Galápagos National Park straddles the equator 600 miles west of Ecuador's Pacific coast. Undisturbed for centuries and isolated from the mainland, unusual species of birds, plants, reptiles and some mammals developed on the rocky, volcanic atolls of the Enchanted Isles. Darwin's visit and subsequent studies of the island's flora and fauna in 1835 contributed to the formulation of his theory on the evolution of species and brought this fascinating ecosystem to the attention of the world. The park, Ecuador's largest, was established in 1959 to protect the archipelago's unique environment and wildlife. Its landmass consists of nearly 3,000 square miles which is divided between 6 large islands, 12 smaller islands, and over 40 islets.

In 1986, the creation of the Marine Resources Reserve expanded the preserved area to include more than 27,000 square miles of ocean. This exciting program offers the best value in the archipelago, featuring one of the most complete 8-day itineraries and providing the ideal opportunity to explore these remarkable islands and watch and photograph their unique wildlife in small, intimate groups.

Starting with an overnight in Quito, we catch our flight to San Cristóbal Island the next morning and start exploring aboard our comfortable 20-passenger, deluxe motor-yacht. Accompanied by some of the best English-speaking naturalist guides, we learn about the natural history of these enchanted isles, visiting the most outlying islands as well as important central and southern islands. We study marine iguanas & flightless cormorants on Fernandina, watch land iguanas on Plaza, observe red-footed boobies on Tower & blue-footed boobies on Hood, swim with Galápagos penguins at Bartolomé and have the chance to snorkel with sea lions and fur seals! We learn about powerful forces of nature and enjoy beautiful views of white, olive or red sand beaches caressed by turquoise waters. Following our 8-day cruise we fly back to Quito where our last day is spent in Otavalo, one of South America's largest handicraft markets.


Day 0 | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8

Introduction | On board info | Weather | Best part | Turtles | Fish | Sea Lions | Iguanas | Birds | People

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