Ecuador: Galápagos Islands Small Ship Cruising

Small Ship Cruise, Ecuador: Galápagos IslandsSmall Ship Cruise, Ecuador: Galápagos Islands

Ecuador

Galápagos Islands Small Ship Cruising

overview

For adventurous nature lovers in search of the unusual, the Galápagos are the ultimate destination. This volcanic archipelago—possibly up to 90 million years old—is a wildlife preserve unlike anywhere else on earth. Follow in the path of Darwin (and pirates!) as you board the Evolution, a 32-passenger small ship, and set sail for an intimate encounter with the unique species that thrive on these remote islands. Here on the “Islands of the Tortoises,” where beaches swarm with sunning iguanas and rare birds cling to seaside grottoes, you’ll explore nine different isles in the company of expert naturalist guides. The geology is as fascinating as the wildlife, featuring blowholes where waves explode 90 feet into the air, pit craters, and undersea volcanic activity. This exhilarating expedition features a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station tortoise-breeding program, snorkeling, kayaking, and swimming. As the sun dips into the Pacific, relax with drinks at your ship’s roof-deck bar, chef-prepared al fresco meals, and thought provoking presentations that add dimension to each day’s experiences.

Activity Level
Easy; limited walking
Meet
Guayaquil, Ecuador
Depart
Guayaquil, Ecuador
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From our blog

Small Ship 
10 days, 9 nights Trip Includes 

Trip Includes

  • Galápagos National Park tax and transit fees
  • Visits to nine islands 
  • Daily excursions
  • Seven nights on the Evolution
  • Hotel accommodations pre- and post-cruise in Guayaquil
  • All meals included except on Day 1, and lunch and dinner on Days 9 and 10
  • Two Level 3 naturalists
  • Snorkeling gear and wetsuits
  • Kayaks
  • All bottled water
  • Onboard doctor
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Tips to porters and to waiters for included meals
per person double occupancy
Single supplement + $1,400
 

Solo surcharge + $0
 

Internal Airfare + $541
Galápagos Park Fees + $110

 

Price calculated using base cabin rate and may change pending availability.

Call 800.234.6900 to book this trip.

 

REQUEST RESERVATION

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Itinerary and Accommodations

Days
Destination
1
Guayaquil
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2
Galápagos Islands
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3
Galápagos Islands
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4
Galápagos Islands
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5
Galápagos Islands
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6
Galápagos Islands
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7
Galápagos Islands
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8
Galápagos Islands
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9
Guayaquil
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10
Guayaquil
View on map
Day 1

Guayaquil

U.S. / Guayaquil

Fly independently to Guayaquil, Ecuador, and transfer to the Hotel Oro Verde. (No meals included on this day.)

Hotel Oro Verde

Guayaquil, Ecuador

A member of The Leading Hotels of the World, this deluxe boutique hotel combines traditional European-style service with warm Ecuadorian hospitality. The hotel is ideally situated in the Guayaquil district, within walking distance of cultural and historical sites, shopping, dining and entertainment. Amenities include a swimming pool, two restaurants, fitness center and spa. All 230 beautiful guest rooms feature the latest amenities and technology to ensure a relaxing and comfortable stay.

Day 2

Galápagos Islands

Guayaquil / Baltra / Santa Cruz: Whaler Bay & Eden Islet

Fly to the Galapagos Islands and board the Evolution. Hike along Whaler Bay, site of one of the islands' oldest whaling camps.  Just off the coast, discover tiny Eden Islet, where we may spot Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas and large schools of mustard rays while on a peaceful Zodiac ride. 

M/V Evolution

The 32-guest M/V Evolution presents the perfect way to explore this spectacular archipelago with ample public space, comfortable cabins and an expert crew. Amenities include an observation deck, a canopied bar on the roof deck and an infirmary with an onboard doctor. Meals are served in one seating in the dining room, and al fresco when weather permits. An “open bridge” policy during the adventure welcomes you to visit the captain and crew to learn all about the ship’s operation and navigation. Each day, naturalist guides give talks about the natural and human history of the Galapagos. Two person kayaks and snorkel gear are also available on board to enhance the journey.

Day 3

Galápagos Islands

South Plaza Island

At only 426 feet wide, South Plaza is one of the smallest islands in the archipelago. However, this tiny uplifted island features rich wildlife and the turquoise waters contrast brilliantly with the black lava of the shoreline. The rocks have grown thick with green seaweed in places, speckled with bright Sally Lightfoot crabs. Our walk takes us to a grove of prickly-pear cactus, where we also see yellow land iguanas. Non-hikers can enjoy a Zodiac ride, watching for swallow-tailed gulls, red-billed tropicbirds, pelicans and blue-footed boobies. After lunch, gather your snorkeling gear for an excursion into the waters around Punta Carrion, where you are likely to see sea lions, sturgeon rays and white-tipped reef shark. The flat sands of the Mosquera Islet, between North Seymour and Baltra Islands, attract sea lions, herons and lava gulls. Since there is no true trail on the islands, you are able to stroll at your leisure. (B,L,D)

M/V Evolution

The 32-guest M/V Evolution presents the perfect way to explore this spectacular archipelago with ample public space, comfortable cabins and an expert crew. Amenities include an observation deck, a canopied bar on the roof deck and an infirmary with an onboard doctor. Meals are served in one seating in the dining room, and al fresco when weather permits. An “open bridge” policy during the adventure welcomes you to visit the captain and crew to learn all about the ship’s operation and navigation. Each day, naturalist guides give talks about the natural and human history of the Galapagos. Two person kayaks and snorkel gear are also available on board to enhance the journey.

Day 4

Galápagos Islands

Sombrero Chino Island / Santiago Island: Puerto Egas

Today our Galapagos Islands cruise stops at the highly interesting Sombrero Chino. Just off the southern tip of Santiago, the tiny uplifted island of Sombrero Chino – or Chinese Hat – features a primeval landscape of volcanic rubble and lava tubes. The entire island is a cinder cone with a steep-sided crown like a Chinese hat, hence the name. This is a prime spot for snorkeling with Galapagos penguins! Enjoy a relaxing Zodiac ride watching for manta rays, penguins and white-tipped reef sharks before returning to the Evolution for lunch. This afternoon, search the tide pools of Puerto Egas for octopus, sea snails, moray eels and other sea life. Along with large marine iguanas, which can be seen feeding on algae at low tide, the bay is home to the remains of two failed salt mines. Explore the fur seal grottos. Our Galapagos Islands nature travel guides will point out the bountiful birdlife, including great blue herons, lava herons, oystercatchers and yellow-crowned night herons. (B,L,D)

M/V Evolution

The 32-guest M/V Evolution presents the perfect way to explore this spectacular archipelago with ample public space, comfortable cabins and an expert crew. Amenities include an observation deck, a canopied bar on the roof deck and an infirmary with an onboard doctor. Meals are served in one seating in the dining room, and al fresco when weather permits. An “open bridge” policy during the adventure welcomes you to visit the captain and crew to learn all about the ship’s operation and navigation. Each day, naturalist guides give talks about the natural and human history of the Galapagos. Two person kayaks and snorkel gear are also available on board to enhance the journey.

Day 5

Galápagos Islands

Genovesa Island

Exploring outlying Genovesa feels like exploring a private wildlife sanctuary! Genovesa Island harbors one of the largest and most diverse bird populations in the Galapagos. Climb Prince Philip’s Steps to an area with colonies of great frigatebirds, red-footed boobies and Galapagos doves. Search for well-camouflaged short-eared owls as they hunt tiny storm petrels. Explore Darwin Bay, home to yellow-crowned night herons, the nocturnal swallow-tailed gull and the rare lava gull. While anchored at Genovesa, enjoy an opportunity to swim, kayak and snorkel in the calm caldera of this partially eroded volcano. (B,L,D)

M/V Evolution

The 32-guest M/V Evolution presents the perfect way to explore this spectacular archipelago with ample public space, comfortable cabins and an expert crew. Amenities include an observation deck, a canopied bar on the roof deck and an infirmary with an onboard doctor. Meals are served in one seating in the dining room, and al fresco when weather permits. An “open bridge” policy during the adventure welcomes you to visit the captain and crew to learn all about the ship’s operation and navigation. Each day, naturalist guides give talks about the natural and human history of the Galapagos. Two person kayaks and snorkel gear are also available on board to enhance the journey.

Day 6

Galápagos Islands

North Seymour Island / Santa Fe Island

North Seymour is the nesting site for a large population of magnificent frigatebirds and the only place where we can always find males showing their red pouches to attract females. Plus, we are sure to see blue-footed boobies perform their comical courtship dance in the open areas. Hike to a scenic turquoise lagoon, where we may observe Galapagos hawks, mockingbirds, a variety of Darwin’s finches and land iguanas that feast on the fruit of the prickly pear cactus. We’ll have a chance to kayak and snorkel from the beach. (B,L,D)

M/V Evolution

The 32-guest M/V Evolution presents the perfect way to explore this spectacular archipelago with ample public space, comfortable cabins and an expert crew. Amenities include an observation deck, a canopied bar on the roof deck and an infirmary with an onboard doctor. Meals are served in one seating in the dining room, and al fresco when weather permits. An “open bridge” policy during the adventure welcomes you to visit the captain and crew to learn all about the ship’s operation and navigation. Each day, naturalist guides give talks about the natural and human history of the Galapagos. Two person kayaks and snorkel gear are also available on board to enhance the journey.

Day 7

Galápagos Islands

Floreana Island

Take a leisurely hike to Post Office Bay, once used by British navigators to send mail and messages for homebound messengers. Swim and snorkel in the bay before a walk along the olivine beaches of Punta Cormorant among the sea lions. After hiking to a flamingo lagoon, spot fish and sea turtles during a relaxing stroll along a powder-white coral beach. There’s even a soccer field for those who want to challenge our guides to a quick game! Enjoy superb snorkeling at Devil’s Crown, where sea water has filled the sunken cinder cone of an extinct volcano. (B,L,D)

M/V Evolution

The 32-guest M/V Evolution presents the perfect way to explore this spectacular archipelago with ample public space, comfortable cabins and an expert crew. Amenities include an observation deck, a canopied bar on the roof deck and an infirmary with an onboard doctor. Meals are served in one seating in the dining room, and al fresco when weather permits. An “open bridge” policy during the adventure welcomes you to visit the captain and crew to learn all about the ship’s operation and navigation. Each day, naturalist guides give talks about the natural and human history of the Galapagos. Two person kayaks and snorkel gear are also available on board to enhance the journey.

Day 8

Galápagos Islands

Santa Cruz Island

Begin at the Charles Darwin Research Station, learning about vital work being done to study and preserve Galapagos wildlife. Head into the forested highlands, with ample opportunity to see and photograph giant tortoises in their verdant habitat. Stop at a locally owned sugar cane and coffee farm, El Trapiche. Enjoy a peaceful afternoon strolling around Puerto Ayora, with time to relax in a local restaurant or shop. (B,L,D)

M/V Evolution

The 32-guest M/V Evolution presents the perfect way to explore this spectacular archipelago with ample public space, comfortable cabins and an expert crew. Amenities include an observation deck, a canopied bar on the roof deck and an infirmary with an onboard doctor. Meals are served in one seating in the dining room, and al fresco when weather permits. An “open bridge” policy during the adventure welcomes you to visit the captain and crew to learn all about the ship’s operation and navigation. Each day, naturalist guides give talks about the natural and human history of the Galapagos. Two person kayaks and snorkel gear are also available on board to enhance the journey.

Day 9

Guayaquil

Galapagos Islands / Guayaquil

Cap off the last morning of our Galapagos Islands cruise with a Zodiac ride through Black Turtle Cove, drifting silently through this area of mangroves. Fly to Guayaquil, with time to relax at the Hotel Oro Verde. (B,L Aloft)

Hotel Oro Verde

Guayaquil, Ecuador

A member of The Leading Hotels of the World, this deluxe boutique hotel combines traditional European-style service with warm Ecuadorian hospitality. The hotel is ideally situated in the Guayaquil district, within walking distance of cultural and historical sites, shopping, dining and entertainment. Amenities include a swimming pool, two restaurants, fitness center and spa. All 230 beautiful guest rooms feature the latest amenities and technology to ensure a relaxing and comfortable stay.

Day 10

Guayaquil

Guayaquil / U.S.

Sunday you fly to the U.S. and connect with flights home. (Lunch and Dinner not included.)

Please Note: Galapagos Islands tour itinerary may vary due to changes in air schedules, weather, Galapagos National Park regulations or other local conditions.

Itinerary Disclaimer

Bear in mind that this is a typical itinerary, and the actual activities, sites, and accommodations may vary due to season, special events, weather, or transportation schedules. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary since tour arrangements are made up to a year in advance, and unforeseen circumstances that mandate change may arise. Itinerary changes are made to improve the tour and your experience. If you are currently booked on a Country Walkers adventure, an itinerary has been sent to you for your exact departure date. Please call Country Walkers at 800.464.9255 if you have any questions about the exact itinerary or hotels selected for any of our tours.

Guides

Bolivar Sanchez

A true native Galapagos Naturalist, Bolivar is an expert in Earth science. He developed a strong interest in wildlife and the outdoors as a small boy, and has been learning as much as possible ever since. For the past 18 years he has worked as a certified naturalist guide in Galapagos National Park, sharing his knowledge of the flora and fauna with guests of his beautiful homeland. His great personality and wonderful sense of humor make him a joy to travel with. Boli's other interests include swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and hiking.

Alex Cox

Level 3-certified guide Alex Cox developed a strong interest in wildlife and the outdoors as a small boy on the island of San Cristóbal before studying at the Central University of Ecuador, where he honed his passion for Earth science. Alex has spent the past 20 years as a guide in the islands. When not guiding, look for Alex swimming, hiking or spending time with his two children.

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