Galapagos In-Brief – Southern

Galapagos Cruise

  • Isabela II
  • Expedition Ship
  • 40 Capacity
  • 5 Days
  • 2014, 2015 View Departure>
    • 2014
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  • Price from
  • $2,937

Summary : Encounter the island chain that has enchanted explorers since Darwin first weighed anchor off its shores and take the trip of a lifetime discovering amazing wildlife. 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, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Snorkeling

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Itinerary
Day 1
Baltra Island / Santa Cruz Island

Arrive at Baltra Airport and transfer to the Itabaca Channel to take a ferry across to Santa Cruz Island. Take a 30-minute scenic bus ride to the Highlands to enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, and then continue to Puerto Ayora.

In the afternoon, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise pens within an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest. These are the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. Stroll along the main street of Puerto Ayora before embarking the vessel later in the afternoon.

Day 2
Floreana Island

Land at Post Office Bay to visit the historic barrel that has been serving as a post office in the archipelago for over two centuries. Learn about the human side of the islands, its early inhabitants and the adventures of pirates and whalers. Go on a Panga ride and snorkeling along the maze of channels on the north shore of Floreana and see the sea lion colonies, marine turtles in shallow waters, rays and occasionally penguins.

Visit Cormorant Point's olivine-crystal beach for an easy walk that includes a brackish water lagoon where bird species like greater flamingos, pintail ducks, common stilts, herons, sandpipers, and others may be observed. Discover a white-sand beach where sea turtles come out at night to nest (from December to May). There is usually time to enjoy fantastic snorkeling with the option of a glass-bottom boat excursion.

Day 3
Española Island

Arrive at Punta Suárez for an exciting walk on lava/boulder terrain to visit its unique sea bird colonies, including waved albatrosses (April - December), Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies, swallow-tail gulls, as well as a view of the Galápagos famous “blow-hole.” Among its land birds, the Hood island mockingbird, and three species of Darwin’s finches are common highlights. Also, look for red-green-black marine iguanas.

In the afternoon, set down at a white coral beach for a short walk to observe the sea lions, mockingbirds, finches or enjoy the beach. Experience great snorkeling in this area or a ride aboard the glass-bottom boat.

Day 4
San Cristóbal Island

Arrive this morning (wet landing) on the northeastern side of the San Cristóbal Island. Pitt Point is an eroded tuff cone; the trail that ascends from the beach provides spectacular views of the shoreline. This is the only site in the Galápagos where the three species of boobies can be found together, as well as the two frigate species, plus a colony of bachelor sea lions along the beach. After the walk, if conditions are favorable, there is a chance to swim from the beach.

A dinghy ride along the shores of tuff-stone layers takes guests to Cerro Brujo's white coraline beach (wet landing). The beach is a large expanse, great for walking, with rewarding views of seabirds like blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, herons, frigate birds, and more shore birds. Highlights ashore include the Chatham (San Cristóbal) mockingbird, Chatham lava lizard; both species are endemic to this island, and seen nowhere else in the Galápagos. These are the same shores that Charles Darwin walked upon, back in September 1835, as San Cristóbal was the first island where he set foot in the Galápagos.

Day 5
San Cristóbal Island

After breakfast, depart to the port and airport for the flight back to the mainland.

Notes

This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.

Dry Dock Dates: TBA

Included:
Shared transfer from main hotels in Quito (Casa Gangotena, Hilton Colon, Swissôtel, Marriott, Dann Carlton) and in Guayaquil (Hilton Colon, Oro Verde, Hampton Inn, Sheraton) to airport for flights to/from Galapagos; cabin accommodations aboard ship; all meals aboard ship; all shore activities and excursions; guide and lecture services; sea kayaks; glass-bottom boat outings; snorkeling gear; Internet access and Wi-Fi; luggage handling; medical care on board (but not the cost of medication); taxes and transfers on the island.

Not Included:
Hotel nights before/after cruise; transfers in Quito or Guayaquil; Galapagos National Park entrance fee $100 per person ($50 per child under 12), subject to change without notice; Galapagos Transit Card ($10 per person); international airfare; airport taxes; airfare to/from Galapagos Islands; wet suit rental; Internet; alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages; gifts and personal items; passport 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).