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.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Hiking, Kayaking, Snorkeling
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Upon arrival, a guide will meet you, help you collect your luggage, and escort you on a short bus ride to the harbor where you'll embark the Sea Star Journey. In the afternoon, you'll enjoy your first excursion.
Each voyage is unique. Listed below is a sample of the islands you may visit during your expedition:
Gardner Bay provides an excellent beach for relaxing, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and the opportunity to observe sea lions. Here you can also see sharks in the crystal-clear waters. Punta Suarez is a rocky area that sustains one of the most impressive and varied colonies of sea birds in the Galapagos. Along its southern shore, high cliffs rising from the sea offer spectacular views of soaring birds and a blow hole where water spouts 50-75 feet into the air according to the intensity of the surf.
Marine iguanas gather in larger groups here than on any other island. They bask in the sand, swim near the shore and sometimes block the way at the landing dock. Among the unique species found here is the flightless cormorant, a bird lacking predators that has survived by finding food in the ocean with wings, tails, and feet progressively adapted for swimming. To see these birds is to witness evolution happening right in front of you. A 30-minute hike to the top of a cliff allows you to view Darwin Lake, an uplifted ultra-saline lake that’s saltier than the sea.
You may visit Punta Cormorant, home of one of the largest flamingo lagoons in the islands and many species of shorebirds, or Post Office Bay—the location of a wooden barrel that was placed there in the 18th century by the crew of a whaling ship. It has been used since this time by mariners and tourists as a post office. The idea is to carry letters or postcards to their destination by hand. This site was the landing area for some of the first colonists. Another location you might visit is the Baroness Lookout. From this lookout, the landscape covers the coastline from the Enderby islet to Post Office Bay.
The largest and one of the youngest islands in the Galapagos archipelago, there are several locations you may visit on and around Isabela, from Las Tintoreras to the volcanic rim of Sierra Negra. Along the way, see Galapagos penguins, sea lions, white-tipped reef sharks, sea turtles, flightless cormorants, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, brown pelicans, and Galapagos hawks.
North Seymour Island
North Seymour is an uplifted (as opposed to volcanic) island and so it is generally flat and strewn with boulders. There are good nesting sites here for a large population of magnificent frigate birds. Blue-footed boobies perform their courtship dance in the more open areas and swallow-tailed gulls perch on the cliff edges. The trees are dotted with male frigate birds trying to attract the attention of the ladies by inflating their bright red skin flaps. They sometimes fly in the air to call more attention to themselves.
Santa Cruz Island
Santa Cruz is home to the most populated urban center in the Galapagos. Here you can enjoy a visit to the Charles Darwin Station, where you will have a chance to learn more about the archipelago’s history and conservation efforts. You may also take a tour of the Highlands where you’ll see rolling hills and extinct volcanic cones covered with grass and lush greenery. Keep an eye out for Galapagos giant tortoises along the way.
Santa Fe Island
Disembark into the beautiful and clear waters encounter one of the many sea lion colonies. There are great possibilities of snorkeling with playful sea lions and tropical fishes. Santa Fe is home to several endemic species like the Galapagos hawk, Galapagos snake, Galapagos mockingbird, and one of the two species of lands iguanas on the islands.
Espumilla Beach is located on the northern coast of Santiago Island in James Bay. The main attractions here are the Palo Santo forest and a marvelous beach, which is an important site for nesting marine turtles. In the afternoon, explore Puerto Egas, a site with a black beach located at the west side of the island. The volcanic tuff deposits have favored the formation of this special black sand beach.
After a morning excursion, disembark and transfer to the airport for return flights 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); all meals onboard the ship; water, coffee and tea. 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).