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Northeast and Southern Islands

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Galaxy
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Discover the striking landscapes and vivid wildlife of the Galapagos on this 8-day cruise aboard Galaxy. Explore the Northeast and Southern islands of the archipelago as you cruise from Baltra to Santa Cruz. Swim and snorkel with sea lions and turtles, and look for famous bird species such as blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, and the finches that inspired some of Charles Darwin's theories. 
Look for colorful wildlife in the GalapagosPinnacle rock on BartolomeTwo frigate birdsColorful crabs in the Galapagos islandsBlue-footed boobies basking in the GalapagosCruising in the Galapagos
Highlights
  • Observe a vast sea lion colony on Mosquera Islet
  • Spot colorful species such as blue-footed boobies and frigate birds
  • Swim and snorkel with marine wildlife around the reefs
  • Explore unique volcanic landscapes
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Baltra | Embark | Mosquera

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Departure to the Galapagos Islands, arrive at Baltra airport, where your naturalist guide of the National Park will be waiting for you.

Mosquera is mostly a barren sand bar with some rocky areas and scattered salt-resistant plants. You can walk along the beach and enjoy seeing playful sea lion pups surfing the waves and having a great time in the tide pools. Look for endemic lava gulls which are often seen flying over the beach in the search of food. 
Snorkel: If the waves are not too big you can snorkel at the northern tip of the island or at one of the small beaches in the sheltered side.

Highlights: Galapagos sea lions, lava gulls, oystercatchers, shorebirds,  
Trail: There is no trail, but you can walk along a sandy area of 0.6 km / 0.4mi
Level: Easy
Wet landing, Hiking, and Snorkeling

Day 2: Sullivan Bay | Bartolome island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This hike is a journey into understanding the birth of these volcanic islands. You will walk in a very well-preserved flow of Pahoehoe lava, which will give you endless opportunities to see the delicate textures of this type of lavas which only appears in a few places throughout the world. At first sight, the barren landscape looks completely deprived of life, but look carefully for pioneer plants, lava lizards, and small birds. By the shore, you can find penguins, pelicans, and oystercatchers.  

Snorkel: You will have the option to swim or snorkel from a coral sand beach or from the dinghies. Getting underwater is like traveling to another world: if the land is almost lifeless, the sea is teaming with life, including large schools of fish, Galapagos penguins, reef sharks, turtles, and rays.

Highlights: Pahoehoe lava, Galapagos penguins, oystercatchers, Galapagos hawks.
Trail: 2.2 km / 1.4 mi
Level: Hard
Dry landing, Hiking, and Snorkeling

Bartolome is one of the most iconic places in the Galapagos and one of the few where you can see penguins without going to the remote areas of western Isabela and Fernandina. You will get great views of Pinnacle Rock, located on the northern side of the island, right next to a beautiful peach-color sand beach. The hike to the top of the island is fantastic and will offer you incredible views of lunar landscapes with scattered volcanic cones. Many islands are visible from this outlook, as well as the bay of Sullivan and the Pinnacle Rock.

Snorkel: You will have the option to swim or snorkel from the beach. This area holds a well-deserved reputation of being one of the best snorkeling places in the Galapagos, not only because its clear and calm water, but also because of the presence of penguins, which are relatively easy to find while snorkeling, along with an incredible diversity of fish, colorful invertebrates, sea lions, turtles, rays and reef sharks.

Highlights: Galapagos penguins, volcanic landscapes, Pinnacle rock, blue-footed boobies, herons, sea lions, sharks.
Trail: 1.5 km / 0.9 mi
Level: Moderate
Dry landing, Hiking, Snorkeling, and Panga ride

Day 3: El Barranco | Darwin Bay, Genovesa

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Genovesa is a favorite island for birdwatchers as it is home to very large colonies of seabirds. From the minute you set foot at the beach you will be amazed by the noise of hundreds of boobies, gulls, and frigatebirds flying over your heads, perched in the bushes, or nesting on the sandy terrain. The trail is an ultimate wildlife experience as there are animals everywhere; sea lions and marine iguanas near the sea; night herons, lava & swallow-tailed gulls, Darwin finches, Galapagos doves, mockingbirds, and many more species inland.  

Snorkel: The bay offers several places to snorkel; from deep waters along the cliffs across the bay to shallow waters by the beach. In either case, there are many fish to see and great chances of seeing sharks, rays, and sea lions.

Highlights: Nesting great frigatebirds, red-footed & Nazca boobies, Galapagos sea lions, lava & swallow-tailed gulls, yellow-crown night herons, Genovesa ground finch, Genovesa cactus finch, Galapagos mockingbirds.
Trail: 1.2 km / 0.7 mi
Level: Hard
Activities: Dry landing, Hiking, Snorkeling, Panga ride, Paddleboarding, and Kayaking

El Barranco is located in the southern part of Darwin Bay at Genovesa Island. The cliffs that face the sea are made of very fragile fractured lava, making it the ideal place for storm petrel to build their colonies, which attracts an important population of short-eared owls preying on the nesting birds. Red-footed and Nazca boobies are abundant along the trail. At the base of the cliffs, you can see Galapagos fur seals resting in shaded areas, as well as several species of seabirds.

Snorkel: You can snorkel along the cliffs where there are many fish and a great chance of seeing sharks, rays, and sea lions.

Highlights: Nesting great frigatebirds, red-footed & Nazca boobies, Galapagos sea lions, Galapagos fur seals, lava & swallow-tailed gulls, yellow-crown night herons, Genovesa ground finch, Genovesa cactus finch, Galapagos mockingbirds.
Trail: 1.2 km / 0.7 mi
Level: Hard
Activities: Dry landing, Hiking, Snorkeling, Panga ride, Paddleboarding, and Kayaking

Day 4: Interpretation Center, San Cristobal | Lobos Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located on the outskirts of Puerto Baquerizo, this center is dedicated to the history of human presence in the Galapagos. From the times of the early Spanish explorers to the present times, including illustrious visitors such as Charles Darwin, this permanent exhibition will take you through the dangers and struggles of the first settlers trying to survive the harsh Galapagos environment.

Highlights: Endemic plants, exhibition on human history
Trail: 0.2 km / 650 ft
Level: Easy
Dry landing and hiking

Lobos Island is a small islet separated from San Cristobal by a narrow channel, forming a sheltered bay where sea lion pups play in tidal pools. Despite its small size, the island is surprisingly packed with wildlife, especially with “lobos marinos”, the Spanish name for sea lions. Groups of sea lions will welcome you at the landing spot, but as you walk a few steps inland, male frigatebirds displaying their inflated red balloons will be perched on the bushes and trees. A small colony of blue-footed boobies, which often nest right on the trail, will give you the opportunity to observe their famous courtship dance.

Snorkel: This is a great snorkeling location as the water is usually calm and the sea lions often play with divers to show off their swimming skills. Sea turtles and rays are often seen resting in the sandy bottoms.

Highlights: Galapagos sea lions, marine Iguanas, magnificent & great frigatebirds, blue-footed Boobies, and San Cristobal Lava Lizards.
Trail: 0.6 km / 0.4 mi
Level: Hard
Activities: Dry landing, Hiking, Snorkeling, and Panga ride

Day 5: Gardner Bay/Gardner Islet/Osborn Islet | Suarez Point, EspaƱola

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Gardner Beach is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and interesting beaches to visit in the Galapagos. Its fine coral sand and turquoise water give it a totally tropical appearance, which contrasts with the presence of sea lions basking on the beach. You will have the opportunity to walk along the beach and learn about the biology of sea lions and other endemic species, such as the Española mockingbird, marine iguanas, and Galapagos hawks.

Snorkel: There are several great snorkeling places at Gardner Bay. It is a fantastic site to swim with sea lions, reef sharks, rays, and many species of fish, including; Angelfish, Parrotfish, Damselfish, Surgeonfish, and many others.   

Highlights: Coral sand beach, sea lions, Galapagos hawks, Española mockingbirds, Darwin finches, marine iguanas. 
Trail: 0.8 km / 0.5 mi
Level: Easy
Activities: Wet landing, Hiking, Snorkeling, and Panga ride

This rocky trail is one the most amazing nature walks you can do in the Galapagos islands. From the moment you set foot on the island and all the way along the trail, the amount and diversity of fauna is truly amazing. Sea lions and marine iguanas will be the first ones welcoming you, followed by large colonies of sea birds, including Nazca and Blue-footed boobies, gulls and tropicbirds. At the end of the trail, you will visit a colony of waved albatross (April to January), the largest bird in the islands and one of the most interesting because of its powerful flight and elaborate courtship. Waved albatross only nest at Española, so this is the only place where you will see them at close range.

Highlights: Sea lions, Waved Albatross, Galapagos hawks, Española mockingbirds, Darwin finches, marine iguanas, Nazca & Blue-footed Boobies, Red-billed Tropicbirds, Swallow-tailed gulls, herons, lava lizards, herons.
Trail: 1.7 km / 1.1 mi
Level: Hard
Activities: Dry landing and hiking

Day 6: Post Office Bay | Cormorant Point | Devil's Crown, Floreana

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Floreana is famous for the tales of German settlers and the baroness during the late 1920s and 30s. Assassinations, disappearances, and other unsolved mysteries are the ingredients of this fascinating story. Post office bay was often used by whalers to anchor their ships and go up to the highlands to get fresh water and tortoises. Most boats visiting the Galapagos had to come to this place sooner or later, so a system of mail was established more than 200 years ago: a barrel near the beach became the way to leave messages to other ships and also to the outside world. This mail system is still in use and will allow you to send postcards from the Galapagos to the outside world. Aside from a small beautiful beach and a lava tunnel, the area is great for dinghy tours to look for sea lions, green sea turtles, shorebirds, small sharks, and, with some luck, Galapagos penguins.

Snorkel: There is a great snorkel from the beach, as you can see lots of sea turtles, rays, a great diversity of fish, and, if you are really lucky, a Galapagos penguin.   

Highlights: Sea Lions, sea turtles, finches, shorebirds, marine iguanas, penguins.
Trail: 0.7 m / 0.4 mi
Level: Easy
Activities: Wet landing, Hiking, and Snorkeling

Punta Cormorant is located in the north of Floreana and it is known for its large coastal lagoon with American flamingoes, white-cheeked pintails, black-necked stilts, and other shorebirds. There is a beautiful white sand beach which is an important nesting ground for green sea turtles where you can also see rays and reef sharks. In the last years, small groups of blue-footed boobies have started to breed right by the trail. This is also a great trial to look at endemic plants.

Snorkel: It will be done at Devil’s Crown, a heavily eroded little volcano right by Floreana Island. This is considered by many as one of the best snorkeling sites in the entire archipelago as the current funnels plankton through the Crown, attracting huge schools of snapper, Creole fish parrot fish, angelfish, reef sharks, sea turtles, rays, and a phenomenal amount of marine life.

Highlights: American flamingo, blue-footed booby, frigatebirds, tropicbirds, Galapagos shearwaters, sea lions, sea turtle nesting site, finches, shorebirds, coral-sand beach. 
Trail: 1.6 km / 1 mi
Level: Easy
Activities: Wet landing, Hiking, Snorkeling, and Panga ride

Day 7: Santa Fe | South Plaza Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Giant Prickly-pear cactus and barren lava rocks surround the landing spot at Santa Fe, located inside one of the most beautiful bays in the Galapagos. Turquoise water and white sand beaches make this location a perfect home for a large colony of sea lions which you will see basking in the sand. Inland, look down for endemic Santa Fe land iguanas, but also look up for Galapagos hawks, which often perch at the top of the cactus looking for prey. Darwin finches, Galapagos doves, mockingbirds, and lava lizards are also common along the trail.  

Snorkel: After the hike, you will have the option to kayak or snorkel in the sheltered waters inside the bay, where you can swim with sea lion pups and reef sharks. Also look for sea turtles, rays, and a large variety of tropical fish including large schools of surgeonfish and parrotfish. 

Highlights: Giant cactus, Santa Fe bay, Galapagos sea lions, Santa Fe land iguanas, Galapagos hawks, Galapagos doves, reef sharks.
Trail: 0.8 km / 0.5 mi
Activities: Hiking, Snorkeling, Panga riding, Paddleboarding, and Kayaking

Of the two twin islands, only South Plazas are allowed to be visited, while North Plazas is kept exclusively for scientific research. This is a small islet, but it packs an impressive amount of wildlife. Right after you land you will see Galapagos land iguanas waiting under prickly-pear cactus feed on their fruits. A large colony of sea lions will give you the opportunity to see playful pups enjoying the tide pools, but also large grumpy males defending their territories. The trail will take you to a cliff where you can observe many sea birds, such as frigatebirds, red-billed tropicbirds, boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, and pelicans. A reddish succulent vegetation with scattered cacti covers most of the islands like a carpet, giving this island a unique personality.

Highlights: Galapagos land iguanas, sea lions, tropicbirds, pelicans, boobies, Galapagos shearwaters, swallow-tailed gulls. 
Trail: 1.4 km / 0.8 mi
Level: Moderate
Activities: Dry landing and hiking

Day 8: Charles Darwin Station | Disembark | Baltra

The Charles Darwin Station is a nonprofit organization that has been working for decades together with the Galapagos National Park to preserve the biodiversity of these unique islands. During this visit, you will learn about the projects that both institutions carry together to protect the native species and eradicate the invasive ones that are threatening the Galapagos environment. One of the most important and emblematic projects has been reproducing giant tortoises in captivity. The visit is mostly outdoors in a beautiful dry native forest with giant cacti and many other interesting native plants. It is also a fantastic place to find several endemic Darwin finches, as well as flycatchers and mockingbirds.

Highlights: Galapagos giant tortoise & land iguanas breeding program, Darwin finches, Galapagos mockingbirds, Galapagos flycatchers, yellow warblers.  
Trail: 2 km / 1.2 mi
Level: Easy
Activities: Dry landing and hiking

Then, transfer to the airport to take your flight back to continental Ecuador.

Ship/Hotel

Galaxy

Galaxy ship exterior
Living area
Bar lounge

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Per person starting at
$5,060
Lower deck cabin
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Comfortable cabins with lower beds and port hole windows. Cabins have private bathrooms with hot/cold water and air conditioning.
Main deck cabin
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Main Deck
Comfortable cabins with lower beds and large windows. Cabins have private bathrooms with hot/cold water and air conditioning.
Upper deck cabin
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Upper Deck
Comfortable cabins with lower beds and large windows. Cabins have private bathrooms with hot/cold water and air conditioning.

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
  • 7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Snorkeling equipment, wetsuits, kayaks, and paddleboards are all included in the cruise cost and are available for your use onboard.
  • 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: $200 per adult, $100 per child under 12 (fees of $100 per adult and $50 per child valid on arrivals through Aug 1, 2024). Payable upon arrival to the Galapagos, only in cash dollars. Subject to increase by Galapagos Park Service.
  • Internal Flights: Mainland Ecuador - Galapagos - Mainland Ecuador: $475-675

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Beyond expectations! Then again we weren't sure what to expect. Lovely stay at the lodge, met other like-minded travelers (many had their trips planned by Adventure Life) and the owner was a gracious hostess. It felt like you were one happy family, visiting with a favorite aunt.
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