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Galapagos penguin on a rock

Central Islands

Example 5 Day Cruise aboard Aqua
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Take a 5-day cruise through the central islands of the Galapagos, aboard the charming and comfortable Aqua. Spend your days exploring the enchanted archipelago, encountering Galapagos giant turtles,  sea lions, sea turtles, marine iguanas, rays and much more! Visit some of the most popular destinations such as Chinese Hat, Cowley Islet, Albany Islet, Sullivan Bay and Mosquera. 
Hiking the stunning landscape of the GalapagosWhite tipped sharkSea lions on beach in RabidaColorful land iguanaGalapagos penguin on a rock
Highlights
  • Visit Santiago, where a small colony of Galapagos penguins has settled
  • Encounter a range of shark species, sea lions, stingrays & green sea turtles
  • Hike across the remarkable red beach of Rabida
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Baltra | Embark | CC Fausto Llerena

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.

Afterward, take a tour at Fausto Llerena Breeding Center 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!

Day 2: Dragon Hill | Sullivan Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The visitor site at Dragon Hill has been open to visitors since 1993. This site is located in northwestern Santa Cruz Island and consists of a trail that leads to a hyper-saline lagoon behind the beach, frequently visited by flamingos, pintail ducks and other species of birds. This site has been re-populated with land iguanas from Seymour, Isabela and Santa Cruz islands. There is a short walk to the hill, which offers a beautiful view of the bay.

In the afternoon, arrive in Sullivan Bay is like a moon landing. The desolate, sprawling fields seem to be mostly lifeless, but this island, which is particularly popular among photographers, still offers a lot to see. There is even some life! Green sea turtles burrow in the small white sand beach, where you can also find crabs, blue herons and oystercatchers.

Day 3: Egas Port | Chinese Hat Islet

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Have a “wet-landing” and take an easy walk along trails and on the beautiful shoreline of the black-sand beach, where you can see birds, sea lions, Sally Lightfoot Crabs, marine iguanas and Galapagos Fur Seal. During the walk, you will be able to see some of Darwin’s finches, yellow warblers and many other beautiful and unique animals!

Chinese Hat is a 52m/170ft high volcanic cone, forming another islet right off the rocky coast of Santiago, where a small colony of Galapagos penguins have settled. Approaching Chinese Hat from the north, you will understand the meaning of the name. This is an excellent place to learn more about volcanoes, lava bombs and lava tunnels.

Day 4: Rabida Island | Bartolome

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After a ‘wet landing’ on the remarkable red beach of Rabida, there are two short guided hikes. Oxidized iron particles give the rocks and sand their rusty color. The beach wall holds a shallow green-fringed lagoon; this oasis is the most fertile place on the otherwise arid islet, which is overgrown with leaf-dropping palo santo trees. The salty pool attracts all kind of aquatic birds, like pintails and sometimes American flamingos.

Between the evergreen foliage of the surrounding mangrove bushes, many species of songbirds hide and breed. One of the most outstanding attractions in the major breeding colony of brown pelicans, the only ones in the world that plunge-dive.

The beautiful volcano islet of Bartolomé is among the youngest of the islands, and on a geological scale was just recently born out of fire. Although at first sight lifeless, Bartolomé offers some of the wildest landscapes and best panoramas of the entire archipelago. To enjoy the postcard view of the idyllic ‘Pinnacle Bay’ you have to climb the stairs to the viewpoint on top of the island (114m/375ft).

Enter a dramatic world of threatening (though extinguished) nearby spatter cones, craters, and lightweight lava droplets that have been spewed out by fiery fountains. The Summit Trail is also ideal for witnessing how scanty pioneer vegetation such as lava cactus struggles to take root in the bare virgin lava fields.

Day 5: Mosquera | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Though close neighbors, Mosquera and North Seymour offer a very different experience; diverging habitats attract different residents. While North Seymour contains large breeding colonies of boobies and frigate birds, Mosquera stands out as one of the largest concentrations of Galapagos sea lions in the entire archipelago. It’s also one of the few spots inside the National Park where you can stroll around freely, without being restricted to a trail.

Galapagos sea lions are real beach lovers and Mosquera offers beautiful white coral sand beaches contrasting with the azure colored water. This islet is just a few meters higher than a sandbank and doesn’t complicate their landing, and they can roll relaxed in the surf. For fishing, they just have to enter the Itabaca Channel, which is a sort of natural place in which lots of marine life and schools of fish are concentrated.

After this excursion, you will be escorted to the airport for your flight to Quito or Guayaquil.
 

Ship/Hotel

Aqua

Dates & Prices

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Per person starting at
$2,450
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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
  • 4 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 4 Dinners
  • 4 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
  • Meals 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
  • 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
  • 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 my first experience with Adventure Life - and I couldn't have been more pleased with the trip. The guides and local staff in both Buenos Aires and Uruguay were terrific - extremely helpful and accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting the friendly staff in Buenos Aires in person (I left my bags with them for the afternoon).
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