Tailor-Made

Galapagos Cruise and Land Safari

An epic Galapagos safari exploring some of the key islands by both land and sea. A great combination of Galapagos cruising and a lodge based safari allowing you to get the most out of the Galapagos without spending the whole time on a boat.

Duration 13 days
Price From $8,271
When Year Round
Destination Galapagos Islands

Safari Overview

Get the best of both worlds in this land and sea combination of Galapagos. Spend four days exploring the southern Galapagos Islands by cruise before enjoying terra firma on Santa Cruz and Isabela Island with day trips visiting neighbouring islands. Meet the blue-footed booby, the iconic Galapagos tortoises, and marvel at the waved albatross runway on Espanola Island as they line up one by one to take off from the edge of the cliff. Discover a tropical underwater world and volcanic formations like no other.

What makes this trip extraordinary

  • Experience close encounters with the fearless wildlife of the Galapagos.
  • Meet the quirky waved albatross on the wildlife-rich Espanola Island.
  • Endless opportunities for swimming and snorkelling including underwater encounters with playful sea lions.
  • Exploring the active volcanic landscapes of Isabela Island.

Stay in stunning African themed tented lodges as well as on board a luxury Catamaran.

Day by day

Day 1

Arrive Quito

You'll be welcomed into Quito, the incredible colonial capital city of Ecuador, by your local guide who will take you to your hotel. As Ecuador is located at 2,800 metres above sea level, you may feel light-headed due to the altitude and you should drink plenty of water and avoid heavy foods. Your first night is at a hotel close to the airport in preparation for your flight to the Galapagos tomorrow.

Day 2

Quito – San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands

This morning you are transferred back to the airport for your flight to San Cristobal Island for the start of your cruise. Met on arrival you are transferred to the dock where you will board the boat. After a safety briefing on board, you are taken to the interpretation centre where there are number of interactive exhibits on natural history, human history and conservation. A little later you are transferred by road to La Galapaguera Tortoise reserve located on the southeast coast on San Cristobal Island. Giant tortoises roam the trails and birds such as finches, warblers and mockingbirds can be found occupying the many shrubs and trees.

Overnight: Petrel B, L, D

Day 3

Espanola Island

This morning’s visitor site is Gardener Bay which has magnificent white sandy beach which is home to a large colony of sea lions. It is also the breeding site of nearly all of the world’s 12,000 pairs of waved albatrosses. A little later in the morning you visit Osborn Islet, a great snorkelling site where it is not uncommon to swim and snorkel with playful sea lion pups. After lunch, you head to Punta Suarez, a great place for spotting blue footed boobies, Nazca boobies and waved albatrosses. A cliff on the ocean front is used as a runway for the waved albatross and it’s a wonderful sight watching them line up to take off. There is also a dramatic blowhole which spurts water high into the air and makes for a wonderful photo opportunity.

Overnight: Petrel B, L, D

Day 4

Floreana Island

After breakfast, you head to Punta Cormorant, where a large saltwater lagoon is host to a number of birds including flamingos, common stilts and white-cheeked pintails. Punta Cormorant is also made up of two distinct beaches: the landing beach is a distinct olive green colour due to high concentrations of the mineral olivine silica. The second beach is white sand beach composed of white coral where it is common for turtles to lay their eggs. It is also an excellent snorkelling site. A little later you visit Devil’s Crown which is one of the best snorkelling sites on the island. An eroded volcanic crater has a coral reef in its centre which teems with bright tropical fish, turtles and the odd shark. This afternoon’s visitor site is Post Office Bay; a historical site where a wooden barrel served as an unofficial mailbox for 18th century whalers. Today, the tradition continues as travellers leave addressed postcards in the barrel and grab a few to post when they return home.

Overnight: Petrel B, L, D

Day 5

Santa Cruz Island

This morning you enjoy a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Centre. The centre is home to a tortoise breeding program that includes new hatchlings at a mere 3 inches long to larger specimens at 4-feet long. A series of paths through arid vegetation take you to a number of tortoise enclosures where some of the older tortoises which are accustomed to humans may even stretch out their head for a pet. From here you say goodbye to your group before being transferred to the highlands of Santa Cruz. A delicious lunch is served in a local farm in the western hills. Marvel at the twin craters ‘los gemelos’, explore the lava tunnels and see giant tortoises roaming in their natural habitat. Later you return to make your way to Galapagos Safari Camp for dinner and a sunset cocktail.

Overnight: Galapagos Safari Camp B, L, D

Day 6

South Plazas Island

This morning you transfer to Puerto Ayora for your excursion to South Plazas Island. South Plazas and neighbouring North Plazas were formed by an uplifting of the sea bed, producing a titled tabletop type feature. On arrival to South Plazas Island you have the opportunity to snorkel in the tranquil waters of Punta Carrion. Here you can delight in the abundance of tropical fish, and white tip reef sharks are often found resting on the sandy bottom. Disembarking on the island you will be greeted by a colony of noisy sea lions. The rocks are strewn with seaweed and dotted with Sally Lightfoot crabs. Further along the shore you find a red carpet of sesuvium which serves as groundcover for a grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cactus; yellow-grey iguanas wait anxiously for cactus pears to drop. Continuing along the trail to south of the island there are cliffs where swallow-tailed gulls nest. Red-billed tropic birds, Nazca and blue-footed boobies fly in the winds of the cliffs.

Overnight: Galapagos Safari Camp B, L, D

Day 7

Santa Fe Island

Today you return to Puerto Ayora for your day cruise to Santa Fe Island. After the boat settles into a beautiful bay, a wet landing takes you onto a small sandy beach where you can often find a small colony of sea lions and the possibility of spotting the Galapagos hawk. Further along the trail an endemic species of land iguana found only on Santa Fe wait patiently for the flowers from large opuntia cactus to fall from above. After a exploring the island you have time for a spot of snorkelling where you will find an array of tropical fish and the possibility of swimming with inquisitive sea lions underwater.

Overnight: Galapagos Safari Camp B, L, D

Day 8

North Seymour Island

Today you explore the island of North Seymour, which was created by a seismic event lifting the island from the sea floor, and epitomised by its low flat profile. Swallow-tailed gulls peer out from their perches in the nearby cliff. Just above the landing site sits a forest of Palo Santo trees silver-grey in colour, usually without leaves, waiting for the rain to bring them into bloom. The island is teeming with wildlife, and you may need to give way to a passing marine iguana or sea lion. Blue-footed boobies nest by the trail and if you are lucky you may witness males performing their charming courtship dance. Further along the trail you find both magnificent and giant frigatebirds, with their unusual inflated scarlet gular pouches. A little later, you head to Las Bachas, on the northern shore of Santa Cruz Island. This is the perfect spot for a bit of snorkelling, going for a swim or just relaxing on the beach. Inland several brackish lagoons are a haven to an abundance of wading birds from stilts to flamingos.

Overnight: Galapagos Safari Camp B, L, D

Day 9

Santa Cruz Island – Isabela Island

Today is your last morning at the camp. You are transferred to the airport for your flight to Isabela Island. Met on arrival you are transferred to your beautiful African-style safari lodge. The afternoon is free to settle into your new surroundings.

Overnight: Scalesia Lodge B, L, D

Day 10

Sierra Negra and Volcan Chico

Today you enjoy a hike to Sierra Negra and Chico Volcanos. Sierra Negra is one of the most active volcanoes in the Galapagos Islands with the most recent eruption taking place in 2005. The crater itself is believed to be the second largest in the world with a diameter of approximately ten kilometres. To the northeast is Volcan Chico, which is a fissure of a parasitic cone where sulphur vents can be seen and it is possible to walk on recently solidified lava flows. The site opens itself to spectacular views over the islands and to nearby Fernandina Island.

Overnight: Scalesia Lodge B, L, D

Day 11

Isabela Island

This morning you could go for a visit to Sucre’s cave, found about 14 kilometres from Puerto Villamil, in agricultural zone of the island. A short walk takes you through endemic plants and typical vegetation of the area. A little further is the viewpoint of Mirador de Mango and spectacular vistas of Southern Isabela. It is also a great place to spot Darwin’s finches. Alternatively, you could spend the time relaxing on the beach, exploring the island by bike, or paddling the local bays by kayak. You could even try a spot of surfing.

Overnight: Scalesia Lodge B, L, D

Day 12

Isabela Island

This morning you head by boat to a small islet formed by lava flows called Las Tintoreras. Tintoreras is the Spanish name of the white-tipped reef sharks that can found patrolling the nearby waters. Other animals that frequent the area are sea lions, marine iguanas and the Galapagos penguin, the second smallest penguin in the world. It is a great place for snorkelling. Return to the lodge for lunch before a visit to Los Humedales where all four species of mangrove in the Galapagos can be seen. The area is characterised by deserted beaches, lava tunnels, natural pools and estuaries often frequented by flamingos and other birds. You will also get the chance to visit the local Tortoise Breeding Centre before a final visit to the Wall of Tears, a remnant of Isabela’s history as a penal colony. You head back to the lodge for your final night in the Galapagos.

Overnight: Scalesia Lodge B, L, D

Day 13

Isabela Island - Depart

This morning you are transferred by boat back to Puerto Ayora before continuing by land to the island of Baltra in time for your connecting flight to mainland Ecuador and international flight home.

Trip Details

Trip information

This is a tailor-made safari and can be adapted to suit your travel preferences. Option to combine luxury lodges and boats to get the best out of your Galapagos experience.

About Tailor-made Safaris

A tailor-made safaris is one designed specifically for you, around your taste, budget, people travelling, interests and more. This itinerary is just an example and can be refined and changed to make it perfect for you

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