Galapagos Legend

Discover the Galapagos Islands on board the Galapagos Legend cruise.

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Discover the Galapagos Islands on board the Galapagos Legend cruise.

This magnificent vessel, with a capacity for 100 guests, has the charm of The Galapagos Islands; it is still small enough for a more intimate experience with friends and family. With her three different decks, the Galapagos Legend offers a great variety of comfortable and spacious social areas without losing its sense of intimacy. Its fantastic open decks allow you to admire the islands’ flora and fauna, enjoy a BBQ at night, or take some sun at the pool and bar areas.

Take advantage of its spacious inside auditorium for important conferences. Our philosophy is based on an environment without any formalisms or strict etiquette.

The M/V Galapagos Legend has 52 ocean view, air-conditioned cabins plus 3 interior ones, each cabin counts with lower beds and private facilities in which a matrimonial, double, triple or quadruple options are available. We have suited a new cabin configuration to assure enjoyment for families and friends traveling together. Each cabin includes: hair dryer, special bedding, and updated furniture. Internal, local and international satellite telephone service is offered, Internet is accessible when anchoring in main islands. Voltage is set for 110-220 volts/60 Hz.

The Balcony suites have private balconies and panoramic windows to immerse yourself within the vast landscape that you are about to witness and enjoy it privately. The Junior suites have three meters of panoramic windows to enjoy the scenery.

Some of the cabins are interconnected, perfect for small groups and families’ organization.

ITINERARIES

Cruise A (Mon – Thu) – 4 days / 3 nights

Day 1: Monday
– AM – Baltra airport
Departure from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra (2 ½ hours flight). Passengers are picked up at the airport by our naturalist guides and taken on a ten-minute bus drive to the pier to board the M/V Galapagos Legend.

– PM – Highlands – Pit Craters (Santa Cruz)
Dry landing. A 45-minute bus ride will take us to the Santa Cruz highlands, located to the northwest of Puerto Ayora, where we will find a natural reserve with giant tortoises*. These enormous and slow-moving reptiles are responsible for the island’s name and therefore approaching them in their humid and forested abode is always an inspiring adventure. They can weigh between 250 and 300 kg and can live up to 150-200 years. Additionally, travelers can walk inside surprising lava tubes*; visit Pit Craters created from the collapse of surface materials into chamber fissures underground. It’s a great place to spot Vermilion Flycatcher as we walk inside an endemic Scalesia forest.
Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: flat & muddy sometimes (depending on season)
Duration: 45 minutes drive / 1h30 walk

Day 2: Tuesday
– AM – Egas Port (Santiago)
Wet landing on a beach of black volcanic sand, visited by Darwin in 1835. The first section of the trail is comprised of volcanic ash (eroded tuff) and the other half of partially uneven terrain is comprised of volcanic basaltic rock lounging the shoreline.
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 astounding array of marine wildlife including lobster, starfish and marine iguanas grazing on algae beds alongside Sally Light-foot Crabs. Colonies of endemic fur seals swimming in cool water pools formed by volcanic rocks are also a highlight.
Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: the first part flat and then semi rocky.
Duration: 1h30 walk / 1 hour snorkeling

– PM – Bartolome dry or wet landing
We discover a fascinating moonscape* formed by different volcanic parasitic cones —lava bombs, spatter, cinder cones —as we hike to the summit for impressive views of the surrounding islands, including the eroded tuff cone Pinnacle Rock*. We also encounter marine iguanas, lava lizards and bluefooted boobies*.
Beach time is a great opportunity to snorkel and see (perhaps swim with) Galapagos Penguins, sea turtles and White-tipped Reef Sharks among a great variety of colorful fish. For many visitors, this may turn out to be the best of snorkeling experiences*; the water here is generally clear, without too much surf and full of marine life.
Due to its geographical location, the lack of vegetation is immediately noticeable. Pioneer plants are observed, so called because they are the first to establish roots on new ground. They include Tiquilia nesiotica (which is endemic to the island) and Chamaesyce (known as sand mat or spurge in English), lava cactus, and Scalesia bushes. Behind the beach we have dunes covered by mangroves.
Difficulty level: intermediate.
Type of terrain: trail made of steps (372 steps)
Duration: 1h30 walk / 1 hour snorkeling

Day 3: Wednesday
– AM – Dragon Hill (Santa Cruz)
Dry landing. We walk by a brackish lagoon where feeding flaamingoes can be occasionally found. The trail leads across typical dry zone vegetation* up to Dragon Hill, an important nesting ground for endemic land iguanas*, offering lovely views of the anchorage and neighboring islands. The forest is home to mockingbirds, Darwin’s finches, Yellow Warblers and Galapagos Doves.
Difficulty level: intermediate.
Type of terrain: rocky
Duration: 2 hours walk

– PM – North Seymour
Dry landing. This is perhaps one of the busiest tourist destinations on the archipelago. Off of Baltra Island (where the airport is located) and not far from Santa Cruz, North Seymour is the most accessible for day trips out of Santa Cruz’s main port, Puerto Ayora.
An approximately two hour walk amidst large nesting colonies of blue-footed boobies*, magnificent and great frigatebirds*, and swallow-tailed gulls for an in depth encounter with sea bird breeding cycles and as well as sea lions. You will also encounter sea lions, land iguanas, and on a lucky day, you might even come across a Galapagos Snake.
Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: rocky
Duration: 2hours walk, 30 minutes snorkeling

Day 4: Thursday
– AM – Bachas Beach (Santa Cruz)
Wet landing on the north side of Santa Cruz; behind the beach lie two small flaamingoponds with iguanas, coastal birds, Darwin finches, mockingbirds, and gulls, as well as interesting native and endemic vegetation, red and black mangroves, salt bushes, and much more. 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 then spend 3 or 5 years without breeding.
At this paradisiacal site we will also find the remains of barges that sank long ago, once property of the United States Navy when they operated an airbase on Baltra Island during World War II. That is why the beach is called “Bachas” because the word “barges” in English was hard to pronounce for the local people.
Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy
Duration: 1 hour walk / 1 hour snorkeling/swimming
– Baltra airport
Transfer to the airport for return flight to Guayaquil or Quito

Cruise B (Thu – Mon) - 5 days / 4 nights

Day 1: Thursday
– AM – Baltra airport
Departure from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra (2 ½ hours flight). Passengers are picked up at the airport by our naturalist guides and taken on a ten minute bus drive to the pier to board the M/V Galapagos Legend.

– PM – Black Turtle Cove
On the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, accessible only by sea where four species of mangrove crowd from the shore out into the lagoon, turtle enjoy swimming in the calm waters, peaking their heads above the surface while fish, rays and small sharks circle below. White-tipped reef sharks can be seen beneath the boat, sea birds, including pelicans, herons and egrets, all feed in the cove. This cove has been declared as a “Turtle Sanctuary”.
Difficulty level: easy
Duration: 1h00

Day 2: Friday
– AM – Sullivan Bay (Santiago)
Wet landing. This visitor site located at the southeastern portion of Santiago Island, and of important geologic interest, features extensive lava ­flows believed to have been formed during the last quarter of the 19th century.
Difficulty level: difficult, 1.5 km path
Type of terrain: fl­at volcanic lava
Duration: 1h30 walk / 1 hour snorkeling/swimming

– PM – Rabida
Wet landing. Dark-red sand covers these unique beaches with incredible landscape; Rabida is considered the epicenter of the Galapagos Islands due to the diversity of its volcanic geology. Nesting Brown Pelicans are found from July through September and nine species of the famous Darwin’s finches can be seen. We will also take a dinghy ride along cliffs to observe nesting seabirds, and snorkel off the coast, where marine life is particularly active.
Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy
Duration: 1h30 walk / 1 hour snorkeling/1 hour dinghy ride

Day 3: Saturday
– AM – Urbina Bay (Isabela)
Wet landing on a volcanic “black” beach. Depending on the season, we may find giant tortoises*, land iguanas* and the unusual Flightless Cormorant. After a short walk inland, snorkeling time is allotted, giving you yet another chance to swim with sea turtles, sea lions and countless tropical fish. Urbina Bay features a wide variety of plant life that changes depending on the season. We can observe the beautiful colors of plants that attract different insects, birds and reptiles. We will explore the uplifted coral reef that resulted from 1954 volcanic activity, with a spectacular view of Alcedo Volcano.
Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: flat
Duration: 1h30 walk / 1 hour snorkeling

– PM – Tagus Cove (Isabela) Dry landing on Galapagos’ largest
Dry landing on Galapagos’ largest island where we will learn about the eruption of the five volcanoes that form it. The trail leads to Darwin’s salt-water crater Lake and excellent views of lava fields and volcanic formations. We will return by the same path for a dinghy ride along a shoreline full of marine wildlife, where we will admire a variety of seabirds*, such as Blue-footed Booby, Brown Noddy, terns, Flightless Cormorant and depending on the season, a large number of Galapagos Penguins* which are only 35 cm. tall; the only penguin species in the world to extend its range into the northern hemisphere along the equator. They are monogamous and lay their eggs in small cracks of lava, on the lower parts of the island near the shoreline not reached by the ocean waves. The population of penguins on the islands is about 2,000 individuals, most of which live on this western portion of Isabela; others are scattered further south on the island. We will have an opportunity to snorkel in deep water. Graffiti believed to have been left by19th-century pirates is a curious reminder of an intriguing past.
Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: steep
Duration: 2 hours walk /40 minutes dinghy ride / deep water snorkeling 1 hour

Day 4: Sunday
– AM – Espinosa Point (Fernandina)
Dry landing. Espinosa Point is the only spot that we visit on Fernandina, and from it we can see the island of Isabela across the Bolívar Channel, an area that boasts some of the highest diversity of endemic sea fauna in the Galapagos. The largest, most primitive-looking race of marine iguanas* are found mingling with sea lions and Sally Lightfoot Crabs; a wonderful opportunity to encounter Flightless Cormorants at their nesting sites, Galapagos Penguins and the “King” of predators on the Islands, the Galapagos Hawk. 
“Pa-hoe-hoe” and “AA” lava formations* cover the majority of the terrain. Vegetation is thus scarce inland, but we encounter Brachycereus cacti and extensive mangrove beds lining the shores.
Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: rocky
Duration: 2 h0urs walk /1 hour snorkeling

– PM – Vicente Roca Point (Isabela)
Great deep-water* snorkeling at one of the richest marine havens on Earth (Bolívar Channel). We take a dinghy ride along the coast to observe a great diversity of sea and coastal birds*; Nazca and blue-footed boobies, noddies, brown pelicans, penguins, fl­ightless cormorants. The upwelling of coldwater currents in this part of the Galapagos gives rise to an abundance of marine life.
Duration: 1 hour snorkeling / 1 hour dinghy ride

Day 5: Monday
– AM – Highlands (Santa Cruz)
Dry landing. A 45-minute bus ride will take us to the Santa Cruz highlands, located to the northwest of Puerto Ayora, where we will find a natural reserve with giant tortoises. These enormous and slow-moving reptiles are responsible for the island’s name and therefore approaching them in their humid and forested abode is always an inspiring adventure. They can weigh between 250 and 300 kg and can live up to 150-200 years.
Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: ­flat & muddy sometimes (depending on season)
Duration: 45 minutes drive / 1h30 walk
After the visit passengers will be transferred to Baltra airport for return fl­ight to Guayaquil or Quito.

Cruise C (Mon – Thu) - 4 days / 3 nights

Day 1: Monday
– AM – Baltra airport
Departure from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra (2 ½ hours fl­ight). Passengers are picked up at the airport by our naturalist guides and taken on a ten-minute bus drive to the pier to board the M/V Galapagos Legend.

– PM – Mosquera Islet
Wet landing, Mosquera Islet is located between North Seymour and Baltra Islands, this ­flat, sandy island has a large colony of sea lions. It is also an excellent site for observing shorebirds such as herons and Lava Gulls. There is no trail on Mosquera Island, so any visitor can enjoy an open are. Most of the islet is covered with sand and barren lava rock. Very little sesuvium portulacastrum grows on the sand.
Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy
Duration: 1h30 walk & snorkeling

Day 2: Tuesday
– AM – South Plaza (Plazas Island)
Dry landing on the northern part of the Islet. The walk begins with an impressive cactus forest* surrounded by land and marine iguanas*; as we reach its highest point, be on the lookout for tropicbirds, a Nazca and blue-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls*. In South Plaza there is a large colony of the smaller sized land iguanas. The population is approximately 300 individuals. They feed on all kinds of vegetation, but during the dry season survive on the fruits and ­flowers of Opuntia cacti. Due to their proximity with marine iguanas, this is the only place on Earth where we will ‑find the Galapagos hybrid iguana*.
Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: rocky
Duration: 2 hours walk

– PM – Santa Fe
Wet landing on a white sand beach surrounded by a sea lion colony; we continue walking through an endemic cactus forest as we search for the endemic Santa Fe land iguana*, the largest in the islands and distinctively paler. This island is home to a number of endemic species including Galapagos Hawk*, Galapagos Snake, a variety of finches and one of the four species of Galapagos mockingbirds*. Deep-water snorkeling.
Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: rocky
Duration: 1h30 walk / 1 hour deep-water snorkeling

Day 2: Wednesday
– AM – Pitt Point / Pitt Islet (San Cristobal)
Wet landing followed by a high intensity hike on rocky terrain. The trail includes an olivine beach of 90 meters long and a path that climbs to the top of a volcanic tuff, through several magnificent viewpoints*. This is probably the only site where the three booby species* of the Galapagos can be seen together, as well as two species of frigate birds* and a sea lion colony; it is also excellent for dinghy rides and snorkeling, where a good range of sea birds can be observed.
Difficulty level: difficult
Type of terrain: rocky
Duration: 2h30 walk

– PM – Cerro Brujo  (San Cristobal)
Wet landing. Cerro Brujo is an eroding tuff cone* that at several locations is composed of AA lava formations, and a beautiful white sand beach*, great for snorkeling and sunbathing. We visit a lagoon where migratory bird* species can be seen: Black-necked Stilts, Ruddy Turnstones, Whimbrels, other sandpiper species and White-cheeked Pintails. Cerro Brujo offers beautiful views of Kicker Rock, the southern part of San Cristobal and the adjacent coast.
Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy
Duration: 1 hour walk / 1 hour snorkeling

Day 4: Thursday
– AM – Pitt Point / Pitt Islet (San Cristobal)
Dry landing in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Passengers visit the San Cristóbal giant tortoise* Breeding Center to learn about the National Park’s conservation programs.
Enjoy a beautiful landscape on the way to the Reserve*. Passengers will also have the opportunity to visit the port village, have a drink or shop for arts and crafts and other souvenirs.
Difficulty level: intermediate
Duration: 40 minutes bus drive to the Reserve / 1 hour visit

After the visit you will go straight to the airport for return ­flight to Guayaquil or Quito.

Cruise D (Thu – Mon) - 5 days / 4 nights

Day 1: Thursday
– AM – San Cristobal airport
Departure from Quito or Guayaquil to San Cristobal (2 ½ hours fl­ight). Passengers are picked up at the airport by our naturalist guides and taken on a ten-minute bus drive to the pier to board the M/V Galapagos Legend.

– PM – Interpretation Center & Tijeretas Hill (San Cristobal)
Dry landing in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, capital of the Galapagos Islands. Passengers visit the Interpretation Center, an excellent place to learn about Natural History in the Galapagos*. The Museum of Natural History displays information on the volcanic origins of the islands, their remoteness from the continent, ocean currents, climate, the arrival of the different species and their colonization, among other points of interest. The human history is also showcased, chronologically narrating the most significant events related to the discovery and colonization of the islands.
Difficulty level: easy
Duration: 1 hour

Day 2: Friday
– AM – Gardner Bay, Gardner & Osborn islets (Española)
Wet landing on a beautiful white coral sand beach guarded by a colony of sea lions. There are no trails, so we stay along the shore where we can spot Galapagos hawks, American Oystercatchers, Galapagos Ground Doves, Hood mockingbirds*, Yellow Warblers, lava lizards, marine iguanas, and three species of Darwin’s nches: a subspecies (Geospiza fuliginosa) of the Large Cactus Finch, which is similar to the large ground Finch, the Small Ground Finch (Geospiza fuliginosa) and the Warbler Finch (1 hour walk / 1 hour snorkeling Certhidea Olivacea), another endemic subspecies. Swimming and snorkeling* offer a great variety of Galapagos marine wildlife: king angelfish, Creole fish, damsel fish, parrotfish, manta rays, and white-tipped reef sharks.
Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy
Duration: 1 hour walk / 1 hour snorkeling

– PM – Suarez Point (Española)
Dry landing. An island of geological interest, we explore volcanic formations and a riveting wildlife: large sea lion colonies and seabirds including Española mockingbird, Nazca Boobies and the spectacular Red-billed Tropicbird. You will also encounter marine iguanas, lava lizards, and the colorful Sally Lightfoot Crabs.
A somewhat lengthy hike will bring you among Nazca and Blue-footed Boobies*, right up to nesting grounds that sometimes overlap the trail. Other birding favorites include Galapagos Dove, Galapagos Hawk, Swallow-tailed Gulls and the world’s largest colony of Waved Albatross*, an unequivocal highlight during mating season (May-December). Admire the island’s dramatic backdrop, featuring the famous Soplador, a seaward blowhole that shoots water some 23 m. (75 ft.) in the air.
Difficulty level: difficult
Type of terrain: rocky
Duration: 2h30 walk

Day 3: Saturday
– AM – Post office (Floreana)
Wet landing. Located on the north side of Floreana, the bay is so-named because in 1793 Captain James Colnett installed a wooden barrel which served as an informal post office for sailors passing through, who would take letters with them to their destinations. Today, our visitors continue the tradition by placing unstamped postcards inside the barrel that should reach their destinations for free. It can take weeks, months, even years, not arrive at all, or even arrive before you!
We may also encounter Darwin’s finches*, Yellow Warbler and lava lizards. Great snorkeling opportunities with Green Pacific Sea Turtles* as well, this island is best known for its endemic vegetation: Scalesia villosa, Lecocarpus pinnatidus, and Galapagos milkwort.
Snorkelers can practice on the main beach among playful sea lions.
Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy

– PM – Cormorant Point / Devil’s Crown / Champion (Floreana)
Wet landing, on an olivine green sand beach. We hike from the black mangrove beds to a brackish lagoon, which usually holds one of the largest ­flamingo populations in the Galapagos. This island features some endemic plants such as Scalesia villosa, white and black mangrove, and holy stick. The trail continues to a beautiful white-sand beach, one of the most important nesting sites of Green Pacific Sea Turtles. It is important to avoid walking in the water due to the Sting Rays that may be hiding in the sand, which can be dangerous if accidentally stepped on. From the beach one can spot sea turtles, Blue-footed Boobies plunging into the water, and small reef sharks fl­oating along the shoreline in search of food.
This coral-sand beach marks the end of our trail, and we head back to the olivine beach we landed on to swim or snorkel amongst sea turtles, reef fish, sea lions and, on a good day, white-tipped reef sharks. A small colony of penguins resides on Floreana and can sometimes be observed as well.
Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy and walk on a flat terrain
Duration: 1 hour walk / 1 hour snorkeling

Day 4: Sunday
– AM – Highlands (Santa Cruz)
Dry landing. A 45-minute bus ride will take us to the Santa Cruz highlands, located to the northwest of Puerto Ayora, where we will find a natural reserve with giant tortoises*. These enormous and slow-moving reptiles are responsible for the island’s name and therefore approaching them in their humid and forested abode is always an inspiring adventure. They can weigh between 250 and 300 kg and can live up to 150-200 years.
Additionally, travelers can walk inside surprising lava tubes.
Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: flat and muddy sometimes (depending on season)
Duration: 45 minutes drive / 1h30 walk

– PM – Fausto Llerena Breeding Center – Charles Darwin Station (Santa Cruz)
Dry landing. We visit the Station where the Galapagos giant tortoise breeding program takes place as part of our efforts to preserve the fragile Galapagos environment.  Admire a prickly-pear cactus forest and variety Darwin’s finches and other land birds. The Darwin Station also works providing environmental education to communities and schools within the islands, and to tourists visiting the Galapagos Islands. You will also have some free time to visit the town and shop for souvenirs.
Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: flat
Duration: 1h30 visit

Day 5: Monday
– AM – Daphne
We circumnavigate the islet of Daphne, an eroded tuff cone formation* that was created by successive volcanic activity, for an opportunity to see Darwin’s finches, Blue-footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies, Red-billed Tropicbirds, Swallow-tailed Gulls, Brown Noddies.
Afterwards, you will go straight to the airport for return ­flight to Guayaquil or Quito.

 

 

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