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Green sea turtle swimming

Galapagos Northern Islands

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Corals
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Embark on this exciting 8-day cruise of the amazing and incredible north islands of the Galapagos. Highlights of the north include beautiful Santa Cruz, wildlife-rich Isabela, cliff-laden Fernandina, and the amazing black beaches of Santiago. Enjoy the company of friendly sea lions while snorkeling or enjoy a hike across volcanic landscapes. There are many opportunities to get acquainted with the unique features of the islands, making this a truly amazing vacation. 
Bartolome Island and Pinnacle Rock(Rabida) A bull and his harembeautiful cruise along Isabela Wildlife in the GalapagosGreen sea turtle swimming
Highlights
  • Learn about Charles Darwin Station´s efforts to preserve the environment
  • Explore Dragon Hill´s brackish lagoon and look for feeding flamingos
  • Snorkel and swim with sea turtles and white-tipped reef sharks at Bartolome
  • Explore Urbina Bay´s volcanic black sand beach in search of more wildlife
Places Visited
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Baltra | Embark | Charles Darwin Research Station & Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, Santa Cruz

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Arrive to the Galapagos and transfer to your ship, the Corals. On the afternoon cruise to Santa Cruz Island and visit the station where the Galapagos giant tortoise breeding program takes place as part of efforts to preserve the fragile Galapagos environment and where the famous Lonesome George (the last surviving specimen of his species) lived for decades. The center is conducted by the Galapagos National Park staff with the collaboration of scientists from the Charles Darwin Station. In addition, the Darwin Station works in several scientific projects, botanical research, providing environmental education to communities, schools within the Islands and tourists. Admire a prickly-pear cactus forest and a variety of Darwin finches and other land birds. If there is enough time visit the town and shop for souvenirs.

Day 2: El Barranco | Darwin Bay, Genovesa

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
g. 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. You will be 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.

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 will 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 on 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.

Day 3: Rabida | Bartolome

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Land in Rabida Island and walk through its dark-red sand unique beaches. Rábida 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 as are nine species of the famous Darwin’s finches. Take a dinghy ride along cliffs to observe nesting seabirds, and snorkel off the coast where marine life is particularly active.

In the afternoon visit Bartolome, one of the most frequently visited sites of all the islands. The highest point is only 374 feet (114 m) above sea level and it has a surface area of 0.74 mi (1.2 km). The island is separated from the island of Santiago by Sullivan Bay. It is an excellent site for snorkeling, filled with the breathtaking volcanic landscapes that make this corner of the world so unique. The first landing possibility is by a dock, made out of lava and concrete, which soon turns into a wooden staircase built to avoid erosion and consists of 372 steps. It leads to the island’s summit, where you will find what probably constitutes the most photographed site in the Galapagos: the Pinnacle Rock. Due to its altitude, the lack of vegetation is immediately noticeable. Pioneer plants can be observed, which are called this way because they are the first to establish roots on new ground. They include Tiquilia nesiotica (which is endemic to the island) and Chamaesyce (known as sand mat or spurge in English), lava cactus, and Scalesia bushes. Behind the beach, there are dunes covered by mangroves. 

Day 4: Black Turtle Cove | Highlands Tortoise Reserve, Santa Cruz

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Discover the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, accessible only by sea where four species of mangrove crowd from the shore out into the lagoon, turtles enjoy swimming in the calm waters, peaking their heads above the surface, while fish, rays and small sharks circle below. White-tipped reef sharks can be seen beneath the boat. Sea birds, including pelicans, herons and egrets, all feed in the cove. This cove has been declared as a “Turtle Sanctuary”.

In the afternoon visit the Highlands Tortoise Reserve. In the mountains of 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’ 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.

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

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning, visit Vicente Roca Point, a high peak of land created out of remains of a tuff cone, with two protected turquoise coves on both sides. One of them, the Bolivar Channel is one of the richest marine ecosystems on Earth. This place is only accessible by water, with great opportunities for deep-water snorkeling. In this part of the Galapagos, the upwelling of cold water currents from the west, offer an abundant plankton supply for marine species like red-lipped batfish, seahorses, frogfish, nudibranchs, octopus, and the mola-mola or sunfish. It is common to observe dolphin pods, sea lions rafts, and tuna banks. The dinghy ride along the coast allows observing a great diversity of seabirds like noddies, brown pelicans, Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorants, Nazca and blue-footed boobies are often seen feeding all at once during the cold season (May – December). Whale watching is also common while navigating.

In the afternoon visit Espinosa Point, on Fernandina Island, 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 and in the shore mangrove can be found.

Day 6: Urbina Bay | Tagus Cove, Isabela

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today visit Isabela Island, stopping at Urbina Bay and Tagus Cove. In the morning explore the volcanic black sand beach of Urbina Bay, in search of 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 the 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.

This afternoon, make your way over to Tagus Cove and learn about the volcanoes that formed Isabela Island. Follow a trail that leads to Darwin’s salt-water crater lake for excellent views of lava fields and volcanic formations. Return by the same path for a dinghy ride along a shoreline full of marine wildlife, where you can 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. Afterwards, have an opportunity to snorkel in deep water.

Day 7: Egas Port | Sullivan Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning travel to Santiago Island, stopping at Egas Port, 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.

It has the biggest and longest lava flow, which is located in Sullivan Bay. Geologically speaking, this island is one of the most beautiful and unbelievable formations. The vast basaltic landscape performs smooth and unbroken surfaces with undulations and nods formed by the fluid lava that created the sculpture. It is located on the central west of the archipelago and is formed by two overlapping volcanoes. It is the 4th biggest of the archipelago.

Day 8: Bachas Beach, Santa Cruz | Disembark | Baltra

  • 1 Breakfast
This morning cruise to Bachas Beach, home to two small flamingo ponds were iguanas sunbathe, see coastal birds, Darwin finches, mockingbirds, and gulls, as well as interesting native vegetation like red and black mangrove, salt bushes. This beach is one of the main sea turtles nesting sites in the Galapagos. At this paradisiacal site, you can also find the remains of barges that sank a long time ago, when the United States Navy operated a base during World War II on Baltra Island. Local people modified the word barges to “Bachas”.

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

Ship/Hotel

Corals

Corals during the sunset
Restaurant
Sun Deck

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$3,683
Standard Cabin
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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.
Standard Plus Cabin
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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.
Junior Cabin
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Junior Cabin
Eight on Coral I and seven on Coral II. Three triple cabins available. 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
  • 7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Professional, bilingual guide service as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
  • 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
  • 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 $30/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.
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