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Tip Top III Yacht - 3 Nights Itinerary

Emblematic Galapagos tortoises, green sea iguanas, endemic penguins and playful seals are just some of the fascinating wildlife that you will be treated to on this wonderful 4-day Galapagos cruise. On board the Tip Top III Motor Yacht, which accommodates up to 90 passengers on its first-class tours, you will visit central and eastern Galapagos Islands. Highlights of this Galapagos Islands tour include a visit to Santa Fe, South Plaza, Chinese Hat and Rabida islands, where you will discover fascinating moonscapes formed by various volcanic formations and some of the finest snorkeling in the islands.

Testimonials

“We booked our Galapagos/Peru trip through Surtrek and are very glad that we did.”A. Arima

Tip Top III Yacht: Highlights

Galapagos islands, South Plaza (Land & Marine iguanas) & Charles Darwin Research Station.

Tip Top III Yacht: Itinerary at a Glance

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

Tip Top III Yacht: Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Friday
Baltra Island: Airport // Santa Cruz Island: Charles 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 your ship's crew will then welcome you and accompany you to your vessel: the Tip Top III M/V.

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 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: 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 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 Island // 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 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 and sea lions. Rabida 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 III Yacht: Prices

2018 - Price per person
Days
LOWER DECK / CABINS 1 - 2LOWER DECK / CABINS 3 - 6UPPER DECK / CABINS 9 & 10
DoubleDoubleDouble
4US$ 2,700US$ 2,780US$ 3,175
Included in the price:
  • A cruise on board the Tip Top III
  • 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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