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Southeast Islands

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Samba
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This Galapagos tour does more than show the highlights of the archipelago's beautiful southeast islands - this 8-day cruise allows you to experience all facets of the southwestern archipelago as you are immersed in the incredible beauty that surrounds you. Enjoy exciting activities such as kayaking, snorkeling and wandering through the landscape. Spot a myriad of native species including sea lions, sharks, marine birds, and sea turtles. Take pleasure in the wide variety of flora and fauna here as well as spectacular scenery.
Sending my postcards in Post Office BayBlue-footed booby friendsKicker RockKayaking the warm waters of the GalapagosSnorkeling girl
Highlights
  • Observe the giant tortoises in their natural habit on El Manzanillo Ranch
  • Enjoy a volcanic Olivine beach surrounded by flamingos
  • Snorkel or kayac around Gardner Island
  • Take the most incredible landscape photos of Barrington Bay
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 | Highlands | Embark

On arrival at Baltra Airport, all visitors pay their entrance fee to the Galapagos National Park, pass through immigration control, purchase their bus tickets, claim their checked pieces, and get their hand luggage checked by the Galápagos Biosecurity Agency (ABG also known as the Quarantine system). Samba’s naturalist guide will assist you as you come out of the terminal and accompany you to the bus.

Travel on LOBITOS (bus company) to the south end of the Island (7 minutes ride). Cross the Itabaca Channel on a small ferry (barge) to land on the north coast of Santa Cruz. Embark on another bus to travel through the Island and visit the highlands. Stop at El Chato 2 (private tortoise reserve) and have lunch around 13:00.

It is strongly recommended to wear appropriate gear for this visit to the Highlands. Because the area is under constant influence of moisture is likely to be muddy and humid. Pants, proper shoe wear, and a rain jacket are a must.

After spending quality time with the gentle giants and walking through a lava tunnel travel on a bus to Puerto Ayora. In town, guests have a few minutes to walk by the main street before heading to the Samba. Board around 17:30 and dinner will be around 19:00.

Day 2: Punta Cormorant & Devil's Crown | Baroness Lookout, Floreana

Following a four-hour navigation from Puerto Ayora do a wet landing on a volcanic olivine beach. Punta Cormorant is located on the northern shore of Floreana and is the house of greater flamingos and sea turtles. On one side, the point is partially flooded with a brackish lagoon where flamingos occasionally feed. Whimbrels, herons, and stilts are other common shore and migratory birds of the wetlands. On the other side sea turtles use every corner of a white sand beach to deliver their eggs.  You often see stingrays and reef sharks from the shore and if you are lucky turtles end up basking.

Late that morning, snorkel at one of the best spots in the world! Devil´s Crow is a magical start to the Galápagos underwater experience.

To make absolutely sure you get a full day from sunrise to sunset, kayak/panga ride and climb at the Baroness Lookout. Navigating through a small set of islets with a sea lion colony, boobies, and mangroves. Finally, following your ride, start the short hike to the top of this eroded spatter cone to share the vivid obscurity of the human history of “Las Encantadas”. A fantastic landscape decorated with little islands is the perfect setting to engage with the fascinating story of the Wittmer´s, Doctor Ritter and Dora, and the famous Baroness and her three lovers. Charles, Floreana, and Santa María are the official names of the Island that holds an overwhelming mystery of human history.

Day 3: Punta Suárez | Gardner Bay, Española

Hood is the oldest Galapagos Island, the Queen. Her Majesty has traveled 100 miles away from the volcanic hotspot; she sets an example of splendor and wisdom. When landing on its western tip, Punta Suárez, it is difficult to digest the beauty and the overwhelming amount of life. It takes a few minutes to understand that you are not dreaming and that the marine iguanas are really covered with fiery colors, sea lions leisurely wander around you, blue-footed boobies and Sally light-foot crabs coat the rocks with their intense grace. The long walk leads you to the finest illustration of an ancient seabird colony. The endless cliff shaped by strong wave action and the force of the wind is the home of the only tropical albatross on the Earth (may be absent at this tie of the year). This mythical elegant glider shares the precipice with many other sea birds like the tropicbirds, the sallow-tailed gull, and the Nazca booby.

Depending on weather conditions, either at the end of the morning or early in the afternoon, snorkel or kayak around Gardner Island. Its calm waters and attractive landscape give you a great experience above and below water. Located on the north coast of Española Gardner Bay has a tranquil white sand beach. The fine grains of sand make the perfect terrain for a soft walk and relaxing late in the afternoon. Don’t get me wrong, you won’t be alone, sea lions and Hood mockingbirds will keep you company.

Day 4: Punta Pitt | Isla Lobos, San Cristobal

Chatham is the first Island where Charles Darwin set foot in Galápagos. Beautiful tuff cones that are eroding away decorate this old basaltic formation. Upon arrival at the Airport, a short bus ride will take you to the Samba. You will soon start the navigation northeast to meet your first visiting site. Punta Pitt greets you with a mind-blowing landscape and its protected cove offers a great chance to kayak. On your tenders, ride very close to the large colony of seabirds nesting on a nearby islet. At a glance is easy to spot swallow-tailed gulls, frigate birds, Nazca and red-footed boobies, storm petrels, and shearwaters. The golden sand and castaway sea lions give you a welcome for your wet landing late in the afternoon. Climb and explore a tuff cone before sunset. This point is the closest landmass to South America.

After about 3 and a half hours of navigation South you find Isla Lobos where the barking of Galapagos sea lions welcomes you to a dry landing. Walk on very rocky terrain. To your surprise, red balloons will soon bind you, great and magnificent pirates’ nests on this small flat Island. Frigate birds with their magenta and green iridescent feathers decorate the saltbushes. The island is also the nesting ground of blue-footed boobies. Don’t miss the chance of swimming with sea lions; a few sea creatures are as playful as these marine mammals.

Day 5: Barrington Bay | South Plaza Island

The bay looks as if the artist ornamented it. Barrington Bay is one of the most picturesque inlets of all visitor sites of the Galapagos. The white sand on the seabed reflects the light to turn the calm waters turquoise. A small forest of giant prickly pear cactus grows on a peninsula that keeps the bay sheltered. All the before mentioned are suitable conditions for a large sea lion colony. Santa Fe is an ancient extinct volcano and it has been isolated from another island long enough to have an endemic land dragon. Paler in color than its relatives, the Barrington terrestrial iguana has a primitive morphology. Galapagos Hawks, mockingbirds, finches, and endemic rice rats make the company a yellowish monster. The snorkeling won’t disappoint you.

A two-hour navigation north will take you to South Plaza. The dry landing takes you to a brilliant combination of life and colors. Land iguanas wandering through bright red carpet weed, Swallow-tailed gulls nesting around the overhang tops and red-billed tropicbirds and shearwaters flying with dancing displays. Mind the pirates of the sky; they will strike if you drop your guard. 13 acres of beauty Hectare is one of the best spots in the archipelago to see land iguanas and swallow-tailed gulls, both indigenous to the Galapagos. There are iguana nests scattered all over the hill. The sheer cliffs of the southern shore are a perfect bird habitat, making it an unparalleled bird observatory for especially swallow-tailed gulls, shearwaters, and red-billed tropicbirds.

Day 6: Chinese Hat | Bartolomé Island

The genesis of the islands is easy to acknowledge at Chinese Hat. The coiled shiny structures of the pahoe-hoe lava appear as if they were formed yesterday. Lava tubes run like petrified rivers and white sand from eroded coral surrounds the black rock, scenic falls short. Located on the Southeast shores of James this Island is a very symmetrical cinder cone. The contrast of colors and shapes of the basalt, rust, and shine of its surface will make you travel back to Mars if you’ve been there before. Did someone say penguins? You'll love snorkeling here.

Bartolomé Island offers an explosive volcanic landscape. Get ready to climb above 270 feet to admire the dramatic spatter cones and the view of Pinnacle Rock that everyone wants. Later, take a walk on magical golden beaches where sea turtle nest (December to March). Don’t forget to make time to swim near penguins, sharks, and lava tubes.

Day 7: James Bay, Santiago | Rábida

Subsequent to a three-hour sail northwest, wake up at Puerto Egas also known as James Bay. The magical shorelines of the west of James Island are a combination of tuff cones, lava flows, and organic sand. A rocky coast with a very gentle slope is used by a great number of shorebirds and reptiles. Oystercatchers, whimbrels, sanderlings, turnstones, tattlers, and other waders are mixed with marine iguanas and brightly painted crabs to feed by the rich littoral zone.

As grand finally, large lava tunnels, that are partially collapsed, are the houses of the Galapagos fur sea lions. The snorkel can be one of the best in the archipelago. Sea turtles feeding, parrot fishes, damsel fishes, white-tipped reef sharks, and more…

Galapagos offers a diversity of geological formations without boundaries. The island of Rábida has lavas rich in iron and after millions of years of exposure to air, they have turned red. The rusted volcanic material has eroded to form a beautiful crimson sand beach, lovely for a walk. The protected shore provides excellent conditions for a Galapagos sea lions nursery, occasional brown pelicans use the nearby saltbushes as a resting or nesting area and sometimes find flamingos in the brackish lagoon! Hawks and mockingbirds are common visitors to the lowlands. Furthermore, you will find that snorkeling on the beach can be very exciting as sharks, rays and many colorful fish are often visible.

Day 8: North Seymour | Baltra | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
The visit to North Seymour is the best way of saying goodbye to the Galapagos. Following a dry landing at sunrise, walk amongst the largest blue-footed booby colony of the Islands. If breeding you will enjoy their dancing and singing to find a mate. Not far from the dancers, have great and magnificent frigate birds nesting. The males inflate their pouches to attract the ladies that fly above them. Swallow-tailed gulls and tropicbirds decorate the large basaltic walls of the island.

Be back on board for breakfast at 8:00 and you have to be ready to check out at 9:00. It is always a good idea to do most of your packing the previous night so you can have a pleasant last early morning visit and a relaxed breakfast.

Ship/Hotel

Samba

Samba Exterior
Samba
MV Samba Salon

Dates & Prices

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Per person starting at
$4,800 2-3 travelers
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Cabin
Standard Cabins have upper and lower bunks, the bottom bunk is wider. Private bath facilities.

Notes

Please provide your wetsuit size in advance prior to trip

Child Discount

Inquire for special children's rates. Child discounts are conditional and may not apply on certain departures.

Children under 12 may receive discounts on Galapagos flight fares and entrance fees. Contact us for details.
Included
  • 7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 7 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
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

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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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