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Cruise the Galapagos on the Corals

Galapagos Islands Circumnavigation

Example 15 Day Cruise aboard Corals
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Circumnavigate the Galapagos islands on this 15-day voyage. Take in the best the archipelago has to offer, visiting Santa Cruz, Bartolome, Isabela, Fernandina, Santiago, North Seymour, Santa Fe, South Plaza, San Cristobal, Española, and Floreana Islands. Wildlife viewing opportunities abound as you traverse the islands, snorkel in the crystal clear waters, or take a relaxing swim off the pristine shores. This is an excellent excursion for gaining a true understanding of the history of these islands and the rare and incredible creatures that make their homes here.
Getting close to sea lions in the GalapagosSnorkeling girlThe late Lonesome George in the GalapagosHike in BartolomeCruise the Galapagos on the Corals
Highlights
  • Learn about Charles Darwin Station's efforts to preserve the environment
  • Snorkel and swim with sea turtles and white-tipped reef sharks at Bartolome
  • Visit a sea lion colony and observe herons in Mosquera Islet
  • Hike across Española, the oldest & most isolated island in the Archipelago
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 | Embark | Punta Carrion

Departing from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra Island (approx. 2 hour and 30 min flight). Arriving in the Galapagos, passengers are picked up at the airport by naturist guides to take advantage of the time in the archipelago. Then be taken directly to Santa Cruz Island for lunch. First visit of the itinerary.

Dinghy ride at the entry of the Itabaca Channel in a lagoon with turquoise water, where you can observe sharks, blue-footed boobies, and different kinds of fish.
Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: none
Activities: 1 hour dinghy ride

Day 2: El Barranco | Darwin Bay, Genovesa

Be marveled at the variety of sea life that uses the crevices of the lava cliffs for shelter. Red-billed Tropicbirds fly overhead, switching between their nests and the bay, and a small colony of fur seals may be found near the landing site. Dropped off at a steep stairway that begins on rocks at the foot of a path that leads through a seabird colony full of Nazca and Red-footed Boobies. At the plateau, the trail continues inland allowing you to see more nesting booby colonies in the thin Palo Santo forest. Near the end of the trail, over a rocky lava plain, Wedge-rumped Storm Petrels can be observed flying in all directions. If you are lucky, you may catch a glimpse of a Short-eared Owl.
Difficulty level: moderate
Type of terrain: rocky-lava
Activities: 45 min walk

Disembark onto a small sand and coral beach. A short trail heads west along a tidal lagoon and then up a rocky hill that leads to a point overlooking the cliffs and Darwin Bay. Along the trail near the tidal lagoon, visitors can see pairs of Swallow-tailed Gulls, Lava Gulls, Yellow-crowned and Lava Herons. The trail continues through Palo Santo trees, Opuntia cacti, and Saltbushes inhabited by Great Frigate birds and Red-footed Boobies. This is one of the few places in the islands where visitors are guaranteed to see Red-footed Boobies. It is estimated that more than 200,000 Red-footed Boobies live in the trees and bushes of Genovesa.
Difficulty level: moderate
Type of terrain: Sand & Lava
Activities: 2 hours and 30 min walk approx / Snorkeling

Day 3: Rabida | Bartolome

Wet landing. Dark-red sand covers the unique beaches of this island, home of sea lions colonies; Rabida is considered the epicenter of the Galapagos Islands due to the diversity of its volcanic geology. Nesting brown pelicans are found from July through September plus nine species of the famous Darwin’s finches. Here a dinghy ride along marine cliffs is done, to observe nesting seabirds. Snorkel off the coast, where marine life is particularly active.
Disembarking: wet landing
Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy
Activities: 1 hour 30 min walk/1-hour snorkeling / 1-hour dinghy ride

Discover a fascinating landscape formed by different volcanic parasitic cones —lava bombs, spatter, cinder cones — that resembles the moon. Going up to the summit with an impressive views of the surrounding islands, including the eroded tuff cone Pinnacle Rock. Encounter marine iguanas, lava lizards, and blue-footed boobies. Beach time is a great opportunity to do snorkeling and see the famous Galapagos Penguins, sea turtles and White-tipped Reef Sharks among a great variety of colorful fish. For many visitors, this may turn out to be the best snorkeling experience. Crystal clear water is the perfect spot to appreciate the incredible marine life it has to offer. Due to its geographical location, the lack of vegetation is immediately noticeable however, there are pioneer plants including the endemic Tiquilia nesiotica and Chamaesyce (known as sand mat or spurge in English), lava cactus, and Scalesia bushes.
Disembarking: dry or wet landing
Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: trail made of 372 steps
Activities: 1 hour and 30 min walk / 1-hour snorkeling

Day 4: Highlands Tortoise Reserve | Charles Darwin Research Station | Black Turtle Cove

In the mountains of Galapagos is possible to admire different kind of birds, such as: tree and ground finches, vermillion flycatchers, paint-billed crakes, yellow warblers, and cattle egrets (usually standing on the tortoises’ shell). 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.
Disembarking: dry landing
Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: flat & muddy (depending on the season)
Activities: 45 min drive / 1 hour and 30 min walk

Once home to the famous Lonesome George, the last tortoise of the Pinta race, the breeding and relocation center is named in honor of his long-time guardian. The center is set in the Galapagos National Park Service where various interpretative buildings are available to visit. The grounds, with large stands of native vegetation, are one of the better places to spot some of the seldom seen Darwinís finches such as the woodpecker, cactus, and vegetarian finches.
Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: flat
Duration: 1 ½-hour visit

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

Day 5: Vicente Roca Point, Isabela | Espinosa Point, Fernandina

Great deep-water snorkeling at one of the richest marine havens on Earth, the Bolivar Channel. Accessible by water, 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
Duration: 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 brachycereus cacti. In the shore mangrove can be found.
Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: flat/semi rocky
Duration: 1 ½-hour walk / 1-hour snorkeling

Day 6: Urbina Bay | Tagus Cove, Isabela

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 and 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. Return by the same path for a dinghy ride along a shoreline full of marine wildlife, admire a variety of seabirds, such as Blue-footed Booby, Brown Noddy, terns, Flightless Cormorant 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. 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 7: Egas Port | Sullivan Bay

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-yellowcolored 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 been in 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 8: Bachas Beach | Pit Craters | North Seymour

Named for some wrecked World War II barges whose ribs are still visible in the sand this visitor site offers great swimming, a lovely walk along the shore and a visit to a lagoon behind the high tide line with wading birds, marine iguanas and sometimes even flamingoes. The two beaches are also favorite nesting sites for green turtles which often leave tractor-like tracks in the sand.
Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy
Duration: 1-hour walk / 1-hour snorkeling/ beach time

The Pit Craters, geologically speaking, were not directly formed by volcanic action. They were created as a result of the collapse or sinking of surface materials into cracks or manholes. It’s a great place to spot vermilion flycatchers as you walk inside an endemic Scalesia forest. Great opportunity to observe giant tortoises.
Type of Terrain: Flat, sometimes the trails can be muddy.
Difficulty level: Easy
Duration: 45-minute drive / 1 ½-hour hike

This flat, uplifted, island is an important spot to see both magnificent and great frigatebird males courting the females by clicking, bill-clapping, shuddering, and flapping their wings, all while showing off their grossly inflated, bright red, gular pouch. See courting blue-footed boobies displaying their unique feet while ëdancingí to a prospective mate. Sea lions, swallow-tailed gulls, crashing surf and distant views of the Daphne Islands top off a great visit.
Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: rocky ground
Duration: 2-hour walk / 30-minute snorkeling

Day 9: Charles Darwin Research Station | Mosquera Islet

Once home to the famous Lonesome George, the last tortoise of the Pinta race, the breeding and relocation center is named in honor of his long-time guardian. The center is set in the Galapagos National Park Service where various interpretative buildings are available to visit. The grounds, with large stands of native vegetation, are one of the better places to spot some of the seldom seen Darwinís finches such as the woodpecker, cactus and vegetarian finches.
Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: flat
Duration: 1 ½-hour visit

Wet Landing, Mosquera Islet is located between North Seymour and Baltra Island. This flat, sandy island has a large colony of sea lions. It is also an excellent site to observe shorebirds such as herons and lava gulls. There is no trail on the islet, the visitor can enjoy the open area. Most of the islet is covered with sand and barren lava rock. Very little sesuvium portulacastrum plants grow on the sand.
Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy
Duration: 1 ½-hour walk & snorkeling

Day 10: South Plaza | Santa Fe

Sea lions, swallow-tailed gulls and land iguanas are all present at the landing site. The small island is covered with a carpet of a red succulents studded with Opuntia cacti. At the cliff edge, spend time watching birds fly past at eye level in the updraught. These include frigatebirds, flocks of Galapagos shearwaters, and of particular note, flights of displaying red-billed tropicbirds. Back at sea level, once again encounter land iguanas, some of which have hybridized with their resident marine cousins.
Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: rocky
Duration: 2-hour walk

After a fabulous snorkel in the turquoise waters of the protected bay, you may enjoy time with sea lions, turtles, reef sharks, and spotted eagle rays. Land on a sandy beach and be immediately distracted by the abundant sea lions there. Begin a walk past a forest of island-endemic giant Opuntia cacti. Here, search for another island-endemic the Santa Fe land iguana, paler than its cousins on other islands. Galapagos hawks and even endemic rice rats are also things to look out for.
Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: rocky
Duration: 1 ½-hour walk / 1-hour deep-water snorkeling

Day 11: Lobos Island | Interpretation Center & Frigatebird Hill, San Cristobal

Dry Landing: Isla Lobos is approximately 20 minutes by boat from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Once on the island, the trail is about 850 meters and there is a rocky trail and a nice & easy sand trail too. There is a small population of blue-footed boobies and great frigatebirds nests at this site. You can also find a colony of sea lions. During the boat ride, you can see brown pelicans and several species of shorebirds.
Difficulty level: moderate 
Type of Terrain: rocky terrain - sandy 
Activities: 1 ½-hour walk

The interpretation center is full of interesting information and offers the perfect overview to the formation of the Galapagos, its significance in the world, threats, and conservation efforts. Followed by a hike to Frigatebird Hill (Cerro Tijeretas) have a great look at both species of frigatebird, with the bonus of a beautiful view of the bay below.
Difficulty level: easy /intermediate
Type of terrain: flat/stairs
Duration: 1-hour visit / 1-hour walk

Frigatebird Hill Involves a high-intensity walk amidst a beautiful landscape and a magnificent view at the foot of frigate birds nesting colony.
Difficulty level: difficult
Type of Terrain: Rocky
Duration: 1-hour visit

Day 12: Kicker Rock | Cerro Brujo | Punta Pitt & Islet

Kicker Rock Circumnavigation (San Cristobal Island) This ancient and eroded volcanic tuff lava named Leon Dormido or Kicker Rock it is formed by two rocks approximately 148 m, named for its resemblance to a sleeping lion.
Activity: Circumnavigation

From the pangas, as you head to shore, you are first humbled by the immensity of the stunning cliffs of ëSorcererís Hillí. Enjoy simply sharing the beach with sea lions, snorkeling from shore or take a walk to a hidden lagoon where you might spot black-necked stilts, ruddy turnstones, whimbrels and white-cheeked pintails.
Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy
Duration: 1-hour walk / 1-hour snorkeling

Sea lions greets you as you land on the beach and prepare for the climb to a high point on the steep eroded tuff cone. This is the only place in the islands where you enjoy the chance to see all three of the booby species in the same place. The red-foots are perched on the Cordia lutea and small trees, the Nazcaís on the ground near the cliff edge while the blue-foots are a little further inland. Frigatebirds are all around and the views are breathtaking.
Difficulty level: difficult
Type of terrain: rocky
Duration: 2½-hour walk/ 40-minutes snorkeling or kayaking

Day 13: Suarez Point | Gardner Bay, Española

One of the highlight visits of the trip. Punta Suarez seems to have everything - a naturalist paradise. A slew of marine iguanas and sea lions greet you at the landing site from where the walk continues with close encounters of boobies, endemic lizards, gulls, and even a dramatic blow hole. The oldest extant island in the archipelago it is the only opportunity to commune with the endemic waved albatross during their breeding season between April and December. With luck, you can watch their complex courtship display.
Difficulty level: difficult 
Type of terrain: rocky ground
Activities: 2 ½-hours walk

One of the most stunning beaches in all of the Galapagos. The long, white, sandy beach, lapped by turquoise waters is home to a colony of Galapagos sea lions, indifferent to the humans that walk amongst them. The Hood mockingbirds, endemic to this particular island, are eager to inspect the visitors and satisfy their innate curiosity. Darwinís finches may also join the throng including the reclusive warbler finch. Snorkel from the beach, in the shallows of the bay
Difficulty level: easy 
Type of terrain: sandy 
Activities: 1-hour walk / 1-hour snorkeling

Day 14: Cormorant Point Or Champion Islet | Post Office, Floreana

Wet landing, on an olivine green, sanded beach. You hike from the black mangrove beds to a brackish lagoon, which usually holds one of the largest flamingo populations in the Galapagos. This island features some endemic plants such as Scalesia villosa, white and black mangrove, and holy stick. The trail continues to a beautiful white sandy beach, one of the most important nesting sites of Green Pacific Sea Turtles. It is important to avoid walking in the water due to the Sting Rays that may be hiding in the sand, which can be dangerous if accidentally stepped on. From the beach, one can spot sea turtles, blue-footed boobies plunging into the water, and small reef sharks floating along the shoreline in the search for food. 

This coral-sand beach marks the end of the trail, and you head back to the olivine beach you landed on, to swim or snorkel amongst sea turtles, reef fish, sea lions and, on a good day, white-tipped reef sharks. A small colony of penguins resides on Floreana and can sometimes be observed as well.
Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy & flat
Activities: 1-hour walk / 1-hour snorkeling

Wet landing. Located on the north side of Floreana, the bay was named because in 1793 Captain James Colnett installed a wooden barrel which served as an informal post office for sailors passing through, who would take letters with them back to their destinations. Today, visitors continue the tradition by placing unstamped postcards inside the barrel, hoping that some other traveler, going to the letter destination, take it back for free. The chances are that the letter posted can take a long time to arrive at its destination. However, there have been cases where it has arrived before the sender. 

You may also encounter Darwin’s finches, Yellow Warblers and Lava Lizards. Great snorkeling opportunities with Green Pacific Sea Turtles. As well, the island is best known for its endemic vegetation: Scalesia villosa, Lecocarpus Pinnatifidus, and the Galapagos Milkwort. Snorkelers can practice on the main beach among playful sea lions.
Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy 
Activities: 30-minute walk / 1-hour snorkeling

Day 15: 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) 
Activities: 45-minute drive / 1 ½-hour walk

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

Ship/Hotel

Corals

Corals during the sunset
Corals Jacuzzi
Sun Terrace  Moon deck  Coral II

Dates & Prices

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Per person starting at
$7,413 2-3 travelers
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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. *Room design may vary depending on which yacht you will sail. Please contact your trip planner for actual cabin availability.
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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. *Room design may vary depending on which yacht you will sail. Please contact your trip planner for actual cabin availability.
Coral I Junior CabinCoral II Junior CabinCoral I Junior CabinCoral II Junior Cabin
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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. *Room design may vary depending on which yacht you will sail. Please contact your trip planner for actual cabin availability.

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
  • 14 Breakfasts, 14 Lunches, 14 Dinners
  • 14 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: $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
  • 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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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.
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