Itinerary / Map
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Baltra Airport/Twin Craters
Charles Darwin Research Station
- Accommodations, all meals, island sightseeing, naturalist guides and lecture services in English/Spanish only, snorkeling gear, 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.
- Wet Suits available for rent, NET rate $ 15 + VAT per guest for 5-day expeditions
- Wet Suits available for rent, NET rate $ 30 + VAT per guest for 7-day expeditions
- Air transportation to / from Galápagos please see rates below.
- Galápagos National Park entrance fee (US$ 100 subject to change without previous notice).
- Migration Control Card (US $ 10 subject to change without previous notice).
- Alcoholic and non alcoholic beverage, gratuities, gifts and additional items.
- Internet / Wi-Fi
Los Gemelos – Twin Craters (Santa Cruz Island)
Arrival at Baltra Airport and transfer to the Itabaca Channel to take a ferry across to Santa Cruz Island. A 30-minute bus ride to the impressive site known as Los Gemelos (The Twins). These are a series of geological sink holes. Be impressed by the Scalesia forest, consisting of endemic daisies that took the niche of trees, growing to spectacular sizes, and now home to several species of endemic birds, such as the rare woodpecker finch, one of the world´s few tool-using species. We visit the nearby Tortoise reserve, where most of the year we see the giant tortoises in the wild. Lunch at a local restaurant, and then continue to Puerto Ayora.
Puerto Ayora and the Charles Darwin Research Station
Afternoon visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise pens within an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest home to many land birds. These are the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. Late afternoon stroll along the main street of Puerto Ayora before embarking on Yacht Isabela II. Expedition plan for Tuesday, Captain’s welcome cocktail and dinner.
Santa Fe Island
After breakfast, a wet landing on a sandy white beach with many sea lion harems. Bulls vie for the right of “Beach Master”, while smaller males masquerading as females make stealthy mating moves. Galápagos hawks are often easily observed, perched atop salt bushes. The giant prickly pear cactus found here live up to their name with tree-sized trunks! The endemic land iguana, unique to this island, may be spotted during the afternoon walk. Snorkelling, kayaking and/or swimming from the beach rounds off the rewarding experience. Lunch on board.
South Plaza Island
Disembark (dry landing) in the channel between North and South Plaza Islands, where the island tilts toward the water, the approach makes for a lavishly colourful sight! The turquoise waters of the channel contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline. The rocks have grown thick with green seaweed in places, speckled with bright orange ‘Sally Lightfoot’ crabs. Further up the shore a carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents serves as groundcover for a grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cactus. Yellow-grey land iguanas sit beneath these, waiting patiently for pears to drop. Along the coastline one finds sea lion colonies, while frigates, swallow-tailed gulls and shearwaters glide playing with the thermals that form along the cliffs of this small but amazing island. Wednesday’s expedition plan and dinner.
North Seymour Island
The morning starts with a dry landing for a view of the coast and the interior of North Seymour Island, one of the few uplifted islands in the Galápagos Archipelago. The trail leads guests to explore colonies of blue footed boobies, magnificent frigate birds, and swallowtail gulls. The sandy shore teems with Galápagos sea lions and marine iguanas. Vegetation is made up of cacti, palo santo (torchwood) trees and salt bushes. Advanced snorkelling near the cliffs is possible after the walk. Lunch on board.
Las Bachas (Santa Cruz Island)
After WWII, US military barges were beached and abandoned here. Locals referred to the beach as the barges beach, a name that morphed to “bachas”. Today it is an important nesting area for the east Pacific green sea turtle. Located on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, it is a glorious white beach, with several brackish lagoons only a few steps away from the sea. These lagoons are the feeding grounds of various wading birds, from stilts to flamingos. Swimming and/or snorkelling from the beach. Thursday’s expedition plan and dinner
Disembark at Bartolomé Island (dry landing) for a hike to the summit. A great way to start the day! This is a steep climb up a wooden staircase with handrails and several resting and observation stops; the view from the top is worth the effort. Following the walk, a dinghy ride around colossal Pinnacle Rock, is rewarding, followed by time to enjoy the beach (wet landing) and some snorkelling, with possible Galápagos penguin sightings. Guests can also ride on the glass-bottom boat for great views of the underwater world. Lunch on board.
Sullivan Bay (James Island)
After lunch, board the panga for the short trip to the landing site at Sullivan Bay on the east coast of Santiago. Wet landing on a white coral sand beach and begin the walk over lava that flowed less than 100 years ago. This is the perfect place to see and feel the volcanic origin of Galápagos and learn first-hand the initial steps of pioneering plants and animals over recently produced volcanic ground. Memorable scenes of the film Master and Commander where shot at these two locations.
Farewell cocktail and departure briefing before dinner.
After breakfast, departure to the port and airport to take the flight back to the mainland.
- Dry landing: guests step from the dinghy onto rocks or a dock.
- Wet landing: as the dinghy edges onto a sandy beach, guests step into knee-deep water and wade ashore.
PACKING CHECK LIST
- 1 Small backpack (waterproof)
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Sneakers with rubber soles
- Long pants
- Long and Short sleeved shirts
- Wind breaker
- Bathing suit -wetsuit for snorkeling in cold months
- Hat or cap
- Toilette kit (biodegradable shampoo please)
- Sun block
- Camera & camcorder
- Any medicine you may be taking
- Book/ Notebook
- Santa Cruz
- Santa Fe
- South Plaza
- Galápagos sea lion
- Galápagos fur seal
- Giant tortoises
- Santa Fe land iguana
- Galápagos land iguana
- Hybrid iguana
- Marine iguanas
- Blue-footed boobies
- Nazca boobies
- Galápagos doves
- Galápagos mockingbirds
- Darwin finches
- Greater flamingoes
- Galápagos hawks
- Brown pelicans
- Greater frigates
- Magnificent frigates
- Galápagos penguins
- Swallow-tailed gulls
- Lava gulls
- Lava (striated) herons
- Pinnacle Rock
- Charles Darwin Research Station.
- Please remember that the exact route and programme may vary according to weather and ocean conditions and the wildlife we encounter.
- Itineraries and programme are subject to change without previous notice due mainly to readjustment of the National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, seasonal changes or safety reasons.
View Tour 2012 - 4 night Galapagos Expedition (Monday/Friday) Central Islands in a larger map
Isabela II Yacht information
Our 40-guest vessel has the most in-depth week itinerary. Is a classic yacht cruising the Galapagos, and offers an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere for experiencing the full adventure of the Islands. The yacht is fully air-conditioned; all cabins are spacious and have private bathrooms. Its three public decks offer the amenities of a larger vessel, including bar-salon, dining room and sun deck. The library contains a large selection of reference books on Galapagos and Ecuador, as well as excellent nature and conservation videos, making this reference library the most complete source of information of any Galapagos vessel.
From dining room to stateroom, one senses the superior quality at all levels of service. ISABELA's trained chefs prepare a superb a-la-carte selection of meals. Our helpful, warm staff attends to your every need. Hotel Managers have a great taste for details.
The sun deck is comprised of a bar with ample outdoor seating, an observation area for whale and dolphin watching, a Jacuzzi and solarium. As an alternative to snorkeling, the glass-bottom boat offers another opportunity to observe the Galapagos rich marine life.
Every day features new and exciting outings whether for hikes on nature trails; observation of fauna, flora and geological formations; dinghy rides along islets or the coastline; swimming and/or snorkeling activities
Our Expedition Team consists of three Naturalists. All will delight guests with diverse natural history explanations, superb on-deck talks, and eye-catching lectures regarding natural history issues. Their multimedia presentations and recaps will complement the day's activities. Together with the Captain, they will plan the day's program. They are masters of Galapagos' knowledge. Soon enough, our Naturalists will become the highlight of your voyage. At night, when pitch-dark starry skies are seen, stargazing is an amazing nocturnal activity. The southern skies are beautifully arranged with awesome constellations.
• Construction: 1979
• Reconstruction: Pensacola, Florida, 1988
• Refurbishment: Panama, March 2000
• Category: Deluxe
• Gross Tonnage: 1.025 tons.
• Type of Vessel: Motor Yacht
• Capacity: 40 guests
• Length: 53.72 meters (166 feet)
• Beam: 11.58 meters (38 feet)
• Speed: 10 knots
• Electricity: 110 Volts 60 Hz.
• Engines: 2 GM Detroit Diesel 900 BHP each
• Navigation Equipment: Gyrocompass, Automatic Pilot, radar, and GPS
• Safety Certificates: SOLAS 74 - ISM
• Fire Detector: Automatic with control from the bridge.
• Life Jackets: In each cabin
• Lifeboats: 2 units semi enclosed
• Landing Craft: 3 Zodiacs + glass bottom boat
• Owner: ETICA / Metropolitan Touring
• Decks: 3 (Sun deck, Cabin deck, Main deck)
• Crew: 24
• Naturalist: 3
• Medical Officer: Permanently on board
Services and Facilities
• Bar - Lounge, Boutique
• Gift Shop
• Radio, telephone, E-mail, and Fax communications
• PA System
• Snorkeling Equipment
• Multimedia natural history lectures
• Stargazing Program
• Digital camera and underwater housing
• Glass bottom boat
• Reading Room & Natural History Library
• Air conditioned throughout
• Safety boxes
• Hair dryers
• Wet suits for snorkeling in cooler waters
• Sea Kayaks
Bar and relax area
- 15 standard cabins with twin beds
- 1 cabin with double bed for single or double use
- 2 classic cabins with double bed plus a single sofa-bed for double or triple use
1 Master Suite cabin with queen bed