Summary : For the ultimate wildlife experience, tour the islands aboard a bright and modern luxury ship with Jacuzzi, kayaks, glass-bottom boat, and knowledgeable guides. 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, Snorkeling, Triple/Quad Cabins
$4,344 to $4,476
Arrive at Baltra Island this morning and transfer to the dock to board La Pinta. Get settled in with a friendly welcome, introductory briefing, and lunch.
Set sail for your first afternoon outing on South Plaza Island. The turquoise waters contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline, while a carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents serves as groundcover for a grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cactus beyond, populated by yellow-grey land iguanas. Along the coastline one finds sea lion colonies, while sea birds play with the thermals that form along the cliffs of this small but spectacular island.
Take the dinghy over to this idyllic sandy-white beach populated by colonies of sea lions. Galapagos hawks are often easily observed, perched atop salt bushes. The Santa Fe land iguana, unique to just this island, may be spotted during the walk. Following the walk, you can snorkel and swim along a natural wave barrier or ride in the glass-bottom boat.
After lunch, disembark at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the islands' capital, and drive 40 minutes to the southern shore. At Cerro Colorado, visit the breeding center for highly endangered giant tortoises in the midst of a fantastic deciduous forest, home to dozens of bird species, including the San Cristobal mockingbird, and the San Cristobal lava lizard, both island endemics.
Land at the eastern tip of San Cristobal Island this morning. The trail that ascends from the beach provides spectacular views of the shoreline. Observe frigate birds, plus a colony of bachelor sea lions. After the walk, if conditions are favorable, there is a chance to swim from the beach and snorkel.
In the afternoon following lunch on board, a dinghy ride along the shores of tuff-stone layers takes you to Cerro Brujo’s expansive, white coral beach, great for walking, with rewarding bird-watching featuring seabirds and shore birds. Also, look out for Galapagos sea lions. These are the same shores that Charles Darwin walked upon, back in September 1835.
Your morning outing at Punta Suarez provides an exciting walk on lava/boulder terrain to visit its unique sea bird colonies, including the Galapagos albatross (April – January), boobies, swallow-tail gulls, and the famous “blowhole” lava formation. Also, look for red-green-black marine iguanas. Many regard this site as the best in the Galapagos. Head back on board for lunch.
In the afternoon, disembark at the white coral beach of Gardner Bay for a short walk to observe the sea lions, mockingbirds, finches and enjoy the beach. There is great snorkeling in this area; or choose to kayak or ride in the glass-bottom boat.
Disembarking in the morning to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and the captive rearing program for the giant tortoises. Here you can witness the efforts and results of Galapagos fieldwork and study done in the name of science.
Transfer by bus 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.
Shared transfer from main hotels in Quito (Casa Gangotena, Hilton Colon, Mercure, Sheraton, Marriott, Dann Carlton) and in Guayaquil (Hilton Colon, Oro Verde, Wyndham, Sheraton) to airport for flights to/from Galapagos; cabin accommodations aboard ship; meals aboard ship, coffee, tea, water, juices and soft drinks (excluding "virgin" cocktails); guide and lecture services; kayaking; glass-bottom boat outings; snorkeling gear and wetsuits; Internet/Wi-Fi aboard the ship; luggage handling; medical care on board (but not the cost of medication); taxes and transfers in the island. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare and airport taxes; hotel nights before/after cruise; Galapagos National Park entrance fee; Galapagos Transit Card; alcoholic beverages and "virgin" cocktails; gifts and personal items; passport expenses; traveler's insurance; laundry service; gratuities to ship staff and crew; 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).