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, Photography, Snorkeling, Dedicated Solo Cabins, Triple/Quad Cabins
$3,388 to $4,916
Arrive by plane to San Cristóbal Island and transfer to the vessel.
After lunch, Punta Pitt, on the eastern tip of San Cristobal Island awaits! An eroded tuff cone whose trail provides spectacular views of the shoreline, this is the only site in the Galapagos where the three species of boobies can be found together. Enjoy a panga ride along the coast and some time for snorkeling or swimming.
After breakfast, take a zodiac ride over to an idyllic sandy-white beach with resident sea lions. The endemic land iguana, unique to this island, may be spotted during the morning walk amid the giant prickly pear cactus. Enjoy snorkeling and swimming, or a glass-bottom boat ride before returning to the vessel for lunch.
Following lunch and a rest, disembark where turquoise waters meet a brilliant white sand and black lava shoreline. Discover a carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents serving as groundcover for a grove of green prickly-pear cactus. Along the coastline one finds sea lions, frigates, swallow-tailed gulls and shearwaters.
Disembark this morning for a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise enclosures, where there is an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest. These are the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. Following your visit, board transport to enjoy lunch in the cooler highlands of Santa Cruz Island, a completely different ecosystem.
Enjoy one of several options available for the afternoon (hiking, mountain biking or kayaking in Tortuga Bay), which can be discussed in advance with your Expedition Leader. At the end of the afternoon’s activities, return to Puerto Ayora and embark the vessel.
Explore Punta Suárez on an exciting walk over hardened lava terrain. Watch for waved albatrosses (Apr - Jan), Nazca and blue-footed boobies, and swallow-tail gulls as well as a view of the famous “blow-hole.” Also keep and eye out for red-green-black marine iguanas.
After lunch, disembark at the white coral beach of Gardner Bay and enjoy a short walk where you may observe sea lions, mockingbirds, and finches as you relax. There is great snorkeling in this area!
Disembark and transfer to the airport for your flight back 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.
This trip is a part of a longer trip; therefore, you may have passengers onboard who will be on the longer trip.
Photography Lectures: Included in cost
A professional photographer is part of the permanent expedition staff aboard the Santa Cruz II. The photographer will accompany you and the naturalist guides on both land and sea explorations in order to help you document the experience. On board, they will offer talks designed to help you improve your photography and video techniques and provide you with general tips on how to best capture the wonders of the Galapagos Islands.
Shared transfer from main hotels in Quito (Casa Gangotena, Hilton Colon, Mercure, Sheraton, Marriott, Dann Carlton) and in Guayaquil (Hilton Colon, Oro Verde, Hampton Inn, Sheraton) to airport for flights to/from Galapagos; cabin accommodations aboard ship; meals aboard ship; coffee, tea and water; shore activities and excursions; guide and lecture services; kayaking; glass-bottom boat outings; snorkeling gear (except wetsuits); luggage handling; medical care on board (but not the cost of medication); taxes and transfers in the islands; Internet/Wi-Fi for guests staying in Panorama Deck cabins; Darwin Suite passengers receive a take-home Galápagos coffee table book and complimentary soft drinks. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; hotel nights before/after cruise; Galapagos National Park entrance fee; Galapagos Transit Card; wetsuit rental; Internet and WiFi; alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages; gifts and personal items; passport expenses; traveler's insurance; laundry service; gratuities to ship staff and crew are left to the discretion of the passenger; travel health insurance (required to enter Ecuador); 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).