Short Galapagos Cruise Holiday
Great things come in small packages! Explore Guayaquil, then a short cruise of the amazing Galapagos.
Short Galapagos Cruise
7 days from £2,745 pp
Guayaquil is Ecuador’s largest city and busiest port – a surprisingly likeable and bustling city full of energy.
Charming colonial buildings and grand churches stand alongside the skyscrapers and modern developments. Relax at the recently renovated waterfront park, with its shops and café culture. Don’t miss exploring Las Penas, the oldest part of the city, recently renovated with cafes and restaurants lining the way to the lighthouse at the top of the hill.
From here you will fly to the Galapagos Islands and join your cruise on board the one of the two Corals, both small, comfortable motor yachts. Over the next 5 days you will visit these beautiful islands with their spectacular landscapes and abundant wildlife: giant tortoises, fur seals, sea lions, marine iguanas, frigate birds, blue-footed boobies and much more wildlife.
Short Galapagos Cruise Summary
- Guayaquil – 2 nights
- Corals – 4 nights
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DAY 1: MONDAY
You’ll be met at the airport in Guayaquil and transferred to your downtown hotel, Oro Verde. No activities have been arranged for today, so you’ll be able to relax after your journey. The hotel an outdoor swimming pool, jacuzzi and spa, a bar and choice of restaurants, and you are welcome to make yourself at home.
DAY 2: TUESDAY
You’ll have a free day in Guayaquil. The hotel is near Plaza San Francisco (the main square), the cathedral and several museums. Malecon 2000 is less than 2kms away, a leisure and entertainment complex by the Guayas River, featuring botanical gardens, cinemas, shops, restaurants and bars. Tour buses have regular departures from here visiting other city highlights, should you wish to venture further afield. Back at the hotel you can use the free Wi-Fi to catch up with friends and family at home. Breakfast
DAY 3: WEDNESDAY
You’ll be transferred to the airport for the flight to Baltra in the Galapagos Islands, where you’ll be met by a guide and accompanied on the short bus journey to the port and your waiting yacht, Coral I or II. You’ll have lunch on board and then it’s time for your first excursion, to Eden Islet where you’ll have a panga (dinghy) ride near the shore, or Ballena Bay, a beach of olivine crystals at the foot of Cerro Dragon. Tonight you’ll have welcome cocktails as you meet the captain and crew, followed by your first dinner on board. Full board
DAY 4: THURSDAY
This morning you’ll land at Tagus Cove on Isabela, the largest island in the Galapagos. This natural harbour was used by pirates in the 19th century, some of whom left inscriptions on the rocks which can still be seen today. A walk leads away from the beach to Darwin Lake where you should see a variety of birds, and on to a viewpoint. This afternoon you’ll visit Punta Espinosa on Fernandina, where a 2-hour walk should reveal marine iguanas, bright Sally Lightfoot crabs, sea lions and Galapagos hawks. Full board
DAY 5: FRIDAY
Today you’ll be back on Isabela. You’ll have a morning panga ride at Elizabeth Bay as you keep your eyes open for turtles, rays, penguins, pelicans and flightless cormorants. There may time for swimming, too. In the afternoon you’ll step ashore at Urbina Bay, a black sand beach known for its uplifted coral reef exposed by an eruption in 1954. While here you may spot giant tortoises and land iguanas. Full board
DAY 6: SATURDAY
Buccaneer Cove on Santiago is so-named as it was used by pirates in days of yore to moor, clean and repair their ships. Today you’re likely to see flocks of seabirds on the dark red coloured cliffs. You’ll also have the chance to go for a walk along the long golden sands of Espumilla Beach, looking out for crabs and marine birds. After lunch you’ll have a walk from Sullivan Bay in the south to a large pahoehoe lava flow, whose swirling patterns almost give the appearance of movement and certainly present a good photo opportunity. Tonight you’ll have farewell cocktails hosted by the captain. Full board
DAY 7: SUNDAY
Your final excursion of the cruise is to the highlands of Santa Cruz. This is a great chance to observe giant tortoises in the El Chato reserve. There’s abundant birdlife including vermillion flycatchers, yellow warblers and finches. Afterwards you’ll be transferred to Baltra for the flight back to the mainland. Breakfast
Hotel Oro Verde is in central Guayaquil, handy for the main city sights including the Malecon 2000 complex with its shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. The hotel offers a choice of restaurants and a bar, 2 gift shops and a business centre. Recreational facilities include a spa, gym and, a real bonus for a city hotel, an outdoor swimming pool. Guest accommodation is en-suite and air conditioned, and all rooms and suites have minibar, coffee maker, TV, IDD phone, safe, bathrobes and slippers. Add to this 24 hour room service and free Wi-Fi and you have all you need for a comfy and convenient stay.
Corals I and II are two similar motor yachts which accommodate up to 36 and 20 passengers respectively. They are attractive, four-deck, European-built vessels with classic wood-panelled interiors, fully air conditioned throughout. All cabins have windows or portholes, TV, phone, safe and private bathrooms with 24-hour hot and cold running water. Social areas include a lounge-cum bar with comfy chairs and sofas where you’ll find various books and games to help you pass the time between island visits, and a spacious dining area. Outside there are shaded and open deck spaces and plenty of seating, plus a barbecue area for al fresco dining and a jacuzzi.
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We know and love the Galapagos Islands, and would delighted to help you plan your perfect Galapagos holiday.
Call 01473 599082 and speak to one of our Galapagos travel specialists today.