Summary : Experience Darwin's enchanted isles onboard a comfortable expedition ship with a quality education program, excellent service, Jacuzzi, kayaks, and sun deck. 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
Combine this voyage with Galapagos Classic - Eastern and save 10% off the 2nd week. Not applicable during Christmas, New Year's or Easter weeks.
$4,480 to $7,120
Arrive at Baltra Island and enjoy a welcome briefing from your guides before continuing to Whaler's Bay.
Daphne Minor, a tuff cone (giant pile of compressed volcanic ash shaped like a cone), sits off the north coast of Santa Cruz Island, west of Baltra Island and North Seymour Island. While off limits to all but limited scientific parties going ashore, permission has been given from the National Park to navigate around a close by island. You will have a front row seat to witness bustling colonies of blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, magnificent frigate birds and more. You'll also have the opportunity to observe short-eared owls and red-billed tropicbirds.
Explore Punta Vicente Roca, located at the ‘mouth’ of the sea horse, whose shape this island resembles. Here, the remnants of an ancient volcano form two turquoise coves with a bay well protected from the ocean swells. Take a panga ride along the cliffs or explore a partially sunken cave at the water’s edge. Keep an eye out for masked and blue-footed boobies and flightless cormorants.
In the afternoon, visit Fernandina Island, the youngest and westernmost island in the Galapagos. Punta Espinosa is a narrow stretch of land where some of the most unique Galapagos species can be seen. Keep an eye out for penguins, Sally-lightfoot crabs, herons and sandpipers. You may even spot marine iguanas feeding underwater!
Return to Isabela Island this morning to swim, snorkel or explore by foot at Urbina Bay. In 1954, over 3 miles of marine reef at the edge of the shore was uplifted by 13 feet. Walk amongst the dried coral heads, mollusks and other organisms that formed the ocean floor. Keep an eye out for the vivid markings of giant land iguanas.
On the way to Tagus Cove, sail through the cold waters of the Bolivar Channel where dolphins and whales are frequently seen as they come to feed on rich nutrient content. Enjoy the cove’s quiet waters ideal for a panga ride where blue-footed boobies and pelicans make their nests up in the cliffs, and flightless cormorants and penguins inhabit the lava ledges.
Bartolome is famous for Pinnacle Rock, which is the most representative landmark of the Galapagos. Look for Galapagos penguins which are usually found at the base of the rock. Climb up the wooden stairs to the highest point and observe the landscape which resembles the moon. Back at the beach, snorkel or swim as you keep an eye out for sea lions and sea turtles.
Sullivan Bay’s lava formations are known as pahoehoe (Hawaiian for Rope). Rare to the rest of the world, but common to the volcanoes of Hawaii and the Galapagos Islands. Few plants manage to take root in this harsh environment. Observe the Lava Cactus (Brachycereus) found here which is some of the first plant life able to establish itself and survive. Take a trail and watch for black and white Oystercatchers fishing for crabs and mollusks in the tide pools. After exploring the hardened lava flow, swim and snorkel at a beautiful beach where perhaps you will be joined by playful sea lions.
Visit Las Bachas where the sand is soft and white, and a favorite site for nesting sea turtles. Spot Sally-lightfoot crabs in abundance on the lava rocks along the water's edge. Hike to see flamingos, hermit crabs, black necked stilts, and whimbrels.
Explore Dragon Hill named for the large number of land iguanas that frequent the area. Dragon Hill has become an important nesting site for iguanas reintroduced there by the Charles Darwin Research Center. Take a short walk from the beach to a salt-rich lagoon that is frequented by pink flamingos, common stilts, pintail ducks and other species of birds. Pass through an endemic Scalesia forest as you hike up Dragon Hill for impressive views of the bay.
The lush greenery of the Santa Cruz Highlands contrasts with the arid scenery of the smaller, lower islands. Weather permitting, take a short walk to The Twins, two pit craters which are lush with trees, moss and lichens. Watch and listen for Galapagos mockingbirds who may follow you along the trail.
Santa Cruz is the second largest island in the Galapagos, and the small town of Puerto Ayora is the economic center of the archipelago. Six different zones of vegetation can be seen here. Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station where scientists, park rangers and park managers are making huge efforts to preserve and protect the Galapagos Islands. The Station is also a tortoise breeding and rearing center, where tortoises of different subspecies are prepared for reintroduction to their natural habitats.
Punta Suarez is one of the most popular and attractive spots in the Galapagos. The quantity and variety of wildlife at this site is remarkable. Encounter young sea lions, iguanas, and further inland, masked and blue-foot boobies. Follow a trail toward the cliffs and the blowhole, a fissure in the lava where water sprays high in the air.
Espanola Island is the southernmost island of the archipelago and due to its isolation has a high proportion of endemic fauna. Explore Gardner Bay's long white sandy beach where colonies of sea lions laze in the sun, sea turtles swim offshore, and inquisitive mockingbirds boldly investigate new arrivals.
Heading south along San Cristobal’s west coast, make for Wreck Bay and Puerto Baquerizo. As you get closer to port, pass Leon Dormido, also known as Kicker Rock, a spectacular formation that rises 152 meters (500 feet) out of the Pacific. It takes the form of a sleeping lion (hence its Spanish name).
Visit the San Cristóbal Interpretation Center, which presents a comprehensive exhibit of the islands' natural history, human interaction, ecosystems, flora and fauna. Transfer to the airport for your return flight 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.
Cabin accommodations aboard ship; meals aboard ship; soft drinks, juice, coffee and tea throughout the cruise; service of naturalist guides; kayaking; snorkeling equipment (mask, snorkel, fins, wetsuits). Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; hotel nights before/after cruise; transfers in Quito or Guayaquil; Galapagos National Park entrance fee; Galapagos Transit Card; gratuities to ship crew and naturalists; alcohol and beverages other than those mentioned as included; travel insurance; passport expenses; personal expenses; 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).
We are happy to add hotels, air and land arrangements as requested, and you will be quoted for services.