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Ecuador - Galapagos First Class - Tip Top IV Motor Yacht
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Tip Top IV Yacht - 3 Nights Itinerary

Traveling on board the 16-passenger Tip Top IV Motor Yacht, this 4-day Galapagos Islands cruise offers wildlife lovers and natural history enthusiasts an incredible opportunity to experience the world as it once was. Following this “Central Islands Route,” you will travel to a place called a “unique living museum” and the “showcase of evolution.” On this Galapagos tour, you will find what is home to a host of fascinating animal and plant species – many of which are found nowhere else on earth.

Testimonials

“We loved every moment of our trip and could not have done it without Ligia and Surtrek. I highly recommend them!”Irene Alcock

Tip Top IV Yacht: Highlights

Galapagos Islands, Española, San Cristobal (Kicker Rock) & Charles Darwin Research Station.

Tip Top IV Yacht: Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Baltra Island: Airport // Santa Cruz Island: Charles Darwin Research Station – Puerto Ayora
Day 2: Española Island: Suarez Point – Gardner Bay – Osborn Islet – Gardner Islet
Day 3: San Cristobal Island: Punta Pitt – Kicker Rock – Cerro Brujo
Day 4: Mosquera Island // Baltra Island: Airport
Galapagos Map

Tip Top IV Yacht: Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Friday
Baltra Island: Airport // Santa Cruz Island: Charles Darwin Research Station – Puerto Ayora

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 IV 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.

We will also stop in the charming port town of Puerto Ayora, which – with more than 20,000 inhabitants – is the most populous human settlement in the Galapagos Islands. It also has the best developed infrastructure in the archipelago – with schools, hotels, restaurants, stores and clubs – and is the best place to communicate with the outside world via a number of Internet cafés and telephone offices. Most travelers used to just pass through here on their way to see “Lonesome George,” the 150-year old tortoise who lived at Charles Darwin Research Center; but those who linger here for a moment longer will discover that Puerto Ayora has more to offer. The town has sports shops for diving equipment, mountain biking, and birdwatching, as well as day tours that include its nearby white-sand beaches.

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Lunch - Dinner
Day 2 - Saturday
Española Island: Suarez Point – 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 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.

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.

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.

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 here, 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, 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 Puffer fish, and a variety of sea urchins and sea stars. 

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3 - Sunday
San Cristobal Island: Punta Pitt – Kicker Rock – Cerro Brujo

AM: 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, Punta Pitt is also excellent for dinghy rides and snorkeling.

PM: In the afternoon 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.

Later in the afternoon we will make a wet landing on San Cristobal Island to visit Cerro Brujo, a fascinating lava hill located on the northeastern coast of San Cristobal 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, sea gulls, 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 4 - Monday
Mosquera Island // Baltra Island: Airport

AM: Today we will anchor off Mosquera Island, which is located near Itabaca Channel and in between the Baltra and Seymour islands. The island consists of a long narrow stretch of white sand, rocks, and small lagoons with large populations of sea lions (in fact, this is one of the best places to take photos of these aquatic mammals). After a wet landing, a stroll down the beach will also permit views of Brown pelicans and Blue-footed boobies.

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 IV Yacht: Prices

2018 - Price per person
Days
LOWER DECK / CABINS 1 - 6UPPER DECK / CABINS 7 - 10
DoubleDouble
4US$ 2,865US$ 3,175
Included in the price:
  • A cruise on board the Motor Yacht Tip Top IV
  • 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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