Summary : Discover Ecuador's world-renowned Galapagos archipelago from the comfort of a modern catamaran. See firsthand the abundant, approachable wildlife that inspired Charles Darwin's scientific discoveries. Bask in the sunshine on magnificent white sand beaches with slumbering sea lions. Snorkel with Galapagos penguins, manta rays, and schools of colorful fish. Trek over ancient volcanic rock through lush vegetation to picturesque viewpoints. Learn more about the natural history of the region and contemporary conservation efforts at the Charles Darwin Research Station.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Snorkeling
$5,245 to $6,037
Assistance will be provided upon your arrival by a Petrel representative after passing through immigration and baggage claim. When ready, you will be transferred to the yacht. You will then be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before the welcome briefing and lunch.
In the afternoon, you will visit North Seymour Island. Formed by uplifted submarine lava, the island is home to a huge colony of about 2,000 land iguanas and large populations of sea lions, blue-footed boobies, common noddies, and frigatebirds. Enjoy optional opportunities to snorkel, hike, or explore in the dinghy.
In the morning, visit Isabela Island. The largest of the Galapagos Islands, Isabela is peculiarly shaped like a seahorse. The island was formed by 6 different shield volcanoes from North to South that erupted continuously, eventually joining together to form an entire land mass. There are lots of unique wildlife on Isabela such as the pink iguana, and more wild tortoises than any other island!
Enjoy an optional snorkel or dinghy ride at Vicente Roca Point. Here you will have a chance to see Galapagos penguins, blue-footed boobies, terns, Nazca boobies, two types of sea lions, manta rays, and puffer fish!
In the afternoon, crossing the Bolivar Channel that divides Isabela and Fernandina Islands, you will land at Espinosa Point. After walking past a colony of marine iguanas and a group of sea lions, you'll reach the island's highlight: the Flightless cormorant nesting site. This area also provides a great opportunity to see the Galapagos Hawk.
Start your morning at Tagus Cove, located across from Fernandina Island, near the Bolivar Channel dividing the two islands. This spot has been frequented by ships since the 1800s, using the area as an anchorage site. Trails winding by Lake Darwin up to a ridge display wonderful views. Punta Tortuga, just north of Tagus Cove, is another lovely beach surrounded by mangroves.
Sail onward to Urbina Bay, located at the base of Alcedo Volcano on the west coast, between Tagus Cove and Elizabeth Bay. This area experienced a major uplift in 1954, causing the land to rise over 16 feet. The coast expanded half a mile out, leaving marine life stranded on the new shore. This area is a great place for snorkeling. Wildlife sightings may include the biggest land iguanas in the Galapagos, hawks, giant tortoises, manta rays, and tropical fish. You will have the option to hike two different trails, snorkel, or explore by dinghy boat.
Elizabeth Bay is located on the east coast of Isabela Island. The bay contains many islets, which can be visited by dinghy. Penguins and Blue-footed boobies can be spotted on the rocky islets. With an abundance of marine life and clear water, the area is perfect for snorkeling and viewing schools of colorful fish, sea lions, and perhaps even sharks.
In the afternoon, you will go to Moreno Point, located near Elizabeth Bay on the west coast of Isabela Island. The plethora of birds seen during a dinghy ride along the striking rocky shores or a hike along path through lava rock leading to tide pools and mangroves create a birdwatcher’s delight. In the tide pools green sea turtles or white-tip sharks can be spotted. Enjoy an optional hike, snorkel, or dinghy ride here.
Today you will continue exploring Isabela Island. First stop – the Sierra Negra Volcano. Boasting the largest basaltic caldera in Galapagos at 9 x 10km, the site offers impressive views and the opportunity to observe up to 7 species of finch and a rich display of vegetation. The north side of the caldera provides evidence of its most recent volcanic activity in 2005.
Later, explore the wetlands of Isabela Island just outside of Puerto Villamil. The Wetlands consist of lagoons, swamps, and mangroves and are home to a variety of unique bird species such as Common Stilts, Whimbrels, White-Cheeked Pintails, and Gallinules. The Wetlands can be visited on foot via a path that winds through the swamps.
Alternately, this afternoon you will visit the Wall of Tears. From 1945-1959, a penal colony hosted prisoners who were forced to build this wall, stone by stone, in isolation. This now historical site (El Muro de las Lagrimas), towering at 65 feet high, took the lives of thousands during its construction. Locals claim to hear cries emanating from the heavy energy surrounding the site.
In the morning, you will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, home to turtles ranging from 3-inches (new hatchlings) 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 your visit to the research station, you will be transferred to the airport for your 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 (snorkeling gear, wetsuits, and kayaks). 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; $300-$450 per child under 12 (copy of passport required).