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Blue-footed boobies perched on volcanic rocks

South & East Islands

Example 7 Day Cruise aboard Galapagos Horizon
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Embark on a 7-day exploration of the Galapagos Islands aboard the Horizon. Begin with a visit to the Twin Craters and Highlands of Santa Cruz where lush greenery and surreal lava tunnels await. Post Office Bay, Devil’s Crown, and Cormorant Point offer opportunities to snorkel, marvel at marine life, and witness unique beach landscapes. Santa Fe and Lobos Islands present picturesque bays, prickly pear cactus forests, and playful sea lions welcoming you ashore. Explore the David Rodriguez Breeding Center and Gianni Arismendy Interpretation Center on San Cristobal Island for a deeper understanding of the islands' natural and human history. Next, visit Pitt Point, Witch Hill, and Kicker Rock where diverse bird species and striking rock formations captivate your senses. Bachas Beach located on the north shore of Santa Cruz, is your final stop. Conclude your journey with a transfer to Baltra Airport for your return flight to the mainland.
Young Nazca Booby with hikersGalapagos hawkSea lion on the beach of Espanola IslandGiant tortoises in the GalapagosBlue-footed boobies perched on volcanic rocks
Highlights
  • Explore the highlands of Santa Cruz with lush Scalesia trees
  • Spot blue-footed boobies and albatrosses at Suarez Point
  • Stroll along Gardner Bay's white-sand beach with sea lions
  • Visit Breeding Center David Rodriguez - “La Galapaguera”, in Cerro Colorado
Places Visited
Activity Level: Variable
Activity options vary depending on destination and operator. Activity level is determined by the range and intensity of activities you choose to participate in. Discuss with your Trip Planner which options are best for you.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Baltra | Embark | Twin Craters | Highlands

Morning flight from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra, Galapagos Islands. After passing through immigration and baggage claim, you will be met by a Horizon staff member and brought onto a private bus to start your adventure in the Galapagos.

Please note: Your first excursion in the Galapagos will be after being picked up at the airport upon arrival to the islands, before boarding the cruise. It is essential for you to arrive in the Galapagos wearing comfortable clothes, good closed-toe shoes suitable for an excursion, a long-brimmed hat, sun lotion, and sunglasses, and to ensure you have your camera handy.

You will visit the Twin Craters located opposite to each other on both sides of the road leading from Puerto Ayora to Baltra. The name is only figurative; not real craters, these formations were created by the collapse of surface material in underground fissures and chambers. The view is breathtaking.

Possible Activities: Walking and scape viewing
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights & Animals: Pit craters, Scalesia Forest

Accessible by bus from Puerto Ayora, the highlands of Santa Cruz are a deep green which contrasts beautifully with the dry, lower part of the islands. The predominant vegetation in the highlands are Scalesia trees which create a lush green forest. The lava tunnels, over half a mile long, are underground, and walking through them is a unique, surreal experience. Lunch is served at this location.

Possible Activities: Hiking (1.5 miles / 2 ½ km)
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights & Animals: Lava tunnels, Finches, wild tortoises, tortoise nesting site.

Day 2: Post Office Bay | Devil’s Crown | Cormorant Point

You will land on a beach and head to a spot where 18th-century whalers placed a wooden barrel used as an unofficial mailbox. The custom continues to this day with Galapagos visitors. So, don’t forget your postcards, and don’t be surprised if the postcard arrives to its destination before you even get home!

Possible Activities: Short hike (less than 0.6 miles / 1km) & snorkeling
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights & Animals: Post office barrel, nice sandy beach

You will have a chance to snorkel around Devil’s Crown which is the rocky remains of an offshore volcano sticking out of the water. This is a great location to spot a wide range of marine creatures.

Possible Activities: Snorkeling, panga ride
Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
Type of Landing: No Landing
Highlights & Animals: Large array or marine species

Cormorant Point hosts a large flamingo lagoon where other birds such as common stilts and white-cheeked pintails can also be seen. The beaches on this island are distinct: The Green Beach is named so due to its green color, which comes from a high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand, and the Flour Sand Beach is composed of white coral.

Possible Activities: Dinghy ride & hike (1.25 mi /2 km)
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights & Animals: Flamingoes, green-colored beach
 

Day 3: Santa Fe Island | Lobos Island

Santa Fe Island (Barrington) is home to the small picturesque bay and anchorage on the island’s northeast coast. The bay has two visitor trails: one leading to a scenic viewpoint atop a cliff, and the other spanning from a small beach to a tall prickly pear cactus forest.

Possible Activities: Hiking (5 miles / 8 km)
Difficulty: Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights & Animals: Land iguanas, giant Opuntia cacti

You will take an excursion to Lobos Island which means “Sea Lion Island.” This appropriately named island is ripe with noisy, playful, jolly sea lions who will welcome you to their home with open, well, fins. This island also offers great snorkeling opportunities as well as the chance to see blue-footed and Nazca boobies.

Possible Activities: Short hike (less than 0,6 miles / 1 km), dinhy ride
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights & Animals: Sea lions, frigate birds, blue-footed boobies

Day 4: David Rodriguez Breeding Center “La Galapaguera” | Gianni Arismendy Interpretation Center

Breeding Center David Rodriguez - “La Galapaguera”, in Cerro Colorado, is a new visitor site in the southeast part of San Cristobal Island and can now be reached in roughly one hour by road from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. On the trees and shrubs surrounding the site, you may see land birds like warblers, finches and mockingbirds. Giant tortoises can be observed on the trails. They live there wild but in a protected area to ensure their survival by sealing them off from introduced predators like pigs and goats

Possible Activities: Short hike (0,6 mi / 1 Km)
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights & Animals: Giant tortoises, finches, warblers, mockingbirds

This site is part of an environment project. The tour of this center will explore the natural history of the islands including human interaction and conservation efforts. The Museum of Natural History explains the volcanic origin of the archipelago, ocean currents, climate, and the arrival of endemic species. The Human History exhibit chronologically describes significant events such as the discovery and colonization of the islands.

Possible Activities: Museum visit
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights & Animals: Great exhibits about the archipelago’s natural history

Day 5: Pitt Point | Witch Hill | Kicker Rock

Pitt Point, situated on the north-eastern tip of the San Cristobal island, hosts frigate birds, storm petrels, and all three types of booby birds: the Nazca, blue-footed and red-footed boobies. A steep trail goes up a cliff and through a ravine leading visitors to an area with an abundance of birds.

Possible Activities: Dinghy ride, snorkeling, kayaking & hike (1.5 miles / 2.5 km)
Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights & Animals: Frigate birds, storm petrels, Nazca boobies, blue- and red-footed boobies

Located on the northern coast, this eroded hill and its surroundings present one of the most picturesque beaches in the Galapagos with its white powdery sand and the abundance of animals. Wildlife includes sea turtles, rays, and various types of booby birds. The clear water provides an excellent opportunity for enjoying swimming and snorkeling.

Possible Activities: Hike, dinghy ride, snorkeling & kayaking
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights & Animals: Beautiful rock formations, sea lions, shore birds, finches and mockingbirds; Snorkeling: nice tropical fish, anemones, sponges, coral

This striking rock formation is located a couple hours off the western shore of San Cristobal. Jutting out of the water, the rocks stand vertically at hundreds of feet above the ocean divided by a small channel. Although there are no landing areas, circumnavigation and dinghy rides allow visitors to spot a variety of marine life.

Possible Activities: Dinghy ride
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: No Landing
Highlights & Animals: Sharks, tropical fish, turtles, manta rays (occ.), hammerhead sharks, spectacular rock formations; sea birds: blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies &frigate birds.

Day 6: Suarez Point | Gardner Bay, Gardner Islet & Osborn Islet

On the trail to Suarez Point, you will have the chance to spot blue-footed boobies, albatrosses, and Nazca boobies. This island is the breeding site of nearly all of the world’s 12,000 pairs of waved albatrosses. You will also visit a beautiful site on the oceanfront where there is a cliff that the large albatrosses use as a launching pad! You will have the chance to see the famous blowhole that spurts sea water into the air. The landscape is great for photography.

Possible Activities: Hike (1,9 miles / 3 km)
Difficulty: Difficult
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights & Animals: Hood mockingbirds, Nazca boobies, waved albatrosses (approximately from the last week of April until the last week of January), red- billed tropicbirds, lava lizards, Galapagos hawks, blowhole, amazing landscape and maybe blue-footed boobies.

This excursion takes you to the spectacular Gardner Bay. After landing, you can walk across a lovely white-sand beach amongst a busy sea lion colony or dive into the water to swim with sea lion pups. You may also see curious mockingbirds on the beach.

Possible Activities: Snorkeling, panga ride, short hike (0,6 miles / 1km) and Kayaking
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights & Animals: White sandy beach, sea lions, mockingbirds; snorkeling: colorful fish, sea lion nursery

 

Day 7: Bachas Beach | Disembark | Baltra

  • 1 Breakfast
Bachas Beach is located on the north shore of Santa Cruz and is a beach for swimming. One of the few remnants of the U.S. World War II presence in the Galapagos, a floating pier, can be seen here. You may see flamingos, Sally Lightfoot crabs, hermit crabs, black-necked stilts, and whimbrels. Sea turtles also nest on the beach.

Possible Activities: Hiking
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights & Animals: World War II remnants. Sally Lightfoot crabs, hermit crabs, black-necked stilts, whimbrels, sea turtles

After this final visit, you will be transferred to the Baltra airport in time for your flight back to the mainland.

Ship/Hotel

Galapagos Horizon

Galapagos Horizon
Sun deck
Dining area

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$7,845 2-3 travelers
Twin cabinmain deck cabin
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Standard
312 ft2 / 29 m2. Located on the main and upper decks, two twin beds convertible into one matrimonial bed. Each cabin is equipped with private balconies, private bathrooms hot water, air-conditioning, binoculars, safety box, hair dryer, and bathrobes.

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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Walking Sticks
  • Underwater cameras
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.
  • Alcoholic Drinks
  • 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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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
Jack Charney
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