Your five-night Galapagos experience includes two nights hotel accommodation in Quito plus three nights aboard the Pelikano, a two-level motorized yacht with en suite standard and deluxe cabins (see options under pricing) and wrap-around deck. Meals are prepared by an onboard chef and served in the indoor dining room.
Your small-group tour around the Galapagos Islands includes round-trip airfare to Baltra and operates with a maximum of 16 passengers, ensuring you’ll receive personal attention from your experienced shipboard crew of seven. A trained naturalist guide, licensed by the Galapagos National Park Service, will share knowledge of the landscape and its wildlife as you discover each island!
Day 1: Quito
Your first day is free to spend as you’d like before a welcome meeting at 6pm. Lose yourself in Quito’s maze of charming streets or sip a quiet drink in a local establishment before your Galapagos adventure begins.
With very little time spent in Quito before your trip through the Galapagos Islands, consider arriving a few days early to experience all the South American city has to offer – from the quaint colonial alleyways of Old Town with its churches, museums and historical buildings, to the atmospheric Ecuadorian nightlife.
Overnight: Hotel San Francisco de Quito or Similar in Quito
Day 2: Quito – Isla Santa Cruz (B, D)
Transfer to Quito Airport for your early morning flight to the island of Baltra. On arrival at Baltra, home to the archipelago's main airport and the gateway to the Galapagos Islands, you’ll transfer to your motorized yacht, the M.Y. Pelikano – anchored just a short distance away.
Climb aboard and receive your cabin assignment before setting sail for the beautiful beach of Las Bachas, located on Isla Santa Cruz. When you reach the shore, dig your feet into the soft sand and search for marine iguanas as well as pink flamingos in the nearby lagoon.
Take in the lush vegetation of the highland, in stark contrast to the arid landscapes of much of the Galapagos. Las Bachas is a major egg-laying site for sea turtles, and the nearby rocks provide great snorkeling! You’ll see remnants of a floating pier – evidence of the US presence in the Galapagos during World War II.
After a full day exploring land and sea, your captain will voyage to Isla Genovesa, the archipelago's northeast outpost, which takes an overnight sail to reach.
Overnight: yacht cabin en route to Isla Genovesa
Day 3: Isla Genovesa (B, L, D)
Explore Genovesa, a remote island with varying landscapes, abundant wildlife and rare birdlife, including all three kinds of boobies – masked, blue-footed and the rare red-footed – as well as tropicbirds and frigate birds.
Walk the steep path, known as Prince Philip's Steps, into the heart of the seabird rookeries to spot these birds overhead and nesting among the cliffs. On the island's rocky plains, look for storm petrels flying above – the only place in the world where they can be seen on the wing during the day.
Head to Darwin Bay to observe large breeding colonies of seabirds and frigates. Splash into the water on a snorkeling venture and look around for the marvelous marine life to be found. You may encounter manta rays, sharks, turtles and moray eels along with many species of fish. Keep an eye out for dolphins in the waters surrounding Genovesa!
Overnight: yacht cabin, docked at Isla Genovesa
Day 4: Isla Genovesa – Isla Santiago and Isla Santa Cruz (B, L, D)
Sail to Isla Santiago, which features some of the most idyllic locations in the archipelago, including Espumilla Beach, Buccaneer Cove and the black sands of Puerto Egas.
Pay a morning visit to Bahia Sullivan on Isla Santiago’s eastern coast. Walk across a 100-year-old lava flow, searching for iguanas and Sally Lightfoot crabs that crawl along the intricate black carpet, as your guide informs you about the geological history of the Galapagos Islands.
In the afternoon, sail to Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill), located on the north coast of Isla Santa Cruz. Make a dry landing and then walk to a brackish lagoon frequented by lagoon birds, including stilts, pintail ducks, sandpipers, sanderlings and occasionally flamingos. Further inland, the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western area of the archipelago.
Learn about the area’s nesting site for land iguanas and the arid-zone vegetation, which makes it a great spot for bird watching. Look for Darwin's finches, Galapagos mockingbirds, the endemic Galapagos flycatcher and yellow warblers.
Overnight: yacht cabin, docked near Isla Santa Cruz
Day 5: Isla Santa Cruz – Quito (B)
On Santa Cruz, the second largest of the Galapagos Islands, visit the small town of Puerto Ayora, the archipelago’s economic hub and home to the Charles Darwin Research Station. Explore the station's visitor center and museum, essential stops for those interested in the archipelago's natural and human history.
Here, learn more about the foundation’s conservation efforts to preserve the unique ecosystems of the Galapagos, and enjoy a close-up encounter with the giant tortoises. You’ll see hatchlings and young giant turtles, all part of the Charles Darwin Research Foundation’s breeding program to reintroduce the giant tortoises to their natural habitat.
Afterward, cruise back to Baltra and say farewell to the incredible Galapagos Islands with a return flight to Quito. Upon arrival at Quito Airport, transfer back to your hotel for an overnight stay.
Overnight: Hotel San Francisco de Quito or similar in Quito
Day 6: Quito (B)
Enjoy a final breakfast in Quito with your fellow travelers before your trip is complete. As there are no activities planned for your final day, you can depart the accommodation at any time. Please ask for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities if you’d like to explore Quito on your own. Browse for souvenirs or wander around some of the city’s colonial sites.
Located at an altitude of 9,350 feet (2,850 meters) along a central Andean valley beneath Volcan Pichincha, Quito offers a multitude of things to do, including a guided hike at Cotopaxi National Park or a visit to Equator Monument (each at your own expense). Ask your tour representative about your options.