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Galapagos penguin swimming underwater

Central and Western Islands

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Galaxy
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Take a Galapagos cruise around the Central and Western islands and snorkel with sea lions, admire lava lizards, and view the famous Galapagos tortoises.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Baltra | Santa Cruz Highlands | Embark
Day 2 : Isabela, Moreno Point | Elizabeth Bay
Day 3 : Isabela, Urbina Bay | Tagus Cove
Day 4 : Fernandina, Espinoza Point | Isabela, Albermarle Point
Day 5 : Santiago, Egas Port | Espumilla Beach
Day 6 : Santa Cruz, Dragon Hill | Black Turtle Cove
Day 7 : Rabida | Chinese Hat
Day 8 : Seymour | Disembark

Highlights

  • Hike to the highlands of Santa cruz and visit the twin craters
  • Enjoy a walking along the base of the Alcedo Volcano on Urbina bay
  • See endemic wildlife on Egas Port
  • Ride around Tagus Cove and see the two volcanic craters locket the step to open sea

Ship

Galaxy

Places Visited

  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos
  • South America
  • Baltra
  • Black Turtle Cove
  • Chinese Hat
  • Dragon Hill
  • Elizabeth Bay
  • Espinosa Point
  • Espumilla Beach
  • Fernandina
  • Highlands
  • Isabela
  • North Seymour
  • Puerto Egas
  • Punta Moreno
  • Rabida
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santiago
  • Tagus Cove
  • Urbina Bay

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Galapagos penguin swimming underwater sunset, Puerto Villamil Snorkeling in the Galapagos (Rabida) Beach on Isabela island

Day 1 Baltra | Santa Cruz Highlands | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Arrival to Baltra Island. This island is known for being inhabited only by military members. This island is home to one of our main airports on the Galapagos. Your guide will be waiting for you upon arrival. Transfer to Santa Cruz Island, crossing the Itabaca Chanel (approximately 15 minutes from the airport to this channel). Then, we take our private bus to Puerto Ayora. Once we arrive to Puerto Ayora, we will go directly to the Galaxy Yacht: cabin accommodation and lunch. After lunch, our first
visit is to the Highlands of Santa Cruz, where we will go trekking and will find giant tortoises in their natural habitat, which is an amazing natural spectacle. For this visit, we recommend good walking shoes, long pants, a raincoat, hat, and sunblock. Return to Puerto Ayora. In the evening, there will be a welcome cocktail and the formal presentation of the crew by the captain. There will also be a briefing for the following day. 

Day 2 Isabela, Moreno Point | Elizabeth Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Moreno Point Is located on the north coast of Isabela Island between Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul Volcanoes. The main attractions at Punta Moreno are coastal lagoons amid black lava flows where there are several species of birds. It has a panoramic view of the three most active volcanoes in the Galapagos: The Sierra Negra, the Cerro Azul (Isabela Island) and La Cumbre (Fernandina Island).  Elizabeth Bay is one of the island’s breeding sites for penguins. Located along the west coast of Isabela, Elizabeth Point is a marine visitor site. Visit Red Mangrove Cove: Brown pelicans, flightless cormorants, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, and sea lions are often seen.

Day 3 Isabela, Urbina Bay | Tagus Cove

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Urbina Bay is located at the base of Alcedo Volcano, between Elizabeth Bay and Tagus Cove. Wet landing. Trail length is around 3.20 Km; during this walk, we will observe land iguanas, hawks and tortoises. It is also possible to see red and blue lobsters.

Tagus Cove, located to the west of Darwin Volcano on Isabela Island. While walking, we will find several inscriptions (names of pirates) dating back to the 1800s. From
here, we can see Darwin Lake, a saltwater lake with a depth of approximately 9 m. It contains no fish. It is very common to see a variety of bird species.

Day 4 Fernandina, Espinoza Point | Isabela, Albermarle Point

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Fernandina is the third largest island in the Galapagos and has only one visiting site: Espinoza Point, famous for the large colonies of marine
iguanas and the home of the flightless cormorant, the Galapagos penguin, snakes, and more. From Espinoza Point, we can admire the beauty of Fernandina Island and its volcano, which last erupted in May of 2005. Fernandina is the only island that doesn’t have mammals, and the open areas are extremely fragile. January to June is the nesting period of the marine iguana, and as such we take great care while walking here. Return to the ship

Albermarle Point is located to the north of the Island, this visiting site is composed of two visiting areas: the first, a mangrove area between lava flows Pahohoe (lava
solidified in a wavy or of accordion) and that form coves and channels. This place is ideal for a panga ride. The second point of the visit is the old radar base left by Americans during World War II near the beach.

The marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) of Punta Albermarle and West Isabela are the largest in the Archipelago. It is an ideal place for panda ride, where you will find non-flying Cormorants (Nannopterum harrisi), marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus), seabirds and various marine species.

Day 5 Santiago, Egas Port | Espumilla Beach

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Here we find a beautiful black sand beach; to the south of the beach is Pan de Azucar Volcano, whose volcanic deposits have contributed to the formation of the black sand beach. The crater of this volcano contains a saltwater lake that dries up during hot weather. Between 1928 and 1930, explorations to develop a salt mine were carried out, but it was decided that a mine was not feasible. The workers’ use of endemic woods also damaged the environment and the development was scrapped. Descent down into the salt mine is not allowed. 

Espumilla Beach's main attractions include Palo Santo wood, the beach, and the stunning landscape; the beach is a very important site for tortoises, as they use it for nesting. At one point, pigs were the main predators of tortoises’ eggs; thus, pigs were eradicated with the creation of Isabela Project.

Day 6 Santa Cruz, Dragon Hill | Black Turtle Cove

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Dragon Hill visitor site is located in the northwestern region of Santa Cruz Island. It consists of a 1,600 m long trail running through 3 different environments. In 1975, it was one of the only places on Santa Cruz Island where healthy land iguanas (Conolophus Subcristatus) could be found. That same year, the Galapagos National Park and the Charles Darwin Foundation initiated a program to conserve land iguanas. The lagoons found here contain shrimp (Artemia salina), the food of choice of the flamingos. During certain times of the year, shrimp are more abundant, and therefore the flamingo population increases.

After lunch, the first visit is to Black Turtle Cove, which is situated in the northern region of Santa Cruz. This bay is surrounded by mangroves and is accessible only by
dinghy. The shallow cove is a safe refuge for marine life. Black-tip reef sharks, marine turtles and a variety of rays are often spotted here.

Day 7 Rabida | Chinese Hat

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend the morning on the red sand beaches of Rabida Island, take a loop trail around the internal lagoon. The red color of the rocks and sand is due to oxidization of the very porous volcanic material.

This afternoon travel to the small, volcanic island of Sombrero Chino (Chinese Hat). On the west you can see pillow-type lava formations, which are an indicator that the flows were formed under the sea and have been raised upward, which is why coral heads are found on the lava. This visit provides an excellent opportunity for the interpretation of geological features such as lava tubes and lava flows. Here you will be able to hike around and see magnificent lava tubes and lava flows that cover the island.

Day 8 Seymour | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Hike across the visitor trail, a one mile walk through low vegetation on North Seymour. Blue-footed-boobies and land iguanas are abundant on this rocky island.

In the afternoon, transfer to the airport for your connection back to the mainland.

Galaxy

Per person starting at
$5,670
Relax in your spacious suite on the Galaxy
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Lower Deck
Comfortable cabins with lower beds and port hole windows. Cabins have private bathrooms with hot/cold water and air conditioning.
Cruise the Galapagos on the Galaxy ship
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Main Deck
Comfortable cabins with lower beds and large windows. Cabins have private bathrooms with hot/cold water and air conditioning.
Cruise the Galapagos on the Galaxy ship
Select a Date
Upper Deck
Comfortable cabins with lower beds and large windows. Cabins have private bathrooms with hot/cold water and air conditioning.

Child Discount

10% discount for children under age 12 at time of Galapagos cruise. 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

  • Accommodations on board Galaxy 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

Excluded

  • 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

Optional Hospitality Packages

Payment & Cancellation Policies
Travel Agents
headshot Kevin Moore
Kevin M

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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
Jack Charney

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