The Galápagos Islands are truly “a world unto themselves,” as Darwin wrote. Aboard your own private yacht with your naturalist guide, set off into Darwin's world for an active journey full of nature hikes, snorkeling, and wonder. Abundant marine life makes for fantastic snorkeling, and swimming with playful sea lions is an experience you'll never forget! A Private Journey allows you to choose your own dates and your traveling companions—and still enjoy the signature quality of a Wilderness Travel group trip. The Passion has two 7-night/8-day routes (Eastern Itinerary and Western Itinerary) operating Saturday to Saturday—or opt to combine both for a 15-day Ultimate Galápagos journey! Your route will depend on your travel dates. No matter which itinerary you choose, you'll enjoy hiking, snorkeling, optional sea kayaking, and the unforgettable experience of life aboard a romantic yacht. Each itinerary sees all the major species of the Galápagos. For any questions about the differences between these routes, please reach out to our team of Area Specialists.
Arrive: Baltra, Galapagos
Depart: Baltra, Galapagos
At time of reservation: $2,500
180 days prior to departure: $2,500
90 days prior to departure: Balance
*Please note that this differs from our standard policy.
Minimum fee: $15,000
91-180 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
90 days or less: 100% of trip cost
*Please note that this differs from our standard policy.
Scroll through our signature accommodations for this trip below. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.
Days 1-7 (7 nights)
Bitinia EspinozaView Profile
Cecibel GuerreroView Profile
Carolina Larrea AngermeyerView Profile
Fernando OrtizView Profile
Rafael PesantesView Profile
Silvia VargasView Profile
Patricia StuckiView Profile
The trip is rated Level 1+, Easy, according to our trip grading system. Trips that are rated 1 have optional walks and little elevation gain or loss. The + indicates that this trip is a bit more strenuous than other trips of this level. Our Galápagos journey is appropriate for anyone in good health who is physically active and enjoys regular moderate walks and hikes, but please consider the following factors when choosing this trip:
The daily hikes are not long (up to 3 miles) but often involve uneven ground, either on dry lava, which can be quite sharp, on rocky trails with uneven surfaces, or on sandy beaches.
Trips ashore are by Zodiac. Boarding 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. A crew member on the Zodiac will reach for your hand to help steady you, but it can often feel tricky, depending on the amount of ocean swell. Passengers are required to wear life jackets when traveling in the Zodiacs.
Shore landings are either "dry" (you step out of the Zodiac on to large rocks or a wooden pier) or "wet" (stepping out of the Zodiac into a foot or so of surf and wading to shore). A dry landing 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 from the Zodiac into surf that may be up to your knees or higher, so it is important that you have the agility for this. Of course, our boat staff will be on hand to assist with landings.
Trip members should be able to swim and ideally have previous snorkeling experience. The itinerary includes snorkeling excursions on most days and snorkeling is a major attraction for any visit to the islands. Please consult our office (and your Trip Leader on the boat) with any concerns about swimming and snorkeling in the islands. Most snorkeling is in water between 10 to 40 feet deep, but if conditions allow, we may offer open-ocean snorkeling near an off-shore reef. 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. 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 places where you are completely comfortable. To snorkel, you slide off the side of the Zodiac into the water. Getting back in the Zodiac requires climbing up a small metal ladder attached to the side of the Zodiac. The boat man will help, but it is impossible for him to pull you out of the water -- you must be prepared to do most of the work under your own power.
A variety of snorkeling equipment is available on board, but if you are a serious snorkeler, we highly recommend bringing your own snorkel, mask, and possibly fins to assure a proper fit. A proper fit of your mask is critical for allowing you good vision underwater. There is no scuba diving available on our Galápagos trips (our yachts 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, but most trip members prefer a wetsuit. Complimentary shorty wetsuits are available on board for your use. If you easily get cold, you may prefer to bring your own full-length wetsuit. Some people like to swim in lightweight leggings or in "skins" (lycra bodysuits sold at dive shops).
You should understand that this is not a "large-ship cruise," but once you have adjusted to yacht living, you will find this to be one of the most pleasant journeys imaginable. The day usually starts with a delicious breakfast of fresh fruit, cereal, breads, eggs, fresh juice, and coffee or tea. This is often the time when your Trip Leader gives you a briefing on the day's schedule so you can plan your clothing and equipment. On return to the boat, there may be a chance to snorkel or swim before a multi-course lunch is served. During lunch, the yacht often transits to a new area, and in the later afternoon, you'll make a second landing, taking the Zodiac ashore for more exploration and hikes. Visitors must depart the islands by 6:00 pm. After a relaxing dinner, a wrap-up talk will be given by the Trip Leader.
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"This was a fantastic experience for us and for the rest of the family. The crew was exemplary, and they made it a trip of a lifetime for all. We look forward to another similar trip, and we also look forward to several upcoming Wilderness Travel adventures."
"I have cruised extensively as a scuba diver and wilderness photographer, and I have never experienced a better crew than yours."
San Diego, CA
"Everything about this trip was truly outstanding. Every day was a new adventure. I wouldn’t change anything and we had the best Trip Leader!"
Winter Garden, FL
"This trip was a dream come true. The sailing was wonderful and the crew and guide couldn’t have been more helpful and fun to be around."
"Thank you very much! You enabled a fabulous adventure and unforgettable experience. Each family member was delighted."
"A truly memorable bucket list trip! The entire group of seven of us agreed that it was the best vacation we had ever taken. We were as active as we wanted to be, and we always felt safe."
"Our guides were super! Knowledgeable, good spirits, great in relating to us."
San Francisco, CA
"It was a trip of a lifetime. From ages 7-85, everyone had a blast. It truly could not have been any better!"
"This trip was an amazing experience! Almost three weeks since we departed and I am still in awe of this magical trip. I'm not sure it can ever be topped."
"We had a group who ranged in age from 5 to 69. Everyone felt that this was an experience of a lifetime."
"Our guide interacted very well with both adults and children. He was very knowledgeable, passionate about his profession, always attentive, and willing to answer our questions. He made the tour very enjoyable and fun for everyone."
San Clemente, CA
"The Trip Leader made our adventure exceptional and the captain and crew were also first rate."
San Marcos, TX
"The crew was top shelf and took amazing care of our group. It was the Ritz Carlton with blue-footed boobies and sea lions!"
Los Angeles, CA
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Our Area Specialists know every detail about our tours. They will be happy to answer any questions and help you choose the journey that’s right for you. Contact us to learn more or book your trip today!
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With more than 200 different adventures to choose from, we want to help you find the trip that’s right for you. Our Trip Level system ranks each trip in two ways: a number rating from 1 to 6 according to the activity, and general travel rigors. 1 is the easiest and 6+ the most difficult—see descriptions below for explanations of each number. A plus (+) sign means the trip is a bit more strenuous than other trips of that level. The detailed explanation of each trip—below the bar with the number rating—is perhaps more important, specifying activities, altitudes, hiking, and travel conditions. The Detailed Itinerary, available by download or mail, gives further information. Our Area Managers can also answer questions and guide you to the trip that best suits your interests.
Level 1 – Easiest
Non-camping journeys, optional walks, little elevation gain or loss.
Level 3 – Moderate
Half- to full-day hikes (3-6 hours) over rolling countryside on most days, occasional steep trails. Many of our hotel-based walking tours are in this category, as are our snorkeling adventures.
Level 5 – Strenuous
Full-day hikes (4-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Trips with hiking at average altitudes of 10,000 to 12,000 feet are in this category.