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A Green Sea Turtle swimming around the reefs.

West & Central Islands

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Galapagos Legend
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Embark on this 8-day adventure that explores the incredible western and central islands of the Galapagos. Highlights of the west include beautiful Santa Cruz, wildlife-rich Isabela, cliff-laden Fernandina, precious Genovesa, and the amazing black beaches of Santiago. Be entertained by the antics of friendly sea lions or get up close and personal with the incredible giant tortoises that make their home here. Spend your days exploring the archipelago, encountering sea lions, Galapagos penguins, frigate birds, flightless cormorants, tortoises, and many more unique native species!
Zodiac off the coast of Prince Philips Steps, GenovesaSea lions on beach in RabidaEspinoza Point, Fernandina Island, GalapagosBlue footed boobyA Green Sea Turtle swimming around the reefs.
Highlights
  • Visit Genovesa Island to meet Nazca and red-footed boobies
  • Stop at Dragon Hill, an important nesting site for endemic land iguanas
  • Explore Santa Fe's white sand beaches surrounded by sea lion colonies
  • Snorkel with sea lions and sea turtles in Urbina Bay
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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

Departing from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra Island in a 2:30 hour flight.  Upon arrival in the Galapagos, passengers are picked up at the airport by our Natural Guides and taken to a 10-minute bus drive to the pier to board the M/V Galapagos Legend.

Black Turtle Cove, Santa Cruz - Here, you can find four species of mangrove in the extensive tidal lagoon system that stretches for almost a mile inland. During your dinghy ride through the labyrinth you will 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.
Highlights: Four species of mangrove, declared a “Turtle Sanctuary.” 
Physical Condition: low  
Activities: 1 hour 30 min dinghy ride

Day 2: El Barranco, Prince Philip's Steps | Darwin Bay, Genovesa

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Riding your dinghy to the far side of the caldera, red-billed tropicbirds display vociferously overhead while Galapagos fur seals can be seen on the shoreline. Once at the top of the rocky stairway you are immediately met by Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, mockingbirds and finches that line your way through a palo santo forest until you arrive at an expansive open lava field. Wedge-rumped storm petrels swarm above the lava where you keep your eyes peeled for short-eared owls.
Highlights: Dried lava field, red-footed bobbies, short-eared ow, Nazca boobies’ nesting site.
Disembarking: dry landing
Physical Condition: medium
Type of terrain: rocky
Activities: 2-hour hike / 45-min dinghy ride

From within the flooded caldera of Tower Island you set foot onto a sandy beach to be greeted by swallow-tailed gulls often said to be the most beautiful gull in the world. Your short, flat, trail leads you past stands of mangroves and saltbush on which you have your best possible looks at nesting red-footed boobies and great frigatebirds. At the tidal lagoon you may also see the rarest gull in the world, our very own, endemic lava gull.
Highlights: Sandy coral beach, swallow-tailed and lava gulls, mockingbirds, yellow-crowned night herons.
Disembarking: wet landing
Physical Condition: low
Type of terrain: sandy
Activities: 45 min kayaking / 45 min glass-bottom boat or 1-hour deep or beach snorkeling / 1 hour 15 min hike

Day 3: South Plaza Island | Santa Fe Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 succulent studded with Opuntia cacti. At the cliff edge, you spend time watching birds fly past at eye level in the up draught. These include, frigatebirds, flocks of Galapagos shearwaters and of particular note, flights of displaying red-billed tropicbirds. Back at sea level, you once again encounter land iguanas, some of which have hybridized with their resident marine cousins.
Highlights: Large colony of sea lions, endemic cactus forest, land & marine iguanas, Nazca & blue-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls.
Disembarking: dry landing
Physical Condition: medium
Type of terrain: rocky
Activities: 2 hour 15 min hike

After a fabulous snorkel in the turquoise waters of the protected bay you may have enjoyed time with sea lions, turtles, reef sharks and spotted eagle rays. Landing onto a sandy beach you are immediately distracted by the abundant sea lions there with you. You begin a walk past a forest of island-endemic giant Opuntia cacti. Here you 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.
Highlights: Endemic Santa Fe land iguana, Galapagos hawk, mockingbirds, sea lions.
Disembarking: wet landing
Physical Condition: medium
Type of terrain: rocky
Activities: 30 min glass-bottom boat ride / 45 min kayaking / 1-hour hike / 1-hour deep snorkeling

Day 4: Bachas Beach | Mosquera Islet

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Named for some wrecked World War II barges whose ribs are still visible in the sand this visitor site offers 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.
Highlights: Giant tortoises, Darwin finches, pricky-pear cactus, Interpretation Center. / Giant tortoises, lava tubes, scalesia forest, Chato Reserve.
Disembarking: dry landing
Physical Condition: low
Type of terrain: flat
Activities: 2 hour bus ride round trip / 2 hour 30 min hike and visit

Charles Darwin Research Station 
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 Darwin’s finches such as the woodpecker, cactus and vegetarian finches.
Highlights: One of the main nesting sites of sea turtles, flamingoes, snorkeling to see sharks, rays.
Disembarking: wet landing
Physical condition: low
Type of terrain: sandy
Activities: 1-hour hike / beach time    

Mosquera Islet
This tiny, low lying islet, covered in coral sand, is set between North and South Seymour Islands. It is home to a group of sea lions that come to laze on the soft white sand. It is a good spot to observe shorebirds as well as herons, lava gulls and boobies. Snorkeling or diving here one can often see sharks, rays and barracudas.
Highlights: White sandy beach, large colony of sea lions.
Disembarking: wet landing    
Physical Condition: low
Type of terrain: sandy
Activities: 1-hour hike / 1-hour beach snorkeling

Day 5: Egas Port, Santiago | Rábida

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The black volcanic sand sets this landing apart from most. It is best known for the dramatic shoreline where you meet a host of species that chose to live between land and sea. Particular among these are the endemic Galapagos fur seals which maintain a small colony at the end of your walk. Other species of note include American oystercatchers, sea lions, waders, herons, lava lizards and even Galapagos hawks. An optional visit takes you to an abandoned salt mine famous in its day for supplying salt to mainland Ecuador.
Highlights: Landscape comprised of tuff cone, volcanic ash, and petrified lava flows, Galapagos fur seal.
Disembarking: wet landing
Physical Condition: medium
Type of terrain: flat & semi-rocky
Activities: 2 hour 15 min hike / 1 hour 30 min beach snorkeling

Lying at the heart of the archipelago this dramatic island, with its distinctive red-sand beach, is home to sea lions, mockingbirds, finches, endemic Galapagos doves and vermillion flycatchers. A walk takes you through a forest of palo santo and cacti to a beautiful overview of the bay. Snorkeling here can be excellent, often with large schools of black-striped salemas, sea lions and the ubiquitous turtles.
Highlights: Incredible landscape, Brown pelicans, nesting spots of seabirds, red sandy beach.
Disembarking: wet landing
Physical Condition: low
Type of terrain: sandy & grabble
Activities: 45 min kayaking / 1 hour bottom-glass boat or 1 hour deep or beach snorkeling / 1 hour 15 min hike

Day 6: Urbina Bay | Tagus Cove, Isabela

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At the far end of a long, level hike you arrive at a strange phenomenon where large blocks of coral lie completely exposed after a dramatic geological uplift in 1954. Located at the western base of Alcedo Volcano you hope to run into a few very impressive land iguanas as well as some of the volcano´s endemic Galapagos giant tortoises during the wet season.
Highlights: land iguanas, giant tortoises, seabirds, flightless cormorants.
Disembarking: wet landing
Physical Condition: low
Type of terrain: flat
Activities: 1 hour 45 min hike / 1 hour beach snorkeling

A well-known hideout and deep-water anchorage in the days of pirates, Tagus Cove was also one of the few sites visited by Charles Darwin and the HMS Beagle in 1835. A beautiful hike leads you past an overview of Darwin Lake and on to a stunning volcanic landscape revealing Isabela island´s dramatic northern volcanoes. Once back at sea level the perfect activity is to snorkel along a submerged wall with turtles, lots of fish, penguins and potentially flightless cormorants. You might even be tempted by a dinghy ride or kayak!
Highlights: Pirates’ history, calm waters, seabirds, blue-footed boobies, Brown noddy-terns, flightless cormorants, Galapagos penguin (seasonal), marine iguanas.
Disembarking: dry landing
Physical Condition: medium
Type of terrain: steep & eroded tuff
Activities: 1 hour hike / 45 min dinghy ride / 45 min kayaking / 1 hour glass-bottom boat / 1 hour deep water snorkeling 

Day 7: Espinosa Point, Fernandina | Vicente Roca Point, Isabela

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The youngest island of Galapagos and one of the most pristine in the world. Fernandina is simply the ‘marine iguana capital of the world´, This desolate volcanic backdrop is home to a huge concentration of these enigmatic reptiles. Incongruously, sharing the same shoreline, you can find the diminutive Galapagos penguins. Here you also have the exciting opportunity to snorkel with marine iguanas feeding underwater, penguins, turtles and the bizarre, endemic, flightless cormorants.
Highlights: Largest colony of marine iguanas, whales (seasonal), pahoehoe and AA lava formations, endemic lava cactus.
Disembarking: dry landing
Physical Condition: medium
Type of terrain: rocky & lava
Activities: 1 hour 45 min hike / 45 min glass-bottom boat or 45 min deep snorkeling

This is a spectacular visitor site, surrounded by immense cliffs of the eroded volcano. Studded with resting sea birds such as brown noddies and Nazca boobies, you  will enjoy them in close proximity from your dinghies. Snorkeling here is superb, with certain species of fish only found in the west of the archipelago. You also have a very real chance of swimming with penguins and potentially a plethora of green turtles.
Highlights: one of the richest marine havens, marine turtles, sunfish, rays, landscapes, seabirds, blue-footed boobies, frigatebirds, flightless cormorants.
Physical Condition: low / high
Activities: 1 hour glass-bottom boat or 1 hour deep snorkeling / 1 hour 15 min dinghy ride

Day 8: Disembark | Highlands OR Pit Craters, Santa Cruz | Baltra

  • 1 Breakfast
In the central highlands of Santa Cruz Island, you have your best opportunity to interact at close quarters with totally wild, Galapagos giant tortoises. A short walk among these huge, 600lb, reptiles will also offer the chance for more highland species, especially several species of the famed finches.
Highlights: Giant tortoises, tree & ground Darwin finches.
Disembarking: dry landing
Physical Condition: low

After the visit passengers will be transferred to Baltra Island Airport for their return flight to Guayaquil or Quito.

Ship/Hotel

Galapagos Legend

Galapagos Legend Pool Area
Al Fresco dining
Charles Darwin Panorama Lounge

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$3,914
Relax in your standard room aboard the Galapagos Legend
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Standard Cabin
Averaging 140 sq. ft. Three interior cabins located on the Earth Deck, with double or twin bed options. These cabins don´t have exterior views.
Standard Plus
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Standard Plus Cabin
Averaging 118 sq. ft. Seven cabins located on the Sea and Earth Deck, with double or twin bed options, and portholes.
Junior Suite
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Junior Suite
Averaging 161 sq. ft. Twenty four double, twin or triple suites, and four quadruple suites located on the Earth Deck. Include two panoramic windows on each cabin and top of line amenities.
Junior Suite Plus
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Junior Suite Plus
Averaging 215 sq. ft. Twenty four double, twin or triple suites, and four quadruple suites located on the Earth Deck. Include two panoramic windows on each cabin and top of line amenities.
Balcony Suite
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Balcony Suite
Averaging 237 sq. ft. Sixteen suites located on the Moon and Sky Deck, with double, twin and triple bed options. Include panoramic view windows, private balcony, mini fridge, champagne, and top of line amenities & bathrobe.
Balcony Suite Plus
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Balcony Suite Plus
Averaging 237 sq. ft. Sixteen suites located on the Moon and Sky Deck, with double, twin and triple bed options. Include panoramic view windows, private balcony, mini fridge, champagne, and top of line amenities & bathrobe.
Legend Balcony Suite
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Legend Balcony Suite
Averaging 355 sq. ft. One suite located on the Moon Deck with double, twin and triple bed options. Includes a generously large balcony, mini fridge, champagne, and top of line amenities & bathrobe.

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, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Gear Rental: Snorkeling Gear
  • 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: $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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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen
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