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Family-friendly hiking in the Galapagos

Baltra to San Cristobal

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Silver Origin
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Discover the fascinating biodiversity of the Galapagos Islands. Nowhere else on Earth can the laws of evolution be more keenly observed. Expect marvelous things from this 8-day trip – 25 native reptile species, 154 bird species and a whopping 1,432 plant species – of which 600 are endemic. Experience the best of the islands with Zodiac landings twice a day, multiple chances to snorkel alongside sea lions and enjoy every aspect of the “Enchanted Isles.”
Rabida Island - famous red rocks and sandBlue Footed BoobiesCruising in the GalapagosGenovesa - El Barranco/Prince Phillip's Steps - in search of owlsWildlife in the GalapagosFamily-friendly hiking in the Galapagos
Highlights
  • Discover the wonderful nature of Baltra Island
  • Visit Darwin Bay known as the Bird Island
  • Explore the lava fields of Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island
  • View some of the tallest and widest prickly pear cactus in Isla Santa Fe
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Baltra | Daphne Major | Embark

Embark Silver Origin and depart on your exciting expedition. After settling in, attending a mandatory safety drill, and setting sail, you will be introduced to your Expedition Team.

You will then head for Daphne to do a circumnavigation –usually, the only scientists are allowed to land. From the ship, you will watch for Nazca and Blue-footed Boobies, Red-billed Tropicbirds, Brown Noddies and Brown Pelicans, as well as Swallow-tailed Gulls and frigatebirds.

In the evening, enjoy the first of many memorable meals in The Restaurant.

Day 2: Genovesa | Darwin Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Genovesa is dubbed “Bird Island”, a name it lives up to in a spectacular way. Huge colonies of seabirds create a bird-watcher’s paradise. Take a walk on the sandy beach of Darwin Bay, home to one of the world’s largest Red-footed Booby nesting colonies. Yellow-crowned Night Herons feed near tidal lagoons, while hundreds of Swallow-tailed Gulls nest in the cliffs. Climb “Prince Philip’s Steps”, a steep path named after the Duke of Edinburgh who visited the island in 1965, and you will be well rewarded with a remarkable spectacle of Nazca Boobies nesting on the ground, Great Frigatebirds with their fiery red sacs, and, if you are lucky, you might even see the elusive Short-eared Owl on a daytime hunt for Storm Petrels, a favorite prey.

After a morning walk, you will have a chance to enjoy the first snorkeling excursion and experience the diverse, underwater wonderland that surrounds the island.

There will also be the opportunity to kayak around Darwin Bay — which is actually a flooded caldera —and admire the island’s craggy landscape.

Day 3: North Seymour | Sullivan

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
North Seymour is a small up-lifted island close to Baltra filled with a spectacular profusion of wildlife above and below the water’s surface. The Magnificent Frigatebird is an opportunistic breeder and at any month of the year, one may see males displaying their bright-red gular pouch to attract females.

Galápagos sea lions snooze in the sand. Blue-footed Boobies perform their courtship dance called “sky-pointing”. Marine iguanas and Galapagos land iguanas patrol the beach, while Brown Pelicans and Brown Noddies look for food in the shallow coastal waters. Walk through this spectacular landscape and afterward take the opportunity to go snorkeling—perhaps even spotting the impressive whitetip reef shark.

Witness the marks Nature has left on the islands through its geological forces. At Sullivan Bay, you will see lava flows dating back to 1897. Here the very high temperature of the molten material, as well as its gas content, had caused the surface to be quite smooth. The appearance this lava has is almost like frail rope and the technical term for it is pahoehoe (a Hawaiian name that suggests the swirls left behind by a paddle (hoe) in the water). Since the lava has not moved equally in all places, the design of the surface texture induces one to see different objects and images in the lava.

Back at the sandy beach, you might want to get ready for snorkeling. Apart from rays in the shallows, turtles are quite fond of the beaches and come there to lay their eggs.

Day 4: Punta Mangle, Fernandina | Punta Moreno, Isabela

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Among the impressive new lava fields of Fernandina Island hides a cove surrounded by mangroves. A rewarding place for bird-watching as the bay is the point where the land meets the sea, joining the two environments, with sea birds, shorebirds, and land birds all in the same place. The different species of mangroves: Red, White and Black, have formed a root system that serves as a nursery for many species of fish, including juveniles sharks, and green sea turtles. Snorkeling is as rewarding with some unique sightings as Marine Iguanas feeding on algae, or flightless cormorants diving for their prey.

The impressive Pahoehoe lava field lies between two active volcanoes, Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul, on the south coast of Isabela Island. The rich waters of Cromwell Current wash the shores, and as a result, you can see the largest marine iguanas of the archipelago basking on the rocks, Flightless Cormorants, and Galapagos Penguins diving for food. During the walk you will experience, as an oasis in a desert of lava, some coastal lagoons in the middle of the field, here you can find shorebirds such as White-cheeked Pintail Ducks, Black-necked Stilts, and even sometimes Flamingos.

Day 5: Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz) | Isla Santa Fé

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Silver Origin will anchor in front of Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, where the prestigious Charles Darwin Research Station is located. The station also houses the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center for giant tortoises and land iguanas where guides interpret the center’s captive breeding and reintroduction programs. In addition to these star species, throughout the station, there are huge prickly pear cactus trees being fed upon by the pretty Galapagos Cactus Finch. To round out the stay in Puerto Ayora, enjoy free time in town where local artists have created charming art galleries and corner cafés.


This island is home to a reptile that exists nowhere else in the world: The Santa Fe Land Iguana. A beach covered by sea lions is the beginning of our adventure where sea lions’ pups welcome the visitors with their naive curiosity. Then a rocky terrain will guide us to explore the island and the view from the cliff becomes a reward by itself. View some of the tallest and widest prickly pear cactus of the islands. Also, know for beautiful snorkeling and kayaking.

Day 6: Gardner Bay | Punta Suárez

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located on the northern coast of Española, the turquoise color water and white sandy beach stand out from far away. This beach is made out of pulverized shells and corals offer a sandy patch of up to 1 kilometer in length. Española is considered one of the oldest in the Galapagos and has thus developed species that are endemic. Along the coast of Gardner, a subspecies of colorful Marine iguanas are living among Hood Mockingbirds. The apex predators Galapagos Hawks commonly visit the coastline and a couple of times a Giant tortoise has been seen here.

Punta Suárez is at the western point of Española, the oldest island in the Galápagos. Sheer cliffs provide superb thermals for seabirds. Swallow-tailed Gulls, Nazca Boobies and Blue-footed Boobies can easily be seen. The largest seabird to nest in the islands, the Waved Albatross, may be seen seasonally from April through December and has made Española it's home. Mockingbirds, doves, and occasional Galápagos Hawks can also be found, as well as sea lions and colorful marine iguanas.

Day 7: Rodriguez Breeding Centre, San Cristobal | Cerro Brujo, San Cristóbal

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Like so many of the islands in the Galapagos, San Cristobal is formed by dormant volcanoes. It lies to the east of the archipelago and is one of the oldest islands in the group. Approximately 8,000 people live on the island, making their living from tourism, fishing, in government offices, or off the rich volcanic soils with some limited farming existing in the highlands. Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on the southwestern tip of the island is the capital city of the Galapagos Islands. A statue of Charles Darwin graces the harbor, marking one of the first places he likely stepped ashore in the 1830s.

An impressive tuff cone has been carved by erosion into an outstanding natural sculpture, being a resting place for marine birds such as blue-footed bobbies and brown pelicans. One of the most beautiful white-sand beaches of the Galapagos (swim or snorkel). View sea lions, sally light-footed crabs, blue-footed bobbies. Behind the dunes, you find a coastal lagoon, which was visited in the past by the locals to extract salt, today it is home to some shorebirds such as stilts and plovers.

 

Day 8: San Cristobal | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Following breakfast, disembark Silver Origin for your return flight from San Cristobal Airport.

Ship/Hotel

Silver Origin

Massage Area
Hair & Nails Spa
Explorer's Lounge

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$9,270
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Notes

Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather, wildlife activity, and ice conditions. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.

Included in your cruise fare:
  • Personalised service – the best crew-to-guest ratio in cruising
  • Butler service in every suite and stateroom – all guests are pampered equally
  • Open-seating dining options – dine when and with whomever you please
  • Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship – including champagne, select wines and spirits
  • Enrichment lectures by a highly qualified Expeditions Team
  • Guided Zodiac, land and sea tours, and shoreside activities led by the Expeditions Team
  • Gratuities always included in your fare
  • Unlimited Free Wifi
Not included in your cruise fare:
  • Additional Airfare 
  • Optional hotel accommodation
  • Fuel surcharges
  • Optional shore excursions 
  • Meals ashore
  • Accommodation while ashore
  • Security surcharges 
  • Any item or service of a personal nature such as casino gaming, laundry or valet services, purchases from the ship boutiques, childcare services aboard ship, massages, spa treatments, private fitness instruction, hair styling and manicures.
  • Some champagne, premium wine and spirit selections, caviar, cigarettes and cigars are not included in your fare.

Child Discount

Children under 12 may receive discounts on Galapagos flight fares and entrance fees. Contact us for details.
Included
  • 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Professional, bilingual guide service as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
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

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