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Tip Top II Catamaran - 4 Nights Itinerary

On this 5-day/4-night Galapagos Islands tour, you will be able to follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin by observing colorful, bizarre and beautiful creatures while living a dream that is completely out of this world. The 90-foot steel-hulled Tip Top II offers the highest level of comfort and the best experience in the Islands. Built in 2008 and redesigned in 2015-2016, this motor yacht offers the highest level of comfort and the best experience in the Islands. The yacht accommodates 16 passengers in eight double cabins – each with its own bathroom. On this cruise, you will truly discover the incredible Galapagos Islands as you visit as many as six of the archipelago’s central and eastern islands and islets – including Santa Cruz, Floreana, Española, San Cristobal and North Seymour islands. You will be inspired by the richness of the unique and fascinating wildlife that was the catalyst for Darwin’s spectacular breakthrough in human understanding of biology; in fact, this Galapagos Islands cruise will likely have an equally powerful impact on your own life.

Testimonials

“The trip was excellent from beginning to end. The Isabella II was a fine ship and the crew and guides were all of the highest quality. I would recommend them to others. For us, the ship was the perfect size – not too small and not too large.”Walter Squire

Tip Top II Catamaran: Highlights

Galapagos Islands, Santa Cruz (Dragon Hill), Floreana (Devil’s Crown), Española, San Cristobal, North Seymour

Tip Top II Catamaran: Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Baltra Island: Airport // Santa Cruz Island: Dragon Hill
Day 2: Floreana Island: Post Office Bay – Devil’s Crown – Cormorant Point
Day 3: Española Island: Punta Suarez – Gardner Bay – Osborn Islet – Gardner Islet
Day 4: San Cristobal Island: Punta Pitt – Kicker Rock – Cerro Brujo
Day 5: North Seymour Island // Baltra Island: Airport
Galapagos Map

Tip Top II Catamaran: Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Monday
Baltra Island: Airport // Santa Cruz Island: Dragon Hill

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: In the afternoon we will explore the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island to visit Cerro Dragón (“Dragon Hill”), which is an excellent spot for observing lava lizards, Darwin finches and wading birds. On the way to Dragon Hill, we will rest at a small lagoon that’s a popular feeding place for colorful birds and flamingos.  

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Lunch - Dinner
Day 2 - Tuesday
Floreana Island: Post Office Bay – Devil’s Crown – Cormorant Point

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 José Flores, Ecuador’s first president. 

Later 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.

PM: After lunch, you will be able to take advantage of the great snorkeling opportunities at “Devil’s Crown” (Corona del Diablo), 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.     

A later 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.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3 - Wednesday
Española Island: Punta Suarez – Gardner Bay – Osborn Islet – Gardner Islet

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.

After breakfast, we will go on an excursion to Suárez 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, Suárez 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.

Small Gardner Island, situated across from Espanola Island’s Gardner Bay, is 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 4 - Thursday
San Cristobal Island: Punta Pitt – Kicker Rock – Cerro Brujo

AM: In the morning we will visit Pitt Point, on the eastern side of San Cristóbal 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 seabirds, Pitt Point is also excellent for dinghy rides and snorkeling.

In the afternoon we will follow the route that Charles Darwin once took and sail around the massive tuff-rock called León Dormido (or “Kicker Rock”), which is a nesting site for hosts of seabirds. 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: This afternoon we will make a wet landing on San Cristobal Island to visit Cerro Brujo (“Wizard Hill”), a fascinating lava hill located on the northeastern coast of San Cristóbal Island. Here you will find exceptional views of Kicker Rock, as well as the southern part of San Cristobal and the adjacent coast. On this site’s rocks, you can observe Blue-footed boobies, seagulls, Black-necked Stilts, Ruddy Turnstones, Whimbrels, other sandpiper species, White-cheeked pintails and some pelicans. The protected bay is also popular among young sea turtles and rays, which makes swimming and snorkeling here particularly exciting.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 5 - Friday
North Seymour Island // Baltra Island: Airport

AM: After a dry landing on North Seymour Island, we will take a short walk along its coast, where you will encounter Swallow-tailed gulls, sea lions and Cliff crabs. This part of Seymour Island is also known for being a major nesting site for Blue-footed boobies and one of the largest colonies of Magnificent frigatebirds (a species different from the Great frigatebird). As you enjoy this relaxing hike around various nesting sites, you can also spot both of the endemic species of iguanas: marine iguanas and land iguanas.

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 person
Days
MAIN DECK / CABINS 3 - 6UPPER DECK / CABINS 7 & 8
DoubleDouble
5US$ 3,830US$ 4,290
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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