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. Families, couples, and solo travelers alike will love the comfort and intimacy of the luxury Galapagos catamaran experience. This 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
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$5,799 to $6,949
Upon arrival at Baltra Airport, your representative will meet you, help you collect your luggage, and escort you on a bus ride to the Itabaca Channel and then transfer to Puerto Ayora.
Your Galapagos journey begins at the Charles Darwin Station on Santa Cruz Island, where you will have a chance to learn more about the history and conversation efforts of the archipelago you are about to explore.
Today starts at Las Tintoreras. A delightful area reached by a nice Zodiac ride, Las Tintoreras are small islands off the coast of Puerto Villamil. See Galapagos penguins and sea lions that often pop out on shore. White-tipped reef sharks are fairly common in the archipelago. Their name in Spanish is "tintorera," thus the name of this site, as they are always found here resting in the shallow waters.
Isabela Island is the largest and one of the youngest islands in the Galapagos archipelago. Land in Puerto Villamil and travel to the highlands to Sierra Negra slope. Do some hiking on uneven terrain until arriving at the Sierra Negra volcano rim. Sierra Negra is the second widest crater in the world. From this viewpoint, you have fantastic sights to the 6 x 5-mile-wide crater, the rest of the volcanoes, and Perry Isthmus, a 6-mile-wide lava field. From here, hike to Chico Volcano to watch the striking lava formations, examples of the geological occurrences that have created the Galapagos Islands.
Punta Moreno is located on the north coast of Isabela Island between the Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul volcano. The trail runs along a pahoehoe lava flow (solidified lava in an accordion-like corrugated formation) into a complex of coastal lagoons. Its main attraction are several species of birds which can be found around the lakes and mangroves.
Elizabeth Bay is a marine visitor site where the excursion is carried out in a Zodiac. Your Zodiac ride starts with a visit to the Marielas islets home to the largest and most important penguin colony in the Galapagos Islands. The excursion continues into the cove that is surrounded by red mangroves where you can admire their red roots and green leaves. It is here that you are able to observe sea turtles, flightless cormorants, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, brown pelicans and sea lions. Frequently visitors have been able to see Galapagos Hawks soaring overhead while schools of Pompano and Dorado fish swim below.
Fernandina is the third largest island in the archipelago and has a single visitor site, Punta Espinoza, located at the northeastern tip of the island. Just across Tagus Cove is a visitor site where some of the unique species of the Galapagos can be seen. 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. Their wings, tails and feet progressively adapted for swimming. To see these birds is to witness evolution happening right in front of you.
In the afternoon at Tagus Cove, a tour along the cliffs in a Zodiac will provide a good chance to see the Galapagos penguin, the Flightless Cormorant, and other sea birds. From the landing dock, an estimated 30-minute hike to the top of the cliff allows you to view Darwin Lake, an uplifted ultra-saline lake that's saltier than the sea. You can also see several volcanoes from this location. Look carefully at the graffiti on the surrounding cliffs of the cove; it has been written by pirates, whalers and buccaneers in past centuries.
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.
Visit Isla Lobos this morning. This little island is reached in approximately one hour by Zodiac from Port Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the Island. The trail leads across a dry vegetation zone, volcanic rocks, and sandy areas. There is a small population of blue-footed boobies and frigate birds which nest in this site. Observe a large colony of sea lions at the beach. After Isla Lobos, transfer to the airport in San Cristobal for a flight back to Quito or Guayaquil.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Galapagos transfers; shipboard accommodations; water, coffee and tea; shore activities and excursions; English-speaking guide; snorkeling equipment; kayaking equipment; 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, $100 adults, $50 children under 12, subject to change without notice; Galapagos Transit Card ($20 per person, subject to change); wetsuit rental; items of a personal nature; onboard WiFi access; alcoholic beverages and soft drinks; passport expenses; traveler's insurance; gratuities to ship staff and crew are left to the discretion of the passenger; 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).