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. This trip is a wonderful option for those wanting a quality cruise on a slightly larger ship offering a glass-bottom boat, kayaks, two hot tubs, and fantastic guides.
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
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$3,556 to $4,728
Arrive in Baltra Island and transfer to the dock to board. Enjoy a welcome, briefing and lunch.
Located on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, Las Bachas is a glorious white beach with several brackish lagoons only a few steps away from the sea. These lagoons are the feeding grounds of various wading birds, from stilts to flamingos. You may enjoy swimming and or snorkeling at this beach too. This is a great opportunity to get acquainted with snorkeling gear and techniques.
After breakfast, enjoy a coastal exploration along the impressive cliffs of Buccaneer’s Cove. Learn about the history of Santiago Island, its relevance for the whalers, pirates and early researchers, including Darwin’s epic voyage in 1835, and the conservation projects aimed. Today the cove is home to a large number of marine birds, sea lions, and inter-tidal organisms. Enjoy fantastic natural formations such as the “Elephant Rock,” “The Bishop” and an impressive natural cave. This is a great site for snorkeling or a zodiac ride!
Disembark at Puerto Egas to enjoy a swim or snorkel amid a rocky shoreline, usually in the company of marine turtles. From here, take a walk as you watch for land and marine birds amid landscape of tuff-stone layers and hardened lava flows. At low tide, marine iguanas graze upon the algae beds and you can also observe a colony of fur-sea lions.
Land on a red-colored beach and take a gratifying stroll along this small island. Observe a large colony of sea lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and several species of Darwin’s finches. Very close to the beach, hidden behind a strip of green saltbush, is a salt pond where greater flamingos flock during certain times of the year. This is a great place to snorkel from the beach, both for beginners, as well as for experienced snorkelers, due to the unique combination of underwater species and submarine landscapes. Or, enjoy a ride in the glass-bottom boat or a panga. During navigation to the next island, dolphins are often spotted.
Disembark at Bartolomé Island for a hike to the summit. This is a steep climb aided by a wooden staircase with handrails; the view from the top is worth the effort. Go on a dinghy ride around colossal Pinnacle Rock, then enjoy the beach and some snorkeling, possibly with Galápagos penguins, or else a ride in the glass-bottom boat for great views of the underwater world.
The morning starts with a very interesting panga ride along the cliffs before disembarking on rocks for a steep climb (90 feet) up stairs. Once at the top of the stairs, the land is flat, allowing for a stimulating walk of about a mile to the other side of this small island. Observe large colonies of masked boobies, frigate birds and storm petrels. Those not wishing to disembark can enjoy a longer panga ride along the cliffs (depending on weather conditions). After the walk, you can snorkel along the dramatic cliffs where there are chances of spotting many colorful fish. Kayaking is optional.
In the afternoon, land at Darwin Bay to enjoy swimming and snorkeling at this beautiful natural harbor. Later, take an easy stroll observing frigate birds, red-footed and masked boobies, gulls, herons, finches and mockingbirds. There is an optional walk over uneven terrain for dramatic views, or you can return to the beach or enjoy a zodiac ride.
Start your last morning at the north shore of Santa Cruz Island. After breakfast, your luggage will be taken to the airport, while you visit the Tortoise Reserve. A dry landing at a passenger’s wharf and a bus ride to the loftier region of the island will provide the last highlight of the cruise: giant tortoises in the wild. The windward slopes of the island are home to two species of giant tortoises. These lush highlands include dense forests of Galapagos daisies, orchids and bromeliads, and several endemic land birds. After this visit, transfer directly to Baltra airport.
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.
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, Sheraton, Wyndham) 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 only. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; hotel nights before/after cruise; Galapagos National Park entrance fee; Galapagos Transit Card; wetsuit rental; Internet/Wi-Fi except for Panorama Deck guests; 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; $350-$450 per child under 12 (copy of passport required).