Summary : The Galapagos Islands are considered one of the most spectacular and pristine National Parks in the world. Visitors delight in the abundant, unusual, and surprisingly approachable wildlife—from Galapagos giant tortoises to playful sea lions to the fascinating blue-footed boobies.
We strongly recommend two pre-cruise nights and one post-cruise night in Quito or Guayaquil. Please inquire about adding these or other services to your trip.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Hiking, Kayaking, Snorkeling, Dedicated Solo Cabins, Triple/Quad Cabins
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Upon arrival at San Cristobal Airport, a guide will meet you, help you collect your luggage, and escort you on a short bus ride to the harbor.
In the afternoon, visit Cerro Colorado Tortoises Protection and Growing Center, on the south east part of the island. This center was built to improve the status of the population of the island tortoises. The center includes a large corral, a visitor's center, breeding center and an interpretative trail. Along this trail, it is possible to see different species of native and endemic plants as well birds such as the San Cristobal Mockingbird, Yellow Warblers, and many species of finches. Afterwards, continue to Puerto Chino beach and enjoy the view at El Mirador.
Española is one of the crown jewels of the archipelago, and offers all that you might expect from Galapagos; it’s a real bird watcher’s and photographer’s dream!
After breakfast your island excursion will start with a 'dry landing' (with footwear) at Suarez Point. This morning promises to be a highlight of your cruise. During a longer 2 hour moderate-level walk, you will pass spectacular sea bird colonies on top of the cliffs, which contain some short scrambling passages.
Back on board you will navigate in about an hour to your afternoon’s exotic visitor’s site. After lunch you will make your first 'dive' in the alluring turquoise-colored Gardner Bay, where you can admire colorful tropical reef fish, snorkel side-by-side with a Pacific green turtle, or be in the middle of playful Galapagos sea lions. Then you will make a 'wet landing' (bare feet) on the wide sand beach. This is a good spot for a stroll along the sea lions colony, or a moment of reflexion, relaxation, or rolling with the sea lions in the surf.
After dinner you will navigate the longest stretch of Route A, which will take about 7 hours, navigating west to the neighboring island of Floreana.
Before daybreak you will have dropped the anchor at the Northern Cape of Floreana, known as Cormorant Point. Nearby are several tiny islets, which count with some of the most fantastic snorkeling and scuba dive-sites, such as Devil’s Crown and Champion. The historical place of Post Office Bay is also excellent for sea kayaking. Floreana determines the southern border of Galapagos and gives you the sense that you are somewhere at the end of the world. Its fresh water spring on top made it the first of four inhabited islands in the archipelago, although you won’t notice the present settlement Puerto Velasco Ibarra (150 inhabitants).
After breakfast the inflatable dinghies will bring you to the rocky rim of Devil’s Crown, which is located just outside the bay of Cormorant Point. If fantastic deep-water snorkeling (with sometimes stronger currents) is not your thing or if you rather prefer bird watching, alternatively you can make a great ride by inflatable dinghy (landing is prohibited on these marine visitor’s sites). After a snack you will make a wet landing on the green beach of Cormorant Point. From here you will follow the sandy path to the other, powdery sand beach of the peninsula, which has been formed by a lava tongue (approx. 1 mi). En route you can observe the American flamingo lagoon from different viewpoints and perspectives. After a short displacement to Post Office Bay and lunch, you can post your holiday greetings in the traditional barrel just behind the beach (wet landing), which is also a comfortable place to relax. Next you can explore the submerged crater rim that surrounds the neighboring bay of Baroness Lookout in your own pace by sea kayak, or by inflatable dinghy. Around midnight you will navigate about 5 hours northeast to the extraordinary island of Santa Fé.
From Floreana, Santa Fe is located halfway to the central island of Santa Cruz. Today promises to become another memorable highlight of this cruise, with visits of the typical and popular islands of Santa Fe and South Plaza. These will surprise again because of their complete distinctive character. Below the bizarre giant opuntia cacti you will encounter some of the most characteristic and outstanding species, including land iguanas.
After breakfast and another wet landing you will make a guided walk from the beach of Santa Fe. There is an easy shorter circuit or a strenuous longer. moderate-level hike (2 mi.); the guide will decide which path will be followed. Don’t forget to retain some strength for excellent swimming or snorkeling in the clear azure waters of Barrington Bay. Around lunchtime you will proceed to South Plaza (about 2.5 hours Northwest)—possibly accompanied by bottle nose dolphins!
South Plaza is one out of two islets close to the eastern coast of Santa Cruz. On this Jurassic islet you will undertake a contrast guided nature walk (easy level 0.75 mi). Before—a hopefully spectacular—sunset you will leave for tomorrow’s destination, North Seymour, following the coast of Santa Cruz to the heart of the archipelago (about 4 hours). You will drop the anchor in the Itabaca Channel, where you can enjoy a quiet floating sleep.
North Seymour is one of most visited sites of Galapagos, and overloaded with extensive colonies of frigate birds and boobies. It is located in the heart of the Archipelago, just north of the main island of Santa Cruz, and close to Baltra.
After an early snack you will take a 2-hour guided walk through the waking seabird’s colonies, following an easy 1.25 mile loop. Filled with impressions you will return on board to fill up your stomach with a delicious breakfast buffet. Later in the morning snorkeling is on the program. As usual you will be welcomed on board with a snack, while you continue about 2 hours west to Bachas Beach, where you will be served lunch. In the afternoon you will make another wet landing followed by an easy stroll along the waterline of this coral sand beach. Before dinner you will sail back to the heart of the archipelago, where you will spend your last night on board, enjoying a farewell cocktail with the crew and your fellow passengers, and enjoying another quiet sleep, while floating.
Mosquera lies in the middle of the Itabaca Channel, between Baltra and North Seymour. Because of nearby Baltra airport, Mosquera is a perfect conclusion of your Galapagos visit.
This morning you will have an early wake up call and a snack before setting out on your last excursion. Depending on the tide and the check-in time for your flight to Guayaquil or Quito you may or may not have the opportunity to go on land, where you can freely stroll around. Otherwise you will set out on an interesting dinghy ride along the rocky shore, full of sea birds. After breakfast it’s time say goodbye and leave the yacht. You will be accompanied with your luggage to the airport, where you can check-in and return to Guayaquil or Quito.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes. Read this itinerary as a guide only, as the exact route and the wildlife you encounter may vary.
This ship travels together with the Sea Star Journey to most locations.
Shared shuttle transfer to Quito or Guayaquil airport; Galapagos transfers (included if Galapagos flights are booked through the shipping company on scheduled departure cruise dates); cabin accommodations and meals aboard the ship; coffee, tea and water; itinerary excursions to the islands with certified guide; snorkeling gear; kayaking. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; hotel nights before/after cruise; transfers in Quito or Guayaquil; Galapagos National Park entrance fee; Galapagos Transit Card; items of a personal nature such as laundry, massage, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages; gratuities to ship staff is left to the discretion of the passenger; traveler’s insurance; wet suit rental; fuel surcharge may apply.
Airfare between Quito/Guayaquil and the Galapagos Islands:
The flights between mainland Ecuador (Quito or Guayaquil) and the Galapagos Islands are an additional cost. To secure your seats on often overbooked flights, ExpeditionTrips must reserve these flights for you at the time of cruise booking. Approximate cost (including service fee): $500-$700 per adult; $300-$450 per child under 12 (copy of passport required).