As you board your vessel – M/Y Grand Queen Beatriz – and follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin, you will encounter nature at its finest.. Explore the islands from on deck, on foot and in the water, no doubt with your eyes open for your next unique sight.. You’ll encounter giant Galapagos tortoises, blue-footed and masked boobies, pelicans and frigate birds, as well as land and marine iguanas, sea lions, fur seals and perhaps dolphins, whales and sea turtles.. All of Peregrine’s Galapagos guides are registered and licensed by the national park, so you will be sure to have the most in-depth knowledge each step of the way.
Take in the wondrous wildlife and extraordinary landscapes of the Galapagos Islands on a six-day cruising adventure with Peregrine. From the highland haven of Quito, set off to follow the route of past explorers, encountering nature at its finest. Blue-footed boobies, Galapagos sharks, frigatebirds, land and marine iguanas – the animal life found in the Galapagos is like nowhere else on earth. With expert licensed guides to show you the best of the archipelago and a comfortable yacht to call home for your journey, take to the Galapagos in style, with a small group of avid adventurers hoping to catch the most unique sightings with you.
Breakfast Included: 5 Lunches Included: 3 Dinner Included: 3
On arrival at Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day will be at your leisure. A welcome meeting will be held in the evening at either 5 pm or 6 pm when you meet others travelling with you on your cruise to the Galapagos Islands. Quito sits at high altitude under the towering Pichincha volcano. It is a beautiful city, arguably one of the most beautiful in South America. The city stretches along the valley and is surrounded by the Andes. The Old Town of Quito is awash with history, with more than 30 churches to explore, and a number of fascinating museums. La Compania de Jesus is considered to be the most beautiful and ornate churches in the Americas. The city's oldest street, Calle La Ronda, is well worth exploring.
Baltra – Punta Carrion
This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to the Galapagos Islands. Please note the pick-up time will usually be as early as 4.30 am, as the airport is a one-hour drive away and you must allow for delays and check-in times.Your tour leader will confirm this time with you at the Welcome Meeting on Day 1. A boxed breakfast will be provided. The flight to the Galapagos will make one stop in Guayaquil to pick up other passengers. (Total flight time is about 3.5 hours). On arrival in the Galapagos you will be met in the arrivals hall and then transferred to your motor yacht, M.Y. Grand Queen Beatriz, anchored a short distance away in Baltra Island. Once on board you’ll be assigned your cabins, meet the crew members and have a welcome briefing and safety drill before getting to know your naturalist guide and fellow travellers over a delicious lunch. Your first stop in the afternoon will be Punta Carrión, located on the eastern side of the Itabaca Channel that separates the islands of Baltra and Santa Cruz. This is a shallow and protected cove, ideal for your first snorkel and swim in the Galapagos! From a boat ride, wildlife is plentiful – keep your eyes peeled for blue-footed boobies, Galapagos herons, great blue herons and underwater swim among rays and white-tipped reef sharks. Tonight, enjoy a welcome cocktail and crew presentation on board.
Isla Isabela – Las Tintoreras – Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre
Today you will wake up on the south coast of Isla Isabela, the largest of the Galapagos Archipelago. Isabela was formed by five giant volcanic craters, all of which are still considered active. The island is located in one of the youngest geological areas in the world, having been formed less than 1 million years ago. This southern coast of turquoise blue waters has the largest area of beaches in the Galapagos. You will visit Las Tintoreras, where from the viewing walkway you can look down into this narrow channel to see a colony of white-tipped reef sharks swimming and sleeping, and the occasional playful sea lion among them! Blue-footed boobies and penguins, marine iguanas and crabs also make their home here. Enjoy a nice long walk on a gravel path through ahh-ahh lava flow and see plenty of marine iguanas. The locals of the islands call white sharks 'tintoreras', hence the name of this spectacular site. In the afternoon, visit the Arnoldo Tupiza Tortoise breeding center. Take a leisurely walk through a coastal lagoon, where you might see Flamingos. This mangrove-lined path leads to Isabela’s Giant Tortoise Breeding Center (Arnoldo Tupiza) where you'll observe giant tortoises in all stages of development. Here you can see the five sub species of tortoises from Isabela, some of which are bred in captivity. You will then have the choice for optional swimming at the beach or out for some shopping in Puerto Villamil.
Isla Floreana – Post Office Bay – Devil's Crown – Punta Cormorant
The island of Floreana is a highlight of any Galapagos cruise, rich in natural wonders and wildlife. Enjoy a panga ride around the loberia to observe marine iguanas, sea lions and crabs before taking a leisurely walk to Post Office Bay, where 18th century whalers used a barrel as an unofficial mail drop. This custom continues to this day with visitors to the Galapagos – post one of your own, or see if there are any you could deliver back home! You will also have the chance to go snorkelling with sea turtles. Today is also one of your finest opportunities to see pink flamingos and other water birds wading in the lagoons, including pintails and stilts. Just offshore, the Devil’s Crown is an old eroded volcanic cone and a popular roosting site for seabirds such as boobies, pelicans and frigates. Red-billed tropicbirds can also be seen nesting in the rocky crevices. The centre of the cone is an outstanding snorkelling spot, perhaps the most remarkable in the entire archipelago, full of sea lions and colourful fish. You will go ashore at Punta Cormorant where the sand is made up of fine olivine crystals, a glassy volcanic mineral, giving the beach an olive-green colour. It is the best place to see Galapagos sea lions.
Isla Santa Cruz – Quito
As flights to the mainland from Galapagos depart mid morning, it is an early start for your last morning on the islands. Depending on the time of your flight, time spent on this final excursion could be limited. Your final excursion will be a visit to the Santa Cruz Highlands. Travel through the agricultural region and into the misty forests where we can see the unique Scalesia cloud forest, get up close to the dome shaped giant tortoises in the wild, different species of Darwin finches and possibly the world famous woodpecker and warbler finches as well as vermillion flycatchers. Return to the airport in Baltra for your flight back to Quito. Upon arrival in Quito Airport you will be transferred back to your hotel for an overnight stay.
Your Galapagos adventure will come to an end today after breakfast. There are no activities planned for the final day so you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. There are many fascinating things to do in and around Quito, so please speak to a Peregrine booking agent about any optional activities that might be of interest. They can also assist you in booking a departure transfer to the airport.