Photo by Bill Abbott

Photo by Bill Abbott

Photo by Dan Heller

Photo by Bill Abbott

 
Enchanted Isles 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
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Highlights

  • A comprehensive 8-day cruise including the sea turtles of Floreana and Bolivar Channel, with its numerous seabirds
  • With an expert naturalist guide, witness the diversity of wildlife that inspired Darwin
  • Fantastic snorkeling excursions, including Devil’s Crown and Punta Vicente Roca


This was truly a fantastic trip beyond my expectations in quality of itinerary, the varied sightseeing activities—hiking, snorkeling, kayaking, sailing, boat accommodation and amenities, staff and guide, and food.Jenny C.—Calgary, Alberta

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.

Framed by dramatic volcanic landscapes and filled with vibrant wildlife that show no fear of humans, our active journey explores the Western Islands of the Galápagos. Our 8-day adventure brings us to pristine Fernandina Island, a huge shield volcano with a shoreline full of flightless cormorants. Beneath the water’s surface, a new world emerges as we watch green sea turtles and Galápagos penguins play at Devil’s Crown and look for spouting whales when we cross Bolivar Channel. On North Seymour, walk by magnificent frigatebirds in full courtship display, and explore Santiago’s Puerto Egas, where fur seals caper in underwater grottos carved by the sea. Our voyage aboard the elegant, three-masted barquentine Mary Anne caters to 16 guests, and we are thrilled to welcome a new boat, the Passion, a refurbished private mega-yacht that accommodates just 12 guests. Both offer a wonderful experience with active days complemented by unforgettable nights beneath the starry sky.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-4
Guayaquil / Highland Walk / Charles Darwin Research Station / Floreana

From Guayaquil, fly to Baltra. Search for tortoises in the Santa Cruz highlands, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, then board the Mary Anne or the Passion. On Floreana, explore a sea turtle nesting ground, snorkel at Devil’s Crown, and learn about the intriguing human history of the island. An afternoon sail across the sea, with the chance of sighting whales and dolphins, brings us to Isabela.

Days 5-6
Elizabeth Bay / Punta Espinosa

A lovely hike leads to a flamingo lagoon on Isabela, followed by Zodiac explorations among the sea turtles in Elizabeth Bay. On Fernandina, look for flightless cormorants, Galápagos penguins, Galápagos hawks, and scampering Sally Lightfoot crabs.

Days 7-8
Tagus Cove / Snorkeling at Punta Vicente Roca

Explore a historic pirate hideaway by Zodiac, then stop at Punta Vicente Roca for excellent snorkeling. From Espumilla Beach on Santiago, walk a forest trail to see yellow warblers and curious Galápagos flycatchers. At Puerto Egas, see Galápagos fur seals lounging under arches of lava.

Days 9-10
North Seymour / Blue-FootedBoobies and Frigatebirds

Explore North Seymour’s nesting colonies of frigatebirds, blue-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls. From Baltra, fly to Guayaquil for an 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 18-27, 2015  aboard Mary Anne

2016
Jan 15-24, 2016  aboard Mary Anne
Feb 12-21, 2016  aboard Mary Anne
Feb 26-Mar 6, 2016  aboard Mary Anne
Mar 11-20, 2016  aboard Mary Anne
Mar 25-Apr 3, 2016  aboard Mary Anne
Apr 8-17, 2016  aboard Mary Anne
Apr 22-May 1, 2016  aboard Mary Anne
May 6-15, 2016  aboard Mary Anne
May 20-29, 2016  aboard Mary Anne
Jun 17-26, 2016  aboard Mary Anne
Jul 1-10, 2016  aboard Mary Anne
Dec 30, 2016-Jan 8, 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
Jan 15-24, 2016  aboard Passion

Feb 12-21, 2016  aboard Passion
Mar 25-Apr 3, 2016  aboard Passion
Apr 22-May 1, 2016  aboard Passion
May 6-15, 2016  aboard Passion
Jun 17-26, 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 22-May 1, 2016, May 20-29, 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 26-March 6, 2016, May 6-15, 2016, July 1-10, 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 15-24, 2016, March 25-April 3, 2016, December 30, 2016-January 8, 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 18-27, 2015

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 12-21, 2016, March 11-20, 2016, April 8-17, 2016, June 17-26, 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

This was truly a fantastic trip beyond my expectations in quality of itinerary, the varied sightseeing activities—hiking, snorkeling, kayaking, sailing, boat accommodation and amenities, staff and guide, and food. Jenny C., Calgary, Alberta Everything about the trip—from the guide to the food to the accommodation—exceeded my expectations! Selena C., Edmonton, Alberta Loved the trip. The Mary Anne was a wonderful home for our stay in the Galapagos and the crew was hard-working and attentive. Joanne C., Conway, MA A wonderful trip to an incredibly beautiful and exciting place. The trip was very well thought out and far exceeded my expectations—we also had an incredibly great group of fellow participants. Roger C., Conway, MA Gorgeous yacht...great itinerary and staff...even the other guests were wonderful! Judy A., Alamo, CA The trip was excellent and definitely lived up to my expectations—the staff on the boat was very professional and polite. The guide was very knowledgeable, and the boat was the perfect size. I particularly loved being outside for some meals and just sitting while we sailed. Barbara G., Cambridge, MA The Mary Anne was incredible, what an amazing experience, and also I should mention the absolutely wonderful crew, from the captain on down, they were letter-perfect in every way, 100% to each and every one of them. Lynn K., Denver, CO The crew on the Mary Anne were outstanding. They were all hard-working, kept the boat clean at all times, helpful at all times and very nice to everyone. Our guide was extremeley knowledgeable and kept everyone's safety in mind at all times. I would recommend this trip to anyone who wants to see the wildlife of the Galapagos up close. Tom J., Milwaukee, WI
Loved the trip, the itinerary, the activities, and guide. The food was delicious! Eliza S., Los Altos, CA The Galapagos is such a special destination—you can't NOT enjoy yourself. Life on the Mary Anne was also fabulous. I've never felt more relaxed and disconnected from mundane concerns. Janice Z., Richmond, CA Fabulous trip! Magical! The Mary Anne was an incredible way to see the islands. Patti S., Lafayette, CA The Mary Anne is a great vessel—comfortable, cozy, beautifully maintained. Her crew is professional and gracious, from the captain to the lowliest deck hand. And the food was excellent! Lynne F., Hastings, NE The Galapagos Islands are an extraordinary destination, and this trip is the perfect experience—the ship, the leader, the snorkeling, the hiking, all the unusual wildlife. I did not walk away with one regret. Lynne F., Hastings, NE Our trip was everything we had hoped it would be and more, and the Mary Anne was the ideal way to experience the Galapagos. The boat captain and crew were also superb—clearly expert in running the boat but also immensely helpful to guests in meeting and anticipating all our needs. Julie H., Del Mar, CA