Galapagos Extension - South & Eastern Islands

7 Day Expedition Cruise from Quito to Quito with Explore

Book online and enjoy exclusive savings on Explore's 7 Day Galapagos Extension - South & Eastern Islands. On this tour we spend four nights on the Monserrat embarking on a Galapagos cruising adventure through the archipelago's southern and eastern islands. Highlights include snorkelling with sea lions, visiting the more

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$ 4,406
Per Person ($AU)
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$ 195
Per Person ($AU)
Expedition Cruise Starts In
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Expedition Cruise Ends In
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Expedition Cruise Ship
Ship Type
Expedition Cruise Ship
Trip Style
Trip Style
Scenic / Cultural
Trip Style
Scenic / Cultural
Trip Pace
Countries Explored:
Ecuador, Galapagos
Trip Operated By:
140 Reviews
Trip Reviews:
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Trip Code:


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1 Join trip in Quito

Arrive in Quito, Ecuador's mountain capital and the second highest capital city in Latin America. One of South America's most beautiful cities, Quito lies in a narrow valley at the foot of the Pichincha Volcano, surrounded by snow-capped mountains and extinct volcanoes. On arrival at Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO), a representative will be waiting to meet you directly in front of the arrivals section, holding a sign with your name on it. They will show you where to go to catch your transfer to your hotel.

For those arriving on time, a group representative will meet you in the hotel reception at approximately 5pm for the welcome meeting. You will have the opportunity to meet other tour participants and receive information about the trip, as well as departure times for the following day. A welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you have all the necessary information regarding the exact meeting time, though we do recommend that you arrive at the hotel by 4pm.

If you arrive late, the representative will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the following morning. There are no other activities planned today. If your flight arrives earlier in the day, perhaps you might choose to explore the new and old parts of the city. The old city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its rich blend of colonial architecture, imposing churches and bustling local markets. A climb to the top of Cerro Panecillo affords one of the best views across the city and the surrounding mountains, presenting you with an unparalleled vista of the encircling Andes from the viewing platform offered by the statue of the Virgen de Quito. Stay: Hotel (Comfortable)

2 Fly to San Cristobal, transfer to the Monserrat

Today we transfer to the airport early for our flight to the Galapagos Islands via Guayaquil (refueling stop only, you will not disembark the plane). Lying on the Equator, 970km west of the Ecuadorean coast, the Galapagos National Park is a unique collection of islands, formed by volcanoes over hundreds of thousands of years and consists of six main islands, 12 smaller islands as well as over 40 small islets, supporting a distinct and unique flora and fauna, including prehistoric creatures found nowhere else on earth. This desolate and fantastic habitat was discovered in 1535 by Fray Tomas de Berlanga. One of the original designations by him was Las Islas Encantadas, the Enchanted Isles. Charles Darwin visited the islands on the Beagle exactly three hundred years later, in 1835. He observed the total isolation of the giant reptiles and other creatures, and this played a substantial part in his formulation of the theory of evolution.

The Galapagos have never been connected with the continent. Gradually, over many hundreds of thousands of years, animals and plants from over the sea somehow migrated there and as time went by they adapted themselves to Galapagos conditions and came to differ more and more from their continental ancestors. Thus many of them are unique: a quarter of the species of shore fish, half of the plants and almost all the reptiles are found nowhere else. In many cases different forms have evolved on the different islands.

Of the extraordinary animals to be found in the Galapagos many are reptiles, such as the great tortoise, large land iguanas, numerous lizards and three species of non-poisonous snakes. There are also several species of turtle, which come ashore to mate. Up to three quarters of a million seabirds flock to the islands, including a third of the world's blue-footed boobies, frigatebirds, pelicans, cormorants, albatross and petrels. Only 35cm tall, the Galapagos penguin can be seen swimming among tropical mangroves, whilst offshore it is common to see dolphins, sea lions and fur seals playing in the water. Fearless though not tame, the extraordinary wildlife can be easily approached and the opportunities for photography are superb.

The Galapagos National Park charges a visitor fee of $110 USD, payable on arrival, which funds park maintenance and supervision in the Galapagos, as well as ecological study, conservation and infrastructure development in Ecuador's other national parks. Entry fees and the funds they generate for the national park system are among measures taken by the Ecuadorian government to protect its natural heritage.

On arrival in San Cristobal, we will meet our naturalist guide and transfer to our home for the next four nights, the Monserrat. San Cristobal is the easternmost island of the Galapagos archipelago and one of the oldest geologically. The principal town is Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the Galapagos. In the afternoon, visit Isla Lobos and be greeted by sea lions frolicking in the waves. Explore this tiny island for great wildlife encounters. Either by foot or by panga, view the sea and shore birds nesting and feeding. Spot a small colony of blue-footed boobies as well as two species of sea lions. Snorkel the waters of peaceful Isla Lobos, amid the families of sea lions and their inquisitive pups looking to play. Spot nesting frigatebirds and the famous blue-footed boobies resting on the shore. Be sure to bring your camera to catch some snaps at this prime wildlife watching haven. Stay: Boat (Comfortable) (B/L/D)

3 Walk at Cerro Brujo and visit Jacinto Gordillo breeding center
Our first landing for the day is at Cerro Brujo, where there is a chance to go hiking, swimming and snorkelling. The sandy beach is home to Sally Lightfoot crabs, brown pelicans, blue footed boobies and California sea lions. Spend the afternoon visiting the tortoise breeding area in the highlands rich with endemic flora. Visit the giant tortoise breeding centre and see all of the different species of tortoises up close. See newborns as well as full-grown adult tortoises that can live well over 100 years. Stay: Boat (Comfortable) (B/L/D)
4 Explore Gardner Bay and Punta Suarez on Espanola Island

Today we head to Punta Suarez on Espanola Island. The southernmost island in the Galapagos archipelago is home to several wildlife species, including masked and blue footed boobies. Enjoy the day on Española Island, one of the oldest in the archipelago. Visit the white sandy beach of Gardner Bay's and the bird colonies of Punta Suárez. Arriving at Gardner Bay's in the morning, spend the day exploring on shore and snorkelling at Gardner Island in the bay. Visit its magnificent white sandy beach and spectacular landscapes. This incredible place is home to sea lions, hood mockingbirds, Nazca boobies, waved albatross, red-billed tropic birds, lava lizards, Galapagos hawks, and blue-footed boobies. Be sure to explore the beautiful turquoise water and its incredible sea life.

Head to Tortuga Rock for a spectacular snorkelling experience. Spot playful young sea lions and large schools of tropical fish, including yellow-tailed surgeonfish, king angelfish, and bump-head parrot fish. Look for white-tipped reef sharks napping on the bottom. After lunch, sail to the western side of the islands to Punta Suárez, known for its amazing bird colonies and home to the waved albatross (April and December.) Be greeted by surfing young sea lions on arrival. Head to the trail to find many species of nesting sea birds, and, if lucky, see the waved albatross. Follow the path up to a cliff for great views over the ocean, and watch sea birds gliding in the wind. Stay: Boat (Comfortable) (B/L/D)

5 Observe the wildlife of Floreana Island, visit Post Office Bay

The history of Floreana Island has gradually evolved to reach near mythic proportions. The story begins when a baroness and her two lovers, a German doctor and his mistress, and a German couple and their young son all came to settle on this land. Their dalliances and disasters, shrouded in mystery, were chronicled in John Treherne's book 'The Galapagos Affair'. Descendants of the German family, the Wittmers, still live on the island in the small community of Puerto Velasco Ibarra. Mrs. Margaret Wittmer has also written a booked entitled 'Floreana' and this can be purchased at the airport in Baltra or at a local bookstore.

This morning we make our way to Punta Cormorant on the northern part of Floreana Island. The landing is on a beach of green sand, coloured by olivine crystals, volcanic-derived silicates of magnesium and iron. The trail leads to a lake normally inhabited by flamingos and other shore birds and continues to a beach of fine white sand particles known as 'Flour Beach', an important nesting site for turtles. Spend the afternoon observing flamingos and other shore birds feeding in the lagoon. Spot penguins and marine iguanas at the water's edge. enjoy a snorkelling excursion at Champion Islet. Jump on in and get up close and personal with the playful sea lion colony that reside in the waters off this tiny island. Keep an eye out for sea lions, sea turtles, rays and colourful reef fish swimming by.

Later in the afternoon we stop at Post Office Bay, which has a lot of history. A barrel was placed here in the late 18th century by English whaling vessels to be used as a post office. Passing ships would stop to leave mail for loved ones, collecting at the same time any mail destined for ports on their itineraries. Today the box is used mainly by tourists, who may drop off and pick up unstamped letters to be carried to far destinations. The remains of a Norwegian canning factory are the only evidence of the island's history prior to its designation as a protected area. A short hike up past the post barrel takes you to an interesting lava cave. With the aid of a torch, you can descend about 80m to the point where the sea enters the cave. Stay: Boat (Comfortable) (B/L/D)

6 Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, return to Quito

In the morning we arrive in Puerto Ayora, on Santa Cruz Island. Santa Cruz is the second largest island in the Galapagos and has the largest population, with Puerto Ayora as its main town. It also boasts the most varied of the islands' vegetation zones: coastal, transition, scalesia, miconia and pampa. The Charles Darwin Research Station is a ten minute walk from the centre of the town and has been responsible for conservation projects within the islands since 1959 (the centenary of the publication of Darwin's book the Origin of the Species).

Here, an exhibition centre displays photos of recent volcanic eruptions, charts outlining geological formations and drawings of the evolutionary development of endemic species. A corral houses adult Galapagos tortoises, and a nursery cares for young tortoises until they are about three years old, when their shells have hardened enough to resist attack from feral dogs. The Research Station is also the training centre for naturalist guides who accompany all visitors and members of the international scientific community often come to study at the station. We transfer to the airport on Baltra Island for our flight to Quito via Guayaquil (refueling stop only, you will not disembark the plane). On arrival back on the mainland, we transfer to the hotel for our final night in Ecuador. Stay: Hotel (Comfortable) (B)

7 Trip ends in Quito
The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Quito. There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart at any time. We recommend spending extra time in Quito, particularly if you wish to go on some of the optional day trips that are bookable locally, or if you are looking to book on our Amazon extension package (trip code: AE). Pick-up times for your airport transfer to Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) will be re-confirmed locally in your welcome pack. If your flight is departing later in the day, luggage storage facilities are available at the hotel. (B)

Explore Inclusions

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Journey Highlights
  • Galapagos Cruise -Four nights exploring the Galapagos Islands aboard the comfortable Monserrat boat
  • Snorkelling - Snorkel at Champion Inlet, Floreana Island with colourful fish and playful sea lions
  • Charles Darwin Research Station - Learn more about the history of the Galapagos and visit a Galapagos tortoise nursery
  • Espanola Island - Admire the vast colonies of boobies and waved albatross
Trip Pace: Moderate
  • Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a holiday which combines exciting activities and experiences with plenty of time to relax and unwind. Typically you'll be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries.
Read Trip Notes
  • Trip Notes outline what's included, visa information, important notes, how to get to your accommodation, packing checklist, optional activities, travel insurance requirements - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more. Please take time to have a read through, and contact us if you have any questions. View Trip Notes
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About Explore!
Launching in 1981, Explore offer trips from over 130 countries - from classic small group tours... Read more
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Explore Leaders
Explore's leaders are more than just your typical guide. They're your local expert are are passionate about sharing their expertise with you. Read more
Where do we Stay?
Where do we Stay?
The places Explore stay are every bit as important as the sights they visit and the things you do. Read more

Prices & Dates

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Trip Starts Trip Ends Status Offer Save Now Our Price  
Saturday 25 Jul 2020 Friday 31 Jul 2020 184per person 4,406per person Not Avail
Saturday 08 Aug 2020 Friday 14 Aug 2020 184per person 4,406per person Not Avail
Saturday 22 Aug 2020 Friday 28 Aug 2020 195per person 4,685per person Not Avail
Saturday 05 Sep 2020 Friday 11 Sep 2020 190per person 4,560per person Enquire
Saturday 19 Sep 2020 Friday 25 Sep 2020 190per person 4,560per person Enquire
Saturday 03 Oct 2020 Friday 09 Oct 2020 184per person 4,406per person Enquire
Saturday 17 Oct 2020 Friday 23 Oct 2020 184per person 4,406per person Enquire
Saturday 31 Oct 2020 Friday 06 Nov 2020 190per person 4,560per person Enquire
Saturday 14 Nov 2020 Friday 20 Nov 2020 190per person 4,560per person Enquire
Saturday 28 Nov 2020 Friday 04 Dec 2020 195per person 4,685per person Enquire
Saturday 12 Dec 2020 Friday 18 Dec 2020 190per person 4,560per person Enquire
Saturday 26 Dec 2020 Friday 01 Jan 2021 195per person 4,685per person Enquire
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Trip Notes
Trip prices are per person, and reflect applicable discounts. Discounts are subject to availability, exclusive to Global Journeys and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Trip prices are correct at the time of the products going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however are subject to change by Explore. Full terms & conditions are available here.