Summary : Sail the islands aboard a comfortable, stabilized motor yacht with excellent guides, high-quality service, Jacuzzi, kayaks, and sun deck. 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.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Hiking, Kayaking, Snorkeling, Dedicated Solo Cabins
$7,210 to $11,810
Arrive in Baltra and transfer to the yacht. Take a tour of the Santa Cruz Island highlands with a naturalist guide to search for giant tortoises in the tall grass, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, and the village of Puerto Ayora.
Listed below is a sample of the islands you may visit during your expedition, and the types of activities you may experience.
Pinnacle Rock juts straight out of Bartolome's northern bay. Snorkeling in the bay provides visitors with a chance to swim with penguins. Climbing up the 600 meter trail to the top of the island provides spectacular views of Pinnacle Rock, Santiago Island, and Daphne Major and Minor.
Stroll along Gardener Bay's magnificent white sand beach where sea lions bask in the sun. Enjoy a chance to swim or snorkel, maybe even among sea lions. Experience Punta Suarez’s spectacular cliffs. From the cliff top, watch a blowhole spray water 30 meters in the air. Española is the only island where you'll see waved albatrosses and possibly observe their fascinating mating dance.
Land at Punta Espinosa among the marine iguanas and brightly colored Sally-lightfoot crabs. Walk out on a pahoehoe lava flow, past a few pioneering plants. Along the sandy shore you may see flightless cormorants and numerous lounging sea lions. The sunsets are often quite stunning.
Visit the wooden barrel that has served as a "Post Office" since the 18th century. Learn of its amazing history and enjoy the opportunity to continue the tradition. Then head into the Floreana Highlands to visit tortoises and learn about the island’s intriguing human history at one of Galapagos’ only freshwater springs and at the Wittmer Caves.
Encounter a rock fall that forms a natural staircase up the cliffs, known as Prince Phillip's Steps. Walk through colonies of red-footed and masked boobies and a Palo Santo forest on the way to a lava ridge where storm petrels dart about as short eared owls stalk them for prey. Visit Darwin Beach which was formed by the rim of a sunken crater. Red mangroves along the hiking trail provide habitat for yellow warblers, yellow-crowned night herons, and pintail ducks.
Dotted with numerous lagoons, observe a wide variety of bird life, including flamingos. At Elizabeth Bay, float by Zodiac silently into the narrow channels of a mangrove lagoon to see rays, pelicans, herons, and sea turtles. Hike past Darwin's Lake as you keep your eye to the sky looking for the Galapagos hawk.
North Seymour Island:
Head inland to observe a large colony of Magnificent Frigatebirds, as well as the occasional blue-footed booby. Then head along the coast where you will have ample opportunity to observe sea lions and marine iguanas.
Land at Red Beach where wading birds and ghost crabs dot the sand. A short trail inland provides a chance to look for finches, doves, yellow warblers, and mockingbirds.
San Cristobal Island:
Snorkelers can see an amazing array of sea life at Kicker Rock, often including manta rays and sea turtles. Non-snorkelers will enjoy a cruise around the base of dramatic Kicker Rock, a 500 meter vertical tuff cone. At Punta Pitt, a steep gully leads up the cliff to a breeding ground for boobies of all three varieties: red-footed, blue-footed and masked.
Santa Cruz Island:
Explore Bachas Beach's beautiful white sand beach. Two small lagoons just over the dunes sometimes host flamingos. In Caleta Tortuga Negra, enjoy a Zodiac ride to watch for sea turtles feeding in the calm waters, as well as spotted rays, egrets, and lava herons.
Santa Fe Island:
After landing on Santa Fe’s white beach usually covered with sea lions, take a walk into a giant Opuntia cactus grove where you can see endemic land iguanas.
Meander along a coastal trail to the fur seal grotto at Puerto Egas, a safe haven for the shy Galapagos fur seal. Or take a trail inland to a lagoon at the Salt Mine Volcano where flamingos and other birds are found.
The turquoise waters near Sombrero Chino provide a great chance to see penguins. Take a scenic Zodiac ride in search of wildlife followed by a snorkel that often includes sea lions, penguins, and rays. Land at a beautiful white sand beach for a short walk along a trail that meanders over varying types of lava.
South Plaza Island:
Formed by a geological uplift and tilt to the north, this created cliffs on its southern coast which are swarming with a myriad of bird species. On small islands like this, terrestrial and marine species interact more than on the larger islands, and the occasional hybrid iguana (land and marine) with its "zebra-like" stripes can often be observed.
After breakfast, disembark at Baltra Island and transfer to the 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.
Shipboard accommodation; kayaking; Wi-Fi in the ship's lounge; use of snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel, fins); wetsuits (2019 only); all meals onboard ship; two glasses of wine per person at each dinner onboard ship; soft drinks and draft beer onboard ship; MedEvac200 Insurance*; fuel surcharge. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; travel insurance; Galapagos National Park fee; airport taxes and fees; Galapagos Transit Card; gratuities for yacht crew, guides and naturalists; items of a personal nature including, but not limited to: laundry, any bottled or alcoholic beverages that are not specified as included, excess baggage charges, wetsuit rental (2018 only), phone/fax charges.
Minimum Passenger Requirement/Small Group Yacht Exceptions:
Please understand that the yacht will not be operated if there are less than four guests. If the minimum is not met for your preferred departure date, the shipping company will offer to transfer you to another departure of your choice on the same itinerary at no additional charge. In the event you agree to move to another date, the shipping company agrees to provide, based on airline ticketing receipts showing airfare change costs, an allowance of up to $250 per person for airfare change fees incurred. If you are unable to travel on another date, the shipping company will issue a full refund of all monies paid to them. However, we are not responsible for any fees or cancellation penalties that you may incur elsewhere due to a trip cancellation.
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 by INCA
*MedEvac200 Insurance is factored into the cost of your trip at a charge of $15 per person for 0-11 day trips (if your trip is longer please inquire for the rate for longer coverage). Please contact us for a detailed brochure for terms and conditions. Please note that this insurance does NOT provide any coverage for losses caused by other reasons such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, delay en route, lost baggage, loss of life or for items that would be covered by trip cancellation insurance. Please let us know if you do NOT wish to puchase this coverage, and we can have it removed from the cost of your trip.