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
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$4,500 to $5,290
Arrive at Baltra airport and be greeted by a cruise representative, and then board a bus to Puerto Ayora's Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Center. See tortoises from different islands divided according to four different stages: eggs, neonates, juveniles (held here until they are mature enough to be "repatriated"), and adults.
Afterwards, explore the town of Puerto Ayora and its shops, before heading to the ship. Once on board, be welcomed by the crew and captain, have a short security drill and enjoy dinner and the briefing for the next day's activities.
Spend the day on Floreana, legendary homestead of infamous Baroness Eloise Von Wagner de Bousquet. Land onto the olivine beaches of Punta Cormorant seeking sightings of Greater Flamingos on the way to a sea turtle nesting ground. End the outing on a short panga ride to Devil’s Crown, a key snorkeling site.
After lunch, visit Post Office Bay where you can drop your postcards into the barrel as the whalers did centuries ago.
This morning visit Black Beach to learn about the intriguing human history of the island and its first inhabitants. Floreana was the first island in the Archipelago to be inhabited, since it has one of the few fresh water sources. Visit this fresh water source known as Asilo de La Paz, as well as the caves that served as homes and hideouts for pirates. Hear legendary Floreana stories about the infamous Baroness Eloise Wagner von Bousquet and her lovers, who mysteriously began to disappear after settling in the island.
Later, enjoy a full afternoon of navigation to look for whales and dolphins. The waters of the Galapagos form the second largest marine reserve in the world, and this marine reserve is very rich in wildlife. Sail from Floreana to Isabela Island while looking for these fascinating creatures, which tend to congregate in this area. Marvel at the impressive landscapes of Isabella and the Cerro Azul volcano.
Arrive at Isabela, the largest island in the Galapagos. After breakfast, step ashore at Punta Moreno onto a superb pahoehoe lava flow surrounded by giant shield volcanoes, some still active! From here, do a short hike to a lagoon where flamingos are usually present.
Disembark at Urbina Bay onto a black sand beach, nesting site for green sea turtles. Take a brief hike inland in search of land iguanas and giant tortoises (seasonal) that migrate to and from the highlands. At the beach, admire the remains of a geological uplift exposing coral heads and marine fossils and if the sea conditions and time are favorable, you can also snorkel in these waters.
Land via panga near Tagus Cove, a historic pirate hideaway where names of countless ships are recorded for posterity on the cliff face. Hike through beautiful Galapagos landscapes to Darwin Lake, a saltwater crater lagoon surrounded by tuff stone.
Cross Bolivar Channel to Fernandina Island, one of the world’s most unspoilt sites, and disembark at Punta Espinosa. Stroll along the shoreline, and be on the lookout for flightless cormorants, Galapagos sea lions, Galapagos penguins and hawks, marine iguanas and bright red-orange Sally Lightfoot crabs.
At Puerto Egas, disembark on a dark sand volcanic beach with an interesting history of human settlement. Sleepy Galapagos fur seals lounge under arches of lava carved by the ocean and occasionally dip into the crystalline pools, also known as “grottos”. Walk along the shore and observe the abundant marine life.
In the afternoon at Buccaneer Cove, take a panga ride around the beautiful coastline. This place was a refuge for British Buccaneers during the time they would anchor here to collect supplies and clean their ships. The cove is very scenic with views of the cliffs and a dark beach. Do not forget to look for two unusual rock formations known as ‘the monk’ and ‘elephant rock’. After three days exploring the fabulous western islands, head to central Santiago to disembark at Espumilla, onto a golden-colored sand green sea turtle nesting site. A forest trail will take you through some of the largest specimens of Palo Santo on the islands to observe yellow warblers, Galapagos flycatcher and the intriguing Darwin finches.
Head across to Sullivan Bay in Santiago to walk over a recent lava flow, including very fresh pahoehoe lava formations, lava bubbles containing crystallized minerals and pioneer plants. Along the shoreline, find Galapagos penguins and herons going after small fish.
In the afternoon, disembark on North Seymour, a small uplifted island and walk right up to bird nesting colonies of the two species of frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls. You may even get to witness their spectacular mating ritual displays.
Mosquera is a small islet located between Baltra Island and North Seymour. It is home to one of the largest sea lion colonies and a haven for shorebirds. Orcas occasionally come to the islet to feed on the sea lions. After this visit, the ship will sail to Baltra where passengers will disembark.
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.
Transfer from the Baltra Airport to ship; cabin accommodations aboard ship; meals aboard ship; soft drinks, coffee, tea and water; visits to the islands with certified guide; use of snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel and fins); kayaking. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; hotel nights before/after cruise; transfers in Quito or Guayaquil; Galapagos National Park entrance fee; Galapagos Transit Card; items of a personal nature such as laundry, massage, and alcoholic and bottled beverages; gratuities to ship staff is left to the discretion of the passenger; traveler’s insurance; wetsuit rental; travel health insurance (required to enter Ecuador); 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): $500-$700 per adult; $300-$450 per child under 12 (copy of passport required).