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Galapagos Legend - 8 Day Cruise

Overview

Eight days cruising aboard the luxurious Galapagos Legend sees you discovering the beauty and magic of the Galapagos Islands, made famous by Charles Darwin. Spectacular volcanic scenery and an incredible and unique array of wildlife awaits as you cruise from island to island. Shore landings allow you to walk across the varied terrains, in amongst iguanas, boobies, the nesting sites of turtles, through mangrove forests and forests of cacti. This is a journey like no other.

Optional Activities :

Trip Code: GATSGL8

Location: Galapagos

Ship: Galapagos Legend

CRUISE ITINERARY

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

Please note that the Galapagos National Park charges a visitor fee of USD100, payable on arrival, which funds park maintenance and supervision in the Galapagos, as well as ecological study and conservation.

The Galapagos Islands are located about 1000 kilometres (620 miles) off the Pacific coast of South America. The archipelago is comprised of 13 major islands and scores of islets that served as a living laboratory for Charles Darwin, the renowned evolution theorist. Long before Darwin arrived in the Galapagos, seafarers knew these isolated islands as home to some of the strangest and most wonderful wildlife imaginable, including birds that could swim but no longer fly, aquatic iguanas, dragon-like lizards left over from prehistoric times and the giant Galapagos tortoises for which the islands were named.

In the afternoon you will visit Bartolome Island. Here you will discover a fascinating landscape formed by different volcanic parasitic cones —lava bombs, spatter, cinder cones — that resembles the moon. Going up to the summit there will be an impressive views of the surrounding islands, including the eroded tuff cone Pinnacle Rock. You will also encounter marine iguanas, lava lizards, and blue-footed boobies. Beach time is a great opportunity to do snorkeling and see the famous Galapagos Penguins, sea turtles and White-tipped Reef Sharks among a great variety of colorful fish. For many visitors, this may turn out to be the best snorkeling experience. Crystal clear water is the perfect spot to appreciate the incredible marine life it has to offer.

Embarkation & Bartolome Island

In the morning you will arrive at South Plaza Islet. There are two Plaza Islets (north and south) located east of Santa Cruz Island. On the northern part of the Islet, you will begin the journey along an impressive cactus forest were colorful yellow and red land iguanas live, the population number is around 300 animals; during the dry season they survive on fruits and flowers of the opuntia cacti.
A peculiar thing to see in South Plaza is the hybrid iguana (sea and land). When reaching the highest point, tropicbirds can be seen. During the dry season (June – January) the usually greenish and yellowish vegetation change of color creating a bright red landscape (sesuviumedmonstonei plant).

In the afternoon you will visit North Seymour Island. North Seymour is located. This landmass was formed by a series of underwater volcanic eruptions, which deposited layers of lava on the ocean floor. An approximately two-hour walk amidst large nesting colonies of blue-footed boobies, magnificent and great frigate birds, and swallow-tailed gulls for an in depth encounter with sea bird breeding cycles and sea lions. You will also encounter land iguanas, and on a lucky day, you might even come across the endemic Galapagos Snake.

South Plaza Islet & North Seymour Island

This morning you will visit Pitt Point (San Cristobal Island). The trail includes a 90 meters long, olivine beach and a path that climbs to the top of a volcanic tuff, through several magnificent viewpoints. This is probably the only site where the three booby species of the Galapagos can be seen together, as well as, two species of frigate birds and a sea lion colony. It is also excellent for dinghy rides and snorkelling, where a good range of sea birds can be observed.

In the afternoon you will head for Cerro Brujo. Cerro Brujo is an eroding tuff cone that at several locations is composed of AA lava formations and a beautiful white sandy beach, great for snorkeling and sunbathing. There is a lagoon visit where migratory bird species can be seen: Black-necked Stilts, Ruddy Turnstones, Whimbrels, other sandpiper species and White-cheeked Pintails. Cerro Brujo offers beautiful views of Kicker Rock, the southern part of San Cristobal and the adjacent coast.

Pitt Point & Cerro Brujo

In the morning you will land at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Here you will visit t the San Cristobal Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre to learn about the National Park’s conservation programs. Enjoy a beautiful landscape on the way to the Reserve. You will also have the opportunity to visit the village’s port, have a drink or shop for arts and crafts and other souvenirs.

In the afternoon you will visit the Interpretation Centre, 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.

Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve & Tijeretas Hill

In the morning you will land at Gardener Bay (Espanola Island). There are no trails, so you stay along the shore where you 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 snorkelling offer a great variety of the Galapagos’ marine wildlife: king angelfish, Creole fish, damsel fish, parrotfish, manta rays, and white-tipped reef sharks.

In the afternoon you will head for Suarez Point. An island of geological interest, you will explore volcanic formations and riveting wildlife: large sea lion colonies and seabirds including the Española mockingbird, Nazca Boobies, and the spectacular Red-billed Tropicbird. You will also encounter marine iguanas, lava lizards, and the colorful Sally Lightfoot Crabs. A somewhat lengthy hike will bring you among Nazca and Blue-footed Boobies, right up to nesting grounds that sometimes overlap the trail. Other birding favourites include Galapagos Dove, Galapagos Hawk, Swallow-tailed Gulls and the world’s largest colony of Waved Albatross, an unequivocal highlight during mating season (May-December). Admire the island’s dramatic backdrop, featuring the famous “Soplador”, a seaward blowhole
that shoots up water up to 23 m (75 ft) in the air.

Gardener Bay & Suarez Point

In the morning you will land on the North side of Floreana Island. 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 traveller, 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.
You may also encounter Darwin’s finches, Yellow Warbler and Lava Lizards. Great snorkelling 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.

In the afternoon you will head for Cormorant Point. You will 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, you 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 your trail, and you head back to the olivine beach you 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.

Post Office & Cormorant Point

In the morning you will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. This is where the Galapagos giant tortoise breeding program takes place. This is also where the famous Lonesome George (the last surviving specimen of his species) lived for decades. 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. The road to the reserve 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.

In the afternoon you will head for Ballena Bay. Ballena (Whale) Bay is a beautiful green sand cove at the base of Dragon Hill on the west coast of Santa Cruz Island. The beach contains a large amount of olivine crystals of volcanic origin. The crystals were formed when the magma was still
underground. The content is magnesium, iron and silica. A small population of tortoises from Pinzón Island lived at the site, but were probably taken by whalers or previous inhabitants.

Highlands Tortoise Reserve & Ballena Bay

In the morning you will dinghy ride at the entry of the Itabaca Channel in a lagoon with turquoise water, where you can observe sharks, blue-footed boobies, and different kinds of fish.

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

Carrion Point & Disembark
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Pricing & date

Galapagos Legend - 8 Day Cruise 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

  • Season and 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

Chimu Adventures undertakes a number of sustainability measures within its operations including:

1) Only using local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprints. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting.

2) Where possible, using locally owned and operated boutique hotels to maximise the return to the local community.

3) Chimu’s “Pass it on” programme has provided funding to hundreds of local community projects in Latin America. Our aim is to empower local communities, helping them to develop their own infrastructure for the future. Since 2006, we have been working with Kiva (a well-known Non-Governmental Organisation), providing hundreds of loans to local businesses all over South America.

4) In our pre tour information we provide a range of tips and advice on how to minimise your impact on both local environments and communities.

5) Chimu Adventures’ offices also take a number of sustainability measures including carbon offsets for company vehicles and most staff travel. Chimu Adventure’s internal processes are also structures to create a paperless office and to reduce waste. There are also internal programmes to help staff minimise their carbon footprint such as our staff bike purchase assistance plan which encourages office staff to commute to work via bicycle. Currently almost half of our office based staff commute to work via bicycle.