Summary : The Galapagos Islands live in the spirits and minds of nature lovers like nowhere else on Earth. Explore the wonders of the Galapagos Islands, where tortoises of dramatic proportions, superb birdlife and a unique undersea world abound amongst a sublime landscape of deserts, beaches, lush forests and volcanoes. Join an extraordinary journey aboard an intimate small ship voyage with great naturalist guides, ensuring an educational and fun adventure.
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, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Snorkeling, Triple/Quad Cabins
Solo Traveler Offer
Waived Single Supplement
Early Booking Discount: Book 9 months or more in advance and save $250 per person.
$6,498 to $9,198
Fly independently to Guayaquil, Ecuador, and transfer to the Hotel Oro Verde.
Fly to Galapagos and board the Evolution. After a safety briefing, enjoy a circumnavigation of Daphne Major, a paradise for sea birds such as magnificent frigatebird.
Zodiacs take you on a dramatic ride into the heart of a sunken volcano at Punta Vicente Roca. Take to the water, where you might swim and snorkel among sea turtles, penguins and possibly even sea horses. Explore the lava fields of Punta Espinosa, located on Fernandina, the youngest and most volcanic island in the Galapagos. Here you can spot flightless cormorants and marine iguanas. Whale watch from the Evolution’s open-air decks as you cross the Bolivar Channel.
Hike along the uplifted section of sea floor in Urvina Bay at the base of the Alcedo Volcano. Your naturalists point out the tortoises, colorful land iguanas and other wildlife that feed on the vegetation. Board Zodiacs for an excursion to Tagus Cove, where you look for penguins, flightless cormorants, and pelicans along the cliffs before a chance to snorkel and swim.
Visit Bartolome Island, hiking to the top of a dormant volcano for a dramatic panorama, including famed Pinnacle Rock. The island is dotted with craters, cinder cones, lava flows, spatter cones and broken lava tunnels which run down from the summit. Your Zodiac drivers will take “non-hikers” for a ride around the cliffs, observing a stunning volcanic landscape and Galapagos penguins. Swim and snorkel with sea lions and maybe even speedy penguins. This afternoon, hike across the pahoehoe lava of Sullivan Bay, seeing some of the hearty flora colonizing the landscapes. Stroll along the coralline beach spotting black and white oystercatchers.
Walk along the white sands of Bachas Beach looking for Sally Lightfoot crabs, black necked stilts and whimbrels. Snorkel in the calm waters off the beach where sea turtles nest. Your afternoon is spent along the distinct red-sand beaches and cliffs of Rabida Island. While exploring this uninhabited island at the archipelago’s geologic center, watch for up to nine species of Darwin’s finches, doves, yellow warblers and mockingbirds. A small saltwater lagoon is home to white-cheeked pintail ducks and black-necked stilts. Snorkelers may take to the water with sea lions, sea turtles and reef fish such as damsels and pufferfish. During a guided kayaking excursion, watch for brown pelicans and blue-footed boobies while savoring views of the island’s sloping volcanic peak.
Begin your day in the forested highlands, with ample opportunity to see and photograph giant tortoises in the wild. Stop at a family run farm before learning about the work being done to study and preserve wildlife at Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Center at the Darwin Research Center.
As the southernmost island in the archipelago, Española’s relative isolation has resulted in not only an abundance of unusual wildlife, but species and subspecies that are endemic to the island, such as Española mockingbird, Española racer snake, Española lava lizard, waved albatross and brightly colored marine iguanas. Enjoy a Zodiac ride before wading ashore to Punta Suarez through a sea lion colony. Walk along the cliffs looking for waved albatrosses, Galapagos hawks, Hood mockingbirds and the red-colored marine iguana en route to Española’s blowhole, where waves spout 90 feet into the air. After a relaxing lunch, swim, snorkel and kayak in the waters off Gardner Bay, or simply bring along your book or a camera and relax on the white sand.
End your Galapagos Islands cruise by returning to San Cristóbal to visit the Interpretation Center, opened by the park in 1998. Fly to Guayaquil, with time to relax at the Hotel Oro Verde.
Board independent flights home.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.
One pre-cruise and one post-cruise hotel night in Guayaquil; arrival/departure transfers (group flight only); shipboard accommodations and meals aboard ship; use of snorkeling gear and wetsuits; kayaking. Subject to change without notice.
International airfare; airfare to/from Galapagos Islands; Galapagos National Park entrance fee; Galapagos Transit Card; items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, laundry, etc.; passport and visa expenses; travel 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).
Photos: © International Expeditions