Open 9AM-7PM EST - Mon-Sun

8 days

from $8,390

Grace – North & West

overview
itinerary
details

Highlights

Visit Santa Cruz's Charles Darwin's research center
Witness Genovesa's largest variety of seabirds
Walk Santiago's moonscape-like volcanic formations
Swim alongside turtles and seahorses at Isabela Island
Access Fernandina pristine ecosystem at Punta Espinoza

Tour Facts

Pricefrom $8,390
Duration8 Days / 7 Nights
ship

Activity Level

Level 1

Starts / EndsBaltra / Baltra
DepartsTuesday
Location
Galapagos Islands

click map to expand (not to scale)

Tour Facts

Pricefrom $8,390
Duration8 Days / 7 Nights
ship

Activity Level

Level 1

Starts / EndsBaltra / Baltra
DepartsTuesday
Location
Galapagos Islands

Summary

Day
overnight & activities
1
BaltraIsland|Baltra Airport|Santa CruzIsland|Highlands & Darwin Ctr.
2
GenovesaIsland|Prince Phillip's Steps|Darwin Bay
3
SantiagoIsland|James Bay|Buccaneer's Cove
4
IsabelaIsland|Punta Vicente Roca|Tagus Cove
5
FernandinaIsland|Espinosa Point|IsabelaIsland|Urbina Bay
6
IsabelaIsland|Elizabeth Bay|Punta Moreno
7
IsabelaIsland|Las Tintoreras, Sucres's Cave & Sierra Negra Volcano|Santa CruzIsland
8
Santa CruzIsland|Los Gemelos Craters|BaltraIsland|Airport (GPS)

Full Itinerary

Day 1
(Tuesday)
BaltraIsland|Airport (GPS)|Santa CruzIsland|Highlands & Darwin Ctr.
Welcome upon arrival to the Galapagos Island's Baltra Airport and transfer to the ship.
Santa Cruz Island, the central hub of the Galapagos, offers a diverse blend of ecosystems. It's home to the Charles Darwin Research Station, where conservation efforts for the iconic giant tortoises take place. High-land areas feature lush vegetation, while its coastline showcases a variety of marine life, including sea turtles and sharks.
Santa Cruz' Highlands in Galapagos offer a unique natural landscape. Lush vegetation, giant tortoises roaming freely, and volcanic formations define this area. Explore lava tunnels, witness tortoise habitats, and discover the endemic flora and fauna.
The Charles Darwin Research Center stands as a beacon of scientific research, conservation, and education. Founded in 1959, the center operates in close collaboration with the Galápagos National Park Directorate, focusing on the preservation and study of the archipelago's unique biodiversity. Housing extensive biological collections, a breeding program for giant tortoises, and laboratories for various ecological studies, the facility plays a crucial role in global conservation efforts. For visitors, the center offers a deep dive into the evolutionary tales and conservation challenges of the Galápagos, perpetuating Darwin's legacy of inquiry and discovery.
activities
:
Walk
meals
:
Dinner
Day 2
(Wednesday)
GenovesaIsland|Prince Phillip's Steps|Darwin Bay
Genovesa Island, also known as "Bird Island," is a haven for avian enthusiasts. This remote volcanic formation hosts an array of bird species in impressive quantities. The island's natural amphitheater provides an opportunity to observe red-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls in their natural habitat. The unique topography, with its steep cliffs and diverse vegetation, offers a dramatic backdrop to these remarkable avian displays. As one of the northernmost islands in the Galapagos, Genovesa's ecological isolation contributes to the preservation of its extraordinary bird populations and distinctive ecosystem.
Prince Philip's Steps is an awe-inspiring natural spectacle. Ascending these steep steps unveils an avian paradise where red-footed boobies and Nazca boobies nest in the island's cliffs, and the elusive short-eared owls make their appearances during the day. The journey through this unique landscape immerses visitors in an untouched world, as they walk among the bird colonies, absorb the intricate ecosystem, and capture unparalleled vistas of the island's rugged shoreline.
Darwin Bay is a remarkable testament to nature's grandeur. As visitors step ashore onto the soft sandy beach, they are immediately immersed in a symphony of birdlife. Red-footed boobies, great frigate-birds, and swallow-tailed gulls soar overhead, while sea lions and marine iguanas share the shore. A leisurely stroll along the trails unveils a wealth of wonders, from mangroves to tidal pools, each hosting unique marine life. This secluded paradise offers snorkeling encounters with sharks, rays, and colorful fish, providing a glimpse into the underwater world that complements the island's awe-inspiring avian spectacle.
activities
:
Kayak, Snorkel, Walk, Zodiac
meals
:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3
(Thursday)
SantiagoIsland|James Bay|Buccaneer's Cove
Santiago Island, a significant part of the Galapagos archipelago, captivates with its stark volcanic landscapes and diverse ecosystems. The island embodies the Galapagos' geological wonders and showcases the coexistence of terrestrial and marine life in an environment of striking contrasts and unparalleled natural beauty.
James Bay is a focal point of ecological diversity and geological interest. The bay features a range of landscapes, including black sand beaches, rocky outcrops, and tide pools, each harboring its unique flora and fauna. The coastal area serves as a rich feeding ground for marine iguanas, sea lions, and various bird species. Geologically, the bay's striking formations of volcanic origin offer an insightful look into the island's tumultuous past.
Buccaneer's Cove holds an air of historical intrigue and natural beauty. The sheltered bay once provided refuge to pirates and whalers, and its pristine waters and volcanic formations remain a testament to its past. Visitors can kayak along its tranquil shores, marvel at the rich marine life through snorkeling, and witness the impressive geological formations. The cove's tranquil ambiance, historical significance, and breathtaking surroundings make it a unique and captivating destination for those exploring the diverse wonders of the Galapagos Islands.
activities
:
Kayak, Snorkel, Walk, Zodiac
meals
:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4
(Friday)
IsabelaIsland|Punta Vicente Roca|Tagus Cove
Isabela Island, the largest in the archipelago, boasts captivating landscapes. Its Sierra Negra volcano offers the world's second-largest caldera, while the marine life-rich waters off Punta Vicente Roca are ideal for snorkeling. Unique flora and fauna, such as flightless cormorants and Galapagos penguins, define its ecological significance.
Punta Vicente Roca is a captivating destination within the Galapagos archipelago. Known for its dramatic landscapes and rich marine life, this site offers a unique blend of experiences. Towering cliffs adorned with seabird colonies create a stunning backdrop for exploring the underwater world. Snorkelers and divers can encounter a diverse array of marine species, including sea turtles, penguins, and various fish species. The striking geological formations and the opportunity to witness the famed Galapagos flightless cormorants in their natural habitat make Punta Vicente Roca a must-visit location for those seeking both terrestrial and aquatic wonders.
Tagus Cove has long been a refuge for sea vessels, dating back to the 1800s when whalers inscribed their ship names onto its cliffs. Today, the cove is renowned more for its natural attributes than its maritime history. Dominated by steep cliffs and offering panoramic views of the adjacent Darwin Lake, an uplifted saltwater lagoon, Tagus Cove presents a rich tapestry of volcanic landscapes. The surrounding environment is teeming with wildlife, from flightless cormorants to Galápagos penguins.
activities
:
Snorkel, Walk, Zodiac
meals
:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5
(Saturday)
FernandinaIsland|Espinosa Point|IsabelaIsland|Urbina Bay
Fernandina Island, the youngest and most pristine, showcases volcanic terrain and minimal human impact. It teems with marine iguanas, Galapagos penguins, and flightless cormorants, while lava formations tell the island's geological story. This island provides a glimpse into the natural evolution of the Galapagos ecosystem.
Espinosa Point boasts remarkable volcanic landscapes and a breeding ground for marine iguanas. Visitors can witness unique wildlife interactions and geological wonders, while observing flightless cormorants, Galapagos penguins, and lava herons along lava fields and mangrove forests.
Urbina Bay is an exceptional showcase of geological marvels and evolutionary wonders. Resulting from a dramatic uplift in 1954, large sections of the seabed emerged, revealing marine fossils, coral formations, and strata previously submerged. This area offers a tangible glimpse into the Earth's dynamic forces at play. Additionally, the bay's diverse habitats are home to an array of species, including land iguanas, giant tortoises, and a plethora of birdlife.
activities
:
Snorkel, Walk
meals
:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6
(Sunday)
IsabelaIsland|Elizabeth Bay|Punta Moreno
Elizabeth Bay is a marine sanctuary of remarkable ecological richness. Accessible only by boat, this sheltered inlet features a complex of mangrove forests, tidal pools, and shallow waters, providing crucial habitat for a variety of species. From green sea turtles to spotted eagle rays, the bay is a microcosm of marine biodiversity. The mangroves play a vital role in nutrient cycling, acting as nurseries for young fish.
Punta Moreno offers a captivating glimpse into the Galapagos' volcanic origins and unique ecosystems. The barren, hardened lava terrain contrasts with tranquil tidal pools that teem with marine life. Brown pelicans and blue-footed boobies soar overhead, while marine iguanas and lava lizards navigate the blackened landscape. The site's geological features, including intricate lava formations and the panoramic backdrop of Sierra Negra Volcano, provide a window into the archipelago's geological history.
activities
:
Snorkel, Walk, Zodiac
meals
:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7
(Monday)
IsabelaIsland|Las Tintoreras, Sucres's Cave & Sierra Negra Volcano|Santa CruzIsland
Las Tintoreras, a small group of islets located near Isabela Island, serve as a microcosm of the region's rich biodiversity and geological diversity. Characterized by its lava formations, the area features a unique interplay of marine and terrestrial habitats. The shallow, turquoise waters are home to white-tipped reef sharks, often seen resting in crevices, while the rocky landscape accommodates a variety of species, such as marine iguanas and sea lions. The islets also offer a nesting ground for birds like the blue-footed booby.
Sucre's Cave, located in the highlands of Isabela Island, offers a compelling blend of geological and historical significance. The cave itself is a lava tube, a natural tunnel formed by cooling lava flows, providing insights into the island's volcanic origins. It also holds cultural importance, named after Antonio José de Sucre, a key figure in South American independence. Visitors to the site can explore the cave's interior, where variations in lava layers tell a story of geological processes over time.
Sierra Negra Volcano is one of the most active and studied volcanoes in the region. Boasting one of the largest calderas in the world, with a diameter of approximately 10 kilometers, this geological marvel is a focal point for scientific research. Its last significant eruption in 2018 provided valuable insights into volcanic activity and its impact on local ecosystems. The area surrounding Sierra Negra supports a unique assemblage of flora and fauna, adapted to the volcanic environment.
activities
:
Snorkel, Walk
meals
:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8
(Tuesday)
Santa CruzIsland|Los Gemelos Craters|BaltraIsland|Airport (GPS)
Gemelos Craters are twin sinkholes that offer a compelling study in geological and ecological diversity. Contrary to popular belief, these formations are not volcanic craters but are the result of the collapse of underground lava tunnels. Surrounded by a lush Scalesia forest, the area is a hotspot for endemic flora and fauna, including various species of finches and the elusive short-eared owl.
After a heartfelt farewell from the ship's captain and crew, we will make our way to Baltra's airport, the final stop before our flight to the mainland. If time permits, you can extend your adventure to Ecuador's unique destinations or even Peru's Machu Picchu. Our team will be glad to recommend extension alternatives before or after your Galapagos experience.
activities
:
Walk
meals
:
Breakfast
end of the itinerary
Important: Daily activities description subject to change

click map to expand (not to scale)

Pricing Details

Rates shown are per person based on standard double room or cabin occupancy.
Prices in US$ and valid through December 31, 2024
Single occupancy subject to single supplement .
Credit card payments subject to 3% processing fee.

What is Included

Hotels as shown or similar
All meals as shown
Airport transfers as shown
Professional bilingual guides
Excursions as part of a group
Gratuities except to guides

Additional Budget Considerations

International flights
Quito or Guayaquil to Galapagos roundtrip flights (est. $500)
Galapagos park fee and Tourist Card ($120)

Ship Categories

LUXURY CRUISES

Exquisite cruising experience, featuring top-notch amenities and personalized services. Plush accommodations, gourmet dining, and an excellent staff-to-guest ratio.

first class

High-quality cruising experience with a balance of comfort and luxury. Well-appointed cabins, a variety of dining options, numerous onboard activities, and attentive service.

mid-range class

Comfortable cruising experience with a balance between affordability and quality amenities. Ships offer cozy accommodations, a range of dining options, and a good assortment of activities. 

tourist class

Enjoyable cruising experience with basic amenities and services. They provide clean and comfortable accommodations and standard dining options.

budget class

Most affordable cruising option. While amenities and services are basic, these ships still offer clean accommodations and simple dining options.

About Your Adventure

Activity Levels

level 1 - easier

Activities: scenic drives, canoe rides, walks up to 1 hour. Trail conditions: cobblestones, pavement, gravel, or dirt paths. Some days require extended walking.

LEVEL 2 - MODERATE

Most travelers can join level 2 adventures without prior experience. Being generally fit is important. Activities include short hikes up to 3 hours, sea kayaking in calm waters, and rafting on Class I-II rapids.

LEVEL 3 - ACTIVE

Includes 3-6 hours of daily physical activity, like rafting and wilderness camping. Hikes cover 8-10 miles, including steep ascents or descents. Rafting features Class III rapids.

LEVEL 4 - CHALLENGE

Hikes up to 14 miles. Rugged terrain, exposure risk, altitudes over 10,000 ft. Rafting: Class IV-V rapids. Kayaking: 4-5 hrs daily, open water with waves and tides.

LEVEL 5 - extreme

For experienced adventurers. Trekking without vehicle support in rugged terrain above 10,000 feet. Long hikes, up to 12 hours, with significant altitude changes. Rafting in: Class IV-V rapids. Experience and doctor's certificate required.