Summary : 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
$3,606 to $5,345
Arrive at Baltra's airport and begin your Galapagos adventure. Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz. Observe the giant tortoises that are part of the breeding program. Admire a prickly-pear cactus forest and spot Darwin’s finches and other land birds. The Darwin Station also works to provide environmental education to communities and schools within the islands, as well as visiting travelers.
Santa Fe is a small island, with the main attraction being its white coral beach with incredible snorkeling opportunities and a variety of sea birds and colorful fish. On South Plaza Island, the white color of the rocks contrasts with the red cloak of vegetation (Sesuvium portolacastrum) and a cactus forest. Observe land and marine iguanas, sea lions, blue-footed boobies and many other sea birds.
In the morning, visit North Seymour Island which is home to a major nesting colony of blue-footed boobies, and has the largest colony of frigate birds. Encounter sea lions, land iguanas, and on a lucky day, you might even come across a Galapagos snake.
In the afternoon, visit Bachas Beach on Santa Cruz Island. Encounter sea birds, marine iguanas, sea turtles, Darwin’s finches, mockingbirds, and gulls, as well as interesting native and endemic vegetation. Take a stroll along a white sand beach that is a main nesting site of sea turtles.
Today, explore the Interpretation Center on San Cristóbal Island. Learn about the history of the islands in the context of nature, humankind and conservation. Visit Tijeretas Hill to walk through beautiful landscapes ending with a magnificent view nearby a large frigate bird colony.
Travel Carrion Point and discover its sea lions and colorful underwater creatures with opportunities to see various sea birds nesting on the rock cliffs.
Later explore Dragon Hill's vegetation, endemic land iguanas, Darwin finches, and mockingbirds.
Sail to Mosquera Islet. Located between North Seymour and Baltra Islands, this flat, sandy island has a large colony of sea lions. Observe shorebirds such as herons and lava gulls.
Continue to Bartolome for a hike to the summit with impressive views of the eroded tuff cone of Pinnacle Rock. Enjoy time relaxing on the beach, snorkeling and viewing Galapagos penguins, sea turtles, among a great variety of colorful fish schools.
Experience Rabida's unique beaches covered in dark red sand. It is considered the epicenter of the Galapagos Islands due to the diversity of its volcanic geology. Nesting Brown Pelicans are found from July through September and nine species of Darwin’s finches inhabit the island. Cruise by Zodiac along cliffs to observe nesting seabirds, and snorkel off the coast where marine life is particularly active.
Chinese Hat is an islet located off the southeastern tip of Santiago Island. The islet itself is beautiful and there are strict restrictions on number of visitors to this site so not many people get the chance to explore it. Experience it with either a very nice scenic hike or fantastic snorkeling opportunity where penguins are often seen.
Travel to the scenic highlands of Santa Cruz. Encounter the famous giant tortoises in their natural habitat and discover lava tubes. The road to the reserve is one of the best places to see land birds. Observe tree and ground finches, vermilion flycatchers, and cattle egrets.
Cruise to Baltra and disembark for transfer to the airport for your flight back to mainland Ecuador.
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.
This trip may require a change of ship during the cruise, as it is a longer trip combining two shorter trips. Therefore you may have passengers who have already been on board when you embark, other passengers that may embark/disembark part-way through the trip, and still others that may be staying on board after you disembark.
Shuttle Service: Included to the airport from the following hotels only
Quito - Patio Andaluz, Swissotel, Quito, Mercure, JW Marriot, Dann Carlton
Guayaquil - Palace, Grand Hotel, Oro Verde, Hilton Colon
Shuttle service to the airport from select Quito and Guayaquil hotels when air is booked through vendor; cabin accommodations aboard ship; all meals aboard ship; welcome and farewell cocktail; 24-hour coffee/tea station; shore activities and excursions; snorkeling; guide and lecture services. Subject to change without notice.
Any airfare; accommodation before/after cruise; transfers in Quito or Guayaquil unless specified above; Galapagos National Park entrance fee; Galapagos Transit Card; items of a personal nature such as laundry, medical services, consumption from the mini-bar located in suites, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages except those mentioned as included; gratuities to ship staff is left to the discretion of the passenger; traveler’s insurance; wet suit rental; kayak rental; Internet; taxes for items/activities onboard; fuel surcharge.
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).