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Galapagos Elite 3-Night Itinerary C

This 4-day/3-night Galapagos Islands cruise offers you an abundance of amazing natural highlights; whether it’s a close encounter with unique wildlife like the emblematic giant Galapagos tortoise, land and marine iguanas, flamingos, penguins, blue-footed boobies or the famous Darwin’s finches, you will come away having learned much more about the natural world. Sailing on board the 16-passenger Galapagos Elite luxury catamaran, this Galapagos Islands tour will take you through the unforgettable eastern, southern and central islands, as well as to scenic Española Island in the south of the archipelago.

Reviews

“The Samba cruise anyway was great, good boat, good food, amazing guide and friendly staff.”Federica Novellini

Highlights

San Cristobal Island, Gardner Bay (Española Island), Floreana Island, Mosquera Island

Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Arrival at San Cristobal Island Airport – San Cristobal Tortoise Breeding Center (San Cristobal Island)
Day 2: Suarez Point – Gardner Bay (Española Island) / Gardner Island / Osborn Islet
Day 3: Cormorant Point – Champion Islet – Post Office Bay – Baroness' Lookout Point (Floreana Island)
Day 4: Mosquera Island – Baltra Island Airport (Baltra Island)
Galapagos Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Saturday
Arrival at San Cristobal Island Airport – San Cristobal Tortoise Breeding 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: The Galapagos Elite Catamaran.

PM: One of the main attractions of San Cristobal Island is its Tortoise Breeding Center, where you will see enormous Galapagos tortoises, as well as iguanas. As the natural population of tortoises from San Cristobal Island is seriously threatened by animals introduced onto the island by humans – mainly wild goats, cats, and rats – the center is attempting to increase the number of tortoises as well as eradicate threatening species. Close to the center is an easy trail that covers a distance of 900 meters; along this trail, you will see different species of native and endemic plants of the Galapagos, like cat’s claw, manzanillo, romerillo, and acacia. Be careful not to touch or eat the manzanillo fruits, as these are toxic. San Cristobal Island is also one of the few islands where you can see the plant calandrinia galapagosa, which is in danger of extinction.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 2 - Sunday
Suarez Point – Gardner Bay (Española Island) / Gardner Island / Osborn Islet

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.

AM: After breakfast, we will go on an excursion to Española Island’s 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.

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 this morning. 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: Following lunch on board the catamaran, we will sail to small Gardner Island, situated across from Espanola Island’s Gardner Bay and 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 of 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.

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. 

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3 - Monday
Cormorant Point – Champion Islet – Post Office Bay – Baroness' Lookout Point (Floreana Island)

Today we will visit Floreana Island, considered one of the most exotic in the Galapagos archipelago. Countless legends are part of the history of this island, as pirates and buccaneers were drawn to here in search of for food and water. Later the island was colonized by Norwegians, Brits, Germans and others who were in search of ways to make money from what they hoped to discover here. The name Floreana is in honor of Juan Jose Flores, Ecuador’s first president.

AM: This morning’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.

The next spot is Champion Islet. Though the island itself is off limits to visitors, the waters around this small landmass are great places to snorkel with sea lions and to see colorful tropical fish. Occasionally, dolphins are sighted as boats approach the shore, and the cool currents here make Champion an excellent site for spotting schools of stingrays.

PM: Later we will visit 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.

Next, we will visit the Baroness’ Lookout Point, where the controversial “Baroness” Eloisa de Wagner – one of the first human inhabitants in the Galapagos Islands – would spend several hours daily observing whales and dolphins.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4 - Tuesday
Mosquera Island – Baltra Island Airport (Baltra Island)

AM: Today we will anchor off Mosquera Island, which is located near Itabaca Channel and in between the Baltra and Seymour islands. The island consists of a long narrow stretch of white sand, rocks, and small lagoons with large populations of sea lions (in fact, this is one of the best places to take photos of these aquatic mammals). After a wet landing, a stroll down the beach will also permit views of Brown pelicans and Blue-footed boobies.

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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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner

Prices

2019 - Price per person
RoomGolden Suites
4 DaysUS$ 3,769 PP
*Price per person based upon double occupancy.
*PP (per person)
Included in the price:
  • Airport/yacht/airport transfers in the Galapagos Islands
  • Airport reception and assistance
  • Double or single accommodations
  • Guided excursions, according to the itinerary
  • Top-notch bilingual (English / Spanish) National Park guide(s)
  • Services of a cruise service officer
  • Daily activity briefings
  • All meals and snacks
  • Soft drinks and juices
  • Glass of house wine for dinners
  • Captain’s Welcome and farewell cocktails
  • Supplied expedition gear (transparent sea kayaks, paddle boards, snorkeling equipment, [mask, snorkel & fins], wet suits, excursion bag, water container
Not included in the price:
  • Round trip to/from the Galapagos Islands
  • Galapagos National Park Entrance fee
  • Transit Control Card
  • Alcoholic and bottled beverages
  • Tips and gratuities for guide and crew
  • Travel and health insurance (highly recommended)
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