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Cruise the Galapagos Islands with Macarena Iturralde

Start dateEnd dateDays
Prices from
Single SupplementTour ExpertGroup SizeStatus
12/06/22 22/06/2210 days £7,495 ex. flights £4,500Macarena Iturralde15 Max LIMITED Reserve place

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Macarena Iturralde 1

Expert naturalist

Explore the biodiverse western islands of the Galapagos with naturalist, Macarena Iturralde

Natural Paradise, Galapagos Islands 2

Excellent guide ratio

Spend eight days on the motor yacht, Natural Paradise, with a guide ratio of 1:8.

Snorkelling with Penguin, Galapagos Islands 3

One of the greatest snorkelling destinations

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

Land Iguana, Galapagos Islands, Excellent Illustration 4

Photographic opportunities

Photograph iguanas, sea lions, penguins, giant tortoise – all seemingly unafraid of humans.

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1


  • Day 2


  • Day 3

    Quito to Santa Cruz Island

  • Day 4

    Isabela Island and Fernandina Islands

  • Days 5 - 6

    Isabela Island

  • Day 7

    Chinese Hat and Mosquera Islets

  • Day 8

    Floreana Island

  • Day 9

    Espanola Island

  • Day 10

    San Cristobal to Guayaquil

  • Day 11


Day 1


Basilica del Voto Nacional, Quito, Ecuador

Below is the 2020 itinerary. 2021 will follow a different route in the Galapagos. 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


Plaza de San Francisco, Old Town Quito, Ecuador

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

Galapagos marine iguanas on a beach, Tortuga Bay, on 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

Isabela Island and Fernandina Islands

Blue-footed boobies diving for fish

Snorkelling and panga rides are possible today. Search for blue-footed and Nazca boobies, terns and sea lions, Galapagos penguins and the strange yet fascinating mola mola (sun fish).

Days 5 - 6

Isabela Island

Volcan Chico, Isabela Island, Galapagos Islands

Spend the next two days exploring Isabela Island. The archipelago’s largest island, Isabela, was formed by the joining of five young volcanoes and offers unique flora and fauna not seen on the other islands.

Day 7

Chinese Hat and Mosquera Islets

Snorkelling with sea lions

Explore Chinese Hat islet. This small islet is located near the southeast coast of Santiago Island. Its name comes from the distinct shape of the islet’s summit. Afterwards, visit Mosquera Islet, offering one of the largest populations of sea lions and great snorkelling.

Day 8

Floreana Island

Punta Cormorant, Floreana Island, Galapagos Islands

There is the opportunity to swim in the crystal clear waters of the Devil’s Crown, an extinct volcano that peaks out of the waters just off Floreana’s coast and offers a magnificent snorkelling experience.

Day 9

Espanola Island

Galapagos Sea Lions,  Gardner Bay, Espanola, Galapagos Islands

After landing, walk across a lovely white sand beach amongst a busy sea lion colony or dive into the water to swim and snorkel with sea lion pups.

Day 10

San Cristobal to Guayaquil

Guayaquil, Ecuador

This morning disembark early and visit the Galapagos Science Centre, a state of the art research facility. Fly to Guayaquil.

Day 11


Guayaquil waterfront, Ecuador

Free day to explore at your leisure.

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
Natural Paradise, Galapagos Islands, Galapagos Islands
Sundeck, Natural Paradise, Galapagos Islands
Natural Paradise, Galapagos Islands, Galapagos Islands
Sundeck, Natural Paradise, Galapagos Islands
Natural Paradise, Galapagos Islands, Galapagos Islands

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.

Galapagos Tortoise, Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos Islands
Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Conservation Trust

Steppes is a Gold Corporate Member of the Galapagos Conservation Trust, the only UK charity that is focussed solely on conservation in the archipelago. As such we continue to support ongoing conservation projects in the archipelago and recently donated to the development of a citizen’s science website on which the public can post information about single-use plastic pollution in the Galapagos.

When you book a trip to the Galapagos Islands with Steppes Travel, you will also benefit from a complimentary, six-month membership with the Galapagos Conservation Trust.

Expert-led Cruise FAQs

Why travel to the Galapagos with Steppes Travel?

In Macarena Iturralde, Steppes Travel is confident to have found one of the best guides in the Galapagos. Macarena Iturralde is a renowned Galapagos expert with over 35 years’ experience working in the islands. She trained as a Marine Biologist with the Universidad Catolica de Quito and her field is marine invertebrates.

In addition to Macarena, there will be a resident Galapagos National Park guide on board, meaning 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.

Are June good times to visit the Galapagos?

June is the beginning of the cool season so the time when all marine life is thriving. Good opportunities of seeing whales, marine birds are in a frenzy of courtship and first chicks hatching. Great time to see Albatross on Española. Sea lions also birthing and on the west Penguins are courting. First signs too 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.

Haven’t found what you’re looking for?


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 Macarena Iturralde in the Galapagos
  • Six-month membership to the Galapagos Conservation Trust
  • 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
  • Drinks on board
  • Transfers throughout
  • £25 contribution to ‘Trees and Science’ in mitigation of your carbon emissions
  • £25 to help fund the communities, conservation agencies and NGOs that we work with

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.

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.

Our future tour dates

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

Start dateEnd dateDays
Prices from
Single SupplementTour ExpertGroup SizeStatus
12/06/22 22/06/2210 days £7,495 ex. flights £4,500Macarena Iturralde15 Max LIMITED Reserve place

Reserve your place on this group tour

Our travel experts have a wealth of first-hand knowledge, so if you have any questions about this expert-led group tour, please get in touch. They would love to help. We hope you can join us on this tour.

01285 880 980

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Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

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