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Exploring the Galapagos - Kicker Rock

Northern Islands Cruise

Example 5 Day Cruise aboard M/C Elite
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Embark on this 5-Day experience scouting the northern islands of the Galapagos. Satisfy yourself with the majesty of the exceptional landscape, and relax on the beach. Get ready to see an abundance of unique wildlife including, blue-footed bobbies, reef sharks, flamingos, and enjoy the island's playful sea lions, making this a memorable vacation that will leave you wanting to come back for more.
Land iguana at the Charles Darwin Research centerbaby tortoise at Charles Darwin Research StationSea lion on rocks on San Cristobal Island, Kicker Rock in backgroundThe iconic feet of a Blue-Footed BoobyExploring the Galapagos - Kicker Rock
Highlights
  • Learn more about the Galapagos ecosystems at the Charles Darwin Research Station
  • Snorkel, kayak, and paddle across Darwin Bay's sand and coral beach
  • Discover Kicker Rock, formed by the erosion of the cone of an extinct volcano
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Baltra Airport | Charles Darwin Research Station | Embark

Land at the Baltra airport and meet your fellow passengers before transferring to the Charles Darwin Research Station. The Charles Darwin Research Station provides an unmissable opportunity to find out about the vital work that is being carried out to preserve the archipelago’s ecosystems.

One element of this is a significant breeding programme for Galapagos tortoises, whose numbers have been in decline since the 1970’s. These captivating enormous reptiles are very accustomed to humans, so be sure to bring your camera for some close-ups. Embark on your ship this afternoon.

Day 2: Prince Philip's Steps | El Barranco | Darwin Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
El Barranco, also known as Prince Philip’s Steps, is a rocky stairway that leads past a colony of Nazca and red-footed boobies and up to a plateau of dried lava.
Continuing through the thin Palo Santo forest and looking out over the plain, visitors are often treated to sites of storm petrels launching out over the ocean. A panga ride or kayaking/paddle boarding along the edge of the cliffs provides a good chance to see the elusive Galapagos fur seals nestled on the rocks, and snorkeling is a great activity if you fancy a dip with a variety of shark species.

Darwin Bay has a small sand and coral beach that provides the perfect spot for snorkeling, kayaking or paddle boarding in calm, sheltered waters in the company of hammerhead sharks, rays and a plethora of colorful reef fish. Onshore, a short trail leads along a tidal lagoon and mangroves, home to a variety of land bird species, including Nazca and red-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls. The trail culminates at a viewpoint that offers a stunning view overlooking the cliffs and the bay below.

Day 3: Espumilla Beach | Buccaneer Cove | Egas Port

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Espumilla beach, located on the northern coast of Santiago island, is an exquisite white sand beach, whose name refers to the meringue-like trails of foam left by the lapping of the waves.

Sally Lightfoot crabs are in abundance here and as a result, it is common to see predatory birds such as hawks, herons and pelicans. This idyllic location is perfect for snorkeling or kayaking/paddle boarding amongst a raft of marine life, including species of octopus, eels and sharks.

Buccaneer Cove has an interesting history as it is where sailors, Buccaneers, and whalers frequently anchored their vessels in search of food and water. In more recent times, it has become an important nesting site for turtles and is also popular with sea lions. Enjoy a panga ride along the eroded shoreline yields views of intriguing rock formations that provide excellent ledges for boobies, pelicans and gulls.

Egas Port was once the site of a salt mine, but now this impressive black sand beach is an excellent location for snorkeling and observing shorebirds, Sally Lightfoot crabs and marine iguanas. Stroll along the wide trails inland leads you past tidal pools and rocky volcanic formations known as grottoes where it is possible to spot fur seals enjoying a spot of shade.

Day 4: Bachas Beach | Twin Craters | Santa Cruz Highlands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Bachas Beach is a glorious white sand beach on which the remnants of a rusted barge, thought to have been abandoned by the Americans during WWI, can be seen. It is a popular nesting site for turtles, so if you go for a snorkel, you might find yourself sharing the water with these wonderful creatures. The site is also full of vibrant Sally Lightfoot and hermit crabs and elegant pink flamingos that frequent the saltwater lagoon behind.

This afternoon, visit the Twin Craters. The best way to appreciate these remarkable, almost identical crater-like holes, caused by the collapse of empty lava chambers, is to take the trail that leads up and around the rims. From this vantage point, one can revel in the beauty of the surrounding highlands, lush with ferns and an abundance of Scalesia trees. Here, bird enthusiasts can also enjoy spotting the distinct red feathers of Vermilion Flycatchers, Darwin’s finches, Galapagos doves and, with a bit of luck, an endemic short-ear owl. 
 

Day 5: Lobos Island | Disembark | San Cristobal Airport

  • 1 Breakfast
Isla Lobos, or “Sea Lion Island,” is a long, thin island not far off the coast of San Cristobal Island. As the name implies, it is home to a healthy colony of sea lions. There is a trail on the island, and visitors can see different species of birds, including Boobys of both the Blue-footed and Nazca varieties.

Disembark and transfer to the San Cristobal airport, where you will depart for home.

Ship/Hotel

M/C Elite

M/C Galapagos Elite
M/C Galapagos Elite
M/C Galapagos Elite

Dates & Prices

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$5,650
M/C Galapagos Elite
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Golden Suite
Approximately 35 m2 the Golden Suites are spacious and comfortable. Each suite features an ocean view, sliding glass doors to an outdoor balcony, and rainforest-style showers in a private bathroom.

Child Discount

25% Discount applies when traveling with two adults. Children must be under 12 years old by the time they 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, 3 Lunches, 4 Dinners
  • 4 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Snorkeling equipment, wetsuits, transparent sea kayaks, and stand-up 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
  • Soft drinks and juices
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: $100 per adult, $50 per child under 12
  • Internal Flights: Mainland Ecuador - Galapagos - Mainland Ecuador: $475-675

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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
Jack Charney
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