Summary : Encounter the island chain that has enchanted explorers since Darwin first weighed anchor off its shores. Enjoy your days exploring the incredible wildlife of the Galapagos archipelago in the company of an expert Naturalist Guide. In the evenings, return to the comfortable G8 to reflect on the day’s adventure under a canopy of stars. Retire to air-conditioned cabins with exclusive lower berths and private bathrooms.
Activities : Birding, Hiking, Snorkeling
AARP Discount: Members of AARP save $100 per person. Not combinable with other discounts.
$999,999,999 to $0
Arrive in Quito and check into your hotel. A representative will greet you and brief you on various aspects of the tour. The day is free for you to enjoy the city. The Ecuadorian capital of Quito enjoys a wonderful spring-like climate, despite the fact that it is only 14 miles south of the Equator. Nestled in a valley flanked by mountains, on a clear day several snow-capped volcanoes, including nearby Pichincha, are visible from the city center. Add to its beautiful location a rich history and well-preserved colonial district, and you begin to understand Quito’s appeal to thousands of visitors every year. The city is home to several excellent museums, historical buildings, landmarks, and a vibrant nightlife.
Transfer early to the airport for your flights to the Galapagos Islands. Upon arrival in San Cristobal, meet your naturalist guide who will assist you in transferring to your vessel. In the afternoon, visit Isla Lobos to see the sea lions and walk on the beach.
This morning, explore South Plaza Island. Though one of the smallest islands in the Galapagos, South Plaza has one of the largest populations of land iguanas. Walk along a path through a cactus forest and view a combination of dry and coastal vegetation.
Set sail in the afternoon for North Seymour, just north of Baltra, home to sea lions, marine iguanas, swallow-tailed gulls, magnificent frigate birds and blue-footed boobies. Seymour Island is one of the most exciting islands, photographically. Bird life abounds, and close to the trail you will find many nesting pairs and young chicks. Seymour is also home to the Galapagos’s largest colony of Magnificent Frigate Birds. Their mating ritual is an ostentatious display: males expand the red sack at the base of their throat and perch atop a bush with wings fully extended, flapping furiously. Interested females circle overhead, and if so inclined, may join the male on terra firma. Further along the trail you can observe a colony of sea lions.
In the morning, the boat arrives to a little island off the southern tip of Santiago called Chinese Hat, for its unique shape. Here, it is often possible to see Galapagos penguins and the marine life makes for fantastic snorkeling. There is a large sea lion colony, as well as many marine iguanas that can be seen on your guided walk amongst the volcanic scenery, with good views to the cone of the island's volcano.
Visit Bachas Beach in the afternoon, located on the northeastern tip of Santa Cruz Island. A great beach to stroll at the edge of crystalline waters perfect for swimming, Bachas Beach also gives you the opportunity to see frigate birds, Blue-footed Boobies and sea lions.
In the morning, arrive in Puerto Ayora, on Santa Cruz Island. Santa Cruz is the second largest in the island group, and has the largest population, with Puerto Ayora as its main town. Santa Cruz boasts the most varied of the islands’ vegetation zones: coastal, transition, scalesia, miconia and pampa. The Charles Darwin Research Station is a 10 minute walk from the center of the town. The station is the site of an exhibition center that displays photos of recent volcanic eruptions, charts outlining geological formations, and drawings of the evolutionary development of endemic species. A corral houses adult Galapagos Tortoises, which may live up to 200 years, and a nursery cares for young tortoises until they are about three years old, when their shells have hardened enough to provide protection. This is the training center for the naturalist guides that accompany visitors to the islands’ landing sites. In the afternoon, you may have the opportunity to visit the highlands and see giant land tortoises in the wild.
Transfer to the airport on Baltra Island for your flight to Quito. Transfer to your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure. Enjoy one last night in historic Quito.
Depart at any time.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Arrival transfer and Continental breakfast while in Quito; onboard accommodations; 3 nights in the Galapagos Islands; shore excursions; daily opportunities for swimming and snorkeling; snorkeling equipment onboard Galapagos yacht; 5 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners; 2 nights at deluxe hotel in Quito; local transportation by flight (Quito to Galapagos, and reverse); motorized catamaran, van, zodiacs, public bus; local naturalist guide (certified by the Galapagos National Park) while in the Islands; local representative in Quito; small group experience.
Airfare; travel insurance (required); passport and visa fees; departure taxes; Tourist Transit card fee ($10 cash); Galapagos park entry fee payable immediately upon arrival to the Islands ($100 cash, subject to increase); meals not expressly outlined in itinerary; beverages on board; gratuities are at your discretion; items of a personal nature including laundry, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages; optional activities.