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Galaxy Yacht 7-Night Itinerary D

On board the first-class 18-passenger Galaxy motor yacht, this amazing 8-day Galapagos Islands cruise will take you to the central and western islands of the archipelago. With a wealth of wildlife viewing opportunities, this carefully planned itinerary will take you to scenic islands such as Isabela, where can observe the island’s huge and emblematic Galapagos tortoises and White herons in their natural habitat. During this Galapagos Islands vacation, you will enjoy a flexible program that offers several alternative daily activities on land and in the water – but always amidst the stunning wealth of unique wildlife that inhabits these famous islands.

Reviews

“A note to thank you immensely for all your guidance & assistance in planning & completing our South American tour, including Quito, Galapagos, Santiago & Rapa Nui. It truly was an adventure & a fitting celebration of our 60th wedding anniversary”Larry and Pam Schaffer

Highlights

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

Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Baltra Island: Airport – Highlands
Day 2: Isabela Island: Moreno Point - Elizabeth Bay
Day 3: Isabela Island: Urbina Bay - Tagus Cove
Day 4: Espinoza Point - Albemarle Point
Day 5: Santiago Island: Puerto Egas Beach – Espumilla Beach – Buccaneer Cove
Day 6: Santa Cruz Island: Dragon Hill – Black Turtle Cove
Day 7: Rabida Island // Chinese Hat Island
Day 8: North Seymour Island // Baltra Island: Airport
Galapagos Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Saturday
Baltra Island: Airport – Highlands

AM: Departure to the Galapagos Islands, arrival at Baltra airport, where our naturalist guide of the National Park will be waiting for you.

PM: Either if you do this visit starting from Baltra or from Puerto Ayora, a bus will take you to the highlands stopping along the way at one of the reserves to visit the lush highland forests where you will look for Galapagos Giant tortoises in their natural environment. This is the best place in the Galapagos to see these gentle giants (reaching over 300 kg / 600 pounds!) casually grazing and resting in freshwater ponds. This is also home for a great diversity of birds rarely found at the lowlands, including finches (tree, woodpecker and vegetarian finches), flycatchers and several species of water birds. You will visit a lava tunnel (depend on the itinerary) and learn how these extraordinary formations where created by ancient volcanic eruptions.

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Lunch - Dinner
Day 2 - Sunday
Isabela Island: Moreno Point - Elizabeth Bay

AM: Moreno Point is a magical place with extensive lava fields which look lifeless at first sight. Once inland, scattered brackish lagoons form oasis of life where you can find flamingoes, gallinules, ducks and herons. Along the shore we will look for penguins, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, blue-footed boobies, sea lions, oystercatchers and other shore birds.

PM: Elizabeth Bay is a beautiful sheltered bay surrounded by large mangroves and barren lava fields. There is no trail here so you will take a dinghy tour to explore many channels, pools and coves teeming with life. This is one of the best locations in the islands to see Galapagos penguins, but don’t expect to see thousands of them, as the entire population of the islands is only about 3.000 of them. Flightless cormorants also nest in the area and blue-footed boobies and pelicans often fish in these shallow and rich waters. Rays and sea turtles are also very abundant.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3 - Monday
Isabela Island: Urbina Bay - Tagus Cove

AM: This place is known for the dramatic uplifting that happened here during the 1950’s. A large portion of the coast was pushed up, exposing many hectares of previously submerged land. Look carefully along the trail and you will find small shells and corals, a proof that the area was underwater more than sixty years ago. The trail will give the opportunity to see land iguanas and, during certain seasons, giant tortoises. Galapagos hawks nest in the area and are often seen flying or perched on the trees. 

PM: Tagus cove is one of the places Charles Darwin visited during his exploration of the Galapagos islands. A trail will take you through a dry Palo Santo forests where you can see Darwin finches and mockingbirds. You will get great views of Darwin’s lake and the large volcanos of northern Isabela.

A boat tour along the shore will give you chances to see penguins, cormorants, marine iguanas and a very unique species: the Galapagos martin, a small endemic bird which is one of the most endangered species on the island.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4 - Tuesday
Espinoza Point - Albemarle Point

AM: Located at the base of an imposing volcano (the most active in the Galapagos islands) this site is one of the jewels of the Galapagos National Park. As soon as you disembark you will be surrounded by hundreds of marine iguanas, as this is the largest colony for the species. Sea lions bask in the beaches while their pups play in tide pools. Along the shore you will see   flightless cormorants, which are restricted to the western areas of the archipelago. Surrounded by cold plankton-rich waters, Punta Espinosa is home for an array of species, including herons, pelicans, oystercatchers, sea turtles, shorebird and many more. Look up in the mangroves as Galapagos hawks often perch to look for their prey.

PM: This place is great for wildlife as well as an historical site. During WWII, the Americans built a radar base in order to detect the presence of Japanese war ships approaching the Galapagos. You can still see a few remains of the radar. The area is barren and surrounded by endless lava fields, but along the coast you will find some of the largest marine iguanas in the islands, Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorants and shorebirds.  

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 5 - Wednesday
Santiago Island: Puerto Egas Beach – Espumilla Beach – Buccaneer Cove

AM: Despite its name, there is no “port” at Puerto Egas, but you might see a few remains of the last attempts to colonize the island during the 60’s.  The trail goes along the coastline which is rich in wildlife, with marine iguanas basking in the sun everywhere, Galapagos sea lions, herons, oystercatchers and many shorebirds. At the end of the trail an area called “the grottos” is home for a small colony of the endemic Galapagos fur seal, much more difficult to see at close range than its cousin.  As recently as 2019, land iguanas where re-introduced to the area, so look around for these impressive reptiles which where extinct from Santiago for over a century. 

PM: Espumilla is a beautiful 1km (0,6 mi) long beach with rusty-brown sand, located in the northern coast of Santiago. It is surrounded by large mangrove trees and a very interesting native dry forest, which is home to Galapagos hawks but also a great diversity of finches, mockingbirds and doves. Don’t forget to check the salt pan, as during the rainy season there could be flamingoes and ducks.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 6 - Thursday
Santa Cruz Island: Dragon Hill – Black Turtle Cove

PM: Espumilla is a beautiful 1km (0,6 mi) long beach with rusty-brown sand, located in the northern coast of Santiago. It is surrounded by large mangrove trees and a very interesting native dry forest, which is home to Galapagos hawks but also a great diversity of finches, mockingbirds and doves. Don’t forget to check the salt pan, as during the rainy season there could be flamingoes and ducks.

PM: Black Turtle Cove gets its name from the abundance of green see turtles, locally known as: “tortugas negras”. There is no landing here so you will be doing a boat tour on the dinghies, exploring shallow channels and small coves surrounded by beautiful mangrove forests. Reef sharks, sea turtles and several species rays inhabit this beautiful area which is considered an important mating area for turtles and a nursery for several species of sharks. Herons, pelicans and boobies are also common here as they prey in schools of anchovies.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 7 - Friday
Rabida Island // Chinese Hat Island

AM: Rábida is a small island famous for its reddish lava rocks (rich in iron) which gives it a unique look. The beach is also red and hosts a small colony of sea lions. There is a small salt water lagoon where we will see ducks and stilts and sometimes flamingoes. The trail will take you inland to get beautiful views of the beach and the lagoon. Look for Darwin finches, flycatchers and mockingbirds. In the cliffs along the coast you can find Nazca & blue-footed boobies, brown noddy, herons and the two species of sea lions: Galapagos and fur seals.

PM: This small islet is formed by a volcanic cone with a perfect symmetrical shape. It is separated from Santiago by a narrow channel forming one of the most beautiful bays in the islands. Blue-turquoise water and coral sand beaches surrounded by dark lava rocks gives this area a real tropical character, which makes even more surprising finding penguins resting in the rocks.  The trail goes along the shore, taking you through a small colony of sea lions.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 8 - Saturday
North Seymour Island // Baltra Island: Airport

AM: This island is home for large colonies of both magnificent and great frigatebirds and you can see them displaying their red balloons to attract a female. Blue-footed boobies nest in the ground and perform their famous dance in the open areas, while swallow-tailed gulls perch on the cliff edges. Land iguanas are common inland while their marine cousins bask in the rocks by the sea, close to sea lions, which often like to body surf in the waves.

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Breakfast

Prices

2023 - Price per person
RoomUpper Deck / Main Deck
8 DaysUS$ 4,780 PP
2022 - Price per person
RoomUpper Deck / Main Deck
8 DaysUS$ 4,459 PP
*Price per person based upon double occupancy.
*PP (per person)
Included in the price:
  • A cruise on board the Galaxy yacht
  • 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)
  • Galapagos Transit Control Card ($20 USD per person)
  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
  • Single cabin supplement
  • Tips and gratuities for guides and crew
  • Personal items
  • Travel/medical insurance
  • Services not indicated in the itinerary (i.e.: An Isabela Island dock tax applies in itineraries B and D)
  • IVA
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Traveler Reviews
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Reviews

“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