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Galapagos

North & Central Islands

Example 4 Day Cruise aboard M/Y Monserrat
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Join this 4-day Galapagos cruise aboard M/Y Monserrat and enjoy the highlands and wildlife viewing. Your journey will start at Baltra and visit the amazing volcanic formations at Santa Cruz. See the beautiful and remote Genovesa Island, well known as “The Bird Island”, for close interaction with numerous bird species. Explore Black Turtle Cove's amazing mangrove lagoon on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, and much more!
Dawn breaking as we motor to Black Turtle CoveExploring the GalapagosExploring the Galapagoslow clouds over volcanoone of the valleys on Dragon Hill-Santa Cruz in the distanceGalapagos
Highlights
  • Explore underground lava tunnels in Santa Cruz
  • Visit Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill) for birdwatching
  • Sail through the beautiful and remote Genovesa Island
  • Discover the rich marine wildlife at Black Turtle Cove
Places Visited
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Baltra Island | Embark | Santa Cruz Island

Baltra
Transfer to the boat to meet the guide and get on board. In the afternoon enjoy the highlands, visit a tortoise ranch and see some of the amazing volcanic formations on Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz Highlands Excursion (PM) (2h-3h)
Visit the highlands of Santa Cruz and see the Galápagos giant tortoise in its natural surroundings. Explore the area and its incredible underground lava tunnels – some are more than 1km (.6 mi) long! Wander along the volcanic tubes and keep an eye out for the (mainly) nocturnal barn owls that sometimes roost here.

Day 2: Dragon Hill | Chinese Hat

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning we visit Dragon Hill on the west coast of Santa Cruz to see land iguanas and a saltwater lagoon frequented by flamingos and other species of birds. In the afternoon, the boat arrives at a small uniquely shaped island off the southern tip of Santiago called Chinese Hat. Here it is often possible to see Galápagos penguins, and the marine life is fantastic for snorkeling. There is also a large sea lion colony as well as many marine iguanas that can be seen while walking amongst the volcanic scenery. Trek to see good views of the island's volcano.

Dragon Hill (AM) (1h-3h)
Visit Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill) for some prime birdwatching. Take a short walk from the beach to a hypersaline (saltier than the ocean) lagoon frequented by pink flamingos, common stilts, pintail ducks, and other species of birds. Pass through a Scalesia tree forest; endemic to the area, there are only 400 specimens of Scalesia trees left in the world.

Chinese Hat Visit (PM) (1h-2h)
Explore Chinese Hat’s beautiful landscape and spectacular white-coral sand beach followed by snorkeling with sea lions and penguins and swimming opportunities in the cove.

Snorkeling (Chinese Hat) (PM)
Chinese Hat (45m-1h)
Snorkel right from the white coral sand beach and come face to face with playful sea lions and large schools of tropical fish. Keep an eye out for marine iguanas and penguins too!

Day 3: El Barranco | Darwin Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today we will be visiting the beautiful and remote Genovesa Island. This northern island, famous for its red-footed colony, is a paradise for bird lovers. It is estimated that about 200,00 Red-footed boobies live on this island.

Prince Phillips’s Steps (AM) (2h)
El Barranco or Prince Phillips’s Steps as otherwise known was named after a visit by the British Monarch in 1964. El Barranco's steep 81-foot stairway leads up to a high cliff-face that opens out onto the plateau surrounding Darwin Bay. Here an amazing view can be appreciated. Once at the top of the stairway we will meet Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, mockingbirds, and finches along the way of a palo santo trail. It will also be possible to see wedge-rumped storm petrels swarm and short-eared owls.

Darwin Bay (PM) (1 1⁄2h)
Darwin bay was formed by the collapse of the flooded caldera of Tower Island, another name used for Genovesa. After landing at small sand and coral beach, it is easy to realize why this island is a bird lover paradise. Among the bird species found here, the most common are swallow-tailed and lava gulls, mockingbirds, yellow-crowned night herons, lava herons, Galapagos doves, and yellow warblers. We will continue on a short and flat trail to encounter red-footed booby and great frigatebird nests. We will visit a tidal lagoon where sea lions swim playfully ending our path on a cliff with magnificent views of this remote part of the Galapagos.

Day 4: Black Turtle Cove | Baltra Island | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Baltra
Take a morning panga ride and look for marine life in Black Turtle Cove. Disembark at Baltra and fly back to Ecuador mainland.

Black Turtle Cove Excursion (AM)
Black Turtle Cove
Explore the mangroves by panga to find rich marine wildlife between the fresh and salt waters. Keep an eye out for manta rays and sea turtles in this tranquil ecosystem. Whitetip reef sharks can also be seen gliding by.

Ship/Hotel

M/Y Monserrat

M/Y Monserrat Upper deck
M/Y Monserrat Alfresco
M/Y Monserrat Observation deck

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$1,935
M/Y Monserrat Lower Deck Cabin MatrimonialM/Y Monserrat Lowed Deck Cabin Twin
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Lower Deck Cabin
LOWER DECK CABINS – TWIN Cabin: 3,21 m x 2,32 m Bathroom: 2,32 m x 0,96 m Total: 4,17 m x 2,32 LOWER DECK CABINS – MATRIMONIAL Cabin: 3,40 m x 2,02 m Bathroom: 2,02 m x 1,03 m Total: 4,43 m x 2,02
M/Y Monserrat Upper Deck Cabin MatrimonialM/Y Monserrat Upper Deck Cabin Twin
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Upper Deck Cabin
Cabin: 2,99 m x 2,17 m Bathroom: 2,32 m x 0,90 m Total: 3,89 m x 2,17

Child Discount

15% discount for under 12 years old on gross rates

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
  • Galapagos Park Entrance Fee: $100 per adult, $50 per child under 12
  • Internal Flights: Mainland Ecuador - Galapagos - Mainland Ecuador: $475-675

Map

When to Go

Jan
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Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.
Lisa Bridge
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