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Galaxy II Catamaran - 5 Nights Itinerary B

With unmatched high quality service, delicious food, knowledgeable and its professional crew, the Galaxy II motor catamaran is one the favorite yachts for people who is looking for a first-class Galapagos cruise. The 16-passenger Galaxy II catamaran offers a spacious sun deck with a great area for enjoying Galapagos landscapes, as well as an ample dining room, a bar and lounge. The vessel’s activities on board and on daily land excursions include hiking, snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, and animal watching. On this amazing 6-day/5-night Galapagos Islands vacation, you will get up-close and personal with aquatic wildlife like sea lions and turtles, hike over volcanic lava flows to check out the moon-like landscapes of Bartolome Island, and relax on the stunning white-sand beaches of Santiago Island. On board the first-class 16-passenger Galaxy II catamaran yacht, you can get out onto the high seas and start making better memories on the Galapagos Islands tour along the Central-Eastern Route.

Testimonials

“We had an absolutely amazing trip! Surtrek coordinated a Galapagos Cruise on the Natural Paradise yacht and then a stay at the Napo Wildlife Center. Everything was beyond our expectations!! I highly recommend Surtrek.”Janda Terese Stevens

Galaxy II Catamaran: Highlights

Galapagos Islands, Baltra, Santiago, Santa Cruz, Bartolome, Floreana, Española & San Cristobal Island

Galaxy II Catamaran: Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Baltra Island: Airport – Board Yacht // Santa Cruz Island: Bachas Beach
Day 2: Santiago Island: Sullivan Bay // Bartolome Island
Day 3: Santa Cruz Island: Highlands – Charles Darwin Research Station
Day 4: Floreana Island: Cormorant Point – Devil’s Crown – Post Office Bay
Day 5: Española Island: Suarez Point – Darwin Bay – Gardner Bay – Gardner Islet – Osborn Islet
Day 6: San Cristobal Island: Interpretation Center – Airport
Galapagos Map

Galaxy II Catamaran: Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Thursday
Baltra Island: Airport – Board Yacht // 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 vessel.

PM: This afternoon 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 - Friday
Santiago Island: Sullivan Bay // Bartolome 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 then proceed 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.

PM: Upon arriving on Bartolome Island, you will discover a fascinating moonscape formed by various volcanic formations — including lava bombs, spatter, cinder cones — as we hike to the island’s summit for striking views of the surrounding islands, Sullivan Bay and the towering Pinnacle Rock. As the beaches at the foot of the Pinnacle Rock boast some of the finest snorkeling in the islands, you can discover a marvelous underwater world here and have a good chance of finding sea turtles gliding gently alongside you. On the rocks beneath Pinnacle Rock, it’s quite possible to spot some of the quick-as-an-arrow Galapagos penguins; at around 25 centimeters tall, these are members of the second smallest species of penguin in the world.  Likewise, you’re likely to see harmless Whitetip reef sharks sunning in these waters. For many visitors, this may turn out to be the best of snorkeling experiences, as the water here is generally clear, without too much surf and full of marine life.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3 - 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 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.  

PM: This morning 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 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 4 - Sunday
Floreana Island: Cormorant Point – Devil’s Crown – Post Office Bay

AM: Today we will visit Floreana Island, considered to be one of the most exotic in the Galapagos archipelago.  Countless legends are part of the history of this island, as pirates and buccaneers were drawn to here in search of for food and water. Later the island was colonized by Norwegians, Brits, Germans and others who were in search of ways to make money from what they hoped to discover here. The name Floreana is in honor of Juan Jose Flores, Ecuador’s first president.

This morning’s first excursion is to the Cormorant Point visitor site. After a wet landing on the beach, we will go down a 100-meter-long path to a mangrove lagoon that is home to Galapagos ducks, black herons, oystercatchers, and plovers.  With a little bit of luck, you might also see flamingos. Another path leads to a small beach that is an important nesting site for sea turtles. In the shallow water there, one can often find stingrays and Whitetip reef sharks. Later, you will be able to take advantage of the great snorkeling opportunities at Devil’s Crown, a broken volcanic cone that is one of the most beautiful places for snorkeling in the Galapagos Islands. The underwater world here includes reef sharks, starfish, sea turtles, sea lions and a host of tropical fish species.

PM: After lunch, we will visit Post Office Bay, where the legendary post barrel that whalers historically used to put their mail in is still kept. After a wet landing, you can walk just off the beach to leave a letter here in hopes that it will make to its destination via another tourist…so don’t forget to bring postcards along. Snorkelers can take a dip on the main beach among the playful sea lions and green sea turtles. 

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 5 - Monday
Española Island: Suarez Point – Darwin Bay – Gardner Bay – Gardner Islet – Osborn Islet

AM: Española is the southernmost, oldest and Island,” in honor of the British admiral Samuel Hood.  Because of its isolated position, there is much endemic wildlife to be explored here – in addition to great snorkeling from Española’s remarkably beautiful beaches. Española is the southernmost, oldest and one of the most bio-diverse islands of the Galapagos archipelago. Its English name is “Hood Island,” in honor of the British admiral Samuel Hood.  Because of its isolated position, there is much endemic wildlife to be explored here – in addition to great snorkeling from Española’s remarkably beautiful beaches.

After breakfast, we will go on an excursion to Suarez Point. One of the archipelago’s most outstanding wildlife areas, this site boasts a long list of species along its cliffs and its sand and pebble beaches. In addition to five species of nesting seabirds, the curious and bold Española Island mockingbirds are found here, as are other birding favorites that include Galapagos doves, Galapagos hawks, Swallow-tailed gulls and the world’s largest colony of Waved albatross – an unequivocal highlight during mating season (May-December). Several types of reptiles are unique to this island, including the marine iguana and the oversized lava lizard. In fact, this is also the only site where you will be able to see “red” sea iguanas. In addition, when heavy swells are running, Suarez Point is the site of a spectacular blowhole whose thundering spray shoots 30 yards up into the air. The trek here is on a stony path about a mile long, though the duration of this excursion is about 3 hours.

PM: On Española Island’s eastern shore, Gardner Bay is noted for its turquoise-colored waters and its magnificent beach, which we will visit in the afternoon. Around the bay’s small nearby islets, snorkelers will find an abundance of fish, as well as the occasional sea turtle and benign sharks. The bay is also frequented by a transient colony of Galapagos sea lions who love to swim with people. Birds, like the endemic Española mockingbird and different species of Darwin finches, are omnipresent.

Later we will head to the small Gardner Island, situated across from Espanola Island’s Gardner Bay and lined with vertical cliffs that drop to sandy ledges and large boulders.  While snorkeling, you are likely to encounter the smallest of the Galapagos garden eels, Snake eels, as well as Black-spotted morays, Galapagos puffer fish, Scorpionfish, Trumpetfish, cornetfish and Red-lipped batfish. You will be able to see plenty sea lions lying lazily on the beach. On the north end of the island are twisting tunnels, and to the south are caves, which all make for a remarkable excursion. The area has an abundance of fish including schools of snappers, Creole fish, King angelfish, large Pufferfish, and a variety of sea urchins and sea stars.

We will also ride around Osborn Islet, located close to Española Island. It is made of volcanic rock and is a popular fishing site among local small-scale fishers. On this Galapagos islet, you will have a chance to go snorkeling and see schools of tropical fish, Manta rays, Green turtles, Surgeonfish, Sea urchins and starfish. 

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 6 - Tuesday
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 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

Galaxy II Catamaran: Prices

2017 - Price per person
RoomUpper Deck / Main Deck
6 DaysUS$ 2,960
Included in the price:
  • A cruise on board the Galaxy II
  • accommodations in a double cabin with private facilities
  • all meals indicated in the itinerary
  • all transfers in the Galapagos Islands
  • services of an English/Spanish-speaking level II naturalist guide on daily excursions and during briefings
  • use of snorkeling equipment and kayaks
  • free coffee
  • tea and purified drinking water.
Not included in the price:
  • Flights to/from the Galapagos Islands
  • entrance fee to the Galapagos National Park ($100 USD per adult)
  • transit control card ($20 USD per person)
  • soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, single cabin supplement
  • tips and gratuities
  • personal items
  • travel/medical insurance
  • services not indicated in the itinerary. (An Isabela Island dock tax applies in itineraries B and D)
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