to the local communities and have more opportunities to hike and cycle as well as snorkel and dive. Many of the places are off the beaten path and truly spectacular. For example, Isabella Island isn’t known for its glamorous lodging but it does have stunning beaches, abundant wildlife, off the beaten path flavor and rustic charm. Accommodations have been chosen for comfort and cleanliness – not the number of channels available on the television.
The trip begins in Quito where you will spend one night. The next day you will take a short flight to the Galapagos Islands where you will spend 8 nights. The last night will be spent in Quito. Inter-island travel will be by boat.
You need a reasonable level of fitness to enjoy this trip. You do not have to be young and extremely fit (although if you are, you will not be bored) but you should be in the habit of doing at least some exercise. Age and experience are not important. The trip has been designed to be as challenging as you want it to be. It’s your vacation after all!
Kicker Rock is one of the most interesting dive sites in the world. The dive guides are highly qualified with years of experience. There is an additional fee for a safety dive and 2 guided dives. All gear is included. Due to the STRONG currents this is not a place for novice divers. You should have logged at least 20 dives and have PADI or SSI certification.
There will be a group maximum of 60 participants. This group will be broken down into “pods” of 15 participants each. If there are more than 60 participants, there will be a second departure date. Each “pod” will begin on a different island so as not to tax the fragile environment. All groups will stay at the same hotels and have the same excursions…just not altogether.
Pre and post trip excursions are being planned for Ecuador. Pre-trip to the Otavalo region and post to the Amazon rain forest. There will additionally be a post trip to Peru…Machu Picchu. Details to come later.
Galapagos National Park is a fragile wildlife refuge and as such is sometimes subject to sudden rule changes to control potential damage through tourism. We may occasionally need to make itinerary changes in response to this. The Galapagos Islands are in a developing part of the world and we can’t tell you that everything runs like clockwork in South America. Often, because of changing sea conditions, we also may have to make small changes to our itinerary for safety reasons.
If you bring flexibility, an open mind and a sense of humor you’ll find your trip is every bit the adventure it’s designed to be.