The Athala II New Years Cruise - Galapagos Islands
Galapagos New Year's Cruise
Special Events

Celebrate the 2014-2015 New Year on the deluxe, 16-passenger Athala II. Spend your days walking amongst prehistoric-looking marine iguanas and lumbering giant tortoises, swim and snorkel with playful sea lions and sea turtles, and retire each evening in stylish luxury.

Ecuador Trip Overview

Perhaps, for some, the New Year is a time to return to nature. A trip to the Galapagos Islands aboard the Athala II offers an ideal opportunity to discover what really matters and to take pleasure in nature's immutability. Each day brings close encounters with unique fauna, like giant Galapagos tortoises, land and marine iguanas, flamingos, penguins, Blue-footed Boobies, and Darwin’s Finches. After exciting days of wildlife exploration, the Athala II provides a haven of relaxation and tranquility with deluxe accommodations, hearty meals, and a luxurious, yet informal, ambiance.

Itinerary at a Glance

Galapagos cruise mapDays 1-2: Arrive in Quito or Guayaquil, Ecuador and transfer to your hotel. Optional guided tours on Day 2, or feel free to explore the mainland on your own.

Days 3-9: Fly to the Galapagos Islands and board the exclusive 16-passenger Athala II. Spend the next week snorkeling with penguins, floating alongside giant stingrays, and staring in wonder as sea turtles and sea lions swim around you and Blue-footed Boobies conduct their elaborate courting ritual. Learn from an expert naturalist guide, and relax each evening as our crew takes care of all of your needs.

Day 10: Return to Quito or Guayaquil mid-late afternoon.

Day 11: Depart at your leisure.

Proud Members of the International Galapagos Tour Operators Association

A non-profit association dedicated to the complete and lasting protection of the Galapagos Islands. Their mission is to preserve the Galapagos Islands as a unique and priceless world heritage site, that will provide enjoyment, education, adventure, and inspiration to present and future generations of travelers. If you travel to the Galapagos Islands the most important decision you make is the choice of a responsible travel company. By choosing an IGTOA member you will travel with a knowledgeable and responsible tour operator that supports sustainable ecotourism.


Our tours often fill months in advance, and our maximum group size is smaller than most tour operators. It's very quick and easy to reserve a trip. Give us a call at 800-941-8010 or complete the online Reserve a Trip form. We will confirm your reservation with a $500 per person deposit, payable by check or credit card.
If you have any questions about the level of comfort, difficulty, or any activities included in this trip, please call Boundless Journeys at 800-941-8010, or Contact Us by e-mail. Our travel experts look forward to helping you choose the perfect adventure!

Trip Rating (1 Easiest - 5 Most Strenuous)

Description of Trip Ratings

Adventure travel may involve exotic destinations, varying levels of physical exertion, and activities that may be new to you. We want to make sure that you choose the adventure that's right for you from our many one-of-a-kind trips. Each trip is rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the easiest, and 5 being the most strenuous. A few of our trips have had a "+" added to the number, indicating something that falls in between. Our Trip Ratings may be found on the trip schedule and on our website. Our detailed itineraries provide additional information on what to expect on the trip you are considering (detailed itineraries are available by mail or e-mail; or you can find them on our website: We encourage you to call one of our travel experts with any questions or concerns that you may have. We are happy to assist you in selecting the most appropriate adventure for you.
Our easiest trips are generally hotel-based cultural and nature journeys that offer light activity. Walks and hikes (approximately 2 to 4 hours) are through gentle terrain with little elevation gain or loss. Altitude is not a factor on these tours. Other activities, such as snorkeling or sea kayaking, are optional. Examples: Galapagos Islands Cruise, Tanzania, and Vietnam.
Hotel nights and/or deluxe, safari-style camping. Walking, hiking (approximately 3 to 5 hours), kayaking, or other activities on most days. Trails and paths are through rolling countryside, with occasional steep trails with up to 1,000 feet of elevation gain. Many of our hotel-based walking trips are in this category. Examples: Tuscany & Umbria, Turkey, and Bhutan.
Hotel or inn-based hiking trips, that involve full day hikes (approximately 4 to 6 hours), mostly on unpaved trails and paths through hilly terrain with typical elevation gains and losses of 1,000 to 2,000 feet. There may be occasional steep sections of trail. Examples: Slovenia, Amalfi Coast, Spain.
Full day hikes (approximately 5 to 7 hours) through mountainous terrain with significant elevation gains and losses (2,000 to 3,000 feet). Terrain may be rugged with uneven footpaths. The average altitude is generally no more than 12,000 feet. Vehicle support is limited. These trips may involve some full-service camping or simple accommodations in remote locations. Examples: Tour du Mont Blanc, Peru Trek, Haute Route.
Full-day trekking (approximately 6 to 8 hours) through rugged mountainous terrain with steep climbs and descents and the following present: elevation gains and losses of as much as 4,000 feet, altitude that exceeds 12,000 feet, and rugged uneven footpaths with some exposure. These trips typically offer minimal to no vehicle support and include full-service camping in a remote setting.

Activity Details

Easy to moderate walking and hiking, 2-4 hours per day; plenty of time in the Galapagos Islands for daily snorkeling, swimming, and sea kayaking.

Meeting Point

Quito or Guayaquil, Ecuador

Departure Point

Quito or Guayaquil, Ecuador

Traveling to and From

Most Convenient Airport:
Quito International Airport (airport code UIO), or Jose Joaquin de Olmedo International Airport, Guayauquil (airport code GYE).

Meeting Time and Place:
You will be met at your choice of Quito or Guayaquil Airport by a Boundless Journeys representative upon the arrival of your international flight on the first day of the trip (Day 1). Please look for a sign with your name on it, or that of Boundless Journeys. Most flights from the U.S. arrive into Ecuador in the late afternoon or evening. You will be transferred to our first hotel where, if you choose, you will be picked up for a day tour at 9:00 a.m. on Day 2, or you will be transported to the airport for your flight to the Galapagos Islands on the morning of Day 3.

Departure Time and Place:
Day 11, at your leisure, Quito International Airport or Jose Joaquin de Olmedo International Airport, Guayaquil.


Physical Activity
Boundless Journeys’ trips are designed for energetic and flexible individuals who like to be active and have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. Galapagos Islands New Years' Cruise is rated 1+, easy, on a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being the most strenuous). The walks on this trip average 2-4 hours per day. There will be plenty of time for optional snorkeling, swimming, or sea kayaking.

Life on board a yacht requires physical agility and a flexible and social nature. Daily excursions from our yachts aboard our zodiac, or panga, bring us ashore for walks and wildlife observation. Walking times from our landing areas are typically a couple of hours with plenty of time to study, enjoy, and photograph the flora and fauna. Some of our landings are dry, but many may be wet, requiring cautious footing and a good sense of balance on slippery rocks. Crew members will be on hand to assist you.
The Galapagos Islands are ideal for healthy, active people of all ages looking to enjoy nature up close. While a trip to the islands can be fairly easy when it comes to activity, a basic level of fitness is in order. Even though our walks are evenly paced in gorgeous settings, you can expect some long walks in hot weather. Quito stands at roughly 9,500 feet above sea level, so a stroll along the cobblestone streets of its colonial sector can cause shortness of breath. If you have concerns about altitude, you may decide to begin your trip in Guayaquil, which is located at sea level. It’s really up to you how much or little you want to participate in activities versus relaxing.
Preparing for this Trip
It is important that you realistically assess your physical condition with regard to the demands of this trip. The more well-prepared you are for the activities on this trip, the more you will enjoy yourself! Please consider engaging in moderate aerobic activities (walking, jogging, or cycling) for at least 30-45 minutes several times a week for 4-6 weeks before the trip. Consult your doctor before undertaking any new fitness programs. 
Though Ecuador is named for being on the equator, it encompasses the snowcapped mountains of the Andes, the tropical rainforests of the Amazon, and the pleasant marine climate found in the Galapagos, making for a wide range of temperatures and climates.
The Andes: Quito
Quito can be surprisingly cool and misty, but in general the highlands are usually sunny and quite warm by midday. Temperatures in the Andean mountains vary, but generally speaking, the higher the elevation, the cooler the temperature. It tends to be drier from June to September and wettest from January to May. Average temperatures throughout the year are in the mid 60’s during the day, and in the mid to upper 40’s during the evening.
The Coast: Guayaquil
As a coastal city just a few hundred kilometers from the equator, Guayaquil has a tropical climate. From November through March Guayaquil is sunny, hot, and humid, with occasional rain showers. The rest of the year, due to the Humboldt Current, it is cloudier, dryer, and cooler but daytime temperatures still rarely dip below 80°F. Average temperatures throughout the year are in the mid to upper 80’s during the day, and low to mid 70’s during the evening.
The Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands have a subtropical climate regulated by the cold Humboldt Current and the warm El Niño Current. November through March is the warmest time of year, with highs in the upper 80's. Although the islands receive slightly more rainfall during this time, the lower elevations of the islands, where you will spend most of your trip, typically offer blue skies and sunshine with occasional haze. The sea is at its warmest and is usually calmer at this time of year. Average temperatures for the Galapagos Islands range from the upper 70's in the summer to the mid to upper 80's in the winter and spring.

Average surface water temperatures for the Galapagos Islands range from 70°F in the fall to 76°F in the winter.

You may obtain more detailed weather information by visiting

Ecuador Accommodations

Overview:  A boutique city hotel in your choice of Quito or Guayaquil, and a deluxe yacht to cruise the Galapagos Islands. All private baths.

Nights 1, 2 & 10:  Hotel Patio Andaluz
Quito, Ecuador

Patio Andaluz, Quito, Ecuador Hotel Patio Andaluz, located in the heart of the historic Quito, is surrounded by churches, museums and national monuments. Its spacious restaurant, El Rincón de Cantuña, inside its main patio offers excellent options of Ecuadorian and Spanish flavors and a variety of wines from its recognized wine cellar.


Nights 1, 2 & 10:  Mansion Del Rio Boutique Hotel
Guayaquil, Ecuador

Mansion del Rio, Guayaquil, EcuadorSet in a stylish, renovated mansion from 1920, this elegant hotel features luxurious marbled interiors and a panoramic terrace with views of Guayas River. The interior colonial-style patio features a water fountain and decorated tile work.


Nights 3-9: Cruise
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The Athala II

The Athala II Yacht, The Galapagos Islands 16 guests in 8 cabins, plus 10 crew members, 1 naturalist guide, and 1 cruise manager.

The newly refurbished Athala II is unrivalled in offering the generous, comfortable accommodations and amenities of a larger boat, while still preserving the relaxed exclusivity of a smaller vessel. All cabins on board are deluxe, with well-appointed private bathrooms, air conditioning, and large portrait windows. The main deck also boasts the dining area and a separate comfortable lounge area complete with plasma TVs, lap tops (no internet service), a DVD player, stereo, and library. The upper deck has a well-stocked bar, Jacuzzi, and a beautiful open teak deck area for relaxation, al fresco dining, and barbeques. The huge sundeck is great for whale and dolphin watching or to simply relax and soak up the sun between island excursions. In the evenings there is no better place for star gazing. Click here for The Athala II Deck Plan.

Athala II Cabin Galapagos CruiseAthala II Cabin Galapagos CruiseAthala II Sun Deck Galapagos CruiseAthala II Lounge Galapagos CruiseAthala II Alfresco Dining Galapagos CruiseAthala II Dining Room Galapagos Cruise




A Boundless Moment in the Galapagos Islands...

Meandering through the mangroves, we pass spotted rays, gracefully flapping their wings as they circle near the surface. A few moments later, we see another shadow in the water, a few yards off. As our panga nears the spot, we are surprised by two giant sea turtles, which rise in slow turns to take some air before slipping gently back into the water.


Thursday, December 25th
Arrival in Ecuador

Upon arrival of your flight into Quito or Guayaquil, you are met by a Boundless Journeys representative and transferred to your hotel.
Hotel Patio Andaluz, Quito, or Boutique Hotel Mansion Del Rio, Guayaquil
No meals

Friday, December 26th

Mainland Exploration

Today’s activities are entirely up to you. Perhaps you will decide to join a Boundless Journeys guide for a city tour of Quito or Guayaquil, or a drive into the highlands and the famous market town of Otavalo (at an additional expense). Of course, you may also choose to spend the day exploring on your own.

Quito is nestled in a long, narrow valley in the Andes, between the Pichincha Volcano to the west and the Machángara River Canyon to the east. The historical center – or “old town,” as it is called – is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a maze of colonial splendor.

If you prefer to explore the volcanic highlands of Ecuador you may opt to take a 2 ½ hour drive north from Quito to Otavalo, Ecuador’s famed market town. Here you can find all types of indigenous handicrafts, from woven wall-hangings and skillfully embroidered blouses and dresses, to hand-knitted alpaca sweaters, rustic ceramics, and Panama hats. In addition to the crafts market, Otavalo has a farmers’ market where there is colorful and interesting Andean produce such as quinoa, tree tomatoes, and babaco.

Guayaquil, located further south on the Pacific coast, offers a multitude of archaeological and colonial sites, monuments, museums, and parks. Some of the main attractions of Guayaquil include a newly restored boardwalk, Malecon 2000, with an incredible view of Guayas River, the famous Iguana Park (Parque Bolívar), and colonial churches such as The Cathedral, La Merced, and Santo Domingo.

You may also simply relax today, in preparation for an unforgettable week in the Galapagos Islands.
Hotel Patio Andaluz, Quito, or Boutique Hotel Mansion Del Rio, Guayaquil

Saturday, December 27th

Baltra Island & Mosquera Islet

Following an early breakfast, we transfer to the airport for our flight to the Galapagos Islands. As we approach the islands, the inviting turquoise-blue water surrounding the coast comes into view. Upon arrival to Baltra Island our naturalist Galapagos guide will meet us after passing through park inspection, and soon we are departing from shore aboard a zodiac to reach our yacht. The captain and crew are there to greet us and show us to our cabins, as well as give us a tour of the boat.
We begin our afternoon at Mosquera Islet, home to a large population of sea lions and many shorebirds. As we walk along the shore, we keep our eyes peeled for occasional dolphins and orcas that populate the area.

Once back on board, we are briefed about the days to come and enjoy a welcome cocktail before dinner. This evening, as with all the others during our expedition cruise, we dine on fresh local specialties prepared by our crew. Depending on the weather we may choose to dine on the deck beneath stars and warm breezes, or in the dining room of our deluxe catamaran.
Athala II, The Galapagos Islands

Day 4
Sunday, December 28th

Santiago & Bartolome Islands

This morning we land at Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island for a hike and snorkel. This site is known for its spectacular volcanic formations, relatively young pahoehoe lava flows, and unique geological scenery. From here we continue to Bartolome Island for a snorkel around Pinnacle Rock, where penguins are usually seen. Then it’s back on board for a quick change of clothes, followed by a short dinghy ride to a dry landing for a climb to the highest point on the island. Along the trail, we encounter different volcanic formations, including spatter and tuff cones, lava flow and lava tubes. From the summit we have a wonderful view of Sullivan Bay. For those not interested in the hike, there is the option of a panga ride where we might encounter sea lions, reef sharks, rays, and colorful reef fish.
Athala II, The Galapagos Islands

Day 5
Monday, December 29th

Isabela Island

We begin our day at Urbina Bay, located on Isabela Island at the foot of Alcedo Volcano. After landing on a beautiful black-sand beach, we may observe sea turtle nesting sites. This area is also known for penguin and Flightless Cormorant sightings, and is one of the best places to see Darwin’s Finches as well as large land iguanas. There may also be wild Galapagos tortoises feeding within the dense vegetation in this area.

After lunch we visit Tagus Cove, historically used as an anchoring place for pirates, buccaneers, and whalers. Here we see the names of hundreds of ships painted on the high ridges (a practice now forbidden). Our hike inland goes through an area of vegetation and the volcanic landscape of Darwin Volcano. At the top of the trail, we enjoy an incredible view of the cove and Darwin Lake.

Our hike is followed by kayaking or a panga ride, where we have the opportunity to see a large number of Blue-footed Boobies perched on the ledges of the cliffs, as well as marine iguanas, penguins, Brown Pelicans, Brown Noddy Terns, and Swallow-tailed Gulls. While exploring the channel between Fernandina and Isabela Islands, we may encounter dolphins and whales.
Athala II, The Galapagos Islands

Day 6
Tuesday, December 30th

Fernandina & Isabela Islands

Today we visit Fernandina Island, one of the most pristine ecosystems in the entire world and also one of the most dynamic. La Cumbre Volcano, which last erupted in April 2009, dominates the landscape, with lava fields stretching towards the ocean from its base. Punta Espinoza is a narrow piece of land extending from Fernandina Island, where some of the most unique Galapagos species can be seen, including the Flightless Cormorant, Galapagos snakes, marine iguanas, penguins and the Galapagos Hawk.

Punta Vicente Roca, on Isabela Island, is a wonderful snorkeling site, where we often see turtles as well as colorful reef fish. For those who prefer, a panga ride will give you the opportunity to study some of the Galapagos Islands' spectacular geological rock formations. Nazca Boobies, pelicans, Swallow-tailed Gulls, marine iguanas, Flightless Cormorants, and penguins are often seen in the area.
Athala II, The Galapagos Islands

Day 7
Wednesday, December 31st

Santiago Island

Santiago Island has several sites to visit at the western end of James Bay. Puerto Egas with its black sand beaches was the site of a small salt-mining industry in the 1960s, and a hike inland to the salt crater is an excellent opportunity to sight inland birds such as finches, doves, and hawks. A walk down the rugged shoreline, especially at low tide, will reveal many marine species, such as iguanas basking on the rocks and sea lions lazing in the tide pools. After our walk, we enjoy a swim or snorkel off the beach, where we may encounter sea lions, fish, turtles, rays, and possibly some reef sharks.

Espumilla Beach, located on the northern coast of Santiago Island, is home to some of the tallest Palo Santo trees in the entire archipelago. Here we look out for the Galapagos Hawk and Darwin’s Finches. The beach, where we can enjoy a swim and snorkel, is an important nesting site for marine turtles.

This evening, we celebrate the New Year with a special dinner and champagne toast aboard the Athala II. After dinner, we learn all about Ecuadorian traditions on an optional walk in Puerto Ayora, where we can admire the año viejos (dummies that will be burned at midnight, cleansing the way for the New Year). Afterwards, we return to the boat to ring in the New Year with a party under the stars.
Athala II, The Galapagos Islands

Day 8
Thursday, January 1st

Santa Cruz Island

Today we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, a terrific way to begin the New Year. Here we learn about conservation and resource management in the Galapagos archipelago and its surrounding marine reserve. We also have the opportunity  to observe the tortoise breeding center where young tortoises are nurtured until they can be released, at about four years of age, to their home islands. Nearly 2000 young tortoises have been released so far.

After touring the station, we journey by bus into the highlands, to Los Gemelos, two deep craters situated in the Scalesia forest inhabited by a variety of interesting bird life. The lush greenery of the Santa Cruz highlands is in definite contrast with the arid scenery of the smaller, lower islands we have previously visited. We walk through giant lava tubes, and visit the tortoise reserve to search for giant tortoises in their natural surroundings.
Athala II, The Galapagos Islands

Day 9
Friday, January 2nd

Genovesa Island

Genovesa, or Tower Island, is the northernmost island visited by naturalist cruises. This island is extremely remote and home to literally millions of birds belonging to many different species including the Red-footed Booby, frigates, Swallow-tailed Gulls, and even endemic owls!

There are two sites on Genovesa we visit today. The first, El Barranco, also known as Prince Phillip’s Steps, is a steep path with stairs carved into the rock which leads to a plateau full of bird life amongst a Palo Santo forest. Here we may find Nazca Boobies, Galapagos Doves, mockingbirds, and petrels. With some luck, we may also spot a Short-eared Lava Owl.

This afternoon, Darwin Bay’s soft, coralline white sand is only the beginning of a spectacular excursion. A trail from the beach takes us into lush mangroves where Red-footed Boobies nest. Other locals include sea lions, Swallow-tail Gulls, frigates, and more. Snorkeling is a must here as sharks, colorful reef fish, rays, and sea turtles are common.

This evening, we enjoy our final dinner together with new friends, sharing lasting memories of an incredible journey in the Galapagos Islands.
Athala II, The Galapagos Islands

Day 10
Saturday, January 3rd

North Seymour Island & Departure

North Seymour may very well be the perfect way to say goodbye to the Galapagos Islands. Although the island is characterized by arid vegetation, fauna abounds and we soon find ourselves surrounded by frigates, Blue-footed Boobies, land iguanas, and more.

Later this morning, we motor back to port followed by a flight to Quito or Guayaquil. Arriving mid- to late-afternoon, you are transferred to your hotel for a relaxing evening and dinner on your own. 
Hotel Patio Andaluz, Quito, or Boutique Hotel Mansion Del Rio, Guayaquil

DAY 11
Sunday, January 4th


Today, at your leisure, you are transferred to the airport to connect with flights home.

Please note that this is a typical itinerary. Actual activities and visits may vary according to the weather, local events, new Galapagos regulations, and to allow serendipity to play a hand in your experience.

Trip Length

11 Days

Trip Dates

Upcoming Trips:

  • Dec 25, 2014–Jan 04, 2015

Prefer a group departure?
Africa | Asia | Europe | Latin America | South Pacific

Trip Cost

$6,995 per person

Trip Cost Details

All prices include two pre-cruise and one post-cruise night in your choice of Quito or Guayaquil, all airport transfers, 8-day cruise, and breakfasts on the mainland.

Additional notes:

  • Children are welcome from the age of 8 and up.
  • Solo travelers, who are willing to share a twin-bedded cabin, are welcome to join us. If a roommate is not available, a single supplement fee of $3695 will be charged.
    Limited to one cabin.

Optional Day Tours:
Optional pre/post cruise day tours: City tour in Quito or Guayaquil, or day trip to Otavalo Market from Quito (both options include lunch): $250 per person; $350 for single travelers.

Pre or Post Trip Extensions:
Consider extending your trip to the Ecuadorian Amazon or the Highlands. Call 1-800-941-8010 to request more details.

View Single Supplement Policy

Single Supplements:

Accommodations (hotels, tents, cruise cabins) are based on double occupancy. A single supplement is paid by participants who specifically request single accommodations, subject to availability. If you reserve at least 120 days prior to departure, you may be eligible for a reduced or free single supplement.* This is generally limited to the first one or two solo travelers to reserve, and the reduction is outlined in the pricing for each trip. Please note, free or reduced single supplements are not combinable with other offers or promotions.

If you are traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, we will try to match you with a roommate of the same gender. If you reserve at least 120 days ahead and a roommate is not available, you will only be charged a “forced” single supplement in the amount of 50% of the standard single supplement* (unless otherwise noted in the detailed itinerary). Single accommodations are limited so you are encouraged to reserve early!

*This does not apply to cruises in the Galapagos Islands. Please see these trip pages for more details.

Internal Airfare

$475 from Guayaquil ($290 for children under 12); $545 from Quito ($330 for children under 12); subject to change.

View Internal Airfare Description

Quito or Guayaquil - Galapagos - Quito or Guayaquil

Galapagos Park Fees & Transit Card

$110 per person; $60 for children under 12 (subject to change)

View Additional Fees Description

What's Included

  • Bilingual naturalist guides
  • Accommodations on the Athala II
  • Two pre-cruise nights, and one post-cruise night in a boutique hotel in your choice of Quito or Guayaquil
  • All activities as noted in the itinerary
  • All meals on cruise; breakfasts on the mainland
  • All airport transfers

Please complete the following information to request a reservation. A trip deposit of $500 per person is required to confirm your reservation (payable by check or major credit card). Once we receive your request we will contact you within one business day to confirm availability and answer any questions you may have.

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About our guides
With a Boundless Journeys guide, your experience is that of friend and local adventurer. We believe strongly in working with local guides, experts in the areas to which we travel, and they hold the keys to unlocking the hidden delights of your chosen destination. Although you will never know they are at work – the mark of a truly great leader – our guides make magical things happen and add a dimension to your trip that you could not experience on your own.

Over the years we have forged bonds with some of the best guides in the world, and we typically work with a small team of guides in each region. Our guides in the Galapagos Islands are known for their dedication to conservation in the Islands, and the passion they bring to their work.

Featured Guides

Galapgos Cruise Tour guide - Cecibel Guerrero - Boundless JourneysCecibel Guerrero: Ecuadorian born, “Ceci” spent 15 years living and studying in Toronto, Canada.  After having two children she returned to the Galapagos Islands as a Naturalist Guide - the place she loves the most. She enjoys snorkeling and has a special interest in reptiles. Ceci has a contagious enthusiasm and says she feels "blessed and honored to work in one of the most pristine places on earth."

Galapgos Cruise Tour guide - Javier Cando - Boundless JourneysJavier Cando: Javier was born and raised in the Galapagos Islands. He grew up on his parents’ ranch near a small, yet charming town in the Santa Cruz Highlands called Bellavista. It was here, working with his parents at their ranch, that he grew to appreciate the beauty and fragile nature of the Islands. After obtaining a high school degree in the Galapagos Islands, he transferred to the mainland to continue his studies with the hope of one day becoming a Naturalist Guide. In 1992, all of his hard work paid off and Javier earned his license and began guiding in the Islands. He did not stop there however, he also became a certified Dive Master, and is involved in Galapagos Islands conservation programs.

Galapgos Cruise Tour guide - Jorge Gonzalez - Boundless JourneysJorge Garcia: Originally from San Cristobal Island, Jorge is a Naturalist Guide and certified Dive Master. He studied Environmental Conservation and is interested in protecting and maintaining natural areas within the Park.  Jorge has served in various public positions within the Islands, such as President of the Association of Guides in the Galapagos Islands for two years, Provincial Counselor of the Galapagos Islands from 1998-2002, and Deputy of the Galapagos Province from 2002-2006. Currently he works with the Charles Darwin Station and National Geographic to monitor Galapagos Sharks.

Galapgos Cruise Tour guide - Karina Lopez - Boundless JourneysKarina Lopez: Karina has Bachelors degree in Tourism and Hotel Management. She has been a Naturalist Guide and Dive Master in the Galapagos Islands since 1997. She enjoys snorkeling, kayaking, swimming, and of course, diving. Terrific with guests of all ages, Karina often guides our family departures.

Galapgos Cruise Tour guide - Washington Cando - Boundless JourneysWashington Tapia: Washington is a Santa Cruz Island native. He is a Dive Master and a certified Naturalist Guide. He graduated college with a degree in Physics and Mathematics, and has completed many specialty courses including Environmental Implementation, Guiding in the Galapagos Marine Reserve, and Naturalist Guide courses II and III.

What other guests have said about our guides in the Galapagos Islands:

“The guides went out of their way to help everyone have a good experience. They were able to explain everything from biology and geology to human history and conservation efforts. My whole family has never had so much fun while learning so much. We are all absolutely recommending this trip to our friends!” – R.M.

“The naturalists were amazing. The ship had a wide range of passengers, from a 7 1/2 year old to a 65 year old, and yet they were able to explain things in a way that was interesting for everyone. Their knowledge and interaction was fun and kept the group interested. They were kind to everyone and made sure that each passenger had an amazing experience. Thanks to all for an unforgettable Galapagos adventure!” – J.S.

“Our guides were wonderful: informative, skilled, caring, prepared, and funny; and their command of the English language was perfect. All of them were warm, friendly, proficient and showed a genuine concern for making sure that all onboard had a great time. It was a once-in-a-lifetime amazing experience! Again, thank you for everything!” – S.A.

“The trip was everything and more than we could have expected. First of all, our guides were sensational. They really are Galapagos naturalists rather than guides. Their knowledge of the islands and its fauna and flora was outstanding. Their patience and ability to get along with everyone was remarkable. They gave you the feeling that they were seeing things for the very first time—even though they obviously had led many trips. – A.M.

Ask a Question about our Private Collection Trips

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Picture Yourself Here:

An exclusive 8-day Galapagos Islands cruise aboard a deluxe catamaran

Breathtaking nature walks, snorkeling, kayaking, and swimming

Fascinating Galapagos wildlife, including Blue-footed Boobies, playful sea lions, giant tortoises, and land iguanas

Swimming with sea lions and snorkeling with penguins

Daily briefings by an expert naturalist guide

Celebratory New Years Eve dinner and champagne toast

Upcoming Trips:

  • Dec 25, 2014–Jan 04, 2015

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Extension Options:

Peru tours

Peru: Into the Amazon

Private trips to the Ecuadorian Amazon or the Highlands can be organized upon request. Please call 1-800-941-8010 for more details.

What others have said...

We are having an incredible time. Our guide is absolutely one of the best. The boat is fantastic and the crew really works hard every day to make sure we are as comfortable as possible.

- Betty S., Ecuador: The Galapagos Islands


Bhutan Hiking Tour"Bhutan really exceeded my expectations. They really are in their own world, and the people and the country are absolutely amazing. Bhutan is glowing in my dreams and I still can’t believe this place really exists."
 - Albert Normandin, Bhutan Private Adventure

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