Central Galapagos Islands Cruise Itinerary

Select departure dates of our Galapagos cruises feature the distinct Central & Northern Islands.

2014: December 19

2015: January 30; April 10; August 14

Day 1 • Friday 

Arrive Guayaquil

Fly independently to Guayaquil, Ecuador, and transfer to the Hotel Oro Verde. (Meals Aloft)

Day 2 • Saturday 

Guayaquil / San Cristobal: Playa Ochoa & Kicker Rock

Fly to the islands and board the Evolution. Stroll along the beach at Playa Ochoa, where a nearby tidal lagoon plays host to flamingos, finches and Chatham mockingbirds. At sunset, we cruise around Kicker Rock. (B,L,D)


Day 3 • Sunday

South Plaza Island

At only 426 feet wide, South Plaza is one of the smallest islands in the archipelago. Look for yellow land iguanas on a walk to a grove of prickly-pear cactus.  Non-hikers can enjoy a Zodiac ride, watching for swallow-tailed gulls, red-billed tropicbirds and blue-footed boobies. Since there is no true trail on Mosquera Islands, you are able to stroll at your leisure. (B,L,D)


Day 4 • Monday

Sombrero Chino Island / Santiago Island: Puerto Egas

The tiny uplifted island of Sombrero Chino – or Chinese Hat – features 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 before lunch. This afternoon, search the tide pools of Puerto Egas for sea life. During low tide, we may see marine iguanas feeding on algae. Our naturalists will point out the birdlife, including great blue herons, lava herons, oystercatchers and yellow-crowned night herons. (B,L,D)


Day 5 • Tuesday 

Genovesa Island  

Genovesa is often referred to as “Bird Island” for the vast numbers of pelagic seabirds that come here to nest. And while Genovesa harbors one of the Galapagos’ largest and most diverse bird populations, there are no land reptiles — with the exception of some very small marine iguanas. This is due to the direction of the ocean currents, which couldn’t carry the terrestrial animals here. Climb Prince Philip’s Steps to an area with colonies of red-footed boobies. Watch for short-eared owls which feed on the petrals 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. (B,L,D)


Day 6 • Wednesday

North Seymour Island /  Santa Fe Island 

North Seymour is the nesting site for a large population of magnificent frigatebirds and the only place where we can always find males showing their red pouches to attract females. Plus, we are sure to see blue-footed boobies perform their comical courtship dance in the open areas. Hike to a scenic lagoon, where we may observe Galapagos hawks, mockingbirds and a variety of Darwin’s finches. You may kayak and snorkel from the beach. (B,L,D)


Day 7 • Thursday 

Floreana Island

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. (B,L,D)


Day 8 • Friday

Santa Cruz Island

Begin at the Charles Darwin Research Station, learning about work being done to preserve Galapagos wildlife. Head into the forested highlands, with ample opportunity to see giant tortoises in their verdant habitat. Walk through the forest surrounding a pair of pit craters, an excellent place to spot vermillion flycatchers. Time permitting, walk underground to explore a lava tube. (B,L,D)


Day 9 • Saturday 

Galapagos / Guayaquil

Enjoy a Zodiac ride through Black Turtle Cove, drifting silently through this area of mangroves. Fly to Guayaquil, with time to relax at the Hotel Oro Verde. (B,L Aloft)


Day 10 • Sunday 

Depart Guayaquil

Board flights home. (B, Meals Aloft)

All itineraries are subject to approval by the Galapagos National Park and may vary according to changes in park regulations.