Summary : Discover Ecuador's world-renowned Galapagos archipelago from the comfort of a modern catamaran and see firsthand the region that inspired Charles Darwin's scientific discoveries. Bask in the sunshine on magnificent white sand beaches, navigate coves by kayak, spot Sally Lightfoot crabs and blue-footed boobies, snorkel with sea lions, marvel at the Galapagos giant tortoise, trek otherworldly landscapes, and learn about the dynamic natural history of the region. 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, lush vegetation, and unique volcanic rock formations.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Hiking, Kayaking, Snorkeling, Dedicated Solo Cabins
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Arrive on Baltra Island in the morning and enjoy a warm welcome by a representative who will help you transfer to the catamaran. Settle in before lunch and attend a welcome briefing.
This afternoon you'll visit Bartholomew Island, home of the famous Pinnacle Rock which consists of an extinct volcano with a variety of red, orange, black, and even green volcanic formations. A trail of stairs leads to the summit of the volcano, boasting one of the best views of the islands. The beach is perfect for snorkeling and possible sightings of the Galapagos penguin.
Today you will visit Genovesa Island, a horse-shoe shaped volcanic formation with steep slopes known as 'Bird Island' due to the wide variety of birds that can be seen here. Genovesa is one of very few places where red-footed boobies gather – over 200,000 of them are estimated to be living there! Cruise to Darwin Bay where you will discover a white-sand coral beach and walk a half-mile trail that winds through mangroves filled with Nazca and red-footed boobies. Swallow-tailed gulls can also be spotted here. Further down the path are tidal pools where sea lions swim playfully. Reach the end for phenomenal views from the cliff.
Also known as El Barranco, Prince Phillip's Steps are a steep, rocky path that leads to a high cliff-face and a marvelous view. This site is also home to Palo Santo vegetation as well as red-footed Boobies, short-eared lava owls, Galapagos swallows, and Galapagos doves.
Start your day on Santiago Island at Espumilla Beach, a fantastic place to see marine iguanas and Sally Lightfoot crabs. A remarkable snorkeling experience awaits you at Espumilla, where there's an abundance of marine life including octopuses, moray eel, and sharks. Or you will have a chance to snorkel at Buccaneer Cove, once known as a refuge for British buccaneers or pirates. In the evening, travel to Egas port, home to quick-footed Galapagos lava lizards and Galapagos fur seals.
Today, visit North Seymour Island, home to an enormous colony of land iguanas as well as sea lions, blue-footed boobies, common noddies, and frigatebirds. Then make your way to the Santa Cruz Highlands, where you can take a walk and observe the hills, ferns, volcanoes, and rich wildlife. Scout for giant tortoises, mockingbirds, Bahama ducklings, Darwin finches, and many other species.
On this final morning, voyage to Mosquera Island, located between the islands of Baltra and North Seymour. Host to one of the largest populations of sea lions, this reef of rocks and coral is only 525 feet across at its narrowest width. After your morning visit to Mosquera, disembark and head back to the airport for a 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.
Shipboard accommodations; champagne reception; shore activities and excursions; Galapagos National Park certified guide; kayaking; stand up paddleboarding; snorkeling; gear on loan (snorkeling equipment, wetsuits, kayaks, stand up paddleboards); welcome gift (may contain fruit, chocolate, wine); all meals onboard the ship; soft drinks and juices on board. Subject to change without notice.
Round-trip international airfare; airfare to/from the Galapagos Islands; hotel nights before/after cruise unless otherwise mentioned; transfers in Quito or Guayaquil; Galapagos National Park entrance fee; Galapagos Transit Control Card; passport expenses; alcoholic beverages; personal expenses; gratuities to ship staff, crew, and naturalists are left to the discretion of the passenger; fuel surcharge may apply. Subject to change without notice.
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).
PHOTOS: © Haugan Cruises, © ExpeditionTrips