If you are considering a Galapagos Islands vacation, chances are that you are considering a cruise in order to have the opportunity to see all the different islands, eco-systems, and unique wildlife that inhabit these serene islands. The best cruise to the Galapagos Islands is one that will not only take you to the different islands but also provide you an educational and completely immersive experience into the islands’ eco-systems and wildlife. A Galapagos Islands vacation cruise with Latin Trails provides exactly that.
Why Latin Trails is the Best Travel Company for your Galapagos Islands Vacation
Latin Trails offers unique travel experiences throughout South America. The Galapagos Islands are one of their most popular travel experiences throughout Ecuador and Peru. Travel is their passion, and they pass that on to everyone who joins in their travel experience with Latin Trails.
Latin Trials offers professional tourism leaders that have a vast knowledge of the area, the culture, and the eco-system of the Galapagos Islands. They strive to use local individuals who are native to the area to give you a unique perspective and experience and provide experts in the fields of marine biology, ecology, and the wildlife of the Galapagos Islands to enhance your experience.
There are several different options available to you for your Galapagos Island cruise when cruising with Latin Trails. There are 6 different cruise itineraries available from 5 days all the way to 11 days out exploring these gorgeous and serene islands. Which tour is perfect for you depends on what exactly you are looking to explore and learn, and how long you would like your Galapagos Island vacation to last.
Almost all of the Galapagos Islands are national parks, so they have strict regulations on visitors. Some of the must-see islands, no matter your itinerary include:
- Isabela Island– This is the biggest of all the Galapagos Islands, and with it comes the biggest community of Galapagos penguins. It also has Cerro Azul, one of the most active volcanos of the Galapagos Islands.
- Floreana Island– This island is a great place to snorkel, and has many flamingoes that live there to see. You can also dive underwater in a volcanic cone called the Devil’s crown where you will swim among sea turtles, sharks, and sea lions
- San Cristobal– San Cristobal is made up of 4 volcanoes, all of them extinct, and is the oldest of all the Galapagos Islands. Punta Carola is a gorgeous and marvelous beach there, and it is coupled with Laguna El Junco, the largest lake of all the islands. Puerto Chino is a great spot to snorkel, swim, and relax.
- Espanola– Espanola is considered to be the jewel of the Galapagos. It is the furthest away from the other islands, giving it a unique and untouched eco-system to explore. Punta Suárez and Bahía Gardner are two of the amazing beaches there.
- Bartolome– This island is one of the youngest islands and the volcanic cone provides great views of the other island. The North Beach is a great place to swim and enjoy the colorful fish, turtles, and penguins.
- Santa Cruz– This Galapagos Island has twin craters and Darwin’s famous finches as well as the contrasting vegetation between the two coastlines.
Your Galapagos Islands Vacation on the Sea Star Journey
Which itinerary you chose with Latin Trails will depend on the type of vacation you would like to have. Are you looking to spend time on gorgeous beaches and relax in the sunshine or do you want to have an educational experience about one of the Seven Wonders of the World? Latin Trails offers several different itineraries for you to choose from depending on your Galapagos Island vacation desires.
About the Sea Star Journey with Latin Trails
The Galapagos Sea Star has a capacity of only 16 passengers with seven suites available for guests. The suites come with panoramic windows so you can enjoy the views of the cruise and the islands, and they each have individual bathrooms and air conditioning. During your cruise you will be able to experience delicious international dishes in the dining room with the rest of the guests. There are also two hot tubs, loungers, a mini-library, and a kids’ play area. If you are feeling extra adventurous, you can use the snorkeling equipment or a kayak while anchored.
All food, coffee, water, and tea are included in your tour. Cocktails, beer, and wine are available for an additional charge. All excursions and activities are included. Zodiac rides, nature hikes, snorkeling and kayaking within the Galapagos National Park will be provided, and you will be accompanied by an English-speaking naturalist guide.
The certified naturalist guide is available on the ship and the wide range of knowledge and experience on the Galapagos Island. They are experts in wildlife, geology, marine life, biology, and more. At the end of every day, guests will receive the Guide´s briefing for the shore excursions of the next day.
Galapagos Islands Cruise with Latin Trails- Itinerary A
This cruise will take you on a 6 day, 5-night cruise across several of the Eastern islands of the Galapagos Islands. You will visit San Cristobal, Espanola, Santa Fe Island, North Seymour Island, Santa Cruz Island, and Mosquera Islet.
Galapagos Islands Cruise with Latin Trails- Itinerary B
Itinerary B aboard the Sea Star Journey with Latin Trails is a 5 day, 4-night cruise that will take you Santa Cruz Island, Dragon Hill, Black Turtle Cove, Chinese Hat, Darwin Bat, Genovesa Island, Bartolome Island, Santiago Island, and Santa Cruz Island.
Galapagos Islands Cruise with Latin Trails- Itinerary C
This itinerary is a 6 night, 5-day cruise that takes you along the east and west coast islands of the Galapagos Islands. You will start out at the Charles Darwin Station on Santa Cruz Island, White Tipped Shark Reef, Sierra Negra Volcano, Punto Moreno, and Elizabeth Bay at Isabela Island. Then you will venture off to Fernandina Island, Santiago Island, and Santa Cruz Island.
Galapagos Islands Cruise with Latin Trails- Itinerary D
This itinerary is 10 days and 9 nights and combines itineraries A and B.
Galapagos Islands Cruise with Latin Trails- Itinerary E
This itinerary is 10 days and 9 nights and combines itineraries B and C.
Galapagos Islands Cruise with Latin Trails- Itinerary F
This itinerary is 11 days and 10 nights and combines itineraries A and C.
The Best Galapagos Islands Cruise for Your Galapagos Islands Vacation
Which itinerary works best for you will depend on what exactly what you are looking for in your Galapagos Islands Vacation. But with Latin Trails, Itinerary C seems to be a great combination of relaxation and education while giving you the perfect amount of time to visit some of the best spots in the Galapagos Islands.
When you arrive at the Galapagos Islands at the Baltra Airport, you will pay the Galapagos National Park fee of $100 per person while a Galapagos Sea Star representative gets your luggage and starts the transport to Puerto Ayora.
That evening you will have the opportunity to visit the Charles Darwin Station on Santa Cruz Island. Here you will learn how people are working to protect and conserve the islands. You will also visit the Breeding and Rearing Center for young and adult tortoises who live on the various Galapagos Islands.
Day 2 has you starting off on a zodiac ride to the Tintoreras, or the White Tipped Reef Shark Canal, on Isabela Island. You will have an opportunity to see Galapagos penguins and sea lions living and relaxing on the Heron lava that looks out all over the island. The evening will take you to the Sierra Negra Volcano edge. Sierra Negra is the second largest crater in the world, measuring 6 miles by 5 miles wide. You will also see Perry Isthmus, a 12 km wide lava field.
At the start of Day 3, you will go to Punta Moreno which is on the north coast of Isabela Island between the two volcanoes Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul. You will have the opportunity to see several species of birds that are native to the Galapagos Island. In the afternoon you will go onto a zodiac to visit Elizabeth Bay. You will not land here as it is a protected marine visitor site but you will have the chance to see the largest penguin colony in the Galapagos Islands as well as sea turtles, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, sea lions, and brown pelicans.
On Day 4 you will sail to Fernandina Island which is the third-largest island in the Galapagos Islands. Punta Espinoza is the only visitor site available and is on the northeastern tip of the island. As you look across the Tagus Cove, you will see some of the most unique species of animals of all the Galapagos such as marine iguanas and the flightless cormorant – one of the most amazing representations of evolution as these birds have adapted over time to swim, rather than fly, to find their food.
You will then sail across the Tagus Cove in a zodiac to see the Galapagos penguin and other sea birds. A 30-minute hike will take you to the top of the cliff where you can see Darwin Lake, one of the saltiest lakes in the entire world. Your view will also offer you sights of several volcanos and graffiti written on the sides of cliffs by pirates and buccaneers of times past.
The following day you will sail to Santiago Island, where you will see the Palo Sant forest and the site of marine turtle nests. You will also visit Espumilla Beach, which was affected by a recent El Nino phenomenon and became completely sedimented.
In the evening you will visit the black beaches of Puerto Egas. The volcanic ash created the black sand and makes it one of the most visited attractions of the island. There is still lasting infrastructure from the attempted exploitation of salt by Hector Egas, which failed.
On the last day of your Galapagos islands vacation cruise, you will visit Isla Lobos in San Cristobal. You will follow an hour-long trail to get to the island from Port Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the island. The trail consists of very dry vegetation, volcanic rocks, and sandy areas. Here you will also see a small population of blue-footed boobies and a large colony of sea lions. You will end your trip with a transfer back to the airport.
The Best Places to Snorkel on Your Galapagos Island Vacation
One of the biggest attractions on a Galapagos Islands vacation is snorkeling. Many of the stops on your cruise with Latin Trails will offer opportunities to swim and snorkel in the clear and untouched waters of the Galapagos Islands. The Galapagos Islands are unique in that it intersects three different oceans, giving you the chance to swim in several different bodies of water during your trip. The animals are very curious and friendly. You may even have the chance to swim with a group of playful sea lions. The penguins are very curious and playful as well, it’s one of the best snorkeling experiences you’ll have in your entire life.
Here are some of the best snorkeling spots in all of the Galapagos Islands:
- Devil’s Crown on Floreana Island- This island has a rich history of whalers and pirates. The Devil’s Crown is a semi-submerged volcanic crater that you swim into. It is protected from waves and here you can see lots of colorful fish, sea turtles, and sharks.
- Kicker Rock in San Cristobal– Here snorkelers will see fur seals and stingrays. The crystal clear water offers great visibility and the shallow waters are great for those who don’t have much experience. Punta Carola in San Cristobal is also another good place for swimming and snorkeling.
- Tintoreras on Isabela Island– This snorkeling adventure will give you the chance to see iguanas, boobies, and penguins. You also might see some of the white-tipped sharks that frequent the area.
- Punta Espinoza on Fernandina Island- One of the best spots in all of the Galapagos Islands offers you the opportunity to see Galapagos penguins, sea lions, flightless cormorants, marine iguanas, sea turtles, and plenty of colorful fishes.
Your Galapagos Islands vacation will give you some of the most amazing memories, even for the most seasoned travelers. These islands are one of the most marvelous places in the world as they are mostly untouched by human interference and offer a unique blend of gorgeous beaches for fun, adventure, and relaxation coupled with educational opportunities. Even better? A Galapagos Island cruise with Latin Trails allows you to visit several of the islands aboard a semi-private excursion experience on a comfortable cruise ship. This is a must-do trip for seasoned and novice travelers.
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out this article: Galapagos Vacation: Everything You Need to Know Before Going.