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We’re delighted to have you on board for this unparalleled 5-day journey of discovery to some of Galapagos’ most beautiful islands.

Our itinerary begins on Santa Cruz Island, the most populous in the archipelago, where we explore the lush vegetation of the highlands before venturing down to the world-famous Charles Darwin Research Station to meet giant tortoises face to face.

After a day of exploring, we sail to a stunning anchorage at Santa Fe Island for our visit to this sandy white beach with many sea lion harems, a wonderful spot for our first snorkel, kayak or ride aboard our glass-bottom boat. In the afternoon, we disembark amid the waters of South Plaza Island, with its yellow-gray land iguanas munching cactus fruits, and a coastline where we find sea lion colonies and dozens of sea birds.

A favourite among many visitors, North Seymour Island offers an enjoyable walk along the coast and the interior of this island, observing numerous bird colonies as well as sea lions and marine iguanas.

Later, we disembark on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island at the glorious white beach of Las Bachas, great for a swim or snorkel. Thursday’s expedition starts at Bartolome Island, with its unbeatable volcanic viewpoint, golden-sandy beach and excellent wildlife exploration for snorkelers or glass-bottom boat passengers. Then, we land at the white coral sand beach of Sullivan Bay, ideal for swimming or snorkelling, and walk across a dramatic lava field. End your journey at Baltra airport.

Amenities & Facilities

  • Jacuzzi

  • Fitness room

  • Cozy bar

  • Outside deck for meals, drinks and sunbathing

Isabella II Yacht Details


  • Pinnacle Rock

  • Charles Darwin Research Station

Tour Itinerary – Central Galapagos – Monday to Friday

Click in each day to see detailed itinerary

We arrive at Baltra airport and then we take you to the Itabaca Channel to take a ferry across to Santa Cruz Island. A 30-minute bus ride takes us to a restaurant in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island to enjoy lunch, and then continue to Puerto Ayora. Depending on local weather conditions up in the highlands, we may include a short hike which will be a great introduction to some Galapagos wildlife. Our Expedition Team will advise accordingly.

Note: Please dress with comfortable shoes and clothes, bring a small backpack with any medicine you might be taken, sunblock, insect repellent and anything you need during the excursion as you will go on board Yacht Isabela II and the end of the day.

Puerto Ayora and the Charles Darwin Research Station
After driving down from the highlands, we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise pens 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. Late afternoon we stroll along the main street of Puerto Ayora before embarking on Yacht Isabela II. We review the expeditions plan for next day, and enjoy the Captain’s welcome cocktail and dinner.

Santa Fe Island
A stunning anchorage provides our jumping-off point for our visit to this sandy white beach with many sea lion harems. Galapagos hawks are often easily observed, perched atop salt bushes. The endemic land iguana, unique to this island, may be spotted during the walk. Snorkelling from our skiffs, kayaking or a ride in our glass-bottom boat rounds off the rewarding experience.

South Plaza
The turquoise waters here contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline, while a carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents serves as groundcover for a grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cactus beyond, populated by Galapagos land iguanas. Keep an eye open for the remarkable beaks of cactus finches. Along the coastline one finds sea lion colonies, while sea birds play with the thermals that form along the cliffs of this small but amazing island.

North Seymour Island
The morning starts with an enjoyable walk along the coast and the interior of this island, a favourite of many visitors, observing numerous bird colonies as well as sea lions and marine iguanas. There are opportunities for snorkelling and coastal exploration with chances of spotting fur seals along the rocky coastline. This uplifted island is also home to a nesting colony of frigatebirds, and provides great views of the surrounding islands due to its central location in the archipelago.

Las Bachas (Santa Cruz Island)
After WWII, US military barges were beached and abandoned here. Locals referred to the beach as the “barges” beach, a name that morphed to “bachas”. Today it is an important nesting area for the east Pacific green sea turtle. Located on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, it is a glorious white beach, with several brackish lagoons only a few steps away from the sea. These lagoons are the feeding grounds of various wading birds, from stilts to flamingos. We can swim and/or snorkel from the beach. In the evening, Thursday’s expedition plan briefing and dinner.

Bartolome Island
This morning, a Galapagos icon awaits for us: Bartolome Island. A great way to start the day, with a steep climb up a wooden staircase: the view from the top is worth the effort! Following the walk, we take the dinghies for a ride around colossal Pinnacle Rock, followed by time to enjoy the beach and do some snorkelling. Explore the shores and look for Galapagos penguins too. We can also ride in the glass-bottom boat for great views of the underwater world.

Sullivan Bay (Santiago Island)
After lunch, we get on board the pangas to land at Sullivan Bay on the east coast of Santiago, a white coral sand beach great for swimming with a trail over a lava field that flowed here a little over 120 years ago. This is the perfect place to see and feel the volcanic origin of Galapagos while observing its wildlife. Many label this location as an open textbook of geologic wonders.

Baltra Island Airport
After breakfast, we leave for the airport to take the flight back to the mainland.


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.

For accessing the different visitor sites, our skiffs will bring us ashore where two types of landing are expected:

  • Dry landing: Guests step from the panga (dinghy/skiff) onto rocks or a small man-made jetty.
  • Wet landing: As the skiff edges onto a sandy beach, guests gently step into small breakers and wade ashore.

Itinerary Map

Click to see full size map

Isabella II Northern Galapagos Cruise Tour 7 Days
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All meals, island sightseeing, naturalists and lecture services, Wi-Fi internet access*, 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, and additional items of personal nature.

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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