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.
All departures will have a certified photo instructor onboard.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Diving, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Snorkeling, Dedicated Solo Cabins, Triple/Quad Cabins
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Upon arrival in Guayaquil, transfer to your hotel.
This morning, fly to the Galapagos Islands and board the National Geographic Endeavour II. After lunch, begin your exploration of the islands and encounter their remarkable wildlife.
Listed below is a sample of islands you may visit during your expedition.
Follow coastal trails past playful Galapagos sea lions on this wildlife-rich central island. Continue inland through a silvery forest of endemic palo santo trees, where frigatebirds nest, blue-footed boobies dance, and where you may also encounter prehistoric-looking land iguanas feeding on cactus.
Cross the Equator at Volcán Ecuador, northernmost of Isabela’s six great shield volcanoes. Keep an eye open for whales and dolphins, sea turtles and the elusive ocean sunfish. Over two days, land in the footsteps of Darwin and Melville, and look for wildlife along the wildly eroded volcanic shore.
One of the most active oceanic volcanoes in the world, Fernandina is the youngest and most pristine island in Galapagos—and home to the strange flightless cormorant, Galapagos penguins and the largest marine iguanas. Hikes ashore lead across impressive recent lava flows.
See swallow-tailed gulls, Española mockingbirds, Nazca boobies and, seasonally, the world’s only population of waved albatross at this birders paradise, which is also home to vividly colored marine iguanas. Watch sea lions on the wide sand beach, and snorkel offshore, at Gardner Bay.
Follow a trail past a rose pink-tinted lagoon frequented by flamingos. Snorkel among sea lions and abundant fish, or cruise along Champion Islet by Zodiac. Visit the famous barrel at Post Office Bay.
Visit Puerto Ayora, the largest town and headquarters of both the Galapagos National Park and Charles Darwin Research Station. See the monument to Lonesome George, and tour the giant tortoise breeding corrals. See the giant tortoises roaming in the wild in the lush, green highlands.
Climb the steps to the summit of this 300-foot volcanic wonderland for stunning views. Explore, swim and snorkel from the beach. You might even see Galapagos penguins, one of world’s rarest.
Explore tide pools and look for fur seals sheltered in quiet grottos of black basalt. Swim, snorkel, kayak and paddleboard along Santiago’s spectacular coast, and explore an enchanting coastal forest where Charles Darwin once walked.
Sail across the Equator to the remote northern realm of the Galapagos, surrounded by warmer tropical waters.
Search for red-footed boobies and the endemic mockingbird and lava lizard—found only on this easternmost island, and dig your toes into the powdery white sand at a gorgeous beach fronted by iconic Kicker Rock. Explore Baquerizo Moreno, where sea lions thrive in the middle of town.
Return this morning to Guayaquil, and transfer to the hotel. The late afternoon and evening are free to explore the city. Overnight at your included hotel.
Transfer to the airport for flights home.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
National Geographic Global Explorers:
Kids and teens will develop the mindset of an explorer through a range of cool activities: recording wildlife, plant, and undersea sightings in their Field Notebook, using photos, video, drawing and more to tell a story about the wonders they'll encounter, snorkeling with sea lions, and earning their Zodiac "driver's license!" Plus, National Geographic certified field educators—a brand-new addition to our expedition team—will help optimize Galápagos' daily learning opportunities.
National Geographic Photographer Onboard: 1/22/2021, 4/30/2021, 9/24/2021
These special departures will have a National Geographic Photographer onboard. They’re at your side, on deck and in the field, inspiring and advising. They share their secrets and tips, and actively lead special photo walks on shore or Zodiac cruises to help photographers of every skill level capture the best shots possible. They give informative presentations, interesting whether you’re a photographer or simply a fan of the images in National Geographic magazine. In addition, they participate in one-to-one critiques, and sociable laptop gallery events where everyone is invited to display their expedition shots.
Lindblad-National Geographic Certified Photo Instructor:
On all departures, a certified photo instructor will be at your side and at your service to inspire and assist you. Take advantage of talks, presentations, slideshows and “laptop gallery” sharing events. All skill and interest levels are welcome; the instructors can meet you wherever you are on your journey. All you need to participate is a camera— point-and-shoot, smartphone, DSLR, whatever—and a sense of adventure. And you’re sure to return home with amazing photos.
Optional Diving Program:
You need to be an intermediate to advanced diver and have at least 15 to 50 dives logged with experience in cold water and drift and wall diving. The Tuesday dive site, Gordon Rocks, requires a minimum of 30 logged dives. Dive sites: Floreana (Mondays) and Santa Cruz (Tuesdays) on the San Cristobal to Balta itinerary aboard National Geographic Endeavour II. Space on these trips is limited. Divers will be required to do a “buoyancy test” or “check-out” dive before their first dive, ensuring familiarity with equipment and wetsuits.The cost of each of the two dive options (2 dives each day) is from $250. Payment is made directly with Scuba Iguana by credit card through their online portal. No refunds for cancellations within 30 days. It is strongly recommended that divers purchase Divers Alert Network (DAN) Insurance, which has aerial evacuation and hyperbaric treatment. All divers must have an open water certification by an internationally recognized dive association (i.e. PADI, NAUI) and have proof of certification with them in Galápagos. If you have not logged a dive within the last three years, a refresher course is mandatory: Scuba Iguana cannot and will not risk taking divers in without it. We also recommend that all divers make at least a couple of dives in the year prior to Galápagos to get the most out of your experience. If you are over 55 or have any of the health problems detailed in the SCUBA Diving Form, and have not dived within the last six months, please provide the dive operator with a medical certificate. Liability release forms provided by dive company onsite must be completed before diving. A parent or guardian mist sign the liability release for divers under 18. Please inquire for more details.
Optional Pre-Trip Extension: Tropical Andes (Mashpi Lodge) & Colonial Quito
Before your Galapagos adventure, discover the lesser-known wonders of mainland Ecuador on this adventure in the Andes. Explore Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage site, from the comfort of historic Casa Gangotena on Plaza San Francisco. See dazzling colonial churches and bustling traditional local markets. Then immerse yourself in the heart of the Ecuadorian Chocó, one of the world’s top five biodiversity hotspots, at Mashpi Lodge. 6 Days.
2021 Double Occupancy from $2,690 per person
2021 Single Occupancy from $4,290
Optional Pre-Trip Extension: Ecuador’s Amazon - Yasuní Wildlife Photo Extension
A 6-Day pre-voyage extension on the 2021 Galapagos Photo Expeditions aboard National Geographic Endeavour II, departing 4/30/2021 (Pre-trip departs 4/26/2021); 9/24/2021 (Pre-trip departs 9/20/2021). 6 Days.
2021 Double Occupancy from $2,895 per person
2021 Single Occupancy from $3,950
One pre-cruise hotel night and one post-cruise hotel night in Guayaquil; transfers between airport/hotel/ship if booked on recommended flights; Galapagos National Park entry fee; Galapagos Transit Card; shipboard accommodations; certified photo instructor; kayaking, snorkeling, stand up paddleboarding; one hour of Wi-Fi per person/per day onboard ship; gear on loan (snorkeling gear, wetsuit); video chronicle of your trip; all meals onboard ship; most beverages onboard ship. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; meals not indicated as included; optional extensions; diving; passport and visa expenses; travel insurance; Internet/Wi-Fi beyond what is mentioned as included; items of a personal nature such as laundry, premium alcoholic beverages; gratuities; fuel surcharge may apply.
Airfare between Guayaquil and the Galapagos Islands:
The flights between mainland Ecuador (Guayaquil) and the Galapagos Islands are an additional cost. For your cruise security, 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 ©: Ralph Lee Hopkins (Masked Booby, Blue-footed Booby, Crab); Sven-Olof Lindblad (Frigatebird); Cindy Manning (Snorkeling); Michael S. Nolan (Tortoise, Kayak, Iguanas); Jacob Riglin (Paddleboard)