Galápagos Wildlife Adventure Cruise | Mountain Travel Sobek

Contact Us|1-888-831-7526

Galápagos Wildlife Adventure Cruise

Trip Length 11 days

From $5,895

  • Visit the Enchanted Islands with the pioneers in Galápagos small-group travel and sail by deluxe, privately chartered yacht—a fully MTS operated and expert-led experience!
  • Anchor at nature’s doorstep and encounter incredible endemic wildlife, including giant tortoises, marine iguanas, penguins, and much more, with the full leadership of certified Class III naturalists
  • Hike, snorkel and kayak among exquisite volcanic landscapes in one of the world’s top nature destinations, while our specialist yacht crew and dedicated in-country staff attend to every need
  • Relax in style aboard your luxury yacht and bookend your trip with a stay at a 5-star hotel in the beautiful colonial city of Quito

Come aboard your luxury cruise through one of the most exotic places on earth! On an MTS voyage, you’ll experience the Galápagos in the comfort of your own private charter yacht with first class service and regional expertise that is second to none! Each island is a world unto itself, boasting rare wildlife found nowhere else in the world. You’ll get an intimate glimpse of the giant tortoises for whom the islands are named, the clownish blue-footed booby, playful sea lions, colorful iguanas and lizards, the beautiful waved albatross, and the famous flightless cormorant—not to mention the incredibly diverse and rich marine life you’ll encounter underwater! Hiking, swimming, sea kayaking, and snorkeling all offer you plenty of opportunities to have your own experience with this wildlife paradise.

Since our first time leading this trip in 1970, it has not only become one of our most interactive trips, but also one of the most comprehensive tours of the Galápagos available, period. Over the past 45 years, we've forged long-standing relationships with the best yacht owners, and have continuously fine-tuned our itineraries to bring our guests the best Galápagos has to offer time and time again. Our top notch, National Park-certified naturalist guides are hand selected for their experience, depth of expertise, and passion for sharing these enchanted islands with others. They are natural teachers and will walk you through every step of your adventure. And to top it all off, you’ll enjoy best-in-the-business support through our in-country office in Quito throughout your voyage. Expertise like this is only found at MTS.

Check out our sample itinerary and learn more about cruising the Galápagos with MTS!

 

Galápagos Conservancy

Anchor at nature’s doorstep on our August 3, 2017 departure and encounter incredible endemic wildlife, including giant tortoises, marine iguanas, penguins, and more, with the full leadership of certified Class III naturalists. On this departure MTS will be donating 10% of the trip price per guest to the Galapagos Conservancy, which is dedicated exclusively to the long-term protection of the Galápagos Islands, working closely with the Charles Darwin Foundation and Galápagos National Park.

Day 1: Arrive in Quito, Ecuador

Please note that this is a sample Galápagos itinerary.

Welcome to the historic city of Quito, the capital of Ecuador! An MTS representative will meet you outside customs at the airport and escort you to your five-star hotel. The drive takes you along a scenic route up to over 9,200 feet in altitude, following part of the route that the early Spanish conquistadors once used back in 1534. Before reaching the city, you’ll wind up the switchbacks of the ancient neighborhood of Guapulo, passing colorful graffiti and murals to the high plateau of Quito. After settling in at the hotel, the rest of the day is free unwind, take advantage of the pool’s spa services or begin your exploration of this dynamic city.

If time allows, we highly recommend visiting colonial Quito, a short cab ride from the hotel. This colorful neighborhood, one of UNESCO’s first declared World Heritage Sites, is rich with Spanish colonial architecture, gilded churches, lively restaurants, the Presidential Palace, museums and small shops. At the edge of Old Town, the recently renovated Calle La Ronda offers a beautiful and educational glimpse of Ecuador’s fine artisan goods, namely chocolate and coffee.

Dinner tonight is on your own to take advantage of the many restaurants surrounding the hotel.

  • Accommodation:Swissôtel

Day 2: Discover Quito and the Otavalo Market

After breakfast, the day is free to explore on your own. Choose to tour colonial Quito, visit a nearby cloud forest to view hummingbirds, or hire a driver to bring you to the famous craft market in Otavalo, a 2½- to 3-hour drive from Quito. We will help arrange day tours. Alternatively, take a 15-minute walk to the Mercado Artesenal La Mariscal where you can barter with artisans and vendors on everything from silver jewelry to alpaca blankets and Ecuador’s famous woven “Panama” hats. The Mariscal neighborhood also offers lively restaurants, bars and shops.

At 6:30pm sharp, the group will gather in the lobby of the hotel, where you’ll meet your MTS guide and fellow travelers for a briefing on the following morning’s flight to the Galápagos Islands. This is a great time to ask any last-minute questions.

Dinner is on your own tonight, and we recommend exploring the restaurants near the hotel—where you can find everything from Italian fare and sushi to traditional Ecuadorian food.

  • Breakfast
  • Accommodation:Swissôtel

Day 3: Journey to the Galápagos Islands and Explore the Highlands of Santa Cruz

After breakfast, we’ll depart for our flight from mainland Ecuador to the Galápagos Islands. Our plane lands on Baltra Island, where all visitors are required to pay the Galápagos National Park entry fee ($100 U.S., in cash). Our guide will meet us at baggage claim and help us retrieve our luggage, transfer to the dock in Baltra and catch the 5-minute water taxi across the strait to the island of Santa Cruz.

On Santa Cruz, we’ll board a private bus and transfer across the island into the highlands, and later to the island’s capital of Puerto Ayora where we’ll board our private charter yacht. Santa Cruz is the second largest of the Galápagos Islands, with the largest number of settlers anywhere in the archipelago at around 15,000 inhabitants. We’ll ride along the span, passing farms and fields of scalesia, the giant endemic scrub brush of the highlands. We’ll stop briefly at Los Gemelos, where we’ll see one of two twin volcanic craters, now covered in lush vegetation, before enjoying lunch at local restaurant.

This afternoon, take a short walk among the Galápagos’ iconic giant tortoises—our first glimpse of these ancient creatures, thought to have evolved very little since their pre-Jurassic beginnings. After learning about the conservation efforts to restore the giant tortoise populations to their original islands, we’ll continue on to the bustling town of Puerto Ayora, where we’ll board pangas, or zodiacs, which will take us to our private charter yacht. After settling into our private staterooms, we’ll enjoy the first of many memorable dinners together.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:The Reina Silvia OR The Galaxy OR The EcoGalaxy

Day 4: Sail to Floreana Island’s Punta Cormorant and Post Office Bay

Every day begins early, starting with a delicious breakfast buffet and the option of eggs cooked to order. After breakfast, we’ll suit up for a wet landing at Punta Cormorant on Floreana Island, locally known as “Green Beach” due to its volcanic olivine crystals. We’ll walk along a salt-water lagoon, observing flamingos and other wading birds to the trail’s end at “Flour Beach,” an extremely fine, white-sanded beach where sea turtles nest.

After our walk we will take a short panga ride to Champion Islet for a snorkeling excursion. Champion’s half-submerged crater located just off the island makes this an ideal spot for snorkeling, allowing us to see large schools of surgeonfish, multihued parrotfish, sea turtles, and occasionally a shy hammerhead in deeper water. We may even have the chance to swim with curious and playful sea lions—a true highlight of the trip!

After our three-course lunch (a daily occurrence onboard the yacht!), we’ll have some time to digest before taking a short panga ride to Post Office Bay. Centuries ago, whalers came here to drop their mail in a barrel for other passing sailors to retrieve and deliver back home. We’ll have a chance to participate in this seafarers’ tradition by leaving our mail in the famous Post Office barrel and picking up other travelers’ mail to hand deliver, as was the custom so long ago. We’ll then travel by chiva, a locally made open-air passenger vehicle, up a long dirt road into Floreana’s highlands, where we’ll visit a giant tortoise restoration project and learn the mysterious history of the island’s eccentric early settlers.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:The Reina Silvia OR The Galaxy OR The EcoGalaxy

Day 5: Visit Isabela's Punta Morena and Cruise Elizabeth Bay

Today begins on Isabela Island, the largest island in the Galápagos, made up of a series of active volcanoes. We’ll make a dry landing on this wild island at Punta Moreno, a vast lava field of pristine pahoehoe lava formations, surrounded by giant shield volcanoes and views of Alcedo and Sierra Azul. Here, we’ll have a chance to view flamingoes, gallinules, cormorants and ducks in the island’s brackish ponds and lagoons.

After lunch, we’ll rest before heading back to the island to snorkel among sea turtles, Galápagos penguins, rays and possibly some white-tipped sharks. We’ll then change clothes back on board and head out for a scenic panga cruise to Elizabeth Bay’s Mariela Rocks, a hotspot for Galápagos penguins. Our pangas will cruise into a cove surrounded by a large mangrove lagoon. In this quiet lagoon, we may see green sea turtles, penguins, as well as eagle rays, golden rays, flightless cormorants, and small sharks feeding.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:The Reina Silvia OR The Galaxy OR The EcoGalaxy

Day 6: Snorkel at Urbina Bay and Walk the Lava Fields of Fernandina’s Punta Espinosa

Today's journey begins on the island of Isabela, where we’ll head to shore via panga for a wet landing at Urbina Bay. We’ll begin with an easy walk through a thicket of endemic plants which shelter large Galápagos land iguanas, giant tortoises, Galápagos mockingbirds and cuckoos. Once back at the beach, we’ll have time to snorkel along the 50-year-old geologic uplift, allowing us to spot coral heads and other rare marine fossils, as well as sea turtles and marine iguanas.

This afternoon, we’ll briefly depart from Isabela's coastline and head to Fernandina Island’s Punta Espinosa—said to be the largest pristine island in the world and one of the highlights of the trip. Upon landing, we’ll walk on massive fields of hardened black lava, where we are likely to see countless marine iguanas, colorful Sally Lightfoot crabs and Galápagos sea lions lounging along its lagoons. A population of sperm whales and several species of dolphins inhabit the nutrient-rich waters of the archipelago’s northwest corner and can sometimes be spotted near Fernandina.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:The Reina Silvia OR The Galaxy OR The EcoGalaxy

Day 7: Explore Isabela’s Tagus Cove and the Cliffs of Punta Vincente Roca

Today we’ll explore Tagus Cove on Isabela, a calm and popular harbor among early explorers and pirates. Upon landing, we’ll view the cove where early visitors carved graffiti into the cliffs—usually the names of their ships and the date they landed. We’ll slowly climb uphill to Darwin Lake, a saltwater crater lake surrounded by tuff (a type of porous soil formed from volcanic ash). From the end of the trail, we’ll be able to see the vast lava flows that connect the volcanoes of Northern Isabela. We’ll then return to the cove and suit up for a kayaking and a snorkeling excursion along the cove’s surrounding cliffs, where we’ll see flightless cormorants, Sally Lightfoot crabs and possibly some Galápagos penguins.

This afternoon, we’ll disembark for a panga cruise along the dramatic cliffs of Punta Vincente. This breathtaking ride puts size into perspective quickly as we ride forceful swells beneath the cliffs and into caves in search of sea birds perched on the rocks. We’ll return to our yacht in time for cocktail hour as we cross the equator back into the Northern Hemisphere.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:The Reina Silvia OR The Galaxy OR The EcoGalaxy

Day 8: Espumilla Beach, Santiago, and the Tide Pools of Puerto Egas

This morning, we’ll board the pangas for a wet landing on Santiago’s soft, sandy Espumilla Beach, which takes its fine texture from volcanic ash. We’ll walk along its lagoon and beach in search of the endemic Galápagos hawk and ground finch. We’ll then return to the boat and suit up for a kayak and snorkel along the cliffs of Santiago. Perhaps our finest snorkel of the entire trip, we’ll be able to see an array of colorful marine life, including bump-headed parrotfish, angelfish, rays, sea turtles, sergeant majors and white-tipped reef sharks, to name a few.

After lunch, we’ll make our way to Santiago and land on the dark, sandy volcanic beach of Puerto Egas. The trail follows the rocky coastline, offering some of the best opportunities to explore tide pools—home to sponges, snails, hermit crabs, barnacles, and fish including the world’s only four-eyed blenny. Small groups of sea lions bask on the rocks, along with large numbers of marine iguanas and shore birds such as plovers, oystercatchers and herons. At the end of the trail, we'll visit the grottos—natural lava collapses that are home to a colony of Galápagos fur seals. This colony at Puerto Egas is one of the few places on the archipelago where you can get up close to this endemic species. Galápagos hawks are common in the area as well, so keep your eyes on the skies for this beautiful raptor.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:The Reina Silvia OR The Galaxy OR The EcoGalaxy

Day 9: Santa Cruz's Bachas Beach and North Seymour Island

Las Bachas is a beautiful, white-sand beach on the northern side of Santa Cruz, not far from Baltra and Caleta Tortuga. Here, we’ll encounter sea lions, and may have the chance to go swimming and snorkeling. In the tiny lagoon behind the beach, we sometimes see flamingos and great blue herons. Sea turtles also nest here from December to April, so we may see hatchlings’ footprints leading from the nest to the water’s edge.

After our last delicious lunch on board the yacht, we’ll disembark by panga for another snorkel and walk along the cliffs of nearby North Seymour Island. The island is known for its colonies of magnificent frigatebirds and blue-footed boobies, and on land, we’ll have a chance to spot huge land iguanas—the largest examples of this species found in the Galápagos. If conditions allow, we may even witness the courting rituals of these iconic islanders and possibly some surfing sea lions. Back on the boat tonight, we’ll enjoy a festive farewell cocktail hour and dinner with the crew and our fellow passengers, a fitting send-off for this unforgettable adventure!

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:The Reina Silvia OR The Galaxy OR The EcoGalaxy

Day 10: Return to Quito

This morning, we'll have a leisurely breakfast on board, before saying goodbye to the yacht crew and returning by panga to Baltra for our flights back to Quito. Once back in Quito, an MTS representative will meet us and transfer us to our hotel by around 3:30pm. After bidding farewell to the group, there may be time for some last-minute local sightseeing. Dinner is on your own tonight.

  • Breakfast
  • Accommodation:Swissôtel

Day 11: Depart from Ecuador

After another fabulous breakfast at the Swissôtel, an MTS representative can pick you up and transfer you to the airport for your flight home, or you may elect to join one of our extensions in Ecuador or Peru.

Please note that this is a sample itinerary and it may vary due to changes dictated by the Galápagos National Park, or by the yacht’s Captain because of weather or other conditions.

  • Breakfast

Aug 03 - 13, 2017 Sold Out - We are donating 10% of the trip price per guest to the Galapagos Conservancy

Aug 10 - 20, 2017 Sold out

Sep 07 - 17, 2017 Sold out

Dec 21 - 31, 2017 Galaxy - 1 cabin left

Dec 28, 2017 - Jan 07, 2018 Reina Silvia

Dec 28, 2017 - Jan 07, 2018 EcoGalaxy - Sold Out

Dec 28, 2017 - Jan 07, 2018 Galaxy

Jan 11 - 21, 2018 Reina Silvia

Feb 01 - 11, 2018 EcoGalaxy

Feb 15 - 25, 2018 Reina Silvia

Mar 15 - 25, 2018 Reina Silvia

Mar 29, 2018 - Apr 08, 2018 Reina Silvia

Apr 12 - 22, 2018 EcoGalaxy

May 10 - 20, 2018 Reina Silvia

May 17 - 27, 2018 EcoGalaxy

May 24, 2018 - Jun 03, 2018 Reina Silvia

Jun 14 - 24, 2018 EcoGalaxy

Jun 21, 2018 - Jul 01, 2018 Reina Silvia

Jul 12 - 22, 2018 Galaxy

Jul 26, 2018 - Aug 05, 2018 Reina Silvia

Aug 02 - 12, 2018 Reina Silvia

Aug 09 - 19, 2018 EcoGalaxy

Sep 13 - 23, 2018 Galaxy

Dec 20 - 30, 2018 Reina Silvia - Holiday departure

Dec 20 - 30, 2018 Galaxy - Holiday departure

pricing

2017 Pricing
$5,895   Aboard Reina Silvia and Galaxy
$5,995   Aboard EcoGalaxy
2018 Pricing
$5,895   Aboard Reina Silvia
$5,995   Aboard Galaxy
$6,095   Aboard EcoGalaxy

Additional Pricing:
$545 Internal airfare – subject to change
$100 Galápagos National Park fee
$20   Transit Control Card

$1,500 Single Supplement. $750 if you sign on as 'willing to share' with the same gender roommate.
$250 pp Holiday Surcharge applies to trips departing during December holidays

Children 6 and up are welcome.
For child discount, call for details. Holiday exclusions apply.

NOTE: For detailed itineraries on specific departure dates including day-by-day details, please call us at 1-888-831-7526 or email us at regionalspecialists@mtsobek.com.

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Swissôtel — Quito, Ecuador

This luxury hotel offers comfort and professional service in an excellent location close to the Old Town and the airport. Large, comfortable rooms and great views of the surrounding area from the top.

The EcoGalaxy — Galápagos, Ecuador

The EcoGalaxy (also known as the Galaxy II) is an 88-foot luxury catamaran with a capacity of 16 Galápagos adventurers. She sails with a highly trained crew of nine, and our Mountain Travel Sobek Galápagos National Park naturalist guide, and is one of the finest vessels of her size in the Galápagos. The EcoGalaxy accommodates guests in 8 staterooms that are all equipped with en-suite bathroom with a full-size shower, A/C, hairdryer, and telephone for internal communication. Other features include a dining room, bar and lounge, coffee and tea station, TV and DVD, library, open sundeck, inflatable tenders, kayaks, and snorkeling equipment. Designed to minimize her impact on the environment, the EcoGalaxy operates on low fuel consumption with state of the art water filters, LED illumination, solar panels for navigation equipment, high efficiency faucets, and more. Discover the Enchanted Islands in relaxed comfort onboard the EcoGalaxy.

More information and deck plan.

The Galaxy — Galápagos, Ecuador

The 115 foot long motor yacht Galaxy is the newest built yacht the we offer. She has 9 beautiful and comfortable double cabins with lower beds and outside views. Each cabin has en suite bathroom, air conditioning, hair dryer, telephone for internal communication, and safe boxes. The yacht features a dining room, bar and lounge, coffee station with tea, coffee, herbal infusions, and drinkable water all the time, TV and DVD, library, an open sundeck, inflatable tenders, kayaks, and snorkeling equipment.

More information and deck plan.

The Reina Silvia — Galápagos, Ecuador

At 90 feet long, the Reina Silvia was recently renovated and redesigned to create a pleasant atmosphere for groups of 12-16 guests. The yacht is fully air-conditioned and all cabins have en suite bathrooms with shower, vanity and lavatory. The yacht features up-to-date security, navigational and communications equipment. There is a spacious open-air lounge on the top deck, a swimming platform, kayaks, inflatable tenders, and snorkeling equipment.

More information and deck plan.

"My husband and I just returned from a week in the Galápagos. MTS created the perfect trip. Everything was well organized from start to finish. Our guide Luis was a wealth of knowledge and was excited to share it all with us. He scheduled several outings a day and each was different and exciting. The snorkeling was fascinating. And the crew on our boat catered to us and made us feel at home and safe at all times. We can't stop talking about this amazing trip!" Diane Levy          

"I would ABSOLUTELY recommend this trip. It was well planned and organized, and I saw some amazing things—whales, dolphins, sea lions...and more. It was a phenomenal vacation!" Tracy Sullivan

"Best trip that I have been on!" Bob Johansen

"I have traveled extensively and must say that Luis would be at the top of my list for outstanding, professional, personable, appropriate, caring tour leaders!" Sally Salzer

"This trip exceeded our expectations in every way. The scenery and wildlife were unlike any we've encountered before. It was truly amazing to be so close to the birds and animals. The guide was very knowledgeable and extremely personable. The small group was excellent and intimate. The service on the boat was first class and the chef was a genius." Mariana Nacht

"How could you ever beat the incredible flora and fauna of the Galápagos, with the most knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide possible...I loved everything about the trip!" Meriel Gregory

"I can't rave enough about Greg! If there were a category above EXCELLENT, I would have happily marked it." Judi Bauerlein & Mark Stephens

"This was the best experience I have ever had in my life. I loved everything about it and have no complaints. Thank you for making this trip so awesome!" Monica Brase

"Our trip was fabulous and exceeded our expectations.The boat was amazing, the other tourists were very interesting, and the wildlife was incredible." Chris Jordan & Elaine Kubota

"Simply put, it was the trip of a lifetime. Epic in every sense of the world." William G and Rebecca N

"The entire trip was outstanding including the destination, the trip itinerary, Sobek's organization, the crew, and our guide. The Galápagos as a travel destination is truly majestic." Patrick A

"Remarkable experience with an outstanding guide, comfortable boat and excellent crew/service. Itinerary and activities also outstanding." Gary & Pam H

"Outstanding! Her [Desiree Cruz] experience and involvement with local scientists made her extra-special." Diane S

"Luis is the epitome of what a guide should be. He was professional, enthusiastic, and genuinely cared for the passengers, animals, and the Galápagos Islands. I consider myself lucky to have been on a trip with him." Natalie & Isabelle

"I believe that this journey is an important experience to add to one's life." Sharon S

"This trip was so far beyond our expectations. At the end of the first day, after a spontaneous swim with more than three-dozen dolphins and having had a baby sea lion lick her toe, our 10-year-old daughter said "Mummy, this is the best day of my life." It was all gravy from that point and just kept getting better. Thank you." Alison M

"Our trip to Quito, Ecuador, the Galápagos Islands and the Ecuadorian rain forest was phenomenal and exceeded our expectations. The days were filled with nature walks, canoe rides and snorkeling to observe the unique animal, plant and marine life of Ecuador. Memories of the trip will never fade."  Stephen Anderson         

"Having visited the places that Darwin visited for his evolution theory makes you appreciate all we have in this world!" Laura Cope

"I have been on adventure travel trips to many places and with many companies, and this trip was the best ever—a wonderful, knowledgeable guide, a great boat and, of course, The Galapagos!" Dana Hiscock    

"The Galapagos trip is a once in a lifetime experience. So many great memories." Julia Stoessel

"If you've been thinking about visiting the Galapagos, this is your trip!!! Prepare to be amazed, challenged and spoiled!!! Timothy Corcoran

"My trip to the Galapagos was absolutely fantastic. I had sea lions blowing bubbles in my face, saw thousands of fish, and had one of the best trips of my life." Sherri Fries

"This trip would definitely be rated as one of my top 3 vacations. This way surpassed by expectations." Linda Saris         

"Action-packed adventure. Always something new to see and do." James Chesterfield              

"I've taken six MTS trips and they have all exceeded my expectations. The staff, the food, the logistics and the communications have always been exceptional. Thank you for being my "go to" adventure travel company!" Margaret Idema

"The trip to Quito and the Galápagos was as close to perfection as I could imagine. The guide Greg Estes was exceptional in his knowledge base of the islands and his enthusiasm was contagious. The crew aboard the yacht was outstanding and looked out for your safety every step of the way." Santford Overton

  • Visit the Enchanted Islands with the pioneers in Galápagos small-group travel and sail by deluxe, privately chartered yacht—a fully MTS operated and expert-led experience!
  • Anchor at nature’s doorstep and encounter incredible endemic wildlife, including giant tortoises, marine iguanas, penguins, and much more, with the full leadership of certified Class III naturalists
  • Hike, snorkel and kayak among exquisite volcanic landscapes in one of the world’s top nature destinations, while our specialist yacht crew and dedicated in-country staff attend to every need
  • Relax in style aboard your luxury yacht and bookend your trip with a stay at a 5-star hotel in the beautiful colonial city of Quito

Come aboard your luxury cruise through one of the most exotic places on earth! On an MTS voyage, you’ll experience the Galápagos in the comfort of your own private charter yacht with first class service and regional expertise that is second to none! Each island is a world unto itself, boasting rare wildlife found nowhere else in the world. You’ll get an intimate glimpse of the giant tortoises for whom the islands are named, the clownish blue-footed booby, playful sea lions, colorful iguanas and lizards, the beautiful waved albatross, and the famous flightless cormorant—not to mention the incredibly diverse and rich marine life you’ll encounter underwater! Hiking, swimming, sea kayaking, and snorkeling all offer you plenty of opportunities to have your own experience with this wildlife paradise.

Since our first time leading this trip in 1970, it has not only become one of our most interactive trips, but also one of the most comprehensive tours of the Galápagos available, period. Over the past 45 years, we've forged long-standing relationships with the best yacht owners, and have continuously fine-tuned our itineraries to bring our guests the best Galápagos has to offer time and time again. Our top notch, National Park-certified naturalist guides are hand selected for their experience, depth of expertise, and passion for sharing these enchanted islands with others. They are natural teachers and will walk you through every step of your adventure. And to top it all off, you’ll enjoy best-in-the-business support through our in-country office in Quito throughout your voyage. Expertise like this is only found at MTS.

Check out our sample itinerary and learn more about cruising the Galápagos with MTS!

 

Galápagos Conservancy

Anchor at nature’s doorstep on our August 3, 2017 departure and encounter incredible endemic wildlife, including giant tortoises, marine iguanas, penguins, and more, with the full leadership of certified Class III naturalists. On this departure MTS will be donating 10% of the trip price per guest to the Galapagos Conservancy, which is dedicated exclusively to the long-term protection of the Galápagos Islands, working closely with the Charles Darwin Foundation and Galápagos National Park.

reviews

"My husband and I just returned from a week in the Galápagos. MTS created the perfect trip. Everything was well organized from start to finish. Our guide Luis was a wealth of knowledge and was excited to share it all with us. He scheduled several outings a day and each was different and exciting. The snorkeling was fascinating. And the crew on our boat catered to us and made us feel at home and safe at all times. We can't stop talking about this amazing trip!" Diane Levy          

"I would ABSOLUTELY recommend this trip. It was well planned and organized, and I saw some amazing things—whales, dolphins, sea lions...and more. It was a phenomenal vacation!" Tracy Sullivan

"Best trip that I have been on!" Bob Johansen

"I have traveled extensively and must say that Luis would be at the top of my list for outstanding, professional, personable, appropriate, caring tour leaders!" Sally Salzer

"This trip exceeded our expectations in every way. The scenery and wildlife were unlike any we've encountered before. It was truly amazing to be so close to the birds and animals. The guide was very knowledgeable and extremely personable. The small group was excellent and intimate. The service on the boat was first class and the chef was a genius." Mariana Nacht

"How could you ever beat the incredible flora and fauna of the Galápagos, with the most knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide possible...I loved everything about the trip!" Meriel Gregory

"I can't rave enough about Greg! If there were a category above EXCELLENT, I would have happily marked it." Judi Bauerlein & Mark Stephens

"This was the best experience I have ever had in my life. I loved everything about it and have no complaints. Thank you for making this trip so awesome!" Monica Brase

"Our trip was fabulous and exceeded our expectations.The boat was amazing, the other tourists were very interesting, and the wildlife was incredible." Chris Jordan & Elaine Kubota

"Simply put, it was the trip of a lifetime. Epic in every sense of the world." William G and Rebecca N

"The entire trip was outstanding including the destination, the trip itinerary, Sobek's organization, the crew, and our guide. The Galápagos as a travel destination is truly majestic." Patrick A

"Remarkable experience with an outstanding guide, comfortable boat and excellent crew/service. Itinerary and activities also outstanding." Gary & Pam H

"Outstanding! Her [Desiree Cruz] experience and involvement with local scientists made her extra-special." Diane S

"Luis is the epitome of what a guide should be. He was professional, enthusiastic, and genuinely cared for the passengers, animals, and the Galápagos Islands. I consider myself lucky to have been on a trip with him." Natalie & Isabelle

"I believe that this journey is an important experience to add to one's life." Sharon S

"This trip was so far beyond our expectations. At the end of the first day, after a spontaneous swim with more than three-dozen dolphins and having had a baby sea lion lick her toe, our 10-year-old daughter said "Mummy, this is the best day of my life." It was all gravy from that point and just kept getting better. Thank you." Alison M

"Our trip to Quito, Ecuador, the Galápagos Islands and the Ecuadorian rain forest was phenomenal and exceeded our expectations. The days were filled with nature walks, canoe rides and snorkeling to observe the unique animal, plant and marine life of Ecuador. Memories of the trip will never fade."  Stephen Anderson         

"Having visited the places that Darwin visited for his evolution theory makes you appreciate all we have in this world!" Laura Cope

"I have been on adventure travel trips to many places and with many companies, and this trip was the best ever—a wonderful, knowledgeable guide, a great boat and, of course, The Galapagos!" Dana Hiscock    

"The Galapagos trip is a once in a lifetime experience. So many great memories." Julia Stoessel

"If you've been thinking about visiting the Galapagos, this is your trip!!! Prepare to be amazed, challenged and spoiled!!! Timothy Corcoran

"My trip to the Galapagos was absolutely fantastic. I had sea lions blowing bubbles in my face, saw thousands of fish, and had one of the best trips of my life." Sherri Fries

"This trip would definitely be rated as one of my top 3 vacations. This way surpassed by expectations." Linda Saris         

"Action-packed adventure. Always something new to see and do." James Chesterfield              

"I've taken six MTS trips and they have all exceeded my expectations. The staff, the food, the logistics and the communications have always been exceptional. Thank you for being my "go to" adventure travel company!" Margaret Idema

"The trip to Quito and the Galápagos was as close to perfection as I could imagine. The guide Greg Estes was exceptional in his knowledge base of the islands and his enthusiasm was contagious. The crew aboard the yacht was outstanding and looked out for your safety every step of the way." Santford Overton

DAILY itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Quito, Ecuador

Please note that this is a sample Galápagos itinerary.

Welcome to the historic city of Quito, the capital of Ecuador! An MTS representative will meet you outside customs at the airport and escort you to your five-star hotel. The drive takes you along a scenic route up to over 9,200 feet in altitude, following part of the route that the early Spanish conquistadors once used back in 1534. Before reaching the city, you’ll wind up the switchbacks of the ancient neighborhood of Guapulo, passing colorful graffiti and murals to the high plateau of Quito. After settling in at the hotel, the rest of the day is free unwind, take advantage of the pool’s spa services or begin your exploration of this dynamic city.

If time allows, we highly recommend visiting colonial Quito, a short cab ride from the hotel. This colorful neighborhood, one of UNESCO’s first declared World Heritage Sites, is rich with Spanish colonial architecture, gilded churches, lively restaurants, the Presidential Palace, museums and small shops. At the edge of Old Town, the recently renovated Calle La Ronda offers a beautiful and educational glimpse of Ecuador’s fine artisan goods, namely chocolate and coffee.

Dinner tonight is on your own to take advantage of the many restaurants surrounding the hotel.

  • Accommodation:Swissôtel

Day 2: Discover Quito and the Otavalo Market

After breakfast, the day is free to explore on your own. Choose to tour colonial Quito, visit a nearby cloud forest to view hummingbirds, or hire a driver to bring you to the famous craft market in Otavalo, a 2½- to 3-hour drive from Quito. We will help arrange day tours. Alternatively, take a 15-minute walk to the Mercado Artesenal La Mariscal where you can barter with artisans and vendors on everything from silver jewelry to alpaca blankets and Ecuador’s famous woven “Panama” hats. The Mariscal neighborhood also offers lively restaurants, bars and shops.

At 6:30pm sharp, the group will gather in the lobby of the hotel, where you’ll meet your MTS guide and fellow travelers for a briefing on the following morning’s flight to the Galápagos Islands. This is a great time to ask any last-minute questions.

Dinner is on your own tonight, and we recommend exploring the restaurants near the hotel—where you can find everything from Italian fare and sushi to traditional Ecuadorian food.

  • Breakfast
  • Accommodation:Swissôtel

Day 3: Journey to the Galápagos Islands and Explore the Highlands of Santa Cruz

After breakfast, we’ll depart for our flight from mainland Ecuador to the Galápagos Islands. Our plane lands on Baltra Island, where all visitors are required to pay the Galápagos National Park entry fee ($100 U.S., in cash). Our guide will meet us at baggage claim and help us retrieve our luggage, transfer to the dock in Baltra and catch the 5-minute water taxi across the strait to the island of Santa Cruz.

On Santa Cruz, we’ll board a private bus and transfer across the island into the highlands, and later to the island’s capital of Puerto Ayora where we’ll board our private charter yacht. Santa Cruz is the second largest of the Galápagos Islands, with the largest number of settlers anywhere in the archipelago at around 15,000 inhabitants. We’ll ride along the span, passing farms and fields of scalesia, the giant endemic scrub brush of the highlands. We’ll stop briefly at Los Gemelos, where we’ll see one of two twin volcanic craters, now covered in lush vegetation, before enjoying lunch at local restaurant.

This afternoon, take a short walk among the Galápagos’ iconic giant tortoises—our first glimpse of these ancient creatures, thought to have evolved very little since their pre-Jurassic beginnings. After learning about the conservation efforts to restore the giant tortoise populations to their original islands, we’ll continue on to the bustling town of Puerto Ayora, where we’ll board pangas, or zodiacs, which will take us to our private charter yacht. After settling into our private staterooms, we’ll enjoy the first of many memorable dinners together.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:The Reina Silvia OR The Galaxy OR The EcoGalaxy

Day 4: Sail to Floreana Island’s Punta Cormorant and Post Office Bay

Every day begins early, starting with a delicious breakfast buffet and the option of eggs cooked to order. After breakfast, we’ll suit up for a wet landing at Punta Cormorant on Floreana Island, locally known as “Green Beach” due to its volcanic olivine crystals. We’ll walk along a salt-water lagoon, observing flamingos and other wading birds to the trail’s end at “Flour Beach,” an extremely fine, white-sanded beach where sea turtles nest.

After our walk we will take a short panga ride to Champion Islet for a snorkeling excursion. Champion’s half-submerged crater located just off the island makes this an ideal spot for snorkeling, allowing us to see large schools of surgeonfish, multihued parrotfish, sea turtles, and occasionally a shy hammerhead in deeper water. We may even have the chance to swim with curious and playful sea lions—a true highlight of the trip!

After our three-course lunch (a daily occurrence onboard the yacht!), we’ll have some time to digest before taking a short panga ride to Post Office Bay. Centuries ago, whalers came here to drop their mail in a barrel for other passing sailors to retrieve and deliver back home. We’ll have a chance to participate in this seafarers’ tradition by leaving our mail in the famous Post Office barrel and picking up other travelers’ mail to hand deliver, as was the custom so long ago. We’ll then travel by chiva, a locally made open-air passenger vehicle, up a long dirt road into Floreana’s highlands, where we’ll visit a giant tortoise restoration project and learn the mysterious history of the island’s eccentric early settlers.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:The Reina Silvia OR The Galaxy OR The EcoGalaxy

Day 5: Visit Isabela's Punta Morena and Cruise Elizabeth Bay

Today begins on Isabela Island, the largest island in the Galápagos, made up of a series of active volcanoes. We’ll make a dry landing on this wild island at Punta Moreno, a vast lava field of pristine pahoehoe lava formations, surrounded by giant shield volcanoes and views of Alcedo and Sierra Azul. Here, we’ll have a chance to view flamingoes, gallinules, cormorants and ducks in the island’s brackish ponds and lagoons.

After lunch, we’ll rest before heading back to the island to snorkel among sea turtles, Galápagos penguins, rays and possibly some white-tipped sharks. We’ll then change clothes back on board and head out for a scenic panga cruise to Elizabeth Bay’s Mariela Rocks, a hotspot for Galápagos penguins. Our pangas will cruise into a cove surrounded by a large mangrove lagoon. In this quiet lagoon, we may see green sea turtles, penguins, as well as eagle rays, golden rays, flightless cormorants, and small sharks feeding.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:The Reina Silvia OR The Galaxy OR The EcoGalaxy

Day 6: Snorkel at Urbina Bay and Walk the Lava Fields of Fernandina’s Punta Espinosa

Today's journey begins on the island of Isabela, where we’ll head to shore via panga for a wet landing at Urbina Bay. We’ll begin with an easy walk through a thicket of endemic plants which shelter large Galápagos land iguanas, giant tortoises, Galápagos mockingbirds and cuckoos. Once back at the beach, we’ll have time to snorkel along the 50-year-old geologic uplift, allowing us to spot coral heads and other rare marine fossils, as well as sea turtles and marine iguanas.

This afternoon, we’ll briefly depart from Isabela's coastline and head to Fernandina Island’s Punta Espinosa—said to be the largest pristine island in the world and one of the highlights of the trip. Upon landing, we’ll walk on massive fields of hardened black lava, where we are likely to see countless marine iguanas, colorful Sally Lightfoot crabs and Galápagos sea lions lounging along its lagoons. A population of sperm whales and several species of dolphins inhabit the nutrient-rich waters of the archipelago’s northwest corner and can sometimes be spotted near Fernandina.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:The Reina Silvia OR The Galaxy OR The EcoGalaxy

Day 7: Explore Isabela’s Tagus Cove and the Cliffs of Punta Vincente Roca

Today we’ll explore Tagus Cove on Isabela, a calm and popular harbor among early explorers and pirates. Upon landing, we’ll view the cove where early visitors carved graffiti into the cliffs—usually the names of their ships and the date they landed. We’ll slowly climb uphill to Darwin Lake, a saltwater crater lake surrounded by tuff (a type of porous soil formed from volcanic ash). From the end of the trail, we’ll be able to see the vast lava flows that connect the volcanoes of Northern Isabela. We’ll then return to the cove and suit up for a kayaking and a snorkeling excursion along the cove’s surrounding cliffs, where we’ll see flightless cormorants, Sally Lightfoot crabs and possibly some Galápagos penguins.

This afternoon, we’ll disembark for a panga cruise along the dramatic cliffs of Punta Vincente. This breathtaking ride puts size into perspective quickly as we ride forceful swells beneath the cliffs and into caves in search of sea birds perched on the rocks. We’ll return to our yacht in time for cocktail hour as we cross the equator back into the Northern Hemisphere.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:The Reina Silvia OR The Galaxy OR The EcoGalaxy

Day 8: Espumilla Beach, Santiago, and the Tide Pools of Puerto Egas

This morning, we’ll board the pangas for a wet landing on Santiago’s soft, sandy Espumilla Beach, which takes its fine texture from volcanic ash. We’ll walk along its lagoon and beach in search of the endemic Galápagos hawk and ground finch. We’ll then return to the boat and suit up for a kayak and snorkel along the cliffs of Santiago. Perhaps our finest snorkel of the entire trip, we’ll be able to see an array of colorful marine life, including bump-headed parrotfish, angelfish, rays, sea turtles, sergeant majors and white-tipped reef sharks, to name a few.

After lunch, we’ll make our way to Santiago and land on the dark, sandy volcanic beach of Puerto Egas. The trail follows the rocky coastline, offering some of the best opportunities to explore tide pools—home to sponges, snails, hermit crabs, barnacles, and fish including the world’s only four-eyed blenny. Small groups of sea lions bask on the rocks, along with large numbers of marine iguanas and shore birds such as plovers, oystercatchers and herons. At the end of the trail, we'll visit the grottos—natural lava collapses that are home to a colony of Galápagos fur seals. This colony at Puerto Egas is one of the few places on the archipelago where you can get up close to this endemic species. Galápagos hawks are common in the area as well, so keep your eyes on the skies for this beautiful raptor.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:The Reina Silvia OR The Galaxy OR The EcoGalaxy

Day 9: Santa Cruz's Bachas Beach and North Seymour Island

Las Bachas is a beautiful, white-sand beach on the northern side of Santa Cruz, not far from Baltra and Caleta Tortuga. Here, we’ll encounter sea lions, and may have the chance to go swimming and snorkeling. In the tiny lagoon behind the beach, we sometimes see flamingos and great blue herons. Sea turtles also nest here from December to April, so we may see hatchlings’ footprints leading from the nest to the water’s edge.

After our last delicious lunch on board the yacht, we’ll disembark by panga for another snorkel and walk along the cliffs of nearby North Seymour Island. The island is known for its colonies of magnificent frigatebirds and blue-footed boobies, and on land, we’ll have a chance to spot huge land iguanas—the largest examples of this species found in the Galápagos. If conditions allow, we may even witness the courting rituals of these iconic islanders and possibly some surfing sea lions. Back on the boat tonight, we’ll enjoy a festive farewell cocktail hour and dinner with the crew and our fellow passengers, a fitting send-off for this unforgettable adventure!

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:The Reina Silvia OR The Galaxy OR The EcoGalaxy

Day 10: Return to Quito

This morning, we'll have a leisurely breakfast on board, before saying goodbye to the yacht crew and returning by panga to Baltra for our flights back to Quito. Once back in Quito, an MTS representative will meet us and transfer us to our hotel by around 3:30pm. After bidding farewell to the group, there may be time for some last-minute local sightseeing. Dinner is on your own tonight.

  • Breakfast
  • Accommodation:Swissôtel

Day 11: Depart from Ecuador

After another fabulous breakfast at the Swissôtel, an MTS representative can pick you up and transfer you to the airport for your flight home, or you may elect to join one of our extensions in Ecuador or Peru.

Please note that this is a sample itinerary and it may vary due to changes dictated by the Galápagos National Park, or by the yacht’s Captain because of weather or other conditions.

  • Breakfast
lodgings

Swissôtel — Quito, Ecuador

This luxury hotel offers comfort and professional service in an excellent location close to the Old Town and the airport. Large, comfortable rooms and great views of the surrounding area from the top.

The EcoGalaxy — Galápagos, Ecuador

The EcoGalaxy (also known as the Galaxy II) is an 88-foot luxury catamaran with a capacity of 16 Galápagos adventurers. She sails with a highly trained crew of nine, and our Mountain Travel Sobek Galápagos National Park naturalist guide, and is one of the finest vessels of her size in the Galápagos. The EcoGalaxy accommodates guests in 8 staterooms that are all equipped with en-suite bathroom with a full-size shower, A/C, hairdryer, and telephone for internal communication. Other features include a dining room, bar and lounge, coffee and tea station, TV and DVD, library, open sundeck, inflatable tenders, kayaks, and snorkeling equipment. Designed to minimize her impact on the environment, the EcoGalaxy operates on low fuel consumption with state of the art water filters, LED illumination, solar panels for navigation equipment, high efficiency faucets, and more. Discover the Enchanted Islands in relaxed comfort onboard the EcoGalaxy.

More information and deck plan.

The Galaxy — Galápagos, Ecuador

The 115 foot long motor yacht Galaxy is the newest built yacht the we offer. She has 9 beautiful and comfortable double cabins with lower beds and outside views. Each cabin has en suite bathroom, air conditioning, hair dryer, telephone for internal communication, and safe boxes. The yacht features a dining room, bar and lounge, coffee station with tea, coffee, herbal infusions, and drinkable water all the time, TV and DVD, library, an open sundeck, inflatable tenders, kayaks, and snorkeling equipment.

More information and deck plan.

The Reina Silvia — Galápagos, Ecuador

At 90 feet long, the Reina Silvia was recently renovated and redesigned to create a pleasant atmosphere for groups of 12-16 guests. The yacht is fully air-conditioned and all cabins have en suite bathrooms with shower, vanity and lavatory. The yacht features up-to-date security, navigational and communications equipment. There is a spacious open-air lounge on the top deck, a swimming platform, kayaks, inflatable tenders, and snorkeling equipment.

More information and deck plan.

Dates and Pricing

Aug 03 - 13, 2017 Sold Out - We are donating 10% of the trip price per guest to the Galapagos Conservancy

Aug 10 - 20, 2017 Sold out

Sep 07 - 17, 2017 Sold out

Dec 21 - 31, 2017 Galaxy - 1 cabin left

Dec 28, 2017 - Jan 07, 2018 Reina Silvia

Dec 28, 2017 - Jan 07, 2018 EcoGalaxy - Sold Out

Dec 28, 2017 - Jan 07, 2018 Galaxy

Jan 11 - 21, 2018 Reina Silvia

Feb 01 - 11, 2018 EcoGalaxy

Feb 15 - 25, 2018 Reina Silvia

Mar 15 - 25, 2018 Reina Silvia

Mar 29, 2018 - Apr 08, 2018 Reina Silvia

Apr 12 - 22, 2018 EcoGalaxy

May 10 - 20, 2018 Reina Silvia

May 17 - 27, 2018 EcoGalaxy

May 24, 2018 - Jun 03, 2018 Reina Silvia

Jun 14 - 24, 2018 EcoGalaxy

Jun 21, 2018 - Jul 01, 2018 Reina Silvia

Jul 12 - 22, 2018 Galaxy

Jul 26, 2018 - Aug 05, 2018 Reina Silvia

Aug 02 - 12, 2018 Reina Silvia

Aug 09 - 19, 2018 EcoGalaxy

Sep 13 - 23, 2018 Galaxy

Dec 20 - 30, 2018 Reina Silvia - Holiday departure

Dec 20 - 30, 2018 Galaxy - Holiday departure

pricing

2017 Pricing
$5,895   Aboard Reina Silvia and Galaxy
$5,995   Aboard EcoGalaxy
2018 Pricing
$5,895   Aboard Reina Silvia
$5,995   Aboard Galaxy
$6,095   Aboard EcoGalaxy

Additional Pricing:
$545 Internal airfare – subject to change
$100 Galápagos National Park fee
$20   Transit Control Card

$1,500 Single Supplement. $750 if you sign on as 'willing to share' with the same gender roommate.
$250 pp Holiday Surcharge applies to trips departing during December holidays

Children 6 and up are welcome.
For child discount, call for details. Holiday exclusions apply.

NOTE: For detailed itineraries on specific departure dates including day-by-day details, please call us at 1-888-831-7526 or email us at regionalspecialists@mtsobek.com.

Activity Level Easy
Trip Length 11 days

From $5,895

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Award-winning journeys recognized by Travel +Leisure