Summary : Encounter tortoises of giant proportions and iguanas that swim in the ocean while discovering the diverse species of Darwin's enchanted islands. 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 colorful Sally lightfoot crabs 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
$4,902 to $5,550
After landing at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno's airport, transfer to the ship. Check in and receive an introductory briefing and lunch on board.
After lunch, land at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, and take a 40-minute bus ride to the island's southern shore. At Cerro Colorado, visit the breeding center of the highly endangered giant tortoises in the midst of a fantastic deciduous forest, home to dozens of bird species and the endemic San Cristóbal lava lizard.
Take a morning zodiac ride along the cliffs of this dramatic island. Land and take a steep climb (90 feet) up Prince Philip’s Steps to reach a flat plateau. Along the walk, observe colonies of Nazca boobies, red footed boobies, great frigate birds and storm petrels. Those not wishing to disembark can enjoy a longer ride along the cliffs (depending on weather conditions). There is also an opportunity to snorkel and kayak.
In the afternoon, land at the beach for an easy stroll observing birds such as frigates, boobies, gulls, herons, finches and mockingbirds. There's an optional walk over hardened lava and uneven terrain for dramatic views. Or you can return to the beach to enjoy snorkeling at this beautiful natural harbor.
After breakfast, enjoy a coastal exploration along the impressive cliffs of Buccaneer's Cove, learning about the area's history. The cove is home to a large number of marine birds, sea lions, and inter-tidal organisms. Enjoy fantastic natural formations such as "Elephant Rock", "The Bishop" and an impressive natural cave. This is a great site for snorkeling too! Or ride in the glass-bottom boat.
Later, arrive at Puerto Egas to observe land and marine birds amid a landscape of tuff-stone layers and hardened lava flows. At low tide, marine iguanas graze upon the algae beds and you can also observe a colony of fur seals. The beach has very good snorkeling and swimming.
In the morning, visit the youngest island of the archipelago, Fernandina. Explore Punta Espinoza with its amazing combination of barren land yet abundant wildlife. Highlights include hawks, penguins and the flightless cormorant. Enjoy an opportunity to snorkel.
Across the narrow Bolívar Channel, anchor at Tagus Cove on Isabela Island, a favorite anchorage of pirates and whalers over the centuries. An uphill hike takes you to the rim of Darwin Crater, filled with salt water and a dramatic viewpoint. After your walk, take a zodiac ride to spot wildlife, with the possibility of swimming, kayaking or snorkeling too!
After breakfast, disembark at Urbina Bay, the result of an uplifting of the ocean in 1954. Here you can find corals, shells and many other calcareous organisms exposed above water. This area is also home to large and very colorful Galápagos land iguanas. After the hike, you may encounter flightless cormorants and penguins while snorkeling.
Explore Punta Vicente Roca by zodiac while your naturalist guide explains the dramatic geology of hardened lava flows and tuff stone layers. There is abundant wildlife and, depending on the conditions of the ocean, you'll be able to snorkel along the cliffs with the chance of spotting green sea turtles.
In the morning, disembark at Rábida Island's red sand beach. Observe large colony of sea lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and several species of Darwin's finches as you walk. This is a great place to snorkel from the beach. You can also enjoy a zodiac ride, kayaking or glass-bottom boat ride.
The north shore of Santa Cruz is home to Dragon Hill. Circle a brackish water lagoon frequented by birds, while further inland, the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western islands of the archipelago.
After breakfast, disembark and transfer to the airport to fly back to the mainland.
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.
Shared transfer from main hotels in Quito (Casa Gangotena, Hilton Colon, Mercure, Sheraton, Marriott, Dann Carlton) and in Guayaquil (Hilton Colon, Oro Verde, Sheraton, Wyndham) to airport for flights to/from Galapagos; cabin accommodations aboard ship; meals aboard ship; guide and lecture services; kayaks; glass-bottom boat; snorkeling gear (excludes wetsuits); Internet access and Wi-Fi; luggage handling; medical care on board (but not the cost of medication); taxes and transfers in the islands. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare and airport taxes; hotel nights before/after cruise; transfers in Quito or Guayaquil unless noted as included; Galapagos National Park entrance fee; Galapagos Transit Card; wetsuit rental; alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages; gifts and personal items; passport and visa expenses; traveler's insurance; laundry service; gratuities to ship staff and crew are left to the discretion of the passenger; 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): $450-$600 per adult; $250-$325 per child under 12 (copy of passport required).