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, Hiking, Kayaking, Snorkeling
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$3,237 to $3,628
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 enclosures 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. Please Note: Charles Darwin Research Station is undergoing refurbishment. Therefore, trips during the refurbishment may instead visit the highlands to see giant tortoises.
After breakfast, 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. Enjoy time for snorkeling from the beach.
Visit Punta Cormorant to take in an olivine-crystal beach for an easy walk by a brackish water lagoon where greater flamingos may be observed. On the other side of the island, discover a white-sand beach where sea turtles come out at night to nest. Snorkel, if time, at Champion Islet or ride in the glass-bottom boat.
Enjoy a morning outing at Punta Suárez with an exciting walk over lava/boulder terrain to visit the “blowhole” and unique sea bird colonies which may include the waved albatrosses (April - January), boobies and swallow-tail gulls. Keep an eye out for red-green-black marine iguanas.
In the afternoon, set foot on a beautiful, white coral beach of Gardner Bay for a short walk to observe the sea lions, mockingbirds, and finches. There area is great for snorkeling. You have a chance to kayak, or ride in the glass-bottom boat.
In the morning, land on the eastern tip of the island. The trail that ascends from the beach provides spectacular views of the shoreline and is the only site in the Galapagos where the three species of boobies can be found together, as well as the two frigate species, plus a colony of bachelor sea lions. After the walk, if conditions are favorable, there is a chance to swim, kayak or snorkel from the beach or take a zodiac ride.
In the afternoon, following lunch on board, zodiac along the shores to Cerro Brujo's expansive, white beach. Enjoy a walk with rewarding views of seabirds and shore birds, and perhaps sea lions. These are the same shores that Charles Darwin walked upon, back in September 1835. After the walk, there is a chance to swim and snorkel.
After breakfast, disembark and head to the airport for the flight 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, Sheraton, Marriott, Dann Carlton) and in Guayaquil (Hilton Colon, Oro Verde, Hampton Inn, Sheraton) to airport for flights to/from Galapagos; cabin accommodations aboard ship; meals aboard ship; guide and lecture services; kayaks; glass-bottom boat; snorkeling gear; 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).