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Ecuador
  • 8 days/7 nights
  • Next Departure: Call (800) 575-1540
  • From $4,100 / person

Luxury Galapagos Tours

Darwin’s natural laboratory is open for you, the Galapagos Islands. Venture from island to island on a 20 passenger luxury yacht on this Galapagos vacation package. Experience exceptional encounters with the endemic wildlife on each island that are a National Park and a biological marine reserve. Head out on foot, in kayaks or small boats, or snorkel your way around the flora and fauna of the volcanic islands for this once-in-a-lifetime vacation.

  • Hiking
  • Paddling
  • Safari / Wildlife
  • Small Ship
  • Snorkeling / Swimming

Activity Level: Easy

About
This Tour

Welcome to Darwin’s natural laboratory. Venture each day from your 20-passenger luxury yacht with a skilled naturalist to a new island and get up close and personal with the stunning terrain and exotic creatures that make the Galápagos Islands their home.

  • Come nose to nose with a 600-pound, 150-year-old tortoise
  • Snorkel alongside warm-water penguins fishing off a rocky shore
  • Play hide and seek with a doe-eyed sea lion pup off the nose of your kayak
  • Marvel at the lava bombs, spatter cones, cinder cones and lava tubes on a hike to the top of an inactive volcano
  • Watch as a blue-footed booby dances in courtship
  • Explore wind and sea-swept volcanic rock, stepping carefully so as not to disturb the sunning iguanas
  • Raise a glass over the rail of your 83-foot, 20-passenger luxury motor-yacht, perfectly suited to navigate the islands’ pristine water

Snorkelers in the Galapagos
Photo: Snorkelers in the Galapagos

The animals, the ocean, the weather, the people, the culture, the food – what’s not to love about the Galápagos!?

Tricia Jansen Guide

Itinerary
& Map

Tour Itinerary

8 days/7 nights

Quito, Ecuador or Guayaquil, Equador

Day 1: Quito or Guayaquil / Galápagos – San Cristobal Island
Quito or Guayaquil / Galápagos – San Cristobal Island
Meals Included:  L, D
Overnight: M/Y Eric, Flamingo, or Letty

Meet at the Quito or Guayaquil airport for your flight to Galápagos 1 ½ hours prior to your scheduled flight time.

Upon arrival to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristobal Island, our crew is waiting at the airport to escort you to your anchored yacht. After the welcome briefing, buffet lunch and safety drill, travel by bus into the interior of San Cristobal to visit La Galapaguera Cerro Colorado, where the National Park has established a breeding program for tortoises and set up an information center for visitors.

Along the trail, find the San Cristobal (Chatham) mockingbird and Calandrinia plant, both endemic to this island. Here, see the terrestrial tortoises living in their natural habitat but also learn about their origin, evolution and threats by introduced animals.

About the M/Y Eric, Flamingo I & Letty
Ecoventura’s signature fleet includes 3 identical expedition yachts custom-designed for Galapagos cruising: the M/Y Eric, Flamingo I and Letty.

Built in 1991 and refurbished annually, these identical superior first-class sister yachts accommodate no more than 20 guests and feature three decks of spacious staterooms with polished teak interiors trimmed with shiny brass fittings.

Accommodations include 10 double outside-facing cabins with a window or porthole view, 1 double bed or 2 twin lower beds, fully air-conditioned with private bathroom (hot and cold water showers), bio-degradable soap/shampoo dispensers, hair dryer, closet, drawers, intercom and separate climate controls for your comfort.

There’s a dining room, well-stocked bar and conference area with a flat screen TV, library and panoramic picture windows. Or you can relax in a lounge chair on the sun deck, enjoying sea breezes and a sky full of stars.

Enjoy with Ecoventura’s compliments

  • 3 meals daily, snacks and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Captain’s welcome and farewell cocktail parties
  • House wine and local beer served during dinner
  • Guided excursions with English-speaking naturalist
  • Low guide to passenger radio (max 10 guests per guide)
  • Complimentary snorkeling equipment, 3mm custom wet suits and kayaks
Day 2: Tower / Darwin Bay – Genovesa Island
Tower / Darwin Bay – Genovesa Island
Meals Included:  B, L, D
Overnight: M/Y Eric, Flamingo, or Letty

Spend the entire day on Genovesa (Tower) Island, considered to be one of the most spectacular Islands in Galápagos for bird species.

Wet landing on Darwin Bay, a coral sand beach where Swallow-tailed and Lava gulls gather near tide pools.

Enter a forest of Optuntia cactus and mangroves where colonies of red-throated Great Frigate birds nest. The trail leads through a rich inter tidal zone where we find a wide diversity of wildlife.

After lunch, we have a dry landing at Prince Philip’s Steps where we’re welcomed by red-footed and Nazca boobies. Walk across an open lava field, home to large numbers of storm petrels and the elusive short-eared owl.

Sea kayak the shoreline looking for the beautiful Red-billed Tropic bird usually found in the crevices, then swim or snorkel from the beach with sea lions or for those with experience, snorkel in some deeper water.

Next stop: Return to the yacht for the briefing and dinner before we cross the equator.

Day 3: Las Bachas Beach or Black Turtle Cove & Cerro Dragon – Santa Cruz
Las Bachas Beach or Black Turtle Cove & Cerro Dragon – Santa Cruz
Meals Included:  B, L, D
Overnight: M/Y Eric, Flamingo, or Letty

This morning visit Las Bachas (The Barges), where a long stretch of soft white sandy beach and interior lagoons tempt your curiosity.

Snorkel straight from the beach to explore your colorful underwater surroundings. Located on the northern tip of Santa Cruz is Cerro Dragon meaning Dragon Hill. Along the trail, search out Darwin Finches, Galapagos Flycatchers, Yellow Warblers, Audubon Shearwater and the endemic land iguanas, orange-yellow in color with large spines along their backs.

From the top of the hill, we enjoy a majestic view of the bay island covered in Opuntia cactus, Palo Santo and Cordia Lutea (muyuyu).

After the briefing and dinner, we sail toward the western islands and cross the equator line for the second time.

Day 4: Punta Espinoza – Fernandina Island / Urbina Bay – Isabela Island
Punta Espinoza – Fernandina Island / Urbina Bay – Isabela Island
Meals Included:  B, L, D
Overnight: M/Y Eric, Flamingo, or Letty

This morning, we have a semi-wet landing at Punta Espinoza, Fernandina, the youngest and most pristine island in Galapagos where recent lava flows formed by an active volcano stretch their way around the coast.

Hundreds of marine iguanas, the largest colony in Galapagos, bask in the sun along the rugged shoreline. Observe sea lion harems with resident bulls carefully guarding their territory.

After lunch, cross the Bolivar Chanel where you may spot whales and dolphins riding the bow wave.

This afternoon explore Urbina Bay, home to very large and colorful Galapagos land iguanas. At Punta Vicente Roca, a Zodiac ride offers an incredible view of the tuff walls, as we enter wave-sculpted caves in search of sea turtles that frequent the area.

Day 5: Elizabeth Bay / Tagus Cove – Isabela Island
Elizabeth Bay / Tagus Cove – Isabela Island
Meals Included:  B, L, D
Overnight: M/Y Eric, Flamingo, or Letty

This morning, we visit Elizabeth Bay by Zodiac starting with a visit to a secluded cove, lined with large red mangrove trees.

Motor to the rocky islets known as “Las Marielas”, where a colony of nesting Penguins, Flightless Cormorants and giant Marine Iguanas are found. We have a dry landing at Tagus Cove, located on the western Island of Isabela, created when 6 volcanoes flowed together and formed the largest island in Galapagos.

Discover a salt-water lagoon, a scenic overlook with a spectacular view of the ocean, lava fields, and volcanic formations. Ride the coves by Zodiac or kayak to find Galapagos Penguins, Boobies, Pelicans and other seabirds.

Finish off the day with an excellent snorkeling opportunity.

After dinner, a sky full of stars beckons you to go out on deck and observe the galaxy.

Day 6: Puerto Egas – Santiago Island / Rabida Island
Puerto Egas – Santiago Island / Rabida Island
Meals Included:  B, L, D
Overnight: M/Y Eric, Flamingo, or Letty

Wet landing at Puerto Egas, Santiago where you stroll along the shoreline looking for Octopus, Starfish and other sea life caught in the tide pools.

At low tide, catch a glimpse of Marine Iguanas as they feed on exposed green algae. Watch for Great Blue Herons, Lava Herons, American Oystercatchers and Yellow- crowned Night Herons.

End your walk at the grottos, deep pools of clear water, where you will encounter fur sea lions once on the verge of extinction. Before returning to the yacht, snorkel off the shores of the beach!

This afternoon, disembark on Rabida Island, the geographic center of Galapagos, which sports the most diversified volcanic rocks of all the islands. Follow a trail that leads to a salt water lagoon, and observe Greater Flamingos sunning themselves in the heat of the day.

Snorkel the crystal clear waters, keeping your eyes peeled for different kinds of tropical fish.

Day 7: El Chato / Centro de Crianza Fausto Llerena – Santa Cruz Island
El Chato / Centro de Crianza Fausto Llerena – Santa Cruz Island
Meals Included:  B, L, D
Overnight: M/Y Eric, Flamingo, or Letty

On Day 7, we travel by bus to El Chato in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island, the scenery gradually changing as we wind our way through all 7 vegetation zones found in Galapagos.

Here, we visit the tortoise reserve at “Las Primicias” one of the private farms in the highlands where we encounter giant tortoises in their natural habitat.

Visit the Centro de Crianza Fausto Llerena (formerly the Charles Darwin Research Station) where you’ll see all three tortoise corrals and the breeding center with new hatchlings and miniature tortoises not yet ready to be repatriated.

Scientists from all over the globe work at the station and conduct biological research from anatomy to zoology. We also visit the Van Straelen Hall where there are exhibits and a short video presentation.

Afterward, walk through the town of Puerto Ayora, population 24,000, and the social heart of the islands.

Day 8: Galápagos / Guayaquil / Quito – San Cristóbal Island
Galápagos / Guayaquil / Quito – San Cristóbal Island
Meals Included:  B

On Day 8, visit the Interpretation Center in San Cristóbal to learn more about the history of the Islands.

Next, head to the airport for a flight back to the mainland (departing San Cristobal at 11:20 am, arriving in Guayaquil at 2:15 pm – flight schedule subject to change).

Then, transfer to your hotel in Guayaquil or continue the flight on to Quito (arriving at 4:00 pm) to connect with your departing flight to the U.S.

Note: Additional options for pre- and post-tour packages are available, including Ecuadorian highlands and jungle extensions as well as a bare-bones add-on that just includes airport transfers, pre-cruise lodging in Quito and post-cruise lodging in Quito or Guayaquil. Please call your Austin Adventures trip consultant (800.575.1540) for complete details.

* This trip is operated in partnership with Ecoventura. There are more itinerary options available - please call for complete details.

** Trip itineraries are subject to change without notice due to road, ocean, weather, trail, and other factors outside of our control, for the safety and enjoyment of our guests, as deemed necessary and appropriate by Austin Adventures and/or Ecoventura.

Dates, Rates
& Details

Start planning your next adventure now. See the information below for the rates and selection of available dates. For additional information on dates and availability, please contact our travel specialists.

  • 8 days/7 nights
  • Next Departure: Call (800) 575-1540
  • From $4,100 / person

Additional Trip Information

Our Partner

Ecoventura

Austin Adventures is proudly offering this trip in conjunction with our Ecuadorian partner Ecoventura. Each year, Ecoventura carries thousands of nature enthusiasts to the Galápagos Islands. As Ecoventura enters its second decade of operation, we reflect back to 1990 when boat builders outfitted their first two 20-passenger vessels, Eric and Flamingo. In 1994 they launched their third sister yacht, Letty. In 2001 they launched the M/V Galapagos Sky, a custom-designed dive live-aboard. Clearly, Ecoventura holds a solid reputation for delivering personalized service, value and a high level of guest satisfaction. Ecoventura’s participation in the Smart Voyager environmental certification program ensures that all vessels, passengers and crewmembers commit to preserve the Galápagos National Park and to respect the fragile ecosystem that, worldwide, is recognized as a “living laboratory of evolution.” Offering unmatched comfort and safety, Ecoventura, delivers the enchantment of the Galápagos with a dedication to details that will make your journey fun, comfortable and truly rewarding.

Departure
  • Please arrive in Quito no later than the evening prior to your cruise (we recommend arriving a minimum of 2 nights to allow for potential flight delays and misconnection).
  • Flights to Galapagos for Ecoventura’s passengers are serviced by AEROGAL Airlines from Quito and Guayaquil.
  • On the day of departure, please be at the airport in Quito or Guayaquil one and a half hours prior to departure for check-in.
  • Please look for the Ecoventura representative at the AEROGAL Airline ticket counter to collect your boarding pass, transit card (if prepaid) and get assistance with check in.
  • On your last day, head to the airport for a flight back to the mainland (departing San Cristobal at 11:20 am, arriving in Guayaquil at 2:15 pm – flight schedule subject to change)
  • Transfer to your hotel in Guayaquil or continue the flight on to Quito (arriving at 4:00 pm) to connect with your departing flight to the U.S.
  • If you would like assistance in arranging your pre or post cruise details, please contact your Austin Adventures trip consultant (800.575.1540).
Activities
  • Hiking: 1 to 2 miles per hike, easy to moderate terrain.
  • Sea Kayaking: No experience necessary.
  • Snorkeling: Equipment provided, no experience necessary.
  • Boating: Inflatable Zodiac touring with naturalist guide.
Meals

The hallmark of an Austin Adventures vacation is our exceptional dining. All meals: breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, refreshments and receptions are included as indicated by itinerary. (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner). Most alcoholic beverages and related gratuities are not included in the trip price.

Included in Trip Price
  • Cabin accommodation on board.
  • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners, snacks and refreshments.
  • Non-alcoholic beverages and filtered water throughout cruise / House wine and beer with dinner.
  • Fully trained, bilingual, professional guides and knowledgeable local partners.
  • Guided shore excursions.
  • Use of snorkeling equipment, wet suits, and sea kayaks.
  • Transports between the airport and dock in Galápagos.
  • Austin Adventures T-shirt & luggage tags.
  • Pre-departure and packing information.
Not Included in Trip Price
  • Gratuities to Austin Adventures / Ecoventura guides & crew.
  • Alcoholic beverages.
  • Transfer to Quito or Guayaquil airport from your pre-trip hotel.
  • Airfare to Galapagos & airfare fuel surcharge.
  • Galapagos Entrance Fee & Transit Card.
  • Pre-and post-trip accommodations/packages and associated expenses.
  • Air and land transportation to/from host cities.
  • All types of personal insurance.
  • Personal expenses & purchases on board / from boutique.
Photos

A few more reasons why you've gotta go…

  • 1. For a step back in time: Follow in Darwin's footsteps and experience first-hand where his Theory of Evolution all began.
  • 2. The fearless wildlife: without any natural predators, the raptors, reptiles and marine mammals of the Galapagos are clearly as interested in you as you are in them.
  • 3. The giant tortoise: For a true definition of longevity, come face to face with the world's most enduring creature (whose average life span is 150-175 years!).
  • 4. Did we already mention the wildlife? Most of the animals seen on our Galapagos adventure tours can only be seen in this group of beautiful islands.
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(800) 575-1540