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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 II or the National Geographic Islander experience up close encounters with unique species such as flightless cormorants, marine iguanas, and domed giant tortoises.
Cruise to pristine islands and walk among colonies of animals and birds unfazed by your presence.
Observe rare giant tortoises at the Charles Darwin Research Station.
Explore the waters of the Galápagos by kayak, glass-bottom boat (Endeavour II only), paddleboard, or Zodiac.
Itinerary - 10 Days
Day 1 — U.S./Guayaquil, Ecuador
Depart for Guayaquil and upon arrival, transfer to our hotel. Hotel Hilton Colón
Day 2 — Guayaquil/Galápagos
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 II or National Geographic Islander (B,L,D)
Days 3 through 8 — Exploring Galápagos
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 II 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
beaches. After the hike, immerse yourself among
schools of multicolored reef fish. 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, shore birds, and Sally
Isla Santa Cruz
Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, a breeding
area for endangered endemic species. Then
tour the neighboring captive breeding program for
endangered Galápagos giant tortoises run by the
the Galápagos National Park Service, and supported
by the National Geographic–Lindblad Fund. Travel
into the highlands to observe and photograph these
tortoises in the wild.
Explore the largest island in the group, home to
marine iguanas, abundant sea turtles, the only
species of flightless cormorant in the world,
and the only penguin species that inhabits the
equator. Cruise by Zodiac and hike against a
backdrop of giant shield volcanoes, and snorkel
in the cool waters that often draw whales and
dolphins to the area.
Hike to a turtle nesting beach and a lagoon that
is home to flamingos and other bird species. At
Champion Islet, snorkel among sea lions and
visit Post Office Bay, founded by whalers in the
18th century. 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. Galápagos
hawks, sea lion nurseries, and rare flightless
cormorants can be found while exploring this
island. Snorkel among sea turtles, penguins, and
the occasional marine iguana.
See swallow-tailed gulls, Española mockingbirds,
boobies, and waved albatrosses in this birder’s
paradise. Walk among vivid green-and-red marine
iguanas and unique lava lizards, and observe sea
lions up close on a pristine white-sand beach.
Day 9 — Galápagos/Guayaquil
After breakfast, disembark the ship and fly to Guayaquil. The evening is at your leisure. Hotel Hilton Colón (B)
Day 10 — Guayaquil/U.S.
Depart Guayaquil this morning, arriving home the same day. (B)
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:
Apr 29 - May 08, 2017 May 06 - 15, 2017 May 13 - 22, 2017 Jun 10 - 19, 2017 Jun 17 - 26, 2017 Jul 08 - 17, 2017 Aug 04 - 13, 2017 Aug 12 - 21, 2017 Aug 26 - Sep 04, 2017 Nov 18 - 27, 2017 Nov 25 - Dec 04, 2017
National Geographic Endeavour II National Geographic Islander
*Please note: Itineraries vary subject to the Galápagos National Park regulations. Each of our voyages include Islas Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal, Baltra, and a selection of the other stops listed in the itinerary.
The April 21 and 28, 2017 departures are dedicated photography expeditions.