1. Home
  2. Ecuador
  3. Galapagos
  4. Solaris Yacht

Solaris Yacht

Spacious and comfortable first-class motor yacht with intrepid itineraries to remote visitor sites.

Overview

The stunning Solaris cruises Galapagos’ myriad of marine wonders and most distant islands for a remarkable Galapagos experience. With its welcoming crew, spacious, first-class features, and distinctive itineraries in search of the archipelago’s famed wildlife, this beautiful and modern yacht offers affordable adventure without sacrificing your comfort.

Intimate, Relaxation Aboard

The Solaris yacht consists of 11 cabins, 3 more than most cruises fitting the same number of 16 guests. Thanks to the innovative design all cabins are located in the quieter upper front half of the yacht, and not directly above or next to the engine room, which is located beneath the dining room. This guarantees a good night’s sleep during the mainly overnight passages, minimizing disturbance from engine noise in your cabin. Besides that her routes also contain some quiet nights with shorter passages and anchorages at relatively sheltered bays for better relaxation.

Intimacy is precisely what differentiates this yacht from huge, impersonal cruise ships that navigate the seven seas, and also from those few larger expedition vessels in the Galapagos. As soon as you step aboard you and your fellow explorers will immediately receive a warm welcome and become part of the family as you embark on a voyage of profound discovery and shared experiences to treasure. But intimate by no means means cramped. The yacht’s social areas are ample and inviting, from its bright interior bar-cum-lounge where daily naturalist presentations will be held, to its shaded, seated relaxation area to the rear of the Upper Deck, and huge Sun Deck above – featuring sun beds galore and further shaded al fresco dining area.

Furthermore, the trained crew & cruise director, assisted by your naturalist guide, will be ready to serve to your every need, making your stay as comfortable as possible. The professional chef and kitchen staff will treat you to a substantial breakfast and mouth-watering warm lunches and dinners each day, all served in abundant buffet style. Delicious snacks and juices are also served in the morning and afternoon.

Solaris Boat Excursions

A highlight of the Solaris Galapagos experience are its itineraries. You can choose from an intrepid 7-night western itinerary – featuring some of the most sought after islands in the archipelago, primarily exploring pristine Isabela and Fernandina, followed by Santiago, Santa Cruz and North Seymour – or either a 4, 5 or combined 8-day itinerary of the eastern islands. Unusually even the shortest route available (4-day B4) visits Genovesa, one of the most impressive and out-of-the-way islands in the north, and a must for bird enthusiasts.

Accompanied by your expert and experienced naturalist guide, you may visit giant tortoise breeding projects, interpretive botanical trails and visitor centers, go on guided hikes over lava flows or on inflatable dinghy-rides through search shallow mangroves in search of sea turtles, not to mention experience some of the best snorkeling anywhere to be had on earth. Of course the highlight will be your face-to-face encounters with the incredulously tame residents of these remarkable islands.

Fun for all

A special feature of the vessel is its flexibility in terms of cabin occupancy. This Galapagos cruise is 100% solo traveler friendly with four dedicated single cabins, and no fewer than six triple cabin for families and families. You will often share your experience with passengers from all over the world, and may even make new lifelong friends!

A cruise through the Galapagos archipelago is always a unique experience that you won’t easily forget, but the Solaris yacht will make you yearn for its crew and your fellow passengers as much as the remarkable endemic species you’ll meet along the way, long after you’ve returned home from this unrivaled wildlife expedition.

Itineraries & Prices

1 / 6
4-Day
5-Day B
5-Day C o B5 in 2022
7-Day A
8-Day A
8-Day B

4 Day - Northern Islands

itinerary map

Embarkation

AM: Upon arrival at Baltra Airport, you will first pass through an airport inspection point where your TCT (Transit Control Card) will be checked and stamped (please keep this carefully with your passport as you will need to show it again when you leave Galapagos). Here you will also pay the Galapagos National Park entrance fee of USD 100 (unless it has been prepaid). To ensure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands, your luggage will be inspected as well. At the arrival hall, a naturalist guide will meet you and escort you on a short bus ride to the harbor at Baltra. By dinghy, you will be taken to the yacht.

PM: Mosquera Islet is located between Baltra and North Seymour. This is a small islet formed by a geological uplift, with a reef of rocks and coral and a great white sand beach, where a population of sea lions can be found. You can also observe several species of shorebirds. Along the rocks are commonly running Red Lava crabs or Sally light-foot crabs.

Solaris’ 4-Day Itinerary Day One - Sea Lion on the Beach.
Location
Baltra
Day
1 / 4

Darwin Bay & Prince Phillip Steps

AM: This bay has origin when the crater of this island collapsed below sea level. The wet landing is on a beautiful white coral sandy beach. This is a favorite island for birdwatchers: red footed-boobies, masked boobies, wandering tattlers, lava gulls, whimbrels Yellow-crowned, black-crowned and lava herons, and yellow warblers can be seen in the area.

Continuing on the trail, visitors climb gradually to the edge of the cliff seeing Red-Foots nesting in the Mangrove trees below. Bird watching includes sightings of Sharp-Beaked Finches, Large Cactus and Ground Finches, Galapagos Doves and Swallow-Tailed Gulls. Reaching the end the trail at the cliff's edge offers an incredible view of the island and the many birds living there.

PM: El Barranco is located at the southern part of Darwin Bay and it is also known as Prince Philip’s Steps. Passengers will climb to a plateau that is part of the stretch of land that surrounds Darwin Bay on its eastern side. There is a big population of Masked boobies and Red-Footed boobies in the trees; Storm petrels and Short-eared Owls have found the ideal place for nesting in the lava flows.

Solaris’ 4-Day Itinerary Day Two - Prince Philip’s Steps.
Location
Genovesa
Day
2 / 4

South Plazas & Santa Fe

AM: South Plazas is located at the east of Santa Cruz Island and forms part of two islands known as Islas Plazas. Despite its small size, some of the most interesting and outstanding species of the Galapagos are found here. The Plazas land iguanas are smaller than their relatives found on other islands. Throughout the island there are several hybrid iguanas, a result of crossing a male marine iguana and a female land iguana, they are unique, recognizable at first glance by their black/gray color, with a land iguana's crest, but face and tail of the marine iguana. The big population of iguanas is due to the presence of tunas, their favorite food.  Swallow-tailed Gulls nesting in the rugged cliffs is seen along with other sea birds as Audubon shearwaters, red-billed tropicbirds, frigate birds, and brown pelicans. 

PM: Located in the southeastern part of the Galapagos, this island was formed from an uplift, which explains why it is mostly flat. There are some theories that assure this could be the oldest island in the Archipelago. Santa Fe is the home of a number of endemic species like the Galapagos Hawk, Galapagos snake, Galapagos mockingbird, rice rats and one of the two species of lands Iguanas of the islands. After disembarkation in the beautiful and clear waters, you will be in contact with one of the many sea lion colonies. Along the trail, many salt bushes can be seen as well as giant prickly pear cactus. There are great possibilities of snorkeling with playful sea lions and tropical fishes.

Solaris’ 4-Day Itinerary Day Three - Marine Iguana Sighting.
Location
Santa Cruz
Day
3 / 4

Disembarkation

AM: This huge ‘cathedral’ of rock is an old lava cone, now split in two. On the rocks many blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies and frigate birds are to be found. The snorkeling is great here, with good opportunities for seeing sea turtles, spotted eagle rays, tropical fish and the Galapagos shark.

PM: Transfer to San Cristobal airport for your flight back to Guayaquil or Quito. 

Solaris’ 4-Day Itinerary Day Four - Blue-Footed Booby.
Location
San Cristobal
Day
4 / 4
1 / 4

5 Day - Eastern Islands (Starting 2023)

itinerary map

Embarkation

AM: Upon arrival at Baltra airport, you will pass through an airport inspection point to ensure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands, as well as to pay the park entrance fee of USD 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. Here you will climb aboard the yacht Solaris. After greeting the crew and the captain, your cabins will be assigned to you and then you will enjoy your first lunch aboard.

PM: The native scalesia forest of El Chato Tortoise Reserve is the best place to search for Galapagos giant tortoises in their most authentic setting! Despite the interesting breeding centres – where you are guaranteed to find tortoises in their corrals – there is nothing better than to observe them in their wild environment. Though it can be quite moist and muddy, your visit may turn into an adventurous quest when they have left their favourite pond silently.

The Twin Craters are found on either side of the road leading to Puerto Ayora. These impressive formations are not volcanic craters and were formed by magma domes, which hardened on the outside while the lava continued flowing inside, leaving huge and empty magma chambers that eventually collapsed, leaving two large holes. The craters lie within a lush scalesia cloud forest, a high-altitude plant species that are endemic to the Galapagos. This area is also home to the carpenter finch, which uses tools to search for food. There may also be opportunities to see the vermillion flycatcher, a small red-breasted bird.

El Chato Tortoise Reserve.
Location
Baltra - Santa Cruz
Day
1 / 5

North Seymour & Mosquera

AM: Seymour is an uplifted (as opposed to volcanic) island and therefore is generally flat and strewn with boulders. There are good nesting sites here for a large population of magnificent frigate birds. Blue-footed boobies perform their courtship dance in the more open areas and swallow-tailed gulls perch on the cliff edges. Despite the tremendous surf that can pound the outer shore, sea lions haul out onto the beach and can be found bodysurfing.

PM: Galapagos sea lions are true beach lovers and Mosquera offers beautiful white coral sand beaches, which contrast with the blue water and thus attract numerous sea lions. During a beach walk, you can observe numerous species of waders and sanderlings. Between the rocks, the red clip crabs wait to play hide and seek while you try to get the perfect photo. If you are lucky, you may even encounter yellow-crowned night-herons or even a red-footed booby.

Galapagos sea lions.
Location
North Seymour - Mosquera Islet
Day
2 / 5

Darwin Bay & Prince Phillip’s Steps

AM: Inside the submerged caldera of Genovesa lies Darwin Bay, with a diameter of more than 1.5 km/1 mi 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. With these peaceful surroundings, every single species has occupied its ecological niche without disturbing others. Whimbrels and wandering tattlers forage actively along the surf, next to resting Galapagos sea lions. Impressive frigatebirds and red-footed boobies nest in the mangroves, where you can also see vocalists such as the yellow warbler, Darwin’s finches and the Galapagos mockingbird. Uniquely, two subpopulations of the same species of large cactus finch differ in their singing.

PM: Before landing, you will take a dinghy ride along the eastern arm of the caldera. As you approach, the soaring 25 m/80 ft 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 flying skills of countless seabirds. Following the exposed rim, you will first pass the Nazca boobies and finally reach the extensive storm petrel nesting places, where, if you’re lucky, you can spot the well-camouflaged short-eared owl hunting for food!

Prince Phillip’s Steps.
Location
Genovesa
Day
3 / 5

South Plaza & Santa Fe

AM: 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. Take your binoculars and don’t miss the red-billed tropicbird with its graceful long tail and spectacular mating fights. These cliffs are also a nesting place for the endemic swallow-tailed gull.

PM: Located in the southeastern part of the Galapagos, this island was formed from an uplift instead of a volcanic origin, which is why it is mostly flat. Some theories assure this could be the oldest island in the archipelago. Santa Fe is the home of several endemic species like the Galapagos hawk, Galapagos snake, Galapagos mockingbird, rice rats and one of the two species of land iguanas of the islands. After disembarking in the beautiful and clear waters, you will be in contact with one of the many sea lion colonies. Along the trail, many salt bushes can be seen as well as giant prickly pear cactus; gigantism is a characteristic of oceanic islands.

Although there is little vegetation on this island, it has two breathtaking beaches, where sea turtles live. At the foot of the mountain you can also discover a small colony of Galapagos penguins.

South Plaza cactus.
Location
South Plaza - Santa Fe
Day
4 / 5

Disembarkation

AM: Kicker Rock is a huge offshore block of rock with a sharp tower next to it. Reaching about 150 m/500 ft above sea level, from the side it has the form of a giant shoe (hence its name Kicker Rock), whilst from a longitudinal direction it resembles a sleeping lion (hence its Spanish name Leon Dormido). You will enjoy these sights while navigating around it on your way to San Cristobal, and you might spot octopuses, different species of sharks and Pacific green turtles.

After mooring in San Cristobal pier, you will begin your excursion to Witch Hill. This site’s primary attraction 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 first 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. At times, the lagoon is completely dry and deposits of salt can be found at the bottom. The people of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno used to use the lagoon as a salt mine.

After that, it is time to say goodbye to the Galapagos! It has been a pleasure accompanying you on this unique trip and we hope to see you again very soon. Assisted by the naturalist guide and some crew members, the dinghy will bring you and your luggage to San Cristobal airport. In case you have booked your trip for a longer stay with us, we would be welcoming any potential new fellow passengers to the yacht, and continue our trip to the next visiting site! Transfer to San Cristobal Airport.

Kicker Rock Galapagos Islands.
Location
San Cristobal
Day
5 / 5
1 / 5

5 Day - Southern & Central Islands C

itinerary map

Embarkation

AM: Upon arrival at San Cristobal Airport, travelers pass through an airport inspection point to insure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands, as well as to pay the park entrance fee (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 harbor.

PM: The Galapagos National Park Visitor Center lies close to the port town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. The center explains a series of natural circumstances such as the volcanic origins of the islands, their remoteness from the continent, its ocean currents, its special climate, the arrival of different species, and their establishment, among others. 

Solaris’ 5-Day Itinerary Day One - Arrival at San Cristobal.
Location
San Cristobal
Day
1 / 5

Gardner Bay & Punta Suarez

AM: Located on the north-eastern coast of Hood, Gardner Bay provides an excellent beach for relaxing, swimming and snorkeling, and the opportunity to observe sea lions. Here you may also observe sharks in the crystal clear ocean waters.

PM: This rocky land spot sustains one of the most impressive and varied colonies of sea birds in the Galapagos. Along its southern shore, high cliffs rise up from the sea affording the visitor spectacular views of soaring birds and of the blow whole where water spouts up to 50-75 feet into the air according to the intensity of the surf.

Solaris’ 5-Day Itinerary Day Two - Galapagos Reef Sharks.
Location
Española
Day
2 / 5

Punta Cormorant, Champion Islet & Post Office Bay

AM: This site offers probably the best Flamingo lagoon in the Galapagos; it is also one of the largest in the islands. It’s situated between two tuff lava cones that give the area a special atmosphere. There are various species of shorebirds to observe besides flamingos; the most frequent are common stilts, white-checked pintail ducks and other migratory birds. It is very interesting to see the two distinct beaches: “The Green Beach” (due to its high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand) and the “Flour Sand Beach” which is made up of coral. After our visit to Cormorant Point we will continue with our yacht to the nearby islet known as Corona del Diablo (Devil’s Crown), where we can enjoy some great snorkeling.

PM: Historically, Post Office Bay is the location of a wooden barrel that was placed in the 18th century by the crew of a whaling ship. Since this time it has been used by mariners and tourists as a post office. The idea is to carry letters or postcards to their destination by hand. Apart from being the Post Office Barrel, this site was the landing area for some of the first colonists. We will continue to the north of the island and ascend to an elevated slope to enjoy a beautiful view from the Baroness Lookout. It is said that Baroness Eloisa von Wagner loved this place and spent several hours watching the horizon. Within walking distance (30 m) are the ruins of what is known as her House. From this lookout, the landscape covers the coastline from the Enderby islet to Post Office Bay, as well as Cerro Pajas, the pool of flamingos and wide forest of Palo Santo.

Solaris’ 5-Day Itinerary Day Three - Punta Cormorant.
Location
Floreana
Day
3 / 5

Sullivan Bay & Bartolome

AM: Santiago, also called James, or San Salvador Island is located in the west-central part of the Galapagos archipelago. It is the fourth largest island in the archipelago (following Isabela, Fernandina, and Santa Cruz). Along with some of the large western volcanoes of Isabela and Fernandina, Santiago is also volcanically active, with many young flows and cones to be seen, particularly along the south, west, and east coasts. These may even be seen from the summit of Darwin Volcano and from space. A number of historic eruptions have been reported over the last 2 centuries. Santiago actually consists of two coalesced volcanoes: a typical shield volcano on the northwest end and a low, linear fissure volcano at the southeast end.

PM: Bartolome Island is situated across Sullivan Bay. It has an altitude of 114 meters, from where we can observe one of the most beautiful sceneries of the Galapagos Islands such as Volcanic cones, lunar-like craters, lava fields, and the famous Toba formed pinnacle eroded by the sea. There is very little vegetation on this island. It has two breathtaking beaches where marine turtles exist and at the base of the pinnacle, as well as a very small colony of Galapagos penguins.

Solaris’ 5-Day Itinerary Day Four - Exploring Bartolome Island.
Location
Santiago - Bartholomew
Day
4 / 5

Disembarkation

AM: This little cove is located on the northern side of Santa Cruz Island, this is a red mangrove lagoon very calm and quiet which makes it an ideal place as nursery for many sharks and rays. Its crystal waters allow you to observe large groups of white-tip reef, black-tipped reef and hammerheads sharks, schools of golden rays and spotted eagle rays.  There are no landing sites so the visit is done by zodiac. Sea turtles are frequently seen and sometimes they are seen mating in the mangrove-lined waters. Pelicans and Herons are also seen in this area. 

PM: After this visit, you will return to the yacht to take your luggage, and be transferred back to Baltra Airport where you will take your flight to Quito or Guayaquil.

Solaris’ 5-Day Itinerary Day Five - Fish in the Galapagos.
Location
Santa Cruz
Day
5 / 5
1 / 5

7 Day - Northern, Southern & Central Islands (Starting 2023)

itinerary map

Embarkation

AM: Upon arrival at Baltra airport, you will pass through an airport inspection point to ensure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands, as well as to pay the park entrance fee of USD 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. Here you will climb aboard the yacht Solaris. After greeting the crew and the captain, your cabins will be assigned to you and then you will enjoy your first lunch aboard.

PM: These two small beaches are found to the west of Turtle Cove. Their sand is made of decomposed coral, which makes it white and soft, making it a favourite nesting site for sea turtles. There is a small brackish water lagoon behind one of the beaches, where occasionally it is possible to observe flamingos and other coastal birds, such as black-necked stilts and whimbrels. The other beach is longer, but it has two old barges that were abandoned during the Second World War when the USA used Baltra Island as a strategic point to protect the Panama Channel.

Visiting Bachas Beach.
Location
Baltra - Santa Cruz
Day
1 / 7

Tintoreras, Wetlands, Wall of Tears & Tortoise Breeding Centre

AM: Tintoreras consists of several small islets off the coast of Puerto Villamil and is one of the most emblematic visitor’s sites of the Galapagos. Its impressive concentration of Galapagos wildlife can be admired easily during the tour From a viewpoint, you can see herons on mangrove branches whilst Galapagos penguins and sea lions can be spotted on the land. Whitetip reef sharks can be found in the tidal channels, and their abundance is what gives these islets their Spanish name. Another highlight is the breeding colony with uncountable numbers of marine iguanas!

PM: After lunch aboard, you will visit the local tortoise breeding centre, where you can see hundreds of giant Galapagos tortoises of all sizes. The vulnerable hatchlings are not gigantic at all, even smaller than the size of your hand! This project, just outside Puerto Villamil, was created to rescue the endangered populations of Isabela’s southernmost volcanoes. In Puerto Villamil and the surrounding wetlands, there is the historical site called “The Wall of tears”, a national cultural heritage place where punished prisoners were forced to build this long wall and useless wall of lava rocks. Also, you might have the chance to see American flamingos. At the end of the afternoon, you will have some free time to explore the village and/or its beach.

Tortoise Breeding Centre.
Location
Isabela
Day
2 / 7

Moreno Point, Punta Mangle & Tagus Cove

AM: Moreno Point is located on the north coast of Isabela Island, between the volcanos Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul. The trail runs along a solidified pahoehoe lava flow into a complex of coastal lagoons. Its main attractions are several species of birds, which are found around the lakes and mangrove forests.

PM: You will enter the Bolivar Channel and navigate towards Tagus Cove. On the way, you will see how explosive eruptions have blown out a part of the outer rims of both tuff cones, and created their characteristic horseshoe shapes and Tagus Cove. Sailors used to write the names of their vessels on the eastern cliffs of this place. A tour along the cliffs in a dinghy will give the visitors a good chance to see the Galapagos penguin, the flightless cormorant and other sea birds. From the landing dock, it is about a 30-minute hike along the trail up to the top of the cliff from where you can view Darwin Lake; an uplifted ultra saline lake saltier than the sea. You can also see several volcanoes from this location. Look carefully at the graffiti on the surrounding cliffs of the cove! They were written by pirates, whalers and buccaneers in past centuries.

Isabela Island Excursion.
Location
Isabela - Fernandina
Day
3 / 7

Punta Espinoza & Punta Espinoza

AM: Fernandina is the third-largest island in the archipelago and has a single visitor site: Punta Espinoza, located at the northeastern tip of the island. Marine iguanas conglomerate in larger groups than on any other island. They bask around in the sand, swim near the shore and sometimes block the way at the landing dock. Among the unique species found here, is the flightless cormorant. This bird had to adjust its way of survival and perfect its skills of finding food in the ocean. Their wings, tails and feet progressively adapted for swimming. To see these birds is to witness evolution happening right in front of you.

PM: Whilst having lunch, the yacht will cross the Bolivar Channel for the last time to Vicente Roca Point, just at the mouth of Isabela’s seahorse shape. While entering a dark cave below a spectacular arch, the roaring echoes of the waves will accompany you. Just around the corner, the collapsed amphitheatre of Ecuador Volcano offers another impressive view. The calmer waters of the coves are well protected against the ocean swell and are a fairly cold but great place for snorkelling amongst various species of shark, penguins, pufferfish and even seahorses!

Flightless Cormorant Duo
Location
Fernandina - Isabela
Day
4 / 7

Espumilla Beach, Bucaneer Cove & Puerto Egas

AM: Espumilla Beach is a visitor’s site at the northern end of James Bay, on the western coast of Santiago. This beach has been revived as an important breeding site for turtles, as it is no longer suffering from digging wild pigs. The turtles return year after year to bury their eggs into the cinnamon-coloured sand dunes. The beach ridge hides mangroves with two picturesque lagoons. The colony of American flamingos and aquatic birds used to be its main attraction, but after the climate phenomenon of El Niño, strong sedimentation altered the brackish water environment and it no longer contains their food. During the climb of a hill, you will be rewarded with a beautiful overview of the transitions from sea into beach into mangrove into dry palo santo forest.

PM: At lunchtime, you will navigate south to Puerto Egas, with its famous fur seal grottos, where you will enjoy another, very different guided walk along the coastline. Its masterfully sculptured coastline of black basalts and polished multi-coloured ash layers forms a photogenic scene with collapsed lava tunnels, natural arches, caves and blowholes such as “Darwin’s toilet”. In a grotto directly below a spectacular rock arch at the end of the beach, a colony of sea lions occupies the shade. Hundreds of sally lightfoot crabs seem even brighter orange against the black rocks.

Santiago Island Galapagos Excursion
Location
Santiago
Day
5 / 7

Rabida & Chinese Hat

AM: After lunch and a “wet landing” on the remarkable red beach of Rabida, there are two short guided hikes. Oxidised iron particles give the rocks and sand their rusty colour. The beach wall holds a shallow green-fringed lagoon. This oasis is the most fertile place on the otherwise arid islet, which is overgrown with leaf-dropping palo santo trees. The salty pool attracts all kinds of aquatic birds, like pintails and sometimes American flamingos. Between the evergreen foliage of the surrounding mangrove bushes, many species of songbirds hide and breed. One of the most outstanding attractions is the major breeding colony of brown pelicans; the only ones in the world that plunge-dive.

PM: Chinese Hat is a 52 m/170 ft high volcanic cone, forming an islet off the rocky coast of Santiago, where a small colony of Galapagos penguins has settled. Because its primordial fire has been extinguished recently, this is an excellent place to learn more about volcanism, lava bombs and lava tunnels. On the beach, you can also find curious pillow-type lavas with coral heads on top! These spheres had a submarine origin before being lifted above sea level. Beaches of white coral sand grow, and holes in the eroding lava fields are filled up with lava sand, which enables rooting. Galapagos sea lions and countless marine iguanas contribute to fertilisation. This all together creates more favourable options for newcomers, like saltbush and the discolouring sesuvium carpet.

Rabida Red Beach Galapagos Islands.
Location
Rabida - Chinese Hat
Day
6 / 7

Disembarkation

AM: The dinghies will bring you to the touristic pier of Puerto Ayora, from where you will be brought to the Charles Darwin Research Station and the headquarters of the Galapagos National Park Service, from which biological research and indispensable conservation management of this unique but vulnerable archipelago are directed. You will be taken on an educational stroll where your most memorable visit will be that of the successful breeding centre and the enclosure of the Galapagos giant tortoises.

After that, it is time to say goodbye to the Galapagos! It has been a pleasure accompanying you on this unique trip and we hope to see you again very soon. Assisted by the naturalist guide and some crew members, the dinghy will bring you and your luggage to the pier, where you will take the shuttle back to the airport. In case you have booked your trip for a longer stay with us, we would be welcoming any potential new fellow passengers to the yacht, and continue our trip to the next visiting site!

Solaris Galapagos Yacht sailing,
Location
Santa Cruz - Baltra
Day
7 / 7
1 / 7

8 Day - Central & Western Islands A

itinerary map

Embarkation

AM: Upon arrival at Baltra Airport, you will first pass through an airport inspection point where your TCT (Transit Control Card) will be checked and stamped (please keep this carefully with your passport as you will need to show it again when you leave Galapagos). Here you will also pay the Galapagos National Park entrance fee (unless it has been prepaid). To ensure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands, your luggage will be inspected as well. At the arrival hall, a naturalist guide will meet you and escort you on a short bus ride to the harbor at Baltra. By dinghy, you will be taken to the yacht.

PM: These two small beaches are found in the West of Black Turtle Cove.  Their sand is made of decomposed coral, which makes it white and soft, making it a favorite nesting site for sea turtles.  Behind one of the beaches there is a small brackish water lagoon, where occasionally it is possible to observe flamingos and other coastal birds, such as black-necked stilts and whimbrels.  The other beach is longer, but it has two old barges that were abandoned during the Second World War when the USA used Baltra Island as a strategic point to protect the Panama Channel.

Solaris’ 8-Day A Itinerary Day One - Nesting Sea Turtles.
Location
Baltra - Santa Cruz
Day
1 / 8

Tintoreras, Wetlands, Wall of Tears & Tortoise Breeding Center

AM: A delightful place reached by a nice zodiac ride. "Tintoreras” are small islands in front of Puerto Villamil coast. There is Heron lava on the lookout on mangrove branch and Galapagos penguins and sea lions often pop out onshore. White-tipped reef sharks are fairly common in the archipelago. Their name in Spanish is “tintorera”, thus the name of this site as they are always found here resting in the shallow waters.

PM: This afternoon the wetlands close to Puerto Villamil village will be visited. There are a few lagoons, swamps and mangroves, primarily known for their migrant bird populations. One of the most attractive species to be seen is the flamingo. You will also visit the Arnaldo Tupiza breeding center, where giant tortoises are reared in captivity on Isabela, to better protect the main sub specie of this island. The Wall of Tears also known as ‘Muro de las Lagrimas’ is another point of interest; the wall was constructed of clocks of lava rock between 1946 and 1959 when Isabela was a penal colony. 

Solaris’ 8-Day A Itinerary Day Two - White-Tipped Reef Sharks.
Location
Isabela
Day
2 / 8

Punta Moreno, Punta Mangle & Tagus Cove

AM: Punta Moreno is located on the north coast of Isabela Island between the volcano Sierra Negra and the Cerro Azul volcano. The trail runs along, lava flow Pahohoe (solidified lava in the form of an accordion) into a complex of coastal lagoons. Its main attractions are several species of birds that can be found around the lakes and mangroves.

PM: At Tagus Cove, a tour along the cliffs in a zodiac will give the visitors a good chance to see the Galapagos penguin, the flightless cormorant, and other sea birds. From the landing dock it is about a 30-minute hike along the trail up to the top of the cliff from where you can view Darwin Lake, an uplifted ultra saline lake saltier than the sea. You can also see several volcanoes from this location. Look carefully at the graffiti on the surrounding cliffs of the cove. It has been written by pirates, whalers and buccaneers in past centuries.

Solaris’ 8-Day A Itinerary Day Three - Exploring Fernandina.
Location
Isabela - Fernandina
Day
3 / 8

Punta Espinosa & Punta Vicente Roca

AM: Fernandina is the third largest island in the archipelago and the site Punta Espinosa is located at the northeastern tip of the island. Just across Tagus Cove, is a visitor’s site where various unique species of Galapagos can be seen. Marine iguanas conglomerate in larger groups than on any other island. They bask around in the sand, swim near the shore and sometimes block the way at the landing dock. Among the unique species found here, is the Flightless Cormorant. A bird that, due to the lack of predators, evolved differently; its wings, tails and feet progressively adapted for swimming. To see these birds is to witness evolution happening right in front of you. You can observe the flightless cormorants and penguins very closely. 

PM: At the north-western tip of Isabela Island lies the visitor site Punta Vicente Roca. During a panga ride we will observe impressive geological formations including a large cave and volcanic tuft cones. The cliffs are home to a variety of nesting birds, including Blue-footed and Nazca Boobies, gulls, storm petrels, and Brown Noddy Terns. The calmer waters within the cave are a popular area for sea turtles. Above all, Punta Vicente Roca is an excellent snorkeling area due to the nutrient-rich waters of the Humboldt Current. There is a good possibility to spot sea lions, penguins, sea turtles and other marine life. 

Solaris’ 8-Day A Itinerary Day Four - Nazca Boobies.
Location
Fernandina - Isabela
Day
4 / 8

Espumilla Beach, Buccaneer Cove & Puerto Egas

AM: Espumilla beach is located on the northern coast of Santiago Island in James Bay. During the last presence of the “El Niño phenomenon”, one of the two lagoons of this site underwent a process of sedimentation, thus causing the disappearance of a representative colony of flamingos. The main attraction is the palo santo forest. The beach is an important site for nesting marine turtles. At the nearby Buccaneers Cove, we have a great snorkeling opportunity. 

PM: Its black beach is located on the west side of the island and is its main attraction. Volcanic tuff deposits have favored the formation of this special black sand beach. This site is called Puerto Egas because there was an attempt by the company of Hector Egas to start the exploitation of salt. It failed because the price of salt in the continent was very low and did not justify its exploitation in Galapagos. Thus the project was abandoned. 

Solaris’ 8-Day A Itinerary Day Five - Snorkeling with Sea Turtles.
Location
Santiago
Day
5 / 8

Rabida & Chinese Hat

AM: Rábida Island is unique because of the red color of the rocks and sand. The volcanic material in this island is very porous and external factors as rain, saltwater and sea breeze have acted as an oxidizing agent. A short walk along a trail lead us to a coastal lagoon behind the beach, which permits the observation of land birds, such as finches, doves, yellow warblers and mocking birds. At the lagoon there is a colony of flamingos. The beach is often full of sea lions, and there are good snorkeling opportunities.

PM: This is a small islet (1 sq km) located just off the southeastern tip of Santiago Island. It is a recent volcanic cone, shaped like a Chinese hat when seen from the north side. On the west side lava formations may be observed, formed under the sea and raised upward, this is why coral heads are found on the lava. This is an excellent visit for the interpretation of geological features such as lava tubes and lava flows. The landscape is covered by sea lions colonies, marine iguanas and Galapagos penguins.

Solaris’ 8-Day A Itinerary Day Six - Sunset at Chinese Hat Islet.
Location
Rabida - Santiago
Day
6 / 8

Charles Darwin Station & Highlands

AM: 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.  One of the main attractions is the National Park information center, the Van Straelen Exhibition Hall, the Breeding and Rearing Center for young tortoises, and adult Galapagos tortoises in captivity.

PM: The road to the highlands leaves from Bellavista, a small village located at 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 (unpredictable) this area affords beautiful scenes of rolling hills and extinct volcanic cones covered with grass and lush greenery all year round. Here you will visit the Twin Craters, which are two pit craters. You will visit as well a local ranch where we can observe the Giant Tortoise specie of Santa Cruz Island in its natural habitat. After our Highlands visit, we will return to Puerto Ayora and the yacht.

Solaris’ 8-Day A Itinerary Day Seven - Galapagos Giant Tortoise.
Location
Santa Cruz
Day
7 / 8

Disembarkation

AM: North Seymour is an uplifted (different to volcanic origin) island and so is generally flat and strewn with boulders. There are good nesting sites here for a large population of magnificent frigate birds. Blue-footed boobies perform their courtship dance in the more open areas and swallow-tailed gulls perch on the cliff edges. Despite the tremendous surf that can pound the outer shore, sea lions haul out onto the beach and can be found bodysurfing. Watch your step, as the boobies don't worry much about where they nest, and you might just step on one. The trees are dotted with male frigate birds trying to attract the attention of the ladies by inflating their bright red skin flaps (seasonal activity). They sometimes fly in the air to call more attention to themselves. There's a circular path that takes you through the island to a beautiful, rocky shore where the waves crash with a silvery-blue color.

Transfer to Baltra airport for your flight back to Guayaquil or Quito.

Solaris’ 8-Day A Itinerary Day Eight - Frigatebird.
Location
North Seymour - Baltra
Day
8 / 8
1 / 8

8 Day - Northern, Southern & Central Islands B

itinerary map

Embarkation

AM: Upon arrival at Baltra Airport, you will first pass through an airport inspection point where your TCT (Transit Control Card) will be checked and stamped (please keep this carefully with your passport as you will need to show it again when you leave Galapagos). Here you will also pay the Galapagos National Park entrance fee (unless it has been prepaid). To ensure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands, your luggage will be inspected as well. At the arrival hall, a naturalist guide will meet you and escort you on a short bus ride to the harbor at Baltra. By dinghy, you will be taken to the yacht.

PM: Mosquera Islet is located between Baltra and North Seymour. This is a small islet formed by a geological uplift, with a reef of rocks and coral and a great white sand beach, where a population of sea lions can be found. You can also observe several species of shorebirds. Along the rocks are commonly running Red Lava crabs or Sally light-foot crabs.

Solaris’ 8-Day B Itinerary Day One - Sea Lions on the Beach.
Location
Baltra
Day
1 / 8

Darwin Bay & Prince Phillip Steps

AM: This bay has origin when the crater of this island collapsed below sea level. The wet landing is on a beautiful white coral sandy beach. This is a favorite island for birdwatchers: red footed-boobies, masked boobies, wandering tattlers, lava gulls, whimbrels Yellow-crowned, black-crowned and lava herons, and yellow warblers can be seen in the area.Continuing on the trail, visitors climb gradually to the edge of the cliff seeing Red-Foots nesting in the Mangrove trees below. Bird watching includes sightings of Sharp-Beaked Finches, Large Cactus and Ground Finches, Galapagos Doves and Swallow-Tailed Gulls. Reaching the end the trail at the cliff's edge offers an incredible view of the island and the many birds living there.

PM: El Barranco is located at the southern part of Darwin Bay and it is also known as Prince Philip’s Steps. Passengers will climb to a plateau that is part of the stretch of land that surrounds Darwin Bay on its eastern side. There is a big population of Masked boobies and Red-Footed boobies in the trees; Storm petrels and Short-eared Owls have found the ideal place for nesting in the lava flows.

Solaris’ 8-Day B Itinerary Day Two - Prince Philip’s Steps.
Location
Genovesa
Day
2 / 8

South Plazas & Santa Fe

AM: South Plazas is located at the east of Santa Cruz Island and forms part of two islands known as Islas Plazas. Despite its small size, some of the most interesting and outstanding species of the Galapagos are found here. The Plazas land iguanas are smaller than their relatives found on other islands. Throughout the island there are several hybrid iguanas, a result of crossing a male marine iguana and a female land iguana, they are unique, recognizable at first glance by their black/gray color, with a land iguana's crest, but face and tail of the marine iguana. The big population of iguanas is due to the presence of tunas, their favorite food.  Swallow-tailed Gulls nesting in the rugged cliffs is seen along with other sea birds as Audubon shearwaters, red-billed tropicbirds, frigate birds, and brown pelicans. 

PM: Located in the southeastern part of the Galapagos, this island was formed from an uplift, which explains why it is mostly flat. There are some theories that assure this could be the oldest island in the Archipelago. Santa Fe is the home of a number of endemic species like the Galapagos Hawk, Galapagos snake, Galapagos mockingbird, rice rats and one of the two species of lands Iguanas of the islands. After disembarkation in the beautiful and clear waters, you will be in contact with one of the many sea lion colonies. Along the trail, many salt bushes can be seen as well as giant prickly pear cactus. There are great possibilities of snorkeling with playful sea lions and tropical fishes.

Solaris’ 8-Day B Itinerary Day Three - Marine Iguana Sighting.
Location
Santa Fe - Santa Cruz
Day
3 / 8

Leon Dormido & Interpretation Centre

AM: This huge ‘cathedral’ of rock is an old lava cone, now split in two. On the rocks many blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies and frigate birds are to be found. The snorkeling is great here, with good opportunities for seeing sea turtles, spotted eagle rays, tropical fish and the Galapagos shark.

PM: The Galapagos National Park Visitor Center lies close to the port town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. The center explains a series of natural circumstances such as the volcanic origins of the islands, their remoteness from the continent, its ocean currents, its special climate, the arrival of different species, and their establishment, among others.  

Solaris’ 8-Day B Itinerary Day Four - Blue-Footed Booby.
Location
San Cristobal
Day
4 / 8

Gardner Bay & Punta Suarez

AM: Located on the north-eastern coast of Hood, Gardner Bay provides an excellent beach for relaxing, swimming and snorkeling, and the opportunity to observe sea lions. Here you may also observe sharks in the crystal clear ocean waters.

PM: This rocky land spot sustains one of the most impressive and varied colonies of sea birds in the Galapagos. Along its southern shore, high cliffs rise up from the sea affording the visitor spectacular views of soaring birds and of the blow whole where water spouts up to 50-75 feet into the air according to the intensity of the surf.

Solaris’ 8-Day B Itinerary Day Five - Galapagos Reef Sharks.
Location
Española
Day
5 / 8

Punta Cormorant, Champion Islet & Post Office Bay

AM: This site offers probably the best Flamingo lagoon in the Galapagos; it is also one of the largest in the islands. It’s situated between two tuff lava cones that give the area a special atmosphere. There are various species of shorebirds to observe besides flamingos; the most frequent are common stilts, white-checked pintail ducks and other migratory birds. It is very interesting to see the two distinct beaches: “The Green Beach” (due to its high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand) and the “Flour Sand Beach” which is made up of coral. After our visit to Cormorant Point we will continue with our yacht to the nearby islet known as Corona del Diablo (Devil’s Crown), where we can enjoy some great snorkeling.

PM: Historically, Post Office Bay is the location of a wooden barrel that was placed in the 18th century by the crew of a whaling ship. Since this time it has been used by mariners and tourists as a post office. The idea is to carry letters or postcards to their destination by hand. Apart from being the Post Office Barrel, this site was the landing area for some of the first colonists. We will continue to the north of the island and ascend to an elevated slope to enjoy a beautiful view from the Baroness Lookout. It is said that Baroness Eloisa von Wagner loved this place and spent several hours watching the horizon. Within walking distance (30 m) are the ruins of what is known as her House. From this lookout, the landscape covers the coastline from the Enderby islet to Post Office Bay, as well as Cerro Pajas, the pool of flamingos and wide forest of Palo Santo.

Solaris’ 8-Day B Itinerary Day Six - Flamingos at Punta Cormorant.
Location
Floreana
Day
6 / 8

Sullivan Bay & Bartolome

AM: Santiago, also called James, or San Salvador Island is located in the west-central part of the Galapagos archipelago. It is the fourth largest island in the archipelago (following Isabela, Fernandina, and Santa Cruz). Along with some of the large western volcanoes of Isabela and Fernandina, Santiago is also volcanically active, with many young flows and cones to be seen, particularly along the south, west, and east coasts. These may even be seen from the summit of Darwin Volcano and from space. A number of historic eruptions have been reported over the last 2 centuries. Santiago actually consists of two coalesced volcanoes: a typical shield volcano on the northwest end and a low, linear fissure volcano at the southeast end.

PM: Bartolome Island is situated across Sullivan Bay. It has an altitude of 114 meters, from where we can observe one of the most beautiful sceneries of the Galapagos Islands such as Volcanic cones, lunar-like craters, lava fields, and the famous Toba formed pinnacle eroded by the sea. There is very little vegetation on this island. It has two breathtaking beaches where marine turtles exist and at the base of the pinnacle, as well as a very small colony of Galapagos penguins.

Solaris’ 8-Day B Itinerary Day Seven - Exploring Bartolome Island.
Location
Santiago - Bartholomew
Day
7 / 8

Disembarkation

AM: This little cove is located on the northern side of Santa Cruz Island, this is a red mangrove lagoon very calm and quiet which makes it an ideal place as nursery for many sharks and rays. Its crystal waters allow you to observe large groups of white-tip reef, black-tipped reef and hammerheads sharks, schools of golden rays and spotted eagle rays.  There are no landing sites so the visit is done by zodiac. Sea turtles are frequently seen and sometimes they are seen mating in the mangrove-lined waters. Pelicans and Herons are also seen in this area. 

PM: After this visit, you will return to the yacht to take your luggage, and be transferred back to Baltra Airport where you will take your flight to Quito or Guayaquil.

Solaris’ 8-Day B Itinerary Day Eight - Fish in the Galapagos.
Location
Santa Cruz - Baltra
Day
8 / 8
1 / 8

Accommodations

Social Areas

Resting Area
Lounge and Bar
Lounge
Dining
Bar
Al fresco Dining

Suites & Cabins

Solaris' Ocean View Suite - Triple. Solaris' Ocean View Suite - Bathroom. Solaris' Ocean View Suite.
10 Cabins

Ocean View Suite

Guests
2 - 3
Size
21-26 m² / 226-280 ft²
Beds
Queen + Single

Solaris' Ocean View Suites are very spacious and feature a large panoramic window that points to the beautiful ocean view. They all include private bathrooms with hot and cold water.

Solaris's Single Cabin. Solaris' Single Cabin. Solaris' Single Cabin - Bathroom.
1 Cabin

Single Cabin

Guests
1
Size
11 m² / 118 ft²
Beds
Single

Solaris' single cabins are very comfortable and provide gorgeous ocean views. They each include private bathrooms with hot and cold water.

Technical Information

Deck Plan

Features

  • Air conditioning
  • Kosher Meals

Equipment

  • Satellite phone
  • Snorkeling gear
  • Wetsuits
  • Kayaks / Canoes
** Use of certain equipment at additional cost, ask for details