Experience the incredible world of the Galápagos, now in a shorter itinerary aboard the yacht-style, 48-guest National Geographic Islander. Immersed in Darwin’s living laboratory, discover a rare and abundant wilderness where animals have no instinctive fear of humans. Walk among giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, and frigatebirds; and enjoy close encounters with unique species and volcanic landscapes, exploring by kayak, paddleboard, and Zodiac.
Fly to Guayaquil. Upon arrival, transfer to our boutique hotel, set amid lush gardens.
Hotel del Parque
This morning, fly to the Galápagos Islands. Meet our naturalist staff for an introduction to the islands and their diverse wildlife; then board our ship.
Our expedition begins and ends in Baltra. Each day we will have the opportunity to go on nature walks with local naturalists; swim; snorkel; or explore the coast by kayak or Zodiac. Listed below are some of the islands we plan to visit during our expedition.
Isla North Seymour
Follow trails that lead from the coast to an inland forest of silvery Palo Santo trees. Encounter sea lions, marine and land iguanas, Galápagos fur seals, and colonies of sea birds.
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.
Land on a red-sand beach and snorkel the rocky shores. Spot migratory flamingos feeding in a brackish lagoon and brown pelicans nesting along the coast.
On the youngest, most pristine island in the group, walk among brightly colored Sally Lightfoot crabs and a large population of marine iguanas. Head ashore to discover tide pools populated by playful sea lions and rare flightless cormorants.
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 among tide pools and caverns in search of Galápagos fur seals, marine iguanas, sea lions, shore birds, and Sally Lightfoot crabs.
Isla Santa Cruz
Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station in the town of Puerto Ayora, and tour the neighboring captive breeding program for endangered Galápagos giant tortoises run by the Galápagos National Park Service and supported by the National Geographic–Lindblad Fund. In the highlands, observe and photograph giant tortoises in the wild.
Isla San Cristóbal
Discover one of the oldest islands in the group, home to the archipelago’s largest colony of sea lions, roaming tortoises, nesting blue- and red-footed boobies, San Cristóbal mockingbirds, and lava lizards. See the iconic volcanic formation of Kicker Rock.
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.
Hike to a turtle nesting beach and a lagoon that is home to flamingos. At Champion Islet, snorkel among sea lions; then 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.
After breakfast, disembark the ship and fly to Guayaquil. Enjoy day rooms at the Hotel del Parque before your evening flight, or continue on to Quito for an optional two-night extension. Or, take advantage of a complimentary night at the hotel and fly home on Day 10.
Book now and receive free round-trip economy airfare between mainland Ecuador and the Galápagos.
Offers are for new bookings only, may not be combined with other offers, and are subject to availability. Please call for details.
A diverse team of experts, including an expedition leader, naturalists, and certified photo instructors, will accompany this trip. See one of the members of our extraordinary team below.
Marine biologist Sylvia Earle is an Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society. Named one of Time magazine's "Heroes for the Planet," Sylvia has pioneered research on marine ecosystems, with a special focus on exploration, conservation, and the development of new technologies for effectively accessing the deep sea and other remote environments. She is former chief scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and founder of SEAlliance, which partnered with National Geographic on Mission Blue to further global initiatives aimed at restoring health and productivity to the ocean. Earle has led more than a hundred expeditions, logged over 7,000 hours underwater, and has authored more than 190 scientific, technical, and popular publications.
Sylvia will join the following departures:
Nov 24 - 30, 2018
Nov 29 - Dec 05, 2018
This trip is offered in association with Lindblad Expeditions.
Please note: All departures are family friendly. Itineraries vary subject to the Galápagos National Park regulations. Each of our voyages include a stop on Santa Cruz and a selection of the other islands listed.
Please note: The 2019 pricing above is valid for 2019 departures booked by October 31, 2018.
Prices are per person, double occupancy. For a single cabin in 2018, add $2,620 in Category 1 and $2,960 in Category 2. For a single cabin in 2019, add $2,740 in Category 1 and $3,100 in Category 2.
International airfare to/from Guayaquil and airfare within Ecuador is not included in the expedition cost. The group flight between Guayaquil and Galápagos is $520 per person (subject to change).
Travelers can choose between a light or moderate activity level. For a light level of activity, they should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to sites, game drives on bumpy roads, or easy hikes.
For a moderate level, travelers should be prepared for multiple hours of physical activity (e.g. hiking, kayaking, biking) each day.
Click here for a description of all activity levels.