Hammerhead sharks, Galapagos Islands

Cruise the Galapagos Islands with Jonathan Green

Start date End date Days
Prices from
ex. flights
Single Supplement Tour Expert Group Size Status
07/07/24 16/07/24 10 days £6,950pp £2,780pp Jonathan R Green 15 Max AVAILABLE Reserve place

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Jonathan Green 1

Expert naturalist

Your host on this voyage is marine biologist, Jonathan Green, founder of the Galapagos Whale Shark Project

Natural Paradise, Galapagos Islands 2

Exclusive to Steppes

An exclusive charter with Natural Paradise limited to a maximum of 15 clients, with a guide ratio of one to eight.

Snorkelling with Penguin, Galapagos Islands 3

Superb snorkelling

Swim with sea lions and Galapagos penguins at the island’s premier snorkelling sites.

Land Iguana, Galapagos Islands 4

Guided excursions

Take guided walking safaris and panga rides every day, followed by insightful talks in the evening.

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1


  • Day 2


  • Day 3

    Quito to Santa Cruz Island

  • Day 4

    North Seymour & South Plaza

  • Days 5

    Rabida & Bartolome

  • Day 6

    Santiago & Santa Cruz

  • Day 7

    Santa Cruz Island

  • Day 8

    Genovesa Island

  • Day 9

    Santiago Island

  • Day 10

    San Cristobal to Quito

Day 1


Arrive into Quito, a historical city sitting at 2,850 metres. The city is known for having the largest and best-preserved historic centre and colonial quarters in Latin America.

Day 2


Explore Quito on a city tour visiting Independence Square, the President’s Palace and San Francisco Church. Finish the tour ends with a visit to Itchimbia Hill, from where the views of downtown Quito and the surrounding mountains are spectacular.

Day 3

Quito to Santa Cruz Island

Fly from Quito to Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos. On arrival, you will be met by a national park guide who will accompany you on the dock, to embark the Natural Paradise. Set sail towards Eden Islet.

Day 4

North Seymour & South Plaza

This morning, stop on North Seymour Island where sea lions, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, pelicans and magnificent frigate birds can be found. North Seymour was formed by a series of submarine lava flows containing layers of sediment that were uplifted by tectonic activity.

This afternoon visit South Plaza Island, home to one of the largest sea lion colonies as well as colourful yellow and red land iguanas.

Days 5

Rabida & Bartolome

This morning visit Rabida Island, a birdwatcher’s paradise with some of the rarest species such as nine varieties of finches, large-billed flycatchers, Galapagos hawks and brown pelicans. Around the islands are some great snorkelling sites.

After lunch visit Bartolome, famous for Pinnacle Rock, a towering spearheaded column that rises from the edge of the sea. Galapagos penguins and sea lions can be found here and sea turtles nest in the sandy beaches. Hike the 600-metre trail to Bartolome’s summit and be rewarded with spectacular views of Santiago Island and Sullivan Bay as well as Pinnacle Rock and the beach below. The beach is perfect for snorkelling with possible sightings of the Galapagos penguin.

Day 6

Santiago & Santa Cruz

This morning visit Sullivan Bay located on the southeast part of Santiago Island. This place is interesting for its geology and the chance to walk across a recent lava flow that was formed in the late 19th century and view its structural characteristics.

This afternoon visit Dragon Hill on Santa Cruz Island. Trek along a beach and up a trail to the lagoon lookout where bright flamingos, pintail ducks and land iguanas can be spotted.

Day 7

Santa Cruz Island

Santa Cruz is the second largest island in the Galapagos and its capital, Puerto Ayora, is the economic centre of the Islands. In the morning travel to the highlands and visit Los Gemelos craters, created by the collapse of surface material in underground fissures and chambers.

In the afternoon visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to visit the giant tortoise and land iguana breeding and rearing program.

Day 8

Genovesa Island

Genovesa is one of the archipelago’s more remote islands, and is home to the biggest colony of red footed boobies, many great frigate birds, yellow crowned night herons and swallow tailed gulls. This morning visit El Barranco also known as Prince Phillip’s Steps where a steep, rocky path leads up to a high cliff face and a great view point. Red footed and Nazca boobies, short-eared lava owls, Galapagos swallows, and Galapagos doves can all be seen here.

After lunch visit the white sand coral beach of Darwin Bay, where a trail winds through mangroves filled with Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, and swallow tailed gulls.

Day 9

Santiago Island

This morning visit Espumilla beach, a popular place for marine iguanas and Sally lightfoot crabs. This is a great spot for swimming and snorkelling.

This afternoon visit Puerto Egas home to Galapagos hawks and quick footed lava lizards. The trail leads to the coast with tide pools giving sanctuary to marine iguanas and bright red Sally lightfoot crabs. There is the chance to snorkel here and see reef sharks, turtles, rays and sea lions.

Day 10

San Cristobal to Quito

This morning disembark early and visit Balchas Beach. Fly to Quito where this trip ends but please talk to one of our team about extending your time in Ecuador.

Our travel experts can tailor this itinerary to suit you.

Natural Paradise, Galapagos Islands
Natural Paradise, Galapagos Islands
Social area, Natural Paradise, Galapagos Islands
Natural Paradise, Galapagos Islands, Galapagos Islands
Suite 1, Natural Paradise, Galapagos Islands
Natural Paradise, Galapagos Islands, Galapagos Islands
Suite, Natural Paradise, Galapagos Islands
Suite onboard Natural Paradise
Sundeck, Natural Paradise, Galapagos Islands
Sundeck on Natural Paradise
Sundeck, Natural Paradise, Galapagos Islands
Sundeck and dining onboard Natural Paradise

Natural Paradise

A high-end 111-foot-long yacht which can accommodate 16 passengers, Natural Paradise is made up of nine cabins that vary from standard cabins with porthole windows to suites with private balconies.

With a spacious dining area, a bar and large sundeck with loungers, jacuzzi and a covered alfresco dining area, the yacht balances luxurious surroundings with plenty of space to unwind and relax. Snorkelling equipment and sea kayaks are available to use during the trip.

Whale Shark with Diver, Darwin and Wolf, Galapagos Islands
Whale Shark with Diver, Darwin and Wolf, Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Whale Shark Project

By booking this Galapagos voyage you will help raise funds to purchase a satellite tag which Jonathan and his team will put to good use tracking the whale sharks found around the archipelago.

Galapagos Tortoise, Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos Islands
Galapagos tortoise
Galapagos Hawk, GPS
Galapagos Islands, Galapagos Islands
Galapagos Heron, Galapagos
Galapagos Islands
Sea Lions, Galapagos Islands
Sea Lions, Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Wildlife

Visit eight different islands, each with their own distinct terrain, flora and fauna. Days will be spent snorkelling, kayaking and taking panga (small motorised boat) rides to get ashore from where your guides will lead fascinating walking safaris to see the wildlife for which these remarkable islands are renowned. For lovers of marine wildlife, the snorkelling around the Galapagos is outstanding, with sightings of sea lions, Galapagos penguins, rays, reef sharks, hammerheads and dazzling shoals of tropical fish being common place. Birders will likewise be spoilt, with sightings likely to include blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, Darwin finches, mockingbirds, Galapagos hawks and short-eared owls. Iguanas and giant tortoises are just a few of the land based residents you can expect to see.


Expert-led Cruise FAQs

Why travel to the Galapagos with Steppes Travel?

In Jonathan Green, Steppes Travel is confident to have found one of the best guides in the Galapagos. With exceptional experiences of tracking whale sharks and over 30 years of working in the Galapagos, Jonathan is a passionate advocate for conservation of the Galapagos.

In addition to Jonathan, there will be a resident Galapagos National Park guide on board. With a ratio of one guide per eight passengers, you can be assured of receiving personalised and insightful narrative on all the wildlife seen.

What happens on a typical day on a Galapagos cruise?

Wake up for breakfast at around 07:00. There may then be a morning land-based excursion. This may include a short hike, a research centre visit, or searching for local wildlife. Return to your boat for lunch. Afterwards, there will be some time at leisure before your water-based excursion. This could include a panga (small boat) cruise, or a chance to see the marine life from the water with a snorkel trip. Return to the boat for pre-dinner drinks and a short briefing on the plan for the following day. After dinner, enjoy a talk by one of your expert naturalists or specialist expert.

Is July a good time to visit the Galapagos?

July is the time when all marine life is thriving. Good opportunities of seeing whales, marine birds are in a frenzy of courtship and first chicks should have recently hatched. You may also see signs of marine iguana territorial behaviour and male battling. All in all a very active time of the year. Love is in the air.

What is the wildlife in the Galapagos like?

There are few places on earth that can rival the wildlife of Galapagos, with an abundance of colourful creatures seemingly unafraid of humans. Wildlife highlights include land and marine iguanas, blue-footed and Nazca boobies, giant tortoises, Galapagos penguins, frigate birds, sea lions and many finches.

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Includes / Excludes

Important Information

Activity Level
Moderate Activity
Single Supplement

Travelling on your own? Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group in faraway places provides security and peace of mind. We handle all of the arrangements for you and there will be a local tour guide on hand throughout to provide advice and help if needed, as well as the expertise of a Tour expert.


To allow flexibility, our group tours do not include international flights as standard. We can arrange international flights on your behalf, please get in touch with our travel experts for a quote. All international flights from the UK are ATOL protected.

What is included

  • Accompanied by Jonathan Green in the Galapagos
  • Donation to purchase a satellite tag to track a whale shark
  • Pre-cruise accommodation in Quito and then aboard the Natural Paradise boat
  • Domestic flights between mainland Ecuador and Galapagos Islands
  • Full board meals and snorkelling equipment on the boat
  • English speaking National Park guide in the Galapagos
  • Transfers throughout
  • Carbon offset of all flights taken based on economy seats
  • Daily guided excursions when in the Galapagos Islands
  • Guided tour of Quito old town including welcome lunch
  • Evening lecture programme on board Natural Paradise

What is excluded

  • International Flights to and from Ecuador
  • Gratuities for the onboard crew, drivers and porters
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visa

Why a Steppes expert-led group tour

1.Experience matters

We have been running insightful and groundbreaking group tours since our inception in 1989. We have worked with institutions such as the British Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum and run wildlife tours in conjunction with conservation agencies such as Fauna & Flora International, Wildlife Conservation Society, the Orangutan Foundation, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and the Jane Goodall Institute.

2.Like-minded travellers

Steppes Travellers are like-minded people; interesting, interested and curious. Our group tours, usually consisting of eight to ten travellers, aim to create an easy and informal atmosphere – we have a lot of fun on our tours and many friendships have been formed.

Nicaragua's Caribbean coast
Lake Van, Turkey

4.Peace of mind

When you travel on one of our group tours, you will be looked after by our local agents and your tour expert with the back-up of our 24-hour emergency number and duty manager. All our holidays are fully bonded and protected – our ATOL number is ATOL 6495.

3.It’s about who you know

We have developed an enviable pool of expertise from which to choose our tour experts, who we carefully select based on their knowledge, companionship and personality. Often, these experts can use their influence to facilitate private access to sites not typically open to the public.

Other available dates

For further information about any of these tours please call 01285 880 980

Start date End date Days
Prices from
ex. flights
Tour Expert Group Size Status
07/07/24 16/07/24 10 days £6,950pp Jonathan R Green 15 Max AVAILABLE Reserve place

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge, curiosity and expertise set us apart, driving us to create remarkable holidays and Beautiful Adventures tailored perfectly to you, carefully curated to help protect and conserve our planet.

Are you ready to Discover Extraordinary?

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