Uncover the wonder of Galapagos on a comprehensive itinerary encompassing seven distinct islands.
U.S. / Guayaquil
Fly independently to Guayaquil, Ecuador, and transfer to the Hotel Oro Verde. (Meals Aloft)
Guayaquil / Baltra / Santa Cruz: Whaler Bay & Eden Islet
Fly to Galapagos and board the Evolution. After a safety briefing, hike along Whaler Bay, site of one of the islands’ oldest whaling camps. Just off the coast, discover tiny Eden Islet, where we may spot Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas and large schools of mustard rays while on a peaceful Zodiac ride. (B,L,D)
Isabela Island / Fernandina Island
Zodiacs take you on a dramatic ride into the heart of a sunken volcano at Punta Vicente Roca. Take to the water, where we swim and snorkel among sea turtles, penguins and possibly even sea horses. Explore the lava fields of Punta Espinosa, located on Fernandina, the youngest and most volcanically active island in the Galapagos. Here we spot flightless cormorants and marine iguanas. Whale watch from the Evolution’s open-air decks as we cross the Bolivar Channel. (B,L,D)
Hike along the uplifted section of sea floor in Urvina Bay at the base of the Alcedo Volcano. Our naturalists point out the tortoises, colorful land iguanas and other wildlife that feed on the vegetation. Board our Zodiacs for an excursion to Tagus Cove, where we look for penguins, flightless cormorants, pelicans along the cliffs before a chance to snorkel and swim. (B,L,D)
Bartolomé / Santiago Island: Sullivan Bay
Visit Bartolomé Island, hiking to the top of a dormant volcano for a dramatic panorama, including famed Pinnacle Rock. Our Zodiac drivers will take “non-hikers” for a ride around the cliffs, observing a stunning volcanic landscape and Galapagos penguins. Swim and snorkel with sea lions and maybe even speedy penguins. This afternoon, hike across the panoehoe lava of Sullivan Bay, seeing some of the hearty flora colonizing the landscapes. Stroll along the coralline beach spotting black and white oystercatchers. (B,L,D)
Santa Cruz Island: Bachas Beach & Dragon Hill
Walk along the white sands of Bachas Beach looking for Sally Lightfoot crabs, black necked stilts and whimbrels. Snorkel in the calm waters where sea turtles nest. Named for the area’s large land iguanas, Dragon Hill is an important nesting site for iguanas reintroduced by the Charles Darwin Research Center. Walk to a lagoon where we often find flamingos, common stilts and pintail ducks. (B,L,D)
Santa Cruz Island
Begin at the Charles Darwin Research Station, famous for its tortoise breeding programs. See baby tortoises and learn about vital work being done to study and preserve Galapagos wildlife. Head into the forested highlands, with ample opportunity to see and photograph giant tortoises in their verdant natural habitat. (B,L,D)
Enjoy a Zodiac ride before wading ashore to Punta Suarez through a sea lion colony. Walk along the cliffs looking for waved albatrosses, Galapagos hawks, Hood mockingbirds and the red-colored race of marine iguana en route to Española’s blowhole, where waves spout 90 feet into the air. After a relaxing lunch, swim, snorkel and kayak in the waters off Gardner Bay, or simply bring along your book or a camera and relax on the white sands. (B,L,D)
San Cristóbal Island / Guayaquil
End your Galapagos Islands cruise by returning to San Cristóbal to visit the Interpretation Center. Fly to Guayaquil, with time to relax at the Hotel Oro Verde. (B,L Aloft)
Guayaquil / U.S.
Sunday we fly to the U.S. and connect with flights home. (B, Meals Aloft)
Please Note: Itineraries may vary due to changes in air schedules, weather, Galapagos National Park regulations or other local conditions. January 31, March 28, July 4 and December 19, 2014 Galapagos Islands cruises operate an alternate itinerary visiting Tower (Genovesa) Island.