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Ecuador & Galapagos Holidays

Cachalote Explorer Cruise

9 Night Itinerary from  £5,264

Cachalote Explorer Cruise Tour

The Darwin Tour is our entry level tour of the Galapagos islands. It includes flights from the UK, one day exploring Quito and 7 nights cruising aboard the spacious Cachalote Explorer with all meals, guided walks and excursions.

Select your preferred departure date

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Tour Route

Travel Highlights

  • Departing Mondays from the UK
  • Special offer departures in 2022 - save up to £750 per person
  • The easiest and lowest cost way to visit the Galapagos
  • Optional guided tour of Quito's World Heritage centre
  • Discover the friendly wildlife of the Galapagos on a 7-night expedition cruise
  • Included meals in a friendly small ship environment
  • Enjoy daily excursions and walks through the islands with expert naturalist guides
  • Nightly lectures and talks with special insights on the Galapagos Islands
  • Snorkel with sea lions and colourful marine life

This itinerary can be tailored to your preferences by our specialist advisors, who can provide a guaranteed price based on your choice of route, duration, flights, hotels, transport and excursions.

Tour Itinerary

Frank Ecuador Quito DSC 1422 Bewerkt 1

Quito - 2 Nights

Day 1 - Fly from the UK to Quito

Day 2 - Optional guided tour of Quito


  • Full Description
  • Accommodation

Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Fly from the UK to Quito

Depart the UK on a daytime flight to Quito, arriving the same evening. You will be met by our representative and taken to your hotel for 2 nights. Our guide will provide you with expert local advice, explain your programme and answer any questions you may have.

Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Optional Guided Tour of Quito

Today is at leisure to rest and adjust to the high altitude and explore Quito at your own pace. Or you take an optional guided tour of Quito in the afternoon, including the historic old part of the city with its fabulous colonial architecture, many convents, churches and small streets to explore. We will visit the three main squares including impressive San Francisco square as well as the Presidential Palace and the Gold Museum.

Rincon Puembo

Quito - Tourist Hotel

The Rincon de Puembo is located 20 minutes from Quito's new airport, in the small town of Puembo, making it ideal for travellers having to overnight in between flights. The accommodation is all found in a replica colonial-style street, with wonderful traditional touches. Perfect for relaxing by the pool and taking a rest stop from your Ecuadorean itinerary.

1874 Rincon Puembo
Galapagos Giant Tortoise 4

Galapagos Cruise - 7 Nights

Day 3 - Fly to the Galapagos & embark M/Y Cachalote Explorer

Day 4 - South Plaza and Santa Fe Island

Day 5 - San Cristobal Island

Day 6 - Española (Hood) Island

Day 7 - Floreana Island

Day 8 - Santa Cruz Island and James Island

Day 9 - Tower (Genovesa) Island

Day 10 - Turtle Cove Santa Cruz Island and return to the UK

Day 11 - Arrive in the UK



  • Full Description
  • Accommodation

Thursday, 29 September 2022

Fly to the Galapagos & embark M/Y Cachalote Explorer

Fly to Baltra Airport, Galapagos Islands and transfer to the Cachalote Explorer for your 7-night cruise on a full board basis including all excursions. The Cachalote Explorer offers a choice of two 7 night itineraries departing on Wednesdays. Here, we focus on the Tower itinerary exploring the Central,  Southern and Northern Islands.

Rest of the day exploring Santa Cruz Island.

  • Highlands of Santa Cruz: Galapagos giant tortoises can be seen in the wild in the highlands of Santa Cruz.
  • Charles Darwin Station: Visit the Charles Darwin Station is a research facility and National Park Information center. The Charles Darwin Station has a giant tortoise and land iguana breeding program and interpretation centre.


Friday, 30 September 2022

South Plaza Island / Santa Fe Island

South Plaza Island: Plazas consists of two very small islands that were uplifted from the sea, separated by a channel. Only South Plazas has a visitor site. The highlights include tall Opuntia cactus, land and marine iguanas, rocky cliff that looks out towards open ocean which is also a nesting site for red-billed tropic birds and gulls, and a seal lion bachelor colony.

Santa Fe Island: Santa Fe is a smaller island of 24 km2. The visitor site Santa Fe is located on the northeast end of the island. Highlights include Santa Fe land iguanas, pelican nesting site, sea lion colony, mockingbird, and Palo Santo trees.


Saturday, 01 October 2022

San Cristóbal Island

San Cristóbal Island (Chatham): San Cristóbal is the easternmost island of Galapagos and also one of the oldest.

  • Witch Hill: Witch Hill (Cerro Brujo) is a volcanic cone that looks over a beautiful white sandy beach which has plenty of sea lions, pelicans, blue-footed boobies, waders and marine iguanas.
  • Galapaguera and el Junco: The lagoon is the only fresh water reservoir in Galapagos and has great views from its altitude of 700m in the highlands of San Cristóbal. Rainwater has collected in the caldera for hundreds of years and formed this lagoon.Galapaguera is a good area to see tortoises in their natural environment.

Sunday, 02 October 2022

Española (Hood) Island

Hood Island (Española):  Hood is the oldest of the Southern Islands and is the southernmost in the archipelago. Because of its remote location a unique range of endemic species evolved here

  • Gardner Bay: Located on the northeast of the island, the site has a long and beautiful white sand beach inhabited by sea lion colonies
  • Islote Garnder and Islote Osborn: These islets are snorkeling sites where visitors will see an abundance of tropical fish, reef sharks,  and turtles.
  • Punta Suarez: The wildlife at Punta Suarez is plentiful and varied. Along the cliff visitors can enjoy the blowhole where seawater is forced about 20m into the air. The highlights are the Waved albatross (April-Dec) that are only found on Hood, Galapagos Hawks, blue-footed boobies, Ñasca boobies, and Española lava lizards.

Monday, 03 October 2022

Floreana Island

Floreana Island: Floreana is best known for its colorful history of buccaneers, whalers, convicts, and early colonists.

  • Punta Cormorant: Punta Cormorant has two contrasting beaches and a large inland lagoon where pink flamingoes can be seen.
  • Devil’s Crown: This is a snorkeling site located just off Punta Cormorant. The site is a completely submerged volcano that has eroded to create the appearance of a jagged crown.
  • Post Office Bay: This is one of the few sites visited for its human history. Visit the wooden mail barrel where letters are dropped off and picked up and remains of the Norwegian fishing village.

Tuesday, 04 October 2022

Santa Cruz Island / James Island

Santa Cruz Island

  • Dragon Hill: Cerro Dragon has hypersalinic small lagoon behind the beach, often frequented by flamingoes

James Island (Santiago)

James Island is located between Isabela and Santa Cruz Islands. This Island offers a wide variety of seabirds, marine iguanas and fur seals.

  • Sullivan Bay: This site is of great geological interest. Highlights: 100 hundred year old lava flow field, pahoehoe formations, and lava bubbles.

Wednesday, 05 October 2022

Tower (Genovesa) Island

Tower Island (Genovesa): Tower is an eroded flat volcanic island, with a natural harbor, which is actually the submerged caldera of this volcanic island.

  • Darwin Bay: The steep cliffs of this area dominate the island. This area is home to thousands of frigate birds, red-footed boobies, Noddy terns, lava gulls, tropicbirds, doves, storm petrels and Darwin’s finches.
  • El Barranco: There is a good possibility of seeing the unique “Short eared owl” at this site. During the dinghy rides along the cliffs fur seals and several species of seabirds can be spotted.

Thursday, 06 October 2022

Turtle Cove, Santa Cruz Island and return to the UK

Santa Cruz Island

Caleta Tortuga (Turtle Cove): Turtle Cove is a red mangrove lagoon on Santa Cruz and a perfect example of how mangroves alter the marine environment to create a rich and unique habitat.

Transfer to Baltra Airport for your flight to Guayaquil and onward overnight flight back to the UK..

Friday, 07 October 2022

Arrive in the UK

Cachalote Explorer

Galapagos Islands - Tourist Motor Yacht

Enjoy the small ship experience of cruising from island to island, getting close to the shore, feel the breeze and listening to the sea. After the morning and afternoon landings ashore, you can enjoy the spacious sundeck areas, sunbathe and admire the sea lions playing around you.

The Cachalote Explorer accommodates up to 16 passengers in 8 air conditioned double cabins, all with private bathroom facilities. There is a crew of 9 including your Galapagos Naturalist Guide that will take you on daily excursions.

2022 SPECIAL OFFER - Save up to £800 per couple on the departures below:

  • 6 July 
  • 24 August
  • 7 September
  • 19 October
  • 23 November
  • 7 December
The Cachalote Explorer offers good comfort, a quality experience and exceptional value

Price Guidelines

Season Low Season High Season
Travel Dates Special Offer dates 2022 and 2023 - please call for details 2022 and 2023
Room Arrangement Tourist Tourist
Multiple Travellers - Twin Room £5,264 £5,552

Prices are a guideline and per person. Please request a quote for Special Events, Christmas, New Year's Eve & Easter.

What's Included

  • 11 Days / 9 Nights
  • International flights (1 overnight)
  • Internal flights to/from The Galapagos Islands
  • 2 nights in Quito on a bed and breakfast basis
  • 7 night cruise on the M/Y Cachalote Explorer on a full board basis
  • 9 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 7 dinners
  • All transfers 
  • Excursions with English-speaking guides

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