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Galapagos penguin by the water

Island Circumnavigation

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Galapagos Horizon
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Embark on an 8-day cruise aboard the Galapagos Horizon around the stunning Galapagos Islands. Each island boasts new and exciting wildlife and landscapes carved from volcanic activity. Your journey includes snorkeling alongside sea turtles, viewing large colonies of sea lions and nesting shorebirds, and short hikes to panoramic views. Visiting Baltra, Isabela, Santa Cruz, Santa Fe, South Plaza, Floreana and more!
Hiking through cacti in the GalapagosSnorkeling with friendsA male frigatebird rests in the trees of the GalapagosA pair of friendly sea lionsGalapagos penguin by the water
Highlights
  • Discover the impresive natural beauty of Sullivan Bay
  • Keep an eye out for the magnificent mola-mola sunfish!
  • Hike, swim and snorkel across the Galapagos Islands
  • Visit South Plaza home to one of the largest sea lion colonies
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: Baltra Airport | Sullivan Bay, Santiago Island

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 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

Day 2: Vicente Roca Point, Isabela Island | Espinosa Point, Fernandina Island

Comprised of two separate coves, Vicente Roca Point is a large bay with spectacular sea life. Keep an eye out for seahorses, sea turtles, and the strange yet fascinating Mola mola (or sun fish) while you snorkel.
Possible Activities: Snorkeling & dinghy ride
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: No Landing
Highlights & Animals: Penguins, blue-footed boobies, terns, Nazca boobies, two types of sea lions. Sea turtles, rays and puffer fish.

Crossing the Bolivar Channel that divides Isabela and Fernandina Islands, you will land at Espinoza Point, and after walking past a colony of marine iguanas and a group of sea lions, you will reach the island’s highlight: the flightless cormorant nesting site. This area also provides a great opportunity to see the Galapagos hawk.
Possible Activities: Hike (approximately 1.2 miles / 2 km)
Difficulty: Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights & Animals: Flightless cormorant, marine iguanas, ‘a‘ā lava, sea lions, penguins, active volcano “La Cumbre”.

Day 3: Tagus Cove | Urbina Bay, Isabela Island

You will visit Tagus Cove on Isabela Island which is located across from Fernandina Island, near the Bolivar Channel dividing the two islands. This spot has been frequented by ships since the 1800s, using the area as an anchorage site. Trails winding by Lake Darwin up to a ridge display wonderful views.
Possible Activities: Long hike, snorkeling, panga ride, kayaking (depending on weather conditions and time availability).
Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights & Animals: Penguins, flightless cormorants, Darwin Volcano & Lake

Urbina Bay is located at the base of Alcedo Volcano on the west coast between Tagus Cove and Elizabeth Bay. This area experienced a major uplift in 1954 causing the land to rise over 16 feet. The coast expanded half a mile out leaving marine life stranded on the new shore. This area is also a great place for snorkeling.
Possible Activities: Snorkeling, dinghy ride & hike, 2 trails: short (0.6mi / 1 km), long (1.9mi / 3km)
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights & Animals: Land iguanas (the biggest in the Galapagos), hawks, coral reef, giant tortoises; snorkeling: turtles, rays, tropical fish

Day 4: Elizabeth Bay | Moreno Point, Isabela Island

Elizabeth Bay is located on the east coast of Isabela Island. The bay contains many islets, which can be visited by dinghy. Penguins and blue-footed boobies can be spotted on the rocky islets. With an abundance of marine life and clear water, the area is perfect for snorkeling and viewing schools of colorful fish, sea lions, and perhaps even sharks.
Possible Activities: Hiking (1.5 miles / 2 km) and dinghy ride
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights & Animals: Mangrove forest (unique in Galapagos), sea turtles, penguins, rays, herons and sea lions

Moreno Point is located southwest of Elizabeth Bay. Here a dry landing onto what was once flowing lava is possible. The lava has left craters in its wake which formed crystal tide pools. By looking into the pools, you can peer into another world as the marine life drifts by your window. In the brackish pools of this area, you may see pink flamingos, white-cheeked pintails, and common gallinules. If you look carefully into the pools, you may see white-tip reef sharks and some sea turtles.
Possible Activities: Snorkeling, panga ride & hike (1.2 miles / 2km)
Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights & Animals: Flamingos, gallinules, pintail ducks, turtles, white-tip reef sharks.

Day 5: Charles Darwin Station | Santa Cruz Island - Highlands

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

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.

Day 6: Post Office Bay | Devil’s Crown | Cormorant Point, Floreana

You will land on a beach and head to a spot where 18th century whalers placed a wooden barrel used as an unofficial mail box. The custom continues to this day with Galapagos visitors. So, don’t forget your postcards, and don’t be surprised if the post card arrives to its destination before you even get home!
Possible Activities: Short hike (less than 0.6 miles / 1km) & snorkeling
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights & Animals: Post office barrel, nice sandy beach

You will have a chance to snorkel around Devil’s Crown which is the rocky remains of an offshore volcano sticking out of the water. This is a great location to spot a wide range of marine creatures. 
Possible Activities: Snorkeling, panga ride
Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
Type of Landing: No Landing
Highlights & Animals: Large array or marine species

Cormorant Point hosts a large flamingo lagoon where other birds such as common stilts and white-cheeked pintails can also be seen. The beaches on this island are distinct: The Green Beach is named so due to its green color, which comes from a high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand, and the Flour Sand Beach is composed of white coral.
Possible Activities: Dinghy ride & hike (1.25 mi / 2 km)
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights & Animals: Flamingoes, green-colored beach

Day 7: Santa Fe Island | Lobos Island, San Cristobal

Santa Fe Island (Barrington) is home to the small picturesque bay and anchorage on the island’s northeast coast. The bay has two visitor trails: one leading to a scenic viewpoint atop a cliff, and the other spanning from a small beach to a tall prickly pear cactus forest.
Possible Activities: Hiking (5 miles / 8 km)
Difficulty: Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights & Animals: Land iguanas, giant Opuntia cacti

You will take an excursion to Lobos Island which means “Sea Lion Island.” This appropriately named island is ripe with noisy, playful, jolly sea lions who will welcome you to their home with open, well, fins. This island also offers great snorkeling opportunities as well as the chance to see blue-footed and Nazca boobies.
Possible Activities: Short hike (less that 0.6 miles / 1 km), dinghy ride
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights & Animals: Sea lions, frigate birds, blue-footed boobies

Day 8: David Rodriguez Breeding Center “La Galapaguera”, San Cristobal Island | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Breeding Center David Rodriguez - “La Galapaguera”, in Cerro Colorado, is a new visitor site in the southeast part of San Cristobal Island and can now be reached in roughly one hour by road from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. On the trees and shrubs surrounding the site, you may see land birds like warblers, finches and mockingbirds. Giant tortoises can be observed on the trails. They live there wild but in a protected area to ensure their survival by sealing them off from introduced predators like pigs and goats.
Possible Activities: Short hike (0.6 mi / 1 Km)
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights & Animals: Giant tortoises, finches, warblers, mockingbirds

After this final visit, you will be transferred to the San Cristobal 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
$9,345 2-3 travelers
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
  • 7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 7 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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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.
Gale Cantor
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