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Galápagos — West & Central Islands aboard the Monserrat

Galápagos — West & Central Islands aboard the Monserrat


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Overview

Dates & Prices

*Please Note: This vacation includes an internal air component which will not be discounted from the listed price below.
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Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

7 nights cruising the Galápagos National Park aboard the Monserrat, hike over the dramatic volcanic flows to a viewpoint on Bartolomé, snorkel with sea lions and sea turtles, hike the Sierra Negra Volcano – the largest basaltic caldera in the Galápagos, choose to search for sea turtles or simply relax on the white-sand beaches of Santiago

Picture it: the Galápagos, viewed from the deck of the comfortable Monserrat as she cuts through blue waters bound for another island paradise loaded with natural splendour. But it's not just a "look but can't touch" situation - on this trip, you'll get up-close and personal with aquatic wildlife like sea lions and turtles, hike over volcanic lava flows to check out the landscapes of Bartolomé, and relax on the stunning white-sand beaches of Santiago. Get out onto the high seas and start making better memories.

Day 1: Quito
Arrive at any time.
Activity: Your opportunity to meet your CEO and fellow travellers, and learn more about your tour. Opt to join the group for a local meal afterwards. Don't forget to see the notice in the lobby (or ask reception) for the official time and place to meet up with the group.
Accommodation: Hotel Hilton Colon (or similar)

Day 2: Quito/Puerto Ayora
Early flight to Baltra. Meet the guide and transfer across the island of Santa Cruz to Puerto Ayora to board the ship. Take an afternoon excursion to the highlands to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat.
Transport: Early transfer to the airport to catch the flight to the Galapagos.
Transport: Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... yup, it is a plane, actually.
Transport: Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride.
Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Transport: Board the spacious 20-person vessel and enjoy the amenities while cruising to your next destination. Spend time on the top deck lounge and bar, indulge in a meal with new friends or relax in the indoor air-conditioned areas.
Activity: Head to Santa Cruz's verdant highlands and the El Chato Reserve. There are many reserves in this area, such as El Manzanillo, Primicias, and El Chato II, making this is a perfect place to see giant tortoises in their natural environment.
Meal(s): Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 3: Sullivan Bay/Bartolomé Island
Visit Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island to see giant lava formations contrasting the white-coral sand beach. Continue to Bartolomé for a guided tour to see the dramatic volcanic features before hiking to a panoramic viewpoint.
Activity: Visit Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island to see one of its star natural attractions - striking and fascinating giant lava formations. Very few plants have managed to survive on this island due to its harsh environment and relatively new lava flow. Enjoy a walk along the lava formations before coming to a white-coral sand beach, where abundant Sally Lightfoot crabs and sea lions gather on shore.
Activity: Enjoy a cool dip after exploring Sullivan Bay on foot. Grab a snorkel and discover many species of fish and other marine life in the shallow waters. Keep an eye out for turtles, rays, and large schools of colourful fish.
Activity: Hike to Bartolomé's summit for a stronger perspective of the islands' not-too-distant volcanic origins, and enjoy a panoramic view - it's one of the best among the islands! See other Galápagos Islands in the distance as well as Pinnacle Rock, the island's famous towering landmark.
Activity: Take the opportunity to swim and snorkel along the shore, home to one of the most iconic volcanic rock formations on the islands. Home to Galápagos penguins, friendly sea lions, sea turtles, and a huge variety of fish, Bartolomé and its surrounding waters are a fantastic place to explore the natural wonders of the Galápagos.
Transport: Board the spacious 20-person vessel and enjoy the amenities while cruising to your next destination. Spend time on the top deck lounge and bar, indulge in a meal with new friends or relax in the indoor air-conditioned areas.
Meal(s): Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 4: Bachas Beach/Cerro Dragón
Visit the beach on Las Bachas and relax or swim in the crystal waters. Continue to Cerro Dragón on the west coast of Santa Cruz to see land iguanas and a saltwater lagoon frequented by flamingos and other species of birds.
Activity: Head to Bachas Beach where the sand is made of decomposed coral, making it soft and white, and a favourite site for nesting sea turtles. Spot abundant Sally Lightfoot crabs on the lava rocks along the water's edge -- these crabs will eat anything they can get their claws on! Trek to see a wide range of wildlife, including flamingos, hermit crabs, black necked stilts, and marine iguanas.
Activity: Go snorkelling or swimming right off the white sand beach of Las Bachas. Spot all sorts of marine wildlife in its shallow waters and tidal pools. Bachas is also one of the most important beaches for the green turtle as a nesting site.
Activity: Visit Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill) for some prime birdwatching. Take a short walk from the beach to a hypersalinic (saltier than the ocean) lagoon frequented by pink flamingos, common stilts, pintail ducks, and other species of birds. Pass through a Palo Santo tree forest; endemic to the area, there are only 400 specimens of Scalesia trees left in the world.
Transport: Board the spacious 20-person vessel and enjoy the amenities while cruising to your next destination. Spend time on the top deck lounge and bar, indulge in a meal with new friends or relax in the indoor air-conditioned areas.
Meal(s): Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 5: Black Turtle Cove/Mosquera Islet
Take a morning panga ride and look for marine life in Black Turtle Cove before navigating back to Baltra for lunch. In the afternoon, sail to Mosquera and walk along the beach and observe the vast sea lion colonies.
Activity: Explore the mangroves by panga to find rich marine wildlife between the fresh and salt waters. Keep any eye out for sting rays and sea turtles in this tranquil ecosystem. Whitetip reef sharks can also be seen gliding by.
Transport: Board the spacious 20-person vessel and enjoy the amenities while cruising to your next destination. Spend time on the top deck lounge and bar, indulge in a meal with new friends or relax in the indoor air-conditioned areas.
Activity: Wander along the beach and keep a look out for wildlife on land, in the air, and at sea. Relax on the sand or search for aquatic life in the tidal pools that dot the coastline.
Meal(s): Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 6: 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.
Activity: Take a panga across the bay to "Tintoreras" Shark Alley to observe the whitetip reef sharks found swimming in the channels between the rocks. Get a close-up view of pelicans, frigatebirds, and diving blue-footed boobies. Watch for manta rays and rare Galápagos penguins.
Activity: Hike to the rim of the 10km (6 mi) wide crater of the Sierra Negra volcano, which has the largest basaltic caldera in the Galápagos. Trek across the moon-like landscape of the lava fields and fumaroles, and enjoy spectacular views looking north toward Fernandina and the rest of Isabela Island. The volcano last erupted in June 2018, making it the most recent eruption of the Galápagos. This hike is 7km in total (3.5 km each way).
Activity: Walk through the town's wetlands to visit the Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre. With the giant tortoise on its way to extinction in the late 1950s, this program was established to protect these noble creatures.
Transport: Board the spacious 20-person vessel and enjoy the amenities while cruising to your next destination. Spend time on the top deck lounge and bar, indulge in a meal with new friends or relax in the indoor air-conditioned areas.
Meal(s): Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 7: 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.
Activity: Explore Chinese Hat's beautiful landscape and view many geological formations such as lava tubes and lava flows.
Activity: Snorkel right from the white-coral sand beach and come face to face with playful sea lions and large schools of tropical fish. Keep an eye out for marine iguanas and penguins.
Activity: Arrive at a red sand beach at Rábida to explore its trails. A short trail leads to a saltwater lagoon; another trail goes past the lagoon to the interior, where the revered palo santo trees grow. (When burned, the branches of this tree give off a pleasing aroma and ward off mosquitoes.)
Activity: Take a panga ride from the beach to a cliff wall that drops off into the water to find one of the best deep-water snorkeling spots in the islands.
Transport: Board the spacious 20-person vessel and enjoy the amenities while cruising to your next destination. Spend time on the top deck lounge and bar, indulge in a meal with new friends or relax in the indoor air-conditioned areas.
Meal(s): Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 8: 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.
Activity: Explore the spectacular shoreline of Puerto Egas, also known as James Bay. Spot a great number of shore birds and reptiles - the beach area is home to a plethora of wildlife.
Activity: Grab a snorkel and jump into the water right off the beach to explore Puerto Egas' interesting underwater world. Keep your eyes peeled for rays, turtles, and reef sharks while snorkelling. After, visit the large tidal pool area - marine iguanas and Sally Lightfoot crabs are everywhere.
Activity: Head to Playa Espumilla, one of the most idyllic beaches in the Galápagos Islands, which has thick mangroves and sea turtle nesting sites.
Activity: Jump into the panga and cruise alongside high cliffs and rock formations on this visit to Bucaneer Cove, which was a favourite hideout for pirates looking to stock up their boats with food and water. Spot sea lions relaxing on the beach and sea birds nesting in the cove - there's lots to see at this site.
Transport: Board the spacious 20-person vessel and enjoy the amenities while cruising to your next destination. Spend time on the top deck lounge and bar, indulge in a meal with new friends or relax in the indoor air-conditioned areas.
Meal(s): Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 9: North Seymour/Quito
Visit North Seymour for guided walks to observe birds and wildlife, including vast sea lion colonies. Disembark at Baltra and fly back to Quito.
Activity: Have an amazing wildlife experience visiting North Seymour Island - this island is teeming with life! Follow trails to see all the action (you may need to give way to a passing sea lion or marine iguana while walking). Depending on the season, see blue-footed booby nests where mating pairs perform their courtship dance. Head to a rocky shore to see flocks of pelicans having lunch in a dive bomb feeding frenzy, then turn inland to a large nesting site of magnificent frigatebirds. These huge, dark acrobats have two-metre (6.5 ft) wingspans, and males, with their puffed-up scarlet throat sacks, sit precariously perched in low bushes to watch over their equally large chicks. Top off your visit with a snorkel excursion among the colourful fish who call this area home.
Transport: Board the spacious 20-person vessel and enjoy the amenities while cruising to your next destination. Spend time on the top deck lounge and bar, indulge in a meal with new friends or relax in the indoor air-conditioned areas.
Transport: Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... yup, it is a plane, actually.
Accommodation: Hotel Hilton Colon (or similar)
Meal(s): Breakfast

Day 10: Quito
Depart at any time.
Activity: Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.
Meal(s): Breakfast

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

Inclusions

Meals Included
9 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners

Transport
Plane, motorized yacht, panga, private vehicle.

Inclusions
Your Welcome Moment: Meet Your CEO and Group. Cruise the Galápagos Islands aboard the Monserrat (7 nts). 2 Certified Galápagos National Park Service guide. All meals aboard the Monserrat. Highlands giant tortoises excursion. Snorkelling at Sullivan Bay, Bartolomé Island, Bachas Beach, Chinese Hat, Isla Rábida and Puerto Egas. Black Turtle Cove Excursion. Sierra Negra Volcano Hike (Isabela Island). Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre. All landings and excursions. Snorkelling equipment and wetsuits. Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

Accommodations

Hotel (2 nts), aboard the Monserrat in twin-share or double cabins (7 nts).

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.3
Accommodations
4.2
Itinerary
3.4
Professional Staff
5
Repeat with Operator
4.2
Value for Money
4.6

Ratings based off 5 reviews - currently showing 2 reviews with comments only

The itinerary was terrific, the guides were great (Milton and Mauricio). They kept up us on track to see and experience the wonders on the Galapos Islands. Milton was particularly attentive, making sure we were safe while snorkeling. The food was good and other staff were courteous. My only complaints are that accommodations in the lower cabins of Xavier III were not up to expectations -old and freezing cold - and the hotel on Santa Cruz Island was 2-star, at best. These accommodations were an extreme contrast to the quality and luxury of the Hotel Hilton Colon in Quito.

It was a dream vacation.Thank you.


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