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Wildlife in the Galapagos

North & Central Islands

Example 5 Day Cruise aboard Galapagos Horizon
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This 5-day voyage offers the traveler an opportunity to really become immersed in the unique splendor of these islands. Roam 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 adventure.
Sea lions on beach in RabidaThe iconic feet of a Blue-Footed BoobyUnique landscape and cactus found on the Galapagos IslandsWildlife in the Galapagos
Highlights
  • Observe incredible remnants of volcano cones such as Pinnacle Rock
  • Snorkel through spectacular sights of tropical fish and clear blue waters
  • Visit James Bay, home to lava lizards & gorgeous tide pools full of fauna
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: Arrival to Baltra Airport | Embark | Bartolome Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Morning flight from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra, Galapagos Islands. You will arrive at Baltra Island in the morning. After passing through immigration and baggage claim, you will be met by a Horizon 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.

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. We 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 2: Rabida Island | Egas Port, Santiago Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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. We 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

Egas Port, also known as James Bay, on Santiago Island 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 seals bathe in the sun. This is also a great snorkeling site.
Possible Activities: Snorkeling, hiking (1.2 miles/2 km)
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights & Animals: Furseals, Galapagos sea lions, tidal pools and grottos, Galapagos hawks, oyster catchers, marine iguanas, finches; snorkeling: reef sharks, turtles, rays, nice underwater formations.

Day 3: Darwin Bay | El Barranco, Genovesa

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Visit the white-sand coral beach of Darwin Bay which includes a half mile trail (0,75km) that winds through mangroves filled with land birds. Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls, which can easily be spotted here. Further down the path we’ll find tidal pools where sea lions swim playfully. At the end is a spectacular view of a cliff.
Possible Activities: Hiking (0.9 miles / 1.5 Km), snorkeling, kayaking, and dinghy ride
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights & Animals: Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, swallow-tail gulls, mangroves, coral pebble beach, snorkeling: rays, colorful reef fish, and hammerhead sharks occasionally

El Barranco, also known as Prince Phillip’s Steps, is a steep, rocky path that leads up a high cliff rock 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 owls, Galapagos storm petrels, and Galapagos doves.
Possible Activities: Hiking (0.9 miles / 2 Km)
Difficulty: Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights & Animals: Red-footed boobies, short-eared owls, storm-petrels, Galapagos doves

Day 4: Mosquera Islet | Highlands | Fausto Llerena Breeding Center

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Mosquera Islet is located between the islands of Baltra and North Seymour. This reef of rocks and coral (the result of an uprising) is only 160 meters across at its narrowest width. This island has one of the largest populations of sea lions and is home to many shorebirds. There have been occasional reports at this site of orcas feeding on sea lions.
Possible Activities: Dinghy ride, snorkeling
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: No Landing
Highlights & Animals: Orcas, sea lions, shore birds

Accessible by bus from Puerto Ayora, the highlands of Santa Cruz are a deep green which contrast beautifully with the dry, lower part of the islands. The predominant vegetation in the highlands are Scalesia trees which create a lush green forest. The lava tunnels, over half a mile long, are underground and walking through them is a unique, surreal experience. At this place you’ll have lunch.
Possible Activities: Hiking (1.5 miles / 2 ½ km)
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights & Animals: Lava tunnels, Finches, wild tortoises, tortoise nesting site.

You will visit “Fausto Llerena” Tortoise Breeding Center in Puerto Ayora, where giant tortoises are bred in captivity. This is home to tortoises ranging from 3-inches (new hatchlings) to 4-feet 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.
Possible Activities: Walking
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights & Animals: Giant tortoises, finches, Galapagos rails

Day 5: North Seymour | Disembark | Transfer to Airport

  • 1 Breakfast
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.

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

Ship/Hotel

Galapagos Horizon

Galapagos Horizon
Sun deck
Dining area

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$5,845
Twin cabinmain deck cabin
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Standard
312 ft2 / 29 m2. Located on the main and upper decks, two twin beds convertible into one matrimonial bed. Each cabin is equipped with private balconies, private bathrooms hot water, air-conditioning, binoculars, safety box, hair dryer, and bathrobes.

Child Discount

10% discount for children under age 12 at time of Galapagos cruise. 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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This was our first trip to South America and we were a little nervous. But Adventure Life made things so easy! All our questions were answered before we left, and our guide, Vidal, was amazing! He gave us enough space to explore without rushing us along. He also knew where the best picture taking opportunities were, which was great.
Lindsay Gompf
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