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As on all Southern Crossings tours, you´re taken care of from beginning to end – airport/dock transfers and domestic flights are included!

Depart any Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday! 

Galapagos Islands Tour

6 days: US$3350 per person
Domestic flights included

Travel on an unforgettable five-day Galapagos cruise. Our most popular Galapagos itineraries visit the islands of Bartolome, Isabela, Fernandina, Santiago, Rabida and Santa Cruz – a great combination of marine wildlife viewing, remote visitor’s sites and fascinating volcanic formations.

Day 1: Arrive in Quito or Guayaquil.

Day 2: Flight to the Galapagos Islands. Transfer from Galapagos airport to cruise ship and first excursion today.

Day 3-5: Galapagos cruise continues, visiting Isabela, Fernandina, Santiago, Rabida and Santa Cruz Islands.

Day 6: Morning tour then flight to mainland Ecuador either Quito or Guayaquil.


Trip itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Quito (or Guayaquil) anytime today and private transfer to your hotel for a morning departure tomorrow to the Galapagos Islands.

Day 2

Galapagos Legend Cruise Itinerary B

(Note: This itinerary is an example itinerary, it may vary depending on your travel dates, availability and ship choice. Coral I and II also have a slightly different itinerary – click here for details)

Departure from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra Airport – Galapagos Islands (aprox. two and half hour flight). Passengers will be picked up at the airport by their guides and taken to the pier to board the boat.

Black Turtle Cove (Santa Cruz). On the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, accessible only by sea where four species of mangrove crowd from the shore out into the lagoon, turtle enjoy swimming in the calm waters, peaking their heads above the surface while fish, rays and small sharks circle below. White-tipped reef sharks can be seen beneath the boat, sea birds, including pelicans, herons and egrets, all feed in the cove. This cove has been declared as a “Turtle Sanctuary”.

Day 3

Sulivan Bay (Santiago). Wet landing. This visitor site located at the southeastern portion of Santiago Island, and of important geologic interest, features extensive lava flows believed to have been formed during the last quarter of the 19th century.

Afternoon: Rábida. Wet landing. Dark-red sand covers these unique beaches with incredible landscape; Rábida is considered the epicenter of the Galapagos Islands due to the diversity of its volcanic geology. Nesting Brown Pelicans are found from July through September and nine species of the famous Darwin’s finches can be seen. We will also take a dinghy ride along cliffs to observe nesting seabirds, and snorkel off the coast, where marine life is particularly active.

Day 4

Urbina Bay (Isabela). Wet landing on a volcanic “black” beach. Depending on the time of year we may find giant tortoises, large land iguanas and the unusual Flightless Cormorant at their nesting sites and Galapagos Hawks. After the walk inland, snorkeling time is allotted, giving you yet another chance to swim with sea turtles, sea lions, penguins and countless tropical fish. Urbina Bay features a wide variety of plant life that changes depending on the season. We can observe the beautiful colors of plants that attract different insects, birds and reptiles. We will explore the uplifted coral reef that resulted from 1954 volcanic activity, with a spectacular view of Alcedo Volcano.

Afternoon: Tagus Cove (Isabela). Dry landing on Galapagos’ largest island where we will learn about the eruption of the five volcanoes that form it. The trail leads to Darwin’s salt-water crater Lake and excellent views of lava fields and volcanic formations.

We will return by the same path for a dinghy ride along a shoreline full of marine wildlife, where we will admire a variety of seabirds, such as Blue-footed Booby, Brown Noddy, terns, Flightless Cormorant and depending on the season, a large number of Galapagos Penguins which are only 35 cm. tall; the only penguin species in the world to extend its range into the northern hemisphere along the equator. They are monogamous and lay their eggs in small cracks of lava, on the lower parts of the island near the shoreline not reached by the ocean waves.

The population of penguins on the islands is about 2,000 individuals, most of which live on this western portion of Isabela; others are scattered further south on the island. We will have an opportunity to snorkel in deep water. Graffiti believed to have been left by 19th-century pirates is a curious reminder of an intriguing past.

Day 5

Espinosa Point (Fernandina). Dry landing. Espinosa Point is the only spot that we visit on Fernandina, and from it we can see the island of Isabela across the Bolívar Channel, an area that boasts some of the highest diversity of endemic sea fauna in the Galapagos. The largest, most primitive-looking race of marine iguanas are found mingling with sea lions and Sally Lightfoot Crabs; a wonderful opportunity to encounter Flightless Cormorants at their nesting sites, Galapagos Penguins and the “King” of predators on the Islands, the Galapagos Hawk.

“Pa-hoe-hoe” and “AA” lava formations cover the majority of the terrain. Vegetation is thus scarce inland, but we encounter Brachycereus cacti and extensive mangrove beds lining the shores.

Afternoon: Vincente Roca Point (Isabela). Great deep-water snorkeling at one of the richest marine havens on Earth (Bolívar Channel). We take a dinghy ride along the coast to observe a great diversity of sea and coastal birds; Nazca and blue-footed boobies, noddies, brown pelicans, penguins, flightless cormorants. The upwelling of coldwater currents in this part of the Galapagos gives rise to an abundance of marine life.

Day 6

Highlands (Santa Cruz). Dry landing. A 45-minute bus ride will take us to the Santa Cruz highlands, located to the northwest of Puerto Ayora, where we will find a natural reserve with giant tortoises. These enormous and slow-moving reptiles are responsible for the island’s name and therefore approaching them in their humid and forested abode is always an inspiring adventure. They can weigh between 250 and 300 kg and can live up to 150-200 years.

Return to the Galapagos Legend, check out and transfer to the Baltra airport. Return flight to Quito or Guayaquil. International flight may depart after 5pm today.

Is this trip for me?

Galapagos Islands Tour is a six-day tour which includes a cruise on a ship and some walking. As always, a certain patience is required for the inconsistencies and occasional delays of developing-world travel.

Joining the tour

On all Southern Crossings tours, you are met at the airport by one of our representatives (holding a Southern Crossings placard), who will accompany you to our joining hotel. No bargaining or being ripped off by airport taxis!

What’s included in the trip

  • All airport transfers
  • Southern Crossings bilingual guides
  • All other internal transport (excluding transport to optional restaurants, bars, sights and excursions)
  • Two domestic flights – Guayaquil or Quito-Galapagos Islands, Galapagos Islands-Guayaquil or Quito
  • Five nights of accommodation – four nights aboard ship in the Galapagos, one night of 4 star hotel accommodation in Quito or Guayaquil
  • Breakfast – included with all hotel stays 
  • Five day/four night Galapagos cruise, including all food, excursions, fuel surcharge of $90.00 and Galapagos National Institute Migration Control Card (US$ 20.00)
  • 24 hour customer support line while on tour

What’s not included

International flights, pre- & post- tour accommodation, visas, vaccinations, personal insurance, meals except where specified above, drinks, laundry, souvenirs, tips while on optional excursions and other items of a personal nature. Medical travel insurance is not included through Southern Crossings though we do require that you have a policy that covers you abroad, cancellation insurance is advisable.  Any medical insurance is acceptable.

In the Galapagos, the following is not included:

  • Galapagos National Park Tax: US$100.00, US$50 for children under 12 (this is paid in the Galapagos airport in cash)
  • Wet suit (US$ 25.00)
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, not including water which is provided.
  • Medical Services, travel insurance and other not specified.
  • Tips.

Extra accommodation

We will gladly arrange additional accommodation for you before or after your trip.

Accommodation Upgrades

This tour includes a 4 star hotel. We would be happy to give you an upgrade to a 5 star hotel. Let us know your preference. We can then work it into your custom itinerary.

Pre-trip planner

Required documents

All travelers to Ecuador are required to have a passport valid for at least six months from date of entry. Visas are not required for E.U., U.S., Canadian, Australian or New Zealand passport holders. For other nationalities, please consult the nearest embassy or consulate. An onward ticket and proof of funds may also be required at entry and should be available to show to immigration. Traveler’s checks, currency, or a bank statement, from the bank or printed off the internet, are sufficient for proof of funds.

Required immunizations

No immunizations are required of travelers to these areas of Ecuador. Travelers may wish to receive hepatitis vaccinations and should be current on all other standard vaccinations. No areas visited on this trip are malarial or yellow fever risk zones. Please consult your physician or local health department for more information.

Things to bring

A list of suggested things to bring would include:

  • Passport and, if necessary, visa
  • ATM card (notify your bank you will be travelling to Ecuador)
  • Airline ticket
  • Photocopies of airline ticket and documents
  • Wearable pouch for documents and money
  • Sturdy backpack or suitcase
  • Smaller, comfortable day pack
  • Walking shoes or sneakers
  • Sandals or flip-flops
  • Rain poncho or jacket
  • Waterproof pants
  • Sun hat
  • T-shirts
  • Socks, undergarments
  • Swimsuit
  • Flashlight and/or head lamp
  • Sunscreen (biodegradable & eco-friendly)
  • Insect repellent (biodegradable & eco-friendly)
  • Lip balm
  • Earplugs
  • Alarm clock or watch
  • Sanitizing hand wipes or gel
  • Camera and film/digital memory cards
  • Camera batteries
  • Snorkel and mask (if you own your own, included on boat) / wet suit (available for rental on the Galapagos ship)

It is best to bring from home such items as prescription medications, eyewear and care, unusual film and camera batteries.

Baggage

For your international flights, please check with your airline. Within Peru and Ecuador, you are allowed 20 kilos (44 lbs) of checked baggage, as well as one carry-on and another small, purse-like item. The carry-on size regulations are the same as international carry-on size regulations.

Climate

The climate in sites you will visit is as follows:

Guayaquil and Galapagos: hot and humid, rain always possible. Galapagos can have a cooler, more moderate climate depending on current conditions. One should come prepared for outdoor activity with temperatures ranging from 70° to 90° Fahrenheit or 21° to 32° Celsius and for extremes of sun and the possibility of rain.
Quito: days are warm if sunny, slightly chilly if cloudy. Nights are chilly. Rain always possible. Temperatures can vary between 46° to 70° Fahrenheit or 8° to 21° Celsius.

Money guide

The unit of currency in Ecuador is the US dollar.

Automatic cash points are available in Quito and Guayaquil. Credit cards and cash are accepted on the Galapagos cruise and in Puerto Ayora. Visa, MasterCard, Plus, and Cirrus are the most common usable types of cards. Traveler’s checks (American Express is best but you may be charged 5-8% to cash) or a Visa or MasterCard for cash advances are also options. Do not bring MoneyGrams or International Money Orders, as they are extremely difficult to exchange. Banks and exchange houses are available in Guayaquil and Quito. Currency Converter