8-DAYS, ITINERARY "B", Western Route
All itineraries are subject to change by the Galapagos Parks Department. 8-day itineraries A & B alternate every other week. Please contact us for current itineraries.
DAY 1 SUNDAY
Morning: San Cristobal Island: airport arrival
Upon arrival to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, SAN CRISTOBAL Island, our crew is waiting at the airport to escort you to your anchored yacht.
Afternoon: San Cristobal Island: Playa Ochoa
After the welcome briefing, buffet lunch and safety drill, we set sail for Playa Ochoa where we have a wet landing. Here, we can test our snorkeling equipment and at the same time swim with a small colony of sea lions. Behind the beach, there is a tidal lagoon where bird can be spotted including the rare Chatham mockingbird. At sunset, we cruise around Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido), a vertical tuff cone formation that abruptly juts up almost 500 feet out of the ocean. On the cliffs, we spot Blue-footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies and Magnificent Frigate birds.
DAY 2 MONDAY
Morning: Genovesa (Tower) Island: Prince Philip's Steps
We spend the entire day on TOWER (Genovesa), considered to be one of the most spectacular Islands in Galapagos for bird species. This morning, we have a dry landing at Prince Philip’s Steps. Red-footed boobies nest here in Palo Santo trees and Nazca Boobies nest near the trail. In an open lava field, we find Storm Petrels in large numbers. If you are lucky, we will see the elusive Short-eared owl. After the walk, our kayaks are available to paddle along the shoreline. Look for the beautiful Red-billed Tropic bird usually found in the crevices.
Afternoon: Genovesa: Darwin Bay
We have a wet-landing on Darwin Bay, a coral sand beach where Swallow-tailed and Lava gulls gather near the tide pools. Enter a forest of Optuntia cactus and mangroves where colonies of Great Frigate birds nest. The males inflate their red-throated pouches to attract females as they fly overhead. The trail leads through a rich inter tidal zone where we find a wide diversity of wildlife. After the walk, we can swim and snorkel from the beach with sea lions in these northern warmer waters.
DAY 3 TUESDAY
Morning: Santa Cruz Island: Las Bachas Beach
This morning we visit, Las Bachas, which is the Spanish translation for “barges”. There is a long stretch of a soft white sand beach and interior lagoons where we find the Greater Flamingo. There is also a wonderful chance to snorkel here from the beach.
Afternoon: North Seymour Island:
This afternoon, we have a dry landing at North Seymour, a small geological uplift. We follow a trail that leads us to Swallow-tailed gulls, Blue-footed boobies and the endemic Land iguanas. Visit the largest colony of Magnificent Frigate birds found in Galapagos. As we stroll along the beach, we find Marine Iguanas and sea lions body surf the northern swells. After the walk there is a snorkeling opportunity offered in deep water.
DAY 4 WEDNESDAY
Morning: Fernandina Island: Punta Espinoza
We have a semi-wet landing at Punta Espinoza, FERNANDINA, the youngest and most pristine Island in Galapagos. Recent lava flows formed by an active volcano stretch their way around the coast. Hundreds of Marine Iguanas, the largest colony in Galapagos, bask in the sun along the rugged shoreline. Observe sea lion harems with resident bulls carefully guarding their territory. Flightless Cormorants build their nest on the point and Galapagos Hawks fly overhead. After lunch, we cross the Bolivar Chanel where we often spot whales and dolphins riding the bow wave.
Afternoon: Isabela Island: Tagus Cove
We have a dry landing at Tagus Cove, located on the western Island of ISABELA. Six volcanoes flowed together and formed the largest Island in Galapagos. During the walk, we discover a salt-water lagoon, a scenic overlook with a spectacular view of the ocean, lava fields and volcanic formations. Graffiti dating back to the 1800's is written on the rocky cliffs. Explore the Coves by Zodiac or kayak to find Galapagos Penguins, Boobies, Pelicans and other seabirds. An excellent snorkeling opportunity is offered here after the walk. After dinner, a sky full of stars beckons to go out on deck and observe the galaxy.
DAY 5 THURSDAY
Morning: Isabela Island: Elizabeth Bay
Excursion is a zodiac ride at Elizabeth Bay, that begins with a visit to a secluded cove, lined with large red mangrove trees. Here, turtles, rays, and shore birds can be seen. We motor to the rocky islets known as “Las Marielas”, where a colony of nesting Penguins, Flightless Cormorants and giant Marine Iguanas are found.
Afternoon: Isabela Island: Urbina Bay
At the base of Alcedo Volano, we disembark at Urbina Bay, where we find four miles of its coastal seabed with marine life exposed due to a dramatic uplift in 1954 when the volcano erupted. The marine remnants of coral skeletons, some of them waist-high, are visited after a wet landing on the beach. The Brown Pelicans and Flightless Cormorants nest here. Giant Marine Iguanas are seen along the coast.
DAY 6 FRIDAY
Morning: Santiago Island (James): Puerto Egas
Wet landing at Puerto Egas. Stroll along the shoreline looking for octopus, starfish and other sea life caught in the tide pools. At low tide, catch a glimpse of marine iguanas as they feed on exposed green algae. Watch for great blue herons, lava herons, American oystercatchers and yellow-crowned night herons. Our walk ends at the grottos, deep pools of clear water where we encounter fur sea lions once on the verge of extinction. Before returning to the yacht, there is a snorkeling and kayak opportunity.
Afternoon: Rabida Island
We disembark on RABIDA ISLAND (Jervis), located off James Island. Rabida sports the most diversified volcanic rocks of all the islands and is considered the geographic center of Galapagos. The dark red sand beach originated from the erosion of volcanic stones. Follow a trail that leads to a salt water lagoon, and observe Greater Flamingos as they feed. Brown Pelicans nest in the mangroves at the far side of the lagoon. After the walk, there is time for snorkeling.
DAY 7 SATURDAY
Morning: Santa Cruz Island: Charles Darwin Research Station.
We visit all three tortoise corals and the breeding center with new hatchlings and miniature tortoises not yet ready to be repatriated. Scientists from all over the globe work at the station and conduct biological research from anatomy to zoology. We also visit the Van Straelen Hall where there are exhibits and a short video presentation. Visitors can see the pen of Lonesome George, the last surviving member of the Pinta Island subspecies.
Afternoon: Santa Fe Island
We visit SANTA FE (Barrington), a volcanic uplift, and we start with a wet landing at a beach with sea lions. Here, we can observe one of the few remaining land iguanas of the species endemic to Santa Fe Island. Some of these iguanas can be 5 feet long and have very pronounced spines along its back. We also find a forest of giant prickly pear cactus.
DAY 8 SUNDAY
Morning: San Cristobal Island: Interpretation Center
The visitor center opened on San Cristobal Island in 1999. Here we gain a more complete understanding of the natural and human history of the Islands. Afterwards, we spend some time in port before heading to the airport for our flight back to the mainland departing noon time on Aerogal.
Included in the Cruise rate: all meals on yacht, snacks, purified drinking water and non-alcoholic beverages; daily excursions led by experienced English-speaking naturalist guides in groups of 10/per naturalist guide; complimentary use of snorkeling equipment, wetsuits & sea kayaks; captain's welcome and farewell cocktails
Not included: Round-trip airfare (figured separately & prepaid); Galapagos Park Fee & Galapagos Transit Control Card (figured separately & prepaid;) tips to guide, crew and staff; premium liquor, beer and cocktails on board.