"After guiding in the islands for 22 years, the Galapagos still surprise me," naturalist guide and field guide author Luis Die writes in a blog post about Ecuador's famous islands. He has seen common and rare species of wildlife and continues to hunt for new ones.
Die will lead two cruises to the Galapagos Islands in January for Mountain Travel Sobek -- one to the east islands, the other to the west islands -- that focus on wildlife like the blue-footed boobies and iguanas that begin to reproduce around that time of year.
The 11-day trip begins with a few days in Quito and the nearby cloud forest before boarding a yacht and sailing to the islands. Activities include snorkeling in Bartolome, seeing tortoises on Santa Cruz and sighting boobies and albatross on Espanola.
The deal: Mountain Travel is offering a $500-per-person discount for these sailings.
When: Trips depart Quito on Jan. 17 and 24. Book by Nov. 30.
Price: $4,295 per person (with discount). It includes the cruise aboard a chartered yacht, lodgings, naturalist guide, some meals, in-country transportation, sightseeing and entrance fees and permits. International airfare to and from Quito is extra.