Ecuador & Galápagos Islands – Evolution Yacht

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Share to:

Click to display the map

thumbnail

Day 1

Welcome to Ecuador. On arrival into Quito, you will need to clear Immigration and Customs. Upon exiting the Customs Hall, you will be met by a representative and transferred to your hotel.

thumbnail

Day 2

You will be picked up at your hotel for a full day, private guided tour of Colonial Quito and the Equator. Lunch is included today.

thumbnail

Day 3

You will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight to San Cristóbal Island, Galapagos.

Arrive San Cristóbal Island. Upon arrival to the Galapagos Islands from mainland Ecuador, you are met by members of your vessel's expedition team at the airport. You will be transferred to your awaiting vessel for embarkation and commencement of your 7-night Galapagos Islands cruise.

Note: The cruise itinerary is subject to change without notice for various factors including but not limited to: safety, weather, mechanical breakdown, unforeseen emergencies, and the discretion of the Captain, Guide, and the Galapagos National Park. The Galápagos is a natural ecosystem, making animal encounters there ultimately unpredictable and therefore exceptional in the way they typically occur. Though Galápagos species seem to have little fear of humans, they are wild animals subject to environmental factors, including their own instincts that can affect sightings, which means these encounters cannot be guaranteed. Accepting all these factors, including adhering to the rules of the Galápagos National Park, is a condition of participation on this trip.

Types of Landings: Wet and Dry

Wet Landing: Pangas (Zodiac-type boats) cannot always make it all the way to an island’s shore because of conditions that could damage a propeller, so wet landings are sometimes necessary. A wet landing is made from as close to the beach as possible, where you will have to step out into a foot or so of water. You’ll do this by swinging your feet out over the side of the panga and then stepping into the water. You’ll reverse the procedure when you get back in the boat; sit down facing outwards and swing your feet in. You can go barefoot or wear water-sports sandals for wet landings.

Dry Landing: For a dry landing, the panga will make its way up against a natural dock of lava rocks or a man-made dock. You may wear your shoes or hiking boots. These landings may be a bit tricky because the panga is moving with the waves, and the rocks you step on are often slippery. They usually, however, have intermittent, flat portions. Your guide will offer you a hand as you disembark. When accepting a hand, grasp the guide’s wrist. The guide, in turn, will grasp yours in a “sailor’s grip” or wristlock. Once on the shore, place your feet carefully on the first few feet of rocks, which could be wet, depending on the tide level.

There will be a briefing onboard about the boat and the island.

Your excursions today are at Lobos Island (San Cristóbal Island) and León Dormido/Kicker Rock (San Cristóbal Island).

San Cristóbal Island

San Cristóbal is the easternmost and one of the oldest islands in the Galápagos, with eroded volcanic peaks in the north and densely vegetated slopes in the south. The provincial capital of the Galápagos, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, lies at the head of Wreck Bay at the southwest tip of the island. One of the archipelago’s two airports is here (the other is on Baltra Island). In 1998, the Galápagos National Park Service opened the San Cristóbal Interpretation Center here, giving visitors the opportunity to learn more about the plants, ecosystems, wildlife, and human history of the archipelago.

San Cristóbal is the only island in the Galápagos with permanent freshwater, held in a small lake named El Junco near the top of the island. Because of this availability of water, the island was settled early in Galápagos history. In fact, Charles Darwin’s first stop in the Galápagos was on San Cristóbal in 1835 when the island was the home of the archipelago’s governor.

Lobos Island (San Cristóbal Island)

A narrow arm of seawater separates the basaltic rock outcropping of Isla Lobos from San Cristóbal. Rollicking sea lions and blue-footed boobies share the white sand beach. There are short hikes on the island and it is a great place to snorkel. Landing: Dry or wet.

León Dormido/Kicker Rock (San Cristóbal Island)

Rising several hundred feet above the water, this majestic volcanic monolith is one of the most photographed sites in the islands. Keep an eye on the cliffs for blue-footed and Nazca boobies and frigatebirds. While there are no landing sites, Kicker Rock provides excellent snorkeling opportunities. You may see Galápagos and hammerhead sharks, spotted eagle rays, turtles and tropical fish. Landing: None.

thumbnail

Day 4

Continue with your 7-night Galapagos Islands Cruise. Your excursions today are at Punta Pitt (San Cristóbal Island) and Cerro Brujo/Witch Hill (San Cristóbal Island).

Punta Pitt (San Cristóbal Island)

Disembarking on Punta Pitt, the easternmost point in the Galápagos, you’ll arrive on a mangrove-lined beach. After being greeted by a sea lion colony, you’ll discover the only place in Galápagos where all three types of boobies nest, alongside both types of frigatebirds. A steep, 2.5-mile trail takes visitors up a cliff and through a ravine where abundant birdlife can be found. Landing: Wet.

Cerro Brujo/Witch Hill (San Cristóbal Island)

There are no witches here, but the beautiful white sand beach, clear waters, abundant wildlife and Kicker Rock on the horizon make this landing spot bewitching nonetheless. Frolicking sea lions may greet you as you come ashore and you may see turtles, rays, anemones, and sponge coral if you opt to snorkel or swim. Keep an eye out for shore birds, gulls, pelicans, boobies, finches and mockingbirds. The site is often referred to as Witch Hill because of its distinctive volcanic tuft cone, which resembles a witch’s hat. Landing: Wet.

thumbnail

Day 5

Continue with your 7-night Galapagos Islands Cruise. Your excursions today are at Post Office Bay (Floreana Island), Cormorant Point (Floreana Island) & Devil's Crown (Floreana Island).

Floreana Island

Best known for its colorful history, Floreana has seen the footsteps of buccaneers, pirates, whalers, convicts, and colonists on its shores. Because of a small spring that bubbles up from underground (which occasionally dries up) and a nutrient-rich soil, it was a haven for the early pirates and whalers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries — and later for more permanent residents. In fact, Floreana has been continuously inhabited since the mid-1800s and was the first of the Galápagos Islands to support a permanent human population.

Post Office Bay (Floreana Island)

In the eighteenth century, a group of whalers set up a wooden barrel to collect mail at this site, now known as Post Office Bay. A trail behind the barrel leads through palo santo and palo verde trees to a cave, which is actually a lava tube running down to the sea. Landing: Wet.

Cormorant Point (Floreana Island)

Between two tuff cones, the Punta Cormorant landing is on a beach with green, olivine sand. Trails allow you to explore a brackish lagoon where greater flamingoes wade through the water, sifting shrimp with their curved bills. Stingrays can be seen in the shallows. You may also see pintail ducks, stilts, large-billed flycatchers, and several species of finches. Landing: Wet.

Devil's Crown (Floreana Island)

Devil’s Crown is a volcanic crater that has been eroded by waves. The inside of the “crown” is a perfect environment for coral, which attracts other marine life; making this one of the best snorkeling sites in the Galápagos. You may see sea lions, sharks, rays, tropical fish, eels and sea turtles. The outside of the crown is a haven for birds including boobies, pelicans, frigatebirds, and red-billed tropicbirds. Landing: None.

thumbnail

Day 6

Continue with your 7-night Galapagos Islands Cruise. Your excursions today are at Black Turtle Cove (Santa Cruz Island) and Pinnacle Rock (Bartolomé Island).

Santa Cruz Island

Geologically, Santa Cruz is an eroded island, with the oldest formations in the northeast. Human history here started in the twentieth century, when European and American settlers arrived between the two World Wars. The fertile soil of the tropical Moist Zones of the highlands saw the rise of the villages of Bellavista and Santa Rosa. With the settlers, however, came a great number of exotic plants and domestic animals, most of which turned feral and that then created a disastrous impact on the native species of the island. Cerro Colorado (the Red Rock) is a tectonically uplifted hill in which basaltic lava and fossiliferous tuff are layered with volcanic tuffs from the Miocene period. Santa Cruz is the home of the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) and the Galápagos National Park (GNP). Santa Cruz is also the home of the largest lava tunnels in the Galápagos Islands and several reserves where you may encounter Galápagos giant tortoises in the wild.

Black Turtle Cove (Santa Cruz Island)

The cove is located on the north coast of the island and is only accessible by boat. A quiet boat ride through the mangroves may reveal lava herons, sea turtles, spotted rays, and a variety of shark species, including black-finned reef sharks, white-tipped reef sharks, and Galápagos sharks. Landing: None.

Bartolomé Island

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to visit the moon, Bartolomé might just provide you with the answer. An extinct volcano, Bartolomé Island appears to be geology in its purest form: The island is dotted with craters, cinder cones, lava flows, spatter cones, and broken lava tunnels which run down from the summit. And just offshore is Pinnacle Rock, the tuff cone that is probably the most famous landmark in the Galápagos.

Although at first glance, words that describe a moonscape — such as barren and desolate — might come to mind, Bartolomé supports a starkly beautiful complex of life. Some Arid and Littoral Zone plants have taken hold. On the slopes of the volcano, low-to-the-ground gray matplant thrives in the volcanic sand; and spurge, which forms a small tuft of green with tiny, white flowers, pushes up. Endemic lava cacti adorn some of the older lava.

Pinnacle Rock (Bartolomé Island)

Pinnacle Rock is an eroded volcanic formation that juts from the sea like an obsidian knife. It is truly an iconic site and is one of the best-known and most photographed sites in the islands. After landing on the beach adjacent to the rock, visitors can swim with colorful fish, sea lions, Galápagos penguins and can swim and snorkel around the rock itself. A short trail leads to a beach to the south where swimming is prohibited, though you may see stingrays, spotted eagle rays and black tipped sharks. The northern beach is a nesting site for green sea turtles from January to March. Landing: Dry.

Opposite Pinnacle Rock is another landing site. Visitors climb an 1800-foot trail to the 600-foot summit of the island. Much of the trail is a wooden staircase, built to prevent erosion. Along the way, you will notice many interesting volcanic formations including spatter and tuft cones and lava flows. The summit provides stunning views of Pinnacle Rock, Sullivan Bay, and Daphne Major and Minor. Landing: Dry.

thumbnail

Day 7

Continue with your 7-night Galapagos Islands Cruise. Your excursions today are at Darwin Bay (Genovesa Island) and El Barranco/Prince Phillip’s Steps (Genovesa Island).

Genovesa Island

Less than half a degree north of the Equator, Genovesa is often referred to as “Bird Island” for the vast numbers of pelagic seabirds that come here to nest. Great frigatebirds, red-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, and storm petrels all breed here by the thousands. However, there are no land reptiles — with the exception of some very small marine iguanas. This is due to the direction of the ocean currents, which couldn’t carry the terrestrial animals here. The island itself is a low, shield volcano barely breaking the surface of the ocean. Ships sail directly into its large, breached caldera to anchor. Due to its remote location and lack of freshwater, Genovesa remains almost unaltered; there are no introduced species on the island.

Darwin Bay (Genovesa Island)

After landing on a white-sand, coral beach, you may embark upon a hike along a short trail (one half mile) that meanders through mangroves, where a variety of land birds may be spotted, to the tidal pools where sea lions are often found frolicking, and up a rocky hill that leads to a point overlooking the cliffs and Darwin Bay. This is one of the few places in the islands where you are pretty much guaranteed to see red-footed boobies and you may see white-cheeked pintail ducks, gulls, and herons feeding near the shores of the tidal lagoon. Landing: Wet.

El Barranco/Prince Phillip’s Steps (Genovesa Island)

El Barranco is notable for its variety and abundance of birdlife including red-footed and Nazca boobies, short-eared owls, red-billed tropicbirds, Galápagos swallows and Galápagos doves. Upon landing on a steep rocky stairway, visitors are treated to the site of small fur seal colony and a variety of marine life clinging to the rocks. There is a hike (just under a mile) to a plateau that leads through a Palo Santo forest where you will pass nesting booby colonies. There are some great views of lava plains near the end of the trail. Keep an eye out for wedge-rumped storm petrels. Landing: Dry (with slippery rocks).

thumbnail

Day 8

Continue with your 7-night Galapagos Islands Cruise. Your excursions today are at Espumilla Beach (Santiago Island), Buccaneer Cove (Santiago Island) & Puerto Egas (Santiago Island).

Santiago Island

Once a favorite island of pirates and whalers, Santiago is now appreciated for its Galápagos fur seal grotto and newly plant-colonized lava flow on the southern coast. Northwest of Santa Cruz Island, Santiago Island is composed of a number of tuff cones and a central volcano. The vegetation is dense in the highlands, and a scalesia forest covers the northwest side of the volcano.

Espumilla Beach (Santiago Island)

This beach lies at the north end of James Bay. It is fringed by beautiful palo santo forest and is a sea turtle nesting site. It is a good place to see marine iguanas and colorful Sally Lightfoot crabs and it is an excellent place to snorkel. Marine life here includes octopi, moray eels, and sharks. From the beach, you can take a loop trail inland to a seasonal lagoon where flamingos are sometimes spotted. The trail winds through an arid zone where you may spot a variety of land birds. Landing: Wet.

Buccaneer Cove (Santiago Island)

In the 1600s and 1700s, Buccaneer Cove was a haven for pirates, who would anchor in the protected bay to stock up on tortoises and firewood and to repair their ships. This is often a cruise-by point, due to the sometimes wet and unsafe landing conditions. But keep an eye on the cliffs above for sea birds. The cove is home to sea lions and can be a good place to snorkel. Landing: Wet.

Puerto Egas (Santiago Island)

At the southern end of the bay James Bay lays Puerto Egas. It is the jumping off point for two trails. The first leads to fur seal grottos – a stretch of rocky coastline that offers them shade and protection. The second trail leads to the Salt Mine Volcano, a small crater that features a seasonally flooded lagoon, where flamingos and Galápagos hawks can sometimes be spotted. A salt mine was active here in the 1920s and 1960s. Landing: Wet.

thumbnail

Day 9

Continue with your 7-night Galapagos Islands Cruise. Your excursions today are at North Seymour Island and Highlands (Santa Cruz Island).

North Seymour Island

North Seymour is an uplifted (as opposed to volcanic) island. Dwarf palo santo trees cover the island, and it is a breeding ground for great and magnificent frigatebirds and Nazca and blue-footed boobies. In the distance, the tuff cones of the islands of Daphne Major and Daphne Minor rise above the ocean surface.

North Seymour (North Seymour Island)

From the small dock, the trail leads along the coast — past an area where marine iguanas nest — and then loops into the palo santo forest by the nests of the frigatebirds and boobies. The frigatebirds rely on the fishing success of the blue-footed boobies for their survival, stealing their catches. The land iguanas you encounter here are actually from Baltra. They were brought to the island in the 1930s. A few marine iguanas will journey across the white-coral sand, leaving tracks of their tails and claws. Galápagos sea lions rest on the black lava rocks while their young surf the large, silvery-blue waves. Landing: Dry.

Santa Cruz Island

Geologically, Santa Cruz is an eroded island, with the oldest formations in the northeast. Human history here started in the twentieth century, when European and American settlers arrived between the two World Wars. The fertile soil of the tropical Moist Zones of the highlands saw the rise of the villages of Bellavista and Santa Rosa. With the settlers, however, came a great number of exotic plants and domestic animals, most of which turned feral and that then created a disastrous impact on the native species of the island. Cerro Colorado (the Red Rock) is a tectonically uplifted hill in which basaltic lava and fossiliferous tuff are layered with volcanic tuffs from the Miocene period. Santa Cruz is the home of the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) and the Galápagos National Park (GNP). Santa Cruz is also the home of the largest lava tunnels in the Galápagos Islands and several reserves where you may encounter Galápagos giant tortoises in the wild.

Highlands (Santa Cruz Island)

A journey from Puerto Ayora into the mist-covered forests of the highlands reveals the island’s diversity of landscapes and vegetation. Lush scalesia forests, wild tortoises, and half-mile long lava tubes create an otherworldly atmosphere here. Several farms allow visitors to go in search of the tortoises, which can also be seen at the nearby Tortoise Reserve. The forest surrounding the pond at El Chato is a good place to look for short-eared owls, Darwin’s finches, vermilion flycatchers, yellow warblers, Galápagos rails, and paint-billed Crakes. Landing: None.

thumbnail

Day 10

Continue with your 7-night Galapagos Islands Cruise. Your excursion today is at Mosquera Islet.

Mosquera Islet

Located between the islands of Baltra and North Seymour, this reef of rocks and coral (the result of an uprising) is only 160 meters across at its narrowest width. This island has one of the largest populations of sea lions and is home to many shorebirds, such as herons and Lava Gulls. Alongside the rocks, you can also spot Red Lava Crabs or Sally Light-Foot Crabs scurrying about. There have been occasional reports at this site of Orcas feeding on sea lions as well. There is no trail on Mosquera Islet, so any Galapagos visitor can enjoy an open area. Landing: None.

Note: Please keep in mind that on departure days, your morning visit will be early and short since we need to be prepared before heading back toward the airport for your returning flight to Ecuador’s mainland.

End your Galapagos cruise this morning. Disembark your vessel at Baltra Island and transfer to the airport for your flight back to Quito.

Arrive Quito. Outside baggage claim, you will be met by a representative and transferred to your hotel.

thumbnail

Day 11

You will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight to your onward destination.

Included

Land Arrangements Include

• Accommodations as indicated in the itinerary, including any hotel taxes and resort fees, unless noted otherwise
• Daily meals as indicated in the itinerary
• Excursions as indicated in the itinerary including entrance fees, unless otherwise noted
• English speaking guides for all included excursions
• In-country or regional flights, unless quoted separately and indicated as not included in the land rate
• Ground transportation with driver (note, for some services, the guide is also the driver)
• Tickets for any rail transportation, if applicable to the itinerary
• Tickets for any water vessel transportation, if applicable to the itinerary
• Airport transfers as indicated in the itinerary
• Porterage of up to 2 pieces per person for loading/unloading luggage in/out transfer vehicles at airports during included airport transfers
• 24/7 Emergency Assistance during a trip
• Trip consultation, research and planning, documentation processing, communications, and all operational charges

Excluded

Land Arrangements Do Not Include

• Any form of Travel Insurance
• International Airfares, unless noted otherwise
• Any costs associated with obtaining passports and entry visas, Immigration Reciprocity Fees and other border fees
• Any arrival or departure airport taxes to be paid directly at airports, unless noted otherwise
• Any airline Checked Baggage or Excess Baggage fees
• Gratuities of any kind
• Meals other than those specified in the itinerary
• Beverages unless noted as included in the itinerary
• Any meals for your guide if you invite him/her to dine with you
• Any sightseeing or optional excursions not included in the itinerary
• Personal expenses such as laundry, communication charges, Internet access fees and any other forms of hotel incidentals