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Endemic Catamaran - 7 Nights Itinerary A

For eight days, you can sail the western, central, and northern 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 Fernandina, Genovesa, Isabela, Rabida, Santa Cruz and Santiago, 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

“I found Surtrek online as it proved to be an excellent, efficient company. Our 4 days in the Galapagos were expertly planned and we were never left without a guide - we were even walked to dinner each night and assisted with ordering!”Marian Lowenfish

Endemic Catamaran: Highlights

Galapagos Island, Santa Cruz Island, Genovesa Island, Santiago Island, Isabela Island, Fernandina Island, Rabida Island

Endemic Catamaran: Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Arrival at Baltra Island Airport – Dragon Hill (Santa Cruz Island)
Day 2: Darwin Bay – El Barranco – Prince Philip’s Steps (Genovesa Island)
Day 3: “The Twins” – Santiago Island – Sullivan Bay (Santiago Island)
Day 4: Sierra Negra Volcano – Las Humedales Wetlands – The Wall of Tears (Isabela Island) – Centro de Crianza Giant Tortoise Breeding Station (Isabela Island)
Day 5: Elizabeth Bay – Urbina Bay
Day 6: Tagus Cove – Espinoza Point (Fernandina Island)
Day 7: Espumilla Beach – Buccaneer Cove (Santiago Island) – Rabida 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: In the 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
Darwin Bay – El Barranco – Prince Philip’s Steps (Genovesa Island)

AM: Our destination for today is Genovesa Island, considered one of the wildest and most pristine islands in Galapagos National Park. Known as “Bird Island,” Genovesa is the only place where you can see Red-footed boobies. After a wet landing in Genovesa Island’s Darwin Bay, we will walk along a short path that leads to the nesting sites of booby and frigatebird colonies. On the beach, you can observe the interesting spectacle of how frigate birds try to rob the prey of different species of boobies.

PM: This afternoon we are off to the El Barranco cliffs. Located on Genovesa Island, along the southern part of Darwin Bay, a one-mile (1.5 km) trail stretches out over volcanic rock that leads to this cliff (this hike takes about two hours to cover). The second half of the trail is very delicate, so please stay on the path. It can get very hot so make sure to bring water. Because of the natural erosion, this is the ideal place for the nesting of Storm petrels. Two other species of petrels that can be seen here are the Galapagos petrel and the Wooden petrel. Red-footed boobies and Nazca boobies can be seen here as well as fur seals and several species of seabirds. In the afternoon, we will go ashore at a crater wall where Prince Phillip’s Steps are located.  These stairs were carved in the stone wall and lead up to a wide plateau where you will find nesting places of Great frigatebirds, Red-billed tropicbirds, Bahama ducks, Lava seagulls and Fork-tailed seagulls. During this easy stroll, we will cut through a small scalesia forest where you might observe short-eared owls.  With a little bit of luck, you will also be able to observe the unique courtship rituals carried out by the various booby species (Red- and Blue-footed as well as Masked boobies). It truly is a show.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3 - Tuesday
“The Twins” – Santiago Island – Sullivan Bay (Santiago Island)

AM: In the morning, we will go to the Santa Cruz Highlands and see the twin “Los Gemelos” craters, which will be explained by your naturalist guide. These craters are surrounded by scalesia forest, where also live Ruby tyrants and small and large Tree finches.

PM: In the afternoon, 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 then head to Sullivan Bay, located on the eastern coast of Santiago Island. Its lava field, covered with lava cactuses, has a variety of interesting patterns of important geologic interest, as you will be able to observe the contrasting lava landscapes from an older eruption and a newer one formed during the last quarter of the 19th century.  After exploring these lava flows, you can swim or snorkel with playful sea lions.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4 - Wednesday
Sierra Negra Volcano – Las Humedales Wetlands – The Wall of Tears (Isabela Island) – Centro de Crianza Giant Tortoise Breeding Station (Isabela Island)

AM: Today we will drive to the highlands of Isabela Island and start hiking up to the edge of the Sierra Negra Volcano’s crater. The volcano — reaching a height of around 1,500 meters and having an outer diameter of approximately nine kilometers (over 5 miles) — is the second largest caldera in the world. We will hike along the cone to a resting place in the northeast.  From the Sierra Negra Volcano, you will be able to see the Chico Volcano, which is about 90 minutes away on foot and known for its moon-like volcanic lava landscape. Afterwards, we will visit Los Humedales wetlands on 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. Later, we will drive to the “Wall of Tears,” one of the most touching human-built monuments in the Galapagos. This huge stone mound (8 meters high and around 200 meters long) was built in the 1940s and ‘50s by prisoners of a penal colony that operated here from 1946 to 1959.

PM: After lunch, we will hike through the wetlands of the island to a Centro de Crianza Giant Tortoise Breeding Station. On the way, we will pass brackish water lagoons where flamingos can sometimes be seen. At the breeding station, you can get up “close and personal” to some of the giant tortoise species from Isabela Island.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 5 - Thursday
Elizabeth Bay – Urbina Bay

AM: Today we will head to the mangrove area of Elizabeth Bay, on Isabela Island, and visit the small islands offshore. You are likely to see dwarf penguins as well as schools of manta rays, turtles and other giants of the ocean – possibly even surfacing whale sharks. The mangrove woods are also home to various species of seabirds and herons.

PM: After lunch, we will make a wet landing at Urbina Bay.  Coral reefs are visible here because 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 6 - Friday
Tagus Cove – Espinoza Point (Fernandina Island)

AM: 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.

PM: This afternoon, 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.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 7 - Saturday
Espumilla Beach – Buccaneer Cove (Santiago Island) – Rabida Island

AM: This morning, we will visit Santiago Island’s Espumilla Beach, where marine iguanas relax and sea turtles nest. While snorkeling, you might come upon octopuses, morays and many types of tropical fish. There is also a Palo Santo forest close to this beach. From there we will go to Buccaneer Cove, which in the 18th and 19th centuries was a shelter for pirates, whalers, and sailors. The bay is surrounded by high tuff cliffs where many seabirds nest. In the cliffs, you can try to find two rock formations that look like a monkey and an elephant.

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 8 - Sunday
Black Turtle Cove (Santa Cruz Island) – 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

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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