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Colorful Sally Lightfoot crab on volcanic rock

Beyond Darwin's Footsteps

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Grace
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Close encounters with wildlife will make your journey a truly memorable one on this 8-day adventure. These islands are swarming with exotic and curious creatures that love to interact with visitors to the islands. Indulge in the wide variety of flora and fauna here as well as spectacular scenery on these islands. Enjoy snorkeling, swimming, and kayaking in the pristine crystalline waters of this incredible area. With all the wonders to behold, this will truly be the most memorable vacation.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : San Cristobal - Lobos - Leon Dormido
Day 2 : Espanola
Day 3 : Floreana
Day 4 : Santa Cruz Island
Day 5 : Santa Cruz Island - Chinese Hat
Day 6 : Rabida - Santiago
Day 7 : Bartolome - North Seymour
Day 8 : Black Turtle Cove - Baltra


  • Cruise around Kicker Rock, a 152 foot formation rising out of the Pacific
  • Enjoy the friendly company of sea lions in Punta Suarez
  • Walk along the incredible green beach in Punta Cormorant
  • Hike to see Galapagos doves, the cactus finch and the large ground finch



Places Visited

  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos
  • South America
  • Bachas Beach
  • Baltra
  • Bartolome
  • Black Turtle Cove
  • Charles Darwin Center
  • Chinese Hat
  • Espanola
  • Floreana
  • Gardner Bay
  • Isla Lobos
  • Leon Dormido
  • Mirador de la Baronesa
  • North Seymour
  • Pinnacle Rock
  • Post Office Bay
  • Punta Cormorant
  • Punta Suarez
  • Rabida
  • San Cristobal
  • San Cristobal Airport
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santiago
  • Sullivan Bay


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Colorful Sally Lightfoot crab on volcanic rock Pinnacle rock on Bartolome Sea Lion enjoying the warm sun Snorkeling in the crystal blue ocean. Darwin's statue in the Galapagos

Day 1 San Cristobal - Lobos - Leon Dormido

Arrive on the island of San Cristobal where a guide will be waiting to meet you and accompany you on the bus ride to the waterfront. Check in to your cabin and receive a brief introduction while heading out to the first landing site. Heading up the coast from Wreck Bay and Puerto Baquerizo, Kicker Rock is a spectacular formation that rises 152 meters out of the Pacific. Once on the island of Isla Lobos, take a walk on the trail to view baby sea lions and various types of boobies amidst the sands beneath the salt bushes. Have a chance to snorkel with playful sea lions that enjoy a good swim with visitors.

Day 2 Espanola

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Hood is the southernmost island of the archipelago, and is one of the most popular due to the stunning variation and incredible number of fauna that greet visitors. It is also home of the well known Gardner Bay. The giant tortoise was reintroduced to Hood in the 1970's and counts as one of the park's greatest stories of success.

Punta Suarez is a remarkable location based off it's quantity and variety of wildlife. Enjoy the friendly company of sea lions at this location. The tiny pups have been know to greet your toes upon arrival. Take a walk further inland to view a colorful variety of marine iguanas. The trail continues up the western edge of the island where masked and Nazca boobies' nesting sites can be viewed. The trail also allows for the chance to see nesting blue-footed boobies, Galapagos doves, the cactus finch, albatross, and mocking birds. Further down the trail there is a blowhole amongst the black lava landscape that shoots up water like a geyser.

Gardner Bay offers a striking long white sandy beach where colonies of sea lions bath in the sun, sea turtles swim offshore, and mockingbirds bolding investigate any new arrivals to the area. Enjoy some snorkeling off Gardner Island where whimsical sea lions swim around visitors. There is also an abundance of tropical fish to observe. There is also an option to kayak for those who are interested.

Day 3 Floreana

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Floreana has a colorful history of pirates, whalers, convicts, and early settlers that were particular about their surroundings. At this location in 1793, whalers set up a barrel as a post office used to send letters home. Feel free to drop in a post card and grab another to mail when you return home. Continue inland to experience some exploratory swimming in a lava tube but make sure to bring a flashlight! Post Office Bay offers some amazing snorkeling where one can encounter sea turtles and tropical fish.

Next, stop at Asylum of Peace which is a historical site where the pirate Patrick Watkins once lived in a cave here. There is also a freshwater spring here that served as a source of water for early settlers.

Punta Cormorant offers to amazing and unique beaches. One is an incredible green color due to the volcanic olivine crystals present in the sand. The other beach is made up of very fine white sand and is known as Flour Beach. This sand was formed by the erosion of coral skeletons. There is a hypersaline lagoon in the basin of Punta Cormorant which is home to flamingoes, pintails, stilts, and other wading birds.

Champion is the next stop and is know for its outstanding snorkeling full of prime underwater sea lion interactions. Dolphins frequent this location as well as humpback whales.

Day 4 Santa Cruz Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The second largest island in the Galapagos is Santa Cruz. Puerto Ayora is a seaside economic center of this island, focused on fishing and tourism. This is a fun little port town to wander around in. This is the home of the Charles Darwin Research Station which has put great efforts into environmental restoration. Visit the Wild Tortoise Reserve to have a chance to view these friendly and amazing creatures. This is a great opportunity to view the giant tortoises in their natural environment. Then make your way down a wooden staircase into the mouth of the arched entrance of a lava tube.

Day 5 Santa Cruz Island - Chinese Hat

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Las Bachas is comprised of two sandy white-coral beaches that are prime egg-laying sites for sea turtles. Take a brief walk inland to a lagoon where pink flamingos are often found as well as great blue herons, common stilts, brown noddys, white-cheek pintail ducks, and other migratory birds.

Chinese Hat acquired its name because of its unique shape that resembles the traditional shape of a Chinese Coolie's hat. Have the chance to view the fiery colored Sally Lightfoot Crab as well as marine iguanas sunning themselves on the rocks. Snorkel in the cove here and have a chance to see penguins as they dart pass.

Depending on the tide, you may have a chance to visit Black Turtle Cove which is covered with four species of mangroves. Observe spotted eagle rays and cow nosed or golden rays as they swim below.

Day 6 Rabida - Santiago

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At the geological center of the archipelago, Jervis is an island of different color with its incredible deep red sandy beach and towering cliffs. This is a great location for getting close to the nesting brown pelicans. Hike in to see various land birds including Galapagos doves, the cactus finch, and the large ground finch. There is also a lagoon frequented by beautiful flamingoes. Rabida also offers an excellent kayaking route for those who are interested. There are sea turtles that will sometimes swim up to the kayak before noticing you and darting back into the water.

Sullivan Bay is covered by a huge field of pahoehoe lava reaching all the way into the channel. Take a panga ride along the black rocky coast in search of the Galapagos penguin. Enjoy some excellent snorkeling along the lava flow and swimming with penguins and sea lions. Watch the sun set over Sullivan Bay and light up the tower-like Pinnacle Rock to the east.

Day 7 Bartolome - North Seymour

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Bartolomé is famous for Pinnacle Rock which is a towering spearheaded obelisk rising from the ocean off the shore here. This is a well liked place for snorkelers with hoards of tropical fish, urchins, sea stars, and anemones. There is also the chance to swim with playful sea lions. The beach here is beautiful and is used as a nesting site by sea turtles.

North Seymour Island was lifted by seismic activity leading to its low, flat profile. There is a tiny forest of silver-grey Palo Santo trees above the landing here. Have the chance to view the courtship dance of the blue-footed boobies. A truly unique site to see. Up the trail a bit there is a nesting site for the frigates. The males can be seen inflating their large throat sacks to attract females.

Day 8 Black Turtle Cove - Baltra

  • 1 Breakfast
This last morning of your voyage through the Galapagos we visit Black Turtle Cove. Located on the northern shore of Santa Cruz, the cove is a living illustration of how mangroves alter the marine environment to create a rich and unique habitat. Four species of mangrove crowd from the shore out into the lagoon, which stretches almost a mile inland. As you drift through the quiet waters in your dinghy,  see eagle rays and cow nosed or golden rays, which swim in a diamond formation. White-tipped reef sharks can be seen beneath the boat and Pacific green sea turtles come to the surface for air and to mate. Sea birds, including brown pelicans, blue herons and lava herons, come to feed in the cove which has also been declared a “Turtle Sanctuary”. It’s time to begin your journey home as you set sail for nearby the Baltra Island. d.


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Premium Stateroom: C5
1 premium full beam stateroom on the Carolina Deck, with a twin bed and a queen bed, private bathroom, individual AC control, safe box, and plenty of storage space.
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Twin Cabin: C3
1 deluxe twin/queen stateroom on the Carolina Deck. It features a private bathroom, individual AC controls, safe box, and plenty of storage.
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Double Cabin: C1 & C2
2 premium staterooms on the Carolina Deck, both with 1 queen bed(82.3in x 66.5in), private bathrooms, individual AC controls, safe boxes, and plenty of storage space.
Twin Cabin, Grace
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Twin Suite: A2 & A3
2 suites on the Albert Deck, both with 2 twin beds that can convert to 1 bed, private bathrooms, individual AC controls, safe boxes, and plenty of storage space.
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Master Suite: A1 & A4
Ocean view Suite; located on the Albert Deck these cabins feature a Queen Bed (82.3in x 66.5in), private bath.
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Grace Kelly Suite
The new Grace Kelly Suite features contemporary decor by award-winning designer Adriana Hoyos. It features 1 king size bed, private bathroom, individual AC control, safe box, and plenty of storage space.


Please provide your wetsuite size in advance prior to trip

Child Discount

15% discount for children 15 years and under at time of Galapagos cruise. Max. 3 children per family

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


  • Accommodations on board Grace 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
  • Wetsuit
  • Sea Kayaking


  • Airfare (see Galapagos Flights)
  • Quito/Guayaquil Hotel and Transfers
  • $100 Galapagos Park Fee
  • Gratuities and drinks aboard the ship
  • Travel Insurance

Galapagos Flights

  • Quito - Galapagos Roundtrip
    • $530 - $675
  • Guayaquil - Galapagos Roundtrip
    • $475 - $620

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This was my first experience with Adventure Life - and I couldn't have been more pleased with the trip. The guides and local staff in both Buenos Aires and Uruguay were terrific - extremely helpful and accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting the friendly staff in Buenos Aires in person (I left my bags with them for the afternoon).
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