Galapagos: Evolution | 8 days Pirates & Darwin

From Baltra Island to San Cristobal Island
  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos Islands
  • Small Ship Cruising
  • Wildlife and Nature
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Tour Description

8 days in the Galapagos gives you time to discover a good range of islands, landscapes and wildlife. Journey on the Evolution and retrace the footsteps of Pirates and Darwin that once roamed and explored these waters.

 Daphne Major Islet offers a prolific array of bird life -  a hint to the incredible biodiversity you can experience when you visit Galapagos. Snorkel at Punta Vicente Roca, with dazzling schools of fish, sea turtles and playful sea lions, and on Isabela Island met giant land iguanas and giant tortoises up close. The unique landscape of the Galapagos National Park will captivate you at every turn, stroll among volcanic spatter cones at Tagus Cove, hike to the summit of the volcano at Bartolome Island for spectacular views, explore the yellow saltwater lagoon of Rabida Island where pelicans and flamingos nest, and relax on the white sandy beach of Gardner bay, you will have to find a sunbathing spot with the sea lions though!

A visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station is a must do activity on any Galapagos Islands vacation. You can learn about the conservation and research efforts of the team here, as well as observe these ancient creatures in their natural habitat at the tortoise reserve in the highlands. Wildlife overflows on Espanola Island, encounter marine iguanas, swim among sea lions, sea turtles and witness a vast number of birds such as the famed Waved Albatross and nesting Blue Footed Boobies. Experience all this natural wonder from the comfort of the intimate yacht, Evolution. The well-appointed cruise ship offers the ultimate in small group travel with an attentive crew and experienced guides taking you on exciting excursions. Kayaks and snorkeling gear are at your disposal to get even closer to that prehistoric wildlife that makes a Galapagos Islands vacation so unique.

 

Viva's Best Bits...

"'Eight days in the Galapagos is a great length of time, just right for plenty of wildlife encounters and time to relax with a swim from the beach, or on the sun deck with a cocktail" Tara, Team Viva

The Evolution cruises the archipelago with the lines and style of the roaring of 20’s, while offering the finest amenities and service of modern times

Walk, take a dinghy ride, swim, snorkel (no experience required), all activities are included and offer different ways to encounter the unique wildlife of the Galapagos.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Baltra Daphne Major Inlet

Daphne Major islet
AM

This morning we fly to Baltra Island in the Galapagos. Flight time is just under 2 hours from the mainland. Upon arrival we board M/V Evolution where you will have lunch and a quick briefing en route to our first visitor site: Daphne Major Islet.

PM

We will circumnavigate Daphne Major Islet which is home to a variety of birds including Galapagos martins, blue footed boobies, nazca boobies, short eared owls, red billed tropic birds amongst others. (lunch, dinner)



Day 2
Isabela Island: Punta Vicente Roca and Punta Espinoza

AM

In the morning we visit Punta Vicente Roca on Isabela Island. Snorkeling is incredible here as a result of the nutrient-rich waters of the Humboldt Current that bathe the western side of the archipelago. We will have a chance to see colorful fish, sea lions, penguins and sea turtles in the water.

PM

Afternoon visit to Fernandina Island, home to La Cumbre volcano, which erupts frequently (most recently in May 2005). We visit Punta Espinoza, a narrow spit of land, where a number of unique species, such as flightless cormorants, marine iguanas, sea turtles, Galapagos Penguins and Galapagos hawks can be seen in close proximity. (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 3
Isabela Island: Urbina Bay and Tagus Cove

AM

Urbina Bay is directly west of Isabela's Volcano Alcedo, where we will make an easy, wet landing (a hop into a few inches of water). We walk on a stretch of three miles (5 km) of the marine reef that has been uplifted by as much as 13 feet (4 meters) out of the water. A highlight of this excursion are the giant land iguanas and giant tortoises, as well as the opportunity to go snorkeling amongst marine creatures, or just relaxing on shore.

PM

In the afternoon we visit Tagus Cove on Isabela Island. A wooden stairway rises to the trail entrance and continues around Darwin Lake through a dry vegetation zone, and ends in a promontory formed by spatter cones. The site provides spectacular views of our anchorage in the bay, as well as Darwin and Wolf Volcanoes. The green algae underwater pastures of the cove offer the chance to snorkel with marine iguanas, sea turtles, penguins and sea horses. (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 4
Bartolome Island: Pinnacle Rock and Sullivan Bay

AM

In the morning we visit Bartolome Island, famous for Pinnacle Rock, where we will see Galapagos Penguins and sea lions. We will also hike a trail to Bartolome's summit where you will be rewarded with spectacular views of Pinnacle Rock and our beach, where the crystal blue waters of the bay cradle your yacht.

PM

Afternoon visit to Sullivan Bay, one of the most outstanding volcanic sites in the Galapagos. In the nearly 100 years since the Sullivan Bay Flow, only a few plants like Mollugo and Lava cacti have managed to take root in this harsh environment. Oystercatchers can be seen fishing for crabs and mollusks in the tide pools of Sullivan Bay. After exploring the lava flow, there is swimming and snorkeling with playful sea lions off two small coraline beaches. relaxing on shore.(breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 5
Santa Cruz: Las Bachas and Rabida Island

AM

In the morning we visit Las Bachas, a sandy white-coral beach that is a major egg-laying site for sea turtles. The name Bachas refers to the remains of landing craft left here at the end of WWII. Ashore marine iguanas mingle with flamingos and other wading birds in another of the many super saline lagoons found in the Galapagos.

PM

Rabida Island, commonly known by its English name of Jervis, is unique for the very red color of the beach and cliffs, beneath which one can find gliding sea turtles and perched blue footed boobies. A thick forest of Palo Santo trees sits back from the beach sheltering a yellow saltwater lagoon. Pelicans next in the thickets and brightly colored pink flamingoes graze the lagoon. A sea lion colony likes to laze on the red sands of the beach. We hike up a tiny peninsula for a wonderful view of the beach and lagoon. Sea caves invite exploration further down the coast. (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 6
Santa Cruz: Darwin Station and Puerto Ayora

AM

Santa Cruz is the second largest island in the Galapagos and its capital, Puerto Ayora, is the economic center of the Islands. In the morning we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to visit the Giant Tortoise and Land Iguana Breeding and Rearing Program. Here we used to find Lonesome George (now deceased), the last of his particular race of tortoise.

PM

Afternoon visit to the Highlands, where the dry coastal vegetation transitions to lush wet fields and forests overgrown with moss and lichens. Our destination is the Tortoise Reserve, where we will have chances see these animals in the wild. (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 7
Espanola Island: Punta Suaraz and Gardner Bay

AM

Española, also known as Hood, is the southernmost island of the archipelago, and is one of the most popular due to the breathtaking variation and number of fauna that inhabit the island. In the morning we visit Punta Suarez where you will witness the largest variety of marine iguanas in the Galapagos, masked boobies and blue footed boobies nesting along the cliff's edge, as well as the nesting site of the famous waved albatross.

PM

In the afternoon we visit Gardner Bay, a magnificent long white sandy beach, where colonies of sea lions laze in the sun, sea turtles swim offshore, and inquisitive mockingbirds boldly investigate new arrivals. (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 8
San Cristobal Island: Interpretation Centre Depart San Cristobal

AM

Today our Galapagos cruise comes to an end, but before we bid farewell to the Evolution and her crew we pay a visit to the Galapagos National Park Visitor Centre on San Cristobal Island. The Centre presents a comprehensive exhibit of the islands' natural history, human interaction, ecosystems, flora & fauna and your naturalist will use the exhibits to provide an illustrated overview of life on the Islands. A short trail arrives at Frigate Bird Hill, where both "magnificent-frigates" and "great-frigates" can be seen in the same colony. Next we return to the airport where we began our journey in the Galapagos for the flight back to the Ecuadorian mainland. (breakfast)

**Please ask us about our other great itinerary on the Evolution

What’s Included

Accommodation
  • Included Copy 20 7 nights onboard the Evolution in a premium stateroom
  • Included Copy 31 Cabin upgrades available
Food
  • Included Copy 20 All meals, snacks and non-alcoholic drinks during the cruise
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 All transfers while in Galapagos
  • Included Copy 20 All guided services throughout the cruise
  • Included Copy 20 Use of snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel & fins) and wetsuits
  • Included Copy 20 Sea kayaks
  • Included Copy 7 Return flights Quito or Guayaquil / Galapagos Islands
  • Included Copy 7 Galapagos Islands National Park Entrance Fee USD$100 (Payable locally)
  • Included Copy 7 Ingala Tourist Card USD$20 (Payable locally)
  • Included Copy 31 OPTIONAL Diving on selected departures. Additional costs apply
Transportation
Evolution | Galapagos Cruise Ship

32 Passengers

Activities

  • Included Enjoy timeless elegance and luxury onboard throughout your journey
  • Included Visit the Giant Tortoise Breading centre on Santa Cruz
  • Included Great snorkeling opportunities - look out for turtles, Galapagos penguins and more
  • Included Walk over lava fields and hike Bartolome for an amazing view
  • Included Relax on the white beach of Gardner bay with frolicking sea lions for company
  • Included Bird watching; Frigate birds, Galapagos Hawk, flightless cormorants, blue footed boobies...
  • Included Explore the coastlines by dinghy or by kayak
Click here for dates & prices
Duration

8 days

Price from

$6,700 USD

Per person, twin share

Departs select Saturdays