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Galapagos Legend - 5 Day Southern Route

Overview

Discover the beauty and magic of the Galapagos Islands aboard the luxurious Galapagos Legend. Cruise amongst the islands and make shore landings that allow you to explore the spectacular scenery and witness the incredible wildlife that the Galapagos archipelago has to offer. Swim with turtles and sea lions, meet the giant Galapagos tortoise and encounter a myriad of birds including boobies, frigatebirds, tropicbirds and Galapagos penguins.   

Optional Activities :

Trip Code: GATSGL5

Travel Style: Small Ship Cruise

Location: Galapagos Islands - Ecuador

Ship: Galapagos Legend

Flights: We offer a range of flight options to South America. Contact us today to discuss. 

WHY CHOOSE THIS CRUISE?

  • Take an unforgettable visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station, offering an enriching and informative look into the conservation efforts that go into preserving the delicate species of Galapagos Tortoise in the islands. 

  • Discover the dynamic and evolving landscapes of the Galapagos as you transition between pristine beaches of pure white sand, dense vegetation, rocky cliffs, coral and even volcanic landscapes. 

  • Encounter the curious and energetic wildlife of the Galapagos from sea lions, turtles, stingrays, sharks, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants and of course the legendary Galapagos tortoise. 

CRUISE ITINERARY

On arrival in the Galapagos, you will be met and transferred to the pier to board the M/V Galapagos Legend.

PM – Interpretation Centre & Tijeretas Hill (San Cristóbal)

Dry landing in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the Galapagos Islands. Passengers visit the Interpretation Center, an excellent place to learn about islands’ history in The Museum of Natural History which displays information about the volcanic origins of the islands, their remoteness from the continent, ocean currents, climate, the arrival of the different species and their colonization, among other points of interest. The human history is also showcased, chronologically narrating the most significant events related to the discovery and the island’s colonization. This is followed by a hike to Frigatebird Hill (Cerro Tijeretas) we will have great looks at both species of frigatebird, with the bonus of a beautiful view of the bay below.

Thursday: San Cristobal Airport and Interpretation

Wet landing on a beautiful white coral sandy beach guarded by a colony of sea lions. There are no trails, so we stay along the shore where we can spot Galapagos hawks, American Oystercatchers, Galapagos Ground Doves, Hood mockingbirds, Yellow Warblers, lava lizards, marine iguanas, and three species of Darwin’s finches: a subspecies of the Large Cactus Finch, which is similar to the large ground finch, the Small Ground Finch (Geospiza fuliginosa) and the Warbler Finch (Certhidea Olivacea), another endemic subspecies. Swimming and snorkeling offer a great variety of the Galapagos’ marine wildlife: king angelfish, Creole fish, damsel fish, parrotfish, manta rays, and white-tipped reef sharks
.

PM - Suárez Point (Española)

Dry landing. One of the highlight visits of the trip. Punta Suarez seems to have everything – a naturalist’s paradise. A slew of marine iguanas and sea lions greet us at the landing site from where our walk continues with close encounters of boobies, endemic lizards, gulls and even a dramatic blow hole. The oldest extant island in the archipelago it is our only opportunity to commune with the endemic waved albatross during their breeding season between April and December. With luck, we can watch their complex courtship display.

Friday: Gardner Bay and Osborn Islet

Wet landing. Located on the north side of Floreana, the bay was named because in 1793 Captain James Colnett installed a wooden barrel which served as an informal post office for sailors passing through, who would take letters with them back to their destinations. Today, visitors continue the tradition by placing unstamped postcards inside the barrel, hoping that some other traveler, going to the letter destination, will take it back for free. The chances are that the letter posted can take a long time to arrive at its destination. However, there have been cases where it has arrived before the sender.

We may also encounter Darwin’s finches, Yellow Warbler and Lava Lizards. Great snorkeling opportunities with Green Pacific Sea Turtles. As well, the island is best known for its endemic vegetation: Scalesia villosa, Lecocarpus Pinnatifidus, and the Galapagos Milkwort. Snorkelers can practice on the main beach among playful sea lions.

PM - Cormorant Point / Devil’s Crown / Champion (Floreana)

Wet landing, on an olivine green, sanded beach. We hike from the black mangrove beds to a brackish lagoon, which usually holds one of the largest flamingo populations in the Galapagos. This island features some endemic plants such as Scalesia villosa, white and black mangrove, and holy stick. The trail continues to a beautiful white sandy beach, one of the most important nesting sites of Green Pacific Sea Turtles. It is important to avoid walking in the water due to the Sting Rays that may be hiding in the sand, which can be dangerous if accidentally stepped on. From the beach, one can spot sea turtles, blue-footed boobies plunging into the water, and small reef sharks floating along the shoreline in the search for food.

This coral-sand beach marks the end of our trail, and we head back to the olivine beach we landed on, to swim or snorkel amongst sea turtles, reef fish, sea lions and, on a good day, white-tipped reef sharks. A small colony of penguins resides on Floreana and can sometimes be observed as well.

Saturday: Post Office (Floreana)

Dry landing. We visit the Station where the Galapagos giant tortoise breeding program takes place as part of our efforts to preserve the fragile Galapagos environment and where the famous Lonesome George (the last surviving specimen of his species) lived for decades. Admire a prickly-pear cactus forest and variety Darwin’s finches and other land birds. The Darwin Station also works providing environmental education to the communities, schools, and tourists visiting the Galapagos Islands. You will also have some free time to visit the town and shop for souvenirs.

Highlands Tortoise Reserve (Santa Cruz Island)

Dry landing. In the mountains of Galapagos is possible to admire different kind of birds, such as: tree and ground finches, vermillion flycatchers, paint-billed crakes, yellow warblers, and cattle egrets (usually standing on the tortoises’ shell). The journey to the reserve offers great opportunities to see the contrasts that the island offers in reference to the variety of ecosystems. The road goes from the coast through the agricultural zone and straight up to the dense humid forests. Often, Galapagos Giant Tortoises are also seen on the way, wandering through pastures in the paddocks. This spot is a birdwatchers’ haven, since almost every land bird present on the island lives or migrates here.

Highlands Tortoise Reserve (Santa Cruz Island)

In the central highlands of Santa Cruz Island we have our best opportunity to interact at close quarters with totally wild, Galapagos giant tortoises. A short walk among these huge, 600lb, reptiles will also offer the chance for more highland species, especially several species of the famed finches.

PM –Ballena Bay / Eden Islet (Santa Cruz)

Wet landing. The perfect spot to enjoy our water activities of snorkeling, kayaking or the glass-bottom boat. Expect to see lots of fish species including king angelfish, surgeonfish, parrotfish, damsels, rays and sharks. From the land portion of the visit there will be sea lions and basking marine iguanas with herons and turtles in the mangrove areas. We might even discover some antique ceramic relics left behind by previous settlements.

Sunday: Charles Darwin Research Station

This is a rocky cliff offers the great opportunity to explore more the various marine biodiversity of the islands. Do snorkeling among a variety of colorful fish, stingrays, and if lucky, there could be the chance to see the magnificent White tipped shark.

After the visit, you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight to the mainland.

Monday: Carrion Point and Disembark
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ITINERARY ADD-ONS

  • Why not add a trip to Peru onto this amazing itinerary? Experience the unique cultural and scenic offerings of one of South Americas most popular destinations. Visit amazing cities like Lima and Cusco where a unique blend of urban modernisation meets, undertake the incredible journey to the Sacred valley and of course, bare witness to the archaeological marvel that is Machu Picchu. Find out more.

  • Experience unique Andean lifestyles and Ecuadorian culture on an authentic and historic Hacienda. Hacienda Zuleta has been owned by the same family for over 100 years. Enjoy Ecuadorian cuisine from the Haciendas organic garden, visit a cheese factory, take a horse ride to an Andean Condor reserve. This offers an intrinsic cultural experience to any Ecuadorian itinerary. Find out more.

  • Upgrade your Ecuadorian Amazon experience to include a unique luxury lodge. Mashpi lodge is located on a scenic plateau. The lodge experience uniquely interweaves Ecuadorian history with exotic wilderness experiences. Enjoy sightings of nocturnal animals and witness the jungle come to life in one of National Geographics Unique Lodges of the World. Find out more.

Pricing & date

Galapagos Legend - 5 Day Southern Route from USD 0
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Important Information

  • Shipboard accommodation 
    All meals whilst on board including snacks 
    All shore excursions
    Guiding and lectures by Galapagos Naturalist Guide 
    English-speaking Expedition team
    Fuel surcharge 
    Welcome and farewell cocktails 

    Exclusions

    Return airfares from mainland Ecuador 
    Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee (US$100 per person subject to change) 
    Galapagos Transit Control Card (US$20 per person subject to change) 
    Visa Fees (if applicable)
    Travel insurance
    Gratuities for the crew
    Optional activities whilst on board 

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request, contact us for more details. 

  • Please note that park entrance fees may be subject to change without prior notice. 

  • Departure date, season & availability.

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your South American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first hand experience, our consultants will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.

Sustainability

Being environmentally accountable is a crucial part of our organisation. Chimu is currently striving towards using less paper, taking several initiatives to do so and tracking our progress along the way. Our goal: A paperless organisation. For this reason, all information given to you will be sent electronically. We encourage those who choose to travel with us to support our aspirations and actions and ask that you reconsider printing out documentation. To view these documents, you can download them to your iPad or portable computer before and during your trip.

Chimu is passionate and dedicated to sustainability measures and understands the crucial part sustainability plays within the tourism industry.

We use local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprint. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting. Our guides are all highly qualified (most with university degrees) or equip with many years of experience and are paid above the standard wage. Whether it be our knowledgeable local guides, locally produced meals or the transport on tour, we do not use imported goods when local products are available. We aim to minimise our impact on the environment and give as much back as possible to the communities we work in.

While visiting the many national parks, heritage sites, museums and landmarks our travellers are encouraged to explore whilst remaining culturally aware and sensitive. We further encourage you to buy appropriate souvenirs and discourage the buying of anything wrongfully made or taken from the environment i.e. shells and endangered species products. Information on how you can be environmentally conscious, and travel responsibly will be made available in our Travellers Guides and provided during your travels by guides and staff.

For more information on our sustainability policies, including how we are striving towards being a paperless organisation, click HERE