- Complimentary Roundtrip Airfare on Select Expedition Cruises
Book by October 31, 2020 and receive free round-trip airfare from Miami on select 2020-2021 departures on both National Geographic Islander and National Geographic Endeavour II through July 2021. Or, take advantage of new zone fares from $249 and $349 from select home cities on select departures. Offer on American Airlines only, economy class. Upgrade to Business Class flights from $750, subject to availability. Free air offer includes internal flights between mainland Ecuador and Galápagos. Offer is valid for new bookings only, may not be combinable with other offers, and is subject to availability. Please call for details.
- Special Offer for Solo Travelers
Book by October. 31, 2020 and waive the solo traveler premium on solo cabins on select 2020 departures aboard National Geographic Endeavour II.
Solo travelers will pay double occupancy rates for solo occupancy in designated cabins/categories. Valid for new bookings only. Subject to availability and may not be combined with other offers or extensions. Please call for details.
- Travel aboard the National Geographic Islander or National Geographic Endeavor II, each equipped with kayaks, paddleboards, and Zodiacs, allowing for up close exploration.
- Join our naturalists on interpretive island walks to learn about Galápagos wildlife, and witness incredible interactions between animals in their natural habitat.
- Meet endangered Galápagos giant tortoises at a National Geographic–supported captive breeding program, and then observe these creatures in the wild.
- Through our new National Geographic Global Explorers program, young travelers learn to explore like scientists and tell the stories of this legendary archipelago.
The Galápagos Archipelago, Darwin's living laboratory, is home to an abundance of wildlife. Isolated from the mainland for millions of years, it is a rare wilderness where animals have no instinctive fear of humans. Traveling aboard the National Geographic Endeavour II or the National Geographic Islander, experience up close encounters with unique species such as flightless cormorants, marine iguanas, and giant tortoises.
This trip is offered in partnership with Lindblad Expeditions.
Depart for Guayaquil and upon arrival, transfer to our hotel.
Hotel Oro Verde (National Geographic Endeavour II) or Hotel del Parque (National Geographic Islander)
This morning, fly to the Galápagos Islands and board our expedition ship, equipped for comfort as well as in-depth exploration. After lunch, we begin our discovery of the islands and their diverse wildlife.
National Geographic Endeavour II or National Geographic Islander
Our expeditions travel between Baltra and San Cristóbal and include Santa Cruz and a selection of the other islands listed below. Each day you will have the opportunity to go on nature walks with local naturalists; swim; snorkel; or explore the waters by kayak, glass-bottom boat (Endeavour II only), or Zodiac. In keeping with the nature of an expedition, our itinerary is flexible, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in this extraordinary wildlife sanctuary. Itineraries vary and are subject to Galápagos National Park regulations.
ISLA BARTOLOMÉ: Walk to the top of Bartolomé’s volcanic cone for a stunning view of Pinnacle Rock and the surrounding beaches. After the hike, swim or snorkel among schools of multicolored reef fish. You may also have the opportunity to swim with Galápagos penguins.
ISLA SANTIAGO: Explore a series of tide pools and underwater caverns in search of Galápagos fur seals, marine iguanas, sea lions, shore birds, and Sally Lightfoot crabs.
ISLA SANTA CRUZ: Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, home to several endemic species of giant tortoise. Then tour the neighboring captive breeding program for endangered Galápagos giant tortoises run by the Galápagos National Park Service and supported by the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Fund. Take a walk through the town of Puerto Ayora before traveling into the highlands to observe and photograph giant tortoises in the wild.
ISLA ISABELA: Explore the largest island in the group, home to marine iguanas, abundant sea turtles, the only species of flightless cormorant in the world, and the only penguin species that inhabits the Equator. Cruise by Zodiac and hike against a backdrop of giant shield volcanoes, and snorkel in the cool waters that often draw whales and dolphins to the area.
ISLA FLOREANA: Hike to a turtle nesting beach and a lagoon that is home to flamingos and other bird species. At Champion Islet, snorkel among sea lions; then visit Post Office Bay, founded by whalers in the 18th century. If you see a letter addressed to someone who lives near you, the tradition is to deliver it by hand.
ISLA FERNANDINA: Discover the marine iguana haven of Punta Espinoza as we hike over hardened lava flows. Galápagos hawks, sea lion nurseries, and rare flightless cormorants can be found while exploring this island. Snorkel among sea turtles, penguins, and the occasional marine iguana.
ISLA ESPAÑOLA: See swallow-tailed gulls, Española mockingbirds, boobies, and waved albatrosses (seasonally) in this birder’s paradise. Walk among vivid green-and-red marine iguanas and unique lava lizards, and observe sea lions up close on a pristine white-sand beach.
After breakfast, disembark the ship and fly to Guayaquil, with the remainder of the day at your leisure.
Hotel Hilton Colón (National Geographic Endeavour II) or Hotel del Parque (National Geographic Islander)
Depart Guayaquil this morning, arriving home the same day.
- Ecuador’s Amazon: Yasuní Wildlife Photo Extension6 days from $2,895
Capture the photographic splendors of the Ecuadorian Amazon on an exclusive, hands-on experience alongside a National Geographic photographer and a renowned Ecuadorian wildlife photographer and conservationist. Glide along jungle waterways to the Napo Wildlife Center, a luxurious ecolodge nestled in Yasuní National Park. Spend two full days immersed in this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, which is home to monkeys, giant river otters, and some 600 bird species, including macaws and parakeets that gather at mineral-rich clay licks. Paddle and hike through the jungle alongside our photo leaders and local naturalist-guides, and climb an observation tower for panoramic views. Cap off the adventure with a tour of Quito, which boasts one of the best-preserved colonial centers in South America.
Arrive in Quito, the capital and cultural heart of Ecuador, and transfer to our hotel near the airport.
Meet your fellow travelers and photo leaders at breakfast, then transfer to the airport for a short flight to Coca, situated at the confluence of the Coca and Napo Rivers. Venture into the Ecuadorian Amazon by motorboat, then continue by canoe along a creek to our jungle lodge, which is nestled along the banks of a black-water lake. Settle into your comfortable cabin, grab your camera, and head out on a guided walk to photograph the jungle and its abundant bird life.
Rise early to seek out the creatures of the Amazon rainforest at their most active time of day. Visit a nearby clay lick, where parrots and parakeets gather to feast on mineral-rich clay that helps combat the toxicity of the fruits and seeds they eat. Follow a hiking trail into the forest to visit a local Kichwa Añangu community, and join local guides on an exploration of jungle waterways by dugout canoe. Along the way, pause for a photo op at a lookout tower built in the middle of the forest and enjoy guidance from our photo leaders in the field. Capture colorful shots of mountain-tanagers, several species of toucans, blue-and-yellow macaws, and, with luck, troops of monkeys perched atop a towering ceiba tree.
Set out for a final morning on the water with our local guides, navigating back to Coca. Catch a flight to Quito, then transfer to our evocative hotel, a refurbished historic mansion overlooking the San Francisco Plaza in the heart of the colonial center. Venture into the surrounding cobblestoned streets and plazas for a guided photo tour of this beautiful and well-preserved colonial capital, which is designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enjoy the evening at your leisure.
Transfer to the airport and fly to the Galápagos Islands. Board our expedition ship, where you’ll put your newly honed photo skills to practice during our spectacular voyage to the archipelago on this National Geographic Photo Expedition.