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Couple sitting on a beach among sea lions

Southern Islands I

Example 4 Day Cruise aboard Archipell II
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Experience a 4-day cruise through the southern islands of the Galapagos aboard the Archipell II. Spend your days exploring the wildlife-rich shores and breathtaking landscapes of San Cristobal, South Plaza, Santa Fe, Floreana, and Santa Cruz. Encounter a myriad of native species including sharks, marine birds, sea turtles, and enjoy friendly interaction with playful sea lions. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : San Cristobal Airport | Embark | Lobos Islet
Day 2 : South Plaza | Santa Fe
Day 3 : Chinese Hat | Dragon Hill
Day 4 : Charles Darwin Research Station, Santa Cruz | Disembark | Baltra Airport

Highlights

  • Visit Lobos Islets beach harbors featuring a colony of Galapagos sea lions
  • Discover South Plaza's unique Sesuvium plants and Opuntia cactuses
  • Enjoy some recreational snorkeling in the small beaches

Ship

Archipell II

Places Visited

  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos
  • South America
  • Baltra
  • Chinese Hat
  • Dragon Hill
  • La Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado
  • San Cristobal
  • San Cristobal Airport
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santa Fe
  • Santiago
  • South Plaza Island

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Couple sitting on a beach among sea lions Snorkeling in the Galapagos Galapagos giant tortoise Taking photos of the scenery Colorful land iguana
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Day 1 San Cristobal Airport | Embark | Lobos Islet

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Upon arrival at the San Cristóbal Airport, travelers pass through an airport inspection point to make sure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands. A guide will meet you, help you collect your luggage, and escort you on a short bus ride to the harbor.

The Lobos Islets beach harbors a colony of Galapagos sea lions. As in other colonies in the archipelago, you can approach nurturing females within a few metres. In the breeding season, this colony is also visited by territorial males, defending and mating the harem on their part of the beach. This low islet is home to more than just Galapagos sea lions. Two other emblematic species breed here: male blue-footed boobies and great frigate birds who try to impress the females (and tourists) with clumsy dances, heaving their striking blue feet or blowing up their balloon-sized scarlet pouches. During the breeding season, the puffy and hungry chicks cry for food, and when their wings get strong enough they can fly. 

Day 2 South Plaza | Santa Fe

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
South Plaza is located at the east of Santa Cruz Island, and forms part of two islands known as Islas Plazas. Despite its small size, some of the most interesting and outstanding species of the Galapagos are found here. The Plazas land iguanas are smaller than its relatives found on other islands. There are several hybrid iguanas, a result of crossing a male marine iguana and a female land iguana; they are unique, recognizable at first glance by their black/gray color, with a land iguana's crest, but face and tail of the marine iguana. The big population of iguanas is due to the presence of tunas, their favorite food. Swallow tailed gulls nesting in the rugged cliffs are seen along with other sea birds such as Audubon shearwaters, red-billed tropicbirds, frigate birds and brown pelicans.

In the afternoon visit Santa Fe. Located in the southeastern part of the Galapagos, this island was formed from an uplift instead than from a volcanic origin; this is why it is mostly flat. There are some theories that assure that this could be the oldest island in the Archipelago. Santa Fe is the home of a number of endemic species like the Galapagos hawk, Galapagos snake, Galapagos mockingbird, rice rats and one of the two species of land iguanas of the islands. After disembarkation in the beautiful and clear waters, be in contact with one of the many sea lion colonies. Along the trail, many saltbushes can be seen, as well giant prickly pear cactus. There are great possibilities of snorkeling with playful sea lions and tropical fishes.

Day 3 Chinese Hat | Dragon Hill

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Chinese Hat is a 52m/170ft high volcanic cone, forming another islet right off the rocky coast of Santiago, where a small colony of Galapagos penguins has settled. Approaching Chinese Hat from the north, you will understand the meaning of the name. This is an excellent place to learn more about volcanoes, lava bombs, and lava tunnels.
You will arrive just in time to witness how this barren islet is colonized by pioneer species that have begun to sprout! Beautiful beaches of white coral sand and holes in the eroding lava fields are filled up with lava sand, which enables rooting. Galapagos sea lions and countless marine iguanas contribute to fertilization and all together create many favorable options for newcomers, such as saltbush and the Vesuvius carpet.

The visitor site at Dragon Hill has been open to visitors since 1993. This site is located in northwestern Santa Cruz Island and consists of a trail that leads to a hyper-saline lagoon behind the beach, frequently visited by flamingos, pintail ducks and other species of birds. This site has been re-populated with land iguanas from Seymour, Isabela and Santa Cruz island. There is a short walk to the hill, which offers a beautiful view of the bay

Day 4 Charles Darwin Research Station, Santa Cruz | Disembark | Baltra Airport

  • 1 Breakfast
Although the great majority of Galapagos visitors come to Charles Darwin Research Station to observe and appreciate natural wonders, it is also interesting to learn how the protection and conservation of the islands are done. The main attractions are the National Park information center, the Van Staelen Exhibition Hall, the Breeding and Rearing Center for young tortoises, and adult Galapagos tortoises in captivity.

In the afternoon transfer to Baltra’s airport to take the flight back to the continent.
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Archipell II

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Per person starting at
$2,050
Archipell I & II's Twin Cabin.
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Twin Cabin
Cabins feature lower berths and private en-suite bath facilities with hot & cold water, A/C.
Cruise the Galapagos on the Archipell ship
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Standard Cabin
8 cabins with twin or double beds. Feature private facilities with hot & cold water, A/C.

Notes

Please reserve your kayak in advance prior to trip

Child Discount

20% 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

  • 3 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 3 Dinners
  • 3 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Professional, bilingual guide service as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
  • 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
  • Snorkeling and kayaking equipment is included in the cruise cost and available for your use on board.

Excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Internal Flights: Mainland Ecuador - Galapagos - Mainland Ecuador: $475-675
  • Wetsuits are not included but are available to rent on board - $10/day per person.
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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We are so glad that we chose Adventure Life. The service is top-notch. Everything is well taken care of and we just have to print the documents and go. Franny even gave us timely updates on possible airport strike.
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