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Galapagos

Southern Galapagos Islands Cruise - Archipel I M/C

4 days | 3 nights
Shared tour
From 2139USD per person
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A visit to the Galapagos National Park, one of the most biodiverse places on earth, is a life-changing experience. The park includes 97% of the  archipelago's islands where half of the land species are endemic. The Galapagos penguins, the Galapagos marine iguanas or the Galapagos giant tortoises are only some of the curious locals you will get to meet during your stay. Board the Archipel I cruise ship, a cozy and modern catamaran offering 8 cabins with spacious areas. On this 4-day tour, you will leave San Cristobal to discover Floreana Island, famous for its iconic free post office, unique in the world, and for hosting a huge number of land and marine species. Discover the Plaza Islands, home of a unique species of iguana and the volcanic island of Santa Fe. With plenty of opportunities to swim and snorkel on picture-perfect white-sand beaches along your journey, your final visit will include Charles Darwin Station where you will learn more about this unique wildlife paradise. 

Destinations

Galapagos

Trip at a glance

Visits

Cerro Colorado Tortoises Protection and Growing Centre, Plazas Islands, Santa Fe Island,  Floreana Island: Champion Islet, La Loberia Beach, Asilo De La Paz, Santa Cruz Island: Charles Darwin Station

Accomodation

3 nights onboard M/C Archipel I

Transportation

All transfers from/to Baltra airport

4 day/3 night in twin cabins (2 separated beds) onboard M/C Archipel I

Dates and Prices

Arrival date

Trip details

Itinerary

Day 1 Flight to San Cristobal, Cerro Colorado Tortoise Protection and Breeding Center

Morning

Arrival at San Cristobal airport. 

Upon arrival at San Cristobal airport, you will go through an airport inspection to make sure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands. 

On exiting the airport, you are required to pay an entrance fee to the National Park (US$ 100 for adults, US$ 50 for children under 12) as well as the Ingala Transit Control Card (US$ 20). 

Funds from the entry tax for tourists are used to finance the conservation of biodiversity of flora and fauna, terrestrial and marine, and benefits the local community by improving basic services, education projects, sports, health, environmental sanitation, environmental services and services directly related to tourists. 

Meet and greet with your naturalist guide who will escort you on a short bus ride to the harbor. 

Transfer on board and cabin allocation. 

Welcome drink and lunch on board. 

Afternoon

Transfer by bus (40 min) to the South East of the Island for your visit of the Cerro Colorado Tortoise Protection and Breeding Center, founded to improve the status of the population of the island's giant which is the world's largest tortoise and the longest living of all vertebrates. 

You will learn why the Galapagos tortoise is also one of the world's best examples of evolution. 

The facility includes a large corral, a visitor center, a breeding center and an interpretative trail from which you will be able to see different species of native and endemic plants as well as birds like the San Cristóbal mockingbird, yellow warblers, many species of finches and the Galapagos flycatcher. 

Return on board Archipel I. 

Evening

Dinner and night onboard. 

MEALS
  • Lunch onboard Archipel I
  • Dinner onboard Archipel I

Day 2 The Plaza And Santa Fe Islands

Morning

After breakfast you will visit the small South Plaza Island, located to the East of Santa Cruz Island. 

While being small in size, the island is home to some of the most interesting and outstanding species in the Galapagos with endemic iguanas that are smaller than their relatives on other islands. 

Hybrid iguanas can be found throughout the island. The result of a cross breed between marine and land iguanas, they are unique and can easily be spotted for their black/grey color, their crest, inherited from the land iguana, but with the face and tail of its marine cousin. The large population of iguanas is due to the abundance of their favorite food, tuna.

Swallow-tailed gulls nesting in the rugged cliffs can be seen sharing the shores with other seabirds such as Audubon shearwaters, red billed tropicbirds, frigate birds and brown pelicans.

Return onboard for lunch.

Afternoon

In the afternoon, you will head out to explore Santa Fe Island. 

Located in the southeastern part of the Galapagos, this island was formed by an uplift rather than being of volcanic origin, which is why it is mostly flat. 

There are some theories, which claim that this could be the oldest island in the Archipelago. Santa Fe is home to a number of endemic species like the Galapagos hawk, the Galapagos snake, the Galapagos mockingbird, rice rats and one of the two species of lands iguanas. 

Set foot on the island surrounded by crystal clear waters where the welcoming sight of one of the many sea lion colonies awaits you. 

The trail winds among saltbushes and giant prickly pear cactuses - gigantism is a characteristic of oceanic islands. 

Take the time to snorkel with playful sea lions and schools of tropical fish.

Return on board Archipel I. 

Evening

Dinner and night onboard. 

Sail south to Floreana Island overnight. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard Archipel I
  • Lunch onboard Archipel I
  • Dinner onboard Archipel I

Day 3 Floreana Island: Champion Islet, La Loberia Beach, Asilo De La Paz

Morning

After breakfast your boat will reach Champion Islet. 

Bottlenose dolphins that populate the waters often join the cruise and escort your passage to the Islet while playing and jumping in the wake. 

An inflatable dinghy ride along the shoreline of this islet will provide many opportunities to spot some of the endemic seabirds flocking the archipelago, among the celebrities are the Galapagos penguins, blue-footed boobies, magnificent frigate birds, red-billed tropicbirds, swallow-tailed gulls and lava herons. 

A true birdwatcher's dream is to get a shot of the Charles mockingbird perched on of a prickly pear cactus. This mockingbird is a scientific and historic key species, because it put Darwin on track of his theory of 'adaptive radiation'.

Lunch onboard.

Afternoon

En route to Asilo de La Paz ('The Asylum of Peace') and Loberia. 

The Asylum of Peace Island has great historical interest.

 This hike takes you to a mesmerizing cave and a fascinating freshwater spring. 

La Loberia beach is an ideal spot to enjoy the ocean, as well as the playful sea lions that live there. 

Evening

Dinner and night onboard. 

Sail south to Santa Cruz Island overnight. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard Archipel I
  • Lunch onboard Archipel I
  • Dinner onboard Archipel I

Day 4 Santa Cruz Island: Charles Darwin Station, Departure

Morning

After breakfast, disembark at Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island to visit Charles Darwin Station. 

Learn about the protection and conservation projects on the islands. 

The main attractions are the National Park information center, the Van Staelen Exhibition Hall, the Breeding and Rearing Centre for young tortoises and adult Galapagos tortoises in captivity. 

Transfer out to Seymour Airport . 

Assisted by your naturalist guide and crewmembers, the dinghy will bring you and your luggage to Baltra, where you will take the shuttle back to the airport. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard Archipel I

Video

Services

What's included

Accommodation

Nights
3 nights onboard M/C Archipel I

Meals

Full board plan
3 breakfasts + 3 lunches + 3 dinners

Transportation

Bus
All transfers from/to Baltra airport
Cruise
4 day/3 night in twin cabins (2 separated beds) onboard M/C Archipel I

Orientation

Guide
Shared English-speaking naturalist guide for all visits

What's not included

  • Domestic Flights: 580 USD/Person
  • International Flights
  • Entrance fee to Galapagos National Park: 100 USD/Person
  • Migration Card: 20 USD/Person
  • Snorkelling Equipment Rental: 10 USD/Person/Day
  • Travel Insurance
  • Extra Meals
  • Drinks
  • Tips

Important notes

Each guest must strictly follow the Galapagos National Park Rules: 

  • Remain on marked trails at visitor sites and respect signs at all times for the protection of wildlife
  • Maintain a distance of at least six feet (two meters) from wildlife to avoid disturbing them, even if they approach you
  • Never feed wildlife, as this can cause health problems
  • Flash photography is not permitted when taking photos of wildlife
  • Professional photography and videos recorded for commercial purposes must be authorized by the Galapagos National Park Department
  • It is your responsibility not to introduce food, animals, or plants into the Archipelago. Cooperate fully with all environmental inspection and quarantine officials during your visit.
  • Do not take or buy any products or souvenirs made from banned substances, including black coral, shells, lava rock, animal parts, or any native wood or vegetation prior to leaving Galapagos. This is illegal and must be reported
  • Practice “leave-no-trace” principles in order to maintain the beauty of the environment
  • Pack out all trash and dispose of or recycle it in the populated areas or on your tour boat
  • Smoking and/or campfires are strictly prohibited within the Galapagos National Park

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