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Majestic Yacht - 7 Nights Itinerary B

The Galapagos Islands are truly unique due to the diverse inhabitants of flora and fauna. And following this 8-day Galapagos Islands tour itinerary onboard the 16-passenger Majestic Motor Yacht you will discover how truly alive these islands are – with birds and animals that evolved apart from their mainland kin to become perfectly adapted to these volcanic-formed islands. On this Galapagos vacation, you will sail across the archipelago from east to west, visiting at least eight major islands and islets inhabited by the red-pouched frigatebirds and giant tortoises that have come to symbolize the Galapagos Islands – a destination that you’ll never forget.

Testimonials

“We had a great time in the jungle. Our experience was amazing. Can’t wait to tell you more about it.”Michael McLane

Majestic Yacht: Highlights

Galapagos Islands, Plazas (land & marine iguanas), Bartolome (Pinaccle Rock), Isabela, Fernandina & Charles Darwin Station.

Majestic Yacht: Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: San Cristobal Island: Airport – Transfer to the M/Y Majestic – Jacinto Gordillo Tortoise Breeding Center
Day 2: Santa Fe Island // South Plaza Island
Day 3: Bartolome Island // Santiago Island: Puerto Egas Beach
Day 4: Isabela Island: Tagus Cove – Urbina Bay
Day 5: Fernandina Island: Espinosa Point // Isabela Island: Punta Vicente Roca
Day 6: Santiago Island: Buccaneer Cove – Espumilla Beach – Sullivan Bay
Day 7: Santa Cruz Island: Bachas Beach – Charles Darwin Research Center / Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Center
Day 8: San Cristobal Island: Kicker Rock – San Cristobal Airport
Galapagos Map

Majestic Yacht: Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Monday
San Cristobal Island: Airport – Transfer to the M/Y Majestic – Jacinto Gordillo 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 Cristobal 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: the M/Y Majestic.

PM: One of the main attractions of San Cristobal Island is the Jacinto Gordillo Tortoise Breeding Center, where you will see enormous Galapagos tortoises, as well as iguanas. As the natural population of tortoises from San Cristóbal 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 - 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: This afternoon 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 Tropic birds 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 3 - Wednesday
Bartolome Island // Santiago Island: Puerto Egas Beach

AM: 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.

PM: In the afternoon 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. 

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4 - Thursday
Isabela Island: Tagus Cove – Urbina Bay

AM: 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.

PM: After lunch, 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.     

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 5 - Friday
Fernandina Island: Espinosa Point // Isabela Island: 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: Located at the “mouth” of the head of the sea horse 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.   

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 6 - Saturday
Santiago Island: Buccaneer Cove – Espumilla Beach – Sullivan Bay

AM: This morning on Santiago Island, we will go to Buccaneer Cove, which in the 18th and 19th centuries was a shelter for pirates, whalers and sailors. The bay is surrounded by high tuff cliffs where many sea-bird nest. In the cliffs, you can try to find two rock formations that look like a monkey and an elephant.

From there we will head to Santiago Island’s Espumilla Beach, where marine iguanas relax and sea turtles nest. While snorkeling, you might come upon octopuses, morays and many types of tropical fish. There is also a Palo Santo forest close to this beach.

PM: After lunch we will 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.    

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 7 - Sunday
Santa Cruz Island: Bachas Beach – Charles Darwin Research Center / Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Center

AM: Today 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.

PM: In the 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 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 - Monday
San Cristobal Island: Kicker Rock – San Cristobal Airport

AM: In the 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 sea birds. 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. 

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

Majestic Yacht: Prices

2018 - Price per person
RoomLower DeckMain Deck
8 DaysUS$ 5,145US$ 5,645
Included in the price:
  • A cruise on board the Majestic
  • accommodations in a double cabin with private facilities
  • all meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • all transfers in the Galapagos Islands
  • services of an English/Spanish-speaking naturalist guide on daily excursions and during briefings
  • use of snorkeling equipment
  • free purified drinking water
  • use of snorkeling equipment and underwater camera
  • free airport assistance
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)
  • bottled soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
  • single cabin supplements
  • tips and gratuities
  • personal items
  • travel/medical insurance
  • use of wet suits.
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