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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.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Baltra | Embark | North Seymour
Day 2 : South Plazas | Santa Fe
Day 3 : CC Fausto Llerena | Cormorant Point
Day 4 : Dragon Hill | Disembark

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

Ship

Aqua

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

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
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Day 1 Baltra | Embark | North Seymour

Upon arrival at Seymour Ecological Airport, a check-up is carried out first, to ensure that no foreign plant or animal species are introduced on 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. 

This 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. This is one of the few spots where you can compare the magnificent and the great frigate bird breeding next to each other.

 

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 is seen along with other seabirds such as Audubon shearwaters, red-billed tropicbirds, frigate birds, and brown pelicans.

Located in the south-eastern part of the Galapagos, this island 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 CC Fausto Llerena | Cormorant Point

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After discovering and learning about the difference of Espanola Island tortoises with those from other islands, you will have the opportunity to take amazing photographs of the tortoises at the breeding center!

The tour starts at the information booth of the GNP.  The trail continues to the Van Straelen interpretation Center, the breeding center and from there will be a path- this is where you can see the tortoises of Española Island, ending in the tortoise exhibit corral. Tortoises of this corral are accustomed to humans; it is an excellent spot to be photographed with them!

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 pulverized 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.

Day 4 Dragon Hill | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Dragon Hill boasts two key-species which are very likely to be seen during every visit to the Galapagos, though not too commonly distributed throughout the islands: Galapagos land iguanas and American flamingos. You will climb a hill with giant opuntia cacti where these ‘dragons’ feed and breed. Although they are quite shy and elusive, you stand a fair chance of seeing the success of this project with your own eyes.

The short walk crosses the coastal vegetation zone, as well as the somewhat higher arid zone with vulnerable tropical dry forest. In the warm and wet season in the first half of the year, everything turns green.

Evergreen giant prickly pear cacti with internal reservoirs used a different survival tactic in this dry climate to the leaf dropping palo santo trees; in the end, both were successful.

Moreover, this is a very photogenic spot as well, with breathtaking panoramas over the bay and towards an intriguing steep volcanic spout of red lava that overlooks the area. Dragon Hill has become popular because of its saline lagoons behind the beach; these contain algae and shrimp and attract seasonally foraging American flamingos. Dragon Hill is the best location on Santa Cruz to observe them.
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Aqua

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Per person starting at
$1,595
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
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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, 2 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
  • 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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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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