The 5-day Legend Western Galapagos Cruise focuses on Isabela Island, the largest in the Galapagos, Santa Cruz Island, Fernandina Island and some smaller islands on the western side of the archipelago, as well as red-sand-covered Rabida, considered the epicenter of the Galapagos Islands. The western exposure means opportunities for whale watching. Fernandina is the youngest volcanic island and may be the only island in the world completely free of introduced species. Visit the largest marine iguanas in the Islands, sea lion colonies, tidal pools, hike to Darwin Lake, and snorkel with sea turtles and Galapagos penguins.
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The Legend Western Islands Cruise can be combined with the North-Central or South-East Islands Cruise to create an 8-day/7-night itinerary. View the Western Islands Cruise details below or click on the links to view details of other Legend Galapagos cruises.
Central-East Galapagos Islands 4 days/5 nights
North-Central Galapagos Islands 4 days/5 nights
South-East Galapagos Islands 5 days/4 nights
Legend Main Page
Day 1 - THR - Baltra to Black Turtle Cove
Arrive to Baltra Island then transfer via a short 10-minute bus ride to Puerto Ayora to board the M/V Galapagos Legend. Receive a warm welcome and introductory briefing from the crew and enjoy a delicious lunch. Spend the afternoon on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island at Black Turtle Cove, where four species of mangrove crowd from the shore out into the lagoon. Accessible only by sea, this spot (declared a "Turtle Sanctuary") is home to many turtles who swim in the calm waters and many fish, rays and small sharks who circle below them. White-tipped reef sharks can be seen beneath the boat; sea birds, including pelicans, herons and egrets, all feed in the cove.Accommodations: LegendIncluded Meals:
lunch and dinner
Day 2 - FRI - Sullivan Bay & Rabida
Sullivan Bay, located at the southeastern portion of Santiago Island, and of important geologic interest, features extensive lava flows believed to have been formed during the last quarter of the 19th century. Walk on flat volcanic lava approximately 1 mile and enjoy snorkeling and swimming here. In the afternoon, land on the small island of Rabida. Dark-red sand covers Rabida's unique beaches. Rabida is considered the epicenter of the Galapagos Islands due to the diversity of its volcanic geology. Nesting brown pelicans are found from July through September, and nine species of the famous Darwin’s finches can be seen here. Take a dinghy ride along cliffs to observe nesting seabirds, and snorkel off the coast, where marine life is particularly active.Accommodations: LegendIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 3 - SAT - Urbina Bay & Tagus Cove
Begin today with a visit to the volcanic ash beach and coral area of Isabela Island's Urbina Bay. Depending on the season, you may find giant tortoises, land iguanas and the unusual flightless cormorant. After a short walk inland, snorkeling time is allotted, giving you yet another chance to swim with sea turtles, sea lions and countless tropical fish. Urbina Bay features a wide variety of plant life that changes depending on the season. Observe the beautiful colors of plants that attract different insects, birds and reptiles. Explore the uplifted coral reef that resulted from 1954 volcanic activity, with a spectacular view of Alcedo Volcano.
After lunch, head to Tagus Cove, a natural harbor site. The trail leads to Darwin’s salt-water crater lake and excellent views of lava fields and volcanic formations. Learn about the eruption of five volcanoes that formed this island (the Galapagos's largest) and marvel at the century-old wall graffiti, water-filled caldera, the spectacular view to coast and the Darwin volcano. Return by the same path for a dinghy ride along a shoreline full of marine wildlife; admire a variety of seabirds, such as blue-footed booby, brown noddy, terns, flightless cormorant and depending on the season, a large number of Galapagos penguins, which are only 35 cm. tall, the only penguin species in the world to extend its range into the northern hemisphere along the equator. They are monogamous and lay their eggs in small cracks of lava, on the lower parts of the island near the shoreline not reached by the ocean waves. The population of penguins on the islands is about 2,000, most of which live on this western portion of Isabela; others are scattered farther south on the island. There will be an opportunity to snorkel in deep water. Graffiti believed to have been left by19th-century pirates is a curious reminder of an intriguing past.Accommodations: LegendIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 4 - SUN - Espinoza Point & Vicente Roca Point
Espinosa Point is the only spot that this itinerary visits on Fernandina, and from it you can see the island of Isabela across the Bolívar Channel, an area that boasts some of the highest diversity of endemic sea fauna in the Galapagos. The largest, most primitive-looking race of marine iguanas are found mingling with sea lions and Sally lightfoot crabs. This spot provides a wonderful opportunity to encounter flightless cormorants at their nesting sites, Galapagos penguins and the “King” of predators on the Islands, the Galapagos hawk.
After lunch, Bolivar Channel offers great deep-water snorkeling; this is one of the richest marine havens on Earth. Take a dinghy ride along the coast to observe a great diversity of sea and coastal birds: Nazca and blue-footed boobies, noddies, brown pelicans, penguins, flightless cormorants. The upwelling of coldwater currents in this part of the Galapagos gives rise to an abundance of marine life. Isabela's Vicente Roca Point is marked by two volcano-formed turquoise coves with a bay well protected from the ocean swells.Accommodations: LegendIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 5 - MON - Santa Cruz Highlands to Baltra
Make a dry landing on Santa Cruz Island for a 45-minute bus ride to a giant tortise reserve amid the Highlands. These enormous and slow-moving reptiles are responsible for the island’s name and therefore approaching them in their humid and forested abode is always an inspiring adventure. They can weigh between 250 and 300 kg and can live up to 150-200 years. After this visit, say farewell to your fellow travelers and transfer to the Baltra Airport for flights back to the mainland.Accommodations:
breakfastGALAPAGOS CRUISE INCLUSIVE PACKAGE:
For your convenience we offer an Inclusive Package with three nights hotel accommodations in Quito or Guayaquil, all airport/hotel transfers, Galapagos flights, Galapagos National Park entrance fees and taxes, Galapagos migration card and your Galapagos cruise. View details of our Galapagos Cruise Inclusive Package
Travelers not interested in our inclusive package must purchase Galapagos flights in conjunction with their Galapagos cruise.
GALAPAGOS CRUISE CUSTOM PACKAGE:
If you are booking a cruise-only program our experts can assist with hotels, transfers, flights and tours. Contact AdventureSmith Explorations about customizing your tour or the possibilities of combining this trip with our Mainland Ecuador
and Peru: Machu Picchu
extensions. We are Galapagos cruise and Ecuador travel experts and our staff can help you customize the perfect Galapagos cruise or Ecuador tour package.
Extend Your Trip:
Call AdventureSmith Explorations about customizing your tour or the possibilities of combining this trip with our Mainland Ecuador and Peru: Machu Picchu extensions.
Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itinerary may be altered due to weather, wildlife, National Park regulation or at the captain's discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of Galapagos cruising unique.
Double accommodation in cabins with air conditioning, private facilities, meals scheduled on board, welcome and farewell cocktails, water, 24-hour tea/coffee station, two daily visits to Galapagos Islands with multilingual (English/Spanish) naturalist guide, snorkeling (gear included) and kayaking opportunities, briefings/lectures and activities on board, baggage handling, transfers and dinghy rides to/from ports, shuttle service in Quito and Guayaquil to/from designated hotels to select Galapagos flights, and airport check-in assistance.
International airfare; airfare from mainland Ecuador; Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee (US $100 per adult, $50 for children under 12 years old. This can be paid directly by passengers [cash only] or it is included in our INCLUSIVE PACKAGE TOURS);
Galapagos National Institute Migration Control Card (US $10 per person); departure tax ($40.80); gratuities for guides, crew, drivers or local staff; alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages; other personal expenses; medical services or insurance of any kind. 2013 cruise fuel surcharge is an additional $90 (4-5 Day), $180 (8-12 Day) or $360 (15 Day) per person.
Wet suit rental available for US $25 per person per each 4-5 day cruise, $50 for longer cruises. Kayak rental $30 per person. Internet available at extra cost.
The Legend offers limited single occupancy cabins at a 50% supplement (75% during 2013 holidays/high season). 50% discount for the third guest sharing the cabin with 2 full-fare paying guests, Junior and higher cabin categories only. One child sharing double with 1 full-fare paying guest receives a 25% discount. Double shared accommodation may be available in Standard Plus cabins.
Families & Children:
Children under 12 years old at the time of sailing receive 25% off when sharing the cabin with an adult, or a 50% discount if sharing a cabin with two full-fare paying guests. Junior and higher cabin categories only. Minimum child age is 7 years old. Kids will enjoy different activities offered on board like stargazing, a special kids menu, a visit to the bridge to meet the Captain, T-shirt dye, Wii, handcrafts and much more. There are special family departure dates when more children will be on board.
Arrival & Departure:
Most flights to the Galapagos will depart Quito or Guayaquil between 7:00am-9:00am on day 1 and return between 2:00pm-5:00pm on the final day. We highly recommend travelers arrive Ecuador 2 days prior to their Galapagos cruise.
Payment & Cancellation:
A cruise deposit of $700 per person is required at the time of booking. For land packages a deposit of $300 per person is required at the time of booking. A Reservation Form
, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Cancellations are subject to the following per-person fees, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 121 days - no penalty
120 to 61 days - $300 fee
60 to 0 days - 100% of total trip cost
Terms & Conditions:
This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions
. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information is sent upon confirmation.
We highly recommend our travelers protect their investment with travel insurance. Please note that you must purchase your travel insurance policy within 14 days of booking your trip for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions. Click the link below for a selection of policies from our partners at Travelex.
Daily hikes/walks range from 45 minutes to 2 hours, over sometimes rocky or muddy terrain (depeding on season). Snorkeling is available most days, and deep-water snorkeling is available on this Western Legend itinerary. The underwater snorkeling experience is an integral part of any Galapagos cruise. We encourage all travelers to try snorkeling. Snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel, fins, floating vest and net bag) is available for the duration of the cruise. Shortie wet suits are also available for rent and are recommended from June to December. Kayaks are available to rent.
The 5-day Galapagos Legend Western Islands itinerary will be enjoyed by anyone who is in good health and leads an active life. Daily excursions from the boat to the islands will be made in pangas (dinghies). Trip members will hike from the landing point to specific areas for wildlife observation. Hiking time for most landings will be a couple of hours round trip with lots of time to stop to study, photograph and enjoy the flora and fauna. Some landings are dry but many are "wet," requiring cautious footing on slippery rocks. The boat staff will be on hand to assist. There are numerous opportunities to swim and snorkel.
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