Natural Paradise – South & West Galapagos Islands

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Please Note: Our website packages are here to provide you with a guide on what we can offer. If this package does not suit your requirements we can easily cutomise your trip to suit your needs and preferences.

OVERVIEW:

The 8 Day Yacht Natural Paradise Western Galapagos Islands Cruise visits Santa Cruz, Isabela, Fernandina, Chinese Hat, Mosquera, Floreana, Española and San Cristobal. Embark in Baltra and disembark in San Cristobal. On Isabela Island you'll pass a colony of marine iguanas and a group of sea lions on your way to the flightless cormorant nesting site. Skip between brackish pools over white-tip sharks and sea turtles, explore the Sierra Negra Volcano, see up to seven species of finches and visit a tortoise breeding center. Snorkel between coral heads on underwater lava flows with marine iguanas and sea lions then send a letter at Post Office Bay on Floreana Island. On Espanola Island visit the breeding site of nearly all of the world's 12,000 pairs of albatross. On every step of the way, expect to see an abundance of wildlife.

ITINERARY IN BRIEF:

Day 1: Baltra - Santa Cruz Island
Day 2: Isabela Island & Fernandina Islands 
Day 3: Isabela Island
Day 4: Isabela Island
Day 5: Chinese Hat & Mosquera Islets
Day 6: Floreana Island
Day 7: Espanola Island
Day 8: San Cristobal Island

NOTE: Long itineraries are the combination of short ones; please let us know if you would like to book a long cruise.

  • Baltra - Santa Cruz Island

    AM: Arrive Baltra:
    You will arrive at Baltra Island in the morning. After passing through immigration and baggage claim, you will be met by the Natural Paradise staff and transferred to the yacht. You will be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before lunch and a welcome briefing.

    PM: Dragon Hill:
    The visitors’ site at Dragon Hill is located on the northwestern part of Santa Cruz Island and consists of a trail that runs through three different environments although it is only slightly less than a mile long (1,600 meters). The beach is very rocky. At high tide it’s a nice place for snorkeling. At this visiting site you can find vegetation typical of the intertidal and dry zones.

    Activities: Dinghy ride and short hike

    Difficulty: Easy

    Type of Landing: Dry landing

    Highlights and Animals: Frigate birds, herons, blue-footed boobies, rays, reef sharks

  • Isabela Island & Fernandina Islands

    AM: Vicente Roca Point:
    Comprised of two separate coves, this site is a large bay with spectacular sea life. Keep an eye out for seahorses, sea turtles, and the strange yet fascinating Mola mola (or sun fish).

    Possible Activities: Snorkeling, dinghy ride & hike, 2 trails: short (0.6mi/1 km), long (1.9mi/3km)

    Difficulty: Easy / Moderate

    Type of Landing: No landing

    Highlights and Animals: Penguins, blue-footed boobies, terns, Nazca boobies, two types of sea lions. sea turtles, rays and puffer fish.

    PM: Espinosa Point:
    Crossing the Bolivar Channel that divides Isabela and Fernandina Islands, you will land at Espinosa Point, and after walking past a colony of marine iguanas and a group of sea lions, reach the island’s highlight: the fightless cormorant nesting site. This area provides a great opportunity to see the Galapagos hawk.

    Possible Activities: Hike of approximately (1.2 miles / 2 km)

    Difficulty: Moderate

    Type of Landing: Dry and slippery at low tide

    Highlights & Animals: Flightless cormorant, marine iguanas, ‘a‘ā lava, sea lions, penguins, active volcano “La Cumbre”.

  • Isabela Island

    AM: Urbina Bay:
    Located at the base of Alcedo Volcano on the west coast between Tagus Cove and Elizabeth Bay. This area experienced a major uplift in 1954 causing the land to rise over 16 feet. The coast expanded half a mile out leaving marine life stranded on the new shore. This area is also a great place for snorkeling.

    Possible Activities: Snorkeling, dinghy ride & hike, 2 trails: short (0.6mi/1 km), long (1.9mi/3km)

    Difficulty: Easy / Moderate

    Type of Landing: Wet landing

    Highlights & Animals: Land iguanas (the biggest in the Galapagos), hawks, coral reef, giant tortoises; snorkeling: turtles, rays, tropical fish

    PM: Moreno Point:
    Located southwest of Elizabeth Bay. Here a dry landing onto what was once owing lava is possible. The lava has left craters in its wake which formed crystal tide pools. By looking into the pools, you can peer into another world as the marine life drifts by your window. In the brackish pools of this area, you may see pink amingos, white-cheeked pintails, and common gallinules. If you look carefully into the pools, you may see white-tip reef sharks and some sea turtles.

    Possible Activities: Snorkeling, panga ride & hike (1.2 miles / 2km)

    Difficulty: Moderate / difficult

    Type of Landing: Dry landing

    Highlights & Animals: Flamingos, gallinules, pintail ducks, turtles, white-tip reef sharks.

  • Isabela Island

    AM: Sierra Negra Volcano:
    Is the largest basaltic caldera in the Galapagos with a diameter of 6.2 miles (10 km). The site offers impressive views and the opportunity to observe up to seven species of finches and a rich display of vegetation. The north side of the caldera provides evidence of its most recent volcanic activity in 2005.

    Possible Activities: Hiking, horseback riding, walking

    Difficulty: Moderate

    Type of Landing: Dry landing

    Highlights & Animals: Basaltic caldera, stunning views, finches

    PM: The Wall of Tears - Wetlands & Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center:
    The Wall of Tears Is 65 feet (25 meters) high and an important piece of the island history. A penal colony existed on Isabela from 1945-1959, and the prisoners were forced to build the wall, stone by stone, while in isolation from the rest of the world, and thousands died during the construction. Many claim to feel the heavy energy of this historical site, and locals claim to hear cries in the wind.
    Afterwards you will head to the Wetlands of Isabela Island which are located just outside of Puerto Villamil. The Wetlands consist of lagoons, swamps, and mangroves and are home to a variety of unique bird species such as common stilts, whimbrels, white-cheeked pintails, and gallinules. The Wetlands can be visited on foot via a path through the swamps.

    The Wall of Tears & Wetlands

    Possible Activities: Hiking

    Difficulty: Easy

    Type of Landing: Dry landings

    Highlights & Animals: Historic Sites, Giant mangroves, shore birds

    Next you will visit Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center of Isabela. It is located about one mile (1.5 km) from Puerto Villamil. In this breeding center, populations from South Isabela Sierra Negra Volcano, Cerro Azul, Cazuela, Cinco Cerros, Roca Union, San Pedro, Tables and Cerro Paloma have been bred in captivity. In total there are 330 juvenile and adult tortoises.

    Possible Activities: Hiking

    Difficulty: Easy

    Type of Landing: Dry landings

    Highlights & Animals: Two of the five subspecies of the giant tortoise

  • Chinese Hat & Mosquera Islets

    AM: Chinese Hat islet:
    This small islet is located near the southeast coast of Santiago Island. Its name comes from the distinct shape of the islet’s summit. This small islet is a great location to view many geological formations such as lava tubes and lava flows. Some of the lava flows were formed underwater and subsequently raised above sea level. The presence of coral heads on the lava flow indicates this phenomenon.

    Possible Activities: Hike (1,9 miles / 3 km)

    Difficulty: Easy / Moderate

    Type of Landing: Wet landing

    Highlights & Animals: Lava formations, great site for snorkeling with an abundance of marine species, marine iguanas, sea lions

    PM: Mosquera Islet:
    It is located between the islands of Baltra and North Seymour, this reef of rocks and coral (the result of an uprising) is only 160 meters across at its narrowest width. This island has one of the largest populations of sea lions and is home to many shorebirds. There have been occasional reports at this site of orcas feeding on sea lions.

    Possible Activities: Dinghy ride, snorkeling

    Difficulty: Easy

    Type of Landing: No landing

    Highlights & Animals: Orcas, sea lions, shore birds

  • Floreana Island

    AM: Post Office Bay:
    You will land on a beach and head to a spot where 18th century whalers placed a wooden barrel used as an unofficial mail box. The custom continues to this day with Galapagos visitors. So, don’t forget your postcards, and don’t be surprised if the post card arrives to its destination before you even get home!

    Possible Activities: Hiking, snorkeling & dinghy ride

    Difficulty: Easy

    Type of Landing: Wet landing

    Highlights & Animals: Post office barrel, nice sandy beach, Flamingos

    PM: Cormorant Point:
    Here you will enjoy a hike to a salt-water lagoon which is home to flamingos. You will also get to swim in the crystal clear waters of the Devil’s Crown. This extinct volcano peaks out of the waters just off of Floreana’s coast and offers a magnificent snorkeling experience.

    Possible Activities: Hiking, snorkeling & dinghy ride

    Difficulty: Easy

    Type of Landing: Wet landing

    Highlights & Animals: Devil’s Crown: the best snorkeling site in the Galapagos Islands with sharks, rays, rock formations and lots of tropical fish

    PM: Champion Islet:
    Named after the whaler Andrew Champion, is a small island located just offshore Floreana Island in the southern part of the Archipelago, considered as one of the most beautiful places on Galapagos for all snorkeling and diving fans and an excellent opportunity for dolphin watching.

    Possible Activities: Snorkeling and dinghy ride

    Difficulty: Moderate / Difficult

    Type of Landing: Wet landing

    Highlights & Animals: Sea lions, reef fish and Nasca boobies

  • Española Island

    AM: Suarez Point:
    On the trail you will have the chance to see blue-footed boobies, albatros, and Nazca boobies. This island is the breeding site of nearly all of the world’s 12,000 pairs of waved albatrosses. You will also visit a beautiful site on the ocean front where there is a cliff that the large albatrosses use as a launching pad! You will have the chance to see the famous blowhole that spurts water into the air. The landscape is great for photography.

    Possible Activities: Hike (1,9 miles / 3 km)

    Difficulty: Difficult

    Type of Landing: Dry landing

    Highlights & Animals: Hood mockingbirds, Nazca boobies, waved albatrosses (from the last week of april until the last week of january), red-billed tropicbirds, lava lizards, Galapagos hawks, blue-footed boobies, blowhole, amazing landscape

    PM: Gardner Islet - Osborn Islet & Gardner Bay:
    After landing, you can walk across a lovely white-sand beach amongst a busy sea lion colony or dive into the water to swim with sea lion pups. You may also see curious mockingbirds on the beach.

    Gardner Islet / Osborn Islet / Gardner Bay

    Possible Activities: Snorkeling, panga ride & short hike (0,6 miles / 1km) Kayaking

    Difficulty: Easy

    Type of Landing: Wet landing

    Highlights & Animals: White sandy beach, sea lions, mockingbirds; snorkeling: colorful fish, sea lion nursery

  • San Cristobal

    AM: Isla Lobos:
    This appropriately named island is ripe with noisy, playful, jolly sea lions who will welcome you to their home with open, well, fins. This island also offers great snorkeling opportunities as well as the chance to see blue-footed and Nazca boobies.

    Possible Activities: Short hike (less that 0,6 miles / 1 km), dinhy ride

    Difficulty: Easy / Moderate

    Type of Landing: Dry landing

    Highlights & Animals: Sea lions, frigate birds, blue-footed boobies

    PM: Transfer to San Cristobal Airport:
    Your cruise has officially come to an end. We hope you enjoyed your Galapagos Cruise! We will now transfer you to your scheduled departure from San Cristobal Airport to mainland Ecuador. Safe travels!

SPECIFICATION:

  • Year of construction: 2015
  • Length 111 feet / 34 meters
  • Beam 26 feet / 8 meters
  • Draft 4 feet / 1. 40 meters
  • Speed 14 knots
  • Capacity 16 passengers + 10 Crew members
  • Main engines CUMMINS / 2 X 400 HP / 1800 RPM
  • Gross Tonnage 145 Tons
  • Generators 2 X 50 Kw
  • Safety & Navigation: FURUNO Radar, GPS, Depth sounders, ACR radio, VHF – DSS radio & ABC Fire Extinguishers

CABINS DETAILS:

Suite Cabin

20m2, porthole windows, private bathroom with hot water, air conditioning and storage space.

Junior Suite

Cabins 8 & 9, 21m2, private balcony, private bathroom with hot water, air conditioning and storage space.

Suite

Cabin 1, 33m2, located on the main deck, king size bed, one sofa, panoramic windows, private bathroom with hot water, television, DVD player, air conditioning and storage space.

Layout: 3 Decks / 9 Cabins
Lower deck: Cabin 4 = Standard cabin – twin or double
Lower deck: Cabin 5 = Standard cabin – double
Main deck: Cabin 2,3 = Standard cabin – twin or double
Main deck: Cabin 1 = Suite – double
Upper deck: Cabin 6,7 = Suite – double
Upper deck: Cabin 8,9 = Junior suite – twin or double
Beds layout: twins, doubles & suites
Rooming: Private cabins only
Sharing: Not available

DECKPLAN

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • All meals and excursions
  • Transfers in the islands
  • Bilingual National Park Guide
  • Use of snorkeling equipment & Wetsuit
  • Use of underwater camera
  • Free airport Assistance*
  • Hotel night in Quito or Guayaquil (the day before the cruise)*
  • 1 Free Transfer Out for the Galapagos Flight (applicable on regular cruise departure day only)*

*Applies when purcharsing airfare from South America Tours 

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED

  • Roundtrip Airfare to / from Galapagos
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • USD $100 Galapagos National Park fee
  • USD $20 Transit Control Card
  • Travel / medical insurance
  • Tips
  • Personal Expenses

IMPORTANT NOTES: 

  • Discount for groups from 6 to 14 passengers 10% 
  • Discount for children under 12 years 20%
  • Single supplement 50%
  • Xmas and New Year Supplement 30%

Long itineraries are the combination of short ones; please let us know if you would like to book a long cruise.

  • Thank you for considering South America Tours for your travel plans to Latin America! We'd love to speak to you.

    This is an information request and does not constitute a confirmed reservation in anyway. After we receive your enquiry we will contact you to talk about your specific travel requirements.

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