Summary : Observe tortoises of dramatic proportions, superb birdlife and a unique undersea world set amongst a backdrop of diverse and wondrous landscapes. 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
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$6,204 to $6,516
Arrive at Baltra Island this morning and transfer to the dock to board La Pinta. Get settled in with a friendly welcome, introductory briefing, and lunch.
In the afternoon, land at North Seymour Island for a walk along the coast and the interior of the island. Observe colonies of blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, swallow-tailed gulls and well as sea lions and iguanas. Opportunities exist for coastal exploration by zodiac. Conclude the first day of adventure with an evening briefing, welcome cocktail, and dinner.
Since there is no landing site at this location, coastal exploration is by zodiac while the naturalist guide explains the area's dramatic geology of hardened lava. Wildlife here includes flightless cormorants, sea lions, Galápagos fur seals, Galápagos penguins, blue-footed and Nazca boobies and noddy terns. Depending on the conditions of the ocean, you may be able to snorkel along the cliffs in the company of green sea turtles.
Visit the youngest island of the archipelago, Fernandina. Punta Espinoza has an amazing combination of barrenness and abundant wildlife. Highlights include hawks, penguins, the flightless cormorant and astounding views of the surrounding volcanic landscapes.
After breakfast, disembark at Urbina Bay, on the western side of Isabela Island, the result of an uplifting of the ocean floor. Here you can see corals, shells, and large and very colorful Galapagos land iguanas, as well as (occasionally) giant tortoises. Navigating the Bolívar Channel, there are good chances of spotting several species of whales.
On the northwest of Isabela, secluded Tagus Cove provided a favorite anchorage for pirates and whalers over the centuries. Today, old graffiti is still found on its walls. The vegetation in the area includes the fragrant palo santo trees. Hike up to the back of Darwin Crater which is filled with salt water. Opportunities to swim, snorkel or kayak will be available amid the dramatic landscape.
In the morning, disembark at Rabida Island’s red-colored beach. A stroll along the beach allows you to observe marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and several species of Darwin’s finches. This is a great place to snorkel from the beach. Or enjoy a ride in the glass-bottom boat for an exploration of life underneath the waves.
The north shore of Santa Cruz hosts the fascinating landscapes of Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill). Your walk includes circling a lagoon frequented by birds, while further inland, the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western islands of the archipelago, as well as the chance to observe land iguanas.
Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station this morning and the giant tortoise enclosures within an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest. These are the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration
After lunch, head up to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island by vehicle. This is a great place to look for the emblematic Darwin’s Finches and the endemic Scalesia trees. The highlands are also great for exploring the exuberant vegetation where giant tortoises roam in the wild. This will surely be one of the most remembered visits of the whole voyage.
After breakfast, land at Post Office Bay to visit the historic barrel that has served as a post office in the archipelago for over two centuries. Panga rides along the maze of channels on Floreana’s north shore can also be enjoyed. Views from La Lobería and the Baroness Viewpoint are quite rewarding. There’s great kayaking and swimming from the beach as well.
Before disembarking at Punta Cormorant, snorkel or ride in the glass-bottom boat along the coast of an extinct cone called "Champion Islet". Later in the afternoon, a visit to Punta Cormorant takes in an olivine-crystal beach for an easy walk by a lagoon where bird species like greater flamingos may be observed. On the other side of the island, come to a white-sand beach where sea turtles come out at night to nest.
After breakfast, 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, Mercure, Sheraton, Marriott, Dann Carlton) and in Guayaquil (Hilton Colon, Oro Verde, Wyndham, 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; 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).