- Motor Yacht
- 20 Capacity
- 8 Days
- Price from
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.
**Price includes most beverages.
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, Hiking, Kayaking, Snorkeling
Early Booking Discount: Book 180 days or more in advance and save 5% on select departures. Contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Upon arrival to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristóbal Island, your crew is waiting at the airport to escort you to your anchored yacht. After the welcome briefing, buffet lunch and safety drill, set sail for Playa Ochoa. Here, test your snorkeling equipment and at the same time swim with a small colony of sea lions. Behind the beach, there is a tidal lagoon where birds can be spotted, including the rare chatham mockingbird. At sunset, cruise around Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido), a vertical tuff cone formation that abruptly juts up almost 500 feet out of the ocean. On the cliffs, spot blue-footed boobies, nazca boobies and magnificent frigate birds.
This morning, visit the northeast tip of San Cristóbal, Punta Pitt, a tuff formation that serves as a nesting site for many sea birds including blue-footed, nazca and red-footed boobies, frigate birds, swallow-tailed gulls and storm petrels. Punta Pitt is considered to be a first-class site for birds and equal to Genovesa (Tower) Island. This afternoon, visit Cerro Brujo, a breathtaking white power-sand beach, said to be one of the most spectacular in Galapagos. Here, enjoy an opportunity to snorkel or kayak right from the beach.
This morning, have a dry landing at Punta Suarez, Española, to witness the highest rate of endemic species in Galapagos. Sea lions noisily greet as you land on their beach. From April to November, the waved albatross, found only on Española, perform their wild mating ritual. Colonies of blue-footed boobies engage in “sky-pointing” to show off for potential mates. Nazca boobies busily care for their young. Stunning swallow-tailed gulls are the only nocturnal gulls in the world. Red-billed tropicbirds take shelter under the cliffs. Also, find Darwin’s Finches, Galapagos Doves and Galapagos Hawks. Observe a unique species of marine iguana identified with traces of red and green colorings. Colorful sally light-foot crabs crawl along the shoreline near to the famous "blow hole."
In the afternoon, have a wet landing on Gardner Bay, Española (Hood). Walk along seemingly endless stretches of this white sandy beach where you’ll find large colonies of sea lions. There is no trail to follow so this is a chance to explore and you may find a Galapagos Hawk, Darwin’s Finches or Hood Mockingbird. Swim with sea lions right from the beach, explore by kayak or just relax. There’s an excellent snorkeling site off Gardner Islet with a colorful diversity of sea life near Tortuga Rock, explore caves covered with invertebrates.
Step ashore at Punta Cormorant, Floreana Island (Charles), one of the few populated islands in the Galapagos. Floreana presents a rich history with mystery and intrigue. Set foot on a beach alive with the sounds of sea lions. Follow a trail to a brackish lagoon, home of the pintail ducks, common stilts, and the pinkest Flamingos in the world. Wind your way past a rich variety of plants including Morning Glory, Cut Leaf Daisies, Palo Verdes and Scalesia leading to a beach with power soft sand. Sea turtles lay their eggs in the sand dunes and rays swim in the shallow water.
After the walk, have an opportunity to snorkel at Devil’s Crown, a shallow sunken crater colonized by a brilliant array of colorful fish and corral. This afternoon, visit Post Office Bay, not the most scenic, but one of the most famous sites in Galapagos. Here a post barrel was put into use in the late 18th Century by English whaling vessels. You are invited to leave a post card and to pick up any mail from your home area.
Disembark in port and travel by bus to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. The scenery gradually changes as you wind your way through all seven vegetation zones found in Galapagos. Visit the tortoise reserve at “Las Primicias,” one of the private farms in the highlands where you may encounter giant tortoises in their natural habitat. Visit Los Gemelos, Spanish for “The Twins”, a pair of large pit craters where you find the bright red male vermilion flycatcher.
Today you visit the Centro de Crianza Fausto Llerena (formerly the Charles Darwin Research Station). See all three tortoise corals and the breeding center with new hatchlings and miniature tortoises not yet ready to be introduced back into the wild. Scientists from all over the globe work at the station and conduct biological research from anatomy to zoology. Stop at Van Straelen Hall where there are exhibits and a presentation. Visitors can see the tortoise and land iguana corrals. Puerto Ayora is the social heart of the islands with the largest population of 24,000. This evening you have the option to return to your yacht for a buffet dinner or remain in town at your leisure. Those who return to the yacht will be provided zodiacs to return to town to shop for souvenirs, watch a soccer game, stop at a pub or internet café. Zodiacs are provided for your return to your yacht.
Disembark at Bartolome, where it seems like you are walking on the moon. This young Island is inhospitable to most plants and animals. After a dry landing, climb 30 minutes up stairs leading to the summit of a once active volcano. Along the way, pause to marvel at lava bombs, spatter cones and cinder cones. From the top of the wooden stairs, gaze out across the island for a panoramic view of the island and "Pinnacle Rock," an eroded tuff cone. Crystal clear water is an invitation to snorkel from the beach or Zodiac with schools of tropical fish and Galapagos Penguins.
Visit Las Bachas, which is the Spanish translation for “barges”. There is a long stretch of a soft white sand beach and interior lagoons where you find the Greater Flamingo. There is a wonderful chance to snorkel from the beach. Located off the Southern tip of Santiago is Sombrero Chino, or Chinese Hat, which owes its name to its shape. After a wet beach landing with sea lion colonies, the trail gives way to a primeval landscape of volcanic rubble including cracked lava formations and lava tubes. Find marine iguanas and pairs of oystercatchers or choose to snorkel at a site that is frequented by Galapagos penguins. There is a briefing followed by dinner as you anchor in a calm protected area.
Explore South Plaza, a small geological uplift with tall cliffs offering spectacular views. After a dry landing, the trails leads through prickly pear cactus or opuntia and sesuvium. Here you can find the Galapagos land iguana feeding on the cactus leaves. Toward the end of the hill, encounter a colony of bachelor sea lions. The dominant bulls are in various stages of recovery from battles lost over prime beach territory. Also, find swallow-tailed gulls, shearwaters and red-billed tropicbirds who build their nests along the cliffs.
Have a dry landing at North Seymour, a small geological uplift. Follow a trail that leads you to Swallow-tailed gulls, Blue-footed Boobies and the endemic Land Iguanas. Visit the largest colony of Magnificent Frigate birds found in Galapagos. Stroll along the beach to find Marine Iguanas sunning and sea lions body surfing the northern swells. After the walk, there is a snorkeling opportunity offered in deep water. Return to the yacht for the Captain’s Farwell cocktail party and dinner, as well as a special slide show presentation by your guides.
Visit the Interpretation Center that opened on San Cristóbal Island in 1999. Gain a more complete understanding of the natural and human history of the Islands. Afterwards, spend time in port before heading to the airport for the flight back to the mainland.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Children under 7 years of age are not accepted unless the parents or legal guardians sign a hold harmless release. Children age 11 and younger are only permitted on designated family departures. Contact ExpeditionTrips for more details.
7-Day Cruise Option:
Passengers can disembark on Saturday in Baltra for a shorter, 7-day cruise. Available on select departure dates, the 7-day rate is a 10% discount off the 8-day cruise rate and cannot be combined with any other promotional or child discounts. For those passengers departing early and require a transfer to the airport with a guide, there is an additional charge of $50 per person (max $200). The return flight from Baltra is subject to availability and confirmation is requested at the time of booking. Please add $20.50 per person for the Baltra airport surcharge.
Cabin accommodation; all meals and snacks aboard ship; beverages including open bar (except premium alcohol); Captain’s welcome and farewell cocktail; cruise director; guided shore excursions; use of wetsuits (no guarantee there will be one available in your size unless you reserve in advance for $25; ask for details), snorkeling equipment and sea kayaks; transfers in the Islands between the airport and dock.
Hotel nights before/after cruise; transfers in Quito or Guayaquil; Galapagos National Park entrance fee $100 per person ($50 per children under 12) subject to change without notice; Galapagos Transit Card ($10 per person); international airfare; airfare to/from Galapagos Islands; gratuities are left to the discretion of the passenger; premium alcohol; wetsuit reservation $25; traveler’s insurance; purchases on board; fuel surcharge may apply.
We are happy to add hotels, air and land arrangements as requested, and you will be quoted for services.
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).