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Galapagos Small Ship & Yacht Cruises: Explore the Galapagos on a 4 to 8 Day Cruise

Days: 4-8 | From: $1,800-$6,500/per person

Cruise the Galapagos Islands on an intimate yacht, discovering scenery and wildlife found nowhere else in the world. Enjoy snorkeling, hiking, sea kayaking, swimming with sea lions, or simply relaxing and enjoying the remarkable scenery.

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We tailor itineraries to your dates and interests, adjusting hotels, excursions and length as desired.

We consistently receive 5 star reviews from our discerning clients.

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At a glance

  • Quito
    2 nights: walk the streets of this colonial city
  • Galapagos
    3-7 nights: enjoy a small ship expedition cruise through the Enchanted Isles

  • All itineraries are fully customizable. We will send you a personalized variation that reflects your interests and travel dates at no extra cost. Call to discuss your travel plans with one of our Specialists who know this region firsthand.

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Sample itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Quito

Ecuador_Quito_White church and city view

Arrive to Quito, the capital of Ecuador and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your local guide will welcome you at the airport and take you to your hotel, located in the picturesque historic center of the city.

Accommodations: Patio Andaluz

Housed within a 16th-century colonial home arranged around a central courtyard, Patio Andaluz enjoys a prime location near Independence Plaza in historic Quito. The hotel is within walking distance of the iconic Plaza San Francisco, the La Compañia Church with its impressive gold leaf interior, and the Theater Sucre. As is common in traditional Ecuadorian architecture, the hotel's rooms and their windows face toward the covered inner courtyards rather than out to the streets (which reduces light, but also noise). The highly-regarded hotel restaurant, El Rincón de Cantuña, serves Ecuadorian and Spanish cuisine along with a variety of South American wines.

Upgrades available: Casa Gangotena, Plaza Grande
Day 2

Colonial Architecture and One-of-a-Kind Artwork

Ecuador_Quito_Banco Central and church

Set out with your private guide to explore historic Quito, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.

Visit the highlights of the colonial “Centro Historico,” and go up to a lookout point on the Panecillo for a great view of the entire city. Afterward, head into the new town to visit the remarkable Fundación Guayasamin, which houses the art collection of Oswaldo Guayasamin, Ecuador’s most famous 20th century artist.

Seeing both parts of the city gives you a great overview of some of the different neighborhoods in this diverse Andean metropolis.

Accommodations: Patio Andaluz

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 3

Fly to the Galapagos Islands

Galapagos tortoise enjoying some grass

Fly from Quito about 600 miles out over the Pacific Ocean to arrive at the Galapagos Islands. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your vessel.

Visiting the Galapagos Islands is a unique experience: a combination of sheer natural beauty, amazing wildlife, beautiful vessels, and fascinating natural history.

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Days 4-9

Cruising and Exploring the Islands

Sea lions coming out of water at sunset; boat in background

The exact itinerary varies from vessel to vessel, but you will spend these days exploring the islands in depth. Your boat will travel between several different islands so that you can experience a wide variety of the unique wildlife and environments that the Galapagos offers.

The giant Galapagos Tortoise, the marine iguana, the waved albatross, the Galapagos penguin, and flightless cormorants are just a few of the species you can come across. There will also be daily opportunities to snorkel, where you can see what’s below the surface: giant sea turtles, rays, and sea lions, to name just a few. Each day you will enjoy excellent cuisine and the company of an expert bilingual naturalist guide.

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10

Return to Quito / Depart for Home or Your Next Destination

Enjoy a final morning in the islands before flying out from the Galapagos back to Quito, where you can connect with your international flight home or continue your trip in mainland Ecuador.

If you have a long layover before your flight, we can set up a visit to nearby hot springs or transfer you to a hotel to relax and have dinner before transferring back to the airport.

*Includes: Breakfast

Popular Ways to Customize This Itinerary

  • Add extra days in Quito: The city is well worth exploring on your own, and we can arrange a variety of activities, including city tours, culinary excursions, visits to historical sites, and active options such as hiking and biking.

  • Add a few nights in the Ecuadorian Amazon, a short flight from Quito.

  • Visit some of the highlights of mainland Ecuador, including local markets, volcanoes, the cloud forest, and historic haciendas.

  • Extend your Galapagos adventure with time in Peru or Colombia, both of which are easy to combine with Ecuador. See our Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands Tour and our Galapagos Islands Tour & Colombia itineraries for more details.

  • Contact us to learn about more options for designing and customizing your trip.

Call us to start planning your journey today:

1-(800)-342-1796

Inquire About This Trip

Why Travel with Vaya?

We're TRUE specialists

South America is the only place we do trips, and no one knows our destinations better. Our smart and engaging specialists are all current or former U.S. expatriates with years of experience in the region.

Uplifting service

From the first phone call to after you get back, we’re here for you every step of the way. We listen, create, customize and advocate for you, and design experiences that go beyond the expected.

Thoughtful, respectful travel

Our discerning sensibility and good taste go beyond just choices in hotels and top guides; we have a walk the walk commitment to the environment and are genuine leaders in conservation efforts.