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Sea Lion resting on Red Sesuvium

Galapagos Western Islands

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Corals
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Prepare for a unique 8-day cruise uncovering the natural wonders of the western islands of the Galapagos and experience a unique blend of activities that makes this the most memorable vacation of your life. Understand the island's incredible history, encounter an abundance of unique wildlife, and enjoy daily land and sea opportunities to explore this marvelous environment. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Baltra | Embark | Highlands Tortoise Reserve, Santa Cruz
Day 2 : Vicente Roca Point, Isabela | Espinosa Point, Fernandina
Day 3 : Urbina Bay | Tagus Cove, Isabela
Day 4 : Egas Port | Sullivan Bay, Santiago
Day 5 : Bachas Beach | Charles Darwin Research Station & Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, Santa Cruz
Day 6 : Mosquera Islet | North Seymour
Day 7 : Santa Fe | South Plaza
Day 8 : Kicker Rock Circumnavigation & Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve | Disembark | San Cristobal Airport

Highlights

  • Discover Vicente Roca Point, one of the richest marine ecosystems on Earth
  • Take a dinghy ride along the coast of Isabela & admire the beautiful scenery
  • Explore the volcanic, black sand beach of Urbina Bay
  • Enjoy Santa Fe´s white beach and find yourself surrounded by sea lions

Ship

Corals

Places Visited

  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos
  • South America
  • Bachas Beach
  • Baltra
  • Cerro Colorado
  • Charles Darwin Center
  • Espinosa Point
  • Fernandina
  • Highlands
  • Isabela
  • Mosquera
  • North Seymour
  • Puerto Egas
  • San Cristobal
  • San Cristobal Airport
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santa Fe
  • Santiago
  • South Plaza Island
  • Sullivan Bay
  • Tagus Cove
  • Urbina Bay
  • Vicente Roca Point

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Sea Lion resting on Red Sesuvium Beach on Isabela island Blue-footed booby mating dance Kicker rock Swimming sea turtle

Day 1 Baltra | Embark | Highlands Tortoise Reserve, Santa Cruz

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Arrive to the Galapagos and transfer by bus to your ship, the Corals. Once the ship sets sail, head to Santa Cruz Island and visit the Highlands Tortoise Reserve. In the mountains of Galapagos is possible to admire different kinds 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 2 Vicente Roca Point, Isabela | Espinosa Point, Fernandina

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning, visit Vicente Roca Point, a high peak of land created out of remains of a tuff cone, with two protected turquoise coves on both sides. One of them, the Bolivar Channel is one of the richest marine ecosystems on Earth. This place is only accessible by water, with great opportunities for deep-water snorkeling. In this part of the Galapagos, the upwelling of cold water currents from the west, offer an abundant plankton supply for marine species like red-lipped batfish, seahorses, frogfish, nudibranchs, octopus, and the mola-mola or sunfish. It is common to observe dolphin pods, sea lions rafts, and tuna banks. The dinghy ride along the coast allows observing a great diversity of seabirds like noddies, brown pelicans, Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorants, Nazca and blue-footed boobies are often seen feeding all at once during the cold season (May – December). Whale watching is also common while navigating.

In the afternoon 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.

Day 3 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 4 Egas Port | Sullivan Bay, Santiago

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning travel to Santiago Island, stopping 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.

It has the biggest and longest lava flow, which is located in Sullivan Bay. Geologically speaking, this island is one of the most beautiful and unbelievable formations. The vast basaltic landscape performs smooth and unbroken surfaces with undulations and nods formed by the fluid lava that created the sculpture. It is located on the central west of the archipelago and is formed by two overlapping volcanoes. It is the 4th biggest of the archipelago.

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

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning 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. Local people modified the word barges to “Bachas”.

In the afternoon 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 Mosquera Islet | North Seymour

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Land in 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 Mosquera Island, so any visitor can enjoy the open area. Most of the islet is covered with sand and barren lava rock. Very little Sesuvium portulacastrum grows on the sand.

In the afternoon visit North Seymour, an island formed by a series of underwater volcanic lava which was deposited in layers on the ocean floor. Take 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. Encounter sea lions, land Iguanas, and on a lucky day, you might even come across a Galapagos snake.

Day 7 Santa Fe | South Plaza

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning enjoy Santa Fe´s white sand beach and find yourself surrounded by a sea lion colony. Continue walking through an endemic cactus forest and search for the endemic Santa Fe land iguana (the largest in the islands). This island is home to a number of endemic species including Galapagos hawk, Galapagos snake, rice rats, a variety of finches, and one of the four mockingbird species of the Galapagos.

In the afternoon walk through an impressive cactus forest surrounded by the colorful yellow and red land iguanas and marine iguanas and keep a look out for tropicbirds and one of the largest sea lion colonies. Encounter the one and only Galapagos hybrid iguana and stumble upon a bright red landscape which is a characteristic of the island during the dry season.

Day 8 Kicker Rock Circumnavigation & Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve | Disembark | San Cristobal Airport

This morning sail through the northeast of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno to observe the ancient and eroded volcanic tuff lava named Leon Dormido or Kicker Rock it is formed by two rocks approximately 148 m, named for its resemblance of a sleeping lion. It serves as home to many of the typical Galapagos sea animals, such as birds, sea lions, blue and Nazca boobies and frigate. With rare sightings of swallow turtle gulls, tropic birds, and pelicans.
 
Afterwards, 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. 

After your visit, transfer to the airport for your flight back to mainland Ecuador.

Corals

Per person starting at
$3,836
Standard Cabin
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Standard Cabin
Two on Coral I and one on Coral II. Portholes, located on the Sea Deck. Average area of 75 sq ft.
Standard Plus Cabin
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Standard Plus Cabins
Eight on Coral I and four on Coral II. Portholes, located on the Sea Deck. Average size 128 sq ft.
Junior Cabin
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Junior Cabins
Eight on Coral I and seven on Coral II. Three triple cabins available. Picture 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
  • $100 Galapagos Park Fee
  • $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 - $675
  • Guayaquil - Galapagos Roundtrip
    • $475 - $620

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The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
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