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 booby. Families, couples, and solo travelers alike will love the comfort and intimacy of the Galapagos catamaran experience. This dynamic itinerary is designed for the young or the young at heart, catering to the high-end adventurer who wants to explore in comfort.
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
$999,999,999 to $0
Upon arrival at Baltra, guides will meet you, collect your luggage, and escort you on the short bus ride to the harbor. Motorized rafts, called ‘Pangas’ will transport you to the vessel and your crew will welcome you on board. After lunch, the first island visit will be made.
Each voyage is unique. Listed below is a sample of the islands you may visit during your expedition:
North Seymour Island:
An uplifted (as opposed to volcanic) island, generally flat and strewn with boulders. A large population of magnificent frigate birds can be found here. Blue-footed boobies perform their courtship dance in open areas and swallow-tailed gulls perch on cliff edges. Despite the tremendous surf pounding the shore, sea lions haul out onto the beach and can be found bodysurfing.
This is a favorite island for birdwatchers: masked boobies, wandering tattlers, lava gulls, whimbrels, yellow-crowned and black-crowned lava herons, and yellow warblers can be seen in the area. Genovesa is one of the best places to see red-footed boobies which nest only in the outer islands of the archipelago.
Despite its small size, some of the most interesting and outstanding species of the Galapagos are found here such as the Plazas land iguana—smaller than their relatives found at other islands. Throughout the island are several hybrid iguanas—a cross between a male marine iguana and a female land iguana.
San Cristóbal Island:
Activities here may include visits to Jacinto Gordillo Breeding Center, the Interpretation Center’s lush gardens and sweeping ocean views, the Museum of Natural History, or Kicker Rock; observing the Galapagos giant tortoise and frigate birds at the San Cristóbal Galapaguera Natural; or snorkeling off the white coral beach at Cerro Brujo.
One of the most isolated islands in the Galapagos and home to many endemic species, you can find the main breeding grounds of the critically endangered waved albatross here. These birds are known for their intricate courtship dances and 8-foot wingspans. Gardner Bay provides an excellent beach for relaxing, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and the opportunity to observe sea lions and sharks in crystal-clear ocean waters.
Cormorant Point offers one of the largest and best flamingo lagoons in the Galapagos Islands. Interestingly, there are two distinct beaches: “The Green Beach” (due to its high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand) and the “Flour Sand Beach” which is composed of coral. Visit Post Office Bay, where the crew of a whaling ship placed a wooden barrel in the 18th century. The barrel has been used ever since by mariners and tourists as a makeshift post office.
Espumilla Beach, an important site for nesting marine turtles, is located on the northern coast of Santiago Island in James Bay. One of the main attractions is a Palo Santo forest. The black sand beach of Puerto Egas is located at the west side of the island. Its volcanic tuff deposits have favored the formation of its special black sand beach.
This island is unique because of the red color of its porous volcanic rocks and sand. External factors such as rain, salt water, and sea breezes have acted as oxidizing agents. A short walk along a trail leads to a coastal lagoon behind the beach which allows you to observe finches, doves, yellow warblers, mocking birds, and a colony of flamingos.
Climb to the summit of the island and observe a variety of volcanic formations including lava bombs, spatter, cinder cones, lava flows, and lava tubes. The moon-like landscape provides one of the most scenic panoramas in the archipelago. Or choose to relax on the beach, which offers great opportunities to snorkel with multi-colored fish or observe penguins and sea turtles at the base of the tall pinnacle rock that dominates Bartolome’s landscape. Take a short walk to Bartolome’s second beach to observe white-tipped reef sharks from a safe distance as they swim along the shoreline.
Explore Urbina Bay, a marine visitor site, via Zodiac. On Isabela, you might observe the largest land iguanas in the Galapagos. Snorkelers will enjoy beautiful coral reefs, giant tortoises, rays, and tropical fish. Explore Tagus Cove, historically a favorite spot for pirates and whalers. Here you can ascend a staircase to a small cave where you will find inscriptions dating back to the 1800s. The cove was named after a British warship that traveled to the island in 1814 in search of Galapagos tortoises. Due to explosive eruptions, large amounts of volcanic rocks of various sizes can be found here. The high cliffs and lava formations of Punta Vicente give this area a majestic touch and the large bay is home to spectacular marine life. Here, it's possible to see seahorses, sea turtles, sting rays, puffer fish, and the strange yet fascinating Mola-mola, also known as the sunfish.
After a morning excursion, transfer to the airport for return flight to the mainland.
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.
Galapagos transfers; shipboard accommodations; water, coffee and tea; shore activities and excursions; English-speaking guide; gear on loan (snorkeling gear); all meals onboard the ship. Subject to change without notice.
International airfare; airfare to/from Galapagos Islands; transfers in Quito or Guayaquil; Galapagos National Park entrance fee; Galapagos Transit Card; wetsuit rental; items of a personal nature; alcoholic beverages and soft drinks; passport expenses; traveler's insurance; gratuities to ship staff and crew are left to the discretion of the passenger; 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).