Ultimate Galapagos: Central 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*)
10 days
From: $ 5,013 $ 501 / day
Checking price


Highlights (Bullets)

  • Experience the benefits of small group travel aboard your vessel, M/Y Grande Daphne, sailing through the natural beauty of the Galapagos, day and night.
  • Explore the remote west coast of Isabela on a small panga boat, and venture to the far-west Fernandina, home of the highest density of marine iguanas.
  • Encounter the unique Galapagos wildlife in their natural habitat, from giant blue-footed and masked boobies, pelicans and frigate birds to iguanas, sea lions and turtles.

Short Description

When it comes to encountering wildlife up close and personal, a voyage to the Galapagos Islands really is an experience like no other. Head underwater off Isla Santa Cruz, Bartolome or Isla Isabela and you'll be snorkelling with sea lions, white-tipped reef sharks, sea turtles and penguins. Look to the skies in North Seymour or Caleta Bucanero and you'll spot boobies, pelicans and more soaring above. Head out for a wander across the volcanic landscapes of Punta Espinosa and you'll see land iguanas and flightless cormorants. This 10-day sailing expedition through the central islands of the Galapagos is an adventure waiting to happen.

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



Activities & Interests

Sailing Wildlife viewing

Age Requirement


No Single Supplement
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Day 1 Quito

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Ecuador. This country might be smaller than its heavyweight South American neighbours, but it stakes a legitimate claim as the continent's most complete package, blessed with interesting cities, perfect beaches and the remarkable Galapagos Islands. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 5 pm or 6 pm tonight. You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel by early evening, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you arrive early, get out and explore Quito (2,850 m), one of South America’s most attractive cities. Stroll around the Old Town, and be sure to visit the majestic Monastery of San Francisco if you have time. Alternatively, check out Cotopaxi volcano, the Cloud Forest, the local hot springs or the Equatorial Monument.

Day 2 Quito - Isla Baltra - Las Bachas (Isla Santa Cruz)

Transfer to Quito Airport for your early morning flight to the Galapagos Islands. Keep in mind that you may leave the hotel as early as 4:30 am (a boxed breakfast will be provided). When you arrive, you’ll be met in the arrivals hall by your naturalist guide and transferred to your boat, M/Y Le Grande Daphne, which will be moored close to Isla Baltra. Once on board, you’ll meet the crew, be assigned a cabin and enjoy a delicious lunch with your fellow travellers. Try on the snorkelling gear to ensure it fits, before your first snorkelling session. Wetsuits can also be hired at an additional cost. Sail from Baltra to Las Bachas, on the north shore of Isla Santa Cruz, which is a nesting site for the Pacific green turtle. You may also see some marine iguanas. The sand here, made of decomposed coral, is particularly white and soft, and the nearby rocks make for an excellent snorkelling spot, where you might see some of the many Sally Lightfoot crabs on the island. A saltwater lagoon just near the beach is home to flamingos, whimbrel and great blue herons.

Day 3 Isla Rabida - Punta Albermarle (Isla Isabela)

Today you will sail from Las Bachas to Isla Rabida, known for its spectacular red sand beaches, caused by the high content of iron in the sand which rusts to form the unusual shade. Follow a trail from the shore along to a lagoon which is one of the best spots in the Galapagos to view flamingos. Keep an eye out for nesting pelicans, pintail ducks, marine iguanas and sea lions – all are commonly sighted on the island. Check out a vast opuntia cactus forest, hinting at the previous habitation of land iguanas, Galapagos hawks, mockingbirds, doves, finches and lava lizards. You may like to take the chance to go snorkelling and seek out sea stars, damsels, gobbies and surgeon fish. In the afternoon, head to Albemarle on the northeast side of Isabela Island. Covered in mangroves, the bay is home to sea turtles, sea lions, penguins and flightless cormorants who feed on the algae and fish here. Another fantastic location for snorkeling, you may like to have a look beneath the water’s surface in search of sea turtles and flightless cormorants.

Day 4 Tagus Cove (Isla Isabela) - Bahia Urbina (Isla Isabela)

Sail overnight from Punta Albermarle around to the western shores of Isla Isabela. Wake up near Tagus Cove, where pirates and whalers used to collect tortoises for their travels. Enjoy a short visit here (approximately 2 hours), perhaps snorkelling or checking out the graffiti on the walls (the oldest of which is from 1836). Witness flightless cormorants, blue-footed boobies, a variety of waterfowl and the most northerly penguins in the world. You will walk to a lookout point for a stunning view of the north of Isabela Island and Volcan Wolf (Wolf Volcano). Today you will also visit Bahia Urbina on the west of Isabela Island, Urbina Bay has a wide variety of plant life which changes depending on the season. You will be able to observe the beautiful color of the plants which attracts many different insects. The site also features a short trek inland, where giant tortoises can be spotted amongst the bushes in their natural habitat. You may also see land iguanas which often nest in the middle of the trail where their distinctive, textured and yellowish skin can be observed from up close. Flycatchers, Darwin’s finches and mockingbirds are common on the ground and in the trees.

Day 5 Punta Espinosa (Isla Fernandina) - Punta Vicente Roca (Isla Isabela)

Today we visit Punta Espinosa that is a narrow ledge of lava and sand extending from the base of La Cumbre volcano. Take a walk around the beautiful peninsula, which boasts such wildlife and plant life as lava cacti, marine iguanas, barking sea lions, tiny penguins and Sally Lightfoot crabs. Keep a lookout for that marvelous Galapagos predator hunting from the treetops: the Galapagos hawk. Top-notch snorkeling opportunities await in the clear waters, and turtles and sea lions can be seen swimming around and feeding on the shore. This is also a great spot to see flightless cormorants drying their atrophied wings on the rocks. In the afternoon head to Punta Vicente Roca, this site allowed for panga rides to observe the abundant wildlife and offers one of the best snorkeling spots of the Archipelago. The snorkeling “route” takes us along the cliffs and offers the not so common chance of exploring two shallow underwater caves. The primitive and unaggressive bullhead shark, known locally as the Port Jackson shark, is often seen here sharing its space with red-lipped batfish, frogfishes, Pacific seahorses, the endemic Camotillo, schools of barracuda and brown-stripped snappers. Sponges, corals, and other marine invertebrates are also abundant in the area.

Day 6 Puerto Egas (Isla Santiago) - Caleta Bucanero (Isla Santiago)

Sail this morning to Puerto Egas, a black-sand beach on the west side of James Bay, northwest of Isla Santiago, home to incredible volcanic tuff formations. Take a stroll along the beach with the native marine iguanas, pelicans, finches, mockingbirds, oystercatchers, Galapagos sea lions and Galapagos fur seals. You can see the amazing tidal pools, formed from ancient lava flow, providing a home for sponges, snails, hermit crabs, barnacles and fish. You might also end up snorkelling with a Galapagos fur seal – they’re always looking for a friend! In the afternoon travel to the northwest side of Santiago Island where you’ll find Caleta Bucanero, named after the pirates and buccaneers who once found shelter in the bay. Here you’ll have the chance to go snorkelling and take a dinghy ride to look for blue-footed boobies, pelicans and nocturnal seagulls nesting in the cliffs.

Day 7 Isla Bartolome - Isla Sombrero Chino

Wake up in Bartolome Island, a spectacular volcanic landscape full of spatter cones and lava flows, and home to Galapagos penguins and lava lizards. Put on your walking shoes and climb up 360 wooden steps to the summit, where an amazing view of Pinnacle Rock awaits. This is one of the most photographed sights in the Galapagos – an abrupt jag of rock protruding from the earth like a tooth, providing a focal point for two nearby bays. Hike to the top of a once-active volcano and enjoy superb views across to Bahia Sullivan on nearby Isla Santiago. If you’re in luck, you might catch a glimpse of the Galapagos hawk. There’s also the chance to go snorkelling among the colourful marine life. In the afternoon, travel to the small island of Sombrero Chino, found on the southeast side of Santiago Island. With lovely sandy beaches and a striking volcanic landscape, this is a fantastic place to take a hike and look out for the sea lions and penguins that rest here, and snorkel in search of reef sharks and sea turtles.

Day 8 Isla North Seymour - Charles Darwin Research Station (Isla Santa Cruz)

Wake up this morning in North Seymour, one of the most visited islands of the Galapagos. First up is a walk around the island to spot some blue-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls. Boobies and frigates have an interesting relationship, sharing the same nesting area on North Seymour. Blue-footed boobies nest on the ground while the frigate birds nest just above them in the saltbushes. As you walk, look out for land iguanas, marine iguanas, Galapagos sea lions and the endemic incense tree. After the walk, cool off and go snorkelling and encounter a great variety of fish and perhaps some white-tipped reef sharks, rays and sea lions. Later in the day, travel to Isla Santa Cruz, the second largest island in the Galapagos. Pay a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station in the small town of Puerto Ayora. As well as undertaking vital conservation work, the station also makes for interesting exploration and offers the best opportunities for close encounters with giant tortoises. You may also see baby tortoises. Enjoy some free time to walk around the town where you can purchase a souvenir or two to take back home with you.

Day 9 Puerto Ayora - Santa Cruz Highlands - Baltra - Quito

Flights to the mainland from Galapagos depart mid-morning, so it’s an early start for your last morning on the islands. You will visit the Santa Cruz Highlands. Travel through the agricultural region and into the misty forests where you can see the unique scalesia cloud forest, dome-shaped giant tortoises in the wild, different species of Darwin finches and possibly the world-famous woodpecker and warbler finches. You might also glimpse a vermillion flycatcher. Then it’s time to bid farewell to the archipelago and head to the airport for your mid-morning flight back to Quito for the last night of the tour. This flight takes approximately 2.5 hours with a transit in Guayaquil. Upon arrival at Quito Airport, at about 4 pm, you’ll be transferred back to your hotel for an overnight stay. A local Intrepid representative might stop by the hotel this evening to get your feedback on the trip.

Day 10 Quito

There are no activities planned for the day so you can depart your accommodation at any time. If you have not spent time in Quito beforehand, we recommend you stay on a few days as there are many fascinating things to do, such as the Cotopaxi volcano, the Cloud Forest, hot springs, the Equatorial Monument or perhaps city tour of the fascinating Old Town. If you want to spend more time, just speak to your booking agent.


Checking price
Price From $ 5,013
Price Per Day: $ 501 per day
Checking price
Start DateFinish DateBase PriceAvailability 
Dec-05-2023Dec-14-2023$ 6,1842 spots left Reserve
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May-07-2024May-16-2024$ 6,244Sold Out Reserve
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May-07-2024May-16-2024$ 6,488Sold Out Reserve
Jun-04-2024Jun-13-2024$ 6,2448 spots left Reserve
Jun-04-2024Jun-13-2024$ 6,244Sold Out Reserve
Jun-04-2024Jun-13-2024$ 6,608Sold Out Reserve
Jun-04-2024Jun-13-2024$ 6,488Sold Out Reserve
Aug-13-2024Aug-22-2024$ 6,2448 spots left Reserve
Aug-13-2024Aug-22-2024$ 6,2442 spots left Reserve
Aug-13-2024Aug-22-2024$ 6,608Sold Out Reserve
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Aug-27-2024Sep-05-2024$ 6,2448 spots left Reserve
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Sep-10-2024Sep-19-2024$ 6,608Sold Out Reserve
Sep-10-2024Sep-19-2024$ 6,4882 spots left Reserve
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Mar-11-2025Mar-20-2025$ 8,1008 spots left Reserve
Mar-11-2025Mar-20-2025$ 8,1002 spots left Reserve
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Apr-08-2025Apr-17-2025$ 8,575Sold Out Reserve
Apr-08-2025Apr-17-2025$ 8,4202 spots left Reserve
May-06-2025May-15-2025$ 8,1008 spots left Reserve
May-06-2025May-15-2025$ 8,1002 spots left Reserve
May-06-2025May-15-2025$ 8,575Sold Out Reserve
May-06-2025May-15-2025$ 8,4202 spots left Reserve
May-20-2025May-29-2025$ 8,1008 spots left Reserve
May-20-2025May-29-2025$ 8,1002 spots left Reserve
May-20-2025May-29-2025$ 8,575Sold Out Reserve
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Jun-03-2025Jun-12-2025$ 8,1008 spots left Reserve
Jun-03-2025Jun-12-2025$ 8,1002 spots left Reserve
Jun-03-2025Jun-12-2025$ 8,5752 spots left Reserve
Jun-03-2025Jun-12-2025$ 8,4204 spots left Reserve
Jun-17-2025Jun-26-2025$ 8,1008 spots left Reserve
Jun-17-2025Jun-26-2025$ 8,1002 spots left Reserve
Jun-17-2025Jun-26-2025$ 8,5752 spots left Reserve
Jun-17-2025Jun-26-2025$ 8,4204 spots left Reserve
Jul-01-2025Jul-10-2025$ 8,1008 spots left Reserve
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Jul-15-2025Jul-24-2025$ 8,1002 spots left Reserve
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Jul-15-2025Jul-24-2025$ 8,4204 spots left Reserve
Jul-29-2025Aug-07-2025$ 8,1008 spots left Reserve
Jul-29-2025Aug-07-2025$ 8,1002 spots left Reserve
Jul-29-2025Aug-07-2025$ 8,5752 spots left Reserve
Jul-29-2025Aug-07-2025$ 8,4204 spots left Reserve
Aug-12-2025Aug-21-2025$ 8,1008 spots left Reserve
Aug-12-2025Aug-21-2025$ 8,1002 spots left Reserve
Aug-12-2025Aug-21-2025$ 8,5752 spots left Reserve
Aug-12-2025Aug-21-2025$ 8,4204 spots left Reserve
Aug-26-2025Sep-04-2025$ 8,1008 spots left Reserve
Aug-26-2025Sep-04-2025$ 8,1002 spots left Reserve
Aug-26-2025Sep-04-2025$ 8,5752 spots left Reserve
Aug-26-2025Sep-04-2025$ 8,4204 spots left Reserve
Sep-09-2025Sep-18-2025$ 8,1008 spots left Reserve
Sep-09-2025Sep-18-2025$ 8,1002 spots left Reserve
Sep-09-2025Sep-18-2025$ 8,5752 spots left Reserve
Sep-09-2025Sep-18-2025$ 8,4204 spots left Reserve
Sep-23-2025Oct-02-2025$ 8,1008 spots left Reserve
Sep-23-2025Oct-02-2025$ 8,1002 spots left Reserve
Sep-23-2025Oct-02-2025$ 8,5752 spots left Reserve
Sep-23-2025Oct-02-2025$ 8,4204 spots left Reserve
Nov-04-2025Nov-13-2025$ 8,1008 spots left Reserve
Nov-04-2025Nov-13-2025$ 8,1002 spots left Reserve
Nov-04-2025Nov-13-2025$ 8,5752 spots left Reserve
Nov-04-2025Nov-13-2025$ 8,4204 spots left Reserve
Nov-18-2025Nov-27-2025$ 8,1008 spots left Reserve
Nov-18-2025Nov-27-2025$ 8,1002 spots left Reserve
Nov-18-2025Nov-27-2025$ 8,5752 spots left Reserve
Nov-18-2025Nov-27-2025$ 8,4204 spots left Reserve
Dec-02-2025Dec-11-2025$ 8,1008 spots left Reserve
Dec-02-2025Dec-11-2025$ 8,1002 spots left Reserve
Dec-02-2025Dec-11-2025$ 8,5752 spots left Reserve
Dec-02-2025Dec-11-2025$ 8,4204 spots left Reserve
Dec-16-2025Dec-25-2025$ 8,1008 spots left Reserve
Dec-16-2025Dec-25-2025$ 8,1002 spots left Reserve
Dec-16-2025Dec-25-2025$ 8,5752 spots left Reserve
Dec-16-2025Dec-25-2025$ 8,4204 spots left Reserve
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4,356 Intrepid Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings

4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 3,287
Great 662
Average 142
Disappointing 77
Terrible 188

Ultimate Galapagos: Central Islands (Grand Daphne)

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Company Reviews

Beware of intrepids Lack of Ethics

We were to travel with intrepid tours on a premium morrocco trip on sept 25,2023 However the 6.8 earthquake on September 10 made us rethink our plans. Would there be tremors? If we needed medical attention (we are seniors) would We be able to receive it? And we believed it was too soon to visit Morrocco when thousands of people just died in an earthquake. We did want to roll over trip to 2024.
We were told by Intrepid we needed to cancel two weeks before our trip started. That would have made sense in normal times, but this was not normal times whatsoever. There hadn’t been an earthquake in decades We were trying to get answers from intrepid, before deciding what to do.
We called and chatted multiple times and begged to have the trip rescheduled. Each customer service person said no and there was no opportunity to speak to a supervisor. It was a dead issue with intrepid.
Intrepid was totally nonnegotiable for allowing us to delay the trip. As far as they were concerned, the September 25 trip would depart with modifications. I asked what the modifications were. They couldn’t tell me. We spent thousands of dollars and no one knew what the modifications were but we were supposed to be willing to travel …really? I have been vocal on their Facebook page. No response from intrepid. Yes they had to ensure travelers in Morocco are safe, but they also should have had the manpower to address our concerns with the trip scheduled in two weeks
When we did cancel, they immediately posted openings on their website for the September 25 departure at a $200 discount so they kept our money, wouldn’t allow us to postpone the trip and aimed to sell our slot. Double dipping if you asked me,
I then read on intrepid‘s Facebook page that other people scheduled to take tours to Morocco around the same time as us got their trips rescheduled I was truly upset for company. The prices itself on its ethics, not treating each customer with the same rules is well unethical. I sent an email to the CEO in Australia and the general manager in North America. I saved in chat and emails with their customer service people I had evidence of our request to reschedule.
I finally got a response in two weeks. It was from an underling who didn’t answer my main question, which was why we weren’t offered the option to reschedule like others did. This person gave BS corporate speak about intrepid will apply what they learned to future trips, and thank me for my insight Why didn’t she answer my question and now with the war going on in Israel, Intrepid isn’t allowing future guests to reschedule the trip looks like they just d o what’s best for them in normal and abnormal Times
We had trip insurance but are still out thousands of dollars
Avoid this tour group at all costs

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PREMIUM LEVEL check Accomodation reviews.We have just done 3 Intrepid tours.

We have just done 3 Intrepid tours.
My review here relates to the Premiun Turkey in depth tour.
Excellent Guide Seda, Excellent driver Mesut and Excellent Itinerary.
Where this trip disappointed us was some of the accommodation was not Premium Infact one would not even meet the Original Tours standard.
We paid considerably more to travel at this level and like others in the group were disappointed all accommodation was not at Premium standard which is what we paid for. Some others were hoping to book Intrepid Premium again but said they would look at other options. It doesn't come near the Peregerine level which we understand Intrepid have purchased and call it Premium.
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Update to my 1 star review

Update to my 1 star review. Intrepid has not returned +$7,000 from a trip our agent booked and paid for but was cancelled by Intrepid. We have submitted a fraud claim with the Better Business Bureau and now our lawyer is involved. Stay away from this company.
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Intrepid is lovely, until you’re actually on the trip. I spoke to a number of kind and helpful staff with questions up until the start of my trip however, once this trip began I found myself in a different situation entirely.

I went on a trip with Intrepid from New York to Miami in a majority female group and our tour guide was creepy towards us the whole time taking pictures without consent, often not passing them on to us and even started private messaging members of the group after the trip had ended. I have tried to bring this up with intrepid multiple times through email but have received no response.

Besides this our tour guide also had never been to most of the places we visited so we often ended up being the one guiding him. Also, as a type 1 diabetic, keeping my medication cool and safe is extremely important as I literally depend on it to stay alive. Knowing this, I contacted intrepid ahead of time hoping they’d inform my guide after being assured that the guide would be able to accommodate me and I was in good hands. Upon meeting my guide I found out he didn’t even know what insulin was let alone the appropriate storage conditions. This lack of organisation on Intrepid’s part meant that I had to store my medicine in a cooler underneath piles of unsanitary food bags amongst ice which was melted most of the time risking water logging of said medications.

All in all I did not feel safe while on this tour and honestly think I may have been better off traveling by myself. Clearly more attention is needed in the hiring department.
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Somebody came down with Covid

Somebody came down with Covid, Intrepids policy policy is to continue the tour. Then at least two more people had it. My last trip with Intrepid Travel. Gadventures and Exodus both do quarantine, off the bus.
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Intrepid Travel are disguising

Intrepid Travel are disguising, backing a WEF agenda to limit our basic human right to travel through carbon footprint allowance. Spend your money elsewhere.

With great power comes great responsibility?! You aren't spiderman.
You aren't a government body, you are a commercial entity providing a service. You have no business encroaching on basic human rights.
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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 (7 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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