Galapagos - North, West & Central Islands Aboard the Yolita

10 Day Expedition Cruise from Quito to Quito with Explore

Book online and enjoy exclusive savings on Explore's 10 Day Galapagos - North, West & Central Islands Aboard the Yolita. Experience the island chain that has enchanted explorers since Darwin first dropped anchor off its shores. Spend a week exploring the incredible wildlife of the Galapagos archipelago aboard a more

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$ 6,960
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Expedition Cruise Starts 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:
Galapagos, Ecuador
Trip Operated By:
140 Reviews
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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 the Galapagos and board the Yolita

Today we transfer to the airport early for our flight to the Galapagos Islands. 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, we will meet our naturalist guide and transfer to our ship - the glorious Yolita II.

After lunch on board, we will head to Bachas Beach where the sand is made of decomposed coral, making it soft and white, and a favourite site for nesting sea turtles. Spot abundant Sally Lightfoot crabs on the lava rocks along the water's edge -- these crabs will eat anything they can get their claws on. Trek to see a wide range of wildlife, including flamingos, hermit crabs, black necked stilts, and marine iguanas. Stay: Boat (Comfortable) (B/L/D)

3 Explore Genovesa Island
Visit Darwin bay and marvel at the sheer number of birds along the many trails. Walk along the white coral sands of Darwin Bay surrounded by bustling sea birds. Follow the trail and see nesting frigatebirds, gulls, and boobies. Be sure to bring your camera to take some snaps of your new feathered friends. Visit this sunken caldera for a great snorkelling opportunity. See large schools of tropical fish, swarming near the vertical walls and if lucky, see manta rays, white-spotted eagle rays, sea lions, and hammerhead sharks. Head to El Barranco in the afternoon to see the many types of boobies, including red-footed boobies. Stay: Boat (Comfortable) (B/L/D)
4 Visit Isla Bartomlome and Sullivan Bay

Visit Bartolomé for a guided tour to see the island's dramatic volcanic features. Hike to Bartolomé's summit for a stronger perspective of the islands' not-too-distant volcanic origins and enjoy a panoramic view - it's one of the best among the islands. See other Galápagos Islands in the distance as well as Pinnacle Rock, the island's famous towering landmark. Take the opportunity to swim and snorkel along the shore, home to one of the most iconic volcanic rock formations on the islands. Home to Galápagos penguins, friendly sea lions, sea turtles and a huge variety of fish, Bartolomé and its surrounding waters are a fantastic place to explore the natural wonders of the Galápagos.

Continue to Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island, to witness the giant lava formations, contrasting the white-coral-sand beach. Very few plants have managed to survive on this island due to its harsh environment and relatively new lava flow. Enjoy a walk along the lava formations before coming to a white-coral sand beach, where abundant Sally Lightfoot crabs and sea lions gather on shore. After exploring Sullivan Bay on foot, enjoy a cool dip. Grab a snorkel and discover many species of fish and other marine life in the shallow waters. Keep an eye out for turtles, rays, and large schools of colourful fish. Stay: Boat (Comfortable) (B/L/D)

5 Land on Isabela Island
Early landing in the small town of Puerto Villamil before beginning the hike to the Sierra Negra Volcano, which has the largest basaltic caldera in the Galápagos. Trek across the moon-like landscape of the lava fields and fumaroles, and enjoy spectacular views looking north toward Fernandina and the rest of Isabela Island. The volcano last erupted in June 2018, making it the most recent eruption of the Galápagos. This hike is 7km in total (3.5 km each way.) In the afternoon, explore the tortoise breeding centre in the Puerto Villamil area. With the giant tortoise on its way to extinction in the late 1950s, this program was established to protect these noble creatures. Stay: Boat (Comfortable) (B/L/D)
6 Visit Elizabeth Bay and Urbina Bay
Pay a morning visit to Elizabeth Bay which offers amazing bird and marine life viewing opportunities. Head out on the pangas and explore the shallows and mangroves to look for sea turtles and penguins. Visit Urbina Bay, located at the base of Alcedo Volcano. Hike the trail to get a view of the caldera. Walk among a massive marine reef that was raised out of the water in 1950 during an uplift. See sculptures of dried coral and other ocean formations while touring the area on foot. Urbina Bay also offers great opportunities to see land iguanas that have astonishingly yellow skin, flightless cormorants, land tortoises as well as marine turtles and rays. Stay: Boat (Comfortable) (B/L/D)
7 Discover Tagus Cove and enjoy the arge colony of marine iguanas on Punta Espinoza

Stop for a visit at Tagus Cove and hike to a lookout to get a stunning view of the bay. Spot old graffiti on the cliffs from whalers and pirates who once visited the the cove. Tour the area on foot for spectacular views of Darwin Lake (a spherical saltwater crater), the bay, and Darwin and Wolf volcanoes. Upon landing, take the wooden stairway to the trail entrance, and follow the trail through a dry vegetation zone. Opt to continue on an ascent to a promontory made up of spatter cones (small volcanic cones) or explore the area by dinghy. Grab a mask and snorkel and witness schools of tropical fish as you navigate through the calm waters. If you're lucky, spot rockfish, sharks and seahorses.

Continue to Punta Espinoza on Fernandina, the youngest of the Galápagos Islands. Witness the large colony of marine iguanas and a variety of bird life. Tour a number of different trails and follow the path along the beach and across lava flows, for a unique opportunity to explore one of the least-visited areas of the Galápagos. Considered one of the best snorkelling sites in the islands, catch a glimpse of marine iguanas grazing underwater, sea lions, sea turtles, rays, puffer fish and dolphins. Stay: Boat (Comfortable) (B/L/D)

8 Enjoy Bucaneer Cove and explore the red-sand beaches and sea lion colonies of Rabida

Enjoy a morning panga ride in Buccaneer Cove, watch for sea lions, shorebirds, and interesting lava formations and cruise alongside high cliffs and rock formations. Bucaneer Cove was a favourite hideout for pirates, looking to stock up their boats with food and water. Spot sea lions relaxing on the beach and sea birds nesting in the cove - there's alot to see at this site. Get up close and personal with the local marine life, sea lions and many marine birds, during a snorkel excursion through the beautiful waters of the cove.

Take an afternoon excursion to the red sand beaches of Rábida to see a lagoon and the famous bachelor sea lion colony. This area is known for it's abundance of wildlife, including pelicans, white-cheeked pintails and boobies. Explore the trails of Rabida; a short trail leads to a saltwater lagoon; another trail goes past the lagoon to the interior, where the revered palo santo trees grow. (When burned, the branches of this tree give off a pleasing aroma and ward off mosquitoes.) Grab a snorkel and discover many species of fish and other marine life. Keep an eye out for white-tip sharks and sea lions. Stay: Boat (Comfortable) (B/L/D)

9 See the nesting blue footed boobies on the island of Daphne before returning to Quito
Today, we explore the tiny conical island of Daphne, home to nesting blue-footed boobies, frigatebirds, Darwin's finches and other wonderful wildlife, before flying back to Quito. Observe from the boat, as this island is dedicated to scientific research. On arrival back on the mainland, we transfer to the hotel for our final night in Ecuador. Stay: Hotel (Comfortable) (B)
10 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
  • Seven nights cruising - around the Galapagos Islands aboard the stylish and recently renovated Yolita II
  • Explore the red sand beaches - of Rabida Island
  • Explore dramatic volcanic islands - on the island of Bartolome
  • Witness giant lava formations - at Sullivan Bay
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!
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Trip Starts Trip Ends Status Offer Save Now Our Price  
Saturday 18 Jul 2020 Monday 27 Jul 2020 297per person 7,123per person Not Avail
Saturday 01 Aug 2020 Monday 10 Aug 2020 290per person 6,960per person Not Avail
Saturday 15 Aug 2020 Monday 24 Aug 2020 285per person 6,845per person Not Avail
Saturday 10 Oct 2020 Monday 19 Oct 2020 297per person 7,123per person Enquire
Saturday 24 Oct 2020 Monday 02 Nov 2020 290per person 6,960per person Enquire
Saturday 07 Nov 2020 Monday 16 Nov 2020 290per person 6,960per person Enquire
Saturday 21 Nov 2020 Monday 30 Nov 2020 290per person 6,960per person Enquire
Saturday 05 Dec 2020 Monday 14 Dec 2020 297per person 7,123per person Enquire
Saturday 19 Dec 2020 Monday 28 Dec 2020 290per person 6,960per 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.