Existing in virtual isolation for millions of years, the Galapagos Islands are home to many species found nowhere else on Earth. Join this gay Galapagos tour and experience this abundance and variety of equatorial wildlife closely, as we walk, hike, snorkel, swim and imagine Darwin’s dream.
Wander among unique animals on a Gay Galapagos tour
Nowhere else in the world can you see and experience such an abundance and variety of wildlife as in the Galapagos Islands. A naturalist’s dream, the Galapagos Islands lie on the Equator, 600 miles west of Ecuador and the South American coastline. Formed as a result of intense volcanic activity, they consist of 61 islands and islets, with 13 main islands. Existing in virtual isolation for millions of years, they are home to many species found nowhere else on Earth. More than 1,900 of its more than 5,000 species are endemic.
Charles Darwin observed the potential scientific bonanza of the islands’ flora and fauna in 1835 and was inspired to write his famous thesis, “On the Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection.” Aside from a few roving pirates and buccaneers, the islands remained untouched by man for centuries.
Our naturalist guide will fill us in on the extraordinary variety of plants and wildlife as we will visit and explore various islands. A birdwatchers paradise, there are 29 species of land bird found here and 22 of them are endemic to the islands. See the world’s smallest penguins, the bright red-chested frigate birds, the flightless cormorants, boobies, hawks, owls and lava gulls. In the sea, you’ll experience the wonder of watching giant sea turtles swimming to their homes, and sea lions playfully splashing as you snorkel along looking at multitudes of colorful fish. All this from the comfort of a modern and well-appointed ship. (Please note that this is not a charter, so our group will be among other passengers on our comfortable ship.)
For a more active adventure, see our Gay Galapagos Land Tour
June 06 to 12 – $6298 USD
Duration: 7 Days
Starts In: Quito, Ecuador
Ends In: Quito or Guayaquil Airport
Required: $1000 Deposit
All accommodations in double occupancy for four nights on our ship, with private bath, and for two nights in a deluxe Quito hotel before the cruise; Cruise price shown is a Classic Cabin, with one Master Suite Cabin available for an additional charge (all categories subject to availability at time of booking); Breakfast each day and one dinner in Quito, plus all meals on board our ship; All transportation from Quito to ship and back to Quito (or Guayaquil if more convenient for onward flight connections); Transfers between flights and hotel in Quito; Services of local guides, three naturalists on the ship, and the services of a knowledgeable HE Travel tour host (with a minimum number of participants); Galapagos National Park entrance fee ($100) and Migration Control Card ($20); All hotel service charges, government taxes, porterage, and meal gratuities when dining together. HE Travel provides complimentary Medical & Evacuation Insurance for every US Resident on our group tours who does not have other coverage.
One night in Quito, and two nights at Mashpi Lodge; round-trip transportation between Quito and the Lodge (about 2.5 hours each way); all meals at the Lodge and non-alcoholic beverages; guided touring each day; use of rain ponchos, rubber boots and binoculars; and visit to Tulipe archaeological site.
Transportation to and from Quito; 2 lunches and 1 dinner; Airport departure fees (though this will be included in air ticket fees); Gratuities to naturalists, ship crew, guides and host; Personal items including alcoholic beverages, snacks, laundry, and telephone calls.
Lunch on last day if you have a later flight out of Quito; Airport departure fees (though this will be included in air ticket fees); Private guide if preferred; Spa services; Gratuities to naturalists and guides; Personal items including: alcoholic beverages, snacks, laundry, and telephone calls.
Arrival on Baltra Island
After our late morning landing at Baltra Island, we will go to the pier to board our ship. Once onboard we will have an orientation to our cruise, the boat drill, and lunch.
Las Bachas (Santa Cruz Island)
After lunch, we go to Las Bachas, on nearby Santa Cruz Island. This stretch of white sand beach that is broken up only by brackish lagoons that provide rich feeding areas flamingos, stilts, and other wading birds. While ashore we will follow coastal and inland paths to see bird colonies, marine iguanas, and sea lions. Once back on the ship we will meet up for our welcome cocktail, hear about our plan for the next day’s touring, and have our first dinner onboard our ship.
Puerto Egas (Santiago Island)
We continue around Santiago Island to Puerto Egas. There we can swim or snorkel along a rocky shoreline, which is usually home to a number of turtles. We will also walk along the shore to see a variety of birds that find nutrition from the volcanic soil, including some fairly recent lava flows. We may also get to observe marine iguanas and fur-sea lions.
Later in the day, we sail further around Santiago Island to the tiny Bartholomew (Bartolomé) Island. We embark on our dinghies (inflatable boats for going ashore on islands with no pier) for an optional 375-foot climb on a wooden staircase to the summit, to enjoy a panoramic view of the landmark Pinnacle Rock. A tiny colony of Galapagos penguins resides at the foot of the rock. Ride the dinghy around this colossal-sized rock and relax on the sandy beach and enjoy some time to swim and snorkel, perhaps with penguins. A glass-bottom boat will also be available to further enhance our experience. As we set sail, look for the dolphins that live in this area, and which sometimes enjoy swimming alongside the boats.
From there we drive to the airport on San Cristóbal for our return flight to Quito, with a stop in Guayaquil.
We will arrive in Quito in the late afternoon. We will reserve a hotel room in Quito tonight for anyone joining the Mashpi Extension or flying home the next day. However, if your flight home departs around midnight, you can stay at the airport or get a “day room” at a nearby hotel, and depart tonight.
(Please note that this is not a charter, so our group will be among other passengers on our comfortable ship.)
As of Feb. 2018, all guests traveling to Ecuador must be able to show proof of public or private insurance.
“This is a place where humans are one with nature. The Sea Lions come to play and the birds take little notice as the cameras click to capture images of their young. So exciting and beautiful. A place to remember forever.” – Jane R., Key West, FL“Watching the animals up close was like being IN a nature show instead of just watching it.” — Michael Gumowitz, Scarsdale, NY
“It was great fun to travel to such a unique destination with other fun-loving, interesting gay men.” — Larry Eswin, Ballwin, MO
“It was the vacation of a lifetime, like a time travel adventure to a lost world” — Michael Broussard, Oakton, VA
“The most incredible chance to observe wildlife in a perfect setting.”— Mike Mullins, Laguna Beach, CA
After your immersion in the carefully preserved natural environment of the Galapagos, please consider joining our extension to the incredible new Mashpi Lodge in the cloud forest in the Andes highlands outside Quito. This lodge opened in 2012 and quickly won awards for its unique architecture and commitment to blend as seamlessly as possible into the natural environment of the Mashpi Biodiversity Reserve.
HE Travel President Phil Sheldon spent time with Metropolitan Touring owner Roque Sevilla and his wife when they were first envisioning this masterpiece. He was impressed by their commitment to not only respect nature, but to also to work alongside residents of the local community to ensure that this project would benefit them as well. For example, as much of the food as possible is purchased from the nearby village of Mashpi. This brings an amazing assortment of unique vegetables and fruits to the table for Mashpi Lodge guests.
This 2.5-hour drive takes you to the edge of the Reserve, where you stop at the Hummingbird Viewpoint and change to an electric cart for the final 4 miles to the Lodge. (To give an idea of the variety of birds here, 22 species of hummingbirds alone have been found in the reserve, along with such fascinating species like the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock and Club-Winged Manakin). In the afternoon, the Naturalist Guides will give you an overview of the Reserve and your activity options. All meals at the Lodge are included in the extension price, including night walks after dinner, accompanied by one of the Naturalist Guides.
The Naturalist Guides offer a variety of activities throughout the day including hikes through the dense jungle or a chance to cool off under a cascading waterfall. Rubber boots, rain ponchos, and binoculars are provided during your stay. There is even an aerial bicycle to let you glide through the jungle, leaving literally no footprint.
On the outbound journey, there will be a mile-long gondola ride that allows hikes deeper in the rainforest, far from any roads. The 6-passenger gondolas ride high above the trees, allowing an overview of the vast forest canopy, and on the return journey, the cables are much lower so that visitors can get a more intimate view of the rich profusion of plants and animals that thrive below the tree canopy.
When you return to the Lodge, you can relax on the terrace, or in your room, each of which features north-facing floor-to-ceiling windows. One window can be opened, so if you wish you can wake up to the profusion of birds calling to each other at dawn.
Our tour extension ends with a drop-off at Quito Airport in time for evening flights. An optional overnight stay near Quito Airport can be added if you are taking a flight the next day.
Stay at the only hotel right at the Machu Picchu ruins in the renowned Sanctuary Lodge. Contemplate the towering Andean peaks (Incan gods) at sunrise over Machu Picchu, dine at a private hacienda overlooking the Sacred Valley, shop Pisac’s colorful market, and be carried away by native music on this gay Machu Picchu & Peru tour. Conclude at the Hotel Monasterio, an amazing former monastery.
When you travel “Back-to-Back” on two or more of our tours, you are eligible for a discount! Contact Us for pricing if you are interested in reserving Machu Picchu Luxury Tour plus Galapagos Cruise.
Most of our trips draw more single travelers than couples. When couples do join us, it’s usually because they’re looking forward to interacting with a gay group; if they wanted a holiday by themselves, they wouldn’t have signed up to travel with us. Furthermore, the activities included with our trips serve as natural ice-breakers. Within a day, you’ll be traveling with friends. You don’t need to pay the single supplement if you’re traveling alone. We’ll be happy to match you with a roommate. Pay the single supplement only if you want a bedroom to yourself.
For selected trips, including cruises, we will charge half the single supplement if you request a roommate but we can’t match you with someone.
This tour starts in Quito, Ecuador and ends after a flight back from the Galapagos Islands at the Quito or Guayaquil Airport to allow for the most convenient flight connections.
Many of the twice-daily shore excursions require wading through shallow water as there are often not piers for the boats to tie off on. Walking on the islands is often across rugged terrain without smooth paths. Snorkeling is available on many days but is optional.
For answers to your additional questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 305-294-8174
47 Elizabeth Bay Road
Elizabeth Bay NSW
02 8667 3336