closedown-arrowemailfeaturedmagnifying-glassphoneright-arrow
Galapagos Legend Cruise.jpg

Galapagos Legend: 5-Day Cruise to the Western Islands

Galapagos – Luxury

Galapagos Legend 5-Day B Cruise Itinerary

5-Day Galapagos Cruise to the Western Islands

This 5-day Galapagos cruise itinerary takes you on a trip to the western islands of the archipelago on and around Isabela Island.

There are plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal with endemic wildlife during daily morning and afternoon excursions that will leave you tired yet wanting more by nightfall.

Note:

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

Day 1: THURSDAY
AM: Santa Cruz Island, Embarkation

Passengers are picked up at the Baltra airport by our naturalist guides and taken on a ten minute bus drive to the pier to board the M/V Galapagos Legend. 

PM: Mosquera Islet - Wet landing

Mosquera Islet is located between North Seymour and Baltra Island. This flat, sandy island has a large colony of sea lions. It is also an excellent site to observe shorebirds such as herons and lava gulls. There is no trail on the islet, the visitor can enjoy the open area. Most of the islet is covered with sand and barren lava rock. Very little sesuvium portulacastrum plants grow on the sand.

Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy
Duration: 1 ½-hour walk & snorkeling

Galapagos hiking

Day 2: FRIDAY
AM: Santiago Island, Egas Port– Wet landing

Egas Port is a black volcanic sand beach, visited by Darwin in 1835. The first section of the trail is formed of volcanic ash (eroded tuff) and the other half is an uneven terrain of volcanic basaltic rock. The unique, truly striking layered terrain of Santiago shore is home to a variety of animals including the bizarre yellow-crowned night heron and marine wildlife including lobster, starfish and marine iguanas grazing on algae beds alongside Sally light-foot crabs. It is easy to see colonies of endemic fur seals swimming in cool water volcanic rock pools.

Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: flat & semi-rocky
Duration: 1h30 walk / 1 hour snorkeling


PM: Rabida Island, Snorkeling– Wet landing

Dark-red sand covers these unique beaches with incredible landscape; 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 and nine species of the famous Darwin’s finches can be seen. We will also take a dinghy ride along cliffs to observe nesting seabirds, and snorkel off the coast, where marine life is particularly active.

Difficulty level: Easy
Type of terrain: Sandy
Duration: 1h30 walk / 1 hour snorkeling / 1 hour dinghy ride

Giant Galapagos tortoises

DAY 3: SATURDAY
AM: Isabela Island, Urbina Bay, Snorkeling– Wet landing

Wet landing on a volcanic “black” beach. Depending on the season, we may find giant tortoises, land iguanas and the unusual Flightless Cormorant. After a short walk inland, snorkeling time is allotted, giving you yet another chance to swim with sea turtles, sea lions and countless tropical fish. Urbina Bay features a wide variety of plant life that changes depending on the season. We can observe the beautiful colors of plants that attract different insects, birds and reptiles. We will explore the uplifted coral reef that resulted from 1954 volcanic activity, with a spectacular view of Alcedo Volcano.

Difficulty level: Intermediate
Type of terrain: Flat
Duration: 1h30 walk / 1 hour snorkeling

 

PM: Isabela Island, Tagus Cove, Snorkeling – Dry landing

Dry landing on the Galapagos’ largest island where we will learn about the eruption of the five volcanoes that form it. The trail leads to Darwin’s salt-water crater Lake and excellent views of lava fields and volcanic formations. We will return by the same path for a dinghy ride along a shoreline full of marine wildlife, where we will admire a variety of seabirds, such as Blue-footed Booby, Brown Noddy, terns, Flightless Cormorant and depending on the season, a large number of Galapagos Penguins which are only 35 cm tall; the only penguin species in the world to extend its range into the northern hemisphere along the equator. They are monogamous and lay their eggs in small cracks of lava, on the lower parts of the island near the shoreline not reached by the ocean waves. The population of penguins on the islands is about 2,000 individuals, most of which live on this western portion of Isabela; others are scattered further south on the island. We will have an opportunity to snorkel in deep water. Graffiti believed to have been left by 19th-century pirates is a curious reminder of an intriguing past.

Difficulty level: Intermediate
Type of terrain: Steep
Duration: 2 hour walk / 40 minutes dinghy ride / deep water snorkeling 1 hour

 

Galapagos birdwatching

Day 4: SUNDAY

AM: Fernandina Island, Espinosa Point – Dry landing

Espinosa Point is the only spot that we visit on Fernandina, and from it we can see the island of Isabela across the Bolívar Channel, an area that boasts some of the highest diversity of endemic sea fauna in the Galapagos. The largest, most primitive-looking race of marine iguanas* are found mingling with sea lions and Sally Lightfoot Crabs; a wonderful opportunity to encounter Flightless Cormorants at their nesting sites, Galapagos Penguins and the “King” of predators on the Islands, the Galapagos Hawk. “Pa-hoe-hoe” and “AA” lava formations* cover the majority of the terrain. Vegetation is thus scarce inland, but we encounter Brachycereus cacti and extensive mangrove beds lining the shores.

Difficulty level: Intermediate
Type of terrain: Rocky
Duration: 2 hours walk / 1hour snorkeling

PM: Isabela Island, Vincente Roca Point, Snorkeling

Great deep-water snorkeling at one of the richest marine havens on Earth (Bolívar Channel). We take a dinghy ride along the coast to observe a great diversity of sea and coastal birds; Nazca and blue-footed boobies, noddies, brown pelicans, penguins, flightless cormorants. The upwelling of coldwater currents in this part of the Galapagos gives rise to an abundance of marine life.

Duration: 1 hour snorkeling / 1 hour dinghy ride

galapagos Legend Itinerary

Day 5: MONDAY

AM: Santa Cruz Island, Highlands – Dry landing

In the mountains of Galapagos is possible to admire different kind of birds, such as: tree and ground finches, vermillion flycatchers, paint-billed crakes, yellow warblers, and cattle egrets (usually standing on the tortoises’ shell). The journey to the reserve offers great opportunities to see the contrasts that the island offers in reference to the variety of ecosystems. The road goes from the coast through the agricultural zone and straight up to the dense humid forests. Often, Galapagos Giant Tortoises are also seen on the way, wandering through pastures in the paddocks. This spot is a birdwatchers’ haven, since almost every land bird present on the island lives or migrates here.

Difficulty level: Easy
Type of terrain: Flat & muddy sometimes (depending on season)
Duration: 45 minutes drive / 1h30 walk

 

Please note that if doing this itinerary as part of an 8-day cruise, the activity will be as follows:

 

AM: Santa Cruz Island, Pit Craters - no landing

The Pit Craters, geologically speaking, were not directly formed by volcanic action. They were created as a result of the collapse or sinking of surface materials into cracks or manholes. It’s a great place to spot vermilion fly catchers as we walk inside an endemic Scalesia forest. Great opportunity to observe giant tortoises.

Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: flat, sometimes the trails can be muddy.
Duration: 45-minutes drive / 1 ½-hour hike

 

After the visit passengers will be transferred to Baltra airport for return flight to Guayaquil or Quito.


  • 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.

Testimonials

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