Days
6
Price from
€2,887EUR

Discover wildlife at its finest in the Central Galapagos Islands

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/Y Coral 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.


Start
Quito, Ecuador
Finish
Quito, Ecuador
Country
Ecuador
Style
Peregrine
Code
PSCGC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 5
Group size
Min 1, Max 36

Why we love this trip

  • As you board your vessel, M/Y Coral, 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.

  • This is indeed the Galapagos journey with something for everyone.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Although we don't ask travellers to complete a Physical Participation Form for this trip, we do ask that you read through the trip notes carefully to ensure that this trip is right for you. You’ll need to feel comfortable with the included activities and with moving about the boat. The cabins and communal areas of the boat are spread over four decks, and the steps between the decks are steep.

  • You will be entering and exiting a Zodiac boat (panga) during wet and dry landings and when returning from snorkelling. Although the waters we sail are usually calm, there are times when the sea can get rough and choppy. Steady sea legs (and a sturdy stomach) are needed when walking around the boat during bad weather. Rain or shine, your trusty crew will always be on hand to assist you.

  • A typical yacht/boat for sixteen travellers is equipped with eight cabins each with ensuites. They are designed to maximise living area space, so sleeping quarters can be a bit cramped. That being said, the adventure and exhilaration of an authentic Galapagos trip more than makes up for any discomfort.

  • While at sea and when exploring the islands, you may be exposed to the sun for large parts of the day. It’s important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water.

  • Please note that while there is an itinerary in place, some changes may occur due to the weather or because of direction from the local authorities. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for potential modifications to the route or activities. A sense of humour and flexibility will ensure you have a fun, relaxing trip through this beautiful part of the world no matter what happens.

  • All of our Galapagos tours begin and end in Quito which is located approximately 2850 metres above sea level so you may experience some altitude sickness.

Boats

M/Y Coral I

On this itinerary, you'll be travelling aboard the M/Y Coral I

View ship information

Itinerary

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.
A welcome meeting will be held in the evening at either 5pm or 6 pm when you meet others travelling with you on your cruise to the Galapagos Islands. Please check with hotel reception or check the reception notice boards for the time and place of the meeting for your trip. As today is an arrival day, you can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting.
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).
Quito sits at high altitude under the towering Pichincha volcano. It is a beautiful city, arguably one of the most beautiful in South America. The city stretches along the valley and is surrounded by the Andes. The Old Town of Quito is awash with history, with more than 30 churches to explore, and a number of fascinating museums. La Compania de Jesus is considered to be the most beautiful and ornate churches in the Americas. The city's oldest street, Calle La Ronda, is well worth exploring.
As this trip spends very little time in Quito, we recommend you spend a few extra days before or after your trip to experience all the city has to offer. You may even wish to explore further beyond the city and visit Otavalo, Cotopaxi, the Cloud Forest or the Equatorial Monument.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Le Parc, Quito (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
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. Please see the "Medical & Health Information" section for more details.
This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to the Galapagos Islands. Please note the pick-up time can be as early as 4:30 am (a boxed breakfast will be provided), as the airport is a one-hour drive away and you must allow for delays and check-in times. (Your tour leader will confirm this time with you at the Welcome Meeting on Day 1).
A US$20 per person transit card is payable on departure at Quito Airport and a US$100 per person national park entry fee is payable on arrival on the islands. Please have cash on hand for these transactions as credit cards are not accepted.
The flight to the Galapagos will make one stop in Guayaquil to pick up other passengers. (Total flight time is about 3.5 hours).
On arrival in the Galapagos, you will be met in the arrival hall of the airport (look out for ‘Coral’ signs) by a transfer guide and transferred to our yacht - ‘MY Coral’, anchored a short distance away. A 10 minute drive will take you to the pier to board the Coral. Once on board, cabins will be assigned and you will get to meet our crew members and get to know your naturalist guide while enjoying a delicious lunch.
After lunch, cruise along the east coast of Isla Santa Cruz to Puerto Ayora where you will visit the *Charles Darwin Research Station and Fausto Llerena Breeding Center. Here the Galapagos Giant Tortoise breeding program takes place as part of the efforts to preserve the fragile Galapagos environment and where the famous Lonesome George (the last surviving specimen of his species) lived for decades. Admire a prickly-pear cactus forest, a variety of Darwin’s finches and various land birds. The Darwin Station also works providing environmental education to communities and schools within the islands and to tourists visiting the Galapagos. There will some free time to visit the town of Puerto Ayora for some shopping in its boutiques where uniquely designed handcrafts, jewellery, ceramics, T-shirts, and souvenirs can be found. You may also have time to try some local food, go for a beer or enjoy an ice cream with the locals.
Then head back to the boat for your first evening in the amazing Galapagos Islands.
Accommodation
  • MY Coral (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Fausto Llerena Breeding Center & Charles Darwin Research Station Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today is predominately a long travel day with an early morning start. Your first activity on the islands will not commence until after lunch.

* The Charles Darwin Station is currently undergoing maintenance so the opening hours are restricted. Some areas of the station have limited access or are closed.

Puerto Ayora:
Difficulty level: Easy
Type of terrain: Flat
An overnight sail will take you to the west coast of Isla Santa Cruz and in the morning your first landing will be at Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill).
You will take a walk by a brackish lagoon frequented by lagoon birds including stilts, pintail ducks, sandpipers, sanderlings and occasionally flamingos. The trail leads across a typical dry zone vegetation and offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western area of the archipelago. The area is an important nesting ground for endemic land iguanas and is constantly monitored and assisted by the Charles Darwin Research Station. The arid-zone vegetation makes for a rewarding location for birdwatching with Galapagos mockingbirds, Darwin’s finches, yellow warblers and the endemic Galapagos flycatcher all regulars here.

Isla Bartolomé (Bartolomé Island) is one of the most spectacular volcanic landscapes in the Galapagos and you will travel back in time to lava tube formations, spatter cones and the remains of two types of hardened lava: AA and pa-hoe-hoe. You will experience beautiful and breathtaking landscapes as you climb up the Summit Trail in a moon-like scenery. Here you will find tiquilia and spurge plants, various cactus species, lava lizards and blue-footed boobies. Pinnacle Rock is possibly the best known and photographed sites in the Galapagos. It is an abrupt jag of rock protruding from the earth like a tooth, while nearby two golden bays back onto each other. For many, this may turn out to be one of the greatest snorkelling experiences because is the best chance to see zigzagging penguins chasing small schools of fish, white-tipped sharks and marine turtles, just to mention some.
Accommodation
  • MY Coral (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Cerro Dragon - Walk (2 hours) - Wet or Dry Landing
  • Isla Bartolome - Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Bartolome - Snorkelling (1 hour) - Wet Landing
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Cerro Dragon:
Difficulty level: Intermediate
Type of terrain: Rocky

Isla Bartolome:
Difficulty level: Intermediate
Type of terrain: 372 steps along a trail
Sitting at roughly five kilometres south of Isla Santiago, is Isla Rábida. Also known as Jervis Island, it is one of the most diverse in terms of volcanic activity as it lies at the very heart of the archipelago’s volcanic origin. In this deep red beach, surrounded by cliffs and steep slopes of volcanic cinder cones it is usual to find nesting colonies of brown pelicans, as well as, nine species of Darwin finches, fur seals, and Nazca boobies. Introduced species were eradicated in 1971, meaning that the indigenous wildlife has now been returned to a state of splendid isolation. Additionally, volcanic activity here has produced vivid, fantastical colours, not least the beached of red sand and cliffs of scarlet.
From the shore, the trail leads through to what is one of the finest lagoons in the Galapagos for viewing flamingos. Rabida is also a wonderful place to spot nesting pelicans. Elsewhere, pintail ducks, marine iguanas and sea lions are all present. There is an opportunity for snorkelling in a place where sea stars, damsels, gobbies and surgeon fish are numerous.
You will have the chance to snorkel off the coast, where marine life is particularly active and colourful.
This afternoon you will head to the northern coast of Isla Santiago visiting Buccaneers Cove and Espumilla Beach. Buccaneers Cove is an amazing location, featuring the remains of an eroded shoreline that is home to seabirds, fur seals and the playful sea lions. Its different shapes and high cliffs have been made throughout a process caused by erosion of the waves and the wind. In the 19th century, it was a popular refuge for pirates. Espumilla Beach is a white-sandy beach in James Bay and is a popular place among visitors. There are mangroves and a small palo santo forest that lead to salty-water lagoons that are home to wading birds like flamingos. The upper dunes are a nesting site for sea turtles. You will have the chance to go snorkelling here and search for rays.
Accommodation
  • MY Coral (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Rabida - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Rabida - Snorkelling (1 hour)
  • Isla Rabida - Panga ride (1 hour)
  • Isla Santiago - Buccaneer’s Cove & Espumilla Beach - 1 hour walk, 1 hour snorkel
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Isla Rabida & Bachas Beach:
Difficulty level: Easy
Type of terrain: Sandy

Buccaneers Cove/Espumilla Beach:
Difficulty level: Easy
Type of terrain: Sandy
As flights to the mainland from Galapagos depart mid morning, it is an early start for our last morning on the islands. Depending on the time of your flight, your time spent on this final excursion could be limited.
This morning you will take a ‘panga’ to Caleta Tortuga Negra (Black Turtle Cove). Located on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, four species of mangrove crowd form an internal lagoon. Turtles visit the calm waters, peaking their heads above the surface, while the fish and rays circle below. White-tipped reef sharks can be seen beneath the boat, plus sea birds including pelicans, herons and egrets feeding from the cove.
This cove has been declared as a ‘Turtle Sanctuary’ as it is a breeding area for turtles so it is not uncommon to see them mating.

This is your final excursion before you return 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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Le Parc, Quito (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Black Turtle Cove - Panga ride (1 hours)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Black Turtle Cove:
Difficulty level: Easy
Type of terrain: none

Today is predominately a long travel day with an early morning start. There will be a short morning activity before your mid-morning flight back to the mainland. The flight back to Quito is not due to arrive until late afternoon after making a brief stop in Guayaquil to drop-off/pick-up other passengers.
Your Galapagos adventure will come to an end today after breakfast. There are no activities planned for the final day so you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. There are many fascinating things to do in and around Quito, so please speak to our customer service representative about any optional activities that might be of interest. They can also assist you in booking a departure transfer to the airport.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
All travel times/distances and activity durations are approximate only and subject to change.

Meals

5 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners

Transport

Minibus, Boat, Plane, Zodiac

Accommodation

Hotel (2 nights), Overnight boat (3 nights)

Included Activities

  • Isla Santa Cruz - Fausto Llerena Breeding Center & Charles Darwin Research Station Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Cerro Dragon - Walk (2 hours) - Wet or Dry Landing
  • Isla Bartolome - Walk (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Bartolome - Snorkelling (1 hour) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Rabida - Walk (1.5 hours) - Wet Landing
  • Isla Rabida - Snorkelling (1 hour)
  • Isla Rabida - Panga ride (1 hour)
  • Isla Santiago - Buccaneer’s Cove & Espumilla Beach - 1 hour walk, 1 hour snorkel
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Black Turtle Cove - Panga ride (1 hours)

Dates & availability

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Important notes

GALAPAGOS PARK, TRANSIT CARD & ISABELA ISLANDS PORT FEES:
Before checking in for the flight from Quito to the Galapagos, there is a US$20 transit fee that needs to be paid. On arrival in the islands you must pay the US$100 national park fee to enter Galapagos National Park. If your voyage visits Isabela Island, there is also a US$5 fee to be paid on arrival at the island.

PASSPORT DETAILS:
When booking, please make sure that your name is spelt correctly, and that you book using the name in your passport (particularly if you are recently married). If you are issued a new passport with a different number between the time that you book and the time you travel, please take both the old and new passports with you.

DIETARY REQUIREMENTS:
Should you have a special diet requirement (for example vegetarian, celiac, vegan, severe food allergies) it's essential that you inform us or your agent of the specific details at least 10 days prior to departure, in order to make sure the chef on board the boat or on the island can request the necessary food supplies.

SPECIAL NEEDS:
Should you have special needs, including physical or health problems please advise us at the time of booking so that we can assess your suitability or make special arrangements.

MINIMUM AGE:
The minimum age on this trip is 5. Please note that triple cabins are not available. If travelling with a child, the child will need to share with one of the adults, and the other adult will share with another adult passenger, or pay a single supplement.

SEA SICKNESS- GALAPAGOS:
Please note that from June to August the water is rougher than usual. Consequently travel times will be longer than usual. If you suffer from seasickness you may want to reconsider travelling during this period.

ELECTRICITY, WI-FI & PHONE COVERAGE IN THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS:
Electricity in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands is 110 - 120V and requires US plugs so you may need to take an adapter.
Wi-Fi is not available on the boat at all whilst in the Galapagos Islands. There is limited access on the bigger islands of Santa Cruz, San Cristobal and Isabela and there may also be internet cafes for you to use if there is time.
Like Wi-Fi, mobile phone coverage is pretty non-existent whilst travelling around the islands. Again, you may find that you have limited service when you are closer to the bigger islands.
There is a satellite phone on board, for the use of shipboard staff, in case of emergency.

DIVING IN THE GALAPAGOS:
We do not offer diving as a part of our Galapagos program and due to our internal safety policy our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking this activity.

COMPULSORY SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS
A compulsory single supplement applies to single travellers who book a Junior suite. Please refer to the to the accommodation section for more information.

BOOKING CONDITIONS
Full payment on bookings for the Coral is 65 days prior to departure.
If a booking is cancelled 61 days or more before departure - the cancellation fee is the full loss of the deposit paid.
If a booking is cancelled between 61 days and departure - the cancellation fee is 100% of the total price of the tour.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.