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.
Each voyage aboard WildAid's Passion donates to Galapagos conservation.
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, Triple/Quad Cabins
FREE night at Casa Gangotena
$6,580 to $7,450
After arriving at Baltra airport, be greeted by a cruise representative and board a bus to Puerto Ayora for the first visit on the islands: the Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Center. Here, you will see tortoises from different islands. They are divided according to four different stages: eggs, neonates, juveniles (held here until they are mature enough to be "repatriated"), and adults.
Afterwards, head back to Puerto Ayora, where you will have some time to explore the town and shops on your own before boarding the M/Y Passion at around 5:00 p.m. Once on board, be welcomed by the crew and captain, have a short security drill and enjoy dinner and the briefing for the next day's activities.
Spend the day on Floreana, legendary homestead of infamous Baroness Eloise Von Wagner de Bousquet. Discover the olivine beaches of Punta Cormorant and keep an eye out for Greater Flamingos on your way to a special beach that is a sea turtle nesting ground with some of the finest sand you’ll set foot on. End the outing with a short panga ride to Devil’s Crown, a key snorkeling site.
After lunch, visit Post Office Bay where you can drop your postcards in the barrel as the whalers did centuries ago and select cards to hand deliver when you return home.
Visit Floreana Island's Black Beach to learn about the intriguing human history of the island and its first inhabitants. Floreana was the first island in the archipelago to be inhabited, since it has one of the very few fresh water sources. Visit this fresh water source known as Asilo de La Paz, as well as the caves that served as hideouts for pirates and where the first Galapegueño was born. Hear of the stories of Floreana, which involve the infamous Baroness Eloise Wagner von Bousquet and her lovers who mysteriously began to disappear after settling on the island.
Enjoy a full afternoon navigation to look for whales and dolphins. The waters of the Galapagos form the second largest marine reserve in the world and are very rich in wildlife. Navigate form Floreana to Isabela Island while looking for these fascinating creatures, which are commonly seen in this area. Top off the afternoon with the impressive landscapes of Isabela and the Cerro Azul volcano.
After breakfast, step ashore at Punta Moreno onto a superb pahoehoe lava flow surrounded by giant shield volcanoes. From here do a short hike to a lagoon where flamingos are usually present.
In the afternoon, disembark at Urbina Bay onto a black sand beach which is a nesting site for green sea turtles. Take a brief hike inland in search of land iguanas and giant tortoises (seasonal) that migrate to and from the highlands. At the beach, admire the remains of a geological uplift exposing coral heads and marine fossils and if the sea conditions and timing are favorable, you can snorkel in these waters.
Land near Tagus Cove, a historic pirate hideaway where names of countless ships are recorded for posterity on the cliff face. Hike through beautiful Galapagos landscapes to Darwin Lake, a salt-water crater lagoon surrounded by tuff stone.
In the afternoon, cross the Bolivar Channel to Fernandina Island, one of the world’s most unspoiled sites, and disembark at Punta Espinosa. Stroll along the shoreline and be on the lookout for flightless cormorants, Galapagos sea lions, Galapagos penguins and hawks, sooty-colored marine iguanas and bright red-orange Sally Lightfoot crabs.
At Puerto Egas, disembark on a dark sand volcanic beach with an interesting history of human settlement. Sleepy Galapagos fur seals lounge under arches of lava carved by the ocean and occasionally dip into the crystalline pools, also known as “grottos”. Walk along the shore to observe and enjoy the abundant marine life.
Later in the day at Buccaneer Cove, take a panga ride around the beautiful coastline. This place got its name due to the fact that it used to be a refuge for British Buccaneers during the time they would anchor here to collect supplies and clean their ships among other activities. The cove is very scenic with views of the cliffs and a dark beach. Do not forget to look for two unusual rock formations known as ‘the monk’ and ‘elephant rock’. After three days exploring the fabulous western islands, head to central Santiago to disembark at Espumilla onto golden-colored sand and home to a green sea turtle nesting site. A forest trail will take you through some of the largest specimens of Palo Santo on the islands to watch for yellow warblers, Galapagos flycatchers and the ever-intriguing Darwin finches.
Head across to Sullivan Bay in Santiago to walk over a recent lava flow with hardened pahoehoe lava formations, and lava bubbles containing crystallized minerals and pioneer plants. Along the shoreline, you may find Galapagos penguins and herons going after small fish.
Later in the day, disembark on North Seymour, a small uplifted island, where you will walk right up to bird nesting colonies of the two species of frigate birds, as well as blue-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls. Depending on the season, you may get to experience their spectacular mating ritual display and dances.
Mosquera is a small islet located between Baltra Island and North Seymour. It is home to one of the largest sea lion colonies and is also a haven for shorebirds. Orcas occasionally come to the islet to feed on the sea lions.
After this visit, the ship will sail to Baltra where you will 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.
One night hotel at Casa Gangotena in Quito (2018 dates only); transfer from Baltra Airport to ship; cabin accommodations aboard ship; meals aboard ship; tea, coffee and natural juices; VIP/Master Suites include open bar and use of the VIP lounge (departure date only) at the Baltra airport; visits to the islands with certified guide; use of snorkeling gear (wetsuit, mask, snorkel and fins); kayaking. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; hotel nights before/after cruise; transfers in Quito or Guayaquil; items of a personal nature such as laundry, massage; alcoholic and bottled beverages except if mentioned as included; gratuities to ship staff is left to the discretion of the passenger; traveler’s insurance; 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).