Summary : Tour the islands aboard a modern, powerful mega-catamaran, with private balconies, a spacious sundeck, Jacuzzi, and kayaks – perfect for Galapagos cruising. 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
$6,880 to $7,414
Arrive on Baltra Island and transfer to the yacht. Settle in with a welcome cocktail and briefing before lunch.
In the afternoon, discover Chinese Hat, a small island named after its unique cone hat looking shape formed from volcanic activity many years ago. The visit offers rare, up close viewing of Galapagos wildlife and well preserved remnants of fragile volcanic rock that can't be found in such a unique condition anywhere else. The islet is home to a colony of sea lions. Find them slumbering on the white coral sand beach. Possible activities include hiking to view volcanic remnants and rare plant life, along with amazing views; or, snorkeling with white-tipped reef sharks and tropical fish. You may even have a chance encounter with white-cheeked pintail ducks, penguins, or the Galapagos Hawk!
Start your morning on Isabela Island, the largest island in the archipelago, peculiarly shaped like a giant seahorse. Your time on Isabela will include Vicente Roca Point, where you can view Blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, gulls, storm petrels, and brown noddy terns from the comfort of a panga boat. The Crowmwell Current on the western part of the island brings with it many nutrients and thus it is possible to witness various feeding frenzies of an assortment of animals like whales, dolphins, sea lions, and marine birds.
Make your way to Fernandina Island in the afternoon, one of the world's most pristine island ecosystems. Go to Espinosa Point, where you could have the opportunity to see the Galapagos Hawk. Limited hiking and snorkeling is available on Fernandina, leaving the rest of the island unspoiled in its most natural state.
Venture back in time this morning on your trip to Tagus Cove, where you will find the names of pirates and sailors who frequented this famous hideout in the 1800s inscribed in the volcanic rock. Hike, kayak, or snorkel here and keep an eye out for Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorants, finches, land iguanas, and large-billed flycatchers.
Travel south to Urbina Bay, a fascinating site for its volcanic and tectonic activity. Take photos of the dynamic exposed coral reef, or snorkel with the green sea turtles and the Galapagos penguins.
Make your way down to Elizabeth Bay, where there are a series of islets, a lagoon, and mangroves, providing an excellent environment for observing birds like lava herons. Enjoy a relaxing panga ride here.
Common gallinules, flamingos, and white-cheeked pintails, are just some of the birds you might have the good fortune to catch at Moreno Point. With striking black geological features, this afternoon you will discover endemic species known only to the barren lava flows found here. Hop on a panga, hike, or snorkel to your heart's content.
Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, where you can learn more about the giant tortoise restoration program and see the latest advances in Galapagos research. Please note: The Charles Darwin Research Station is currently undergoing renovations. If the station is closed for renovation during your trip, you will instead go directly to the highlands to visit the tortoises.
In the afternoon, journey to the highlands of Santa Cruz, where you can walk along a wooded path that winds through the hills – an incomparable opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich vegetation of the region and see the volcanoes and wildlife that characterize the island. Santa Cruz is home to giant tortoises, mockingbirds, Bahama ducklings, white-cheeked pintails, Darwin finches, and many other species. With lava tubes here more than half a mile long and enormous tortoises in your midst, your excursion in the highlands will be a truly surreal and unique experience.
Today will start with a visit to South Plaza, home to a diverse array of flora and fauna, including Sesuvium plants like the prickly cactus tree, an important source of food for the land iguana.
Visit the sea lions of Santa Fe Island in the afternoon, where the occasional Galapagos hawk may also be spotted. Plant lovers will appreciate the rare Opuntia cactus, which can only be found on Santa Fe.
This morning takes you to the southernmost and oldest island of the Galapagos – Espanola. Estimated to be four million years old, its distance from the other islands enables it to have the most endemic species. Hike Suarez Point, where you will pass by the only Waved Albatross breeding site. If you are lucky you might see a young albatross take off for its first flight for up to five years at sea. Other species that can be seen are marine iguanas, Galapagos doves, Nazca boobies, Blue-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, red-billed tropic birds, and Darwin finches.
This afternoon you will visit Gardner Bay, one of the best beaches in the Galapagos. The white sandy beach is home to a large colony of friendly and playful sea lions. Three different types of finches can also be seen here. Alternatively, you will visit Osborn Islet.
Travel to San Cristobal Island on your final morning, where Darwin first landed in 1835 and where the first permanent settlement were founded. Visit the Interpretation Center, which offers extensive information about the history of the Galapagos, ecosystems, geology, flora, and fauna. Giant tortoises are also bred here.
After your visit, your will disembark and meet your transfer for your departure from San Cristobal Airport 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 aboard ship; meals aboard 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. 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).