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Curious sea lion during a snorkeling outing

Western Galapagos Islands Cruise

Example 5 Day Cruise aboard Corals
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Enjoy this 5-day cruise through the western islands of the Galapagos. Get ready to see an abundance of unique wildlife including flamingos, frigatebirds, iguanas, and enjoy some friendly interaction with the island's playful sea lions. Highlights of the west include beautiful Santa Cruz, wildlife-rich Isabela, and lava-laden Fernandina. The wildlife here is abundant and the landscape is stunning to behold, making this an incredible vacation.
Kayak on a beach in the galapagosTravelers being guided across the volcanic landscape.Hanging with a giant Galapagos tortoiseExtinct cinder cone in the GalapagosCurious sea lion during a snorkeling outing
Highlights
  • Snorkel at one of the richest marine ecosystems on Earth
  • Visit Fernandina, the island with the highest number of endemic species
  • Find giant tortoises and land iguanas on Urbina's volcanic black beach
  • Explore Santiago's shores, home to a variety of resident and migrant birds
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Baltra | Embark | Black Turtle Cove, Santa Cruz

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Departure from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra Island (2 ½ hour flight). Arriving in the Galapagos, passengers are picked up at the airport by our naturalist guides to take advantage of the time in the archipelago. 

Here we can find four species of mangrove in the extensive tidal lagoon system that stretches for almost a mile inland. During our panga rides through the labyrinth, we will spot many turtles, herons of several species, sharks, and rays. The experience is otherworldly and seems to transport us back to the beginning of time.
Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: none
Duration: 1-hour dinghy ride

Day 2: Vicente Roca Point, Isabela | Espinosa Point, Fernandina

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Great deep-water snorkeling at one of the richest marine havens on Earth, the Bolivar Channel. Accessible by water, we take a dinghy ride along the coast to observe a great diversity of sea and coastal birds; Nazca and blue-footed boobies, noddies, brown pelicans, penguins, and flightless cormorants. The upwelling of cold water currents in this part of the Galapagos gives rise to an abundance of marine life, a perfect place for deep snorkeling.
Difficulty level: moderate / high
Type of terrain: water
Activities: 1-hour snorkeling / 1-hour dinghy ride

Dry landing. From Espinosa Point, is possible to admire a wide view of Isabela Island across the Bolivar Channel, an area that boasts some of the highest diversity of endemic sea fauna in the Galapagos. Here the largest, most primitive-looking marine iguanas are found mingling with sea lions and Sally Lightfoot crabs. Fernandina displays a wonderful opportunity to encounter flightless cormorants at their nesting sites, Galapagos penguins and the “King” of predators on the islands, the Galapagos hawk. Pa-hoe-hoe and AA lava formations cover the majority of Fernandina terrain. Vegetation is scarce inland, with few
brachypterous cacti. On the shore, mangroves can be found.
Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: flat/semi rocky
Duration: 1 ½-hour walk / 1-hour snorkeling

Day 3: Urbina Bay | Tagus Cove, Isabela

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Wet landing (might be difficult due to the tide). Volcanic black beach, depending on the season, it is possible to find giant tortoises, land iguanas, and the unusual flightless cormorant. After a short walk inland it´s snorkeling time, a chance to swim with sea turtles, sea lions, and countless tropical fish. Urbina Bay features a wide variety of plants with a different range of colors in flowers, attracting different insects, birds, and reptiles. One of the highlights of the island is the uplifted coral reef that resulted from the 1954 seismic activity; here the views of Alcedo Volcano are remarkable. When navigating from Urbina to Tagus Cove whale watching is usual in May – December.
Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: flat & rocky
Duration: 1 ½-hour walk / 1-hour snorkeling

Dry landing on Galapagos’ largest island where we will learn about the eruption of the five volcanoes that form it. The trail leads to Darwin’s salt-water crater lake and has excellent views of lava fields and volcanic formations. We will return by the same path for a dinghy ride along a shoreline full of marine wildlife, where we will admire a variety of seabirds, such as Bluefooted Booby, Brown Noddy, terns, Flightless Cormorants and depending on the season, a large number of Galapagos Penguins which are only 35 cm tall; the only penguin species in the world to live in the tropics. The population of penguins on the islands is about 2,000 individuals, most of which live on this western portion of Isabela; others are scattered further south. We will have an opportunity to snorkel in deep water. Graffiti believed to have been left by 19th-century pirates is a curious reminder of an intriguing past.
Difficulty level: intermediate/difficult
Type of terrain: steep/steep
Duration: 2-hour walk / 40-minute dinghy ride / 1-hour deep water snorkeling

Day 4: Egas Port, Santiago | Sullivan Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Wet landing. Egas Port is a black volcanic sand beach, visited by Darwin in 1835. The first section of the trail is formed of volcanic ash (eroded tuff) and the other half is an uneven terrain of volcanic basaltic rock. The unique, truly striking layered terrain of Santiago shore is home to a variety of animals including the bizarre yellow-crowned night heron and marine wildlife including lobster, starfish and marine iguanas grazing on algae beds alongside Sally light-foot crabs. It is easy to see colonies of endemic fur seals swimming in cool water volcanic rock pools.
Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: flat & semi-rocky
Duration: 1 ½-hour walk / 1-hour snorkeling

Wet landing. This site located at the southeastern portion of Santiago Island is of important geologic interest. It features extensive relative young pa-hoe-hoe lava flows formed during the last quarter of the 19th century. In the middle of the lava flow, older reddish-yellow colored tuff cones appear. Mollugo plants with their yellow-to-orange whorled leaves usually grow out of the fissures. Walking on the solidified lava gives the impression of being on another planet. Tree molds are found, indicating that in that position large size plants grew in small crevices until the lava flow of past eruptions burned down the flora of the island.
Difficulty level: difficult
Type of terrain: flat volcanic lava
Duration: 1½-hour walk / 1-hour snorkeling / beach time

Day 5: Highlands Tortoise Reserve | Disembark | Baltra

  • 1 Breakfast
Dry landing. In the mountains of the Galapagos is possible to admire different kinds of birds, such as tree and ground finches, vermillion flycatchers, paint-billed crakes, yellow warblers, and cattle egrets (usually standing on the tortoises’ shells). The journey to the reserve offers great opportunities to see the contrasts that the island offers in reference to the variety of ecosystems. The road goes from the coast through the agricultural zone and straight up to the dense humid forests. Often, Galapagos giant tortoises are also seen on the way, wandering through pastures in the paddocks. This spot is a birdwatchers’ haven since almost every land bird present on the island lives or migrates here.
Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: flat & muddy (depending on the season)
Duration: 45-minute drive / 1 ½-hour walk

After the visit, passengers transfer to the airport for their return flight to Guayaquil or Quito.

Ship/Hotel

Corals

Corals during the sunset
Sun Terrace  Moon deck  Coral II

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$2,381
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Standard Cabin
Two on Coral I and one on Coral II. Portholes, located on the Sea Deck. Average area of 75 sq ft.
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Standard Plus Cabin
Eight on Coral I and four on Coral II. Portholes, located on the Sea Deck. Average size 128 sq ft.
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Junior Cabin
Eight on Coral I and seven on Coral II. Picture windows, located on Earth & Sky Decks. Average size 129 sq ft.

Child Discount

Children under 12 years old receive a 50% discount (25% for holiday season) when sharing a cabin with two full-fare paying guests. 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
  • 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
  • Gear Rental: Snorkeling Gear
  • Bilingual Naturalist Guide 
  • Adventure Life Pre-departure Services and In-Country Assistance (Quito Representative)
  • Transfers and Baggage Handling in the Galapagos
  • Shore Excursions, Swimming, Snorkeling and Glass Bottom Boat
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: $100 per adult, $50 per child under 12. Payable upon arrival to the Galapagos, only in cash dollars.
  • Internal Flights: Mainland Ecuador - Galapagos - Mainland Ecuador: $475-675
  • Wetsuits are not included but are available to rent on board - $25 for 4-day and 5-day tours, $50 for 8-day, 11-day, and 12 day tours, and $75 for 15-day tours. 
  • Kayak available for $45/use

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This was our first trip to South America and we were a little nervous. But Adventure Life made things so easy! All our questions were answered before we left, and our guide, Vidal, was amazing! He gave us enough space to explore without rushing us along. He also knew where the best picture taking opportunities were, which was great.
Lindsay Gompf
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