Summary : Tour the islands aboard a bright and modern ship with Jacuzzi, kayaks, glass-bottom boat and expert guides to enhance your wildlife viewing experience. 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
Arrival by plane to San Cristóbal Island and transfer to La Pinta for introductions and lunch.
After lunch, land back at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and drive 40 minutes to the island’s southern shore. At Cerro Colorado, visit the breeding center of the highly-endangered giant tortoises in the midst of a fantastic deciduous forest, home to dozens of bird species and the endemic San Cristóbal lava lizard.
Land at Punta Pitt on the eastern tip of San Cristóbal Island. The trail that ascends from the beach provides spectacular views of the shoreline. Observe two frigate species, plus a colony of bachelor sea lions. After the walk, if conditions are favorable, there is a chance to swim from the beach and snorkel by an islet.
In the afternoon, cruise along the shores of tuff-stone layers to Cerro Brujo's expansive, white coraline beach; great for walking with rewarding birdwatching and good views of seabirds and shore birds. Keep an eye out for Galápagos sea lions. These are the same shores that Charles Darwin walked upon, back in September 1835. Explore under the surface with a ride in the glass-bottom boat.
Explore Punta Suarez for an exciting walk over hardened lava to visit its famous blowhole and unique sea bird colonies, including the waved albatrosses (April - December), boobies and swallow-tail gulls. Keep an eye out for red-green-black marine on your way back to the ship.
In the afternoon, disembark at the white coral beach of Gardner Bay for a short walk to observe the sea lions, mockingbirds, finches and enjoy the beach. There is great snorkeling in this area; or choose to kayak or ride in the glass-bottom boat.
Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and the ‘rearing in captivity' program for the giant tortoises. Witness the efforts and results of years of scientific field work. Please Note: Charles Darwin Research Station is undergoing refurbishment. Therefore, trips during the refurbishment may instead visit the highlands to see giant tortoises.
Travel by bus to El Chato Reserve, one of the best places in the archipelago to see giant tortoises. The tortoises are easy to spot, lumbering around, eating grass and leaves and wallowing in small pools. Watch for highland birds like cattle egrets, mockingbirds, finches or flycatchers. Return by bus to Puerto Ayora to board the vessel.
After breakfast, a zodiac ride takes you to Eden Islet, located off the coast of Santa Cruz, where you can observe blue footed boobies diving into the water, and frigates soaring above. There's a chance to snorkel and, if weather condition permits, ride in the glass-bottom boat.
Less than a quarter-of-a-square-kilometer in size, the tiny island of Sombrero Chino gets its name from its appearance: a Chinese hat. This islet was formed fairly recently. Explore its 400-meter long trail, which begins at a crescent-shaped white sandy beach. The cove offers excellent swimming and snorkeling opportunities with the possibility of spotting white-tipped reef sharks and Galápagos penguins.
A great way to start the day, this steep climb up a wooden staircase is worth the effort! Following the walk, take a zodiac ride around iconic Pinnacle Rock followed by time to enjoy the beach and snorkel. Or ride in the glass-bottom boat for great views of the underwater world.
After lunch, board the zodiacs for a short ride to Sullivan Bay on the east coast of Santiago where a white coral sand beach awaits. Walk over lava that flowed here less than 100 years ago – the perfect place to see and feel the volcanic origin of the Galápagos Islands while observing its wildlife.
In the morning, begin your exploration of this island with an easy stroll to observe marine and land birds. There is an optional walk over sharp lava and uneven terrain for dramatic views, or else you can return to the beach to enjoy swimming and snorkeling at this beautiful natural harbor. The more adventurous can snorkel or kayak along the cliffs.
The afternoon starts with a zodiac ride along the cliffs before a steep stair climb (90 feet). Once at the top of the stairs, walk over flat land to the other side of this small island as you observe large colonies of masked boobies, frigate birds and storm petrels.
Disembark and transfer to the airport for your 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.
This trip is a longer trip combining two shorter trips. Therefore you may have passengers who may embark/disembark part-way through the trip.
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, coffee, tea, water, juices and non-alcoholic carbonated drinks; guide and lecture services; kayaking; glass-bottom boat outings; snorkeling gear and wetsuits; internet and Wi-Fi; luggage handling; medical care on board (but not the cost of medication); taxes and transfers in the island. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare and airport taxes; hotel nights before/after cruise; Galapagos National Park entrance fee; Galapagos Transit Card; alcoholic beverages and 'virgin' cocktails; gifts and personal items; passport expenses; traveler's insurance; laundry service; gratuities to ship staff and crew; 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).