Galapagos Voyager: Central Islands (Grand Queen Beatriz)

Galapagos Voyager: Central Islands (Grand Queen Beatriz)

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14 Days
From

$11646

$7963

Galapagos Voyager: Central Islands (Grand Queen Beatriz)

14 Days Starting and ending in Quito

Visiting: Quito, Isla Baltra - Isla Santa Cruz, Isla Santa Fe - Isla Plaza Sur, Isla Espanola - Bahia Gardner - Punta Suarez, Isla Cristobal - Leon Dormido - Isla Lobos - Punta Pitt, Isla San Cristobal - Interpretation Center & Highlands, Bartolome - Bahia Sullivan, Isla Santiago - Espumilla Beach - Buccaneer Cove - Puerto Egas, Isla Santa Cruz , North Seymour - Isla Mosquera, Black Turtle Cove - Cerro Dragon, Isla Rabida - Sombrero Chino, Las Bachas - Isla Baltra - Quito

Tour operator:

Intrepid Travel

Tour code:

GMQK

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

1 - 16

Physical rating:

Low, Medium

Age range:

12-99 years

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians

Tour operated in:
English
From:
$11646
$7963 (USD) Operator discount: -$3458 The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$225 -32%
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Tour Overview

Climb aboard the stylish Grand Queen Beatriz and experience a superb spread of Ecuador’s famous wildlife-filled islands. As well as visiting the must-see icons of the archipelago – such as Isla San Cristobal’s frigate birds, Isla Santa Cruz’ giant tortoises, Pinnacle Rock and Isla Bartolome’s Pinnacle Rock – this 13-day itinerary covers key central islands. Among them are North Seymour, with its beautiful trails and birdlife, and Isla Rabida, with its indigenous wildlife and striking scarlet shores. With volcanic landscapes, sea turtles, marine iguanas, spectacular sea birds and possibly even hammerhead sharks on the agenda, this is an essential Galapagos adventure for animal lovers, keen snorkellers and photographers alike.

Highlights

  • Explore the islands from on deck, on foot and in the water, no doubt with your eyes open for your next unique sight.

  • This is indeed the Galapagos journey with something for everyone.

  • As you board your vessel, M.Y Grand Queen Beatriz, and follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin, you will encounter nature at its finest.

  • Encounter Galapagos’s wildlife, including giant Galapagos tortoises, blue-footed and Nazca boobies, pelicans and frigate birds, as well as iguanas, sea lions, fur seals and sea turtles.

  • Explore the islands from on deck, on foot and in the water, no doubt with your eyes open for your next unique sight. This is indeed the Galapagos journey with something for everyone.

  • 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

Welcome to Quito!

On arrival at Mariscal Sucre International Airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day will be at your leisure until a welcome meeting this evening. The meeting will be held at either 5 pm or 6 pm, please check with hotel reception or the reception notice board for the exact time and location. After your welcome meeting, head out with your local leader and fellow travellers for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Try some traditional flavours and get to know you group as you settle into the coming adventure. Quito sits at high altitude under the towering Pichincha volcano. It is a beautiful city, arguably one of the most beautiful in South America, and there is plenty to occupy you should you arrive with time to spare. The Old Town, for example, has many museums and churches to explore, including the ornate La Compania de Jesus.

Day 2: Isla Baltra - Isla Santa Cruz
Location: Isla Baltra - Isla Santa Cruz
Accommodation: M/Y Grand Queen Beatriz
Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to the Galapagos Islands. Please note the pick-up time will usually be as early as 4:30 am (a boxed breakfast will be provided), as the airport is a one-hour drive away and you must allow for delays and check-in times. (Your tour leader will confirm this time with you at the Welcome Meeting on Day 1).

A US$20 per person transit card is payable on departure at Quito Airport and a US$100 per person national park entry fee is payable on arrival on the islands. Please have cash on hand for these transactions as credit cards are not accepted.

The flight to the Galapagos will make one stop in Guayaquil to pick up other passengers. (Total flight time is about 3.5 hours).

On arrival in the Galapagos, you will be met in the arrival hall of the airport (look out for 'Grand Queen Beatriz' signs) by a transfer guide and transferred to our motor yacht - ‘M.Y. Grand Queen Beatriz’, anchored on the other side of Isla Santa Cruz. Our transfer guide will take you on an airport public bus for a short distance (5 minute drive) to where you board a public ferry across the Itabaca Channel. The ferry crossing takes only 7 minutes. (Please note that all public transportation costs are included). Once you reach Isla Santa Cruz, you board a private bus for a 45-minute drive to Puerto Ayora, the main port of the island. Here, there will be two dinghies to transport you and your fellow travellers to the 'M.Y. Grand Queen Beatriz'. Once on board, cabins will be assigned and there will be a welcome briefing and safety drill. You will then get to meet our crew members and get to know your naturalist guide while enjoying a delicious lunch.

After lunch, 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, with the walk taking about 45 minutes. 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, and you are likely to see Galapagos giant tortoises in their natural habitat and perhaps even the bright red feathers of a vermillion flycatcher!

Estimated travel time/distance:
Puerto Ayora to Isla Santa Fe: 2 hours (16 nautical miles)

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

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

Isla Santa Fe is home to many sea lions and these ones are very eager for swimming partners! It’s a lovely place to take a dip, offers a dense concentration of wildlife, and is a fantastic place to see many of the stars of the Galapagos in one relatively small area. Expect to see Galapagos hawks, land iguanas, a variety of finches, Galapagos mockingbirds, sea lions, marine turtles, frigatebirds, Galapagos doves and lava lizards. It’s a naturally beautiful island as well with one of the most attractive coves in the archipelago and the jade-green waters are ideal for snorkelling. A trail follows the coast into the opuntia forest, where you see Santa Fe's trees - the largest in the Galapagos. The island is also home to a unique sub-species of land iguanas. Hiking towards the cliffs on Santa Fe will lead you to a forest of prickly pear cactus. A member of the cactus family, their name comes from the pear-shaped fruit the plant produces. Santa Fe is home to endemic land iguanas. 

A small island, Plaza Sur is nonetheless a place of great beauty, where you will get close to sea lions and on to trails past one of the Galapagos’ largest land iguana populations, resting amid cacti and volcanic landscapes coloured bright red and green by sesuvium. The island’s rugged southern cliffs are an excellent place to spot tropicbirds and swallow-tailed gulls, as well as the 'Gentlemen’s Club’, a gathering of male sea lions either too young or too old to be beachmasters!

Estimated travel time/distance:
Isla Santa Fe to Isla Plaza sur: 2 hours (16 nautical miles)
Isla Plaza Sur to Isla Espanola (Punta Suarez): 7 hours (60 nautical miles)

Included Activities:
-Isla Plaza Sur - Walk (2 hours) - Dry Landing
-Isla Santa Fe - Panga ride (45 mins)
-Isla Santa Fe - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing

Day 4: Isla Espanola - Bahia Gardner - Punta Suarez
Location: Isla Espanola - Bahia Gardner - Punta Suarez
Accommodation: M/Y Grand Queen Beatriz
Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

After an overnight night sail you will wake up on the island of Española - the southernmost island of the Galapagos and one of the most spectacular. Because of its remote location, this island has a large population of endemic fauna. It is the breeding site for nearly all of the world's 12,000 pairs of waved albatrosses and also home to colonies of blue-footed and masked boobies.

Trails from the golden beaches, where sea lions bathe and marine iguanas make their way towards the water, will lead you right through the middle of booby colonies, and Galapagos doves and mockingbirds are also often seen. You will also visit the beautiful white sandy beaches at Bahia Gardner, which are great places for swimming and relaxing. The rocks off the coast provide excellent snorkelling opportunities, with reef sharks, turtles and many species of tropical fish, including surgeon and angelfish, often seen. The small white-tipped reef sharks are also often spotted resting under the rocks.

You will also pay a visit to Punta Suarez, one of the most attractive locations in the Galapagos and home to large and varied wildlife population - a walk along its trails will take you to a cliff top viewpoint, where you'll gain a magical panorama. Boobies line the rocky shoreline beneath you, while frigate birds may be seen overhead; nearby enormous male sea lions can be seen lounging and albatross use the cliffs as their ‘runway’, helping become airborne by the southeast winds that blow across this part of the island.
If you’re lucky you’ll see the elaborate courtship rituals performed by albatrosses before the female chooses her lifelong mate!

Stop at Bahia Gardner (Gardner Bay), which is considered by many as one of the most beautiful beaches in the Galapagos Islands and full of sea lions and hood mockingbirds. Enjoy the beach and do some snorkelling which could be great for playing with sea lion pups and lots of fish. The rocks off the coast provide excellent snorkelling opportunities, with reef sharks, turtles and many species of tropical fish, including surgeon and angelfish, often seen. The small white-tipped reef sharks are also often spotted resting under the rocks.

Estimated travel time/distance:
Punta Suarez to Bahia Gardener: 1 hour (7 nautical miles)
Bahia Gardener to Punta Pitt (Isla San Cristobal): 7 hours (50 nautical miles)

Included Activities:
-Isla Espanola - Punta Suarez - Walk (3 hours) - Dry Landing
-Isla Espanola - Bahia Gardener - Snorkel (1 hour)
-Isla Espanola - Bahia Gardener - Walk (1 hours) - Wet Landing

Day 5: Isla Cristobal - Leon Dormido - Isla Lobos - Punta Pitt
Location: Isla Cristobal - Leon Dormido - Isla Lobos - Punta Pitt
Accommodation: M/Y Grand Queen Beatriz
Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

This morning you will visit Punta Pitt on the eastern end of Isla San Cristobal. Walk to the top of the volcanic hill for expansive views of the sparsely vegetated area. A variety of seabirds nest here, including blue-footed boobies and frigates.

You will then navigate close by Leon Dormido (Kicker Rock) the basalt remains of a crater in the middle of the sea, with the shape resembling a sleeping lion. The rock rises 150 meters above the surface and is divided into two parts by a narrow channel. Although there are no landing areas, you will circumnavigation the Rock where you will see tropic birds, marine iguanas in the water and many sea lions.

You will also visit Isla Lobos, a tiny island almost touching San Cristobal. This is the perfect time to see the always friendly sea lions as they play in the calm shallow waters here. There are also blue-footed boobies, frigate birds and marine iguanas around the island.


Estimated travel time/distance:
Punta Pitt to Kicker Rock (Isla San Cristobal): 2.5 hours (27 nautical miles)
Kicker Rock to Isla Lobos: 1 hour (7 nautical miles)
Isla Lobos to Puerto Baquerizo (Isla San Cristobal): 1 hour (5 nautical miles)


Included Activities:
-Isla San Cristobal - Punta Pitt - Walk (2 hours) - Wet Landing
-Isla San Cristobal - Isla Lobos - Walk (1 hour) - Dry Landing

Day 6: Isla San Cristobal - Interpretation Center & Highlands
Location: Isla San Cristobal - Interpretation Center & Highlands
Accommodation: M/Y Grand Queen Beatriz
Meals Included: breaksfast

This afternoon you will travel into the interior of the island 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 tortoises. Here, we will be able to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat and learn all about their origin, evolution and their threatened future.

Estimated travel time/distance:
Puerto Baquerizo (Isla San Cristobal) to Bartolome: 8 hours (70 nautical miles)

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

Day 7: Bartolome - Bahia Sullivan
Location: Bartolome - Bahia Sullivan
Accommodation: M/Y Grand Queen Beatriz
Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

Bartolome is one of the most spectacular volcanic landscapes in the Galapagos, full of parasitic spatter cones, lava flows, Galapagos penguins and lava lizards.

It is a relatively new island in the archipelago and traces of its volcanic past can be seen everywhere, as evidenced by the amazing lunar-like landscape.
The Pinnacle Rock is one of the most photographed sites in the Galapagos – an abrupt jag of rock protruding from the earth like a tooth, while nearby two golden bays back onto each other.

You can hike to the top of a once-active volcano here (360 wooden steps), and enjoy superb views across to Sullivan Bay, on nearby Santiago Island. If you are in luck you might catch a glance of the Galapagos Hawk here. 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 Bahia Sullivan, also known as James Island. Here you walk on Pahoe-Hoe lava, from an eruption that occurred in 1897, and witness the colonisation of plant species since the last eruption. Hopefully see some marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs, sea lions, finches, turtles, sharks and penguins. On a walk, your guide will explain the geological history of the islands.

Estimated travel time/distance:
Bartolome to Isla Santiago: 0.5 hours (1 nautical mile)
Isla Santiago to Espumilla Beach: 3 hours (25 nautical miles)


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 8: 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

Today you will visit some wonderful places. Espumilla Beach, on the northern coast of Santiago Island in James Bay, is one of the most idyllic locations in the Galapagos Islands and is an important nesting site for marine turtles. With large waves, it is also often a favourite amongst beach lovers.

Potentially we will see Galapagos hawks up close, ghost crabs, blue-footed boobies (often plunging for fish) and brown pelicans. It is also well known for its palo santo forest 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! It is also where 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.

Puerto Egas is a black sand beach located on the west side of James Bay and northwest of Santiago Island. 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. The walk along the beach offers 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.

Estimated travel time/distance:
Espumilla Beach to Bucaneer Cove: 0.5 hours (1 nautical mile)
Bucaneer Cove to Puerto Egas: 0.5 hours (1 nautical mile)
Puerto Egas to Puerto Ayora: 7 hours (60 nautical miles)

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 9: Isla Santa Cruz
Location: Isla Santa Cruz
Accommodation: M/Y Grand Queen Beatriz
Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

Today you will visit 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 observe baby tortoises and land iguanas.

Afterward you will 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 with the journey taking about 45 mins. 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 and you are likely to see Galapagos giant tortoises in their natural habitat and perhaps even the bright red feathers of a vermillion flycatcher!

Today there will be some passengers leaving the tour and some new passengers joining.

Note: today we visit the Puerto Ayora Highlands again, you have the option to take the afternoon free time to explore the town.

Estimated travel time/distance:
Puerto Ayora to Santa Fe: 2 hours (16 nautical miles)

Included Activities:
-Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Research Station (1 hour) - Dry Landing

Day 10: North Seymour - Isla Mosquera
Location: North Seymour - Isla Mosquera
Accommodation: M/Y Grand Queen Beatriz
Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

Today you will 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 nests just above them in the saltbushes. Your walk is followed by snorkelling where you will find a great variety of fish and possibly white-tipped reef sharks, rays and sea lions.

After lunch you will visit the small sandy island of Mosquera, a relaxing, picturesque 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.

Estimated travel time/distance:
North Seymour to Isla Baltra: 4 hours (35 nautical miles)
Isla Baltra to Caleta Tortuga: 1 hour (7 nautical miles)

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 11: 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 morning excursion on a 'panga' to Caleta Tortuga Negra (Black Turtle Cove) - a red mangrove wetland on the north shore of Isla Santa Cruz. You will 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 warbler and lava heron. 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 Dragon (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 a rewarding 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 you will be well-rewarded with a spectacular view of the bay!

Estimated travel time/distance:
Caleta Tortuga Negra to Cerro Dragon: 2 hours (12 nautical miles)
Cerro Dragon to Sombrero Chino: 1.5 hours (9 nautical miles)

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 12: 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. We approach Sombrero Chino via a beautiful crescent-shaped, sandy beach that is home to sea lions and Sally Lightfoot crabs. Opposite Sombrero Chino, on the rocky shoreline of nearby Santiago, Galapagos penguins are often seen. We follow a trail that circles the cove and passes through a sea lion colony and innumerable marine iguanas. The cove also offers some great snorkelling opportunities, hopefully with penguins and sharks.

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

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, pintail ducks, marine iguanas and sea lions are all present. There is an opportunity for snorkelling in a place where sea stars, damsels, gobbies and surgeon fish are numerous.

Estimated travel time/distance:
Sombrero Chino to Isla Rabida: 1 hour (7 nautical miles)
Isla Rabida to Bachas Beach: 1 hour (7 nautical miles)

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 13: Las Bachas - Isla Baltra - Quito
Location: Las Bachas - Isla Baltra - Quito
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: breaksfast

As flights to the mainland from Galapagos depart mid morning, it is an early start for our last morning on the islands. Depending on the time of our flight, our time spent on this final excursion could be limited.

As you will be leaving the boat this morning, please remember that if you have enjoyed the services provided by your guide and crew, a tip would be very much appreciated by them. As a guideline we recommend each passenger consider US$15 per day for the crew and US$10 per day for your guide. You can leave tips in envelopes that are placed in your cabin on the last day of your journey.

Today you will 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 sandy, white 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 and whimbrel, and look out too for great blue herons. This is your final excursion before you return to the airport in Baltra for your flight back to Quito. The flight will stopover in Guayaquil to drop off/pick up new passengers.

Upon arrival in Quito Airport (approx. 4pm) you will be transferred back to your hotel for an overnight stay. Our local representative may stop by at your hotel this evening to get your feedback on your Galapagos experience.

Estimated travel times/distance:
Queen Beatriz 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)

Day 14: Quito
Location: Quito
Meals Included: breaksfast

Your Galapagos adventure will come to an end today after breakfast. There are no activities planned for the final day so you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. There are many fascinating things to do in and around Quito, so please speak to our customer service representative about any optional activities that might be of interest. They can also assist you in booking a departure transfer to the airport.

What's Included

  • Isla Santa Fe - Panga ride (45 mins)

  • Isla Mosquera - Snorkelling (1 hour)

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

  • Isla Mosquera - Beach Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing

  • Isla Santa Cruz - Highlands Visit (3 hours) - Dry Landing

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

  • Isla North Seymour - Walk (2 hours) - Dry Landing

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

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

  • Isla San Cristobal - Isla Lobos - Walk (1 hour) - Dry Landing

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What's Not Included

  • International Travel

  • Tipping and Gratuities

  • Airport Transfers at Destination

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.

Included Activities

  • Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Research Station (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Plaza Sur - Walk (2 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Santa Fe - Panga ride (45 mins)
  • Isla Santa Fe - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Espanola - Punta Suarez - Walk (3 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Espanola - Bahia Gardener - Snorkel (1 hour)
  • Isla Espanola - Bahia Gardener - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla San Cristobal - Punta Pitt - Walk (2 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla San Cristobal - Isla Lobos - Walk (1 hour) - Dry Landing
  • Isla San Cristobal - Kicker Rock - Snorkelling (45 minutes)
  • Isla San Cristobal - Interpretation Center Visit (1 hour) - Dry Landing
  • Isla San Cristobal - Highlands Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
  • 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)
  • 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
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Highlands Visit (3 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Research Station (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
  • 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
  • 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)
  • 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
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Bachas Beach Walk (1 hour) - Wet Landing

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.
  • 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 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.
  • TEMPORARY ITINERARY CHANGE for departures in March and April 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 all departures in March and April 2024. Please see further information in the "itinerary Disclaimer" section of the Essential trip information for the current itinerary.

Check out our Q&As

  • Are internal flights included in this tour?

    Yes, Quito to Galapagos Islands and Galapagos to Quito

  • Is this trip 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.

    You will be entering and exiting a Zodiac boat (panga) during wet and dry landings and when returning from snorkelling. Although the waters we sail are usually calm, there are times when the sea can get rough and choppy. Steady sea legs (and a sturdy stomach) are needed when walking around the boat during bad weather. Rain or shine, your trusty crew will always be on hand to assist you.

    While at sea and when exploring the islands, you may be exposed to the sun for large parts of the day. It’s important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water.

    Please note that while there is an itinerary in place, some changes may occur due to the weather or because of direction from the local authorities. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for potential modifications to the route or activities. 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.

  • 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

Reviews of this Operator

Nicole  

North American Adventure

12-Oct-2021

This was my first international solo trip, but I never felt “alone” - there was always someone to go shopping, hike, or grab a quick bite with. The itinerary was a great balance between organized activities, while still allowing free time for exploring. Each location was unique and charming in its own way. Spending the night in the holy city of Moulay Idriss and wandering the winding streets of Chefchaouen were especially memorable. Thank you Mustapha and Intrepid for an incredible adventure!

Henry Guy Robinson   United Kingdom

Cambodia Discovery

22-Jan-2024

The overall experience was fantastic. V good tour leader. All places visited had something special to do or see. I would book a tour with this company again. Only one negative tour hub is not I repeat not available to contact direct by phone.

Merouane Harkat   Uk

Explore Southern Africa

08-Mar-2024

Best trip ever was, 2 things I didn't like the black mamba stop was wasting day and village ,so 2 night I think was just wasting, I could do 2 days in Kruger, and one more night in delta

Ann  

Amazing Guatemala and beyond tour with Intrepid

13-Dec-2022

Did Guatemala and beyond trip in November 22. It was amazing, we were so well looked after by our guide Aura. She was very knowledgeable and during our bus trips she gave us the history of the 4 countries. The border crossings can be tricky but handled very well by our guide. We saw all the most interesting and beautiful places. The hotels were lovely comfortable colonial style. I will travel with intrepid again

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RICHARD ALAN RODDY   England

Central American Journey

08-Feb-2024

Very enjoyable, good paced Tour. Tour Leader, Choko was helpful, knowledgeable and extremely informative.

Joanne W  

Wonderful Croatian tour

02-Dec-2022

Our tour guide,Tamara, was the highlight of our Explore Croatia tour. She was knowledgeable, organized, and so kind and fun. Croatia is a beautiful country. I loved the people, the scenery, the food, the history. I hope to go back one day. Intrepid was perfect for me. There was group time and there was plenty of free time. It wasn’t a luxury tour but all of our accommodations were clean and safe. The dinner in Hvar was SO special!

Trustpilot
Miguel Angel Araujo   Usa

One Week In Costa Rica

27-Feb-2024

The trip was amazing, everything was well planned out & there wasn't any issues. The tour guide was very friendly and made the experience fun. During the trip I didn't have to worry about safety as we were never put in harms way. I would definitely recommend & do again.

Kelly  

North Morocco Adventure

25-Oct-2021

Touring the beautiful North of Morocco I learned far more than I’d anticipated in this 9 day tour. Interesting sights to see, with knowledgeable local guides, this tour provides a great balance of exposure to a different culture with ample time for relaxation. Chefchaouen is an absolute highlight, & not a place many Morocco trips of this kind go to. Loved it!

Sharik  

Essential Morocca

21-Oct-2021

Essential Morocco was an absolute dream. Every single day had such informative walking tours and tours of local facilities. Whether it was dinner with a local family or visiting a pottery factory, I learned so much about Moroccan culture. The accommodations were safe and I felt secure the entire 11 days. This trip wouldn’t have been the same without one person. That person is Youssef. If you are coming to Morocco with Intrepid and you don’t request Youssef, you’re doing it wrong. Words cannot describe how incredible of a guide he is. There were 3 of us on our trip of 18-29 year olds and he made us all feel so welcome and safe all the time. Whether that is cracking jokes on long drives or giving us the itinerary for the next day, Youssef ensured we felt respected and seen.

Barbara Ruth Roback   Canada

Cambodia Adventure

15-Jan-2024

Absolutely superb leader - knowledgeable. fun, safety conscious. Group of 15 travellers from 5 countries who bonded into a solid team. In addition to a fantastic itinerary, our leader’s love of karaoke made the trip unforgettable. It even inspired a song written as a tribute to him.

Dates & Availability

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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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