The Galápagos Archipelago, Darwin's living laboratory, is home to an abundance of wildlife. Isolated from the mainland for millions of years, it is that rare wilderness where animals have no instinctive fear of humans. Traveling aboard the National Geographic Endeavour or National Geographic Islander, experience up close encounters with unique species such as flightless cormorants, marine iguanas, and domed giant tortoises.
Depart for Guayaquil and upon arrival, transfer to our hotel.
Hotel Hilton Colón
This morning, fly to the Galápagos Islands and board our comfortable expedition ship. During lunch, we begin our exploration of the islands and their diverse wildlife.
National Geographic Endeavour or National Geographic Islander
In keeping with the nature of an expedition, our itinerary is flexible, allowing you to take advantage of this extraordinary wildlife sanctuary. You will have the opportunity to go on nature walks with local naturalists; swim; snorkel; or explore the waters by kayak, glass-bottom boat (Endeavour only), or Zodiac.
(B, L, D daily)
Listed below are some of the islands we may visit during our expeditions:*
Walk to the top of Bartolomé's volcanic cone for a stunning view of Pinnacle Rock and the surrounding white sand beaches. You may also have the opportunity to swim with Galápagos penguins.
Follow a path along a series of tide pools and underwater caverns in search of Galápagos fur seals, marine iguanas, sea lions, and Sally Lightfoot crabs.
Isla Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz is home to the Charles Darwin Research Station, a breeding station for endangered native species. Learn about the Darwin Foundation and their giant Galápagos tortoise breeding program. Later, travel into the highlands where wild tortoises forage.
Spend the early morning on the lookout for dolphins, whales, sea turtles, and the unusual ocean sunfish, the Mola mola. Explore caves and hidden lagoons by Zodiac, and snorkel among sea turtles.
At Champion Islet, snorkel among sea lions, or peer into an underwater world in a glass-bottom boat (Endeavour only) while keeping an eye out for the endangered Floreana Mockingbird. Those interested can visit Post Office Bay—if you see a letter addressed to someone who lives near you, the tradition is to deliver it by hand.
Discover the marine iguana haven of Punta Espinoza as we hike over lava flows. Galapagos hawks and sea lion nurseries are also found as we explore this island.
See Darwin's finches, boobies, and waved albatross on this birder's paradise. Walk among vivid green and red marine iguanas, and observe sea lions up close on a pristine white-sand beach.
After breakfast, disembark the ship and fly to Guayaquil. The evening is at your leisure.
Hotel Hilton Colón (B)
Depart Guayaquil this morning, arriving home the same day.
Accompanying each expedition is a diverse team of experts — from naturalists to regional specialists — who will share their knowledge and insights on the wildlife, landscapes, and local culture. See one of the members of our extraordinary team below.
Lynn Fowler arrived in the Galápagos in 1978 and became one of the first female naturalist guides working for Galápagos National Park. She completed a doctorate in 1983 based on her research on the giant tortoises of Alcedo Volcano on Isabela Island, where she lived for more than a year on the rim of the caldera collecting data. She then received a National Geographic research grant to study wildlife in the Ecuadorian Amazon basin. Lynn began leading expeditions in the Galapgos in 1990, and in November 2007 she was elected to the Charles Darwin Foundation’s General Assembly.
Lynn will join the following departures:
Nov 15 - 24, 2014
Nov 29 - Dec 08, 2014
Dec 06 - 15, 2014
Mar 07 - 16, 2015
Mar 14 - 23, 2015
Mar 21 - 30, 2015
Mar 28 - Apr 06, 2015
Jun 06 - 15, 2015
Jun 13 - 22, 2015
Jun 20 - 29, 2015
Jun 27 - Jul 06, 2015
This trip is offered in association with Lindblad Expeditions.
National Geographic Islander
National Geographic Endeavour
* Please note: Itineraries will vary slightly from week to week subject to the Galápagos National Park regulations. Each itinerary will include Isla Santa Cruz and a selection of the other stops listed in the itinerary.
With temperate weather year-round, any month is a great time to visit the Galápagos. Peak prices have been established for popular travel periods (i.e. summer vacation). See below for details.
For departures between January 3-February 8, February 21-22, April 25-May 31, and Sept. 5-Dec. 13, 2014.
For a single room, add $1,370 in Category 1 and $1,600 in Category 2 on the Endeavour and $3,030 in Category 1 and $3,450 in Category 2 on the Islander.
For departures between February 14-15, February 28-April 19, and June 6-August 30, 2014.
For a single room, add $1,500 in Category 1 and $1,720 in Category 2 on the Endeavour and $3,280 in Category 1 and $3,600 in Category 2 on the Islander.
For departures leaving on December 19, 20, 26, and 27, 2014.
For a single room, add $1,650 in Category 1 and $1,860 in Category 2 on the Endeavour and $3,560 in Category 1 and $3,970 in Category 2 on the Islander.
For departures between January 2 and December 12 in 2015.
For a single room, add $1,570 in Category 1 and $1,740 in Category 2 on the Endeavour, and $3,380 in Category 1 and $3,800 in Category 2 on the Islander.
For departures leaving on December 18-26 in 2015.
For a single room, add $1,820 in Category 1 and $2,000 in Category 2 on the Endeavour and $3,830 in Category 1 and $4,280 in Category 2 on the Islander.
Prices are per person, double occupancy.
International airfare to/from Guayaquil and airfare within Ecuador is not included in the expedition cost. The group flight between Guayaquil and Galápagos is $495 (subject to change).