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2022 & 2023
SMALL SHIP CRUISE
This lonely archipelago of 18 islands and more than 100 tiny islets, located 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. Due to its proximity to the equator, volcanic activity, and the influence of three ocean currents (Humboldt, Panama, and Cromwell), the region developed distinctive land and marine ecosystems over four million years.
The steady migration of the Nazca tectonic plate over many ages resulted in generations of volcanic eruptions that formed the Galapagos Islands. These days, every island has a unique landscape, ranging from mountainous regions dotted with shield volcanoes and lava fields to dry areas populated by endemic cacti to stunning white-sand beaches and turquoise oceans. The world’s richest marine biosphere reserve is the group of islands known as the Galapagos.
The extraordinary abundance of indigenous plant and animal species found nowhere else in the world is what truly distinguishes the Galapagos. The Galapagos Islands are home to about 80% of terrestrial birds and mammals, over 90% of reptiles, more than 30% of plants, and roughly 20% of marine species.
WHAT MAKES THIS TRIP EXTRAORDINARY
- Dynamic Landscapes
- Guided Hiking Adventures
- Intimate Wildlife Encounters
- Tender rides
- Marine adventures
- Snorkeling & Diving
- Kayaking and Paddle Boarding
If you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help you!
Itinerary in Brief
BALTRA AIRPORT – CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH STATION
Arrive at Baltra airport and transfer to the vessel.
In the afternoon, you will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. The station offers a fantastic opportunity to learn about the crucial work to protect the archipelago’s ecosystems. This includes a significant breeding operation for Galapagos tortoises, whose population has been declining since the 1970s.
Bring your camera along for some up-close shots of these fascinating giant reptiles because they are very accustomed to people.
GENOVESA – PRINCE PHILIP’s STEPS / EL BARRANCO – DARWIN BAY
Head to Prince Philip’s steps in the morning. A steep staircase called El Barranco, also known as Prince Philip’s Steps, will take you past a Nazca and red-footed booby colony and up to a plateau of dried lava. Visitors are frequently treated to sights of storm petrels launching out over the ocean as they continue through the sparse Palo Santo forest and look out over the plain.
You may get a good look at the elusive Galapagos fur seals snuggled on the rocks by taking a panga ride, kayaking, or paddle boarding along the edge of the cliffs, and snorkeling is a terrific activity if you want to go swimming with different kinds of sharks.
You will go to Darwin Bay after lunch. A tiny stretch of sand and coral beach in Darwin Bay is the ideal location for snorkeling, kayaking, or paddle boarding in quiet, protected waters with hammerhead sharks, rays, and an abundance of colorful reef species. The Nazca and red-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, and other land bird species can be found in the mangroves and tidal lagoon along the shore.
The walk ends at a viewpoint with an incredible view of the cliffs and the bay below.
ESPUMILLA BEACH / BUCCANEER COVE – EGAS PORT
Visit Espumilla beach in the morning. This gorgeous white sand beach is on Santiago island’s northern coast, and its name comes from the trails of foamy water left by the waves that resemble meringue. As a result of the abundance of Sally Lightfoot crabs in this area, hawks, herons, and pelicans are frequently spotted.
In this picturesque setting, you can kayak, paddle board, or snorkel among a variety of fish species, including octopus, eels, and sharks. Buccaneer Cove has a fascinating history as a place where sailors, buccaneers, and whalers frequently anchored their ships in search of food and water. It has recently grown in importance as a turtle nesting location and is also well-liked by sea lions.
An interesting perspective of the unique rock formations that serve as good ledges for boobies, pelicans, and gulls may be seen from a panga ride along the eroding beach.
Visit Egas Port after lunch. This beautiful black sand beach, which was previously the home of a salt mine, is now a great place for snorkeling and viewing shorebirds, Sally Lightfoot crabs, and marine iguanas.
Wide paths inland take you through tidal pools and rugged volcanic outcrops known as grottoes, where you might see fur seals relaxing in the shade.
SANTA CRUZ / BACHAS BEACH – TWIN CRATERS
Visit Bachas Beach after breakfast to witness the rusty remains of a badge that is supposed to have been abandoned by the American army during World War I. Bachas Beach boasts gorgeous white sand. If you go snorkeling there, you might share the water with these magnificent animals because it is a favorite turtle breeding location.
Sally Lightfoot, hermit crabs, and stunning pink flamingos that visit the saline water lagoon behind are also abundant on the beach.
Head to the twin craters after lunch. Take the walk that leads up and around the rims to fully appreciate these amazing, nearly identical crater-like craters formed by the collapse of empty lava chambers.
From this vantage point, one may admire the magnificence of the nearby mountains covered in ferns and a profusion of Scalesia trees.
The distinctive red plumage of Vermilion Flycatchers, Darwin’s Finches, Galapagos Doves, and, with a bit of luck, an endemic short-ear owl can all be seen here by bird lovers.
LOBOS ISLAND – SAN CRISTOBAL
Access to Lobos Island by panga in the morning. The sea lion herds that have settled on this island are the reason for its name.
It is a rare opportunity to witness these curious and lively animals up close while snorkeling in the quiet, clear water, and it is typical to be joined by green turtles and rays as well.
There is a route inland where you can expect to see frigates and blue-footed boobies’ nesting locations.
After your excursion, get transferred to the airport for your flight back home
Elite – The Newest Luxury Galapagos Cruise
The Elite’s design provides greater stability and more room for everything on board, including social rooms and gilded suites. The spacious, partially covered sky deck, the charming bar-salon, and the outdoor eating area are all enjoyed by visitors of all ages.
The Galapagos Elite has cutting-edge navigational systems and safety gear because, as with all Galapagos luxury experiences, dependability and safety are paramount.
All Golden Suites onboard the Galapagos Elite are spacious, comfortable, and well–appointed: the perfect place to relax and recharge after a day spent exploring the islands. Each suite has an ocean view and an outdoor balcony, as well as a rainforest–style showers in a private bathroom.
Departure Dates & Rates
2022 & 2023
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