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Galapagos penguin by the water

Eastern Islands

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Natural Paradise
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Board the Natural Paradise for this complete 8-day Eastern Islands Galapagos cruise. Explore some of the most stunning locations and experience incredible close-up encounters with vast wildlife. Enjoy snorkeling and dinghy rides at Kicker Rock, encounter Galapagos sea lions, blue-footed boobies and frigatebirds in North Seymour, and visit Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, where giant tortoises are bred in captivity. These are just a few of the highlights you can enjoy on this unforgettable trip!

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : San Cristobal | Embark
Day 2 : North Seymour | South Plaza
Day 3 : Rabida | Bartholomew
Day 4 : Santiago | Santa Cruz
Day 5 : Santa Cruz
Day 6 : Genovesa Island
Day 7 : Santiago Island
Day 8 : Santa Cruz Island | Disembark | Baltra

Highlights

  • Snorkel at Bartholomew Island and look for Galapagos penguins
  • Visit Rabida Island, one of the most volcanically varied & colorful islands
  • Enjoy a relaxing time at the white-sand coral beach of Darwin Bay
  • View Galapagos hawks and quick-footed lava lizards in Egas Port

Ship

Natural Paradise

Places Visited

  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos
  • South America
  • Bachas Beach
  • Bartolome
  • Darwin Bay
  • Dragon Hill
  • El Barranco
  • Espumilla Beach
  • Genovesa
  • North Seymour
  • Pinnacle Rock
  • Puerto Ayora
  • Puerto Egas
  • Rabida
  • San Cristobal
  • San Cristobal Airport
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santiago
  • South Plaza Island
  • Sullivan Bay

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Galapagos penguin by the water Pinnacle rock in Bartolome Snorkeling around Ambergris Caye Swimming sea turtle Land iguana looking out over water

Day 1 San Cristobal | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After a morning flight from Quito or Guayaquil arrive at San Cristobal Island. Pass through immigration and meet the Natural Paradise staff for a transfer to the yacht. Take some time to settle in your cabin before lunch and the welcome briefing.

In the afternoon, visit Kicker Rock. This striking rock formation is located a couple hours off the western shore of San Cristobal. Jutting out of the water, the rocks stand vertically at hundreds of feet above the ocean divided by a small channel. Although there are no landing areas, snorkeling allows visitors to spot a variety of marine life.

Day 2 North Seymour | South Plaza

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Land in North Seymour and encounter Galapagos sea lions, blue-footed boobies, and magnificent frigatebirds which are abundant on this island. North Seymour was formed by a series of submarine lava flows containing layers of sediment that were uplifted by tectonic activity. The island is characterized by its arid vegetation zone.

In the afternoon, head to South Plaza Island. This small island with steep cliffs was formed by rising lava and is now covered by Opuntia cacti. It is also home to one of the largest sea lion colonies as well as colorful yellow and red land iguanas. The most characteristic plant is the Sesuvium. During the rainy season its color is a greenish to yellowish tone and in the dry season (end of June through January) a bright red.

Day 3 Rabida | Bartholomew

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning, visit Rabida Island, which is one of the most colorful and volcanically varied islands in the archipelago, as well as a great snorkeling site. Start on Rabida’s famous maroon sandy beach, and after an easy hike, arrive to a stunning lookout to enjoy the amazing landscapes. The island is a birdwatcher’s delight. Some of the most rare species are in abundance such as nine varieties of finches, large-billed flycatchers, Galapagos hawks, and brown pelicans.

In the afternoon, head to Bartholomew Island, home of the famous Pinnacle Rock. Bartholomew consists of an extinct volcano with a variety of red, orange, black, and even green volcanic formations. Take a trail of stairs to the summit of the volcano (about 30 or 40 minutes) andl enjoy one of the best views of the islands! Also visit a small, beautiful beach surrounded by the only vegetation found on this barren island. The beach is perfect for snorkeling where you may even see Galapagos penguins.

Day 4 Santiago | Santa Cruz

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning, visit Sullivan Bay, located on the southeast part of Santiago. This place is interesting for its geology because the area is covered by lava flows. Sullivan Bay has small volcanoes formed by the lava flows.

In the afternoon, visit Dragon Hill on Santa Cruz. The visitors’ site at Dragon Hill is located on the northwestern part of Santa Cruz Island and consists of a trail that runs through three different environments although it is only slightly less than a mile long (1,600 meters). The beach is very rocky. At high tide it’s a nice place for snorkeling. At this visiting site you can find vegetation typical of the intertidal and dry zones. 

Day 5 Santa Cruz

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning, visit Twin Craters located opposite to each other on both sides of the road leading from Puerto Ayora to Baltra. The name is only figurative; not real craters, these formations were created by the collapse of surface material in underground fissures and chambers. The view is breathtaking.

In the afternoon, visit Fausto Llerena Breeding Center in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, where giant tortoises are bred in captivity. This is home to tortoises ranging from 3 inches (new hatchlings) to 4-foot-long adults. Subspecies of the giant tortoises interact with one another, and many of the older tortoises are accustomed to humans stretching out their heads for a photo opportunity. The babies are kept until they are about four years old and strong enough to survive on their own.

Day 6 Genovesa Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning, visit El Barranco, also known as Prince Phillip’s Steps. This is a steep, rocky path that leads up to a high cliff-face. A marvelous view can be appreciated from here. This site is also home to palo santo vegetation as well as red-footed boobies, short-eared lava owls, Galapagos swallows, and Galapagos doves.

In the afternoon, visit the white-sand coral beach of Darwin Bay which has a half-mile trail (0.75km) that winds through mangroves filled with land birds. Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls can be spotted here. Further down the path find tidal pools where sea lions swim playfully. At the end is a spectacular view of a cliff.

Day 7 Santiago Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning, visit Espumilla Beach where marine iguanas lounge and the Sally Lightfoot crabs attract the hunting herons performing the dance of predator and prey right before your eyes. Snorkeling is highly recommended as you could find yourself face to face with an octopus, moray eel, shark and a variety of other species of tropical fish.

In the afternoon, sail to Egas Port, also known as James Bay, on Santiago Island which is home to the curious Galapagos hawks and quick-footed Galapagos lava lizards. The trail leads to the coastline with gorgeous tide pools and grottos full of fauna. Here the Galapagos fur sea lions bathe in the sun. This is also a great snorkeling site.

Day 8 Santa Cruz Island | Disembark | Baltra

  • 1 Breakfast
The morning visit, Bachas Beach, is located on the north shore of Santa Cruz, which is a swimming beach. One of the few remnants of the U.S. World War II presence in the Galapagos, a floating pier, can be seen here. You may see flamingos, Sally Lightfoot crabs, hermit crabs, black-necked stilts, and whimbrels. Sea turtles also nest on the beach.

After this final visit, be transferred to Baltra’s airport in time for your flight back to the mainland.

Natural Paradise

Deals

Complimentary Services
Galapagos Savings - Book now and receive a complimentary hospitality package: airport assistance, airport transfers pre/post Galapagos cruise, and a one-night stay in either Quito or Guayaquil before your cruise.
All 2017 Departures
Per person starting at
$5,545
Natural Paradise Standard Suite
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Standard
4 standard cabins featuring convertible double twin beds or one matrimonial bed, all with private facilities. Porthole windows or panoramic windows. 172 sq ft / 16 sq m - 215 sq ft / 20 sq m.
Natural Paradise Suite
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Suite
3 suites available featuring one King size matrimonial bed, panoramic windows or private balcony, and private facilities. 355 sq ft / 33 sq m.
Natural Paradise Junior Suite
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Junior Suite
2 junior suites featuring two convertible double twin beds, both with private balconies. 226 sq ft / 21 sq m.

Notes

Please provide your wetsuite size in advance prior to trip

Child Discount

20% discount for children under 12 years of age

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

Included

  • Accommodations on board Natural Paradise 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
  • Wetsuit
  • Sea Kayaking

Excluded

  • Airfare (see Galapagos Flights)
  • Quito/Guayaquil Hotel and Transfers
  • $100 Galapagos Park Fee
  • $80 Galapagos Transit Card and Airport Assistance
  • $45 International Departure Tax
  • Gratuities and drinks aboard the ship
  • Travel Insurance

Galapagos Flights

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

Optional Hospitality Packages

Payment & Cancellation Policies
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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
Jack Charney

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