Galápagos Islands | Climb for Cancer Expedition

Galápagos Islands | Climb for Cancer Expedition

About this trip

Join the Climb for Cancer Foundation to experience the Galápagos Islands. The Climb for Cancer Foundation exists to improve the mental, physical and social well-being of cancer patients, survivors and their caregivers through funding of enrichment programs in arts, nature, sports and medicine.
Co-founded by Ron and Dianne Farb in 2003, our small Foundation has made a tangible impact on the lives of many people fighting the disease. The Foundation has funded or created several psycho-social programs which provide support to the patient and the family, funded research grants, and given kids an opportunity to attend cancer camps. The Foundation likes to think that its gifts fill in the cracks left by organizations that make much larger gifts.
PLEASE NOTE: This itinerary is subject to change without prior notice due to unforeseen circumstances (e.g. weather) or at the discretion of the captain, guide, or the Galápagos National Park.

Highlights

  • Swim and snorkel the archipelago’s turquoise waters for the chance to view Galápagos Penguins, marine iguanas, sea turtles, white-tipped reef sharks, and more.
  • Discover fascinating geological history while trekking volcanoes and lava fields.
  • Come face-to-face with the iconic wildlife of the Galápagos, including Blue-footed Boobies, Darwin’s finches, and sea lions.
  • Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and learn about ongoing conservation initiatives in the islands.

Meet your leader

Ron Farb

Educated at the College of William & Mary, and a former military aviator, Ron Farb has traveled to every continent and more than 50 countries. Ron has climbed the highest mountain on five of the seven continents, including Everest, Aconcagua (twice), Denali, Elbrus, and Kilimanjaro (seven times). By doing so, he has raised more than $2 million to fund medical research for cancer with Climb for Cancer, a foundation he and his wife, Dianne, started in 2002.

After his sister was diagnosed with breast cancer more than 20 years ago, he has since combined his passion for climbing and determination to fight the disease by organizing mountain-climbing trips, such as the upcoming Kilimanjaro group climbs, and fundraisers within the Gainesville community. Ron is the 2014 E.T. York “Heart of the Community” award winner for his outstanding dedication to community service.

Quito

May 2, 2022

Upon arrival, you will be met and escorted to your hotel in downtown Quito. Check-in starts at 3 pm.

Overnight at Sheraton Quito

Quito

May 3, 2022

After breakfast this morning, take a city tour of Quito, including a visit to the Middle of the World Monument near the equator. Surrounded by volcanoes and sitting 9,350 feet above sea level, Ecuador's capital city is the second highest in the world. It boasts one of the largest and best-preserved colonial centers in the Americas, earning it recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The old town in central Quito is an area of colonial churches, monasteries, museums, and white-washed buildings with red-tiled roofs. Return to the hotel with time to freshen up before dinner at a local restaurant.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Sheraton Quito

Galápagos

May 4, 2022

Today, fly from Quito to San Cristóbal Island and transfer to the pier to board your vessel. Attend an orientation, have a light snack, and then set sail. This afternoon, learn about the islands' history in the Museum of Natural History in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the Galápagos province. This Interpretation Center tells the story of the geological and human history of the islands and their conservation.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Coral I or II

Galápagos

May 5, 2022

This morning, hike and snorkel at Cerro Brujo, an eroding tuff cone that at several locations is composed of a'a lava formations. Cerro Brujo offers beautiful views of Kicker Rock, the southern part of San Cristóbal, and the adjacent coast. Visit a lagoon and look for migratory bird species like the Black-necked Stilt, Ruddy Turnstone, Whimbrel, and White-cheeked Pintail. Return to the boat for lunch. This afternoon, take a high-intensity hike on rocky terrain. The trail includes a 295-foot-long, olivine beach and a path that climbs through several magnificent viewpoints to the top of a volcanic tuff. This is likely the only site where all three booby species can be seen together, as can two species of frigatebirds and a sea lion colony. It is also excellent for dinghy rides and snorkeling, where a good range of sea birds can be observed.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Coral I or II

Galápagos

May 6, 2022

Española is the oldest island in the archipelago, geologically speaking, and also displays high levels of endemism due to its isolation from the rest of the islands. After breakfast, visit Punta Suárez and hike along lava beds and scenic cliffs to observe lava lizards, colorful Sally Lightfoot crabs, large colonies of sea lions, and birds like the Española Mockingbird, Nazca Booby, Galápagos Dove, Galápagos Hawk, Swallow-tailed Gull, and the spectacular Red-billed Tropicbird. The island's marine iguanas are also notable for their turquoise and red coloration during the breeding season. From mid-March to December, this is one of the best places in the world to see the Waved Albatross, which nests primarily on this island. A somewhat lengthy hike brings visitors to nesting grounds that sometimes overlap the trail. These large and graceful flyers start to perform intricate courtship rituals in April, and by May begin nesting. Admire the island's dramatic backdrop, featuring the famous "Soplador," a seaward blowhole that shoots water up to 75 feet into the air. Later, take a walk on a beautiful white coral sandy beach guarded by a colony of sea lions. There are no trails, so you'll stay along the shore where you can spot Galápagos Hawks, American Oystercatchers, Galápagos Doves, Española Mockingbirds, Yellow Warblers, lava lizards, marine iguanas, and three species of Darwin's finches: the Española Ground-Finch, Small Ground-Finch, and Gray Warbler-Finch. Swimming and snorkeling offer a great variety of the Galápagos' marine wildlife: king angelfish, Creole fish, damsel fish, parrotfish, manta rays, and white-tipped reef sharks.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Coral I or II

Galápagos

May 7, 2022

Disembark on an olivine green, sanded beach and hike from the black mangrove beds to a brackish lagoon, which usually holds one of the largest flamingo populations in the Galápagos. Floreana Island features some endemic plants such as Scalesia villosa, Lecocarpus pinnatifidus, and Galápagos Milkwort, as well as white and black mangroves and palo santo. The trail continues to a beautiful white sandy beach, an important nesting site for Pacific green sea turtles. It is important to avoid walking in the water due to the stingrays that may be hiding in the sand, which can be dangerous if accidentally stepped on. From the beach, one can spot sea turtles, Blue-footed Boobies plunging into the water, and small reef sharks floating along the shoreline in search of food. Return to the olivine beach to swim or snorkel among sea turtles, reef fish, sea lions and, on a good day, white-tipped reef sharks. A small colony of Galápagos Penguins resides on Floreana and can sometimes be observed as well. This afternoon, visit the north side of Floreana, including Post Office Bay. In the 18th century, whalers placed a wooden barrel at this site to use as an informal post office, and today, visitors continue the tradition by leaving their own postcards in the barrel. Snorkelers can practice on the main beach among playful sea lions and green sea turtles.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Coral I or II

Galápagos

May 8, 2022

Today visit Los Gemelos in the central highlands of Santa Cruz Island. These twin pit craters were formed as a result of the collapse of surface material caused by underground fissures. It's a great place to spot Vermilion Flycatchers and giant tortoises as you walk through the endemic Scalesia forest. After lunch, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, which manages a Gálapagos giant tortoise breeding program as part of its efforts to preserve the fragile Galápagos environment. The CDRS also works to provide environmental education to local communities, schools, and tourists. Prior to his death in 2012, this was the home of Lonesome George, the famous last survivor of the giant tortoise species found on Pinta Island. Admire a prickly pear cactus forest and a variety of Darwin's finches and other land birds. You will also have some free time to visit the town of Puerto Ayora and shop for souvenirs.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Coral I or II

Galápagos

May 9, 2022

Start your day with a visit to Dragon Hill on the northwest side of Santa Cruz Island. Disembark at the small lava dock, where your first encounters are with the marine iguanas that blend in perfectly with the dark rocks. Walk past the large prickly pear cacti and arrive at one end of a long, sickle-shaped beach with Dragon Hill standing in the distance. The two-hour walk takes you on a circular path, past a shallow lake where flamingos frequently come to feed. Waders such as stilts, turnstones, and sandpipers work the muddy edges, frenetically looking for food. Continue inland to a dry, forested habitat where land iguanas nest and burrow. This afternoon, land on Bartolomé Island and discover a fascinating moonscape formed by different volcanic parasitic cones - lava bombs, spatter, and cinder cones. The relative lack of vegetation on this island is immediately noticeable. Observe the pioneer plants - so called because they are the first to establish roots on new ground - which include Tiquilia nesiotica (endemic to this island), Chamaesyce (known as sand mat or spurge in English), lava cactus, and Scalesia bushes. Hike to the summit for impressive views of the surrounding islands, including the eroded tuff cone of Pinnacle Rock, one of the most recognizable sights in the archipelago. Along the way, you'll encounter marine iguanas and lava lizards. Before returning to the boat, spend some time at the beach. This is a great location for snorkeling, as the water here is generally clear, without too much surf, and full of marine life. Look for, and maybe swim with, Galápagos Penguins, sea turtles, and white-tipped reef sharks among a great variety of colorful fish.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Coral I or II

Galápagos

May 10, 2022

This morning, arrive at Rábida Island. This small island, with its dramatic red-sand beach, lies at the heart of the archipelago and is home to sea lions, mockingbirds, finches, endemic Galápagos Doves, and Vermilion Flycatchers. Take a dinghy ride along the cliffs to observe nesting seabirds. Snorkeling here can be excellent, often with large schools of black-striped salemas, sea lions, and sea turtles. Later visit Buccaneer Cove on Santiago Island. Erosion by the waves and wind has carved different shapes into the shoreline, creating a haven for seabirds, playful sea lions, and the less-common Galápagos fur seal. The nearby Espumilla Beach, a white-sand beach in James Bay, is popular among visitors and a good place to see rays while snorkeling. There are mangroves and a small palo santo forest leading to saltwater lagoons that are home to wading birds like flamingos, and the upper dunes are a nesting site for sea turtles.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Coral I or II

Quito

May 11, 2022

This morning, enjoy a dinghy ride around Black Turtle Cove, a mangrove lagoon on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island that's only accessible by sea. Turtles visit the calm waters, peeking their heads above the surface while fish, rays, and white-tipped reef sharks circle below. Also look for sea birds, including pelicans, herons, and egrets. This afternoon, disembark and transfer to Baltra Airport for your flight back to Quito. You will be met at the airport and taken to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure to relax or explore on your own before a farewell dinner at the hotel.

Breakfast-Dinner included
Overnight at Rincon de Puembo

Quito

May 12, 2022

Return to the airport for your flight home. Check-out is at 12 pm.

Breakfast- included