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Sleepy sea lion on a log

Southern Islands

Example 5 Day Cruise aboard Natural Paradise
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This 5-day adventure to the Southern Islands provides a unique way to observe the vast wildlife and stunning landscapes of the Galapagos. Snorkel with sharks, turtles, and manta rays on San Cristobal Island; hike through North Seymour looking for blue-footed boobies and frigatebirds, and; meet giant tortoises at Fausto Llerena Breeding Center on Santa Cruz Island. Explore Santiago's coastline and head to Bartholomew Island, home of the famous Pinnacle Rock, a perfect beach for snorkeling and where you may even see Galapagos penguins. On the last day of your trip head to South Plaza Island, home to one of the largest sea lion colonies as well as colorful iguanas.
Enjoy amazing snorkellingBlue footed boobySouth Plaza IslandGalapagos Tortoise close upSleepy sea lion on a log
Highlights
  • Zodiac cruise around Kicker Rock's wildlife-rich waters
  • Land on North Seymour for a close interaction with Galapagos sea lions
  • Enjoy a scenic hike in the dry and volcanic Sullivan Bay
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: San Cristobal | Embark | Kicker Rock

You will arrive at San Cristobal Island in the morning. After passing through immigration and baggage claim, you will be met by a Natural Paradise staff member and transferred to the yacht. You will be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before lunch and a welcome briefing.

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, circumnavigation and dinghy rides allow visitors to spot a variety of marine life. 
Possible Activities: Dinghy ride
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: No Landing
Highlights & Animals: Sharks, tropical fish, turtles, manta rays (occ.), hammerhead sharks, spectacular rock formations; sea birds: blue- footed boobies, Nazca boobies & frigate birds.

Day 2: North Seymour | South Plaza Island

In North Seymour you may see Galapagos sea lions, blue-footed boobies, and magnificent frigate birds 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. 
Possible Activities: Dinghy ride & hiking (1.5 miles / 2.41 km)
Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights & Animals: Land & marine iguanas, frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, sea lions; snorkeling: rays, reef sharks, fish, garden eels.

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.
Possible Activities: Hike (1.5 miles / 2 ½ km)
Difficulty: Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights & Animals: Land iguanas, sea lion colony, Audubon’s shearwaters, swallow-tailed gulls, Nazca boobies, amazing landscape with cliffs

Day 3: Rabida | Pinnacle Rock

You will visit Rabida Island (or Jervis) which is one of the most colorful and volcanically varied islands in the archipelago as well as a great snorkeling site. You will start on Rabida’s famous maroon/red sand beach, and after an easy hike, you will arrive to a stunning lookout to enjoy the amazing landscapes. The island is a birdwatcher’s delight. Some species are abundant such as a few varieties of finches, Galapagos vermilion flycatchers, Galapagos hawks and brown pelicans.
Possible Activities: Snorkeling, panga ride & short hike (0.6 miles / 1km)
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights & Animals: Snorkeling: white-cheeked pintail ducks, colorful fish, sea lions, brackish water lagoon, pelicans

You will head to Bartholomew Island where the famous Pinnacle Rock is found. Bartholomew consists of an extinct volcano with a variety of red, orange, black and even green volcanic formations. You will take a trail of stairs to the summit of the volcano (about 30 or 40 minutes) where you will enjoy one of the best views of the islands! You will 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 and swim with Galapagos penguins.
Possible Activities: Dinghy ride, snorkeling & hiking (1.2 miles/ 2 km)
Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
Type of Landing: Dry & Wet Landings
Highlights & Animals: Pinnacle Rock, panoramic view, moonlike landscape, penguins, pioneer plants, lava cactus; snorkeling: penguins, reef sharks, rays, and great colorful fish.

Day 4: Sullivan Bay | Dragon Hill

You will 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. This place has elevations in the form of small volcanoes formed by the lava flows. 
Possible Activities: Hiking
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights & Animals: Lava flows, small volcanoes

The visitors’ site at Dragon Hill is located in northwestern Santa Cruz Island and consists of a 1,600 m long trail that runs through three different environments. The beach is very rocky. At high tide it’s a nice place for snorkeling. At this visiting site you can find vegetation of the typical intertidal zone and dry zone.
Possible Activities: Panga ride & short hike
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights & Animals: Frigatebirds, herons, blue-footed boobies, rays, reef sharks

Day 5: Twin Craters, Santa Cruz | Disembark | Baltra

  • 1 Breakfast
You will visit the 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.
Possible Activities: Walking and scape viewing
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights & Animals: Pit craters, Scalesia Forest

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

Ship/Hotel

Natural Paradise

Natural Paradise yacht
Dining room
Al fresco dining

Dates & Prices

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Per person starting at
$4,545 2-3 travelers
Standard cabin
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Standard
4 standard cabins (172ft²/16m² - 215ft²/20m²) featuring convertible double twin beds or one matrimonial bed, all with safety box, hair dryer, bathrobes, and private facilities. Porthole windows or panoramic windows.
Suite cabin
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Suite
3 suites (355ft²/33m²) available featuring one king-size matrimonial bed, panoramic windows, or private balcony with binoculars, coffee maker, safety box, hair dryer, bathrobes, and private facilities.
Junior Suite cabin
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Junior Suite
2 junior suites (226ft²/21m²) featuring two convertible double twin beds, both with private balconies, safety boxes, hair dryers, and bathrobes. Main deck Jr. Suite includes a TV.

Notes

Please provide your wetsuite size in advance prior to trip

Child Discount

10% discount for children under 12 years of age. Child discounts are conditional and may not apply on certain departures. Please contact us for more information.

Children under 12 may receive discounts on Galapagos flight fares and entrance fees. Contact us for details.
Included
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
  • 4 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Snorkeling equipment, wetsuits, kayaks, and paddleboards are all included in the cruise cost and are available for your use onboard.
  • Bilingual Naturalist Guide 
  • Adventure Life Pre-departure Services and In-Country Assistance (Quito Representative)
  • Shore Excursions, Swimming and Snorkeling 
  • Transfers and Baggage Handling in the Galapagos
  • Walking Sticks
  • Underwater cameras
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Galapagos Park Entrance Fee: $200 per adult, $100 per child under 12 (fees of $100 per adult and $50 per child valid on arrivals through Aug 1, 2024). Payable upon arrival to the Galapagos, only in cash dollars. Subject to increase by Galapagos Park Service.
  • Alcoholic Drinks
  • Internal Flights: Mainland Ecuador - Galapagos - Mainland Ecuador: $475-675

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen
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