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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
  • 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

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrival to Baltra Airport | Embark | Bartolome Island

Welcome to the Galapagos Islands aboard the Galapagos Horizon. The guide and crew greets you and show you to your accommodations upon your arrival. Afterwards, the guide and cruise manager hold a short briefing on all safety and emergency protocols, different areas of the vessel and the normal routine of the itinerary.

This island is well known for its incredible remnants of volcano cones and distinct terrain such as Pinnacle Rock. A hike leads you up to the top of a lookout point to see all of Sullivan Bay. You might be able to see lava lizards and various sea birds flying above.
Activities: Walk on the boardwalk, hike, snorkeling.
Difficulty:  Easy
Landing: Dry and Wet are both possibilities
Possible Wildlife: Sea lions, various shorebirds, lava lizards, frigate birds.

Day 2: Rabida Island | Egas Port, Santiago Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This visitor site is quite different from others as it has a very distinct and red fine gravel beach due to the iron content. Snorkeling can be done here with spectacular sights of tropical fish. Visitors like to walk along the beach taking in the sights and also visiting the black lagoon with pink flamingos.
Activities: Walking on the beach, swimming and snorkeling.
Difficulty:  Easy
Landing: Wet
Possible Wildlife: Sea lions, various shorebirds, pelican, manta rays, sea turtles, pink  flamingos, lava lizards, Galapagos doves, blue-footed boobies.

This visitor site is also known as James Bay, it is home to Galapagos hawks, lava lizards and the trails lead to a coastline with gorgeous tide pools full of fauna.  Fur seals, different from the common sea lions can also be seen here. 
Activities: Walking on the beach, swimming and snorkeling.
Difficulty:  Easy
Landing: Wet
Possible Wildlife: Sea lions, various shorebirds, pelican, stingrays, sea turtles, fur seals, marine iguanas, lava lizards, Galapagos doves, blue-footed boobies.

Day 3: Darwin Bay | El Barranco, Genovesa

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A white sand coral beach leads the way to a hiking trail through mangroves filled with many different species of land birds and other famous species like blue-footed and red-footed boobies and swallow tailed gulls. Towards the end of the hike are tidal pools where you can find sea lions swimming playfully and finally a spectacular view off a cliff.
Activities: Hike and/or snorkeling
Difficulty:  Easy/Moderate
Landing: Wet
Possible Wildlife: Sea lions, various shorebirds, red-footed boobies, blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, lava lizards.

El Barranco is also known as Prince Philip’s Steps.  It is an extraordinary site on the flatter area of the island in Darwin’s Bay.  Be prepared to make your way up a rocky crevasse, then enjoy the easy trail to spectacular views.  This is one of the few visitor sites where all three boobie species can be seen, as well as the short-eared owl.
Activities: Hike
Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
Landing: Dry
Possible Wildlife: Sea lions, all three boobie species, short-eared owls, marine iguanas, Galapagos doves, storm petrels, finches, frigatebirds.

Day 4: Mosquera Islet | Santa Cruz: Highlands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located between the islands of Baltra and North Seymour lays a reef made of coral.  This was the result of volcanic uprising making the islet only 160 meters across at its narrowest width.  It has one of the largest populations of sea lions and is home to many shorebirds.  On occasion, orcas can be seen hunting off the shoreline.
Activities: Panga ride
Difficulty: Easy
Landing: No landing
Possible Wildlife: Sea lions, various shorebirds and seabirds, frigatebirds, orcas.
The highlands are located in the northern part of Santa Cruz and can reach elevations up to 1500 meters. This area is rich with hills, ferns, volcanoes and wildlife. A great contrast to the molten lava harden beaches and rocky areas of other islands already seen.  It is home to giant tortoises, mockingbirds, finches and many other species.
Activities: Hike
Difficulty:  Moderate
Landing: Dry
Possible Wildlife: Galapagos tortoises, finches, mockingbirds, lava lizards, pintail ducks, other shorebirds.

Day 5: North Seymour | Disembark | Transfer to Airport

  • 1 Breakfast
Explore the rocky coast of North Seymour passing colonies of blue-footed boobies and magnificent frigatebirds. The island was formed by a series of submarine lava expelled from the ocean floor, carrying with it layers of sediment uplifted by the tectonic activity. The island is mostly characterized by the arid vegetation.
Activities: Hike, snorkel, panga ride
Difficulty:  Moderate
Landing: Dry
Possible Wildlife: Marine iguanas, frigatebirds, sea lions, blue-footed boobies, finches, land iguanas.


Galapagos Horizon

Galapagos Horizon
Galapagos Horizon
Horizon Lounge

Dates & Prices

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Horizon Upper Deck StateroomHorizon Main Deck Stateroom
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312 ft2 / 29 m2. Located on the main and upper decks, two twin beds convertible into one matrimonial bed. All cabins with private balconies, private bathrooms hot water and air-conditioning.

Child Discount

20% 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.
  • 4 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 4 Dinners
  • 4 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • 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: $100 per adult, $50 per child under 12


Galapagos Travel Links


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