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Wildlife in the Galapagos

Western Islands

Example 7 Day Cruise aboard Bonita
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Two frigate birds
Highlights
  • Discover Dragon Hill, located in the northwestern area of Santa Cruz Island
  • Visit Espumilla Beach an important tortoise nesting place
  • Explore Vicente Roca Point, a large bay with spectacular sea life
  • Hike across Urbina Bay and Tagus cove to admire unique landscapes
Places Visited
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Baltra | Embark | Dragon Hill

Board the ship and get comfortably settle into your cabin. After lunch, your first visit is to Dragon Hill which is located in the northwestern area of Santa Cruz Island. It consists of a 1,600 m long trail running through 3 different environments. In 1975, it was one of the only places on Santa Cruz Island where healthy land iguanas (Conolophus Subcristatus) could be found. That same year, the Galapagos National Park and the Charles Darwin Foundation initiated a program to conserve land iguanas. In the lagoons found here, there are shrimp (Artemia salina), the food of the flamingos. At certain times of the year, the shrimp are more abundant and the flamingo population increases.

Day 2: Espumilla Beach | Boucanier Cove | Egas Port

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The main attractions include Palo Santo Wood, the beach, and the stunning landscape; the beach is a very important site for tortoises because they use this place for nesting. One time, the pigs were the main predatory of tortoise’s eggs; pigs were eradicated with the creation of the Isabela Project. 

At Egas Port find a beautiful black sand beach; to the south of the beach is the Pan de Azucar Volcano, whose volcanic deposits have contributed to the formation of the black sand beach. The crater of this volcano contains a saltwater lake that dries up during hot weather. Between 1928 and 1930, explorations to develop a salt mine were carried out, but it was decided that a mine was not feasible. The workers’ use of endemic woods also damaged the environment and the development was scrapped. Descent to the salt mine is not allowed.

Day 3: Vicente Roca Point | Espinosa Point

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Vicente Roca Point is comprised of two separate coves, this site is a large bay with spectacular sea life. Keep an eye out for seahorses, sea turtles, and the strange yet fascinating Mola mola (sunfish).

Fernandina is the third biggest island in the Galapagos and has only one visiting site: Espinoza Point, famous for the large colonies of marine iguanas and the home of the flightless cormorant, the Galapagos penguin, snakes, and more. From Espinoza Point, we can admire the beauty of Fernandina Island and its volcano which last erupted in May of 2005. Fernandina is the only island that doesn’t have mammals and the open areas are extremely fragile. From January to June, the nesting period of the marine iguana, we take great care when walking.

Day 4: Urbina Bay | Tagus Cove

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Urbina Bay, this place is located at the base of Alcedo Volcano between Elizabeth Bay and Tagus Cove. Wet landing. Trail length is around 3.20 Km; during this walk, we can observe land iguanas, hawks, and tortoises. It is also possible to see red and blue lobsters.

Tagus Cove is located to the west of Darwin Volcano on Isabela Island. While walking, find several inscriptions (names of pirates) dating back to the 1800s. From here, we can see Darwin Lake, a saltwater lake with a depth of approximately 9 m. It contains no fish. It is very common to see a variety of bird species.

Day 5: Moreno Point | Elizabeth Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Disembark at Moreno Point which is located near Elizabeth Bay on the west coast of Isabela Island. The plethora of birds seen during a dinghy ride along the striking rocky shores or a hike along a path through lava rock leading to tide pools and mangroves, create a birdwatcher’s delight. In the tide pools, green sea turtles or white-tip sharks can be spotted.

After lunch, visit Elizabeth Bay one of the island’s breeding sites for penguins. Located on the west coast of Isabela, Elizabeth Point is a marine visitor site. Visit Red Mangrove Cove: Brown pelicans, flightless cormorants, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, and sea lions are often seen.

Day 6: Tintoreras | Humedales

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Visit Tintoreras, located in the bay of Puerto Villamil, this small island, surrounded by calm, turquoise waters have an easy trail with great landscapes and very interesting fauna. Along the trail, see large numbers of Marine Iguanas basking in the sun, lava lizards, herons, gulls, and sea lions. In the coves, it is easy to find Sea Turtles, rays and even penguins. Among the many inlets and channels on the coast, sometimes see White-tipped Reef Sharks (in Spanish “Tintoreras”). Following the excursion, return to the boat for breakfast and sail to your next destination.

Los Humedales is one of the Isabela Hidden Gems. “Humedales” translates to Wet Lands and this area is characterized by sandy beaches, rocky shores, and mangroves, which have an extremely important role in the Galapagos as they provide a nursery for young marine animals as well as a nesting site for birds. Following the various paths, you will find a fabulous destination for bird lovers, pink flamingos and migratory birds including black-bellied and semipalmated plovers, whimbrel, osprey, greater and lesser yellowlegs, Wilson's phalarope, short-billed dowitcher, common tern, blue-winged teal, to name a few. You can also observe young giant tortoises from the Isabela Breeding Center.

Day 7: Charles Darwin Station | Santa Cruz | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast, visit Charles Darwin Station which is located in the main port on Santa Cruz Island; take a private bus to the entrance of the breeding center where see tortoises and land iguanas in captivity. This center is the main breeding site on the islands. Animals that were in danger of extinction on the various islands are maintained in captivity. Thanks to the dedicated work of several institutions, some species are being saved. Here lived Lonesome George, the famous last survivor of the giant tortoise species found on Pinta Island. Transfer to the airport.

Photo Gallery

Wildlife in the Galapagos Two frigate birds Hike to find sweeping views of the Galapagos' volcanic landscape Wildlife in the Galapagos Cruising in the Galapagos

Map

Ship/Hotel

Bonita

Galapagos Bonita
Galapagos Bonita
Galapagos Bonita

Dates & Prices

Per person starting at
$3,347
Galapagos Bonita
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Lower Deck
Cabins #7 & 8 have two twin lower beds and porthole windows. Cabins # 9 & 10 have two twin lower beds and one upper berth with porthole windows. These two cabins can be sold as triples. (Cabins average 110 square feet.)
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Upper/Main Deck
Cabins # 5 & 6 cabins have one double bed and picture windows. (Cabins average 90 square feet.) Cabins #1,3 & 4 have two twin lower beds and picture windows. Cabin # 2 has one double bed and picture window. (Cabins average 95 square feet.)

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
  • 6 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 6 Dinners
  • 6 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Professional, bilingual guide service as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
  • 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
  • Snorkeling and kayaking equipment is included in the cruise cost and available for your use on board.
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • 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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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.
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