Galapagos Legend Cruise.jpg

Coral I & II: 4-Day Cruise to the South-East Islands

Galapagos – Superior

4-Day Galapagos Cruise to the South-East Islands

This 4-day Galapagos cruise itinerary takes you on a trip to the south-east islands of the archipelago on and around Santa Cruz Island.

There are plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal with endemic wildlife on Rabida and Bartolome Islands. Keep it short and sweet on this 4 day Galapagos cruise.


Please note that the itinerary below is dependent on the Galapagos National Park regulations, weather and sea conditions, wildlife behavior, and accessibility to locations, so may vary. All times indicated are approximate, and are also subject to change.

Galapagos Legend vessel


AM: Baltra Airport Departure

Arriving in Galapagos, passengers are picked up at the airport by our natural guides and taken (ten minute bus drive) to the pier to board the M/Y Coral I or M/Y Coral II.

PM: Santa Cruz Island, Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, Charles Darwin Station– Dry landing

Visit to the Galapagos giant tortoises breeding program, where the famous Lonesome George (last surviving specimen of Pinta Island) lived for decades. The center is conducted by the Galapagos National Park (GNP) staff with the collaboration of scientists from the Charles Darwin Station (CDS). Here eggs taken from Pinzon, Santiago and Santa Cruz Islands hatch without the danger of introduced species. After artificial incubation; the “galapaguitos” (newborn tortoises) are reared until the age of 5, when they are released in their native habitats, having the capabilities to survive alone. Since the 70s, more than 2000 specimens have returned to their own islands. In addition, the Darwin Station works in several scientific projects, botanical research, providing environmental education to communities, schools within the Islands and tourists. If there is enough time, it is possible to visit the town of Puerto Ayora.
Difficulty level: Easy
Type of terrain: Flat
Duration: 1h30 hours walk

Galapagos hiking

AM: Santa Cruz Island, Dragon Hill– Dry landing

Walk by a brackish lagoon to see flamingos. The trail leads across typical dry zone vegetation. Keeping up until Dragon Hill, see an important nesting ground for endemic land iguanas, offering lovely views of the anchored boats and neighboring islands. The forest is home to mockingbirds, Darwin’s finches, yellow warblers, and Galapagos doves.
Difficulty level: Intermediate
Type of terrain: Rocky
Duration: 2 hours walk

PM: Bartolome Island, Snorkeling– Dry and wet landing

Discover a fascinating landscape resembling the moon, formed by different volcanic parasitic cones, lava bombs, spatter formations, cinder cones; hike to the summit for impressive views of the closer islands, including the eroded tuff cone Pinnacle Rock (perhaps the beast known postcard from Galapagos). Here is possible to encounter lava lizards, and blue-footed boobies. Beach time in Bartolome is a great opportunity to snorkel and have a close look to penguins, sea turtles and white-tipped reef sharks among a great variety of colorful fish. Possibly the finest snorkeling experience; the water here is generally clear, without too much waves. Due to its geographical location, is immediately noticeable a lack of vegetation, just pioneer plants are observed. They include tiquilia nesiotica (silver look bush, which is endemic to the island) and chamaesyce (known as sand mat or spurge).
Difficulty level: Intermediate
Type of terrain: 372 steps trail
Duration: 1h30 hours walk / 1 hour snorkeling

rabida island galapagos

AM: Rabida Island, Snorkeling– Wet landing

Dark-red sand covers the unique beaches of this island, home of sea lions colonies; Rabida is considered the epicenter of the Galapagos Islands due to the diversity of its volcanic geology. Nesting brown pelicans are found from July through September plus nine species of the famous Darwin’s finches. Here a dinghy ride along marine cliffs is done, to observe nesting seabirds. Snorkel off the coast, where marine life is particularly active.
Difficulty level: Easy
Type of terrain: Sandy
Duration: 1:30 hours walk / 1 hour snorkeling / 1 hour dinghy ride

PM: Santa Cruz Island, Bachas Beach, Snorkeling– Wet landing

On the north side of Santa Cruz; behind the beach lies two small flamingo ponds were iguanas sunbathe, see coastal birds, Darwin finches, mockingbirds, and gulls, as well as interesting native vegetation like red and black mangrove, salt bushes. This beach is one of the main sea turtles nesting sites in the Galapagos. A turtle can lay eggs 3 or 4 times pear season with an average of 70 eggs each time. At this paradisiacal site, we will also find the remains of barges that were sank long time ago, when the United States Navy operated a base during World War II on Baltra Island. Local people modified the word barges to Bachas.
Difficulty level: Easy
Type of terrain: Sandy
Duration: 1 hour walk / 1 hour snorkeling / beach time


Galapagos birdwatching


AM: Santa Cruz Island, Black Turtle Cove

On the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, accessible only by sea, four species of mangrove crowd and form an internal lagoon, turtles visit the calm waters, peaking their heads above the surface while fish, rays circle below. White-tipped reef sharks can be seen beneath the boat, plus sea birds, including pelicans, herons and egrets. This cove has been declared as a “turtle sanctuary”.
Difficulty level: Easy
Type of terrain: None
Duration: 1 hour dinghy ride

PM: Santa Cruz Island, Transfer to the Airport

Be assisted to Balta airport for your flight to the Ecuador mainland.

  • Please note that all cruise itineraries are subject to change due to seasonal weather conditions (and resultant variations in ocean cruising conditions) affecting accessibility to locations. Thus navigation routes, times and excursions may need to be modified at the cruise captain’s discretion.
  • Passengers should also be aware that animal sightings cannot be guaranteed due to the unpredictability of wildlife behavior. 

About Rainforest Cruises

Rainforest Cruises is a boutique travel company specializing in Amazon river cruises and tours, providing you with the finest collection of cruises in Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands and Panama. As South American travel experts we have all the advice you need to help you find and book your dream cruise and an unforgettable adventure of a lifetime.


Geri Daniel loved her vacation with Rainforest Cruises.
We had an absolutely fabulous time on the cruise. Thank you again for the trip of a lifetime.
— Geri Daniel, Austin, TX
The Johannson family encounter a sloth on their rainforest cruise.
We had a wonderful time. We were all impressed with the efficiency and organization of the trip from start to finish.
— Jeanette Johannson & Family, USA