Galapagos at a Glance: Southern Islands (Grand Daphne)

Intrepid Travel Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
Travel Style: Array Relaxed
Physical Level: All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included. Moderate
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Comfort (4*)
6 days
From: $ 2,854 $ 476 / day
Checking price


Highlights (Bullets)

  • Pink flamingos, red-throated frigates and blue-footed boobies will have you craning your neck, snapping photos and contemplating a career in ornithology.
  • Snorkel through the underwater wonderland of Devil’s Crown, the formerly volcanic crater that is now home to turtles, rays and sharks.
  • Have an up-close encounter with the lumbering gentle giant that is the Galapagos tortoise, both captive and in the wild.
  • This 6-day tour is a short and sweet introduction to the famed archipelago, the perfect addition to any South American adventure.
  • An itinerary that strikes the perfect balance between active adventure on land and relaxing evening on Le Grande Daphne, our brand-new motor yacht.

Short Description

Welcome to the Galapagos Islands, guaranteed to fill even the most well-travelled adventurers with a sense of awe and wonder. Be enchanted by pink flamingos in the lagoons of Isla Floreana, sunbathe with sea lions along Gardner Beach, hike along the spectacular green shoreline of Punta Cormorant and snorkel, well, everywhere. This active 6-day tour is a short and sweet introduction to the famed archipelago, the perfect addition to any South American adventure.

Style Small ship cruise
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Comfort (4*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions All internal ground transport
Start City Quito
End City Quito



Attractions & Cities Visited

Darwin Galapagos Galapagos Islands Isla Floreana Quito

Activities & Interests

Sailing Wildlife viewing

Age Requirement


No Single Supplement
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Day 1 Quito

The adventure gets under way in Quito, Ecuador’s sprawling but refined capital city. A welcome meeting will be held this evening at either 5 pm or 6 pm, but aside from that you are free to check out the city on your own today. If you arrive with time to spare, perhaps head to Quito’s Old Town and pick one (or more) of the 30 churches to explore.

Day 2 Isla Baltra/Santa Cruz Highlands

Rise and shine! An early start is necessary this morning to make it to the Galapagos with time to play today. This could mean leaving as early as 4.30 am, and an Intrepid representative will confirm the exact departure time during the welcome meeting on day 1. Transfer to Mariscal Sucre International Airport (aka Quito Airport), enjoying a boxed breakfast en route. On arrival in the Galapagos, collect your luggage and meet your naturalist guide in the arrival hall. The action starts straight away with a journey into the highlands of Isla Santa Cruz, into the misty forests filled with unique scalesia. If you’re lucky, this could be your first sighting of giant tortoises in the wild, different species of Darwin finches and the world-famous woodpecker and warbler finches. Enjoy lunch in the highlands, then travel to Puerto Ayora and transfer to your boat – Grande Daphne. Settle into your assigned cabin, meet the crew and listen to a safety briefing. With the formalities out of the way, maybe head up to the deck with some of your fellow travellers and get to know each other over a drink or two.

Day 3 Isla Floreana

Discover the quirky maritime history of Post Office Bay, home of the oldest postal system in the Americas. There’s a post box here that was first built by 18th-century whalers and is still in use today. Perhaps leave a letter to be collected by another traveller, or have a look for one that you can deliver. Snorkelling and a Zodiac ride are also included in this outing. Afterwards, head ashore at Punta Cormorant where the sand is made up of fine olivine crystal, a glassy volcanic mineral that gives the beach an olive-green colour. Sea lions can usually be seen lounging and socialising along the shore. Explore a little more of the island on a 1-kilometre walk, passing waterbird-filled lagoons and finishing at an Eastern Pacific green turtle nesting site. Later you’ll have the opportunity to snorkel in famous Devil’s Crown. This eroded volcanic cone is a popular roosting site for seabirds such as boobies, pelicans and frigates. Red-billed tropicbirds can also be seen nesting in the rocky crevices. Those who snorkel here might see rays, sharks, sea lions and turtles. Sail overnight to Isla Espanola. Estimated travel time/distance: Puerto Ayora to Isla Floreana: 4 hours (32 nautical miles) Punta Comorant (Isla Floreana) to Punta Suarez: 6.5 hours (52 nautical miles)

Day 4 Isla Espanola

Land at Punta Suarez on Isla Espanola, one of the most attractive locations in the Galapagos, home to a large and varied wildlife population. A hike along rocky trails (approximately 3 km) takes you to a clifftop viewpoint that affords magical panoramas. Boobies line the rocky shoreline below, while frigate birds can be seen overhead. Enormous male sea lions lounge nearby, and albatross use the cliffs as their ‘runway’, getting airborne on the southeast winds. If you’re lucky you might spot the elaborate courtship rituals performed by albatrosses before the female chooses her lifelong mate. Next, head to Bahia Gardner, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Galapagos Islands. It’s full of sea lions and hood mockingbirds. Enjoy a short walk (approximately 1 km) along the beach, then snorkel up and explore off shore. Reef sharks, turtles and many species of tropical fish (such as surgeon and angelfish) make their home along the islands shore. Small white-tipped reef sharks are also often spotted resting under the rocks. Estimated travel time/distance: Punta Suarez to Bahia Gardener: 45 minutes (5 nautical miles) Bahia Gardener to Leon Dormido: 5 hours (8 nautical miles)

Day 5 Isla San Cristobal

Shake off any early morning doziness with a trip to Leon Dormido (Kicker Rock). This basalt crater rises 150 metres above the water and is divided into two parts by a narrow channel. Cruise around kicker rock as nesting seabirds flank the boat, tropicbirds soar overhead and sea lions lounge by the water. Next, spend some time snorkelling at Cerro Brujo, providing opportunities to see Galapagos sharks and sea turtles. Or perhaps enjoy the beautiful beach with a leisurely walk to photograph the interesting sea lions who can often be seen at this location. Head to the airport on Isla San Cristobal for your flight back to Quito. The flight will stop in Guayaquil to drop off and/or pick up passengers en route. Arrive at Quito Airport at approximately 4 pm and take a transfer to your hotel. An Intrepid local representative may stop by your hotel this evening to get some feedback on your Galapagos experience.

Day 6 Quito

Buenos dias! There are no activities planned for today after breakfast. If you plan to stay on in Quito, why not join a local guide for an Urban Adventure? Discover the city’s stories through the streets, the markets or the bakeries. Find out more at


Checking price
Price From $ 2,854
Price Per Day: $ 476 per day
Checking price
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Nov-26-2024Dec-01-2024$ 4,4052 spots left Reserve
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Galapagos at a Glance: Southern Islands (Grand Daphne)

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Company Reviews

Sardines in a can

Love adventures but the size of the cabins on our trip to the Cyclades Islands are extremely cramped . We have three mature adults in one cabin with no space to move and no space to hang or store anything ( including wet towels ).
If any of us had been physically inflexible or overweight we could not have coped with the sleeping arrangements . It is impossible to sit on the top bunk and even turning over in bed requires considerable planning .
An adventure does not mean cutting back on basic essentials …
In our view there were too many people in too small a space .
Two complete strangers were also asked to sleep together in an extremely small double bed , which meant that one of them decided to sleep on deck or in the living space .
The only redeeming factor was our Skipper who is professional, friendly , informative and skilled .
I would recommend this trip if the numbers were reduced .
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I feel totally cheated

I feel totally cheated. Just finished the Spain and Portugal 14 day trip. The itinerary does not match the actual experience and is I feel deliberately miss leading. When I says a “local bus” and an approx 3 hour journey the reality is a 6 hour trip door to door in the middle of the day. You miss valuable time at the actual destination in favour of being jammed in a bus with dozens of people traveling on a freeway with nothing worth seeing at all. The bush are not even express so you stop in the industrial outskirts of a number of towns and even the airport. By the time you finally reach the destination you are tired and frustrated. I want my money back. It’s a cheap experience that you pay a lot of money for.
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Have not even started and not impressed

Booked a premium tour to Israel and paid in full. Once I paid Intrepid changed the tour, not because of operational or safety reasons but on the basis of previous customers feedback. We asked them to keep the tour as it was advertised originally and they suggested we ask our group to see if we can persuade them to go to the original destination once we had arrived in Israel which is simply ridiculous and then I complained so they offered my money back. Not exactly the best resolution now that I already paid for my flights and booked time off separately. Hopefully the tour will be better than my experience so far.
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No help when things go wrong (seriously ill on trip)

Unfortunately, Intrepid is a company I would recommend being wary of. They are fine as long as everything is going ok, but if anything goes wrong? Don't expect any help or decent customer service. I made the mistake of booking two trips, and both times I ran into problems:

Trip 1- I was taken very ill while in Vietnam and had to drop out of the tour. I had no help from the guide- no help with getting to a doctor (I don't speak Vietnamese and was too ill to get out of bed anyway), he didn't even assist with arranging a hotel room.

Trip 2- I've had to cancel an upcoming (2024) trip, but haven't received the refund despite phoning the customer service line several times. The people I talk to are nice, but don't seem to be able to actually get anything done. They just suggest waiting a bit longer- not sure how long they think is acceptable to hang on to someone's money really.
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Check for other companies offtering the same trip

I would think carefully before doing business with Intrepid Travel again. In May I went on 2 one-week guided cycle tours in France with Intrepid. They were both great cycles and I enjoyed the cycling very much. However, I had several complaints about the company and some of the guides (not all of them).
Once I had paid for my trips, it was very difficult to get in touch with Intrepid to ask a question.
During the trips, several times I was told something one day only to have the info change without any good reason. The guides need proper training about dealing with the heat. Some of use suffered from dehydration and heat stroke and the guides were quite flippant about it. I was told that the guides would not leave anyone behind, but it happened several times.
There was one guide (a trainee) who really took some of the pleasure out of my cycle tour. She spoke to me with a tone used for a child. This tone and her attitude to me almost bordered on harassment.
I went on a third cycling tour with a different company after my 2 with Intrepid and it was much better than my experience with Intrepid.
As the demand for ebikes rises, tour companies such as Intrepid need to increase their fleet of ebikes. They also don’t need to charge the huge amount to rent these ebikes. We only want to rent them, not buy them. As the cost of ebikes comes down, if should reflect in the rental price.
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Ecuador guide Eitel made the tour…

Our Ecuador guide Eitel made the tour exceptional! He has encyclopedic knowledge of Ecuador and Latin America. Because he has traveled the world, Eitel placed this information within contexts that we could appreciate. That says a lot because we were a diverse group of travelers. The experience deepened my appreciation for the country's marvelous people, history, cultures, and resources.
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Flight & Transport Inclusions

All internal ground transport Boat,Plane,Bus,Zodiac (Panga)

Group Size

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 16


Hotel (2 nights) Overnight boat (3 nights)


Our local representative will meet you in the evening of day 1 of the trip and conduct the group briefing. They will then also transfer with you to the airport on day 2 for your flight to the Galapagos. On arrival in the Galapagos you will be met your Guide. Our Guides are registered and trained in conservation and natural sciences by the Charles Darwin Foundation and licensed by the Galapagos National Park Service. The Guide will be on board with you for the duration of the trip and will accompany you on all excursions. Our boats are also staffed by highly experienced shipboard staff and crew.

Age Notes :

Min. Age: 15

Max Age: 99

Additional Information

Finish point

  • Hotel Reina Isabel
  • Av. Amazonas N23-44 y Veintimilla
  • Quito
  • Quito

Trip ID#:


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