A flight from Quito or Guayaquil will connect you with your Galapagos Adventure. So once you arrive on the island of Baltra a 10 minute drive will bring you from the airport to the Itabaca Channel where a ferry ride takes you to the island of Santa Cruz. From here we travel across the island. Upon arrival in the seaside town of Puerto Ayora there is time to visit the Charles Darwin Research Center.
Later in the afternoon we will board the yacht and settle in to our cabins. Night sailing to Genovesa (about 8 hours)
We arrive in the morning at Genovesa Island and have a dry landing at Prince Phillip’s “ El Barranco” steps where a steep, rocky path leads to the top of a high cliff. There are spectacular views from here and the opportunity to observe red-footed boobies, short-eared lava owls, Galapagos doves and Storm Petrels.
We return to the boat and continue to Darwin Bay to find a white-sand coral beach and a half-mile trail that winds through mangrove trees filled with various birds. We should see Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls among other animals. There are also tide pools to explore and interactions with curious, playful sea lions.
We arrive at Bartholomew Island, an extinct volcano where lava and rocks are shaded in red, black and green. This is the home of the iconic Pinnacle Rock and we climb a trail of stairs to the summit of the volcano for panoramic views across the island and to distant islands. We return to a lovely beach that is perfect for snorkeling and a chance to see the Galapagos penguin – and with any luck, a chance to snorkel with them! Then we continue to Sullivan Bay where there is a large lava field of fascinating patterns, the result of explosions of gas or water coming forth from the once-molten lava.
Today we visit Bainbridge Rock. This is an excellent chance to see the Galapagos fur seal bathing in the sun. We also visit Chinese Hat which is a place of fairly recent volcanic activity and a few intact lava tunnels. This is another place to snorkel and swim in tranquil blue waters, watching colorful fish and playing with young sea lions.
After lunch on the boat we head to the northern part of the island of Santa Cruz to visit Caleta Tortuga Negra, a small bay surrounded by mangroves and only accessible by dinghy. It’s a safe home for marine life such as white tip reef sharks, sea turtles and various rays such as manta rays and eagle rays.
Our last day on the Encantada has still more discovery. Early at the morning, we go to North Seymour where there is a large breeding colony of frigate birds and blue-footed boobies. The trail leads up among their nests while you watch your step as there are also land and marine iguanas. Finally, transfer to Baltra’s airport.
After your last visit on The Encantada, our guide will take you to the port of Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz Island) for lunch. Afterwards, we will take the Public speedboat to Isabela (14:00), which lasts approximately two and a half hours. After arriving at Isabela, we will take a brief rest at the hotel and then head to the Concha de Perla lagoon, where you can swim with sea lions, colorful varieties of fish, and with luck sea turtles.
Early in the morning (8:00 am aprox.), after breakfast, we will prepare ourselves for the Sierra Negra Volcano hike by putting on comfortable walking shoes and possibly a rain jacket, making sure our cameras are stored in waterproof bags and to bring sunscreen, water, and hats, and finally by preparing our box lunch at the hotel to take with us. We will then travel approximately 45 minutes by truck or bus to begin the 12 km hike (appx. 3 hours). The hike is long, but not very difficult as the inclines and declines are quite gradual. Sierra Negra Volcano has the second largest crater in the world, measuring approximately 6 miles in diameter and 300 feet deep. We will reach Volcan Chico before heading back, which should provide a spectacular view of the incredible moonlike terrain.
In the afternoon we will visit the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center of Isabela, where we will be able to see a variety of species of giant tortoises in captivity. We will also hear how this center has successfully been able to breed and raise the giant tortoises in order to preserve many of their endangered subspecies. We will also have time to visit the Flamingos Lagoon.
We head into the small town of Puerto Villamil, a fishing village with sand streets and a laid-back feel. Our destination is outside of town to a place called the Wall of Tears. From 1945 to 1959 there was a penal colony here and part of the forced labor program was constructing a huge wall some 65’ high. It’s an interesting part of the human saga of life on the Galapagos Islands.
We will visit Tintoreras Islet, it is stark, rocky place with sharp volcanic rocks that shelter hundreds of marine iguanas. We walk along a narrow trail and peer into a small lagoon filled with white-tipped reef sharks. Further along the trail we are likely to see sea lions lounging and perhaps a Galapagos penguin or two. We have time to snorkel near the island.
Friday at 5:00 a.m. we will prepare ourselves to go to the dock (wake-up at 4:30 AM). We will take the Public speedboat, which leaves at 6:00 a.m. (subject to change), From Isabela to Puerto Ayora (2 hour and a half estimated travel time). Transfer out | Baltra airport.
Depending on the time one the flights, we may be able to visit (panoramic) two sunken “holes” similar to craters, known as “Los Gemelos”. These craters were formed by the collapsed of the earth beneath which lava had passed and created giant tunnels, which facilitates the collapse and creation of the craters.
It is an excellent place to observe land birds, especially the woodpecker finch and flycatcher found in large numbers, are curious and quite tame. There are 7 plants in Galapagos endemic among them is the Scalesia giant plants that are relatives of sunflowers. Another plant that notice is Guayabillo trees, which have a clean and smooth bark.
Transfer out to Baltra Airport. End of our services.
This itinerary is subject to change without previous notice due to seasonal changes, operation logistics, last minute weather conditions and adjustments of galapagos national park policy.
The rate for our 8 Days Live-abord itinerary is $ 2350 USD per person in double occupancy.
• All transfers in Galapagos (if you will be arriving or departing the Galapagos on dates other than your tour dates, you must arrange your own airport transfers, or please let us know in advance and we can arrange airport transfers for you at an extra cost.).
• Navigation on board M/S Encantada.
• Accommodation in double cabins at Encantada and The Wooden House Lodge.
• Daily land visits and snorkeling activity.
• Certified Galapagos Naturalist Guide.
• Meals on board (Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner) – snacks after morning and afternoon activities.
• Purified water, Coffee and tea.
Services Not Included:
• Flight tickets to Galapagos Islands.
• Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee ($100.00).
• Galapagos Visitor Card ($10.00).
• Isabela Local Tax ($20.00).
• Snorkel Gear (mask, tube and fins).
• Local Water Taxi Cost ( Santa Cruz & Isabela Islands).
• Extra soft and alcoholic drinks.
• Underwater camera.
• Personal Expenses.
NOTE: Single cabins are available with an extra single charge