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Wildlife of the South & Western Islands

Sailing on board the luxurious Natural Paradise yacht, exploring the natural highlights of the Galapagos Islands; snorkelling with sea lions and sea turtles, observing the abundant birdlife and encountering marine iguanas and other endemic wildlife. Navigate the remote Galapagos Islands aboard the Natural Paradise, a luxury 16 passenger yacht designed specifically for exploring these remarkable islands. To help you aboard and in your search for the Galapagos “Big 15”, you will be joined throughout by a dedicated crew and the expertise of a certified Galapagos naturalist guide.

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GAL St Galapagos Sealion Shutterstock Fotogrin

why book this trip

  • Spend seven nights on the luxurious Natural Paradise yacht, a brand-new vessel specifically designed for exploration of the Galapagos Islands
  • Go snorkelling with playful sea lions, sea turtles and other colourful marine life
  • Explore the old town of Quito, UNESCO’s first World Heritage Site
  • Admire breathtaking views from the top of Sierra Negra Volcano on Isabela Island. Hiking up to the volcano's impressive caldera, you can enjoy dramatic views over the surrounding landscapes as well as abundant birdlife.
  • Visit the Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Centre, home to more than 300 juvenile giant tortoises that are getting ready to be reintroduced into the wild.
  • Snorkel alongside the Galapagos penguins, often seen on the rocky shoreline of the nearby Santiago Island, and the sea lions found resting in a cove on the north shore of the island.

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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.

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Day 2: Quito City Tour

After breakfast, head to reception to meet your guide to enjoy an exploratory tour of Quito, which was the first city declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO back in 1978. Much of the city is built on top of an old Inca settlement, and the influence of the indigenous cultures is also evident.

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Day 3: Setting Sail from Baltra - Eden Islet

Transfer to the airport for your flight to the small island of Baltra, where you will board the Natural Paradise. Off the western coast of Santa Cruz Island, Eden Islet offers a great chance to see a variety of Galapagos wildlife such as Endemic salemas, reef sharks, Nazca and blue footed boobies.

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Day 4: Isabela & Fernandina Island Adventure

Go snorkelling at Vicente Roca Point, looking out for sea turtles, seahorses and the weird Mola mola, the largest bony fish in the world. Crossing the Bolivar Channel, you will land at Espinoza Point, and see marine iguanas, a group of sea lions, and the flightless cormorant nesting site.

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Day 5: Isabela Island Adventures: Urbina Bay and Moreno Point

Next up is Urbina Bay, and you can take a short hike to observe the island's giant tortoises and land iguanas and head to Moreno Point, where you can view the craters and tide pools that were formed by historic volcanic activity and are now a haven for marine wildlife.

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Day 6: Discovering Isabela Island: Sierra Negra, Wetlands & Turtle Breeding Centre

Disembark on Isabela Island once more to visit the Sierra Negra Volcano, which is the largest basaltic caldera in the Galapagos. The Wetlands of Isabela Island are located just outside of Puerto Villamil. They consist of lagoons, swamps, and mangroves and are home to a variety of unique bird species such as common stilts, whimbrels, white-cheeked pintails, and gallinules. Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center is located about one mile (1.5 km) from Puerto Villamil. Here, tortoise populations from South Isabela, Sierra Negra Volcano, Cerro Azul, Cazuela, Cinco Cerros, Roca Union, San Pedro, Tables and Cerro Paloma have been bred in captivity. In total there are 330 juvenile and adult tortoises.

Galapagos Swimming With Turtles
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Day 7: Santiago Island

Chinese Islet is a great location to view many geological formations such as lava tunnels and lava flows. Mosquera Islet has one of the largest populations of sea lions, is home to many shorebirds and there have been occasional reports at this site of orcas feeding on sea lions.

Day 8: Floreana Island Wonders: Post Office Bay, Cormorant Point & Champion Islet

Drop anchor at Post Office Bay on Floreana Island and move on to Cormorant Point, where you will have a short hike to a saltwater lagoon to observe the resident flamingos and swim in the crystal clear waters of the Devil's Crown, an extinct volcano just off the coast of Floreana. Champion Islet is considered as one of the most beautiful places on Galapagos for snorkeling and diving.

GAL St Galapagos Land Iguana Shutterstock Michael Sarauer
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Day 9: Espanola Island's Unique Wildlife and Gardner Bay Beach

Visit Punta Suarez on Espanola Island, home to the highest rate of endemic species in the Galapagos, including sea lions, hood mockingbirds, waved albatross, blue-footed and nazca boobies, red-billed tropicbirds, Darwin's finches, and marine iguanas.

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Day 10: Farewell at Lobos Island and Return to Ecuador

Your final stop-off in the Galapagos Islands will be at Lobos Island, named after the sea lions that come to rest on its rocky shorelines, along with bird species such as boobies and pelicans. After, head back to the airport for your return flight to Ecuador.

Natural Paradise Yacht

The Natural Paradise is a modern luxury yacht, purpose-built for exploring the Galapagos Islands. Hosting just 16 passengers at a time, the spacious cabins are spread out over three decks, with upper deck cabins having their own private balconies. The sundeck also boasts a large jacuzzi and al fresco barbecue area, perfect for relaxing with a sundowner.