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, Triple/Quad Cabins
$4,620 to $7,650
Arrive at Baltra Island and enjoy a welcome briefing from your guides before continuing to Daphne Major Islet.
Circumnavigate Daphne Major Islet which is home to a variety of birds including Galapagos martins, blue footed boobies, nazca boobies, short eared owls, red billed tropic birds among others.
In the morning visit Punta Vicente Roca on Isabela Island. Snorkeling is incredible here as a result of the nutrient-rich waters of the Humboldt Current surrounding the western side of the archipelago. Delight in seeing colorful fish, sea lions, penguins and sea turtles in the water.
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!
Urbina Bay is directly west of Isabela's Volcano Alcedo, where you will make an easy, wet landing (a hop into a few inches of water). A highlight of this excursion are the giant land iguanas and giant tortoises, as well as the opportunity to go snorkeling among marine creatures, or just relax on shore.
Visit Tagus Cove on Isabela Island. A wooden stairway rises to the trail entrance and continues around Darwin Lake through a dry vegetation zone, and ends in a promontory formed by spatter cones. The site provides spectacular views of the ship anchored in the bay, as well as Darwin and Wolf Volcanoes. The cove offers the chance to snorkel with marine iguanas, sea turtles, penguins and you may even spot a sea horse.
Visit Bartolome Island, famous for Pinnacle Rock, where you will see Galapagos Penguins and sea lions. You will also hike a trail to Bartolome's summit where you will be rewarded with spectacular views of Pinnacle Rock and idyllic beach, where the crystal blue waters of the bay cradle the yacht.
Sullivan Bay is one of the most outstanding volcanic sites in the Galapagos. In the nearly 100 years since the Sullivan Bay Flow, only a few plants like Mollugo and Lava cacti have managed to take root in this harsh environment. Oystercatchers can be seen fishing for crabs and mollusks in the tide pools of Sullivan Bay. After exploring the lava flow, there is time to enjoy swimming and snorkeling with playful sea lions off two small coraline beaches.
Visit Las Bachas, a sandy white-coral beach that is a major egg-laying site for sea turtles. The name Bachas refers to the remains of landing craft left here at the end of WWII. Ashore marine iguanas mingle with flamingos and other wading birds in another of the many super saline lagoons found in the Galapagos.
Explore Rabida Island, commonly known by its English name of Jervis, is unique for the very red color of the beach and cliffs, beneath which one can find gliding sea turtles and perched blue footed boobies. A thick forest of Palo Santo trees sits back from the beach sheltering a yellow saltwater lagoon. Pelicans nest in the thickets and brightly colored pink flamingos graze the lagoon. A sea lion colony likes to laze on the red sands of the beach. Hike up a tiny peninsula for a wonderful view of the beach and lagoon. Sea caves invite exploration further down the coast.
Santa Cruz is the second largest island in the Galapagos and its capital, Puerto Ayora, is the economic center of the Islands. In the morning, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to visit the Giant Tortoise and Land Iguana Breeding and Rearing Program.
Enjoy an afternoon visit to the Highlands, where the dry coastal vegetation transitions to lush wet fields and forests overgrown with moss and lichens. Your destination is the Tortoise Reserve, where you will have an opportunity to see these animals up close.
Española, also known as Hood, is the southernmost island of the archipelago, and is one of the most popular due to the breathtaking variation and number of fauna that inhabit the island. In the morning visit Punta Suarez where you will witness the largest variety of marine iguanas in the Galapagos, masked boobies and blue footed boobies nesting along the cliff's edge, as well as the nesting site of the famous waved albatross.
In the afternoon, visit Gardner Bay, a magnificent long white sandy beach, where colonies of sea lions laze in the sun, sea turtles swim offshore, and inquisitive mockingbirds boldly investigate new arrivals.
Today your Galapagos cruise comes to an end, but before you bid farewell to the Evolution and her crew pay a visit to the Galapagos National Park Visitor Centre on San Cristobal Island. The Centre presents a comprehensive exhibit of the islands' natural history, human interaction, ecosystems, flora & fauna and your naturalist will use the exhibits to provide an illustrated overview of life on the Islands. A short trail arrives at Frigate Bird Hill, where both "magnificent-frigates" and "great-frigates" can be seen in the same colony.
Afterwards, return to the airport for the flight back to the Ecuadorian 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.
Special Guests: 12/9/2017
While you can’t go back in time to visit the Galapagos Islands with Charles Darwin aboard HMS Beagle, this December you can visit the famed archipelago with Richard Dawkins, the world’s leading evolutionary biologist, best-selling author and sometimes controversial scientist.
Cabin accommodations aboard ship; meals aboard ship; soft drinks, juice, coffee and tea throughout the cruise; service of naturalist guides; kayaking; use of 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; travel health insurance (required to enter Ecuador); 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): $500-$700 per adult; $300-$450 per child under 12 (copy of passport required).