Itinerary / Map
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||Puerto Baquerizo Moreno Airport
||Charles Darwin Research Station /Baltra
ITINERARY AT A GLANCE:
- Arrival to San Cristobal Airport and transfer to board the yacht La Pinta.
- After lunch, the afternoon features a visit by bus to the Cerro Colorado Tortoise Rearing Center, in the highlands of San Cristobal Island.
- Today’s visits include Punta Pitt, on the easternmost tip of San Cristobal Island, followed by an afternoon visit to Cerro Brujo or Witch Hill, on the north-central coast of San Cristobal.
- A full day is spent exploring two different and amazing locations on the southernmost of all the islands: Hood or Española Island.
- The morning brings us to Punta Suarez, while the afternoon features Gardner Bay.
- An early morning visit is made to the Charles Darwin Station, on Santa Cruz Island, followed by a bus ride across the Highlands of Santa Cruz to the Itabaca Chanel, before proceeding to Baltra Island’s Airport for the return flight to mainland Ecuador.
- All meals
- Island sightseeing
- Snorkeling gear
- Naturalist guides and lecture services in English/Spanish only
- Taxes and transfers in the islands.
- Transfer from main hotels in Quito (Casa Gangotena, Hilton Colon, Swissôtel, Marriott, Dann Carlton) and in Guayaquil (Hilton Colon, Oro Verde, Hampton Inn, Sheraton) to airport for flights to / from Galápagos are included in these rates. To coordinate these transfers we must have guest's hotel contact.
- Air transportation to/from Galapagos
- Galapagos National Park admission fee (US $100 subject to change without notice)
- Transit Control Card for Galapagos (US$ 10 per person)
- Alcoholic and non alcoholic beverage, gratuities, gifts and additional items
- Wet Suits available for rent, NET rate $ 30 + VAT per guest for 8-day expeditions
- Wet Suits available for rent, NET rate $ 15 + VAT per guest for 4 or 5 days expeditions
- Migration Control Card (US $ 10 subject to change without previous notice).
- Internet / Wi-Fi
ITINERARY THREE NIGHTS CRUISE “EASTERN ISLANDS”, (FRIDAY TO MONDAY):
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Itineraries are assigned by the National Park and subject to change without prior notice due to safety or operational reasons; wildlife preservation and seasonal or temporary climatic conditions. The sequence of the daily visits may also vary, for the same reasons. This itinerary is updated as of February of 2013.
This morning we fly by jet aircraft from Quito or Guayaquil to the airport of San Cristobal or Chatham Island, where the administrative capital of the Archipelago is located: Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, situated around a picturesque crescent-shaped bay. A short bus ride will bring us to the town’s tourist pier to board the dinghies which will transfer us to the luxury Yacht La Pinta. A welcome and Introduction briefing will take place, followed by lunch. In the afternoon we land back at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno for a 40-minute bus ride to the highlands of San Cristobal, towards its southern shore. At Cerro Colorado we visit the National Park’s Giant Tortoises Rearing Center, where we can see several individuals of the endangered San Cristobal tortoise species, amidst a fantastic deciduous forest, where we can observe scores of Darwin’s finches, the endemic San Cristobal mockingbird and the equally endemic to the island only, San Cristobal lava lizard. Back on board, the evening program will include the Captain’s Welcome cocktail, the Naturalists’ briefing about the following day’s activities and dinner.
This morning we visit Punta Pitt, located at the easternmost tip of San Cristobal Island and the Archipelago, thus, the closest point between the islands and mainland Ecuador. A wet landing on a dark sandy beach will lead us to a very scenic nature trail to look out for a small colony of red-footed boobies (in season) as well as some Nazca and blue-footed boobies. This is the only place in the Archipelago where we can find all three species of boobies together. A dinghy ride around Pitt Islet will provide views of swallow-tailed gulls and scores of boobies, noddy terns and storm petrels. A small colony of sea lions is also frequently found there. The small and secluded bay and nearby islets also offer good chances to enjoy the marine life and water activities. After lunch on board, this afternoon we visit Cerro Brujo (Witch Hill), on the northern coast of San Cristobal Island for a scenic ride along its old geologic formations and cliffs, dotted with pelicans, brown noddy terns and other sea birds. On land, a sandy beach greets us to start an inland exploration looking for Darwin’s finches, the endemic San Cristobal mockingbird and the equally endemic lava lizard; as well as wading and shore birds along with occasional flamingos on the small brackish lagoons located behind the beach. We can enjoy here excellent opportunities for swimming, snorkeling and other aquatic activities. Briefing and Dinner on board.
Today we spend the entire journey visiting two different locations on the southernmost of all the islands: Hood or Española Island. In the morning, the turn is for Punta Suarez, on the westernmost tip of the island for one of the most remarkable nature walks in Galapagos. The rocky lava trail will show us scores of sea lions and the marine iguanas, endemic to this island. Next will be large colonies of nesting blue-footed boobies and Nazca boobies; swallow-tailed gulls and some species of Darwin’s finches, the endemic mockingbirds and yellow warblers. The highlight of the visit is found at the end of the trail where we find the only nesting colony in the world of the awesome Galapagos Waved Albatross (May to December only). The courtship dance of these large sea-birds is truly spectacular. A natural crack in the lava rocks by the cliffs’ side creates a roaring blow-hole, permanently spouting sea water and foam into the air, adding drama to the already fabulous landscape and wildlife. The afternoon is dedicated to Gardner Bay, a very long and sparkling white coralline beach with colonies of sea lions and also a good place to observe the endemic mockingbird and lava lizard, unique to this particular island. Gardner Bay’s highlight is the beach and the host of aquatic activities which can be provided here: superb deep water snorkeling; kayak outings; swimming from the beach or taking scenic dinghy rides along rugged coastlines or small islets, teeming with bird life, sea lions and marine iguanas. The fish life and underwater creatures are among the best in the Archipelago. Evening will include a departure briefing and dinner on board.
Today we make an early visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station, located in Puerto Ayora, on the southern tip of Santa Cruz Island, the second largest of the Archipelago. Here we will see several species of the famous giant tortoises from diverse islands. This was the home to the recently deceased celebrity tortoise, Lonesome George, the last individual from his species. We will also learn about the conservation efforts and scientific programs which are conducted by the National Park Service and the Charles Darwin Foundation and its Research Station. A very short stroll along the main street of the bustling and picturesque town of Puerto Ayora will be the prelude to a 45-minute bus ride across Santa Cruz Island, through its lush Highlands and a very brief stop at Los Gemelos geological formation (if time allows), before reaching the Itabaca Chanel which we cross by barge to reach Baltra Island. A ten minute bus ride finally brings us into Baltra Island’s Airport for the return flight to mainland Ecuador.
DEPARTING DATES AND OPERATIONAL MONTHS:
Operates All Year. Departures: Fridays, every two weeks.
The Upper Deck features 20 Double, 16 square meters (175 square feet), Outside Ocean view Staterooms with double or twin-beds and 4 Triple, 22 square meters (236 square feet), Outside Ocean view Staterooms with double beds and a sofa bed.
MINIMUM AGE: Seven years
Important Facts, special requirements, restrictions
A maximum of 20 Kilos (44 pounds) of luggage (one suitcase) can be checked on flights to or from the Islands. One carry-on, permitted size plus camera cases or binoculars can be brought on board the aircraft cabin. It is forbidden to carry to Galapagos fruits, seeds, plants, animals or any kind of organisms, alien to the islands. Luggage is screened and may be searched before check-in. No natural elements (i.e. shells, pieces of rock, coral, feathers nor any live animals or plants) may be removed from the islands. Luggage may also be screened and/or searched before departure back from the islands and the conservation Laws and regulations penalize severely these infractions.
In spite of the fact that the Galapagos are located on the Equator, the tropical heat is tempered by cooler Oceanic currents. There are two distinct seasons in the islands: From December to June is the warm and rainy season. Average day temperatures are in the 80s F (around 28-32 Celsius). There may be occasional rain showers but the days are generally hot and sunny, with pleasant water temperatures. Whilst, from June to late November is the cool and dry season. Cold winds bring in occasional drizzle, locally called “garua”. Average temperatures during this period are in the 70s F (some 20-24 Celsius), and even lower at night or very early morning. Water temperature is also much colder and wet suits are necessary for swimming, snorkeling or diving activities.
NATIONAL PARK REGULATIONS:
The Galapagos Islands are a National Park under strict regulations for their preservation. The Park’s authorities will provide visitors with a small “Rules for Visitors” booklet which details the applicable rules. These are detailed by the Naturalist guides during the introductory briefing and enforced throughout the voyage. IMPORTANT NOTICE: Itineraries are assigned by the National Park and subject to change without prior notice due to safety or operational reasons; wildlife preservations and seasonal or temporary climatic conditions.
Most on-shore visits involve walking along marked trails, which on many places may have rocky boulders and irregular terrain. Some of these walks can be found a bit challenging for persons who are not fit or used to such outdoor kind of environs. There are no facilities yet available for persons with disabilities or physical limitations. Landings can be onto small cement or rocky jetties, directly onto sometimes slippery lava rocks (both are known as “dry-landing” types) or else you land directly from the dinghies onto a sandy beach with normally ankle-deep water and wade ashore on a typical “wet landing”. Guides and crew are always ready to assist guests, but there are liability limitations due to the particular natural surroundings where the expedition takes place.
MEDICINES, ALLERGIES, DIETARY OR FOOD RESTRICTIONS OR REQUIREMENTS:
Please make sure to inform in advance of any medical conditions that the staff should be aware of and bring with you sufficient medicines and their prescription. It will also help to have advanced notice of any allergies or particular dietary restrictions or requirements in order to accommodate, within the possibilities and availabilities of the expedition’s location. Concerning Medicines, these must be with you at all times, on your day-packs or carry-on baggage, especially on arrival and departure days, since your checked suitcases are handled separately on both directions and you do not have access to them until you arrive to the ship or at the destination airport upon return. The vessel has a permanent on-board resident medical doctor.
WHAT TO BRING:
Cruise attire ranges from informal to very informal. Essential elements to bring are good walking shoes like sneakers with firm soles; shorts for the day outings; long and short-sleeved lightweight shirts, long pants for the evenings; a cap or wide-brimmed hat; bathing suits and a light sweater and/or windbreaker for the evenings, especially in the cooler months (see above for climate). A highly recommended item is sunscreen and maximum solar protection, particularly for sensitive skins, against the strong Equatorial sun. Sunglasses and plenty of film are also necessary.
Fully air conditioned throughout its cabins and indoor public areas; with a length of 63 meters (207 feet), 1541 tons of Gross Register and carrying a crew of 24, plus 4 Naturalist Guides, the luxury Yacht La Pinta is the ultimate word in Expedition Vessels to explore and discover the uniqueness of the Galapagos Islands, for those who look for exclusive travelling, well matched by an informal yet classy atmosphere.
The cabins are comfortable, elegantly appointed, well equipped and include private bathrooms, in-room safe deposit boxes, telephone with direct international dialing, multi-channel sound system for closed circuit music, connection for personal iPods, MP3, MP4; life jackets and ample closet and storage spaces.
The Yacht’s three decks host the elegant, window-lined Dining Room; a Boat Deck which features a large Observation Lounge and Bar, used also, when weather allows, for “al fresco” dining; a smaller outdoor Sky Bar; Observation decks for whale and dolphin watching; Lounge chairs; a well-stocked Natural History Library-Conference Room with the latest in audio visual equipment, as well as a Jacuzzi and a small yet well-equipped Gym. The Reception area includes a small souvenir shop. Satellite Internet connection and wireless Internet at three designated areas, along with an advanced technology Infirmary complement the Yacht’s facilities. All the facilities and amenities of a large cruise ship are nicely packed on this luxurious, 48-passenger expedition vessel.
Service is second to none in the Galapagos, with a professional crew and staff who combine top quality skills on each of their areas, together with a friendly and hospitable attitude, where cheerfulness goes hand in hand with efficiency. Courtesy and warm smiles make the guests genuinely feel at home, while enjoying top class services and an unparalleled exploration in the natural wonderland of the Galapagos Archipelago. The cuisine on board is one of the most celebrated service features and, from the sumptuous buffets and superbly prepared and beautifully presented national and international dishes, to the simplest of salads, snacks and canapés, the Yacht’s Chefs will delight your palate.
The days are packed with activities and exciting outings to explore and discover the magic world of the Galapagos. Walks along nature trails for fauna, flora and geological observations are led by multilingual Naturalist Guides. They will also take you on boat rides around islets and amazing coastlines, filled with unique wildlife. Time is provided on most locations to enjoy aquatic activities such as swimming and snorkeling. The Yacht also offers a glass-bottom boat and sea kayaks. Snorkeling equipment including masks, fins, snorkels, flotation vests and even shortie wet suits (for use in the cooler water-temperature months) are provided to the guests at no extra charge. La Pinta’s expedition equipment features a unique communications system between naturalists and guests, via wireless receiver and earphones. The Expedition team is formed by four highly trained Naturalists who will fascinate the guests with their natural history talks, multimedia presentations or even treat you to an unforgettable open-air star-gazing session to enjoy the fantastic Equatorial skies, filled with millions of amazing constellations and stars. The Staff embraces a contagious spirit of adventure while ensuring at all times, the guests safety and comfort.
For those a bit short of time, this is a good introduction to the Galapagos Islands, focused mainly on the eastern part of the Archipelago. It includes highlights such as Punta Suarez and Gardner Bay on Hood or Española Island, along with three uniquely different sites on San Cristobal Island and a brief crossing of Santa Cruz Island and its main attraction, the Charles Darwin Station. The nature walks, together with the varied aquatic activities will allow you to admire many of the land and underwater wonders of the Archipelago. A short-length expedition yet full of thrilling adventures and discovery will leave you with a feeling of wanting to return to see the rest. The tour, together with the Yacht’s comfort, facilities and charming atmosphere, are ideal for nature-loving individuals, couples, families or groups who want to get a good feeling of the islands in a few-days’ time.
View Tour 2012 - 3 night Galapagos Expedition (Friday/Monday) Eastern Islands in a larger map
Yacht La Pinta
Luxury, pleasure & comfort. Yacht La Pinta, is the ultimate luxurious expedition adventure in the Galapagos Islands. The 63-meter (207-foot) yacht accommodates 48 guests.
A full week discovery trip to the Galapagos Islands aboard La Pinta allows encounters with unique fauna, like the famous giant Galapagos tortoises, land and marine iguanas, flamingos, penguins, blue-footed boobies and the unique Darwin’s finches. For intense days of wildlife exploration, yacht La Pinta provides a haven of relaxation and tranquility with tastefully appointed accommodations and all the facilities for a stylish yet informal ambiance.
Guests will also enjoy the Galapagos Marine Reserve – the second largest in the world – including swimming and snorkeling outings as well as whale and dolphin watching during inter-island cruising.
La Pinta guests will experience all aspects of a voyage to Galapagos: discovery, adventure, environmental interpretation, aquatic activities, relaxation, superb service and great dining. Naturalist Guides enhance their interpretative skills with the use of state-of-the-art-expedition equipment. Our staff embraces a spirit of adventure, while at the same time ensures that you always travel in comfort and safety.
- Owner: ETICA / Metropolitan Touring
- Reconstructed and refitted in Callao, Peru in 2007
- Type of Vessel: Motor Yacht
- Engines: 2 DEUTZ model SBA 8M 1275 HP
- Length: 63 meters (207 feet)
- Beam: 12 meters (39.37 feet)
- Gross Tonnage: 1541
- Speed: 12 knots
- Electricity: 110-220 Volts 50Hz
- Navigation Equipment: Gyrocompass, Automatic Pilot, radar, and GPS
- Safety Certificates: (SOLAS, STCW, MARPOL, ISM COD 12)
- Fire Detector: Automatic with control from the bridge
- Life Jackets: In each cabin
- Inflatable life raft 2 x 50 persons and 6 x 50 persons
- Landing Craft: 3 Pumar inflatable landing craft + glass bottom boat
- Capacity: 48 guests
- Cabins: 24 outside cabins, in the same deck with twin or queen-size beds.
- Double Cabin size: 16 square meters (175 square feet).
- Triple Cabin size: 22 square meters (236 square feet) with sofa bed.
- Decks: (Sun deck, Cabin deck, Main deck) Three public decks include an ample bar-salon, dining room, natural history library, sky bar and sundeck.
- Wellness: Jacuzzi, Gym
- Crew: 24
- Naturalists: 4
- Medical Officer: Permanently on board
- Central air conditioning with individual controls in each cabin.
- In-room safe deposit box
- Telephone with direct international dialing
- Closet and luggage storage space
- Multi-channel sound system for closed circuit music and connection for personal iPods, MP3, MP4
- Conference room with latest A/V equipment
- Satellite Internet connection (three stations) and wireless in designated areas: Bar Lounge, Natural Histoy Library and Solarium (at additional cost)
- Daily briefings and natural history lectures
- Stargazing programs and equipment
- Communication between naturalists and guests via wireless receiver and earphone
- Snorkeling equipment: masks, snorkels, flotation vests.
- Shortie wet suits (used between June and December)
- Glass-bottom boat
- Sea Kayaks
- Gym with last generation cardio-vascular equipment
- Jacuzzi, whirlpool & Hydro massage
- A Medical Doctor is permanently on board
- Infirmary with advanced technology
Spacious public areas in the Boat Deck include a large Observation Lounge and Bar, which can be used for ‘al fresco’ dining; a smaller outside Sky Bar towards the stern, fore and aft observation decks, sun chairs, a small gym, Jacuzzi and a well-stocked Natural History Library-Conference Room with the most up to date audio visual equipment.
The Upper Deck occupies the middle of the vessel, with 24 comfortable staterooms, 20 double cabins and 4 triple cabins, all double or twin-bedded, with ocean view, private facilities, personal safe, individually controlled AC, fine linens and duvets and the added touches of a luxurious contemporary decoration.
At the Main Deck are a window-lined Dining Room, with open seating and no formal dress requirements; the Reception Area, Boutique and Doctor’s Office. The Galley and crew quarters are also located in the Main Deck.