Galapagos Cruise – Evolution from Baltra Island

Galapagos Cruise – Evolution from Baltra Island

8 days /
7 nights

From 885 / person / day

Based on 2 people All Pricing Info
Destinations
Daphne Major Islet, Isabela Island, Fernandina Island, Bartolome Island, Santiago Island, Santa Cruz Island, Rabida Island, Espanola Island, San Cristobal Island

Refreshingly elegant and well-equipped too, the 32-passenger Galapagos Evolution is a real standout cruise vessel, both for its nostalgic appearance and the quality of itineraries it offers, with this particular route beginning from Baltra Island being no different. The Evolution itself boasts two sundecks, a Jacuzzi, lounge bar and modern interiors in addition to its expert crew and guides; plus, throughout this Galapagos tour you’ll also be treated to some truly iconic sights. From Baltra Island and sunset around the Daphne Major Islet on day one, early Galapagos highlights then come in the form of Vicente Roca Point off Isabela Island and abundant wildlife on Fernandina Island. Both of these are known for their populations of Nazca and Blue-footed Boobies, Pelicans and Penguins, then Iguanas and Flightless Cormorants once you reach Fernandina. Panoramic views, snorkeling and plenty of marine life come with voyages between Bartolome, Santiago and Santa Cruz Islands, finishing up on the pristine sandy shores of Gardner Bay on Espanola Island; a classic Galapagos itinerary.

Travel aboard the

Evolution

Refreshingly elegant and well-equipped too, the 32-passenger Galapagos Evolution is a real standout cruise vessel, both for its nostalgic appearance and the quality of itineraries it offers, with this particular route beginning from Baltra Island being no different. The Evolution itself boasts two sundecks, a Jacuzzi, lounge bar and modern interiors in addition to its expert crew and guides; plus, throughout this Galapagos tour you’ll also be treated to some truly iconic sights. From Baltra Island and sunset around the Daphne Major Islet on day one, early Galapagos highlights then come in the form of Vicente Roca Point off Isabela Island and abundant wildlife on Fernandina Island. Both of these are known for their populations of Nazca and Blue-footed Boobies, Pelicans and Penguins, then Iguanas and Flightless Cormorants once you reach Fernandina. Panoramic views, snorkeling and plenty of marine life come with voyages between Bartolome, Santiago and Santa Cruz Islands, finishing up on the pristine sandy shores of Gardner Bay on Espanola Island; a classic Galapagos itinerary.

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Itinerary

DAY;

1

BALTRA ISLAND / DAPHNE MAJOR ISLET

Having flown in from either Quito or Guayaquil, touchdown on Baltra Island where your guide is waiting at the airport to assist with any belongings and whisk you off to the dock and awaiting Galapagos Evolution cruise vessel. Once aboard, settle into your cabin and prepare for an early introduction to this Galapagos adventure, as the Evolution makes way for the picturesque islets of Daphne Major and Minor. Among other things, these small islands are well-known for their abundance of native bird species including Galapagos Martins, Blue-footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies, Short-eared Owls and Red-billed Tropic Birds.

Optional Activities:

Overnight

Meals

DAY;

2

ISABELA ISLAND / FERNANDINA ISLAND

Snorkeling these crystalline waters is a truly iconic experience, and some of the best in the Galapagos comes at Vicente Roca Point in the Bolivar Channel, Isabela Island. Day two of your Galapagos Evolution cruise begins by traversing the coastline on your way there, on the lookout for nesting seabirds, Nazca and Blue-footed Boobies, Pelicans and Penguins, before entering the ancient volcanic coves of Vicente Roca Point itself. Once here you can swim and snorkel admiring the colorful marine life, tropical fish and Sea Lions as you go. Next, think Iguanas, Iguanas, and more Iguanas–both of the Land and Marine variety–as you moor up at Espinoza Point on Fernandina Island, a relatively recent volcanic outcrop to the Galapagos Archipelago’s far west, for this afternoon’s nature walk. Despite its barren and dramatic appearance, life does exist here, not only the native Iguana population but also Flightless Cormorants, Galapagos Penguins and Hawks, with a peppering of sturdy cacti and occasional mangroves too; Galapagos wilderness at its primitive best.

Optional Activities:

Overnight

Meals

DAY;

3

Visiting Isabela Island is often a highlight of any Galapagos tour, awash with varied species and its fair share of natural wonders, rich biodiversity and distinctive, dramatic scenery. This is characterized by its great craters such as Sierra Negra, Volcan Chico, and the charred shores of Urbina Bay which lie in the shadow of Alcedo Volcano, your first stop of the day. A dramatic stretch of dark sand coastline buffeted by volcanic rock and foliage, Urbina Bay is also heavily populated with Land Iguanas and, at certain times of the year, Giant Galapagos Tortoises, which all makes for quite a sight. From here, head to one of the most atmospheric and iconic Galapagos spots: Tagus Cove, a former pirate hangout which was visited by Charles Darwin, though for very different reasons. Today, Tagus Cove is a great location to hike and snorkel, thanks to an abundance of Flightless Cormorants, Penguins, Finches and Yellow Warblers above ground; Sea Turtles and innumerable tropical fish below it.

Optional Activities:

Overnight

Meals

DAY;

4

BARTOLOME ISLAND / SANTIAGO ISLAND / SULLIVAN BAY

Start today at Bartolome Island, navigating wooden walkways to ascend to one of the best lookout points in the Galapagos. From this angle you get a 360-degree panoramic view of the wider archipelago, offering a visual perspective on how these islands were originally formed–particularly Santiago Island, Sullivan Bay and Pinnacle Rock. This afternoon, the Evolution ventures north to Santiago Island and anchors in Sullivan Bay, an extraordinary place sheltering unusual wildlife and a distinctive Galapagos icon: Pinnacle Rock. Spend the afternoon exploring jet-black lava fields in search of kaleidoscopic Locusts and Lava Lizards, mollugo and cacti plants, before jumping aboard the pangas for a boat safari through waters where Penguins, Eagle Rays and Sea Turtles are commonly sighted. Finally, return to the Galapagos Evolution vessel for another evening under the stars.

Optional Activities:

Overnight

Meals

DAY;

5

SANTA CRUZ ISLAND / RABIDA ISLAND

Having enjoyed another memorable evening aboard the Galapagos Evolution, first up on day five is Santa Cruz Island and Las Bachas, a pair of impeccable beaches with white coral sands found to the north of the island. In this paradise-like backdrop, all manner of creatures thrive, from Blue-footed Boobies patrolling the shore to Pink Flamingos, Great Blue Herons and White-cheeked Pintails wading the waters of a nearby lagoon. The afternoon takes you to Rabida Island, awash as it is with flaming red sands populated by Blue-footed Boobies, Sea Lions and Starfish. Take a short walk inland to spot more Pink Flamingos gracing the shores of a yellow lagoon and Brown Pelicans nesting, as well as panoramas of the surrounding crimson cliffs. Afterwards, paddle around Rabida’s eastern peninsula by kayak, seeking Sea Turtles, Striped Salemas, Galapagos Sharks and Yellowtail Surgeon Fish.

Optional Activities:

Overnight

Meals

DAY;

6

SANTA CRUZ ISLAND / CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH CENTRE

Your final full day on this versatile Galapagos itinerary begins, quite rightly, with a visit to the all-important Charles Darwin Research Center at Puerto Ayora. Here, exciting exhibits and interactive displays go together with real-life conservation projects, including Giant Tortoise breeding and rehabilitation programs, allowing you to witness the legacy of Charles Darwin first-hand. Learn more about these gentle creatures in the Wild Tortoise Reserve up in the highlands of Santa Cruz, a place of dense, green forests awash with moss and lichen. Then, after a nature hike through subterranean lava tunnels and a Scalesia forest frequented by Darwin’s Finches, spend the rest of the day at leisure. As one of the most diverse of all the Galapagos Islands there are many highlights of Santa Cruz to explore, so take stroll along the paradise-like Tortuga Bay, or maybe a bicycle tour in Puerto Ayora, if you’re feeling active.

Optional Activities:

Overnight

Meals

DAY;

7

Espanola Island

Your voyage on the Galapagos Evolution continues in fine fashion today, courtesy of the many nature and wildlife highlights that await you on Espanola Island, beginning at Punta Suarez. Look out for Sea Lions frolicking in the water, Marine Iguanas gripping the rocks, and intriguing bird species such as Masked and Nazca Boobies, Lava Herons, Waved Albatrosses and Swallow-tailed Gulls. The vast array of birdlife here gives Espanola a reputation for extraordinary biodiversity. This afternoon, the Espanola experience continues at Gardner Bay, a pristine stretch of ivory-white beach. Armed with a snorkel or kayak, swim or paddle through the bay’s blue waters to see tropical fish like Yellow-tailed Surgeon and King Angelfish; larger marine life such as White-tipped Reef Sharks, Turtles and Sea Lions are also known to inhabit the bay. This is one of the most enchanting days of Galapagos wildlife encounters during your Galapagos cruise tour.

Optional Activities:

Overnight

Meals

DAY;

8

SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND / FLIGHT HOME

Your last day in the Galapagos with Evolution involves a visit to San Cristobal Island and the informative Interpretation Center nearby. Then, a hike up Cerro Tijeretas, or ‘Frigate Bird Hill’; a popular nesting site for both the Great and Magnificent species of Frigate. Afterwards, it’s farewell to the Galapagos as your guides escort you to the airport and assist with any luggage, in plenty of time for your onward flight.

Optional Activities:

Overnight

Meals

DAY 

2

Quito

This morning, you are picked up for your half-day private guided tour of Quito, including a walking tour of its historical center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then, the afternoon is at your leisure to spend relaxing or exploring the city further on your own.

Optional Activities:

Private tour of Quito’s colonial churches or insider’s look at the country’s finest Pre-Columbian art collection

Spectacular horseback ride in the high Andes near Quito

2-3 hour hike and birdwatching with Naturalist guide through nearby cloud forest to see hummingbirds and flora

Overnight Casa Gangotena, Plaza Grande, or similar

Meals B

IMPORTANT: The above itinerary reflects an intended program, however, it should be read purely as a guide. This is because weather conditions, wildlife encounters, and any unforeseen circumstances beyond the operator’s control on the day may affect the eventual itinerary, and route.


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