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
$3,570 to $4,742
Arrive at the Baltra airport and be met by your guide to begin your journey.
Listed below is a sample of the islands you may visit during your expedition, and the types of activities you may experience.
Hike to the summit by climbing a steep wooden staircase—the view from the top is worth the effort! Go on a Zodiac ride around colossal Pinnacle Rock, then enjoy the beach and some snorkeling, possibly with Galapagos penguins. Or take a ride in the glass-bottom boat for great views of the underwater world.
Explore the youngest island of the archipelago, Fernandina, which, having no introduced mammals, boasts a very unique environment with a very high density of marine iguanas, who share their space with sea lions, Sally light-foot crabs, hawks, penguins, and flightless cormorants.
Enjoy the maze of channels via Zodiac on the north shore. Visit Baroness Cove with its breathtaking views. Land at Post Office Bay to visit the historic barrel that has served as a post office in the archipelago for over two centuries. Options to snorkel off the beach too.
Climb up a set of steep stairs to a flat trail at the top land that goes for about a mile to the other side of this small island. Spot large colonies of masked boobies, frigate birds and storm petrels. Or enjoy a Zodiac ride along the cliffs. You can snorkel along the dramatic cliffs where there are chances of spotting many colorful fish. Kayaking is an option too. Later land at Darwin Bay to enjoy swimming and snorkeling at this beautiful natural harbor. Take an easy stroll to observe 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.
Explore the coast by Zodiac while your guide explains the geology of the area, a habitat of Galapagos wildlife such as flightless cormorants, Galapagos penguins, fur seals, and boobies. Depending on weather conditions, snorkel along the cliffs of this area rich in marine life, seasonally-visited by green sea turtles and oceanic sun fish (Mola mola).
Land on a red-colored beach and take a gratifying stroll along this small island. Spot sea lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, and yellow warblers. This is a great place to snorkel from the beach, enjoy a ride in the glass-bottom boat or cruise via Zodiac.
Santa Cruz Island:
Las Bachas is a glorious white beach with several 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. Or you may experience the fascinating landscapes of Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill) as you walk past a lagoon frequented by shorebirds, ducks and flamingos; the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western islands of the archipelago. You may also have the opportunity to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station’s giant tortoise Breeding Center.
Enjoy a coastal exploration along the impressive cliffs of Buccaneer’s Cove. Learn about its relevance for the whalers, pirates and early researchers, including Darwin’s epic voyage in 1835. The cove is home to a large number of marine birds and sea lions. Enjoy fantastic natural formations such as “Elephant Rock,” “The Bishop” and an impressive natural cave. This is a great site for snorkeling or a Zodiac ride!
Disembark at Baltra Island 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.
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 in Quito (Casa Gangotena, Hilton Colon, Mercure, Sheraton, Marriott, Dann Carlton) or Guayaquil (Hilton Colon, Oro Verde, Sheraton, Wyndham) to airport from select hotels for flights to/from Galapagos; shipboard accommodatios; kayaking, glass-bottom boat excursions; use of snorkeling gear (excludes wetsuits); all meals onboard the ship. 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; travel insurance; laundry service; 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).