On this 5-day tour you will spend 3 nights aboard the luxury yacht Passion, and your final night on dry land in one of the top hotels in the islands, the Hotel SolyMar in Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz.
Visit numerous islands and witness the habits and remarkable mating rituals of their inhabitants. Depending when you go you may even spot neon‐colored marine iguanas and the giant Waved Albatross!
This itinerary begins as soon as you arrive to the islands. If possible, please wear clothes comfortable enough ready for your visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station. You will be reunited with your luggage at around 5pm in the afternoon when you board the Passion in Puerto Ayora.
Please also 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.
DAY 1: WEDNESDAY
PM: Santa Cruz Island, Charles Darwin Research Station – dry landing
We will enjoy lunch in the ranch to then head back to Puerto Ayora for our second visit of the day, the Charles Darwin research station and the Fausto Llerena breeding center. Here, we will see tortoises from different islands. The animals are found in large semi natural pens for their protection, but also to ensure an easy view for the tourists. The pens are divided according to four different stages: eggs, neonates, juveniles (held here until they are mature enough to be "repatriated"), and adults. After this visit, we will have some time to explore the town of Puerto Ayora and its many souvenir shops, before boarding the M/Y Passion for dinner and the usual briefing.
DAY 2: THURSDAY
AM: South Plaza Island – dry landing
One of the oldest docks of the Archipelago, colorful Plaza Sur is home to vibrant green prickly pears, deep red Sesuvium and coppery-orange land iguanas; impressive seaward cliffs are excellent for a variety of coastal birds. This is also a great place to observe the adult and pup sea lions swimming along the shores.
PM: Santa Fe Island – wet landing
Activities: hiking, kayaking, panga exploration, snorkeling
After a wet landing onto a white beach where sea lions are usually resting, on Santa Fe, we will be looking for the endemic species of land iguana, larger and yellower than land iguanas on other islands. The largest prickly pear cacti in the Galapagos are also found here.
DAY 3: FRIDAY
AM: Española Island, Suárez Point – dry landing
Punta Suárez is a spectacular walk into the intimacies of life at sea, with nesting sites of Blue-footed and Nazca Boobies, as well as the fascinating breeding rituals (April to December) of Waved Albatross. Lined with neon-colored marine iguanas (January), and lazy Galapagos sea lions, we walk up to an amazing viewpoint of the famous blowhole.
PM: Española Island, Gardner Bay – wet landing
We will spend the day in fantastic Española, starting with Gardner Bay, an outstanding beach with sea lions, marine iguanas, and the intrepid Española Mockingbird.
DAY 4: SATURDAY
AM: Santa Cruz Island, Tortuga Bay – wet landing
Activities: swimming, snorkeling
After breakfast we will disembark in Puerto Ayora and say goodbye to the M/Y Passion, which will continue on. In Puerto Ayora we will hop on our transport, a speedboat, which will take us to the day´s adventure: Tortuga Bay. This beautiful white sand beach has its name for being a nesting site for sea turtles. Once we have disembarked on this magical site, it’s up to you to decide among the alternatives: swim or snorkel, observe the marine iguanas and other wildlife, explore the coves surrounded by mangrove trees or simply lay back and relax while enjoying the magical landscape. Our speedboat will pick us at noon to return to Puerto Ayora and our beach front hotel, where our luggage will be waiting in our rooms as we enjoy a hearty lunch while contemplating Academy Bay.
PM: Baltra Island, Puerto Ayora
Our last afternoon on the island is free for you to explore the many highlights in and around Puerto Ayora still to be discovered. (Our cruise director can inform you about the different options for the afternoon). After this leisure time, we will gather to cross the bay to enjoy a final farewell dinner at the exclusive Angermeyer Point, a restaurant located at the historic house of Karl Angermeyer, Galapagos’ first artist and true pioneer of the archipelago. After dinner, our transport will take us back to our hotel for a well‐earned rest.
DAY 5: SATURDAY
AM: Santa Cruz Island, Lava Tunnels – dry landing
This is our last day on the islands. After breakfast we will disembark in Puerto Ayora to take our transport to Baltra Airport, doing a short stop to visit the Lava tunnels found in the highlands. These intriguing tunnels were formed b y a lava flow that hardened on the outside while still maintaining its fluid scolding state on the inside, leaving hollow tunnels where it passed. We will walk inside one of this tunnel (that are artificially illuminated to help visitors) to have a close look at the formations and learn more about the origin of these very volcanic archipelago.
AM: Baltra Island, Transfer to the Airport
Be assisted to Baltra 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.