Montemar: Working with Nature Instead of Against It

Though largely untouched by human activity in its (geologically) young lifetime, the Galapagos archipelago is no stranger to environmental threats. In fact, less than 15 years ago the United Nations declared that the Ecuadorian islands were in danger, pointing to ecosystem degradation caused by modern-day activities such as deforestation, pollution, overfishing, mass tourism and more. 

Luckily, an environmental steward was as inspired by the Galapagos Islands’ possible decline as was Charles Darwin, nearly two centurias prior, by the area’s unique and evolutionary wildlife.

Born and raised on mainland Ecuador, Reyna Oleas would not head west 625 miles to the Galapagos until she was an adult. Newly arrived and equipped with a degree in Ecology and an MBA, she instinctually began to observe the relationship locals had with their environment—more specifically, to issues concerning unreliable and unsustainable sources of water, electricity, waste and food.

Deciding to take action, Reyna and her husband Roberto Plaza joined a team of intellectuals offering expertise in various areas to create the Montemar project: a set of eco-luxury villas built with the vision of becoming a benchmark in construction by using materials mostly sourced from the islands and with minimal use of energy.

Located upon part of the Galapagos Giant Tortoises Territory in the highlands of Santa Cruz, the 43-acre property has two private villas, both of which are named after native wildlife—Tortuga (Tortoise) and Lechuza (Owl). Spacious and full of natural light, each space within Montemar was built upon the foundation of the following components: construction with local materials; efficient generation and use of energy and, finally, harvesting and consuming of local food.

Considering that some 70% of imports to the islands are used for construction, that much of the food and energy is brought from the mainland, Reyna and her partners were creating what would become a model for sustainable tourism and hospitality in the Galapagos Islands.

Made of bamboo, lava and cedar, the buildings are not overly sophisticated, as the Montemar aimed to inspire onlookers who could, if desired, replicate the designs and use of materials. By using elements of the natural surroundings, the villas maintain the ecosystem’s natural balance. So in tune with the natural world are the houses, that they were strategically placed in the path of the sun and in the direction where wind would allow free flowing ventilation (an incredibly important component considering that the humidity levels on the Galapagos can reach 97%).

Inside, the private rooms are heated by solar panels, as is the water—100% of which is harvested rainwater. Nothing about the latter technique is new, as the first settlers to the Galapagos did much the same. However, Montemar is recovering and proving the validity of such eco-friendly and cost-effective efforts.

Similarly, Montemar promotes eating local by producing a portion of the food. Chickens, pineapple and banana trees, coffee (of which Latin Excursions founder Eric Sheets believes is the best tasting coffee in all of Ecuador) and a variety of other foods thrive on-site as Reyna and her team turn the organic waste of neighbors into 100,000 pounds of black gold (fertilizer) a year.

Now, years since the doors first opened to conscious travelers, Montemar is at the forefront of sustainable tourism in the unique archipelago. With experiences that include wellness, gastronomy and even adrenaline activities both on and off shore, Montemar is the ideal host for a unique family getaway that can be life changing in so many ways. An exclusive and privileged place, guests soon discover that sustainability does not have to be met with sacrifice. Not only that, but they just may be inspired to make a few green changes to their lifestyle back home.   

To craft a bespoke and private Galapagos tour and/or cruise it is essential to know what experiences await. Dive deeper into Ecuador’s remote islands here.

The Galapagos Islands Need Your Help

Despite having reopened months ago for tourism, the remote Galapagos Islands continue to struggle economically in the wake of the global pandemic. In March 2020, when the spread of Covid-19 caused travel to come to a halt, families and local businesses felt the negative effects immediately.

For the Ecuadorian islands, where 90% of the economy is dependent on tourism, the sudden plummet in visitors was as if the archipelago’s backbone had vanished.

Be Part of the Solution

Lindblad Expeditions and Island Conservation have partnered with a local non-profit, FUNCAVID, to create a campaign of hope and solidarity with the Galapagos community. All funds will go directly to those affected in the form of community-based loans. Priority will be given to basic needs such as food security and education. 

Donations will also go towards wildlife conservation of the area famously documented by Charles Darwin in the 19th century. And it’s not only the consequence of ‘undertourism’ that threatens the ecosystems and wildlife of this World Heritage Site. To make matters worse, for much of 2020 a fleet of Chinese fishing vessels have been stationed at the edge of the islands’ marine preserve to snatch up wildlife and, perhaps unknowingly, pollute the waters of one of the last pristine places on earth.

What it Means to Us

As a travel company, Latin Excursions believes firmly in supporting this cause. We have supported environmental and sustainability causes in this destination since we began taking travelers on bespoke Galapagos journeys.

Whether you have experienced the Galapagos Islands yourself and share our fascination for the remote destination, or you have it on your places to visit in the near future, you have the power to help with a donation, no matter how big or small. Because tourism is fragile. We can’t expect it to take care of us. We need to take care of it. Learn more and donate here.

A destination dear to our hearts, we know that the Galapagos will once again thrive with the insistence and support of travelers like you.

Looking to experience the Galapagos? Talk with us: info@latinexcursions.com

Inspiring Stories Series: Eco Sustainable Travel in Galapagos Islands

Welcome to the Galapagos Islands! In 1835, Charles Darwin arrived in the Galapagos Islands aboard the H.M.S. Beagle. A trained naturalist, Darwin was blown away by the array of species on the archipelago’s 20+ islands. His observations lead him to his Theory of Evolution. Now, nearly 200 years later, travelers from around the world are visiting these unique islands.

Visionary Reyna Oleas Protects Habitat Where Giant Tortoises Roam

We caught up with eco-entrepreneur Reyna Oleas, who owns and operates Montemar, a collection of villas on land that is both a bio-dynamic farm and protected tortoise habitat. In the video below, Reyna reminds us that a connection with nature can be a life-changing experience – one that can open the door to a mindful life.

Sustainable Travel in Galapagos

Reyna’s initiatives are living proof that ecological farm practices and habitat protection can form an enlightened whole. They leverage profits from the cultivation of coffee, bananas, and guava (plus tourism) to finance the recovery and rehabilitation of giant tortoises.

Giant tortoises are the longest-lived of all vertebrates, the oldest on record having lived to 152. Once numbering a 1/4 million across the Galapagos, the giant tortoise was pushed close to extinction by overexploitation of the species, as well as habitat conversion to agriculture.

Today there are about 3,000 giant tortoises that visit Reyna’s farm on Santa Cruz Island alone.

Villa Galapagos 4 – San Cristobal

villa galapagos 4 preferred hotels when travelling in galapagos

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Galapagos is a magical destination full of adventure opportunities to explore in one of the world’s most ecologically protected marine environments. We invite you to come see it for yourself at Villa Galapagos 4 on San Cristobal Island for a completely private stay with you and your group in a contemporary-style oceanside home.

Private Island-Based Stay for Groups

Villa Galapagos 4 consists of the best three beachfront villas in Ecuador. Ideal for those coming off a small ship cruise or those looking for a comfortable, exclusive stay on land before boarding a private yacht or catamaran. Also, you can visit Galapagos Islands via Villa Galapagos 4 on Isla San Cristobal for the entire duration of your trip if you and your group don’t prefer sleeping on a boat. Choose one three villas – the Santa Maria, La Pinta, & La Nina, all sleeping at least 12 adults and children.

Boating Options from Villa Galapagos 4

You can come off one of the multiple Galapagos Islands shared boat options (that we have vetted) or even charter one of our recommended boats. A new one to consider is the M/C Elite.

If you would like to charter a boat for the day only from Isla San Cristobal we have options beginning at $2,500 per day for the entire boat. Includes pick-up/drop-off at a dock walking distance to Villa Galapagos 4, snacks, drinks, lunch, snorkel gear, naturalist guide, and visits to nearby islands/beaches.

Insider Access to Rare Experiences from Villa Galapagos 4

We have partnered with local guides who know the region like the back of their hand and live to share their passion of the natural beauty of these islands. Our company vision is supporting local guides and teams since we are big believers and contributors in sustainable travel in this destination. If you are into snorkeling and scuba diving, we will take you to the most exciting spots for a truly unrivaled underwater experience.

To learn more about the unique and rare adventure experiences offered from Villa Galapagos 4, check out our new blog page: Insider Access Experiences in Galapagos Islands from San Cristobal

Ideal forFamilies and private groups, either active travelers or nature enthusiasts who prefer to travel in style.

villa galapagos 4 is one of our preferred hotels when travelling in galapagos

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highlights

  • Private house
  • Amazing views and amenities
  • Private chef - unforgettable culinary experience
  • Private Adventure Experiences you can't find anywhere else
  • Each house has a private heated pool and jacuzzi

rooms

La Niña:
The smallest of the three houses at Villa GPS 4, this accommodation can sleep up to 12 guests in four bedrooms, each with a private bathroom (2 of the rooms have bunk beds).
La Pinta:
Sleeping up to 16 guests in five bedrooms, each with a private bathroom, La Pinta is the second biggest house at Villa GPS 4.
Santa Maria:
The biggest house of the three at Villa GPS 4, this superb accommodation comfortably sleeps up to 18 guests in five bedrooms, each with a private bathroom, and three of which with a magnificent ocean view.

services

  • All meals with private chef
  • Wi-Fi
  • Private transfers to/from airport
  • Household & cleaning services
  • Option to add snorkeling, surfing, or scuba diving excursions
  • Panoramic heated pool
  • Jacuzzi
  • Outdoor BBQ pit
  • Laundry Room
  • White Sand Beach On Site
  • >

Elite Galapagos Mega Catamaran

The M/C Galapagos Elite is one of our preferred luxury yachts for cruising the galapagos

The award-winning Galapagos Elite offers a nicely grown-up, suitably stylish option for your luxury Galapagos cruise. With only eight cabins, this is one of the most exclusive Galapagos vessels around—and it really feels it once onboard. In fact, even from the outside with its bright white and golden hull, there is no doubting the Galapagos Elite’s boutique credentials; you simply won’t see a better looking catamaran cruising through the archipelago. Inside, the story continues, as the observation deck, surrounding daybeds and outdoor Jacuzzi are all first-class, contemporary and sleek, more like a private luxury yacht than a Galapagos cruise vessel. The Galapagos Elite also shines when it comes to the cabins and suites, each of which enjoys a wall of glass and French windows, a private balcony, king-size (or twin) beds and a sparkling en suite bathroom with a rain shower and marble sinks too. Add in a lounge bar, fine restaurant and routes which take in the best of the Galapagos’ western, central or eastern islands, and the Elite speaks for itself.

BOUTIQUE GALAPAGOS CATAMARAN

If you’re looking for a small, boutique Galapagos vessel that enjoys all the major highlights, wildlife, snorkeling and on-land tours whilst in a contemporary-cool, sophisticated setting, then the Galapagos Elite is a great bet. Its lesser passenger numbers mean that each tour feels a little more intimate, and when you do want a quiet moment to simply sit on-deck and admire the majesty of this beautiful place, it’s easily done. Whether in the privacy of your cabin and balcony or up on one of two plush observation areas, perhaps from your sunbed or the Jacuzzi, moments of appreciation for these blissful surrounds go hand-in-hand with time spent aboard the Galapagos Elite. The décor is also something special, high-end and minimalist, though subtle and certainly not out of place in such a special natural environment.

LARGE CABINS AND SUITES

Another major draw of booking a tour with the Galapagos Elite is the size of their cabins and suites, with all but the one single cabin measuring nearly 400sq ft in size, which includes a super spacious bathroom and walk-in rain shower, plus your private furnished balcony too. Then with a wall of glass (providing lots of natural light) and color scheme of white, chrome and blonde wood, that sense of space is amplified even further within each cabin—which can only ever enhance both your day-to-day comfort and overall enjoyment of this, a once-in-a-lifetime Galapagos cruise with the Elite.

Ideal forCouples looking for a boutique luxury catamaran tour, of families/small groups who would like a private, luxury Galapagos mega catamaran experience

M/C Galapagos Elite is one of our preferred luxury yachts for cruises in the galapagos

discover all of our galapagos journeys

2019 Per Person USD Rates 4D/3N 5D/4N 7D/6N 11D/10N 12D/11N 14D/13N
Golden Suites $3,590 $4,650 $7,450 $10,245 $11,180 $13,970
Charter $53,650 $69,420 $111,220 $152,995 $166,895 $208,565

Additional rates available along with holiday rates and single supplement; contact us for details. Prices are subject to change at time of booking.

Capacity:
16
Number of Cabins:
8
Facilities:
Lounge bar and restaurant, observation and sundeck with loungers and daybeds, a Jacuzzi, BBQ area, Wi-Fi, snorkeling equipment and sea kayaks
Length:
123ft
Speed:
12 knots
All cabins feature:
Panoramic windows and a private furnished balcony, one king-size or two twin beds, spacious en suite bathrooms with shower and marble tops, air-conditioning and power points
Food Serving Style:
All-Inclusive with Private Chefs
Dietary Accomodations Served on Board:
n/a
Drinks:
All non-alcoholic drinks included
Single Cabin Supplement:
yes
Children Discount:
yes
Guide Languages:
English/Spanish

Villa Galapagos 2

villa galapagos 2 preferred hotels when travelling in galapagos

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If you’re looking to visit the Galapagos Islands as a family or small group, and are looking for something luxurious, boutique, private, well-equipped and just a little bit different, then the four-bedroom Villa Galapagos 2 in Puerto Ayora, near Santa Cruz’s Pelican Bay, is your answer. The entire self-sufficient complex is only available for exclusive bookings, meaning you’ll have the whole mansion and its Annex to yourselves. This includes an outdoor pool with furnished sun patios and a Jacuzzi, four bedrooms, multiple bathrooms, plus a fully-equipped kitchen and beautiful lounge area. We include a private chef at mealtimes and personal concierge when required – the only other company you’ll have while at Villa Galapagos 2 – besides the local unique wildlife species, of course!

UNIQUE GALAPAGOS ACCOMMODATION

Villa Galapagos 2 really is among the most unique luxury accommodation options available in the Galapagos Islands, as few can compare to the level of independence and five-star facilities that guests here have exclusive use of—not to mention views of Pelican Bay from your garden and being less than a mile from El Garrapatero Beach too. If you are travelling to the Galapagos with children or additional family members, you will also have use of the mansion’s Annex which comprises two further bedrooms and bathrooms. Truly perfect for kids to keep their own space, leaving adults to enjoy the rest of the villa each evening.

PRIVATE CHEF AND CONCIERGE

Another entirely irresistible aspect of booking a stay at Villa Galapagos 2 is the one-to-one service which comes with it. As such, on arrival you’ll be introduced to your own private chef who will curate meals and snacks to suit the tastes of your group throughout, as well as a personal concierge to take care of everything else, from organizing watersports equipment to ensuring the mansion is kept spotless with the help of maids and housekeepers. The attention to detail and standard of care taken really makes Villa Galapagos 2 stand out among the best luxury Galapagos accommodation choices for families, and the privacy helps no end too.

Ideal forGroups and families, as Villa Galapagos 2 is completely self-contained and can sleep up to 8 guests in The House plus a further 4 in the Annex.

villa galapagos 2 is one of our preferred villas when travelling in galapagos

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highlights

  • Private pool, Jacuzzi and sun decks
  • Personal concierge and chef who will create bespoke in-villa meals to your tastes
  • Top location overlooking Pelican Bay
  • Fully-equipped to accommodate 12 people in absolute comfort

rooms

The House:
The House at Villa Galapagos 2 is beautifully adorned in beach-chic stylings, with lots of exposed wood and beams, walls of glass and white-washed walls, lending an added sense of space. Within, you’ll be treated to four bedrooms (2 king and 2 double); four bathrooms; a living room, dining area and kitchen across multiple floors and balconies on the upper level too. There is then an outdoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi, hammocks, a sun patio, sundeck and outdoor lounge space, sea views and a poolside bar.
The Annex:
The Annex is a comfortable addition for children or extra guests, offering a main bedroom with two double and two single beds, plus a bathroom and instant access to the rest of the villa’s grounds.

services

  • All meals included and tailored to taste (private chef and concierge)
  • Swimming pool and Jacuzzi
  • Furnished sundeck, hammocks, gardens and patio
  • Housekeeping
  • Airport lounge access
  • Laundry service
  • Wi-Fi and air-conditioning
  • Sea kayaks, snorkeling equipment, paddle boards, wetsuits and bicycles available
  • Meals included (alcoholic drinks will be extra)
  • Laundry service
  • Housekeeping

Stella Maris

The Stella Maris is one of our preferred luxury yachts for cruising the galapagos

A supremely comfortable luxury Galapagos yacht, the Stella Maris is undoubtedly among the best boats around. Fully available for private charter, highly exclusive and very easy on the eye, this is a fine boutique vessel that squeezes a lot of mod-cons and amenities into its communal spaces and cabins alike, from iPod docks to a deluxe walk-in shower, complimentary stand-up paddle boards and a fantastic restaurant to boot. The result is a chic and luxurious Galapagos boat equipped with a Jacuzzi and kayaks that, although feels more grown up than most, is perfectly family-friendly too.

Fine Dining Onboard the Stella Maris

Of the many highlights during a Galapagos Island tour aboard the Stella Maris, their fantastic gourmet restaurant certainly stands out. Here, whether al fresco on the deck during sunset or inside the dining room itself, fine dining cuisine of fresh seafood, Ecuadorian-inspired dishes, locally sourced ingredients and a specialized menu for vegetarians can be savored, day after day throughout your cruise. Such a gastronomic experience goes a long way to making the whole experience entirely memorable, as changeable menus and paired wine–sometimes an outdoor BBQ just for fun–make returning to the Stella Maris after every day of wildlife excursions even more exciting.

Chic Décor and Design

Stella Maris’ distinctively fashionable décor and interior design can’t be overlooked either. Inside each cabin, for example, expect plush beds and thickset patterned rugs, cream and honeycomb hues plus modern en suite bathrooms complete with an inviting walk-in rain shower. Then, elsewhere around the ship it’s all white sofas, perfectly polished decking and dark wood sun loungers, not to mention a stylish bar area and dining room that would not look out of place in any top restaurant.

Ideal forCouples with children or teens, and anyone seeking pure Galapagos luxury on a private yacht.

Stella Maris is one of our preferred luxury yachts for cruises in the galapagos

discover all of our galapagos journeys

2019 USD Rates for Entire Yacht Charter
5D / 4N From $138,000

Additional rates available along with holiday rates and single supplement; contact us for details. Prices are subject to change at time of booking.

Capacity:
14
Number of Cabins:
7
Facilities:
Al fresco dining area, restaurant, 24-hour room service, bar, two sundecks, Jacuzzi, snorkeling and scuba diving equipment, kayaks, stand-up paddle boards
Length:
125 ft
Speed:
14 knots
All cabins feature:
iPod docking station, TV, DVD player, air-conditioning, en suite bathroom, walk-in rain shower, closet, Wi-Fi
Food Serving Style:
All-Inclusive with Private Chefs
Dietary Accomodations Served on Board:
n/a
Drinks:
All non-alcoholic drinks included
Single Cabin Supplement:
no
Children Discount:
no
Guide Languages:
English

Villa Galapagos 3

villa galapagos 3 preferred hotels when travelling in galapagos

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With just three villas accommodating up to eight guests, nature trails and tortoise ponds, 42 acres of private highland reserve and even a kitchen garden to service their supreme restaurant, Villa Galapagos 3 are as intimate and stylish as they are idyllically placed and well-equipped, in one. No doubt about it, this is one of the most exclusive luxury lodges on Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos Islands. Prepare your tastebuds because their chefs will prepare showstopping cuisine each evening, for that pricelessly personal touch.

A GREAT GALAPAGOS LODGE FOR FAMILIES

One of the perks of booking a room at Villa Galapagos 3 is that you benefit from a wonderful combination of independence—thanks to each private abode’s multi-room layout, terraces, kitchen and lounge area—yet also all the trappings of a luxury Galapagos lodge such as yoga classes, massage treatments and all of your lip-smacking gourmet cuisine already included. This means that not only do you benefit from sizeable rooms and separate spaces for the kids to hang out in, but with meals taken care of and plenty to keep everyone entertained onsite, all that’s left is to sit back and enjoy the wonders of the Galapagos Islands while here.

AN INTIMATE ECO-FRIENDLY GALAPAGOS EXPERIENCE

Being family-run and hosting just a tiny handful of guests, you are guaranteed an intimate Galapagos experience while staying at Villa Galapagos 3, whether wandering the onsite nature trails, getting to know your hosts or enjoying a homecooked meal. Though that’s not all, as on top of everything else, this boutique lodge is also extremely environmentally conscious, with its water supply sourced from rainfall, electricity from solar panels, organic produce grown onsite and many of the materials used for construction coming from sustainable sources on the island itself.

Ideal forFamilies, also perfectly ideal for couples but particularly suited to family groups, with two of the three villas able to accommodate 4 people, and the third easily sleeping up to 8.

villa galapagos 3 is one of our preferred hotels when travelling in galapagos

discover all of our galapagos journeys

highlights

  • Exclusive Galapagos Lodge
  • Acres of private grounds and nature trails onsite
  • Gourmet restaurant and kitchen garden
  • Lovely views as well as easy access to the rest of the island

rooms

Villa Tortuga:
The largest of all villas at Montemar, Villa Tortuga enjoys a floorplan of nearly 3,000sq ft, including four bedrooms (one with en suite and private deck); multiple bathrooms and a tub; fully-equipped kitchen; living room and patio doors; a wood-fired oven, BBQ and yoga room. The décor within this villa is decidedly modern, all bamboo beams and teak wood floors, stone walls, wicker and soft tones throughout.
Villa Lechuza:
Smaller than Villa Tortuga (829sq ft) though with the same contemporary décor, Villa Lechuza is a great option if travelling as a group of 2, 3 or 4, as you still benefit from a private deck; en suite bathrooms; queen-size beds in two bedrooms and an open-plan kitchen and lounge area.
Villa Pinzon:
At 700sq ft Villa Pinzon is the smallest of the three and décor is a little more modest, though the villa is still very private and can sleep 4, as well as coming with a kitchen; living room; main bathroom and small outdoor space.

services

  • Restaurant + bar plus breakfast ingredients provided for your villa
  • Wi-Fi
  • Boat trips and island-hopping tours
  • Yoga studio and classes
  • Relaxation area and outdoor massage available
  • Onsite nature trails, tortoise ponds and a coffee plantation
  • Bathrobes, slippers, reusable water bottles, organic toilettes included
  • Beach bag, towels, rubber boots, umbrellas, rain jackets and flashlights available
  • Meals included (alcoholic drinks will be extra)
  • Laundry service
  • Housekeeping

Combined Ecuador and the Galapagos: Best of Land and Sea

Combining the best of Ecuador’s mainland with a land-based tour of the Galapagos Islands is a unique and memorable alternative to the traditional Galapagos cruise options. This combined Ecuador and Galapagos itinerary will first explore the highlights of Quito including its Old Town and equatorial line museum, followed by the pristine Mindo Cloud Forest. Here you can enjoy nature walks, birdwatching trails and elevated viewpoints aplenty as a scenic introduction to what comes next, a land-based Galapagos adventure. Visiting Santa Cruz Island and its closest neighbors North Seymour and Bartolome Island, time will be spent admiring pristine beaches, observing Sea Lion colonies, families of Blue-footed Boobies, Herons and countless other native Galapagos species as well as the depleted volcanic craters, nature reserves and the Charles Darwin Research Center. Then you head back to Mainland Ecuador and the dramatic High-Andean wilderness to meet local communities, visit traditional villages and craft markets, explore stunning valleys and even enjoy the chance to see Giant Andean Condors close-up, before returning to Quito and home.

Visit our Ecuador Page
to learn a bit about Ecuador

Visit our Galapagos Page
to learn a bit about Galapagos

Itinerary

Day1

Patio Andaluz

Day1

Arrive Quito, Ecuador

Having been greeted at Quito Airport by your guide on touchdown, a private transfer will take you straight to your hotel in Quito Old Town for check-in; a fitting start to this combined Ecuador and Galapagos vacation. Once here, you are ideally placed to explore the atmospheric streets, bars and restaurants of Old Quito this evening, as well as already being onsite for tomorrow’s walking tour.

Overnight Hotel Patio Andaluz or similar

Day2

quito`

Day2

Walking Tour of Quito

Spend the early morning at leisure, starting with a wholesome breakfast at your hotel before a private walking tour of Quito’s Old Town, which provides a fascinating introduction to Ecuador’s capital. The city’s historical center has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1978, and it’s not hard to see why, with its exquisite colonial architecture comprising sublime churches, the Cathedral, Presidential Palace and Municipal Building. All of this stands proudly alongside cobblestone streets and the grand Independence Square, making Quito Old Town a marvel to behold.

After lunch, a further delve into Ecuadorian life comes this afternoon at the Intiñan Solar Museum. This fun-filled Quito attraction is located on the line of the equator and exhibits artefacts from various cultures and tribes around the country, as well as hands-on science experiments and a planetarium. Here you can also visit the Mitad del Mundo (‘Middle of the World’) Monument and gardens, located on the very spot where a French explorer calculated the equatorial line’s location back in 1736!

Overnight Hotel Patio Andaluz or similar

Meals B

Day3

Rustic looking bridge with a thatch roof crossing a river in a cloud forest near Mindo, Ecuador

Day3

Mindo Cloud Forest

Day three of this combined Ecuador and Galapagos tour takes you to the ethereal Mindo Cloud Forest, a biodiverse haven that’s brimming with birdlife, abundant plant species and fun activities too. The drive to Mindo takes roughly one hour 30 minutes, though it’s a gentle journey along country roads with scenic lookout points along the way.

On arrival, you are treated to one of Ecuador’s natural highlights, a unique ecosystem covering nearly 50,000 subtropical acres that are home to around 400 different bird species, lush trees, orchids and waterfalls. You can visit them all with a guided tour plus time at leisure to explore Mindo’s many nature trails, butterfly gardens, treetop cable cars and, for those brave enough, an adrenaline-packed zip-line adventure.

Overnight Hotel Patio Andaluz or similar

Meals B,L

Day4

Room at Semilla Verde

Day4

Santa Cruz Island

Next up, your Galapagos land adventure package begins, as you fly from Guayaquil on Ecuador’s western coast to Baltra Island Airport, where our guides assist with any luggage, before crossing the crystalline Itabaca Channel to Santa Cruz Island. Your destination is Semilla Verde Boutique Hotel, a homely Galapagos eco-retreat big on yoga, conservation, and exploring the best of the archipelago.

This afternoon is spent at leisure, maybe unwinding on the lawn, strolling along one of the nearby nature trails or trying a spot of yoga. Why not pay a visit to the harborfront streets of Puerto Ayora and the all-important Charles Darwin Research Center? Here, exciting exhibits and interactive displays go together with real-life conservation projects, including Giant Tortoise breeding programs. A suitable start as you witness the legacy left on the Galapagos Islands by Darwin himself.

Overnight Semilla Verde

Meals B

Day5

galapagos land turtle

Day5

Santa Cruz Island

The Santa Cruz Highlands are a pleasure to explore, with their endemic wildlife, roaming Giant Galapagos Tortoises and, of course, the Los Gemelos craters; two colossal sinkholes which must be seen to be believed. This all makes for a highlight of your Galapagos land-based vacation and provides a great snapshot of the wider archipelago, so is the focus of this morning’s tour. First a pleasant wildlife walk; keep an eye out for Santa Cruz Highlands’ many bird species and varied plant-life. On arrival at Los Gemelos, gaze out over lush foliage filling each of the two huge caverns–one stretching nearly 1,300ft across and 2,300ft deep.

Time can then be spent exploring an eerie world of underground lava tunnels here, or seeking out more of those Giant Galapagos Tortoises for one perfectly captured photograph to take home. After lunch your Santa Cruz tour continues by heading east. First enjoy the verdant Cerro Mesa Nature Reserve where the scenic viewpoints are as impressive as the variety of flora that fills this once active volcanic crater, and later to Garrapatero Beach, where mangroves and coastal vegetation open up onto bright white beaches and crystalline seas.

Overnight Semilla Verde

Meals B,L,D

Day6

galapagos-destination-penguins-latin-excursions

Day6

Santa Cruz Island / Bartolome Island

Today’s Galapagos wildlife tour focuses on Bartolome Island; its lookout spots and rugged coastline. First, moor up at a wooden walkway and begin your ascent to one of the best viewpoints in the Galapagos. The reason is that although Bartolome itself is relatively barren, all volcanic rock and petrified lava flows, from this angle you get a 360-degree panoramic look at the wider archipelago; a completely different perspective on the formation of these islands.

This then makes a Zodiac boat ride–the next part of your excursion–all the more enjoyable, as you glide past families of Galapagos Penguins, Herons and Hawks, before the golden beaches and Sea Lion colony of Pinnacle Rock. The waters which border these sands teem with marine life, making them perfect for snorkeling just off the adjacent ancient lava fields of Sullivan Bay; a real-life Galapagos highlight.

Overnight Semilla Verde

Meals B,L,D

Days7

Blue-Footed Boobies on Grand Seymore Island, Galapagos Islands,

Day7

North Seymour Island / Bachas Beach

Swap land for sea as you board the Sea Finch vessel once more. First up is North Seymour Island, where you can hike through a forest of Palo Santo trees–a favorite nesting place for Blue-footed Boobies–and follow coastal trails that provide a privileged view of Brown Pelicans, Frigate Birds and Yellow Land Iguanas. Then, swim with an astonishing array of marine life, such as Rays, White-tipped Reef Sharks and King Angelfish.

The final stop is at Las Bachas, a pair of impeccable beaches with white coral sands. Watch Blue-footed Boobies patrolling the shore, or Pink Flamingos, Great Blue Herons and White-cheeked Pintails wading the waters of a nearby lagoon. After swimming in warm seas, sail back to the Itabaca Channel and return to Semilla Verde for your penultimate night at this luxury Galapagos lodge.

Overnight Semilla Verde

Meals B,L,D

Days8

Semilla Verde Pool

Day8

Santa Cruz Island

The final day of your Galapagos adventure takes you to the lesser-visited hidden coves and dramatic coastline of Santa Cruz Island, alive as they are with wildlife and easily accessed from Semilla Verde. Begin with 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.

You can explore the shoreline and coastal nature trails here, keeping an eye out for Sea Lions and Reef sharks in the water, before lunch either onboard the boat or beach, and a final stop at Bahia Borrero, a pristine stretch of chalk-white sands and one of the ultimate places to finish this exciting Galapagos tour.

Overnight Semilla Verde

Meals B,L,D

Days9

Hacienda Cusin Fountain

Day9

Ecuadorian Andes

The diverse landscapes, ecosystems and environments of Ecuador keep coming today, as you first fly back to the mainland before driving towards the serene Ecuadorian Andes in the company of your private guide. On arrival at your rural Hacienda, check-in and enjoy a first afternoon of crisp mountain air in this timeless, beautifully scenic region.

Overnight Hacienda Cusin or Similar

Meals B,L,D

Days10

Haciend Cusin Staff

Day10

Ecuadorian Andes

Day ten of your combined Ecuador and Galapagos land package provides an unforgettable opportunity to admire picturesque, pristine scenery here in the Ecuadorian Andes, as well as visiting some of its traditional highland communities. Driving between stops is a joy in itself, such is the splendor of this mountainous region of towering peaks and sweeping valleys, as can be seen on the way to San Antonio de Ibarra, the provincial capital famous for its incredibly ornate woodworking and tradition of sculpture.

From here, it’s on to Peguche where more local culture and an authentic High-Andean way of life can be glimpsed, such as the town’s markets, traditional weaving, music and dance performances as well as a love for celebratory festivals! Picturesque Peguche is also surrounded by stunning scenery, hidden waterfalls and verdant valleys which, time permitting, can also feature as part of your Andean day trip.

Overnight Hacienda Cusin or similar

Meals B,L,D

Days11

Condor Ecuador

Day11

Condor Park / La Esperanza

A further exploration of the Ecuadorian Andes continues today, as you venture deeper into the landscape to meet some native wildlife as well as the rural communities who dwell here. Begin at Parque del Condor (‘Condor Park’), where not only Giant Andean Condors but Hawks, Owls, Eagles and Falcons are protected and cared for in a semi-natural environment, some of which have been rehabilitated from their perilous position in the wild.

Having seen these impressive native birds first-hand, and witnessed a live flight demonstration too, the next stop on day eleven of your Mainland Ecuador adventure is a visit to the indigenous San Clemente Community in nearby La Esperanza. Here there’s the chance to meet locals and share lunch together, learn the community’s traditions and customs as well as enjoying an informative nature walk with them, to see what life is like living among such wilderness. Finally, make your way back to the hotel for one last evening with your Ecuadorian hosts.

Overnight Hacienda Cusin or similar

Meals B,L,D

Days12

otavalo-market-latin-excursions

Day12

Cuicocha Crater Lake / Otavalo Market

As your combined Ecuador and Galapagos land tour draws to a close, there is still time to see one or two more Andean highlights before traveling back to Quito, depending on the exact time of your departing flight. First, some last-minute souvenirs can be picked up from the small town of Cotacachi, a village particularly famous for its fine leatherwork and crafts. Then, a last-minute nature walk through the forests to Cuicocha Crater Lake, a stunning site, the main attraction of the Ecuadorian Andes and well worthy finale to your tour.

Finally, the world-famous Otavalo Market. Otavalo is known across South America for its craftwork, such as weaving and musical instruments, though its most prized asset is their colorful market that has attracted local artisans, buyers and sellers for centuries. It’s a vibrant scene of locals wearing traditional outfits, and stalls topped high with rainbows of fruit, vegetables and textiles. Time permitting, you can pick up some treasures and enjoy lunch here before being driven back to Quito International Airport and home.

Meals B,L

IMPORTANT: We reserve the right to omit any part of this itinerary, to change the order of the places visited, or to alter reservations without prior notice due to weather conditions or road closures, safety concerns, national park policies, or other outside forces that may necessitate revisions to the itinerary. These decisions are based on the traveler’s welfare or are made in the interest of conservation. Please travel with an open mind and a willingness to embrace the spontaneity of your adventure.

Overnight The Singular Santiago

Meals B

Galapagos Cruise – Evolution from Baltra Island

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.

Visit our Galapagos page
to learn a bit about Galapagos

Itinerary

Day1

baltra-Ithabaca-canal-copy

Day1

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.

Day2

Marine iguana with blue footed boobies, booby, Sula nebouxii and Amblyrhynchus cristatus, on Isabela Island, Galapagos, Ecuador, South America

Day2

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.

Day3

galapagos-Evolution-Al-Fresco-Dining

Day3

ISABELA ISLAND / URBINA BAY / TAGUS COVE

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.

Day4

Galapagos Islands. Ecuador. Bartolome Island.

Day4

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.

Day5

galapagos-evolution-hot-tub

Day5

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.

Day6

darwins-finch-latin-excursions

Day6

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.

Day7

espanola

Day7

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.

Day8

day01-Magnificent-Frigatebird-latin-excursions

Day8

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.

NOTE: 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.

Galapagos Evolution

Evolution is one of our preferred luxury yachts for Galapagos cruises

discover all of our galapagos journeys

Both elegant and beautifully adorned, the 32-guest Galapagos Evolution Yacht fuses a nostalgic appearance similar to turn of the century steamboats with a modern, 21st century interior. From the outside, Galapagos Evolution is instantly recognizable with its tall sail masts, vintage-style wooden balconies and dramatic narrowing hull, while within, the cabin décor is decidedly contemporary, lounge areas are comfortable and an outdoor sundeck with Jacuzzi will surely keep you coming back for more. All of this, plus plenty of onboard excursion equipment, kayaks, dinghies and guides, help the Evolution stand out among the more unique luxury Galapagos cruise vessels.

Exclusive Galapagos Experience

With space for just 32 passengers, Evolution is certainly a boutique Galapagos yacht, a fact which enhances your experience of the archipelago no end. It means that there is a crew member for every two passengers, plus guides, so the service is always personal and excursions are intimate–there are no big group outings here! Then, between your Galapagos wildlife walks and snorkeling adventures, you also have plenty of space to unwind, either taking in the view from either of two sundecks, that irresistible Jacuzzi or the lounge bar; making for a gentler pace of life onboard the Galapagos Evolution Yacht.

Family-friendly Galapagos Boat

With slightly larger than average cabins available, comfortably fitting up to three or four people, the Galapagos Evolution is a good family-friendly option if travelling with the kids. Little ones will also love the games console room and tailored menu, plus certain excursions can be geared up towards sharing them with children, such as the two-person kayaks, child-friendly guides, special stargazing lessons and Explorers Kids Club too. What’s more, if traveling as a large or extended group, the entire Galapagos Evolution can be chartered privately, for something extra special.

Ideal forcouples and families

Evolution is one of our preferred luxury yachts for cruising in the galapagos

discover all of our galapagos journeys

2019 Per Person USD Rates Master Suite: A1 Suites: A2 & A3 Premium Saterooms: C1-C3 & C5-C9 Premium Stateroom: C4 Deluxe Staterooms: D1-D4 CHARTER - All Cabins (Max 32 guests)
8D / 7N Sat $7,950 $7,550 $6,600 $6,200 $6,200 $203,000

Prices are subject to change at time of booking.

Single Supplement: 75% for suites, 50% for all other cabins. 100% Single Supplement applies in all cabins and no discounts for children in Christmas and New Year's cruises.
Child Rates: 15% discount off regular cruise rates for children 15 years old and younger. Maximum of 3 children discounts per family, per booking (no exceptions)
An additional $500-$700 per person holiday surcharge applies for FIT (individual passengers) for Christmas and New Years cruises. Private charter surcharges apply for Christmas and New Years cruises. Please inquire for details.

Category:
Luxury
Capacity:
12
Number of Cabins:
6
Facilities:
Panoramic Sky Lounge and Bar, Dining Room, Sun Decks for Al Fresco Dining, Secluded Sun Deck with Jacuzzi
Length:
159 ft
Speed:
10 knots
All cabins feature:
Own private bathroom with bathtub, air condition, hair dryers, usb charger
Food Serving Style:
Al fresco dining
Dietary Accomodations Served on Board:
Vegetarian, Vegan
Drinks:
Water, Coffee, Tea, Natural Juices; not included alcoholic and bottled beverages
Single Cabin Supplement:
yes
Children Discount:
yes
Guide Languages:
Spanish, English - with supplement - German, French & Italian

Itineraries

Galapagos Cruise – Evolution from San Cristobal Island

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 San Cristobal 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. Beginning at Isla Lobos, an early taste of Galapagos wildlife comes with this small island’s large Sea Lion population, though Blue-footed and Nazca Boobies are also popular here. Time will be spent exploring the dramatic rocky outcrops of South Plazas Island and Carrion Point, both known for their local birdlife such as Red-billed Tropicbirds and Swallow-tailed Gulls, as well as some fantastic snorkeling opportunities. With James Bay, lesser-visited Genovesa Island, wildlife-rich North Seymour, Santa Fe, Floreana and Santa Cruz Islands also featuring–each with their own species, viewpoints, beaches and volcanoes to admire–this is a truly versatile Galapagos itinerary offered by the Evolution.

Visit our Galapagos page
to learn a bit about Galapagos

Itinerary

Day1

street in san cristobal galapagos islands ecuador

Day1

ARRIVE SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND / ISLA LOBOS

Following a two-hour flight from Quito, land on San Cristobal Island. This is a fitting place to begin your Galapagos luxury cruise with the Evolution, following in the footsteps of Charles Darwin who stepped ashore here on his infamous voyage to the archipelago in 1835.

The ever-elegant Galapagos Evolution sets sail, traveling north of San Cristobal to reach a tiny islet, Isla Lobos, named after its raucous residents: Sea Lions, who are as playful as they are loud! Snorkel around these friendly creatures, before encountering more native species on a hike along milky-white sands and meandering walking trails on-land, searching for endemic Galapagos shorebirds like Blue-footed and Nazca Boobies. After your exploration of Lobos Island, settle into your luxe cabin back onboard and enjoy your first evening with the Evolution crew.

Day2

Beautiful landscape of Galapagos South Plaza island

Day2

SOUTH PLAZAS ISLAND / PUNTA CARRION / MOSQUERA ISLET

Day two of your Galapagos Evolution cruise begins by sailing to South Plazas, a rocky, volcanic island that is instantly recognizable thanks to the abundance of scarlet-hued sesuvium plants, and a healthy population of cacti. Local birdlife such as Red-billed Tropicbirds and Swallow-tailed Gulls can also be seen nesting on the cliffs as you approach, while Land Iguanas are easily admired during a fun wildlife walk, having anchored just offshore.

Next up is Punta Carrion, a place of tranquil blue waters hosting all manner of marine life including Sharks and Rays, making it an ideal place to swim and snorkel. Today is rounded off in truly iconic fashion at the soft sands of Mosquera Islet. This enchanting stretch of beach, peppered with occasional volcanic rocks, is best known for its families of Sea Lions and Sally Lightfoot Crabs, as can be seen while wandering the bay or snorkeling around its shoreline.

Day3

Closeup of Galapagos Hawk (Buteo galapagoensis). Vulnerable and endemic specie living in the Galapagos islands. Puerto Villamil, Isabela Island, Galapagos, Ecuador.

Day3

SANTIAGO ISLAND / JAMES BAY

Another day, another island, as you explore the highlights of Santiago with its mix of history, wildlife and natural formations. First, enjoy a visit to so-called ‘Chinese Hat’ for a chance to see Galapagos Penguins and Sea Lions, which you can swim and snorkel with or admire the marine life: Octopus, Moray Eels and Galapagos Sharks among them.

More of Santiago Island’s delights come this afternoon on the black beaches of James Bay. From these black sandy shores you’ll hike along a gentle trail joined by Galapagos Hawks, Lava Lizards, Finches and Oystercatchers, though this is also one of the best Galapagos spots to witness Seal and Marine Iguanas in their favored habitat too. A relaxing afternoon here can also include more swimming and snorkeling if you wish, before heading back to the Evolution.

Day4

Red-footed booby on Genovesa island, Galapagos National Park, Ec

Day4

GENOVESA ISLAND / DARWIN BAY / PRINCE PHILIP’S STEPS

Lesser-visited Genovesa Island is as dramatic and intriguing as any island in the Galapagos archipelago, a place of steep cliffs sheltering volcanic craters and home to countless nesting seabirds. It all makes for quite a sight, and one of the more memorable experiences due to the entirely untamed look of the landscape here. Of the many unusual native bird species that can be found on Genovesa, they include Puffball–chicks, Yellow–crowned and Lava Herons and Red-footed Boobies, so boat rides around the coast and intrepid nature walks on-land are always in order, during an entire day exploring the island.

In the afternoon, climb the famous Prince Philip’s Steps. So-called after the British monarch’s visit here in the 1960’s, the path leads up to an open plateau that provides fantastic views of Darwin Bay, which itself can then be enjoyed as Sea Lions lounge on these chalk-white shores. Finally, return to the Evolution for an evening at leisure up on deck.

Day5

santa-fe

Day5

NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND / SANTA FE ISLAND

Having enjoyed another memorable evening aboard the Galapagos Evolution, first up on day five is North Seymour Island, where you can hike through a forest of Palo Santo trees–a favorite nesting place for Blue-footed Boobies–and follow coastal trails that provide a privileged view of Brown Pelicans, Frigate Birds and Yellow Land Iguanas. Then, swim with an astonishing array of marine life, such as Rays, White-tipped Reef Sharks and King Angelfish.

This afternoon, visit Santa Fe Island, a sandy haven of iconic coastline, turquoise seas and lounging Sea Lions. Having anchored nearby and disembarked, there’s plenty of walking trails and wildlife observation spots to enjoy here. Every walking route here is a joy, so be sure to make the most of them, as well as spending time on the beach, kayaking, snorkeling or simply admiring the views.

Day6

punta-cormorant-floreana-flamingos

Day6

FLOREANA ISLAND / CORMORANT POINT

Today’s Galapagos adventures begin at Post Office Bay, once a pirate’s hangout and home to an 18th century whalers post office, where you can still pop a postcard in the rum barrel box and it will find its way home to this day! Next, the Floreana Highlands and Asilo de la Paz or ‘Peace Haven’, a scenic spot surrounded by Scalesia Trees and Giant Galapagos Tortoises, Frigate Birds and an endemic snail population.

After lunch comes Cormorant Point on Floreana Island, south of Santa Cruz. There are two contrasting beaches here: Papakolea which appears green in color due to its composition of volcanic olivine crystals, and Flour Beach, so-called for its powdery white sands. Keep an eye out for the Flamingos, Pintails, Stilts and other wading birds here, before snorkeling at the foot of Devil’s Crown and Champion Islet, swimming with reef fish, Giant Mantas and Dolphins.

Day7

Galapagos giant tortoise on Santa Cruz Island in Galapagos Natio

Day7

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 a stroll along the paradise-like Tortuga Bay, or maybe a bicycle tour in Puerto Ayora, if you’re feeling active.

Day8

Green sea turtle swimming underwater

Day8

BLACK TURTLE COVER / FLIGHT HOME

Your last day in the Galapagos brings one final opportunity to marvel at fascinating flora and fauna, this time at Black Turtle Cove, found on the northern shores of Santa Cruz Island. A tangle of dense mangroves, this cove unfolds for nearly a mile inland and is a stomping ground for Sea Turtles, Rays, Brown Pelicans and Herons, which can be spotted from your panga.

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.

NOTE: 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.

Galapagos Magic Camp

galapagos magic camp is one of our preferred hotels when traveling in galapagos

discover all of our Galapagos journeys

Stay at the family-friendly Magic Galapagos Tented Camp for some of the best Santa Cruz Highlands’ views, authentic eco-lodge accommodation and easy access to the archipelago’s many wildlife excursions. Dotted around the grassy plains of a private reserve on Santa Cruz Island, and home to a healthy population of Giant Galapagos Tortoises who happily roam the grounds, this laidback retreat is just what you need for a real slice of both excitement and adventure. You’ll find a charming restaurant onsite serving local favorites–surrounded by wooden beams and soft lighting, fully functioning bathrooms connected to each tent, Wi-Fi, an infinity pool, and the ‘Lava Lounge’, where cocktails are savored amidst the petrified remains of ancient lava caves; a true Galapagos experience in itself.

AN AUTHENTIC ECO-EXPERIENCE

For an all-encompassing Galapagos wildlife tour, the Magic Tented Camp is hard to beat. It’s keen environmental ethos, unbeatable watchtower views of the national park, educational guides and excursions, abundance of species such as the resident Tortoises found onsite, and the accommodation itself all serve its purpose to reconnect you right back with nature. Nights here are spent under a canopy of stars or huddled around the fireplace, before waking up each morning surrounded by the pristine Santa Cruz Highlands, native birdlife and ever-popular Galapagos Tortoises simply roaming free. There is truly nowhere like it in the world!

EXCLUSIVE GALAPAGOS ACCOMMODATION

With only nine comfortable tents available, some raised on stilts and others a fully-fledged treehouse, plus a three-bedroom suite for families, the Magic Galapagos Tented Camp is about as intimate as it gets. This works in harmony with the camp’s all-natural setting, as with so few fellow guests the evenings are calm and cozy, excursions feel personal and you know the wildlife is not being disturbed. For each tent, an en suite bathroom (in most), furnished terrace and comfortable bed add a touch of luxury, though generally the earthier approach here is all part of the appeal.

Ideal forFamilies, couples, and small groups.

Galapagos Magic Camp is one of our preferred hotels when traveling in Galapagos

discover all of our galapagos journeys

highlights

  • Onsite wildlife including Galapagos Tortoises
  • Easy access to the national park and Pacific Ocean
  • Exclusive accommodation, an inviting infinity pool and cozy restaurant
  • Excellent onsite guides and excursions

rooms

  • Luxury Safari Tents: En suite bathroom for most tents (some with private bathroom but shared shower facilities); roll-up canvas windows; furnished terrace; seating area; double or twin beds and a natural décor scheme of canvases and locally produced ornaments. (six raised tents, four unique elevated treehouses).
  • Family Suite: Finished to the same standard as the Luxury Safari Tent, though much larger with multiple bedrooms; a playroom; and expansive terrace.

services

  • Infinity Pool
  • Sundeck and Loungers
  • Observation tower
  • Onsite farm and birding area/li>
  • Kids club
  • Bar + restaurant/li>
  • Communal fireplace and lounge
  • Wi-Fi

Private Alternatives to the Inca Trail With Latin Excursions

We at Latin Excursions love Peru, adore the Inca Trail and know all too well that visiting Machu Picchu is one of the most rewarding travel experiences in the world. So, imagine avoiding the crowds and enjoying this once-in-a-lifetime tour on a remote trail in the company of a private guide–keep reading to find out how!

The classic Inca Trail is a truly iconic, unforgettable adventure that leaves its mark on everybody lucky enough to do it; four days of scenic hiking through the mountains, which culminates at the Lost City. However, alternative routes to Machu Picchu do exist, are just as spectacular and, importantly, get you nicely off the beaten track, meaning an even more intimate and exclusive experience away from the sometimes busy campsites of the main trail. Because we live and breathe this part of the world, we know all of the different Inca Trail options. The Ancascocha Trek is our favorite because it can be done privately, making it even more of a meaningful bucket list experience than any other in the region.

Being so remote, Latin Excursions is one of the few companies who offer private Ancascocha Treks for just your party; great news for anyone seeking a private Inca Trail of their own. In fact, National Geographic have placed the Ancascocha Trek in their top 25 list of Best Hikes in the World. Thanks to the ever-changing landscapes, rural Andean settlements and ancient ruins you encounter along the way, it is a well deserved accolade.

Setting off from Cusco, the trailhead proper begins at Soqma, a traditional Peruvian village, aiming for the blissfully isolated Chancachuco Valley. Day one of the Ancascocha Trail leads you past the Perolniyoq waterfall and little-visited Inca ruins of Corimarca, through thick forest and out onto open, scenic plains during several hours of picturesque hiking. At the end of the day  you have a well-earned camp and warming meal at Qeuñacancha to look forward to, a great spot to admire the views and reflect on your first day of exploration.

Day two of this spectacular hike has you walking for a good 6 or 7 hours.  Your effort will be richly rewarded with more Inca ruins along the way. Plus, find stunning views of Mounts Huayanay and Salkantay, as well as several mountain passes to enjoy. Undoubtedly though, a real highlight of the trail comes when you reach that evening’s camp at Ancascocha Lagoon, a high-altitude lake of deep blue waters and still more of those unforgettable Andean vistas.

Day three of your Ancascocha trek, we swap aerial views and steep climbs for remote settlements and river gorges, during a day of descents along gentler, tree-lined trails. As native foliage leads the way, this penultimate day of the hike takes you past Veronica Peak, across the Sillque River and further into the Urubamba Valley, getting ever-closer to Machu Picchu itself, though you will still not see a fellow tourist in sight!

Day four starts early with a short hike to Chillca to catch the jaw-dropping train ride to km104 where you will disembark to hike a section of the classic Inca Trail seeing more preserved ruins and finishing at the Sun Gate for your first view of Machu Picchu from afar. You then hike down to the Lost City of the Inca itself. Followed by a bus ride to Aqua Calientes and well deserved night in a hotel.

Day five you return to Machu Picchu for a full immersive experience spent exploring the warren-like passages, rooms, lookouts and temples. A private tour of this wonder of the world is the only way to do it. There will be plenty of time for discoveries before returning to Aguas Calientes by bus and onward to Cusco.

Adventure Travel FAQ – While this trekking experience is not for everyone, fit hikers will find it a challenging and rewarding experience. A majority of the hiking is done above 10,000 feet, reaching as high as 15,419 feet. The total length of walking is 36 miles, or roughly 8 miles a day.

How much do you carry while trekking? The trek includes pack animals to carry tents, food and cooking equipment and personal gear up to a maximum of 9kg per person (including sleeping pad and sleeping bag). On day 4, we  include a porter to carry guest’s personal belongings directly to your hotel in Aguas Calientes. So for the most part you carry just your box lunch and personal items in a day pack.

What is the food like? Your trek chefs have been trained by several institutes in Lima, Cusco and also by chefs coming from the NY Culinary Institute. They have learned the HACCP method and their operation ensures maximum hygiene. Above all, be prepared to have a superb culinary experience during the trek, including generous and delicious breakfasts, snacks, lunches, tea services and dinners that can be adapted to your very specific requests. Menus include a variety of Peruvian and international food and also cater for vegetarian, vegan and special dietary requests.

What are the accommodations like? During the camping nights, we include personal tents: 2 people in each 4-people-capacity tent, to allow for higher comfort and a safe keeping of backpacks. Our tents are 3-season, highly maintained to ensure an excellent performance in field. Hotel nights will be from a choice of our recommended lodgings in Aquas Calientes and Cusco.

From its secluded camp sites to the timeless views, beautiful mountain scenery and no shortage of ancient ruins throughout, Ancascocha, the alternative Inca Trail, really is one of adventure travel’s best kept secrets, to be enjoyed by the hearty few like yourself.

Ecuador: Gateway to the Amazon and Galapagos

The Amazon Rainforest and Galapagos Islands are two of the world’s most exciting destinations for wildlife safaris and nature experiences, topping the bucket lists of many travelers around the globe. With their rich biodiversity, extraordinary landscapes and endemic species, this comes as no surprise – but did you know that it’s Ecuador that offers the fastest, most direct access to both destinations? Read on to find out how you can visit the Amazon and Galapagos Islands from their gateway; Ecuador

Accessing the Ecuadorian Amazon

The Amazon is a vast jungle, a pristine wilderness of trees, rivers and lakes that spills over 40% of the South American continent. While much of this mighty rainforest is untouched and inaccessible, there are particular access points in countries like Brazil, Peru and Ecuador that afford wide-eyed visitors the chance to experience the spectacular wilderness first-hand. However, while it is possible to reach Iquitos from Lima in Peru, and Manaus from Sao Paolo in Brazil, these flights take two and four hours respectively; yet it’s just a 30-minute journey from Quito to Amazonian Coca, in Ecuador. There’s even the possibility to drive to the Ecuadorian Amazon, if you so wish! This means that, with less time and energy spent on getting there, you have more moments to enjoy the delights of the Ecuadorian Amazon, whether that’s the Cuyabeno National Reserve, Yasuni National Park or the Achuar Territory.

Ecuador: Gateway to the Galapagos Islands

With its wildlife encounters and head-scratching geological formations, the Galapagos are extraordinary to say the least, leaving each and every visitor here utterly captivated. There are multiple ecosystems, varied landscapes and intriguing endemic species here, the same mix that led Charles Darwin to his Theory of Evolution. So, any cultured traveler will be in awe during their own Galapagos cruise or land-based vacation, it’s hard not to be. These islands make up part of Ecuador, so flights to this secluded Pacific Ocean archipelago are easily done from either Quito, the capital (taking around 2.5 hours), or Guayaquil, the country’s largest city and port town (a flight time of 1.5 hours). Ecuador really is the gateway to the Galapagos Islands!

Multi-center Trips to Ecuador, the Amazon and Galapagos

With such easy, direct access to the Amazon and Galapagos Islands, you can experience both on one amazing trip to Ecuador. After touching down in Quito, either take the time to explore the UNESCO-stamped Old Town of Ecuador’s capital city, its high Andean surrounds and cloud forests, or head straight for the Amazon on a short flight to immerse yourself in the jungle for a few days. Exploring the Ecuadorian Amazon is a great introduction to the immense biodiversity of this compact South American nation, before you then continue on to the Galapagos Islands, where an even greater variety of flora and fauna – not to mention beautiful beaches – lie in wait. Take a look at our sample Ecuador itineraries to get a flavor for Amazon and Galapagos trips, before getting in touch with us to start planning your own perfect vacation. You can also incorporate the fascinating mainland towns and villages, national parks and protected reserves into your trip too – talk to one of our expert travel designers to find out more.

Latin Excursions Selected for Wendy Perrin’s WOW List 2018

“Wendy Perrin shares her travel secrets, and it’s as close as you can get to vacation perfection.”  —Town&Country

Latin Excursions is delighted to be selected on Wendy Perrin’s WOW List 2018, as one of her trusted travel experts for Latin America. Read on to find out more about the WOW List, Wendy Perrin and exactly why we have been handpicked as her go-to travel planner for the best travel experiences in Latin America.

Who is Wendy Perrin?

Wendy Perrin is an oracle in the world of luxury travel, having spent more than 25 years immersed in travel journalism. Wendy is highly respected in her field, working for Conde Nast Traveler, TripAdvisor (she is their first ever Travel Advocate for some 315 million monthly visitors) and more, winning awards along the way and making many TV appearances. Without a doubt, Wendy Perrin possesses unrivalled knowledge and secrets when it comes to getting the most out of your vacation, and her website is dedicated to sharing all of it with travelers who want to experience something out of the ordinary.

What is the WOW List?

The WOW List is Wendy Perrin’s black book of the very best travel contacts around the globe. Whether you’re looking for a safari in Africa or unforgettable South American adventure, Wendy has tried and tested it all for her readers and is unbeatably placed to recommend the best travel planners and experience makers in the industry. As she puts it herself, she has ‘thoroughly vetted’ them all and only endorses a travel expert if she would use them for her own vacation. There is no one more qualified than Wendy to curate the WOW List!

Latin Excursions on the 2018 WOW List

We are thrilled to feature on Wendy Perrin’s WOW List 2018, as her trusted travel planner for Colombia, Ecuador and Panama. While of course we at Latin Excursions specialize in destinations across South America–from the Galapagos to Patagonia, Cuba to Peru–Wendy’s experience of us is in these three particular countries; for now anyway! Wendy understands that Eric’s multicultural background (his father is American, his mother is Ecuadorian), his extensive travel experience from a young age, and his split bases in Miami and Ecuador, all play a huge part in his flair for customizing tours in Latin America. This is coupled with Eric’s passion for authentic travel experiences, looking beyond the cookie cutter destinations and digging deeper into local culture. It is a great privilege that our philosophy at Latin Excursions is recognized by such a prestigious and credible travel journalist like Wendy, as it really is our passion to create totally unique trips across Latin America.

Read Wendy Perrin’s verdict on Latin Excursions as her trusted travel expert:

Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama
Eric Sheets, Latin Excursions
“Eric has lived in six Latin American countries—he was exposed to the region from an early age by his globetrotting American father and Ecuadorian mother—and today he’s based in Miami and Ecuador, arranging everything from custom itineraries that highlight Colombia’s different local cultures to family reunions, exotic honeymoons, and even villa vacations, not only in Colombia but also in neighboring countries Panama and Ecuador. Travelers have their own private guide and vehicle—to allow maximum spontaneity and flexibility, not to mention rare access to places most travelers don’t see—and stay in top-drawer hotels that share Eric’s commitment to sustainability.”
Trips start at $800 per day for two travelers.

Click here to read Wendy Perrin’s WOW List 2018.

WENDY PERRIN – SAVING THE WORLD FROM MEDIOCRE TRIPS
Town&Country magazine calls Wendy “The Travel Whisperer” who will take you “as close as you can get to vacation perfection.” Condé Nast Traveler praises “The Wizardry of Wendy” and her “encyclopedic knowledge of all things travel.” After 25 years at the pinnacle of travel journalism, Wendy has amassed comprehensive knowledge of the world’s best travel solutions and fixers. She wants to share this knowledge and help people have the best trips possible.

Prior to founding WendyPerrin.com, she was the Director of Consumer News and Digital Community at Condé Nast Traveler, where she wrote her practical advice column, The Perrin Report, for 17 years and her award-winning blog, The Perrin Post, for eight years. She started out long ago as the magazine’s Ombudsman (consumer advocate), investigating reader complaints about travel companies and helping wronged travelers get compensation, and that led to her book Wendy Perrin’s Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know (Fodor’s).

Wendy is also TripAdvisor’s first-ever Travel Advocate, advising its more than 315 million monthly visitors—the world’s largest travel community. She has been a keynote speaker at conferences worldwide, on cruise ships, at Harvard University, and at the United Nations. Television appearances include The Today Show, Good Morning America, and many programs on CNN. She has won the Travel Journalist of the Year award, earned a Lowell Thomas award for investigative journalism, and been a finalist for a National Magazine Award—the magazine industry’s most prestigious editorial honor. She graduated cum laude from Harvard, where she majored in History and Literature.

Galapagos Land & Cruise Tour – Santa Cruz II

Travel aboard the

Santa Cruz II

Combining a land-based adventure and Galapagos cruise in one trip gives you the best of both worlds, with this itinerary being both varied and full of archipelago highlights. So, start your Galapagos Island adventure tour as you mean to go on with VIP service on arrival, before navigating emerald seas towards Santa Cruz Island. Basing yourself at the Magic Galapagos Tented Camp on Santa Cruz, you’ll enjoy nature walks, boat tours, delectable cuisine and dramatic ancient landscapes across various central islands, over two days that pack in more than you might have imagined. Then, a Galapagos Island tour to remember, aboard the supremely comfortable Santa Cruz II. This 50-cabin boat, which accommodates up to 90 people across its five decks, is extremely well-equipped with two Jacuzzis, a sun terrace, lounge bars and restaurants, not to mention their expert naturalist guides. They will be on hand as you explore the wonders and wildlife of Santa Fe Island, San Cristobal, Espanola, North Seymour and South Plazas Islands; all completely different and equally unique. Throughout, expect Galapagos multisport tours encompassing snorkeling, deserted beaches, glass bottom boat rides and panga excursions around the coast, all the while on the lookout for the countless native species which make the Galapagos Islands so special.

Visit our Ecuador Page
to learn a bit about Ecuador

Visit our Galapagos Page
to learn a bit about Galapagos

Itinerary

Day1

baltra (1)

Day1

ARRIVAL BALTRA ISLAND / SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

Your Galapagos Island adventure begins as soon as you arrive in the archipelago. Start by transiting through a VIP lounge within Baltra Island Airport, the guides assisting with any luggage, before taking to a stand-up paddle board or canoe, crossing the crystalline Itabaca Channel; a popular waterway separating the islands of Baltra and Santa Cruz. With luck, you may spot the famous Blue-footed Boobies, Reef Sharks, Pelicans and maybe even a Sea Lion colony.

Upon landing, your next stop is a private reserve which surrounds the rustic Magic Galapagos Tented Camp, just outside the national park itself and home for the next two nights. Here, strap on your walking boots and hit the trails, searching for resident Giant Tortoises before nightfall, when starlit skies come blissfully into view.

Overnight Magic Galapagos Tented Camp

Meals L,D

Day2

Sea-Lions-on-Santa-Fe-Island

Day2

NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND / BACHAS BEACH / SOUTH PLAZAS ISLAND / SANTA FE ISLAND / BARTOLOME ISLAND / SULLIVAN BAY

Touring these seas on an iconic boat trip is one of the best ways to explore the Galapagos Islands, and the Magic Camp has access to its own private yacht. This means that–depending on which day of the week you visit–the natural wonders of North Seymour Island, Bachas Beach, South Plazas Island, Santa Fe Island, Bartolome Island and Sullivan Bay are all within easy reach and ready to be explored.

If visiting North Seymour Island and Bachas Beach, expect families of Frigate Birds, Herons and Marine Iguanas, even Tiger Sharks prowling the shore. South Plazas is known for its huge populations of Land Iguanas and nesting Seabirds, giant cacti and a rocky coastline, while Santa Fe Island is where abundant Sea Lion colonies line heavenly stretches of golden beach. Lastly, the volcanic hills and lava fields of Bartolome and Sullivan Bay are an otherworldly sight indeed, before heading back to the Magic Galapagos Tented Camp.

Overnight Magic Galapagos Tented Camp

Meals B,L,D

Day3

gemelos

Day3

LOS GEMELOS CRATERS / MOSQUERA ISLET

Before the next stage of your combined Galapagos land and sea adventure, there is a chance for one more natural wonder. Hike through a Scalesia forest, frequented by Darwin’s Finches, to reach the Los Gemelos craters: two colossal sinkholes measuring up to 1,300ft across and 2,300ft deep, filled with lush foliage. Then, gradually retrace the trail back and prepare to board the Santa Cruz II cruise vessel.

Having been welcomed by the crew and treated to a delicious lunch, your Galapagos cruise begins, as the captain makes way for the soft sands of Mosquera Islet. This enchanting stretch of beach, peppered with occasional volcanic rocks, is best known for its families of Sea Lions and Sally Lightfoot Crabs, as can be seen while wandering the bay or snorkeling offshore.

Overnight Santa Cruz II

Meals B,L,D

Day4

san-cristobal

Day4

SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND

This morning, moor up near Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal Island, the capital of the Galapagos Province, and transfer to Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve in the south-east. Cerro Colorado is an inspirational project to protect Giant Galapagos Tortoises and allow them to thrive in their natural habitat, as the reserve organically weaves its way into the landscape. So, in addition to the Tortoises, you can expect to see all manner of birdlife, rare plants and native species such as the San Cristobal Mockingbird and San Cristobal Lava Lizard.

Next, sail east to one of the most unforgettable Galapagos Island experiences, taking the rare opportunity to spot Red-footed, Blue-footed and Nazca Boobies all occupying the same natural habitat. This all takes place while hiking the rugged, red and green hued terrain of Punta Pitt, still on San Cristobal Island.

Overnight Santa Cruz II

Meals B,L,D

Day5

santa-fe

Day5

SANTA FE ISLAND / SOUTH PLAZAS ISLAND

The first stop on today’s Galapagos Island tour is Santa Fe Island, a sandy haven of iconic coastline, turquoise seas and lounging Sea Lions. Having anchored nearby and disembarked, there’ll be plenty of walking trails and wildlife observation spots to enjoy. Every walking route here is a joy, so be sure to make the most of them this morning, as well as spending time on the beach, kayaking or snorkeling.

Having conquered Santa Fe, the diversity of your Galapagos cruise continues on South Plazas Island. Nicknamed as the ‘Red Island’, this rocky, volcanic expanse is instantly recognizable thanks to the abundance of scarlet-hued sesuvium plants. The lands of South Plazas are also characterized by a healthy population of cacti, who are joined by a huge colony of Land Iguanas, over a thousand Sea Lions, Red-billed Tropicbirds and Swallow-tailed Gulls.

Overnight Santa Cruz II

Meals B,L,D

Day6

sta-cruz

Day6

SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

Begin the day 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.

Overnight Santa Cruz II

Meals B,L,D

Days7

espanola

Day7

ESPANOLA ISLAND

Your voyage on the Santa Cruz II continues in fine fashion, 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 tour.

Overnight Santa Cruz II

Meals B,L,D

Day8

North-seymour-islandjpg

Day8

EDEN ISLET / NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND

Looping back to Santa Cruz once more this morning, gear up for a panga boat ride to Eden Islet, a pretty little outcrop where one last chance to spot Blue-footed Boobies beckons. The shoreline of Eden is best admired from the panga or kayak, before jumping in to snorkel with the abundant marine life who reside here, including Reef Sharks and countless Dreamfish.

Next up is North Seymour Island. First with a hike through forests of Palo Santo trees–a favorite nesting place for Blue-footed Boobies–before following coastal trails to view Brown Pelicans, Frigate Birds and Yellow Land Iguanas in their natural habitat. To cool off, swap your walking boots for flippers as you dive into the sea and swim with Rays, White-tipped Reef Sharks and schools of colorful King Angelfish, among many others.

Overnight Santa Cruz II

Meals B,L,D

Days9

baltra

Day9

BALTRA ISLAND / FLIGHT HOME

As your Galapagos Island tour draws to a close, it’s farewell to the Santa Cruz crew. Your guides will escort you to the airport and assist with any luggage, in plenty of time for your onward flight.

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.

Ecuador Wildlife Cruise: Amazon and Galapagos Islands

Travel aboard the

The Anakonda Amazon Vessel &
The Galapagos Legend

This unique Ecuador itinerary is not only a must-do tour for wildlife lovers, but anyone keen to combine two of the best experiences in South America: a luxury Amazon river cruise and voyage around the Galapagos Islands. Ecuador is home to thousands of native and endemic species in each of its varied ecosystems, as seen during this trip. Begin aboard the boutique Anakonda Amazon river cruise, a popular and luxurious 40-guest boat offering the chance to swim in lakes teeming with Piranhas, take early morning birdwatching walks, spot monkeys and Pink River Dolphins during kayaking trips, and listen to the sounds of the jungle at night. Then, after a few days exploring the highlights of Quito, swap the Amazon River for open seas, as you join the comfortable, well-equipped Legend (accommodating up to 100 passengers) for an unforgettable Galapagos Islands cruise. Along the way, visit remote regions in the south-west of the archipelago on San Cristobal and Espanola Islands, as well as some more well-known highlights such as the Charles Darwin Research Center, Post Office Bay and the Santa Cruz Highlands. Throughout this Galapagos Island cruise, cameras at the ready for Sea Lions; Frigate Birds; Blue-footed and Nazca Boobies; Reef Sharks, Giant Galapagos Tortoises; Sea Turtles; Rays; Iguanas and much more besides.

Visit our Ecuador Page
to learn a bit about Ecuador

Visit our Galapagos Page
to learn a bit about Galapagos

Itinerary

Day1

New-8-2016-Amazon-River-Landscape---High-Resolution

Day1

ARRIVE / QUITO / COCA / NAPO RIVER

An exciting start to your Galapagos and Ecuador Amazon river cruise awaits, as you fly from Quito to the port city of Coca, where you board a boat and get an early taste for life in the rainforest. Set off in the direction of the luxurious Anakonda Amazon, a boutique ship which is tailormade for the mightiest river setting of them all. Along the way, you pass native wildlife including monkeys, lizards or onlooking River Turtles, before arriving at the Anakonda itself.

The welcome party once on-deck includes the Anakonda’s expert guides, some early orientation and refreshments. Then, simply enjoying the sounds, sights and smells of the jungle on the ship’s sundeck, an unforgettable sunset, mouthwatering meal and nighttime wildlife walk.

Overnight Anakonda

Meals D

Day2

Napo-Wildlife-Lodge---Heading-deeper-into-the-jungle

Day2

PANACOCHA BIOLOGICAL CORRIDOR

Nestled between the Yasuni National Park and Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve, today’s destination–the Panayacu River Delta and Panacocha Lake–is like a mini Amazon biosphere in its own right; and provides plenty of fun along the way. Begin with a gentle cruise downstream in search of Squirrel Monkeys, River Turtles and, with any luck, a glimpse of the famous Pink River Dolphins which are known to visit these waters.

Eventually, arrive at Panacocha or ‘Piranha’ Lake, picturesque and perfectly suitable for swimming, though be warned it is called Piranha Lake for a reason and this is one of their favorite hangouts! Whether taking a dip in the lake or not, keep an eye open for White Caiman, giant Catfish and rare Butterflies too.

Overnight Anakonda

Meals B,L,D

Day3

Copy-of-Napo-Wildlife-Center-4

Day3

WESTERN AMAZON RAINFOREST

Day three of your luxury cruise takes in one of the most iconic Amazon experiences of them all, the so-called Parrot Clay Licks of Western Amazonia, your first outing after breakfast. A kaleidoscope of color, this natural spectacle is a joy as hundreds of Parrots, Parakeets and Macaws line the riverbank, attracted by a build-up of minerals and salts which are then exposed every day.

Next up is the Sani Warmi Kichwa Interpretation Center, where you can learn a little of the Amazon Rainforest’s cultural heritage, the traditions, daily life and long-held customs of native jungle inhabitants courtesy of a women’s cooperative who help run the institution. Then, another great Amazon highlight, the Anangu Observation Tower; a 36-meter-tall canopy lookout point for views that are nothing short of breathtaking.

Overnight Anakonda

Meals B,L,D

Day4

Anakonda-pic-1

Day4

Coca / Quito

This morning, disembark the Anakonda and transfer to the airport in time for your flight to Quito, ready for an afternoon at leisure to explore the highlights of Ecuador’s capital at your own pace.
Having checked into your hotel, why not visit the real-life line of the equator for a fun-filled afternoon? Or perhaps the beautifully ornate Compania de Jesus Church, Plaza Grande or Basilica del Voto Nacional, for something more cultural. There are artisan food markets to enjoy, bohemian neighborhoods, galleries and museums aplenty, though if you are simply after a few more fantastic photographs then take the Teleferico sky tram to the top of Cruz Loma, hike a little, and prepare for sublime panoramic views of Quito.

Overnight Swissotel

Meals B

Day5

16QUITO

Day5

WALKING TOUR OF QUITO

Spend the morning at leisure before an afternoon private walking tour of Quito’s Old Town, providing an interesting exploration of Ecuador’s capital, ahead of tomorrow’s onward journey to the Galapagos Islands. The city’s historical center has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1978; and it’s not hard to see why, with its exquisite colonial architecture comprising sublime churches, the Cathedral, Presidential Palace and Municipal Building, standing proud along cobblestone streets and the grand Independence Square. The pastel-hued facades with iron-wrought balconies only add to its charm, while a scattering of museums and galleries invite you to learn more about the city’s art, history and culture, such as the prestigious El Alabado Museum of Pre-Columbian Art.

Overnight Swissotel

Meals B/p>

Day6

San_Cristobal

Day6

QUITO / SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND

The next exciting stage of your journey begins on day six with a two-hour flight from Quito to San Cristobal Island, following in the footsteps of Charles Darwin who strode ashore here on his famous voyage to the archipelago in 1835. At the airport, your guide assists with any belongings, whisking you off to the pier and the awaiting Legend vessel for boarding: the beginning of your Galapagos islands cruise.

First, a worthy introduction comes with a visit to the Interpretation Center, where the natural and human history of the Galapagos is vibrantly on show, and later, with a hike up Cerro Tijeretas, or ‘Frigate Bird Hill’. As the name suggests, these verdant cliffs are a popular nesting site for both the Great and Magnificent species of Frigate.

Overnight Galapagos Legend

Meals B,D

Days7

ESPANOLA

Day7

ESPANOLA ISLAND

Having sailed south overnight from San Cristobal, wake up in your luxurious cabin and prepare for the many wildlife highlights that await you on Espanola Island, beginning 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 afternoon, the Espanola experience continues at Punta Suarez, looking 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.

Overnight Galapagos Legend

Meals B,L,D

Day8

Floreana---GalapagosCormorantIguana

Day8

FLOREANA ISLAND / CHAMPION ISLET

Despite its small size, Floreana has a fascinating cultural history. It has served as a penal colony, pirates hangout, and was the first Galapagos island to be colonized in 1832. It’s also home to an 18th century whalers post office, which you’ll discover this morning at Post Office Bay. Here, you can still pop a postcard in the rum barrel box, and it will find its way home!

From Post Office Bay to Cormorant Point, your guide takes you to two contrasting beaches on Floreana Island: the green volcanic olivine crystals of Papakolea, and Flour Beach, so-called for its powdery white sands. Keep an eye out for Flamingos, Pintails, Stilts and other wading birds that frequent a lagoon sandwiched between these two bays, before visiting Champion Islet for a spot of snorkeling.

Overnight Galapagos Legend

Meals B,L,D

Day9

santa-cruz-Dragon-Hill

Day9

SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

Begin the day with a visit to the all-important Charles Darwin Research Center at Puerto Ayora, where exciting exhibits and interactive displays go together with real-life conservation projects, including Giant Tortoise breeding and rehabilitation programs. Witness first-hand the legacy left on the Galapagos Islands by Charles Darwin, then, learn more about these gentle creatures in the Wild Tortoise Reserve up in the highlands of Santa Cruz.

After lunch, take to the water once more while exploring the rich seas off Ballena Bay in western Santa Cruz, either aboard a panga boat, kayaking or snorkeling the shores. Among the many fantastic Galapagos snorkeling sites, Bellena Bay is particularly impressive thanks to its abundance of species, including King Angel, Sturgeon and Parrotfish, Rays, Sharks and Turtles.

Overnight Galapagos Legend

Meals B,L,D

Day10

Santa-Cruz-Highlands

Day10

SANTA CRUZ ISLAND / BALTRA ISLAND / FLIGHT HOME

As your Galapagos Island cruise draws to a close, there is still one last chance to witness a little more wildlife with a panga boat ride down the Itabaca Channel, a popular waterway separating Baltra and Santa Cruz.

Then, 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.

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.

Galapagos Adventure Tour: Santa Cruz, Floreana & Isabela

Travel aboard the

Overview

Visiting the Galapagos archipelago is always a privilege and a joy, even more so on this island hopping Galapagos adventure tour. Not only does this week-long trip take in the natural wonders of four central/western islands (Santa Cruz, Bartolome, Floreana and Isabela), but affords you enough time on each to get to know them and their wildlife intimately, with stays at the Magic Galapagos Tented Camp, Floreana Lava Lodge, and Isamar Hotel. Along the way, you’re in the safe hands of expert naturalist guides who ensure that nothing is missed, and the experiences are varied: snorkeling, kayaking, remote walking trails, volcanoes, and first-hand encounters with native Galapagos species. You are also treated to some of the most memorable sunsets, extreme landscapes and pristine beaches across the whole archipelago, making this Galapagos active tour just too good to miss.

Visit our Galapagos page
to learn a bit about Galapagos

Itinerary

Day1

baltra-SC

Day1

ARRIVAL ON BALTRA ISLAND / SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

Your Galapagos active adventure begins as soon as you arrive in the archipelago. Start by transiting through a VIP lounge within Baltra Island Airport, the guides assisting with any luggage, before taking to a stand-up paddle board or canoe, crossing the crystalline Itabaca Channel; a popular waterway separating the islands of Baltra and Santa Cruz. With luck, you may spot the famous Blue-footed Boobies, Reef Sharks, Pelicans and maybe even a Sea Lion colony.

Upon landing, your next stop is a private reserve which surrounds the rustic Magic Galapagos Tented Camp, just outside the national park itself and home for the next two nights. Here, strap on your walking boots and hit the trails, searching for resident Giant Tortoises before nightfall, when starlit skies come blissfully into view.

Overnight Magic Galapagos Tented Camp or Similar

Meals B,L,D

Day2

Bartolome-Island

Day2

BARTOLOME ISLAND / SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

Today, embark on a grand tour of Bartolome Island; its lookout spots and rugged coastline. First, having crossed the Itabaca Channel and moored up, take to the island’s wooden walkways and begin your ascent to one of the best viewpoints in the Galapagos, affording 360-degree panoramas of the wider archipelago.

This then makes a subsequent Zodiac boat ride all the more enjoyable, as you glide past families of Galapagos Penguins, Herons and Hawks, before passing the golden beaches of Pinnacle Rock, home to a large Sea Lion Colony. The waters also teem with marine life, making them perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving, which you get to do just off the adjacent ancient lava fields of Sullivan Bay; one of the real-life Galapagos highlights.

Overnight Magic Galapagos Tented Camp or Similar

Meals B,L,D

Day3

isla_floreana_d2

Day3

Floreana Island

An early start and scenic speedboat navigation is well worth it this morning, departing Magic Galapagos Camp in the direction of Floreana Island; the least populated of all the Galapagos. On arrival, check into Lava Lodge and either walk, kayak or paddle-board to nearby Black Beach, strolling the sands, maybe working up an appetite with some snorkeling or paying a visit to the hidden caves once used by 19th century pirates.

Lunch at a local restaurant is a just reward, before visiting Sea Lions at La Loberia. This white sand bay is a good opportunity to paddle, kayak or snorkel once more, on the lookout for tropical fish and Sea Turtles. As the sun begins to set, journey back to the lodge for a meal under the stars, anticipating more Galapagos active adventures tomorrow.

Overnight Floreana Lava Lodge or similar

Meals B,L,D

Day4

isla_floreana

Day4

FLOREANA ISLAND

Today is best spent exploring the many hidden treasures of Floreana and learning of its folkloric tales in the company of an expert guide. Wander remote wildlife trails, seeking out birdlife and endemic plant species, hearing plenty of myth and hearsay surrounding the history of Floreana Island, which only adds to its allure. Make for the Floreana Highlands and Asilo de la Paz or ‘Peace Haven’, a scenic spot surrounded by Scalesia Trees and Giant Galapagos Tortoises–who prefer the highland conditions–as well as Frigate Birds and an endemic snail population.

After lunch, the afternoon can be spent completely at leisure, either returning to La Loberia, finding your own secluded spot, visiting the Galapagos’ first ever post office or simply unwinding at the lodge.

Overnight Floreana Lava Lodge or Similar

Meals B,L,D

Day5

isabela-isl

Day5

Isabela Island

Today is best spent exploring the many hidden treasures of Floreana and learning of its folkloric tales in the company of an expert guide. Wander remote wildlife trails, seeking out birdlife and endemic plant species, hearing plenty of myth and hearsay surrounding the history of Floreana Island, which only adds to its allure. Make for the Floreana Highlands and Asilo de la Paz or ‘Peace Haven’, a scenic spot surrounded by Scalesia Trees and Giant Galapagos Tortoises–who prefer the highland conditions–as well as Frigate Birds and an endemic snail population.

After lunch, the afternoon can be spent completely at leisure, either returning to La Loberia, finding your own secluded spot, visiting the Galapagos’ first ever post office or simply unwinding at the lodge.

Overnight Floreana Lava Lodge or Similar

Meals B,L,D

Day6

IsabelaSunset

Day6

ISABELA ISLAND

Hiking the trails which crisscross Isabela is one of the best ways to uncover the island’s many natural treasures. Set off after breakfast and head in the direction of Sierra Negra Volcano, an otherworldly terrain of undulating lava fields and scorched soil leading to the second largest volcanic crater on earth, a full six miles wide. Along the way, you might spot Lizards, Hawks and Finches.

Next, it’s onwards to Volcan Chico. The lunar-like landscapes continue as you hike, with jagged, red-hued rock formations lining the way; a truly atmospheric Galapagos experience. On arrival at Volcan Chico, stop for a picnic ‘like no other’ with Fernandina, Pinzon and Santa Cruz Islands all visible as you eat, before one final stop on the golden sand beaches of Puerto Villamil; a just reward.

Overnight Isamar Hotel or Similar

Meals B,L,D

Day7

Rainbow over the sea off the coast of the Galapagos Islands, Las Bachas beach

Day7

BALTRA AIRPORT

As your Galapagos active tour draws to a close, why not enjoy one last Pacific Ocean sunrise before taking the speedboat first to Santa Cruz and later Baltra, in time for a private airport transfer and your onward journey, or home.

Meals B

NOTE: 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.

Galapagos Cruise and Land Tour Coral I & II

Travel aboard the

The Coral I Or Coral II

Combining a land-based adventure and Galapagos cruise in one trip gives you the best of both worlds, with this itinerary being both varied and full of archipelago highlights. So, start your Galapagos Island adventure tour as you mean to go on with VIP service on arrival, before navigating emerald seas towards Santa Cruz Island. Basing yourself at the Magic Galapagos Tented Camp on Santa Cruz, you’ll enjoy nature walks, boat tours, delectable cuisine and dramatic ancient landscapes across various central islands, over two days that pack in more than you might have imagined. Then, a Galapagos Island tour to remember, aboard the supremely comfortable Santa Cruz II. This 50-cabin boat, which accommodates up to 90 people across its five decks, is extremely well-equipped with two Jacuzzis, a sun terrace, lounge bars and restaurants, not to mention their expert naturalist guides. They will be on hand as you explore the wonders and wildlife of Santa Fe Island, San Cristobal, Espanola, North Seymour and South Plazas Islands; all completely different and equally unique. Throughout, expect Galapagos multisport tours encompassing snorkeling, deserted beaches, glass bottom boat rides and panga excursions around the coast, all the while on the lookout for the countless native species which make the Galapagos Islands so special.

Visit our Ecuador Page
to learn a bit about Ecuador

Visit our Galapagos Page
to learn a bit about Galapagos

Itinerary

Day1

baltra-Ithabaca-canal-copy

Day1

ARRIVAL BALTRA ISLAND / SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

Your Galapagos Island adventure begins as soon as you arrive in the archipelago. Start by transiting through a VIP lounge within Baltra Island Airport, the guides assisting with any luggage, before taking to a stand-up paddle board or canoe, crossing the crystalline Itabaca Channel; a popular waterway separating the islands of Baltra and Santa Cruz. With luck, you may spot the famous Blue-footed Boobies, Reef Sharks, Pelicans and maybe even a Sea Lion colony.

Upon landing, your next stop is a private reserve which surrounds the rustic Magic Galapagos Tented Camp, just outside the national park itself and home for the next two nights. Here, strap on your walking boots and hit the trails, searching for resident Giant Tortoises before nightfall, when starlit skies come blissfully into view.

Overnight Magic Galapagos Tented Camp

Meals L,D

Day2

Napo-Wildlife-Lodge---Heading-deeper-into-the-jungle

Day2

OPTIONAL NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND / BACHAS BEACH / SOUTH PLAZAS ISLAND / SANTA FE ISLAND / BARTOLOME ISLAND / SULLIVAN BAY

Touring these seas on an iconic boat trip is one of the best ways to explore the Galapagos Islands, and the Magic Camp has access to its own private yacht. This means that–depending on which day of the week you visit–the natural wonders of North Seymour Island, Bachas Beach, South Plazas Island, Santa Fe Island, Bartolome Island and Sullivan Bay are all within easy reach and ready to be explored.

If visiting North Seymour Island and Bachas Beach, expect families of Frigate Birds, Herons and Marine Iguanas, even Tiger Sharks prowling the shore. South Plazas is known for its huge populations of Land Iguanas and nesting Seabirds, giant cacti and a rocky coastline, while Santa Fe Island is where abundant Sea Lion colonies line heavenly stretches of golden beach. Lastly, the volcanic hills and lava fields of Bartolome and Sullivan Bay are an otherworldly sight indeed, before heading back to the Magic Galapagos Tented Camp.

Overnight Magic Galapagos Tented Camp

Meals B,L,D

Day3

sta cruz1

Day3

SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

Santa Cruz is one of the most diverse and intriguing of all the Galapagos Islands, so is well worth spending the extra time to uncover its many treasures. Begin the day with a walk or kayak along the paradise-like Tortuga Bay, an expanse of chalk-white sands, driftwood and sunbathing Iguanas. Next, a visit to the all-important Charles Darwin Research Center, where exciting exhibits and interactive displays go together with real-life conservation projects, including Giant Tortoise breeding and rehabilitation programs. Finally, for anyone keen to pick up last-minute Galapagos souvenirs or simply see some expert local craftsmanship in action, a nearby wooden workshop is the place to do it.

Overnight Magic Galapagos Tented Camp

Meals B,L,D

Day4

los gemelos

Day4

LOS GEMELOS CRATERS / SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND

Before being taken to San Cristobal Island for your Galapagos cruise, the second half of this Galapagos land and sea package, there is one last natural wonder to explore on Santa Cruz: the colossal sinkhole craters of Los Gemelos. Hike through a Scalesia forest to reach these caverns, measuring up to 1,300ft across and 2,300ft deep and filled with lush foliage, before gradually retracing the trail towards your awaiting transfer. The Coral I and Coral II luxury yachts will be moored up on San Cristobal, a short boat ride away.

From the pier it’s time for boarding, introductions with the crew and an early visit to 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.

Overnight Coral I or Coral II

Meals B,L,D

Day5

san-cristobal1-2

Day5

SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND

This morning, navigate to the north of San Cristobal Island for a wet landing near Cerro Brujo or ‘Witches Hill’. These imposing black rock cliffs, made predominantly of petrified lava flows, are home to a wide range of species including Black-necked Stilts, Ruddy Turnstones, Whimbrels, Great Blue Herons and Sea Lions. Cerro Brujo is best explored from all angles, discovering the coast on a panga boat ride, snorkeling, then walking along the bay in search of a scenic viewpoint.

Next, sail east to one of the most unforgettable Galapagos Island experiences, taking the rare opportunity to spot Red-footed, Blue-footed and Nazca Boobies all occupying the same natural habitat. This all takes place while hiking the rugged, red and green hued terrain of Punta Pitt, still on San Cristobal Island.

Overnight Overnight Coral I or Coral II

Meals B,L,D/p>

Day6

EspanolaBlowhole

Day6

ESPANOLA ISLAND

Your voyage on the Coral continues in fine fashion, courtesy of the many nature and wildlife highlights that await 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 and land tour.

Overnight Coral I or Coral II

Meals B,L,D

Days7

floreana

Day7

FLOREANA ISLAND / CHAMPION ISLAND

From the postcard bays of Espanola Island to Cormorant Point on Floreana Island, south of Santa Cruz. There are two contrasting beaches here: Papakolea, which appears green in color due to its composition of volcanic olivine crystals, and Flour Beach, so-called for its powdery white sands. Keep an eye out for the Flamingos, Pintails, Stilts and other wading birds here, before snorkeling at the foot of Devil’s Crown and Champion Islet, swimming with reef fish, Giant Mantas and Dolphins.

After lunch comes Post Office Bay, once a pirate’s hangout and home to an 18th century whalers post office, where you can still pop a postcard in the rum barrel box and it will find its way home to this day! Finally, the Floreana Highlands and Asilo de la Paz or ‘Peace Haven’, a scenic spot surrounded by Scalesia Trees and Giant Galapagos Tortoises, Frigate Birds and an endemic snail population.

Overnight Coral I or Coral II

Meals B,L,D

Day8

gps landscape

Day8

SANTA CRUZ ISLAND / BALTRA ISLAND / FLIGHT HOME

Despite its small size, Floreana has a fascinating cultural history. It has served as a penal colony, pirates hangout, and was the first Galapagos island to be colonized in 1832. It’s also home to an 18th century whalers post office, which you’ll discover this morning at Post Office Bay. Here, you can still pop a postcard in the rum barrel box, and it will find its way home!

From Post Office Bay to Cormorant Point, your guide takes you to two contrasting beaches on Floreana Island: the green volcanic olivine crystals of Papakolea, and Flour Beach, so-called for its powdery white sands. Keep an eye out for Flamingos, Pintails, Stilts and other wading birds that frequent a lagoon sandwiched between these two bays, before visiting Champion Islet for a spot of snorkeling.

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.

Ecuador Cultural Highlights Tour and Galapagos Cruise

Travel aboard the

The Galapagos Legend

To tour Ecuador and visit the Galapagos in one spectacular vacation is always going to be a unique and memorable experience, and this itinerary is no exception. The tour takes in the High Andean beauty of Riobamba, Cuenca and the Las Cajas National Park, with scenic drives and one of the most memorable train journeys in the world to look forward to in between. There are colonial towns to visit, local markets to pick up souvenirs and varied landscapes that set the scene throughout your Ecuador and Galapagos adventure. Then, a day exploring the highlights of Guayaquil, swap the Ecuadorian countryside for open seas, as you join the comfortable, well-equipped Galapagos Legend Cruise Boat (accommodating up to 100 passengers) for an unforgettable exploration. Along the way, visit remote regions in the south-west of the Galapagos Archipelago on San Cristobal and Espanola Islands, as well as some more well-known highlights such as the Charles Darwin Research Center, Post Office Bay and the Santa Cruz Highlands. Throughout, cameras at the ready for Sea Lions, Frigate Birds, Blue-footed and Nazca Boobies, Reef Sharks, Giant Galapagos Tortoises, Sea Turtles, Rays, Iguanas and much more besides.

Visit our Ecuador Page
to learn a bit about Ecuador

Visit our Galapagos Page
to learn a bit about Galapagos

Itinerary

Day1

quito`

Day1

ARRIVE / QUITO / RIOBAMBA

Touchdown in Quito to begin your Ecuador and Galapagos vacation in style, where a guide is waiting at the airport for a private vehicle transfer to Riobamba, a picturesque colonial town at the foot of Chimborazo Volcano. The journey of roughly 130 miles takes between three and four hours, depending on how many times you decide to stop for photographs, passing natural wonders such as the Cotopaxi Volcano, Refugio de Vida Silvestre Pasochoa and the rolling highlands of central Ecuador.

Depending on the exact time of your inbound flight, you may not have too long to explore the main attractions of Riobamba on arrival. However, the journey south will be scenic and–time permitting–the Museum of Religious Art, Cathedral and central square of Parque Maldonado are all well worth a visit.

Overnight Hacienda Abraspungo

Meals B,L,D

Day2

00_Alausi

Day2

ALAUSI / CUENCA

Today is a day of travel that covers nearly 200 miles of fascinating sights, as the journey south continues towards Cuenca, a 16th century colonial town. Departing your Riobamba hotel after breakfast, the drive begins by passing rural settlements and beautiful Ecuadorian landscapes, rivers and rolling hills. Then, reach Alausi Train Station; the last stop on a line-built in 1902 that leads to the famous ‘Devil’s Nose’ Canyon. Today, this High Andean railway is one of the most scenic train rides on earth, a popular tourist attraction and highlight of any vacation to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.

Board the train at Alausi and enjoy the trip of a lifetime, as each ascent and switchback provide more and more spectacular views, snaking your way through the ravine and valley below. After this jaw-dropping Devil’s Nose journey, continue towards Cuenca in your private vehicle and on arrival, check into the hotel, relax and enjoy one of Ecuador’s best preserved colonial cities.

Overnight Hotel Santa Lucia

Meals B,L

Day3

CuencaTomebambaRiver

Day3

cuenca

A walking tour of Cuenca is a fantastic way to understand and appreciate this culturally significant Ecuadorian city, in the company of an expert local guide. Cuenca’s historic center was established as a Spanish colonial settlement in the year 1557 and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, characterized by its ornate sky-blue domes, columned buildings and wrought iron balconies.

As you pass Cuenca’s terracotta tiled roofs, quaint plazas and parks, cobblestone streets and churches, your private guide will take you to the city’s main attractions. These include the Flower Market, Cathedral, the Inca ruins of Pumapungo, Calderon Park, the Old Church of Cuenca as well as the Museums of Modern and Religious Art; all must see sites before an afternoon at leisure in Cuenca Old Town.

Overnight Mansion Alcazar

Meals B,L

Day4

gualaceo

Day4

GUALACEO / CHORDELEG

The Ecuadorian towns of Gualaceo and Chordeleg, today’s two stops, offer a side of authentic daily culture that not many visiting tourists will have chance to see. Both are famous for their popular artisan craft markets and setting, dissected as they are by a pretty river and surrounded by High Andean hills. Here, all manner of handmade jewelry, traditional shawls, pottery, iconic Panama hats, woodcarvings and locally-inspired artworks can be purchased, not to mention kaleidoscopic fruit and veg stalls bursting with fresh produce.

Depending on exactly which day of the week you arrive, there will always be something to see and do, whether picking up souvenirs, tucking into the regional cuisine of slow-roasted pork or enjoying a coffee in one of the town’s lovely parks.

Overnight Mansion Alcazar

Meals B,L

Day5

cajas

Day5

EL CAJAS NATIONAL PARK

As you make your way south-west to Guayaquil, today’s journey of 130 scenic miles sees you stop at El Cajas National Park en route. With its 200 glistening high elevation lakes and 70,000 acres of mountainous terrain, the varied landscapes and many species encountered on your Ecuador and Galapagos cruise tour continues.

This area is renowned as one of the top hiking destinations in Ecuador, thanks to its myriad trekking trails, streams and mix of altitudes (ranging from 300 m to 4500 m above sea level). In turn, they attract a great variety of Hummingbirds, Partridges, Giant Condors and Hawks, Spectacle Bears, White-tail Deer, even Tapirs and Llamas, as well as Orchids and Bromeliads peppering the tundra. So, having enjoyed a day in the great outdoors it’s onwards to Guayaquil, staying in a beautiful hacienda just outside of town.

Overnight Hacienda La Danesa

Meals B/p>

Day6

AS-Cerro-Santa-Ana-Guayaquil-latin-excursions

Day6

GUAYAQUIL

Today, explore the port city of Guayaquil. Often referred to as the gateway to the Galapagos, Guayaquil has its own attractions–many of which can be seen during an insightful walking tour. Founded in the 16th century though now an up-and-coming Ecuadorian city, the highlights of Guayaquil range from chic restaurant districts to the historic harbor area which saw turbulent times, piracy and looting.

The exact walking route may vary depending on your interests, but popular sites include the waterfront Park of Rio Guayas Malecon, the recently redeveloped and ever-colorful Las Penas Neighborhood–a declared Cultural Heritage Site of Ecuador–and busy cosmopolitan street of Avenida 9 de Octubre. So too the Cathedral, MAAC Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology, unique Historical Park and the picture postcard hills of Cerro Santa Anna.

Overnight Hacienda La Danesa

Meals B,L

Days7

San-Cristobal-4

Day7

SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND

This morning, prepare for stage two of your Ecuador tour and Galapagos cruise package, with a private transfer to Guayaquil Airport and onward flight to San Cristobal Island, following in the footsteps of Charles Darwin who strode ashore here on his famous 1835 voyage. At the airport, your guide assists with any belongings, whisking you off to the pier and awaiting Galapagos Legend cruise vessel for boarding.

First, a worthy introduction comes with a visit to the informative Interpretation Center nearby, where the natural and human history of the Galapagos is vibrantly on show, and later, with a hike up Cerro Tijeretas, or ‘Frigate Bird Hill’. These verdant cliffs are a popular nesting site for the Great and Magnificent species of Frigate, though also offer nicely elevated views of a tranquil cove below.

Overnight Galapagos Legend

Meals B,D

Day8

EspañolaIs

Day8

ESPANOLA ISLAND

Having sailed south overnight from San Cristobal, wake up in your luxurious cabin and prepare for the many wildlife highlights that await you on Espanola Island, beginning 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 afternoon, the Espanola experience continues at Punta Suarez, looking 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.

Overnight Galapagos Legend

Meals B,L,D

Days9

floreana3

Day9

FLOREANA ISLAND / CHAMPION ISLET

Despite its small size, Floreana has a fascinating cultural history. It has served as a penal colony, pirates hangout, and was the first Galapagos island to be colonized in 1832. It’s also home to an 18th century whalers post office, which you’ll discover this morning at Post Office Bay. Here, you can still pop a postcard in the rum barrel box, and it will find its way home!

From Post Office Bay to Cormorant Point, your guide takes you to two contrasting beaches on Floreana Island: the green volcanic olivine crystals of Papakolea, and Flour Beach, so-called for its powdery white sands. Keep an eye out for Flamingos, Pintails, Stilts and other wading birds that frequent a lagoon sandwiched between these two bays, before visiting Champion Islet for a spot of snorkeling.

Overnight Galapagos Legend

Meals B,L,D

Day10

sta cruz

Day10

SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

Begin the day with a visit to the all-important Charles Darwin Research Center at Puerto Ayora, where exciting exhibits and interactive displays go together with real-life conservation projects, including Giant Tortoise breeding and rehabilitation programs. Witness first-hand the legacy left on the Galapagos Islands by Charles Darwin, then, learn more about these gentle creatures in the Wild Tortoise Reserve up in the highlands of Santa Cruz.

After lunch, take to the water once more while exploring the rich seas off Ballena Bay in western Santa Cruz, either aboard a panga boat, kayaking or snorkeling the shores. Among the many fantastic Galapagos snorkeling sites, Ballena Bay is particularly impressive thanks to its abundance of species, including King Angel, Sturgeon and Parrotfish, Rays, Sharks and Turtles.

Overnight Galapagos Legend

Meals B,L,D

Days11

baltra2

Day9

SANTA CRUZ ISLAND / BALTRA ISLAND / FLIGHT HOME

As your Galapagos Island cruise draws to a close, there is still one last chance to witness a little more wildlife with a panga boat ride down the Itabaca channel, a popular waterway separating the islands of Baltra and Santa Cruz.

Then, 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.

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.

Galapagos Cruises Versus Land-Based Tours

You have made the decision that you want to visit the Galapagos Islands. We understand! It is one of our favorite places in the world! Now, its time to decide between Galapagos cruises or land based tours. Or maybe a little of both! Read on to find out which of these three options would suit you best.

As long-time Galapagos vacation planners, we have created some very engaging Galapagos cruises and tours, personalized itineraries and custom routes. Lets take a look at the different ways you can explore this amazing, one-of-a-kind, bucket list destination

Galapagos Cruises

Cruising on small ships and luxury yachts has long been the popular way to experience the Galapagos. For a long time there just wasn’t much built on the islands themselves to accommodate tourists. Just as Charles Darwin did in 1835, traversing the waters around these magical islands is one of the great travel experiences on the planet. Highlights include:

  • Naturalists on board offering daily programs
  • Opportunity to visit several places during the trip
  • All inclusive meals

There is a myriad of ships and yachts to choose from. You could spend your time reading reviews and studying itineraries. Or, you can enlist the help of an expert who has seen the yachts and taken the trips. All you do is explain what you like to do, be it snorkeling, kayaking, photography, scuba, etc. Like all cruises there is variety in pricing and you can choose to cruise on yachts with as small as 12 total passengers up to small ships that carry 100.

Galapagos Cruise Boat Options

For many years, a Galapagos cruise was the only way to see the natural wonders and countless species that populate the region. It still is the most popular way to visit. Travel planning experts have chosen the cruise partners to work with to ensure you have the best experience possible. The Coral I and Coral II yachts, for example, are delightfully intimate and ideal for exploring the eastern and southern islands of San Cristobal, Espanola and Floreana, among their many available routes that also visit Isabela Island; the largest of all the Galapagos. If looking to uncover the remote wilderness of the western isles in islets such as Fernandina and Santiago, fine vessels including the Reina Silvia and Galapagos Legend operate both long and short journeys. These incorporate rugged coastline, volcanic craters and endless wildlife opportunities as well as a few historic highlights along the way. You can see all of the Galapagos ships right here on this website

The Galapagos Cruise Experience

Galapagos cruises can be arranged for as few as 4 days and as many as 14. You may be kayaking crystalline seas in the morning or enjoying a birdwatching walk, perhaps followed by a chance meeting in the afternoon with Giant Galapagos Tortoises in the Santa Cruz Highlands. Then, whereas one evening can be spent on a sunset Zodiac tour, you might find yourself hiking to a viewpoint the next, or simply enjoying the serenity of your luxury yacht’s observation deck, drink in hand. However you choose to spend each day during your cruise is up to you. But it will be stress free, filled with fun evenings and gourmet cuisine, friendly staff and abundant activities.

Land-based Galapagos Tours

Some people do not enjoy the cruising experience. That doesn’t mean they don’t get to enjoy this destination just as much now. Some of the benefits of choosing a land-based Galapagos experience are:

  • Can be more affordable than cruising
  • Only see the things you want to see and do specific activities
  • Enjoy day trips on the water and to other islands

 

Galapagos Lodges, Hotels and Villas

Like cruising, you have several choices of land based experiences in the Galapagos. One of our personal favorites is the luxurious Galapagos Safari Camp on Santa Cruz Island to be hidden amidst the forest, benefiting from authentic accommodation and stunning views. While here, you will not only feel at one with nature and have numerous expert guides onsite, but can also decide exactly how to spend your time. This is the real advantage of planning a land based visit. You will have the flexibility to enjoy the Galapagos at your pace. Pikaia Lodge and the Semilla Verde Hotel, also on Santa Cruz Island, are other examples of land-based experiences. Alternatively, staying at a villa is ideal for families or groups of friends. Your group can enjoy a custom designed Galapagos experience built around your group activity preference. The overall land based experience can be just as encompassing as a cruise, without the set schedule of one. You gain the best of both worlds; infinite wildlife encounters with ultimate flexibility.

Combine a Land-Based Galapagos Experience with a Cruise

If you want both, plan a cruise coupled with a land based stay on the islands too. That way you don’t have to decide between the two options. This option has become quite popular in recent years as the hospitality infrastructure has matured.

Ecuador Travel Extensions

You’ve come so far, why not spend some time discovering the gateway to the Galapagos: Ecuador! There are cities like Quito to see or combine the Galapagos with an Amazon jungle experience offering lodges or river cruises of varying lengths. Your travel expert can include several options in Ecuador before or after your Galapagos cruises or land-based tours.

Latin Excursions Launches New Website

Here at Latin Excursions, we know only too well that part of the experience in finding your perfect trip to South America is the way a website looks, and the level of expertise that your personal destination specialist demonstrates on the other end of the phone. So whilst our skilled team of enthusiastic, knowledgeable and professional travel experts may not have changed in recent weeks; our website certainly has and we could not be more proud of the results. This has all been done with you, the traveler, in mind.

When Latin Excursions began operating in 2004 our main focus was on providing you with travel to the Galapagos Islands. Since then, we have shown many travelers the special side of this wide and varied bucket list destination with handpicked small ships and yachts as well as unique land based accommodations and tours. in the following years we slowly added each country of South America to our offerings. It takes time to craft the perfect holiday for you. First we meet with local guides to find the ones we know will be a joy for you and your traveling companions. Then, we go and stay at the hotels, inns and retreats, ourselves, so we can recommend them to you with great knowledge. When I and my staff are not in the office talking with you about destinations, we are on the road looking for new experiences to share with you!

As a company, Latin Excursions has always placed the quality of our journeys and client experiences at the heart of everything we do, picking up industry awards and recognition for those efforts along the way. With this in mind, our new website has been designed to reflect that integrity, showcasing the unique routes, off-the-beaten-path South American adventures and unforgettable moments just waiting to be experienced by you across the continent.We think this is why organizations like Wendy Perrin and Travel & Leisure have recognized us through the years with quality awards.

Latin Excursions isn’t like any other tour operator in South America, because we put unrivaled, personal care and attention into each trip. So, whether you find yourself trekking through Patagonia; stargazing in the Atacama Desert; hiking Amazon Jungle trails en route to a world-class eco-lodge; enjoying the beaches of Rio de Janeiro; tango in Buenos Aires or colonial towns in Colombia; maybe discovering Peru’s ‘Lost City’ of Machu Picchu, a wonder of the ancient world; whatever it is, your once in a lifetime trip to South America is in safe, trusted hands.

As you click through our itineraries and trips, just remember: Latin Excursions only works with the most exclusive, boutique and experiential accommodation options in South America, encompassing everything from luxury Galapagos yachts to responsible Amazon eco-lodges – all experience providers we have vetted first-hand. You can choose one of our “pre-designed” tours we have built from our experiences or you can choose to have us “custom-design” a tour specifically for you based on your interests, available time as well as personal travel wants and needs. Unlike virtually every other tour operation in existence, all of our tours are “private.” This means you will not be sharing your experience with other people; only the ones who accompany you on your journey!

We hope you enjoy perusing the new Latin Excursions website and look forward to helping you plan your trip to South America and/or The Galapagos with you soon. Feel free to call us today, 866.626.3750, without any obligation to book at all. We love to talk travel and to delve into specific destinations to help you understand what awaits your discovery!

5 Reasons to Go to the Galapagos Islands

Not sure when you want to schedule your vacation to the Galapagos? The number of visitors to these far off islands in the middle of the Pacific increase every year. So, experience your own slice of paradise before the crowds get here and see Latin Excursions’ top 5 reasons to visit the Galapagos now rather than later!

1. The remoteness

Do you ever have one of those days when you wish you could disappear to a deserted island for just a while? Found more than 550 miles from mainland Ecuador in South America, the Galapagos presents reality to your daydreams. This archipelago is comprised of 13 major islands and 6 smaller ones you’re sure to find one you like! More than that, the population stands at only 25,000 across 3 of the major islands, so more often than not, you and your loved ones will be able to have a most exclusive and private holiday you always wanted.

2. The craters

There are few places on earth when you can get so up close and personal to both extinct and live volcanoes. From the vehicle-accessible Twin Craters on Santa Cruz islands to the Sierra Negra crater on Isabela island requiring a full day journey on horseback and foot, all members of your group will be able to witness these colossal creations by Mother Nature with their own eyes. Standing on the edge, we bet you’ll be tempted to shout out a victory call!

3. The open zoo

Envision going to a zoo where there are no cages and the animals are free to roam about around you that’s what awaits you in the Galapagos. Because the creatures on the islands proliferated over so many centuries free from human interaction until their discovery by the Spanish in 1535, they are not accustomed to fear people. That means you can lay out right next to sealions, approach birds head on, and swim as part of massive schools of fish. Keep in mind, however, while you are able to touch many of the animals without having them run away, it is against Galapagos National Park rules to do so.

4. The endemic species

Not only did the Galapagos’ many birds and other animals develop far from human civilization, they also did so without the natural interference of other species. Today, there are dozens of species unique to only the Galapagos such as the marine iguana, giant tortoise, lava lizards, blue footed booby, and more. So in more than one way, the Galapagos is truly unlike anywhere else on earth!

5. The diving

Ranked on countless world class diving destinations lists, the underwater world around the islands is undoubtedly one of the best places to go scuba diving. There are millions of kinds of marine creatures that call the Galapagos home, a place where marine turtles and hammerhead sharks and immense schools of small fish all live as neighbors. Because of strong currents and large rocks in some areas, it is recommended that travelers interested on diving on a trip to Galapagos have some prior experience.

Read More: Explore our Galapagos Travel Planer Tips

Galapagos Travel Tips

The Galapagos Islands is one of the most spectacular destinations in the world. Composed of 18 major islands and other islets, this Pacific archipelago dazzles visitors with its volcanic landscapes, fearless wildlife, pristine beaches and fascinating underwater world. Therefore, it is no wonder the Galapagos is on many travelers’ bucket list. However, with so many ways to see this extraordinary place, it can be dizzying trying to decide what is best for each group of travelers. Here are some Galapagos travel tips to consider when planning your visit to Ecuador and the Galapagos, from our travel experts:

Best time of the year to visit: the Galapagos is great to visit any time of the year, as the wildlife is the main attraction and there is always something interesting to see. Perhaps weather should be taken into consideration since during the cooler season water temperature may be cold for swimming, but wetsuits are always available for rental on many boats (and Latin Excursions provides them for our custom made land based programs as well). Sea conditions are more choppy in September, when water is murky and not good for snorkeling, so most boats go to dry dock during that month.

Waved albatrosses return to Espanola at the end of March and will remain until December, with April being the best time to see their massive arrival and mating dance. Humpback whales stay in Galapagos from June to September. So as you can see a visit to Galapagos can be done any month of the year. Also, good points:

• The hottest months are from December to May with temperatures ranging from the low 80s°F to the low 90s°C. The average water temperature is 75°F.

• The misty and cooler season is from June to September and the temperature ranges between the low 60s°F to high 70s°F, with the possibility of rain late in the afternoon or at night. The average water temperature is 69°F.

• From October to December, the temperature ranges from 70°F to 80°F. The average water temperature is 70°F / 20°C

• Land vs. Boat-Based and How to Choose

• The main advantage of a boat based cruise excursion is the variety of islands visited because boats do the long cruising at night and a short cruise to another site usually after lunch, giving passengers time to relax on board. Usually a cruise will visit at least two destinations each day, with snorkeling included most days. All boats have plenty of space to relax on a sun deck.

Land-based trips offer more opportunity to relax, after coming off a boat excursion at a mountain or beach front hotel. Other advantages are having close contact with the local population and to experience the ambiance of Galapagos villages without sacrificing visits to great sites. It allows for the possibility of doing more flexible land tours on the same island, or full-day excursions to neighboring islands, about 2 hours away and reached by small vessels with a maximum capacity of 16 passengers. It is also the perfect alternative for families with small children or for visitors who tend to get seasick. It also gives the possibility of diving for some family members without affecting the others.

• Snorkeling vs. Diving

Snorkeling: Since almost all islands have specific places with very calm waters, snorkeling is possible for anyone who can swim; it is practiced from the beach or from a dinghy, available during cruises or with land-based programs. Adult-sized snorkel equipment is available on cruises; for children it must be requested in advance to make sure they have the right size on board. During cold season, wetsuits are recommended (usually shorties). Snorkeling equipment is available for rental during land-based programs.

• Diving in the Galapagos is for experienced divers only. It is best from June to November, with more marine life to be seen, though divers have to suffer rougher and cooler sea conditions at this time of year. The huge whale sharks are found near Wolf and Darwin islands only from around June to November. However, there are more hammerhead sharks about in the warm season than the cool. A minimum number of certified dives (by PADI or similar) is requested depending on the destination. Regardless of the number of dives registered by a diver, the dive master on board has the final decision about the ability of the diver to participate. The best diving, around Wolf and Darwin islands, requires a long trip and no chance to land on the islands, only advanced diving cruises go to that destination and they don’t include land visits.

• Land Extension to Isabela Island and Best Time of Year to Visit Isabela: There are two ways to reach Isabela Island, by small plane, 30 min from Baltra airport (unreliable frequencies), or by shared public boat that takes about 2 hours from Puerto Ayora, on Santa Cruz Island. The best time to do the crossing by boat is from January to May, as the seas tend to be calmer. Other than this consideration, the same criteria as for Galapagos weather in general should apply. Plenty of wildlife can be seen all year round. Strong currents in November and December make for difficult boat rides from/to Puerto Ayora. It is also usually not possible to explore the Tunnels due to currents during these months.Volcan Sierra Negra is also difficult to reach from December to March due to rain and therefore muddy trail.

Easy daily diving tours from Isabela go to Isla Tortuga and Cuatro Hermanos (Four Brothers), with maximum depth of 20 meters, but it is not advisable in November and December due to strong currents.

Top 10 Galapagos Beaches

The beaches of the Galapagos are not the stereotypical beaches you will find in other parts of the world; here, you can find white sand beaches surrounded by mangroves, black lava beaches and hidden coves, all abundant with wildlife like sea lions, pelicans, iguanas and so many more. Check out our top 10 beaches in the Galapagos.

Though the Galapagos aren’t particularly known for their beaches, there are hundreds and hundreds of world class beaches that dot the lava rock strewn coastlines. Here’s some of the best that can be visited either as part of a Galapagos land tour or in many cases only as part of a Galapagos cruise. Contact us to visit one, or several, of these amazing works of nature on your own Galapagos vacation!

1. Tortuga Bay Beach, Santa Cruz Island

Tortuga Bay is one of the largest and most famous beaches of the Galapagos Islands. This beautiful white coral sand beach lies about a 2.5 km walk from Puerto Ayora and behind the main beach is a natural bay that is an excellent spot for sea kayaking and snorkeling. Discover the amazing underwater world of the Galapagos, including sea turtles, sea lions, and white-tipped sharks. Watch birds like pelicans, flamingos, and lava gulls, which come to this beach in search of food.

2. Gardner Bay Beach, Espanola Island

This beautiful beach is famous for the multitudes sea lions you’ll find lying around in the sand. You can meet these friendly animals up-close while witnessing amazing sunsets. Another great beach for snorkeling, with a diversity of tropical fish, and white-tipped reef sharks.

3. El Garrapatero, Santa Cruz Island

Lined by mangroves and Manzanillo trees, this white sand beach is visited by pelicans, marine iguanas, ghost crab, shrimp, and penguins. This 3 km long beach lies about 20 km northeast of Puerto Ayora and is a great place to enjoy snorkeling, sunbathing and picnics.

4. Puerto Villamil, Isabela Island

This white sandy beach, in front of the town Puerto Villamil, is shaded by coconut palms and dry tropical forest and offers shelter to wildlife like marine iguanas, sea lions, boobies and many different kinds of birds. There are several other beaches nearby Puerto Villamil, but those are only accessible by cruise ship.

5. Conway Bay Beach

This beautiful secluded beach is somewhat off the beaten track, as most cruises do not stop here. You can reach the beach with local boats for hire, and it is definitely worth it; once you are there you will feel like you have reached Paradise. Here you can find sea lions and land iguanas and because this beach is so secluded, you will have it all to yourself. Contact us if you’re interested in visiting this beach, we’ll be happy to arrange a boat.

6. Bachas Beach

If you’re lucky, or actually make a point of choosing a cruise that lands at this official visitor’s spot, you’ll be treated to white sand beaches where large numbers of sea turtles nest, and a brackish lagoon behind the beach that is home to colorful flamingos. The snorkeling here is good as well. The name of the beach is actually a misnomer or rather a Spanish mispronunciation of “barge” for the wrecked US military barge nearby.

7. Rabida Island Red Beach

Strewn with sea lions and marine iguanas, the only authorized visitor’s spot on Rabida Island, is a brightly colored red beach with a brackish lagoon that at times hosts flamingos. An excellent hike featuring palo santo forests and Galapagos finches is to the left of the beach, while to the right is excellent snorkeling.

8. Bartolome Island Beach

The view from the volcanic peak above the beach looking down is likely the most famously photographed scene in the Galapagos Islands. At beach level, the view is also spectacular where a massive vertical rock formation surges from the water. It’s also one of the few places in the world where it is common to be able to snorkel with penguins. Yes, you read that correctly. Snorkel with penguins!

9. Post Office Bay, Floreana Island

It’s not the most picturesque beach in Galapagos, but it’s the most historically relevant beach. It gets its name from a barrel that whalers and pirates placed on the beach back in the 19th century that acts as a “post office”, where visitors leave mail without a stamp, and other visitors take it upon themselves to deliver the mail to recipients near their hometown. Darwin also visited this beach and it’s the site of the mysterious “Galapagos Affair” where several early settlers were famously murdered by other settlers in the 1930’s. A feature-length documentary was made about the mystery in 2014.

10. Puerto Egas, Santiago Island

This beautiful white sand beach is home to numerous sea lions and is an excellent spot for snorkeling with sea turtles and tropical fish. To the right of the beach are lava rock outcroppings dotted with marine iguanas, birds, and other wildlife. The infamous “Darwin’s Toilet”, a bizarre tidal phenomenon that resembles a gigantic toilet is a big attraction. Just don’t fall in!

Infinity Yatch

The Infinity Luxury Yacht is raising the bar to Luxury Galapagos yachts She offers sleek design, great comfort, and a solid Galapagos itinerary.

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The Infinity Luxury Yacht is raising the bar to Luxury Galapagos yachts She offers sleek design, great comfort, and a solid Galapagos itinerary.

EMPHASIS ON SPACIOUS AND SUITES

The Infinity is our most modern yacht (2018) with unrivalled spacious luxurious cabins and suites.

MANY FEATURES FOR A STYLISH GALAPAGOS EXPERIENCE

Outside dining and bar and also a solarium allow you to cruise the Galapagos in tremendous style and sumptuous luxury. All eight cabins and two suites have private balconies.

Staff members are experts on the Galapagos Islands, and can help you pick the perfect cruise and itinerary to suit your needs and tastes.

Ideal fortravelers wanting a small stylish yacht and either a shorter itinerary or a combo boat + land-based program

petrel is one of our preferred luxury yachts for touring the galapagos

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2018

Per Person USD Rates Master Suites (A1, A4) Twin Suites (A1, A3) Double Staterooms (C1, C2, C5) Twin Staterooms (C3, C4)
8D / 7N Sat - Sat $6,800 $6,300 $6,100 $5,880
Charter $104,000

2018

Per Person USD Rates Master Suites (A1, A4) Twin Suites (A1, A3) Double Staterooms (C1, C2, C5) Twin Staterooms (C3, C4)
8D / 7N Sat - Sat $6,800 $6,300 $6,100 $5,880
Charter $104,000

Single supplement 75% // 100% Xmas, Easter, New Year $500 surcharge for Christmas, Easter and New Year, for individuals and $6,500 for charter CHILDREN under 11, 30% OFF / 2 discounts p/family, NO DISCOUNT on Christmas, Easter & New Year

Category:
Luxury
Capacity:
16
Number of Cabins:
9
Facilities:
Dining room, library, lounge, jacuzzi, sun deck, private balconies
Length:
115 ft
Speed:
14 knots
All cabins feature:
Private balcony, storage, writing desk
Food Serving Style:
Buffet style & plated
Dietary Accomodations Served on Board:
Vegetarian
Drinks:
Included soft drinks and juices
Single Cabin Supplement:
yes
Children Discount:
yes
Guide Languages:
English, Spanish

Itineraries

Villa Galapagos 1

villa galapagos 1 preferred hotels when travelling in galapagos

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Villa Galapagos 1 is a charming seaside villa with the character, comfort and class reminiscent of a European home in Tuscany. Characterized by classic island architecture, the villa is situated in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz with a dramatic view to the island’s volcano. The villa is a labyrinth of beauty and elegance with five spacious bedrooms, all equipped with an ocean front terrace, two sweeping living rooms and the luxury amenities of a swimming pool, jacuzzi and outdoor BBQ for al fresco dining. Relax in poolside loungers, lose yourself a book while swaying gently in the hammock, or kick back on the plush terrace sofas after an adventurous day of exploration. This unique and private villa caters to the most discerning travelers, allowing you to explore the Enchanted Islands at your leisure and in a true “home away from home”.

AN IDEAL BASE FOR EXPLORATION

The villa is located in a strategic area that allows you to visit the same islands you would experience by boat, but to see and do much more than a traditional yacht excursion allows. Experience diverse wildlife by day and return to a gourmet meal on your seaside terrace, just in time to experience a breathtaking sunset or soak in the jacuzzi with a cocktail. Villa Amarilla is ideal for active families and groups interested in personalizing activities at their own pace. From your luxurious home base, experience the magic of the Galapagos with daily excursions such as snorkeling, diving, surfing, hiking, kayaking, catch and release fishing and horse riding.

EXCLUSIVE AND PERSONALIZED CARE

Included in your stay at Villa Galapagos 1 are an in-home chef, maid and caretaker. Alejandro and Mariana will make you feel at home and share an authentic experience of local specialties. Mariana is a magician in the kitchen and can specialize in Ecuadorian or International food while Alejandro, the concierge of the villa, will help you will all logistics in the Puerto Ayora town with genuine local knowledge and a beaming smile. Your exclusive guide caters to your specific interests, allowing you the flexibility to modify your adventure according to group desires. It is the perfect balance between exciting activities like diving, hiking to the top of the volcano, cabling down one of the lava tunnels or swimming with penguins, and relaxation time in true decadence.

Please Note: There is a weekly mandatory tip for the staff associated with this property. For 1 to 6 guests – $300 US and for 7 to 12 guests – $450 US

Ideal forfamilies and those looking for a flexible program that is non-regimented

villa galapagos is one of our preferred villas when travelling in galapagos

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highlights

  • Private terraces in all bedrooms
  • Swimming Pool
  • Jacuzzi
  • Outdoor BBQ
  • Fireplace
  • Strategically located for activities
  • In-home maid, chef and caretaker

rooms

  • Two bedrooms with king beds
  • Three bedrooms with double beds
  • 7 bathrooms
  • All bedrooms have private baths
  • Beautiful terraces in all bedrooms
  • Fully equipped kitchen
  • 2 living rooms
  • 12 guests maximum

services

  • DVD player
  • Multiple TV’s
  • 40" cable/satellite TV
  • Wireless Internet
  • Washer & Dryer
  • Safety deposit box
  • Kayaks
  • An in-home chef, maid and caretaker

Pikaia Lodge Hotel

pikaia lodge hotel is one of our preferred hotels when travelling in galapagos

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In the heart of the Galapagos Archipelago, perched between sunny, arid savannas and lush tropical mists of the volcanic highlands, Pikaia Lodge offers luxury by land and sea like no other eco-hotel. Designed for the active, adventurous traveler and curious dreamer, Pikaia invites guests to enjoy the highest level of comfort. Tour the surrounding islands aboard their live-aboard yacht. Swim, snorkel, and relax in lagoons and white sands. Dine on a menu of Peruvian and Ecuadorian fusion made fresh from local ingredients, paired with fine South American wines. To view how we recommend visiting Pikaia, check out our Pikaia + Best of Ecuador itinerary! Pikaia + Best of Ecuador

CRUISE PARADISE IN LUXURY

The lodge has their very own 105-foot oceangoing exploration yacht. Guests travel to pristine islands full of marine life rarely visited by tourists. Outfitted with a large dive deck, hot tub, sun deck, and private staterooms for guests to unwind, it’s the only vessel of its kind in the Galapagos.

Rooted in eco-tourism, Pikaia works exclusively with local fishermen who teach small groups of guests their traditional fishing methods aboard the hotel’s 35-foot charter. Guests can catch-and-release, or take their catch to the lodge for the chefs to expertly prepare it. For those who want to stay on land, the lodge offers guided tours of their very own wild great tortoise reserve, white sand beaches, and fascinating wildlife sites inside the Galapagos National Park.

FEAST FOR THE SENSES

The lodge’s own Evolution Restaurant offers an unrivalled view over the infinity edge pool, looking out to the pristine Galapagos National Park with mist covered volcanic cones. Furnished in a contemporary style with casual elegance, the chefs prepare a unique fusion of Peruvian and Ecuadorian cuisine. Lovingly prepared using local organic ingredients, including their infamous fish, lobster, and world famous jumbo shrimp, guests can then choose from the hotel’s varied wine cellar filled with Argentina’s superb Malbecs, or Chile’s sought-after Chardonnays and Carménères. Or, the barmen at DNA Bar can fix any number of desired cocktails.

Ideal fortravelers looking for deluxe Galapagos hotel with superb service located in a magical setting

pikaia lodge hotel is one of our preferred hotels when travelling in galapagos

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highlights

  • Private 105-foot oceangoing exploration yacht complete with dive deck, hot tub, dining room, and staterooms for day trips to surrounding islands or longer cruise vacations
  • Small group trips on the lodge’s 35-foot charter boat to learn traditional Galapagos fishing techniques from local fishermen and have the chefs prepare guests’ catches
  • Mosquito-free location due to Santa Cruz island’s sunny, warm climate that produces fresh breezes throughout the year
  • Sumaq Spa, decorated with Peruvian travertine marble in a minimalistic Japanese zen style, offers massages for individuals and couples

rooms

  • Terrace Rooms: Two queen size beds or one king size bed; Private furnished terrace; Panoramic floor to ceiling windows; Contemporary decor. Bamboo flooring; Peruvian travertine marble; 40" 3D HD TV; Safe; Mini bar; Unobstructed views
  • Balcony Rooms: Two queen size beds or one king size bed; Private balcony; Panoramic floor to ceiling windows; Contemporary decor. Bamboo flooring; Peruvian travertine marble; 40" 3D HD TV; Safe; Mini bar; Unobstructed views
  • Garden Suite: King size bed; Sofa bed; Private furnished terrace; Private garden; Panoramic floor to ceiling windows; Bathtub with views; Contemporary decor. Bamboo flooring; Peruvian travertine marble; 50" 3D HD TV; Safe; Mini bar; Unobstructed views
  • Pool Suite: King size bed; Sofa bed; Private terrace; Access to private plunge pool; Private garden; Panoramic floor to ceiling windows; Bathtub with views; Contemporary decor. Bamboo flooring; Peruvian travertine marble; 50" 3D HD TV; Safe; Mini bar; Unobstructed views

services

  • Infinity edge pool
  • Gazebo
  • Homo Sapiens Explorers Lounge equipped with a large 3D HD-TV screen, 3D goggles, wireless microphones and amplification system
  • Library
  • Art and photography exhibit
  • Fireplace
  • Sumaq Spa
  • Lobby lounge
  • DNA Bar
  • Evolution Restaurant
  • Private wild giant tortoise reserve
  • Massage sessions available in guests' rooms upon request
  • Alternative energy resources and comprehensive social responsibility program

Galapagos Safari Camp Hotel

galapagos safari camp hotel is one of our preferred hotels when travelling in galapagos

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Nestled in the wild highlands of Santa Cruz Island with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and National Park sits the stylish Galapagos Safari Camp. Inspired by African safari camps, the hotel’s atmosphere is nothing short of magical. Experience nature surrounded by breathtaking views and memorable encounters with wildlife. From the home base of lavishly rustic tent accommodations under a canopy of indigenous trees, guests embark on guided day trips to neighboring islands and into the deep blue waters.

SAFARIS DESIGNED BY DREAMERS

Founded by a family of adventurers who brought the Safari tradition to the tropics, safaris are designed for all guests, whether traveling alone or with a family. Hop aboard the hotel’s boat to bays where pirates and whalers once anchored. Step onto the Giant Tortoise Reserve. Scuba dive lava tunnels and reefs. Swim alongside sharks, turtles, barracudas, and sea lions. Hike amongst the Scalesia and Guayabillo forests and on the volcanic island of Floreana. Fish with local fishermen aboard their boats – a favorite excursion for children.

HOME AMONGST THE TREES

Managed by the founding family and a handpicked team, guests feel the warmth and welcoming the moment they walk in. From the open lodge built on a hill with panoramic views, guests gather around the cosy fireplace, and drink fresh cocktails from the bar, or dine on farm-to-table dishes inspired by their chef.

Experienced at anticipating the needs of each and every guest, the founders, having raised their own children on the islands, are well versed in knowing the needs of both children and parents. There is plenty of equipment for children, from cots to wetsuits to bikes. Kids also enjoy the Kid’s Club, while parents and adults relax after the day’s excursions.

Ideal forfamilies and couples alike seeking an eco-luxe, safari-esque launchpad for exploring the Galapagos

galapagos safari camp hotel is one of our preferred hotels when travelling in galapagos

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highlights

  • Farm-to-table cuisine from the hotel’s own garden and farm
  • Excursions to wildlife reserves, volcanoes, diving, and hiking
  • Family-oriented, customizable adventures around the islands
  • Sustainable practices including a reforestation program and self-sufficient rainwater collection that is treated for use in the lodge

rooms

  • Luxury Safari Tents: Raised on wooden platforms; Custom-made furniture, including cupboards and a writing desk; En-suite bathrooms with good water pressure, hot showers and flush toilets; Private balcony with ocean views and safari furniture
  • Family Safari Suite: Three bedrooms (master bedroom and two twin rooms); Next to main lodge; playroom; accommodates six guests

services

  • Organic garden and farm
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Infinity pool
  • Kid’s club
  • Lounge
  • Library
  • Viewpoint terrace

Finch Bay Eco Hotel

finch bay eco hotel is one of our preferred hotels when travelling in galapagos

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SOUTH AMERICA'S LEADING GREEN HOTEL

Named South America’s Leading Green Hotel by the World Travel Awards in 2018, Finch Bay Eco Hotel lies on the remote Galapagos island of Santa Cruz, across the bay from Puerto Ayora. Voted the #1 hotel in Puerto Ayora by Trip Advisor, escape to this secluded part of the Galapagos archipelago’s central islands. Get up close with the unique wildlife. Dive, snorkel, or hike along sandy beaches, or hop on the hotel’s yacht to exclusive areas of the islands. Dine on delicious, Galapagos-inspired cuisine made daily from local, organic ingredients direct from the island by a certified Cordon-Bleu chef.

ENCHANTED ISLANDS

Nowhere else do animals interact so calmly with humans as on the Galapagos. Travel to El Manzanillo to the Giant Tortoise Reserve. Walk with expert naturalists on birdwatching trips. Bike the completely car-less roads of this gorgeous island where guests feel completely free to roam at their own pace.

Finch Bay Hotel offers guests many opportunities to get in the water, from paddling, to snorkeling, to surfing, to the chance to experience SCUBA diving in a safe and fun environment. Swim alongside sea turtles, rays, bigeye jacks, and even harmless sharks, mantas, and barracudas. Not to mention the sea lions residing on the beaches that enjoy playing with guests as much as guests enjoy playing with them.

ECOTOURISM AT ITS FINEST

Finch Bay Hotel’s infrastructure and activities are entirely oriented to a concept of true ecotourism. Awarded numerous times for its commitment to the very land and sea on which it’s built, the hotel continues to strive toward the utmost sustainability. Guests enjoy the fine cuisine, from which products are grown right on the grounds or bought locally, and even the landscape where over 500 mangroves were planted. Every aspect of energy use is carefully attended to, from water use, to bath products, to energy consumption.

Ideal for families and couples alike seeking a secluded location just steps from the beach, across the bay from Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz

finch bay eco hotel is one of our preferred hotels when travelling in galapagos

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highlights

  • Voted the #1 hotel in Puerto Ayora by TripAdvisor
  • Award-winning eco-hotel committed to sustainability; green technology including solar panels and the only water treatment plant of any hotel in Puerto Ayora
  • Beach-front access
  • SCUBA-certified diving excursions for any level
  • Car-less side of the island where guests can bike safely
  • Galapagos-inspired menu by a Cordon Bleu chef

rooms

  • Finch Bay Suite: King bed or 2 Full beds; Ocean views; Private balcony; Air-conditioning; In-room Safety Box; Hammock; Bathrobe; Extra bed available
  • Finch Bay Room: King bed or 2 twin beds; Ocean views; Shared balcony; Air-conditioning; In-room Safety Box; Hammock; Bathrobe; Extra bed available

services

  • Day trips to nearby islands via yacht with expert naturalist guides
  • Multi-sport activities: SCUBA diving, snorkeling, surfing, bird-watching, sea kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, wildlife observation, bay tours
  • Restaurant
  • Pool
  • Massage
  • Stargazing
  • WiFi

Petrel

petrel is one of our preferred luxury catamarans for Galapagos Island cruises

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The best way to see the Galapagos Islands is aboard a luxury cruise, and the newly built Petrel is a proud addition to the Haugan Cruises Galapagos fleet. This stylish and comfortable ship is outfitted with spacious cabins and suites, a comfortable lounge, luxurious interiors and an outdoor Jacuzzi. All cabins on board have private balconies, storage and a writing desk. Guests travel in comfort to the different islands and experience up-close encounters with blue-footed boobies, iguanas, giant tortoises, whales and more.

EMPHASIS ON NATURAL HISTORY

On the Petrel, the emphasis is on the remarkable Natural History of Galapagos and itineraries to carefully selected sites are outstanding. Guides are knowledgeable about biology and ecology and have excellent language skills and client reviews. The ship is equipped with kayaks, wetsuits and snorkel equipment to explore well-chosen visitor sites in the trip of a lifetime.

A PETREL: ELEGANT, SWIFT AND SILENT AT SEA

Named after a sea bird common to Galápagos, the Petrel is like its namesake: elegant, swift and silent at sea. The vessel is designed for comfort and stability and offers an optimal way to experience the wonder of the Galapagos in luxury.

Ideal fortravelers wanting a small stylish yacht and either a shorter itinerary or a combo boat + land-based program

petrel is one of our preferred luxury catamarans for cruising in the galapagos

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2019 Per Person USD Rates Staterooms Suites Charter
4D / 3N $3,410 $3,675 $50,890
5D / 4N $4,595 $4,950 $68,575
6D / 5N $5,510 $5,950 $82,320
8D / 7N $7,225 $7,850 $107,825

Prices are subject to change at time of booking.

25% discount for children under 12 years old (1 child per 2 adults)
50% single supplement
Children must be at least 7 years old to participate in the tour

10, 11, 12, 13 & 15-day departures also available

Category:
Luxury
Capacity:
16
Number of Cabins:
9
Facilities:
Dining room, library, lounge, jacuzzi, sun deck, private balconies
Length:
115 ft
Speed:
14 knots
All cabins feature:
Private balcony, storage, writing desk
Food Serving Style:
Buffet style & plated
Dietary Accomodations Served on Board:
Vegetarian
Drinks:
Included soft drinks and juices
Single Cabin Supplement:
yes
Children Discount:
yes
Guide Languages:
English, Spanish

Itineraries

M/Y Passion

passion is one of our preferred luxury yachts for Galapagos cruises

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The Passion is an exclusive vessel with lavish social areas, a panoramic sky lounge and bar, as well as a classy dining room serving gourmet cuisine. Incredibly spacious sun decks are ideal for al fresco dining. If you are seeking privacy, a secluded sun deck is the perfect retreat, complemented by a jacuzzi for relaxation. All cabins are air-conditioned, spacious and beautiful. Six state cabins are all equipped with private bathrooms and a luxurious bathtub while the VIP and Master suites feature two en-suite bathrooms.

NEVER USED FOR TOURISM BEFORE

Originally built as a private luxury yacht, the Passion has been completely refurbished with an emphasis on retaining many of its original, elegant features. Rose colored marble bathrooms and teak wood decks make the vessel a one of a kind classic, which can only offer a one of a kind experience. Never before used for tourism, the M/Y Passion has a gorgeously private and upscale feel, and effortlessly carries the legacy of her original name, Bellisima, which translates to “beautiful” in Italian. She makes a statement of grace, elegance and style, offering a classy and personal way to experience the exoticism the Galapagos.

CRUISING FOR A CAUSE

The M/Y Passion was purchased and refurbished by WildAid, “a nonprofit organization with the mission to end the illegal wildlife trade in our lifetimes. It focuses on reducing the demand for endangered species products by targeting consumers with engaging public service announcements and education initiatives.” There is simply no better way to become educated about the environment by visiting Galapagos Islands aboard the M/Y Passion, a journey that gives you an impression of what Earth was like 2 million years ago. We are proud to support WildAid by encouraging our travelers to explore Galapagos the eco-friendly way.

PERSONALIZED AND SPACIOUS

A ratio of one staff member per guest ensures first class service aboard the Passion. Measuring 159 feet (48.5 meters), she boasts four decks and an exceptional amount of space for only 12 passengers. Your experience will be customized by specialists in distinguished fields rather than traditional tour guides. Special interests such as photography or bird watching can be arranged with a local expert in each field to guide you through the region’s magical natural wonders.

Ideal forcharters; or those looking for a sophisticated yacht in the Galapagos with a very good operation track record

passion is one of our preferred luxury yachts for cruising in the galapagos

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2020 Per Person USD Rates Stateroom Suite Normal Charter Diamond Charter
8D / 7N Sat $5,900 $6,950 $85,000 $106,000
5D / 4N $3,950 $4,600 $56,000 $66,000
4D / 3N $2,800 $3,200 $39,000 $53,500

Prices are subject to change at time of booking.

Single Supplement: 80%
Child Rates: Children under 12 traveling in the same stateroom/suite in triple occupancy save $3,000 off the regular rate.
Passengers 12 years or older traveling in the same stateroom/suite in triple occupancy save $2,000 off the regular rate.

Christmas and New Year Holidays (December 20 - January 3) have an additional surcharge of 10% of the published rate.

Category:
Luxury
Capacity:
12
Number of Cabins:
6
Facilities:
Panoramic Sky Lounge and Bar, Dining Room, Sun Decks for Al Fresco Dining, Secluded Sun Deck with Jacuzzi
Length:
159 ft
Speed:
10 knots
All cabins feature:
Own private bathroom with bathtub, air condition, hair dryers, usb charger
Food Serving Style:
Al fresco dining
Dietary Accomodations Served on Board:
Vegetarian, Vegan
Drinks:
Water, Coffee, Tea, Natural Juices; not included alcoholic and bottled beverages
Single Cabin Supplement:
yes
Children Discount:
yes
Guide Languages:
Spanish, English - with supplement - German, French & Italian

Itineraries

Origin

origin is one of our preferred luxury yachts for Galapagos cruises

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Launched in February 2016, the 20-guest Origin takes luxury cruising in the Galapagos to the next level. Every element of this decadent yacht has been specially designed for comfort, safety and sustainability. From spacious staterooms with panoramic windows to world-class cuisine and services, the Origin offers an unforgettable cruising experience matched only by the incomparable nature of the islands visited. The 10 staterooms are roomy and inviting, with large windows, private bathrooms and plenty of storage space. An elegant dining room features marble table tops with configurations of 2 to 10 guests for private or group dining. The spacious sundeck is equipped with day beds, chaises lounges, tables, hammocks, a four-person Jacuzzi, an outdoor shower and a wet bar. An intimate indoor bar is always open for hand-crafted cocktails and other beverages. Interior social areas include a comfortable lounge for evening gatherings and general relaxation, and a cozy library stocked with books on the Galapagos and Charles Darwin. The M/V Origin is also equipped with a top notch fitness center and a boutique offering an array of exquisite local handicrafts.

LOW RATIO OF GUESTS PER GUIDE

The experienced 14-member Ecuadorian crew includes two expert naturalist guides, or one for every 10 guests, which is the lowest ratio in the Galapagos. Naturalists are all bilingual in Spanish and English, with other languages available upon request. The use of kayaks, stand up paddle boards, wetsuits, and snorkel equipment are all included in your cruise and allow you to get up close and personal with wildlife under the guidance of well informed naturalists.

AN OUTSTANDING COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABLE TOURISM

The MV Origin reflects Ecoventura’s continuous quest for improvement and is one of the most eco-friendly cruise vessels operating in the Galapagos today. Sustainable cruising and superior luxury in one of the planet’s most magical places defines the experience of the M/V Origin, a vessel designed to minimize environmental impact while raising the bar in terms of adventure and luxury. In addition, Ecoventura has established numerous partnerships to support local communities and promote species and habitat preservation.

Ideal forboth families and couples seeking a stylish experience in the Galapagos; this is a brand new addition with equal sized cabins

origin is one of our preferred luxury yachts for cruising the galapagos

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2019 Per Person USD Rates Double Triple Single
8D / 7N Sun $7,850 $7,650 $13,735
2019 Charters Seasonal Peak Holiday
8D / 7N Sun $149,150 $157,000 $157,000 (+$10,000 surcharge)

Surcharge applies during holiday weeks. Inquire for details. Prices are subject to change at time of booking.

Category:
Luxury
Capacity:
20
Number of Cabins:
10
Facilities:
Bar, Jacuzzi, Wet Bar, BBQ Grill Area, Library, Satellite TV, Boutique Shop, Fitness Center, Massage
Length:
142 ft
Speed:
10-12 knots
All cabins feature:
Bathrobes, slippers, hair dryers, tvs, docking station and safe deposit box
Drinks:
All included except for premium alcoholic beverages
Single Cabin Supplement:
yes
Children Discount:
no
Guide Languages:
English, Spanish

Itineraries

Ocean Spray

ocean spray is one of our preferred luxury yachts for Galapagos cruises

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Brand new to the Galapagos Islands, the Ocean Spray is a luxury megayacht catamaran, offering her 16 guests a top-of-the-line experience in the Enchanted Isles. Ocean Spray itineraries are varied and tailor-made, ranging from a 4 day introduction to a 15 day mega cruise where you’ll thoroughly explore the Galapagos from end-to-end. All cabins are spacious and equipped with private balconies. The elegant design includes a huge sundeck, Jacuzzi, a cosy lounge and an outdoor dining area.

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH WILDLIFE

With kayaks, snorkeling and daily off-boat hikes and shore excursions, Ocean Spray’s cruises place you in close proximity to famed marine iguanas, albatross nesting colonies, lumbering giant tortoises, baby sea turtles and elusive flamingos. All excursions are facilitated by well-informed, bilingual naturalists. Swim and snorkel with playful sea lions, speedy penguins, sea turtles and a myriad of spectacularly colorful fish. A Galapagos cruise aboard Ocean Spray is guaranteed to be an experience like no other!

ECO-FRIENDLY OPERATION

Haugan Cruises cares about the protection of this delicate and unique ecosystem and works closely with the National Park to meet or even exceed Park regulations. Galapagos locals people own a large portion of the company and the entire crew and guide are residents of the Galapagos Islands. Haugan Cruises is one of the main supporters of the Bolivar Education Volunteer Program, which place volunteers into worthy projects revolving around health, child welfare, environmental projects, animal welfare, agricultural education and professional internships.

Ideal fortravelers wanting a small stylish yacht and either a shorter itinerary or a combo boat + land-based program

ocean spray is one of our preferred luxury yachts for cruising in the galapagos

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2019 Per Person USD Rates Staterooms Charter
4D / 3N $3,410 $50,890
5D / 4N $4,595 $68,575
6D / 5N $5,510 $82,320
8D / 7N $7,225 $107,825

Prices are subject to change at time of booking.

25% discount for children under 12 years old (1 child per 2 adults)
50% single supplement
Children must be at least 7 years old to participate in the tour

10, 11, 12, 13 & 15-day departures also available

Category:
Luxury
Capacity:
16
Number of Cabins:
9
Facilities:
Dining Room, Al Fresco Dining, Lounge, Sun Deck
Length:
113 ft
Speed:
15 knots
All cabins feature:
Air Conditioning, Private Balcony, Hair Dryer, Safety Deposit Box
Food Serving Style:
Buffet style
Dietary Accomodations Served on Board:
Vegetarian
Drinks:
Included soft drinks and juices
Single Cabin Supplement:
yes
Children Discount:
yes
Guide Languages:
English, Spanish

Itineraries

La Pinta

la pinta is one of our preferred luxury yachts for your Galapagos cruise

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The La Pinta is a luxurious and new yacht marked by an upscale design throughout, ideal for travelers looking for a luxury experience in traditional atmosphere. La Pinta offers plush cabins, high standards of service, international cuisine and celebrated Ecuadorian dishes, and all the amenities that make a stellar Galapagos Expedition. Equipped with a restaurant boasting a Cordon Bleu Gastronomy director, an outside bar, observation lounge, cardio-gym, kayaks, glass-bottom boat, sun deck, sun loungers, jacuzzi, exercise room, library and a medical officer on board, La Pinta has all you could wish for.

LARGEST CABINS OF ANY GALAPAGOS EXPEDITION VESSEL

With 24 cabins to accommodate 48 passengers, La Pinta boasts some of the largest cabins of any Galapagos expedition vessel. All are air-conditioned and have gorgeous wrap around floor-to-ceiling windows from which to appreciate the dramatic and ever changing scenery. Some cabins can be connected into triple occupancy for families.

SUSTAINABLE CRUISE TECHNOLOGY

La Pinta measures 210 feet, a stable size that minimizes the possibility of seasickness and ensures a comfortable journey. New engines designed to cut emissions and a wastewater treatment plant largely reduce any environmental footprint.

Ideal fortravelers wanting a mid-size boat with large windows and a stellar itinerary

la pinta is one of our preferred luxury yachts for cruising in the galapagos

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2019 Per Person USD Rates Luxury Cabin Luxury Plus Cabin
5D / 4N Eastern Islands Thu/Mon $4,490 $4,490
5D / 4N Northern Island Mon/Fri $4,490 $4,490
7D / 6N Western Islands Fri/Thu $6,560 $6,560

Prices are subject to change at time of booking.

During Peak Season (Dec 23 - 27; Dec 27 - Jan 02): Surcharge of $24 per adult and $134 per child; No discounts apply; Twin / Double Cabins for single use have a surcharge of 100%; Triple Cabins (4) for twin/double use have a surcharge of 100%; Children's policy does not apply during peak season.
Child Policy: Children under 12 sharing a cabin with their parents or guardians save 25% (applies only to one child per adult paying full fare); Minimum age 6 years old.

Category:
Luxury
Capacity:
48
Number of Cabins:
24
Facilities:
Dining room, bar/salon, library, boutique, sun deck, bar, onboard medical officer
Length:
209.49 ft
Speed:
10 knots
All cabins feature:
Desk, Safe, Phone, Storage, TV, Air Conditioning,I-Pod Dock, Hair Dryers
Food Serving Style:
Buffet style
Dietary Accomodations Served on Board:
Vegetarian
Drinks:
Coffee station, free soft drinks, bar
Single Cabin Supplement:
yes
Children Discount:
yes
Guide Languages:
English, Spanish

Itineraries

Isabela II

isabela ii is one of our preferred luxury yachts for your Galapagos Island cruise

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The exquisite yacht Isabela II offers the perfect, intimate space for exploring the Galapagos Islands in comfort, elegance and an atmosphere directed towards a more traditional travel style. Traditionalists will enjoy feeling at home with a crew that has remained almost unchanged for years, leading to seamless attention to detail that will make your stay extra special. With just 20 guest cabins, the yacht’s convivial atmosphere leads to a close-up experience of this unique world. Onboard, guests are treated to delicious cuisine, faultless service and excellent facilities, including a hot tub, fitness room, bar and outside deck for al fresco meals, drinks and sunbathing.

CORDON BLEU GASTRONOMY DIRECTOR

Gourmet meals, BBQ and al-fresco dining are all orchestrated by a Cordon-Bleu gastronomy director. Five star cuisine can make all the difference while out at sea and the staff of the Isabella II are carefully selected to create a culinary experience of a lifetime.

INTIMATE AND EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE

With small groups averaging just 13 guests or less per guide, you will be guided by an experienced, tightly-honed crew with an excellent sense of teamwork and dedication. State-of-the-art technology for multimedia presentations and natural history lectures coupled with an onboard library, two naturalist guides and one expedition leader create an experience of the Galapagos that is both educational and personal. The library contains a large selection of books on Galapagos and Ecuador, as well as excellent nature and conservation videos, making this reference library the most complete of all Galapagos vessels. Sea kayaks, pangas (dinghies) and a glass bottomed boat are available for coastal exploration of a world unlike any other.

Ideal fortravelers wanting a mid-size expedition vessel known for its consistently good guiding and engaging short and long itineraries

isabela ii is one of our preferred luxury yachts for cruising in the galapagos

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2019 Per Person USD Rates Owner´s Cabin Classic Cabin Classic Family Cabin Standard Cabin
7D / 6N Northern Islands Tue/Mon $5,564 $5,318 $5,318 $5,012
5D / 4N Southern Islands Fri/Tue $3,790 $3,622 $3,622 $3,414
5D / 4N Central Islands Mon/Fri $3,790 $3,622 $3,622 $3,414

During Peak Season:(Dec 23-27; Dec 27-31; Dec 27-Jan 06): Surcharge of $170 per adult and $102 per child; No discounts apply; Twin / Double Cabins for single use have a surcharge of 100%; Children's policy does not apply during peak season.

Children Policy: Minimum age 6 years old; Children under 12 sharing a cabin with their parents or guardians save 25% per child (applies only to one child per full fare paying adult).

Category:
Luxury
Capacity:
40
Number of Cabins:
20
Facilities:
Bar, Dining Room, Al Fresco Dining, Sun Deck, Jacuzzi, Onboard Medical Officer, Observation Area, Gym
Length:
166 ft
Speed:
10 knots
All cabins feature:
Hairdryer and safe deposit box
Drinks:
Coffee, tea and water available 24 hours; soft drinks, alcoholic beverages
Single Cabin Supplement:
yes
Children Discount:
yes
Guide Languages:
English, Spanish

Itineraries