Galapagos Islands: Darwin’s Discoveries

from £7050
including flights
7 nights Mar-Oct

Overview

Darwin’s famous discoveries in the Galapagos Islands had a profound impact on the way we understand the world. A small ship expedition cruise on board the stylish yacht, La Pinta, offers the perfect introduction to the beautiful islands and abundant wildlife of the Galapagos.

Highlights

  • Set foot on seven islands and islets of the Galapagos UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • View an abundance of marine life by snorkel, kayak and glass-bottom boat
  • Encounter a variety of bird species, from boobies to flamingos
  • Explore volcanic outcrops, white sand beaches and forested highlands
  • Come face-to-face with 100-year-old giant tortoises
  • Witness land iguanas in their natural habitat
  • Visit the world-renowned Charles Darwin Research Centre

What's Included

  • One night pre-cruise hotel accommodation with breakfast, in Guayaquil
  • Return flights from Guayaquil to Isla Baltra
  • Shipboard accommodation
  • All breakfasts, lunches & dinners on board
  • A selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
  • All from-the-vessel activities and equipment, including snorkels and kayaks
  • Visit to Charles Darwin Research Station
  • Experienced guides on board

Full description

From Isla Baltra you will cruise west towards the islands of Isabela and Fernandina, also visiting Rabida, Floreana and Santa Cruz. Along the way, enjoy the chance to snorkel or explore by glass-bottomed boat, and learn about the archipelago’s incredible natural history from your team of experienced guides. You may be lucky enough to encounter Galapagos penguins, giant tortoises, flamingos, land iguanas, boobies and many more endemic species during an unforgettable week in the Galapagos.

Your exploration of the Galapagos Islands will be based on the 48-passenger La Pinta, a stylish and comfortable yacht offering a superior level of comfort, with spacious cabins and excellent on-board facilities.

Authentic holidays for passionate travellers

Prices & Dates

2020 Departures - Prices are per person, based on a twin cabin

Departure Duration Vessel Prices from (pp)
05 Mar 2020 8 days La Pinta £7,050
16 Apr 2020 8 days La Pinta £7,050
28 May 2020 8 days La Pinta £7,050
25 Jun 2020 8 days La Pinta £7,050
23 Jul 2020 8 days La Pinta £7,050
20 Aug 2020 8 days La Pinta £7,050
15 Oct 2020 8 days La Pinta £7,050

What's Included

  • One night pre-cruise hotel accommodation with breakfast, in Guayaquil
  • Group transfer from hotel to airport
  • Return flights from Guayaquil to Isla Baltra
  • Return group transfers from airport to ship at Isla Baltra
  • Shipboard accommodation
  • All breakfasts, lunches & dinners on board
  • A selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
  • All from-the-vessel activities and equipment
  • Wellness amenities: hot tub and fitness equipment
  • Entry fees to national parks
  • Port fees and taxes
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee
  • Full financial protection »

Itinerary & Accommodation

Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1: Guayaquil

Arrive in the port city of Guayaquil, on the Ecuador mainland, where you will enjoy an overnight stay at the Wyndham Guayaquil Hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore the city at your own pace or relax in the hotel’s rooftop pool.

Day 2: Guayaquil – Isla Baltra, embarkation and Isla Seymour Norte

This morning you will travel to the legendary Galapagos Islands. From Guayaquil, fly to Isla Baltra where your captain and crew will welcome you aboard your yacht, La Pinta. Follow in Charles Darwin’s footsteps as you head ashore on Isla Seymour Norte - home to blue-footed boobies and magnificent frigatebirds.

Day 3: Isla Isabela and Isla Fernandina

Board the yacht’s small panga boats to explore Punta Vicente Roca, a marine site of impressive geological formations on the northern shore of Isla Isabela - your guide will explain the visible clues of the island’s fiery beginnings. Beyond the geology, look out for winged residents including blue-footed boobies and flightless cormorants. This rocky coast with a partially sunken cave also provides phenomenal conditions for a menagerie of fish and green sea turtles. If conditions allow, don your mask, fins, and snorkel and dive in for a close-up view! Later, stretch your legs on a guided walk experiencing one of the most pristine islands in the Galapagos, Isla Fernandina. The island’s active volcano erupted as recently as 2009. Thousands of bright land iguanas reside here, and it’s also a favourite haunt of Galapagos penguins.

Day 4: Isla Isabela

Large in landmass and young at 1 million years old, Isla Isabela supports abundant wildlife and sea life. An Urbina Bay shore walk reveals large, colourful land iguanas and perhaps giant tortoises. Crossing from Urbina Bay to Tagus Cove, scan the water for whales and dolphins that frequent the Bolivar Channel. At Tagus Cove - an otherworldly landscape of eroded tuff cones – there’s a chance to snorkel, kayak, or cruise by panga before hiking the back of Darwin Crater to a saltwater lake. Enjoy excellent opportunities for viewing penguins, Galapagos hawks, cormorants, petrified rain (lava that cooled quickly after contacting water), and old signatures from pirates and whalers etched into the rock.

Day 5: Isla Rabida and Isla Santa Cruz

Isla Rabida’s unusual red beach is a favourite sunbathing spot for sea lions and marine iguanas. Come face-to-face with blue-footed and Nazca boobies, yellow warblers, several species of Darwin’s finches, and pelicans. The beach also makes a great jumping in spot for snorkelling excursions, or if you prefer to stay dry take a cruise in the glass-bottomed boat. Continue to Isla Santa Cruz where a hike up Dragon Hill is rewarded with a spectacular panorama of the western islands, the bay below and possibly even lounging land iguanas.

Day 6: Isla Santa Cruz

Today you will encounter the famous giant tortoise. Touring the Charles Darwin Research Station, witness an exceptional conservation program where baby tortoises, ‘galapaguitos’, are reared in protective captivity until they are old enough to safely repatriate back to their native areas. Embrace Galapagos conservation by learning about threats that still endanger this fragile ecosystem. After a lingering poolside lunch at the Finch Bay Eco Hotel, explore misty, forested highlands and see the lumbering yet charming tortoises in their natural habitat. You may also have a chance to walk inside the island’s remarkable lava tubes.

Day 7: Isla Floreana

Your final full day in the Galapagos will be filled with opportunities to snorkel, hike, kayak, cruise in the glass-bottomed boat or simply relax on the beach. Send a note home from Post Office Bay, dropping your postcard in Isla Floreana’s historic barrel mailbox. Then take in the island’s geological history with a panga cruise or exploratory kayak excursion through its maze of volcanic channels. A stop at Baroness Viewpoint provides the perfect vantage for a photo opportunity, before heading to the beach in search of flamingos and green sea turtles.

Day 8: Disembarkation, Isla Baltra – Guayaquil

Your adventure aboard La Pinta concludes back on Isla Baltra. From here, transfer to the airport for your flight back to Guayaquil.

Notes

All voyage itineraries are intended as a guideline only - embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy of expedition travel. Actual routes and landings will be dependent on wildlife sightings and weather/sea conditions. A degree of flexibility is essential!

La Pinta

Grade: Superior

Type: Expedition Ship

Discover the abundant marine life of the Galapagos from the comfort of La Pinta.

Discover More

Extend Your Trip: Machu Picchu

Extend Your Trip: Machu Picchu
Maximise your Latin America adventure with a post-cruise extension to Peru. Spend a week discovering ancient Inca lands, the Sacred Valley, Cusco, Lima, and the legendary Machu Picchu, on a fully guided tour.

Outline itinerary:

Day 1: Guayaquil, Ecuador to Lima, Peru Depart Ecuador on a flight from Guayaquil to Lima, Peru.
Day 2: Sacred Valley and Chinchero From Lima you will fly on to Cusco, to begin your journey into the fabled Sacred Valley.
Day 3: Sacred Valley: Ollantaytambo Dive deeper into the Sacred Valley on a guided walking tour of Ollantaytambo.
Day 4: Machu Picchu Take the train on a journey through mountain forests and steep peaks to the crown jewel of the Inca civilization - Machu Picchu.
Day 5: Machu Picchu – Cusco A morning at Machu Picchu offers the chance for an unforgettable sunrise and spectacular views, before heading back to Cusco.
Day 6: Cusco  Take a guided tour around this UNESCO World Heritage city to discover its impressive archaeological sites.
Day 7: Cusco – Lima Your extension ends with the flight back to Peru's capital city.

Prices start from £3,956 per person - contact our team for full details.

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