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
- Waived Single Supplement
- Kids under 18 save 25% off
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 the islands (not included) and board the Evolution. Stroll along the beach at Playa Ochoa, where a nearby tidal lagoon plays host to flamingos, finches and Chatham mockingbirds. At sunset, cruise around Kicker Rock.
At only 426 feet wide, South Plaza is one of the smallest islands in the archipelago. Look for yellow land iguanas on a walk to a grove of prickly-pear cactus. Non-hikers can enjoy a Zodiac ride, watching for swallow-tailed gulls, red-billed tropicbirds and blue-footed boobies. Since there is no true trail on Mosquera Islands, you are able to stroll at your leisure.
The tiny uplifted island of Sombrero Chino – or Chinese Hat – features a primeval landscape of volcanic rubble and lava tubes. The “land” is made of a few adjacent craters and old, fragile pahoehoe lava flows. Vegetation is just starting to take hold, including colorful carpetweed plants. Enjoy a Zodiac ride and swim before lunch. This afternoon, search the tide pools of Puerto Egas for sea life. During low tide, you may see marine iguanas feeding on algae. The naturalists will point out the birdlife, including great blue herons, lava herons, oystercatchers and yellow-crowned night herons.
Genovesa is often referred to as “Bird Island” for the vast numbers of pelagic seabirds that come here to nest. And while Genovesa harbors one of the Galapagos’ largest and most diverse bird populations, there are no land reptiles — with the exception of some very small marine iguanas. This is due to the direction of the ocean currents, which couldn’t carry the terrestrial animals here. Climb Prince Philip’s Steps to an area with colonies of red-footed boobies. Watch for short-eared owls which feed on the petrels that fly about. Explore Darwin Bay, home to the rare lava gull. While anchored at Genovesa, enjoy an opportunity to swim, kayak and snorkel in the calm caldera of this partially eroded volcano.
North Seymour is the nesting site for a large population of magnificent frigatebirds and the place where it is best to spot males showing their red pouches to attract females. Keep an eye out for blue-footed boobies performing their comical courtship dance in the open areas. Hike to a scenic lagoon, where you may observe Galapagos hawks, mockingbirds and a variety of Darwin’s finches. You may kayak and snorkel from the beach.
Hike to Post Office Bay, once used by navigators to send mail with homebound messengers. Swim and kayak in the bay before a walk along the olivine beaches of Punta Cormorant. After hiking to a flamingo lagoon, spot fish and sea turtles during a relaxing stroll along the beach. Enjoy superb snorkeling at Devil’s Crown, where sea water has filled the sunken cone of an extinct volcano.
Begin the day in the forested highlands, with ample opportunity to see and photograph giant tortoises. 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.
Enjoy a Zodiac ride through Black Turtle Cove, drifting silently through this area of dense mangroves. Fly to Guayaquil (not included), with time to relax at your included hotel—Hotel Oro Verde.
After breakfast, board independent flights home.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips 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