TOLL FREE NUMBER 800-380-5378 sales@andeantouring.com
TOLL FREE NUMBER 800-380-5378 sales@andeantouring.com

Aida Maria Yacht

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Galapagos
Galapagos
Min Age : +12
Tour Details

The 16 guests Aida Maria Yacht has a perfect blend of comfort and economy. It offers eight double cabins with all the facilities as private restroom with hot/cold showers , air conditioning , an generous outer deck space to enjoy the Galapagos islands at its fullest, The Aida Maria Yacht has high standards of safety and services, assuring visitors a remarkable experience on the enchanted islands.

The Aida Maria Yacht is one of the very few yachts completely hand made in the Galapagos islands from local farms timber wood, this is one of the most traditional and classic boats in the Galapagos, for an unique adventure on the AIDA MARIA is your choice.

Aida Maria Yacht has 8 neat double cabins distributed on 3 decks, 4 cabins on the main deck, 2 cabins on the upper deck and 2 cabins on the sun deck. the cabins have upper and lower beds, all the cabins feature private bathroom with hot showers.

Aida Maria Yacht Technical Characteristics

    • Construction: 1996, Galapagos Islands.
    • Motor: 2 John Deere (175 HP).
    • Generator: 2 x yanmar 110 V.
    • Electricity: 110 V / 220 V
    • Air – aconditioned: All the cabins and indoor areas.
    • Navigation: Radar, Echosounder, GPS,and all marine electronics.
    • Length: 70 Feet.
    • Speed: 9 Knots.
    • Capacity: 16Passengers.
    • Acomodation: 8 double cabins (upper and lower beds)with private facilities.
    • Social areas: Dining room, living room, sundeck and entertaiment center.
    • Crew: 8 + 1 bilingual Naturalist Guide.

Aida Maria Yacht Key Features:

✓ Air-conditioned accomodations

✓ Private bathrooms

✓ Cozy sundeck

✓ Quilified naturalist guide

✓ Excellent customer service

Departure & Return Location

Galapagos (Baltra-San Cristobal Islands)

Departure Time

To be confirmed on booking

Return Time

To be confirmed on booking

Wear

Short sleeve shirts, Long sleeve shirts, Lightweight long pants, Shorts, Sweatshirt, Light rain jacket or poncho, Socks Bathing suits, Wide brimmed hat.

Price Includes

  • Accommodation on board based on double cabins
  • Meals (menu type) on board
  • Water, coffee and tea
  • All visits to the Islands accompanied by a naturalist guide bilingual English – Spanish

Price Excludes

  • Air ticket to Galapagos
  • Snorkeling Gear
  • Entrance to the Galapagos National Park: US $ 100 per person
  • Transit Control Card “TCT”
  • Isabela entrance fee US $ 10 per person on itineraries B & F
  • Bottled beverages and alcoholic drinks
  • Personal expenses and tips
Itinerary 4 Days
$1428 One tour per person

Day 1Santa Cruz Island (dry landing)

AM: Transfer in from Baltra’s Airport to start the Aida Maria Yacht Galapagos cruise
PM: Highlands of Santa Cruz

Visit the station’s Tortoise Rearing Center. Here you can find baby, hand-sized tortoises, between the ages of one and five, and marvel at how they achieve such large sizes as adults (500 lbs. or more!). Galapagos tortoises are believed to have a lifespan of over 100 years, so the young ones have a long life ahead of them as long as they receive the protection they need.

Aside from the Station headquarters, Santa Cruz Island is home to the largest town and economic center of the Galapagos, Puerto Ayora. In this portside town you can buy souvenirs (postcards, t-shirts, books, etc.) of the islands. Check out the unique Galapagos ceramic shop near the entrance of the Charles Darwin Station.

After shopping in Puerto Ayora and lunch on the boat (guests may dine in town if they desire), you’ll explore the upper region, “parte alta” of the island, which is a moisture-rich area with fertile volcanic soils. You’ll learn about the vegetation and animal life of this zone, often strikingly different than that found at lower elevations.

Darwin’s Finches, Yellow Warblers, and Bright Red Vermillion Flycatchers will fly in and out of the moss-covered trees. From this high vantage point you’ll be treated to beautiful views of the surrounding archipelago.

In the late afternoon you’ll return to town. For those who wish to check out the nightlife, this is your chance; the Aida Maria Yacht Galapagos cruise will be docked in port most of the night.

Day 2Floreana Island: Cormorant Point (wet landing), Corona del Diablo (wet landing), and Post office bay (wet landing)

AM: Post Office bay / Mirador de la Baronesa
PM: Punta Cormoran / Devil´s Crown

When you wake up and look out your porthole on Day 6 you will see Floreana, one of the greenest islands in the archipelago. Ask your guide to tell you about its mysterious history laden with rumors of witches, murderous baronesses, blackmail, and dubious disappearances.

Your first stop is Punta Cormorant, where you’ll follow a footpath to a lagoon inhabited by flaming-pink flamingos. You will also pass by Carolina Beach, a Sea Turtle nesting area and a superb spot for watching sea birds and sea rays.

Back on the Aida Maria Yacht Galapagos cruise, you’ll skirt the island’s coast until you arrive at La Corona del Diablo (the Devil’s Crown), a sub-marine crater that offers some of the most spectacular snorkeling in the Galapagos. This is a great spot for seeing the wide array of tropical fish, many endemic to the islands, including purple sea stars and spiky sea urchins. The crater’s most thrilling undersea creatures, however, are the white-tipped sharks. As with most of the creatures in the Galapagos they are unperturbed by your presence, so you can swim in their company freely and fearlessly.

After returning to the Aida Maria Yacht Galapagos cruise for lunch you’ll sail on to Post Office Bay, where the islands’ original post office (really only a wooden barrel) was established in 1793. The current system still functions as it did three centuries ago: Visitors drop off unstamped letters and postcards AND pick-up whatever mail they can hand deliver themselves when they return home! (Try it, it actually works!).

Day 3Española Island: Suarez Point (dry landing) & Garner Bay (wet landing)

AM: Punta Suarez
PM: Bahia Gardner / Islote Gardner / Islote Osborn

Espanola is one of the most magical of all the islands. It is a place where the animals reign supreme and we humans are merely guests. As your dingy brings you to shore you’ll see Sea Lion pups sunbathing with Marine Iguanas and Blue Footed Boobies nesting in between, and nearby may be a Galapagos Hawk. If it is Booby mating season watch the bonded pairs do the infamous Booby dance (if it’s not mating season, ask your guide to demonstrate – after all it’s their job to teach you about the local fauna!).

As you follow the footpath around the island, you will pass hundreds of Blue Footed Booby nesting sites including one colony of masked boobies.

There is a good chance you’ll see the thief-like Frigate Bird (which has the habit of stealing other birds’ food), as well as the stunning Red-Billed Tropicbird and the nocturnal Swallow-Tailed Gull. If it is the right time of the year (mid-April to December) you’ll also encounter the giant Waved Albatross. Apart from a few pairs that breed on Isla de Plata, off the Ecuadorian mainland, all of the world’s 12,000 Waved Albatross breed on Espanola Island. At the end of the breeding season, the entire population leaves the island and heads out to sea, where they spend years without touching land; four or five years may pass before the fledglings return to Espanola.

As you make your way around the island you’ll pass by El Soplador, a giant blowhole that explodes to heights reaching 25 feet. In the nearby tide pools you can often find lounging sea lions enjoying the blowhole’s misty spray. Following lunch on board the yacht, you’ll visit Garner Bay, a great place for sunbathing, swimming and snorkeling. Lionfish, Flycatchers, and Galapagos Hawks will keep you company as you relax under the rays of the evening sun. Dinner on the Aida Maria Yacht Galapagos cruise completes your day.

Day 4SAN CRISTOBAL, ISLA LOBOS - TRANSFER OUT

AM: Isla Lobos

On your 8th day of visiting the Galapagos you’ll arrive early in the morning to San Cristobal, the capital of the Galapagos. The first site will be Isla Lobos, a very small islet made of volcanic rocks that gets its name from the colony of Sea Lions (Lobo de Mar in Spanish) that live there. Here you can observe the behavior and interaction of Sea Lions living in a small community. Before taking the flight back to the mainland you will have some time to visit the town on your own for last minute shopping or people watching in the Galapagos. Transfer to airport. End of Aida Maria Yacht Galapagos cruise.

Itinerary 5 Days
$2036 One tour per person

Day 1Baltra Island, Las Bachas Beach (wet landing)

AM: Baltra
PM: Bachas

Fly from the Ecuadorian mainland to the islands on an early morning 90-minute flight. As you prepare to land in Baltra, look out the window. The landscape below will seem otherworldly – you’ll truly be landing in a place like no other. The Galapagos Islands are completely unique and you’re about to see why. Your bilingual naturalist guide will greet you at the airport and meet you after customs. During lunch he/she will introduce you to the islands, specifically the flora and fauna that you will encounter at our first destination, Las Bachas Beach. On the sandy white beaches of Las Bachas you will get a close look at a sea turtle nesting area as well as a lake frequented by pink flamingos and other migratory birds. Afterwards, you’ll cool off with a dip in the beautiful, blue Pacific Ocean. As this is the first evening together, the crew will invite everyone to a pre-dinner cocktail on the yacht before the welcome dinner. If the night is clear, as it usually is, the stars above will sparkle; look for the Southern Cross, the Big Dipper (turned up-side down!) and Orion.

Day 2Genovesa Island: Darwin Bay (wet landing)/ El Barranco (dry landing)

AM: Darwin Bay
PM: TheBarranco

Early in the morning you’ll have breakfast and then you’ll disembark at Genovesa “Tower” Island, which is located in the northeastern part of the Galapagos (less than half a degree north of the equator).

At “Tower” Island you’ll anchor at Darwin Bay, which is located on the southern part of the island, and is actually the caldera of an extinct, partially eroded volcano, with the surrounding cliffs forming the inner lining of the rim. While the origin of the name “Tower” is not known, one can imagine it had something to do with these towering cliffs. The tour will be a long, fairly-easy walk, but it is usually hot and dry here, so you may want to carry some water. After a wet landing on a coral beach the trail begins in an area where there are several swallow-tailed gulls. As you walk back from the beach, you’ll see a variety of Opuntia cactus and mangroves.

Tower is an outpost for many sea birds (as Española is in the south). Interestingly, there are almost no land reptiles on Tower, only very small marine iguanas. This is attributed to the direction of the ocean currents, which wouldn’t have carried the terrestrial animals here.

Visit El Barranco during the afternoon then return to the boat for dinner.

Day 3BARTOLOME / SULLIVAN BAY

AM: Bartolome
PM: Sullivan Bay

Bartolome Island, which at its highest point is 114 meters, is one of the most photographed vistas in the archipelago. This island is quite young and quite volcanic, therefore, it’s relatively unpopulated; only a small handful of die-hard plant and animal species have survived long enough to call this lava-land home.

After the visit to Bartolome Island you’ll visit nearby Sullivan Bay. At the turn of the century a huge lava flow spilled right down to the sea and today you can stroll across this black volcanic expanse, admiring its time-frozen ripples, bubbles and ropes.

Day 4DAPHNE / BLACK TURTLE COVE / CERRO DRAGON

AM: Daphne / Black Turtle Cove
PM: Cerro Dragón

Early in the morning you’ll arrive to Daphne Island, a cone formed by the accumulation of volcanic ash, which is home to thousands of birds such as blue footed boobies, frigate birds, tropic birds, and many more. We wont go ashore here, but we’ll navigate around this volcanic cone, so binoculars are recommended to get a good look at the birds. Daphne has been a great research site on which many scientists have spent years studying the behavior of Darwin’s finches.

After this visit you’ll move on to our next site, Black Turtle Cove, which is a red mangrove lagoon on Santa Cruz and is a nursery for many sharks and rays. It’s also a great location to observe mating turtles around this time of year. You’ll see large groups of resting White-Tip Reef Sharks, schools of Golden Rays and Spotted Eagle Rays, and a few juvenile Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks and Black-Tip Sharks. The water very calm so we often used paddles instead of the loud panga engines to move around the area.

After lunch you’ll navigate for a couple of hours to Cerro Dragon, where you’ll make a dry landing on lava rocks. Cerro Dragon is a small bay on the west coast of Santa Cruz and got its name from the many land iguanas that live in the area. Land iguanas are endemic to the Galapagos Islands where they have found good mating and nesting areas.

Day 5Santa Cruz Island (dry landing)

AM: Charles Darwin Station
PM: Baltra

Charles Darwin Station. After breakfast you’ll sail to Santa Cruz Island, where you’ll visit the world-famous Charles Darwin Station, a non-profit institution that dedicates itself to studying and protecting the flora and fauna of the Galapagos. This is one of the best places to see land tortoises, Transfer out to Baltra’s airport

Itinerary 6 Days (Tue)
$2147 One tour per person

Day 1SANTA CRUZ EL CHATO (Highlands)

AM: Transfer in Baltra to start Aida Maria Yacht cruise.
PM: Highlands of Santa Cruz

Day 2ISABELA ISLAND / VOLCAN SIERRA NEGRA / HUMEDALES / MURO DE LAS LAGRIMAS

Your first visit in the morning will take place to Volcan Sierra Negra , will be a walk around 30 minutes to the lap of this famous volcano at Isabela Island.

Volcan Sierra Negra is a large shield volcano at the South eastern end of Isabela Island in the Galapagos that rises to an altitude of 1124m. Also is considered one of the oldest Volcano at the Islands.

In the afternoon after lunch, you will go to visit the humedales, which is a mangrove area with small brackish water lagoons that create the perfect environment for a small type of shrimp that serves as the food for the island’s flamingos.

Following this visit you will be transported to El Muro de las Lagrimas or “The Wall of Tears.” When the Ecuadorian government first took possession of the islands their main purpose was to harbor Ecuadorian prisoners; since there wasn’t much for them to do they were forced to carry rocks to a far location and build a wall. which nowadays is know as The Wall of Tears.

Back on board and night navigation to your next site.

Day 3PUNTA MORENO / ELIZABETH BAY

After night navigation you’ll arrive to Punta Moreno on the west coast of Isabela, a dry landing on a lava field. The vegetation found in this area is sparse and concentrated mainly in the mangrove area and around the lakes. It should be noted that the three kinds of cacti are found here.

The main attractions at Punta Moreno are the coastal lagoons amid black lava flows where there are several species of birds. Here you’ll have a panoramic view of three of the most active volcanoes in the Galapagos, which are Sierra Negra, Cerro Azul of Isabela Island and La Cumbre of Fernandina Island.

After lunch on board you’ll continue on your way to Elizabeth bay, located on Isabela Island`s west shore, which is an excellent spot for observing marine life. You’ll motor past a few islands where you can usually see Galapagos Penguins; this is one of the best areas to take their photos. A colony of these magnificent birds inhabit a rocky islet at the entrance to Elizabeth Bay.

We’ll let our boat drift through a small passage lined with mangroves and eventually emerge into an enclosed cove. We’ll turn the motor off and look in the sheltered waters for Marine Turtles, Rays, Flightless Cormorants, Sea Lions, and, circling overhead, Galapagos Hawks.

Day 4ISABELA CALETA TAGUS / FERNANDINA PUNTA ESPINOZA / ISABELA PUNTA VICENTE ROCA

The visitor’s site of Tagus Cove is located west of Darwin Volcano on Isabela Island. The entire distance of the trail is about 1800 meters. This was a favorite spot for pirates and whalers, and the tradition of inscribing the names of boats is a tradition still observed today. At the beginning of the walk, going up and passing the staircase, is a small cave where you’ll find inscriptions dating to the 1800s.

The trail, mostly gravel, leads into the interior, along Darwin Lake. During the walk, you can see various land birds and we’ll identify the characteristic vegetation of the arid zone. Finally, you’ll see the lava fields of Darwin Volcano.

Back on board for lunch and a short navigation to Elizabeth Bay on Fernandina Island

Punta Espinoza is a narrow ledge of lava and sand that extends from the base of the volcano to the sea. There is a vivid description from Captain Benjamin Morrell who witnessed and recorded and eruption of Fernandina in the 1820’s that probably gave rise to the Point. In 1975, there was an uprising, about 90 cm, which is why the pier built for landing can only be used during high tide.

Punta Espinoza is a place famous for its large colonies of Marine Iguanas as well as being the habitat of unique species like the Flightless Cormorant, the Galapagos Penguin, the Galapagos Hawk, and the Galapagos Snake, among others. It’s an ideal place to observe the lava cactus (Brachycerus Nesioticus), which grow on young lava and survive with little water.

After visiting Fernandina you will start the navigation to the central part of the Galapagos and on the way you’ll see Punta Vicente Roca, a mostly eroded volcano which now is a great site for seeing Blue Footed Boobies, Frigate Birds and other marine birds from the boat.

Day 5PUERTO EGAS / RABIDA ISLAND

James Bay is a black sand beach located on the west side of James Bay and northwest of Santiago Island. South of the beach is Sugarloaf Volcano, which has deposits of volcanic tuff, the same that helped the formation of the black sand beach. El Cráter is just north of this site, it has a saltwater lagoon, which during the summer dry season becomes a salt mine. Between 1928 and 1930 was the first exploitation of salt; but the efforts did not last long. Then again in 1964 a new attempt was made that lasted for some time.

After lunch on board we’ll navigate to our next destination, Rabida

Rábida Island consists of a red sand beach, a coastal lagoon behind the beach, and a loop trail. The approximate distance of the trail is 1.1 kilometers.

The color of the rocks and sand on the beach is due to the very porous volcanic material, which with the help of environmental factors (rain, salt water and sea breeze), has acted as an oxidizing agent.

The main attraction of this spot is the red sand beach and scenery, aside from the vegetation of the arid zone and the presence of native and endemic species.

Day 6North Seymour Island (dry landing) / Baltra Airport

After an early breakfast you’ll disembark at North Seymour Island. Here you will see Frigate Birds, the clownish Blue-Footed Booby, and of course the ubiquitous Sea Lions. With luck you’ll witness the striking courtship display of the male Frigate Bird, in which he inflates a red balloon-like sac below his throat and struts his stuff for all of the young females. Seymour North, Plaza Sur, Plaza Norte, Baltra, northeastern Santa Cruz, Santa Fe and part of Española, were all formed by uprisings of underwater volcanic lavas. They were part of a volcanic lava table deposited in sheet form along cracks located on the ocean floor. The uprisings occurred sporadically and lasted more than a million years to reach its current level.

All marine fossils found in the archipelago are found in these islands and the best example is the North Channel side of Baltra. The fossils date from the Pleistocene, and specifically in the case of Baltra, one can say that these volcanic tables were close to the surface about a million years ago.

Return to the boat & sail to Baltra Island to catch your plane back to the mainland, End of Aida Maria Yacht cruise.

Itinerary 6 Days (Thur)
$2147 One tour per person

Day 1Santa Cruz Island (dry landing)

Explore the upper region, “parte alta” of the island, which is a moisture-rich area with fertile volcanic soils. You’ll learn about the vegetation and animal life of this zone, often strikingly different than that found at lower elevations.

Darwin’s Finches, Yellow Warblers, and Bright Red Vermillion Flycatchers will fly in and out of the moss-covered trees. From this high vantage point you’ll be treated to beautiful views of the surrounding archipelago.

In the late afternoon you’ll return to town. For those who wish to check out the nightlife, this is your chance; the boat will be docked in port most of the night.

Day 2Floreana Island: Cormorant Point (wet landing), Corona del Diablo (wet landing), and Post office bay (wet landing)

When you wake up and look out your porthole on Day 6 you will see Floreana, one of the greenest islands in the archipelago. Ask your guide to tell you about its mysterious history laden with rumors of witches, murderous baronesses, blackmail, and dubious disappearances.

Your first stop is Punta Cormorant, where you’ll follow a footpath to a lagoon inhabited by flaming-pink flamingos. You will also pass by Carolina Beach, a Sea Turtle nesting area and a superb spot for watching sea birds and sea rays.

Back on the yacht, you’ll skirt the island’s coast until you arrive at La Corona del Diablo (the Devil’s Crown), a sub-marine crater that offers some of the most spectacular snorkeling in the Galapagos. This is a great spot for seeing the wide array of tropical fish, many endemic to the islands, including purple sea stars and spiky sea urchins. The crater’s most thrilling undersea creatures, however, are the white-tipped sharks. As with most of the creatures in the Galapagos they are unperturbed by your presence, so you can swim in their company freely and fearlessly.

After returning to the boat for lunch you’ll sail on to Post Office Bay, where the islands’ original post office (really only a wooden barrel) was established in 1793. The current system still functions as it did three centuries ago: Visitors drop off unstamped letters and postcards AND pick-up whatever mail they can hand deliver themselves when they return home! (Try it, it actually works!).

Day 3Española Island: Suarez Point (dry landing) & Garner Bay (wet landing)

Espanola is one of the most magical of all the islands. It is a place where the animals reign supreme and we humans are merely guests. As your dingy brings you to shore you’ll see Sea Lion pups sunbathing with Marine Iguanas and Blue Footed Boobies nesting in between, and nearby may be a Galapagos Hawk. If it is Booby mating season watch the bonded pairs do the infamous Booby dance (if it’s not mating season, ask your guide to demonstrate – after all it’s their job to teach you about the local fauna!).

As you follow the footpath around the island, you will pass hundreds of Blue Footed Booby nesting sites including one colony of masked boobies.

There is a good chance you’ll see the thief-like Frigate Bird (which has the habit of stealing other birds’ food), as well as the stunning Red-Billed Tropicbird and the nocturnal Swallow-Tailed Gull. If it is the right time of the year (mid-April to December) you’ll also encounter the giant Waved Albatross. Apart from a few pairs that breed on Isla de Plata, off the Ecuadorian mainland, all of the world’s 12,000 Waved Albatross breed on Espanola Island. At the end of the breeding season, the entire population leaves the island and heads out to sea, where they spend years without touching land; four or five years may pass before the fledglings return to Espanola.

As you make your way around the island you’ll pass by El Soplador, a giant blowhole that explodes to heights reaching 25 feet. In the nearby tide pools you can often find lounging sea lions enjoying the blowhole’s misty spray. Following lunch on board the yacht, you’ll visit Garner Bay, a great place for sunbathing, swimming and snorkeling. Lionfish, Flycatchers, and Galapagos Hawks will keep you company as you relax under the rays of the evening sun. Dinner on the yacht completes your day.

Day 4SAN CRISTOBAL, ISLA LOBOS / INTERPRETATION CENTER

On your 4th day of visiting the Galapagos you’ll arrive early in the morning to San Cristobal, the capital of the Galapagos. The first site will be Isla Lobos, a very small islet made of volcanic rocks that gets its name from the colony of Sea Lions (Lobo de Mar in Spanish) that live there. Here you can observe the behavior and interaction of Sea Lions living in a small community. Before taking the flight back to the mainland you will have some time to visit the town on your own for last minute shopping or people watching in the Galapagos. Transfer to airport.

In the afternoon you will visit the Interpretation Center in Puerto Baquerizo, the local branch of the Galapagos National Park Service, where your guide will explain the formation of the islands, how the flora and fauna arrived and were established in Galapagos, as well as visit the corrals where there are several species of giant tortoises under the care of the National Park Service. For those of you arriving on that day, you will go from the airport straight back to the boat to show you to your accommodations. Then you will continue to the visit to Cerro Tijeretas located at 2 km from Puerto Ayora, is the only one site that you can see 2 different kind of Fragatas living on the same colony.

Day 5SANTA FE / PLAZAS

After breakfast on the yacht, you’ll continue to Santa Fe Island. Upon arrival to the island, you’ll be treated to a noisy welcome from the local Sea Lion colony. Following your naturalist guide on the island paths you’ll reach Santa Fe’s main attraction, a towering forest of giant cacti. Scattered around the cacti trees you’ll see a number of the island’s indigenous sun-seekers: marine and land iguanas, the rainbow-streaked lava lizards and, if you’re lucky, land tortoises – the namesakes of the islands. After the walk you’ll dive into the salty sea and snorkel in the company of Sea Lions, Lion Fish and Sea Turtles. Finally, you’ll return to the yacht for lunch.

After lunch we’ll navigate to Plazas Island, where a large colony of Sea Lions lounge daily in the equatorial sun. Plaza also boasts excellent examples of typical Galapagos native flora such as the towering cacti “trees” that form the principal diet for both the Land Iguanas and the Cactus Finch. Other birds that may flutter by include Lava Gulls, Yellow Warblers and Red-Billed Tropic birds.

Day 6SANTA CRUZ / CHARLES DARWIN CENTER / TRANSFER OUT

Visit the world-famous Charles Darwin Station, a non-profit institution that dedicates itself to studying and protecting the flora and fauna of the Galapagos. This is one of the best places to see land tortoises, Transfer out to Baltra’s airport.

Itinerary 8 Days (A)
$3887 One tour per person

Day 1SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

AM: Flight to Galapagos from Quito Airport
The flight from Quito to the Galapagos is approximately 2 ½ hours on a Boeing 727. Upon arrival at Baltra travelers pass through an airport inspection point to insure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands and to pay the park entrance fee of $100 (unless prepaid), and $10 for the INGALA card which is an identity card that you need . Guides will meet you, collect your luggage, and escort you on the short bus ride to the harbor. Motorized rafts, called ‘Pangas’ will transport you to the M/C ANAHI and our crew will welcome you on board. After departure and lunch, the first island visit is made.

PM: Santa Cruz Highlands

Journeying across Santa Cruz into the highlands visitors are delighted by the island’s variety of life and geology. Beginning at the coast and traveling across Santa Cruz the road departs from Puerto Ayora climbing through the agricultural lands and into the mist covered forests. Santa Cruz possesses all of the various life zones present in the archipelago. As you travel through these zones birders are enchanted. Whether it’s the bright red feathers of a vermillion flycatcher or one of Darwin’s Finch almost every bird present in the islands can be found here.
Santa Cruz offers excellent opportunities for viewing wild Galapagos Tortoises. Tracking tortoises is not the only exciting activity to be found in the highlands. There are also plenty of lava tubes, sinkholes and craters to explore. Theses eerie formations offer a fascinating hike into the belly of the island to view its volcanic make-up.

Day 2ISABELA ISLAND

AM : Sierra Negra Volcano
Isabela Island is the largest and one of the youngest islands in the Galapagos archipelago. We land in Puerto Villamil, which has the second smallest populated island in Galapagos with approximately 3,000 inhabitants. We head up to the highlands from Puerto Villamil to Sierra Negra slope, and later we will do some hiking on uneven terrain until we arrive to the Sierra Negra volcano rim. Sierra Negra is the second widest crater in the world. From this viewpoint, you have fantastic sights to the 6 x 5 mile wide crater, the rest of the volcanoes, and Perry Isthmus, a 12 Km wide lava field. From here we can hike to Chico Volcano to watch the striking lava formations, examples of the geological occurrences that have created the Galapagos Islands.

PM : Breeding Center “Arnaldo Tupiza”

The Tortoise Breeding Center of Isabela is located 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 reproduced in captivity. In total there are 330 between juvenile and adult tortoises.
From the population of Cerro Paloma, there are 4 males and two female Galapagos, which, so far, are the only survivors. The raising of this breed of tortoise is of particular interest since genetic analysis performed in 1994 based on blood samples has determined that tortoises from this Galapaguera are different from the others. This is compounded by the fact that one of these two females is infertile, as shown by analysis of absent follicles. However, in 1998, the second female nested and now finally has 9 Galapaguitos of Cerro Paloma.
Cazuela tortoises are not in as serious danger of extinction. In their home there are still adults and juveniles. The main problems we have in the field are the competition for food by feral goats, trampling of nests by wild donkeys and killing by man from many years ago.

Cinco Cerros has a giant tortoise sub-population quite different. Locally it is known as “aplastada” (flattened} by the peculiar shape of its shell. In 1994 it was estimated that there were approximately 70 “aplastadas”. The main reason for its low population size is apparently strong nest predation by ants of the genus Solenopsis. In September 1998, the eruption of Cerro Azul Volcano, threatened to burn the Galapaguera where this very rare sub-population is concentrated. Due to the emergency of the situation, and with the assistance of the Ecuadorian Army, an evacuation of tortoises “aplastada” was carried out in the affected area. The rescued animals were moved to the Breeding Center of Puerto Villamil, bringing the number that is there now to 17 (previously 2): 7 males and 10 females.

In addition to the Cinco Cerros tortoises, all endangered adult tortoises were brought by helicopter in 1994. Juveniles and sub adults were carried by hand and on horses, a commendable and outstanding work of the park rangers, who had to cross areas of difficult access and under pretty poor conditions in order to give these reptiles, insignia of the Galapagos, a chance of survival.

The tortoises are fed three times a week, based on an Otoya (Xanthosoma saggitifolium) plant diet, and cachimuela (Potomorphe peltata). The water they drink is from small artificial ponds that exist within the corrals.
The Breeding Center has beautiful gardens consisting of native plants, as manzanillo (Hippomane mancinella), mesquite (Prosopis juliflora), prickly pear (Opuntia spp), palo santo (Bursera graveolens), lime prickly-ash (Zanthoxylum Fagara), thorn shrub (Scutia pauciflora) Galapagos croton (Croton scouleri), Glorybower (Clerodendrum molle), sea island or creole cotton (Gossypium barbadense), Radiate-headed (lechoso) (Scalesia affinis), yellow cordia (Cordia lutea), snowberry or milkberry (Chiococca alba), myrtle (Maytenus octagon), nickerbean or nickernut (Caesalpinia bonduc) and Darwin’s Daisy (Darwiniothamnus spp).

THE WETLANDS

The visitor site “Wetlands”, is a complex of trails that include the following sites:Cerro Orchilla, a lookout which you can access via a staircase; from this site you can see the bay and the town of Puerto Villamil, Sierra Negra Volcano, the Cerro Azul Volcano, islets and rocks. These sites form spectacular scenery.
El Estero is a 227m path of lava rocks, 1.5 meters wide. It consists of a picnic site where the people come to do leisure activities. On this site you can see the four species of mangrove found in Galapagos and a small majagual forest. It forms part of the stories and legends of the penal colony era on Isabela.
La Poza Escondida is a path of stone and wood, where the main attraction is a mangrove forest and at the end of this path is a this pool.

Poza Redonda, is a path of 50 meters long, of lava plates leading to a pool formed inside a collapsed lava tube.
Tunel del Estero, a path 75m long and with adequate lava plates ending in a staircase inside a lava tunnel. Above the tunnel you can see the intertidal landscape that offers a tapestry of Galapagos Sesuvium between “El Túnel del Estero” and Love Beach.

Love Beach, has a rocky sea access, is a site frequently used by the community of Isabela.
Los Tunos Viewpoint and Pozas Verde are paths with several lookout points that allow observation of birds and plants.

La Playita: Is a path that leads to a small beach that is part of the greater beach in Villamil.
You can see several ancient tombs in the cemetery, tombs that have been built with unusual materials, represent a historical account of Isabela and its first inhabitants.The main attraction of these sites is the variety of flora and fauna can be observed.

Day 3ISABELA ISLAND

AM: Punta Moreno
Punta Moreno is located on the north coast of Isabela Island between the volcano Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul volcano. The trail runs along a lava flow Pahohoe (solidified lava in the form of corrugated or an accordion) into a complex of coastal lagoons, its main attraction are several species of birds which can be found around this lakes and mangroves.

PM: Elizabeth Bay

This is a marine visitor site, the excursion is carried out in a zodiac and so there is no landing point. Your zodiac ride starts with a visit to the Marielas islets where there is the largest and most important penguin colony in the Galapagos Islands. The excursion continues into the cove that is surrounded by red mangroves where you can admire their red roots and green leafs. It is here that you are able to observe sea turtles, flightless cormorants, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, brown pelicans, and sea lions. Frequently visitors have been able to see Galapagos hawks soaring overhead while schools of Pompano and Dorado fish swim below.

Day 4ISABELA ISLAND

AM: Urbina Bay
South from Tagus Cove and still on the West coast is Urvina Bay. It is an easy wet landing on a gentle sloping beach. This area is very interesting in that it is a perfect example of the geological activity of the islands. The waters of the bay are a good place to see turtles and rays and ashore is a short trail leading to a coral reef, which is evidence of an uplift from the sea which occurred in 1954.
From here it is easy to reach the Alcedo and Darwin volcanoes. You can see large colored land iguanas here and the possibility of seeing giant Galapagos turtles, flightless cormorants, blue-footed boobies, Galapagos penguins, pelicans, and marine iguanas is excellent.

PM: Tagus Cove

Tagus Cove, a tour along the cliffs in a zodiac will give the visitors a good chance to see the Galapagos penguin, the flightless cormorant and other sea birds. From the landing dock it is about a 30 minute hike along the trail up to the top of the cliff from where you can view Darwin Lake, an uplifted ultra saline lake saltier than the sea. You can also see several volcanoes from this location. Look carefully at the graffiti on the surrounding cliffs of the cove, it has been written by pirates, whalers and buccaneers in past centuries.

Day 5FERNANDINA – ISABELA ISLANDS

AM: Espinoza Point
Fernandina is the third largest island in the archipelago and has a single visitor site: Punta Espinoza located at the northeastern tip of the island. Just across Tagus Cove, is a visitor site where some of the unique species of Galapagos can be seen. Marine iguanas conglomerate in larger groups than in any other island. They bask around in the sand, swim near the shore, and some time block the way at the landing dock. Among the unique species found here, is the flightless cormorant. A bird that do to the lack of predators had to adjust their way of survival and perfection their skills of finding food in the ocean. Their wings, tails, and feet progressively adapted for swimming. To see these birds, is to witness evolution happening right in front of you.

PM: Vicente Roca Point

Located at the ‘mouth’ of the head of the sea horse, which forms the northern part of the Galapagos Islands, is Punta Vicente Roca. Here the remnants of an ancient volcano form two turquoise coves with a bay well protected from the ocean swells.

The spot is a popular anchorage from which to take panga rides along the cliff that are the remains of the volcano or explore a partially sunken cave at the water’s edge. Masked and blue-footed boobies sit perched along the point and the sheer cliffs, while flightless cormorants inhabit the shoreline.
The up welling of cold water currents in this part of the Galapagos, give rise to an abundance of marine life which, in combination with the protection of the coves, make Punta Vicente Roca one of the archipelago’s sough after dive spots.

One cove is only accessible from the sea by way of an underwater passage. The passage opens to calm waters of the hidden cove where sea lions like to laze on the beach having traveled along the underwater route. The entire area of Punta Vicente Roca lies on the flank of 2,600 foot Volcano Ecuador. This is the Galapagos Island’s sixth largest volcano.

Day 6SANTIAGO ISLAND

AM: Puerto Egas
The excursion to Puerto Egas with its black sand beaches leads to one of the more rewarding visits of the Galapagos. The island was the site of a small salt mining industry in the 1960s, one of several unsuccessful attempts to commercialize the Galapagos. A hike inland to the salt crater is an excellent opportunity to see land birds such as finches, doves, and hawks. A walk along the rugged shoreline, especially at low tide, will allow us to observe many marine species as Iguanas bask on the rocks and sea lions laze in the tide pools. At the end of the trail there is a series of grottoes or sea caves where fur seals and night herons are regularly found resting on the shady ledges. For many, this is the only opportunity to see the Galapagos fur seal, once thought to be on the verge of extinction.

PM: Rábida

Rábida Island is unique because the red color of the rocks and sand. The volcanic material in this island is very porous and external factors as rain, salt water, and sea breeze have acted as an oxidizing agent.
A short walk along a trail lead you to a coastal lagoon behind the beach which permits you to observe the land birds such as finches, doves, yellow warblers, and mocking birds. At the lagoon there is a colony of flamingos.

Day 7CHINESE HAT – BARTOLOME

AM: Chinese hat
This is a small islet (1 sq km) located just off the southeastern tip of Santiago Island. It is a recent volcanic cone, shaped like a Chinese hat when seen from north side. On the west you can see lava formations, formed under the sea and raised upward, this is why coral heads are found on the lava. This is an excellent visit for interpretation of geological features such as lava tubes and lava flows. The landscape is covered by sea lions colonies, marine iguanas, and Galapagos penguins.

PM: Bartolome Island

A small barren island that is located across from Sullivan Bay off James Island, Bartolome has two main visitors’ sites. The first site offers the possibility to climb to the summit of the island, from where visitors can observe a variety of volcanic formations including lava bombs, spatter and cinder cones, lava flows, and lava tubes. The moon like landscape provides one of the most scenic panoramas in the archipelago. At the second site, visitors have the chance to relax on a beautiful beach, which offers great snorkeling opportunities. Multi –colored fish and occasionally penguins and sea turtles have been seen at the base of the tall pinnacle rock, which dominates Bartolome’s landscape. A short walk across to Bartolome´s second beach, which swimming is strictly prohibited visitors can see white-tipped reef sharks, at a safe distance swimming along the shoreline.

Day 8 FERNANDINA – ISABELA ISLANDS

AM: North Seymour
Is an uplifted (as opposed to volcanic) island and so is generally flat and strewn with boulders. There are good nesting sites here for a large population of magnificent frigate birds. Blue-footed boobies perform their courtship dance in the more open areas and swallow-tailed gulls perch on the cliff edges.
Despite the tremendous surf that can pound the outer shore, sea lions haul out onto the beach and can be found body surfing.

After the morning excursion you will be taken to the airport for your flight to the mainland.

Itinerary 8 Days (B)
$3887 One tour per person

Day 1BALTRA BACHAS

AM: Flight to Galapagos from Quito Airport
The flight from Quito to the Galapagos is approximately 2 ½ hours on a Boeing 727. Upon arrival at Baltra travelers pass through an airport inspection point to insure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands and to pay the park entrance fee of $100 (unless prepaid), and $10 for the INGALA card which is an identity card that you need . Guides will meet you, collect your luggage, and escort you on the short bus ride to the harbor. Motorized rafts, called ‘Pangas’ will transport you to the M/C ANAHI and our crew will welcome you on board. After departure and lunch, the first island visit is made.

PM: Bachas Beach, Santa Cruz Island

These two small beaches are found to the West of Turtle Cove. Their sand is made of decomposed coral, which makes it white and soft, making it a favorite nesting site for sea turtles. Behind one of the beaches there is a small brackish water lagoon, where occasionally is possible to observe flamingos and other coastal birds, such as black-necked stilts and whimbrels. The other beach is longer, but it has two old barges that were abandoned during the Second World War, when the USA used Baltra Island as a strategical point to protect the Panama Channel.

Day 2GENOVESA ISLAND

AM: Darwin Bay
This bay has its origin when the crater of this island collapsed below sea level. The wet landing is on a beautiful white coral sandy beach. This is a favorite island for birdwatchers: red footed-booby, masked boobies, wandering tattlers, lava gulls, whimbrels, yellow-crowned, and black-crowned lava herons, and yellow warblers can be seen in the area.

Continuing on the trail, visitors climb gradually to the edge of the cliff seeing Red-Foots nesting in the Mangrove trees below. Bird watching includes sightings of sharp-beaked finches, large cactus and ground finches, Galapagos doves, and swallow-tailed gulls. Reaching the end the trail at the cliff’s edge offers an incredible view of the island and the many birds living there.

PM: El Barranco

The visitor site of El Barranco is located in the southern part of Darwin Bay on Genovesa Island. The trail is on volcanic rock that has a length of 1.5 km and the tour can be done in about 2 hours. The youngest area of the island, from a geological point of view, lies in this area. The cliffs located in the south are composed of very fragile lava. The natural erosion that has occurred in these lava flows has become the ideal place for nesting Storm Petrels. You can see two species of petrels that nest in cavities and holes in the lava. One of its main predators is the short-eared owl. The red-footed booby nests only in the outer islands of the archipelago, Punta Pitt, Gardner (Floreana), Wolf, Darwin and Genovesa. Also present on this island is the masked booby. During the panga rides along the cliffs fur sea lions can be seen and several species of seabirds.

Day 3SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

AM: Plazas
Plazas is located at the east of Santa Cruz Island, and forms part of two islands known as Islas Plazas. Despite its small size, some of the most interesting and outstanding species of the Galapagos are found here. The Plazas land iguanas are smaller than its relatives found at other islands. Throughout the island are several hybrid iguanas, a result of crossing a male marine iguana and a female land iguana, they are unique, recognizable at first glance by their black/gray color, with a land iguana’s crest, but face and tail of the marine iguana. The big population of iguanas is due to the presence of tunas, their favorite food. Swallow tailed gulls nesting in the rugged cliffs are seen along with other sea birds as: audubon shearwaters, red-billed tropicbirds, frigate birds, and brown pelicans.

PM: Santa Fe

Located in the southeastern part of the Galapagos, this island was formed from an uplift instead than a volcanic origin, this is why is mostly flat. There are some theories which assure this could be the oldest island in the Archipelago. Santa Fe is the home of a number of endemic species like the Galapagos hawk, Galapagos snake, Galapagos mockingbird, rice rats, and one of the two species of lands Iguanas of the islands. After disembarking in the beautiful and clear waters you will be in contact with one of the many sea lion colonies. Along the trail many salt bushes can be seen as well giant Pickly pear cactus, gigantism is a characteristic of oceanic islands. There are great possibilities of snorkeling with playful sea lions and tropical fishes.

Day 4SAN CRISTÓBAL ISLAND

AM: Pitt Point
This place is on the north of San Cristobal. Here there are endemic species such as lava lizards and red-footed boobies. The view is impressive when you walk up to the high part of the island.
You may be lucky to see the red footed booby – the least seen of the bunch. It’s also the home of the Chatham mockingbird, only found here on San Cristobal Island.

PM: Kicker Rock

Also known as the Sleeping Lion because of its resemblance, it is located of the coast of San Cristobal. The remains of a lava cone eroded by the sea, the two vertical rocks rising 500 feet from the ocean form a small channel that is navigable by small boats. This Galapagos Islands natural monument has become a favorite sight for cruises due to the many tropical birds, frigates, and boobies that fill the surrounding air.
Beneath the sea the nearly crystal waters offer a brilliant show of colorful tropical fish and invertebrates.

Lobos Island

Isla Lobos is about an hour by boat from Port Baquerizo Moreno. The length of the trail is 850 meters and the estimated travel time is one hour. There is a small population of blue-footed boobies and common frigate birds nesting on this site. You can observe the two species of sea lions present in the archipelago. During the tour you go through a dry vegetation zone, substrate of volcanic rocks and a sandy area. During the panga tour brown pelicans and several species of shorebirds can be observed; although, snorkeling, it’s common to see juvenile sea lions, manta rays and sea turtles.

Day 5SAN CRISTÓBAL ISLAND

AM: Giant tortoise breeding center
It is located in the South East of San Cristobal, to 22.4 km from Port Baquerizo Moreno. Access is by road, the bus ride lasts approximately 40 minutes.
It is located in the vicinity of Cerro Colorado, from which it derives its name, which is one of the few places where you can see Calandrinia galapagosa, a plant endemic to San Cristobal in danger of extinction.
This Galapaguera has been built to improve the status of the population of the island tortoises, Geochelone chatamensis, in an environment with conditions similar to their natural state and thus promote the development of tourism in San Cristobal.
The infrastructure has been integrated into a large corral of 1415m2 and includes: a visitors’ center (including an interpretation center, conference room, gift shop, food bar, bathrooms and administration office), a breeding center (includes an herpetology lab and growing pens), interpretive trails and two houses.
In San Cristóbal there were two populations of tortoises, one located in the Northeast, currently consisting of approximately 1,400 individuals and where the first specimens transferred to Cerro Colorado. The other was south of the island (in an area adjacent to the Cerro Colorado Galapaguera); it became extinct due to extraction by whalers in past centuries.

The natural population of tortoises from San Cristóbal (north of the island) is seriously threatened by introduced animals (mainly wild goats, rats and cats), which to date has been impossible to eradicate despite the continuing efforts in this direction.

PM. Visits Interpretation Center

This center of interpretation exhibits the interesting history of Galapagos Island. Here you can be informed about nature, species, the discovery and colonization of this magic archipelago.
Inaugurated in 1998 by the former president of Ecuador Dr. Jamil Mahuad, this place, that is one of the most interesting tourist attractions in Galapagos Island, has the role of maintaining and spreading the information related to the life of these Paradise islands.
It offers permanent presentations in an open air theater that is surrounded by natural wonders and a showing room where audiovisual material is exhibited about the volcanic origins of the island and its development.

Tijeretas Hill

It is called Tijeretas because this is the name commonly known for the frigates. It is located within walking distance of Port Baquerizo Moreno. Close to this site operated La Predial, which was a fishing society and who was present on the island between 1952 and 1960. In one of the vistas there is American-made cannon dating from the Second World War which taken by the Ecuadorian Navy in the early 1970s for military exercises. Another vista offers a panoramic view of the north coast of the island from where one can see the Kicker Rock (León Dormido), Cerro Mundo and Cerro Tijeretas. At the third vista there is a statue of Charles Darwin in honor of his stay in San Cristobal. The upper vista is located on Cerro Tijereta.

Day 6ESPAÑOLA ISLAND

AM: Punta Suarez
This rocky land spot sustains one of the most impressive and varied colonies of sea birds in the Galapagos. Along its southern shore, high cliffs rise up from the sea affording the visitor spectacular views of soaring birds and of the blow whole where water spouts up to 50-75 feet into the air according to the intensity of the surf.

PM: Gardner Bay

Located on the north-eastern coast of Hood, Gardner Bay provides an excellent beach for relaxing, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and the opportunity to observe sea lions. Here we can also observe sharks in the crystal clear ocean waters.

Day 7FLOREANA ISLAND

AM: Cormorant Point
This site offers probably the best flamingo lagoon in the Galapagos; it is also one of the largest in the islands. It’s situated between two tuff lava cones that give the area a special atmosphere. There are various species of shorebirds to observe besides flamingos; the most frequent are common stilts, white-checked pintail ducks, and other migratory birds. It is very interesting to see the two distinct beaches: “The Green Beach” (due to its high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand) and the “Flour Sand Beach” which is made up of coral.

Devil’s Crown

The Devil’s Crown, located just off Punta Cormorant, offers some of the best snorkeling in the Galapagos. In fact, the only way to see the Crown is by water; it is termed a Marine Visitor Site, and no landings are allowed. Sometimes referred to as Onslow Island, this is an almost completely submerged volcano, and erosion has transformed the cone into a series of jagged peaks; as a result, this site really does look like a devil’s crown.

PM: Post office bay

Historically, this site is the location of a wooden barrel that was placed in the 18th century by the crew of a whaling ship. It has been used since this time by mariners and tourists as a post office. The idea is to carry letters or postcards to their destination by hand. Apart from being the Post Office Barrel, this site was the landing area for some of the first colonists. We will continue to the north of the island and will ascent to an elevated slope to enjoy a beautiful vista at the Baroness lookout. It is said that Baroness Eloisa Von Wagner loved this place and spent several hours watching the horizon. Within walking distance (30 m) are the ruins of what is known as her house. From this lookout, the landscape covers the coastline from the Enderby islet to Post Office Bay, as well as Cerro Pajas, the pool of flamingos and wide forest of Palo Santo.

Day 8SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

AM: Charles Darwin Station
Although the great majority of Galapagos visitors come here to observe and appreciate natural wonders, it is also interesting to learn how the protection and conservation of the islands are carried out. One of the main attractions are the National Park information center, the Van Straelen Exhibition Hall, the Breeding and Rearing Center for young tortoises, Lonesome George (turtle from Pinta), and adult Galapagos tortoises in captivity.

After the morning excursion you will be taken to the airport for your flight to the mainland. End of the cruise on the Galapagos Islands

All itineraries are subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control including but not limited to weather, road, trail, sea conditions flight schedules adjustments or cancellations, local authorities orders.

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