Where are you going?
Or, let us surprise youSpin the Globe ®
Sail Through Extraordinary Natural Diversity in the Galápagos
Charles Darwin made the Galápagos Islands famous after his visit in 1835, observing remarkable adaptations in the animal species that led to his understanding of natural selection. Almost two centuries later, the islands remain a paradise for the animals that live there, and a must-visit for even the most casual naturalist and conservationist. It’s an amazing opportunity to snorkel with sea lions, discover the unusual marine life in secluded bays, and hike Sierra Negra, the largest basaltic caldera in the region. Since you’ll be traveling with a pair of expert naturalist guides to answer your questions, you'll head home with a new perspective on nature, your planet, and maybe even yourself. 

G Adventures’ 10-day Galápagos itinerary includes a week aboard the Monserrat, a small craft with only 10 cabins and a capacity for 20 passengers. You’re guaranteed that on every shore excursion you’ll only be with your own small group, and that the seals and tortoises in any given harbor will likely outnumber the G Adventures travelers.
  • Original galapagos boat monserrat upper sundeck lounge chairs 3.jpg?1560734995?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Day 1
    Arrive Quito
    Before you head to the Galápagos, you’ll land in Quito, Ecuador’s capital. You won’t meet up with your fellow travelers until the evening, so you have a day to explore the city, perhaps taking advantage of some of G Adventures’ optional excursions

    Quito was founded in 1534, on the site of an earlier Inca city, and has one of the best-preserved historic centers in Latin America. (This helps explain why Quito’s old town was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status.) Among the many Baroque masterpieces, the churches of San Francisco, San Domingo, and La Compañia stand out. Quito’s squares are as important as the buildings in creating this unique cityscape, and foremost among them is the Plaza de la Independencía, dotted with statues and flanked by both the cathedral and the presidential palace.  

    If you want to venture farther afield, G Adventures also offers excursions to latitude 0°, where the equator passes through Ecuador and you can stand with a foot in both hemispheres. Or, if you arrive early enough in the day (or the night before), you can join a full-day trip to Cotopaxi, the world’s highest active volcano, at 14,763 feet. From the lagoon at its bottom to points near its summit, you’ll be able to observe a variety of flora and fauna that thrive at different altitudes—it’s an ideal excursion to put you in the mindset for your Galápagos adventure.  

    At the end of the day, you’ll return to your hotel to be introduced to your fellow travelers at a welcome meeting where your CEO—Chief Experience Officer—will go over the details of your trip.
  • Original ecuador galapagos monserrat exterior at sea supplied 2013 img1001 lg rgb.jpg?1560735234?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Day 2
    Fly to Baltra
    In the morning on day two, you’ll transfer from your hotel in Quito for your flight to Baltra, also known as South Seymour Island. Here you will board your ship—and your home for the next week—the Monserrat. This 10-cabin/20-passenger ship offers an ideal way to explore the Galápagos: It’s small enough to visit even remote harbors and ports, yet also has a spacious main deck with a lounge and dining room. With your CEO naturalists always at the ready, you’re guaranteed a smooth journey and exemplary service.  

    After lunch on the ship, you’ll depart for your first stop, Mosquera Island. The small islet sits between Baltra and North Seymour. Much of its coastline consists of volcanic rocks where tidal pools form, providing glimpses of some of the Galápagos’ smallest animals. At the other end of the spectrum, Mosquera has a significant population of one of the islands’ largest animals: sea lions.  

    In the evening, you’ll get to learn more about your other guests over dinner and drinks onboard the Monserrat.
  • Original ecuador galapagos kayak travellers teresa peter stephanie kretzschmer 2013 img1020 lg rgb.jpg?1560735483?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Day 3
    Isabela Island
    You’ll start the third day of your trip in Puerto Villamil, home to most of the 2,200 humans that live on Isabela Island. In the morning you can hike up the Sierra Negra volcano, which has the largest basaltic caldera in the archipelago. Among the species you may be able to spot here are the Sierra Negra giant tortoise, which lives on the southern and southeastern slopes of the volcano. Closer to Puerto Villamil, you can head out on a panga boat to Las Tintoreras, an island with a large population of whitetip reef sharks in the water and pelicans and frigate birds flying overhead.  

    In the afternoon, a visit to the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center will introduce you to the remarkable conservation efforts to protect these majestic animals. Facing the prospect of extinction in the 1950s, tortoises have thrived, thanks to the work of this and two other centers in the islands. The center on Isabela is home to 69 breeding pairs, including some of the critically endangered Sierra Negra tortoises.  

    You’ll be able to share tales of your day with your other guests over dinner on the Monserrat this evening.
  • Original ecuador galapagos underwater wildlife fish attit patel 2013 hn1a0189 lg rgb.jpg?1560735483?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Day 4
    Chinese Hat
    You’ll spend day four visiting one of the smaller islands in the Galápagos, Chinese Hat—or Sombrero Chino in Spanish. The source of the name becomes clear as soon as you approach the island—it’s a low-lying speck of land rising to a modest peak, giving it the profile of a traditional rice farmer’s hat. In the morning, you can snorkel alongside the colorful fish and sea lions that congregate near Chinese Hat’s white-sand beach. Keep an eye open for the occasional marine iguana and penguin.  

    In the afternoon, you’ll continue on to Rabida Island, home to sea lions, flamingos, palo santo trees, and a dark red-sand beach (the color is due to its high iron content). Board a panga boat for a snorkeling excursion off one of the cliffs along the island’s perimeter.
  • Original ecuador galapagos snorkelling travellers turtle attit patel 2010 1002 lg rgb.jpg?1560735804?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Day 5
    Santiago Island
    Today, you’ll call at a few different ports and beaches on Santiago Island—one of the larger islands in the archipelago. This morning you’ll land at Puerto Egas, where you can see tidal pools, say hello to marine iguanas warming themselves in the sun, and visit a salt crater, where salt was mined as recently as the 1960s. It’s just one of many human interventions on this island. One with the most lasting impact was the introduction of goats. Despite the threat the animals have posed to native habitats, populations of marine iguanas, seals, and land and sea turtles have thrived.  

    Later in the day, you’ll explore the mangroves along Playa Espumilla, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Galápagos. It’s also the home of many flamingo and sea turtle nesting sites. At the end of the day, a panga boat ride offers an opportunity to explore Buccaneers’ Cove. Surrounded by high cliffs, it was long a hideout of pirates looking to replenish their water supplies.
  • Original ecuador galapagos santa cruz cerro dragon zodiac dry landing   img0894 lg rgb.jpg?1560735804?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Day 6
    North Seymour Island
    You’ll travel today to North Seymour Island. A morning excursion along the island’s trails may take you past some sea lions or marine iguanas, before arriving at a nesting site of one of the archipelago’s most famous residents—blue-footed boobies. Depending on the time of year, you may be able to observe their ritual mating “dance.” Other bird species found on North Seymour include pelicans and the enormous frigate birds with wingspans that reach over six feet.  

    Later in the day, you’ll continue on to Santa Cruz Island, where a trek through its highlands offers opportunities to see some of the island’s giant tortoises; keep an eye out for the harder-to-spot nocturnal barn owls as well.
  • Original ecuador galapagos santa fe island beach sea lions daniel sendecki 2010 img1156 lg rgb.jpg?1560736167?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Day 7
    Islas Plaza and Santa Fé
    This is another two-island day. In the morning you’ll call at South Plaza which, though one of the smallest islands in the Galápagos, boasts one of the largest populations of marine iguanas. They’re only one of many animal species found on the island. You may spot red-billed tropic birds in a cacti forest and swallow-tailed gulls on the island’s cliffs. Along the island’s coastline, sea lions are common.  

    In the afternoon, you’ll continue on to another small island, Santa Fé, that happens to be one of the oldest in the archipelago—geologists have found volcanic rocks that are four million years old. As you explore the island on foot, you may see iguanas dining on one of their favorite foods, the fruit of the prickly pear cacti that are common here. Geckos are another one of the islands’ endemic species, while sea lions—which seem to find their way to almost every sunny beach or rock in the Galápagos—are also here in abundance.
  • Original ecuador galapagos tortoise travellers group ceo stephanie kretzschmer 2013 1m6c5869 lg rgb.jpg?1560736167?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Day 8
    San Cristóbal Island
    Today you’ll reach the final island of your Galápagos adventure, San Cristóbal. The Monserrat will call first at Punta Pitt, at the eastern end of San Cristóbal. A small beach here sits amid a volcanic landscape, beautifully eroded by millennia of wind blowing across this tip of the island. Punta Pitt also has a unique claim to fame: three species of boobies and two of frigate birds all share this bay as a nesting site. You’ll find blue-footed boobies in the interior, while the red-footed and masked boobies are common along the bay’s cliffs.  

    Later in the day, you’ll continue on to Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado, an area reserved for giant tortoises and home to another of the islands’ three breeding centers. Some trails traverse the breeding ground, and a guide will explain the tortoises’ life cycles and the efforts to support these remarkable creatures.
  • Original galapagos shore sunset seal boat silhouette omar medina 2014 p1070628 lg rgb.jpg?1560736462?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Day 9
    Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and Return to Quito
    After a week of experiencing the wildlife of the Galápagos, today you’ll visit the islands’ capital and largest settlement. That said, don’t expect a bustling metropolis: Puerto Baquerizo Moreno’s entire metro population consists of fewer than 7,500 people. You’ll have an opportunity to see the interpretive center, which can help put in context all the animals and islands you’ve seen over the last week. You’ll arrive back in Quito in time for dinner.
  • Original ecuador galapagos monserrat boat lounge   img0322 lg rgb.jpg?1560736462?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Day 10
    Depart, or Don’t
    You’ll have another day in Quito at the end of your trip, so if there was an excursion you wanted to join one day one but couldn’t, you have another opportunity. While you can depart at any time, you may be tempted to stay. If you want to extend your trip with an extra day, or a few, your CEO can assist with hotel reservations and other arrangements.