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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!

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Baltra | Embark | Black Turtle Cove, Santa Cruz
Day 2 : El Barranco, Prince Philip's Steps | Darwin Bay, Genovesa
Day 3 : Dragon Hill, Santa Cruz | Santa Fe
Day 4 : Bachas Beach | Mosquera Islet
Day 5 : Egas Port, Santiago | Rábida
Day 6 : Urbina Bay | Tagus Cove, Isabela
Day 7 : Espinosa Point, Fernandina | Vicente Roca Point, Isabela
Day 8 : Disembark | Pit Craters, Santa Cruz | Baltra

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

Ship

Galapagos Legend

Places Visited

  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos
  • South America
  • Bachas Beach
  • Baltra
  • Black Turtle Cove
  • Darwin Bay
  • Dragon Hill
  • El Barranco
  • Espinosa Point
  • Fernandina
  • Genovesa
  • Isabela
  • Mosquera
  • Prince Philip's Steps
  • Puerto Egas
  • Rabida
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santa Fe
  • Santiago
  • Tagus Cove
  • Urbina Bay
  • Vicente Roca Point

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

A Green Sea Turtle swimming around the reefs. Zodiac off the coast of Prince Philips Steps, Genovesa Sea lions on beach in Rabida Espinoza Point, Fernandina Island, Galapagos Blue footed booby

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

Arrive to the Galapagos and transfer to your ship, the Galapagos Legend. Today cruise to Santa Cruz Island and travel to Black Turtle Cove. Located on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, this cove is accessible only by sea. Here four species of mangrove crowd and form an internal lagoon, turtles visit the calm waters, peaking their heads above the surface while fish, rays circle below. White-tipped reef sharks can be seen beneath the boat, plus sea birds, including pelicans, herons and egrets. Black Turtle Cove has been declared as a “turtle sanctuary”.

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

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning travel to Genovesa Island and 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. 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.

In the afternoon head to Darwin Bay and 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, you 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 you 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 Dragon Hill, Santa Cruz | Santa Fe

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning venture over to Santa Cruz Island and stop at Dragon Hill, an important nesting site for endemic land iguanas. Walk by a brackish lagoon to see flamingos. The trail leads across typical dry zone vegetation. Keeping up until Dragon Hill, see an important nesting ground for endemic land iguanas, offering lovely views of the anchored boats and neighboring islands. The forest is home to mockingbirds, Darwin’s finches, yellow warblers, and Galapagos doves.

In the afternoon, visit Santa Fe's white sand beaches surrounded by sea lion colonies. Through the island path, an endemic cactus forest is passed, home the Santa Fe land iguanas (the largest in the islands). This island is the habitat for a number of species, including the Galapagos hawk, Galapagos snakes, rice rats (one of the few endemic Galapagos rodents), a variety of finches and one of the four mockingbird species of the archipelago.

Day 4 Bachas Beach | Mosquera Islet

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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.

In the afternoon land at Mosquera Islet, 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, so you 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.

Day 5 Egas Port, Santiago | Rábida

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

In the afternoon visit Rábida Island, dark-red sand covers the unique beaches of this island, home to 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.

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 Espinosa Point, Fernandina | Vicente Roca Point, Isabela

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning 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.

In the afternoon head over to Vicente Roca Point on Isabela Island, a great place to spot an abundance of marine life! Enjoy the opportunity to snorkel at one of the richest marine havens on Earth, the Bolivar Channel. 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, 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.

Day 8 Disembark | Pit Craters, Santa Cruz | Baltra

  • 1 Breakfast
This morning visit Pit Craters, which 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 fly catchers as you walk inside an endemic Scalesia forest. Here enjoy a great opportunity to observe giant tortoises.

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

Galapagos Legend

Per person starting at
$3,607
The Galapagos Legend's Junior Suite.
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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.
Cruise the Galapagos on the Legend ship
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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.
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Junior Suite
Averaging 215 & 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.
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Balcony Suite
Averaging 248 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.
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Legend Balcony Suite
Averaging 463 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 50% discount, or 25% on holiday season sharing cabin with two full-fare paying guests.

Children under 12 receive a discount of $135 off adult flight rates, and discounted Galapagos Entrance Fee of $50

Included

  • Accommodations on board Galapagos Legend based on double occupancy
  • Meals while in the Galapagos
  • Bilingual Naturalist Guide
  • Shore Excursions
  • Swimming and Snorkeling
  • Adventure Life Pre-departure Services and In-Country Assistance (Quito Representative)
  • Transfers and Baggage Handling in the Galapagos
  • Snorkeling Equipment

Excluded

  • Airfare (see Galapagos Flights)
  • Quito/Guayaquil Hotel and Transfers
  • Fuel Surcharge
  • $100 Galapagos Park Fee
  • $80 Galapagos Transit Card and Airport Assistance
  • $45 International Departure Tax
  • Wetsuits available - $25 for 4-day and 5-day tours, $50 for 8-day, 11-day and 12 day tours, and $75 for 15-day tours
  • Kayaks available for $30/use
  • Gratuities and drinks aboard the ship
  • Travel Insurance

Galapagos Flights

  • Quito - Galapagos Roundtrip
    • $530 - $595
  • Guayaquil - Galapagos Roundtrip
    • $475 - $540

Optional Hospitality Packages

Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Kevin M

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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
Justin Chappelle

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