Galápagos — West, Central and East Islands aboard the Monserrat

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Overview

It’s virtually impossible to witness the wonders of the Galápagos first-hand and not return home a devoted conservationist. Board the comfy Monserrat and embark on a cruising adventure through the archipelago's western, central, and eastern islands. Snorkel with sea lions, discover the unusual endemic marine life in secluded bays, and hike Sierra Negra, the largest basaltic caldera in the region. With a pair of Level II Naturalist Guides at the ready to answer your questions, you'll head home with a new perspective on nature, your planet, and maybe even yourself.

Itinerary

Day 1: Quito

Arrive at any time.

Day 2: Quito/Isabela Island

Fly to Baltra. Meet the guide and transfer to the boat. In the afternoon, sail to Mosquera Island and walk along the beach and observe the vast sea lion colonies.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Isabela Island

Arrive at Puerto Villamil, home to the small community that lives on Isabela Island. In the morning, hike the Sierra Negra volcano, which has the largest basaltic caldera in the Galápagos. Visit Las Tintoreras and the tortoise breeding centre in Puerto Villamil in the afternoon.

In the morning, visit Las Tintoreras, a small island in front of Puerto Villamil. Its bay is known to be home to a colony of whitetip sharks. Check out the tortoise breeding centre to see some of the famous giant tortoises of the Galápagos.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Chinese Hat/Rábida Island

Visit Chinese Hat for snorkelling opportunities and to observe the birds and sea lions. Take an afternoon excursion to Rábida to see a lagoon and sea lion colony.

In the morning, the boat arrives at a small uniquely shaped island off the southern tip of Santiago called Chinese Hat. Here it is often possible to see Galápagos penguins, and the marine life is fantastic for snorkelling. There is also a large sea lion colony as well as many marine iguanas that can be seen while walking amongst the volcanic scenery. Trek to see good views of the island's volcano.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Puerto Egas/Santiago Island

Morning excursion to Puerto Egas to see the salt crater as well as a dark sand beach and tidal pools. Continue to Playa Espumilla, one of the most idyllic beaches in the Galápagos Islands, which boasts thick mangroves and flamingo and sea turtle nesting sites. Head to Buccaneer Cove to witness the towering cliff wall rock formations.

Morning excursion to Playa Espumilla, one of the most idyllic beaches in the Galápagos Islands, which has thick mangroves and flamingo and sea turtle nesting sites. Continue to Puerto Egas to see the salt crater as well as a dark sand beach and tidal pools.

Santiago Island has seen its share of human activity from whalers and pirates over the years, and despite the introduction of goats to the island many years ago, the wildlife of Santiago has otherwise flourished and provides outstanding viewing opportunities. The island boasts marine iguanas, sea lions, fur seals, land and sea turtles, among others. Enjoy great wildlife viewing both on land and in the water.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: North Seymour/Baltra Island

Visit North Seymour for guided walks to observe birds and wildlife, including vast sea lion colonies. Spend the afternoon exploring the Santa Cruz highlands.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Islas Plaza/Santa Fé Island

Land at South Plaza in the morning for wildlife spotting opportunities and a walk through the cactus forest. In the afternoon, take a guided walk around Santa Fé to observe wildlife and plentiful marine iguanas.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Punta Pitt/Puerto Baquerizo Moreno

Morning landing at Punta Pitt on San Cristóbal Island to observe the marine iguanas and seabirds along the beach. Head to La Galapaguera for opportunities to see giant tortoises and enjoy a snorkelling excursion.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Puerto Baquerizo Moreno/Quito

Explore the port town of Puerto Baquerizo, the capital of the Galápagos. Visit the San Cristóbal Interpretation Centre before the flight back to Quito.

Transfer to the airport for the flight to Quito. The flight will arrive into Quito between 2:30pm and 5:30pm with a refuelling stop in Guayaquil (you will not disembark the plane). You will arrive back at the hotel in the early evening in time for dinner.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 10: Quito

Depart at any time.

Includes: Breakfast

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