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Southern Islands

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Nemo II
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This 8-day Southern Islands Galapagos cruise on the Nemo II explores the wildlife and vegetation-rich shores of Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Espanola, Floreana, Santa Fe, South Plaza, Bartolome, and Chinese Hat. Enjoy opportunities to hike, snorkel, kayak, or cruise on a panga boat while exploring volcanic landscapes, unique flora and fauna, historic sites, and breathtaking underwater beauty on your incomparable adventure.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Baltra | Santa Cruz Island, Bachas Beach | Embark
Day 2 : South Plaza | Santa Fe
Day 3 : San Cristobal, Brujo Hill | Kicker Rock | Lobos Island
Day 4 : Espanola, Suarez Point | Gardner Bay
Day 5 : Santa Cruz, Highlands | Breeding Center Fausto Llerena
Day 6 : Floreana, Cormorant Point | Champion Islet | Post Office Bay
Day 7 : Chinese Hat | Bartholomew
Day 8 : Black Turtle Cove | Disembark on Baltra

Highlights

  • Dive and snorkel at Kicker Rock and see the underwater ecosystem
  • Learn about the history of Post Office Bay
  • Inspect the ecosystem of sea lions in Gardner Bay
  • Hike on Chinese Hat and observe penguins on the rocky shoreline

Ship

Nemo II

Places Visited

  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos
  • South America
  • Bachas Beach
  • Baltra
  • Bartolome
  • Black Turtle Cove
  • Chinese Hat
  • Espanola
  • Floreana
  • Isla Lobos
  • Leon Dormido
  • Los Gemelos (Twin Craters)
  • San Cristobal
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santa Fe
  • Santiago
  • South Plaza Island

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Searching for lunch Can you see them? They're blending. Devil's Crown Galapagos Snorkeling in the Galapagos. Post Office Bay, Floreana

Day 1 Baltra | Santa Cruz Island, Bachas Beach | Embark

Embark the Nemo II on Baltra, also known as South Seymour, located at the north of Santa Cruz Island. Baltra is the home of the archipelago’s main airport and is famous because it was built during WWII by the U.S. Navy.

Set off for Santa Cruz, the second largest island in the Galapagos located at the center of the island group.

Day 2 South Plaza | Santa Fe

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Visiting South Plaza begins with a dry landing. The rocky trail circumnavigates the island displaying the combination of dry and coastal vegetation zone. South Plaza has one of the largest populations of Land Iguanas in the Galapagos. The Iguanas seem to be everywhere once you land. These larger than average Yellow‐Brown Land Iguanas feed on the fruit and pads of the Prickly Pear Cactus. 

Visit Santa Fe Island, home to one of the most beautiful coves in all the Galapagos, Santa Fe is located in the Southeastern part of Galapagos, 2 1/2 hours from Santa Cruz and 3 hours from San Cristobal. Santa Fe was formed from an uplift (rather than a volcano) giving the island a relatively flat surface rather than the typical conical shape of the other islands. Visits to Santa Fe begin with a panga ride across the lovely turquoise lagoon. Once ashore you are brought into contact with sea lion colonies in the Galapagos. Bulls vie for the right of beach master while cows laze in the sun. The loop trail around the islands leads past the salt bushes where Galapagos Hawks can easily be approached.

Day 3 San Cristobal, Brujo Hill | Kicker Rock | Lobos Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Start your day out at Brujo Hill, one of the most beautiful white coral beaches on San Cristóbal. It is particularly famous because it was the first coast Charles Darwin ever stood foot upon in 1835. A tuff cone partly composed of lava, this site offers swimming, skin diving, beach relaxation, and wildlife observation opportunities. Among the most unique species found here are the Chatham mockingbird and the San Cristóbal lava lizard, which cannot be seen in any other place within the Galapagos, and brujo birds, an endemic subspecies of the island. The protected bay is famous due to its young sea turtles that you can swim or dive alongside.

The Kicker Rock Islet is the remnants of an antique volcanic cone. Its waters are the favorite of submarine swimming professionals and also of scuba divers that get to go as deep as 100 meters in their immersions. There are two vertical underwater walls with a gap in the center that make a paradise for the hammer shark, the grey reef shark, the white-tip shark, and the Galapagos shark. You can also see barracudas, rainbow fishes, octopuses, stingrays, and seal lions. Red-chest royal frigates and hundreds of blue footed boobies can be found in the arid landscape. There are several walking trails here, including one to the Obelisk, a rock emerging from the sea.

Next visit Lobos Island across a canal from San Cristóbal. This island is named after the several species of sea wolves (sea lions) in the area. Also observe the South American fur seal, marine iguanas, Chatham lava lizards, East Galapagos snakes, blue footed boobies, and common frigates. During your time on the island, you can take a speedboat ride and see brown pelicans and shorebirds, or go diving to see underwater life. An 850-meter trail passes through an arid vegetation zone, volcanic floor, and sand zone. Approximately an hour is needed for this walk.

Day 4 Espanola, Suarez Point | Gardner Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Arrival to Española Island, in the morning Punta Suarez, found on the western tip of Española, Punta Suarez offers great wildlife such as Sea Lions, sea birds and the largest Marine Iguanas of Galapagos. This is one of the best sites in the Galapagos. The amount of wildlife is overwhelming. Along the beach there are many Sea Lions and large, colorful Lava Lizards and Marine Iguanas. As you follow the trail to the cliff's edge Masked Boobies can be found nesting among the rock formations.

Visit Gardner Bay, which is a 45‐minute boat ride from Punta Suarez. It has a white sand beach and a small colony of sea lions. The possibilities for swimming or scuba diving are excellent here. Visitors find migrant, resident, and endemic wildlife including brightly colored Marine Iguanas, Española Lava Lizards, Hood Mockingbirds, Swallow Tailed Gulls, Blue Footed and Masked Boobies, Galapagos Hawks, a selection of Finch, and the Waved Albatross. Snorkel and go on a panga ride in Gardner Islet, and snorkel one more time in Osborn Islet snorkel.

Day 5 Santa Cruz, Highlands | Breeding Center Fausto Llerena

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The highlands of Santa Cruz have incredible zones of vegetations. There you will visit the private finca “Las Primicias”. This reserve offers you one of the best possibilities to see the huge tortoises of Santa Cruz Island in their natural habitat. You can observe them from a very close distance.

The main visit in Puerto Ayora is to the Charles Darwin Scientific Station. An excellent way to begin learning about the islands and their origin and formation is to visit the Station. You can also see how the Galapagos turtles are raised and meet Jorge, the famous solitary turtle. The Scientific Station has its own beach that receives many visitors on weekends.

Day 6 Floreana, Cormorant Point | Champion Islet | Post Office Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The visit to Punta Cormorant offers two contrasting beaches. Arriving on shore you will encounter a green sand beach (the green sand is caused by the olivine crystals derived silicates or magnesium and iron) where you will follow the trail leading to a lagoon where Pink Flamingoes and other shore birds can be seen in the distance making their home. Looking into the mud of the lagoon there appears to be 'cracks' in the mud. These cracks are not caused from dryness but are actually flamingo footprints.

In 1793 British whalers established the Post Office Barrel to send letters to and from England. This tradition has continued over the years, and even today visitors may drop off and pick up letters, without stamps, to be carried to far destinations. This is one of the few visitor sites, that is visited for its human history. Whaling Captain James Colnett established the wooden post barrel in early 1793. At the time whaling was a big industry, ships were typically gone for 2 years at a time. The Galapagos Islands were a frequent stop for these ships. Outbound ships would drop off letters after rounding the cape and the ships returning home would mail them. Over the years thousands of ships have stopped to send and receive mail at Post Office Bay. Many have posted a sign of driftwood or other materials memorializing their visit. This is the only area in the Galapagos were graffiti is still acceptable.
Arriving at Post Office Bay you will land on a brown sand beach, passing the sea lions lying in the sun. At the post barrel the guide will pull a hand full of letters for the group. Continuing the tradition, the letters are brought home with the traveler and then mailed to the addressee. Visitors also have the opportunity to send letters of their own. 

Day 7 Chinese Hat | Bartholomew

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Off the East coast of Santiago Island is a volcanic islet called Bartolome, considered one of the "younger" islands in the Galápagos archipelago. This island is named after Sir Bartholomew James Sullivan, a famous naturalist and friend of Charles Darwin. Bartolome has a volcanic cone that visitors can climb for great views of the other islands, as well as the iconic Pinnacle Rock. Snorkelers and swimmers may encounter marine turtles, Galapagos penguins, white-tipped reef sharks, and other tropical fish. Galapagos penguins, which breed in a small cave behind Pinnacle Rock, are the only penguin species found in a tropical area in Latin America.

Volcanic in origin, Chinese Hat is one of the most emblematic and recognizable islands in the Galapagos. Shaped in the form of an old Chinese man's hat, this island can be experienced via a visitor trail that begins at a splendid beach. Continue past a colony of endemic Galapagos sea lions to a lava field with views off a cliff to the waves below. American oystercatchers and lava lizards are abundant here.

Day 8 Black Turtle Cove | Disembark on Baltra

  • 1 Breakfast
The final destination on your Galapagos cruise is Black Turtle Cove, known for its mangrove lagoons. Since landing is not permitted, take a speedboat ride to explore the three mangrove species and look for the black-tip shark, the Galapagos shark, the famous blue shark, and stingrays. Black and green sea turtles nest here as well.

Return to Baltra to disembark the Nemo II and continue your independent travels.

Nemo II

Per person starting at
$4,000
Nemo II Cabin 1 and 2
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Cabin 1 & 2
Matrimonial/double bed and private bathroom.
Nemo II Cabins 3 and 4
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Cabin 3 & 4
Lower single bed, double upper bed, and private bathroom.
Nemo II Cabin 5
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Cabin 5
Two single upper beds and private bathroom.
Nemo II Cabin 6 and 7
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Cabin 6 & 7
Lower single bed, lower upper bed, and private bathroom.

Child Discount

20% discount for children under 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

  • Accommodations on board Nemo II based on double occupancy
  • Meals while in the Galapagos
  • Bilingual Naturalist Guide
  • Shore Excursions
  • Swimming and Snorkeling
  • Adventure Life Pre-departure Services and In-Country Assistance (Quito Representative)
  • Transfers and Baggage Handling in the Galapagos
  • Snorkeling Equipment
  • Sea Kayaking

Excluded

  • Airfare (see Galapagos Flights)
  • Quito/Guayaquil Hotel and Transfers
  • $100 Galapagos Park Fee
  • Wetsuits available - $5/day per person
  • Gratuities and drinks aboard the ship
  • Travel Insurance

Galapagos Flights

  • Quito - Galapagos Roundtrip
    • $530 - $675
  • Guayaquil - Galapagos Roundtrip
    • $475 - $620

Optional Hospitality Packages

Payment & Cancellation Policies
Travel Agents
Kassandra Miller
Kassandra M

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The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
Gale Cantor

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