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Kicker Rock at sunset in the Galapagos

Southern Islands

Example 5 Day Cruise aboard M/C Galapagos Endemic
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Words cannot describe the experience of a Galapagos cruise. Trace the remarkable origins of the species as you discover a land that time forgot. Swim with a large colony of sea lions at Isla Lobos, explore two sites on spectacular Española island, observe Nazca Boobies, Blue-footed Boobies, Red-billed Tropic Birds, marine iguanas, mockingbirds and more at Suarez Point. Be one of the few to experience why Darwin was so inspired by these spectacular islands. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Baltra Island Airport | Embark | Dragon Hill, Santa Cruz
Day 2 : Witch Hill, San Cristobal Island | Kicker Rock | Sea Lion Island
Day 3 : Osborn Islet | Gardner Bay | Suarez Point, Española Island
Day 4 : Santa Fe Island | Breeding Center, Santa Cruz Island
Day 5 : South Plaza Island | Disembark | Baltra Airport

Highlights

  • Swim & Kayak around the spectacular San Cristobal Island
  • See hammerhead sharks, sea turtles and dazzling reef fish at Kicker Rock
  • Visit Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, home to hundreds of baby tortoises

Ship

M/C Galapagos Endemic

Places Visited

  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos
  • South America
  • Baltra
  • Charles Darwin Center
  • Dragon Hill
  • Espanola
  • Gardner Bay
  • Isla Lobos
  • Leon Dormido
  • Osborn Islet
  • Punta Suarez
  • San Cristobal
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santa Fe
  • South Plaza Island
  • Witch Hill

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Kicker Rock at sunset in the Galapagos Sea lion encounter while snorkeling Colorful kayaks on the beach Snorkeling with friends Giant Tortoise Taking photos of the scenery

Day 1 Baltra Island Airport | Embark | Dragon Hill, Santa Cruz

Arrive at Baltra airport and be transferred to the Galapagos Endemic catamaran. Dragon Hill in Santa Cruz Island is the first top for admiring a unique rocky landscape with so many land iguanas, which probably inspired the name for the hill. Hike along a dusty trail winding through cacti and Palo Santo trees while looking for birds, including flycatchers, warblers, flamingos and pintail ducks in the salty lagoons. Enhance your experience with snorkeling offshore following your hike.

Day 2 Witch Hill, San Cristobal Island | Kicker Rock | Sea Lion Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
“Witch Hill” gets its name from the “pájaro Brujo,” or witch bird, better known in English as the Vermilion Flycatcher. The site bewitches visitors even without the little red birds: it consists of a white coral sand beach perfect for playing in the sand, kayaking or snorkeling. It is possible to snorkel or kayak in the gentle surf off the beach. Panga rides take guests past some interesting rock formations along the island shore.

Apparently, no one can agree what Kicker Rock looks like. This distinctive rock formation off the coast of San Cristobal island is called León Dormido, or “Sleeping Lion” in Spanish, but “Kicker Rock” in English. Depending on how you squint at it, it can be seen as vaguely shaped like a lion or a boot. It is one of the best snorkeling and diving sites in Galapagos: lucky visitors may get to see hammerhead sharks and sea turtles in addition to many dazzling reef fish.

In the afternoon visit Sea Lion Island. “Sea Lion Island” lives up to its name! One of the best snorkeling spots in the Galapagos, Isla Lobos is a long islet parallel to the coast of San Cristobal Island, creating a calm channel perfect for beginning snorkelers. The island is home to a large colony of sea lions who sometimes splash into the water and frolic with swimmers and snorkelers. It’s also a great place to practice your kayak skills if you’re rusty!

Day 3 Osborn Islet | Gardner Bay | Suarez Point, Española Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
One of the best snorkeling spots in all of Galapagos, Osborn Islet is known for tranquil waters and abundant sea life. Sea lions frolic with snorkelers while brilliantly colorful parrot fish nip at the coral on the seabed. Nearby, Gardner Islet is also home to a sea lion colony. These islets are close to one another and guides may decide to go to one or the other depending on conditions.

One of only two sites on spectacular Española island where visitors are allowed to land, Gardner Bay is a gorgeous white-sand beach where guests can lounge and get some sunshine alongside sleeping sea lions. There isn’t much wildlife (crabs and marine iguanas are common, as are some wading birds) but it’s one of the best beaches in Galapagos! Those who have not had their fill of snorkeling earlier in the morning can putter around in the gentle surf off the beach.

An amazing visitor site, Punta Suarez is the personal favorite of many veteran Galapagos guides. It is the only place in all of the islands where visitors can reliably expect to see the majestic Waved Albatross. The albatrosses migrate away from Española between January and April but are there for the rest of the year. Suarez Point is also home to Nazca Boobies, Blue-footed Boobies, Red-billed Tropic Birds, marine iguanas, mockingbirds and more.

Day 4 Santa Fe Island | Breeding Center, Santa Cruz Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Santa Fe is a small island, but it has a memorable trail which wends its way through a forest of tall, prickly cacti. The cacti are the preferred food of a booming population of endemic land iguanas. The Santa Fe rice rat, one of the few mammals native to the islands, is also found there, although the elusive rodent is seldom seen by visitors. The native population of giant tortoises on Santa Fe was wiped out by whalers over a century ago, but in 2015 some Española tortoises were released onto the island. It is possible to go snorkeling and kayaking off of the island after the hike.

Named after the Galapagos Park Ranger who served for 43 years, the Fausto Llerena Breeding center is home to hundreds of baby tortoises of different sub-species being raised until they are large enough to be released. Over the years, thousands of tortoises have been released into the wild. Here, visitors can learn all about the tortoises and other conservation programs run by the prestigious Charles Darwin Foundation.  

Day 5 South Plaza Island | Disembark | Baltra Airport

  • 1 Breakfast
A low, rocky island populated by cacti and a healthy population of land iguanas, South Plaza Island is always a favorite among visitors to Galapagos. The island is home to the sesuvium plant, which is bright red at certain times of the year. This gives the site an otherworldly look and makes it one of the most picturesque sites in the islands. As you hike, look for boobies diving for fish offshore!

Transfer from Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island to Baltra Airport.

M/C Galapagos Endemic

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Per person starting at
$4,650
M/C Endemic, Matrimonial Cabin
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Each cabin has personalized air conditioning control, a balcony, spacious private bathroom and either a king-size bed or two twin-size beds.
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Each cabin has personalized air conditioning control, a balcony, spacious private bathroom and twin-size bed.

Notes

Rates do not include: 
-Round trip flights to Galapagos
-Galapagos National Park Entrance fee
-Transit Control Card
-Alcoholic and bottled beverages
-Tips for guides and crew
-Travel insurance

Child Discount

25% Discount applies when traveling with two adults. Children must be under 12 years old by the time they cruise

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

Included

  • Accommodations on board M/C Galapagos Endemic 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
  • Gratuities and drinks aboard the ship
  • Travel Insurance

Galapagos Flights

  • Quito - Galapagos Roundtrip
    • $530 - $675
  • Guayaquil - Galapagos Roundtrip
    • $475 - $620

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This was my first experience with Adventure Life - and I couldn't have been more pleased with the trip. The guides and local staff in both Buenos Aires and Uruguay were terrific - extremely helpful and accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting the friendly staff in Buenos Aires in person (I left my bags with them for the afternoon).
Karen Snider

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