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WildAid Passion Yacht - 7 Nights Itinerary B

Tiny endemic penguins, giant Galapagos tortoises, playful seals and Blue-footed boobies are just some of the fascinating wildlife that you will be treated to on this wonderful 8-day Galapagos cruise through western, central and southern islands and islets of the archipelago. Sailing on board the 12-passenger Passion motor yacht, your adventure will take you to explore the very best on land and in the water, as experienced guides and knowledgeable naturalists will keep you informed every step of the way. Visiting points as diverse as the “Devil’s Crown,” Buccaneer Cove and a breeding center for GIANT Galapagos tortoises, your appreciation of the wonders of the world will be transformed on this amazing Galapagos Islands tour.

Testimonials

“The Samba cruise anyway was great, good boat, good food, amazing guide and friendly staff.”Federica Novellini

WildAid Passion Yacht: Highlights

Galapagos Islands, Floreana (Devil´s Crown), Isabela, Fernandina, North Seymour Islands & Charles Darwin Station.

WildAid Passion Yacht: Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Baltra Island: Airport – Board the M/V Passion // Santa Cruz Island: Charles Darwin Research Station
Day 2: Floreana Island: Cormorant Point – Devil’s Crown – Post Office Bay
Day 3: Floreana Island: Black Beach - Asilo de la Paz // Sailing: Dolphin and Whale-Watching
Day 4: Isabela Island: Punta Moreno – Urbina Bay
Day 5: Isabela Island: Tagus Cove // Fernandina Island: Espinoza Point
Day 6: Isabela Island: Puerto Egas – Bucaneer Cove – Espumilla Beach
Day 7: Santiago Island: Sullivan Bay // North Seymour Island
Day 8: Mosquera Island // Baltra Island: Airport
Galapagos Map
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WildAid Passion Yacht: Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Saturday
Baltra Island: Airport – Board the M/V Passion // 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 yacht: the M/V Passion.

PM: This morning 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 - Sunday
Floreana Island: Cormorant Point – Devil’s Crown – Post Office Bay

AM: Today we will visit Floreana Island, considered to be 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’s excursion is to 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. In the afternoon, you will be able to take advantage of the great snorkeling opportunities at “Devil’s Crown” (Corona del Diablo), a broken volcanic cone that 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.

PM: Later 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.   

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3 - Monday
Floreana Island: Black Beach - Asilo de la Paz // Sailing: Dolphin and Whale-Watching

AM: Today, still on Floreana Island, we will visit Black Beach, which has dark lava rocks and black sand. This famous and beautiful Galapagos beach stands out for its surprising colony of seals, though amazing sea turtles also come here to lay their eggs.  You will have the opportunity to go snorkeling. The beach is also a popular spot for fishing enthusiasts.

Next we will visit the Asilo de la Paz (“The Haven of Peace”), which is hillside and the cave where the pioneering Wittmer family first settled. In fact, the first person born in the Galapagos Islands was Rolf Wittmer. Your guide will tell you more all about this family and the island’s history of tragedies, colonization and fascinating events. From there, we will visit a fresh-water source and a deserted pirate cave. You will also be able to enjoy the fantastic view of the island from this 450-meter-high hill.   

PM: After our beach visit, we will have the best opportunity for a not-so-common yet well-loved activity in the archipelago: a full afternoon of sailing in search of whales and dolphins. The waters of the Galapagos form the second largest marine reserve in the world, as they are rich in aquatic life. The largest representatives of the underwater species here are the various species of whales and dolphins. We will navigate from Floreana to Isabela Island while seeking these fascinating creatures – which are commonly sighted in this area.   

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

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 the 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.

We will start the morning with a visit to 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: This afternoon, we will head to 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
Isabela Island: Tagus Cove // Fernandina Island: Espinoza Point

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: 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 call 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).

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 6 - Thursday
Isabela Island: Puerto Egas – Bucaneer Cove – Espumilla Beach

AM: This morning we will make a wet landing onto Santiago’s Puerto Egas beach. Its black volcanic sand was 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 Light-foot Crabs. Colonies of endemic fur seals swimming in cool water pools formed by volcanic rocks are another highlight. 

PM: 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 sea-bird nest. In the cliffs, you can try to find two rock formations that look like a monkey and an elephant. Later in the afternoon 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.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 7 - Friday
Santiago Island: Sullivan Bay // North Seymour Island

AM: Today we will 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.

PM: After a dry landing onto 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 - Saturday
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

WildAid Passion Yacht: Prices

2018 - Price per person
Days
Darwin PackageNormal Package
StateroomVIP / Master SuiteStateroomVIP / Master Suite
8US$ 7,210US$ 8,080US$ 6,580US$ 7,450
Included in the price:
  • Package Normal

    • One night at Casa Gangotena with breakfast
    • Daily programmed visits to the islands
    • Certified naturalist guide
    • Snorkel gear (mask, snorkel and fins)
    • Wetsuits
    • Kayaks
    • All meals on board
    • Coffee, tea and natural juices

    Package Darwin

    • Two night at Casa Gangotena with breakfast (Hotel nights can be taken before or after the cruise.)
    • Daily programmed visits to the islands
    • Certified naturalist guide
    • Snorkel gear (mask, snorkel and fins)
    • Wetsuits
    • Kayaks
    • All meals on board
    • Coffee, tea and natural juices
    • National Park Entrance fee
    • Transit Control Card
Not included in the price:

Package Normal

  • Air ticket to/from Galapagos
  • National Park Entrance fee
  • Transit Control Card
  • Personal Expenses and tips
  • Alcoholic and bottled beverages

Package Darwin

  • Air ticket to/from Galapagos
  • Personal Expenses and tips
  • Alcoholic and bottled beverages
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