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Giant Tortoise

Galapagos Southeast & North Central Islands

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Corals
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Experience a unique and exciting voyage through the sutheastern and north central islands of the Galapagos. Spend 8 days exploring the crystalline waters, stunning landscapes, and colorful beaches of this unique archipelago. Snorkel in warm waters filled with colorful species, roam picturesque volcanic landscapes, hike across isolated islands, and encounter fascinating native wildlife as giant tortoises, sea lions, flamingos, blue-footed boobies, pelicans, and iguanas.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : San Cristobal Airport | Embark | Interpretation Center & Tijeretas Hill, San Cristobal
Day 2 : Cerro Brujo | Pitt Point & Pitt Islet, San Cristobal
Day 3 : Suarez Point | Gardner Bay, Osborn or Gardner Islets, Española
Day 4 : Champion Islet | Devil´s Crown | Cormorant Point | Post Office Bay, Floreana
Day 5 : Charles Darwin Research Station & Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, Santa Cruz
Day 6 : Dragon Hill, Santa Cruz | Bartolome
Day 7 : Rabida | Buccaneers Cove | Espumilla Beach, Santiago
Day 8 : Black Turtle Cove, Santa Cruz | Disembark | Baltra

Highlights

  • Visit the San Cristobal Tortoise Breeding & Rearing Center for tortoises
  • Explore the white sand beach of Cerro Brujo, a perfect place for snorkeling
  • Land in Bartolome and observe a fascinating moonscape formed by volcanic cones
  • Explore Black Turtle Cove, a place declared as a “Turtle Sanctuary”

Ship

Corals

Places Visited

  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos
  • South America
  • Baltra
  • Bartolome
  • Black Turtle Cove
  • Buccaneer Cove
  • Champion Inlet
  • Charles Darwin Center
  • Devil's Crown
  • Dragon Hill
  • Espanola
  • Espumilla Beach
  • Floreana
  • Gardner Bay
  • Punta Pitt
  • Punta Suarez
  • Rabida
  • San Cristobal
  • San Cristobal Airport
  • San Cristobal Interpretation Center
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santiago
  • Tijeretas Hill (Frigatebird Hill)
  • Witch Hill

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Giant Tortoise Overlook at Pitt Point Sea lions bask in the sun on the beach Pinnacle Rock of Bartolome Island Flamingo wading in the water

Day 1 San Cristobal Airport | Embark | Interpretation Center & Tijeretas Hill, San Cristobal

Arrive to the Galapagos and transfer to your ship, the Corals. Land at San Cristobal the home of the capital town of the Galapagos Province, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Visit the interpretation center, which is an excellent place to learn about the nature and history of the islands, displaying information of Galapagos volcanic origins, their remoteness from the continent, ocean currents, climate, arrival of the original species, among other points of interest. The human interaction is also showcased, chronologically narrating the most significant events about the colonization of the islands. Afterwards, stop at Tijeretas Hill and join a high-intensity walk amidst beautiful landscapes and a magnificent view at the foot of a frigate bird nesting colony. If there is enough time, plan a town visit. 

Day 2 Cerro Brujo | Pitt Point & Pitt Islet, San Cristobal

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Visit Cerro Brujo, an eroding tuff cone that is composed, in several locations, by lava formations, and a beautiful white sand beach which is great for snorkeling and sunbathing. Discover a lagoon where migratory bird species can be seen: black-necked stilts, ruddy turnstones, whimbrels, other sandpiper species, and white-cheeked pintails. Cerro Brujo offers beautiful views of Kicker Rock, the southern part of San Cristobal, and the adjacent coast.

In the afternoon, take a high-intensity hike on rocky terrain. The trail goes through several magnificent viewpoints including an olivine beach of 90 meters long and a path that climbs to the top of a volcanic tuff. This is probably the only site where the three booby species of the Galapagos can be seen together: Nazca, blue-footed, and red-footed, as well as the two species of frigate birds and a sea lion colony. It is also excellent for dinghy rides and snorkeling, where a good range of sea birds can be observed.

Day 3 Suarez Point | Gardner Bay, Osborn or Gardner Islets, Española

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning visit Española, an island of geological interest. Being one of the oldest in the Galapagos, it has a high percentage of endemism because it is also one of the most isolated in the archipelago. This, and the great variety of wildlife found here makes this site one of the most attractive in the Galapagos. Explore volcanic formations and riveting wildlife: large colonies of sea lion and seabirds including Española mockingbird, Nazca boobies, and the spectacular red-billed tropic bird. You can also encounter singular marine iguanas that have a turquoise color with red in the breeding season, lava lizards, and the colorful Sally Lightfoot crabs.

Hike among Nazca and blue-footed boobies, right up to nesting grounds that sometimes overlap the trail. Other birding favorites include Galapagos dove, Galapagos hawk, swallow-tailed gulls, and the world’s largest colony of waved albatross, an unequivocal highlight during mating season (April-December). Admire the island’s dramatic backdrop, featuring the famous “Soplador”, a seaward blowhole that shoots water at some 23 m (75 ft.) in the air.

In the afternoon land in Gardner Bay, a beautiful white coral sand beach guarded by a colony of sea lions. There are no trails, so you must stay along the shore where you can spot Galapagos hawk, American oystercatcher, Galapagos dove, hood mockingbird, yellow warbler, lava lizards, marine iguanas, and three species of Darwin finches. Swim and snorkel surrounded by a great variety of Galapagos marine wildlife.

Day 4 Champion Islet | Devil´s Crown | Cormorant Point | Post Office Bay, Floreana

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning stop at Champion Islet and Devil's Crown where you can enjoy a hike from the black mangrove beds to a brackish lagoon, which usually holds one of the largest flamingo populations in the Galapagos. This island features some endemic plants such as Scalesia villosa, white and black mangrove, and holy stick. The trail continues to a beautiful white sandy beach, one of the most important nesting sites of green Pacific sea turtles. It is important to avoid walking in the water due to the sting rays that may be hiding in the sand, which can be dangerous if accidentally stepped on. From the beach, one can spot sea turtles, blue-footed boobies plunging into the water, and small reef sharks floating along the shoreline in the search for food. This coral-sand beach marks the end of your trail, and you must head back to the olivine beach you landed on, to swim or snorkel amongst sea turtles, reef fish, sea lions and, on a good day, white-tipped reef sharks. A small colony of penguins resides on Floreana and can sometimes be observed as well.

In the afternoon land on the north side of Floreana, and walk to the bay of Post Office, named like this because, in 1793, Captain James Colnett installed a wooden barrel which served as an informal post office for sailors passing through who would take letters with them to their destinations. Place unstamped postcards inside the barrel that should reach their destinations for free. It can take weeks, months, even years, not arrive at all, or even arrive before you! Encounter Darwin finches, yellow warbler, and lava lizards. Snorkel with green pacific sea turtles and on the main beach among playful sea lions.

Day 5 Charles Darwin Research Station & Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, Santa Cruz

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Cruise to Santa Cruz Island and visit the station where the Galapagos giant tortoise breeding program takes place as part of efforts to preserve the fragile Galapagos environment and where the famous Lonesome George (the last surviving specimen of his species) lived for decades. The center is conducted by the Galapagos National Park staff with the collaboration of scientists from the Charles Darwin Station. In addition, the Darwin Station works in several scientific projects, botanical research, providing environmental education to communities, schools within the Islands and tourists. Admire a prickly-pear cactus forest and a variety of Darwin finches and other land birds. If there is enough time visit the town and shop for souvenirs.

Day 6 Dragon Hill, Santa Cruz | Bartolome

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Walk by a brackish lagoon where feeding flamingoes can be occasionally found. The trail leads across typical dry zone vegetation up to Dragon Hill, an important nesting ground for endemic land iguanas, offering lovely views of the anchorage and neighboring islands. The forest is home to mockingbirds, Darwin’s finches, yellow warblers, and Galapagos doves.

Land in Bartolome Island and discover a fascinating moonscape formed by different volcanic parasitic cones —lava bombs, spatter, cinder cones —and hike to the summit for impressive views of the surrounding islands, including the eroded tuff cone Pinnacle Rock. Encounter marine iguanas, lava lizards, and blue-footed boobies. Enjoy the beach and snorkel and see (perhaps swim with) Galapagos penguins, sea turtles, and white-tipped reef sharks among a great variety of colorful fish. For many visitors, this may turn out to be the best snorkeling experience. Crystal clear water is the perfect spot to appreciate the incredible marine life it has to offer. Due to its geographical location, the lack of vegetation is immediately noticeable however, there are pioneer plants including the endemic Tiquilia nesiotica and Chamaesyce (known as sand mat or spurge in English), lava cactus, and Scalesia bushes.

Day 7 Rabida | Buccaneers Cove | Espumilla Beach, Santiago

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Land in Rabida Island and walk through its dark-red sand unique beaches. Rábida is considered the epicenter of the Galapagos Islands due to the diversity of its volcanic geology. Nesting brown pelicans are found from July through September as are nine species of the famous Darwin’s finches. Take a dinghy ride along cliffs to observe nesting seabirds, and snorkel off the coast where marine life is particularly active.

In the afternoon visit Buccaneers Cove an amazing location featuring the remains of an eroded shoreline that is home to seabirds, fur seals and the playful sea lions. Its different shapes have been made throughout a process caused by erosion of the waves and the wind. Afterwards, stop at Espumilla Beach, a white-sandy beach in James Bay and a popular place among visitors. There are mangroves and a small palo santo forest that lead to salty-water lagoons that are home to wading birds like flamingos. In the upper dunes you can observe a nesting site for sea turtles. This is an ideal place to snorkel with see rays.

Day 8 Black Turtle Cove, Santa Cruz | Disembark | Baltra

  • 1 Breakfast
Discover the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, accessible only by sea where four species of mangrove crowd from the shore out into the lagoon, turtles enjoy swimming in the calm waters, peaking their heads above the surface, while fish, rays and small sharks circle below. White-tipped reef sharks can be seen beneath the boat. Sea birds, including pelicans, herons and egrets, all feed in the cove. This cove has been declared as a “Turtle Sanctuary”.

Afterwards, head straight to the airport for your flight back to mainland Ecuador.

Corals

Per person starting at
$3,605
A standard cabin aboard the Corals
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Standard Cabin
Two on Coral I and one on Coral II. Panoramic skylights, located on the Sea Deck. Average area of 97 sq ft.
A Standard Plus cabin aboard the corals
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Standard Plus Cabins
Eight on Coral I and four on Coral II. Panoramic skylights, located on the Sea Deck. Average size 118 sq ft.
A Junior Cabin
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Junior Cabins
Eight on Coral I and six on Coral II. Two triple cabins available. Panoramic windows, located on Earth & Sky Decks. Average size 129 sq ft.

Child Discount

Children under 12 years old receive 50% discount, or 25% on holiday season sharing cabin with two full-fare paying guests.

Children under 12 receive a discount of $135 off adult flight rates, and discounted Galapagos Entrance Fee of $50

Included

  • Accommodations on board Corals based on double occupancy
  • Meals while in the Galapagos
  • Bilingual Naturalist Guide
  • Shore Excursions
  • Swimming and Snorkeling
  • Adventure Life Pre-departure Services and In-Country Assistance (Quito Representative)
  • Transfers and Baggage Handling in the Galapagos
  • Snorkeling Equipment

Excluded

  • Airfare (see Galapagos Flights)
  • Quito/Guayaquil Hotel and Transfers
  • Fuel Surcharge
  • $100 Galapagos Park Fee
  • $80 Galapagos Transit Card and Airport Assistance
  • $45 International Departure Tax
  • Wetsuits available - $25 for 4-day and 5-day tours, $50 for 8-day, 11-day and 12 day tours, and $75 for 15-day tours
  • Kayak available for $30/use
  • Gratuities and drinks aboard the ship
  • Travel Insurance

Galapagos Flights

  • Quito - Galapagos Roundtrip
    • $530 - $595
  • Guayaquil - Galapagos Roundtrip
    • $475 - $540

Optional Hospitality Packages

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This was our first trip to South America and we were a little nervous. But Adventure Life made things so easy! All our questions were answered before we left, and our guide, Vidal, was amazing! He gave us enough space to explore without rushing us along. He also knew where the best picture taking opportunities were, which was great.
Lindsay Gompf

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