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 booby. Families, couples, and solo travelers alike will love the comfort and intimacy of this Galapagos catamaran experience. The dynamic itinerary is designed for the young or the young at heart, catering to the high-end adventurer who wants to explore in comfort.
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
$4,649 to $5,549
Upon arrival at Baltra Airport, a guide will meet you, help with your luggage, and escort you on a short bus ride to the harbor where you will embark the vessel.
In the afternoon, travel to the visitor site at Dragon Hill, located on northwestern Santa Cruz Island. A trail here leads to a hyper-saline lagoon behind the beach, frequented by flamingos, pintail ducks, and other bird species. This site has been re-populated with land iguanas from Seymour, Isabela, and Santa Cruz islands. A short walk up the hill offers a beautiful view of the bay.
Visit Black Turtle Cove on the northern side of Santa Cruz Island in the morning. This calm and quiet red mangrove lagoon is the ideal nursery for sharks and rays. Crystal-clear waters permit observation of whitetip reef, blacktip reef, and hammerhead sharks along with schools of golden rays and spotted eagle rays. Because there are no landing sites, the visit is done by panga boat or kayak. Sea turtles, pelicans, and herons are also seen in this area.
Sombrero Chino is a small islet and recent volcanic cone located just off the southeastern tip of Santiago Island. It was formed under the sea which is why coral heads can be found on the lava. This is an excellent visit for interpretation of geological features such as lava tubes and lava flows. The landscape is covered by sea lion colonies, marine iguanas, and Galapagos penguins.
El Barranco is located in the southern part of Darwin Bay and is also known as Prince Philip’s Steps. Climb to a plateau on the eastern side of the bay and look out for storm petrels, short-eared owls, masked boobies, and red-footed boobies. Take a panga ride along the cliffs to see fur seals and several species of sea birds.
Darwin Bay formed when the crater of an island collapsed below sea level. The wet landing is on a beautiful white coral sandy beach. This island is a favorite of birdwatchers; many species can be found here, including wandering tattlers, Galapagos doves, and sharp-beaked finches. You may hike a trail that leads to the edge of a cliff where you'll see red-footed boobies nesting in the mangrove trees below. The end of the trail offers an incredible view.
From an altitude of 374 feet on Bartolome Island, situated across Sullivan Bay, you can observe a beautiful scene of volcanic cones, lunar-like craters, lava fields, and a pinnacle eroded by the sea. There is very little vegetation on this island but it has two breathtaking beaches where you'll find marine turtles as well as a small colony of Galapagos penguins.
Santiago, also called James or San Salvador Island, is the fourth largest island in the archipelago after Isabela, Fernandina, and Santa Cruz. Like Isabela and Fernandina, Santiago is volcanically active—a number of historic eruptions have been reported over the last two centuries. Many young flows and cones can be seen, particularly along the south, west, and east coasts. These formations can be seen from the summit of Darwin Volcano and even from space!
The trail to the Santa Cruz highlands leaves from Bellavista and passes through the agricultural zone near the National Park boundary, the Miconia Zone, and then into the Fern and Sedge zone. On clear days, this area affords beautiful scenes of rolling hills and extinct volcanic cones covered with grass and lush greenery all year round. Lookout for Galapagos giant tortoises along the way.
After the morning excursion to the highlands, transfer back to Baltra for your return flight 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.
Transfers in the Galapagos; shipboard accommodations; all shore activities and excursions as per itinerary with English-speaking naturalist guide; gear on loan (snorkeling and kayaking equipment); water, coffee and tea; all meals onboard the ship. Subject to change without notice.
International airfare; airfare to/from Galapagos Islands; transfers in Quito or Guayaquil; Galapagos National Park entrance fee; Galapagos Transit Card; wetsuit rental; items of a personal nature; alcoholic beverages and soft drinks; passport expenses; traveler's insurance; extras and gratuities; fuel surcharge may apply.
Please inquire about Add On packages.
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; $350-$450 per child under 12 (copy of passport required).