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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Camino de Santiago – Packing Your Day Pack

Packing for your day of hiking on the Camino de Santiago is easy! You don’t have to pack much, so keep it light and share common items with your companions.

Left to right:

  • Rain jacket (if needed)
  • Rain cover for pack (if needed)
  • Headlamp (if needed)
  • Sunglasses
  • First aid kit
  • Kleenex and wet wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Hair binder
  • Snacks, candy, gum
  • Backpack – about 20 liters (Camelbak, hip belt, and chest strap are nice
  • Pilgrim Passport
  • Scallop shell
  • Sun hat
  • Walking notes and pen
  • Wallet
  • Phone/camera
  • Water bottle

See our Camino Treks >>

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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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Taquile Island: The Community of Men Who Love to Knit

Situated 45km on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca in the middle of the pristine blue-green waters is the quaint little island of Taquile. With a modest population of around 2000 Taquilenos, the community has an important role to play for the local Quechua speaking inhabitants, attracting culture hungry and inquisitive travelers from corners all over the globe.

Over the past one thousand years, very little has actually changed on the island, and the locals have created a sustainable way of living, cultivating their crops, building homes from natural resources and weaving their clothes by hand. They don’t depend like most of us on modern day appliances like electricity, gas and cars, adding to the intrigue and harmony of this untouched Inca community.

Upon arrival to the island you immediately sense the simplicity of daily life and the presence of generations of history that have shaped its ancestry. Free from the distraction of modern technologies and the digital world, women can be seen preparing a sumptuous lunch, sheep idly graze and roam freely whilst the men are out catching fish for the evening dinner. However, once the daily chores are put to one side a rather unexpected social scene begins to unfold, as the men exchange and chew a few coca leaves, before congregating to sit down and begin their knitting traditions.

What may appear, as a casual interchange of the morning’s activities is the beginning of serious business and for good reason. Each man that lives on the island wears what’s known as a “Chullo”. The rather pantomimesque looking hats, are carefully knitted from llama, alpaca, vicuña or sheep’s wool and at a quick glance can reveal a man’s marital situation and current mood. If the hat is red and white, the man is single, but all red symbolizes he is not up for grabs and married. The Chullo’s are also characterized by the long, narrow pointy tail which depending on the way it is leaning indicate the individual’s mood. If the tail is flopped to the left he’s worried, to the right side he’s happy and to the back it means he’s busy which is normally the adopted position whilst knitting.

The hidden messages and importance of the men’s knitting skills don’t end there and arguably the most crucial test for a man, is how tight he can knit his hat. When he is looking for a life partner to marry, he must prove his self by drinking water out of his hat. If the “Chullo” has been knitted loosely, the water will drip, on the contrary and a drop won’t be lost showing off his skills and indicating that he is off sufficient caliber to consider partnering with.

The art and culture of textiles on Taquile Island is literally woven into the heritage of the locals, with the skills, techniques and cultural meanings being taught and passed on over generations. So much so, that the textile art they produce is now protected by the UNESCO Traditional Craftsmanship and Social Practices, and their work is amongst the most prestigious in the world.

Check out these itinerary options of ours that include Taquile Island and Lake Titicaca:

To start planning your next Peru trip, contact us!

Your friendly Peru expert,

Gretchen

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What is the Hiking Like on the Camino de Santiago?

Depending on the route and itinerary you choose, you will hike 9-17 miles / 15-28km per day. There are hills, but any steep sections are relatively short. Because you are hiking a good distance every day, the main problem people encounter are blisters and sore muscles. Footwear, blister first aid, and ibuprofen are important. Hiking poles are also highly recommended. There will be cafes and rest areas along the trail where you can stop for a rest. Here are some of the different types of paths on the Camino de Santiago trek.

Dirt road through a canopy of trees
Hiking through a larger town – a great look at local life
Hiking on a quiet paved road
Through the beautiful countryside of small local farms
Over stone bridges
Stone pathway
Narrow dirt path
Past cute cafes
Through forests of fragrant Eucalyptus trees
Hiking into Santiago de Compostela
Final Destination – Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela!

Plan YOUR Camino de Santiago Trek!

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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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