Discover the beautiful and the bizarre on the Galapagos Islands

Discover the endemic wildlife, bizarrely beautiful landscapes and underwater treasures of the Galapagos Islands on this immersive 17-day cruise. Explore both the traveller’s favourites and quieter parts of the archipelago, all with a passionate local naturalist on hand to guide you over pahoehoe lava and through marine iguana colonies. Snorkel in clear waters off the coast of Isla Espanola, paddle through a green turtle breeding grove on Isla Floreana, look out for mottled Galapagos hawks on Isla Fernandina, and wander between sea lions lounging on beaches with red, black and white sand.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Quito, Ecuador
Finish
Quito, Ecuador
Destination
Ecuador
Style
Original
Theme
Sailing, Wildlife
Code
GMDE
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why you'll love this trip

  • With over two weeks spent on the archipelago, this trip takes a more leisurely pace. Spend more time on each island, soaking up the sun and the sea (lions).

  • Hike, snorkel, sleep, repeat – this isn’t your average cruise. Get active in the rugged and isolated Galapagos Islands.

  • Sea lions are like the dogs of the ocean: playful, goofy and curious. And while you can’t pat them, you’re bound to fall in love with these furry frolickers.

  • Pink flamingos, red-throated frigates and blue-footed boobies will have you craning your neck, snapping photos and contemplating a career in ornithology.

  • Towering cacti, rocky cliffs, red-sand beaches and more await you in this otherworldly archipelago.

Is this trip right for you?

  • The Galapagos Islands are a largely untouched natural paradise. In order to experience the splendour of the diverse landscapes and waters, the included activities on this trip often require a moderate level of fitness. We ask that you read the trip notes and itinerary carefully to ensure that you will be able to participate fully.

  • Our small ships make cruising from island to island a breeze, so you can spend more time exploring the gorgeous surrounds than stuck onboard. Compact size means that the steps between the decks are steep, and as they are designed to maximise living area space, sleeping quarters are cosy.

  • For getting to small islets, coves and prime snorkelling spots, it is sometimes necessary to use a Zodiac boat (panga). You will need to be comfortable climbing in and out of one during wet and dry landings.

  • The waters of the Galapagos are generally calm and serene. However, there is always the possibility of choppy water at sea. Steady sea legs (and a sturdy stomach) will be needed when walking around the boat during bad weather. Rain or shine, your trusty crew will always be on hand to assist you.

  • Things are never set in stone when you’re travelling on island time. A sense of humour and flexibility will ensure you have a fun, relaxing trip through this beautiful part of the world no matter what happens. While the crew will do their best to follow the itinerary, variations may occur due to weather or under direction from local authorities.

Boats

Daphne

Daphne

Daphne has spacious sundeck, and below deck a bar, dining room, library and cabins with private bathrooms and air conditioning

Itinerary

The adventure gets under way in Quito, Ecuador’s sprawling but refined capital city. A welcome meeting will be held this evening at either 5 pm or 6 pm, but aside from that you are free to check out the city on your own today. If you arrive with time to spare, perhaps head to Quito’s Old Town and pick one (or more) of the 30 churches to explore.
Accommodation
  • Hotel La Cartuja, Quito (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.

As this trip spends very little time in Quito, we recommend you spend a few extra days before your trip if you want to experience all the city has to offer.

We recommend not partaking in any strenuous activity until you have time to gauge your reaction to the city’s high altitude, as some people experience mild symptoms of attitude sickness such as dizziness, shortness of breath and sleeplessness.
Rise and shine! An early start is necessary this morning to make it to the Galapagos with time to play today. This could mean leaving as early as 4.30 am, and an Intrepid representative will confirm the exact departure time during the welcome meeting on Day 1. Transfer to Mariscal Sucre International Airport (aka Quito Airport), enjoying a boxed breakfast en route.

Fly to the Galapagos (approximately 3.5 hours). On arrival, collect your luggage and meet your naturalist guide in the arrival hall. Follow your guide on a public bus for a short distance (approximately 5 minutes), then board the public ferry and head across the Itabaca Channel (approximately 7 minutes). All public transport fees are included in your trip price. Once you reach Isla Santa Cruz, board a private bus to the highlands.

After a short journey (approximately 10 minutes), arrive at Los Gemelos – twin sinkholes created by the collapse of surface material in underground fissures and chambers. They are surrounded by the unique scalesia cloud forest, so be on the lookout for the abundant birdlife including different species of Darwin finches, woodpeckers, warbler finches and vermillion flycatchers. Continue further into the highlands (approximately 30 minutes) and explore a rancho farm, where you will take a walk and later enjoy lunch. The approximately 2-kilometre walk around the area will likely reveal giant tortoises in their natural habitat.

After lunch, travel to Puerto Ayora (approximately 45 minutes) where Le Grande Daphne and her crew will be waiting for you. Once on board, you’ll be assigned a cabin and have a chance to settle in for your first night on the islands before a safety briefing.
Accommodation
  • M/Y Daphne (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Highlands Visit (3 hours) - Dry Landing
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
A USD 20 per-person transit card is payable on departure at Quito Airport and a USD 100 per-person national park entry fee is payable on arrival on the islands. Credit cards are not accepted so you will need to have cash on hand.

Please note snacks provided by the airline on the flight to the Galapagos Islands may not meet specialty dietary requirements. You will have time to purchase food for the flight after check-in and before departure to consume on the flight, though keep in mind the Galapagos has strict quarantine regulations on many fruits and vegetables.

Your flight to the Galapagos Islands will make a stop in Guayaquil to refuel and pick up other passengers.

We recommend that you wear comfortable closed in shoes as the trails in the rancho can be muddy. You can also opt to swap into rubber boots at the farm. From January to April, it can rain heavily in the highlands, so a rain jacket is also recommended.
Discover the quirky maritime history of Post Office Bay, home of the oldest postal system in the Americas. There’s a post box here that was first built by 18th-century whalers and is still in use today. Perhaps leave a letter to be collected by another traveller or look for one you can deliver. Snorkelling and a Zodiac ride are also included in this outing. Afterwards, head ashore at Punta Cormorant where the sand is made up of fine olivine crystal, a glassy volcanic mineral that gives the beach an olive-green colour. Take a 1-kilometre walk in search of sea lions, flamingos, pintails and stilts. Finish at a sandy beach where Eastern Pacific green turtles nest.

Just offshore, the famous Devil’s Crown waits for those who want a special snorkelling experience. The partially-submerged remains of a volcanic cone, Devil’s Crown is now a unique swimming hole and home to rays, sharks, sea lions and turtles.

Estimated travel time/distance:
Puerto Ayora to Isla Floreana: 4 hours (32 nautical miles)
Punta Comorant to Punta Suarez: 6.5 hours (52 nautical miles)
Accommodation
  • M/Y Daphne (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Floreana - Post Office Bay - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Floreana - Post Office Bay snorkelling (45 mins)
  • Isla Floreana - Punta Cormorant walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Floreana - Devil's Crown snorkelling (1 hour)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Wake up and take a hike on Isla Espanola, the southernmost island of the Galapagos. It is the breeding site for almost all of the estimated 24,000 waved albatrosses on earth. If you’re lucky (and the timing is right), you might spot the elaborate courtship rituals performed by albatrosses before the female chooses her lifelong mate during your walk. Hike through booby colonies to the rocky trails of beautiful Punta Suarez. This 3-km hike culminates at a clifftop viewpoint. Gaze out over views of rugged cliffs framed by swooping frigate birds, watching while albatross use the cliffs as their ‘runway’, getting airborne on the southeast winds.

Next, head to Bahia Gardner for a walk along the beach. Dodge lounging sea lions on this 1-kilometre walk, then cool off with a spot of snorkelling. The rocks off the coast are rich with reef sharks, turtles and many species of tropical fish (such as surgeon and angelfish). Small white-tipped reef sharks can also be spotted resting under the rocks.

Estimated travel time/distance:
Punta Suarez to Bahia Gardener: 45 minutes (5 nautical miles)
Bahia Gardener to Kicker Rock: 5 hours (8 nautical miles)
Accommodation
  • M/Y Daphne (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Espanola - Bahia Gardener - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Espanola - Bahia Gardener - Snorkel (1 hour)
  • Isla Espanola - Punta Suarez - Walk (3 hours) - Dry Landing
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Please note that albatross are not seen here between the months of January and April.

Shake off any early morning doziness with a trip to Leon Dormido (Kicker Rock). This basalt crater rises 150 metres above the water and is divided into two parts by a narrow channel. Cruise through the channel as nesting seabirds flank the boat, tropicbirds soar overhead, marine iguanas swim about and sea lions lounge on the water. Snorkelling here gives you the chance to see Galapagos sharks, sea turtles and an incredible biodiversity of invertebrates living in the rock.

Later, sail to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on the island of San Cristobal. Some passengers will be leaving and others joining the group today, so you have some free time to explore the town of San Cristobal. In the afternoon you will visit the San Cristobal Interpretation Centre, which brings the history and geography of the archipelago to life, from its volcanic origins to the present day. If there’s time, your guide may be able to organise an optional visit to the highlands of San Cristobal, for a chance to see giant tortoises in the wild. The price of this optional activity depends on the number of passengers attending. Relaxing on the beach is a great option for those who don’t wish to partake in this excursion.

Estimated travel time/distance:
Leon Dormido to Isla San Cristobal: 1 hour (8 nautical miles)
Accommodation
  • M/Y Daphne (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla San Cristobal - Kicker Rock - Snorkelling (45 minutes)
  • Isla San Cristobal - Interpretation Center Visit (1 hour) - Dry Landing
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Sea lions, iguanas and hawks – oh my! Isla Santa Fe is home to all three, plus Galapagos mockingbirds, marine turtles, frigate birds, Galapagos doves and lava lizards. This stunning island boasts one of the most attractive coves in the whole archipelago. Take a hike along the coast into the opuntia forest (approximately 1.5 hours). The trail is rocky, so mind your step and make sure you’re wearing good walking shoes.

Afterwards, continue to Isla Plaza Sur, a small, picturesque island. Take another walk (approximately 1.5 hours), getting close to sea lions and passing one of the Galapagos’s largest land iguana populations. The southern cliffs are great for spotting tropicbirds and swallow-tailed gulls, as well as ‘the Gentlemen’s Club’ – a gathering of male sea lions. Today there may be an extra stop on the way to Plaza Sur to restock the provisions for the boat.

Estimated travel time/distance:
Isla San Cristobal to Isla Santa Fe: 3.5 hours (26 nautical miles)
Isla Santa Fe to Isla Plaza Sur: 2 hours (16 nautical miles)
Isla Plaza Sur to Bahia Darwin (Isla Genovesa): 7.5 hours (59 nautical miles)
Accommodation
  • M/Y Daphne (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Plaza Sur - Walk (2 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Santa Fe - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Santa Fe - Panga ride (45 mins)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Explore Isla Genovesa, the archipelago's north-eastern outpost. The island’s varied landscapes are a twitcher's paradise, with all three kinds of boobies, including the rare red-footed booby, nesting here. Next, Bahia Darwin (Darwin Beach) is another superb birding site with large breeding colonies of seabirds, frigates, lava herons, swallow-tailed gulls, mockingbirds, and vampire finches.

Enjoy a moderate walk (approximately 2.5 hours) that passes tide pools, sea lions and diamond stingrays. This walk involves sand and some rocky sections. The steep Prince Philip's Steps lead you to the heart of the seabird rookeries, with birds swirling overhead and nesting among the cliffs. Look out for storm petrels on the island’s rocky plains – Genovesa is the only place in the world where these birds can be seen flying during the day. Afterwards, perhaps cool off with a snorkel, during which you could encounter manta rays, sharks, turtles and moray eels, plus many species of fish.

Later tonight, depart Isla Genovesa for Isla Santiago.

Estimated travel time/distance:
Prince Philip's Steps (Isla Genovesa) to Bahia Sullivan (Isla Santiago): 8 hours (48 nautical miles)
Accommodation
  • M/Y Daphne (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Genovesa - Bahia Darwin - Walk (2 hours) Wet Landing
  • Isla Genovesa - La Barranco - Walk - Dry Landing
  • Isla Genovesa - Snorkelling (45 min)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Explore Bahia Sullivan, a beach along Santiago Island's eastern coast. Take a walk along pahoehoe lava (approximately 1 hour), which was created by an eruption that occurred here in 1897. With some luck you might see some marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs, sea lions, finches, turtles, sharks and penguins. During your walk, as always, your naturalist guide will take you through the geological history of the island.

Travel to Isla Rabida, known for its gorgeous red-sand beach (coloured that way due to rusting iron). This is one of the most striking islands of the archipelago. Starting at the shore, follow a walking trail (approximately 45 minutes) through to one of the finest lagoons in the Galapagos for viewing flamingos. Rabida is also a wonderful place to spot nesting pelicans. Elsewhere, pintail ducks, marine iguanas and sea lions are present. Here you will find opuntia cactus forest, which suggests previous existence of land iguanas and possibly flamingos, Galapagos hawks, mockingbirds, doves, finches and lava lizards. You’ll have the chance to snorkel among sea stars, damsels, gobies and surgeon fish, and take a Zodiac ride in search of wildlife.

Estimated travel time/distance:
Bahia Sullivan (Isla Santiago) to Isla Rabida: 2 hours (16 nautical miles)
Isla Rabida to Caleta Tortuga Negra (Isla Santa Cruz) 2 hours (16 nautical miles)
Accommodation
  • M/Y Daphne (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Rabida - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Rabida - Snorkelling (1 hour)
  • Isla Santiago - Sullivan Bay - Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Santiago - Sullivan Bay - Snorkelling (45 mins)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Explore Caleta Tortuga Negra (Black Turtle Cove) on a Zodiac. This red mangrove wetland is located on the north shore of Isla Santa Cruz. Cruise through this peaceful cove and look out for mating green turtles, as well as golden cow-nose rays, eagle rays and Galapagos sharks.

Head to Las Bachas, where the soft sand made of decomposed coral is a nesting site for the Pacific green turtle. Marine iguanas are also commonly spotted along the beach. The rocks make for excellent snorkelling and are populated by Sally Lightfoot crabs which are plentiful on the island. A saltwater lagoon just near the beach is home to flamingo and whimbrel – you might also see a great blue heron. Remnants of a floating pier, a testimony to the US presence in the Galapagos during World War II, can also be seen.

Estimated travel time/distance:
Caleta Tortuga Negra (Isla Santa Cruz) to Las Bachas: 30 minutes (4 nautical miles)


Accommodation
  • M/Y Daphne (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Black Turtle Cove - Panga ride (1.5 hours)
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Bachas Beach Walk (1 hour) - Wet Landing
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Please note that today there will be some downtime spent on Le Grande Daphne, as the guide will be escorting other passengers to and from the airport.
Sail from Isla Baltra to North Seymour, one of the most visited islands of the Galapagos. First up is a solid walk, the highlight of which may well be blue-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls. As you walk, look out for land iguanas, marine iguanas, sea lions and the endemic incense tree. Strap on a snorkel and explore a different side of the island, looking out for white-tipped reef sharks, rays and sea lions.

The next stop is Bartolome, one of the most spectacular volcanic landscapes in the Galapagos, full of parasitic spatter cones, lava flows, Galapagos penguins and lava lizards. Make sure you’ve got cool clothing and sturdy shoes, because there is a challenging walk ahead. Climb over 360 wooden steps to the island summit, where an amazing view of Pinnacle Rock awaits as reward. This is one of the photographed sights in the Galapagos: an abrupt jag of rock protruding from the earth like a tooth, near two back-to-back golden bays. If you’re in luck, you might catch a glimpse of the Galapagos hawk. There’s also the opportunity to go snorkelling among the colourful tropical marine life to cool off afterwards.

Estimated travel time/distance:
Isla Baltra to North Seymour: 45 minutes (5 nautical miles)
North Seymour to Bartolome: 2.5 hours (18 nautical miles)
Accommodation
  • M/Y Daphne (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla North Seymour - Walk (2 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla North Seymour - Snorkelling (1 hours)
  • Isla Bartolome - Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Bartolome - Snorkelling (1.5 hours)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Head to Puerto Egas, a black-sand beach on Isla Santiago. Take a stroll along the beach where marine iguanas, pelicans, finches, mockingbirds, oystercatchers, Galapagos sea lions and Galapagos fur seals are known to frolic. Along the way you can see the amazing tidal pools, formed from ancient lava flow, providing a home for sponges, snails, hermit crabs, barnacles and fish.

Later, sail to Espumilla Beach, located on the northern coast of Isla Santiago. Kick off your shoes and feel the flour-soft sand beneath your toes while you take in the vivid green vegetation that lines the coast. Not only is this island a nesting site for marine turtles, it’s also a fantastic place to see ghost crabs, blue-footed boobies (often plunging for fish) and brown pelicans. There’s also the chance to see Galapagos hawks up close.

Finally, pay a visit to Buccaneer Cove. Volcanically active, steeped in myth and flanked by gorgeous cliffs, the old pirate haunt has something for everyone, from birdwatchers to history buffs. If conditions are favourable, you can enjoy some more snorkelling around the cove.

Estimated travel time/distances:
Bartolome to Puerto Egas (Isla Santiago): 4.5 hours (35 nautical miles)
Puerto Egas to Espumilla Beach (Isla Santiago): 45 minutes (5 miles)
Espumilla Beach to Buccaneer Cove (Isla Santiago): 15 minutes (2 nautical miles)
Accommodation
  • M/Y Daphne (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Santiago - Puerto Egas - Walk (1.45 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Santiago - Puerto Egas - Snorkelling (1 hour)
  • Isla Sanitago - Espumilla Beach - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Sanitago - Espumilla Beach - Snorkelling (45 mins)
  • Isla Sanitago - Buccaneer's Cove - Sail (15 mins)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information

Visit Tagus Cove, where pirates and whalers used to collect tortoises for their stews (and occasionally, to keep as pets). Enjoy a short visit here (approximately 2 hours), perhaps snorkelling or checking out the ancient graffiti on the walls (the oldest of which is from 1836). Witness flightless cormorants, blue-footed boobies and a variety of waterfowl and penguins (the most northerly penguins in the world). Walk to a lookout point for a stunning panorama of the north of Isla Isabela and the Wolf volcano.

Visit nearby Isla Fernandina, the youngest of the Galapagos Islands. It’s also volcanically active and the most westerly island, making it one of the least visited. The third-largest in size, it erupted most recently in 2018. The absence of introduced mammals gives it a unique landscape, and it boasts the highest concentration of marine iguanas on the archipelago. Take a walk around the beautiful peninsula, which boasts such wildlife and plant life as lava cacti, marine iguanas, barking sea lions, tiny penguins and Sally Lightfoot crabs. Keep a lookout for that marvellous predator hunting from the treetops – the Galapagos hawk. Top-notch snorkelling opportunities await in the clear waters, and turtles and sea lions can be seen swimming around and feeding on the shore.

Estimated travel time/distance:
Buccaneer Cove (Isla Santiago) to Espinoza (Isla Fernandina): 45 mins (6 nautical miles)
Espinoza to Elizabeth Bay (Isla Isabela): 4.5 hours (37 nautical miles)
Accommodation
  • M/Y Daphne (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Isabela - Tagus Cove - Walk (1.45 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Isabela - Tagus Cove - Snorkel (1 hour)
  • Isla Fernandina - Punta Espinosa - Walk (2 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Fernandina - Punta Espinosa - Snorkel (1 hour)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today you will land at the archipelago's largest island – Isabela. Take a Zodiac ride along Elizabeth Bay, keeping your binoculars and camera at the ready to photograph the second-smallest penguins in the world. You might also spot blue-footed boobies perched on the islets or diving for their next meal.

Next, cruise into the mangrove forest to see sea turtles, sea lions, penguins, lava herons, rays and plenty of colourful fish like pompanos, dorados and mullets. Your destination is Punta Moreno on the south west coast, a delightful place to spend the afternoon. This coastline has some of the most beautiful blue lagoons and rocky terrain in the Galapagos, with a backdrop of three active volcanoes, myriad flamingos and incredible lava formations. Go for an amazing walk on top of the black lava field with the majestic view of Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul in the background. Depending on the season, you can see brown pelicans nesting on top of the mangroves, lava and candelabra cactus, plus lava lizards. You’ll pass brackish water lagoons, covered with several different plants, where pink flamingos, ducks and black neck stills rest. Then jump aboard once again and head out for a snorkel and look out for the elusive sea horse.

Estimated travel time/distance:
Isla Isabela to Punta Moreno (approximately 2.5 hours, 18 nautical miles)
Punta Moreno to Puerto Villamil (8 hours, 64 nautical miles)
Accommodation
  • M/Y Daphne (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Isabela - Elizabeth Bay - Panga Ride (2 hours)
  • Isla Isabela - Punta Moreno - Walk and Panga ride (2 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Isabela - Punta Moreno - Snorkel (45min)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Visit Las Tintoreras, a narrow channel that’s home to a colony of white-tipped reef sharks. You can watch them swimming and sleeping from a viewing platform – and spy the occasional sea lion among them. Blue-footed boobies, penguins, marine iguanas and crabs also make their home here. Enjoy a leisurely, long walk on a gravel path, heading through lava flows and spotting plenty of marine iguanas.

Eat breakfast, then take a bus up to Sierra Negra Volcano. Explore the area and take in views of the crater – this volcano last erupted in 2018! In the afternoon, pay a visit to the local wetlands. You’ll reach them via a complex trail which winds around for some six kilometres. Upon arrival you’ll find an intriguing spread of flora and fauna (including flamingos) and some spectacular scenery.

Estimated travel time/distance:
Isla Isabela to Cerro Dragon (Isla Santa Cruz) (5 hours 45 minutes, 45 nautical miles)
Accommodation
  • M/Y Daphne (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Isabela - Las Tintoreras visit (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Isabela - Sierra Negra Volcano Crater Walk (3.5 hours) - Dry Landing
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
A port fee of US 10 is payable on arrival at Isla Isabela.

From the town to the gate where the hike starts is about a 40-minute drive. This is followed by a 45-minute hike (approximately 3 kilometres) to the view point, where you will spend 20–30 minutes before hiking back.
Wake up this morning on Santa Cruz's north coast and visit Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill). Enjoy a dry landing then walk to a brackish lagoon that’s frequented by birds such as stilts, pintail ducks, sandpipers, sanderlings and occasionally flamingos. Further inland, the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western area of the archipelago. This area is a nesting site for land iguanas (hence the name) and is constantly monitored by the Charles Darwin Research Station. The arid-zone vegetation also makes for some fine birdwatching. Darwin's finches, Galapagos mockingbirds, Galapagos flycatchers and yellow warblers are all regulars here. The path can be challenging, but the reward is a spectacular view of the bay.

Sail to the Baltra dock to refuel, then to Punta Carrion (approximately 1 hour; 6 nautical miles). This is a shallow and protected cove, ideal for snorkelling and swimming. Wildlife is plentiful here – keep your eyes peeled for blue-footed boobies, Galapagos herons and great blue herons. Go swimming among the rays and white-tipped reef sharks.

Afterwards, sail from Punta Carrion to Puerto Ayora


Cerro Dragon (Isla Santa Cruz) to Isla Baltra: 2.5 hours (18 nautical miles)
Isla Baltra to Punta Carrion (Isla Santa Cruz): 2.5 hours (18 nautical miles)
Punta Carrion to Puerto Ayora (Isla Santa Cruz): 4 hours (30 nautical miles)
Accommodation
  • M/Y Daphne (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Cerro Dragon - Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Punta Carrion - Snorkelling (1 hour)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Please note that we will need to make a stop today at Isla Baltra to refuel. This could take up to 2 hours.
Flights to the mainland from Galapagos depart mid-morning, so it’s an early start for your last day on the islands. Visit the Santa Cruz highlands, into the misty forests where you can see the unique Scalesia cloud forest and get your last chance to see giant tortoises in the wild. Take in the serene atmosphere of the highlands before bidding farewell to the archipelago.

Head to the airport for your mid-morning flight back to Quito. This flight takes approximately 2.5 hours with a stop in Guayaquil. Upon arrival at Quito Airport, at about 4 pm, you’ll be transferred back to your hotel for an overnight stay. A local Intrepid representative might stop by the hotel this evening to get your feedback on the trip.

Estimated travel times/distances:
Bus from Isla Santa Cruz highlands to the Itabaca Channel: 45 minutes
Public ferry across the channel: 5 minutes
Public airport bus from the dock to Isla Baltra airport: 15 minutes
Accommodation
  • Hotel La Cartuja, Quito (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Highlands Visit (1 hour) - Dry Landing
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
As you will be leaving the boat this morning, please remember that if you have enjoyed the services provided by your guide and crew, a tip is considered appropriate. For logistical and cultural reasons, we treat this as an optional expense and do not incorporate it into your trip price.

As a guideline we recommend each passenger considers USD 15 per day for the crew (collectively) and USD 10 per day for your guide. You can leave tips in envelopes that are placed in your cabin before you disembark.
There are no activities planned for today, and your tour finishes after breakfast. Of course, that doesn’t mean your adventure has to end! Why not stay on in Quito for a few days and discover the charms of the city. Don’t know where to begin? Try an Urban Adventure, the perfect way to get under the surface. Find out more at urbanadventures.com/destination/Quito-tours.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
All travel times and distances listed in the itinerary are a guide only and are subject to change.

Meals

16 breakfasts, 14 lunches, 14 dinners

Transport

Boat, Plane, Bus, Zodiac (Panga)

Accommodation

Hotel (2 nights), Overnight boat (14 nights)

Included activities

  • Isla Santa Cruz - Highlands Visit (3 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Floreana - Post Office Bay - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Floreana - Post Office Bay snorkelling (45 mins)
  • Isla Floreana - Punta Cormorant walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Floreana - Devil's Crown snorkelling (1 hour)
  • Isla Espanola - Bahia Gardener - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Espanola - Bahia Gardener - Snorkel (1 hour)
  • Isla Espanola - Punta Suarez - Walk (3 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla San Cristobal - Kicker Rock - Snorkelling (45 minutes)
  • Isla San Cristobal - Interpretation Center Visit (1 hour) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Plaza Sur - Walk (2 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Santa Fe - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Santa Fe - Panga ride (45 mins)
  • Isla Genovesa - Bahia Darwin - Walk (2 hours) Wet Landing
  • Isla Genovesa - La Barranco - Walk - Dry Landing
  • Isla Genovesa - Snorkelling (45 min)
  • Isla Rabida - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Rabida - Snorkelling (1 hour)
  • Isla Santiago - Sullivan Bay - Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Santiago - Sullivan Bay - Snorkelling (45 mins)
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Black Turtle Cove - Panga ride (1.5 hours)
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Bachas Beach Walk (1 hour) - Wet Landing
  • Isla North Seymour - Walk (2 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla North Seymour - Snorkelling (1 hours)
  • Isla Bartolome - Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Bartolome - Snorkelling (1.5 hours)
  • Isla Santiago - Puerto Egas - Walk (1.45 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Santiago - Puerto Egas - Snorkelling (1 hour)
  • Isla Sanitago - Espumilla Beach - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Sanitago - Espumilla Beach - Snorkelling (45 mins)
  • Isla Sanitago - Buccaneer's Cove - Sail (15 mins)
  • Isla Isabela - Tagus Cove - Walk (1.45 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Isabela - Tagus Cove - Snorkel (1 hour)
  • Isla Fernandina - Punta Espinosa - Walk (2 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Fernandina - Punta Espinosa - Snorkel (1 hour)
  • Isla Isabela - Elizabeth Bay - Panga Ride (2 hours)
  • Isla Isabela - Punta Moreno - Walk and Panga ride (2 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Isabela - Punta Moreno - Snorkel (45min)
  • Isla Isabela - Las Tintoreras visit (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Isabela - Sierra Negra Volcano Crater Walk (3.5 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Cerro Dragon - Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Punta Carrion - Snorkelling (1 hour)
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Highlands Visit (1 hour) - Dry Landing

Dates & availability

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Important notes

GALAPAGOS PARK, TRANSIT CARD:
Before checking in for the flight from Quito to the Galapagos, there is a US$20 transit fee that needs to be paid. On arrival in the islands you must pay the US$100 national park fee to enter Galapagos National Park.

PASSPORT DETAILS:
When booking, please make sure that your name is spelt correctly, and that you book using the name in your passport (particularly if you are recently married). If you are issued a new passport with a different number between the time that you book and the time you travel, please take both the old and new passports with you.

DIETARY REQUIREMENTS:
Should you have a special diet requirement (for example vegetarian, celiac, vegan, severe food allergies) it's essential that you inform us or your agent of the specific details at least 10 days prior to departure, in order to make sure the chef on board the boat or on the island can request the necessary food supplies.

MINIMUM AGE:
The minimum age on this trip is 15. Please note that triple cabins are not available. If travelling with a child, the child will need to share with one of the adults, and the other adult will share with another adult passenger, or pay a single supplement.

SEA SICKNESS- GALAPAGOS:
Please note that from June to August the water is rougher than usual. Consequently travel times will be longer than usual. If you suffer from seasickness you may want to reconsider travelling during this period.

ELECTRICITY, WI-FI & PHONE COVERAGE IN THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS:
Electricity in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands is 110 - 120V and requires US plugs so you may need to take an adapter.
Wi-Fi is not available on the boat at all whilst in the Galapagos Islands. There is limited access on the bigger islands of Santa Cruz, San Cristobal and Isabela and there may also be internet cafes for you to use if there is time.
Like Wi-Fi, mobile phone coverage is pretty non-existent whilst travelling around the islands. Again, you may find that you have limited service when you are closer to the bigger islands.
There is a satellite phone on board, for the use of shipboard staff, in case of emergency.

DIVING IN THE GALAPAGOS:
We do not offer diving as a part of our Galapagos program and due to our internal safety policy our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking this activity.

Essential trip information

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