Galapagos Endemic Catamaran Cruise
Board the MC Endemic, a luxury catamaran, for a 10-Day Galapagos Cruise, taking in the key sights, sounds and experiences of this once-in-a-lifetime destination. You’ll stop at the islands of Santa Cruz, Isabela, Genovesa and Santiago, to experience the world-famous natural wonders of the Galapagos, including frigatebirds, boobies, Galapagos tortoises, sea lions, marine iguanas and so much more. You’ll have the opportunity to snorkel, kayak, walk on multicolored sand beaches and hike to the tops of volcanoes for expansive views over the key sights of the archipelago – all while dining and sleeping in ultimate comfort.
Starting from $8,290 per person
Pricing includes everything from your international arrival to your departure, with the exception of flights and a few lunches and dinners.
HOW IT WORKS
- Start your trip with two nights in Quito, where you can enjoy the cultural, dining and shopping experiences of this Andean capital.
- Board the MC Endemic, a luxury catamaran, for a seven-day tour of the Galapagos archipelago, with your every need and desire catered for.
- Visit various world-famous destinations on the islands of Santa Cruz, Isabela, Genovesa and Santiago, with opportunities to get up close and personal with the local wildlife.
- Spot frigatebirds, boobies, Galapagos tortoises, sea lions, marine iguanas and so many more birds, reptiles and sea life on each island destination.
- Visit the Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center where you can see juvenile tortoises before they are released into the wild.
- Disembark each day to explore a new destination. Under the watchful eye of expert guides, you’ll walk, kayak and snorkel your way around this fascinating archipelago.
Welcome to Quito, Ecuador! Located at an impressive altitude of 9350ft, the Andean capital can take your breath away in more ways than one. You can let out a sigh of relief however knowing that a representative of SA Expeditions will greet you at the airport and get you settled into your hotel. The rest of the evening is yours to relax or perhaps ponder the Theory of Evolution.
Explore the Ancient Incan city that so well balances modern sophistication with traditional culture. Walk through picturesque plazas fringed by 16th and 17th century churches that have been proudly preserved by the city. Modern buildings and culinary offerings are not far from these architectural gems of yore, nor are views of the Andean mountain peaks that sit in the background.
Fly to Baltra in the Galapagos Islands. Our representatives will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your luxury catamaran, the MC Endemic. You’ll set sail for Las Bachas, a beautiful white-sand beach located on the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island. Go for a stroll or do some easy snorkeling in the gentle surf. Sea turtles lay their eggs at the edge of the vegetation. Look out for a rusted pontoon, a relic of the Second World War – “bachas” is a poor pronunciation of “barges” two of which were wrecked offshore at that time.
Start the day with a visit to Darwin Bay, where colonies of great frigates are found along the beach. Males proudly show off their red balloon throat pouches in the hopes of attracting a female. You’ll also get to see the red-footed boobies that nest in the trees here – a contrast to the other two booby species nest on the ground. In the afternoon, visit El Barranco (Prince Philip’s Steps), which are carved out of stone. These will lead you to a wide plateau where you can observe large colonies of masked boobies, frigate birds, storm petrels and ducks.
In the morning, you’ll visit the Twin Craters, two huge land depressions surrounded by a Scalesia forest. In the highlands of Santa Cruz, you will see the Galapagos giant tortoises in their natural habitat. You’ll also take a walk through the underground lava tubes formed by cooled and solidified lava. In the afternoon, you will visit Sullivan Bay, where you’ll land on a white coral sand beach and walk over lava that flowed less than 100 years ago. Be sure t take note of the pioneer vegetation that grows in this newly formed environment.
Your next stop is Isabela Island, the largest in the archipelago, where you can opt to visit the wetlands (humedales), to see the local flora and abundant birdlife or to climb the Sierra Negra Volcano which offers breathtaking views over the contrasting colors of the lava fields. Keep an eye out for the giant tortoises and marine iguanas that you may see on the way up Orchilla Hill. Your next stop is the Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center, where you can see infant and juvenile giant tortoises before they are released into the wild. Alternatively, visit the Wall of Tears, which was built in the 40s by prisoners when Isabela Island was a penal colony. On the way back to your vessel, look out for flamingos and other water birds.
Today, you’ll explore Elizabeth Bay on a Zodiac, starting with the Marielas Islets, home to the largest penguin colony in the Galapagos Islands. Continue into a picturesque cove surrounded by red mangroves where you can spot sea turtles, flightless cormorants, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, brown pelicans and sea lions. In the afternoon, you’ll visit Urbina Bay to see coral formations. You won’t need much luck to spot large colored land iguanas, giant turtles, flightless cormorants, blue-footed boobies, penguins and marine iguanas.
Tagus Cove is your first attraction of the day. A ride along the cliffs in a Zodiac will give you the opportunity to see the Galapagos penguin, the flightless cormorant and other sea birds. Hike up a 30-minute trail to the top of a cliff where you can soak in the gorgeous views of Darwin Lake and several volcanoes. After lunch, visit Espinoza point on Fernandina, where you can enjoy fascinating lava scenery dotted with lava cactuses and mangroves. Highlights of this excursion are sea lions, penguins, the flightless cormorant, and one of the biggest iguana colonies in the Galápagos.
Discover Buccaneer Cove, where – in the 17th and 18th centuries – pirates stashed their loot and took on fresh water. Here, your adventures will include a Zodiac ride, snorkeling and kayaking, while blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, fur seals and Galapagos hawks look on. Or visit Espumilla Beach, a popular spot for marine iguanas and Sally Lightfoot crabs, which attract hunting herons. Don a snorkel for your best chance to see octopuses, moray eels and sharks beneath the surf. In the afternoon, visit the red sand beach of Rabida Island, famous for its cactus groves and fascinating rock formations. You’ll see brown pelicans nesting, and a lagoon that’s home to flamingoes.
In the morning, visit Mosquera, a small islet found between Baltra & North Seymour Islands, inhabited by lava gulls, sea lions, Sally Lightfoot crabs. It also hosts the largest population of sea lions in the archipelago, and if the season is right and you’re in luck, you might just catch a glimpse of a pod of orca whales. After this last visit, transfer to Baltra airport for your return flight to mainland Ecuador.
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