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Fish and Ships - Northern Islands

Trip Length

Trip Code

7 days GSEEA

Maximum Passengers

16 people

Countries Visited

Ecuador, Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)

Start City

End City

Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador
Fish and Ships - Northern Islands

See giant tortoises lumbering the Santa Cruz highlands, spy all manner of birdlife in Tagus Cove and snorkel with turtles and sea lions in Punta Espinoza. Stroll along Bahia Urbina’s coral-strewen shores and visit a former pirate hideout in Buccaneer’s Cove.


For some of the best snorkelling in the Galapagos, head to The Devil’s Crown, just north of Cormorant Point. The Crown consists of an almost completely submerged volcano, and is home to brightly-coloured fish, sea turtles, rays, penguins, marina iguanas, eels, reef sharks and much more. 

Fish and Ships - Northern Islands

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1: Quito

Explore Quito, the capital of Ecuador and the highest capital city in the world with a judicial building. La Paz, in Bolivia, is the actual highest capital city in the world, but it doesn't have a judicial building. Who would've thought a judicial building could make such a difference?

Attend a welcome meeting in the evening, check with the hotel reception for details

Quito is located at 2850 metres above sea level and at this altitude you may possibly experience some effects from the high altitude, we suggest that you avoid any strenuous activity on this day

Wander through the narrow, winding cobblestone streets and explore the lively Plaza Grande and Plaza San Francisco, see The Baroque art and architecture when visiting the churches, monasteries and public buildings

Perhpas head for one of the many viewpoints over the city, El Panecillo (The Little Bread Loaf) offers views of the city’s white houses and surrounding volcanoes, the 30-metre high statue of La Virgen de Quito sits atop this small hill and can be seen from all over the city

La Cima de la Libertad, the site of Ecuadorian independence from Spain also offers great views

Day 2: Baltra - Santa Cruz Highlands

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Fly to Baltra and get acquainted with your floating home. You're off to the highlands today. It's not going to be anything like the Scottish Highlands, so put your Braveheart costume away. This one is full of giant tortoises.

Transfer to Quito Airport and fly to the Galapagos Islands (you may depart as early as 4am)

A US$10 per person transit card is payable on departure at Quito Airport and a US$100 per person national park entry fee is payable on arrival - have cash on hand for these transactions to save time
You'll be met and transferred to the boat (the Nemo III) when you arrive

You'll be assigned cabins, meet the crew members and get to know our naturalist guide and fellow travellers over lunch

Head to the highlands of Santa Cruz for a total change of scenery

Travel through the agricultural region and into the misty forests, where you'll see Unique Scalesia cloud forest, dome shaped giant tortoises in the wild, different species of Darwin finches and possibly the world famous woodpecker and warbler finches as well as vermillion flycatcher

Day 3: Isla Isabela - Tagus Cove

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Meet two of our favourite gals today - Isabela Island and Elizabeth Bay. Isabela is all about birds, marine life and lava flows. Elizabeth prefers penguins, blue-footed boobies and snorkelling.

Visit the archipelago's largest island, pay a USD$20 island entrance fee

Spend the morning at Punta Moreno on the south west coast

Enjoy beautiful blue lagoons and rocky terrain in the Galapagos, with a backdrop of 3 active volcanoes, flamingos, and incredible lava formations

Walk on top of the black lava field with views of Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul, perhaps see brown pelicans nesting on top of the mangroves, lava and candelabra cactus, and Lava lizards

Walk by brackish water lagoons covered with several different plants where pink flamingos, ducks and black neck stills res

Reboard the boat for some snorkelling

Visit Tagus Cove  for around two hours - snorkel, check out ancient graffiti on its walls, observe flightless cormorants, penguins, blue footed boobies and a variety of waterfowl

Day 4: Isla Fernandina - Punta Espinoza and Bahia Urbina

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Lava cactus are a thing, apparently. Take a walk among them on Fernandina today. You can't miss the colourful marine iguanas at Bahia Urbina, either.

Visit nearby Fernandina Island, the youngest of the Galapagos Islands

The northeast tip, Punta Espinosa, is a narrow ledge of lava and sand extending from the base of La Cumbre volcano

Walk around the peninsula and see lava cacti, marine iguanas piled on top of each other, barking sea lions along the beach, flightless cormorants, tiny penguins, and Sally Lightfoot crabs

Look out for the biggest predator of the Galapagos Island, The Galapagos Hawk

Snorkel in clear waters to see turtles and sea Lions swimming and feeding on the shore

Visit Urvina Bay  - a very interesting place

Go for a walk and find shells, coral, Darwin´s Finches and the beautiful colour of the Galapagos cotton, as well as land iguanas and Galapagos giant tortoise

Day 5: Isla Santiago - Playa Espumilla and Buccaneer Cove

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

It's all about the iguanas today. However, we're more partial to the fur seals and little Sally Lightfoot crabs, because they are super cute (not that the iguanas are ugly but, well... they won't be winning any beauty prizes in a hurry).

Puerto Egas is a black sand beach located on the west side of James Bay and northwest of Santiago Island

See volcanic tuff formations, along with marine iguanas, pelicans, finches, mockingbirds, oystercatchers, California sea lions, Galapagos fur sea lions and lava grotos

Visit tidal pools formed from ancient lava flow and home to sponges, snails, hermit crabs, barnacles and fish

Snorkel with California sea lions and Galapagos fur sea lions
Espumilla Beach, on the northern coast of Santiago Island in James Bay, is an important nesting site for marine turtles, it also has waves and is also a favourite among beach lovers

Perhaps see Galapagos hawks up close, ghost crabs, blue footed boobies plunging for fish and brown pelicans, as well as the Palo Santo Forest and some lava formations

View the geology of volcanic ash (Tuff) of Buccaneer’s cove

Find remains of objects used by pirates in centuries past, hence the name Buccaneer Cove - Darwin camped for a nine days while making his study of the islands and their wildlife

Maybe snorkel again

Day 6: Isla Daphne – Baltra – Fly Quito

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Last chance for bird watching today, before the short flight back to civilisation.

Visit Daphne island, a peculiar landscape shaped by volcanic activity

Do some bird spotting and find a variety of seabirds such as blue-footed and masked boobies, terns, petrels and even frigate birds

Farewell to The Galapagos Islands and head to the airport for your flight back to Quito for the last night of the tour

Upon arrival in Quito Airport, transfer back to the hotel for an overnight stay

Day 7: Quito

Meals included: 1 breakfast

The trip winds up after breakfast. Make sure you shake the sand out of your shoes and wherever else it might have accumulated.

The adventure ends today after breakfast, there are no activities planned for this day

Your Trip

What to know

On arrival in the islands you must pay the US$100 national park fee to enter Galapagos National Park and a US$10 transit fee.  A US$20  fee is also to be paid on arrival on Isabela Island.

Nuts and Bolts

The services of an expert English-speaking naturalist guide and a crew of eight onboard the Galapagos vessel.

Return flights from Quito to the Galapagos Islands.

Accomodation on board the Nemo III

All Zodiac and shore excursions during the voyage.

All meals aboard the Nemo III.

Use of snorkelling equipment including a wetsuit during the voyage

Summary of accommodation, transport & meals




Not Included

International flights, arrival and departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, entrance fees, US$10 Galapagos transit card, US$100 Galapagos National Park fee, US$20 Isabela Island fee, other meals, drinks, optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.


You must pay US$110 entrance fee to Galapagos Islands National Park upon arrival at Baltra or San Cristobal Airport in the Galapagos (this includes the $10 transit card fee). This has be paid in US dollar cash (credit cards are not accepted). If your trip visits Isabela Island, there is also a US$5 park fee to be paid upon arrival in some sites.

Important Information

Please note

This trip is operated by our sister company, Intrepid Travel

Gecko's Community Trust & The Galapagos Conservancy
If, after having visited this unique and precious region of the world, you would like to make a donation towards the protection of the Galapagos, the recently launched Gecko's Community Trust is the easiest and most convenient way to do so.

The Trust supports the Galapagos Conservancy, an organisation dedicated to raising funds and awareness for Galapagos conservation. It is a membership-based organisation and the largest source of private support for conservation efforts. The 11,000 Friends of Galapagos are individuals and institutions who care deeply about the Galapagos Islands, and understand the scientific importance of preserving this one-of-a-kind ecosystem.

Funds raised by the Galapagos Conservancy support the core operations of the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) and the Galapagos National Park Service (GNPS), both located on the island of Santa Cruz.

Please see below for details on how to make a contribution to the Gecko's Community Trust or refer to the Pledge Card provided at your pre-cruise briefing which contains details for making a donation.

Meals & Dietary requirements

All meals are included whilst on the Nemo III. There is a chef on board who cooks up local and international cuisine daily, including a buffet breakfast.

Should you have a special diet requirement (for example vegetarian, celiac, vegan, severe food allergies) it's essential that you inform Peregrine of the specific details at least 10 days prior to departure, in order to make sure the chef on board the boat or on the island can request the necessary food supplies.

About this Information

The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please ensure that you have the most up-to-date information for your trip. We recommend that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!

Last Updated

16 July 2014

General Contact Details

Geckos AdventuresPhone: 1-877-285-0655
Web: Visit Geckos