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Endemic Catamaran - 7 Nights Itinerary B

For eight days, you can sail the eastern, central, and southern islands of the Galapagos archipelago on this once-in-a-lifetime cruise aboard the luxury Galapagos Endemic catamaran.  Sailing onboard the 16-passenger Endemic, this luxury cruise will introduce you to the islands of San Cristobal, Espanola, Santa Fe, South Plaza, Bartolome, and Floreana, where you will be led by naturalist guides on daily land excursions for you to discover the fascinating wildlife for which this archipelago is famed.

Testimonials

“A note to thank you immensely for all your guidance & assistance in planning & completing our South American tour, including Quito, Galapagos, Santiago & Rapa Nui. It truly was an adventure & a fitting celebration of our 60th wedding anniversary”Larry and Pam Schaffer

Endemic Catamaran: Highlights

Galapagos, Santa Cruz Island, San Cristobal Island, Kicker Rock, Espanola Island, Santa Fe Island, South Plaza Island, Bartolome Island, Floreana Island, North Seymour Island

Endemic Catamaran: Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Arrival at Baltra Island Airport – Dragon Hill (Santa Cruz Island)
Day 2: Kicker Rock – Cerro Brujo (San Cristobal Island) // Lobos Island
Day 3: Gardner Bay – Osborn and Gardner Islets – Suarez Point (Espanola Island)
Day 4: Santa Fe Island // Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Center (Santa Cruz Island)
Day 5: South Plaza Island – Bartolome Island
Day 6: Devil’s Crown – Cormorant Point – Baroness’ Lookout Point – Post Office Bay (Floreana Island)
Day 7: Chinese Hat Island – North Seymour Island
Day 8: Black Turtle Cove (Santa Cruz Island) // Baltra Island Airport
Galapagos Map

Endemic Catamaran: Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Sunday
Arrival at Baltra Island Airport – Dragon Hill (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 Galapagos Endemic catamaran.

PM: This afternoon, we will explore the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island to visit 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 - Monday
Kicker Rock – Cerro Brujo (San Cristobal Island) // Lobos Island

AM: This morning, 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 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.

Afterwards, 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 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, 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.

PM:  This afternoon, we will visit Lobos Island, located across from San Cristobal Island. This is a seasonal nesting spot for Blue-footed boobies and Frigatebirds. You also can enjoy swimming and snorkeling with sea lions in the island’s calm bay.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3 - Tuesday
Gardner Bay – Osborn and Gardner Islets – Suarez Point (Espanola Island)

AM: Today, we will sail to Española Island, 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. Located on Española Island’s eastern shore, Gardner Bay is noted for its turquoise-colored waters and its magnificent beach, which we will visit this afternoon. Around the bay’s small Gardner islet, 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.

PM:  Later this afternoon, 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.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4 - Wednesday
Santa Fe Island // Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Center (Santa Cruz 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: Sailing to nearby Santa Cruz Island, we will visit one of the most visited spots in the islands: The Charles Darwin Research Station, which 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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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 5 - Thursday
South Plaza Island – Bartolome Island

AM: This morning 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.

PM: Upon arriving on Bartolome Island, you will discover a fascinating moonscape formed by various volcanic formations — including lava bombs, spatter, cinder cones — as we hike to the island’s summit for striking views of the surrounding islands, Sullivan Bay and the towering Pinnacle Rock. As the beaches at the foot of the Pinnacle Rock boast some of the finest snorkeling in the islands, you can discover a marvelous underwater world here and have a good chance of finding sea turtles gliding gently alongside you. On the rocks beneath Pinnacle Rock, it’s quite possible to spot some of the quick-as-an-arrow Galapagos penguins; at around 25 centimeters tall, these are members of the second smallest species of penguin in the world.  Likewise, you’re likely to see harmless Whitetip reef sharks sunning in these waters. For many visitors, this may turn out to be the best of snorkeling experiences, as the water here is generally clear, without too much surf and full of marine life.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 6 - Friday
Devil’s Crown – Cormorant Point – Baroness’ Lookout Point – Post Office Bay (Floreana Island)

AM: This morning we will visit Floreana Island, considered 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 Jose Flores, Ecuador’s first president. This morning we will sail to “Devil’s Crown” (Corona del Diablo), just off Floreana Island. Here, you will be able to take advantage of the great snorkeling opportunities around this broken volcanic cone, as it 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. Our destination on Floreana is 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.

PM: Later, we will visit the Baroness’ Lookout Point, where the controversial “Baroness” Eloisa de Wagner – one of the first human inhabitants of the Galapagos Islands – would spend several hours daily observing whales and dolphins. Afterwards, 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. In the late afternoon, 

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 7 - Saturday
Chinese Hat Island – North Seymour 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: 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.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 8 - Sunday
Black Turtle Cove (Santa Cruz Island) // Baltra Island Airport

AM This morning 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

Endemic Catamaran: Prices

2018 - Price per person
RoomGolden Suites (Panoramic Suites)
8 DaysUS$ 7,090
Included in the price:
  • All shore excursions
  • All meals throughout cruise
  • All soft drinks and juices Champagne reception
  • Complimentary fruit basket
  • Top Galapagos National Park Guides
  • Use of snorkeling gear and wetsuits
Not included in the price:
  • $100 Galapagos National Park entrance fee
  • $20 Transit Control Card
  • Roundtrip airfare to/from the Galapagos Islands
  • Tips for the crew
  • Alcoholic beverages 
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