Photo by Bill Abbott

Photo by Craig Lovell

Photo by Shannon Hastings

Photo by Dan Heller

Photo by Dan Heller

Photo by Matt Tilghman

 
Galapagos Adventure route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $5995  
Length: 10 days
Arrive: Guayaquil, Ecuador
Depart: Guayaquil, Ecuador
Lodging: 7 nights aboard yacht, 2 nights hotel
Meals: All meals included except 1 lunch and 2 dinners
Activity: Small Boat & Yacht Cruising, Snorkeling, Wildlife & Natural History, Walking
Trip Level: Daily hikes, snorkeling, optional sea kayaking
1p

Highlights

  • Active 8-day cruise includes remote Tower Island
  • Snorkel and watch the underwater dances of playful sea lions
  • Delight in a beautiful yacht with spacious decks and air-conditioned cabins, staterooms, or suites


One of the best trips I have ever taken. Well organized, helpful and knowledgeable staff, and amazing sites. We plan to use Wilderness Travel again for our next adventure.Don I.—Santa Cruz, CA

Recent Photo Blog Posts

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Early Sign-up Discount!

$500 discount per person
for all 2016 departures aboard the Mary Anne
$1000 discount per person 
for all 2016 departures aboard the Passion

Limited to the first six sign-ups per departure. Please note that these special offers cannot be combined with other discounts.

The unique wildlife of the Galápagos has no fear of humans. We walk trails right among nesting seabirds and colonies of marine iguanas that take no notice of us— it’s an experience unlike any other! The green Eastern Islands of this famed archipelago have a very diverse ecosystem and a remarkable number of species found nowhere else. Our active adventure includes far-flung Tower, prime nesting site of red-footed boobies, South Plaza, with its hybrid iguanas, and Santa Fé, home to such endemics as the Galápagos hawk and a great place to snorkel with enchanting sea lions. Life on board the barquentine Mary Anne or the mega-yacht Passion is an absolute delight, with delicious meals savored on deck, a glass of wine at sunset, and great talks with your naturalist guide.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-4
Guayaquil / Explore Mangroves by Zodiac / Remote Tower Island / Bartolomé

After an overnight in Guayaquil, fly to Baltra, board the Mary Anne or the Passion, and sail to Black Turtle Cove for a Zodiac ride among green sea turtles and golden rays. Navigating north to Tower (Genovesa), you’ll explore red mangroves and prickly pear cacti where red-footed boobies and great frigatebirds perch, see nesting swallow-tailed gulls, Nazca boobies, red-billed tropicbirds, and clouds of storm petrels soaring over the cliffs. On tiny Bartolomé, the trail to the summit offers magnificent views of Pinnacle Rock, the Galápagos’ most famous icon, and the surrounding islands. At Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island, walk a recent lava flow with pahoehoe lava formations, lava bubbles, and pioneering plants.

Days 5-6
Explore a Saltwater Lagoon / Santa Cruz / Charles Darwin Research Station

Rabida, the “Red Island,” with its landscape of colorful eroded hills, features a lagoon full of Darwin’s finches and Galápagos mockingbirds, and we’ll see a land iguana nesting site at Cerro Dragon. In the highlands of Santa Cruz, search for tortoises in the wild, then explore the Darwin Station’s tortoise breeding facility, which illuminates the critical research being done here.

Days 7-10
Land Iguanas / Beach Hike with Sea Lions

South Plaza and Santa Fé are home to their very own species of land iguanas, and South Plaza is also a great place to observe adult and pup sea lions swimming along the shore. On fantastic Española, with its powdery white-sand beach where sea lions haul out to rest, we’ll keep an eye out for Galápagos hawks, Galápagos doves, and Hood mockingbirds, endemic to the island, as well as the spectacular waved albatross, which nests here from April through December. Fly to Guayaquil for a final overnight and depart on Day 10.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Galapagos Islands

Download our The Galapagos Islands 2016 brochure, featuring incredible wildlife adventures in Darwin’s Islands aboard the yacht Mary Anne or the luxury yacht Passion. Or request a print copy to be sent by mail.

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

What the Trip is Like

The trip is rated Level 1+. Trips that are rated 1 are non-camping trips with optional walks and little elevation gain or loss. The + indicates that this trip is a bit more strenuous than other trips of this level. We feel this trip is appropriate for anyone in good health who is physically active and enjoys regular moderate walks and hikes, but we ask you to consider the following factors before choosing this trip: 

Shore Excursions
To get ashore, you will be transferred from the yacht onto our Zodiac. Passengers are required to wear life jackets when traveling in the Zodiac. Getting on the Zodiac involves walking down a gang-plank set of stairs and stepping onto the Zodiac while both the yacht and Zodiac are moving with the roll of the seas.

Shore landings are either “dry” (where there are rocks or wooden piers to step onto when you disembark from the Zodiac) or “wet” (which involves stepping out of the Zodiac into a foot or so of surf and wading to shore). Getting out of the Zodiac is occasionally tricky, especially on days when the seas are active and the rocks you step onto may be slippery. For a wet landing, you may be stepping into shallow surf, possibly up to your knees or higher if you disembark just as a wave comes in, so it is important that you have the agility for this. Of course, our boat staff will be on hand to assist with landings. 

Hikes/walks on the Galápagos Islands are not long (up to 3 miles), but they often involve uneven ground, either on dry lava, which can be quite sharp if you fall, on rocky trails with uneven boulders, or on sandy beaches. 

Swimming/Snorkeling
Trip members on any Galápagos trip should be able to swim and ideally have previous snorkeling experience. The itinerary includes snorkeling excursions on most days and they are a major attraction for any visit to the islands. Please consult both our office and your Trip Leader aboard the boat if you have any concerns about swimming and snorkeling.

Most of our snorkeling is in water that is between 10 to 40 feet deep, but if conditions allow, we may offer open-ocean snorkeling near a remote off-shore reef or pods of whales. These open-ocean snorkels are not suitable for first-time snorkelers or weak swimmers.

Your Trip Leader accompanies the group on all snorkeling excursions and the Zodiac will attempt to stay close, should anyone wish to get out of the water. We do not, however, have staff members available to individually assist snorkelers and it is incumbent on each swimmer to keep track of his or her own whereabouts. Currents in Galápagos can be strong at some sites. You should only choose to swim and snorkel in those spots where you are completely comfortable. If you are not a strong swimmer or have little experience snorkeling, you are advised to bring your own personal flotation device (PFD) rather than rely on the cumbersome onboard life jackets.

To get in the water, you will slide off the side of the Zodiac and into the water. Getting back in the Zodiac will require climbing up a small metal ladder attached to the side of the Zodiac. The seaman in charge of the Zodiac will help, but it is impossible for him to just pull you out of the water—you have to be prepared to do most of the work under your own power.

While normally a good variety of snorkeling equipment is available on the yacht, if you are a particularly serious snorkeler, we highly recommend bringing your own snorkel, mask, and possibly even fins to assure a proper fit. A proper fit of your mask is critical for keeping water out and allowing you good vision underwater. There is no scuba diving available on our Galápagos trips. Our boats are not set up for scuba diving but there are places in Puerto Ayora where diving is available if you would like to extend your trip. Depending on your personal tolerance for cold, you may not need a wetsuit. However, everyone’s tolerance level is different and most prefer to use a wetsuit. Complimentary shorty wetsuits are available on board for your use. If you easily get cold, you may prefer a full-length wetsuit (you will need to bring your own from home). Many people wear a t-shirt while snorkeling to protect their arms and backs from sunburn. The backs of the legs are also prone to sunburn, so some people might want to swim in lightweight tights or leggings, or purchase “skins” (lycra bodysuits sold at dive shops).

Explanation of Trip Levels

Aboard the Mary Anne

2015
Dec 25, 2015-Jan 3, 2016  aboard Mary Anne

2016
Jan 8-17, 2016  
Feb 5-14, 2016  aboard Mary Anne
Feb 19-28, 2016  aboard Mary Anne
Mar 4-13, 2016  aboard Mary Anne
Mar 18-27, 2016  aboard Mary Anne
Apr 1-10, 2016  aboard Mary Anne
Apr 15-24, 2016  aboard Mary Anne
Apr 29-May 8, 2016  aboard Mary Anne
May 13-22, 2016  aboard Mary Anne
Jun 10-19, 2016  aboard Mary Anne
Jun 24-Jul 3, 2016  aboard Mary Anne
Dec 23, 2016-Jan 1, 2017  aboard Mary Anne

Note: Only a limited number of dates are available each year for private charter aboard the Mary Anne. The group departures listed above are exclusive to Wilderness Travel.

Click on the Leaders tab to see leadership assignments

Aboard the Passion

2016
Mar 4-13, 2016  aboard Passion

Apr 15-24, 2016  aboard Passion
May 13-22, 2016  aboard Passion
Jun 10-19, 2016  aboard Passion
Jun 24-Jul 3, 2016  aboard Passion
Jul 22-31, 2016  aboard Passion
Oct 14-23, 2016  aboard Passion
Nov 11-20, 2016  aboard Passion

Note: Dates listed above are group departure dates. On the other weeks of the year, the Passion is available for private charter; contact us for details. Additional group departures may likely be added later in the year. Check our website or contact us for the current schedule. Group departures are operated for us by the Angermeyer family, and are not exclusive to Wilderness Travel.

Click on the Leaders tab to see leadership assignments

Trip Cost

Aboard the Mary Anne


Prices are for 2016

Cruise Rates by Cabin Category
Per person, double occupancy

CategoriesCruise Price
Cabin $5,995
Single supplement: $225 (Hotel)*
Internal airfare: $515 (subject to change)
Galapagos park fee and transit card: $120
Holiday surcharge (Dec): $300
Discounts for children: call for details
*No single supplement on board (subject to availability)
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Cusco and Machu Picchu Extension
   from: $2795
Otavalo and Hacienda Zuleta Extension
   from: $950

Trip Cost

Aboard the Passion


Prices are for 2016

Cruise Rates by Cabin Category
Per person, double occupancy

CategoriesCruise Price
Stateroom $7,995
VIP/Master Suite $9,330
Single supplement: $6395 (Stateroom only)
Internal airfare: $515 (subject to change)
Optional hotel upgrade: $100
Galapagos park fee and transit card: $120
Holiday surcharge (Dec): TBA
Discounts for children: Call for details


more on pricing


Aboard the Mary Anne

Trip Payment Schedule*

At time of reservation: $600
150 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
90 days prior to departure: Balance

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

Minimum fee: $600 per person
61-120 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
60 days or less: 100% of trip cost

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.


Aboard the Passion

Trip Payment Schedule*

At time of reservation: 30% of trip cost
150 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
90 days prior to departure: Balance

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

Minimum fee: $600 per person
61-120 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
60 days or less: 100% of trip cost

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a licensed naturalist guide
  • Accommodations at the hotel in Guayaquil and aboard the yacht
  • All meals included except 1 lunch and 2 dinners
  • Glass of beer, wine, or soft drink with each meal
  • Airport transfers as indicated

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, internal flights, Galápagos park fee, any meals not specified after each day in the Detailed Itinerary, airport departure taxes, optional gratuities (tipping your Trip leader and yacht crew is customary, but at your discretion), additional hotel nights (due to airline schedule changes or other factors), pre-trip expenses such as medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, passports and visas, or other expenses of a personal nature (additional alcoholic beverages, laundry, and so on).

Arrival & Departure Information

You are responsible for your own transportation to the arrival and from the departure cities listed below. For more detailed information, including transfers, please download the Detailed Itinerary.

Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip. Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule.

2016 Departures

Meeting Place:
Guayaquil, Ecuador
Date: Day 1

Suggested Arrival Airport:

Guayaquil, Ecuador (airport code: GYE)
Suggested arrival time: anytime
Departure:
Guayaquil, Ecuador
Date: Day 10

Suggested Airport for Departure:
Guayaquil, Ecuador (airport code: GYE)
Suggested Flight Departure Time: anytime

Our Galapagos Yachts

Choosing the right yacht makes all the difference to your experience, and we’ve selected two of the absolute best in the islands for our adventures: the Mary Anne, an elegant tall sailing ship, and the Passion, a luxurious motor yacht making its debut in the islands this year. Because the Mary Anne has a steel hull and deep keel, it is impressively stable as it travels between islands, while the Passion features wonderfully effective stabilizers to minimize motion at sea. Onboard, the Mary Anne’s comfortable cabins and the Passion’s spacious staterooms and suites have individual climate control, and each yacht’s deck space offers panoramic views. And our cuisine aboard the Mary Anne and the Passion is unmatched. Many of our meal’s ingredients are locally sourced: our bread comes from a women’s cooperative bakery on the islands, vegetables are grown on an organic farm on Santa Cruz Island, juices are from locally grown fruits, and even the ice cream comes from the Galápagos Cooking School! The delightful menus include local specialties, from fresh ceviche to crispy, golden llapingachos, a special dish of Ecuador.

Guayaquil Hotel

Day 1 (1 night),
Day 9 (1 night), Guayaquil, Ecuador

In Guayaquil, we stay at one of the following properties based on which boat you travel on:

<em>Mary Anne</em>

Mary Anne

Days 2 to 8 (7 nights), Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

In legendary square-rigger tradition, the Mary Anne offers the truly romantic ambiance of a tall sailing ship. With her elegant design, she ...
Click here for full description and more photos

<em>Passion</em>

Passion

Days 2 to 8 (7 nights), Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

If you want to experience the Galápagos in supreme comfort, a cruise aboard the 12-guest Passion is the way to go! Originally a ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Extension Accommodations

If you would like to view the accommodations offered with our extensions options:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Our Trip Leaders

Here are the Trip Leaders scheduled for this journey (please note that leader assignments are subject to change).

Fausto Arellano

Departure Dates: April 15-24, 2016, May 13-22, 2016

Fausto Arellano has been a naturalist guide and divemaster in the Galápagos for over 25 years. A high school graduation gift launched this Quito native on his first exploration of the islands. Captivated by their beauty, Fausto pursued his degree in Biology at the Argentine Catholic ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Bitinia Espinoza

Departure Dates: February 19-28, 2016, April 29-May 8, 2016, June 24-July 3, 2016

Bitinia Espinoza has been guiding groups to the Galápagos and throughout Ecuador since 1991. She graduated from the University of Guayaquil with studies in natural history. Her travels on the lecture circuit on behalf of the Galápagos National Park and the Charles Darwin Research Station ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Daniel Jacome

Departure Dates: January 8-17, 2016, March 18-27, 2016, December 23, 2016-January 1, 2017

As the son of a naturalist in the Galápagos and grandson of an explorer to the Galápagos in 1958, it’s safe to say the history and culture of the islands run deep in Daniel Jacome’s veins. “I know everything about the islands,” he jokes—but he’s not ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Jan Tiddo Post

Departure Dates: December 25, 2015-January 3, 2016

When you grow up in a small town near the west coast of the Netherlands, outdoor adventure is right at your doorstep. That’s how Jan lived his early days: sailing, surfing or cycling. After working on a private sailing yacht in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, he developed an ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Silvia Vargas

Departure Dates: February 5-14, 2016, March 4-13, 2016, April 1-10, 2016, June 10-19, 2016

Silvia Vargas is in love with the Galápagos Islands and has been since high school, when she first visited from her hometown of Guayaquil, Ecuador. Her passion for the islands drew her back to live in the Galapagos where she works as a certified naturalist—the perfect job for someone ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

Ecuador

Amazon Rainforest Extension: Napo Wildlife Center

Into the Emerald Forest

Cultural Adventures, Walking, Wildlife & Natural History
6 days  -  Level 2

Otavalo and Hacienda Zuleta Extension

Traditional Cultures and Snow-Capped Volcanoes

Cultural Adventures, Walking, Wildlife & Natural History
3 days  -  Level 2

Peru

Cusco and Machu Picchu Extension

Exploring the Realm of the Incas

Archaeology, Cultural Adventures, Walking
6 days  -  Level 2

Client Comments

One of the best trips I have ever taken. Well organized, helpful and knowledgeable staff, and amazing sites. We plan to use Wilderness Travel again for our next adventure. Don I., Santa Cruz, CA The Galapagos Islands are amazing, and it was a wonderful lifetime experience to go there. Doing it in great style on the Mary Anne made it even better! The ship experience was fantastic, like being on a beautifully maintained private yacht. Janet K., Danville, CA A can't-miss adventure! Unforgettable! Chris M., Saint Augustine, FL This was without a doubt one of the best trips I've taken in my entire life. The professionalism and thoughtfulness that was demonstrated time and time again by the crew and the staff was superlative. An outstanding experience for me and my kids! Steve L., Stamford, CT This was our first Wilderness Travel trip and the attention to detail,  transfers, excellent quality of the hotels, and the impressive, knowledgable, personable, and passionate naturalist guides was fantastic! Sandy A., Bozeman, MT
Loved the ambiance of the sailing ship—lots of character and what a beauty! Lori J., Casper, WY Ship staff was wonderful, every one of them! Molly L., Gladwyne, PA The boat was beautiful, the seas were beautiful, the group was great, and I had an excellent time. Stuart O., Portola Valley, CA The Mary Anne and crew exceeded our expectations in all aspects. I would not change anything in how the trip is organized or executed. Chris C., Lowettsville, VA This was a lifetime experience for us. We expected to be awed by the islands, but we now feel that the vessel, crew, and Wilderness Travel experience were HUGE in making this adventure so memorable. David W., Honolulu, HI The trip exceeded our expectations. A great trip leader with a great crew on a fabulous vessel, with 13 other wonderful guests, on islands of unparalleled beauty, history, and ecology. What's not to love about that! Paul G., Seattle, WA