Our 6 night-route runs around the largest, seahorse-shaped island of Isabela, where nature seems to hunt for the greatest. Explore the virtually untouched western end of the Galapagos Islands, which has just been born out of fire. You are right on time for the first thrilling chapters of evolution! Uncover the mystery of how tough pioneer species make barren lava fields habitable; and approach bizarre outgrowths of adaptation as marine iguanas and flightless cormorants. It’s true that accessing this remote and isolated region demands longer navigation (mainly overnight), but our stable mega-catamaran enables you to witness ‘survival of the fittest’, without experiencing it.
- Experienced professional guides.
- Virgin Fernandina & isolated west-coast of Isabela make you an eye-witness of evolution
- The archipelago’s largest concentration of American flamingo in bird-rich wetlands.
- Fur seal groats & a unique tidal channel with white-tip reef sharks & rays
- Flightless cormorants, largest marine iguanas and penguins near the equator
- Plenty of snorkelling opportunities
ITINERARY IN BRIEF:
Day 1: Baltra - Charles Darwin Station
Day 2: Whale Bay - Dragon Hill
Day 3: Las Tintoreras - Wetlands
Day 4: Punta Moreno - Urbina Bay
Day 5: Punta Espinoza - Tagus Cove
Day 6: Puerto Egas - Rabida Island
Day 7: Las Bachas - Baltra
NOTE: Long itineraries are the combination of short ones; please let us know if you would like to book a long cruise
Baltra Island - Santa Cruz Island
AM - Flight to Baltra Airport (GPS)
Upon arrival at Baltra Airport, you will pass through an airport inspection point to insure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands, as well as to pay the park entrance fee of $100 (unless it has been prepaid). A guide will meet you, help you collect your luggage, and escort you on a short bus ride to the harbor.
PM - Charles Darwin Station (Santa Cruz)
Although the great majority of Galapagos visitors come here to observe and appreciate natural wonders, it is also interesting to learn how the protection and conservation of the islands are carried out.The main attractions are the National Park information center, the Van Staelen Exhibition Hall, the Breeding and Rearing Center for young tortoises, and adult Galapagos tortoises in
captivity. (L. D.) (Private Transfer) (Shared Guide)
Eden Islet - Santa Cruz Island
AM - Eden Islet
El Edén is a paradisiacal tuff cone islet, just off the west coast of Santa Cruz (between Whale Bay and Dragon Hill).
PM - Dragon Hill (Santa Cruz)
The visitor site at Dragon Hill has been open for visits on 1993.This site is located in northwestern Santa Cruz Island and consists of a trail that lead to a hyper-saline lagoon behind the beach, frequented by flamingos, pintail ducks and other species of birds. This site has been re populated with land iguanas from Seymour, Isabela and Santa Cruz islands.There is a short walk to the Hill, which offers a beautiful view of the bay. (B. L. D.) (Shared Guide)
Las Tinteras - Sierra Negra - Isabela Island
AM -Las Tintoreras
A delightful place to be reached by a nice zodiac ride. “Tintoreras” are small islands in front of Puerto Villamil coast.There is Heron lava on the lookout on mangrove branch, and Galapagos Penguin and sea lion often pop out on shore. White-tipped reef sharks are fairly common in the archipelago. Their name in Spanish is Tintorera, thus the name of this site as they are always found here resting in the shallow waters.
AM - Sierra Negra
Sierra Negra is the 3rd highest volcano on Isabela and the 5th highest of the Galapagos (1124m / 3687ft.).
It is the only major volcano on Isabela whose crater regions are actually open to tourism. A mysterious half-day hike through the cloud forests takes you to a viewpoint at the rim, offering fantastic views into the impressive caldera (clear weather required, though unpredictable; prevailing winds mean that clouds usually tend to dissolve at the viewpoint). The caldera measures about 7 x 9km / 4.5 x 6mi across, and is the largest of the archipelago. Since the disco- very of so-called super volcanoes likeYellowstone it it is no longer listed as one of the largest craters in the world.
PM - Wetlands (Isabela)
Isabela Island is the largest and one of the youngest islands in the Galapagos archipelago. We land in Puerto Villamil, which has the second smallest population in Galapagos with approximately 3.000 inhabitants. First we will visit the Flamingos Lagoon; this place is the largest coastal lagoon found in Galapagos and is one of the main reproductive sites for the greater Flamingos. Afterwards we will follow a trail to the “The Wall of Tears”; from 1946 to 1959 Isabela was designated a penal colony by the Ecuadorian government. Prisoners were obligated to build a wall with enormous blocks of lava. Due to the arduous labour and harsh conditions in which the prisoners lived, this site is known as “El Muro de las Lagrimas”. There are a number of interesting sites along this route, such as the cerro Orchilla, El Estero, Poza Escondida, Playa del Amor and Pozas Verdes. (B. L. D.) (Shared Guide)
Fernandina Island - Isabela Island
AM - Punta Espinoza (Fernandina)
Fernandina is the third largest island in the archipelago and has a single visitor site: Punta Espinoza located at the northeastern tip of the island. Marine iguanas conglomerate in larger groups than in any other island.They bask around in the sand, swim near the shore and sometime block the way at the landing dock. Among the unique species found here, is the Flightless Cormorant.This bird had to adjust its way of survival and perfection its skills of finding food in the ocean.Their wings, tails and feet progressively adapted for swimming.To see these birds, is to witness evolution happening right in front of you.
PM - Tagus Cove (Isabela)
Tagus Cove, a tour along the cliffs in a zodiac will give the visitors a good chance to see the Galapagos penguin, the flightless cormorant and other sea birds. From the landing dock it is about a 30 minute hike along the trail up to the top of the cliff from where you can view Darwin Lake, an uplifted ultra-saline lake saltier than the sea.You can also see several volcanoes from this location. Look carefully at the graffiti on the surrounding cliffs of the cove, it has been written by pirates, whalers and buccaneers in past centuries. (B. L. D.) (Shared Guide)
Santiago Island - Rabida Island
AM - Puerto Egas (Santiago)
Puerto Egas is a black beach is located at the west side of Santiago Island.Volcanic tuff deposits have favored the formation of this special black sand beach and this is the main attraction of the Island.This site is called Puerto Egas, because there was an attempt of company of Hector Egas, to start the exploitation of salt, which failed because the price of salt on the continent was very cheap, and did not justify its exploitation in Galapagos.The project was abando- ned and they left their infrastructure.
PM - Rabida
Rábida Island is unique because the red color of the rocks and sand.The volcanic material in this island is very porous and external factors as rain, salt water and sea breeze have acted as an oxidizing agent.A short walk along a trail lead us to a coastal lagoon behind the beach permits the observa- tion of land birds as finches, doves, yellow warblers and mocking birds. At the lagoon there is a colony of flamingos. (B. L. D.) (Shared Guide)
Santa Cruz Island - Depart Baltra Airport
AM - Las Bachas (Santa Cruz)
These two small beaches are found to the West of Tur tle Cove.Their sand is made of decomposed coral, which makes it white and soft, making it a favorite nesting site for sea turtles. Behind one of the beaches there is a small brackish water lagoon, where occasionally is possible to observe flamingos and other coastal birds, such as black-necked stilts and whimbrels.The other beach is longer, but it has two old barges that were abandoned during the Second World War, when the USA used Baltra Island as a strategically point to protect the Panama Channel.
Transfer out to Baltra Airport (GPS)
Assisted by the naturalist guide and some crewmembers, the dinghy will bring you and your luggage to Baltra Airport, where we will take the shuttle back to the airport for your flight to Guayaquil or Quito. (B.) (Shared Guide)
- Year Built: 2018
- Type: First Class Motor Catamaran
- Length: 31 metres
- Beam: 11.2 metres
- Draft: 1.4 metres
- Speed: 11 knots
- Capacity: 16 passengers, 6 Crew Members, 1 housekeeper, 1 barman, 1 cook, 1 kitchenhand, 1 bilingual naturalist guide
- Main Engines: 2x Caterpillar diesel engine (2×345 PS/HP) with Rockwool insulation
- Nett Tonnage: 102,78 Tonnes
- Generators: 2 x Caterpillar generator 75KW
- Safety & Navigation: 1 x HF radio (communication with outside world), 2 x stationary VHF radio (marine navigation), handheld bi-directional radio set (walkie-talkie), 1 x emergency position indicating radio beacon, magnetic compass, GPS, 24 Nautical mile radar, Sonar, 2 fully equipped life rafts, 2 SAR personal floating devices in each cabin, emergency lighting and indicated evacuation routes.
- Lounge, dining room and bar
- Shaded terrace and Barbeque area
- Whirlpool with Jacuzzi jets
- Sundeck with lounges
18m², queen bed or 2 single beds, private balcony, private bathroom, air conditioning & safety deposit box.
40m², king-size bed, two private balconies, private bathroom, air conditioning, safety deposit box, private living room & television
- On-board accommodation
- All meals during the voyage
- Activities/shore excursions as specified
- Bilingual naturalist guides
- Use of snorkelling, wetsuits are available for hire
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
- International and internal airfares
- Arrival/departure taxes or reciprocity fees, visa fees where applicable
- Travel insurance
- Galapagos National Park fee US$100
- Transit control card US$20
- Any items not mentioned as included
NOTE: Long itineraries are the combination of short ones; please let us know if you would like to book a long cruise.