Archipel I Itieraries
Cruise A: 8 Days / Nights
Tuesday - Tuesday - Diving
 

Day 1 Monday: Arrival at San Cristobal Airport - PM Cerro Colorado

AM: Arrival at San Cristobal Airport
Upon arrival at San Cristóbal Airport, a check-up is carried out first, to ensure that no foreign plant or animal species are introduced on the islands. Furthermore, your TCC (Transit Control Card) is stamped; this must be kept safe during your trip, as it has to be presented again on your return flight. In addition, entrance to the Galapagos National Park is due for entry (US $ 100), if this has not yet been paid. Your guide will meet you at the airport, assist you with the luggage and accompany you on the short bus ride to the port of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.

PM: Cerro Colorado (San Cristobal)
Cerro Colorado Tortoises Protection and Growing Centre, is located at approximately 40 minutes by bus to the southeast of the island. This centre was built to improve the status of the population of the island tortoises. It includes a large corral, a visitor centre, breeding centre and an interpretive trail. 

Day 2: Tuesday -AM South Plaza - PM Couisin's Rock

AM: South Plaza
After breakfast you will enjoy an unforgettable guided walk on South Plaza, the best place to encounter endemic Galapagos land iguanas, patient and photogenic models. You can also look out for some of the unique hybrids between the male marine iguana and female land iguana. Arriving at the upper rim, about 20m/75ft downwards impressively droning waves splash against the foot of soaring cliffs. Clouds of petrels, storm petrels, shearwaters and brown noddies make spectacular flights and sometimes look like they’re walking on the waves. 

PM: Barrington Bay (Santa Fe)
After lunch  you will land right in the middle of a Galapagos sea lion colony on the beach, where you will have time for a refreshing swim or excellent snorkelling among tropical reef fish in the crystal-clear azure waters of Barrington Bay. You will also encounter bizarre giant prickly pear cactus (opuntia) forests. 

Day 3: Wenesday - AM Champion Islet - PM Loberia

DAY 3 - WEDNESDAY

AM: Champion Islet (Floreana)
Bottlenose dolphins frequently escort our passage to Champion Islet and you can see them from nearby jumping the waves! Underwater, Galapagos sea lions are playful acrobats that become the number one attraction. There are also lots of reef fish, and perhaps a green Pacific turtle.

PM: Loberia & Asylum of Peace (Floreana)
The Asylum of Peace Island is of historical interest for guests. This hike goes past a mesmerising cave and visits a fascinating freshwater spring. La Loberia beach gets its name from the huge amount of sea lions that populate the island and rest on the sand. It’s an ideal spot to relax by the ocean, go snorkelling as well as enjoy the sea lions that live there.

 


Day 4: Thursday - AM Charles Darwin - Highlands

AM: Charles Darwin Station (Santa Cruz)
Our dinghies will bring you to the touristic pier of Puerto Ayora, from where you will be brought to the Charles Darwin Research Station. This is where biological research and indispensable conservation management of this unique archipelago are carried out. The complex houses interpretation and information centres about the National Park and the Galapagos Marine Reserve. 

PM: Highlands (Santa Cruz)
Because wild Galapagos giant tortoises don’t stop at official National Park boundaries, dozens of them also roam on the adjacent woodlands in the populated agricultural zone of Santa Cruz.

 

Day 5 Friday: AM Las Tintoreras - Tortoise breeding

AM: Las Tintoreras (Isabela)
Just outside the harbour of Puerto Villamil a group of islets protrude just above the ocean. The jagged black formations, dotted with mangrove and candelabra cactus, are the remnants of a lava stream that has ended up in the ocean.

 Marine life gets trapped, including spectacular whitetip reef sharks (called “tintoreras” in Spanish, as is the site’s official name). This species of shark is fairly common in the archipelago, and generally spotted on the seabed when snorkelling, while they rest from their nocturnal hunts. At this unique location you can observe them comfortably from the bank in the crystal-clear turquoise waters. 

PM: Tortoise breeding centre & Wetlands
Isabela Island is the largest and one of the youngest islands in the Galapagos archipelago. We land in Puerto Villamil, which has the second smallest population in the Galapagos with approximately 3000 habitants. First, we will visit the Flamingos Lagoon; the largest coastal lagoon found in the Galapagos and one of the main reproductive sites for the greater flamingos. On your visit to Colorado Hill, you will get to discover the amazing and emblematic giant Galapagos tortoises in the Tortoise breeding centre.

Day 6 Satuyrday: AM Punta Moreno - Elizabeth Bay

AM: Punta Moreno (Isabela)
Punta Moreno is located between the volcanoes Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul, on the north coast of Isabela Island. The trail leads along the lava river Pahoehoe to a complex of several coastal lagoons. The main attraction are various bird species which can be found in lakes and mangrove forests.

PM: Elizabeth Bay
The inflatable dinghy will turn landwards, leaving the surf behind and entering the calm estuary of Elizabeth Bay through a narrow entrance. Graceful Pacific green turtles swim gracefully around you, sometimes popping up their heads to take a breath. You might also see spotted eagle rays or sharks. Brown pelicans and blue-footed boobies show diverging plunge-diving techniques, while lava herons and great blue herons prefer to wait patiently for what comes along. 

 

Day 7 Sunday: AM Tagus Cove - Punta Espinoza

AM: Tagus Cove (Isabela)
In the morning  we will enter the Bolivar Channel to Tagus Cove (navigation time: 3h). Meanwhile you can enjoy the delicious lunch buffet before snorkelling and visiting Tagus Cove.

Explosive eruptions have blown out a part of the outer rims of both tuff cones, and created their characteristic horseshoe shapes and Tagus Cove. 

PM: Punta Espinoza (Fernandina)
Espinoza Point is Fernandina’s only terrestrial visitors site, and one of the few locations where you will find some bizarre outgrowths of natural selection. The figurehead is the emblematic flightless cormorant that lives exclusively in the remote west of Galapagos, and could be considered as the ‘holy grail of evolution’. You will also love the almost unworldly views with the dominating cone of Volcán La Cumbre as a spectacular backdrop. T

 

 

Day 8 Monday: AM Las Bachas

AM: Las Bachas (Santa Cruz)
These two small beaches are located in the west of the Turtle Cove on Santa Cruz. Their sand consists of decomposed corals, which makes it white and soft. This makes it the favorite nesting site for sea turtles. In the Second World War these were left by the US, as the island of Baltra was used as a strategic point for the protection of the Panama Canal. After this excursion, you will be escorted to the airport for your flight to Quito or Guayaquil.

PM: Transfer to Baltra Airport

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Cruise B: 8 Days / 7 nights
Tuesday / Tuesday  
 

Day 1 Monday: AM Baltra Airport - PM North Seymour

Arrival to Baltar Airport (GPS)

Upon arrival Baltra, travellers pass through an airport inspection point to make sure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands, and to pay the park entrance fee of $100 (unless it has been prepaid). A guide will meet you, help you collect your luggage, and escort you on a short bus ride to the harbour.

PM - North Seymour

This islet is one of most visited sites, and it is teeming with birdlife. An easy circular path takes you through the archipelago’s most extensive colonies of blue-footed boobies and frigate birds. At the beginning of the breeding season, adult frigatebird-males blow up their vivid red pouches to impressive football-sized balloons. T

Day 2 Tueday: AM Prince Philip's - Darwin Bay

 AM - Prince Philip’s Steps (Genovesa)

Before landing, you will take an inatable dinghy-ride along the eastern arm of the caldera. As we approach, the soaring 25m / 80ft high walls become overwhelming. Sometimes, a Galapagos fur seal is resting or a seabird is nesting on one of the ledges at the base. You will then have to hike and overcome the steep stairs from the landing dock to a bush of palo santo shrubs on top. Red-footed boobies gratefully use these scarce nesting places; so that they don’t have to nest on the rocky ground. Upon arriving at the edge of the rim, the bushes open up and you can enjoy panoramic views, a strong sea breeze and the amazing ying skills of countless seabirds. Following the exposed rim, you will rst pass the Nazca boobies and nally reach the extensive storm petrel nesting places, where if you’re lucky you can spot the well-camouaged short-eared owl hunting for them on foot!

PM - Darwin Bay

Inside the submerged caldera of Genovesa lies Darwin Bay, with a diameter of more than 1.5km / 1mi and it is almost 200 m / 650 ft deep. The small area will surprise you repeatedly, walking along a coral sand beach, crossing barren lava formations and creeks, passing tidal pools, shrubs and further ahead following the top of some cliffs. 

Day 3 Wenesday: Bartolome - Sullivan Bay

AM - Bartolomé

The beautiful volcano islet of Bartolomé is among the youngest of the islands, and on a geological scale was just recently born out of re. Although at rst sight lifeless, Bartolomé offers some of the wildest landscapes and best panoramaso the entire archipelago. To enjoy the postcard view of the idyllic ‘Pinnacle Bay’ you have to climb the stairs to the viewpoint on top of the island (114m/375ft). Enter a dramatic world of threatening (though extinguished) nearby spatter cones, craters, and lightweight lava droplets that have been spewed out by ery fountains. The Summit Trail is also ideal for witnessing how scanty pioneer vegetation such as lava cactus struggles to take root in the bare virgin lava elds.

PM - Sullivan Bay (Santiago)

Setting foot at the lava stream covering Sullivan Bay is like landing on the moon. The desolate, stretched-out elds seem mostly lifeless, but there is plenty to see on this highly popular site amongst photographers. Pacic green turtles seasonally bury eggs in the tiny white sand beach, where you might also encounter crabs, a strayed blue heron or an oystercatcher. 

Day 4 Thursday: AM - Charles Darwin - PM Highland

AM - Charles Darwin Research Station

Although the great majority of Galapagos visitors come here to observe and appreciate natural wonders, it is also interesting to learn how the protection and conservation of the islands are carried out. The main attractions are the National Park information centre, the Van Staelen Exhibition Hall, the Breeding and Rearing Centre for young tortoises, and adult Galapagos tortoises in captivity.

PM - Highlands (Santa Cruz)

The road to the highlands leaves from Bellavista, a small village located a 15-minute drive from Puerto Ayora, and passes through the agricultural zone, near the National Park boundary, the Miconia Zone, and then goes to the Fern and Sedge zone. With clear weather, this area boasts beautiful scenes of rolling hills and extinct volcanic cones covered with grass and lush greenery all year round. 

Day 5 Friday: AM Cormorant Point - Post Office Bay

Cormorant Point (Floreana)

The peninsula of Cormorant Point forms the extreme north cape of Floreana, which formed from smaller volcanic cones, covered by tropical dry forest (palo santo). At the landing beach, you will be welcomed by a small Galapagos sea lion colony. The green sand on this beach contains a high percentage of glassy olivine crystals which have been blown out by the surrounding tuff cones. The ‘our sand’ beach on the southern side of the peninsula is made up of even ner white coral sand which feels very smooth on the feet. Parrotsh have pulverised it, grinding the calcareous skeletons of living coral. 

PM - Post Ofce Bay (Floreana)

Post Ofce Bay is one out of three nearby visitor’s sites on Floreana’s northern coast. Bring your postcards and post them in the peculiar barrel on this historic site. The barrel commemorates an improvised mail service that was set up for communication between British 16th-century whalers and poachers.

Day 6 Saturday: AM Egas Port - PM Sullivan Bay

AM - Gardner Bay (Española)

The striking white beach at Gardner Bay is an important breeding site for Pacic green turtles. However, without doubt its main attraction is the Galapagos sea lion colony. Females stay year round in this nursery, suckling their pups up to an age of 3 years, although they start to sh after 5 months of their birth. During the breeding and mating season, the colony becomes even bigger.

PM – Suarez Point (Española)

Huge ocean waves crash onto the southern basaltic cliffs of Suarez Point, forming a spectacular blowhole, where the water sprays metres high into the air (depending on the season, the tide and how strongly the sea breeze pushes the waves). 

Day 7 Sunday: Pitt Point - Witch Hill

AM – Pitt Point (San Cristóbal)

Two wind sculptured tuff cones at Pitt Point make up the extreme eastern end of San Cristóbal, and thus, the archipelago as well. These cliffs were the rst sight of land when HMS Beagle and Charles Darwin arrived on the 15th of September 1835. 

PM - Witch Hill (San Cristóbal)

The primary attraction of this site is the coral sand beach, an excellent place to swim and snorkel. Witch Hill is the remains of a tuff cone and one of the rst sites visited by Charles Darwin. It has an impressive landscape, where it is often possible to see coastal and migratory birds, including pelicans, blue-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls; as well as sea lions and marine iguanas.