Learn more about what to expect on this holiday including when to go and how comfortable you can expect to be.
When should I go?
The ski season in Chile runs from late June to the end of September. You can expect 80% clear days.
In the Galapagos, wildlife viewing is excellent year round. Weather and sea conditions do vary somewhat through the year:
September is the coolest and choppiest-sea month.From October onwards the weather warms up and the waters calm down until the hottest, calmest-sea month of February.
Between March and August conditions become gently cooler and the water choppier until September.
A great combination of skiing (as energetic as you want to make it) and relaxation in Portillo.
In the Galapagos, viewing wildlife is the main activity but there is some gentle walking and snorkeling.
Conditions underfoot in the Galapagos can sometimes be rough as the islands are volcanic. You should therefore be prepared for some walking over uneven terrain. You can always opt out of excursions.
Comfortable four star Grand Hotel Portillo. It’s an older hotel with relatively small rooms. They are clean and comfortable but not spectacular.
What is spectacular is the setting, the food, the service and the common areas.
Portillo is a place which is likely to get under your skin, it’s beguiling.
In Santiago your hotel is a comfortable hotel in a good location.
Passengers: 20 maximum
Length on deck: 27m/88ft
Boat width (beam): 7m/22ft
Crew: 8 plus 2 guides
Cabins are spread over three decks. On the main deck there are four twin bedded cabins and three cabins with double lower, single upper bed (bunks). These are all around 7sqm in size.
On the upper deck are two cabins, each with a double bed, size of 9sqm.
On the sun deck are two further twin cabins of the same size as those on the main deck.
All have air conditioning and private bathrooms.
You should be aware that on any small boat you will have noise from
generators and from the engine when travelling.
The noise will be greater nearer the engines and generator which is to say cabins one – four.
Being a small boat, you will get movement in the water though Galaven has a relatively flat keel. Movement will be most noticeable between July and October in the more exposed waters of the south-west.
Note that you are likely to feel more roll in the cabins on the top deck than cabins below decks.
This is a tailor made holiday so you’re independent whilst skiing in Chile, but with access to support in case of need. In the Galapagos you are looked after by the two full time guides on board the boat.
Pura Aventura is passionate about the places it visits.
To help preserve the integrity of these destinations we:
• Keep groups small to minimise environmental impact.
• Work directly with local businesses and organisations to directly benefit local economies. We use small, locally owned hotels and restaurants. We know the owners except in the large cities.
• Work with local guides so that our holidays are more interesting for clients and more beneficial locally.
• Make payment to suppliers before our clients arrive.
In the Galapagos Islands only use only naturalist guides trained and licensed by the Galapagos Natural Park Service and the Charles Darwin Research Station.
A year in the Galapagos
Beginning of the rainy season. Land birds start nesting, generally after the first rain. On Hood (Española) Island adult marine iguanas become brightly colored (green/red/black). The green sea turtles arrive at beaches to lay eggs. Land iguanas mate on Isabela Island. Both water and air temperatures rise and stay warm until June. Ideal time for snorkeling.
On Floreana Island flamingos start nesting in greater numbers. Marine iguanas nest on Santa Cruz Island. Peak nesting season for the Galapagos dove. Breeding season begins for black-tailed pintail ducks. End of nesting season for Nazca (masked) boobies on Hood islands. The highest water temperature reaches 25C (77F) temperatures remain high until April. Penguins move from Bartolomé Island to follow the cool waters back to the west.
Height of the rainy season (this does not mean it rains everyday). Sporadic tropical rains, intense sun and hot climate. Air temperature can reach up to 30C (86F) high humidity. Warm waters excellent for snorkelers. Penguins still active in the water next to tropical fish! Deep surge from the northern currents on some shores, wet landings at places like Puerto Egas, Gardner Bay, Bartolomé can sometimes be a challenge. Marine iguanas nest on Fernandina. March 21st, the beginning of the summer equinox signals the arrival of the waved albatross to Española. Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela) can be an amazing site.
Massive arrival of waved albatrosses at Española, amazing courtship starts. Eggs of green sea turtles begin to hatch. Eggs of land iguanas hatch on Isabela. End of hatching season for the giant tortoises. While the rains have ended, the islands continue to be quite green. Good visibility in the water for snorkelers.
North Seymour’s blue-footed boobies begin their courtship. Sea turtles are still hatching on Gardner Bay, Punta Cormorant and Puerto Egas. Most of marine iguanas’ eggs hatch from nests on Santa Cruz. Palo santo trees begin to shed their foliage. Waved albatross on Española start laying their eggs. Ban-rumped storm petrels begin their first nesting period.
Beginning of the cold (garúa) season. Giant tortoises migrate to the lowlands on Santa Cruz island for the nesting season. South east trade winds return. Currents become a bit stronger. Seas pick up in surge and wave action. Male frigatebirds show off their red pouches on North Seymour. Southern migrating birds stop in the Galapagos on their journey north. Some groups of Humpback whales migrate up to equatorial
latitudes along the coast of Ecuador reach Galapagos.
Sea bird communities are very active (breeding), specially the Blue footed boobies on Española. Flightless cormorants perform beautiful courtship rituals and nesting activities on Fernandina. American oystercatchers nest along the shores of Puerto Egas (Santiago Island). Lava lizards initiate mating rituals until November. Cetaceans (whales & dolphins) are more likely to be observed, specially off the western coast of Isabela. Great month to see the four stages of nesting in Blue footed boobies: eggs, chicks, juveniles and sub-adults. Water temperature around 21C (68F).
Galapagos hawks court on Española and Santiago.
Nazca (masked) boobies and Swallow-tailed gulls nest on Genovesa Island. The temperature of the ocean drops to 18C (64F), this varies according to the geographic zones among the islands. Migrant shore birds start to arrive. Giant tortoises return to the highlands of Santa Cruz. Oceans are quite choppy, currents at the strongest levels, surge can be expected along the shores that face west or south. Pupping season of sea lions has started. Western and central islands are common places for such sightings.
The air temperature reaches its lowest levels (19C-66F). Galapagos Penguins active around Bartolomé. Snorkelers can swim with penguins active at the surface or torpedo-like while underwater. Sea lions are very active. Females have reached estrus stage, and so harem-gathering males are constantly barking and fighting. Shore fighting is common. Most intense sea lion activity on western and central islands. Most species of sea birds remain quite active at their nesting sites.
Lava herons start nesting until March. The Galapagos Fur Sea lions begin their mating period. Blue footed boobies raise chicks all over Española and Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela). Giant tortoises are still laying eggs. Days are not always sunny. Garúa can be expected in most locations, except the western islands where most days have a misty start but after few hours of daylight it burns off. Sunrises in the west can be quite beautiful as the garúa covers only certain locations of the western volcanoes. Summits are clear, but low-lying fog covers the shoreline.
Pupping of sea lions continues. Sea lions are sexually active on the eastern part of the archipelago. Breeding season for the brown noddies. Some species of jellyfish can be seen around the islands. The Genus Physalia is commonly seen floating around Gardner and Tortuga Islets. Some can also be seen stranded on the shores of Flour Beach (Floreana). Band-rumped storm petrels begin their second nesting period. Seas are calm. South east trade winds decrease, generally great weather. Water temperatures rising and good visibility for snorkelers. Sea lion pups (specially at Champion Islet) play aqua-aerobics next to snorkelers. Most pups here are curious enough to nibble at fins of snorkelers.
Giant tortoise eggs begin to hatch. Green sea turtles display their mating behavior. The rainy season begins, all of the plants of the dry zone produce leaves. Galapagos becomes “green”. The first young waved albatrosses fledge. Great weather.
As you already know, Pura Aventura is dedicated to safe and responsible travel. The links below provide useful content and more information about Chile. Please call us of any special requirements on 01273 676 712.
Official Government website
Prepare your holiday
Pura’s Amazon shop
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