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Galápagos — West, Central and East Islands aboard the Monserrat

Galápagos — West, Central and East Islands aboard the Monserrat


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Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

Seven nights cruising the Galápagos National Park aboard the Monserrat, snorkel with sea lions, discover spectacular marine life in protected bays, find land iguanas feeding in the cactus forests on South Plaza Island, hike the Sierra Negra Volcano – the largest basaltic caldera in Galápagos

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.

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/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.
Transport: Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... yup, it is a plane, actually.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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: Visit the highlands of Santa Cruz and see the Galápagos giant tortoise in its natural surroundings. Explore the area and its incredible underground lava tunnels. Wander along the volcanic tubes and keep an eye out for the (mainly) nocturnal barn owls that sometimes roost here.
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.
Meal(s): 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.
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: Lace up your hiking boats to explore the island's flora and fauna. Trek toward the cliffs along the island's northern shore to see a forest of giant prickly pear cacti (Opuntia). See endemic land iguanas lounging in their favourite forest, and feasting on Opuntia pads and fruit.
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: 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.
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: Get up close to giant tortoises at the Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado, an area of land reserved for the repopulation of these magnificent ancient creatures. Learn about the life cycle of the tortoises at the small breeding centre and interpretation centre.
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: Snorkel around Punta Pitt Island and spot schools of fish swimming below. On the shore admire the nesting birds and sun bathing seal lions.
Meal(s): 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.
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
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. Sierra Negra Volcano Hike (Isabela Island). Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre. Snorkelling at Chinese Hat, Isla Rábida Puerto Egas, and Punta Pitt. Highlands giant tortoises excursion. Sante Fé hiking excursion. Interpretation Centre Visit (San Cristóbal). 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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