Galapagos Islands

  • 8 Days / 7 Nights
  • 5,549
On this cruise to the Galapagos, let yourself be amazed by the islands’ incredible biodiversity—from the curious-looking blue-footed boobies to the venerable old giant tortoises. This may not be your typical tropical destination, but you don’t have to be an evolutionary biologist to marvel at what you see in your land and sea explorations of the islands. FREE Domestic Round-Trip Air Ticket from Quito or Guayaquil to the Galapagos. Terms and conditions apply. Get in touch with your travel professional today.

Galapagos Islands

$5,549.00

On this cruise to the Galapagos, let yourself be amazed by the islands’ incredible biodiversity—from the curious-looking blue-footed boobies to the venerable old giant tortoises. This may not be your typical tropical destination, but you don’t have to be an evolutionary biologist to marvel at what you see in your land and sea explorations of the islands.

FREE Domestic Round-Trip Air Ticket from Quito or Guayaquil to the Galapagos. Terms and conditions apply. Get in touch with your travel professional today.

Categories: ,

Daily Overview

Day Destination Activities
1 Baltra (Package B Begins)

Mosquera Islet

EMBARKATION

Home to large colony of sea lions

2 Egas Port (Santiago Island)

Rabida Island

Explore black sand beaches comprised of tuff cone
and lava flows

Spot some of Darwin’s famous finches

3 Urbina Bay

Tagus Cove

Search for giant tortoises and land iguanas

See salt-water crater lake on Isabela Island

4 Espinosa Point

Vincente Roca Point

Spy iguanas, sea lions, crabs, and birds

Go deep-water snorkeling in the Bolívar Channel

5 Highlands (Package B Ends)

Bartolome (Package C Begins)

Visit a natural reserve for giant tortoises

hike up to overlook the famous Pinnacle Rock and stunning
views.

6 South Plaza

North Seymour Island

See a cactus forest and spy iguanas and birds

Hike and snorkel, watching for rare species

7 Pitt Point

Cerro Brujo

Hike a trail featuring magnificent viewpoints

Sunbathe, snorkel, and visit a lagoon

8 Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve

San Cristobal (Package C Ends)

Visit the tortoise breeding centre

DISEMBARKATION

Additional Information

Days

8 Days / 7 Nights

Pace

Casual

DAY 1

BALTRA / EMBARKATION / BLACK TURTLE COVE

(Package B Begins)

This truly exceptional expedition to the heart of the Galapagos begins with a departure from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra, where you’ll board the ship.

The north shore of Santa Cruz Island is accessible only by sea. Here, four species of mangrove crowd from the shore out into the lagoon. The cove takes its name from the turtles that enjoy swimming in the tranquil waters, their heads peeking above the surface. Peering beneath the boat, you’ll see white-tipped reef sharks, rays, and fish. And in the air you’ll see sea birds such as pelicans, herons, and egrets feeding in the cove.

DAY 2

SULLIVAN BAY / RABIDA

Located at the southeastern portion of Santiago Island, Sullivan Bay features extensive lava flows believed to have formed during the last quarter of the 19th century. Spend the morning exploring on foot, snorkeling, or swimming.

Rabida is considered the epicenter of the Galapagos Islands, due to the diversity of its volcanic geology. Dark red sand covers these unique beaches. As you explore on foot, see nesting brown pelicans—found here from July through September—and try to spot some of Darwin’s famous finch species, nine of which call Rabida home. Set off on a dinghy ride along cliffs to observe nesting seabirds, and snorkel off the coast, where marine life is particularly active.

DAY 3

URBINA BAY / TAGUS COVE

In the morning, make a wet landing on a volcanic “black” beach. Depending on the season, Urbina Bay is home to giant tortoises, land iguanas, and the unusual flightless cormorant. After a short walk inland, snorkeling time is allotted, giving you yet another chance to swim with sea turtles, sea lions, and countless tropical fish. The bay also boasts an ever-changing variety of flora depending on the season. Here, observe the beautiful colours of plants, many of which serve to attract different insects, birds, and reptiles. After, discover an uplifted coral reef which resulted from volcanic activity in 1954. This site also offers a spectacular view of Alcedo Volcano.

In the afternoon, sail to Isabela, the Galapagos’ largest island, where you’ll have the chance to learn about the five volcanoes that formed it. A trail leads to Darwin Lake, a small, salt water lagoon believed to have been formed by a tidal wave after the eruption of a volcano on nearby Fernandina Island. Here, take in views of lava fields and volcanic formations, returning by the same path for a dinghy ride along a shoreline full of marine wildlife.

You’ll also notice a variety of seabirds, perhaps including the blue-footed booby, the brown noddy, terns, flightless cormorants, and if the season is right, Galapagos penguins—the only penguin species to extend its range into the northern hemisphere. They are monogamous and lay their eggs in small cracks of lava on the lower parts of the island near the shoreline so as to protect them from the waves. There are a couple thousand penguins on the islands, most of which live on this western portion of Isabela, while others are scattered further south.

Later, you’ll have an opportunity to snorkel in deep water. Graffiti believed to have been left by 19th-century pirates serves as a curious reminder of the islands’ intriguing past.

DAY 4

ESPINOSA POINT / VINCENTE ROCA POINT

In the morning, make a dry landing on Fernandina, where from Espinosa Point you can see the island of Isabela across the Bolívar Channel, an area that boasts one of the widest varieties of endemic sea fauna in the Galapagos. The largest, most primitive-looking race of marine iguanas can be found mingling with sea lions and Sally Lightfoot crabs. Here, you may also encounter flightless cormorants at their nesting sites, Galapagos Penguins, and the islands’ “king” of predators—the Galapagos Hawk. Pa-hoe-hoe lava formations—also known as ‘a‘ā lava formations—cover the majority of the terrain. Vegetation is scarce inland, but we encounter Brachycereus cacti and extensive mangrove beds lining the shores.

To round off the day, do some deep-water snorkeling at one of the richest marine havens on Earth—the Bolívar Channel. After, take a dinghy ride along the coast to observe the amazing diversity of sea and coastal birds. The upwelling of cold water currents in this part of the Galapagos gives rise to an abundance of marine life.

DAY 5

HIGHLANDS / MOSQUERA ISLET

Today, a 45-minute bus ride will take you to the Santa Cruz highlands, located to the northwest of Puerto Ayora, where you’ll find a natural reserve with giant tortoises. These enormous and slow-moving reptiles are responsible for the island’s name and therefore approaching them in their humid and forested abode is always an inspiring adventure. They can weigh between 250 and 300 kilograms and can live an astounding 150-200 years.

(Package B Ends at Highlands and Package C Begins at Mosquera Islet)

Located between North Seymour and Baltra Islands, Mosquera Islet is a flat, sandy island which is inhabited by a large colony of sea lions. It’s also an excellent site for observing shorebirds such as herons and lava gulls. There are no trails on Mosquera Island, so visitors can enjoy the open air. Most of the islet is covered with sand and barren lava rock. Some Sesuvium portulacastrum, a sprawling perennial herb, grows on the sand.

DAY 6

SOUTH PLAZA / SANTA FE

Today’s walk begins with an impressive cactus forest surrounded by land and marine iguanas. As you reach the highest point, be on the lookout for tropic birds, Nazca and blue-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls.

In South Plaza, there is a large colony of the small land iguanas. They feed on all kinds of vegetation, but during the dry season survive on the fruits and flowers of Opuntia cacti. Due to their proximity with marine iguanas, this is the only place on the planet where you can find the Galapagos hybrid iguana.

In the afternoon, you’ll make a wet landing on a white sand beach surrounded by a sea lion colony. From here, you’ll continue walking through an endemic cactus forest as you search for the endemic Santa Fe land iguana, the largest in the islands and distinctively paler. This island is also home to a number of endemic species including the Galapagos Hawk, the Galapagos Snake, a variety of finches, and one of four total species of Galapagos mockingbirds. Later, enjoy some deep-water snorkeling.

DAY 7

PITT POINT / CERRO BRUJO

This morning, set off on a high-intensity hike on rocky terrain. Follow a 90-metre olivine beach, then a path that climbs to the top of a volcanic tuff through several magnificent viewpoints. This is probably the only site where the three booby species of the Galapagos can be seen together. You may also spot two species of frigatebirds and a sea lion colony on a dinghy ride, and observe even more wildlife as you snorkel.

Cerro Brujo is an eroding tuff cone that at several locations is composed of ‘a‘ā lava formations, and a beautiful white sand beach that’s great for snorkeling and sunbathing. We visit a lagoon where numerous migratory bird species can be seen, including black-necked stilts, ruddy turnstones, whimbrels, and white-cheeked pintails, among others. Cerro Brujo offers beautiful views of Kicker Rock, the southern part of San Cristobal and the adjacent coast.

DAY 8

CERRO COLORADO TORTOISE RESERVE / DISEMBARKATION

Dry landing in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Passengers visit the San Cristóbal giant tortoise breeding center to learn about the National Park’s conservation programs. Enjoy a beautiful landscape on the way to the reserve. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit the port village, have a drink, or shop for arts, crafts, and other souvenirs on your final morning in this Pacific paradise.

(Package C Ends)

Start / End Nights Sailing Schedule Starting From*
Baltra / San Cristobal Island 7 January - December $5,549

* Price per person based on double occupancy. Due to the dynamic nature of availability and pricing, please contact us at 1.866.760.1987 | expedition@glpworldwide.com directly for sailing schedule and full pricing |

MV Galapagos Legend

MV Galapagos Legend

Built Length Decks Cabins Passengers Cabin Size
2002; Refurbished in 2015 92m 4 4 100 11 - 22.8m² More Details

Top quality Galapagos cruise sharing

All meals on board 24-hour station

Multilingual speaking guides

Baggage handling and transfers to/from Galapagos

$584/adult, $410/child under 12 – air ticket from Quito

$65 – fuel surcharge for 4 & 3 night, $130 for 7 nights

$130 adult, $65 children under 12 – Galapagos National Park entrance fee

  1. Passport

    Canadian citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the last date of travel in Ecuador.

  2. Visa

    No tourist visa is required for Canadians to enter Ecuador.

    Citizens of other countries should inquire with their travel agent or our office about required documentation.

A handy checklist of what to bring on your trip can be downloaded here.

We very strongly recommend the purchase of appropriate travel insurance for any trip outside of Canada. Information on travel insurance options can be found here.

Not permitted anywhere indoors. There are designated areas on the outside decks.

Please note that smoking is absolutely forbidden on land in any part of the Galapagos National Park.

The weather in the Galapagos is fairly steady all year round because of its location on the equator. However, due to the ocean currents, it is not always a tropical humid climate as one might expect.

From December to June it is the warmer period where temperatures can reach the low 30s and the ocean temperature is in the mid 20s.

Between July and November is the cool period where temperatures can be in the low to mid 20s, occasionally a bit cooler at night. Rain is more frequent at this time of year, particularly in September. The ocean temperature can drop to 20C or even cooler.

Tropical storms almost never occur.

Your program will likely include the flights to and from the Galapagos Islands from either Quito or Guayaquil. If you are making your own flight arrangements, please obtain detailed instructions from us on how to reach the ship. In such instance, there is no liability on the part of the ship operator if you do not arrive on time for the sailing.

Departure from the mainland will be in the early morning. Local assistants will meet you either at your hotel or at the airport depending upon your transfer arrangements with us. At the airports in both Quito and Guayaquil, there will be a special luggage check by SICGAL to inspect for plants, animals, seeds and anything else that is forbidden on Galapagos. For this reason you are required to arrive at least 1.5 hours before the flight time.

Upon arrival in the Galapagos, crew members and local guides will be there to direct you to the shuttle buses going to the port. Embarkation will be via zodiac type boats. Your luggage will be transferred separately.

On departure you will be transferred from the ship to the airport in time for the regular flight taking passengers back to the mainland. If you are not taking our flights, please advise us accordingly and ensure you have flights that are scheduled no earlier as we cannot guarantee a special transfer to the airport.

The currency of Ecuador is the US Dollar.

You may settle your onboard account with a major credit card or in US currency. Elsewhere in Ecuador, credit cards are acceptable for larger purchases in retail shops and major restaurants, but usually not in smaller restaurants or cafés.

ATM’s accepting most international debit and credit cards can be found in abundance in Quito and Guayaquil as well as at the airports in Galapagos. However, there is not much to buy while in the Galapagos National Park as there are no shops or food & beverage facilities.

If you are satisfied with your experience, the suggested gratuity is USD$15 per person per day to be divided amongst the crew and USD$10 per person per day for the naturalist guide. Envelopes will be provided on the day before departure.

Unfortunately there are no laundry facilities on board so bring what you need for the cruise.

All shore landings are included in your cruise fare. Some additional excursions (eg. kayaking) may be available on board at a modest extra cost. Please check with the purser onboard for additional information.

Shore landings will be both dry and wet (meaning you may have to disembark in up to about 30cm of water). Appropriate footwear is recommended.

The tours will usually involve a fair amount of walking on sandy beaches and over dirt paths and rocky terrain. If you have difficulty walking any distance, please let us know in advance and we will advise how best we can accommodate you.

Moderate – As noted above, walks on land can be somewhat lengthy on uneven terrain. It is necessary to be reasonably sure-footed as walking will be on rocky terrain, occasionally near cliff faces.

Regrettably, this program is not suitable for those in a wheelchair.

Breakfast and lunch are typically buffet style and dinner is served. There is also an on deck BBQ at least once during your cruise.

Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are subject to charge.

Your shipboard staff all speak English of course, but when you are wandering through Ecuadorian towns and cities on the mainland, you may want to have a phrasebook if your Spanish isn’t up to par.

There are no medical personnel onboard the ship. However, crew members are trained in first aid and the purser can contact onshore medical people for emergency and non-emergency situations and evacuation can be facilitated in the most urgent cases.

There is a telephone in each cabin for intra-ship calling.

Wi-Fi is available in the onboard café at a fee of USD$32 for 10 minutes (satellite connection).

If you would like to have regular data and phone connection (noting that service will be poor or non-existent away from the major ports), we suggest either arranging an overseas roaming plan with your mobile operator, or pick up a local SIM card if you have an unlocked phone.

It is recommended to ensure you are up-to-date on your regular vaccinations.

Malaria is not present in the Galapagos or in Quito and Guayaquil, but if you are travelling outside these areas, you should consult a physician to determine whether a prophylaxis is recommended.

As has widely been reported in the media, the Zika virus is also present in Ecuador and appropriate precautions should be taken.

As always, we recommend being in good health prior to any long distance travel. We strongly recommend consulting your physician about your intention to travel on this program to receive specific advice for your situation.

There are no vaccinations required to travel to Norway. However, we suggest you consult your physician with any specific personal requirements for this program.

You must have travel insurance to participate on this voyage.

Quito is relatively safe in the main areas of the downtown that are frequented by tourists. Caution should be exercised at night and avoid walking alone.

Guayaquil is the major commercial hub of Ecuador and has a markedly greater security risk. This being said, if one remains aware and vigilant, it should not affect your journey. It is recommended not to take any valuables at all, in some cases even cameras and/or smartphones are best left in the hotel safe. Your hotel can inform you accordingly.

Needless to say there is no security risk in the Galapagos.

Please read the specific advice as provided by the Canadian government:

https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/ecuador

Suggested Reading

Galapagos Islands: A Different View

Galápagos: The Islands That Changed the World

The Origin of Species

Featured Inclusions

Top quality Galapagos cruise sharing

All meals on board 24-hour station

Multilingual speaking guides

Baggage handling and transfers to/from Galapagos

$584/adult, $410/child under 12 – air ticket from Quito

$65 – fuel surcharge for 4 & 3 night, $130 for 7 nights

$130 adult, $65 children under 12 – Galapagos National Park entrance fee

YOUR DREAM VACATION AWAITS…

Talk with an expert travel consultant to plan your next getaway

Get started x