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Tip Top II Catamaran - 3 Nights Itinerary

Redesigned between 2015 and 2016, the 90-foot steel-hulled Tip Top II motor catamaran offers the highest level of comfort and the best experience in the islands. Fully refurbished, the yacht accommodates 16 passengers in eight (8) double cabins – each with its own bathroom. The dining room and lounge of the Tip Top II motor catamaran are fully carpeted for your comfort, and a sun deck creates a delightful place for resting and relaxing on board. In addition, the 8-member crew of the Tip Top II motor catamaran (consisting of the captain, a multilingual guide, the engineer, and international cook, a barman & waitress, and two sailors) will be on hand to see to your every need. On this 4-day/3-night Galapagos luxury cruise of the archipelago’s central islands, you will discover a unique living museum that is a showcase of evolution. On board the Tip Top II motor catamaran, you will experience this isolated haven of biodiversity that remains nature’s greatest science laboratory, home to a dazzling array of birds, reptiles, fish and mammals.

Testimonials

“I was very happy in every way with your booking and Cuyabeno Lodge. It surpassed my expectations in every way. No hitches with flights and transportation. The lodge was beautiful. The staff was professional and friendly.”Tim Matheson

Tip Top II Catamaran: Highlights

Galapagos Islands, Santa Cruz (Darwin Research Station), Santa Fe, South Plaza Islands, Chinese Hat, Rabida

Tip Top II Catamaran: Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Baltra Island: Airport // Santa Cruz Island: Darwin Research Station
Day 2: Santa Fe Island // South Plazas Island
Day 3: Chinese Hat Islet // Rabida Island
Day 4: Santa Cruz Island: Black Turtle Cove // Baltra Island: Airport
Galapagos Map

Tip Top II Catamaran: Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Friday
Baltra Island: Airport // Santa Cruz Island: Darwin Research Station

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 Surtrek team will then welcome you and accompany you to your ship, the Tip Top II.

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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Lunch - Dinner
Day 2 - Saturday
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: Today 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 Tropicbirds 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 - Sunday
Chinese Hat Islet // Rabida Island

AM: 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.

PM: In the afternoon we will take a trip to the dark-rust-colored beach of the small, volcanic Rábida 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. Rábida Island is also the only site where Batfish live.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4 - Monday
Santa Cruz Island: Black Turtle Cove // Baltra Island: Airport

AM: Today we will visit Santa Cruz Island, the second largest of the Galapagos Islands and located in the center of the archipelago. Located there is Black Turtle Cove, a nesting site for sea turtles, which 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: Concluding this amazing experience in the Galapagos Islands, you will be transferred to the Baltra Island airport for your return flight to the Ecuadorian mainland. Enjoy your last look back at the “enchanted islands,” a unique paradise with inspiring natural wonders.

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Breakfast

Tip Top II Catamaran: Prices

2018 - Price per program
Days
MAIN DECK / CABINS 3 - 6UPPER DECK / CABINS 7 & 8
DoubleDouble
4US$ 3,070US$ 3,415
Included in the price:
  • A cruise on board the Tip Top II
  • 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.
Not included in the price:
  • entrance fee to the Galapagos National Park ($100 USD per adult)
  • Flights to/from the Galapagos Islands
  • transit control card ($20 USD per person)
  • bottled soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
  • single cabin supplements
  • tips and gratuities
  • personal items
  • travel/medical insurance.
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