Galapagos for Foodies
This is the first Galapagos culinary experience designed for food enthusiasts. While discovering the wildlife and natural history of the Galapagos Islands, your chef, host and naturalist guide will share insights while creating dishes with local and organic products.
Discover Santa Cruz and nearby Islands. Snorkel with marine iguanas and sea lions. Prepare fresh sushi and sashimi fished with the locals, enjoy wild pig, grilled snapper, organic beef, Galapagos coffee and Ecuadorian chocolate.
Stay at a lodge where giant tortoises roam freely. Search for edible plants in a primary forest walk. This program offers an invaluable opportunity to learn, stimulate your senses and savour the finest products of one of the best preserved archipelagos on earth.
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Travel Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Moderate
Group Size Small Group
- Only sustainable slow food experience in the Galapagos Islands.
- Learn about evolutionary natural history and meet wildlife in three southern islands.
- Go deep sea fishing with the locals to prepare sushi and sashimi.
- Walk amongst giant Galapagos tortoises in their natural habitat.
- Savor southern style wild pig with a touch of native spices.
- Enjoy first class accommodation at our Opuntia Hotels.
Accommodations in the premium Opuntia Hotels, all meals as listed (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner), bilingual Galapagos naturalist guide, all sea, land, and inter-island air transportation.
Flights to and from Galapagos, entrance fee to Galapagos National Park ($100 USD p.p. subject to change), Galapagos transit card ($10 USD p.p. subject to change), tips, hotel & restaurant beverages.
EXPLORE THE SANTA CRUZ HIGHLANDS
Upon arrival at Baltra Airport we meet our guide and chef who will stay with us for the week. Private transportation will take us to our first stop in the hills of Santa Cruz, a primary forest on the lower slopes of the island, in the middle of the giant tortoise territory. A small open air restaurant sits beautifully in the middle of the grassland providing sweeping views. We have lunch and sample, among other delicacies, free range chicken from Santa Cruz. After lunch our guide briefs us about the weeks’ program. Shortly after that we explore the terrain looking for our first giant tortoise encounters in the forest.
We continue to Puerto Ayora and check into the Angermeyer Waterfront Inn, our home for the first part of this week. Our Opuntia hotel is set apart from the small town of Puerto Ayora by a natural cliff and only reached by water taxi. Once settled in our rooms we relax until its time to raise a glass together to celebrate the start of our foodie adventure. A three-course dinner awaits us and our guide explains the next day agenda. (-/L/D)
EXPLORE TORTUGA BAY AND TORTOISE REARING CENTER
After breakfast we take a short hike through a unique dry forest habitat to Tortuga Bay, a picturesque beach and preferred nesting site for black sea turtles due to its tranquil turquoise waters and soft white sand. The walk is short but aesthetic; the dry forest is full of iguanas, finches, mockingbirds, and endemic cacti. The beach itself is a gorgeous place for us to relax and enjoy the serenity of the islands.
In the afternoon we visit the Tortoise Rearing Center across the bay. Here we learn about the science of breeding endemic reptiles. One of the major impacts on the tortoise populations is the introduction by humans of non-native mammal vertebrates, like pigs and goats. Feral Pigs are still preying on young tortoises while goats are competitive herbivores. Therefore, to save the tortoise populations, the National Park has several programs to remove goats and pigs from the islands. While eradicated on most islands, there are still small populations of feral pigs and goats on Santa Cruz.
Tonight we prepare a charcoal grilled Indonesian satay of young feral goat, accompanied by Gado Gado salad and Longton rice folded in banana leaves. (B/L/D)
DEEP OCEAN FISHING WITH LOCAL FISHERMAN
Today we go deep sea fishing. On a comfortable, spacious day-tour yacht we set out to catch yellow fin tuna or wahoo. By supporting fishing combined with tourism the National Park hopes to encourage local fisherman to treat the marine reserve more like a stewardship. Furthermore the fishing industry in Galapagos is strictly regulated. Quota and fishing methods are advised by marine biologists and then usually become mandatory in the marine reserve. The focus will be on yellow fin tuna and wahoo, both on the National Park Green List.
A naturalist guide will be on board to help spot wildlife and explain more about the merits of fishing in
Galapagos. After we catch enought to porvide us with lunch and dinner, we anchor in a calm bay to enjoy freshly cut sashimi, fruit salad and ceviche made with locally grown citrus. We swim or snorkel in the bay before we return to our accommodation in Punta Estrada.
Later in the afternoon we prepare our dinner for the evening: sushi, vegetable tempura, miso soup and green tea sorbet. (B/L/D)
VISIT SANTA FE ISLAND
After breakfast we board a comfortable vessel and visit Santa Fe, an uninhabited island where a calm confined bay provides excellent snorkeling. A sea lion colony will give you plenty of action while snorkeling. We explore the island walking through a unique cactus forest that leads us to find land iguanas endemic to Santa Fe.
We return to mainland and have the afternoon free to enjoy our last day in the bay. Dinner for the evening is themed around the excellent organic beef raised in Santa Cruz. We prepare a marinated beef carpaccio, a fresh herb salad and a roast of short rib with béarnaise sauce. The dessert is themed around chocolate to complete this classic French dinner. (B/L/D)
DISCOVER LAVA JAVA ORGANIC COFFEE FARM
We check out and send our luggage ahead to the highlands. We stay the rest of the week at a family run coffee farm where giant tortoises roam freely. Our first stop is an organic farm dedicating their efforts to conservation. This farm is an example of sustainable, organic permaculture. Their shadow grown coffee is famed over the borders and sold in several countries. We learn about growing coffee and organic farming, and why many farms in Galapagos need restoration. We finish up on a beautiful platform overlooking the slopes of Santa Cruz while enjoying freshly brewed coffee and fruit from the farm. In this comfortable setting we also learn about chocolate. Ecuador produces some of the world’s finest cocoa. We taste a wide assortment of chocolate and learn of its production from raw ingredients.
We continue to a pristine beach called El Garrapatero, where we swim and enjoy the bay. On the beach we prepare grilled snapper, vegetable brochettes and a quinoa salad. We return by coach to our lodge. (B/L/D)
VISIT NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND
After breakfast we get ready to spot colonies of Blue Footed Boobies, Magnificent and Great Frigate Birds, Swallow Tailed Gulls and Land Iguanas in North Seymour, one of the most popular visitor sites in the Galapagos due to its abundance of wildlife and great scenery.
During our boat return we stop at Bachas Beach where we swim and snorkel. Once back at the lodge it’s time to gather around the wood oven. Tonight we cook a big caprese salad, our own pizzas, focaccias and calzones while watching the sunset over the hills of Santa Cruz. (B/L/D)
Back at the lodge, the smell of southern BBQ will keep us on our toes as the roasting of a feral pig starts early in the morning. We spend the entire rest of the day and evening on the wonderful property of the lodge until we all unite to enjoy this pure roast, sitting around a fire while sampling a full range of South American wines. Hands on cooking classes are given on green papaya salad, several sauces and cutting of roast pork. Tonight is our Grand Finale, and we can look back at a week full of wildlife encounters, adventures, new friends, knowledge and recipes. Galapagos will stay with you forever. (B/L/D)
LOCAL MARKET AND FERAL ROAST
We get up early for coffee and fresh fruit. We head out to Puerto Ayora, to visit the farmers market. This bustling lace is a feast to the sight, sounds and smell. Both food lovers and photographers are delighted by all the colors and scenes. We sample and compare local and imported veggies, fruits and herbs. Several stands offer street food and your guide will help you pick a breakfast. A freshly cut coconut will quench anyone´s thirst. With our freshly purchased greens we head back to our lodge for a light lunch of salad, gazpacho and sandwiches.
TRANSFER OUT TO BALTRA
After breakfast a coach transfers us to the airport. Your guide will accompany you and help you check (B/-/-)
Opuntia Hotels, a network of quality Galapagos hotels with eco-initiatives, exceptional service, comfort, all close to the ocean. Or similar comfort class hotel.
Although the menu and the food preparation play a very important role in this adventure, we understand that our guests are coming for a leisurely week and the outdoor activities play an important role as does the food. Therefore all the food described will be prepared by professional chefs and your help is not mandatory. We do encourage you to join us or just peek in the kitchen. We hope to inspire you with our recipes, approach and philosophy, so any participation in the preparations of the food is voluntary. Obviously we will share all the recipes with you so you can recall memories of your week in Galapagos with friends once you return home.
Besides the unique wildlife and the pristine, untouched landscape, Galapagos is a place where you can still find food in its purest form. Fish is line caught and sold the same day, cattle is grass-fed and free-range, feral pigs are hunted for their exquisite taste, while you find a wide range of fresh and organic produce from tropical fruit, fresh herbs to temperate veggies. There are even edible native plants and herbs. All these foods are the essential ingredients of our unforgettable meals.
Ingredients whenever possible are locally sourced from the islands. Imported (shipped-or flown) products are often of lesser quality, as they come from mass production plants. They also pose a threat to the fragile environment, as they can carry sorts of unwanted organisms. Finally, choosing local supports and encourages the communities of fishermen, farmers and (legal) hunters, the real residents of these islands.
This itinerary is subject to change without notice due to seasonal changes, inclement weather conditions, and adjustments of Galapagos National Park policy.
- SEASON: Year-round
- ALTITUDE: 0 – 3,688 feet (1,124 meters) above sea level
- WEATHER: During the warm season from January to May, air temperature is around 77 to 83 F
- (25 to 28 C) at sea level. During the cool season from June to December, air temperature is around 70 to 75 F (21 to 24 C) at sea level.
- Temperature decreases with altitude.
- WATER TEMPERATURE: During the warm season from January to May, water temperature hovers around
- 77 F (25 C). During the cool season from June to December, average water temperature is about 72 F (22 C). Water temperature also varies significantly by location.
Walking shoes, rain jacket, water bottle, non-cotton trekking clothes, sunblock, sun hat, and repellent.
PHONE: (593-2) 604.6800/ TOLL FREE: 1-888.234.3413
Revised October 4/2016