Galapagos Discovery by Yacht

The Galapagos Islands are unlike any other place on earth. A string of volcanic islands situated almost 1000 km west of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, they are unique in their flora and fauna. The islands were first made famous when a young scientist by the name of Charles Darwin published “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection” in 1859; the Galapagos are “the islands that changed the world”.
When: Year-round
Duration: 8 days/ 7 Nights
Accommodations: 20-guest superior first-class motor yacht

Islands Visited

  • San Cristobal (Cerro Tijeretas, Leon Dormido, Cerro Brujo, Punta Pitt, and Interpretation Center)
  • Española (Punta Suarez and Gardner Bay)
  • Floreana (Punta Cormorant, Devil’s Crown or Champion, Post Office Bay, and Baronesa Point)
  • Santa Cruz (Highlands and Charles Darwin Station)
  • Bartolome (Las Bachas, Black Turtle Cove or Sombrero Chino)
  • South Plaza
  • North Seymour

OTHER ECUADOR & GALAPAGOS ITINERARIES

Below are some of our sample itineraries, but note that we can customize the perfect Ecuador adventure that meets your needs.

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Sample Itinerary


DAY 1: Sunday ~ Upon arrival to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristobal, you’ll be met by the crew at the airport to escort you by bus to the main dock and then by zodiac to your 16-passenger yacht anchored in the bay. After the welcome briefing and safety drill, a delicious buffet lunch is served. Travel by bus to Cerro Tijeretas or “Frigatebird Hill” situated on the edge of town. This is one of two sites where you can spot nesting colonies of both species of frigatebirds (great frigatebird and magnificent frigatebird). The trail leads to Punta Carola where there are beautiful vistas. Return to the yacht to join your fellow yacht mates this evening for your briefing followed by a Captain’s welcome cocktail party and dinner prepared by culinary school-trained chefs. (L,D)

DAY 2: Monday ~ Arrive to Cerro Brujo, a breathtaking white coral beach, considered one of the most spectacular beaches in Galapagos and perfect for a peaceful walk with expansive views and good birding. You’ll have an opportunity to kayak from the beach or swim with sea lions. A Zodiac ride takes you through a cave called The Cathedral. During lunch, cruise toward the northeastern tip of San Cristobal to Punta Pitt, a tuff formation that serves as a nesting site for many seabirds including all three species of boobies: blue-footed booby, Nazca booby and red-footed booby. Both species of frigatebirds are also here along with swallow-tailed gulls, storm-petrels, shearwaters, brown pelicans, and a colony of sea lions. Punta Pitt is considered to be a first class site for birds and on par with Genovesa (Tower) Island. Here, you can snorkel at Pitt Rock with sea lions and colorful fish such as the king angelfish. Return to the yacht to cruise around Leon Dormido aka “Kicker Rock”, a vertical tuff cone formation that rises abruptly almost 500 feet out of the ocean. On the cliffs, look for blue-footed Boobies, Nazca boobies and magnificent frigatebirds. (B,L,D)(Cerro Brujo – SN, KY, PR; Punta Pitt – SN,KY,PR)


DAY 3: Tuesday ~ Disembark at Punta Suarez on Española (Hood), the island with the highest number of endemic species in Galapagos. Sea lions noisily greet you as you land on their beach. Curious Hood mockingbirds may peck at your shoelaces. From April to December, the waved albatross, found only on Española, performs its wild mating ritual. Colonies of blue-footed boobies engage in “high-stepping and sky-pointing” to show off for potential mates. Nazca boobies busily care for their young. Red-billed tropicbirds take shelter under cliffs. You also have the opportunity to find Darwin’s finches, Galapagos doves and Galapagos hawks. Observe a unique species of marine iguana identified with traces of red and green colorings. Colorful sally light-foot crabs crawl along the shoreline near the famous “blow hole”. After lunch, have a wet landing on Gardner Bay and walk along a seemingly endless stretch of white sandy beach, home to large colonies of sea lions. Explore on foot, swim with sea lions right from the beach, explore the bay and islets by kayak, or just relax . There’s excellent snorkeling off Gardner Islet or you can explore caves by Zodiac. (B,L,D)(Gardner Bay – SN,KY,PR)

DAY 4: Wednesday ~ Step ashore at Punta Cormorant on Floreana (Charles), one of the few populated islands in the Galapagos. Floreana presents a local human history rich with mystery and intrigue. Set foot on a green sand beach alive with the sounds of sea lions, lava herons, yellow-crowned night-herons, blue-footed boobies and penguins. Follow a trail to a brackish lagoon, home of Bahama ducks, common stilts, Galapagos flycatcher, yellow warbler and greater flamingos, said to be the pinkest in the world. Winding your way past a rich variety of plants, the trail leads to a beach with powder soft sand. Here, sea turtles lay eggs in the sand dunes and sting rays swim in the shallow water. After your walk, you’ll have an opportunity to snorkel at Devil’s Crown or Champion, a shallow sunken crater colonized by a brilliant array of colorful fish and coral, white-tipped sharks, sea turtles, spotted eagle rays and sea stars. Today, lunch is served on the sundeck (weather permitting). After lunch, visit Post Office Bay, one of the most famous sites in Galapagos. Here, a post barrel was erected and put into use in the late 18th century by English whaling vessels. You’re invited to leave a postcard and to pick up any mail from your home area. There’s a chance to swim from the beach with sea lions. This afternoon, take a Zodiac ride near Baroness Point in search of sea turtles and rays. (B,L,D)(Punta Cormorant – PR; Devil’s Crown – SN; Post Office Bay – PR)


DAY 5: Thursday ~ Travel by bus to the Santa Cruz Highlands. The scenery gradually changes as you wind through all seven vegetation zones found in Galapagos. Visit the tortoise reserve at “Las Primicias”, a private farm where you’ll observe giant tortoises in their natural habitat. Stop at “the tunnels”, the largest lava tubes found in Galapagos. Visit Los Gemelos, Spanish for “The Twins”, a pair of large pit craters where you may see the red male vermilion flycatcher. Next, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. Puerto Ayora is the social heart of the islands with the largest population of 24,000 people. After lunch and briefing on board, return to town to shop for souvenirs or stop at an internet cafe. You have the option to remain in town on your own account to stimulate the local economy or you can return to the yacht for dinner. (B,L,D)

DAY 6: Friday ~ Disembark at Bartolome, where you’ll feel like you’re walking on the moon. This young island is inhospitable to most plants and animals. After a dry landing, climb 30 minutes up stairs leading to the summit of a once active volcano. Along the way, pause to marvel at lava bombs, spatter cones and cinder cones. From the top of the wooden stairs, gaze out across for a panoramic view of Bartolome and “Pinnacle Rock”, an eroded tuff cone. Crystal clear water is an invitation to snorkel from the beach with schools of tropical fish and Galapagos penguins or take a Zodiac ride. After lunch, visit Las Bachas, Spanish for “barges”. There is a long stretch of white sand beach and interior lagoons where you may find the greater flamingo. There is also a wonderful chance to snorkel from the beach. Located off the Southern tip of Santiago is Sombrero Chino (“Chinese Hat”) that owes its name to its shape. After a wet beach landing with sea lion colonies, the trail gives way to a primeval landscape of volcanic rubble including cracked lava formations and lava tubes. (B,L,D)(Bartolome – SN;PR)                                                                                                                                                               

DAY 7: Saturday ~ Visit South Plaza, a small geological uplift with tall cliffs offering spectacular views. After a dry landing, the trail leads through prickly pear and Sesuvium. Here, you can find the Galapagos land iguana feeding on cactus leaves. Toward the end of the hill, encounter a colony of bachelor sea lions. The dominant bulls are in various stages of recovery from battles lost fighting over prime beach territory. You may also find swallow-tailed gulls, shearwaters and red-billed tropicbirds who build their nests along the cliffs. After lunch, have a dry landing at North Seymour, a small geological uplift. Follow a trail that leads to swallow-tailed gulls, blue-footed boobies, endemic land iguanas, and the largest colony of magnificent frigatebirds found in Galapagos. Return to the yacht for the Captain’s farewell cocktail party and dinner accompanied by a special slide show presentation prepared by your guides. (B,L,D)

DAY 8: Sunday ~ Today, visit the Interpretation Center on San Cristobal. Here, you’ll gain a more complete understanding of the natural and human history of the islands. Afterwards, spend time in port before heading to the airport for your flight back to the mainland. (B)                                                                                                                                                           


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DETAILS

Meals: B=Breakfast; L=Lunch; D=Dinner

Activities: SN=Snorkel; KY=Kayak; PR=Panga Ride

Price for Iguana Deck: $4100/ person double occupancy; $4000/ person triple occupancy; $6100/ person single occupancy.

Price for Booby Deck: $4550/ person double occupancy.

Price for Dolphin Deck: $4900/ person double occupancy.

Price includes: cabin accommodation, all meals and snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, purified water, Captain’s welcome and farewell cocktail, house wine and local beer served during dinner, guided shore excursions, use of wet suits, snorkeling equipment and sea kayaks, island transfers between the airport and dock. A donation to support local conservation efforts will be made on behalf of all trip participants.

Exclusions: international airfare, airfare to Galapagos, Galapagos entrance fee (park tax is currently $100/ person for adults and $50/ person for children ages 11 and younger), transit control card (currently $10/ person), alcoholic beverages, gratuities, on board purchases, and travel insurance.

2015 Departure Dates:

  • Jan 11-18
  • Jan 25 – Feb 1
  • Feb 8-15
  • Feb 22 – March 1
  • Mar 9-16
  • Apr 5-12
  • Apr 19-26
  • May 3-10
  • May 17-24
  • May 31–Jun 7
  • Jun 14-21
  • Jun 28-Jul 5
  • Jul 12-19
  • Jul 26-Aug 2
  • Aug 9-16
  • Aug 23-30
  • Sep 6-13
  • Sep 20-27
  • Oct 4-11
  • Oct 18-25
  • Nov 1-8
  • Nov 15-22
  • Nov 30-Dec 7
  • Dec 13-20
  • Dec 27-Jan 3, 2016