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Galapagos fur seal and baby on the shoreline
Two red-footed boobies perched on a tree branch
Guests riding on a skiff during sunset
Sunrise view over the water
Guests embarking on a hike on land
Close-up of Sally Lightfoot crab
Aerial view of a part of the Galapagos Islands
Blue-footed booby sitting below trees that have lost leaves
Couple strolling along beach at the shoreline
Galapagos fur seal and baby entering the water from shore
Guests kayaking through the water
Marine iguana crawling over rocks
Galapagos tortoise swimming through a school of fish
Close-up of face of Galapagos tortoise
Five Galapagos hawks perched on top of cacti
Red-footed booby perched on tree branch
Galapagos fur seals basking on the sand
Sunset view of the Isabela II on the water
Two kayakers paddle through water with Isabela II in the background
Two guests pose for a picture with a Galapagos tortoise in the foreground
Marine iguana warming itself on a rock
Panoramic view of the exterior of Isabela II
Young Galapagos fur seal looking directly at camara
Guests embarking on a skiff ride to shore
Flamingo preparing to take flight over water
Frigatebird sitting on a tall tree branch
Two large Galapagos turtles
Two blue-footed boobies touching beaks
Baby fur seal snuggling with its mother
Guests returning to Isabela II by skiff
Close-up of Galapagos tortoise eating a blade of grass
Group of guests on shore posing for picture
View of the water from land
Close-up of sleeping fur seal
Guests standing at the shoreline with an iguana looking at them in the foreground
Colorful marine iguana
Guests riding on a skiff waving to the camera
Guests watching a Galapagos tortoise from afar
Guests gathered around the Galapagos post office barrel
Rainbow arched over Isabela II
Galapagos fur seal laying on the beach with Isabela II sailing in the water in the background
Isabela II in the background with kayakers and a skiff in the foreground
Kayakers paddling through the water
Group photograph of guests riding a skiff
A baby Galapagos fur seal sits next to a marine iguana on a rock
Guest posing on a wooden platform on land for a picture
The Galapagos Islands – Northern Itinerary

The Galapagos Islands – Northern ItineraryItinerary

March 18 – March 25, 2023

Day 1: En Route from U.S. / Arrive in Quito, Ecuador
Saturday, March 18, 2023
After an evening arrival in Quito, transfer to your award-winning hotel for a comfortable night's sleep.
Overnight: Casa Gangotena – Quito 

Day 2: Quito
Sunday, March 19, 2023
Head out for a full-day, guided tour of historic Old Town. A local expert will take you through a Quito neighborhood where you'll visit with local artisans, including shopkeepers, hat makers, and confectioners. Explore the San Francisco Market—one of the oldest in the capital. There, learn about unique Ecuadorian fruits and vegetables, as well as local culinary traditions. Stop by a chocolatier to learn how cacao beans are processed, and taste the finest chocolates of Ecuador! 

Next, head north toward the political heart of the city. Following a brief narrative, stroll to the Jesuit church of la Compañía to admire its stunning gold-leaf interior. Relax and enjoy a lunch that highlights the unique and diverse flavors of this culturally rich South American country. 

In the afternoon, head to the Casa del Alabado Archaeological Museum inside a restored 17th-century colonial mansion to view its collection of pre-Columbian art. This evening, enjoy a welcome reception and prepare for your upcoming adventure.
Overnight: Casa Gangotena – Quito (B,L,R) 

Day 3: Quito / Flight to Baltra / Santa Cruz: Highlands | Puerto Ayora – Embarkation
Monday, March 20, 2023
Arrive by plane to Baltra Airport and transfer to the Itabaca Channel to ferry across to Santa Cruz Island. After a short, scenic drive across Santa Cruz Island, arrive in the Highlands to enjoy lunch and visit the iconic species for which the Galapagos Islands are named. Spot the saddle-backed shell of the lumbering Galapagos giant tortoise and walk among them. Your naturalist guide describes their habits and the conservation efforts surrounding this remarkable reptile. 

Take a late afternoon stroll along the main street of Puerto Ayora before embarking on Isabela II

Join the captain this evening for a cocktail and briefing on the exciting activities to come. 
Overnight: Isabela II (B,L,D) 

Day 4: Santiago: Puerto Egas | Chinese Hat Islet
Tuesday, March 21, 2023
This morning offers a wonderful opportunity to see land and seabirds. Following a wet landing onto the black, sandy beach, take a trail that leads to close-up encounters with recently reintroduced land iguanas amid a landscape full of tuff-stone layers and lava flows. At low tide, marine iguanas can be spotted grazing upon the algae beds and colonies of fur seals seen on Santiago Island at Puerto Egas. Enjoy snorkeling and swimming at this active location.

Santiago also has several satellite islands, including Bartolomé and Chinese Hat. The Chinese Hat Islet, formed only fairly recently, features a 1,312-foot long wildlife trail, which begins at a crescent-shaped, white sandy beach. The cove is ideal for swimming and snorkeling among white-tipped reef sharks and Galapagos penguins.

Tonight after dinner (conditions permitting), look up and experience the enchantment of stargazing. 
Overnight: Isabela II (B,L,D) 

Day 5: Genovesa: Prince Philip's Steps |  Darwin Bay   
Wednesday, March 22, 2023
After breakfast, embark on a panga boat ride along the cliffs of Genovesa Island (also known as Bird Island) before visiting Prince Philip’s Steps, a steep but short climb up a wooden staircase. Once at the top, the terrain is flat, which allows for a mesmerizing, mile-long walk to the other side of this small island. Along the way, watch for large colonies of Nazca boobies, great frigatebirds, and storm petrels, as well as the elusive short-eared owl. Those not wishing to hike on shore can enjoy exploring the coast by powered watercraft. Snorkeling and kayaking activities are available here, too (depending on weather conditions). 

Following lunch, make a wet landing at the beach on Darwin Bay for a walk to observe hundreds of birds, such as frigatebirds, red-footed and Nazca boobies, gulls, herons, finches and mockingbirds.
Overnight: Isabela II (B,L,D) 

Day 6: Santa Fe / South Plaza 
Thursday, March 23, 2023
This morning, visit an idyllic sandy-white beach populated by colonies of sea lions. Galapagos hawks are often easily observed, perched atop salt bushes. The Santa Fe land iguana may also be spotted during our exploration. Enjoy a leisurely walk, followed by time to snorkel and swim along a natural wave barrier. Or, take a glass-bottom boat ride.

On the final afternoon, disembark with a dry landing in the South Plaza Island channel, just off the coast of Santa Cruz. South Plaza is full of life, color, and extraordinary creatures, including the hybrid iguana. Admire the contrast of turquoise waters with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline. Look along the coastline to find sea lion colonies, while frigates, and shearwaters glide and play with the thermals. Red-billed tropicbirds and swallow-tailed gulls are some of the many birds that can be found nesting along the cliffs. South Plaza is also home to the beautiful succulent Sesuvium, which changes from bright green in the rainy season to red, orange, and purple during the dry season. 
Overnight: Isabela II (B,L,D) 

Day 7: Baltra – Disembarkation / Flight to Quito, Ecuador 
Friday, March 24, 2023
Bid a fond adiós to the Isabela II crew this morning prior to departing Baltra for Quito, where guests not continuing on the Machu Picchu post-tour will spend the final night.

NOTE: Guests continuing on the Machu Picchu post-tour will depart the main program from Quito on an evening flight to Lima, Peru.
Overnight: Wyndham Quito Airport Hotel (B,L)

Day 8: Quito / Depart for U.S.
Saturday, March 25, 2023
After breakfast, guests departing during the suggested times will take a complimentary transfer to the airport for flights home. (B)

B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, R = Reception

(Itinerary subject to change.)

Activity Level:


Guests should be sure-footed on stairs and able to walk at least one mile on rocky, volcanic, and uneven ground. Some nature hikes will be on irregular and steep terrain. Guests should also be comfortable managing wet beach landings and boarding small vessels, both from shore and the deck of the Isabela II. Also keep in mind that you will experience varying altitudes to which you may not be accustomed. 

Maximum elevation: 9,350 feet in Quito, Ecuador