Wildlife Group Tour

Cruise the Galapagos Islands with Jonathan Green

10 days

from £6,695pp
  • Explore the remote and wildlife-rich islands of Genovesa and Espanola
  • Exclusive access at the Charles Darwin Research Centre with a scientist
  • Spend eight days sailing on the Alya, a purpose-built yacht for cruising the Galapagos
  • See land and marine iguanas, sea lion, giant tortoise and all three types of boobies

Spend eight days exploring the central islands of the Galapagos archipelago in the company of naturalist - Jonathan Green. As well as being a Galapagos National Park guide, Jonathan is a dive master, founder of the Galapagos Whale Shark Project and a passionate wildlife photographer. In addition to Jonathan, there will be a regular naturalist guide on board so you can be assured of receiving personalised and insightful narrative on all the wildlife seen.

Travel aboard the Alya yacht visiting seven different islands within the archipelago. This includes remote Genovesa island, one of the only places to see all three species of booby and Espanola island home to the critically endangered waved albatross. Santa Cruz island in the centre which is home to the Charles Darwin Research Centre, and San Cristobal, the first island Darwin went ashore in 1835.

As well as the varied geology which spans this archipelago the highlight will be the wildlife. During your time in this living laboratory of evolution get close to many endemic species that are unafraid of humans. About 97% of the reptiles and land mammals and 80% of the land birds are endemic, and more than 20% of the marine species are found nowhere but the Galapagos Islands. Highlights should include marine and land iguanas, Nazca, red and blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, waved albatross, sea lions, giant Galapagos tortoises and the majority of the 13 Darwin finches. 

What is the boat like?

The Alya is a spacious and stylish catamaran, purpose-built to sail around the Galapagos islands. The boat can accommodate 16 people across nine cabins, all with big picture windows. There is a lounge, both indoor and outdoor eating areas and a generous sundeck with loungers and a hot tub.

WILL THERE BE OPPORTUNITIES TO WALK ON THE ISLANDS AND SNORKEL?

Yes, every day there will be a number of excursions to the islands with the onboard naturalist guide. Depending on the visitor site of the day there will be the chance to walk the trails, snorkel or take panga rides.

WILL THE SEA BE ROUGH?

Seas are generally calm at this time of year.

WHAT WILL THE WEATHER BE LIKE IN APRIL?

April is a great time of year to travel to the Galapagos islands. The days are generally clear, warm and sunny with temperatures averaging 25 C. Sea temperatures are also at their warmest at this time and visibility is good so snorkelling can be more enjoyable.

*Please note the itinerary is for the departure on 13th April. The departure on 6th visits the western islands*



Departing on:
  • 6th April 2019
  • 13th April 2019

For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.

STARTFINISHPrice Excluding Flights £Flight cost fromSingle SupplementTour ExpertStatus 
6th Apr 2019 15th Apr 2019 £ 6,695 call £ 3,350 Jonathan R Green Limited
13th Apr 2019 22nd Apr 2019 £ 6,695 call £ 3,350 Jonathan R Green Available
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • 24-hour assistance while travelling
  • Accommodation aboard the Alya boat
  • Bed and breakfast accommodation in Quito
  • Domestic flights between mainland Ecuador and Galapagos Islands
  • English speaking National Park guide in the Galapagos
  • Full board meals and snorkelling equipment on the boat
  • Private visit to the Charles Darwin Research Centre
  • Tourist card $20 and national park fee $100
  • Transfers throughout
  • Travel with Jonathan Green in the Galapagos
  • Welcome meal and city tour in Quito

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • International Flights to and from Ecuador
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visa

TO ALLOW FLEXIBILITY, OUR GROUP TOURS DO NOT INCLUDE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS AS STANDARD. WE CAN ARRANGE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS ON YOUR BEHALF AND THE ABOVE IS AN INDICATION OF COST, BASED ON RETURN FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM LONDON. ALL INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS FROM THE UK ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Arrive in Quito
Today arrive in Quito, you will be met and transferred to the Patio Andaluz. The day is free to rest and relax after your flight or begin to explore the city.

With Pichincha Volcano on one side and Machangara Gorge on the other with the equator passing directly through, few cities can rival Quito's setting. Few also can match the splendour of its old town, with its colonial churches, mansions and plazas.

Quito was named as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1978. This historical city sits at 2,850 metres and has the largest and best preserved historic centre and colonial quarters in Latin America.


You will be staying at Patio Andaluz, bed and breakfast

Day 2

Half Day Colonial Quito Tour
This half day tour includes a panoramic view of the modern city and surrounding mountains from Panecillo Hill at 10,200 ft, followed by a visit to the colonial area. Visit buildings from the 16th century, including Independence Square and the Presidents Palace. See San Francisco Square, church and monastery, the oldest catholic complex in Ecuador built between 1535 and 1650, and La Compania de Jesus church, considered to be a perfect example of the baroque style in Latin America.


Welcome Meal
This evening a welcome meal for the group will be hosted at a local restaurant.


You will be staying at Patio Andaluz, bed and breakfast

Day 3

Fly Quito to San Cristobal Island


Embark San Cristobal Island
Arrive on San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos archipelago and pass through the Galapagos National Park inspection. Your national park guide will be waiting and will accompany the group on the short bus ride to the waterfront. At the dock board a dinghy (panga) to make the short crossing to the Alya catamaran. After settling into your cabin, there will be some time to relax before lunch and a welcome briefing.

This afternoon visit Lobos Island, home to playful and slightly noisy sea lions. This island also offers great snorkelling opportunities as well as the chance to see blue-footed and Nazca boobies.

It was Charles Darwin's 1835 exploration of the Galapagos Islands, whilst serving as a naturalist on HMS Beagle, and his subsequent 1859 publication On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection that first brought the world's attention to these fascinating islands.

Today the Galapagos remain a living laboratory of evolution where birds and animals have no fear of man. Blue-footed boobies, flightless cormorants, land and marine iguanas and giant tortoises roam freely making a visit to these islands an unforgettable experience.

Located some 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, the archipelago is now a National Park and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. There are 13 islands (isles) in total and dozens of smaller islets and rocks - all the result of volcanic activity with exotic plant life, unique wildlife species and an extraordinary landscape fringed with blue sea.


You will be staying at Alya Catamaran, full board

Day 4

San Cristobal Island
In the morning visit Witch Hill/Cerro Brujo located on the northern coast. This eroded hill and its surroundings present one of the most picturesque beaches in the Galapagos with its white powdery sand and the abundance of animals. Wildlife includes sea turtles, rays, and blue-footed booby birds. The clear water provides an excellent opportunity for enjoying swimming and snorkelling.

In the afternoon visit Pitt Point which is situated on the north eastern tip of the island. This site hosts frigate birds, storm petrels, and all three types of booby birds: the Nazca, blue-footed and red-footed boobies.


You will be staying at Alya Catamaran, full board

Day 5

Espanola Island
This morning visit Suarez Point on Espanola Island. On the trail there will be the chance to see blue-footed boobies, albatross (April to December), Nazca boobies as well as Hood mockingbirds. This island is the breeding site of nearly all of the world's 12,000 pairs of waved albatross. Also see the famous blowhole that spurts water into the air.

Today's afternoon excursion goes to the spectacular Gardner Bay. Walk across a lovely white-sand beach, home to a busy sea lion colony. Here is a great place to swim with playful sea lion pups.


You will be staying at Alya Catamaran, full board

Day 6

Special Reception at the Charles Darwin Research Centre
Visit the Charles Darwin Research Centre in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island. The centre is a not-for-profit organisation that has been working in the Galapagos since 1959, providing science to help conserve the environment and biodiversity of the islands.
Exclusive to Steppes Travel, you will have a special reception in the Exhibition Hall with a member of the Charles Darwin Foundation, in which you will be given an explanation of the current projects.


Santa Cruz and North Seymour Islands
This afternoon visit North Seymour Island to see Galapagos sea lions, blue-footed boobies, and magnificent frigate birds which are abundant on this island. North Seymour was formed by a series of submarine lava flows containing layers of sediment that were uplifted by tectonic activity. The island is characterised by its arid vegetation zone.


You will be staying at Alya Catamaran, full board

Day 7

Genovesa Island
Today visit Genovesa Island located in the far north east of the archipelago. Visit the white-sand coral beach of Darwin Bay, a short trail winds through mangroves filled with land birds. Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls can be spotted here. Further down the path find tidal pools where sea lions swim playfully.

In the afternoon visit El Barranco which is also known as Prince Phillip's Steps. It is a steep, rocky path that leads up to a high cliff-face with a marvellous view. This site is home to palo santo vegetation as well as red-footed boobies, short-eared lava owls, Galapagos swallows, and Galapagos doves.


You will be staying at Alya Catamaran, full board

Day 8

Santiago and Bartholomew Islands
In the morning visit Sullivan Bay located on the south east part of Santiago Island. This place is interesting for its geology because the area is covered by lava flows.

In the afternoon head to Bartholomew Island, home of the famous Pinnacle Rock. Bartholomew consists of an extinct volcano with a variety of red, orange, black and even green volcanic formations. Take a trail to the summit of the volcano (about 30 or 40 minutes) where you will see one of the best views of the islands. Also visit a small beautiful beach surrounded by the only vegetation found on this barren island. The beach is perfect for snorkelling where you may see reef shark, rays, colourful fish and even Galapagos penguin.


You will be staying at Alya Catamaran, full board

Day 9

Santa Cruz Island
In the morning visit Dragon Hill on Santa Cruz, located on the north western part of the island, and consists of a trail that runs through three different environments although it is only slightly less than a mile long. At high tide it's a nice place for snorkelling.

In the afternoon visit Black Turtle Cove on the northern part of Santa Cruz Island. This inlet is surrounded by mangroves and is only accessible by dinghy. The shallow cove is a haven for young marine life such as black-tip and white-tip reef sharks, sea turtles, and a variety of rays.


You will be staying at Alya Catamaran, full board

Day 10

Disembark Santa Cruz Island
This morning if time allows, travel from Puerto Ayora to the green highlands of Santa Cruz for a visit to El Chato reserve. The reserve allows you to observe giant tortoises in the wild during the dry season and is also a good place to spot short-eared owls, Darwin's finches and yellow warblers.

Continue to the airport on Baltra Island for your flight back to the Ecuadorian mainland.

Fly Galapagos Islands to Guayaquil

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Patio Andaluz

Patio Andaluz

Patio Andaluz is a beautiful hotel, declared a Cultural Patrimony of Humanity by UNESCO in 1978....

View Accommodation

Alya Catamaran

Alya Catamaran

The Alya is a 33 metre high end catamaran operating in the Galapagos archipelago....

View Accommodation

For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Galapagos Islands

James Armitage, Travel Expert

"The help and great knowledge James offered really made the holiday special"

"James listened and managed our expectations and therefore made sure we were prepared for all eventualities when going on our holiday to Brazil"

"James was brilliant and all the advice was spot on."

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John Faithfull, Travel Expert

"Personalised service. Seemed to really want to get it right for us. Very impressed when I first called and John spent 40 minutes finding out what we wanted to do and tailoring it for us."

"The expertise that John has really gave us faith in where we were going, the regions, the hotels, the trips. John knew about it all, he described them in detail, and when we asked for different regions he was straight in there with suggestions and ideas. The way the whole trip was planned and presented to us, never any pressure to book or any problem to change plans /ideas."

"John Faithful was wonderfully helpful and conscientious in arranging the itinerary and was always ready to suggest alternatives or rearrange matters without any hesitation; this and his detailed knowledge gave one great confidence."

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Paul Bird, Travel Expert

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Roxy Dukes, Travel Expert

"Roxy filled us with enthusiasm and came up with some great ideas for a trip. We liked the idea of a slightly 'off the beaten track experience' and some private bespoke activities and that's exactly what we've had. Thank you!"

"Roxy created a wonderfully interesting route which was the basis for a super trip. She also chose lovely places for us to stay and interesting activities for us to participate in, introducing us to the idea of private guided experiences which we thoroughly enjoyed."

Read More

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Tour host

Jonathan R Green

Jonathan R Green
Jonathan R. Green is a keen wildlife photographer, qualified naturalist guide and dive master, who has been working in the Galapagos for over 25 years. In 2011 he set up the Galapagos Whale Shark Research Project to monitor and study whale sharks in the Galapagos. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of London and elected Member International of the Explorer’s Club of New York.

He has led adventure travel trips and photo expeditions to the Amazon, Antarctica, Central America, Patagonia, Peru, and the Galapagos. He has published work in Time, Time Life, GEO, BBC Natural History, and Royal Geographical Magazines.
Enquire about this Wildlife tour:

Group Size:

Min 11 / Max 15

Tour Expert:

Jonathan R Green

Departure Date (S):

  • 6th April 2019
  • 13th April 2019

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