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Galápagos — Central & East Islands aboard the Xavier III

Galápagos — Central & East Islands aboard the Xavier III


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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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Sat, Feb 22, 2020
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Mon, Mar 16, 2020
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Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

Seven nights cruising through Galápagos National Park aboard Xavier, Look for sea lions and marine iguanas or simply relax on the white-sand beach of Santiago, Learn about the history of the Galápagos at the Charles Darwin Centre, Search for land iguanas in the cactus forests of South Plaza, Snorkel with rays and sea lions at Kicker Rock

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.

Day 1: Quito
Arrive at any time.
Activity: The adventure begins today. Feel free to explore, but make sure you're back in time to meet the group. Your G Representative will review the details of your tour.
Accommodation: Hotel Hilton Colon (or similar)

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.
Transport: Early morning transfer to the airport to catch our 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.
Activity: Visit the giant tortoise breeding centre and see all of the different species of tortoises up close. See newborns as well as full-grown adult tortoises that can live well over 100 years. Learn how these gentle giants can grow so big!
Transport: When it comes to our stellar fleet of Galápagos vessels, the Xavier is made for both great value and great service. The luxury of local and international cuisine, daily excursions to explore the islands, and picturesque views of the Galápagos from the outdoor deck.
Meal(s): 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.
Activity: Enjoy amazing wildlife watching and interesting geological formations on this fascinating expedition. Arrive at a quiet cove on the eastern tip of San Cristóbal to explore Punta Pitt. Made up of volcanic tuff substrate, it's the only site in the Galápagos where it's possible to see three species of boobies and two species of frigatebirds.
Activity: Visit Cerro Brujo to explore its coastline, and look for wildlife on the beach, in the water, and in the air. Learn about the human and natural history of the area from the Galápagos CEO/Naturalist Guide.
Activity: Embark on a snorkelling adventure at Kicker Rock, one of the most stunning landmarks in the Galápagos Islands that's home to an incredibly diverse range of marine life that inhabits the nutrient-rich water. Explore the rock which rises 150m (492 ft) above the ocean's surface, and is divided into two parts by a narrow channel. See an array of sharks and fish that are drawn to the rock and provide for an exhilarating unique snorkelling experience.
Transport: When it comes to our stellar fleet of Galápagos vessels, the Xavier is made for both great value and great service. The luxury of local and international cuisine, daily excursions to explore the islands, and picturesque views of the Galápagos from the outdoor deck.
Meal(s): 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.
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.
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: 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.
Transport: When it comes to our stellar fleet of Galápagos vessels, the Xavier is made for both great value and great service. The luxury of local and international cuisine, daily excursions to explore the islands, and picturesque views of the Galápagos from the outdoor deck.
Meal(s): 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.
Activity: Visit Fausto Llerena Breeding Center a great place to observe many species of tortoises and land iguanas in captivity. Brought back from the brink of extinction, see the famous Galápagos tortoise up close - a corral houses adult tortoises, and a nursery cares for the young until around age three when their shells have hardened. This area also houses the Charles Darwin Research Station, a scientific organization initiated in 1964, which works to preserve the Galápagos' ecosystem through the conservation efforts of scientists, researchers, and volunteers. While the offices themselves are not open to visitors, the research station provides a study location for international scientists and environmental education for the local community.
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.
Free Time: The tiny town of Puerto Ayora offers some unique shopping opportunities and a fish market to checkout.
Transport: When it comes to our stellar fleet of Galápagos vessels, the Xavier is made for both great value and great service. The luxury of local and international cuisine, daily excursions to explore the islands, and picturesque views of the Galápagos from the outdoor deck.
Meal(s): 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.
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: 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: When it comes to our stellar fleet of Galápagos vessels, the Xavier is made for both great value and great service. The luxury of local and international cuisine, daily excursions to explore the islands, and picturesque views of the Galápagos from the outdoor deck.
Meal(s): 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.
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.
Activity: Travel to Daphne, a tiny conical island, home to nesting blue-footed boobies, frigatebirds, Darwin's finches, and a variety of marine life. Observe from the boat as this island is dedicated to scientific research. This island was where Dr. Peter Grant conducted a long-term study of Darwin's finches.
Transport: When it comes to our stellar fleet of Galápagos vessels, the Xavier is made for both great value and great service. The luxury of local and international cuisine, daily excursions to explore the islands, and picturesque views of the Galápagos from the outdoor deck.
Meal(s): 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.
Activity: Visit South Plaza, one of the smallest islands in the Galápagos, which has one of the largest populations of land iguanas. Walk along a path through a cactus forest and view a combination of dry and coastal vegetation on this lively island, home to a wide range of fauna, including incredible birdlife. Spot red-billed tropicbirds and indigenous swallow-tailed gulls resting on the cliffs, and sea lions playing in the waters.
Activity: Visit Santa Fé for amazing wildlife watching opportunities. Hike towards the cliffs along the island's northern shore to view the forest of giant prickly pear cactus (Opuntia), which is home to endemic land iguanas. It is also one of the best locations to see sea turtles, sea lions, and maybe even get a glimpse of a whitetip reef shark from the panga.
Transport: When it comes to our stellar fleet of Galápagos vessels, the Xavier is made for both great value and great service. The luxury of local and international cuisine, daily excursions to explore the islands, and picturesque views of the Galápagos from the outdoor deck.
Meal(s): Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 9: San Cristóbal Island/Quito
Visit the Interpretation Centre on San Cristóbal Island before flying back to Quito.
Activity: Learn about the history of the Galápagos Islands from the very beginning of their volcanic origins through to today's conservation efforts. Tour the Human History exhibit to learn about the islands' discovery and colonization, and discover the natural history and variety of flora and fauna that make the Galápagos so fascinating.
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
Motorized yacht (Xavier), plane, private vehicle, panga.

Inclusions
Cruise the Galápagos Islands aboard the Xavier (7 nts). All meals aboard the Xavier. Certified Galápagos National Park Service Guide. See giant tortoises at a breeding centre (San Cristóbal Island). Snorkelling at Kicker Rock and Chinese Hat. Highlands and wild tortoise excursion (Santa Cruz Island). Visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz Island). Land iguana excursions on Santa Fé and South Plaza Islands. Visit to a wildlife interpretation centre (San Cristóbal Island). All landings and excursions. Onboard 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

Hotels (2 nts), aboard the Xavier in twin-share 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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