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Petrel Catamaran - 5 Nights Itinerary A

The 16-passeng Petrel Luxury Galapagos Catamaran offers a luxury-class way to visit this magical archipelago. You can, for example, enjoy dining in the ship’s elegant restaurant or al fresco on the deck while taking in the views over the islands. And later you can order a cocktail at the bar in time for sunset. The Petrel also has excellent naturalist land-tour guides who are knowledgeable about the archipelago’s biology and ecology. All of this you will find on this 6-day/5-night Galapagos Islands cruise, which offers wildlife lovers and natural history enthusiasts an incredible opportunity to experience the world as it once was. Following this “Isabela & Fernandina Islands Itinerary,” 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 booked our Galapagos/Peru trip through Surtrek and are very glad that we did.”A. Arima

Petrel Catamaran: Highlights

Galapagos Islands, North Seymour, Isabela (Tagus Cove), Fernandina Islands and Charles Darwin Station.

Petrel Catamaran: Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Baltra Island // North Seymour Island
Day 2: Isabela Island: Punta Vicente Roca // Fernandina Island: Espinoza Point
Day 3: Isabela Island: Tagus Cove – Urbina Bay
Day 4: Isabela Island: Elizabeth Bay – Moreno Point
Day 5: Isabela Island: Sierra Negra Volcano – The Wetlands – Tortoise Breeding Center
Day 6: Santa Cruz Island: Charles Darwin Research Station // Baltra Island: Airport
Galapagos Map

Petrel Catamaran: Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Friday
Baltra Island // North Seymour 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 your ship's crew will then welcome you and accompany you to your catamaran: the Petrel.

PM: After lunch, we will make 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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Lunch - Dinner
Day 2 - Saturday
Isabela Island: Punta Vicente Roca // Fernandina Island: Espinoza Point

AM: Located at the “mouth” of the head of the seahorse that forms the northern part of Isabela Island is Punta Vicente Roca, an interesting rock formation. Here, the remnants of an ancient volcano form two turquoise coves, with a bay that’s well-protected from the ocean swells. With a bit of luck, you can see Galapagos penguins, while Masked- and Blue-footed boobies, as well as pelicans, sit perched along the point and its sheer cliffs, while flightless cormorants inhabit the shoreline. The upwelling of currents of cool water in this part of the Galapagos gives rise to an abundance of marine life, which makes Punta Vicente Roca a great area for deep-water snorkeling.

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 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).  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 3 - Sunday
Isabela Island: Tagus Cove – Urbina Bay

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: 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 4 - Monday
Isabela Island: Elizabeth Bay – Moreno Point

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: In the afternoon we will explore 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. 

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 5 - Tuesday
Isabela Island: Sierra Negra Volcano – The Wetlands – Tortoise Breeding Center

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 Volcan Chico, a volcano that is about 90 minutes away on foot and known for its moon-like volcanic lava landscape.

PM: After lunch, we will visit the Arnaldo Tupiza Tortoise Breeding Center, which is home to about 330 of these creatures. As the center is located only about a mile (1.5 km) from Puerto Villamil, you can either walk or drive to it. There, you can find a number of tortoise species that have been reproduced in captivity, with a few of them being in danger of extinction. In addition to tortoises, there are also beautiful gardens in which you can stroll around. These hold native plants such as manzanillo, mesquite, prickly pears and Palo Santos. Since there are wasps in the area, make sure you don’t wear bright-colored clothes, as these attract those insects.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 6 - Wednesday
Santa Cruz Island: Charles Darwin Research Station // Baltra Island: Airport

AM: 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- 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. 

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

Petrel Catamaran: Prices

2018 - Price per person
RoomStateroomsSuite
6 DaysUS$ 5,245US$ 5,670
Included in the price:
  • All shore excursions
  • All meals throughout the cruise
  • Soft drinks and juices
  • Welcome courtesy and reception
  • Galapagos National Park certified Guide
  • Use of snorkeling gear and wetsuits
  • Kayaks
Not included in the price:
  • Flights to/from the Ecuadorian mainland and the Galapagos Island (Quito–Galapagos–Quito flights cost approx. $569 per person)
  • entrance fee to Galapagos National Park ($ 100 per person)
  • migration card ($20 per person)
  • alcoholic beverages
  • tips
  • personal items
  • travel and medical insurance.
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