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Ecuador - Galapagos First Class - Coral Motor Vessel
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Coral I & II Vessel - 4 Nights Itinerary A

Description: Experience this 5-day/4-night Galapagos Islands adventure sailing on board the Coral I or Coral II yacht. Noted for their great comfort, unique designs and intimate experiences, these cruising vessels will introduce you to the best of the Galapagos archipelago, one of the greatest wilderness travel destinations on earth. On daily land excursions in the archipelago, the Coral will take you up close and personal to Giant tortoises lumbering across the highlands of Santa Cruz, sea lions basking at Espinosa Point, tiny Galapagos penguins and marine iguanas at Egas Port, and allow you to uncover the legends of the notorious Tagus Cove. And note that you will always be accompanied by a national park-certified naturalist tour guide as you trek across these striking volcanic islands or snorkel in the crystal clear waters of the Galapagos archipelago.

Testimonials

“Thanks so much again! Surtrek, a realiable travel partner and service provider of Operation Earth for our Galapagos Expedition program!”Leon Chen

Coral I & II Vessel: Highlights

Galapagos Islands, Isabela (Tagus Cove), Fernandina & Santa Cruz (Tortoise Reserve).

Coral I & II Vessel: Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Baltra Airport (Baltra Island) // Highlands (Santa Cruz Island)
Day 2: Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela Island) // Espinosa Point (Fernandina Island)
Day 3: Urbina Bay (Isabela Island) // Tagus Cove (Isabela Island)
Day 4: Egas Port (Santiago Island) // Sullivan Bay (Santiago Island)
Day 5: Bachas Beach (Santa Cruz Island) // Baltra Airport (Baltra Island)
Galapagos Map

Coral I & II Vessel: Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Wednesday
Baltra Airport (Baltra Island) // Highlands (Santa Cruz Island)

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, the Coral I or the Coral II.

PM: After lunch, 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 - Thursday
Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela Island) // Espinosa Point (Fernandina Island)

AM: Located at the “mouth” of the head of the seahorse 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: 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 3 - Friday
Urbina Bay (Isabela Island) // Tagus Cove (Isabela Island)

AM: After breakfast, 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.

PM: 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.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4 - Saturday
Egas Port (Santiago Island) // Sullivan Bay (Santiago Island)

AM: This 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. On Santiago, we will we will make a wet landing on Santiago’s Puerto Egas beach. Its black volcanic sand was 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 Lightfoot Crabs. Colonies of endemic fur seals swimming in cool water pools formed by volcanic rocks are another highlight.  

PM: After lunch on board the Coral, we will head to Sullivan Bay, located on the eastern coast of Santiago Island. Its lava field, covered with lava cactuses, has a variety of interesting patterns of important geologic interest, as you will be able to observe the contrasting lava landscapes from an older eruption and a newer one formed during the last quarter of the 19th century.  After exploring these lava flows, you can swim or snorkel with playful sea lions.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 5 - Sunday
Bachas Beach (Santa Cruz Island) // Baltra Airport (Baltra Island)

AM: This morning we will arrive on the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island, where we will visit the long and sandy Las 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 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.

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

Coral I & II Vessel: Prices

2018 - Price per person
RoomJuniorStandardStandard Plus
5 DaysUS$ 3,128US$ 2,215US$ 2,743
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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