Embark on an unparalleled journey aboard the Galapagos Elite, the newest mega catamaran redefining luxury travel in the Galapagos Islands. With spacious and well-appointed suites accommodating up to 16 guests, enjoy panoramic ocean views and private balconies for soaking in the island landscape. Designed for maximum comfort, the Elite features integrated social areas blending indoor and outdoor experiences, including a panoramic lounge and a semi-covered sky deck. Indulge in gourmet cuisine prepared by professional chefs, with special dietary options and kids' meals available. Explore the Galapagos Islands' best visitor sites with a variety of itinerary options covering the western, central, and eastern islands. Led by experienced bilingual guides, embark on daily excursions to hike, swim, snorkel, and witness the rich wildlife unique to the archipelago. Safety is paramount aboard the Galapagos Elite, with state-of-the-art navigation equipment and premium safety measures ensuring a worry-free experience. Trust in our expert crew to make your journey memorable, as you discover the wonders of this legendary destination, nature's greatest living laboratory.

Highlights

San Cristobal Island, Gardner Bay (Española Island), Floreana Island, Mosquera Island.

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Elite Itineraries

Arrival at San Cristobal Island Airport – San Cristobal Tortoise Breeding Center (San Cristobal Island)

AM: In the morning, you will fly from either Quito or Guayaquil (on the Ecuadorian mainland) to the Galapagos Islands. At the airport on San Cristobal Island, after you will pay your entrance fee to the national park, a member of the Surtrek team will welcome you and accompany you to your ship: The Galapagos Elite Catamaran.

PM: One of the main attractions of San Cristobal Island is its Tortoise Breeding Center, where you will see enormous Galapagos tortoises, as well as iguanas. As the natural population of tortoises from San Cristobal Island is seriously threatened by animals introduced onto the island by humans – mainly wild goats, cats, and rats – the center is attempting to increase the number of tortoises as well as eradicate threatening species. Close to the center is an easy trail that covers a distance of 900 meters; along this trail, you will see different species of native and endemic plants of the Galapagos, like cat’s claw, manzanillo, romerillo, and acacia. Be careful not to touch or eat the manzanillo fruits, as these are toxic. San Cristobal Island is also one of the few islands where you can see the plant calandrinia galapagosa, which is in danger of extinction.

AM: After breakfast, we will go on an excursion to Española Island’s Suarez Point. One of the archipelago’s most outstanding wildlife areas, this site boasts a long list of species along its cliffs and its sand and pebble beaches. In addition to five species of nesting seabirds, the curious and bold Española Island mockingbirds are found here, as are other birding favorites that include Galapagos doves, Galapagos hawks, Swallow-tailed gulls and the world’s largest colony of Waved albatross – an unequivocal highlight during mating season (May-December). Several types of reptiles are unique to this island, including the marine iguana and the oversized lava lizard. In fact, this is also the only site where you will be able to see “red” sea iguanas. In addition, when heavy swells are running, Suarez Point is the site of a spectacular blowhole whose thundering spray shoots 30 yards up into the air. The trek here is on a stony path about a mile long, though the duration of this excursion is about 3 hours. Located on Española Island’s eastern shore, Gardner Bay is noted for its turquoise-colored waters and its magnificent beach, which we will visit in this morning. Around the bay’s small nearby islets, snorkelers will find an abundance of fish, as well as the occasional sea turtle and benign sharks. The bay is also frequented by a transient colony of Galapagos sea lions who love to swim with people. Birds, like the endemic Española mockingbird and different species of Darwin finches, are omnipresent.

PM: Following lunch on board the catamaran, we will sail to small Gardner Island, situated across from Espanola Island’s Gardner Bay and lined with vertical cliffs that drop to sandy ledges and large boulders. We will go snorkeling here, where you are likely to encounter the smallest of the Galapagos garden eels, Snake eels, as well as Black-spotted morays, Galapagos puffer fish, Scorpionfish, Trumpetfish, cornetfish and Red-lipped batfish. You will be able to see plenty of sea lions lying lazily on the beach. On the north end of the island are twisting tunnels, and to the south are caves, which all make for a remarkable excursion. The area has an abundance of fish including schools of snappers, Creole fish, King Angelfish, large Pufferfish, and a variety of sea urchins and sea stars. We will also ride around Osborn Islet, located close to Española Island. It is made of volcanic rock and is a popular fishing site among local small-scale fishers. On this Galapagos islet, you will have a chance to go snorkeling and see schools of tropical fish, Manta rays, Green turtles, Surgeonfish, Sea urchins, and starfish.

AM: This morning’s excursion is to the Cormorant Point visitor site. After a wet landing on the beach, we will go down a 100-meter-long path to a mangrove lagoon that is home to Galapagos ducks, black herons, oystercatchers, and plovers. With a little bit of luck, you might also see flamingos. Another path leads to a small beach that is an important nesting site for sea turtles. In the shallow water there, one can often find stingrays and Whitetip reef sharks. The next spot is Champion Islet. Though the island itself is off limits to visitors, the waters around this small landmass are great places to snorkel with sea lions and to see colorful tropical fish. Occasionally, dolphins are sighted as boats approach the shore, and the cool currents here make Champion an excellent site for spotting schools of stingrays.

PM: Later we will visit Post Office Bay, where the legendary post barrel that whalers historically used to put their mail in is still kept. After a wet landing, you can walk just off the beach to leave a letter here in hopes that it will make to its destination via another tourist. …So don’t forget to bring postcards along. Snorkelers can take a dip on the main beach among the playful sea lions and green sea turtles. Next, we will visit the Baroness’ Lookout Point, where the controversial “Baroness” Eloisa de Wagner – one of the first human inhabitants in the Galapagos Islands – would spend several hours daily observing whales and dolphins.

AM: Today we will anchor off Mosquera Island, which is located near Itabaca Channel and in between the Baltra and Seymour islands. The island consists of a long narrow stretch of white sand, rocks, and small lagoons with large populations of sea lions (in fact, this is one of the best places to take photos of these aquatic mammals). After a wet landing, a stroll down the beach will also permit views of Brown pelicans and Blue-footed boobies. Concluding this amazing experience in the Galapagos Islands, you will be transferred to the Baltra Island airport for your return flight to the Ecuadorian mainland. Enjoy your last look back at the “enchanted islands,” a unique paradise with inspiring natural wonders.

PM:

Price per person

Charter

USD$ 66990

Golden Suites

USD$ 4490

Included in the price

  • Airport/yacht/airport transfers in the Galapagos Islands
  • Airport reception and assistance
  • Double or single accommodations
  • Guided excursions, according to the itinerary
  • Top-notch bilingual (English / Spanish) National Park guide(s)
  • Services of a cruise service officer
  • Daily activity briefings
  • All meals and snacks
  • Soft drinks and juices
  • Glass of house wine for dinners
  • Captain’s Welcome and farewell cocktails
  • Supplied expedition gear (transparent sea kayaks, paddle boards, snorkeling equipment, [mask, snorkel & fins], wet suits, excursion bag, water container

Not included in the price

  • Round trip to/from the Galapagos Islands
  • Galapagos National Park Entrance fee
  • Transit Control Card
  • Alcoholic and bottled beverages
  • Tips and gratuities for guide and crew
  • Travel and health insurance (highly recommended)

Arrival in Baltra Airport (Baltra Island airport) – Bachas Beach (Santa Cruz Island)

AM: In the morning, you will fly from Quito or Guayaquil (on the Ecuadorian mainland) to Baltra Island, which is the heart of the Galapagos archipelago and the main point of entrance to this natural paradise. Upon your arrival at the airport, you will need to pay the national park entry fee, which goes to protecting both the Galapagos National Park and Marine Reserve. A member of the team will then welcome you and accompany you to your ship, the Elite Catamaran.

PM: In the afternoon, we will arrive on the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island, where we will visit the long and sandy Las Bachas Beach, one of the most important nesting beaches for sea turtles. Here you can also find flamingos, Black-winged stilts, sea lions, herons, marine iguanas, and — with a little bit of luck — tiny Galapagos penguins. In addition, this beach is one of the main nesting sites of sea turtles in the Galapagos. A female can lay eggs 3 or 4 times with an average of 70 eggs each, but they then spend 3 to 5 years without breeding. At this paradisiacal site, we will also find the remains of barges that sank long ago; these were once the property of the United States Navy when they operated an airbase on Baltra Island during World War II. In fact, the beach got its name because the English word “barges” was hard to pronounce for the local people – hence “Bachas” Beach. You will also swim on this soft white sand beach or explore the fascinating underwater by snorkeling.

AM: In the morning, we will go ashore at a crater wall where Prince Phillip’s Steps are located. These stairs were carved in the stone wall and lead up to a wide plateau where you will find nesting places of Great frigatebirds, Red-billed tropicbirds, Bahama ducks, Lava seagulls and Fork-tailed seagulls. During this easy stroll, we will cut through a small scalesia forest where you might observe short-eared owls. With a little bit of luck, you will also be able to observe the unique courtship rituals carried out by the various booby species (Red- and Blue-footed as well as Masked boobies). It truly is a show. After making our way up to the plateau to tour the El Barranco cliffs. Located on Genovesa Island, along the southern part of Darwin Bay, a one-mile (1.5 km) trail stretches out over volcanic rock that leads to this cliff (this hike takes about two hours to cover). The second half of the trail is very delicate, so please stay on the path. It can get very hot so make sure to bring water. Because of the natural erosion, this is the ideal place for the nesting of Storm petrels. Two other species of petrels that can be seen here are the Galapagos petrel and the Wooden petrel. Red-footed boobies and Nazca boobies can be seen here as well as fur seals and several species of seabirds.

PM: Later this afternoon, after a wet landing from Genovesa Island’s Darwin Bay, we will walk along a short path that leads to the nesting sites of booby and frigatebird colonies. On the beach, you can observe the interesting spectacle of how frigate birds try to rob the prey of different species of boobies.

AM: Following breakfast on board the Galapagos Elite, will visit Santiago Island’s Espumilla Beach, where marine iguanas relax and sea turtles’ nest. While snorkeling, you might come upon octopuses, morays and many types of tropical fish. There is also a Palo Santo forest close to this beach. From there, we will go to Buccaneer Cove, which in the 18th and 19th centuries was a shelter for pirates, whalers, and sailors. The bay is surrounded by high tuff cliffs where many sea-bird nests. In the cliffs, you can try to find two rock formations that look like a monkey and an elephant.

PM: This afternoon we will make a wet landing on Santiago’s Puerto Egas Beach. Its black volcanic sand was visited by Darwin in 1835 and still maintaining an abundance of marine iguanas. After a short walk of about 2 km along the coast, we will reach the rugged lava coastline of James Bay. The unique, truly striking layered terrain of Santiago’s shores is home to a variety of resident and migrant birds, including the bizarre Yellow-crowned Night-heron and an astounding array of marine wildlife – including lobsters, starfish and marine iguanas grazing on algae beds alongside Sally Lightfoot Crabs. Colonies of endemic fur seals swimming in cool water pools formed by volcanic rocks are another highlight.

AM: This morning we will visit Santa Cruz Island, the second largest of the Galapagos Islands and located in the center of the archipelago. Located there is Black Turtle Cove, a nesting site for sea turtles, which peak their heads above the surface of the water while fish and other forms of marine life circle below. With luck, the calm water will allow you to see different types of sharks (like the Whitetip reef shark) and schools of golden-colored Mustard rays. There are a number of mangrove forests here as well. After Black Turtle Cove, we will head for one of the most visited spots in the islands. Located on Santa Cruz Island, the Charles Darwin Research Station is primarily an international scientific research station situated on the outskirts of Puerto Ayora. You will be taken to its visitor center to learn about the geology, climate, natural history and the conservation of the Galapagos Islands. However, the highlight of your visit here will undoubtedly be the research facility’s Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Center, which breeds giant tortoises. Approaching them in their humid and forested spaces is always an inspiring adventure. For decades, the Fausto Center was home to “Lonesome George,” who finally died in 2012 as the last of his particular species. The tortoises you will see here are accustomed to humans, so it’s an excellent spot for visitors to take photographs with them. Remember that looking at the animals is allowed, but touching is not, and it’s absolutely forbidden to jump over the walls or open the pen doors at any time.

PM: While on Santa Cruz Island, we will also visit the Highlands of Santa Cruz Island, where the lush landscape is a welcome contrast to the arid scenery of the smaller, lower islands. On the way, we will cross through different vegetation zones – from the dry lower region full of cactuses to the scalesia woods in the Highlands. There one can find two small agricultural communities that grow the famous organic Galapagos coffee. While in the Highlands, you will have the option of visiting one of two tortoise-breeding centers: El Chato or Rancho Las Primicias. At either site, approaching these enormous and slow-moving reptiles is always an inspiring adventure. The El Chato tortoise reserve was founded in 1964 to allow visitors to observe the island’s huge Galapagos turtles and White herons in their natural habitat. You will also be able to walk through nearby underground lava tunnels formed during volcanic eruptions. As the outside of the lava hardened, the inside continued to flow to the ocean, creating these tunnels. Alternatively, Rancho Primicias is a great place to see about ten to fifteen Galapagos giant tortoises in the wild. In addition to being able to view the ocean from this location in the Highlands, you can walk through a lava cave that was formed by a volcanic eruption.

AM: Accessed by panga, Lobos Island gets its name from the herds of sea lions that have made their home here. Snorkeling in the calm clear water provides a unique opportunity to see these inquisitive and playful animals up close and it is also common to be accompanied by green turtles and rays as well. Inland, there is a trail where you can expect to encounter nesting sites for blue-footed boobies and frigates.

PM: From the dock on San Cristobal Island, we will take a short bus ride to the San Cristobal airport for your flight back to the mainland. Enjoy the last view of the “enchanted islands,” a unique paradise with fascinating natural highlights.

Price per person

Charter

USD$ 84290

Golden Suites

USD$ 5650

Included in the price

  • Airport/yacht/airport transfers in the Galapagos Islands
  • Airport reception and assistance
  • Double or single accommodations
  • Guided excursions, according to the itinerary
  • Top-notch bilingual (English / Spanish) National Park guide(s)
  • Services of a cruise service officer
  • Daily activity briefings
  • All meals and snacks
  • Soft drinks and juices
  • Glass of house wine for dinners
  • Captain’s Welcome and farewell cocktails
  • Supplied expedition gear (transparent sea kayaks, paddle boards, snorkeling equipment, [mask, snorkel & fins], wet suits, excursion bag, water container

Not included in the price

  • Round trip to/from the Galapagos Islands
  • Galapagos National Park Entrance fee
  • Transit Control Card
  • Alcoholic and bottled beverages
  • Tips and gratuities for guide and crew
  • Travel and health insurance (highly recommended)

Arrival at San Cristobal Island Airport – El Junco Lagoon (San Cristobal Island)

AM: In the morning, you will fly from either Quito or Guayaquil (on the Ecuadorian mainland) to the Galapagos Islands. At the airport on San Cristobal Island, after you will pay your entrance fee to the national park, a member of the team will welcome you and accompany you to your ship: the Galapagos Elite Catamaran.

PM: After settling in and having lunch on board the Galapagos Elite, we will visit the highlands of San Cristobal Island. We will climb up wooden stairs to the freshwater “El Junco” lagoon, and during the approximately one-hour walk around this crater lagoon, you will be introduced to the typical plant life of the island, where ferns prevail. You will also notice Frigatebirds, Bahama ducks, and moorhens around the lagoon’s bank.

AM: Today, after a dry landing on North Seymour Island, we will take a short walk along its coast, where you will encounter Swallow-tailed gulls, sea lions, and Cliff crabs. This part of Seymour Island is also known for being a major nesting site for Blue-footed boobies and one of the largest colonies of Magnificent frigate birds (a species different from the Great frigate bird). As you enjoy this relaxing hike around various nesting sites, you can also spot both of the endemic species of iguanas: marine iguanas and land iguanas.

PM: In the afternoon, we will explore the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island to visit Dragon Hill, which is an excellent spot for observing lava lizards, Darwin finches, and wading birds. On the way to Dragon Hill, we will rest at a small lagoon that’s a popular feeding place for colorful birds and flamingos.

AM: In the morning, we will take a short boat trip across the harbor of Isabela Island. After passing sea lions and pelicans that bathe in the sun on the fishing boats there, we will reach the small island of Tintoreras, where we will take an easy walk through the bizarre lava landscape with its huge colonies of marine iguanas. A colony of sea lions is also located here, and it’s common to see Whitetip reef sharks resting in the water near the shore. These sharks are called “tintoreras” in Spanish, giving the island its name. From las Tintoreras, we will drive to the highlands of Isabela Island and start hiking up to the edge of the Sierra Negra Volcano’s crater. The volcano — reaching a height of around 1,500 meters and having an outer diameter of approximately nine kilometers (over 5 miles) — is the second largest caldera in the world. We will hike along the cone to a resting place in the northeast. From the Sierra Negra Volcano, you will be able to see the Chico Volcano, which is about 90 minutes away on foot and known for its moon-like volcanic lava landscape.

PM: This afternoon, we will visit the Arnaldo Tupiza Tortoise Breeding Center, which is home to about 330 of these creatures. As the center is located only about a mile (1.5 km) from Puerto Villamil, you can either walk or drive to it. There, you can find a number of tortoise species that have been reproduced in captivity, with a few of them being in danger of extinction. In addition to tortoises, there are also beautiful gardens in which you can stroll around. These hold native plants such as manzanillo, mesquite, prickly pears and Palo Santos. Since there are wasps in the area, make sure you don’t wear bright-colored clothes, as these attract those insects. Afterwards, we will visit Los Humedales wetlands of Isabela Island. With some luck, you will be able to see pink flamingos in the lagoons. We will also enter lava tunnels, which are quite popular among the marine iguanas here.

AM: Following breakfast on board the Galapagos Elite, we will explore Isabela Island’s Moreno Point, a young volcanic landscape with numerous fresh-water pools and lagoons. You will be able to see flamingos, Bahama ducks and other birds here.

PM: After lunch, we will make a wet landing in Urbina Bay. Coral reefs are visible here as a result of an especially violent eruption of the Alcedo Volcano in 1954, when large sections of Isabela Island’s coast were suddenly raised about four meters. These reefs are now covered with poison apple and muyuyo trees. You can also observe land iguanas and the rare Mangrove finch up close here. From January to June, land turtles occasionally visit the bay, descending from their higher mountain living environments. After a short walk inland, we will have some time for snorkeling, giving you yet another chance to swim with sea turtles, sea lions, and countless tropical fish.

AM: Today on Fernandina, we will make a dry landing on Espinoza Point, one of Fernandina Island’s visitor points. It is filled with fascinating scenery, such as cactuses growing on the surface of lava. One gets a sense of how life fought to begin when seeing these plants emerging from crevices in this barren landscape. Within this unique scenery, you will encounter numerous animals – the highlights being sea lions, Galapagos penguins, Flightless cormorants (especially in the spring and summer), and one of the largest iguana colonies in the Galapagos Islands. In fact, on this small strip of land that constitutes Espinoza Point, you can find literally thousands of marine iguanas, which gather in large groups.

PM: After lunch, we will sail to the “mouth” of the head of the seahorse that forms the northern part of Isabela Island, where you’ll find Punta Vicente Roca, an interesting rock formation. Here, the remnants of an ancient volcano form two turquoise coves, with a bay that’s well protected from the ocean swells. With a bit of luck, you can see Galapagos penguins, while Masked- and Blue-footed boobies, as well as pelicans, sit perched along the point and its sheer cliffs, while flightless cormorants inhabit the shoreline. The upwelling of currents of cool water in this part of the Galapagos gives rise to an abundance of marine life, which makes Vicente Roca Point a great area for deep-water snorkeling.

AM: This morning, we will visit Playa Roja (“Red Beach”), located on the east coast of Rabida Island. Dark rust-colored sand covers this unique beach, creating an incredible landscape. This reddish color is due to the very porous volcanic materials, which – with the help of environmental factors like rain, salt water, and sea breezes – have acted as oxidizing agents. Other attractions are the vegetation in this arid zone and the presence of native and endemic species of wildlife. The beach area is open, but don’t get too close when the pelicans are nesting, and try not to disturb the sea lions. Hidden behind bushes close to the beach is a salt-water lagoon where flamingoes can often be seen. It’s best to keep quiet and avoid any sudden or rapid movements since these flamingoes can be frightened off easily.

PM: This morning, we will visit Playa Roja (“Red Beach”), located on the east coast of Rabida Island. Dark rust-colored sand covers this unique beach, creating an incredible landscape. This reddish color is due to the very porous volcanic materials, which – with the help of environmental factors like rain, salt water, and sea breezes – have acted as oxidizing agents. Other attractions are the vegetation in this arid zone and the presence of native and endemic species of wildlife. The beach area is open, but don’t get too close when the pelicans are nesting, and try not to disturb the sea lions. Hidden behind bushes close to the beach is a salt-water lagoon where flamingoes can often be seen. It’s best to keep quiet and avoid any sudden or rapid movements since these flamingoes can be frightened off easily.

AM: In the morning you will follow the route of Charles Darwin and sail around the massive tuff-rock called León Dormido or Kicker Rock, which is a nesting site for many sea birds. Look for blue-footed boobies, pelicans, and frigate birds. Then you will visit Cerro Brujo, a fascinating lava hill located on the northeastern coast of San Cristóbal Island. On the rocks you can observe blue-footed boobies, sea gulls, and some pelicans. The protected bay is very popular among young sea turtles and rays and there are excellent swimming and snorkeling possibilities.

PM: Later you will visit La Galapaguera, a breeding center for giant turtles. This center seeks to resettle a subspecies of the giant turtle in the south, which still is only present in the dry northern part of the island. During a walk through the breeding center, you will have the chance to get up close to these giants.

AM: At the port of Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of Ecuador’s Galapagos Province, we will visit San Cristobal Island’s Interpretation Center, an excellent place to learn about natural and settlement history of the archipelago. Here you will discover displays that provide information about the volcanic origins of the islands, the ocean’s currents, the archipelago’s climate, and facts concerning the arrival of different species. The islands’ human history is also showcased, chronologically narrating the most significant events related to the discovery and settlements of the Galapagos. From the dock on San Cristobal Island, we will take a short bus ride to the San Cristobal airport for your flight back to the mainland. Enjoy the last view of the “enchanted islands,” a unique paradise with fascinating natural highlights.

PM:

Price per person

Charter

USD$ 134190

Golden Suite

USD$ 8990

Included in the price

  • Airport/yacht/airport transfers in the Galapagos Islands
  • Airport reception and assistance
  • Double or single accommodations
  • Guided excursions, according to the itinerary
  • Top-notch bilingual (English / Spanish) National Park guide(s)
  • Services of a cruise service officer
  • Daily activity briefings
  • All meals and snacks
  • Soft drinks and juices
  • Glass of house wine for dinners
  • Captain’s Welcome and farewell cocktails
  • Supplied expedition gear (transparent sea kayaks, paddle boards, snorkeling equipment, [mask, snorkel & fins], wet suits, excursion bag, water container

Not included in the price

  • Round trip to/from the Galapagos Islands
  • Galapagos National Park Entrance fee
  • Transit Control Card
  • Alcoholic and bottled beverages
  • Tips and gratuities for guide and crew
  • Travel and health insurance (highly recommended)

Arrival at San Cristobal Island Airport – San Cristobal Tortoise Breeding Center (San Cristobal Island)

AM: In the morning, you will fly from either Quito or Guayaquil (on the Ecuadorian mainland) to the Galapagos Islands. At the airport on San Cristobal Island, after you will pay your entrance fee to the national park, a member of the Surtrek team will welcome you and accompany you to your ship: The Galapagos Elite Catamaran.

PM: One of the main attractions of San Cristobal Island is its Tortoise Breeding Center, where you will see enormous Galapagos tortoises, as well as iguanas. As the natural population of tortoises from San Cristobal Island is seriously threatened by animals introduced onto the island by humans – mainly wild goats, cats, and rats – the center is attempting to increase the number of tortoises as well as eradicate threatening species. Close to the center is an easy trail that covers a distance of 900 meters; along this trail, you will see different species of native and endemic plants of the Galapagos, like cat’s claw, manzanillo, romerillo, and acacia. Be careful not to touch or eat the manzanillo fruits, as these are toxic. San Cristobal Island is also one of the few islands where you can see the plant calandrinia galapagosa, which is in danger of extinction.

AM: After breakfast, we will go on an excursion to Española Island’s Suarez Point. One of the archipelago’s most outstanding wildlife areas, this site boasts a long list of species along its cliffs and its sand and pebble beaches. In addition to five species of nesting seabirds, the curious and bold Española Island mockingbirds are found here, as are other birding favorites that include Galapagos doves, Galapagos hawks, Swallow-tailed gulls and the world’s largest colony of Waved albatross – an unequivocal highlight during mating season (May-December). Several types of reptiles are unique to this island, including the marine iguana and the oversized lava lizard. In fact, this is also the only site where you will be able to see “red” sea iguanas. In addition, when heavy swells are running, Suarez Point is the site of a spectacular blowhole whose thundering spray shoots 30 yards up into the air. The trek here is on a stony path about a mile long, though the duration of this excursion is about 3 hours. Located on Española Island’s eastern shore, Gardner Bay is noted for its turquoise-colored waters and its magnificent beach, which we will visit in this morning. Around the bay’s small nearby islets, snorkelers will find an abundance of fish, as well as the occasional sea turtle and benign sharks. The bay is also frequented by a transient colony of Galapagos sea lions who love to swim with people. Birds, like the endemic Española mockingbird and different species of Darwin finches, are omnipresent.

PM: Following lunch on board the catamaran, we will sail to small Gardner Island, situated across from Espanola Island’s Gardner Bay and lined with vertical cliffs that drop to sandy ledges and large boulders. We will go snorkeling here, where you are likely to encounter the smallest of the Galapagos garden eels, Snake eels, as well as Black-spotted morays, Galapagos puffer fish, Scorpionfish, Trumpetfish, cornetfish and Red-lipped batfish. You will be able to see plenty of sea lions lying lazily on the beach. On the north end of the island are twisting tunnels, and to the south are caves, which all make for a remarkable excursion. The area has an abundance of fish including schools of snappers, Creole fish, King Angelfish, large Pufferfish, and a variety of sea urchins and sea stars. We will also ride around Osborn Islet, located close to Española Island. It is made of volcanic rock and is a popular fishing site among local small-scale fishers. On this Galapagos islet, you will have a chance to go snorkeling and see schools of tropical fish, Manta rays, Green turtles, Surgeonfish, Sea urchins, and starfish.

AM: This morning’s excursion is to the Cormorant Point visitor site. After a wet landing on the beach, we will go down a 100-meter-long path to a mangrove lagoon that is home to Galapagos ducks, black herons, oystercatchers, and plovers. With a little bit of luck, you might also see flamingos. Another path leads to a small beach that is an important nesting site for sea turtles. In the shallow water there, one can often find stingrays and Whitetip reef sharks. The next spot is Champion Islet. Though the island itself is off limits to visitors, the waters around this small landmass are great places to snorkel with sea lions and to see colorful tropical fish. Occasionally, dolphins are sighted as boats approach the shore, and the cool currents here make Champion an excellent site for spotting schools of stingrays.

PM: Later we will visit Post Office Bay, where the legendary post barrel that whalers historically used to put their mail in is still kept. After a wet landing, you can walk just off the beach to leave a letter here in hopes that it will make to its destination via another tourist. …So don’t forget to bring postcards along. Snorkelers can take a dip on the main beach among the playful sea lions and green sea turtles. Next, we will visit the Baroness’ Lookout Point, where the controversial “Baroness” Eloisa de Wagner – one of the first human inhabitants in the Galapagos Islands – would spend several hours daily observing whales and dolphins.

AM: Today we will anchor off Mosquera Island, which is located near Itabaca Channel and in between the Baltra and Seymour islands. The island consists of a long narrow stretch of white sand, rocks, and small lagoons with large populations of sea lions (in fact, this is one of the best places to take photos of these aquatic mammals). After a wet landing, a stroll down the beach will also permit views of Brown pelicans and Blue-footed boobies.

PM: In the afternoon, we will arrive on the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island, where we will visit the long and sandy Las Bachas Beach, one of the most important nesting beaches for sea turtles. Here you can also find flamingos, Black-winged stilts, sea lions, herons, marine iguanas, and — with a little bit of luck — tiny Galapagos penguins. In addition, this beach is one of the main nesting sites of sea turtles in the Galapagos. A female can lay eggs 3 or 4 times with an average of 70 eggs each, but they then spend 3 to 5 years without breeding. At this paradisiacal site, we will also find the remains of barges that sank long ago; these were once the property of the United States Navy when they operated an airbase on Baltra Island during World War II. In fact, the beach got its name because the English word “barges” was hard to pronounce for the local people – hence “Bachas” Beach. You will also can swim on this soft white sand beach or explore the fascinating underwater by snorkeling.

AM: In the morning, we will go ashore at a crater wall where Prince Phillip’s Steps are located. These stairs were carved in the stone wall and lead up to a wide plateau where you will find nesting places of Great frigatebirds, Red-billed tropicbirds, Bahama ducks, Lava seagulls and Fork-tailed seagulls. During this easy stroll, we will cut through a small scalesia forest where you might observe short-eared owls. With a little bit of luck, you will also be able to observe the unique courtship rituals carried out by the various booby species (Red- and Blue-footed as well as Masked boobies). It truly is a show. After making our way up to the plateau to tour the El Barranco cliffs. Located on Genovesa Island, along the southern part of Darwin Bay, a one-mile (1.5 km) trail stretches out over volcanic rock that leads to this cliff (this hike takes about two hours to cover). The second half of the trail is very delicate, so please stay on the path. It can get very hot so make sure to bring water. Because of the natural erosion, this is the ideal place for the nesting of Storm petrels. Two other species of petrels that can be seen here are the Galapagos petrel and the Wooden petrel. Red-footed boobies and Nazca boobies can be seen here as well as fur seals and several species of seabirds.

PM: Later this afternoon, after a wet landing from Genovesa Island’s Darwin Bay, we will walk along a short path that leads to the nesting sites of booby and frigatebird colonies. On the beach, you can observe the interesting spectacle of how frigate birds try to rob the prey of different species of boobies.

AM: Following breakfast on board the Galapagos Elite, will visit Santiago Island’s Espumilla Beach, where marine iguanas relax and sea turtles’ nest. While snorkeling, you might come upon octopuses, morays and many types of tropical fish. There is also a Palo Santo forest close to this beach. From there, we will go to Buccaneer Cove, which in the 18th and 19th centuries was a shelter for pirates, whalers, and sailors. The bay is surrounded by high tuff cliffs where many sea-bird nests. In the cliffs, you can try to find two rock formations that look like a monkey and an elephant.

PM: This afternoon we will make a wet landing on Santiago’s Puerto Egas Beach. Its black volcanic sand was visited by Darwin in 1835 and still maintaining an abundance of marine iguanas. After a short walk of about 2 km along the coast, we will reach the rugged lava coastline of James Bay. The unique, truly striking layered terrain of Santiago’s shores is home to a variety of resident and migrant birds, including the bizarre Yellow-crowned Night-heron and an astounding array of marine wildlife – including lobsters, starfish and marine iguanas grazing on algae beds alongside Sally Lightfoot Crabs. Colonies of endemic fur seals swimming in cool water pools formed by volcanic rocks are another highlight.

AM: This morning we will visit Santa Cruz Island, the second largest of the Galapagos Islands and located in the center of the archipelago. Located there is Black Turtle Cove, a nesting site for sea turtles, which peak their heads above the surface of the water while fish and other forms of marine life circle below. With luck, the calm water will allow you to see different types of sharks (like the Whitetip reef shark) and schools of golden-colored Mustard rays. There are a number of mangrove forests here as well. After Black Turtle Cove, we will head for one of the most visited spots in the islands. Located on Santa Cruz Island, the Charles Darwin Research Station is primarily an international scientific research station situated on the outskirts of Puerto Ayora. You will be taken to its visitor center to learn about the geology, climate, natural history and the conservation of the Galapagos Islands. However, the highlight of your visit here will undoubtedly be the research facility’s Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Center, which breeds giant tortoises. Approaching them in their humid and forested spaces is always an inspiring adventure. For decades, the Fausto Center was home to “Lonesome George,” who finally died in 2012 as the last of his particular species. The tortoises you will see here are accustomed to humans, so it’s an excellent spot for visitors to take photographs with them. Remember that looking at the animals is allowed, but touching is not, and it’s absolutely forbidden to jump over the walls or open the pen doors at any time.

PM: While on Santa Cruz Island, we will also visit the Highlands of Santa Cruz Island, where the lush landscape is a welcome contrast to the arid scenery of the smaller, lower islands. On the way, we will cross through different vegetation zones – from the dry lower region full of cactuses to the scalesia woods in the Highlands. There one can find two small agricultural communities that grow the famous organic Galapagos coffee. While in the Highlands, you will have the option of visiting one of two tortoise-breeding centers: El Chato or Rancho Las Primicias. At either site, approaching these enormous and slow-moving reptiles is always an inspiring adventure. The El Chato tortoise reserve was founded in 1964 to allow visitors to observe the island’s huge Galapagos turtles and White herons in their natural habitat. You will also be able to walk through nearby underground lava tunnels formed during volcanic eruptions. As the outside of the lava hardened, the inside continued to flow to the ocean, creating these tunnels. Alternatively, Rancho Primicias is a great place to see about ten to fifteen Galapagos giant tortoises in the wild. In addition to being able to view the ocean from this location in the Highlands, you can walk through a lava cave that was formed by a volcanic eruption.

AM: Accessed by panga, Lobos Island gets its name from the herds of sea lions that have made their home here. Snorkeling in the calm clear water provides a unique opportunity to see these inquisitive and playful animals up close and it is also common to be accompanied by green turtles and rays as well. Inland, there is a trail where you can expect to encounter nesting sites for blue-footed boobies and frigates.

PM: From the dock on San Cristobal Island, we will take a short bus ride to the San Cristobal airport for your flight back to the mainland. Enjoy the last view of the “enchanted islands,” a unique paradise with fascinating natural highlights.

Price per person

Charter

USD$ 134190

Golden Suite

USD$ 8990

Included in the price

  • Airport/yacht/airport transfers in the Galapagos Islands
  • Airport reception and assistance
  • Double or single accommodations
  • Guided excursions, according to the itinerary
  • Top-notch bilingual (English / Spanish) National Park guide(s)
  • Services of a cruise service officer
  • Daily activity briefings
  • All meals and snacks
  • Soft drinks and juices
  • Glass of house wine for dinners
  • Captain’s Welcome and farewell cocktails
  • Supplied expedition gear (transparent sea kayaks, paddle boards, snorkeling equipment, [mask, snorkel & fins], wet suits, excursion bag, water container

Not included in the price

  • Round trip to/from the Galapagos Islands
  • Galapagos National Park Entrance fee
  • Transit Control Card
  • Alcoholic and bottled beverages
  • Tips and gratuities for guide and crew
  • Travel and health insurance (highly recommended)

Explore Elite on video

Here, we invite you to embark on an exciting virtual journey to discover every corner of this magnificent ship. Immerse yourself in a series of captivating videos that will showcase the luxurious cabins, delicious dining options, and exciting onboard activities that make Elite an unforgettable experience. From stunning sunrises on deck to fun themed nights, each video will give you a vivid insight into life aboard Elite. Get ready to be swept away by the excitement and beauty of sailing with Elite on this thrilling virtual adventure!"

Boat specifications

Technical Specifications:

  • Construction: completed in 2017
  • Total length: 38.00 m
  • Cruising speed: 10 knots
  • Propulsion: 2xMTU Series 60 Diesel Engine 475HP @ 1800RPM 8000H / year
  • Electric Generation: 2x John Deere Genset 70kw @ 1800rpm standby 3ph 60Hz
  • Fuel capacity: 6,000 gallons
  • Water capacity: 5,980 gallons
  • Autonomous water production: 2,000 gallons / day

Accommodations:

  • 4 main deck cabins:
    • 2 matrimonial cabins (each, 247 square feet)
    • 2 twin cabins (each, 269 square feet)
  • 4 upper deck cabins
    • 2 matrimonial cabins (each, 215 square feet)
    • 2 twin cabins (each, 258 square feet)

Each cabin has its own private balcony, a private bathroom, individual climate controls and ample storage space for clothing and luggage.

Facilities:

  • Dining Room
  • Lounge (the lounge area is separated from the interior dining room)
  • Alfresco dining area
  • Sundeck
  • Jacuzzi
  • Use of kayaks
  • Use of wetsuits

Deck plans

Elite Gallery

Welcome to the "Elite" photo section! Here, you can explore every corner of this impressive ship through a collection of stunning images. Discover the elegance of our cabins, the sophistication of the restaurants, and the variety of activities that await you on board. Each photograph captures the essence of life on Elite, from relaxing days by the pool to exciting excursions in exotic destinations. Let yourself be inspired by the panoramic views and carefully designed details that make Elite a unique experience. Get ready to embark on a visual journey that will make you dream of your next adventure at sea!

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Surtrek offers some of the best Galapagos cruises of the season, providing an unparalleled experience for exploring the unique biodiversity and stunning landscapes of the islands. Their meticulously curated itineraries include luxurious accommodations, expert-guided excursions, and opportunities for intimate wildlife encounters, ensuring an unforgettable adventure. With a commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly practices, Surtrek’s cruises cater to nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike, making them a top choice for a Galapagos journey.

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Trip Advisor Reviews

star rating  Maravillosa visita a Ecuador y Galápagos  - Hemos estado dos semanas viajando por Ecuador y Galápagos con la empresa Surtrek y realmente estamos muy contentos con el trabajo de esta empresa. Todo, todo ha sido perfecto, los guias en diferentes ciudades han sido muy amables y competentes, se nota que aman su trabajo y lo más importante, transmiten su amor por su país.

Ha sido un placer conoceros!! Volveremos!!

avatar thumb Rosa M
September 1, 2022

star rating  Viaje, agencia y equipo excelente!  - Acabamos de hacer un viaje a Ecuador con Surtrek, hemos visitado Quito y Galápagos, el trato y la organización han sido excelente. Desde el trabajo de planificación del viaje con Karla, hasta el acompañamiento del conductor Cristian, y los guías David y Rachel en las actividades. Todo el equipo ha sido muy profesional y atento a nuestras necesidades. los recomiendo totalmente.

avatar thumb clarag920
April 9, 2023

star rating  Todo solucionado. Gran servicio.  - Muy buen servicio, muy personalizado, atendiendo todos los detalles de nuestras necesidades, tanto programadas como las que aparecían sobre la marcha. Gran amabilidad de todos los representantes de la organización con quien tuvimos contacto. Definitivamente muy recomendable.

avatar thumb Agirbal
April 5, 2023

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