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
- Offers apply to select dates
- Save $1,000 per person double occupancy
- Solo travelers pay no single supplement
- Early booking offer
- Offers may not be combinable; conditions may apply
$7,498 to $9,198
Fly independently to Guayaquil, Ecuador, and transfer to the Hotel Oro Verde.
Transfer from your hotel to the airport for your flight to the Galapagos. Embark the vessel, settle in, and meet your Expedition Team. Sail away to discover the enchanted isles.
Listed below is a sample of the islands you may visit during your expedition, and the types of activities you may experience.
Visit Bartolome Island, hiking to the top of a dormant volcano for a dramatic panoramic view including Pinnacle Rock. Your Zodiac drivers will take “non-hikers” for a ride around the cliffs, observing a stunning volcanic landscape and Galapagos penguins. Swim and snorkel with sea lions and maybe even speedy penguins.
Keep and eye out for lava lizard, waved albatross and brightly colored marine iguanas. Enjoy a Zodiac ride before landing among Punta Suarez's sea lion colony. Walk along the cliffs looking for waved albatrosses, Galapagos hawks, mockingbirds and red-colored marine iguanas en route to Española’s blowhole that spouts 90 feet into the air. You may swim, snorkel, or kayak in the waters off Gardner Bay, or simply bring along your book or a camera and relax on the white sand.
Explore the lava fields of Punta Espinosa on the youngest and most volcanic island in the Galapagos. Spot flightless cormorants and marine iguanas. Whale watch from the ship's open-air decks as you cross the Bolivar Channel.
Referred to as “Bird Island” for the vast numbers of pelagic seabirds that come here to nest, it harbors one of the Galapagos’ largest and most diverse bird populations. 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.
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.
Zodiacs take you on a dramatic ride into the heart of a sunken volcano at Punta Vicente Roca. Take to the water, where you might swim and snorkel among sea turtles and penguins. Or hike along the uplifted section of sea floor in Urvina Bay at the base of the Alcedo Volcano. Spot tortoises, colorful land iguanas and other wildlife that feed on the vegetation. Take Zodiacs for an excursion to Tagus Cove to look for penguins, flightless cormorants, and pelicans along the cliffs before a chance to snorkel and swim.
North Seymour Island:
North Seymour is the nesting site for a large population of magnificent frigatebirds and a great place 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.
See the red-sand beaches and cliffs while exploring this uninhabited island and watch for up to nine species of Darwin’s finches, doves, yellow warblers and mockingbirds. A small saltwater lagoon is home to white-cheeked pintail ducks and black-necked stilts. Snorkelers may take to the water with sea lions, sea turtles and reef fish. During a guided kayaking excursion, watch for brown pelicans and blue-footed boobies while savoring views of the island’s sloping volcanic peak.
San Cristobal Island:
Visit the Interpretation Center opened by the park in 1998.
Santa Cruz Island:
Walk along the white sands of Bachas Beach looking for Sally Lightfoot crabs, black necked stilts and whimbrels. Snorkel in the calm waters off the beach where sea turtles nest. Travel to the forested highlands with ample opportunity to see and photograph giant tortoises. Learn of the work being done to study and preserve wildlife at Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Center at the Darwin Research Center.
Hike across the pahoehoe lava of Sullivan Bay, seeing some of the hearty flora colonizing the landscapes. Stroll along the coralline beach spotting black and white oystercatchers. Or 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.
Sombrero Chino Island:
Featuring 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.
South Plaza Island:
At only 426 feet wide, South Plaza is one of the smallest islands in the archipelago. Look for yellow land iguanas as you walk through among a forest of prickly-pear cactus. Or enjoy a Zodiac ride watching for swallow-tailed gulls, red-billed tropicbirds and blue-footed boobies.
Disembark the ship and transfer to the airport. 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 if on the group flight; shipboard accommodations; kayaking; gear on loan (snorkeling gear, wetsuit); all meals onboard ship; soft drinks onboard ship. 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; 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