5 Days and 4 Nights Northern Galapagos – Santa Cruz II Yacht

/5 Days and 4 Nights Northern Galapagos – Santa Cruz II Yacht
5 Days and 4 Nights Northern Galapagos – Santa Cruz II Yacht2018-10-15T14:40:32+00:00

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Overview

Our itinerary together begins at Baltra airport, from where we’ll sail to the glorious white beach of Las Bachas with a pair of brackish water lagoons only a few steps from the sea.

These lagoons serve as feeding grounds for various wading birds, including stilts, pintail ducks and flamingos. As we continue our voyage, we explore two fascinating visitor sites on Santiago Island: Buccaneer Cove, home to a large number of marine birds, sea lions, and inter-tidal organisms, and Puerto Egas, with its great walk-along pools full of life and good snorkelling and swimming possibilities.

The next day we visit the red-sand beach of Rabida Island, a lovely trail around some cliffs and a popular spot for aquatic activities, with some of the best snorkeling in Galapagos! In the afternoon, we round out the day with a stop at Bartolome Island, which offers a volcanic viewpoint with room for hiking, swimming, and exploring the beach and the coast. This is our only chance to see Galapagos penguins. What a full and rich day! From here we sail northeast, crossing the equatorial line, to the sunken crater of Genovesa Island, home to thousands of marine birds. It feels like a world a million miles from our own.

We finish with an incredible encounter with nature in which we respectfully sharing a wild habitat with giant Galapagos tortoises at a private reserve up in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island and then make our way to the airport at Baltra.

Amenities & Facilities

  • Excellent staff camera with an underwater housing

  • A “Pirates Aboard” program, which includes a kit with multiple family-fun activities.

  • Kid-sized meals on a kids’ friendly schedule.

  • Several family games and puzzles that can be found in the boat’s library.

  • Panga rides, designed specifically for young adventurers.

  • An opportunity for kids to learn to snorkel with our extra naturalist.

  • Bridge tours led by the Captain.

  • Flexibility regarding the language, physical abilities and/or personal interests

Santa Cruz II Yacht Details

Highlights

  • Buccaneer Cove

  • Genovesa Island

  • Pinnacle Rock

Tour Itinerary – Northern Galapagos – Monday to Friday

Click in each day to see detailed itinerary

Baltra Island
We land at Baltra Island by plane in the morning and transfer to the dock to board the Santa Cruz II, where we receive a welcome introductory briefing, boat drill and lunch.

Las Bachas (Santa Cruz Island)

This beautiful visitor site is located on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, a glorious white beach with a couple of brackish lagoons only a few steps away from the sea. These lagoons are the feeding grounds of various wading birds, from stilts to flamingos. You may enjoy swimming and or snorkelling at this beach too. Welcome cocktail, expedition plan for Tuesday and dinner.
Buccaneer Cove (Santiago Island)
After breakfast, we explore the coastline along the impressive cliffs of Buccaneer Cove, learning about the area’s distant and recent history. The cove is home to a large number of marine birds, sea lions, and inter-tidal organisms. Enjoy fantastic natural formations such as the “Elephant Rock”, “The Bishop” and an impressive natural cave. Opportunity for snorkelling, and a ride on the panga or glass-bottom boat.

Puerto Egas (Santiago Island)
Once we disembark at the beach, we can enjoy a swim or snorkel amid a rocky shoreline, usually in the company of marine turtles. From here, we head off to our walk, a great opportunity to see land and marine birds amid landscape of tuff-stone layers and lava flows. At low tide, marine iguanas graze upon the algae beds and we can also observe a colony of fur-sea lions. After the visit, we had some time for swimming and snorkelling.

Rabida Island (Jervis)
Some groups will go for a fascinating panga ride along the shores while others will disembark on Rabida Island’s red-coloured beach, caused by the unusually high content of iron in the volcanic material. Our walk brings us close to a colony of sea lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and several species of Darwin’s finches. Very close to the beach, a salt pond occasionally hosts American flamingos. This is a great place to snorkel from the beach, both for beginners as well as for experienced snorkelers, due to the unique combination of underwater species and submarine landscapes. During navigation to our next island, we can sometimes spot dolphins!

Bartolome Island
Today’s afternoon activities begin with a wet landing on the golden beach of this famous island, dominated by the imposing Pinnacle Rock. There’s great snorkelling and swimming from the beach plus the chance to ride the glass bottom boat. After returning to the ship, we split into two groups: the first lands for a hike to the summit of this diminutive island that boasts fantastic views of the archipelago. This is a moderately steep climb aided by a wooden staircase, resting platforms and handrails – the view from the top is worth the effort! The second takes to the pangas to explore the rugged and volcanic shoreline.  The groups then swap so that each one experiences the full beauty of this island.

Prince Philip Steps (Genovesa Island)
The morning starts with a steep climb (only 90 feet) up some stairs to reach a flat rocky plateau. Along our walk, we can observe large colonies of Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, great frigate birds and storm petrels. Those not wishing to disembark can enjoy a longer panga ride along the cliffs (depending on weather conditions). Kayaking is optional.

Darwin Bay (Genovesa Island)

In the afternoon, we land at this beautiful beach to enjoy some swimming and/or snorkelling. Following our dip, we take an easy stroll to observe hundreds of birds, mainly frigate birds, red-footed and Nazca boobies, gulls, herons, finches and mockingbirds.  Opportunity for snorkelling, kayaking and swimming.
Tortoise Reserve – Baltra airport
We start our last morning at the north shore of Santa Cruz Island. After breakfast, your luggage will be taken to the airport, while you visit the Tortoise Reserve. A dry landing at a passenger’s wharf and a bus ride to the loftier region of the island will provide the last highlight of the cruise: giant tortoises in the wild. The windward slopes of the island are home to two species of giant tortoises. These lush highlands include dense forests of Galapagos daisies, orchids and bromeliads, and several endemic land birds. After this visit we will transfer directly to Baltra airport. Farewell to Galapagos

Important Notes:

Please remember that the exact route and programme may vary according to weather and ocean conditions and the wildlife we encounter. Our Expedition Team is in charge of planning the daily activities and logistics involved. It’s also subject to change without previous notice due mainly to readjustment of the National Park policies and regulations.

  • Dry landing: Guests step from the panga (inflatable dinghy) onto rocks or a dock.
  • Wet landing: As the dinghy edges onto a sandy beach, guests step into around 20 cm (8 inches) of water and wade ashore.

Itinerary Map

Click to see full size map

Santa Cruz Northern Galapagos
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Rates

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Includes

All meals, island sightseeing, naturalists and lecture services, snorkelling gear and transfers.

Not Included

Air tickets to/from Galapagos, Galapagos National Park admission fee (US $100 subject to change without notice), transit Control Card for Galapagos (US$ 20 per person), wet suits, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage, tips, gifts, internet* and additional items.

Packing Check List

  • 1 Small backpack

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Sneakers with rubber soles

  • Shorts

  • Long pants

  • T-shirts

  • Long and short sleeved shirts

  • Wind breaker

  • Bathing suit – wetsuit for snorkelling in cold months (also available for on board rental)

  • Hat or cap

  • Toilette kit (biodegradable shampoo please)

  • Sun block SPF30 or higher

  • Sunglasses (polarized glasses recommended)

  • Binoculars (8 x 42 recommended)

  • Photo & video equipment

  • Any medicine you may be taking

  • Book / notebook

* Due to the Galapagos’ remote location, internet signal follows a low-bandwidth satellite service and may be intermittent at certain locations.

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