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Ecuador - Galapagos First Class - Beagle Motor Sailor
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Beagle Sailer - 7 Nights Itinerary A

Named after the ship that carried Charles Darwin to the Galapagos Islands in the 1830s, the Beagle Motor Sailer is a special sailing vessel for cruising the Galapagos Islands. This stylish and intimate 105-foot teak-decked, steel-hulled Brigantine schooner is perfect for a small group of friends, family holidays, special interest groups, or for celebrating important events such as honeymoons and anniversaries. Spend 8-days/7-nights cruising crystal-clear waters on this Galapagos Islands tour, one that you’ll never forget. On this “Northwest Itinerary,” you will sail on board the 12-passenger Beagle motor sailer to discover the archipelago’s central, western and northern islands – which includes scenic Genovesa Island. The ship’s naturalist will lead you on daily land excursions to trace Darwin's theory of evolution, spot colorful, bizarre and beautiful creatures, and have an experience that is completely out of this world as you discover this incredible archipelago on your Galapagos Islands vacation.

Testimonials

“We loved the Galapagos Islands. Both of our hotels on Santa Cruz and Isabella islands were excellent. Our tour guides were knowledgeable and directed us to the most interesting sights and wildlife. Thanks Surtrek for organizing an excellent trip.”Catherine Anne Woodruff

Beagle Sailer: Highlights

Galapagos Islands, Genovesa, Isabela (Tagus Cove & Tortoise Breeding Center) and Fernandina.

Beagle Sailer: Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Baltra Island // Santa Cruz Island: Bachas Beach
Day 2: Genovesa Island: Prince Philip’s Steps – Darwin Bay
Day 3: Santiago Island: James Bay – Sailing – Whale Watching
Day 4: Isabela Island: Punta Vicente Roca // Fernandina Island: Espinoza Point
Day 5: Isabela Island: Tagus Cove – Urbina Bay
Day 6: Isabela Island: Elizabeth Bay – Moreno Point
Day 7: Isabela Island: Arnaldo Tupiza Tortoise Breeding Center – Wall of Tears – Puerto Villamil
Day 8: Santa Cruz Island: Puerto Ayora – The Twin Craters // Baltra Island: Airport
Galapagos Map

Beagle Sailer: Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Tuesday
Baltra Island // Santa Cruz Island: Bachas Beach

AM: In the morning, you will fly from Quito or Guayaquil (on the Ecuadorian mainland) to Baltra Island, in the heart of the Galapagos archipelago and the main point of entrance to this natural paradise. Upon your arrival at the airport, you will need to pay the national park entry fee, which goes to protecting both the Galapagos National Park and Marine Reserve.   A member of the ship's crew will welcome you and accompany you to your ship: the M/S Beagle.

PM: We will arrive on the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island, where we will visit the long and sandy Bachas Beach, one of the most important nesting beaches for sea turtles. Here you can also find flamingos, Black-winged stilts, sea lions, herons, marine iguanas, and — with a little bit of luck — tiny Galapagos penguins. In addition, this beach is one of the main nesting sites of sea turtles in the Galapagos. A female can lay eggs 3 or 4 times with an average of 70 eggs each, but they then spend 3 to 5 years without breeding. At this paradisiacal site, we will also find the remains of barges that sank long ago; these were once the property of the United States Navy when they operated an airbase on Baltra Island during World War II. In fact, the beach got its name because the English word “barges” was hard to pronounce for the local people – hence “Bachas” Beach. You will also have the opportunity to swim on this soft white sand beach or explore the fascinating underwater by snorkeling. 

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Lunch - Dinner
Day 2 - Wednesday
Genovesa Island: Prince Philip’s Steps – Darwin Bay

AM: Our destination for today is Genovesa Island, considered to be one of the wildest and most pristine islands in Galapagos National Park. Known as “Bird Island,” Genovesa is the only place where you can see Red-footed boobies. We will go ashore at a crater wall where Prince Phillip’s Steps are located.  These stairs were carved in the stone wall and lead up to a wide plateau where you will find nesting places of Great frigate birds, Red-billed tropic birds, Bahama ducks, Lava seagulls and Fork-tailed seagulls. During this easy stroll, we will cut through a small scalesia forest where you might observe short-eared owls.  With a little bit of luck, you will also be able to observe the unique courtship rituals carried out by the various booby species (Red- and Blue-footed as well as Masked boobies). It truly is a show.

PM: After a wet landing in Genovesa Island’s Darwin Bay, we will walk along a short path that leads through the nesting sites of booby and frigatebird colonies. On the beach, you can observe the interesting spectacle of how frigate birds try to rob the prey of different species of boobies.    

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3 - Thursday
Santiago Island: James Bay – Sailing – Whale Watching

AM: In the morning we will land on the fourth largest island in the Galapagos: Santiago Island, also known as “James Island” or “San Salvador Island.” The old rusted machines and run-down buildings of former salt mine workers are still apparent on the island, though the last attempts to populate Santiago Island were given up on forty years ago. We will make a wet landing onto Puerto Egas’s beach of black volcanic sand, visited by Darwin in 1835 and still maintaining an abundance of marine iguanas.  After a short walk of about 2 km along the coast, we will reach the rugged lava coastline of James Bay. The unique, truly striking layered terrain of Santiago’s shores is home to a variety of resident and migrant birds, including the bizarre Yellow-crowned Night heron and an astounding array of marine wildlife – including lobsters, starfish and marine iguanas grazing on algae beds alongside Sally Light-foot Crabs. Colonies of endemic fur seals swimming in cool water pools formed by volcanic rocks are another highlight. 

PM: While traveling to Punta Vicente Roca, located on Isabela Island, we will have a chance for some dolphin and whale watching this afternoon.  

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4 - Friday
Isabela Island: Punta Vicente Roca // Fernandina Island: Espinoza Point

AM: This morning will take us to the largest landmass in the Galapagos archipelago: Isabela Island. With a surface of 1,770 sq. miles (4,588 sq. km.), the island constitutes more than the half of the land area of the entire Galapagos archipelago – which is why it has the most visitor points in the islands. Five volcanoes are found on Isabela, including the archipelago’s highest: Wolf Volcano, reaching 1,707 m (5,600 ft.). In addition, Isabela is the only island in the Galapagos that is actually crossed by the equator. Located at the “mouth” of the head of the sea horse that forms the northern part of Isabela Island is Punta Vicente Roca, an interesting rock formation. Here, the remnants of an ancient volcano form two turquoise coves, with a bay that’s well-protected from the ocean swells. With a bit of luck you can see Galapagos penguins, while Masked- and Blue-footed boobies, as well as pelicans, sit perched along the point and its sheer cliffs, while flightless cormorants inhabit the shoreline. The upwelling of currents of cool water in this part of the Galapagos gives rise to an abundance of marine life, which makes Punta Vicente Roca a great area for deep-water snorkeling.

PM: Fernandina Island is not only the westernmost island, but also the youngest and most pristine island in the Galapagos. Huge fields of lava were created here by the La Cumbre Volcano’s 2005 eruption, which was followed on April 11, 2009 when the volcano flared up again, forming a cloud of ash and steam as hot lava flowed down the slopes of the volcano into the ocean. Nonetheless, an abundance of wildlife call this island home, including the famous Flightless cormorants, penguins, pelicans, marine iguanas and sea lions. You can also find mangroves on Fernandina Island, in addition to a great diversity of wildlife – such as orcas and whale sharks (which can sometimes be seen while snorkeling and when they surface). This afternoon, we will make a dry landing on Espinoza Point, one of Fernandina Island’s visitor points. It is filled with fascinating scenery, such as cactuses growing on the surface of lava. One gets a sense of how life fought to begin when seeing these plants emerging from crevices in this barren landscape. Within this unique scenery you will encounter numerous animals – the highlights being sea lions, Galapagos penguins, Flightless cormorants (especially in the spring and summer), and one of the largest iguana colonies in the Galapagos Islands.  In fact, on this small strip of land that constitutes Espinoza Point, you can find literally thousands of marine iguanas, which gather in large groups.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 5 - Saturday
Isabela Island: Tagus Cove – Urbina Bay

AM: After a dry landing, we will visit Isabela Island’s notorious Tagus Cove, which was historically used as an anchoring place for pirates, buccaneers and whalers.  Still exiting here is some graffiti that is believed to have been left by 19th-century pirates …a curious reminder of an intriguing past. Perched on the ledges of the cliffs around this deep blue bay, you can observe a large number of Blue-footed boobies, as well as marine iguanas, brown pelicans, brown noddy terns, swallow-tailed gulls and tiny Galapagos penguins (members of the only penguin species in the world to extend its range into the northern hemisphere along the equator). A steep trail also passes through an area of dry vegetation and volcanic landscapes with scalesia woods and cactuses.

PM: After lunch, we will make a wet landing in Urbina Bay.  Coral reefs are visible here as a result of an especially violent eruption of the Alcedo Volcano in 1954, when large sections of Isabela Island’s coast were suddenly raised about four meters. These reefs are now covered with poison apple and muyuyo trees. You can also observe land iguanas and the rare Mangrove finch up close here. From January to June, land turtles occasionally visit the bay, descending from their higher mountain living environments. After a short walk inland, we will have some time for snorkeling, giving you yet another chance to swim with sea turtles, sea lions and countless tropical fish.     

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 6 - Sunday
Isabela Island: Elizabeth Bay – Moreno Point

AM: Today we will head to the mangrove area of Elizabeth Bay and visit the small islands offshore. You are likely to see dwarf penguins as well as schools of manta rays, turtles and other giants of the ocean – possibly even surfacing whale sharks. The mangrove woods are also home to various species of seabirds and herons.

PM: In the afternoon we will visit Moreno Point, a young volcanic landscape with numerous fresh-water pools and lagoons. You will be able to see flamingos, Bahama ducks and other birds here.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 7 - Monday
Isabela Island: Arnaldo Tupiza Tortoise Breeding Center – Wall of Tears – Puerto Villamil

AM: Today we will visit Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center, which is home to about 330 of these creatures. As the center is located only about a mile (1.5 km) from Puerto Villamil, you can either walk or drive to it. There, you can find a number of tortoise species that have been reproduced in captivity, with a few of them being in danger of extinction. In addition to tortoises, there are also beautiful gardens in which you can stroll around. These hold native plants such as manzanillo, mesquite, prickly pears and palo santos. Since there are wasps in the area, make sure you don’t wear bright-colored clothes, as these attract those insects. Afterwards, we will drive to the “Wall of Tears,” one of the most touching human-built monuments in the Galapagos. This huge stone mound (8 meters high and around 200 meters long) was built in the 1940s and ‘50s by prisoners of a penal colony that operated here from 1946 to 1959. 

PM: This afternoon we will visit Puerto Villamil, on Isabela Island. The inhabitants of this town, located on the southeastern edge of the island, make a living off of agriculture and fishing, but tourism is also growing here. The town, which is small enough to explore in an hour, is a nice place for snorkeling or just hanging out on the beach. In fact, this is the only town in the islands with a beachfront. The harbor is frequently full of sailboats as Puerto Villamil (the westernmost town in the Galapagos Islands) is a popular stop for private yachts making their way to the Marquesas Islands. On the southwestern edge of town, a boardwalk has been built that leads through mangrove environments and passes along saltwater lagoons.  From it, you will be able to see flamingoes, common stilts, whimbrels and Bahama pintails. On the northern edge of town is a series of islets; one of them is known as “Las Tintoreras,” where a colony of Whitetip reef sharks can be seen resting in the lava channel. 

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 8 - Tuesday
Santa Cruz Island: Puerto Ayora – The Twin Craters // Baltra Island: Airport

AM: Today we will visit the charming port town of Puerto Ayora, which – with more than 20,000 inhabitants – is the most populous human settlement in the Galapagos Islands. It also has the best developed infrastructure in the archipelago – with schools, hotels, restaurants, stores and clubs – and is the best place to communicate with the outside world via a number of Internet cafés and telephone offices. Most travelers used to just pass through here on their way to see “Lonesome George,” the 150-year old tortoise who lived at Charles Darwin Research Center; but those who linger here for a moment longer will discover that Puerto Ayora has more to offer. The town has sports shops for diving equipment, mountain biking, and birdwatching, as well as day tours that include its nearby white-sand beaches. We will also go to the Santa Cruz Highlands this morning to see "The Twins" (craters), which will be explained by your naturalist guide. These craters are surrounded by scalesia forest, where also live Ruby tyrants and small and large Tree finches.

Concluding this amazing experience in the Galapagos Islands, you will be transferred to the Baltra Island airport for your return flight to the Ecuadorian mainland. Enjoy your last look back at the “enchanted islands,” a unique paradise with inspiring natural wonders.  

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Breakfast

Beagle Sailer: Prices

2018 - Price per person
RoomDouble
8 DaysUS$ 3,990
Included in the price:
  • Lodging in a double cabin with private facilities
  • All transfers within the Galapagos Islands
  • A bilingual (English & Spanish) naturalist guide
  • All meals indicated in the itinerary
  • Coffee
  • Tea and purified drinking water
  • Use of snorkeling equipment
  • Wetsuit
  • Kayaks
Not included in the price:
  • Flights to and from the Galapagos Islands
  • Entrance fee to Galapagos National Park ($100 USD per person)
  • Migration card ($20 USD per person)
  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
  • Single cabin (instead of a double cabin)
  • Personal items and expenses
  • Travel/medical insurance
  • Tips and gratuities.
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