Encounter the intriguing fauna and incredible landscapes of the Galapagos Islands

Welcome to the Galapagos Islands, guaranteed to fill even the most well-travelled adventurers with a sense of awe and wonder. Be enchanted by pink flamingos in the lagoons of Isla Floreana, sunbathe with sea lions along Gardner Beach, hike along the spectacular green shoreline of Punta Cormorant and snorkel, well, everywhere. This active 6-day tour is a short and sweet introduction to the famed archipelago, the perfect addition to any South American adventure.

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Terms & Conditions

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

Why you'll love this trip

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

  • Snorkel through the underwater wonderland of Devil’s Crown, the formerly volcanic crater that is now home to turtles, rays and sharks.

  • Have an up-close encounter with the lumbering gentle giant that is the Galapagos tortoise, both captive and in the wild.

  • This 6-day tour is a short and sweet introduction to the famed archipelago, the perfect addition to any South American adventure.

  • An itinerary that strikes the perfect balance between active adventure on land and relaxing evening on Le Grande Daphne, our brand-new motor yacht.

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 boat

Daphne

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

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2017 to 29 Jun 2020.
View the 2020 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.

Please keep in mind that this may be your last chance to buy items like sunscreen and toiletries. You may not be able to find them in the remote areas we visit on this tour.
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. On arrival in the Galapagos, collect your luggage and meet your naturalist guide in the arrival hall. The action starts straight away with a journey into the highlands of Isla Santa Cruz, into the misty forests filled with unique scalesia. If you’re lucky, this could be your first sighting of giant tortoises in the wild, different species of Darwin finches and the world-famous woodpecker and warbler finches. Enjoy lunch in the highlands, then travel to Puerto Ayora and transfer to your boat – Le Grande Daphne. Settle into your assigned cabin, meet the crew and listen to a safety briefing. With the formalities out of the way, maybe head up to the deck with some of your fellow travellers and get to know each other over a drink or two.
Accommodation
  • M/Y Daphne (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Highlands Visit (3 hours) - Dry Landing
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
As you will be visiting the highlands of Santa Cruz immediately on arrival, we recommend that you wear comfortable, closed-in shoes and clothes suitable for walking. The trails can be muddy. There will be an opportunity to swap into rubber boots at a ranch before beginning the walk. From January to April, it can rain heavily in the highlands, so a rain jacket is also recommended.

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 m
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 have a look for one that 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. Sea lions can usually be seen lounging and socialising along the shore. Explore a little more of the island on a 1-kilometre walk, passing waterbird-filled lagoons and finishing at an Eastern Pacific green turtle nesting site. Later you’ll have the opportunity to snorkel in famous Devil’s Crown. This eroded volcanic cone is a popular roosting site for seabirds such as boobies, pelicans and frigates. Red-billed tropicbirds can also be seen nesting in the rocky crevices. Those who snorkel here might see rays, sharks, sea lions and turtles.

Sail overnight to Isla Espanola.

Estimated travel time/distance:
Puerto Ayora to Isla Floreana: 4 hours (32 nautical miles)
Punta Comorant (Isla Floreana) 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
Land at Punta Suarez on Isla Espanola, one of the most attractive locations in the Galapagos, home to a large and varied wildlife population. A hike along rocky trails (approximately 3 km) takes you to a clifftop viewpoint that affords magical panoramas. Boobies line the rocky shoreline below, while frigate birds can be seen overhead. Enormous male sea lions lounge nearby, and albatross use the cliffs as their ‘runway’, getting airborne on the southeast winds. If you’re lucky you might spot the elaborate courtship rituals performed by albatrosses before the female chooses her lifelong mate. Next, head to Bahia Gardner, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Galapagos Islands. It’s full of sea lions and hood mockingbirds. Enjoy a short walk (approximately 1 km) along the beach, then snorkel up and explore off shore. Reef sharks, turtles and many species of tropical fish (such as surgeon and angelfish) make their home along the islands shore. Small white-tipped reef sharks are also often spotted resting under the rocks.

Estimated travel time/distance:
Punta Suarez to Bahia Gardener: 45 minutes (5 nautical miles)
Bahia Gardener to Leon Dormido: 5 hours (8 nautical miles)
Accommodation
  • M/Y Daphne (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Espanola - Bahia Gardener - Snorkel (1 hour)
  • Isla Espanola - Bahia Gardener - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Espanola - Punta Suarez - Walk (3 hours) - Dry Landing
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Rise and shine! A very early start is necessary in order to make the most of this morning in the Galapagos. Head to Leon Dormido (Kicker Rock), the magnificent basalt remains of a crater in the middle of the sea. The rock rises 150 metres above the surface 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. Climb into the Zodiac for the snorkelling adventure of a lifetime, giving you the chance to see Galapagos sharks, sea turtles and an incredible biodiversity of invertebrates in the crater. You might even spot a hammerhead shark. Head to the airport on Isla San Cristobal for your flight back to Quito. The flight will stop in Guayaquil to drop off and/or pick up passengers en route. Arrive at Quito Airport at approximately 4 pm and take a transfer to your hotel. An Intrepid local representative may stop by your hotel this evening to get some feedback on your Galapagos experience.
Accommodation
  • Hotel La Cartuja, Quito (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla San Cristobal - Kicker Rock - Snorkelling (45 minutes)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Flights to the mainland from Galapagos depart mid-morning. Depending on the time of your flight, your time spent on this final excursion could be limited.
Buenos dias! There are no activities planned for today after breakfast. If you plan to stay on in Quito, why not join a local guide for an Urban Adventure? Discover the city’s stories through the streets, the markets or the bakeries. Find out more at urbanadventures.com/destination/Quito-tours.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
All travel times/distances and activity durations are approximate only and subject to change.

Meals

5 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners

Transport

Boat, Plane, Bus, Zodiac (Panga)

Accommodation

Hotel (2 nights) Overnight boat (3 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 - Snorkel (1 hour)
  • Isla Espanola - Bahia Gardener - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Espanola - Punta Suarez - Walk (3 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla San Cristobal - Kicker Rock - Snorkelling (45 minutes)

Dates & availability

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Important notes

GALAPAGOS PARK, TRANSIT CARD & ISABELA ISLANDS PORT FEES:
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 Peregrine 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.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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