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Legend Vessel - 4 Nights Itinerary B

This 5-day/4-night cruise through the southern and central islands of the Galapagos Islands begins at the San Cristobal Island Airport. After boarding and settling in on the Galapagos Legend expedition vessel, we will visit the San Cristobal Interpretation Center to learn about the natural and settlement history of the archipelago, before hiking up Las Tijeretas hill for a spectacular view of the bay. The following day, we will sail to Gardner Bay, Osborn or Gardner islet and Suarez Point on Española Island, where you will experience an abundance of endemic wildlife and go snorkeling on remarkably beautiful beaches.  Later – after doing some dolphin & whale watching along the way – we will sail to remarkable visitor sites on and near Floreana Island, including Post Office Bay, Cormorant Point, Devil´s Crown and Champion Islet.  One of the highlights of your trip will undoubtedly be the tortoise breeding center at the Charles Darwin Research Station in the Highlands of Santa Cruz Island, where you will find these enormous, slow-moving reptiles that have come to represent the archipelago. On the final day of your Galapagos adventure, we will visit Carrion Point – with its sea lions, Creole fish, Blue-striped sea slugs, mobula rays, Whitetip reef sharks, Galapagos sharks and hammerheads – before you are driven back to the Baltra Island airport for your return flight to the Ecuadorian mainland.

Testimonials

“We had an absolutely amazing trip! Surtrek coordinated a Galapagos Cruise on the Natural Paradise yacht and then a stay at the Napo Wildlife Center. Everything was beyond our expectations!! I highly recommend Surtrek.”Janda Terese Stevens

Legend Vessel: Highlights

Galapagos Islands, Española, Floreana (Devil´s Crown) & Charles Darwin Station.

Legend Vessel: Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: San Cristobal Airport – Interpretation Center (San Cristobal Island)
Day 2: Gardner Bay – Osborn or Gardner Islets – Suarez Point (Española Island)
Day 3: Post Office Bay – Cormorant Point – Devil´s Crown (Floreana Island)
Day 4: Charles Darwin Research Station – Highlands – Ballena Bay OR Eden Islet (Santa Cruz Island)
Day 5: Carrion Point (Santa Cruz Island) // Baltra Airport (Baltra Island)
Galapagos Map

Legend Vessel: Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Thursday
San Cristobal Airport – Interpretation Center (San Cristobal Island)

AM: In the morning you will fly from either Quito or Guayaquil (on the Ecuadorian mainland) to the Galapagos Islands. At the airport on San Cristobal Island, after you will pay your entrance fee to the national park, a member of the Surtrek team will welcome you and accompany you to your ship.

PM:  At the port of Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of Ecuador’s Galapagos Province, we will visit San Cristobal Island’s Interpretation Center, an excellent place to learn about the natural and settlement history of the archipelago. Here you will discover displays that provide information about the volcanic origins of the islands, the ocean’s currents, the archipelago’s climate, and facts concerning the arrival of different species. The islands’ human history is also showcased, chronologically narrating the most significant events related to the discovery and settlements of the Galapagos. 

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Lunch - Dinner
Day 2 - Friday
Gardner Bay – Osborn or Gardner Islets – Suarez Point (Española Island)

AM: Española Island is the southernmost, oldest and one of the most bio-diverse islands of the Galapagos archipelago. Its English name is “Hood Island,” in honor of the British admiral Samuel Hood.  Because of its isolated position, there is much endemic wildlife to be explored here – in addition to great snorkeling from Española’s remarkably beautiful beaches. Located on Española Island’s eastern shore, Gardner Bay is noted for its turquoise-colored waters and its magnificent beach, which we will visit in the afternoon. Around the bay’s small nearby islets, snorkelers will find an abundance of fish, as well as the occasional sea turtle and benign sharks. The bay is also frequented by a transient colony of Galapagos sea lions who love to swim with people. Birds, like the endemic Española mockingbird and different species of Darwin finches, are omnipresent.

PM:  Later, we will also ride around Osborn Islet, located close to Española Island. It is made of volcanic rock and is a popular fishing site among local small-scale fishers. On this Galapagos islet, you will have a chance to go snorkeling and see schools of tropical fish, Manta rays, Green turtles, Surgeonfish, Sea urchins, and starfish. Alternatively, we can visit the small Gardner Island, situated across from Espanola Island’s Gardner Bay, which is lined with vertical cliffs that drop to sandy ledges and large boulders.  We will go snorkeling here, where you are likely to encounter the smallest of the Galapagos garden eels, Snake eels, as well as Black-spotted morays, Galapagos puffer fish, Scorpionfish, Trumpetfish, cornetfish and Red-lipped batfish. You will be able to see plenty sea lions lying lazily on the beach.  On the north end of the island are twisting tunnels, and to the south are caves, which all make for a remarkable excursion. The area has an abundance of fish including schools of snappers, Creole fish, King Angelfish, large Pufferfish, and a variety of sea urchins and sea stars. At the end of the afternoon, we will go on an excursion to Suarez Point. One of the archipelago’s most outstanding wildlife areas, this site boasts a long list of species along its cliffs and its sand and pebble beaches. In addition to five species of nesting seabirds, the curious and bold Española Island mockingbirds are found here, as are other birding favorites that include Galapagos doves, Galapagos hawks, Swallow-tailed gulls and the world’s largest colony of Waved albatross – an unequivocal highlight during mating season (May-December). Several types of reptiles are unique to this island, including the marine iguana and the oversized lava lizard. In fact, this is also the only site where you will be able to see “red” sea iguanas. In addition, when heavy swells are running, Suarez Point is the site of a spectacular blowhole whose thundering spray shoots 30 yards up into the air. The trek here is on a stony path about a mile long, though the duration of this excursion is about 3 hours.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3 - Saturday
Post Office Bay – Cormorant Point – Devil´s Crown (Floreana Island)

AM: Our first excursion for the day will be to Post Office Bay, where the legendary post barrel that whalers historically used to put their mail in is still kept. After a wet landing, you can walk just off the beach to leave a letter here in hopes that it will make to its destination via another tourist.  …So don’t forget to bring postcards along. Snorkelers can take a dip on the main beach among the playful sea lions and green sea turtles.

PM:  This afternoon’s excursion is to the Cormorant Point visitor site. After a wet landing on the beach, we will go down a 100-meter-long path to a mangrove lagoon that is home to Galapagos ducks, black herons, oystercatchers, and plovers.  With a little bit of luck, you might also see flamingos. Another path leads to a small beach that is an important nesting site for sea turtles. In the shallow water there, one can often find stingrays and Whitetip reef sharks. Later, you will be able to take advantage of the great snorkeling opportunities at “Devil’s Crown” (Corona del Diablo), a broken volcanic cone that is one of the most beautiful places for snorkeling in the Galapagos Islands. The underwater world here includes reef sharks, starfish, sea turtles, sea lions and a host of tropical fish species. 

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4 - Sunday
Charles Darwin Research Station – Highlands – Ballena Bay OR Eden Islet (Santa Cruz Island)

AM: This morning we will head for one of the most visited spots in the islands. Located on Santa Cruz Island, the Charles Darwin Research Station is primarily an international scientific research station situated on the outskirts of Puerto Ayora. You will be taken to its visitor center to learn about the geology, climate, natural history and the conservation of the Galapagos Islands. However, the highlight of your visit here will undoubtedly be the research facility’s Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Center, which breeds giant tortoises. These enormous and slow-moving reptiles can live up to 150- 200 years and weigh between 250 and 300 kg. Approaching them in their humid and forested spaces is always an inspiring adventure. For decades, the Fausto Center was home to “Lonesome George,” who finally died in 2012 as the last of his particular species. The tortoises you will see here are accustomed to humans, so it’s an excellent spot for visitors to take photographs with them. Remember that looking at the animals is allowed, but touching is not, and it’s absolutely forbidden to jump over the walls or open the pen doors at any time. We will then visit the Highlands of Santa Cruz Island, where the lush landscape is a welcome contrast to the arid scenery of the smaller, lower islands. On the way, we will cross through different vegetation zones – from the dry lower region full of cactuses to the scalesia woods in the Highlands.  There one can find two small agricultural communities that grow the famous organic Galapagos coffee. While in the Highlands you will have the option of visiting one of two tortoise breeding centers: El Chato or Rancho Las Primicias. At either site, approaching these enormous and slow-moving reptiles is always an inspiring adventure. The El Chato tortoise reserve was founded in 1964 to allow visitors to observe the island’s huge Galapagos turtles and White herons in their natural habitat. You will also be able to walk through nearby underground lava tunnels formed during volcanic eruptions. As the outside of the lava hardened, the inside continued to flow to the ocean, creating these tunnels. Alternatively, Rancho Primicias is a great place to see about ten to fifteen Galapagos giant tortoises in the wild. In addition to being able to view the ocean from this location in the Highlands, you can walk through a lava cave that was formed by a volcanic eruption.  

PM: This afternoon, we will go to either the small Ballena Bay (“Whale Bay”), on the western coast of Santa Cruz Island, OR to Eden Island. At Ballena Bay, the beach has a greenish tint due to the presence of olivine crystals that resulted from volcanic activity. The remains of clay goods are often found near the beach, indications of the settlements of people who lived there in the mid-1800s. According to old sailor stories, there is a path up to the island’s highlands where people used to collect fresh water. At this bay lives a small population of turtles from Pinzon Island, which was most likely brought over by whalers or former inhabitants of the bay. Alternatively, Eden Island is a small islet that, while not having any visitor points, allows for a scenic and exciting zodiac ride around it.  Eden Islet is a place where Galapagos fishermen used to go, as there are many marine species found here. Nesting on these rocks are found various types of marine birds, like Frigatebirds, pelicans, seagulls, and petrels. Other marine species — like spotted eagle rays and marbled rays — add to making this islet an interesting excursion. 

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 5 - Monday
Carrion Point (Santa Cruz Island) // Baltra Airport (Baltra Island)

AM: Following a hearty Galapagos breakfast on board the Legend, we will visit Carrion Point, which is close to the eastern mouth of Itabaca Channel, between Baltra Island and Santa Cruz Island. You will see some almost ever-present creatures such as sea lions, Creole fish, and Blue-striped sea slugs. You will also have a good chance of seeing mobula rays cruising by – sometimes in small schools. Whitetip reef sharks are also commonly sighted here. And, if you are lucky, you might see some Galapagos sharks and hammerheads – especially if you’re a scuba diver.

PM:  Concluding this amazing experience in the Galapagos Islands, you will be transferred to the Baltra Island airport for your return flight to the Ecuadorian mainland. Enjoy your last look back at the “enchanted islands,” a unique paradise with inspiring natural wonders.

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Legend Vessel: Prices

2018 - Price per person
RoomBalcony SuiteBalcony Suite PlusJunior SuiteJunior Suite PlusLegend SuiteStandard InteriorStandard Plus
5 DaysUS$ 3,956US$ 4,352US$ 3,128US$ 3,328US$ 3,597US$ 2,215US$ 2,743
Included in the price:
  • All-inclusive cruises sharing double accommodations in cabins with air-conditioning & private facilities
  • All meals, welcome & farewell cocktails, water, 24-hour coffee station.
  • Two daily visits to different islands with multilingual naturalist guide (upon request).
  • Snorkeling and kayaking opportunities.
  • Activities on board, briefings, lectures.
Not included in the price:
  • Galapagos National Park entrance fee ($100 USD)
  • Transit Control Card ($20)
  • Airfare to/from the Galapagos Islands
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Cancellation/medical insurance
  • Tips & personal expenses
  • Also, note the following charges:
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