- 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, Child-Friendly, 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, travel by bus into the interior of San Cristóbal to visit La Galapaguera Cerro Colorado, where the National Park has established a breeding program for the tortoises and set up an information center for visitors. Along the trail, find the San Cristóbal (Chatham) mockingbird and Calandrinia plant, both endemic to this island. Here, you will see the terrestrial tortoises living in their natural habitat and learn about their origin, evolution and threats by introduced animals.
Spend the entire day on Tower (Genovesa Island), considered to be one of the most spectacular Islands in Galapagos for bird species. This morning, have a dry landing at Prince Philip’s Steps. Red-footed boobies nest here in Palo Santo trees and Nazca boobies nest near the trail. In an open lava field, find storm petrels in large numbers. If you are lucky, you will see the elusive short-eared owl. After the walk, kayaks are available to paddle along the shoreline. Look for the beautiful red-billed tropic bird usually found in the crevices.
This afternoon, have a wet-landing on Darwin Bay, a coral sand beach where swallow-tailed and lava gulls gather near the tide pools. Enter a forest of Optuntia cactus and mangroves where colonies of Great Frigate birds nest. The males inflate their red-throated pouches to attract females as they fly overhead. The trail leads through a rich inter tidal zone where you find a wide diversity of wildlife. After the walk, swim and snorkel from the beach with sea lions in these northern warmer waters.
Visit Las Bachas with its long stretch of soft white sand beach and interior lagoons where flamingo live. Enjoy time to snorkel at the beach. Take a zodiac ride through Black Turtle Cove, a series of coves and inlets surrounded by mangroves. View pairs of mating sea turtles (Sept to Feb), white-tipped reef sharks and golden cow-nosed rays.
Located on the northern tip of Santa Cruz is Cerro Dragon aka Dragon Hill. Along the trail, find Darwin Finches, Galapagos Flycatchers, Yellow Warblers, Audubon Shearwater and the endemic land iguanas, orange-yellow in color with large spines along their backs. Discover pink flamingos feeding in the salt-water lagoon as well as stilts, pintail ducks, sandpipers and more. From the top of the hill, enjoy a majestic view of the bay island covered in Opuntia cactus, Palo Santo and Cordia Lutea (muyuyu). After dinner, sail toward the western islands and cross the Equator for the second time.
Land at Punta Espinoza, the youngest and most pristine Island in Galapagos with no introduced mammals. Recent lava flows formed by an active volcano stretch their way around the coast. Watch hundreds of marine iguanas, the largest colony in Galapagos, bask in the sun along the rugged shoreline. Observe sea lion harems with resident bulls carefully guarding their territory. Observe Flightless Cormorants build their nest on the point as Galapagos Hawks fly overhead. Enjoy a chance to snorkel with sea turtles. After lunch, cross the Bolivar Chanel where you might spot whales and dolphins riding the bow wave.
Arrive at Urbina Bay, home to the very large and colorful Galapagos land iguanas, occasionally giant tortoises, and Darwin Finches too. Brown Pelicans and Flightless Cormorants also nest here. Giant marine iguanas can be seen along the coast. Watch for penguins while snorkeling here. At Punta Vicente Roca, a Zodiac ride offers an incredible view of the tuff walls. Enter the wave-sculpted cave and perhaps find sea turtles who frequent this area. You may spot the dorsal fin of a Mola Mola, an odd looking giant sun fish.
Visit Elizabeth Bay (the Letty may visit Punta Vicente Roca) by zodiac starting with a trip to a secluded cove, lined with large red mangrove trees. Here, turtles, rays, and shore birds can be seen. Motor to the rocky islets known as “Las Marielas”, where a colony of nesting Penguins, Flightless Cormorants and giant marine iguanas are found. Isabela was created when six volcanoes flowed together and formed the largest Island in Galapagos.
This afternoon, have a dry landing at Tagus Cove, located on the western Island of Isabela. Six volcanoes flowed together and formed the largest Island in Galapagos. During the walk, discover a salt-water lagoon, a scenic overlook with a spectacular view of the ocean, lava fields and volcanic formations. Graffiti dating back to the 1800's is written on the rocky cliffs. Explore the Coves by Zodiac or kayak to find Galapagos penguins, boobies, pelicans and other seabirds. An excellent snorkeling opportunity is offered here after the walk. After dinner, a sky full of stars beckons to go out on deck and observe the galaxy.
This morning, have a wet landing at Puerto Egas, Santiago (James). Stroll along the shoreline looking for octopus, starfish and other sea life caught in the tide pools. At low tide, catch a glimpse of marine iguanas as they feed on exposed green algae. Watch for great blue herons, lava herons, American oystercatchers and yellow-crowned night herons. The walk ends at the grottos, deep pools of clear water where you encounter fur sea lions once on the verge of extinction. Before returning to the yacht, there is a snorkeling and kayak opportunity.
Disembark on Rabida Island (Jervis) in the afternoon, located off James Island. Rabida sports the most diversified volcanic rocks of all the islands and is considered the geographic center of Galapagos. The dark red sand beach originated from the erosion of volcanic stones. Follow a trail that leads to a salt water lagoon, and observe greater flamingos as they feed. Brown Pelicans nest in the mangroves at the far side of the lagoon. After the walk, there is time for snorkeling.
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 encounter giant tortoises in their natural habitat. Stop at “the tunnels”, the largest lava tubes found in Galapagos. Look out for the bright red male vermilion flycatcher. Explore the Charles Darwin Research Station, where you can visit all three tortoise corals and the breeding center with new hatchlings and miniature tortoises not yet ready to be repatriated. Scientists from all over the globe work at the station and conduct biological research from anatomy to zoology. Also, visit the Van Straelen Hall where there are exhibits and a short video presentation.
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 on your own account. Those who return to the yacht will be provided zodiacs to return to town to shop for souvenirs, or stop at an Internet cafe. Zodiacs will be provided for your return to the yachts.
Visit the Interpretation Center opened on San Cristóbal Island in 1999. Gain a more complete understanding of the natural and human history of the Islands. Afterwards, spend some 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).