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

/5 Days and 4 Nights Western Galapagos – Santa Cruz II Yacht
5 Days and 4 Nights Western Galapagos – Santa Cruz II Yacht2018-09-27T02:35:22+00:00

Book this Tour !

Contact Us

Overview

Our itinerary together begins at Baltra where we will board the ship and sail towards Dragon Hill on Santa Cruz Island for an interesting hike through palo santo forests full of Galapagos’ famed land iguanas.

Overnight, we sail round the seahorse-shaped Isabela Island to two great visitor sites: Punta Vicente Roca on Isabela Island with the fascinating geology of collapsed Ecuador volcano, and then wild and pure Punta Espinoza on Fernandina, one of the most pristine islands in the world, with one of the islands’ densest colonies of marine iguanas and opportunities to see flightless cormorants. From there, we sail back round to Santa Cruz to visit the world-famous Charles Darwin Research Station where scientists are involved with research and conservation efforts, the most well-known of which involves a captive breeding program for giant tortoises, and then spend the afternoon enjoying a range of active options.

The following day finds us on Floreana Island, exploring its human history and stunning wildlife at both Post Office Bay and Punta Cormorant.

The next day we say goodbye to the islands after an amazing journey!

The entire crew aboard the Santa Cruz will do our utmost to ensure that your Galapagos experience is truly, deeply moving and memorable.

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

  • Post Office Bay

  • Charles Darwin Research Station

  • Punta Espinoza

Tour Itinerary – Western Galapagos – Thursday to Monday

Click in each day to see detailed itinerary

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

Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill) (Santa Cruz Island)
The north shore of Santa Cruz hosts the fascinating landscapes of Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill). The first part of our walk passes a brackish-water lagoon frequented by shorebirds, ducks and flamingos, while further inland, the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western islands of the archipelago, as well as the chance of observing land iguanas.

Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela Island)
After breakfast, we explore the coast by panga, while our naturalist guide explains the dramatic geology of the area, a nesting place for several Galapagos highlights: flightless cormorants, Galapagos penguins, fur seals, boobies, etc. Depending on weather conditions, we can snorkel along the cliffs of this area rich in marine life, seasonally-visited by green sea turtles and oceanic sun fish (Mola mola)

Punta Espinoza (Fernandina Island)
The afternoon is dedicated to exploring the youngest island of the archipelago, Fernandina, which, having no introduced mammals, boasts a very unique environment with a very high density of marine iguanas, who share their space with sea lions, Sally light-foot crabs, hawks, penguins and the flightless cormorants.

Charles Darwin Research Station
In the morning, we disembark (dry landing followed by a brief bus ride) for our visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station’s giant tortoise Breeding Centre 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. Following our visit, we board our transport to enjoy lunch in the cooler highlands of Santa Cruz Island, a completely different ecosystem.

Santa Cruz Island
We have several options available for the afternoon, which can be discussed in advance with your Expedition Leader. Options include beach walks, kayaks, walks along the tortoise reserve, etc. At the end of the afternoon’s activities, we return to Puerto Ayora and embark on the Santa Cruz II.

Baroness Tower – Post Office Bay (Floreana Island)
After breakfast, panga ride along the maze of channels on Floreana’s north shore can be enjoyed. We follow this visit by continuing to Baroness Cove with its breathtaking views of Floreana. We land at Post Office Bay to visit the historic barrel that has served as a post office in the archipelago for over two centuries and where postcards are traditionally left for guests from other vessels to hand-deliver to their destinations. Snorkelling off the beach. We then head back on board for lunch.

Champion Islet – Punta Cormorant (Floreana Island)
Following lunch and a siesta, we take the pangas and glass-bottom boat to explore the underwater wonders around Champion Islet, an extinct shield volcano, regarded as one of the best snorkelling spots in the archipelago. From there, it’s on to Punta Cormorant, beginning with a wet landing on the olivine-crystal beach for an easy walk that includes a brackish-water lagoon where bird species such as greater flamingos, pintail ducks, common stilts, herons, sandpipers, and others gather. We continue our walk over to a white-sand beach, where sea turtles emerge from the sea at night to nest (from December to May).

We disembark at Baltra Island in order to transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland.

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 Western Itinerary Map
Book this tour!

Rates

Book this tour!

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.

Book this tour!

Photo Gallery

Book this tour!
WhatsApp chat