Galapagos Adventure: Northern Islands (Grand Daphne)

Galapagos Adventure: Northern Islands (Grand Daphne)

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7 Days
From

$5040

$3495

Galapagos Adventure: Northern Islands (Grand Daphne)

7 Days Starting and ending in Quito

Visiting: Quito, Quito/Isla San Cristobal, Isla Santa Fe/Isla Plaza Sur, Isla Genovesa, Isla Santiago/Isla Santa Cruz, Isla Santa Cruz/Quito

Tour operator:

Intrepid Travel

Tour code:

GMDC

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

1 - 16

Physical rating:

Medium, Medium

Age range:

12-99 years

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians

Tour operated in:
English
From:
$5040
$3495 (USD) Operator discount: -$1446 The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$99 -31%
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Tour Overview

With almost 1000 kilometres of water lying between them and the South American mainland, the islands of the Galapagos were able to evolve largely unfettered by the presence of humanity. The archipelago has captivated explorers for years, and it remains almost as rugged, as remote and as enchanting as ever. Encounter sassy sea lions, hike over hardened lava, and cool off with multiple snorkels in aquamarine waters. This cruise is perfect for those who like their adventures active and action-packed.

Highlights

  • Hike, snorkel, sleep, repeat – this isn’t your average cruise. Get active in the rugged and isolated northern Galapagos Islands.

  • From sunbathing sea lions to colourful crabs, this trip is bound to feature encounters with crazy critters of all shapes and sizes.

  • Wander along the red-sand shore of Isla Rabida, then head inland in search of the flamingos and other water birds.

  • This 7-day tour is a short and sweet introduction to the famed archipelago, the perfect addition to any South American adventure.

  • An itinerary that strikes the perfect balance between excursion-packed days and relaxing evenings on Le Grande Daphne, our brand-new motor yacht.

  • Wander along the beautiful white sand beach at Bahia Borrero, then snorkel with reef sharks and manta rays..

  • An itinerary that strikes the perfect balance between excursion-packed days and relaxing evenings on the Grand Daphne, our newest motor yacht.

  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll learn about our Intrepid Foundation partner, The Galapagos Conservancy. Donations support their Women in Sustainable Entrepreneurship (WISE) program, providing capital for sustainability initiatives and empowering female entrepreneurs in the Galapagos. Intrepid will double the impact by dollar-matching all post-trip donations made to The Intrepid Foundation.

Itinerary

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Day 1: Quito
Location: Quito
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: dinner

The adventure gets underway in Quito, Ecuador’s sprawling but refined capital city. A welcome meeting will be held this evening at either 5 pm or 6 pm so that you can meet your fellow travellers, but aside from that you are free to check out the city on your own today. If you arrive with time to spare, perhaps head to Quito’s Old Town and pick one (or more) of the 30 churches to explore. After your welcome meeting, head to a small, local restaurant for dinner with your group. You can expect some pretty mouth-watering aromas from the fresh flavours of traditional Ecuadorian cuisine. Think quinoa, pork and vegetable dishes laced with local herbs, lemongrass and rich sauces all sourced from local farms. You might even get to try the traditional Locro (potato soup).

Day 2: Quito/Isla San Cristobal
Location: Quito/Isla San Cristobal
Accommodation: M/Y Grand Daphne
Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

Rise and shine! An early start is necessary this morning to make it to the Galapagos with time to play today. This could mean leaving as early as 4.30 am, and an Intrepid representative will confirm the exact departure time during the welcome meeting on day 1. Transfer to Mariscal Sucre International Airport (aka Quito Airport), enjoying a boxed breakfast en route.

On arrival in the Galapagos, meet your local naturalist guide in the arrival hall and transfer to the Grande Daphne. Climb aboard and settle into your assigned cabin, meet the crew and listen to a safety drill. With the formalities out of the way, sit down to lunch and get to know your shipmates a little better.

The first stop today is the San Cristobal Interpretation Center. The centre brings the history and geography of the archipelago to life, from its volcanic origins to the present day. Get a complete overview of the Galapagos, the perfect way to start your adventure.

This afternoon, there will be an opportunity to travel to the highlands in order to view Giant Tortoises in a protected area. Please note that this will be your only opportunity on this trip to see these magnificent creatures, but the price is not included in your trip price. This optional excursion will take approximately 2 hours with a shared cost around US 120, though individual cost will vary depending on how many of your group choose to partake.

Included Activities:
-Isla San Cristobal - Interpretation Center Visit (1 hour) - Dry Landing

Day 3: Isla Santa Fe/Isla Plaza Sur
Location: Isla Santa Fe/Isla Plaza Sur
Accommodation: M/Y Grand Daphne
Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

Take a walk on Isla Santa Fe, home to a collection of the most spectacular wildlife in the Galapagos. You can expect to see sea lions, Galapagos hawks, land iguanas, a variety of finches, Galapagos mockingbirds, marine turtles, frigatebirds, Galapagos doves and lava lizards. Phew. The approximately 1.5-hour hike takes you along the coast and through a forest of opuntia (prickly pear cacti). The trail can be a little rocky, so mind your step and wear solid walking shoes. Later enjoy a snorkel in deep water and look out for schools of fish, rays and sea turtles.

Afterwards, continue to Isla Plaza Sur, a small, picturesque island. Take a walk (approximately 1.5 hours), getting close to sea lions and passing one of the Galapagos’ largest land iguana populations which rest among cacti. The southern cliffs of Plaza Sur are great for spotting tropicbirds and swallow-tailed gulls, as well as ‘the Gentlemen’s Club’ – a gathering of male sea lions. Today there may be an extra stop along the way to Plaza Sur to restock the provisions for the boat. Later tonight, set sail for Isla Genovesa.

Estimated travel time/distance:
Isla San Cristobal to Isla Santa Fe: 3.5 hours (26 nautical miles)
Isla Santa Fe to Isla Plaza Sur: 2 hours (16 nautical miles)
Isla Plaza Sur to Bahia Darwin (Isla Genovesa): 7.5 hours (59 nautical miles)

Included Activities:
-Isla Plaza Sur - Walk (2 hours) - Dry Landing
-Isla Santa Fe - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
-Isla Santa Fe - Snorkel (1 hour)

Day 4: Isla Genovesa
Location: Isla Genovesa
Accommodation: M/Y Grand Daphne
Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

After an overnight sail, reach Isla Genovesa, the archipelago's north-eastern outpost. It’s undeniably worth the voyage. Dolphins are often spotted in the waters here, so keep your eyes peeled. These varied landscapes are a twitcher's paradise, with all three kinds of boobies, including the rare red-footed booby, making their home here. Next up is Bahia Darwin (Darwin Beach), another superb site with large breeding colonies of seabirds and frigates and other birds such as lava herons, swallow-tailed gulls, mockingbirds and, hopefully, vampire finches.

Enjoy a moderate walk (approximately 2.5 hours) that passes tide pools, sea lions and diamond stingrays. This walk involves sand and some rocky sections. The steep Prince Philip's Steps lead you to the heart of the seabird rookeries, with birds overhead and nesting among the cliffs. Look out for storm petrels on the island’s rocky plains; Genovesa is the only place in the world where these birds can be seen flying during the day. Afterwards, perhaps cool off with a snorkel. The island's magnificent marine life makes for spectacular snorkelling – you might encounter manta rays, sharks, turtles and moray eels, plus many species of fish.

Later tonight, depart Isla Genovesa for Isla Santiago.

Estimated travel time/distance:
Prince Philip's Steps to Bahia Sullivan (Isla Santiago): 8 hours (48 miles)

Included Activities:
-Isla Genovesa - Bahia Darwin - Walk (2 hours) Wet Landing
-Isla Genovesa - La Barranco - Snorkel (1 hour)

Day 5: Isla Santiago/Isla Santa Cruz
Location: Isla Santiago/Isla Santa Cruz
Accommodation: M/Y Grand Daphne
Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

On Santiago Island's eastern coast sits Bahia Sullivan. Take a walk along pahoehoe lava (approximately 1 hour), which was created by an eruption that occurred here in 1897. With some luck you might see some marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs, sea lions, finches, turtles, sharks and penguins. During your walk, as always, your naturalist guide will take you through the geological history of the island.

Travel to Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill): one of the best places to see land iguanas in the islands. From our dry landing, walk to a brackish, lagoon spotting lagoon birds such as stilts, pintail ducks, sandpipers, sanderlings and flamingos. Further inland, the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western area of the archipelago. This area is a nesting site for land iguanas, which is constantly monitored and assisted by the Charles Darwin Research Station. The arid-zone vegetation makes for an ideal place to see Darwin's finches, Galapagos mockingbirds, the endemic Galapagos flycatcher and yellow warblers. The path can be challenging but it will be worth it for a spectacular view of the bay.

Estimated travel time/distance:
Bahia Sullivan to Cerro Dragon: 1.40 hours (17 nautical miles)
Cerro Dragon to Black Turtle Cove :50 minutes (8 nautical miles)



Included Activities:
-Isla Santiago - Sullivan Bay - Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
-Santa Cruz - Bahia Borrero - Walk (1 hour)
-Santa Cruz - Bahia Borrero - Snorkel 45minutes - Wet Landing
-Isla Santiago - Sullivan Bay - Snorkelling (45 mins)
-Isla Santa Cruz - Cerro Dragon - Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
-Isla Santa Cruz - Cerro Dragon - Snorkelling or swimming (1 hour)

Day 6: Isla Santa Cruz/Quito
Location: Isla Santa Cruz/Quito
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: breaksfast

Brave an early start to explore Caleta Tortuga Negra (Black Turtle Cove) on a Zodiac ride. This red mangrove wetland is located on the north shore of Isla Santa Cruz. A breeding area for green turtles, this is a good place to catch sight of them mating. There is also abundant bird life, such as the yellow warbler and lava heron. It is also a nursery for golden cow-nose rays, eagle rays and Galapagos sharks. This is your final excursion before you head to the airport in Isla Baltra for your flight back to Quito.

The flight will stop over in Guayaquil en route, arriving at Quito Airport at approximately 4 pm. Enjoy a transfer back to your hotel. Your local Intrepid representative may stop by at your hotel this evening to get your feedback on your Galapagos experience.

Estimated travel times/distance:
Daphne to Isla Baltra: 15 mins
Flight time Isla Baltra to Quito: approx 3.5 hours (including transit in Guayaquil)
Transfer Quito Airport to Hotel: 1 hour (depending on traffic)

Included Activities:
-Isla Santa Cruz - Black Turtle Cove - Panga ride (1.5 hours)

Day 7: Quito
Location: Quito
Meals Included: breaksfast

There are no activities planned for the final day after breakfast. There are many fascinating things to do in and around Quito, so consider staying for a few days to explore. If you are planning to spend more time in this charming city, consider booking an Urban Adventure. These day tours are the perfect crash course in the city. Find out more at urbanadventures.com/destination/Quito-tours.

What's Included

  • Isla Santa Cruz - Black Turtle Cove - Panga ride (1.5 hours)

  • Isla Plaza Sur - Walk (2 hours) - Dry Landing

  • Isla San Cristobal - Interpretation Center Visit (1 hour) - Dry Landing

  • Isla Santa Fe - Panga ride (45 mins)

  • Isla Genovesa - Bahia Darwin - Walk (2 hours) Wet Landing

  • Isla Santa Fe - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing

  • Isla Genovesa - La Barranco - Walk - Dry Landing

  • Isla Rabida - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing

  • Isla Genovesa - Snorkelling (45 min)

  • Isla Santiago - Sullivan Bay - Snorkelling (45 mins)

show more

What's Not Included

  • Tipping and Gratuities

  • International Travel

Accommodation

  • Le Grande Daphne features en suite cabins all with air conditioning and a safety box. The airconditioning is a centrally controlled system for the lower deck cabins and the upper deck cabins have individually controlled systems. The upper deck cabins have large windows and the lower deck cabins have portholes. Due to the lower deck cabins being close to the water, the portholes cannot be opened. There are 4 lower deck twin cabins, 1 lower deck double cabin, 1 main deck double suite cabin and 2 upper deck twin/double cabins.
  • Please note that single passengers cannot be booked/confirmed in the double cabin unless a single supplement is paid.

Transport

  • Le Grande Daphne is a motor yacht. She has a comfortable lounge and dining area, as well as a sun deck where you can view the wildlife or just kick back and relax. She has eight well-appointed, air-conditioned cabins each with en-suites.
  • Cabins:
  • 4x lower deck twin cabins
  • 1x lower deck double cabin
  • 1x main deck double suite
  • 2x upper deck twin/double cabins
  • Zodiacs (locally known as pangas) are modest-sized, open, outboard-powered boats which are very common throughout Galapagos. The boats are used to get you to and from the Daphne when you do activities. Depending on the type of activity, this could either be a wet or dry landing. The boat crew are there to assist you getting into and out of the zodiac.

Included Activities

  • Isla San Cristobal - Interpretation Center Visit (1 hour) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Plaza Sur - Walk (2 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Santa Fe - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Santa Fe - Panga ride (45 mins)
  • Isla Genovesa - Bahia Darwin - Walk (2 hours) Wet Landing
  • Isla Genovesa - Snorkelling (45 min)
  • Isla Genovesa - La Barranco - Walk - Dry Landing
  • Isla Rabida - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Rabida - Snorkelling (1 hour)
  • Isla Santiago - Sullivan Bay - Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Santiago - Sullivan Bay - Snorkelling (45 mins)
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Black Turtle Cove - Panga ride (1.5 hours)

Important Information

  • GALAPAGOS PARK, TRANSIT CARD & ISABELA ISLANDS PORT FEES:
  • Before checking in for the flight from Quito to the Galapagos, there is a US$20 transit fee that needs to be paid. On arrival in the islands you must pay the US$100 national park fee to enter Galapagos National Park.
  • From the 1st of August 2024 the Galapagos Islands National Park fee will be increasing from USD100 to USD200. This applies to everyone aged 13 years and above. For children aged 12 the fee will be USD100.
  • ARRIVAL TRANSFER:
  • This tour includes a complimentary arrival transfer in Quito. Please advise flight details 30 days prior to travel so that the transfer can be organised.
  • PASSPORT DETAILS:
  • When booking, please make sure that your name is spelt correctly, and that you book using the name in your passport (particularly if you are recently married). If you are issued a new passport with a different number between the time that you book and the time you travel, please take both the old and new passports with you.
  • DIETARY REQUIREMENTS:
  • Should you have a special diet requirement (for example vegetarian, celiac, vegan, severe food allergies) it's essential that you inform Peregrine of the specific details at least 10 days prior to departure, in order to make sure the chef on board the boat or on the island can request the necessary food supplies.
  • TEMPORARY ITINERARY CHANGE for trips departing in April & May 2024
  • Due to the confirmed cases of Avian Influenza H5N1 or "bird flu" as its commonly known being reported in the Galapagos Islands a temporary itinerary change will be in place for trips departing in April & May 2024. Please see further information in the "itinerary Disclaimer" section of the Essential trip information for the current itinerary change.

Check out our Q&As

  • Are internal flights included in this tour?

    Yes,

  • Is this trip right for you

    This trip involves lots of active adventure and we ask that you read through the itinerary carefully to ensure that this trip is right for you. You’ll need to feel comfortable with the included activities and with moving about the boat. The cabins and communal areas of the boat are spread over three decks and the steps between the decks are steep.

    For getting to small islets, coves and prime snorkelling spots, it is sometimes necessary to use a Zodiac boat (panga). You will need to be comfortable climbing in and out of one during wet and dry landings.

    The waters of the Galapagos are generally calm and serene. However, there is always the possibility of choppy water at sea. Steady sea legs (and a sturdy stomach) will be needed when walking around the boat during bad weather. Rain or shine, your trusty crew will always be on hand to assist you.

    Things are never set in stone when you’re travelling on island time. A sense of humour and flexibility will ensure you have a fun, relaxing trip through this beautiful part of the world no matter what happens. While the crew will do their best to follow the itinerary, variations may occur due to weather or under direction from local authorities.

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Please contact us for latest COVID-19 policies

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Intrepid Travel has been taking travellers around the world for over 30 years

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Yes

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Since 2002, The Intrepid Foundation has supported over 130 organisations across the world. We’re creating positive impact through the joy of travel, community and connection.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Over 50% of traveller travel solo with Intrepid. You can choose to share a room with another solo travelle of the same sex for no additional charge, or choose to pay a single supplement if you’d like your own room. Please request this when booking, and we will secure you a single supplement wherever possible. Please note, if you are booking a last-minute trip, it may be harder for us to secure a single room

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Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Intrepid Travel allows you to make 10 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 56 days before the start of the tour.

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Intrepid Travel allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform intrepid travel, 56 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Intrepid Travel requires a minimum deposit of 400 USD per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 56 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of intrepid travel charges.

    Up to 56 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 55 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 60% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

  • COVID Protection

    Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
    From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

    However, we continue to strongly recommend that all travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and other Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

    This policy excludes all Polar trips and select adventure cruises, where testing and vaccination remains a requirement. Please refer to the Essential Trip Information of your chosen tour for more details.

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