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Galapagos penguin on a rock

Galapagos Circumnavigation

Example 15 Day Cruise aboard Galapagos Legend
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Enjoy an extensive adventure into the unique world of the Galapagos on this incredible journey. This 15-day voyage offers the traveler an opportunity to become immersed in the unique splendor these islands. This is an ideal tour for gaining a true understanding of the history of these islands and the rare and incredible creatures that make their homes here. Wind across island trails, explore peaceful lagoons, swim and snorkel in crystalline waters, bask in the sun on white sand beaches, soak in extraordinary volcanic vistas, and get up close and personal with fascinating wildlife throughout your Galapagos tour.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Baltra | Embark | Black Turtle Cove, Santa Cruz
Day 2 : El Barranco, Prince Philip's Steps | Darwin Bay, Genovesa
Day 3 : Dragon Hill, Santa Cruz | Santa Fe
Day 4 : Mosquera Islet | Bachas Beach, Santa Cruz
Day 5 : Egas Port, Santiago | Rábida
Day 6 : Urbina Bay | Tagus Cove, Isabela
Day 7 : Espinosa Point, Fernandina | Vicente Roca Point, Isabela
Day 8 : Pit Craters, Santa Cruz | Bartolome
Day 9 : South Plaza Islet | North Seymour
Day 10 : Pitt Point | Cerro Brujo, San Cristobal
Day 11 : Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve | Interpretation Center & Tijeretas Hill, San Cristobal
Day 12 : Gardner Bay & Osborn Islets | Suarez Point, Española
Day 13 : Post Office | Cormorant Point, Devil's Crown or Champion, Floreana
Day 14 : Charles Darwin Research Station & Fausto Llerena Breeding Center | Highlands Tortoise Reserve, Santa Cruz
Day 15 : Carrion Point, Santa Cruz | Disembark | Baltra

Highlights

  • Hike through a stunning volcanic landscape
  • Visit one of the main sea turtle nesting sites in the Galapagos
  • Explore the red sand beaches of Rabida
  • Observe the Galapagos tortoise in its native habitat

Ship

Galapagos Legend

Places Visited

  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos
  • South America
  • Bachas Beach
  • Baltra
  • Bartolome
  • Black Turtle Cove
  • Cerro Colorado
  • Charles Darwin Center
  • Darwin Bay
  • Devil's Crown
  • Dragon Hill
  • El Barranco
  • Espanola
  • Espinosa Point
  • Fernandina
  • Floreana
  • Gardner Bay
  • Genovesa
  • Highlands
  • Isabela
  • Mosquera
  • North Seymour
  • Post Office Bay
  • Prince Philip's Steps
  • Puerto Egas
  • Punta Carrion
  • Punta Cormorant
  • Punta Pitt
  • Punta Suarez
  • Rabida
  • San Cristobal
  • San Cristobal Interpretation Center
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santa Fe
  • Santiago
  • South Plaza Island
  • Tagus Cove
  • Tijeretas Hill (Frigatebird Hill)
  • Urbina Bay
  • Vicente Roca Point
  • Witch Hill

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Galapagos penguin on a rock beautiful cruise along Isabela Sea lion encounter while snorkeling Dinghy ride to Pinnacle rock Post Office Bay, Floreana

Day 1 Baltra | Embark | Black Turtle Cove, Santa Cruz

Arrive to the Galapagos and transfer to your ship, the Galapagos Legend. Today cruise to Santa Cruz Island and travel to Black Turtle Cove. Located on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, this cove is accessible only by sea. Here four species of mangrove crowd and form an internal lagoon, turtles visit the calm waters, peaking their heads above the surface while fish, rays circle below. White-tipped reef sharks can be seen beneath the boat, plus sea birds, including pelicans, herons and egrets. Black Turtle Cove has been declared as a “turtle sanctuary”.

Day 2 El Barranco, Prince Philip's Steps | Darwin Bay, Genovesa

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning travel to Genovesa Island and be marveled at the variety of sea life that uses the crevices of the lava cliffs for shelter. Red-billed tropicbirds fly overhead, switching between their nests and the bay, and a small colony of fur seals may be found near the landing site. Be dropped off at a steep stairway that begins on rocks at the foot of a path that leads through a seabird colony full of Nazca and red-footed boobies. At the plateau, the trail continues inland allowing you to see more nesting booby colonies in the thin Palo Santo forest. Near the end of the trail, over a rocky lava plain, wedge-rumped storm-petrels can be observed flying in all directions. If you are lucky, you may catch a glimpse of a short-eared owl.

In the afternoon head to Darwin Bay and disembark onto a small sand and coral beach. A short trail heads west along a tidal lagoon and then up a rocky hill that leads to a point overlooking the cliffs and Darwin Bay. Along the trail near the tidal lagoon, you can see pairs of swallow-tailed gulls, lava gulls, yellow-crowned and lava herons. The trail continues through Palo Santo trees, Opuntia cacti, and Saltbushes inhabited by great frigate birds and red-footed boobies. This is one of the few places in the islands where you are guaranteed to see red-footed boobies. It is estimated that more than 200,000 red-footed boobies live in the trees and bushes of Genovesa.

Day 3 Dragon Hill, Santa Cruz | Santa Fe

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning venture over to Santa Cruz Island and stop at Dragon Hill, an important nesting site for endemic land iguanas. Walk by a brackish lagoon to see flamingos. The trail leads across typical dry zone vegetation. Keeping up until Dragon Hill, see an important nesting ground for endemic land iguanas, offering lovely views of the anchored boats and neighboring islands. The forest is home to mockingbirds, Darwin’s finches, yellow warblers, and Galapagos doves.

In the afternoon, visit Santa Fe's white sand beaches surrounded by sea lion colonies. Through the island path, an endemic cactus forest is passed, home the Santa Fe land iguanas (the largest in the islands). This island is the habitat for a number of species, including the Galapagos hawk, Galapagos snakes, rice rats (one of the few endemic Galapagos rodents), a variety of finches and one of the four mockingbird species of the archipelago.

Day 4 Mosquera Islet | Bachas Beach, Santa Cruz

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning land at Mosquera Islet, located between North Seymour and Baltra Island. This flat, sandy island has a large colony of sea lions. It is also an excellent site to observe shorebirds such as herons and lava gulls. There is no trail on the islet, so you can enjoy the open area. Most of the islet is covered with sand and barren lava rock. Very little sesuvium portulacastrum plants grow on the sand.

In the afternoon cruise to Bachas Beach, home to two small flamingo ponds were iguanas sunbathe, see coastal birds, Darwin finches, mockingbirds, and gulls, as well as interesting native vegetation like red and black mangrove, salt bushes. This beach is one of the main sea turtles nesting sites in the Galapagos. At this paradisiacal site, you can also find the remains of barges that sank a long time ago, when the United States Navy operated a base during World War II on Baltra Island.

Day 5 Egas Port, Santiago | Rábida

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning travel to Santiago Island, stopping of at Egas Port, a black volcanic sand beach, visited by Darwin in 1835. The first section of the trail is formed of volcanic ash (eroded tuff) and the other half is an uneven terrain of volcanic basaltic rock. The unique, truly striking layered terrain of Santiago shore is home to a variety of animals including the bizarre yellow-crowned night heron and marine wildlife including lobster, starfish and marine iguanas grazing on algae beds alongside Sally light-foot crabs. It is easy to see colonies of endemic fur seals swimming in cool water volcanic rock pools.

In the afternoon visit Rábida Island, dark-red sand covers the unique beaches of this island, home to sea lions’ colonies. Rabida 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 plus nine species of the famous Darwin’s finches. Here a dinghy ride along marine cliffs is done, to observe nesting seabirds. Snorkel off the coast, where marine life is particularly active.

Day 6 Urbina Bay | Tagus Cove, Isabela

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today visit Isabela Island, stopping at Urbina Bay and Tagus Cove. In the morning explore the volcanic black sand beach of Urbina Bay, in search of giant tortoises, land iguanas, and the unusual flightless cormorant. After a short walk inland it´s snorkeling time, a chance to swim with sea turtles, sea lions, and countless tropical fish. Urbina Bay features a wide variety of plants with the different range of colors in flowers, attracting different insects, birds, and reptiles. One of the highlights of the island is the uplifted coral reef that resulted from the 1954 seismic activity; here the views of Alcedo Volcano are remarkable. When navigating from Urbina to Tagus Cove whale watching is usual in May – December.

This afternoon, make your way over to Tagus Cove and learn about the volcanoes that formed Isabela Island. Follow a trail that leads to Darwin’s salt-water crater lake for excellent views of lava fields and volcanic formations. Return by the same path for a dinghy ride along a shoreline full of marine wildlife, where you can admire a variety of seabirds, such as blue-footed booby, brown noddy, terns, flightless cormorant and depending on the season, a large number of Galapagos penguins which are only 35 cm tall; the only penguin species in the world to live in the tropics. Afterwards, have an opportunity to snorkel in deep water.

Day 7 Espinosa Point, Fernandina | Vicente Roca Point, Isabela

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning visit Espinosa Point, on Fernandina Island, an area that boasts some of the highest diversity of endemic sea fauna in the Galapagos. Here, the largest, most primitive-looking marine iguanas are found mingling with sea lions and Sally lightfoot crabs. Fernandina displays a wonderful opportunity to encounter flightless cormorants at their nesting sites, Galapagos penguins and the “King” of predators on the islands, the Galapagos hawk. Pa-hoe-hoe and AA lava formations cover the majority of Fernandina terrain. Vegetation is scarce inland, with few brachycereus cacti and in the shore mangrove can be found.

In the afternoon head over to Vicente Roca Point on Isabela Island, a great place to spot an abundance of marine life! Enjoy the opportunity to snorkel at one of the richest marine havens on Earth, the Bolivar Channel. Take a dinghy ride along the coast to observe a great diversity of sea and coastal birds; Nazca and blue-footed boobies, noddies, brown pelicans, penguins, flightless cormorants. The upwelling of cold water currents in this part of the Galapagos gives rise to an abundance of marine life, a perfect place for deep snorkeling.

Day 8 Pit Craters, Santa Cruz | Bartolome

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning visit Pit Craters, which geologically speaking were not directly formed by volcanic action. They were created as a result of the collapse or sinking of surface materials into cracks or manholes. It’s a great place to spot vermilion fly catchers as you walk inside an endemic Scalesia forest. Here enjoy a great opportunity to observe giant tortoises.

In the afternoon visit Bartolome Island and discover a fascinating landscape formed by different volcanic parasitic cones —lava bombs, spatter, cinder cones — that resembles the moon. Going up to the summit observe impressive views of the surrounding islands, including the eroded tuff cone Pinnacle Rock. You can also encounter marine iguanas, lava lizards, and blue-footed boobies. Afterwards enjoy some beach time, a great opportunity to do snorkeling and see the famous 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 9 South Plaza Islet | North Seymour

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning travel to South Plaza Islet, located east of Santa Cruz Island. Begin a journey along an impressive cactus forest were colorful yellow and red land iguanas live, the population number is around 300 animals; during the dry season they survive on fruits and flowers of the opuntia cacti. A peculiar thing to see in South Plaza is the hybrid iguana (sea and land). When reaching the highest point, tropicbirds can be seen. During the dry season (June – January) the usually greenish and yellowish vegetation change of color creating a bright red landscape (sesuviumedmonstonei plant).

In the afternoon stop at North Seymour Island. This landmass was formed by a series of underwater volcanic eruptions, which deposited layers of lava on the ocean floor. Take part on an approximately two-hour walk amidst large nesting colonies of blue-footed boobies, magnificent and great frigate birds, and swallow-tailed gulls for an in depth encounter with sea bird breeding cycles and sea lions. You can also encounter land iguanas, and on a lucky day, you might even come across the endemic Galapagos snake.

Day 10 Pitt Point | Cerro Brujo, San Cristobal

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today explore the island of San Cristobal. In the morning we head to Pitt Point and take a high-intensity hike on rocky terrain. The trail includes a 90 meters long, olivine beach and a path that climbs to the top of a volcanic tuff, through several magnificent viewpoints. This is probably the only site where the three booby species of the Galapagos can be seen together, as well as, 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.

This afternoon stop at Cerro Brujo, an eroding tuff cone that at several locations is composed of AA lava formations and a beautiful white sandy beach, great for snorkeling and sunbathing. There is a lagoon visit 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.

Day 11 Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve | Interpretation Center & Tijeretas Hill, San Cristobal

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning land at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and visit the San Cristobal Giant Tortoise Breeding Center to learn about the National Park’s conservation programs. Enjoy a beautiful landscape on the way to the Reserve. You also have the opportunity to visit the village’s port, have a drink or shop for arts and crafts and other souvenirs.

In the afternoon visit the Interpretation Center, an excellent place to learn about islands’ history in The Museum of Natural History which displays information about the volcanic origins of the islands, their remoteness from the continent, ocean currents, climate, the arrival of the different species and their colonization, among other points of interest. The human history is also showcased, chronologically narrating the most significant events related to the discovery and the island’s colonization. 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.

Day 12 Gardner Bay & Osborn Islets | Suarez Point, Española

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning arrive at Española Island and explore Gardner Bay and the Gardner and Osborn Islets. Land on a beautiful white coral sandy beach guarded by a colony of sea lions. There are no trails, so you must stay along the shore where you can spot Galapagos hawks, American oystercatchers, Galapagos ground doves, Hood mockingbirds, yellow warblers, lava lizards, marine iguanas, and three species of Darwin’s finches: a subspecies of the large cactus finch, which is similar to the large ground finch, the small ground finch (Geospiza fuliginosa) and the warbler finch (Certhidea Olivacea), another endemic subspecies. Swimming and snorkeling offer a great variety of the Galapagos’ marine wildlife: king angelfish, creole fish, damsel fish, parrotfish, manta rays, and white-tipped reef sharks.

In the afternoon, travel over to Suarez Point in Española, an island of geological interest, volcanic formations and a riveting wildlife: large sea lion colonies and seabirds including the Española mockingbird, Nazca boobies, and the spectacular red-billed tropicbird. You can also encounter marine iguanas, lava lizards, and the colorful Sally lightfoot crabs. Enjoy a lengthy hike that bring you 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 (May-December). Admire the island’s dramatic backdrop, featuring the famous “Soplador”, a seaward blowhole that shoots up water up to 23 m (75 ft) in the air.

Day 13 Post Office | Cormorant Point, Devil's Crown or Champion, Floreana

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today explore Floreana Island. Upon arrival, head over to Post Office Bay. Located on the north side of Floreana, the bay was named 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 back to their destinations. Today, visitors continue the tradition by placing unstamped postcards inside the barrel, hoping that some other traveler, going to the letter destination, takes it back for free. The chances are that the letter posted can take a long time to arrive at its destination. However, there have been cases where it has arrived before the sender. You may also encounter Darwin’s finches, yellow warbler and lava lizards. As well, the island is best known for its endemic vegetation: Scalesia villosaLecocarpus Pinnatifidus, and the Galapagos milkwort. Enjoy some great snorkeling opportunities with green Pacific sea turtles and playful sea lions.

In the afternoon stop at Cormorant Point 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.

Day 14 Charles Darwin Research Station & Fausto Llerena Breeding Center | Highlands Tortoise Reserve, Santa Cruz

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning 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. Admire a prickly-pear cactus forest and variety Darwin’s finches and other land birds. The Darwin Station also works providing environmental education to the communities, schools, and tourists visiting the Galapagos Islands. Afterwards, enjoy some free time to visit the town and shop for souvenirs.

In the afternoon explore the highlands of Santa Cruz. In the mountains of Galapagos is possible to admire different kind of birds, such as: tree and ground finches, vermillion flycatchers, paint-billed crakes, yellow warblers, and cattle egrets (usually standing on the tortoises’ shell). The journey to the reserve offers great opportunities to see the contrasts that the island offers in reference to the variety of ecosystems. The road goes from the coast through the agricultural zone and straight up to the dense humid forests. Often, Galapagos giant tortoises are also seen on the way, wandering through pastures in the paddocks. This spot is a birdwatchers’ haven, since almost every land bird present on the island lives or migrates here.

Day 15 Carrion Point, Santa Cruz | Disembark | Baltra

  • 1 Breakfast
This morning cruise to Carrion Point. This rocky cliff offers the great opportunity to explore more the various marine biodiversity of the islands.  Do snorkeling among a variety of colorful fish, stingrays, and if lucky, there could be the chance to see the magnificent white tipped shark.

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

Galapagos Legend

Per person starting at
$7,210
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Standard Cabin
The superior cabins are located on the Sea deck. They have two lower beds and are ~120 sq. ft. These cabins do not have outside windows.
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Standard Plus Cabin
The superior cabins are located on the Sea deck. They have two lower beds, porthole windows, and are approx. 120 sq. ft.
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Junior Suite
Junior suites are located on the Earth deck, next to the reception desk, library and boutique. Each suite has two beds and large panoramic windows. Many junior suites may be interconnected and some have space for a third bed.
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Balcony Suite
These cabins are located on the outermost part of the ship on the Earth and Moon decks. These suites have a small living room area next to the panoramic windows and balcony. They offer two beds and a sofa bed to accommodate small families. These cabins can be connected.
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Legend Balcony Suite
This new suite is very spacious, and can comfortably hold a family of three. With approximately 463 square feet of space, it features plenty of space to move around freely and includes a generously large balcony, and a mini fridge.

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 Galapagos Legend 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
  • Kayaks 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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