When Do You Want To Go?
Day 1 - Quito Arrival
Day 2 - Quito Half Day City Tour
Day 3 – Baltra Island & Mosquera Islet
Day 4 – Santa Cruz & Rabida Island
Day 5 – Isabela Island
Day 6 – Floreana Island
Day 7 – San Cristobal Island
Day 8 – Santa Cruz Island
Day 9 – Española Island
Day 10 – Daphne & Balta Island
Day 11 – Fly back to the UK
All 10 night packages include the following 2-night pre-cruise stay in Quito and one night post-cruise, Ecuador:
You’ll arrive to Quito and will be greeted at the airport by a Celebrity Cruises representative and transferred to the JW Marriott hotel. Enjoy free time to relax and settle in.
After breakfast, you’ll go on a guided tour of the capital of Ecuador - situated at an altitude of 2,850 metres, you’ll stand on the equatorial line at the Middle of the World Park and Museum, and marvel at the monastery of San Francisco and La Compañia Church. Your Tour Director will escort you throughout your Quito stay and serve as your personal concierge. Lunch with a spectacular view of the city, and enjoy a welcome dinner at a local gourmet restaurant.
AM: Flight to the Galapagos and arrival in Baltra Island
You’ll be taken to Quito airport for your flight to Baltra, in the Galápagos Islands. The cactus-strewn landscapes of Baltra are home to the region’s main airport and where you will meet the ship. From the airport, it is just a short bus and Zodiac ride to the ship.
PM: Mosquera Islet
This small, flat, sandy islet sits in the channel between Baltra and North Seymour. It is almost devoid of vegetation, but has one of the largest populations of sea lions in the islands. It is also a beautiful site to observe lava gulls, coastal birds, and Sally light-foot crabs. Keep your eyes peeled for occasional sightings of dolphins and orcas.
Excursion options: Walk
AM: Dragon Hill, Santa Cruz Island
Dragon Hill, or “Cerro Dragon,” is named after its population of land iguanas. The site offers a beautiful view of the landscape and two small brackish lagoons where flamingos and other shore birds occasionally feed. Along the trail, we’ll cross a beautiful “white forest” of Palo Santo (incense) trees and Galapagos cotton plants.
Excursion options: Walk and swim.
PM: Rabida Island
A small island south of Santiago, Rabida is best known for its amazingly red sand and eroded volcanic landscape. A nesting colony of pelicans makes its home here, along with sea lions, finches, mockingbirds, Galapagos Hawks, and some seabirds. With good conditions, the snorkeling can be excellent.
Excursion options: Zodiac, walk, swim, kayak, and snorkel.
AM: Puerto Villamil, Isabela Island
Welcome to the small, laid-back island town of Puerto Villamil. An interpretive trail, approximately 1.5 km from town, takes you around secluded wetland lagoons to the Tortoise Center. The Center was created to protect baby tortoises from the threats of foreign species such as pigs and donkeys, as well as to educate visitors and locals about the importance of the Galapagos giant tortoise. Visitors can see both hatchling tortoises and the older breeding animals. The wetlands of Isabela Island are home to a variety of bird species such as common stilts, whimbrels, white-cheeked pintail ducks, gallinules, and flamingoes.
Excursion options: Walk and swim.
PM: Wall of Tears, Isabela Island
The Wall is 15 to 20 feet (5-6m) high, 10 feet (3 m) wide, and approximately 300 feet (100 m) long. When jailed in a penal colony here between 1944 and 1959, prisoners were forced to build the wall, stone by stone, in isolation, only to be asked to tear it down again and start over. It is a lesson in history and a remnant of a cruel and intolerant time.
Excursion options: Walk.
AM: Post Office Bay, Floreana Island
Rich in history, this site is home to the post office barrel established in about 1793, where pirates, buccaneers, whalers and others could leave their mail to be picked up by outbound ships. The tradition continues today, as visitors leave addressed postcards in the barrel and sort through mail left behind to deliver at home.
PM: Cormorant Point, Floreana Island
Floreana was the first capital of the Galapagos, and where Charles Darwin met the islands’ Governor. Its small brackish lagoon is often home to flamingos, stilts, and white-cheeked pintail ducks, and one of its beaches is a popular nesting site for sea turtles. Check out the green-hued sand where you land!
Excursion options: Walk and swim.
AM: Warlock Hill (Cerro Brujo), San Cristobal Island
Located on the north coast of San Cristobal Island, Cerro Brujo is the eroded remains of a volcanic tuff cone. It is one of the first sites visited by Charles Darwin. Captain Fitzroy climbed to the top of the hill to scout out reefs. The favourite attraction here is the gorgeous white sand beach; a wonderful place to swim, snorkel or take a walk along the shoreline.
Excursion options: Walk, swim, snorkel.
PM: Los Lobos, San Cristobal Island
Named after its large colony of sea lions, this island usually allows visitors to observe and potentially interact with sea lion pups, especially while snorkeling. In addition, we may see blue-footed boobies, frigates, and even a glimpse at the second type of sea lion species found in Galapagos: The Fur Sea Lion. It is a seasonal nesting location for the blue- footed boobies and frigate birds.
Excursion options: Walk, zodiac, snorkel.
AM/PM: Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz
This is the main population center of the islands, and home to the National Park Service tortoise-breeding center and the Charles Darwin Research Station. Here you will have the opportunity to visit the tortoise-breeding center and walk through the Charles Darwin Research Station. In addition, you can also take a bus ride to the highlands to observe giant tortoises in the wild and walk through a lava tunnel. Optional time for shopping will be available.
Excursion options: Tortoise-breeding Center/Charles Darwin Center, Highlands.
AM: Suarez Point, Española Island
Española is the oldest island in the Galapagos and home to an amazing variety and abundance of wildlife. Lazy sea lions often greet visitors at the rocky landing where bright red and green marine iguanas rest atop the sand and rocks. They are the only marine iguanas that remain brightly coloured throughout the year. Suarez Point is also home to large populations of Nazca and blue-footed boobies, colorful Española Lava Lizards, Galapagos Hawks, Española Mockingbirds, three species of Darwin’s finches, Galapagos Doves, Swallow-tailed Gulls and Red-billed Tropicbirds, which dash in and out of the cracks in the cliffs as well as the astounding waved albatross (between April and December). The 10,000 to 12,000 pairs of waved albatross on Española represent the vast majority of this species on the planet. They perform one of the most spectacular courtship rituals in the animal world.
Excursion options: Hike
PM: Gardner Bay, Española Island
The beach at Gardner Bay, with its sparkling white sand, offers one of the best places to relax and swim in the Galapagos. It is home to one of the most important colonies of sea lions in the archipelago, and is also a nesting site for sea turtles. Three species of Darwin’s finches and Española Mockingbirds may also be seen here.
Excursion options: Swim, snorkel, and kayak.
AM: Daphne Island
Daphne is a satellite volcanic cone located north of Santa Cruz Island. The crater floor is an important breeding site for blue-footed boobies. This island is famous for the scientific investigations, led by Drs. Peter and Rosemary Grant, of the finches’ population. Their field work has provided fundamental support to Charles Darwin’s theories of adaptation and evolution. The cliff shore of the island is home to sea lions, pelicans, blue-footed boobies, and other seabirds.
Excursion options: Ship circumnavigation.
PM: Balta Island, flight to Quito
Baltra is home to the region’s main airport and where you will fly out. You will have a zodiac and bus ride to the airport. Upon your arrival in Quito, you’ll be escorted to the JW Marriott hotel. Dinner is served at the hotel.
After breakfast, you’ll be transferred to the airport for your return flight home.
The ultimate in intimate adventure travel in the Galapagos, Celebrity Xploration is a small and stylish catamaran featuring eight beautifully appointed staterooms, each with a window or veranda, so that you can still spot the amazing wildlife of this unique destination from the comfort of your living quarters.
More information here.
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