2022 & 2023
SMALL SHIP CRUISE
Elite Galapagos Cruise 7N A
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
SAN CRISTOBAL AIRPORT – EL JUNCO LAGOON
Upon arrival at San Cristobal airport, you will be transferred to the vessel.
In the afternoon, you will start a short hike to reach the rim of the El Junco Lagoon, a spectacular crater lake situated in the mountains of San Cristobal island, and climb the rocky road surrounded by lush vegetation and wildlife. The island is beautifully viewed from here, and you can frequently see frigate birds diving into the clear water below to take a bath.
NORTH SEYMOUR – SANTA CRUZ DRAGON HILL
In the morning, visit North Seymour, a little island named after Lord Hugh Seymour, who received the island as a gift from a senior British Royal Navy officer. There, you will see a wide range of birds, such as blue-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, and a sizable population of frigate birds while strolling amid the low, thick foliage. Keep an eye out for the magnificent, brilliant crimson chests the male frigates utilize to entice a mate.
In the afternoon, visit Dragon Hill. Galapagos land iguanas have established a sizable population here. You will undoubtedly come across some amazing creatures that resemble small dragons as you travel along the rocky shoreline and through the forests of cacti and Palo Santo trees. The coral draws much colorful fish close to the coast during high tide, making this a great place to snorkel.
TINTONERAS / SIERRA NEGRA VOLCANO – ARNALDO TUPIZA BREEDING CENTER / ISABELA WETLANDS
After breakfast, you will head to Las Tintoreras chain of islets, distinguished by their dark lava deposits, which have produced a special home for diverse fauna. As a result, it is an excellent location for water sports like panga rides, snorkeling, kayaking, or paddle boarding. Visitors are frequently treated to up-close encounters with turtles, sharks, penguins, and sea lions.
The Sierra Negra contains the second-largest caldera in the world and is one of the Galapagos Islands’ most active volcanoes. Guava tree forests may be found on your ascent to the caldera’s summit, and on a clear day, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the island’s other five volcanoes.
We will visit the most important giant tortoise breeding center in the Galapagos at noon.
To increase the population of these amazing creatures, two species of giant tortoises are raised at the Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center, which is crucial to safeguarding the future of the Galapagos. You may also take in the lovely gardens, which boast a wide variety of local flora, while you go about the center.
You can also go for a stroll in the Isabela wetlands, a collection of lagoons, swamps, and mangroves that have become a haven for migratory birds like stilts and flamingos outside of Puerto Villamil.
ISABELA / MORENO POINT – ISABELA / URBINA BAY
After breakfast, we will visit Moreno Point, located west of Isabela Island. At first, glance appears to be a barren lava flow. However, a trip along one of the trails soon exposes an abundance of gorgeous green lagoons and mangroves, making it an excellent location to watch penguins, blue herons, and flamingos.
White-tip sharks and green sea turtles can also be seen while snorkeling or taking a panga ride along the rocky shore.
In the afternoon, we will visit the Urbina Bay, located at the foot of the Alcedo Volcano and is the result of a major volcanic uplift that took place in 1954 and resulted in 6km of the coral reef being lifted out of the ocean. Walking along this new shore, you can observe the corals and remains of marine life stranded due to this event. However, it is now home to giant land iguanas and giant tortoises, and it is often an excellent spot to see Galapagos hawks and flightless cormorants. It is also ideal for snorkeling as turtles, rays, and tropical fish frequent the coastline.
FERNANDINA – ESPINOSA POINT / ISABELA – VICENTE ROCA POINT
In the morning and after breakfast, we will visit Fernandina Island, the youngest island in the Galapagos, where we will explore the Espinosa point, a place of natural beauty. There, you will observe marine iguanas feeding underwater by snorkeling and swimming.
At the Espinosa point, you can frequently find a lot of colorful Sally Lightfoot crabs in great numbers on the rocks. Walking pathways on land give you the chance to see the intriguing mangrove plants, lava cactus, and spectacular black lava rocks where marine iguanas like to sunbathe.
You will visit Vicente Rica Point in the afternoon and after lunch. The Vicente Roca Point, which is reachable by panga and is located on Isabela island’s northwestern shore, is a stunning big bay with two coves that serve as nesting locations for blue-footed and Nazca boobies, gulls, storm petrels, and Brown Noddy Terns.
The cooler waters here provide plenty of food for marine life, and it’s usual to observe groups of whales, dolphins, sea lions, and marine birds feeding themselves while snorkeling.
RABIDA – BARTHOLOMEW ISLAND
After breakfast, you will head to Rabida Island. This beautiful island is known for its dark red sand beach, framed by cliffs and steep volcanic slopes covered in Palo Santo trees and unique cacti. Blue-footed and Nazca boobies can be seen on a panga ride around the coastline, while water sports like snorkeling, kayaking, or paddle boarding are excellent for observing white-tipped sharks and rays.
Rabida hosts sea lion colonies on its beaches, and on land, we can find Mockingbirds, yellow warblers, and all nine Darwin finches, making this island a must in your voyage to Galapagos.
In the afternoon, you will visit Bartholomew island. Pinnacle Rock, a massive volcanic cone, is the most well-known feature of the islet Bartholomew Island, which is part of Sullivan Bay. Spectacular views of Pinnacle Rock and the surrounding lava flows may be seen from a viewpoint at the island’s summit, which is reached by a hiking trek.
While snorkeling, it’s possible to see reef sharks, penguins, spotted eagle rays, and green sea turtles along the northern beach.
KICKER ROCK / WITCH HILL – GIANT TORTOISE RESERVE
You will visit Kicker Rock in the morning. An iconic feature of the Galapagos, Kicker Rock, was created over time by the erosion of the volcano’s extinct cone. Additionally, when the ship navigates around the rock formation, blue-footed boobies, frigatebirds, and sea lions are frequently perched on the ledges above. This provides an excellent sight for taking beautiful images.
You will proceed to Witch Hill after seeing Kicker Rock. Witch Hill has a beautiful white sand beach reachable by panga and offers a great vantage point for visiting Kicker Rock in the island’s south. The hill is an eroded tuff cone, and the calm waters at its base make for an excellent snorkeling location.
Meanwhile, there are opportunities to see various coastal birds, finches, and mockingbirds on a walk along the beach or on one of the inland routes.
The largest hike on San Cristobal is the Giant Tortoise Reserve, which you will visit after lunch. The route is around 5 kilometers long and may be pretty warm.
This is a great location to see giant tortoises in their natural environment. Six thousand gigantic tortoises live at San Cristobal; hundreds of them can be spotted alongside other endemic species like lava lizards and mockingbirds on a good day.
The opportunity to see sea turtles and tintoreras (white-tipped reef sharks) makes snorkeling a fantastic activity and a great chance to see Sea turtles nest on the sand.
SAN CRISTOBAL INTERPRETATION CENTER – SAN CRISTOBAL’S AIRPORT
You will go to the San Cristobal Interpretation Center in the morning, near the city’s center. The interpretation center gives a broad picture of the island’s intriguing past. The three main areas of emphasis—natural history, human history, and conservation for the future—are covered in various expositions.
Afterward, you will be 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.
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