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.
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 the airport and transfer to the catamaran. Enjoy a welcome cocktail while you learn more about life aboard the boat and the island.
After you get settled, head out to Island Lobos in the afternoon, named after the sea lions that rest and play on its rocky shores. Then cruise to Leon Dormido, an island comprised of two rocks which jut out of the ocean, home to a large colony of sea birds. Snorkel or enjoy a dinghy ride to get an up close view of turtles, hammerhead sharks, incredible rock formations, and maybe even a manta ray or two.
Make your way to Pitt Point today, host to frigate birds, storm petrels, and all three types of Booby birds. Follow a steep trail up a cliff and through a ravine, leading to an area with an abundance of birds.
Discover Cerro Brujo, or 'Witch Hill' next, which features one of the most picturesque beaches in the Galapagos with white powdery sand and an abundance of animals. Wildlife sightings may include sea turtles, rays, and various types of Booby birds. The clear water provides an excellent opportunity for swimming and snorkeling.
This morning you will travel to Post Office Bay on Floreana Island, where in the 18th century whalers passing through the islands placed a wooden barrel for use as an unofficial mail box. The tradition continues today as visitors leave addressed postcards in the barrel and sort through left mail to deliver at home.
Continue on to Cormorant Point to marvel at the whimsical flamingo lagoon, where common stilts, and white-cheeked pintails can also be seen. The beaches on Floreana Island are distinct: from the 'Green Beach' named after its green color from the high amount of olivine crystals in the sand, to the 'Four Sand Beach' composed of white coral, your trip to this unique island will not disappoint.
Alternatively, explore Devil's Crown in the afternoon, one of the best snorkeling sites in the Galapagos. This volcanic crater has been eroded by the waves leaving the northern and southern sides exposed. The coral reef in the middle is perfect for attracting marine life. Snorkelers will love the variety of marine life and exciting currents that rush through the crown, creating an exhilarating experience.
Start your day at Black Turtle Cove, situated in the northern part of Santa Cruz. This inlet is surrounded by mangroves and is only accessible by dinghy. The shallow cove is a safe haven for young marine life. Black-tip and white-tip reef sharks, sea turtles, and a variety of rays can all be found in this majestic cove.
In the afternoon, you will arrive at Bartholomew Island, home of the famous Pinnacle Rock. Bartholomew consists of an extinct volcano with a variety of red, orange, and even green volcanic formations. A trail of stairs leads to the summit of the volcano, boasting one of the best views of the island. The beach is perfect for snorkeling and possible sightings of Galapagos penguins!
Begin your morning at Darwin Bay on Genovesa Island. Linger on the white-sand coral beach before you head up off on a half mile trail that winds through mangroves filled with land birds. Naxca Boobies, Red-footed Boobies, and Swallow-tailed Gulls can all be spotted here. Further down the path are tidal pools where sea lions swim playfully. At the end is a spectacular view off a cliff.
Also known as El Barranco, Prince Phillip's Steps' steep, rocky path, will lead you up to a high cliff-face. A marvelous view awaits at the top. This site is also home to Palo Santo vegetation as well as red-footed boobies, short-eared lava owls, Galapagos swallows, and Galapagos doves.
Your day on Santiago Island begins at Espumilla Beach, a popular place for marine iguanas and Sally Lightfoot crabs. The crabs attract the hunting herons. Together they perform a dance of predator and prey. With an abundance of marine life including octopi, moray eel, and shark, snorkeling is highly recommended.
Alternatively, journey through time to appreciate the history of Buccaneer Cove, which was a safe haven where pirates would stake out on the Northwestern side of Santiago island in the 17th and 18th century. It is a great location for snorkeling and many marine birds and sea lions can be found here.
In the evening you will visit Egas Port.
Galapagos Sea Lions, Blue-footed boobies and magnificent frigate birds are abundant on North Seymour Island. The island was formed by a series of submarine lava containing layers of sediment that were uplifted by tectonic activity. The island is characterized by its arid vegetation zone.
Giant tortoises will greet you this afternoon in the Santa Cruz Highlands, where you can walk along lush, forest path, and observe the hills, ferns, mockingbirds, Bahama ducklings, white-cheeked pintail ducklings, Darwin finches, and many other species.
Cruise to Mosquera Islet on the morning of your final day. Located between the islands of Baltra and North Seymour, this reef of rocks and coral is only 160 meters across at its narrowest width. This island has one of the largest populations of sea lions and is home to many shorebirds.
Then it will be time to disembark and meet your transfer to the airport where you will fly back to mainland Ecuador.
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.
Cabin accommodations and meals aboard the ship; shore activities and excursions; soft drinks (plastic bottled sodas excluded) and juices on board; champagne reception; Galapagos National Park certified guide; gear on loan (kayaks, snorkeling equipment, and wetsuits). Subject to change without notice.
Hotel nights before/after cruise; transfers in Quito or Guayaquil; Galapagos National Park entrance fee; Galapagos Transit Card; international airfare; airfare to/from Galapagos Islands; alcoholic beverages; gratuities to ship staff, crew, and naturalists are left to the discretion of the passenger; travel insurance; passport expenses; plastic bottled sodas; 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; $350-$450 per child under 12 (copy of passport required).