Summary : Cruise the islands aboard an elegant motor yacht with a high quality education program, great 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
Just-Released Offer Save up to 20% off.
Combine this voyage with Galapagos Classic - Southern and save 10% off the 2nd week. Not applicable during Christmas, New Year's or Easter weeks.
$5,200 to $7,650
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.
Santa Fe Island may well be the oldest island in the Galapagos and has one of the most beautiful and sheltered bays in the archipelago as well as some of the best snorkeling. Look to the shore as it is usually covered in sea lions. Keep an eye out for land iguanas too.
South Plaza was formed by uplifted lava and is covered by Opuntia cacti growing over patches of Sesusvium. Explore the island and discover land iguanas, sea lions, swallow-tailed gulls and red-billed tropic birds.
Genovesa is one of the most fantastic islands because of delightful wildlife, landscape, remoteness and unspoiled nature. At Prince Phillip’s Steps, climb to a plateau that is part of the stretch of land that surrounds Darwin Bay on its eastern side. Observe masked boobies, red-footed boobies, and thousands of storm petrels. Snorkeling can be done at the beach or alongside the cliffs.
Darwin Bay Beach is filled with frigate birds and their bustling activity. Along the trail are pairs of swallow-tailed gulls, the only nocturnal gulls in the world and red-footed boobies, with their contrasting red feet and blue bills. A brief panga ride brings you to the base of cliffs to reveal the full variety of species sheltering in the ledges and crevices created by the weathered basalt. This is also an intriguing place to go deep-water snorkeling and kayaking.
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!
Visit Urbina Bay to swim, snorkel or explore by foot. 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. After landing, climb a wooden stairway to the trail entrance for a view of Darwin Lake, a perfectly round saltwater crater, barely separated from the ocean but above sea level! Continue around the lake through a dry vegetation zone, and then inland to a promontory formed by spatter cones. The site provides spectacular views of the bay, as well as Darwin Volcano and Wolf Volcano to north.
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.
Visit Espumilla Beach on Santiago Island. Explore inland on foot for views of mangroves, a lagoon and flamingos, or snorkel at the beautiful beach. Anchor at Buccaneers Cove to discover steep cliffs, calm waters and a reddish-purple sand beach.
Puerto Egas on the northwestern side of Santiago offers great snorkeling with chances to swim with sea turtles, parrot fishes, damsel fishes, and many more… Charles Darwin spent most of his Galapagos land time near this spot. A rocky coast with a very gentle slope is used by a great number of shore birds and reptiles. Oystercatchers, whimbrels, and sanderlings are joined by marine iguanas and bright painted Sally-lightfoot crabs, while fur sea lions lounge in collapsed lava tunnels.
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 and discover the huge efforts that scientists, park rangers and park managers are making to preserve and protect the Galapagos Islands. Observe some of the tortoises at the breeding and rearing center, where they are prepared for reintroduction to their natural habitats.
In the afternoon, travel to a lush highland forest and notice its contrast to the arid scenery of the lower islands. View the Twin Craters, weather permitting, on a hike through unique vegetation rich with birdlife like the curious Galapagos mockingbird. Located in the green, hilly highlands of Santa Cruz Island, the El Chato Reserve is one of the best places in the islands to see the giant tortoises in their natural habitat. The tortoises are easy to spot, lumbering around eating grass and leaves and wallowing in the small pools that are common in the reserve.
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.