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Southwest Islands

Example 10 Day Cruise aboard Galaxy
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Experience the best of the Galapagos on a Southwest Islands tour. Snorkel, hike, and play as you cruise through sea lion colonies and experience the unique ecosystem of the Galapagos.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : San Cristobal | Embark | Lobos
Day 2 : Española
Day 3 : Floreana
Day 4 : Santa Fe | South Plazas Island
Day 5 : Charles Darwin Center | Santa Cruz Highlands
Day 6 : Isabela
Day 7 : Isabela
Day 8 : Isabela | Fernandina
Day 9 : Santiago
Day 10 : Daphne Mayor or Dragon Hill | Baltra | Disembark | Home

Highlights

  • Hike to the highlands of Santa cruz and visit the twin craters
  • See endemic wildlife on Egas Port
  • Mail a postcard home from Post Office Bay on Floreana Island
  • Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station & learn about the island's history

Ship

Galaxy

Places Visited

  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos
  • South America
  • Baltra
  • Black Turtle Cove
  • Charles Darwin Center
  • Elizabeth Bay
  • Espanola
  • Espinosa Point
  • Fernandina
  • Floreana
  • Isabela
  • Isla Lobos
  • Las Tintoreras
  • Punta Moreno
  • San Cristobal
  • San Cristobal Airport
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santa Fe
  • Santiago
  • South Plaza Island
  • Tagus Cove
  • Urbina Bay

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Galapagos stingray Take a walk through the unique landscape of the Galapagos. Galapagos wildlife Explore the Galapagos Checking the mail, Galapagos style

Day 1 San Cristobal | Embark | Lobos

Arrive at the airport and transfer to the Galaxy for your Galapagos Cruise.

In the afternoon, sail for Isla Lobos (Sea Lion Island) to view the sea lions which rest on the island's rocky shore. Isla Lobos is frequented with blue-footed boobies, great frigatebirds, brown pelicans, lava gulls, common noddies, yellow warblers and small and medium ground finches, making it an ideal location for birders. Snorkel in the clear water near Leon Dormido, and play with the sea lions.

Day 2 Española

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Journey to Gardner Bay, and snorkel with a variety of fish and playful sea lions. Be ready to see the occasional turtle or shark which swim in the waters off the island.

In the afternoon, travel to Suarez Point one of the most significantly rich birdlife locations in the Galapagos archipelago. Around twelve thousand breading pairs have their nests in the Española Island. Depending on the time of year you might catch the Blue-Footed Boobies and the Waved Albatross doing their extensive mating dances. Also view marine iguanas and over-sized lava lizards as they sun themselves on the rocks.

Day 3 Floreana

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sail for Post Office Bay, a sandy beach where past whalers used to leave and receive their letters in a barrel. Take part in the tradition by leaving an addressed postcard in the barrel. Additionally, pick up any letters within close proximity to your home to deliver once you return from the Galapagos.

Visit Punta Cormorant located to the west of Floreana Island. It has a unqiuely famous dark green beach due to the great quantity of olivine crystals. Then take a panga ride around Devils's Crown, a satellite islet of the island Floreana where constant sea erosion has form the rocks into the shape of a crown. This is one of the better places to go snorkeling.

Day 4 Santa Fe | South Plazas Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Arrive in Santa Fe to view the Opuntia cactus forest, the largest of its kind in the archipelago. It is home of one of the two species of land iguanas in the Galapagos islands. Crabs, nocturnal herons, marine iguanas, and land doves are often seen. The gorgeous turquoise bay is an excellent place to swim and go snorkeling with sea turtles, rays, sea lions and tropical fishes.

In South Plaza, you will find two small islands with one of the largest populations of land iguanas in the Galapagos islands. Take a cliff-side trail which circumnavigates the island for spectacular views and varied vegetation.

Day 5 Charles Darwin Center | Santa Cruz Highlands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn about the natural history of the islands and the effects of human involvement. See the tortoise breeding and rearing project at work.

After lunch, drive to the highlands of Santa Cruz. Here, trek on the beautiful, lush trails and look for giant tortoises in their natural habitat. 

Day 6 Isabela

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Visit Las Tintoreras and enjoy the colony of white tip sharks which can often be seen resting in a lava canal. Snorkel in the shallows or relax on the beach with a sea lion colony.

In the afternoon, visit Moreno Point. It is used only to take small speedboat trips to observe the wildlife unique to this place. It’s a bay that is located in front of the narrowest site of the Isabela Island: the Perry isthmus, where there’s a water entry that has basically formed a bay within a bay, with calmed waters that are protected and surrounded by mangle which makes it a perfect place for sea turtles. It’s truly a spectacle of nature. 

Day 7 Isabela

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Journey to Elizabeth Bay, one of the island's breeding sites for penguins. Watch Galápagos hawks soar overhead and see schools of pompana as they swim beneath you. Explore the red mangrove cove looking for Brown pelicans, flightless cormorants, spotted eagle rays, and golden rays.

Sail for Urbina Bay at the base of Alcedo Volcano to see see turtles and rays. Take a short hike (3.2km) which leads to a coral reef. The area is abundant with marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, and even lobsters.

Day 8 Isabela | Fernandina

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sail for Tagus Cove west of the Darwin Volcano in Isabela Island. Hike to Darwin Lake passing by pirate's graffiti carved into the rocks in the 1800s. Then take a panga trip below the high cliffs of the island. See penguins, marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs and sea lions on shore, and snorkel off the sandy beach.

In the afternoon, visit Espinosa Point to view hundreds of marine iguanas as they gather on the black lava rocks. Walk around to see the various lava flows and hopefully spot the Flightless Cormorant. Admire Fernandina Island from Espinoza Point where its lat volcanic eruption was in May 2005.

Day 9 Santiago

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sail for Puerto Egas with its black sand beach created by volcanic deposits from the island's volcano, Pan de Azucar. The crater of this volcano is a salt lake, and in 1928 there were some explorations into harvesting the salt, but it proved to be too difficult.

After lunch explore the Palo Santo Wood of Espumilla Beach, a very important site for nesting tortoises.

Day 10 Daphne Mayor or Dragon Hill | Baltra | Disembark | Home

  • 1 Breakfast
Spend the morning sailing around Daphne Major, a volcanic tuff cone that was formed by successive explosions of lava and water.
Or hike Dragon Hill in the northwestern side of Santa Cruz Island, which consists of a trail that runs through three different environments at just 1,600 m long.

In the afternoon, transfer to the airport and connect to your flights home.

Galaxy

Per person starting at
$5,076
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
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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 (does not apply for Holiday departures)

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

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
  • Sea Kayaking

Excluded

  • Airfare (see Galapagos Flights)
  • Quito/Guayaquil Hotel and Transfers
  • $100 Galapagos Park Fee
  • $80 Galapagos Transit Card and Airport Assistance
  • $45 International Departure Tax
  • Wetsuits available - $10/day per person
  • Gratuities and drinks aboard the ship
  • Travel Insurance

Galapagos Flights

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

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Erin Correia
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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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