closedown-arrowemailfeaturedmagnifying-glassphoneright-arrow
galapagos sea turtle.jpg

Galaxy: 6-Day Cruise to Western & Central Islands

Galapagos – Superior

6-Day Galapagos Cruise to Western & Central Islands

The Western and Central islands are known for their utmost natural beauty, void of any significant human influence and complete home for some of the Galapagos’ most unique animals. This 6-day cruise aboard the Galaxy introduces you to hidden sites such as a flamingo pool, shining coastal lagoons, a volcano’s salt lake, and much more.

At the end of the day, return to your 16-passenger yacht to relax on the sun deck, or grab a tasty cocktail at the bar before replenishing with a delicious Ecuadorian-sourced meal cooked up by the ship’s experienced chef and his team!

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 kayaking

DAY 1: SATURDAY

AM: Baltra Island, Embarkation

Arrival in Baltra airport and transfer to the boat. Welcome drink & briefing onboard about the boat and the island.

PM: Santa Cruz Island, Los Gemelos – dry landing

Activities: hiking

After lunch, your first visit is to the Highlands of Santa Cruz Island where you will go on short talks and find giant Galapagos tortoises in their natural habitat; this is a natural spectacle! We recommend wearing sport shoes, long pants, a raincoat, hat, and sunblock depending on the weather. At night, enjoy a welcome cocktail and the formal presentation of the crew by the Capitan, and your naturalist guide will brief you on the following day’s activities.

Galapagos crab

DAY 2: SUNDAY

AM: Isabela Island, Tintoreras, Humedales - no landing

Activities: hiking

Located south of Puerto Villamil, the town of Isabela Island, you will arrive to Tintoreras by panga. There is a small bay with turquoises water where you can appreciate sea lions, marine tortoises, marine iguanas, and rays. Along most of this trail you will find volcanic lava of type AA. Tintoreras is one of places where the introduction of iguanas has been successful. Continue to Humedales which is a set of complex paths that include sites and views like Orchilla Hill from whose viewpoint you can admire the bay, Puerto Villamil, Volcano Sierra Negra, islets, and dramatic rocks. El Estero, Poza Escondida, Poza Redonda, Tunel Del Estero are others paths located in the Humedales area, each one with its own beautiful landscape and characteristic.

PM: Isabela Island, Breeding Center & Muro de las Lagrimas - dry landing

Activities: hiking, snorkeling, swimming

The Isabela Island Breeding Center is located 1.5 kilometers from Puerto Villamil. This place is dedicated to the reproduction of several species of tortoises in captivity; you will find more than 330 tortoises between youth and adult maturity. The Breeding Center also has beautiful gardens composed of native plants. Poza de Flamingos is a wonderful place where you can find flamingoes and get wonderful photos of those birds. Then at Concha & Perla, you will cross a mangroves area; it is a great place for swimming and snorkeling.

Wildlife encounters

DAY 3: MONDAY

AM: Isabela Island, Moreno Point – dry landing

Activities: hiking, panga exploration, snorkeling

The main attractions at Punta Moreno are coastal lagoons amid black lava flows where there are several species of birds. It has a panoramic view of 3 volcanoes, the most active of the Galapagos, which are Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul of Isabela, and La Cumbre of Fernandina.

PM: Isabela Island, Elizabeth Bay – no landing

Activities: panga exploration

This is one of the island's breeding sites for penguins. Located on the west coast of Isabela, Elizabeth Point is a marine visitor site. Visit a red mangrove cove full of brown pelicans, flightless cormorants, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, and sea lion.

Guided excursions

DAY 4: TUESDAY

AM: Isabela Island, Tagus Cove – dry landing

Activities: hiking

Tagus Cove is located west of Darwin Volcano on Isabela Island. During your walking tour you will find several inscriptions (names of boat’s pirates) since the 1800s. Tagus Cove’s name has its origins from an England ship which crossed the island looking for Galapagos tortoise to feed the crew. From this area, you can admire Darwin Lake which has salt water and is approximately 9 meters deep and there are no fish. It is very easy to see different species of birds, however.

PM: Fernandina Island, Espinoza Point – dry landing

Activities: hiking

Fernandina is the 3rd largest island in the Galapagos and has just one visitor sit: Espinoza Point. Espinoza Point is famous because you will find big colonies of marine iguanas and is a unique place where the flightless cormorant lives, in addition to Galapagos penguin, hawk, Galapagos snakes, and many other creatures. From here, you can admire Fernandina Island and its volcano whose last eruption was in May 2005. Fernandina is the only island that doesn’t have any mammals introduced and the open areas are very fragile. In the marine iguana nesting season (January to June) we must tread cautiously in the area.

Galaxy dining room

DAY 5: WEDNESDAY

AM: Santiago Island, Egas Port – dry landing

Activities: hiking, snorkeling 

At this site you find a black sand beach; south of this beach there is a volcano called Pan de Azucar with volcanic deposits which have contributed to the formation of this distinct beach. The crater of this volcano has a salt lake which in warm weather becomes dry, making it possible to appreciate a salt mine in its place. Between 1928 and 1930, there were some explorations of this mine but they were not successful; additionally, it caused damages to the environment because workers consumed endemic woods. Today, it is not permitted to go down to the salt mine.

PM: Santiago Island, Espumilla Beach, Buccaneer Cove – dry & wet landing

Activities: hiking, panga exploration, snorkeling

One of the main attractions of this site is a Palo Santo wood, the beach, and the beautiful landscape; the beach is a very important site for tortoises because they use this place for nesting. In the past, pigs were the main predator of tortoise’s eggs, but they were eradicated with the creation of the Isabela Project.

Galaxy lounge

DAY 6: THURSDAY

AM: Santa Cruz Island, Daphne Mayor or Dragon Hill - dry landing

Activities: hiking, snorkeling

Daphne Mayor is a volcanic tuff cone formed by successive explosions produced by the mixture of lava and water. Galaxy will navigate around the Island. Meanwhile, Dragon Hill is located in the northwestern of Santa Cruz Island and consists of a trail that runs through 3 different environments at just 1,600 meters long.

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. 

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