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Reina Silvia Yacht - 7 Nights Itinerary B

This Galapagos Islands cruise through Darwin's “living laboratory” may just stir you to think differently about the world. On board the 16-passenger Reina Silvia Motor Yacht, you will see for yourself the creatures that call the islands home. Isolated from the mainland for thousands of years, they have no instinctive fear of humans. On this 8-day “Eastern Route” tour, you will experience close-up encounters with these unique species; ones like Blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas and enormous 150-year-old Galapagos tortoises.

Testimonials

“Everything was wonderful but the highlight by far was the 5 days trekking in the Angamarca region with Marcial. The scenery and culture was astonishing, and Marcial was the perfect guide.”Linda Bernstein

Reina Silvia Yacht: Highlights

Galapagos Islands, Española, San Cristobal (Kicker Rock, Punta Pitt), Genovesa, Bartolome (Pinaccle Rock), South Plazas.

Reina Silvia Yacht: Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Baltra Island // Highlands of Santa Cruz Island
Day 2: Española Island: Gardner Bay – Gardner Isla – Osborn Islet – Suarez Point
Day 3: Lobos Island // San Cristobal Island: Kicker Rock – Punta Pitt
Day 4: Santa Fe Island // South Plazas Island
Day 5: Genovesa Island: Darwin Bay – El Barranco
Day 6: Santiago Island: Sullivan Bay // Bartolome Island
Day 7: Rabida Island // Chinese Hat Island
Day 8: Baltra Island: Flight Home
Galapagos Map
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Reina Silvia Yacht: Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Saturday
Baltra Island // Highlands of Santa Cruz Island

AM: In the morning, you will fly from the Ecuadorian mainland to Baltra Island, in the heart of Galapagos archipelago. Upon arriving at the airport, you will need to pay the national park entrance fee, which goes to protecting both the Galapagos National Park and Marine Reserve.  A member of your ship's crew will then welcome you and accompany you to your yacht: the Reina Silvia.

PM: 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 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 - Sunday
Española Island: Gardner Bay – Gardner Isla – Osborn Islet – Suarez Point

AM: 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.

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.

We will also visit the small Gardner Island, situated across from Espanola Island’s Gardner Bay, which is lined with vertical cliffs that drop to sandy ledges and large boulders.  We will go snorkeling here, where you are likely to encounter the smallest of the Galapagos garden eels, Snake eels, as well as Black-spotted morays, Galapagos puffer fish, Scorpion fish, Trumpet fish, cornet fish 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 Puffer fish, 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, Surgeon fish, Sea urchins and starfish.

PM: After lunch, 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. 

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3 - Monday
Lobos Island // San Cristobal Island: Kicker Rock – Punta Pitt

AM: In the morning we will visit Lobos Island, located across from San Cristobal Island. This is a seasonal nesting spot for Blue-footed boobies and Frigatebirds. You also can enjoy swimming and snorkeling with sea lions in the island’s calm bay.

From there, 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.

PM: In the morning we will visit Punta Pitt, on the eastern side of San Cristobal Island. After a high-intensity hike on rocky terrain along a 1.4 km-long path and several magnificent lookout points, we will make our way through colonies of Frigatebirds and Fork-tailed seagulls. What’s more, this is probably the only site in the world where you can see all three species of boobies – Masked, Red- and Blue-footed ones. In addition to its great range of sea birds, Pitt Point is also excellent for dinghy rides and snorkeling. 

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4 - Tuesday
Santa Fe Island // South Plazas 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: Later, 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 5 - Wednesday
Genovesa Island: Darwin Bay – El Barranco

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: This afternoon we are off to the El Barranco cliffs. Located on Genovesa Island, along the southern part of Darwin Bay, a one mile (1.5 km) trail stretches out over volcanic rock that leads to this cliff (this hike takes about two hours to cover). The second half of the trail is very delicate, so please stay on the path. It can get very hot so make sure to bring water. Because of the natural erosion, this is the ideal place for the nesting of Storm petrels. Two other species of petrels that can be seen here are the Galapagos petrel and the Wooden petrel. Red-footed boobies and Nazca boobies can be seen here as well as fur seals and several species of seabirds.    

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 6 - Thursday
Santiago Island: Sullivan Bay // Bartolome Island

AM: In the 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 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.

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 7 - Friday
Rabida Island // Chinese Hat Island

AM: We will start the day with a trip to the dark red 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. Rabida Island is also the only site where Batfish live.

PM: We will make a wet landing on Chinese Hat Island, located southeast of Santiago Island. Its name describes the shape of the island, which you will be able to discern from a distance.  This island’s landscapes are dominated by volcanic formations and fragile lava tubes.  Because of this, it’s very important to stay on the paths. You will encounter a small colony of sea lions and then proceed to hike through this dark, unyielding island of solid rock.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 8 - Saturday
Baltra Island: Flight Home

AM: This morning we will take a bus to Itabaca Channel, which we will cross to reach the Baltra Island 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

Reina Silvia Yacht: Prices

2018 - Price per person
RoomDouble
8 DaysUS$ 4,845
Included in the price:
  • All meals
  • transfers in the islands
  • all excursions
  • bilingual national park guide
  • use of snorkeling equipment
  • free airport assistance.
Not included in the price:
  • Round-trip airfare to / from Galapagos
  • alcoholic drinks
  • Galapagos National Park fee ($100 USD)
  • Transit Control Card ($20 USD)
  • use of wetsuit
  • travel /medical insurance
  • tips, personal expenses.
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