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Land Iguana in the Galapagos

Central Islands

Baltra - San Cristobal - Example 5 Day Cruise aboard Galaxy Orion
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Embark on a 5-day Central Galapagos Islands cruise aboard Galaxy Diver. Explore Bachas, a crucial sea turtle nesting ground, and stand atop Bartolome Island for stunning views and encounters with penguins. Dive into Sullivan Bay's volcanic history and snorkel amidst diverse marine life. Discover South Plazas Island's vibrant wildlife, then explore Santa Fe Island's turquoise waters. Enjoy Cerro Brujo's white sand beach, encountering sea lions and snorkeling, followed by Punta Pitt's unique birdlife and challenging hikes. Embark on a highlands adventure to meet Giant tortoises. Reflect on the journey back, leaving the Galapagos with a deeper appreciation for its magical ecosystems and wildlife encounters.
Sea lion by the kayaksSea lions bask in the sun on the beachPinnacle rock in BartolomeFlamingo LagoonHiking through cacti in the GalapagosGreen sea turtle swimmingBlue footed boobyLand Iguana in the Galapagos
Highlights
  • Uncover the volcanic origins of the Galapagos amid surreal lava fields
  • Explore South Plaza Island teeming with land iguanas and diverse seabirds
  • Encounter unique land iguanas and marine life in turquoise waters
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: Baltra | Embark | Bachas Beach, Santa Cruz

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Your voyage to the captivating Galapagos Islands commences! Upon your arrival at Baltra Airport, be greeted by the National Park-certified naturalist guide, ready to introduce you to the unique wonders of this pristine archipelago.

Bachas, named after the mispronounced "barges" left by the Americans during WWII, begins your final day. At low tide, the iron skeletons of the barges can still be spotted buried in the white sand. This spot is one of the most crucial sea turtle nesting grounds in the Galapagos islands from November to May. Several small saltwater lagoons are often home to flamingoes, herons, and other aquatic birds.

Highlights: American flamingoes, white-cheeked pintails, sandpipers, lava gulls, and blue-footed boobies.
Trail: 1.6 km / 1 mi
Level: Easy
Activities: Wet landing and hiking

Day 2: Bartolome Island | Sullivan Bay, Santiago

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Stand atop Bartolome Island for unparalleled views of the lunar-like landscape, punctuated by scattered volcanic cones, Pinnacle Rock, and the bay of Sullivan. Bartolome is a jewel in the Galapagos crown and home to a vibrant population of penguins.

Snorkeling Experience: A swim or snorkel from the beach opens up an underwater playground renowned in the Galapagos. Penguins, a multitude of fish, colorful invertebrates, sea lions, turtles, rays, and reef sharks make this snorkeling experience unforgettable.

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

Step back in time at Sullivan Bay, an open book to the volcanic birth of these islands. Traverse the well-preserved Pahoehoe lava field, studying its delicate, unique textures. The seemingly lifeless landscape gradually unveils a resilience of nature, with pioneer plants, lava lizards, and tiny birds emerging on careful observation. Keep your eyes on the shoreline for resident penguins, pelicans, and oystercatchers.

Snorkeling Experience: A dip in the water here starkly contrasts the barren land. The coral sand beach and the dinghy access point reveal a marine world with fish schools, Galapagos penguins, reef sharks, turtles, and rays.

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

Day 3: South Plazas | Santa Fe Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Begin your day with a visit to South Plazas Island, one of the smaller yet vibrant islands in the Galapagos. This island is renowned for its extraordinary flora, including towering cacti and the striking Sesuvium plant, which changes from green to bright red during the dry season. South Plazas is also home to a large colony of land iguanas, which are often seen lounging under the cacti or wandering around. The steep cliffs on the southern part of the island provide a haven for various seabirds, including swallow-tailed gulls and red-billed tropicbirds. Sea lions frequent the coastline and offers an excellent opportunity to observe their playful antics in the water.

Highlights: Land iguanas, Sesuvium plants, cacti, sea lions, swallow-tailed gulls, red-billed tropicbirds.
Trail: 1 km / 0.6 mi
Level: Moderate
Activities: Dry landing, hiking

In the afternoon, set off to explore Santa Fe Island, known for its picturesque bay and turquoise waters, perfect for swimming and snorkeling. The island hosts a healthy population of the larger species of land iguanas unique to Santa Fe. Watch for these magnificent creatures as you walk through the giant prickly pear cactus forest. The island's calm, clear waters are ideal for spotting an array of marine life, including sea turtles, rays, and colorful schools of fish. Santa Fe also offers a chance to see the Galapagos hawk and various endemic finches. This day offers a blend of terrestrial and marine exploration, showcasing the diverse landscapes and wildlife the Galapagos Islands are famous for.

Highlights: Santa Fe land iguanas, prickly pear cactus, sea turtles, Galapagos hawk, snorkeling opportunities.
Trail: 1.5 km / 0.9 mi
Level: Moderate
Activities: Wet landing, hiking, snorkeling, kayaking

Day 4: Cerro Brujo (Witch Hill) | Pitt Point, San Cristobal

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Start your day at Cerro Brujo, a breathtaking white sand beach on San Cristobal Island's northern coast. This beach is one of the first sites visited by Charles Darwin. It's an exquisite spot for walking and enjoying the scenery, with its powdery white sand and turquoise waters. The area is home to a large sea lion colony, and the nearby lagoon often hosts several bird species, including pelicans and blue-footed boobies. The clear waters also make it an ideal spot for snorkeling, where you can encounter rich marine life.

Beach and Snorkeling Experience: Stroll along the white sands of Cerro Brujo, enjoy close encounters with sea lions, and explore the vibrant underwater world.

Highlights: White sand beach, sea lions, pelicans, blue-footed boobies, snorkeling opportunities.
Trail: 0.5 km / 0.3 mi
Level: Easy
Activities: Wet landing, beach walking, snorkeling

In the afternoon, head to Punta Pitt, located on the eastern end of San Cristobal Island. This unique site is the only place in the Galapagos where you can see all three species of boobies and two species of frigate birds. The trail here offers a challenging hike up a steep path but rewards with stunning views of the coastline. The beach area is also a great spot for snorkeling and swimming, offering a chance to see various marine life.

Hiking and Wildlife Observation: Explore the rugged terrain of Punta Pitt and witness the diverse birdlife, including all three booby species and frigate birds.

Highlights: Three booby species (Blue-footed, Red-footed, Nazca), two frigate bird species, stunning views, and snorkeling opportunities. This day provides a rich experience of San Cristobal Island's diverse landscapes and wildlife, offering both relaxation on a beautiful beach and an adventurous hike with unique wildlife encounters.
Trail: 1.5 km / 0.9 mi
Level: 3
Activities: Dry landing, hiking, snorkeling

Day 5: Highlands, San Cristobal | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Embark on a highlands adventure. A bus journey brings you to the verdant highland forests, home to Galapagos Giant tortoises. You'll find these impressive creatures, weighing up to 300 kg/600 lbs, casually grazing or lounging in freshwater ponds. The highlands also host a variety of bird species seldom seen in the lowlands. Depending on your itinerary, explore a lava tunnel and delve into the geological history of these volcanic islands

Highlights: Giant tortoises, Darwin finches, barn owls, white-cheeked pintails, Galapagos flycatchers, Lava tunnels.
Trail: 1-1,5 km / 0.6-0.9 mi
Level: 1
Activities: Dry landing and hiking

As the day winds down, prepare for your return to the Ecuador mainland. Reflect on the extraordinary experiences and memories created as you journey back. The return trip is a time to relax and ponder the unique ecosystems and incredible wildlife you've encountered, leaving the enchanted islands behind but taking a piece of their magic.

This concludes your remarkable journey through the Galapagos, filled with awe-inspiring encounters with nature's wonders, leaving you with a deeper appreciation for the delicate balance of the planet's ecosystems.

Ship/Hotel

Galaxy Orion

Galaxy Orion
Galaxy Orion's Amenities
Galaxy Orion prepares delicious meals for you

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$2,475 2-3 travelers
Galaxy Orion Matrimonial Cabins 1
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Matrimonial Cabins
7.85m2 - Equipped with a private bathroom, hot/cold water, air conditioning, a hair dryer, a towel, internal phone, safe box, closet, and speaker. Ideal for couples and provides a well-deserved rest.
Galaxy Orion Twin cabin
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Twin Cabins
10m2 - Equipped with a private bathroom, hot/cold water, air conditioning, a hair dryer, a towel, internal phone, safe box, closet, and speaker. This cabin has 2 beds ideal for families with children, friends, or couples who like independent comfort.

Child Discount

10% discount for children under 12 (between 6 to 11 years old). Child discounts are conditional and may not apply to 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
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
  • 4 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Wetsuits - Available on board
  • 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
  • Kayak Equipment
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

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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This was my first experience with Adventure Life - and I couldn't have been more pleased with the trip. The guides and local staff in both Buenos Aires and Uruguay were terrific - extremely helpful and accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting the friendly staff in Buenos Aires in person (I left my bags with them for the afternoon).
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