Galapagos and Colombia Dive & Eco Expedition 2021

Ever since the discovery of the Galápagos archipelago about 200 years ago, nature-lovers, scientists and explorers alike have flocked to this speck of land in the middle of the ocean to observe, study, and marvel at this unique natural gem. In March 2021, Ocean Safari Outdoors will embark on the journey to explore both above and underwater throughout the Galápagos Islands. Then the adventure continues to Colombia, to visit the traditional villages, coffee plantations, and high altitude lakes of the Andes mountains. This is a custom trip so you won't get a guided package like this anywhere else! You will be immersed in the historical and cultural heritage of Colombia, from the Spanish legacy, iconic foods and drinks, ecological significance, and the traditions of the numerous indigenous peoples of the area. 

The adventure begins with setting sail across the equator and touring the islands that Charles Darwin visited during his voyage of the HMS Beagle in 1835. What follows is a thrilling week diving among Galapagos sharks, hammerhead sharks, mola molas, and marine iguanas (the only lizard in the world that you can encounter underwater!) Although close to the equator, the confluence of multiple currents bring different temperatures of water, allowing these islands to be teeming with all kinds of life. We will also explore the topside of the islands and observe giant tortoises, frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, land iguanas, and many more species unique to the islands. Because the islands are so remote and adapted specifically to the islands, many of the species are found nowhere else in the world! 

Continuing on to Bogotá, you will have a complete tour of the surrounding Colombian villages, cities, and mountainscapes. You will discover the great cultural, architectural, and historical heritage of quaint towns such as Villa de Leyva, Raquira, Pijao, Salento, and Filandia. Hike through the Andes Mountains of the Cocora Valley and Lake Guatavita, where you’ll find yourself surrounded by cloud forests full of wildlife and inspiring views. You’ll venture through colorful towns famous for spicy sausages, handmade ceramics, and palm seed handicrafts. Stand in awe amongst 30 stone megaliths towering over you at El Infiernito. Visit the incredible salt cathedral in Zipaquirá, where you’ll tour the salt mines and encounter the largest salt cross in the world. Of course, you’ll visit the coffee plantations, where there are coffee plants as far as the eye can see, and learn the entire process that makes Colombian coffee so unique. You are sure to leave the trip full of knowledge, wonder, and appreciation for Colombian culture and heritage. 

 

Galápagos Dive & Eco Expedition Itinerary:

Mar 13 (Sat) Depart from LAX to Guayaquil in the evening
Mar 14 (Sun) Arrive in Guayaquil. Check into the hotel. Free program for the rest of the day. 
Mar 15 (Mon) Fly from Guayaquil to San Cristobal Island, Galápagos. Board the luxury Galapagos Master and set sail for our adventure. 
Mar 16~21 (Tue~Sun) 18~21 dives at the best dive sites within the Galápagos Archipelago. 
Mar 22 (Mon) Disembark, fly back home, depending on the international flight may need to stay in Guayaquil overnight. TBA. 

Prerequisite:

Galápagos diving is topnotch because there are three ocean currents that merge and flow through the islands. Because of these currents and upwelling, divers must be prepared and experienced for the conditions. Divers must be at least Advanced Open Water certified, with 50+ logged dives, and have experience diving in strong currents and limited visibility. Because of the remoteness of the islands, self and buddy rescue skills should be refreshed.

 

 

Colombia Eco Expedition Itinerary: 

Mar 21 (Sun) Colombia only customers depart LAX late evening
Mar 22 (Mon) Columbia only customers arrive to Bogotá in the morning. Galápagos members fly in late evening. Transfer to Hotel. 
Mar 23 (Tue) Free Program. Activity options include a city tour of the great architectural and cultural heritage of Bogotá or a visit to the Gold Museum that exhibits gold, stone, ceramic, and textile artifacts precious to the numerous indigenous cultures of Colombia. 
Mar 24 (Wed) Travel through the countryside through a scenic route. Stop by the salt mines of Zipaquirá, which is home to the largest salt cross in the world, Salt Cathedral, saline dome, and mirror of water. Arrive in the old colonial-era town of Villa de Leyva, check into a unique hotel. 
Mar 25 (Thu) Visit the cultural and ecological attractions at Villa de Leyva, including the Fossil Museum where the kronosaurus was discovered and the 30 stone megaliths of El Infiernito. Visit the Santo Ecce Homo, a Dominican monastery with floors studded with ammonites and fossils. Visit the colorful town of Raquira, which specializes in handmade ceramics. Visit Sutamarchán, which is famous for spicy sausages and palm seed handicrafts. 
Mar 26 (Fri) Visit the magical and mystical Guatavita Lake, a high altitude lake in the Andean woodlands (9800ft elevation). Learn about the exotic trees, birds, and the legends of the Muisca people who used to inhabit the area. Visit the town of Guatavita and the lake of Tominé. Return to Bogotá to fly to Pereira, check into another unique hotel. 
Mar 27 (Sat) Visit the coffee plantations and estates at a UNESCO World Heritage site. See coffee plants as far as the horizon. Learn about coffee growing, harvest, preparation, and processing. Learn how the climate affects the world-famous Colombian coffee. Visit Pijao in the afternoon and visit the emblematic historic houses and enjoy a typical drink tasting. 
Mar 28 (Sun) Venture to the central mountains in Valle de Cocora, home of Colombia’s national treethe Quindian wax palm. Marvel at these giant trees in the cloud forest, which provides habitat to a variety of birds and other animals, some of which are endangered or found nowhere else in the world. Visit the towns of Salento and Filandia in the afternoon. 
Mar 29 (Mon) Transfer to Pereira airport after breakfast. Fly to Bogotá. Then fly back to LAX and arrive in the evening. 

 

 

Galápagos Dive & Eco Expedition Includes:

- Airport transfers at Guayaquil and San Cristobal. 
- One night 4~5 Star hotel stay at Guayaquil based on double occupancy with breakfast.
- 8 days, 7 nights aboard the 110' Luxury yacht Galápagos Master. 
- Three meals per day, snacks, unlimited water/tea/fresh coffee/fruit juice & soft drinks.
- Up to 4 dives daily at Galápagos Islands’ most famous dive sites, seeing plenty of sharks, marine iguanas, mola molas, and Galápagos penguins. 
- Tanks, SMB, and weights.
- Two land excursions to see the Galápagos giant tortoise, frigate birds, iguanas, blue-footed boobies, and many wildlife endemic to the islands. 
- Interpretation center visit on San Cristobal Island.
- Escort by Ocean Safari professional dive leader/photographer with unparalleled service.

Exclusions:

- International and domestic air tickets.
- Onboard telecommunications and satellite internet.
- Onboard alcoholic beverages.
- Equipment rentals
- On board merchandise
- Nitrox ($100).
- Marine Park & Port Fees ($20 Tourist Card at Inglala, Ecuadorian Departure taxes $28~41 if not included in flight ticket, $100 National Park Fees)
- Travel and dive insurance (please see our link here)
- Crew Gratuities.

 

 

Colombia Eco Expedition Includes:

- All group transfers.
- All first-class, authentic accommodations. These are unique hotels with a cultural touch, not Hilton/Marriott-type hotels. 
- Professional guide accompaniment throughout the trip
- Most breakfasts and lunches
- All activities in itinerary.
- Escort by Ocean Safari professional leader/photographer with unparalleled service.

Exclusions:

- Travel insurance (please see our link here or additional info below)
-  Additional activities 
-  Dinners and a few other meals
- Guide and driver gratuities.

 

 

Costs:

Galápagos Dive & Eco Expedition: 
Premium: $6348 (8 spots)
Classic: $6248 (8 spots)

Columbia Eco Expedition: 
$1958 (8~12 people)
$1858 (13~16 people)
$1758 (17~20 people)
For Single Occupancy add $538

 

 

Payment:

Galápagos Dive & Eco Expedition:

PAYMENT SCHEDULE

      AMOUNT

PAYMENT DUE DATE

1st Deposit

$1500 ($1600 Premium)

Upon Reservation

2nd Deposit

$1500 ($1600 Premium)

April 15, 2020

3rd Deposit

$1500 ($1600 Premium)

August 15, 2020

Final Payment

Balance Remaining

November 15, 2020

* For credit card payment please add 3%         

 

Columbia Eco Expedition:

PAYMENT SCHEDULE

      AMOUNT

PAYMENT DUE DATE

1st Deposit

$500

Upon Reservation

2nd Deposit

$500

August 15, 2020

Final Payment

Balance Remaining

November 15, 2020

* For credit card payment please add 3%         

 

 

Dive & Travel Insurance: 

Dive insurance is required to participate in this trip. Please use our links to purchase dive insurance from DAN or Dive Assure
Travel insurance is optional. However, over the years, we have seen how valuable and beneficial travel insurance can be. These policies will help cover expenses when your trip is interrupted due to events such as weather, mechanical breakdowns, missed flights/connections, or when someone else has a dive/medical emergency that prevents you from diving.  

We want to help offset the cost of travel insurance and will sponsor 5% of the cost as store credit if you use the links from our website to purchase travel insurance from DAN or Dive Assure. We highly recommend it! 
Here is a quick guide to help you decide if travel insurance from DAN or Dive Assure is best for you. 

 

 

Cancellation Policy:

Galápagos Dive & Eco Expedition:
Before April 15, 2020, 1st deposit forfeited, no refund on first deposit.
After April 15, 2020, 1st and 2nd deposit forfeited (unless a replacement can be found then 1st deposit forfeited).
After Aug 15, 2020, 1st, 2nd, & 3rd deposit forfeited (unless a replacement can be found then 1st deposit forfeited).
After Nov 15, 2020, no refund (unless a replacement can be found then 1st deposit forfeited).

Columbia Eco Expedition: 
Before Aug 15, 2020, 1st deposit forfeited, no refund on first deposit.
After Aug 15, 2020, 1st and 2nd deposit forfeited (unless a replacement can be found then 1st deposit forfeited).
After Nov 15, 2020, no refund (unless a replacement can be found then 1st deposit forfeited).

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