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
$7,414 to $8,009
Arrive in Baltra and meet your transfer to the boat. Enjoy a welcome cocktail and a quick briefing before lunch.
Sail to Bachas Beach on the north shore of Santa Cruz, where you can see the few remnants of the U.S. World War II presence in the Galapagos. You may also see flamingos, Sally Lightfoot crabs, hermit crabs, black necked stilts, and whimbrels. Nesting sea turtles can also be found nearby.
Your morning visit includes Bartholomew Island, home of the famous Pinnacle Rock. Bartholomew consists of an extinct volcano with a variety of red, orange, black and even green volcanic formations. You will take a trail of stairs to the summit of the volcano (about 30 or 40 minutes), where you will enjoy one of the best views of the islands! You will also visit a small, beautiful beach, surrounded by the only vegetation found on this barren island. The beach is perfect for snorkeling where you may even see the Galapagos penguins.
In the afternoon you will visit Sullivan Bay. This site, located southeast of Santiago Island, is of great geological interest. The area is covered by Pahoehoe lava flows (solidified lava in corrugated or accordion form). It was very active in the last 25 years of the nineteenth century. The Sullivan lava formed in 1897. This flow is geologically very young. The magma formed is flat, but the movement of underground lava, and rapid cooling and other eruptions led to the break in many places. 200 meters around the landing, you can see patterns of vegetation that were burned during the eruption. A visit to this area of black lava is preferable in the afternoon because the temperature is more pleasant and the light is better for photographs.
In the morning, you will head to South Plaza Island. This small island with steep cliffs was formed by rising lava and is now covered by Opuntia cacti. It is also home to one of the largest sea lion colonies as well as colorful yellow and red land iguanas.
Your afternoon visit is to Santa Fe, home to a small picturesque bay and anchorage on the island’s northeast coast. The bay has two visitor trails, one leading to a scenic viewpoint atop a cliff, and the other spanning from a small beach to a tall prickly pear cactus forest.
This morning you will visit Witch Hill (Cerro Brujo), where you will explore one of the most picturesque beaches in the Galapagos archipelago. Discover soft, powder white sand, where a colony of sea lions and blue-footed boobies can be sighted.
In the afternoon you will visit Pitt Point. Situated on the north-eastern tip of the island, this site hosts frigate birds, storm petrels, and all three types of booby birds: the Nazca, blue-footed and red-footed boobies. A steep trail goes up a cliff and through a ravine leading visitors to an area with an abundance of birds. This is a fantastic place for snorkeling.
In the morning you will visit Lobos Island. Lobos Island is named after the sea lions that rest and play on its rocky shores. It is also home to blue-footed boobies, magnificent frigate birds, brown pelicans, lava gulls, common noddies, yellow warblers and small and medium ground finches. There is good snorkeling in the clear waters of the channel and this is one of the best sites at which to swim with sea lions underwater.
Spend your afternoon sailing around Kicker Rock, located several hours off the western shore of San Cristobal. Jutting out of the water, the rocks stand vertically at hundreds of feet above the ocean divided by a small channel. Although there are no landing areas, kayaking allows visitors to spot a variety of marine life.
Start your morning at Suarez Point. This area is great for spotting blue-footed boobies, albatrosses and Nazca boobies. A beautiful site on the ocean front, the large waved albatrosses use the cliff as a launching pad. The famous attraction is the magnificent blowhole, spurting water high into the air. This site presents wonderful photograph opportunities.
In the afternoon you will either visit Gardner Bay or Osborn Islet. Gardner Bay is on the eastern side of the island, where you will find the breeding site of nearly all of the world's 12,000 pairs of waved albatrosses. Lounge on a white, sandy beach with a myriad of sea lions – perfect for relaxing. Its rocky shores also make this site a great place for snorkeling.
Osborn Islet features a lovely white sand beach where you can stroll among a busy sea lion colony or dive into the water to swim with sea lion pups. This small island is a marine visit where you can enjoy fantastic snorkeling and swimming.
Today you will begin at Cormorant Point, where you will find a large flamingo lagoon. Then you will voyage onward to Champion Islet, a small island located very near Floreana. Snorkeling around Champion can be excellent. The walls are covered with black coral bushes and yellow cup corals and if you take a close look you are likely to find a Pacific seahorse or some of several species of hawkfish, as well as green turtles, salema and surgeonfish.
In the afternoon, visit Post Office Bay, which was used in the 18th century by whalers passing through the island. The whalers started a tradition of exchanging letters, using an old wooden barrel as an unofficial mail box. The tradition continues today, so don't forget your postcards!
End your day at Baroness Viewpoint, a fantastic place to absorb the natural environment of the Galapagos. Once inhabited by an indulgent Baroness and her three lovers, the history of this island is intriguing. The legends about this baroness are associated with a fascinating murder mystery. There are easy trails in this area for exploring the flora and fauna of Floreana.
On the morning of your last day in the Galapagos who will have the special treat of visiting the Charles Darwin Research Station. Home to turtles ranging from 3-inches to 4-feet long. Sub-species of turtles interact with one another and many of the older turtles are accustomed to humans, stretching out their heads for a pet. The babies are kept until they are about four years old and strong enough to survive on their own.
After visiting the research station, you will disembark the yacht and meet your transfer who will take you to Baltra airport for a short connecting flight 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. 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; $300-$450 per child under 12 (copy of passport required).