Galápagos — Central & East Islands aboard the Xavier III

Tabbed Group

Overview

Encounter the island chain that has enchanted explorers since Darwin first weighed anchor off its shores. Spend eight days exploring the incredible wildlife of the Galápagos archipelago in the company of an expert Naturalist Guide. In the evenings, return to the Xavier to reflect on the day’s adventures. Retire to air-conditioned cabins with exclusive lower berths and private bathrooms. As one of the region’s largest operators, we understand the importance of controlling the onboard experience – that’s why you'll never end up on another operator's ship.

Itinerary

Day 1: Quito

Arrive at any time.

There are no planned activities, so check into the hotel and enjoy the city. Please look for notices in the hotel lobby for a time and location of the welcome meeting.

Day 2: Quito/Puerto Baquerizo Moreno

Fly to San Cristóbal Island. Meet the Galápagos CEO and transfer to the boat. In the afternoon, visit the Tortoise Breeding Centre before setting off to explore the Galápagos.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Punta Pitt/Kicker Rock

Visit Punta Pitt and look for three types of boobies as well as frigatebirds. After, visit Cerro Brujo on San Cristóbal Island to observe sea lions, marine iguanas, and seabirds along the beach. Continue to the dramatic Kicker Rock in the afternoon for a snorkelling excursion.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Santiago Island

Morning excursion to Playa Espumilla, one of the most idyllic beaches in the Galápagos Islands and home to thick mangroves and flamingo and sea turtle nesting sites. Continue to Buccaneer Cove to witness the towering cliff wall rock formations before going to Puerto Egas to see a dark-sand beach and tidal pools.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Puerto Ayora

Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to see the giant Galápagos tortoises and go on an excursion to the Santa Cruz Highlands. Free time for shopping or exploration of Puerto Ayora.

In the morning, arrive in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. Santa Cruz is the second biggest island in the Galápagos, and has the largest population. Puerto Ayora is its main town. In the afternoon, there may be the opportunity to visit the highlands and see giant land tortoises in the wild.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Chinese Hat/Black Turtle Cove

Visit Chinese Hat for snorkelling opportunities and to observe the birds and sea lions before taking an excursion to Black Turtle Cove to see the marine life.

Spot Galápagos penguins and explore marine life that is fantastic for snorkelling. There is also a large sea lion colony at Chinese Hat as well as many marine iguanas that can be seen on the guided walk. Hike among the volcanic scenery, with good views to the cone of the island's volcano.

In the afternoon, take an excursion by "panga" to Black Turtle Cove to witness the extensive mangrove system and interesting waterway canals. Sea turtles and different species of rays can often be seen in this cove, offering a peaceful and fascinating glimpse into the diversity of the area.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Cerro Dragón/Islas Daphne

Visit Cerro Dragón on the west coast of Santa Cruz Island to see land iguanas and a salt water lagoon frequented by flamingos and other species of birds. Continue to Daphne Island in the afternoon to spot birds and wildlife.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Islas Plaza/Santa Fé Island

Land at South Plaza in the morning for wildlife spotting opportunities. Afternoon visit to Santa Fé Island for guided walks to observe the wildlife and plentiful marine iguanas. Opportunities for swimming and snorkelling with the sea lions.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: San Cristóbal Island/Quito

Visit the Interpretation Centre on San Cristóbal Island before flying back to Quito.

Transfer to the group hotel upon arrival, and enjoy one last night on the town.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 10: Quito

Depart at any time.

Includes: Breakfast

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