Highlights
  • Learn about the islands’ history at the San Cristobal Interpretation Center
  • Wander through Santa Fe’s Opuntia Forest
  • Visit the seabird rookeries on Genovesa
  • Snorkel among turtles and diamond sting rays off Darwin Beach
  • Inspect the unique flora of Bahia Sullivan
  • Stroll along Isla Rabida’s rust-coloured sands

With almost 1,000 km of water lying between them and the South American mainland, the islands of the Galapagos were able to evolve largely unfettered by the presence of humanity and its ambitions. Read of Charles Darwin’s voyage there in the early nineteenth century and he tells of hawks that would come to perch on his shoulder and sea lions waddling up to inspect him. Today, thankfully, much remains as it was then. So if close encounters with the winged, scaled and finned kind are what you’re after, you really can’t go past this sailing trip through the archipelago’s remote northern islands.

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Intrepid Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings
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98% Recommend

4.7 out of 5
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Value
4.7 Guide
4.7 Activities
4.7 Lodging
4.7 Transportation
4.7 Meals
4.7
Galapagos Adventure: Northern Islands (Daphne)

No reviews yet for this trip. Browse other reviews below for Intrepid Travel.

J

Recommends

The trip exceeded my expectations in every October 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
The trip exceeded my expectations in every way. Having never traveled to Ecuador before, I felt that I received a thorough introduction to the culture, geography, and people of this fascinating country, which I did not expect to receive in just a short amount of time. Our leader was extremely knowledgeable about every place we visited and patiently answered all of our questions. She was also very receptive to any special requests we had, whether it was to spend more time in a particular location or to make an unplanned stop along the way. She also did an excellent job encouraging group cohesion and maintaining an upbeat and energetic attitude throughout the trip.
Read more

Operator Intrepid Travel

P

Recommends

I have now had 5 Intrepid experiences October 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I have now had 5 Intrepid experiences and have found the tour leaders to be very dedicated and helpful and knowledgeable.

Operator Intrepid Travel

J

Recommends

Very good experience. Well organized and great October 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Very good experience. Well organized and great tour leaders.

Operator Intrepid Travel

M

Recommends

Personal knowledge and experience of our guide October 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Personal knowledge and experience of our guide Juan Martín Aguirre who worked untiringly to give us the best tour possible. Good accomodation.

Operator Intrepid Travel

M

Recommends

-fantastic local tour guide_x000D_
-great itinerary _x000D_
-good mix October 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
-fantastic local tour guide_x000D_
-great itinerary _x000D_
-good mix of nature activities, cultural activities and adventure

Operator Intrepid Travel

Itinerary

Day 1 Quito

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Ecuador. A welcome meeting will be held in the evening at either 5pm or 6 pm when you meet others travelling with you on your cruise to the Galapagos Islands. Please check with hotel reception or check the reception notice boards for the time and place of the meeting for your trip. As today is an arrival day, you can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). Quito sits at high altitude under the towering Pichincha volcano. It is a beautiful city, arguably one of the most beautiful in South America. The city stretches along the valley and is surrounded by the Andes. The Old Town of Quito is awash with history, with more than 30 churches to explore, and a number of fascinating museums. La Compania de Jesus is considered to be the most beautiful and ornate churches in the Americas. The city's oldest street, Calle La Ronda, is well worth exploring. As this trip spends very little time in Quito, we recommend you spend a few extra days before or after your trip to experience all the city has to offer. You may even wish to explore further beyond the city and visit Otavalo, Cotopaxi, the Cloud Forest or the Equatorial Monument.

Day 2 Quito - Isla San Cristobal

Today is mostly a long travel day, and your Galapagos activities will begin after lunch. Rise early and transfer to the airport (approximately 1 hour) for your flight to the Galapagos Islands. Pick-up may be as early as 4:30 am (your leader will confirm this at the welcome meeting) and a boxed breakfast will be provided. On arrival in the Galapagos we are met in the arrivals hall by our naturatlist guide and then transferred to our boat, the Daphne. Once on board we'll be assigned our cabins, haev our safety drill, meet the crew members,  and fellow travellers over a delicious lunch. We visit the San Cristobal Interpretation Center. The centre brings the history and geography of the archipelago to life, from its volcanic origins to the present day. The human history exhibit offers an insight into the discovery and colonisation of the Galapagos and the issue of problems the islands face today is also explored. This is a great place to get a complete overview of the Galapagos. This afternoon, you will have the option to head to Galapaguera (Highlands) of San Cristobal to view the Giant Tortoises in a protected area. This will be your only opportunity on this trip to see these magnificent creatures. Your guide will organise this excursion for you and it will take about 2 hours. Depending on the number of passengers wanting to take part in this, the shared cost is approximately US$120 and paid locally to the guide.

Day 3 Isla Santa Fe - Isla Plaza Sur

Isla Santa Fe is home to sea lions, and you can expect to see Galapagos hawks, land iguanas, a variety of finches, Galapagos mockingbirds, sea lions, marine turtles, frigatebirds, Galapagos doves and lava lizards. This stunning island boasts one of the most attractive coves in the whole archipelago. The jade-green waters are ideal for snorkelling. Take a hike along the coast into the Opuntia forest (approximately 1.5 hours). From here you can see Santa Fe's trees – the largest in the Galapagos – along with a forest of giant cacti and palo santo trees. The trail can be a little rocky, so mind your step. Afterwards, continue to Plaza Sur (South Plaza), a small, picturesque island. Take a walk (approximately 1.5 hours), getting close to sea lions and passing one of the Galapagos’ largest land iguana populations which rest among cacti, volcanic landscapes dotted with brightly coloured sea-purslanes. The southern cliffs are great for spotting tropicbirds and swallow-tailed gulls, as well as ‘the Gentlemen’s Club’ – a gathering of male sea lions. Today there may be an extra stop along the way to Plaza Sur to restock the provisions for the boat. Later tonight, set sail for Isla Genovesa. Estimated travel time/distance: Isla San Cristobal to Isla Santa Fe: 3.5 hours (26 nautical miles) Isla Santa Fe to Plazas Sur: 2 hours (16 nautical miles) Plazas Sur to Bahia Darwin (Isla Genovesa): 7.5 hours (59 nautical miles)

Day 4 Isla Genovesa

After an overnight sail, reach Isla Genovesa, the archipelago's north-eastern outpost. It’s undeniably worth the voyage. Dolphins are often spotted in the waters around beautiful Genovesa. These varied landscapes are a twitcher's paradise, with all three kinds of boobies, including the rare red-footed booby, and numerous other species such as tropicbirds and frigate birds and one of the only place to spot the short-eared owls. Next, Bahia Darwin (Darwin Beach) is another superb site with large breeding colonies of seabirds and frigates and other birds such as lava herons, swallow-tailed gulls, mockingbirds and, hopefully, vampire finches. Enjoy a moderate walk (approximately 2.5 hours) that passes tide pools, sea lions and diamond stingrays. This walk involves sand and some rocky sections. The steep Prince Philip's Steps lead you to the heart of the seabird rookeries, with birds overhead and nesting among the cliffs. Look out for storm petrels on the island’s rocky plains; Genovesa is the only place in the world where these birds can be seen flying during the day. Afterwards, perhaps cool off with a snorkel. The island's magnificent marine life makes for spectacular snorkelling – you might encounter manta rays, sharks, turtles and moray eels, plus many species of fish. Later tonight, depart Isla Genovesa for Isla Santiago. Estimated travel time/distance: Prince Philip's Steps to Sullivan Bay (Isla Santiago): 8 hours (48 miles)

Day 5 Isla Santiago - Isla Rabida

On Santiago Island's eastern coast sits Bahia Sullivan, also known as James Island. Here you’ll take a walk along pahoehoe lava (approximately 1 hour), which was created by an eruption that occurred in 1897, and witness the plants that have grown on the site since that last eruption. With some luck you might see some marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs, sea lions, finches, turtles, sharks and penguins. During your walk, your guide will recount the geological history of the islands. Then it’s on to Isla Rabida, known for its gorgeous red sandy beach (coloured that way due to rusting iron). This is one of the most striking islands of the archipelago. Starting at the shore, follow a walking trail (approximately 45 minutes) through to what is one of the finest lagoons in the Galapagos for viewing flamingos. Rabida is also a wonderful place to spot nesting pelicans. Elsewhere, pintail ducks, marine iguanas and sea lions are present. Here you will find Opuntia cactus forest, which suggests previous existence of land iguanas and possibly Galapagos hawks, mockingbirds, doves, finches and lava lizards. You’ll have the chance to snorkel among sea stars, damsels, gobbies and surgeon fish, and take a panga ride in search of wildlife. Estimated travel time/distance: Sullivan Bay to Isla Rabida: 2 hours (16 nautical miles) Isla Rabida to Black Turtle Cove (Isla Santa Cruz) 2 hours (16 nautical miles)

Day 6 Isla Santa Cruz - Quito

As flights to the mainland from Galapagos depart mid-morning, it’s an early start for your last morning on the islands. Depending on the time of your flight, your time spent on this final excursion may be limited. Explore Caleta Tortuga Negra (Black Turtle Cove) on a panga. This red mangrove wetland is located on the north shore of Isla Santa Cruz. You will paddle along this peaceful cove to experience its many underwater riches. It’s a breeding area for green turtles, so you might catch sight of them mating. There is also abundant bird life, such as the yellow warbler and lava heron. It is also a nursery for golden cow-nose rays, eagle rays and Galapagos sharks. This is your final excursion before you return to the airport in Baltra for your flight back to Quito. The flight will stop over in Guayaquil to drop off and/or pick up passengers. Arrive at Quito Airport (approximately 4 pm) where you will be transferred back to your hotel for an overnight stay. Your local representative may stop by at your hotel this evening to get your feedback on your Galapagos experience. Estimated travel times/distance: Daphne to Baltra: 15 mins Flight time Baltra to Quito: approx 3.5 hours (including transit in Guayaquil) Transfer Quito Airport to Hotel: 1 hour (depending on traffic)

Day 7 Quito

Your Galapagos adventure comes to an end after breakfast this morning. There are no activities planned for the final day, and you are free to depart the accommodation at any time. There are many fascinating things to do in and around Quito, so please speak to your customer service representative about any optional activities that might be of interest. They can also assist you in booking a departure transfer to the airport.

Dates & Pricing
Checking price

Price From

$ 2,387

Price Per Day:

$ 341 per day
 
Checking price
Start DateFinish DateBase PriceDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Dec-21-2018Dec-27-2018$ 3,765Yes2 spots left Reserve
Dec-21-2018Dec-27-2018$ 4,050YesSold Out Reserve
Dec-21-2018Dec-27-2018$ 4,220YesSold Out Reserve
Dec-21-2018Dec-27-2018$ 4,220YesSold Out Reserve
Jan-04-2019Jan-10-2019$ 3,975Yes3 spots left Reserve
Jan-04-2019Jan-10-2019$ 4,310YesSold Out Reserve
Jan-04-2019Jan-10-2019$ 4,535YesSold Out Reserve
Jan-04-2019Jan-10-2019$ 4,535YesSold Out Reserve
Jan-18-2019Jan-24-2019$ 2,818Yes6 spots left Reserve
Jan-18-2019Jan-24-2019$ 3,053Yes2 spots left Reserve
Jan-18-2019Jan-24-2019$ 3,210YesSold Out Reserve
Jan-18-2019Jan-24-2019$ 3,210Yes2 spots left Reserve
Feb-01-2019Feb-07-2019$ 2,714Yes7 spots left Reserve
Feb-01-2019Feb-07-2019$ 2,941Yes1 spots left Reserve
Feb-01-2019Feb-07-2019$ 3,092YesSold Out Reserve
Feb-01-2019Feb-07-2019$ 3,092YesSold Out Reserve
Feb-15-2019Feb-21-2019$ 3,825Yes6 spots left Reserve
Feb-15-2019Feb-21-2019$ 4,150YesSold Out Reserve
Feb-15-2019Feb-21-2019$ 4,365YesSold Out Reserve
Feb-15-2019Feb-21-2019$ 4,365YesSold Out Reserve
Mar-29-2019Apr-04-2019$ 3,825Yes8 spots left Reserve
Mar-29-2019Apr-04-2019$ 4,150Yes1 spots left Reserve
Mar-29-2019Apr-04-2019$ 4,365Yes2 spots left Reserve
Mar-29-2019Apr-04-2019$ 4,365Yes2 spots left Reserve
Apr-12-2019Apr-18-2019$ 4,045Yes3 spots left Reserve
Apr-12-2019Apr-18-2019$ 4,390YesSold Out Reserve
Apr-12-2019Apr-18-2019$ 4,620YesSold Out Reserve
Apr-12-2019Apr-18-2019$ 4,620YesSold Out Reserve
Apr-26-2019May-02-2019$ 3,975Yes7 spots left Reserve
Apr-26-2019May-02-2019$ 4,310Yes2 spots left Reserve
Apr-26-2019May-02-2019$ 4,535YesSold Out Reserve
Apr-26-2019May-02-2019$ 4,535Yes1 spots left Reserve
May-10-2019May-16-2019$ 4,130Yes3 spots left Reserve
May-10-2019May-16-2019$ 4,475YesSold Out Reserve
May-10-2019May-16-2019$ 4,710YesSold Out Reserve
May-10-2019May-16-2019$ 4,710YesSold Out Reserve
May-24-2019May-30-2019$ 3,975Yes6 spots left Reserve
May-24-2019May-30-2019$ 4,310Yes4 spots left Reserve
May-24-2019May-30-2019$ 4,535YesSold Out Reserve
May-24-2019May-30-2019$ 4,535Yes2 spots left Reserve
Jun-07-2019Jun-13-2019$ 4,120Yes8 spots left Reserve
Jun-07-2019Jun-13-2019$ 4,470Yes4 spots left Reserve
Jun-07-2019Jun-13-2019$ 4,705Yes2 spots left Reserve
Jun-07-2019Jun-13-2019$ 4,705YesSold Out Reserve
Jun-21-2019Jun-27-2019$ 4,120Yes8 spots left Reserve
Jun-21-2019Jun-27-2019$ 4,470Yes4 spots left Reserve
Jun-21-2019Jun-27-2019$ 4,705YesSold Out Reserve
Jun-21-2019Jun-27-2019$ 4,705YesSold Out Reserve
Jul-05-2019Jul-11-2019$ 4,120Yes8 spots left Reserve
Jul-05-2019Jul-11-2019$ 4,470Yes1 spots left Reserve
Jul-05-2019Jul-11-2019$ 4,705Yes2 spots left Reserve
Jul-05-2019Jul-11-2019$ 4,705Yes1 spots left Reserve
Jul-19-2019Jul-25-2019$ 4,120Yes8 spots left Reserve
Jul-19-2019Jul-25-2019$ 4,470Yes4 spots left Reserve
Jul-19-2019Jul-25-2019$ 4,705Yes2 spots left Reserve
Jul-19-2019Jul-25-2019$ 4,705Yes2 spots left Reserve
Aug-02-2019Aug-08-2019$ 4,120Yes6 spots left Reserve
Aug-02-2019Aug-08-2019$ 4,470Yes3 spots left Reserve
Aug-02-2019Aug-08-2019$ 4,705Yes2 spots left Reserve
Aug-02-2019Aug-08-2019$ 4,705Yes2 spots left Reserve
Aug-16-2019Aug-22-2019$ 4,120Yes8 spots left Reserve
Aug-16-2019Aug-22-2019$ 4,470Yes4 spots left Reserve
Aug-16-2019Aug-22-2019$ 4,705Yes2 spots left Reserve
Aug-16-2019Aug-22-2019$ 4,705Yes2 spots left Reserve
Aug-30-2019Sep-05-2019$ 3,975Yes8 spots left Reserve
Aug-30-2019Sep-05-2019$ 4,310Yes4 spots left Reserve
Aug-30-2019Sep-05-2019$ 4,535Yes2 spots left Reserve
Aug-30-2019Sep-05-2019$ 4,535Yes2 spots left Reserve
Sep-13-2019Sep-19-2019$ 3,975Yes8 spots left Reserve
Sep-13-2019Sep-19-2019$ 4,310Yes4 spots left Reserve
Sep-13-2019Sep-19-2019$ 4,535Yes2 spots left Reserve
Sep-13-2019Sep-19-2019$ 4,535Yes1 spots left Reserve
Sep-27-2019Oct-03-2019$ 3,825Yes8 spots left Reserve
Sep-27-2019Oct-03-2019$ 4,150Yes4 spots left Reserve
Sep-27-2019Oct-03-2019$ 4,365Yes2 spots left Reserve
Sep-27-2019Oct-03-2019$ 4,365Yes2 spots left Reserve
Oct-11-2019Oct-17-2019$ 3,825Yes8 spots left Reserve
Oct-11-2019Oct-17-2019$ 4,150Yes4 spots left Reserve
Oct-11-2019Oct-17-2019$ 4,365Yes2 spots left Reserve
Oct-11-2019Oct-17-2019$ 4,365Yes2 spots left Reserve
Oct-25-2019Oct-31-2019$ 3,825Yes8 spots left Reserve
Oct-25-2019Oct-31-2019$ 4,150Yes4 spots left Reserve
Oct-25-2019Oct-31-2019$ 4,365Yes2 spots left Reserve
Oct-25-2019Oct-31-2019$ 4,365Yes2 spots left Reserve
Nov-08-2019Nov-14-2019$ 3,825Yes8 spots left Reserve
Nov-08-2019Nov-14-2019$ 4,150Yes4 spots left Reserve
Nov-08-2019Nov-14-2019$ 4,365Yes2 spots left Reserve
Nov-08-2019Nov-14-2019$ 4,365Yes2 spots left Reserve
Nov-22-2019Nov-28-2019$ 3,825Yes8 spots left Reserve
Nov-22-2019Nov-28-2019$ 4,150Yes4 spots left Reserve
Nov-22-2019Nov-28-2019$ 4,365Yes2 spots left Reserve
Nov-22-2019Nov-28-2019$ 4,365Yes2 spots left Reserve
Dec-06-2019Dec-12-2019$ 3,825Yes8 spots left Reserve
Dec-06-2019Dec-12-2019$ 4,150Yes4 spots left Reserve
Dec-06-2019Dec-12-2019$ 4,365Yes2 spots left Reserve
Dec-06-2019Dec-12-2019$ 4,365Yes2 spots left Reserve
Dec-20-2019Dec-26-2019$ 3,975Yes8 spots left Reserve
Dec-20-2019Dec-26-2019$ 4,310Yes4 spots left Reserve
Dec-20-2019Dec-26-2019$ 4,535Yes2 spots left Reserve
Dec-20-2019Dec-26-2019$ 4,535Yes2 spots left Reserve
Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Intrepid Travel
Details
Group Size:
Small Group - 24 max
Maximum Number of People in Group: 16
Accomodations
Hotel (2 nights),Overnight boat (4 nights)
Start City
Quito
End City
Quito
Guides Our local representative will meet you in the evening of day 1 of the trip and conduct the group briefing. They will then also transfer with you to the airport on day 2 for your flight to the Galapagos. On arrival in the Galapagos you will be met your Guide. Our Guides are registered and trained in conservation and natural sciences by the Charles Darwin Foundation and licensed by the Galapagos National Park Service. The Guide will be on board with you for the duration of the trip and will accompany you on all excursions. Our boats are also staffed by highly experienced shipboard staff and crew.
Additional Information:

Finish point

  • Hotel La Cartuja
  • Leonidas Plaza 170 y 18 de Septiembre
  • Quito
  • ECUADOR
  • Phone: 593 22523721

Trip ID#: intrepid-GMDC

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