Tour Overview

Encounter the island chain that has enchanted explorers since Darwin first weighed anchor off its shores. Explore the incredible wildlife of the Galápagos archipelago in the company of an expert Naturalist Guide. Giant tortoises, sea lions, and island birds are in abundance here, and you’ll have the chance to spot them all in visits to Santiago Island, North Seymour, and Mosquera Islands, and many more fascinating locales. In the evenings, return to the Xavier III to reflect on the day’s adventure under a canopy of stars. To finish off enjoy a night on Santa Cruz island to explore beaches and visit giant tortoises in their natural habitat.

Highlights

  • icon snorkelling excursions searching for sea turtles and rays
  • iconOne night in Santa Cruz with included visit to see the giant tortoises, three nights cruising through the Galápagos National Park aboard the Xavier, snorkelling excursions searching for sea turtles and rays, hiking through the lava fields of Bartolomé to get an amazing view, learn more about the ecology of the Galápagos with a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station
  • icon three nights cruising through the Galápagos National Park aboard the Xavier
  • icon learn more about the ecology of the Galápagos with a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station
  • iconOne night in Santa Cruz with included visit to see the giant tortoises
  • icon hiking through the lava fields of Bartolomé to get an amazing view

Places You'll See

Countries:

Itinerary

Map Image
icon Day 1: Quito

Location: Quito

Accommodation: Hotel Hilton Colon

Arrive at any time.

There are no planned activities, so check into the hotel and enjoy the city. Please look for notices in the hotel lobby for a time and location of the welcome meeting.

Additional Information: Booking pre- or post-trip accommodation is highly recommended to fully experience the city and take advantage of the optional activities available. Opt to pre-book the "Quito City Tour & Equator Line" activity on the checkout page ahead of time to include this optional on your tour.

ACTIVITY: The adventure begins today. Feel free to explore, but make sure you're back in time to meet the group. Your G Representative will review the details of your tour.

icon Day 2: Quito/Puerto Baquerizo Moreno

Location: Quito

Meals: BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER

Fly to San Cristóbal Island. Meet the guide and transfer to the boat. Visit Isla Lobos in the afternoon to spot blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas and sea lions.

In the afternoon, transfer to the boat. Continue to Isla Lobos, a small island home a friendly population of sea lions. While snorkelling in the calm clear waters watch as the curious pups blow bubbles, swim in circles and frolic in the waves.

Additional Information: Flights from Quito to Baltra depart between 6:40am and 9:40am depending on the day of the week. These will arrive into the Galápagos between 9:30am and 12:30pm with a short refuelling stop in Guayaquil (you will not disembark the plane). Please note: The National Park charges a visitor fee of USD100, payable on arrival, which funds park maintenance and supervision in the Galápagos, as well as ecological study, conservation, and infrastructure development in Ecuador's other National Parks. Entry fees and the funds they generate for the national park system are among measures taken by the Ecuadorian government to protect its natural heritage.

TRANSPORT: Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... yup, it is a plane, actually.

ACTIVITY: Explore this tiny island for great wildlife encounters. Either by foot or by panga, view the sea and shore birds nesting and feeding. Spot a small colony of blue-footed boobies as well as two species of sea lions.

ACTIVITY: Snorkel the waters of peaceful Isla Lobos, amid the families of sea lions and their inquisitive pups looking to play. Spot nesting frigatebirds and the famous blue-footed boobies resting on the shore. Be sure to bring your camera to catch some snaps at this prime wildlife watching haven.

TRANSPORT: When it comes to our stellar fleet of Galápagos vessels, the Xavier is made for both great value and great service. The luxury of local and international cuisine, daily excursions to explore the islands, and picturesque views of the Galápagos from the outdoor deck.

icon Day 3: North Seymour/Mosquera Islet

Location: North Seymour

Meals: BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER

Explore two tiny islands that are big on wildlife. North Seymour offers great views of nesting seabirds, including frigatebirds and Mosquera is home to large colonies of sea lions.

ACTIVITY: Have an amazing wildlife experience visiting North Seymour Island – this island is teeming with life! Follow trails to see all the action (you may need to give way to a passing sea lion or marine iguana while walking). Depending on the season, see blue-footed booby nests where mating pairs perform their courtship dance. Head to a rocky shore to see flocks of pelicans having lunch in a dive bomb feeding frenzy, then turn inland to a large nesting site of magnificent frigatebirds. These huge, dark acrobats have two-metre (6.5 ft) wingspans, and males, with their puffed-up scarlet throat sacks, sit precariously perched in low bushes to watch over their equally large chicks. Top off your visit with a snorkel excursion among the colourful fish who call this area home.

ACTIVITY: Take your time exploring the underwater world along North Seymour's beach. Be greeted by large schools of tropical fish and sea lions, and keep an eye out for sea turtles and reef sharks.

ACTIVITY: Wander along the beach and keep a look out for wildlife on land, in the air, and at sea. Relax on the sand or search for aquatic life in the tidal pools that dot the coastline.

TRANSPORT: When it comes to our stellar fleet of Galápagos vessels, the Xavier is made for both great value and great service. The luxury of local and international cuisine, daily excursions to explore the islands, and picturesque views of the Galápagos from the outdoor deck.

icon Day 4: Santiago Island/Bartolomé Island

Location: Santiago Island

Meals: BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER

Visit Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island to witness the giant lava formations contrasting the white-coral sand beach. Continue to Bartolomé Island for a guided tour to see the dramatic volcanic features before hiking to a panoramic viewpoint.

ACTIVITY: Visit Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island to see one of its star natural attractions – striking and fascinating giant lava formations. Very few plants have managed to survive on this island due to its harsh environment and relatively new lava flow. Enjoy a walk along the lava formations before coming to a white-coral sand beach, where abundant Sally Lightfoot crabs and sea lions gather on shore.

ACTIVITY: Enjoy a cool dip after exploring Sullivan Bay on foot. Grab a snorkel and discover many species of fish and other marine life in the shallow waters. Keep an eye out for turtles, rays, and large schools of colourful fish.

ACTIVITY: Hike to Bartolomé's summit for a stronger perspective of the islands' not-too-distant volcanic origins, and enjoy a panoramic view – it’s one of the best among the islands! See other Galápagos Islands in the distance as well as Pinnacle Rock, the island’s famous towering landmark.

ACTIVITY: Take the opportunity to swim and snorkel along the shore, home to one of the most iconic volcanic rock formations on the islands. Home to Galápagos penguins, friendly sea lions, sea turtles, and a huge variety of fish, Bartolomé and its surrounding waters are a fantastic place to explore the natural wonders of the Galápagos.

TRANSPORT: When it comes to our stellar fleet of Galápagos vessels, the Xavier is made for both great value and great service. The luxury of local and international cuisine, daily excursions to explore the islands, and picturesque views of the Galápagos from the outdoor deck.

icon Day 5: Puerto Ayora

Location: Puerto Ayora

Accommodation: Hotel Coloma

Meals: BREAKFAST

Disembark in Puerto Ayora and visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to see the giant Galápagos tortoises. In the afternoon, explore Academy Bay on a boat tour. Snorkel with sea lions and walk over a volcanic path to a crystal clear saltwater lagoon.

ACTIVITY: Visit Fausto Llerena Breeding Center a great place to observe many species of tortoises and land iguanas in captivity. Brought back from the brink of extinction, see the famous Galápagos tortoise up close – a corral houses adult tortoises, and a nursery cares for the young until around age three when their shells have hardened. This area also houses the Charles Darwin Research Station, a scientific organization initiated in 1964, which works to preserve the Galápagos' ecosystem through the conservation efforts of scientists, researchers, and volunteers. While the offices themselves are not open to visitors, the research station provides a study location for international scientists and environmental education for the local community.

ACTIVITY: Enjoy a boat tour around Academy Bay, head across the bay to La Loberia to snorkel with playful sea lions and colourful fish. After, continue on to Punta Estrada to spot a variety of birds, on the way to Playa de los Alemanes lookout for marine iguanas sunning themselves on the rocks, Cross a cactus forest looking for Darwin finches and lava lizards on the way to Las Grietas, a local swimming hole. The cool, bright turquoise water separates two volcanic cliffs. Fed by the ocean from one end and a river from the other, this unique brackish pool is perfect for swimming.

icon Day 6: Puerto Ayora/Quito

Location: Puerto Ayora

Accommodation: Hotel Hilton Colon

Meals: BREAKFAST

Visit the highlands of Santa Cruz to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat. Fly back to Quito for a final night in the city.

ACTIVITY: Visit the highlands of Santa Cruz and see the Galápagos giant tortoise in its natural surroundings. Explore the area and its incredible wildlife.

icon Day 7: Quito

Location: Quito

Meals: BREAKFAST

Depart at any time.

ACTIVITY: Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.

What's Included

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    Accommodation

    Hotels (3 nts), aboard the Xavier in twin-share cabins (3 nts).

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    Meals

    6 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners

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    Excursion to see giant tortoises in the wild

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    Certified Galápagos National Park Service Guide

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    Snorkelling equipment and wetsuits while aboard Xavier

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    Internal flights

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    Overnight on Santa Cruz

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    Cruise the Galápagos Islands aboard the Xavier (3 nts)

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    Cruise the Galápagos Islands aboard the Xavier (3 nts). All meals aboard the Xavier. Certified Galápagos National Park Service Guide. Overnight on Santa Cruz. Visit to North Seymour to see nesting seabirds. Hike to the Bartolomé Island viewpoint overlooking the famous Pinnacle Rock. Snorkelling at Isla Lobos, Kicker Rock and Sullivan Bay. Visit the Charles Darwin Foundation (Santa Cruz). Excursion to see giant tortoises in the wild. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities. Internal flights. Snorkelling equipment and wetsuits while aboard Xavier.

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    Visit the Charles Darwin Foundation (Santa Cruz)

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    Visit to North Seymour to see nesting seabirds

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    Snorkelling at Isla Lobos, Kicker Rock and Sullivan Bay

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    All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

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    All meals aboard the Xavier

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    Hike to the Bartolomé Island viewpoint overlooking the famous Pinnacle Rock

Transport

Motorized yacht (Xavier), plane, private vehicle, panga.

Meals Included

6 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners

Accommodation

Hotels (3 nts), aboard the Xavier in twin-share cabins (3 nts).
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