ITINERARY, 6 days Wed-Mon
(Note: itineraries change. Please contact Andean Treks for updated itineraries)
Day 1 Friday
Morning: San Cristobal Island: arrival Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, transfer to the yacht. Receive your cabin assignment, have lunch, then enjoy an introductory talk.
Afternoon: San Cristobal Island: Interpretation Centre & Cerro Brujo. Disembark and visit the Interpretation Centre where you will acquire a greater understanding of Galapagos' uniqueness. Stroll on the boardwalk to the north shore to a site considered to be the spot where Darwin first set foot on the Galapagos in 1835. Here you'll see Darwin finches, San Cristobal mockingbirds, marine iguanas, sea lions, etc. Hills frame this turquoise bay, home to two species of frigates. A staircase leads to the top of Cerro Tijeretas, where you have views of the northern part of the island: Wreck Bay, Lobos Islet, Punta Carola and the impressive Kicker Rock. Return to the yacht.
Day 2 Saturday
Morning: San Cristobal Island: Cerro Brujo. A dinghy ride along the shores of tuff-stone layers takes you to the white coralline beach. This large, expanse beach is great for walking, with rewarding bird watching and good views of seabirds such as blue-footed boobies, brown pelicans, herons, frigate birds and more shore birds. Also, look out for Galapagos sea lioins. Highlights ashore include the Chatham (San Cristobal) mockingbird & the Chatham lava lizard, both endemic species to this island and seen nowhere else in Galapagos. After the walk, you can snorkel here.
Afternoon: San Cristobal: Punta Pitt. Pitt Point is an eroded tuff cone; the trail ascending from the beach provides spectacular views of the shoreline. This is the only site in Galapagos where you can find the three species of boobies together, as well as the two frigate species, plus a colony of bachelor sea lions along the beach. Afterwards, if conditions are favorable, there is a chance to swim or snorkel at the nearby islets.
Day 3 Sunday
Morning: Santa Fe Island. Wet landing on a sandy white beach with many sea lion harems. Bulls vie for the right to be "Beach Master," while smaller males masquerading as females make stealthy mating moves. Galapagos hawks are often easily observed, perched atop salt bushes. The giant prickly pear cactus found here live up to their name with tree-sized trunks. You may also see the endemic land iguana. Snorkelling and swimming from the beach rounds off the rewarding experience. Non-snorkelers can take a glass bottom boat ride.
Afternoon: South Plaza Island. Disembark at a lavishly colorful site: the turquoise water of the channel contrasting brilliantly with the while sand and black lava of the shoreline. The rocks have grown thick with green seaweed in places, speckled with bright orange "Sally Lightfoot" crabs. Fruther up the shore a carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents serves as groundcover for a grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cactus. Yellow-grey land iguanas sit beneath these, waiting patiently for pears to drop. Along the coastline are sea lion colonies, while frigates, swallow-tailed gulls and shearwaters gliding and playing with the thermals that form along the cliffs of this small but amazing island.
Day 4 Monday
Morning: Santa Cruz Island: Puerto Ayora & Charles Darwin Research Station. You visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to see the giant tortoise pens, including tortoise celebriteis like "Lonesome George" within an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest, home to many land birds. These are the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. You have lunch at a local restaurant today rather than on board the yacht.
Afternoon: We drive up into the refreshingly cool micro-climate of the highlands on this large island, with the impressive Scalesia forest and the geological formation of the twin pit craters, known as Los Gemelos From Decmeber to mid-April a visit to see the giant tortoises in the wild may be included, weather permitting. Return to Puerto Ayora and embark the yacht.
Day 5 Tuesday
Morning: Española (Hood) Island: Punta Suarez. Here you take an exciting walk on lava-boulder terrain to visit its unique sea bird colonies, including waved albatross (April - December), Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies, swallow-tail gulls as swell as a view of the famous blow hole. Among its land birds, the Hood island mockingbird, Galapagos hawks, Galapagos doves and three species of Darwin's finches are common highlights. Also, look for red-green-black marine iguanas.
Afternoon: Gardner Bay. Land at a white coral beach for a short walk to see the sea lions, mockingbirds, finches or enjoy the beach. Great snorkeling here, or take the glass-bottom boat ride.
Day 6 Wednesday:
Morning: Santa Cruz Island: disembark yacht, transfer to Baltra Airport for the flight back to the mainland.
Please contact us for the other detailed itineraries.
Included in the Cruise rate:
All meals on yacht, daily excursions led by experienced English-speaking naturalist guides, snorkel gear, taxes and transfers in the islands; transfers to/from the airport in Quito or Guayaquil from the main hotels (Quito: Casa Gangotena, Hilton, Swissotel, Marriott, Dann Carlton; Guayaquil: Hilton, Oro Verde, Hampton Inn, Sheraton.)
Round-trip airfare (figured separately & prepaid); Galapagos Park Fee, Galapagos Transit Control Card; tips to guide, crew and staff; wetsuit rentals, internet/Wifi, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages.