Galápagos Wildlife Odyssey

Aboard the M/V Santa Cruz II


Type of Trip: Nature & Wildlife Length: 10 days Season: Year-round Rating: Grade I


This upgraded version of our classic Galapagos wildlife tour offers a superior value in the archipelago, featuring a comprehensive 7-day itinerary, aboard one of the finest vessels in the islands, the M/V Santa Cruz II. This generously proportioned ship with a small yacht atmosphere offers the highest levels of comfort, safety and service and is an ideal base of exploration of these remarkable islands.

Starting with an overnight in Guayaquil, our first day is spent in this vibrant coastal city of Ecuador, exploring parks, plazas and cultural sites. On Saturday morning, we catch a flight to Baltra Island and start exploring aboard our comfortable 90-passenger, first-class expedition boat. Accompanied by some of the best English-speaking naturalist guides in the Galápagos, we learn about the natural history of these enchanted islands, visiting the most outlying sites as well as important central and southern islands.

The M/V Santa Cruz II is very family-friendly, accommodating kids and teens with connecting staterooms and plenty of space on its large decks and common areas.


Trip Highlights:

  • Snap photos of brightly colored animals such as the Blue-footed boobies
  • Snorkel with sea lions, sea urchins, sea turtles and other sea creatures
  • Hike through the lunar landscape of jet-black fields of petrified lava
  • Spot Galápagos Penguins waddling on the beach and diving for food
  • Nearly trip over the friendly sea lions that are lounging in the sun
  • See giant tortoises up close at the Charles Darwin Research Station
  • Enjoy a great family time while riding a zodiac and watching whales, orcas or dolphins.

Galápagos Wildlife Odyssey

Trip Itinerary


DAY 1 (WED): USA / GUAYAQUIL
Arrive this evening to Ecuador’s coastal, vibrant center city of Guayaquil.

DAY 2 (THU): GUAYAQUIL
A full-day city tour of Guayaquil’s historical sites and parks includes a scrumptious traditional lunch.

DAY 3 (FRI): GUAYAQUIL / BALTRA ISLAND / MOSQUERA ISLET (GALAPAGOS)
Flight to Baltra, meet your naturalist guides and board the M/V Santa Cruz II, begin your 7-day Galapagos wildlife tour.

DAY 4 (SAT): SAN CRISTOBAL / PUNTA PITT
Visit the breeding center for the highly endangered giant tortoises and visit the only area in the Galapagos where all three types of Boobies can be found.

DAY 5 (SUN): SANTA FE ISLAND / SOUTH PLAZA ISLAND
Explore the pristine white beaches of Santa Fe Island and go swimming or snorkeling. In the afternoon visit one of the largest sea lion colonies in the islands.

DAY 6 (MON): SANTA CRUZ ISLAND
Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, see the Galápagos tortoises and drive up to the highlands of Santa Cruz. Afternoon optional mountain biking, kayaking in Tortuga Bay or hiking.

DAY 7 (TUE): ESPANOLA ISLAND / GARDNER BAY
Walk through a blue-footed booby colony and observe their unique behaviors. Later visit Gardner Bay and see the highest number of endemic species, including possibly turtles and sharks.

DAY 8 (WED): EDEN ISLET / NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND
In the morning explore the underwater wonders of Eden Islet. In the afternoon, disembark at North Seymour Island and see unique fauna here along with blue-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls and yellow warblers.

DAY 9 (THU): BALTRA ISLAND / GUAYAQUIL
Return to Baltra off Santa Cruz Island and transfer to the airport, flight to Guayaquil.

DAY 10 (FRI): GUAYAQUIL / USA
Early pick up at the hotel, transfer to the airport with check-in assistance for your flight home.

Detailed day-by-day itinerary (PDF)
With full trip profile, difficulty rating, weather, and other planning details.

Galápagos Wildlife Odyssey

Dates & Rates


Departures

On request any week throughout the year, subject to availability.


This trip is customizable according to travel tastes and preferences. A Galápagos small-boat cruise or land-based hotel stay can be substituted in place of the M/V Santa Cruz II.

Plan ahead to secure your space!
Read more about booking a cruise with Southwind

2018 Land Cost

(Expedition Deck Explorer cabins)
$7,860 p.p.d. (2-3 participants)
$7,660 p.p.d. (4-6 participants)
$7,510 p.p.d. (7-12 participants)
$395 Single Supplement (hotels only)


(Panorama Deck Explorer cabins)
$8,045 p.p.d. (2-3 participants)
$7,845 p.p.d. (4-6 participants)
$7,695 p.p.d. (7-12 participants)
$395 Single Supplement (hotels only)

Deluxe and spacious Darwin Suites are also available on the Panorama Deck, please inquire for those rates.

p.p.d. = per person based on double occupancy

Detailed day-by-day itinerary (PDF)
With full trip profile, inclusions/exclusions, estimated airfare, and other info.

Galápagos Wildlife Odyssey

Accommodations


ecuador with kids and teens
GUAYAQUIL: WYNDHAM HOTEL — The Wyndham Guayaquil is a splendid high rise hotel overlooking the Guayas River. Its modern and comfortable interior fulfills the needs of all travelers and keeps them in the Guayaquil commercial district which is an area very close to entertainment, history, shopping and food.
galapagos wildlife tour
GUAYAQUIL: ORO VERDE HOTEL — The Oro Verde is a full-service boutique hotel offering the ultimate in sophistication and comfort for business and leisure travelers alike. Its superb location in the downtown Guayaquil commercial and financial district means you are within walking distance of popular tourist attractions, entertainment and shopping, and cultural sites.
galapagos wildlife cruise
GALAPAGOS: M/V SANTA CRUZ II — The Santa Cruz II entered into operation in late 2015, bringing a new level of comfort and elegance to Galápagos cruises. She is a 235-foot-long and 43-foot-wide first-class cruise vessel accommodating up to 90 passengers. Beautiful accommodations await passengers on 3 of her 5 decks and the ship boasts of a 3:2 guest/crew ratio.
galapagos wildlife tour vessels
BROWSE ALL GALAPAGOS VESSELS — Southwind works with a dozen of the foremost yachts operating in the Galápagos Islands. Criteria for choosing these vessels include safety, comfort, guides, and itinerary.

Galápagos Wildlife Odyssey

Extensions


LAKE DISTRICT HACIENDAS
Length:3 Days/2 Nights from Quito
Season:Year-round
A 2-hour drive north from Quito lie the fertile valleys of the Lake District. Here we find the charming and historic Haciendas Cusin or Pinsaqui. Enjoy hiking, horseback riding, cycling, birding, and meeting local residents.
galapagos wildlife tour extension
PAPALLACTA HOT SPRINGS
Length: 3 Days/2 Nights from Quito
Season: Year-round
At the Termas de Papallacta Lodge & Spa, relax among the clear natural hot spring pools and gardens. Nearby you can enjoy an optional 4-5 hour scenic day hike with views of the snow-capped summit of Antisana Volcano.
galapagos wildlife tour extensions
CLOUD FOREST & WESTERN RAINFOREST
Length: 3 days/2 nights from Quito
Season: Year-round
Choose one of three unique lodges as a base. Each is located in the lush, pre-montane cloud forest. Enjoy wildlife viewing, birdwatching, nature hikes to secluded waterfalls, biking rolling hills, or the zip-line at Mindo.
AMAZON JUNGLE – SACHA LODGE
Length: 4 or 5 days from Quito
Season: Year-round
A haven for nature lovers and families, Sacha is located within a private reserve on Pilchicocha Lake. Providing comfortable accommodations, highlights include nature hikes, a butterfly farm, and a canopy walkway.
AMAZON JUNGLE – NAPO WILDLIFE CENTER
Length: 4 or 5 days from Quito
Season: Year-round
This eco-lodge benefits from its isolated location inside Yasuni National Park. Arrive via a 2 hour canoe ride, then a 45 minute dugout canoe journey. Guests have spotted anacondas and several monkey species.