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
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Arrive at the airport and transfer to Santa Cruz Island. Here you will immerse yourself in a unique ecosystem – the highlands – which consists of a human cloud forest where giant tortoises dwell and birds find sanctuary. This area is also home to mockingbirds, Bahama ducklings, White-cheeked pintail ducklings, Darwin finches, and many other species.
Visit Tintoreras Islet in the morning, located a short distance from Puerto Villamil. Home to a great variety of wildlife; its turquoise, crystalline waters are inhabited by white-tipped reef sharks, Galapagos Penguins, marine turtles and sea lions. Visit a secluded beach, surrounded by mangroves, where marine iguanas mate.
Go next to the Sierra Negra Volcano, which boasts the largest basaltic caldera in the Galapagos. The site offers impressive views and the opportunity to observe up to seven species of finches and a rich display of vegetation.
Later, visit the Tortoise Breeding Station, a center created to protect animals in their first years of life from the threats of foreign species like pigs and donkeys. Giant tortoise eggs are collected and brought to the center where they are hatched and kept for five years before being released to their natural environment.
Start your morning at Moreno Point, located near Elizabeth Bay on the west coast of Isabela Island. Enjoy a dinghy ride along the striking rocky shores or a hike along path through lava rock leading to tide pools and mangroves. Spot green sea turtles or white-tip sharks.
Cruise on to Elizabeth Bay on the east coast of Isabela Island. Navigate the bay's many islets by dinghy and look for penguins or blue-footed boobies. With the abundance of marine life and clear water, the area is perfect for snorkeling and viewing schools of colorful fish, sea lions, and perhaps even sharks.
Visit Mangle Point this morning, where you can take in the amazing views and spectacular wildlife of Fernandina Island. This small inlet is a fabulous place to snorkel to your heart's content alongside playful sea lions and curious penguins.
In the afternoon, sail to Urbina Bay on the west coast between Tagus Cove and Elizabeth Bay. This area experienced a major uplift in 1954, causing the land to rise over 16 feet. The coast expanded half a mile out, leaving marine life stranded on the new shore. This area is also a great place for snorkeling.
In the morning, cross the Bolivar Channel that divides Isabela and Fernandina Islands to land on Espinosa Point. Walk past a colony of marine iguanas and a group of sea lions before you reach the island's highlight: the flightless cormorant nesting site. This area is also a great opportunity to see the Galapagos Hawk.
The largest in the archipelago, this seahorse-shaped island is also one of the youngest and most volcanically active. Visit Vicente Roca Point. Comprised of two separate coves, this site is a large bay with spectacular sea life. Keep an eye out for seahorses, sea turtles, and the strange yet fascinating Mola Mola sunfish.
Start the day off at James Bay, otherwise known as Egas Port, home to the curious Galapagos Hawks and quick-footed Galapagos lava lizards. The trail leads to a coastline with gorgeous tide pools. Here the Galapagos fur sea lions bathe in the sun. This is also a great snorkeling site.
Also known as El Barranco, start your morning with a climb up Prince Phillip's steep, rocky paths, leading up to a marvelous mountain lookout. This site is also home to Palo Santo vegetation as well as red-footed boobies, short-eared lava owls, Galapagos swallows, and Galapagos doves.
In the afternoon, make your way to Darwin Bay. This white-sand coral beach heads a half mile trail that winds through mangroves filled with land birds. Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls can be spotted here. Further down the path are tidal pools where sea lions swim playfully. At the end is a spectacular view off a cliff.
Explore the rocky coast of North Seymour Island on your last morning. Pass by colonies of blue-footed boobies and magnificent frigatebirds.
In the afternoon, disembark the yacht and meet your airport transfer. Catch your short flight to mainland Ecuador.
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.
Cabin accommodations and meals aboard the ship; shore activities and excursions; soft drinks (plastic bottled sodas excluded) and juices on board; champagne reception; Galapagos National Park certified guide; gear on loan (kayaks, snorkeling gear, and wetsuits). Subject to change without notice.
Hotel nights before/after cruise; transfers in Quito or Guayaquil; Galapagos National Park entrance fee; Galapagos Transit Card; international airfare; airfare to/from Galapagos Islands; alcoholic beverages; gratuities to ship staff, crew, and naturalists are left to the discretion of the passenger; travel insurance; passport expenses; plastic bottled sodas; fuel surcharge may apply. Subject to change without notice.
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).