Itinerary and Highlights for the Galapagos
1. Depart from the U.S./Quito, Ecuador
3. Quito (Otavalo)
4. Quito/Fly to Baltra Island, Galápagos Islands/Embark m.v. Santa Cruz/Santa Cruz Island
5. Bartolomé Island/Santiago Island
6. Rábida Island/North Seymour Island
7. Santa Cruz Island/Charles Darwin Research Station
8. San Cristóbal Island/Disembark m.v. Santa Cruz/Fly to Guayaquil, Ecuador
9. Depart Guayaquil/Return to the U.S.
- Immerse yourself in the magnificent natural treasures of the Galápagos Islands on this customized itinerary aboard the m.v. Santa Cruz, a state-of-the-art exploration vessel designed specifically to navigate this fragile natural realm.
- Discover how the harsh landscape of the Galápagos is a safe, thriving home for the quirky finches and primeval iguanas that inspired Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection and evolution.
- Learn about the Galápagos' unique ecosystem, natural history and the challenges facing its environment during daily briefings and presentations by our ship's team of expert naturalists.
- Experience the world's most exotic wildlife from unparalleled proximity as you stroll among seal colonies, come face to face with giant tortoises and swim with dolphins and sea lions.
- Explore a magical underwater world-including breathtaking coral, tropical penguins and a myriad of fish and mammals-while snorkeling and riding aboard the ship's special glass-bottom boat.
- Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to observe and learn about efforts to protect the Galápagos' rare giant tortoises and other indigenous species.
- Discover some of the finest colonial architecture in South America during your stay in Quito, a cosmopolitan city known for its dynamic culture and vibrant street life.
- Venture into the Andean highlands for visits to a traditional village and the ancient Andean town of Otavalo, site of one of the largest and most colorful markets in South America.
- Six-night Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley Post-Program Option.