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Darwin's Discoveries—The Galapagos Islands

A 7-night exploration of the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador's Guayaquil

From $9,195

Rates & Dates
  • Itinerary
  • Rates and Dates
  • Ports and Places
  • Land Packages
  • Vessels
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Itinerary

Darwin’s discoveries in the Galapagos had a profound impact on the way we understand the world. From Ecuador’s northern highlands to a yacht cruise among these notable islands—adventure, culture, wildlife, and discovery awaits you.

INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS:

  • UNESCO World Heritage Site, Galapagos Islands
  • One night pre-cruise hotel stay at the riverfront Wyndham Guayaquil
  • Six-night Galapagos cruise aboard La Pinta
  • Set foot on seven islands and islets
  • Charles Darwin Research Center
  • Nesting birds and wildlife in their natural habitat
  • View marine life by snorkel, panga, and glass-bottom boat
  • Certified guides escort small groups of 12
  • Roundtrip air between Guayaquil and Galapagos
  • Alcoholic beverages on La Pinta

Departure Dates & Rates

Select year and month

2021
Jan
2021
Feb
2021
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2021
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2021
Jun
2021
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2021
Aug
2021
Sep
2021

Your day-by-day details

Roundtrip Guayaquil, Ecuador

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DAY 1

Guayaquil / Arrival
Welcome to Ecuador! Begin your journey in this port city known as the gateway to the Pacific. Your first stop is the Wyndham Guayaquil, where you’ll stay the night. This dazzling riverside hotel is a short walk from the vibrant Malecon 2000 boardwalk as well as historic Santa Ana Hill and its famous lighthouse. Explore the city sights on your own, relax at the rooftop pool, and get a good night’s rest before your adventure.
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DAY 2

Guayaquil / Isla Baltra – Embarkation / Isla Seymour Norte
Up and at ‘em. Get an early start and travel to the legendary Galapagos Islands—UNESCO World Heritage Site. From Guayaquil, fly to Isla Baltra where your captain and crew welcome you aboard Yacht La Pinta. As Charles Darwin certainly was in 1835, you’ll be awed by the unique beauty of the islands as you take your first exploratory steps on Isla Seymour Norte—home to Blue-footed boobies and Magnificent Frigatebirds. Formed by volcanic uplift, the small island of scruffy vegetation is ideal nesting terrain. Get an up-close view of these birds’ quirky characteristics by hike and panga ride.
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DAY 3

Isla Isabela / Isla Fernandina
Explore Punta Vicente Roca, a marine site of impressive geological formations, by panga—your guide helps with decoding the visible clues of the islands’ fiery beginnings. Beyond the geology, spy winged residents including Blue-footed boobies and flightless cormorants. The wildly rocky coast with a partially sunken cave provides phenomenal conditions for a menagerie of fish and green sea turtles. If conditions allow, don your mask, fins, and snorkel and dive in for a close-up view! Later, stretch your legs on a guided walk experiencing one of the most pristine islands in the Galapagos, Isla Fernandina. The island’s active volcano erupted as recently as 2009. Thousands of marine iguanas reside here, and it’s also a favorite haunt of Galapagos penguins.
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DAY 4

Isla Isabela
Large in landmass and young at one million years old, Isla Isabela supports abundant wildlife. At Urbina Bay, a stroll among the island’s vegetation reveals large, colorful land iguanas and perhaps giant tortoises. Crossing from Urbina Bay to Tagus Cove, scan the water for whales and dolphins that frequent Bolivar Channel from one of La Pinta’s spacious decks. Dropping anchor at Tagus Cove—an otherworldly landscape of eroded tuff cones—there’s a chance to snorkel, kayak, or ride a panga before hiking the backside of Darwin Crater overlooking a saltwater lake and panoramic views. There’ll be excellent opportunities for viewing penguins, Galapagos hawks, cormorants, petrified rain (bits of lava that cooled quickly after contacting water), and old signatures from pirates and whalers etched into the rock, the oldest dating back to 1836.
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DAY 5

Isla Rabida / Isla Santa Cruz
Isla Rabida’s unusual red beach is a favorite sunbathing spot for sea lions and marine iguanas. Go eye-to-eye with Blue-footed and Nazca boobies, Yellow Warblers, several species of Darwin’s Finches, and pelicans. The warm maroon-colored beach also makes a great jumping in spot for from-the-beach snorkeling. Or keep your eyes above the waterline, inspecting marine life from the glass-bottom boat. You’ll have a birds-eye view from Isla Santa Cruz hiking Cerro Dragon—or Dragon Hill—and enjoy a well-earned panorama of the island’s interior, and possibly even flamingos and lounging land iguanas.
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DAY 6

Isla Santa Cruz
Today, it’s all about the magnificent giant tortoise. Touring the Charles Darwin Research Station, you’ll witness the exceptional conservation program where baby tortoises, “galapaguitos,” are reared in protective captivity until they are old enough to safely repatriate back to their native areas. Embrace Galapagos conservation by learning about threats that still endanger this fragile ecosystem. Bring your passport along if you’d like a special Galapagos stamp. Time permitting, stroll through town as you please. After lunch at the Finch Bay Eco Hotel, explore the misty, forested highlands and see the lumbering tortoises in their natural habitat.
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DAY 7

Isla Floreana
Your day will be chock-full of adventure, with opportunities to snorkel, hike, kayak, skiff, ride the glass-bottom boat, or simply relax on the beach. Send a note home from Post Office Bay, dropping your postcard in Isla Floreana’s famous, historic barrel mailbox. A hike at Baroness Viewpoint provides the perfect vantage for a photo-op. Then take in the island’s geologic history with a panga ride or kayak investigation of its maze of volcanic channels. A tale of two beaches: walk along the green olivine beach of Punta Cormorant to a brackish lagoon known to be a flamingo hideout, then it's on to a white-sand beach where green sea turtles come ashore to nest.
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DAY 8

Isla Baltra / Guayaquil – Disembarkation
Your adventure of a lifetime aboard La Pinta concludes back on Isla Baltra. From here, transfer to the airport for your flight to Guayaquil—where you’ll await your connecting flight home, or if you’ve opted for our Machu Picchu extension, continue on to Quito, Ecuador for your flight to Lima, Peru.


Passport required. Itineraries are guidelines; variations in itinerary and the order days may occur to maximize your experience.

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Rates and Dates

Fares are per person double occupancy, in USD. Triple rates are available in designated cabins (refer to deck plan); inquire for pricing details.

View fare details

Departure Dates

Select year and month to view rates

2021
Jan
2021
Feb
2021
Apr
2021
May
2021
Jun
2021
Jul
2021
Aug
2021
Sep
2021

Jan 07

2021

Guayaquil to Guayaquil
270_180_la_pinta.jpg
La Pinta

La Pinta was designed to keep the magnificent surroundings in the spotlight. Three spacious decks, an outdoor Sky Bar, and an Observation Lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows provide vantage points to absorb and witness the scenery around you. This elegant vessel is outfitted with modern, nautical décor and while the yacht is sophisticated, the atmosphere is relaxed.

Specs:

  • 48 guests
  • 24 cabins
  • 27 crew members
  • 209 feet in length
  • 41 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 10 knots
  • Registered in Ecuador
  • 1.7:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Captain
$9,195
Admiral
$9,745
Single
$16,095
Charter
N/A
Port taxes/fees
$0

Feb 18

2021

Guayaquil to Guayaquil
270_180_la_pinta.jpg
La Pinta

La Pinta was designed to keep the magnificent surroundings in the spotlight. Three spacious decks, an outdoor Sky Bar, and an Observation Lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows provide vantage points to absorb and witness the scenery around you. This elegant vessel is outfitted with modern, nautical décor and while the yacht is sophisticated, the atmosphere is relaxed.

Specs:

  • 48 guests
  • 24 cabins
  • 27 crew members
  • 209 feet in length
  • 41 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 10 knots
  • Registered in Ecuador
  • 1.7:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Captain
$9,195
Admiral
$9,745
Single
$16,095
Charter
N/A
Port taxes/fees
$0

Apr 29

2021

Guayaquil to Guayaquil
270_180_la_pinta.jpg
La Pinta

La Pinta was designed to keep the magnificent surroundings in the spotlight. Three spacious decks, an outdoor Sky Bar, and an Observation Lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows provide vantage points to absorb and witness the scenery around you. This elegant vessel is outfitted with modern, nautical décor and while the yacht is sophisticated, the atmosphere is relaxed.

Specs:

  • 48 guests
  • 24 cabins
  • 27 crew members
  • 209 feet in length
  • 41 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 10 knots
  • Registered in Ecuador
  • 1.7:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Captain
$9,195
Admiral
$9,745
Single
$16,095
Charter
N/A
Port taxes/fees
$0

May 27

2021

Guayaquil to Guayaquil
270_180_la_pinta.jpg
La Pinta

La Pinta was designed to keep the magnificent surroundings in the spotlight. Three spacious decks, an outdoor Sky Bar, and an Observation Lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows provide vantage points to absorb and witness the scenery around you. This elegant vessel is outfitted with modern, nautical décor and while the yacht is sophisticated, the atmosphere is relaxed.

Specs:

  • 48 guests
  • 24 cabins
  • 27 crew members
  • 209 feet in length
  • 41 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 10 knots
  • Registered in Ecuador
  • 1.7:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Captain
$9,195
Admiral
$9,745
Single
$16,095
Charter
N/A
Port taxes/fees
$0

Jun 24

2021

Guayaquil to Guayaquil
270_180_la_pinta.jpg
La Pinta

La Pinta was designed to keep the magnificent surroundings in the spotlight. Three spacious decks, an outdoor Sky Bar, and an Observation Lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows provide vantage points to absorb and witness the scenery around you. This elegant vessel is outfitted with modern, nautical décor and while the yacht is sophisticated, the atmosphere is relaxed.

Specs:

  • 48 guests
  • 24 cabins
  • 27 crew members
  • 209 feet in length
  • 41 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 10 knots
  • Registered in Ecuador
  • 1.7:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Captain
$9,195
Admiral
$9,745
Single
$16,095
Charter
N/A
Port taxes/fees
$0

Jul 08

2021

Guayaquil to Guayaquil
270_180_la_pinta.jpg
La Pinta

La Pinta was designed to keep the magnificent surroundings in the spotlight. Three spacious decks, an outdoor Sky Bar, and an Observation Lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows provide vantage points to absorb and witness the scenery around you. This elegant vessel is outfitted with modern, nautical décor and while the yacht is sophisticated, the atmosphere is relaxed.

Specs:

  • 48 guests
  • 24 cabins
  • 27 crew members
  • 209 feet in length
  • 41 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 10 knots
  • Registered in Ecuador
  • 1.7:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Captain
$9,195
Admiral
$9,745
Single
$16,095
Charter
N/A
Port taxes/fees
$0

Aug 05

2021

Guayaquil to Guayaquil
270_180_la_pinta.jpg
La Pinta

La Pinta was designed to keep the magnificent surroundings in the spotlight. Three spacious decks, an outdoor Sky Bar, and an Observation Lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows provide vantage points to absorb and witness the scenery around you. This elegant vessel is outfitted with modern, nautical décor and while the yacht is sophisticated, the atmosphere is relaxed.

Specs:

  • 48 guests
  • 24 cabins
  • 27 crew members
  • 209 feet in length
  • 41 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 10 knots
  • Registered in Ecuador
  • 1.7:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Captain
$9,195
Admiral
$9,745
Single
$16,095
Charter
N/A
Port taxes/fees
$0

Sep 30

2021

Guayaquil to Guayaquil
270_180_la_pinta.jpg
La Pinta

La Pinta was designed to keep the magnificent surroundings in the spotlight. Three spacious decks, an outdoor Sky Bar, and an Observation Lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows provide vantage points to absorb and witness the scenery around you. This elegant vessel is outfitted with modern, nautical décor and while the yacht is sophisticated, the atmosphere is relaxed.

Specs:

  • 48 guests
  • 24 cabins
  • 27 crew members
  • 209 feet in length
  • 41 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 10 knots
  • Registered in Ecuador
  • 1.7:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Captain
$9,195
Admiral
$9,745
Single
$16,095
Charter
N/A
Port taxes/fees
$0

Ports & Places

The places you visit play a starring role throughout every journey. While this list isn’t exhaustive of every nook-and-cranny you’ll explore along the way, we’ve included descriptions of key ports and places to help you get to know the wilderness areas, landmark locations, notable regions, and coastal towns relevant to this itinerary.

Departure Dates

Select year and month to view rates

2021
Jan
2021
Feb
2021
Apr
2021
May
2021
Jun
2021
Jul
2021
Aug
2021
Sep
2021
Photo of a Galapagos Land Iguana on Isla Baltra in the Galapagos Islands

Isla Baltra

A small island off the north coast of Isla Santa Cruz, Baltra was a U.S. Air Force Base during World War II and today is both an Ecuadorean military base and the location of the mainland airport. Palo Santo trees, prickly pear cactus, and saltbush vegetate this small island, home to frigatebirds and boobies. Isla Baltra is also the location of an active conservation program to reintroduce the Galapagos Land Iguana back to the island.

Photo of marine iguanas on rocks on Isla Fernandina in the Galapagos

Isla Fernandina

Officially the youngest island, and the most pristine in the archipelago, Isla Fernandina was named in honour of King Ferdinand II who sponsored Columbus’s voyage. At about 1 million years old, Fernandina is still volcanically active—the steeps of the volcano provide astounding views of the landscape—with the most recent eruption occurring in 2009. The landscape of the island has visibly changed since European discovery with the relatively frequent volcanic activity. In addition to its evolving landscape, Isla Fernandina also sits in a unique position within the ocean. Cold waters of the Cromwell Current hit the archipelago from the west, and this western most island reaps the benefits. The cold upwelling of water is a boon for marine life, particularly flightless cormorants and Galapagos penquins. Fernandina hosts hundreds of marine iguanas who sun themselves on black lava rocks, and Galapagos hawks, pelicans, and sea lions are all abundant here.

Sally Lightfoot crab on a rocky beach on Isla Floreana in the Galapagos

Isla Floreana

The first post office in the islands was established on Isla Floreana in the 1790s by whalers—and the historic barrel that has served as the archipelago’s post office for over two centuries is still in use today. First colonized by Ecuadorians in the mid-1800s, the island has an interesting human history, including several intriguing mysteries of prominent settlers who went missing. Floreana’s current human residents are predominantly farmers.

Located at the southern end of the archipelago, Isla Floreana’s prominent high point is an extinct volcano that reaches to about 2,100 feet. One of the island’s most unique locations, Punta Cormorant, is host to a wide range of species. On one side, pintail ducks, stilts, large-billed flycatchers, several species of finch, and many other shorebirds can be seen on a green olivine-crystal beach—including greater flamingos, who hide out at a brackish lagoon behind the beach. On the other side of the point, a white sand coral beach is a nesting ground for green sea turtles. In addition to turtles and birds, Isla Floreana’s islets and sunken craters are vital habitat for marine life including colored fish, several species of shark, and eels.

Photo of Galapagos penguins on Isla Isabela in the Galapagos Islands

Isla Isabela

One of the younger islands in the Galapagos and the largest island with an area of 1,792 square miles, Isla Isabela was formed by six shield volcanos. The dramatic geologic origins of this island can be easily seen—remains of lava flows and tuff stone layers are readily visible. Once a favorite stopping point for pirates, this seahorse-shaped island—also known as Albemarle—was officially named in honour of Queen Isabela. There is abundant wildlife on and around Isabela. The cliffs that stretch deep into the water are prime habitat for green sea turtles and several species of whales ply the waters of Bolívar Channel. On land, the wild menagerie includes Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorants, marine iguanas, pelicans, Sally Lightfoot crabs, colourful land iguanas, Darwin finches, Galapagos hawks, Galapagos doves, and the huge Galapagos tortoises.

Photo of cacti on Isla Rabida in the Galapagos Islands

Isla Rabida

Small and arid, Isla Rabida has a fantastic, intriguing volcanic landscape. Steep slopes of the craters reach down to a wide reaching beach colored a startling, unexpected maroon. Rich in iron, Rabida is distinctively red from its sand to its old lava flows. Along the beach, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, and yellow warblers can be observed going about their daily business. Brown pelicans, blue-footed boobies, and Nazca boobies are found in salt brush and cliffs behind the beach. Inland among cacti, palo santo trees, and scrubby brush, Galapagos doves, and several species of Darwin’s finches can be found.

An UnCruise Adventures guest photographing a Galapagos giant tortoise on Isla Santa Cruz

Isla Santa Cruz

The second largest by land size and largest by population, Isla Santa Cruz is geographically located in the center of all the other islands. Known for its giant tortoise populations, the island has seen much change from the influence of its human inhabitants and has become a nucleus for conservation efforts.

One of the results of human development and change can be seen at the impressive Charles Darwin Research Center and Fausto Llerena Tortoise Center. In the 1960s, it was discovered that only 14 of the Española giant tortoises remained. In an effort to protect and save these and the other species of Galapagos giant tortoises, the centers piloted an incredible conservation program. Since, they have successfully raised and released several thousand of these wondrous and magnificent creatures safely back to their native islands.

The giant tortoises can be observed at the Tortoise Center and also in their natural habitat. Renowned for its lava tubes, Santa Cruz has several diverse zones from the dry, volcanic coastal zone to the misty, forested highlands where lumbering tortoises can be seen. In addition to the tortoise, Santa Cruz and its coastal islets are home to blue-footed boobies, reef sharks, Galapagos penguins, rainbow-colored Sally Lightfoot crabs, and frigatebirds. The marvelous hiking on land is matched only by the fantastic snorkeling and diving in the water.

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Isla Seymour Norte

A beautiful, flat island, brushy Isla Seymour Norte is located near Isla Baltra, and like its neighbour, was created by the uplift of a submarine lava formation. The island boasts a large population of blue-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, sea lions and land iguanas. It also is home to one of the largest populations of frigate birds. Nazca boobies and pelicans are also frequently seen on the island. Unique to Isla Seymour Norte, cliffs located only a few feet from the shoreline are a big attractant for the island’s large populations of birds, as is its small forest of palo santo trees.

Extend Your Experience

Photo of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu in Peru; post-cruise land packages to tour this historic site are available through UnCruise Adventures

LAND PACKAGE

Machu Picchu – Post-Cruise
2020-21 RATES: From $4,945

After your Galapagos adventure, opt for a 6-night guided Peruvian land tour to another bucket list destination. Travel by air and coach exploring famed Inca lands, the Sacred Valley, Cusco, Lima, and legendary Machu Picchu.

6 Nights

Summary

Package Includes:

  • All services, tours, lodging, food and beverages (non-alcoholic) with meals as noted in the trip description, plus taxes, tourist tickets, and entrance fees
  • All excursions come with an English language guide
  • International airfare (Guayaquil, Ecuador - Lima, Peru) as noted in the itinerary description
  • Domestic airfare (Lima-Cusco-Lima) as noted in the itinerary description

Package does not include:

  • Early check-in, late check-out, services and food not listed in the itinerary, beverages during the meals, hotel extras, and personal expenses
  • Tips/gratuities for guides, drivers, and hotel staff
Photo of the exterior of the Wyndham Guayaquil hotel, overlooking the waterfront of Guayaquil, Ecuador

HOTEL STAY

Wyndham Guayaquil
2020 RATES: From $105

Overlooking Guayaquil’s waterfront, Wyndham Guayaquil is an ideal spot to launch your Galapagos adventure. This luxurious hotel is just a few miles from the airport, a short walk to the historic Las Penas neighborhood and its historic lighthouse, and minutes to the Malecon 2000 river walk lined with shops and restaurants. Explore the city or take it in from the comfort of the hotel.

Summary

Prices are per person and in USD. Deluxe guest rooms provide a king bed or two double beds. 2 adults maximum per room.

Vessels for this Itinerary

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La Pinta

In one of the world’s greatest marine environments you can be sure your surroundings are front and center. From bow to stern, the elegant and sophisticated La Pinta recently received a full interior makeover and would steal the show anywhere less impressive. Instead, she’s the perfect complement to the great outdoors. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the lounge showcase the views with a décor that nods to the nautical. Geared up for adventure play and wildlife, the yacht also has a fun-to-explore expedition room lined with maps and artwork, a canopied terrace, and an alfresco dining area. Her Ecuadorian crew exudes friendliness, fueled by pride in their vessel, the Galapagos Islands, and a desire to share them both. Because some good things are too good to keep secret.

Onboard Features: Three public decks; on-deck hot tub; exercise room with fitness equipment; expedition room; outdoor Sky Bar and observation lounge

Cabin Features: Floor-to-ceiling view windows; air conditioning; universal docking station; hair dryer, conditioning shampoo, body wash; in-room safe deposit box

Destination: Galapagos

770x821-La-Pinta-lowres.jpg
  • 48 guests
  • 24 cabins
  • 27 crew members
  • 209 feet in length
  • 41 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 10 knots
  • Registered in Ecuador
  • 1.7:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
170x128-La_Pinta_Captain_cabin_2020.jpg

301-320
Sitting area; queen, fixed queen, or twin beds; desk and chair; private bath with shower; safe deposit box

170x128-La_Pinta_Admiral_cabin_2020.jpg

321-324
Sitting area with foldout couch; queen or twin beds; desk and chair; private bath with shower; safe deposit box