Galapagos National Park Rules

Galapagos National Park Rules
  • Park Hours are 6am-6pm
  • Groups are a maximum of 16 people with 1 guide
  • Groups must stay together
  • Do not remove or disturb animals or objects (bacteria)
  • Stay on trails, guide in front
  • No food or gum, just water
  • Stay 7 feet / 2 meters from animals
  • Do not surround animals
  • No smoking or e-cigarettes
  • No flash photography
  • No loud noises, no phone noises
  • No drones
  • No selfie-stick, but tripods and monopods are okay
  • Walking sticks are okay, but no umbrellas, and do not use as a pointer
  • Use common sense
  • Pick up trash
  • No bathrooms, average excursion is 2 hours
  • No bright colored clothing (wasps)
  • No spray sunscreen or bug spray
  • Professional or commercial cameras not allowed
  • Binoculars are okay and recommended
  • No flip flops or sandals that fall off

See all our Galapagos Trips >>

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4-Day Galapagos Trip on the Galapagos Legend

The Galapagos Legend is a 100-passenger ship with swimming pool, jacuzzis, sun deck, twice weekly outdoor BBQ, kayaks, fitness center, yoga, cooking classes.

ITINERARY

  • DAY 1: Bartolome Island
  • DAY 2 / AM: South Plaza Island
  • DAY 2 / PM: North Seymour Island
  • DAY 3 / AM: Pitt Point Islet (San Cristobal Island)
  • DAY 3 / PM: Cerro Brujo (San Cristobal Island)
  • DAY 4: Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve (San Cristobal Island)

DAY 1: Bartolome Island


DAY 2 / AM: South Plaza Island


DAY 2 / PM: North Seymour Island


DAY 3 / AM: Pitt Point Islet (San Cristobal Island)


DAY 3 / PM: Cerro Brujo (San Cristobal Island)


DAY 4: Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve (San Cristobal Island)

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SkySafari Luxury Safari Accommodations in Tanzania

Enjoy these accommodations on these safaris:

Arusha – Arusha Coffee Lodge

Tarangire – Tarangire Treetops

Ngorongoro – The Manor at Ngorongoro

Serengeti – Serengeti Migration Camp (Jun-Dec)

Serengeti – Pioneer Camp (Jan-May)

Enjoy these accommodations on these safaris:

See also SkySafari Luxury Safari Accommodations in Kenya >>

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SkySafari Luxury Safari Accommodations in Kenya

Enjoy these accommodations on these safaris:

Nairobi – Hemingways

Amboseli – Tortillis Camp

Laikipia – Loisaba Tented Camp

Masai Mara – Sand River Tented Camp

Enjoy these accommodations on these safaris:

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The Ten Thousand Star Hotel: The Skylodge

Picture this: you wake up in a plush bed to a 300-degree view of the rolling green hills, snow-capped mountains, sprawling blue skies, and rushing rivers of Peru. Now, what if I were to tell you, this could be you. Everyone is always searching for a unique way to travel and enjoy once-in-a-life time experiences. Look no further. Satisfy all your “travel goals” with one little trip. Meet the only suspended lodge in the world: The Skylodge Adventure Suites. This exclusive lodge is located in the Sacred Valley and makes for the ideal excursion from Cusco.

The transparent capsules are suspended 400 meters (1,200 feet) above ground, nestled into a mountain rock face. Handcrafted out of aerospace aluminum and weather-resistant polycarbonate, you can rest assured these clear pods are safe and secure. Each suite is complete with four beds, a dining area, and a bathroom. (And yes, you can even see the incredible views from the bathroom!). The pods are large and can comfortably accommodate up to eight people. Making it the perfect excursion for the whole family, a group of friends, or a perfect date night! Come eye to eye with massive condors, the predators native to the Sacred Valley. Sit in awe as the sun sets and allows the night sky to take over. The dark sky is littered with stars, including the impressively bright Milky Way constellation. That’s why they call it the ten thousand-star hotel!

Half of the adventure is getting to the incredible lodge. There are three thrilling ways to reach the transparent pods. You may choose to climb 300 meters on a via ferrata path, a path with permanent safety equipment installed such as steel ladders and bridges. Each person is attached to the steel cable that runs through the entire course. This gives people with no experience of rock climbing the opportunity to taste the thrill, without the fear of falling. The second option to reach the lodge is via a zip-line. Beginning with a 30-minute walk to reach the first of seven lines, each individual will soar above the Sacred Valley like the condors that share the sky. Every line of the course is unique, offering a different view of the Sacred Valley below. The final option is a combination of the two, via ferrata and zip-line.

After the excitement of climbing to reach the Skylodge, you are rewarded with pure luxury and million-star views. Enjoy fine dining in the sky with a savory dinner, complete with wine. Wake up to the beautiful morning light and indulge in a hearty breakfast before making your way back down. This trip perfectly encompasses adventure, beauty, thrill, and romance.The thousand-star hotel awaits.

Want to experience the Sky Lodge for yourself? Contact us!

Check out our itineraries and other blogs about this incredibly unique experience as well as our videos:

Your friendly Peru expert,

Gretchen

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Venice – Great Addition to Your Dolomites Trek!

If you are starting or ending your Dolomites Trek in Cortina, Venice is the closest airport. Why not spend a few days in this amazing city?? Find out getting there, what to do, getting around, where to stay, and more information!


Getting There

You can get a private transfer or tourist bus between Cortina and Venice. If you are coming from Cortina, you will go to the Piazzale Roma. This is where the main bus station, Santa Lucia Train Station (Ferrovia), and parking area are.

You can get around by water bus, water taxi, and walking. Ask your hotel for directions to get to the hotel. They will give you the bus route and/or walking directions. If there are 4+ of you, it is worth the money to get a Water Taxi down the Grand Canal – fun experience!


What to Do

The main tourist sites are:

  • St. Mark’s Square
  • St. Mark Basilica
  • Doge’s Palace and Bridge of Sighs
  • Rialto Bridge
  • Grand Canal
  • Gondola ride (80 Euros for up to 6 people during the day / 100 Euros at night)
  • Day trip to Murano and Burano
  • Eating
  • Shopping

Get tickets in advance online for the St. Mark’s Basilica (even day of) and Doge’s Palace (48 hours in advance) to skip the long lines.


Getting Around

You can take a water bus from Piazzale Roma to St. Mark’s Square. The San Marco and San Zaccaria water bus stop is where the St. Mark’s Square is (main tourist part of town). Route 1 takes longer but goes through the Grand Canal. Route 2 is faster and goes around but still scenic and great for sunset. It takes about 30 minutes to walk from Piazzale Roma to St. Mark’s Square. Water Taxis are available, but expensive. There is also a Grand Canal Cruise from the train station.


Where to Stay

Hotels are mostly by St. Mark’s Square, Piazzale Roma, or along the Grand Canal. Unless you are on the Grand Canal, a “canal view” room is of limited value. Hotels are very expensive, so don’t be shocked.


More Information

Make sure you have a phone with data service for using a map, or download maps on the map.me (or other) app. Maps are very handy in Venice!!

Rick Steves Pocket Venice – nice walking tours and handy tourist info (see Practicalities in the back).

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The Magical Uros Floating Islands of Peru

The floating Uros Islands of Peru is one of the magical places to visit in Peru. Home to the Uros indigenous people, the islands are situated on Lake Titicaca, South America’s largest freshwater lake, that overlaps the border between southern Peru and western Bolivia.

The Uros are one of the first ethnic groups that inhabit the Andean region and they live on the man-made floating islands on the lake. The islands are constructed out of the totora reeds that grow around the lake.

Visit the magical floating Uros Islands and discover the rich culture and traditions of the people as well as their day-to-day activities.

For more information on how to include a visit to the magical floating Uros Islands of Peru in your trip, please check out some of the following itineraries or give us a call:

Your friendly Peru expert,

Gretchen

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Finding Your Way on the Camino de Santiago

Many people ask how they will be able to find their way on the Camino de Santiago trek. Just follow the signs!

Most markers come with the kilometer distance from Santiago.
Arrows on the side of a building.
Decorated with rocks on top.
As part of a shrine.
Well worn shoe!
Modern sign.
Also artsy….

Plan your own Camino trek!

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The Torres del Paine Circuit O Trek

Are you ready for an exciting, out-of-this-world adventure? Patagonia is the place to come! This southern region is full of amazing treks, biking excursions, running opportunities and more. There are tons of adventures for different ages and abilities, all fun and active! As we kick off this year’s trekking season in Patagonia we would like to highlight one of our wildest and most spectacular treks: The 9-Day O-Circuit in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile.

The Paine Circuit is one of the best trekking experiences in Torres del Paine. It’s a 9-day trip, covering all of the park’s major highlights and some off-the-beaten-track areas. We recently made a video of this exceptional multi-day excursion! Check it out and see what makes this experience so special.

For more information about this trek, check out the full itinerary here:

9-Day Patagonia: Torres Del Paine Circuit Trek with EcoCamp >>

This trek is a circuit around the famous Paine Massif. This is the best adventure for trekkers who seek a challenging trip in Torres del Paine and a true wilderness experience.

The accommodation is camping every night. Guides provide the tent and trekkers only need to bring a sleeping bag and a sleeping pad.

Torres del Paine O- Circuit
Torres del Paine O- Circuit

Trekkers only carry a day pack with box lunches and personal belongings. The guides provide two duffel bags and porters will carry them during the trek.

Group size is normally 8 to 12 trekkers with a maximum group size of 12. There is 1 guide for every 6 trekkers.

Season and departures: Departs every Wednesday from November to March

Your friendly Patagonia expert,
Gretchen

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3 Ways to do the Famous W Trek in Torres del Paine

Trekking season in Patagonia is upon us! Read on to discover three different ways to do the famous W Trek in Torres del Paine with us this season.

  1. Self-Guided with Rifugios (basic)
  2. EcoCamp (comfortable)
  3. Explora (luxury)

1) Self-guided 5-Day Patagonia: Traditional W Trek in Torres del Paine (Staying at Refugios)

Torres del Paine
Traditional W-Trek in Torres del Paine, Patagonia

This is the most traditional way of doing the W Trek. Start off in Puerto Natales where you will have a briefing and be given maps, directions, bus tickets and refugio vouchers. Then head off to Torres del Paine and enjoy 5 days and 4 nights of trekking while staying at the traditional, cozy refugios throughout the park. End back in Puerto Natales.

This is the cheapest option and is great for experienced hikers looking for a non-frilly, incredible trekking experience. Please note that we include all bedding at the refugios for our travelers so all you need to carry are the clothes and personal items you will want during the trek.

This hike can be done with a guide as well for additional cost. You can also upgrade two nights at the Hotel Las Torres.



2) 5 and 7-Day W Trek options with EcoCamp

EcoCamp (Standard Dome)

These two options are group departures and are based from EcoCamp, which is your home-base for the trek and offers a variety of comfortable dome accommodations. Depending on if you do the 5-Day or 7-Day option, you will spend 1 or 2 nights respectably in one of the refugios in the park but the rest of the nights will be back at EcoCamp.

This option is great for solo travelers looking to join a group or people that would like a bit more comfort during the trek than the traditional refugio to refugio option. With this option you do not have to carry anything more than a day pack with your personal items that you will want for the day in it.


3) 5-Day Patagonia: Torres del Paine Luxury Explora

View from rooms at Explora

This final option is the most luxurious way to hike around Torres del Paine. Base your self for 5 days at Explora Patagonia in the middle of Torres del Paine National Park. Each day you have the opportunity to choose from dozens of hiking options around the park. For those wishing to do the W Trek, you can complete the trek as three day hikes with Explora: Base of the Towers Trek, French Valley Trek and Glacier Grey Valley Trek. At Explora, your stay is all inclusive so all meals and alcohol are included as well as transportation out to the various hikes and private guides.


Want to plan your W Trek adventure? Contact us!

Your friendly Patagonia expert,
Gretchen

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