Map of Pure Galapagos (Grand Daphne) including Ecuador

Encounter the extraordinary flora and fauna of the Galapagos’ central islands

Few destinations rival the Galapagos for up-close encounters with wildlife, and this adventure focuses on the stars of the show. Enjoy a pure boat trip that’s free of detours, overnight stopovers and passengers joining or leaving throughout. Stay on the ship and venture to remote parts of the archipelago – the west coast of Isla Isabela and Isla Fernandina – and see almost all the wildlife the Galapagos is famous for. Take the chance to swim and snorkel with sea lions and reef sharks off Isla Santa Cruz and Isla Bartolome, spy frigatebirds, boobies and pelicans soaring above North Seymour, and stroll among land iguanas and flightless cormorants on volcanic Punta Espinosa.


Start
Isla Baltra, Ecuador
Finish
Isla Baltra, Ecuador
Destination
Ecuador
Style
Comfort
Theme
Sailing, Wildlife
Code
GMDP
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why you'll love this trip

  • If there’s one ultimate Galapagos adventure, this is it. Combining off-the-beaten-track gems with iconic sights like the Pinnacle Rock, this trip is a microcosm of the Galapagos

  • This unique, stand-alone sailing adventure shares its itinerary with no other Intrepid trip. Enjoy minimal contact with other travellers and boats

  • Explore the remote west coast of Isabela on a small Panga boat, and venture to the far-west Fernandina, home of the highest density of marine iguanas

  • Beach-lovers will be in heaven. The turtle-dotted Las Bachas is about as idyllic as they come.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Although we don't ask travellers to complete a Physical Participation Form for this trip, we do ask that you read through the itinerary carefully to ensure that this trip is right for you. You’ll need to feel comfortable with the included activities and with moving about the boat. The cabins and communal areas of the boat are spread over four decks, and the steps between the decks are steep.

  • You will be entering and exiting a Zodiac boat (panga) during wet and dry landings and when returning from snorkelling. Although the waters we sail are usually calm, there are times when the sea can get rough and choppy. Steady sea legs (and a sturdy stomach) are needed when walking around the boat during bad weather. Rain or shine, your trusty crew will always be on hand to assist you.

  • A typical yacht/boat for sixteen travellers is equipped with eight cabins each with ensuites. They are designed to maximise living area space, so sleeping quarters can be a bit cramped. That being said, the adventure and exhilaration of an authentic Galapagos trip more than makes up for any discomfort.

  • While at sea and when exploring the islands, you may be exposed to the sun for large parts of the day. It’s important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water.

  • Please note that while there is an itinerary in place, some changes may occur due to the weather or because of direction from the local authorities. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for potential modifications to the route or activities. 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.

  • If you are visiting Quito please note the city is located approximately 2850 metres above sea level so you may experience some altitude sickness.

Boats

Grand Daphne boat on a tour

Grand Daphne

Grand Daphne is a brand new ship that started sailing in 2021, making it one of the newest boats on the market.

Itinerary

Welcome to the Galapagos!

Today you will be meeting other travellers arriving from Quito at Baltra Airport. Please be at the airport by 09.30am. The guide can’t wait for you so you need to make sure that you are there on time.
Once you have met up with the rest of the group, a 10 minute transfer will bring you to the Grand Daphne which will be anchored in Baltra. Once on board, you’ll be assigned a cabin, meet the crew and get to know your fellow travellers over a delicious lunch. Try on the snorkelling gear to ensure it fits, before your first snorkelling session. Wetsuits can also be hired at an additional cost.

Sail from Baltra to Las Bachas, on the north shore of Isla Bartuz, which is a nesting site for the Pacific green turtle. You may also see some marine iguanas. The sand here, made of decomposed coral, is particularly white and soft, and the nearby rocks make for an excellent snorkelling spot, where you might see some of the many Sally Lightfoot crabs on the island. A saltwater lagoon just near the beach is home to flamingos, whimbrel and great blue herons.
Accommodation
  • M/Y Daphne (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Bachas Beach Walk (1 hour) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Bachas Beach Snorkel (45 mins) - Wet Landing
Meals Included
  • 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.

The Galapagos has strict quarantine regulations in regards to bringing food onto the islands with many fruits and vegetables being on the restricted list. There will be time after check-in and before departure to buy snacks.

PLEASE NOTE:
If you are not spending any extra time on the islands before this trip starts, we recommend that you book these flights:
Day 1: Flight AV1632 from Quito to Isla Baltra
Day 8: Flight AV1633 from Isla Baltra to Quito
You must arrive into Baltra airport by 9.30am.
Today you will sail from Las Bachas to Isla Rabida, known for its spectacular red sand beaches, caused by the high content of iron in the sand which rusts to form the unusual shade. Follow a trail from the shore along to a lagoon which is one of the best spots in the Galapagos to view flamingos. Keep an eye out for nesting pelicans, pintail ducks, marine iguanas and sea lions – all are commonly sighted on the island. Check out a vast opuntia cactus forest, hinting at the previous habitation of land iguanas, Galapagos hawks, mockingbirds, doves, finches and lava lizards. You may like to take the chance to go snorkelling and seek out sea stars, damsels, gobbies and surgeon fish.

In the afternoon, head to Albemarle on the northeast side of Isabela Island. Covered in mangroves, the bay is home to sea turtles, sea lions, penguins and flightless cormorants who feed on the algae and fish here. Take a walk inland and discover the remains of an old radar base from World War II and pass by pahoehoe and lava formations. Another fantastic location for snorkeling, you may like to have a look beneath the water’s surface in search of sea turtles and flightless cormorants.

Estimated travel time/distance:
Sail from Bachas to Rabida: 3.3 hours; 23 nautical miles
Rábida to Punta Albermarle: 6. hours; 56 nautical miles


Accommodation
  • M/Y Daphne (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Rabida - Walk and Snorkel from the beach (2 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Isabela - Punta Albermarle - Snorkelling (1 hour)- Dry Landing
  • Isla isabela - Punta Albermarle - Walk (2 hours) - Dry Landing
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Sail overnight from Isla Santiago around to the western shores of Isla Isabela. Wake up near Tagus Cove, where pirates and whalers used to collect tortoises for their travels. Enjoy a short visit here (approximately 2 hours), perhaps snorkelling or checking out the graffiti on the walls (the oldest of which is from 1836). Witness flightless cormorants, blue-footed boobies, a variety of waterfowl and the most northerly penguins in the world. You will walk to a lookout point for a stunning view of the north of Isabela Island and Volcan Wolf (Wolf Volcano).

Today you will also visit Bahia Urbina on the west of Isabela Island, Urbina Bay has a wide variety of plant life which changes depending on the season. You will be able to observe the beautiful color of the plants which attracts many different insects. The site also features a short trek inland, where giant tortoises can be spotted amongst the bushes in their natural habitat. You may also see land iguanas which often nest in the middle of the trail where their distinctive, textured and yellowish skin can be observed from up close. Flycatchers, Darwin’s finches and mockingbirds are common on the ground and in the trees.

Estimated travel time/distance:
Punta Albermarle to Caleta Tagus: 3.5 hours; 37 nautical miles
Caleta Tagus to Bahia Urbina: 1.5 hours: 15 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 Isabela - Urbina Bay - Snorkel (1 hour)
  • Isla Isabela - Urbina Bay - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today we visit Punta Espinosa that is a narrow ledge of lava and sand extending from the base of La Cumbre volcano. 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 marvelous Galapagos predator hunting from the treetops: the Galapagos hawk. Top-notch snorkeling opportunities await in the clear waters, and turtles and sea lions can be seen swimming around and feeding on the shore. This is also a great spot to see flightless cormorants drying their atrophied wings on the rocks.

In the afternoon head to Punta Vicente Roca, this site allowed for panga rides to observe the abundant wildlife and offers one of the best snorkeling spots of the Archipelago. The snorkeling “route” takes us along the cliffs and offers the not so common chance of exploring two shallow underwater caves.

The primitive and unaggressive bullhead shark, known locally as the Port Jackson shark, is often seen here sharing its space with red-lipped batfish, frogfishes, Pacific seahorses, the endemic Camotillo, schools of barracuda and brown-stripped snappers. Sponges, corals, and other marine invertebrates are also abundant in the area.

Estimated travel time/distance:

Bahia Urbina to Punta Espinoza 1.4hours, 16 nautical miles
Punta Espinoza to Punta Vicente Roca 1.4 hours; 16 nautical miles

Accommodation
  • M/Y Daphne (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Fernandina - Punta Vicente Roca Snorkelling (1 hour) Dry Landing
  • Isla Fernandina - Punta Vicente Roca - Panga Ray boat tour (30 mins)
  • Isla Fernandina - Punta Espinosa - Snorkel (1 hour)
  • Isla Fernandina - Punta Espinosa - Walk (2 hours) - Dry Landing
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Sail this morning to Puerto Egas, a black-sand beach on the west side of James Bay, northwest of Isla Santiago, home to incredible volcanic tuff formations. Take a stroll along the beach with the native marine iguanas, pelicans, finches, mockingbirds, oystercatchers, Galapagos sea lions and Galapagos fur seals. You can see the amazing tidal pools, formed from ancient lava flow, providing a home for sponges, snails, hermit crabs, barnacles and fish. You might also end up snorkelling with a Galapagos fur seal – they’re always looking for a friend! In the afternoon travel to the northwest side of Santiago Island where you’ll find Caleta Bucanero, named after the pirates and buccaneers who once found shelter in the bay. Here you’ll have the chance to go snorkelling and take a dinghy ride to look for blue-footed boobies, pelicans and nocturnal seagulls nesting in the cliffs.

Estimated travel time/distance:
Punta Albermarle (Isla Isabela) to Puerto Egas (Isla Santiago): 5.2 hours; 45 nautical miles
Puerto Egas (Isla Santiago) to Caleta Bucanero (Isla Santiago): 1 hour; 9 nautical miles
Accommodation
  • M/Y Daphne (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Santiago - Puerto Egas - Snorkelling (1 hour)
  • Isla Santiago - Puerto Egas - Walk (1.45 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Santiago - Caleta Buccanero - Panga boat tour (1 hour)
  • Isla Santiago - Caleta Buccanero - Snorkelling (1 hour)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Wake up in Bartolome Island, a spectacular volcanic landscape full of spatter cones and lava flows, and home to Galapagos penguins and lava lizards. Put on your walking shoes and climb up 360 wooden steps to the summit, where an amazing view of Pinnacle Rock awaits. This is one of the most photographed sights in the Galapagos – an abrupt jag of rock protruding from the earth like a tooth, providing a focal point for two nearby bays. Hike to the top of a once-active volcano and enjoy superb views across to Bahia Sullivan on nearby Isla Santiago. If you’re in luck, you might catch a glimpse of the Galapagos hawk. There’s also the chance to go snorkelling among the colourful marine life. In the afternoon, travel to the small island of Sombrero Chino, found on the southeast side of Santiago Island. With lovely sandy beaches and a striking volcanic landscape, this is a fantastic place to take a hike and look out for the sea lions and penguins that rest here, and snorkel in search of reef sharks and sea turtles.

Estimated travel time/distance:
Caleta Bucanero (Isla Santiago) to Isla Bartolome: 2.2 hours, 21 nautical miles
Isla Bartolome to Isla Sombrero chino:1.25 hours, 7 nautical miles
Accommodation
  • M/Y Daphne (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Bartolome - Snorkelling (1.5 hours)
  • Isla Bartolome - Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Sombrero Chino - Snorkelling (1.5 hours) Wet Landing
  • Isla Sombrero chino - Walk (1.5 hours) Wet Landing
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Wake up this morning in North Seymour, one of the most visited islands of the Galapagos. First up is a walk around the island to spot some blue-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls. Boobies and frigates have an interesting relationship, sharing the same nesting area on North Seymour. Blue-footed boobies nest on the ground while the frigate birds nest just above them in the saltbushes. As you walk, look out for land iguanas, marine iguanas, Galapagos sea lions and the endemic incense tree. After the walk, cool off and go snorkelling and encounter a great variety of fish and perhaps some white-tipped reef sharks, rays and sea lions. Later in the day, travel to Isla Santa Cruz, the second largest island in the Galapagos. Pay a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station in the small town of Puerto Ayora. As well as undertaking vital conservation work, the station also makes for interesting exploration and offers the best opportunities for close encounters with giant tortoises. You may also see baby tortoises and land iguanas.

Estimated travel time/distance:
Isla Sombrero Chino to Isla North Seymour: 1.30 hours; 18 nautical miles
Isla North Seymour to Charles Darwin Station (Isla Santa Cruz): 3.45 hour; 31 nautical miles
Accommodation
  • M/Y Daphne (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla North Seymour - Snorkelling (1 hours)
  • Isla North Seymour - Walk (2 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Research Station (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Flights to the mainland from Galapagos depart mid-morning, so it’s an early start for your last morning on the islands.

You will visit the Santa Cruz Highlands. Travel through the agricultural region and into the misty forests where you can see the unique scalesia cloud forest, dome-shaped giant tortoises in the wild, different species of Darwin finches and possibly the world-famous woodpecker and warbler finches. You might also glimpse a vermillion flycatcher.

Then it’s time to bid farewell to your fellow travellers as your trip comes to an end after this activity.

You will be taken to the airport directly after this activity. If you plan to extend your stay after your cruise in Puerto Ayora you will need to make your own way back to town (your guide can assist with this).
Included Activities
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Highlands Visit (1 hour) - Dry Landing
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
You will arrive at the airport at approximately 10.30am on this day we recommend you book the flight AV1633 that departs Baltra airport at 11.45am
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

Meals

7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners

Transport

Boat, Bus, Zodiac (Panga)

Accommodation

Overnight boat (7 nights)

Included activities

  • Isla Santa Cruz - Bachas Beach Walk (1 hour) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Bachas Beach Snorkel (45 mins) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Rabida - Walk and Snorkel from the beach (2 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Isabela - Punta Albermarle - Snorkelling (1 hour)- Dry Landing
  • Isla isabela - Punta Albermarle - Walk (2 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Isabela - Tagus Cove - Walk (1.45 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Isabela - Tagus Cove - Snorkel (1 hour)
  • Isla Isabela - Urbina Bay - Snorkel (1 hour)
  • Isla Isabela - Urbina Bay - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Fernandina - Punta Vicente Roca Snorkelling (1 hour) Dry Landing
  • Isla Fernandina - Punta Vicente Roca - Panga Ray boat tour (30 mins)
  • Isla Fernandina - Punta Espinosa - Snorkel (1 hour)
  • Isla Fernandina - Punta Espinosa - Walk (2 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Santiago - Puerto Egas - Snorkelling (1 hour)
  • Isla Santiago - Puerto Egas - Walk (1.45 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Santiago - Caleta Buccanero - Panga boat tour (1 hour)
  • Isla Santiago - Caleta Buccanero - Snorkelling (1 hour)
  • Isla Bartolome - Snorkelling (1.5 hours)
  • Isla Bartolome - Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Sombrero Chino - Snorkelling (1.5 hours) Wet Landing
  • Isla Sombrero chino - Walk (1.5 hours) Wet Landing
  • Isla North Seymour - Snorkelling (1 hours)
  • Isla North Seymour - Walk (2 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Research Station (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Highlands Visit (1 hour) - Dry Landing

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Pure Galapagos (Grand Daphne) trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

Travellers on Intrepid trips are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Read details here.

COVID-19 ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
Ecuador has implemented COVID-19 testing requirements for entry to the country, including special conditions for Galapagos. Please refer to your government's foreign travel advice for the most up to date information.

GALAPAGOS PARK, TRANSIT CARD
Before checking in for the flight from Quito or Guayaquil,to the Galapagos, there is a US$20 transit fee that needs to be paid so you will need to make sure you are at the airport at least 2 hours prior to departure. On arrival in the islands you must pay the US$100 national park fee to enter Galapagos National Park.

CHECK IN TIME FOR FLIGHTS TO/FROM THE GALAPAGOS:
You will need to allow a 2 hour check in time for flights to/from the Galapagos.

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.

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.

ALTERNATIVE TRIP:
If you wish to have flights included to and from the Galapagos Islands, please refer to our Ultimate Galapagos trip - GMDD.

Essential trip information

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