Galapagos In Focus (Grand Queen Bea)

Galapagos In Focus (Grand Queen Bea)

60 Views
8 Days
From

$6940

$4794

Galapagos In Focus (Grand Queen Bea)

8 Days Starting in Isla San Cristobal and ending in Isla Baltra

Visiting: Isla San Cristobal, Bartolome - Bahia Sullivan, Isla Santiago - Espumilla Beach - Buccaneer Cove - Puerto Egas, Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Station - Santa Cruz Highlands, North Seymour - Isla Mosquera, Black Turtle Cove - Cerro Dragon, Isla Rabida - Sombrero Chino, Las Bachas - Isla Baltra

Tour operator:

Intrepid Travel

Tour code:

GMQP

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:
$6940
$4794 (USD) Operator discount: -$2010 The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$136 -31%
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Tour Overview

Set sail on an eight-day adventure through one of the most diverse, untouched and fascinating places on earth. The central eastern islands of the Galapagos play host to an unbelievable array of wildlife, both above and below the surface, which you’ll discover during incredible guided walks and snorkelling excursions. As you cruise, walk and snorkel, look out for giant Galapagos tortoises, blue-footed boobies, iguanas, sea lions, fur seals and sea turtles (to name just a few!). From the sandy beaches of Espumilla to the volcanic craters of Isla Santiago, the landscapes are as mesmerising as the wildlife. Hop aboard for an adventure that surprises at every turn.

Highlights

  • Get a true taste of the Galapagos, sailing through its central and eastern islands, discovering untouched wilderness and unique wildlife.

  • Enjoy a room with a new view each day, getting to each island in the comfort of the mighty M/Y Grand Queen Beatriz.

  • Encounter giant Galapagos tortoises, blue-footed and masked boobies, pelicans and frigate birds, as well as land and marine iguanas, sea lions, fur seals and perhaps dolphins, whales and sea turtles.

  • Live on island time, with the opportunity to explore coves, craters and inlets off the beaten track – one of the many benefits of a small group sail.

  • Experience the contrasting landscapes of a selection of islands. From the sandy Espumilla beach to the volcanic formation of Pinnacle Rock, you’ll see the diversity of the Galapagos.

  • 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: Isla San Cristobal
Location: Isla San Cristobal
Accommodation: M/Y Grand Queen Beatriz
Meals Included: lunch, dinner

Welcome to San Cristobal in the Galapagos Islands! You will be met at 11 am in the arrival hall of the San Cristobal airport by the National Park Guide and transferred to your boat, the M/Y Grand Queen Beatriz – a first-class boat with all of the creature comforts you’ll need. Once on board, you'll meet your trip leader who will be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

This afternoon you will travel into the interior of Isla San Cristobal to visit the highlands site of ‘Galapaguera of Cerro Colorado’ (Red Hill) where the national park has established a breeding program and information centre for native tortoises. Here, you'll be able to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat and learn all about their origin, evolution and their threatened future.


Included Activities:
-Isla San Cristobal - Highlands Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing

Day 2: Bartolome - Bahia Sullivan
Location: Bartolome - Bahia Sullivan
Accommodation: M/Y Grand Queen Beatriz
Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

Having cruised overnight, arrive at Bartolome – one of the most spectacular volcanic landscapes in the Galapagos, full of parasitic cones, lava flows, and home to Galapagos penguins and lava lizards.

Bartolome is a relatively new island in the archipelago and traces of its volcanic past can be seen everywhere, as seen by the amazing lunar-like landscape. The Pinnacle Rock is one of the most photographed sites in the Galapagos – a rock structure protruding from the earth like a tooth, providing a focal point for two nearby bays.

Head to nearby Isla Santiago, where you can hike to the top of a once-active volcano (360 wooden steps) and enjoy superb views across to Sullivan Bay. If you’re in luck, you might catch a glance of the Galapagos Hawk. You also have the opportunity to go snorkelling with plenty of tropical fish, starfish, white-tipped reef sharks, rays and (hopefully) penguins.

On Santiago's eastern coast sits James Island. Here, take a walk on Pahoe-Hoe lava, from an eruption that occurred in 1897, and witness the regrowth of unique plant species since the last eruption. Look out for marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs, sea lions, finches, turtles, sharks and penguins. On a walk, your guide will explain the interesting geological history of the islands.

Included Activities:
-Isla Santiago - Sullivan Bay - Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
-Isla Bartolome - Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
-Isla Bartolome - Snorkelling (1.5 hours)
-Isla Bartolome - Panga ride (30 mins)

Day 3: Isla Santiago - Espumilla Beach - Buccaneer Cove - Puerto Egas
Location: Isla Santiago - Espumilla Beach - Buccaneer Cove - Puerto Egas
Accommodation: M/Y Grand Queen Beatriz
Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

Start the morning at Espumilla Beach, on the northern coast of Santiago in James Bay – one of the most idyllic locations in the Galapagos. With large waves, it is often a favourite among travellers who are beach lovers, and is also an important nesting site for marine turtles.

Look around and see Galapagos hawks, ghost crabs, blue-footed boobies (often plunging for fish) and brown pelicans up close. Espumilla is also well known for its forest of palo santo trees and some extraordinary lava formations.

You will also visit Caleta Bucanero (Buccaneer Cove), a natural monument of rocks caused by sea erosion. This cove was used by pirates to careen their ships. It is a place of local legends and stories, including where Charles Darwin camped for nine days while making his study of the islands and their wildlife. If conditions are favourable, you can enjoy some further snorkelling.

The next stop is Puerto Egas, a black sand beach located on the west side of James Bay and northwest of Santiago. South of the beach is Sugarloaf Volcano, which has deposits of volcanic tuff. This site is named Puerto Egas, after Hector Egas who last attempted to mine salt here. On the walk along the beach, you’ll encounter hundreds of marine iguanas and Galapagos sea lions. You will also see amazing tidal pools formed from ancient lava flow and home to sponges, snails, hermit crabs, barnacles and fish. Snorkelling with the seals always offers the possibility of thrilling encounters.

Included Activities:
-Isla Santiago - Puerto Egas - Walk (1.45 hours) - Wet Landing
-Isla Santiago - Puerto Egas - Snorkelling (1 hour)
-Isla Sanitago - Espumilla Beach - Snorkelling (45 mins)
-Isla Sanitago - Espumilla Beach - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing

Day 4: Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Station - Santa Cruz Highlands
Location: Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Station - Santa Cruz Highlands
Accommodation: M/Y Grand Queen Beatriz
Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

Today you will visit Isla Santa Cruz, the second largest island in the Galapagos. The small town of Puerto Ayora is the economic centre of the archipelago, and home to the Charles Darwin Research Station. As well as undertaking vital conservation work, the station also makes for interesting exploration and offers the best opportunities for close encounters with giant tortoises. You will also see baby tortoises and land iguanas.

After, head up into the highlands for a total change of scenery. Beginning at the coast you'll travel across Santa Cruz through the agricultural region and into the misty forests. This is a lush humid zone containing miconia bushes, scalesia and inactive volcanic cones. Santa Cruz has more endemic plants than any of the other islands. Plus, you are likely to see Galapagos giant tortoises in their natural habitat, and perhaps even the bright red feathers of a vermillion flycatcher!

Included Activities:
-Isla Santa Cruz - Highlands Visit (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing

Day 5: North Seymour - Isla Mosquera
Location: North Seymour - Isla Mosquera
Accommodation: M/Y Grand Queen Beatriz
Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

Take a morning excursion to North Seymour, which is one of the most visited islands in the Galapagos. The trail on North Seymour crosses inland through the island and then explores the rocky coast. Along the way, the trail passes colonies of blue footed boobies and frigate birds.

The magnificent frigate bird, a large black bird with a long wingspan and a hooked beak, is extremely fast and has excellent vision. Frigate birds are known for the large red pouch on their necks. During mating season, the males throw back their heads, inflate the pouch (sometimes to the size of a soccer ball), and shake – trying to capture the attention of female frigates. Boobies and frigates have an interesting relationship. Sharing the same nesting area on North Seymour, blue-footed boobies nest on the ground making their nests from the twigs of the palo santos trees, while the frigate birds nest just above them in the saltbushes.

Your walk is followed by snorkelling where you will discover a colourful variety of fish and, possibly, some white-tipped reef sharks, rays and sea lions. After lunch, visit the small sandy island of Mosquera, a relaxing stop situated between Baltra and North Seymour. Along the rocks and in the tide pool, Sally Lightfoot crabs (red lava crabs) scamper back and forth, skipping across small pools of water in search of food. These crabs with their bright red shell tops and blue under shells are stunning against the black lava. The island also has a very large colony of sea lions as well as a sizeable resident brown pelican population. Depending on the tides and visibility, you may have a chance to go snorkelling here.

Included Activities:
-Isla North Seymour - Walk (2 hours) - Dry Landing
-Isla North Seymour - Snorkelling (1 hours)
-Isla Mosquera - Snorkelling (1 hour)
-Isla Mosquera - Beach Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing

Day 6: Black Turtle Cove - Cerro Dragon
Location: Black Turtle Cove - Cerro Dragon
Accommodation: M/Y Grand Queen Beatriz
Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

Today you will take a panga (Zodiac boat) to Caleta Tortuga Negra (Black Turtle Cove) – a red mangrove wetland on the north shore of Isla Santa Cruz. Paddle among the cove’s peaceful waters, for your first taste of the underwater riches of this region – it’s a wonderful place to see green turtle and is a nursery for golden cow-nose rays, eagle rays and Galapagos sharks. There is also abundant birdlife, such as the yellow warblers and lava herons. This is also a breeding area for turtles, so it is not uncommon to see them mating.

In the afternoon, cruise over for a walk on Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill) this afternoon – one of the best places to see land iguanas in the islands. From our dry landing we walk to a brackish lagoon frequented by lagoon birds including stilts, pintail ducks, sandpipers, sanderlings and occasionally 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 location for birdwatching with Darwin's finches, Galapagos mockingbirds, the endemic Galapagos flycatcher and yellow warblers all regulars here. The path can be challenging but it will be worth it with a spectacular view of the bay!


Included Activities:
-Isla Santa Cruz - Black Turtle Cove - Panga ride (1.5 hours)
-Isla Santa Cruz - Cerro Dragon - Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
-Isla Santa Cruz - Cerro Dragon - Snorkelling or swimming (1 hour)

Day 7: Isla Rabida - Sombrero Chino
Location: Isla Rabida - Sombrero Chino
Accommodation: M/Y Grand Queen Beatriz
Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

Sombrero Chino is a small islet located near the south-east coast of Santiago. It's shaped like a Chinese hat (Sombrero Chino) when seen from afar, and is geologically fascinating, with many lava tubes leading from the cone to the coast. Approach Sombrero Chino via a beautiful crescent-shaped, sandy beach that is home to sea lions and Sally Lightfoot crabs. Keep a look out for Galapagos penguins on the rocky shoreline of nearby Santiago, opposite Sombrero Chino. Follow a trail that circles the cove and passes through colonies of sea lions marine iguanas. The cove also offers some great snorkelling opportunities, hopefully with sightings of some penguins and sharks.

On to Isla Rabida, also known as Jervis Island, which is a tiny island sitting roughly five kilometres south of Santiago, having one of the most striking of the archipelago. Introduced species were eradicated in 1971, meaning that the native wildlife has now been returned to a state of isolation. Additionally, volcanic activity here has produced a vivid spectrum of colours, not least the red sand beaches and scarlet cliffs.

From the shore, the trail leads through to what is one of the finest lagoons in the Galapagos for viewing flamingos. Rabida is also a wonderful place to spot nesting pelicans. Elsewhere, spot pintail ducks, marine iguanas and sea lions. There is an opportunity for snorkelling in a cove full of sea stars, damsels, gobies and surgeon fish.

Included Activities:
-Isla Santiago - Sombrero Chino - Snorkelling (1 hour)
-Sombrero Chino - Walk and Panga ride (2 hours) - Wet Landing
-Isla Rabida - Snorkelling (1 hour)
-Isla Rabida - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing

Day 8: Las Bachas - Isla Baltra
Location: Las Bachas - Isla Baltra
Meals Included: breaksfast

Today you'll take an early morning excursion to Las Bachas, which was so named after the barges abandoned by the American Navy here in the 1940s. The sand beaches of Las Bachas on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island are a nesting site for the Pacific green turtle, and marine iguanas are also commonly seen. The sand here is particularly white and soft, as it is made of decomposed coral. The rocks provide great snorkelling and are the perfect habitat for the Sally Lightfoot crabs, which are plentiful on the island. A saltwater lagoon near the beach is home to flamingo, whimbrel and great blue herons. This is your final excursion before you return to the airport in Baltra, where your Galapagos adventure will come to an end.

Included Activities:
-Isla Santa Cruz - Bachas Beach Walk (1 hour) - Wet Landing

What's Included

  • Isla Santiago - Sullivan Bay - Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing

  • Isla San Cristobal - Highlands Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing

  • Isla Bartolome - Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing

  • Isla Santiago - Puerto Egas - Walk (1.45 hours) - Wet Landing

  • Isla Bartolome - Snorkelling (1.5 hours)

  • Isla Bartolome - Panga ride (30 mins)

  • Isla Santiago - Puerto Egas - Snorkelling (1 hour)

  • Isla Sanitago - Espumilla Beach - Snorkelling (45 mins)

  • Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Research Station (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing

  • Isla Sanitago - Espumilla Beach - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing

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What's Not Included

  • Tipping and Gratuities

  • International Travel

Transport

  • The Grand Queen Beatriz is a modern motor yacht. She has a comfortable lounge and dining area, a jacuzzi 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 and yet, at 41 metres, she is small enough for us to offer an individual level of service. She's just perfect for a more personal look at this great marine reserve.
  • Cabins:
  • 4xStandard twin cabins
  • 2xJunior Suite cabins
  • 2xDeluxe Balcony cabins
  • All cabins are fully air-conditioned with private facilities
  • Specifications:
  • Built: 2017
  • Length: 40.96 m
  • Beam: 9 m
  • Engines: 2
  • Speed: 12 knots
  • Passengers: 16
  • Crew: 8 + 1 English speaking naturalist guide
  • 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 Grand Queen Bea 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.

Accommodation

  • The stylish modern design of the Grand Queen Beatriz features large en suite cabins all with individual air conditioning and ocean views. There are 4 Standard twin cabins on the main deck and on the upper deck there are 2 Junior Suite cabins  and 2 deluxe balcony cabins. The upper deck cabins all have private balconies. All cabins are equipped with a safety deposit box, hair dryers and toiletries.

Important Information

  • FELLOW TRAVELLERS:
  • This trip is a package tour and is therefore made up of a combination of shorter trips. This may mean you will travel with a different guide and passengers on each section.
  • 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. If your voyage visits Isabela Island, there is also a US$10 fee to be paid on arrival at the island.
  • 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.
  • 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 us or your agent 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.
  • ALTERNATIVE TRIP:
  • If you wish to have flights included to and from the Galapagos Islands along with hotel accommodation in Quito, please refer to our Classic Galapagos: Central Eastern Islands trip - GMQB.

Check out our Q&As

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    No

  • Is this trip right for you

    The Galapagos Islands are a largely untouched natural paradise. In order to experience the splendour of the diverse landscapes and waters, the included activities on this trip often require a moderate level of fitness. We ask that you read the itinerary carefully to ensure that you will be able to participate fully. 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

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    Yes

  • Are all the relevant entry visa’s included in the price of the tour?

    Yes

  • Are all entrance fees included in the price?

    Yes, except optional activities

  • Are flights included in this tour?

    No

  • 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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Jun 09, 2024 - Jun 16, 2024
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$7415 $7211 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$204 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Aug 03, 2025 - Aug 10, 2025
$7415 $7211 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$204 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Oct 12, 2025 - Oct 19, 2025
$7415 $7211 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$204 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Oct 26, 2025 - Nov 02, 2025
$7415 $7211 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$204 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Nov 09, 2025 - Nov 16, 2025
$7415 $7211 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$204 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Nov 23, 2025 - Nov 30, 2025
$7415 $7211 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$204 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Dec 07, 2025 - Dec 14, 2025
$7415 $7211 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$204 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Dec 21, 2025 - Dec 28, 2025
$7415 $7211 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$204 (USD)

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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