Trip Overview

Cruise the Galápagos Islands by private yacht for an unforgettable and awe-inspiring wildlife experience. From the giant land tortoises and endearing marine iguanas to blue-footed boobies and descendants of Darwin’s finches, witness nature’s infinite variety in one of the last pristine places on Earth. 

A private yacht to call home, eight glorious days in some of the planet’s most unique wildlife on land and below the waters. By day, enjoy hiking and outstanding snorkeling adventures; toast to tangerine sunsets and marvel stars illuminating the pure darkness in the evenings.

Guayaquil, Baltra and the Coral II Yacht

Get acquainted with your AdventureWomen traveling companions in the colorful town of Guayaquil before flying to Baltra the next morning. Board the comfortable Coral II yacht and begin your journey with an introduction to giant Galápagos tortoises of all sizes and ages at the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, renowned for its dedicated preservation efforts. A scenic hike up Dragon Hill introduces you to the yellow-hued land iguanas and numerous bird species.

Your expert Galápagos naturalist guide joins you throughout your journey, offering onshore and onboard talks about the islands, the surrounding sea, and their resident wildlife. You are also accompanied by an AdventureWomen Ambassador, committed to helping make your experience a fun and personally rewarding adventure and cheering you on as you reach beyond your comfort zone to take on new challenges in your own unique way.

Pinnacle Rock is one of the emblematic features of the Galápagos where you can climb to the top for incredible views of the island’s volcanic formations. Don your gear and snorkel right off the beach, perhaps meeting nose-to-nose with a sea lion or seeing a Galápagos penguin swimming past. Watch for sea turtles fanning the sandy bottom; if you’re lucky, they’ll swim with you in near synchronicity.

Galápagos Islands

A hike on Rábida Island, distinctive for its iron-rich red sands, reveals a briny lagoon and flamingo habitat. This is the only island that’s home to all nine species of Darwin’s finches. White-tipped sharks or graceful rays just might be your reward during a leisurely snorkel here. The beach at Buccaneers Cove is a prime sea turtle nesting site; the distinct sand prints are moving reminders of the arduous task of preserving their species.

Ride a dinghy into Turtle Cove sanctuary in the photogenic morning light, watching for turtles, pelicans, and herons. Then land on Santiago, Darwin’s favorite island, and drive into the humid highlands for a scenic walk in search of the Galápagos Giant Tortoises. As they lumber through pastures or alongside the trails, seize the fantastic opportunities to photograph each other close to these magnificent beings.

Seahorse-shaped Isabela Island, the largest archipelago, is rich in marine and landscape ecosystems, offering the best deep-water snorkeling adventure of the trip. Slide off your dinghy and let the current carry you past rocky coastal walls often covered with starfish. Focus on the depths below and watch for gatherings of gentle white-tipped sharks or the streamlined flightless cormorants on a fishing mission. Take a dinghy ride along the cliffs where blue-footed boobies and resting sea lions enjoy a rest in nooks and crannies. Continue to Fernandina, famed for its vast number of marine iguanas that pile upon one another along the rocky shores. Their scaly bodies and spiky crest give these “dragons” a decidedly prehistoric appearance.

Your final hike in southeastern Santiago takes you across a surreal landscape of undulating, twisted, and twirled lava flows stopped in its tracks as it cooled. As you take in the uninterrupted 360-degree views of this vast, sinewy landscape, it’s easy to really “feel” the volcanic origins of the Galápagos.

The festive farewell dinner onboard your yacht this evening brings everyone together to share the special memories of the past week, along with “personal first” AdventureWomen triumphs on land and in the water. As the sunset gives way to evening stars, toast to this tiny, precious dot on the map that remains safe and healthy for future generations.

Main Attractions

  • Cruise to five distinct Galápagos Islands aboard the intimate Coral II, enjoying hospitable services and fresh meals on the outdoor deck and in the cozy dining area
  • Explore starkly beautiful volcanic landscapes, climb to an island peak, walk through ghostly forests and through lush highlands
  • Swim and snorkel right from the dinghies or off the beach, viewing sea turtles, rays, Galápagos penguins, sea lions, sharks, and numerous colorful reef inhabitants
  • Observe Galápagos Giant Tortoises, land iguanas, and iconic marine iguanas, photographing them at close range
  • With your expert Galápagos naturalist guide, identify many of the 56 resident bird species, including blue-footed boobies, Darwin’s finches, flamingos, and flightless cormorants

What You'll See and Do

  • Anthropology
  • Birding
  • Hiking
  • Natural History
  • Photography
  • Private Chartered Boat
  • Snorkeling
  • Swim with Sea Lions
  • Swimming
  • UNESCO Site
  • Walking
  • Wildlife Viewing

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Guayaquil
Welcome to Ecuador! Get ready for an unforgettable adventure as you settle in and prepare to actively explore the many precious ecosystems of the Galapagos Islands, one of the most important locations on earth to the history of biology.

During your adventure, you’ll get to know your expert Galápagos naturalist-guide who will offer onshore and onboard talks about the islands, surrounding sea, and their resident wildlife. You are also accompanied by an AdventureWomen Ambassador, committed to helping make your experience a fun and personally rewarding adventure, and cheering you on as you reach beyond your comfort zone to take on new challenges in your own unique way!

Arrive in Guyaquil today and take the hotel shuttle to the Wyndham Guayaquil. Look for your name on a sign. You can check in under AdventureWomen at the hotel. There is a lovely restaurant in the hotel where you can have dinner this evening if you’d like.
Meals on Your Own

Accommodations: Wyndham Guayaquil

Day 2

Guayaquil to the Galápagos Islands
Meet your group at 6:30am (be packed and ready to go!) and head to the airport for your flight to the Galapagos Islands. You’ll be met by your guide at the airport and transferred to the dock where you will board your yacht.

You’ll be given some information about the yacht, your home for the next week. The crew will show you to your cabin before lunch.

Visit the Charles Darwin Station and Fausto Llerena Breeding Center on Santa Cruz Island, home to the Galapagos giant tortoise breeding program. This is part of the effort 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, a variety of Darwin’s finches, and other land birds. The Darwin Station also works to provide environmental education to communities and schools within the islands and to tourists visiting the Galapagos Islands.

Enjoy some free time to visit the town. There are good shopping opportunities at the local boutiques which sell uniquely designed handcrafts, jewelry, ceramics, T-shirts, and souvenirs. You can also try some food, beer, or ice cream with locals.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: M/Y Coral II

Day 3

Galápagos Islands

This morning, you will visit Genovesa Island where you will be marveled at the variety of sea life that uses the crevices of the lava cliffs for shelter. You will be dropped off at a steep stairway that begins on rocks at the foot of a path that leads through a seabird colony full of Nazca and Red-footed Boobies. At the plateau, the trail continues inland, allowing you to see more nesting booby colonies in the thin Palo Santo forest. Near the end of the trail, over a rocky lava plain, Wedge-rumped Storm Petrels can be observed flying in all directions.

Later today, disembark onto a small sand and coral beach where a short trail heads west along a tidal lagoon and then up a rocky hill that leads to a point overlooking the cliffs and Darwin Bay. Along the trail near the tidal lagoon, you will see pairs of Swallow-tailed and Lava Gulls, and Yellow-crowned and Lava Herons. The trail continues through Palo Santo trees which are the home of hundreds of thousands of Red-footed Boobies.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: M/Y Coral II

Day 4

The Galapagos Islands

This island has an abundance of landscapes and marine life. The trail takes about 90 minutes to walk, and you can also go around the shoreline in a dinghy to spot fur seals, pelicans, blue-footed boobies, and Nazca boobies. This is an excellent place for swimming and snorkeling; you could see white-tipped sharks, rays, and sea lions, among many others.

This afternoon you’ll have two landing possibilities: a dock and a beach. The dock, made of lava and concrete, soon turns into a wooden staircase built to avoid erosion and consists of 372 steps. It takes you to the island’s summit, where you’ll find Pinnacle Rock. Due to its altitude, the lack of vegetation is immediately noticeable. Pioneer plants are present and are named because they are the first to establish roots on new ground. The coralline beach next to Pinnacle Rock is a wet landing site from which you are able to snorkel amongst tropical fish and perhaps sea lions and penguins; they rest on the lava of the intertidal zone and sometimes decide to take a dip.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: M/Y Coral II

Day 5

The Galapagos Islands
This morning, board a dinghy to view the turtles in Black Turtle Cove, a designated Turtle Sanctuary. Enjoy lunch on the yacht.

This afternoon, you will have the opportunity to meet with some local female artisans who will show you how they handmake their crafts.

Land on Santa Cruz Island and drive about 45 minutes into the highlands. When you arrive, take a 90-minute walk and admire different kinds of birds, such as tree and ground finches, vermillion flycatchers, paint-billed crakes, yellow warblers, and cattle egrets (usually standing on the shells of tortoises). The journey to the reserve gives you an opportunity to see the contrasts between the ecosystems in the Galapagos. 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. This spot is a birdwatchers’ haven since almost every land bird present on the island lives or migrates here.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: M/Y Coral II

Day 6

The Galapagos Islands
Take a dinghy ride along the coast at Vicente Roca Point to observe a great diversity of sea and coastal birds. Cold water currents make themselves known here! Enjoy an hour of snorkeling this morning!

Walk for about three hours on Fernandina Island. This is one of the most pristine islands in the world, with no introduced species. Espinosa Point is located on the northwestern part of the island, and its flat jet-black lava is a defining feature of the stark and barren landscape. It is also home to the largest colony of endemic marine iguanas. Enjoy an hour of snorkeling in this area as well.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: M/Y Coral II

Day 7

The Galapagos Islands
Urbina Bay is located at the west of Isabela Island and it has a spectacular view of Alcedo volcano. Along the trail, which will take about an hour and a half, you will see land iguanas, mockingbirds, finches, Galapagos hawks, Galapagos martins, and occasionally, giant tortoises. At the beach, you will be able to see the largest marine iguanas on the Galapagos, and those who wish to swim or snorkel can approach flightless cormorants, penguins, sea turtles, and assorted colored fish.

Tagus Cove is on the Northwestern coast of Isabela Island. It is a historical site visited by Charles Darwin in 1835, where graffiti has been carved into the rock walls by visitors over the past centuries; this happened just before the Galapagos National Park was established in 1959-1960. You’ll walk for about two hours. Observe countless species: blue-footed booby, brown noddy, terns, flightless cormorant, Galapagos penguins, and marine iguanas depending on the season. Take a 40-minute dinghy ride, and snorkel for an hour. The deep water snorkeling this afternoon is highly recommended!
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: M/Y Coral II

Day 8

The Galapagos Islands
The Egas Port area is a prime place for spotting and observing hunting herons – Great Blue Herons, Yellow-crowned Night Herons, and Lava Herons – as well as oystercatchers. You will enjoy the sight of marine iguanas grazing upon algae beds at low tide, sharing space with crabs and other wading birds. Go for an hour and a half walk, and then you will get to snorkel for an hour as well!

The southeastern portion of Santiago Island features extensive lava flows at Sullivan Bay which is believed to have been formed during the last quarter of the 19th century. The area is covered by Pahoehoe lava flows (Pahoehoe in Polynesian language means “easy to walk”); this type of lava is rare in the rest of the world but is common to the volcanoes of the Galapagos Islands and Hawaii. This is the perfect place to see and feel the volcanic origin of the Galapagos. After exploring the lava flow on an hour-and-a-half walk, you can swim and snorkel with playful sea lions off two small coralline beaches.

Have a farewell dinner with your group to toast the end of an exceptional adventure.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: M/Y Coral II

Day 9

Depart the Galapagos Islands
Visit Bachas Beach and enjoy one last hour of beach time in the Galapagos Islands.

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Guayaquil. You’ll have a day room available until 6:00pm. Rest, repack, shower, or grab a bite to eat before taking the hotel shuttle to the airport for your flights home.
Breakfast

Please note: AdventureWomen will attempt to adhere to the itinerary as much as possible. However, certain conditions (political, climatic, environmental, and cultural) may necessitate changes in the itinerary. AdventureWomen reserves the right to alter any itinerary at any time, if necessary. We will attempt to notify participants of changes as far in advance as possible. Costs incurred by such changes will be the responsibility of the participants. 

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Traveling to Galapagos



Arrival and Departure Information

March 11, 2023 Departure:

Arrive: Arrive in Guayaquil, Ecuador (GYE) on March 11th, 2023 any time.

Depart: Depart Guayaquil, Ecuador (GYE) on March 19th, 2023 after 8:00pm.

March 25, 2023 Departure:

Arrive: Arrive in Guayaquil, Ecuador (GYE) on March 25th, 2023 any time.

Depart: Depart Guayaquil, Ecuador (GYE) on April 2nd, 2023 after 8:00pm.

July 1, 2023 Departure:

Arrive: Arrive in Guayaquil, Ecuador (GYE) on July 1, 2023 any time.

Depart: Depart Guayaquil, Ecuador (GYE) on July 9th, 2023 after 8:00pm.

August 12, 2023 Departure:

Arrive: Arrive in Guayaquil, Ecuador (GYE) on August 12th, 2023 any time.

Depart: Depart Guayaquil, Ecuador (GYE) on August 20th, 2023 after 8:00pm.

 

We are happy to help you make your flight and travel arrangements. If you’d like to do anything prior to or following the AdventureWomen trip, we’d be delighted to help you arrange any trip extensions you’re interested in.

Note: The recent trend in travel is for travelers to finalize their plans much closer to departure time than was customary in the past. While we try to be as flexible as possible booking last-minute registrants, we must release hotel rooms two to three months prior to departure! Please keep this in mind when making your travel plans.

Preparation and Packing  

Please use the following guides as a reference when preparing for your adventure. We also encourage you to adapt the guides to your travel style as well as the destination’s forecasted weather.  

Gratuities  

Gratuities are highly trip-dependent and details will be provided to you prior to departure. As a general reference, AdventureWomen suggests $200-250 (or more) for gratuities on most trips. As always, tipping is at your discretion. 

Passports and Visas

Citizens of the United States must have a passport valid for six months beyond your travel dates with at least two blank facing pages. If you do not have a passport, please apply now!

Activity Level

We rate this trip as Active. Our Active adventures get you on your feet. You should be in good physical condition and be prepared to hike for up to five hours, multiple days in a row, on uneven surfaces with some steep ascents and descents. Please note that this is a general description of what you might encounter; for specific details about your trip, please consult the itinerary.

We recommend training before your trip (with your doctor’s permission!) to make the most of your adventure. We have a partnership with FitForTrips, a company that will design an individualized fitness plan for you with this itinerary in mind. Best of all, AdventureWomen guests get a 25% discount with the code FITWOMEN. Learn more on the FitForTrips website.

You should come with a flexible, adventurous, and enthusiastic spirit, and a wonderful sense of humor that adventure travel requires.

Health Considerations

Make an appointment with a travel clinic. There are no immunization requirements for travel to Ecuador, however, your local travel clinic may have recommendations for you based on your age, health, and past vaccination history.

For more health information, go to www.cdc.gov/travel and navigate to the page about Ecuador.

How to Register

Call the AdventureWomen office at (800) 804-8686 to determine space availability and register for this trip. We can complete your registration, including taking your credit card deposit over the phone.

If you prefer, you can register online by clicking “Sign Up for this Trip” on the trip page.

Please be sure to read the AdventureWomen policies before registering!

Forms and Final Payment

The deposit for this trip is $800 and is nonrefundable and nontransferable. Once you book, you will need to fill out and return to AdventureWomen:

  • Information Form
  • Booking Conditions Form
  • Copy of Flight Information
  • Copy of Issuing Page of Passport (Photo Page)
  • Supplemental Release for COVID

Final payment is due to AdventureWomen in a cash form (check, money order, or wire transfer). A maximum of $1,500 per person can be put on a credit card, which includes your deposit.

March 11, 2023 Departure Final Payment Due Date: December 11, 2022

March 25, 2023 Departure Final Payment Due Date: December 25, 2022

July 1, 2023 Departure Final Payment Due Date: April 2, 2023

August 12, 2023 Departure Final Payment Due Date: May 14, 2023

 

 

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

What's Included

Included

  • Accommodations as per itinerary based on double occupancy
  • All meals as listed in the itinerary
  • All transportation throughout the trip
  • Round-trip flights from Guayaquil to the Islands as indicated in the itinerary (priced separately from the main trip)
  • Entrance fees and Galapagos entry card
  • English-speaking, naturalist guide in the Galapagos Islands

Not Included

  • International airfare to and from Ecuador
  • Optional activities
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages (unless otherwise specified)
  • Fees for passport, visas, immunizations, or travel insurance
  • Cost of hospitalization or evacuation
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Accommodations

Wyndham Guayaquil

Situated just steps from the historic Santa Ana Hill and its famous Lighthouse, and minutes to the vibrant Malecon 2000, the Wyndham Guayaquil hotel offers an ideal location near Guayaquil’s many attractions.

Amenities: Soap, shampoo, conditioner, hair dryer; electricity; Wifi

M/Y Coral II

The Coral II is a gorgeous, comfortable yacht offering charming social areas distributed on multiple decks, with both outdoor and interior spaces allowing you to enjoy an intimate expedition experience in your own way. The vessel offers open-deck areas with a Jacuzzi to make the best of your relaxing time while cruising the islands.

Amenities: En suite bathrooms with soap, shampoo, hair dryer; electricity, WiFi is available but spotty at times

Please note that all amenities were current when written and are subject to change at any time.

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686