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The Essential Galapagos Cruise Expedition - 2024


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ITINERARY Travel Style:

Family-friendly, Nature & Wildlife, Romantic escape


Stand in two hemispheres; visit the Middle of the World. Starting in Quito, astonish yourself with the best-preserved Old Town in South America or; Cruise the Galapagos Islands; an iconic conservation milestone onboard the Luxury Legend cruise on the 8 days / 7 nights Complete West - East itinerary (BC).

Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1. (must be a Tuesday) QUITO

Welcome to Quito. A representative will greet you and transfer you to your hotel. You will have free time to explore the city or relax and settle in. Overnight: First Class Hotel in Quito.

Day 2. QUITO (Breakfast)

After breakfast, enjoy a colonial city tour of Quito with a visit to the middle of the world monument. Take a walk through bustling streets and squares of the largest historical old town in the Americas; a multi-ethnic, artistic, and UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site. Afterwards, our guide will take our guests to visit the Middle of the World Complex situated at 0 latitude to be with one foot in the northern and the other foot in the southern hemisphere. Return to the hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 3. QUITO - GALAPAGOS ISLANDS (Breakfast & dinner)

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the flight to Baltra where passengers are picked up at the airport by our natural guides and taken (a ten-minute bus drive) to the pier to board the M/V Galapagos Legend.

A visit to Mosquera Islet, a tiny, low-lying islet, covered in coral sand, is set between the North and South Seymour Islands. It is home to a group of sea lions that come to laze on the soft white sand. It is a good spot to observe shorebirds as well as herons, lava gulls, and boobies. Snorkeling or diving here one can often see sharks, rays, and barracudas.

Difficulty level: easy Type of terrain: sandy Duration: 1,30 hours walk & snorkeling

Day 4. GALAPAGOS ISLANDS (All meals)

After breakfast, a visit to Egas Port (Santiago Island). Black volcanic sand sets this landing apart from most. It is best known for the dramatic shoreline where we meet a host of species that chose to live between land and sea. Particular among these are the endemic Galapagos fur seals which maintain a small colony at the end of our walk. Other species of note include American oystercatchers, sea lions, waders, herons, lava lizards, and even Galapagos hawks. An optional visit takes us to an abandoned salt mine famous in its day for supplying salt to mainland Ecuador.

Difficulty level: intermediate
Types of terrain: flat & semi-rocky.
Duration: 1h30 walk / 1-hour snorkeling

In the afternoon, we visit Rabida Island.
Lying at the heart of the archipelago, this dramatic island with its distinctive red-sand beaches is home to sea lions, mockbirds, finches, endemic Galapagos doves, and vermilion flycatchers. A walk takes us through a forest of palo santo and cacti to a beautiful overview of the bay. Snorkeling here can be excellent, often with large schools of black-striped salemas, sea lions, and the ubiquitous turtles.

Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy
Duration: 1,30 hours walk /1 hourr snorkeling / 1-hour dinghy ride


Day 5. GALAPAGOS ISLANDS (All meals)

A visit to Urbina Bay (Isabela Island) starts the day.
At the far end of a long, level hike we arrive at a strange phenomenon where large blocks of coral lie completely exposed after a dramatic geological uplift in 1954. Located at the western base of Alcedo Volcano, we hope to run into a few very impressive land iguanas as well as some of the volcano's endemic Galapagos giant tortoises during the wet season.

Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: flat/rocky
Duration: 1,30 hours walk /1 hourr snorkeling

In the afternoon, we visit Tagus Cove (Isabela Island).
A well-known hideout and deep water anchorage in the days of pirates, Tagus Cove was also one of the few sites visited by Charles Darwin and the HMS Beagle in 1835. A beautiful hike leads us past an overview of Darwin Lake and onto a stunning volcanic landscape revealing Isabela island's dramatic northern volcanoes. Once back at sea level, the perfect activity is to snorkel along a submerged wall with turtles, lots of fish, penguins, and potentially flightless cormorants. You might even be tempted by a dinghy ride or kayak!

Difficulty level: intermediate / difficult
Type of terrain: flat / steep
Duration: 2-hour walk / 40-minute dinghy ride / 1-hour deep water snorkeling

Day 6. GALAPAGOS ISLANDS (All meals)

Today we visit Punta Espinosa (Fernandina Island).
The youngest island of Galapagos and one of the most pristine in the world; Fernandina is simply the Marine iguana, capital of the world', This desolate volcanic backdrop is home to a huge concentration of these enigmatic reptiles. Incongruously, sharing the same shoreline, we can find the diminutive Galapagos penguins. Here we also have the exciting opportunity to snorkel with marine iguanas feeding underwater, penguins, turtles, and the bizarre, endemic, flightless cormorants.

Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: flat/semi rocky
Duration: 1,3 hours walk /1-hour snorkeling

Afternoon will be spent at Vicente Roca Point (Isabela Island).
It is a spectacular visitor site, surrounded by immense cliffs of the eroded volcano. Studded with resting sea birds such as brown noddies and Nazca boobies, we will enjoy them in close proximity to our dinghies. Snorkeling here is superb, with certain species of fish only found in the west of the archipelago. We also have a very real chance of swimming with penguins and potentially a plethora of green turtles.

Difficulty level: moderate / high
Type of terrain: none
Duration: 1-hour snorkeling / 1-hour dinghy ride


Today starts with a visit to the Highlands Tortoise Reserve & Charles Darwin Station (Santa Cruz Island. A dry landing allows us to visit the mountains of Galapagos to admire different kinds of birds, such as tree and ground finches, vermillion flycatchers, paint-billed crakes, yellow warblers, and cattle egrets (usually standing on the tortoise s shell)

Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: flat & muddy sometimes (depending on the season)
Duration: 45-minute drive / 1,30 hours walk

We visit the Station where the Galapagos giant tortoise breeding program takes place as part of our efforts to preserve the fragile Galapagos environment and where the famous Lonesome George (the last surviving specimen of his species) lived for decades.

Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: flat
Duration: 1 ½-hour visit

In the afternoon, it is over to North Seymour Island.
This flat, uplifted island, is an important spot to see both magnificent and great frigatebird males courting the females by clicking, bill-clapping, shuddering, and flapping their wings, all while showing off their grossly inflated, bright red, gular pouch. We will also likely see courting blue-footed boobies displaying their unique feet while 'dancing' to a prospective mate. Sea lions, swallow-tailed gulls, crashing surf, and distant views of the Daphne Islands top off a great visit.

Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: rocky ground
Duration: 2 hours walk / 30 minutes snorkeling

Day 8. GALAPAGOS ISLANDS (All meals)

We today visit what is considered the most iconic landscape of the entire archipelago, the view from the top of Bartolomé Island, overlooking the famous Pinnacle Rock and the austere Santiago Island beyond. It is well worth climbing up the wooden boardwalk. This volcanic scene has often been likened to a lunar landscape. Our subsequent snorkel here might put us face to face with Galapagos penguins, white-tipped reef sharks, and playful sea lions.

Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: 372 steps trail
Duration: 1,30 hours walk / 1 hour snorkeling

In the afternoon, it is a wet landing to Sullivan Bay (Santiago Island)
Although, when viewed from the sea, the site does not look especially interesting visitors are always totally enthralled by the amazing beds of pahoehoe lava from the recent flow on the island. It is a landscape and macro photographer's dream. The importance of pioneer plants such as the tiny Mollugo will be discussed as we hike over the lava. After our land visit, we can enjoy a refreshing snorkel in the company of sea lions, turtles, and rays.

Difficulty level: demanding
Type of terrain: flat volcanic lava
Duration: 1:30-hour walk / 1-hour snorkeling/beach time

Day 9. GALAPAGOS ISLANDS (All meals)

At Punta Pitt (San Cristobal Island),Sea lions will greet us as we land on the beach and prepare for our climb to a high point on the steep eroded tuff cone. This is the only place in the islands where we will enjoy the chance to see all three of the booby species in the same place. The red-foots will be perched on the Cordia lutea and small trees, the Nazca's on the ground near the cliff edge while the blue-foots will be a little further inland. Frigatebirds will be all around and the views are breathtaking.

Difficulty level: demanding
Type of terrain: rocky & steep
Duration: 2,30 hours walk / 40 minutes snorkeling - kayaking

In the afternoon, a visit to Cerro Brujo (San Cristobal Island) with our dinghy ride, and as we head to shore, we are first humbled by the immensity of the stunning cliffs of 'Sorcerer's Hill'. We can enjoy simply sharing the beach with sea lions, snorkeling from shore, or take a walk to a hidden lagoon where we might spot black-necked stilts, ruddy turnstones, whimbrels, and white-cheeked pintails.

Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy
Duration: 1-hour walk / 1-hour snorkeling


We will finally visit Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve (San Cristobal Island) where in the moist highlands of San Cristobal, we will visit the giant tortoise breeding center "La Galapaguera" to witness the most iconic creature of the archipelago in its various life stages. The tortoises wander in a semi-natural habitat which lends itself to good photographic opportunities. The aim of the reserve is to help restore populations of the threatened San Cristobal tortoise back into the wild. In town, there are shops to purchase local handicrafts and souvenirs.

Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: sandy
Duration: 40 minutes bus drive to the Reserve / 1-hour visit
After the visit, you will go straight to the airport for your return flight to Quito and onward flight home.


Tour price in 5 star Hotels and a Luxury cruise: US$7350.00 per person

  • Accommodation in double rooms at selected 5 star hotels and 7 nights aboard a luxury expedition cruise in a junior suite cabin
  • All meals as indicated on the itinerary
  • Transfers, tours and excursions as per itinerary with English speaking specialist guides
  • All internal flight tickets in South America
  • International flight to/from Ecuador
  • Galapagos National Park Tax ($100), the migratory fee ($20) (These must be paid in person in cash dollars)
  • Meals not indicated
  • Personal expenses such as telephone bills, laundry expenses, beverages, etc
  • Insurance against theft, loss, illness and/or accident etc
  • Gratuities, baggage porterage and other extras not specified
The Essential Galapagos Cruise Expedition - 2023 The Essential Galapagos Cruise Expedition - 2023
Amazing Destinations Travel Group is accredited by the following associations:
Agency Tucan Agency IATA Agency PATA Agency PATA Sustainable travel international