Galapagos Wildlife Adventure
Where else in the world can you snorkel with penguins, sharks, and sea lions at the same time? Walk in the footsteps of Charles Darwin, exploring one of the most unique environments on the planet! On this “best of the Galapagos” adventure you’ll encounter giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, land and marine iguanas, Darwin finches, magnificent frigatebirds, penguins, flamingos, and more. And that’s just on land! You’ll also have numerous chances to snorkel in waters teaming with tropical fish, playful sea lions, sea turtles, rays, and even sharks (but don’t worry, they’re friendly)! Whether your interest is marine biology, geology, photography, or unique and rare wildlife species, a journey to the Galapagos Islands is unlike any other.
Per Person Double Occupancy
Single Supplement: $900
Nov. 16-24, 2024
9 Days / 8 Nights
Depart USA for Ecuador
Welcome to Quito, the capital of Ecuador. Upon arrival, we’ll be met and transferred to our hotel for the evening.
Fly to Galápagos
After breakfast at our hotel, we transfer to the airport and depart on our flight to the Galapagos Islands. On arrival in Baltra, our Naturalist Guide will accompany us to a wonderful restaurant, in the middle of the cloud forest, where lunch awaits. Enroute to the restaurant, we will be stopping to visit “Los Gemelos,” two massive pit craters located in the cloud forest, where we will see a few of Darwin’s famous finches and endemic plants of the area. After lunch, we’ll continue to our hotel to check in, have our “Snorkeling Safety Briefing,” and practice in the hotel swimming pool. Tonight, we gather for dinner at a local restaurant. (B, L, D)
Tortuga Bay Beach
This morning we’ll take a nature walk, at a slow, leisurely pace, to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Tortuga Bay. As we walk through a typical cactus forest, our naturalist will point out the many species of birds, including the Galapagos mockingbird. Our walk concludes as we arrive on the gorgeous white sandy coral beach where the remainder of the day’s activities is up to us. Delight in the clear turquoise water, swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking, or simply relaxing on the shore. Plenty of Galapagos wildlife can be found here, such as marine iguanas, sea turtles, lava herons, pelicans, and finches. Our crew will set up a picnic lunch, on the beach, for us to enjoy and bring towels and any additional gear we’ll need to make the most of our day. Later, board the boat and ride back to the town and our hotel. (B, L, D)
Santa Fe Island
Today we’ll depart for the island of Santa Fe, one of the oldest islands in the archipelago. Santa Fe’s beach makes quite the impression as it is typically packed with sea lions. After a wet landing on the beautiful white beach, we’ll walk a path to discover the Galapagos hawk, Santa Fe marine iguana, land iguanas, blue-footed boobies, and more. Later this afternoon, after a delicious lunch at sea, we’ll go snorkeling to see rays, turtles, many different types of fish, and playful sea lions. Then we’ll head back to Puerto Ayora where you’ll have dinner on your own this evening. (B, L)
North Seymour – Bachas Beach
Following a delicious breakfast, we’ll be taking a bus across the island to board our tour boat heading to North Seymour Island. North Seymour Island is the only place where we will see the male frigate bird showing his big red pouch. We’ll also see blue-footed boobies, gulls, marine iguanas, and sea lions’ pups. After our adventure on shore, we’ll return to the boat for lunch.
After lunch, we navigate to Bachas Beach, a beautiful white coral beach located on the northern side of Santa Cruz Island. This is a sea turtle nesting site where we will also see a flamingo lagoon, mockingbirds, ghost crabs, and pelicans. We will have time here for more snorkeling or a stroll along this gorgeous beach and its crystal-clear water. Tonight, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. (B, L, D)
After coffee at the hotel, we will travel by bus to the other side of the island where our boat will be waiting. This morning we navigate to Bartolome. This 1-hour and 30-minute navigation gives us a good chance to see the playful bottlenose dolphins, jumping rays, and hopefully even bigger creatures.
Bartolome is one of the most beautiful islands in the Galapagos. First, we’ll hike the 372 steps and enjoy a wonderful volcanic view of one of the most photographed places in the Galapagos, Pinnacle Rock, along with many volcanic splatter cones. Then, take a short ride by boat to look for endemic Galapagos penguins which are found on the rocky shoreline, or hunting fish in these waters.
Later we’ll have a chance to get in the water and explore the diverse marine life. Snorkel in the water surrounding Pinnacle Rock and, with a little luck, swim with penguins and many different fish. We’ll return to the hotel smiling, happy, tired, and ready for more adventure! (B, L, D)
Charles Darwin Research Station – Santa Cruz
This morning, we will visit the famous Charles Darwin Station where we’ll learn about the different conservation programs the Galapagos National Park and Darwin Station are carrying out. We’ll also visit the tortoise breeding center, where we’ll see baby tortoises before they are old enough to go back to their original island.
Later, we travel by bus to the highlands of Santa Cruz, through private farmland, to a place in the highlands where giant tortoises are found in their natural habitat. While here we’ll see one of its natural wonders, a lava tube, and we will walk underground to enjoy this magnificent geological formation. Our busy morning concludes with a delicious lunch at one of the local farms on the island.
After lunch, we’ll continue onward and make a stop at an old farm run by a true Galapagos farmer, see a small coffee, banana and sugar cane plantation, and many interesting plants in the area. Tonight, enjoy a farewell feast in town, as we say goodbye to our Galapagos Naturalist Guide. (B, L, D)
Fly to Quito
After breakfast we say goodbye to our new friends in the Galapagos Islands and return to the airport for our flight to mainland Ecuador. Upon arrival into Quito, “la carita de Dios,” meaning “the little face of God,” we’ll board our bus to tour Quito’s Old Town. The mix of well-preserved colonial churches and convents, shining glass and sleek contemporary architecture makes Quito one of the most beautiful cities in Latin America. Then well head to the hotel where we’ll have dinner on our own this evening. (B, L*)
*A box lunch will be provided on the bus on the way to your city tour.
Quito – Flight Home
After an early morning breakfast, we’ll transfer to the airport to check-in for our international flight home. (B)
Please Note: Itinerary order subject to change based on ocean conditions or flight schedule changes.
- Economy class roundtrip airfare from Chicago (ORD) to Quito Ecuador (UIO)*
- Roundtrip airport transfers from Milwaukee to Chicago (ORD)
- Local, in-country, flights between Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands
- All ground transportation
- Hotel accommodations in Quito and Santa Cruz**
- All activities as specified in your itinerary
- Expert English-speaking naturalist guides in the Galapagos and tour guide on the mainland
- 20 meals (8 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 5 dinners)
- Soft drink or water with your meals and a water dispenser with purified water at your hotel in the Galapagos Islands
- Snorkeling gear and a mesh bag
- Galapagos National Park entrance fee
- Migration card (TCT) in the Galapagos
- Gratuities for cruise staff, drivers, local and naturalist guides, porters, and included meals
- Taxes & fees as of 6/16/23
- Complete Services of Cruise & Tour Including Tour Director
*Please call to request alternate gateways (additional fare may apply)
- Satisfy your every curiosity with access to top Galapagos naturalists throughout your time on the islands.
- Eat with the locals, visit a school, and learn to farm the Galapagos way.
- Travel Insurance (travelers must have a minimum of medical-only travel insurance to participate)
- Changes in taxes and fees after 6/16/2023
- Air upgrades
- Airline baggage fees (if applicable)
- Items of a personal nature such as passport fees, laundry, alcoholic beverages, medical care, etc.
- Meals not speciﬁed in the itinerary
- Scuba Diving
Activity Level 4
At an active pace, this tour requires travelers to be physically fit and expect some physical effort. Planned activities often operate at a faster pace with extended distances. Days may begin earlier or end later in the evening. You can expect to be standing and walking for longer periods of time, climbing steps, and walking uphill. Your itinerary may include relaxed paced hikes along unpaved trails or uneven terrain, swimming, snorkeling, walking to cities where buses are prohibited, climbing in and out of boats, along with other active activities not mentioned. This tour is not suitable for individuals with mobility challenges or those who rely on wheelchairs or walkers on a consistent basis.
Travelers must have a minimum of medical-only travel insurance to participate.
How to Book
- Call Cruise & Tour at (800) 383-3131 or REQUEST A CALL
- Ask to have a place held on this trip
- You will receive an email with a link to our online registration form
Fill it out and you’re in!
It’s that easy. Give us a call today!
Travel Insurance Information
Worldwide Trip Protector
Cruise & Tour recommends that you purchase travel insurance.
To purchase travel protection insurance:
- Click here to view and print the Travel Insured International brochure which has a brief summary of coverage.
- After making your travel reservation and deposit, a Cruise & Tour representative will create an insurance quote for you. You will receive that travel insurance quote from Travel Insured International Customer Care.
- From here you will be able to view the quote, add additional coverage options such as Cancel for Any Reason, and purchase your policy all in the Travel Insured International Portal.
Please Note: Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion will be waived if you purchase the protection plan within 21 days of the date of your initial trip payment. Options such as Cancel for Any Reason or Interrupt for Any Reason must also be purchased within 21 days of the date of your initial trip payment.
To view and print the Explanation of Benefits, click here.