Galapagos Cruises: Legend: 8-Day Itinerary

Travel Idea:

Galapagos Cruises: Legend: 8-Day Itinerary

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Destination for this trip:

Ecuador; Guayaquil, Ecuador; Quito, Ecuador

Length of trip:

8 days

Approximate price of this trip per person:

from $ 2000 to $ 5000

Best travel dates to go:

Any time.

Detailed Description of this trip:

Cruising the Galapagos Islands is a very special and unique experience. As guests hike the island trails they will admire blue footed boobies and giant tortoises in addition to other mysterious creatures like the armies of marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, equatorial penguins, and numerous other species that are endemic to this remote island paradise. The rich marine life is fascinating for those who enjoy snorkeling in a world as wonderful as the one above the water's surface, rich with colorful schools of fish, manta rays, sea turtles, hammer head sharks, whale sharks and magnificent reefs. Departures: Monday or Thursday. Low and high season dates vary throughout the year.

Trip Properties:

Trip Itinerary:

  • Day 1 - Guayaquil

    Baltra / Chinese Hat (Monday).
    Commercial Flight

    Departure from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra airport. Passenger will be greeted at the airport by our guides and taken to the pier to board the MV Galapagos Legend.

    River or Barge Cruise

    After a wet landing on Chinese Hat, guests will encounter a small colony of sea lions and take a 1 hour hike. At this site it is possible to observe flamingos and walk to the other side of the island.

  • Day 2 - Ecuador

    Santa Cruz / Floreana (Tuesday).
    River or Barge Cruise

    Early in the morning after a wet landing on Dragon Hill or Venice, at Santa Cruz Island, passengers walk to a hyper-saline lagoon behind the beach. Observers report that sometimes a large number of Pink Flamingos can be observed. This trail leads up to Dragon Hill which offers a beautiful view of the bay. This area is a nesting site for a number of reintroduced land Iguanas thanks to the Charles Darwin Research Station. There is also an interesting Scalesia tree forest.

    Passengers will have the option to take a dinghy ride in Venice islet and observe the vegetation and marine animals such as spotted eagle rays and golden rays, mullets, sharks and sea turtles which rest in calm waters of the coves and channels. Land iguanas may also be observed from the dinghy.

    Next, a wet landing on a green- sand beach, Cormorant Point. Passengers will hike a well-marked trail beginning in the Black Mangrove beds heading toward the back of the lagoon. This large, brackish lagoon holds one of the largest populations of flamingos in the Galapagos. This island is best known for its endemic plant life such as the Galapagos millwork, passion flower and unique button mangrove.

    Novice snorkelers can practice back at the main beach where the sea lions are playful, while experienced snorkelers can roam the waters around Devils Crown.

  • Day 3 - Ecuador

    Española / San Cristobal (Wednesday).
    River or Barge Cruise

    Travelers will enjoy a dry landing at Suarez Point (Española Island). Upon landing, visitors will learn more about the lava terrain while crossing the inactive lava fields.

    Aside from the sea lion colonies, this is one of the most important sites for bird watching. As soon as visitors step foot on this island many species can be spotted and observed closely. Among the many species are the hooded mocking bird and red billed tropic bird. Travelers will also see a large colony of marine iguanas, lava lizards and colorful Sally Light-foot crabs.

    After a short trek, visitors will encounter colonies of masked and blue-footed boobies. The nesting grounds sometimes overlap the trail. Visitors will also find Galapagos doves, hawks and swallow-tailed gulls. After crossing the nesting grounds you will reach the world’s largest colony of waved albatross (15.000 approx.), May thru December their mating rituals are a highlight of the visit. By the end of this excursion passengers will visit the famous blowhole where water shoots into the air almost 23 meters (75 ft.).

    Next a dry landing at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno village (San Cristóbal Island). Here passengers will visit San Cristóbal for an hour where they will learn more about the Giant tortoises breeding habits in the National Park; especially the endemic species: Geochelone elephantopus Chatamensis. Passengers will observe animals in their natural environment.

  • Day 4 - Ecuador

    North Seymour / Baltra / Bartolome (Thursday).
    River or Barge Cruise

    After a dry landing, guests will encounter swallow tailed gulls and sea lions. This site is also known for being a major nesting colony of blue footed boobies and the largest colony of the magnificent frigate bird (a different species from the

    Travelers will also spot both endemic species of iguanas, the marine iguanas and land iguanas as they enjoy a relaxed hike around the nesting sites.

    Next, a dry landing on Bartolomé Island where arriving passengers will see volcanic formations including lava bombs, spatter and cinder cones. After a hike to the summit visitors can enjoy an impressive view of the surrounding islands including the eroded tuff cone of Pinnacle Rock.

    During the hike to the summit travelers will often see large colonies of marine iguanas, lava lizards, tiquilla, bushes and various cacti.

    Visitors will also have a chance to cool off while snorkeling. Here it is possible to see the Galapagos penguins, sea turtles and white tipped sharks from a safe distance.

  • Day 5 - Ecuador

    Isabela / Fernandina (Friday).
    River or Barge Cruise

    After a wet landing on Urbina Bay (Isabela Island), passengers will go to the fossil beach and then to the coral area. Along the way, depending on the season, it may be possible to observe many endemic species such as the giant tortoises, land iguanas and flightless cormorants.

    After a dry landing at Espinosa Point (Fernandina Island), passengers will see the largest marine iguanas mingling with Sally Light foot crabs. They will also see the flightless cormorants nesting sites, the Galapagos penguins, Galapagos hawks, and sea lions.

    Among the flora and volcanic formations, observers will note brachycereus cactus, and two kinds of lava formations “pa-hoe-hoe” lava and ”aa”. Numerous mangrove beds extend into the sea depicting a healthy and thriving eco-system.

  • Day 6 - Ecuador

    Santiago / Jervis (Saturday).
    River or Barge Cruise

    This day starts with a visit to the dark sand beach at Egas Port (Santiago Island) after a wet landing. Most of the landscape is tuff-stone layers and lava flows. The surrounding area is prime for spotting and observing hunting herons, great blue herons, lava herons, oyster catchers and the yellow crowned night heron.

    Passengers enjoy the sight of marine iguanas grazing upon algae beds at low tide sharing space with red Sally Lightfoot crabs. There are fur-seals swimming in deep pools of cool water called “grottos”. At this beach you can swim and snorkel in search of octopus, sea horse, star fish and other sea life.

    Next is a wet landing at the dark red colored beach of volcanic origin frequented by sea lions (Rávida Island). It is often considered the geographic center of Galapagos because it has the most diversified volcanic rocks of all the Islands. A short trail leads to a salt water lagoon where you will occasionally find flamingos.

    July thru September is a good time of the year to observe brown pelicans nesting in the mangroves at the far side of the lagoon. Also to be observed are boobies and nine species of Darwin’s finches.

    There is an opportunity for a dinghy ride past the reefs and snorkeling.

  • Day 7 - Ecuador

    Santa Cruz (Sunday).
    River or Barge Cruise

    Travelers will have the chance to investigate the Charles Darwin Research Station in Puerto Ayora, staffed with international scientists conducting biological research and conservation projects. Here you can also admire giant tortoises that are part of the breeding program.

    Travelers will see the impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest and many land birds. The visit to the station takes around 40 minutes. After this visit passengers will have some free time to walk around town and shop for souvenirs.

    One of the options is to cross the highlands of Santa Cruz to visit Cerro Chato where you are able to observe the famous giant tortoises that gave the name to these islands. Additionally, travelers can literally "get into" the Galapagos by walking in the dormant lava tubes.

  • Day 8 - Quito

    Santa Cruz / Baltra / Quito Or Guayaquil / Departure (Monday).
    River or Barge Cruise

    Today starts with a wet landing at Bachas beach which is located north of Santa Cruz Island. Here you will encounter different sea birds, marine iguanas and sea turtles. Passengers have the opportunity to swim and snorkel at this white sand beach.

    Upon return to the Galapagos Legend passengers check out and transfer to the airport at Baltra to take the return flight to Guayaquil or Quito.

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