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—Galapagos giant tortoises march stoically, sea lions play and magnificent frigatebirds boast with puffed out chests painted a dazzling red. This itinerary focuses on the Central and Western Islands, including visits to Western Isabela and Fernandina Island, two of the highlights of the Galapagos Islands. From land iguanas, marine iguanas, lava lizards, sea lions, flamingos, penguins, flightless cormorants, brown pelicans, Darwin finches, and blue-footed boobies, to swallow-tailed gulls, Galapagos hawks, and Darwin finches, the Galapagos Islands is a truly paradisical world apart just waiting to be explored.
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
Arrive at Baltra Airport. The US army occupied Baltra Island island during World War II and built the first landing strip for jets, which is presently used for daily flights to and from the islands. Explore the highlands of Santa.
Sombrero Chino is a small volcanic island just off the southeast tip of Santiago. The name of the island describes the shape of the island. Fauna here includes Sea lions, marine iguanas and the Galapagos penguin. Rábida is a small island with a dark red coral sand beach. Highlights include a lagoon with flamingos, pelican nesting site, sea lion bachelor colony, and a snorkeling site at the end of the beach.
Isabela Island is the largest of the Galapagos Islands, formed by five active volcanoes fused together with Wolf Volcano being the highest point in the entire Galapagos at 1707 meters.
Today, visit Puerto Villamil, Tintoreras and Sierra Negra. Puerto Villamil is a charming small town on a white sand beach with highlights including the Tortoise Breeding Station and the flamingo lagoon. The islet Las Tintoreras is located south of Puerto Villamil. It has a small bay of completely calm waters inhabited by sea lions, sea turtles, marine iguanas, rays, and more. Volcan Sierra Negra has a caldera with a diameter of 10 kilometers. View recent lava flows, moist highland vegetation, and parasitic cones.
Punta Moreno is located in the central southwestern coast of Isabela Island. The site has spectacular views of volcanoes Alcedo, Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul. Some highlights include impressive lava flows, desolate and pristine landscape, varied and unusual arid zone vegetation.
Elizabeth Bay is only accessible by dinghy. It is possible to see penguins on the small islets in the bay. The end of the bay is long and narrow surrounded by three species of mangroves. Galapagos sea turtles and rays can usually be seen in the water.
Urbina Bay is located at the central-west coast of Isabela Island at the foothills of Alcedo and Darwin volcanoes. Highlights include the colorful land iguanas, Galapagos giant tortoises and the coral uplifting from 1954.
Tagus Cove is a natural harbor where centuries ago whalers and pirates left their ship names painted or carved on the rocks. Enjoy a walk uphill to Darwin's Crater saltwater lake to see the excellent view.
Fernandina is the youngest volcanic island and is still active. On explorations of Fernandina, visit Punta Espinoza, a place famous for its large colonies of marine iguanas and as the habitat of unique species like the flightless cormorant, Galapagos penguin, Galapagos hawk, Galapagos snake, among others.
Punta Vicente Roca at Isabela Island is a site visited by dinghy rides along the cliffs or the partially sunken cave at the water’s edge. Nasca boobies, blue-footed boobies and flightless cormorants inhabit the shoreline.
Santiago is located between Isabela and Santa Cruz Islands. This Island offers a wide variety of seabirds, marine iguanas and fur seals. At Puerto Egas, go on a walk along the rocky coast line that will show a view of some of Galapagos' best tide pools. Some highlights include Sugar loaf volcano, fur seals, oystercatchers, marine iguana colony, and old salt mine.
Later at Bartolome Island, go on a hike to the highest point on Bartolome for a spectacular view. Sea lions and penguins can be seen around Pinnacle Rock and there is a sandy beach with great swimming and snorkeling.
This flat piece of land originated after an uplifting event thousands of years ago. The North Seymour Island is home to endemic Palo Santo trees, colonies of blue-footed boobies, swallow tailed gulls, and magnificent frigate birds. Disembark and travel to Baltra Airport for return flights.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Transfers and baggage handling between island airport and ship (when passengers arrive on flights booked through the shipping company on established operational days); cabin accommodations and meals onboard the ship; purified water; shore activities and excursions; guide and lecture services with English-speaking naturalist guide; gear on loan (snorkeling equipment; kayaks). Subject to change without notice.
Hotel nights before/after cruise; transfers in Quito or Guayaquil; Galapagos National Park entrance fee (USD $100 per person, children under 12 subtract $50, subject to change without notice); Galapagos Transit Card ($20 per person, subject to change); international airfare; airfare to/from Galapagos Islands; bottled drinks onboard the ship; gratuities are left to the discretion of the passenger; traveler’s insurance; wetsuits ($30 per person / week, for snorkeling use only); 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).