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Coral I & II Vessel - 3 Nights Itinerary B

Description: This eye-opening 4-day/3-night travel experience will introduce you to the best of the Galapagos Islands, one of the greatest wilderness destinations on earth. Cruising onboard the Coral I or II Galapagos yachts – noted for their great comfort, unique designs and intimate experiences – the Coral will take you up close and personal to Giant tortoises, sea lions, penguins, marine iguanas and different bird species. On daily land excursions, you will trek across striking volcanic islands such as Mosquera Islet, North Seymour Island, Santa Fe Island and South Plaza Island, while accompanied by a national park-certified naturalist tour guide. This is a natural selection if you seek both exhilarating and relaxing vacation …one that allows you to walk in the footsteps of Charles Darwin himself.

Testimonials

“The Samba cruise anyway was great, good boat, good food, amazing guide and friendly staff.”Federica Novellini

Coral I & II Vessel: Highlights

Galapagos Islands, North Seymour, Plazas (land & marine iguanas) & Charles Darwin Station.

Coral I & II Vessel: Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Baltra Airport (Baltra Island) // Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz Island) – Highlands of Santa Cruz Island
Day 2: Mosquera Islet // North Seymour Island
Day 3: Santa Fe Island // South Plaza Island
Day 4: Kicker Rock circumnavigation – La Galapaguera Tortoise Breeding Center – San Cristobal Airport (San Cristobal Island)
Galapagos Map

Coral I & II Vessel: Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Sunday
Baltra Airport (Baltra Island) // Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz Island) – Highlands of Santa Cruz Island

AM: 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 Surtrek team will then welcome you and accompany you to your ship: Coral I or Coral II.

PM: This afternoon we will head for one of the most visited spots in the islands. Located on Santa Cruz Island, the Charles Darwin Research Station is primarily an international scientific research station situated on the outskirts of Puerto Ayora. You will be taken to its visitor center to learn about the geology, climate, natural history and the conservation of the Galapagos Islands. However, the highlight of your visit here will undoubtedly be the research facility’s Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Center, which breeds giant tortoises. These enormous and slow-moving reptiles can live up to 150- 200 years and weigh between 250 and 300 kg. Approaching them in their humid and forested spaces is always an inspiring adventure. For decades, the Fausto Center was home to “Lonesome George,” who finally died in 2012 as the last of his particular species. The tortoises you will see here are accustomed to humans, so it’s an excellent spot for visitors to take photographs with them. Remember that looking at the animals is allowed, but touching is not, and it’s absolutely forbidden to jump over the walls or open the pen doors at any time. We will then visit the Highlands of Santa Cruz Island, where the lush landscape is a welcome contrast to the arid scenery of the smaller, lower islands. On the way, we will cross through different vegetation zones – from the dry lower region full of cactuses to the scalesia woods in the Highlands.  There one can find two small agricultural communities that grow the famous organic Galapagos coffee. While in the Highlands you will have the option of visiting one of two tortoise breeding centers: El Chato or Rancho Las Primicias. At either site, approaching these enormous and slow-moving reptiles is always an inspiring adventure. The El Chato tortoise reserve was founded in 1964 to allow visitors to observe the island’s huge Galapagos turtles and White herons in their natural habitat. You will also be able to walk through nearby underground lava tunnels formed during volcanic eruptions. As the outside of the lava hardened, the inside continued to flow to the ocean, creating these tunnels. Alternatively, Rancho Primicias is a great place to see about ten to fifteen Galapagos giant tortoises in the wild. In addition to being able to view the ocean from this location in the Highlands, you can walk through a lava cave that was formed by a volcanic eruption.   

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Lunch - Dinner
Day 2 - Monday
Mosquera Islet // North Seymour Island

AM: Today we will anchor off Mosquera Island, which is located near Itabaca Channel and in between the Baltra and Seymour islands. The island consists of a long narrow stretch of white sand, rocks, and small lagoons with large populations of sea lions (in fact, this is one of the best places to take photos of these aquatic mammals). After a wet landing, a stroll down the beach will also permit views of Brown pelicans and Blue-footed boobies.

PM: After a dry landing on North Seymour Island, we will take a short walk along its coast, where you will encounter Swallow-tailed gulls, sea lions, and Cliff crabs. This part of Seymour Island is also known for being a major nesting site for Blue-footed boobies and one of the largest colonies of Magnificent frigatebirds (a species different from the Great frigatebird). As you enjoy this relaxing hike around various nesting sites, you can also spot both of the endemic species of iguanas: marine iguanas and land iguanas.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3 - Tuesday
Santa Fe Island // South Plaza Island

AM: Today we will visit Santa Fe Island, a tiny rocky island covered in small Palo Santo trees and six-meter-high opuntia cactuses. The island is inhabited mainly by large yellow land iguanas, Galapagos buzzards, Blue-footed boobies, and pelicans. While snorkeling in the wonderful blue-green bay in which the ship anchors, you can observe the many inhabitants of this underwater world, including countless tropical fish, rays, sea turtles and playful sea lions.

PM: Next we will explore South Plaza Island, located just east of Santa Cruz Island. After a dry landing on the northern part of this life-filled islet, you will encounter colonies of sea lions and land iguanas. While on the steep banks, you can see numbers of birds – like nesting Tropicbirds and Fork-tailed seagulls – but most of all, you will enjoy the beautiful views from either atop the steep banks or while strolling along the base of the cliff. Opuntia cactuses grow on this island and the vegetation changes color throughout the year.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4 - Wednesday
Kicker Rock circumnavigation – La Galapaguera Tortoise Breeding Center – San Cristobal Airport (San Cristobal Island)

AM: This morning we will follow the route that Charles Darwin once took and sail around the massive tuff-rock called “Kicker Rock,” which is a nesting site for hosts of seabirds. Here, you will be able to find Blue-footed boobies, pelicans, and frigate birds.  This is a great site for scuba diving, and hammerhead sharks can be seen in the area. Heading to San Cristobal Island, one of the main attractions there is the Galapaguera Tortoise Breeding Center, where you will see enormous Galapagos tortoises, as well as iguanas. As the natural population of tortoises from San Cristobal Island is seriously threatened by animals introduced onto the island by humans – mainly wild goats, cats, and rats – the center is attempting to increase the number of tortoises as well as eradicate threatening species. Close to the center is an easy trail that covers a distance of 900 meters; along this trail, you will see different species of native and endemic plants of the Galapagos, like cat’s claw, manzanillo, romerillo, and acacia. Be careful not to touch or eat the manzanillo fruits as these are toxic. San Cristobal Island is also one of the few islands where you can see the plant calandrinia galapagosa, which is in danger of extinction. 

Concluding this amazing experience in the Galapagos Islands, you will be transferred to the San Cristobal 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

Coral I & II Vessel: Prices

2018 - Price per person
RoomJuniorStandardStandard Plus
4 DaysUS$ 2,346US$ 1,662US$ 2,058
Included in the price:
  • All meals indicated I the itinerary and snacks for the duration of your cruise
  • sea view cabin in double accommodations
  • welcome and farewell cocktails
  • 2 daily excursions onto the islands with a bilingual (English/Spanish-speaking) naturalist guide
  • transfers to/from airport
  • activities on board
Not included in the price:
  • flights to/from the Galapagos
  • admission fee to the Galapagos National Park ($100 USD per adult)
  • transit control card ($20 USD per person)
  • wet suits (can be rented)
  • tips and gratuities
  • personal expenses
  • bottled and alcoholic beverages
  • travel/medical insurance
  • medical services
  • any other expenses not specified in the itinerary.
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