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A male frigatebird rests in the trees of the Galapagos

South Central Islands

Example 4 Day Cruise aboard Aqua
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Frigate, giant tortoises, Galapagos hawks, blue-footed boobies, dragon-like iguanas, and sea lions all play into your Galapagos Islands adventure on this unforgettable 4-day cruise. Explore the southern islands of this unique archipelago on the perfect journey for those who wish to discover the islands but are short on time. Cruise the shores of San Cristobal, Floreana, Española, and Santa Cruz aboard the Aqua motor yacht.
Cruising in the Galapagos - South Plaza Island
Highlights
  • Visit the archipelago’s most extensive colonies of blue-footed boobies
  • Enjoy the beautiful and clear waters all through Santa Fe Islands
  • Discover Dragon Hill, during a peaceful hike across Santa Cruz
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Baltra | Embark | North Seymour

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Upon arrival at Seymour Ecological Airport, a check-up is carried out first, to ensure that no foreign plant or animal species are introduced into the islands. Furthermore, your TCC (Transit Control Card) is stamped; this must be kept safe during your trip, as it has to be presented again on your return flight. Your guide will meet you at the airport, assist you with the luggage and accompany you on the short bus ride. Here you will climb aboard the M/Y Aqua! After greeting the crew and the captain, your cabins will be assigned to you and then you will enjoy your first lunch on-board.

The North Seymour islet is one of most visited sites, and it is teeming with birdlife. An easy circular path takes you through the archipelago’s most extensive colonies of blue-footed boobies and frigate birds. At the beginning of the breeding season, adult frigate bird-males blow up their vivid red pouches to impressive football-sized balloons. 

 

Day 2: South Plazas | Santa Fe

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
South Plaza is located at the east of Santa Cruz Island, and forms part of two islands known as Islas Plazas. Despite its small size, some of the most interesting and outstanding species of the Galapagos are found here. The Plazas land iguanas are smaller than their relatives found on other islands. There are several hybrid iguanas, a result of crossing a male marine iguana and a female land iguana; they are unique, recognizable at first glance by their black/grey color, with a land iguana's crest, but face and tail of the marine iguana. The large population of iguanas is due to the presence of tuna, their favorite food. Swallow-tailed gulls nesting in the rugged cliffs are seen along with other seabirds such as Audubon shearwaters, red-billed tropicbirds, frigate birds and brown pelicans.

Located in the southeastern part of the Galapagos, the island of Santa Fe was formed from an uplift rather than being of volcanic origin, which is why it is mostly flat. There are some theories which claim that this could be the oldest island in the Archipelago. Santa Fe is home to a number of endemic species like the Galapagos Hawk, Galapagos snake, Galapagos mockingbird, rice rats and one of the two species of lands iguanas of the islands. After disembarking into the beautiful and clear waters you will be in contact with one of the many sea lion colonies. Along the trail, many salt bushes can be seen as well as the giant prickly pear cactus--gigantism is a characteristic of oceanic islands. There are many possibilities to snorkel with playful sea lions and tropical fish.

Day 3: Cormorant Point | Post Office Bay & Baroness Lookout

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The peninsula of Cormorant Point forms the extreme north cape of Floreana, which formed from smaller volcanic cones, covered by tropical dry forest (palo santo). At the landing beach, you will be welcomed by a small Galapagos sea lion colony. The green sand on this beach contains a high percentage of glassy olivine crystals which have been blown out by the surrounding tuff cones. The "flour sand" beach on the southern side of the peninsula is made up of even finer white coral sand which feels very smooth on the feet. Parrotfish have pulverised it, grinding the calcareous skeletons of living coral. You can spot schools of stingrays who love the sandy bottom to hide themselves. During the first months of the year, Pacific green turtles come ashore to bury their eggs.

Post Office Bay is one out of three nearby visitor’s sites on Floreana’s northern coast. Bring your postcards and post them in the peculiar barrel on this historic site. The barrel commemorates an improvised mail service that was set up for communication between British 16th century whalers and poachers.

Day 4: El Chato Reserve - Twin Craters

  • 1 Breakfast
The native scalesia forest of El Chato Tortoise Reserve is the best place to search for Galapagos giant tortoises in their most authentic setting! Despite the interesting breeding centers – where you are guaranteed to find tortoises in their corrals – there is nothing better than to observe them in their wild environment. Though it can be quite moist and muddy, your visit may turn into an adventurous quest when they have left silently their favorite pond.

The Cráteres Gemelos (Twin Craters) are found on either side of the road leading to Puerto Ayora. These impressive formations are not really volcanic craters and were formed by magma domes, which hardened on the outside while the lava continued flowing inside, leaving huge and empty magma chambers that eventually collapsed, leaving two large holes. The craters lie within lush Scalesia cloud forest, a high-altitude plant species that are endemic to the Galapagos. This area is also home to the Carpenter Finch, which uses tools to search for food. There may also be opportunities to see the Pajaro Brujo (vermillion flycatcher), a small red-breasted bird.

Photo Gallery

A male frigatebird rests in the trees of the Galapagos Cruising in the Galapagos - South Plaza Island The iconic feet of a Blue-Footed Booby Sea lion on North Seymour Colorful land iguana

Map

Ship/Hotel

Aqua

Dates & Prices

Per person starting at
$995
Select a Date
Upper Deck
3 upper deck cabins with a double lower bed and single upper bed (double or triple use)
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Lower Deck
5 lower deck cabins with single lower and a single upper bed
Select a Date
Main Deck
1 main deck cabin with a double lower bed

Child Discount

20% discount for children under age of 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
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
  • 3 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Professional, bilingual guide service as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
  • Gear Rental: Snorkeling Gear
  • 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
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • INGALA Transit Control Card $20
  • Galapagos Park Entrance Fee: $100 per adult, $50 per child under 12
  • Internal Flights: Mainland Ecuador - Galapagos - Mainland Ecuador: $475-675
  • Wetsuits are not included but are available for rent on board and paid in cash - $8/day per person.

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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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