Galapagos - Remote Northern and Central Islands

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8 days
from
$12,349
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Wildlife
Suitable for:
Age 7+
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Trip code: 
WAVA
Ways to Travel:
Small Ship Cruises, Platinum
Activity:
Wildlife Holidays
Group size:
26–32
Min age:
7

Experience the undeniable wonder of these enchanted isles

The Galapagos Islands are a treasure meant to be experienced with a small group of true nature enthusiasts. Our group size of just 32 aboard the Evolution ensures you enjoy ample time and attention as you explore. Plus, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort and world-class service to discover the Galapagos. Each day during this Galapagos Islands tour, you “come home” to a comfortable, intimate expedition ship. The Evolution is the perfect haven for relaxing between daily hiking and snorkeling excursions, or for joining fellow travelers for a briefing by our knowledgeable naturalists.

During our intimate Galapagos Islands cruise, you will find yourself just inches away from giant tortoises, comical blue-footed boobies, sea lions, penguins, iguanas and many other animals, and you’ll gain an appreciation for how remarkable life on Earth can be. Voyage the famed waters of Galapagos amid the spectacular landscapes and distinct endemic wildlife that so intrigued Charles Darwin. From the spouting whales crossing the Bolivar Channel to the waved albatrosses nesting along the cliffs of Espanola, you'll experience the undeniable wonder of these enchanted isles.

Highlights

  • Enjoy the archipelago's best guest-to-guide ratio on small-group departures of just 26-32 guests
  • Hike among red-footed boobies, storm petrels and short-eared owls on outlying Genovesa Island
  • Snorkel in an extinct volcano cone at Devil's Crown
  • Sail on the Evolution, featuring the most public space and largest cabins of any yacht in her class
  • Learn about conservation efforts at the Charles Darwin Research Station

Key information

  • 7 nights in twin or double cabins on board the Evolution
  • Islands visited: San Cristóbal, South Plaza, Sombrero Chino, Santiago, Genovesa, North Seymour, Santa Fe, Floreana, Santa Cruz
  • Group normally 26-32 passengers plus crew. Minimum age 7 years.
  • Countries visited: Ecuador

What's included

  • 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 7 dinners
  • Accommodation while at sail; option to book pre/post-voyage hotel package in Guayaquil
  • Daily shore excursions, interpretive walks, swimming, snorkeling, hiking and panga rides
  • Snorkeling gear and wetsuits
  • Kayaks
  • All bottled water
  • Onboard doctor
  • Full educational program, including lectures on history, ecology, marine life and field interpretation

What's not included

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Galapagos Park Tax fee: US$120, paid upon booking

  • Mandatory internal flights from Guayaquil to San Cristóbal Island return: US$665, paid upon booking

Call for general departures:
1300 131 564
Call for tailor made trips:
1300 131 564
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Single-use plastics have been eliminated from this trip. Plastic straws, single-use disposable soaps and single-serving food packages have been removed from all voyages, keeping your plastic waste to a minimum. 

Itinerary

Guayaquil
to
Guayaquil
  • Day 1

    Guayaquil / San Cristobal: Playa Ochoa & Kicker Rock 

    Fly to the islands and board the Evolution. Stroll along the beach at Playa Ochoa, where a nearby tidal lagoon plays host to flamingos, finches and Chatham mockingbirds. At sunset, we cruise around Kicker Rock.

    Accommodation: The Evolution

    Meals included: Lunch Dinner
  • Day 2

    South Plaza Island

    At only 426 feet wide, South Plaza is one of the smallest islands in the archipelago. Look for yellow land iguanas on a walk to a grove of prickly-pear cactus.  Non-hikers can enjoy a Zodiac ride, watching for swallow-tailed gulls, red-billed tropicbirds and blue-footed boobies. Since there is no true trail on Mosquera Islands, you are able to stroll at your leisure.

    Accommodation: The Evolution

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Sombrero Chino Island / Santiago Island: Puerto Egas

    The tiny uplifted island of Sombrero Chino – or Chinese Hat – features a primeval landscape of volcanic rubble and lava tubes. The “land” is made of a few adjacent craters and old, fragile pahoehoe lava flows. Vegetation is just starting to take hold, including colorful carpetweed plants. Enjoy a Zodiac ride and swim before lunch. This afternoon, search the tide pools of Puerto Egas for sea life. During low tide, we may see marine iguanas feeding on algae. Our naturalists will point out the birdlife, including great blue herons, lava herons, oystercatchers and yellow-crowned night herons.

    Accommodation: The Evolution

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Genovesa Island

    Genovesa is often referred to as “Bird Island” for the vast numbers of pelagic seabirds that come here to nest. And while Genovesa harbors one of the Galapagos’ largest and most diverse bird populations, there are no land reptiles — with the exception of some very small marine iguanas. This is due to the direction of the ocean currents, which couldn’t carry the terrestrial animals here. Climb Prince Philip’s Steps to an area with colonies of red-footed boobies. Watch for short-eared owls which feed on the petrals that fly about. Explore Darwin Bay, home to the rare lava gull. While anchored at Genovesa, enjoy an opportunity to swim, kayak and snorkel in the calm caldera of this partially eroded volcano.

    Accommodation: The Evolution

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    North Seymour Island / Santa Fe Island

    North Seymour is the nesting site for a large population of magnificent frigatebirds and the only place where we can always find males showing their red pouches to attract females. Plus, we are sure to see blue-footed boobies perform their comical courtship dance in the open areas. Hike to a scenic lagoon, where we may observe Galapagos hawks, mockingbirds and a variety of Darwin’s finches. You may kayak and snorkel from the beach.

    Accommodation: The Evolution

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Floreana Island 

    Hike to Post Office Bay, once used by navigators to send mail with homebound messengers. Swim and kayak in the bay before a walk along the olivine beaches of Punta Cormorant. After hiking to a flamingo lagoon, spot fish and sea turtles during a relaxing stroll along the beach. Enjoy superb snorkeling at Devil’s Crown, where sea water has filled the sunken cone of an extinct volcano.

    Accommodation: The Evolution

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Santa Cruz Island

    Begin our day in the forested highlands, with ample opportunity to see and photograph giant tortoises in the wild. Stop at a family run farm before learning about the work being done to study and preserve wildlife at Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Centre at the Darwin Research Centre.

    Accommodation: The Evolution

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Galapagos / Guayaquil 

    Enjoy a Zodiac ride through Black Turtle Cove, drifting silently through this area of mangroves. Fly to Guayaquil, with time to relax at your accommodation for the night.

    Ask us about adding our optional Guayaquil package which includes your transfers, breakfasts, and pre- and post-cruise hotel accommodations.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Ecuador

British passport holders do not need a visa for Ecuador. Very few other nationalities need a visa for Ecuador, but if you are in any doubt you should contact the nearest Ecuadorian Embassy. 

Vaccinations



Eating and Drinking

7 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 7 dinners are included.

Meals are served in one seating in the dining room, and each meal boasts international and traditional Ecuadorian cuisine, fresh fruit and sumptuous desserts.

Weather

In Quito and the highlands it should be warm by day and generally dry. Maximum daytime temperatures are almost constant throughout the year at 20ºC, nights 8ºC. Some rain can be expected in February to May and October to November but storms, though heavy, are generally short, and Quito is considered to have quite a pleasant climate.

It is possible to visit the Galapagos at any time of year, but seasonal variations do affect what you see and there are climatic changes to be aware of. The weather is controlled by the two main ocean currents of the region, the Humboldt, bringing cold water from the Antarctic, and El Nino, which brings tropical water from the Gulf of Panama. How close to Galapagos they converge (which varies from year to year) is the key to the weather.

'Dry season'

Generally speaking, late May to early December is the cooler 'dry' season. In this period it is not necessarily dry, as there is a persistent light mist (garua) and often light drizzle, and the higher mountain slopes are covered in cloud and fog or rain. At this time the winds are in the southeast and are higher than at other times, so seas can sometimes be choppy and anyone worried about seasickness might be better advised to avoid it. Daytime maximum temperatures lie between 27ºC and 31ºC, the cooler months being July to November. In July and August the fairly strong winds introduce a chill factor, and it can feel quite cold at nights, though throughout the year the official night temperatures vary between 19ºC and 24ºC.

'Wet season'

Depending on how close the convergence of the two currents comes to Galapagos, there may or may not be a wet season from January to April or May. Approximately every seven years the El Nino current actually hits the islands and there will be heavy rains in these months. In other years rain usually falls sporadically from otherwise clear skies. The ocean temperatures are higher, with generally calm seas and strong sunshine: pleasant, but potentially very hot. Apart from an El Nino year, the weather is usually better from December/January to April/May than at other times even if there is some rain, and most people would regard these months as the best time to go.

There are plenty of wildlife highlights throughout the year:

January: Nesting land birds; Green sea turtles arrive to lay eggs on the islands beaches; land iguana’s start breeding on Isabela.
February: Nesting Marine iguanas on Santa Cruz; Greater flamingos start nesting on Floreana.
March: The bright red throat pouches of frigatebirds are inflated during mating season on Genovesa and San Cristobal.
April: Huge numbers of Waved albatross on Española displaying courtship rituals; eggs of Green sea turtles begin to hatch; land iguana eggs hatch on Isabela.
May: Courtship of Blue-footed boobies begins on North Seymour; Waved albatross on Española start laying eggs.
June: Giant tortoises migrate to the lowlands and start nesting; migrating birds stop in the Galapagos to rest; migrating Humpback whales can often by seen around the western islands.
July: Dolphins and whales are more likely to be seen around the western islands; Blue-footed boobies on Española start breeding.
August: Nazca boobies nest on Genovesa Island; Sea lions start giving birth to pups.
September: Penguins seen in the water when snorkelling around Bartoleme.
October: Galapagos Fur seals start mating; Blue-footed boobies start raising chicks.
November: Curious Sea lion pups found in the water amongst snorkelers.
December: Mating Green sea turtles; Waved albatross chicks fledge.

Is this trip for you?

This tour is operated in partnership with our sister company International Expeditions. As such the departures are not exclusive to Exodus and groups may be a mixture of Exodus, International Expeditions, and other clients. This trip is booked through Exodus and you will receive the same award winning customer service that you would expect. International Expeditions operate with the same core principles used by Exodus and champion the benefits of small group travel.

International Expedition’s in-depth Galapagos Islands tour offers more than a typical "tourist" overview – we expose you to the greatest variety of wildlife. Our Galapagos Islands cruise pass dormant volcanoes; lets you snorkel with sea lions; and even includes watching the giant tortoises graze. These are the moments of wonder you expect on this small-ship cruise.

Our highly qualified naturalist Galapagos Islands travel guides are authorities on the wildlife, history, geography and fauna of the Galapagos Islands. You’ll learn from an expedition leader and local naturalist who are passionate about the islands and licensed at the highest level — Level 3 — by Galapagos National Park.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as not suitable for full wheelchair users, but it may be suitable for other persons of reduced mobility. Please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
1300 131 564
Call for tailor made trips:
1300 131 564
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Seven nights aboard the Evolution

The classically-styled Evolution's interior is fully air-conditioned, and cabins on all three decks offer ample storage space, a writing desk, bedside tables and private facilities. The Evolution's spacious cabins are the largest on average in the Galapagos and act as the perfect haven for an afternoon siesta between your excursions. 

While the Evolution may carry an intimate group of just 32 guests, she is generous in size with a host of amenities. From relaxing on the sun deck to reading in the lounge, you're sure to relish the friendly ambiance. Enjoy briefings by your naturalists in the comfortable lounge, or spend time with a snack and your fellow passengers at the canopied bar - a superb place for watching the sun set over the Pacific. After excursions, relax in the hot tub or find a cushy deck chair while enjoying more outside space than any other yacht in its class.

Because there is an "open bridge" policy aboard the Evolution, you are welcome to visit the captain and crew and learn all about the ship’s operation and navigation. A convenient boarding platform makes it easy and safe to board our excursion boats.

Cabins

All cabins feature private bathrooms with hair dryers and toiletries, climate controls, writing desk and safe-boxes, plus ample storage space. During every excursion, stewards will service your spacious cabin.

Call for general departures:
1300 131 564
Call for tailor made trips:
1300 131 564
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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