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Genovesa - El Barranco/Prince Phillip's Steps - Nazca Boobies

Eastern & Central Islands

Example 7 Day Cruise aboard M/Y Monserrat
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Sail the islands of the Galapagos aboard M/Y Monserrat. Explore an abundance of natural wildlife and breathtaking landscapes on this 7-day cruise. Visit the islands´ largest colony of magnificent frigate birds, discover a marvelous underwater world, land on a white sand beach, and learn about the natural history of the Galapagos. Explore Bahía Gardner, Cormorant Point, Charles Darwin Station, El Barranco, and Black Turtle Cove. 
Sunset, San CristobalSUNSETBLUE FOOTED BOOBY MATING DANCEISLAND SUNSETBlue-Footed BoobyGalapagos sunset
Highlights
  • Discover the natural history and variety of flora and fauna in Galapagos.
  • Enjoy a great view of beautiful landscapes at Tijeretas Hill.
  • Visit the white sandy beach of Gardner Bay.
  • Observe the bird, wildlife and natural history at Punta Cormorant.
Places Visited
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: San Cristóbal Airport | Interpretation Center | Tijeretas Hill

Catch an early flight to San Cristóbal Island. In the afternoon, visit Tijeretas, a great viewpoint, and your first wildlife encounter. Learn about the origins of the Galapagos at the Interpretation Center.

Learn about the history of the Galápagos Islands from the very beginning of their volcanic origins through to today’s conservation efforts. Tour the Human History exhibit to learn about the islands’ discovery and colonization, and discover the natural history and variety of flora and fauna that make the Galápagos so fascinating.

This hill bears its name thanks to the frigate birds as “Tijeretas” is what people locally call them. Here you will enjoy a great view of beautiful landscapes at the foot of a frigate bird nesting colony.
Activities: Panga Ride, Snorkeling

Day 2: Gardner Bay | Punta Suárez

Enjoy the day on Española Island, one of the oldest in the archipelago. Visit the white sandy beach of Gardner Bay and the bird colonies of Punta Suárez. Arriving at Gardner Bay in the morning, spend the day exploring on shore and snorkeling at Gardner Island in the bay. After lunch, sail to the western side of the islands to Punta Suárez, known for its amazing bird colonies and home to the waved albatross (April and December).

Visit Gardner Bay's magnificent white sandy beach, home to sea lions and sea birds. Be sure to explore the beautiful turquoise water and its incredible sea life. Spot young sea lions and large schools of surprisingly big tropical fish, including yellow-tailed surgeonfish, king angelfish, and bump-head parrotfish.
Head to Tortuga Rock and Gardner Bay for a spectacular snorkeling experience. Spot playful young sea lions and large schools of tropical fish, including yellow-tailed surgeonfish, king angelfish, and bump-head parrotfish. Look for white-tipped reef sharks napping on the bottom.
Activities: Hike, Kayak, Snorkeling, Standup Paddleboard

Visit Punta Suárez, one of the richest wildlife landing sites in the Galápagos. Be greeted by surfing young sea lions on arrival. Head to the trail to find many species of nesting sea birds, and, if lucky, see the waved albatross. Follow the path up to a cliff for great views over the ocean, and watch sea birds gliding in the wind.
Activities: Hike

Day 3: Cormorant Point | Post Office Bay, Floreana Island

Land at Punta Cormorant on Floreana. Guided walks to observe the bird and wildlife and learn about the natural history. Snorkeling excursion at Champion Islet. Visit Post Office Bay.

Visit Punta Cormorant, the only landing site on Floreana Island, and discover two amazingly different beaches: one with green sand, colored by olivine crystals, and another with white sand particles known as 'Flour Beach'. Spend the afternoon observing flamingos and other shorebirds feeding in the lagoon. Spot penguins and marine iguanas at the water’s edge, and explore the lava tubes with the Galápagos CEO.
Champion Islet: Jump on in and get up close and personal with the playful sea lion colony that resides in the waters off this tiny island. Keep an eye out for sea turtles, rays, and colorful fish swimming by. There can be currents in this area, this activity should be done by strong swimmers only.
Activities: Hike, Panga Ride, Snorkeling

Visit Post Office Bay and learn about its unique history. In the late 18th century, English whaling vessels placed a barrel here to be used as a post office. Today, the box is used mainly by tourists, who may drop off and pick up unstamped letters to be carried to far destinations. Continue the tradition – leave a letter and take one to deliver (be sure it makes it to the correct location)
Activities: Hike, Panga Ride, Snorkeling

Day 4: Charles Darwin Station | Santa Cruz Highlands

Disembark in Puerto Ayora and visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to see the giant Galápagos tortoises. In the afternoon enjoy the highlands, visit a tortoise ranch, and see some of the amazing volcanic formations in Santa Cruz.

Visit Fausto Llerena Breeding Center a great place to observe many species of tortoises and land iguanas in captivity. Brought back from the brink of extinction, see the famous Galápagos tortoise up close – a corral houses adult tortoises, and a nursery cares for the young until around age three when their shells have hardened. This area also houses the Charles Darwin Research Station, a scientific organization initiated in 1964, which works to preserve the Galápagos' ecosystem through the conservation efforts of scientists, researchers, and volunteers. While the offices themselves are not open to visitors, the research station provides a study location for international scientists and environmental education for the local community.
Activities: Hike

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.
Activities: Hike

Day 5: Dragon Hill | Chinese Hat

This morning you 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.

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.
Activities: Hike, Snorkeling

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. 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!
Activities: Hike, Kayak, Panga Ride, Snorkeling, Standup Paddleboard

Day 6: El Barranco | Darwin Bay

Today you 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.

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, you will meet Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, mockingbirds, and finches along the way to a palo santo trail. It will also be possible to see wedge-rumped storm petrels swarm and short-eared owls.
Activities: Hike, Kayak, Panga Ride, Snorkeling, Standup Paddleboard

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. You will continue on a short and flat trail to encounter red-footed booby and great frigatebird nests. You will visit a tidal lagoon where sea lions swim playfully ending your path on a cliff with magnificent views of this remote part of the Galapagos.
Activities: Hike, Kayak, Panga Ride, Snorkeling, Standup Paddleboard

Day 7: Black Turtle Cove | Baltra | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Take a morning panga ride and look for marine life in 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.
Activities: Panga Ride

Disembark at Baltra and fly back to Ecuador's mainland.

Ship/Hotel

M/Y Monserrat

The Monserrat
Bar area
Sun Deck

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Per person starting at
$4,300 2-3 travelers
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Lower Deck Cabin
• LOWER DECK CABINS – TWIN Cabin size: 3.21m x 2.32m Bathroom: 2.32m x 0.96m Total: 4.17m x 2.32m • LOWER DECK CABINS – MATRIMONIAL Cabin size: 3.40m x 2.02m Bathroom: 2.02m x 1.03m Total: 4.43m x 2.02m
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Upper Deck Cabin
Cabin size: 2.99m x 2.17m Bathroom: 2.32m x 0.90m Total: 3.89m x 2.17m

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
  • 6 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 6 Dinners
  • 6 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Gear Rental: Snorkeling Gear
  • Wetsuits - Available on board
  • Bilingual Naturalist Guide 
  • Gear Rental: Kayaking Gear
  • Adventure Life Pre-departure Services and In-Country Assistance (Quito Representative)
  • Shore Excursions, Swimming and Snorkeling 
  • Transfers and Baggage Handling in the Galapagos
  • Coffee, Tea & Water
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
  • Alcohol and Non-Alcoholic Beverages

Map

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