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Trip Advisor 2019

Treasure of Galapagos 6-Night Itinerary C

Colorful frigatebirds, tiny Galapagos penguins, playful sea lions and green sea turtles are just some of the fascinating wildlife that you will be treated to on this amazing Galapagos cruise. On board the 16-passenger Treasure of the Galapagos catamaran, for seven days and six nights, you will sail to and go on land excursions on at least eight major islands and islets throughout the archipelago. On your Galapagos vacation, swim and snorkel among some of the richest marine life on Earth and become transfixed by the wealth of birdlife that populates the islands’ stunning forests.

Reviews

“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

Treasure of Galapagos: Highlights

Santa Cruz Island, Cerro Dragon (Santa Cruz Island), Los Humedales (Isabela Island),Puerto Egas (Santiago Island)

Treasure of Galapagos: Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Baltra Island // Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz Island)
Day 2: Eden Islet – Cerro Dragon (Santa Cruz Island)
Day 3: Las Tintoreras – Los Humedales (Isabela Island)
Day 4: Punta Moreno – Urbina Bay (Isabela Island)
Day 5: Punta Espinoza (Fernandina Island) // Tagus Cove (Isabela Island)
Day 6: Puerto Egas (Santiago Island) // Rabida Island
Day 7: Bachas Beach (Santa Cruz Island) // Airport Departure (Baltra Island)
Galapagos Map

Treasure of Galapagos: Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Saturday
Baltra Island // Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz Island)

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 Treasure of the Galapagos.

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 - Sunday
Eden Islet – Cerro Dragon (Santa Cruz Island)

AM: This morning’s excursion is to a small islet that, while not having any visitor points, allows for a scenic and exciting zodiac ride around it.  Eden Islet is a place where Galapagos anglers used to go, as there are many marine species found here. Nesting on these rocks are found various types of marine birds, like Frigatebirds, pelicans, seagulls, and petrels. Other marine species — like spotted eagle rays and marbled rays — add to making this islet an interesting excursion.

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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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3 - Monday
Las Tintoreras – Los Humedales (Isabela Island)

AM: In the morning we will take a short boat trip across the harbor of Isabela Island. After passing sea lions and pelicans that bathe in the sun on the fishing boats there, we will reach the small island of Tintoreras, where we will take an easy walk through the bizarre lava landscape with its huge colonies of marine iguanas. A colony of sea lions is also located here, and it’s common to see Whitetip reef sharks resting in the water near the shore. These sharks are called “tintoreras” in Spanish, giving the island its name.

PM: Afterwards, we will visit Los Humedales, the wetlands of Isabela Island. With some luck, you will be able to see pink flamingos in the lagoons. We will also enter lava tunnels, which are quite popular among the marine iguanas here.      

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4 - Tuesday
Punta Moreno – Urbina Bay (Isabela Island)

AM: This morning will take us to the largest landmass in the Galapagos archipelago: Isabela Island. With a surface of 1,770 sq. miles (4,588 sq. km.), the island constitutes more than half of the land area of the entire Galapagos archipelago – which is why it has the most visitor points in the islands. Five volcanoes are found on Isabela, including the archipelago’s highest: Wolf Volcano, reaching 1,707 m (5,600 ft.). In addition, Isabela is the only island in the Galapagos that is actually crossed by the Equator. On Isabela Island, we will visit Moreno Point, a young volcanic landscape with numerous fresh-water pools and lagoons. You will be able to see flamingos, Bahama ducks and other birds here.

PM: After lunch, we will make a wet landing in Urbina Bay.  Coral reefs are visible here as a result of an especially violent eruption of the Alcedo Volcano in 1954, when large sections of Isabela Island’s coast were suddenly raised about four meters. These reefs are now covered with poison apple and muyuyo trees. You can also observe land iguanas and the rare Mangrove finch up close here. From January to June, land turtles occasionally visit the bay, descending from their higher mountain living environments. After a short walk inland, we will have some time for snorkeling, giving you yet another chance to swim with sea turtles, sea lions and countless tropical fish.     

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 5 - Wednesday
Punta Espinoza (Fernandina Island) // Tagus Cove (Isabela Island)

AM: Fernandina Island is not only the westernmost island, but also the youngest and most pristine island in the Galapagos. Huge fields of lava were created here by the La Cumbre Volcano’s 2005 eruption, which was followed on April 11, 2009, when the volcano flared up again, forming a cloud of ash and steam as hot lava flowed down the slopes of the volcano into the ocean. Nonetheless, an abundance of wildlife calls this island home, including the famous Flightless cormorants, penguins, pelicans, marine iguanas and sea lions. You can also find mangroves on Fernandina Island, in addition to a great diversity of wildlife – such as orcas and whale sharks (which can sometimes be seen while snorkeling and when they surface).

Today we will make a dry landing on Espinoza Point, one of Fernandina Island’s visitor points. It is filled with fascinating scenery, such as cactuses growing on the surface of lava. One gets a sense of how life fought to begin when seeing these plants emerging from crevices in this barren landscape. Within this unique scenery, you will encounter numerous animals – the highlights being sea lions, Galapagos penguins, Flightless cormorants (especially in the spring and summer), and one of the largest iguana colonies in the Galapagos Islands.  In fact, on this small strip of land that constitutes Espinoza Point, you can find literally thousands of marine iguanas, which gather in large groups.

PM: After a dry landing, we will visit Isabela Island’s notorious Tagus Cove, which was historically used as an anchoring place for pirates, buccaneers and whalers.  Still exiting here is some graffiti that is believed to have been left by 19th-century pirates …a curious reminder of an intriguing past. Perched on the ledges of the cliffs around this deep blue bay, you can observe a large number of Blue-footed boobies, as well as marine iguanas, brown pelicans, brown noddy terns, swallow-tailed gulls and tiny Galapagos penguins (members of the only penguin species in the world to extend its range into the northern hemisphere along the equator). A steep trail also passes through an area of dry vegetation and volcanic landscapes with scalesia woods and cactuses.     

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 6 - Thursday
Puerto Egas (Santiago Island) // Rabida 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 make a wet landing onto Puerto Egas’s beach of black volcanic sand, visited by Darwin in 1835 and still maintaining an abundance of marine iguanas. After a short walk of about 2 km along the coast, we will reach the rugged lava coastline of James Bay. The unique, truly striking layered terrain of Santiago’s shores is home to a variety of resident and migrant birds, including the bizarre Yellow-crowned night heron and an astounding array of marine wildlife – including lobsters, starfish and marine iguanas grazing on algae beds alongside Sally Lightfoot Crabs. Colonies of endemic fur seals swimming in cool water pools formed by volcanic rocks are another highlight. 

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 7 - Friday
Bachas Beach (Santa Cruz Island) // Airport Departure (Baltra Island)

AM: We will arrive on the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island, where we will visit the long and sandy Las Bachas Beach, one of the most important nesting beaches for sea turtles. Here you can also find flamingos, Black-winged stilts, sea lions, herons, marine iguanas, and — with a little bit of luck — tiny Galapagos penguins. In addition, this beach is one of the main nesting sites of sea turtles in the Galapagos. A female can lay eggs 3 or 4 times with an average of 70 eggs each, but they then spend 3 to 5 years without breeding. At this paradisiacal site, we will also find the remains of barges that sank long ago; these were once the property of the United States Navy when they operated an airbase on Baltra Island during World War II. In fact, the beach got its name because the English word “barges” was hard to pronounce for the local people – hence “Bachas” Beach. You will also have the opportunity to swim on this soft white sand beach or explore the fascinating underwater by snorkeling.

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

Treasure of Galapagos: Prices

Price per person based upon double occupancy.
Included in the price:
  • Accommodations, as indicated
  • All mentioned meals, filtered water, tea and coffee
  • All guided excursions & activities as mentioned in the itinerary by a National Park certified naturalist guide
  • Beach towels & snorkeling gear (snorkel, mask, flippers / optional wetsuits for rent)
Not included in the price:
  • Round trip flight to the Galapagos Islands
  • Soft and alcoholic drinks
  • Galapagos National Park entrance fee & Transit Control Card (currently $120, subject to change)
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Personal expenses, extras and tipping
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8 UNFORGETTABLE DAYS IN QUITO & THE GALAPAGOS ISLA
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