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Eric & Letty Yachts - 7 Nights Itinerary B

During this Galapagos cruise on board the Eric or Letty motor yachts, you can disembark daily to explore, hike, swim, snorkel, and view the extraordinary natural wonders and rich Galapagos wildlife – including colorful frigatebirds, Darwin finches, sea lions, lava lizards, Blue-footed boobies and much more. The low guide-to-passenger ratios on board these yachts ensure highly-personalized service and intimate experiences on your on-shore excursions, snorkeling tours or panga-boat trips. Sailing on board the Eric or Letty motor yachts, this 8-day/7-night itinerary that will take you through the northern and western islands of the archipelago, stopping at points that include central Santa Cruz Island, Genovesa Island in the north, easterly San Cristobal Island, and various islets in between. The species found here are not found anywhere else, while the volcanic landscape, birdlife-rich forests and gorgeous lagoons will make you want to never end this Galapagos Islands tour.

Testimonials

“I found Surtrek online as it proved to be an excellent, efficient company. Our 4 days in the Galapagos were expertly planned and we were never left without a guide - we were even walked to dinner each night and assisted with ordering!”Marian Lowenfish

Eric & Letty Yachts: Highlights

Galapagos Islands, Genovesa, Fernandina, Isabela (Tagus Cove) & Charles Darwin Station.

Eric & Letty Yachts: Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: San Cristobal Island: Airport – Puerto Baquerizo Moreno – Tortoise Breeding Center
Day 2: Genovesa Island: Darwin Bay – Prince Philip’s Steps
Day 3: Santa Cruz Island: Bachas Beach or Black Turtle Cove – Dragon Hill
Day 4: Fernandina Island: Espinosa Point // Isabela Island: Urbina Bay or Punta Vicente Roca
Day 5: Isabela Island: Elizabeth Bay – Tagus Cove
Day 6: Santiago Island: Puerto Egas Beach // Rabida Island
Day 7: Santa Cruz Island: Highlands – Charles Darwin Research Station
Day 8: San Cristobal Island: Interpretation Center – Airport
Galapagos Map

Eric & Letty Yachts: Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Sunday
San Cristobal Island: Airport – Puerto Baquerizo Moreno – Tortoise Breeding Center

AM: In the morning you will fly from either Quito or Guayaquil (on the Ecuadorian mainland) to the Galapagos Islands. At the airport on San Cristóbal Island, after you will pay your entrance fee to the national park, a member of the ship's crew will welcome you and accompany you to your yacht. On San Cristobal Island, today we will visit Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of Ecuador’s Galapagos Province, which is the second most populated island in the archipelago. The island has been inhabited for more than 100 years mainly because it has many sources of fresh water, while today’s inhabitants of the town live off of fishing and sustainable tourism. At this port you will have a chance to explore its shops and the local tortoise breeding center.

PM: One of the main features on the San Cristobal Island is the 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.

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

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. 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.

PM: In the afternoon 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.      

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3 - Tuesday
Santa Cruz Island: Bachas Beach or Black Turtle Cove – Dragon Hill

AM: In the morning on Santa Cruz Island, we will visit either Bachas Beach or Black Turtle Cove. 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 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. Alternatively, this morning, we can visit Black Turtle Cove, a nesting site for sea turtles that peak their heads above the surface of the water while fish and other forms of marine life circle below.  With luck, the calm water will allow you to see different types of sharks (like the Whitetip reef shark) and schools of golden-colored Mustard rays. There are a number of mangrove forests here as well.

PM: In the afternoon we will explore the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island to visit Dragon Hill, which is an excellent spot for observing lava lizards, Darwin finches and wading birds. On the way to Dragon Hill, we will rest at a small lagoon that’s a popular feeding place for colorful birds and flamingos.     

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4 - Wednesday
Fernandina Island: Espinosa Point // Isabela Island: Urbina Bay or Punta Vicente Roca

AM: 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). Today 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.

PM: This afternoon we will visit either Urbina Bay or Punta Vicente Roca. At Urbina Bay, we will make a wet landing.  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. Alternatively, we could visit Punta Vicente Roca, which is the “mouth” of the head of the sea horse that forms the northern part of Isabela Island. At this interesting rock formation, 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.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 5 - Thursday
Isabela Island: Elizabeth Bay – Tagus Cove

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: 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 6 - Friday
Santiago Island: Puerto Egas Beach // Rabida 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. 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: In the afternoon we will take a trip to the dark-rust-colored beach of the small, volcanic Rabida Island. A short path leads to a small lagoon that is popular among flamingos. This beach is one of the most beautiful snorkeling places in the Galapagos Islands and it has a great abundance of tropical fish and sea lions. Rabida Island is also the only site where Batfish live.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 7 - Saturday
Santa Cruz Island: Highlands – Charles Darwin Research Station

AM: This morning we will 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 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.  

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.  

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 8 - Sunday
San Cristobal Island: Interpretation Center – Airport

AM: At the port of Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of Ecuador’s Galapagos Province, we will visit San Cristobal Island’s Interpretation Center, an excellent place to learn about the nature and settlement history of the archipelago. Here you will discover displays that provide information about the volcanic origins of the islands, the ocean’s currents, the archipelago’s climate, and facts concerning the arrival of different species. The islands’ human history is also showcased, chronologically narrating the most significant events related to the discovery and settlements of the Galapagos.

From the dock on San Cristobal Island, we will take a short bus ride to the airport for your flight back to the mainland. Enjoy the last view of the “enchanted islands,” a unique paradise with fascinating natural highlights.

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Breakfast

Eric & Letty Yachts: Prices

2018 - Price per person
Days
Booby DeckDolphin DeckIguana Deck
DoubleDoubleDoubleTriple
8US$ 5,100US$ 5,600US$ 4,700US$ 4,500
Included in the price:
  • All transfers in the Galapagos Islands
  • cruise on board the ERIC or LETTY in double accommodations with all facilities
  • naturalist guide
  • free purified drinking water.
Not included in the price:
  • flights to/from the Galapagos Island
  • entrance fee to Galapagos National Park ($100 USD per adult)
  • transit control card ($20 USD per person)
  • bottled and alcoholic beverages
  • tips and gratuities
  • personal expenses and items
  • travel and medical insurance.
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