Rudder from Another Mudder - Southern Islands

UNESCO World Heritage-listed Colonial Quito
Frigatebird spotting
Puerto Ayora
The tortoises of Charles Darwin Research Station
Bartolome's lunar-like landscape
Sombrero Chino
Post Office Bay on Floreana
Waved albatrosses and boobies on Espanola Island
  • North Seymour for the frigate birds and iguanas. Isla San Cristobal for the sea turtles and hammerhead sharks. Isla Floreana for the flamingos and sting rays. Santa Cruz for the tortoises, Santa Fe for the turtles, Sombrero Chino for the penguins. For it?


    The Galapagos are not only a world-famous haven for wildlife, but an incredible archipelago of diverse islands that each offer different experiences. From close-up wildlife experiences with the weird and wonderful local inhabitants to walks along secluded beaches and up to the summit of volcanic outcrops to enjoy stunning views, there is plenty for nature lovers to savour. This comprehensive journey is the perfect overview and showcases the eclectic mix that combines together to make up the panoramic Galapagos mosaic.


    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 - Fly Baltra, visit North Seymour

    Man of war birds, pirate birds, frigate pelican, frigatebirds - whatever you want to call them, these things are awesome (FYI, we call them frigatebirds). They've got the largest wingspan (in comparison to their body) of any bird species in the world, and they can stay airborne for an entire week. Head to North Seymour and see if you can spot some.

    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

    Travel to North Seymour, where you'll see blue footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, both species of frigate birds (Great and Magnificent), land iguanas, marine iguanas, California sea lions, endemic incense trees

    Go for a walk and snorkel while you're there - see variety of fish, and possibly white-tipped reef sharks, rays and sea lions

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 3 - San Cristobal - Isla Lobos, Cerro Brujo and Kicker Rock

    Isla Lobos is popular with the sea lion community while Kicker Rock is popular with the snorkelling community.

    Go for a walk and see one of the largest colonies of sea lions, frigate birds, blu footed boobies, Sall Light Foot crabs, lava lizards, lava herons, marine iguanas, common sandpipers and yellow warblers

    Head to one of the best snorkelling spots in Galapagos, Kicker Rock, where you'll see Galapagos sharks, and possibly a hammer head shark among sea turtles and an incredible biodiversity of invertebrates

    Take a Panga ride to Cerro Brujoto admire the volcanic formations

    Swim and snorkel here and see lake and sea birds, Sally Lightfoot crabs, brown pelicans, blue-footed boobies and enjoy views of Kicker Rock

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 4 - Isla Española

    Española is also known as Hood Island. But you won't find any turf wars or marine iguana cartel here, just 12,000 pairs of waved albatross and a whole bunch of other Galapagos wildlife. And they all live in harmony.

    Cruise to Española, the oldest island in the Galapagos with a variety of endemic fauna

    Go for a walk and see waved albatrosses, colonies of blue-footed and masked boobies, sea lions, marine iguanas, Galapagos doves and mockingbirds

    Head to the beautiful Gardner Beach and spy sea lions and hood mockingbirds, snorkel and relax

    Go to Punta Suarez, go for a trail walk to a lookout

    Keep your eye out for more wildlife

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 5 - Post Office Bay Isla Floreana

    Wildlife often steals the show in the Galapagos, but Floreana has a pretty interesting human history, too. Learn all about it, then write a letter to leave in the 220-year-old postbox. Told you it was pretty interesting.

    Visit Floreana, go ashore at Punta Cormorant where the sand is an olive green colour

    See Galapagos sea lions, pink flamingos and other water birds

    Walk to see an Easter Pacific Green Sea turtle nesting site, see young diamond sting rays in the shore line

    Visit Post Office Bay to learn about the quirky maritime history

    Snorkel and go on a panga ride here

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 6 - Isla Santa Cruz and the Charles Darwin Research Station

    Giant tortoise can grow up to four feet long. Think about that. That's about three and a half feet more tortoise than you'll ever have seen before. Pay them a visit on Santa Cruz.

    Visit Santa Cruz, the second largest island in the Galapagos

    Puerto Ayora is home to the Charles Darwin Research Station, perhaps spend time at the station's vistor centre and museum - learn about the history of the area and conservation efforts and see giant tortoises

    Enjoy free time here, maybe check your email or have a drink local bar and see the local’s way of life

    Head to the highlands of Santa Cruz, travel through the agricultural region and into the misty forests - see the Unique Scalesia cloud forest, dome shaped giant tortoises in the wild, different species of Darwin finches and possibly the woodpecker and warbler finches as well as vermillion flycatchers

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 7 - South Plaza and Santa Fé

    There's a bit in The Jungle Book when Baloo sings "Bare Necessities". He warns Mowgli, "Don't pick the prickly pear by the paw, when you pick a pear try to use the claw". But you don't have claws, so try not to pick the prickly pears on Santa Fe. Actually, Mowgli didn't have claws either. Turns out Baloo wasn't so great at giving advice.

    Visit Plaza Sur or South Plaza, a small but pretty island

    Go for a trail walk past sea lions and one of the largest populations of land iguanas

    Spot ropicbirds and swallow-tailed gulls as well as gathering of male sea lions called ‘the gentlemen’s club’ from the southern cliffs

    Go to Santa Fe, see more sea lions and possibly swim with them

    Perhaps see see the Galapagos hawk, land Iguanas, a variety of finches and the Galapagos mockingbird, sea lions, marine turtles, frigatebirds, Galapagos doves and lava lizards

    This is a great spot for snorkelling

    Go for a walk along a trail along the coast and into Opuntia Forest - see a forest of giant cactu and palo santo trees

    Enjoy free time on the beach to snorkel and watch sea lion pups

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 8 - Isla Bartolomé and Sombrero Chino

    Take the Summit Trail to the top of Bartolomé for sweet views. After the trek you'll be all hot, which will make you feel like jumping in the water and snorkelling. Go ahead, you earned it.

    Head to Bartolome Island, enjoy the volcanic landscape, see Galapagos penguins and lava lizards

    Climb 360 wooden steps to the summit of the island (you'll need walking shoes) - enjoy views of Pinnacle Rock

    Hike to the top of a once active volcano with views of Sullivan Bay, on nearby Santiago Island, look out for the Galapagos hawk here

    Go snorkelling, see tropical fish, sea stars and hopefully penguins, white tipped reef sharks and rays

    Approach Sombrero Chino via a sandy beach with sea lions and Sally Lightfoot crabs

    Explore the islands volcanic origin

    Follow a trail through sea lion colonies, and past marine iguanas

    Snorkel here and hoepfully see penguins and sharks

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 9 - Isla Mosquera – Baltra – Fly Quito

    Get your last chance for wildlife-spotting on Isla Mosquera. There's sea lions, marine birds, boobies, Sally Lightfoot Crabs and more.

    Sail to Isla Mosquera, a popular place for sea lions and marine birds

    See Sally Lightfoot crabs and brown pelicans

    Go snorkelling

    This is your final excursion, head to the airport for your flight back to Quito

    Upon arrival at Quito airport you'll be transferred back to the hotel


    Day 10 - Quito

    Return to Quito, where civilisation awaits. The trip winds up after breakfast.

    The adventure ends today after breakfast - there are no activities planned for today

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Bus, Motorised Yacht, Plane, Zodiac
2 nights Hotel, 7 nights Motorised Yacht
Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador
Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador

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. 

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