6 days

Galapagos Encounter - Southern Islands

Galapagos Encounter - Southern Islands

The tortoises of Charles Darwin Research Station

Puerto Ayora

Post Office Bay on Floreana

UNESCO World Heritage-listed Colonial Quito

Frigatebird spotting

Trip rating
  • As we fly from Quito to the Galapagos Islands, located in the equatorial water of the Pacific Ocean, we suddenly find ourselves in a very different world. As we board our vessel, the M.C Queen Beatriz, and follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin, we start to encounter nature at its finest. This is indeed the Galapagos journey with something for everyone.

     

    Why we love it

    • As you board your vessel, M.C Queen Beatriz, and follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin, you will encounter nature at its finest.
    • Explore the islands from on deck, on foot and in the water, no doubt with your eyes open for your next unique sight.
    • You'll encounter giant Galapagos tortoises, blue-footed and masked boobies, pelicans and frigate birds, as well as land and marine iguanas, sea lions, fur seals and perhaps dolphins, whales and sea turtles.

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - (Sat) Arrive in Quito and transfer to hotel.

    • On arrival at Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day will be at your leisure.
    • There is a pre-departure meeting in the evening at 6pm when you meet others travelling on your cruise to the Galapagos Islands. You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place.
    • If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
    • Note: Quito is located at 2850 metres above sea level. At this altitude you may experience some of the milder effects of altitude sickness, such as dizziness, insomnia and a shortness of breath. If so, we recommend you avoid any strenuous activity.

    Day 2 - Morning flight to Baltra, transfer to the M.C Queen Beatriz. Visit Punta Carrión.

    • This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to the Galapagos Islands. Please note the pick-up time will usually be as early as 4am as the airport is a one hour drive and you must allow for delays and check-in times. (Your tour leader will confirm this time with you at the pre-departure meeting on Day 1.
    • On arrival at Baltra Airport in the Galapagos you must pay the US$110 arrival tax for entry to Galapagos National Park (which includes the US$10 transit fee). This is best done using cash, as using credit cards can be a time consuming process.
    • You will be met in the arrival hall of the airport by a National Park Guide, and transferred to the catamaran ‘M.C Queen Beatriz’. Lunch will be served on the boat.
    • Your first stop in the afternoon will be Punta Carrion, located in north-eastern Santa Cruz. This is a shallow and protected cove, ideal for your first snorkel and swim in the Galapagos! Wildlife is plentiful; keep your eyes peeled for blue-footed boobies, Galapagos herons, great blue herons and underwater swim among rays and white-tipped reef sharks.
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 3 - Isabela Island, including Tintoreras, Giant Tortoise Breeding Center and the Wall of Tears.

    • Today you will wake up on the South Coast of Isabela Island, the largest of the Galapagos Archipelago. Isabela was formed by five giant volcanic craters, all of which are still considered active. The island is located in one of the youngest geological areas in the world, having been formed less than 1 million years ago.
    • This southern coast of turquoise blue waters has the largest area of beaches in the Galapagos. You will visit Las Tintoreras, where from the viewing walkway you can look down into this narrow channel to see a colony of white-tipped reef sharks swimming and sleeping, and the occasional playful sea lion among them!
    • Blue-footed boobies and penguins, marine iguanas and crabs also make their home here, and the waters provide further opportunities to swim with turtles. Here you will also visit the Giant Tortoise breeding centre and the Wall of Tears, constructed from lava by prisoners of the penal colony here between 1946 and 1959 as punishment.
    • Please note there's a US$20 fee to be paid upon entering Isabela Island.
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 4 - Cruise to Floreana Island, exploring Post Office Bay, Devil's Crown and Punta Cormorant.

    • The island of Floreana is a highlight of any Galapagos cruise, rich in natural wonders and wildlife. You will go ashore at Punta Cormorant where the sand is made up of fine olivine crystals, a glassy volcanic mineral, giving the beach an olive-green colour. It is the best place to see Galapagos sea lions.
    • Today is also one of your finest opportunities to see pink flamingos and other water birds wading in the lagoons, including pintails and stilts. Just offshore, the Devil’s Crown is an old eroded volcanic cone and a popular roosting site for seabirds such as boobies, pelicans and frigates. Red-billed tropicbirds can also be seen nesting in the rocky crevices.
    • The centre of the cone is an outstanding snorkelling spot, perhaps the most remarkable in the entire archipelago, full of sea lions and colourful fish. Floreana is also home to Post Office Bay, where 18th century whalers used a barrel as an unofficial mail drop. This custom continues to this day with visitors to the Galapagos – post one of your own, or see if there are any you could deliver back home!
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 5 - Santa Cruz Island, visiting Charles Darwin Station. Fly from Baltra to return to Quito.

    • Today you will visit Santa Cruz, the second largest island in the Galapagos. The small town of Puerto Ayora is the economic centre of the archipelago, and home to the Charles Darwin Research Station. As well as undertaking vital conservation work, the station also makes for interesting exploration and offers the best opportunities for close encounters with giant tortoises. You will also observe baby tortoises and land iguanas.
    • Afterward you will head to the airport in Baltra for your flight back to Quito. As you will be leaving the boat this morning, please remember that if you have enjoyed the services provided by your guide and crew, a tip would be very much appreciated by them. As a guideline we recommend each passenger consider US$15 per day for the crew and US$10 per day for your guide. You can leave tips in envelopes that are placed in your cabin on the last day of your journey.
    • Upon arrival in Quito Airport you will be transferred back to your hotel for an overnight stay.
    Breakfast

    Day 6 - Quito.

    • Your voyage will come to an end today after breakfast.
    Breakfast
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • The services of an expert English-speaking naturalist guide and a crew of eight onboard the Galapagos vessel.
    • Return flights from Quito to the Galapagos Islands.
    • Accommodation onboard the Queen Beatriz.
    • All Zodiac and shore excursions during the voyage.
    • All meals aboard the M.C Queen Beatriz.
    • Use of snorkelling equipment, including a wetsuit, during the voyage.
    • Arrival transfer.

    Not Included

    • International flights
    • Airport departure tax
    • Visas where required
    • Meals not included in the itinerary
    • Insurance
    • Laundry
    • Any optional tours or activities during free time
    • Tips
    • Items of a personal nature
    • Galapagos transit card and the entrance fee to Galapagos Islands National Park
    • Isabela Island port fee
    • Drinks purchased on board
    • Daily budget
  • Map Itinerary

  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

    At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.

    Galapagos Encounter - Southern Islands

    Mark - United States, 13 Jan, 2014
    5
    Overall Rating

    Fabulous trip!

  • From our Blog

    Image of the week: the land before time

    Galapagos seal | Photo courtesy of Steve Mortimer

    The Galapagos' one-of-a-kind ecology is due in part to the confluence of currents that surround the isles. There are in fact five oceans that collide in the surrounding water, creating unpredictable tides and...

    Read on...

    The other Galapagos

    We all know the big appeal of visiting the stunning Galapagos Islands is the chance to meet incredible wildlife and immerse yourself in that crystal clear water. But what about at the end of the day, when the activities are over and it's time to let your hair down, relax, look back over your photos...

    Read on...

    The best in South American wine tasting

    When great wine producing countries spring to mind, you'll probably start with France and Italy. But what about South America? Home to some fantastic wines, you can be sure of distinctive flavours and excellent food to match. 

    Wine tourism is taking hold in South America, and and wine...

    Read on...

    Why we love it: Galapagos Islands

    Up next in our Why We Love It series are the wild, raw, magical Galapagos Islands. Each week we get a different Peregrine staff member to talk about their favourite destination, inspiring you to get out there and explore the world!

    There have been various moments in time when I have felt a real...

    Read on...

    Wildlife in the Galápagos Islands


    Our Galapagos tour leaders, Annie and Woody Inglis, take us through what you can expect as you explore this living evolutionary laboratory:

    It's clear why the Galápagos Islands are also known as the Enchanted Isles. The varied and dramatic landscapes provide habitat for...

    Read on...
From US $2695
*Per Person, Twin Share

Select a trip date below

Trip Start Dates
Trip Duration
Guaranteed Departure Start Date
Trip Selected:
Price: US $
Start:
End:
Discount price: US $

*Please note: To receive the discounted price for this departure, please enter the Promo Code at Step 4 of the booking form.

No Code available
View all departures

Trip at a glance

Trip Code PSGEA
Start City: Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador
End City: Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador
Style: Small Group

What to know

The National Park and Transit Card fee of US$110 is not included in the trip cost and must be paid in cash upon arrival at Baltra airport.

Please note there's a US$20 fee to be paid upon entering Isabela Island.

Contact an expert

1-800-663-5132We'll call you

Simply enter your details and we'll call you back within the next business day.