Cruise around the Northern Galapagos Islands on this 5 day cruise aboard the La Pinta Galapagos Yacht. Visit a total of 6 islands on this breathtaking itinerary.
Check off Pinnacle Rock, Chinese hat, Darwin Bay and the Highlands of Santa Cruz from your list. Don't forget to look for Blue-Footed boobies along the way!
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.
DAY 1: Monday
Following our morning arrival at Baltra Airport, we transfer to the Itabaca Channel, taking a small ferry across the channel to the north shore of Santa Cruz Island. We board our bus to the highlands, where we’ll learn about Santa Cruz’s unique ecosystems and biodiversity. Lunch is served at a local restaurant.
Highlands (Santa Cruz Island)
After lunch, we continue by bus to reach a reserve that is one of the best places in the archipelago to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat. The tortoises are easy to spot, lumbering around, eating grass and leaves and wallowing in the small pools. There are several lava tunnels in the reserve, too. A short bus ride takes us down to Puerto Ayora to board Yacht La Pinta.
DAY 2: Tuesday
Eden Islet (Santa Cruz Island)
After breakfast, a panga ride takes us to Eden Islet, located off the coast of Santa Cruz, where we can observe blue footed boobies diving into the water, reef sharks and frigates. There’s a chance to snorkel and, if weather conditions permit, to ride in the glass-bottom boat. The volcanic setting of this area is quite stunning due to its variety of volcanic debris, including cinder cones, tuff cones, and semi-eroded lava flows.
Sombrero Chino Islet
The tiny island of Sombrero Chino gets its name from its appearance, reminiscent of a Chinese hat. This islet, formed only fairly recently, makes a beautiful visit as one explores the wildlife along its 400-metre long trail, which begins at a crescent-shaped white sandy beach. The cove offers excellent swimming and snorkelling opportunities amid white-tipped reef sharks and Galapagos penguins.
DAY 3: Wednesday
This morning, a Galapagos icon awaits: Bartolome Island. A great way to start the day, with a steep climb up a wooden staircase: the view from the top is worth the effort! Following the walk, we take to the dinghies for a ride around colossal Pinnacle Rock, followed by time to enjoy the beach and some snorkelling. We can also ride in the glass-bottom boat for great views of the underwater world.
Sullivan Bay (Santiago Island)
After lunch, we board the pangas to land at Sullivan Bay on the east coast of Santiago, a white coral sand beach great for swimming and snorkelling, and with a trail over a lava field that flowed here less than 100 years ago. This is the perfect place to see and feel the volcanic origin of Galapagos while observing its wildlife.
DAY 4: Thursday
In the morning, we begin our exploration of this island with an easy stroll to observe marine and land birds. There is an optional walk over sharp lava and uneven terrain for dramatic views, or else we can return to the beach to enjoy swimming and snorkelling at this beautiful natural harbour. The more adventurous can snorkel along the cliffs or paddle sea kayaks.
Prince Philip’s Steps (Genovesa Island)
The afternoon starts with a very interesting panga ride along the cliffs before we disembark for a short but steep climb up a wooden staircase. Once at the top, the land is flat, allowing for a captivating walk of about a mile to the other side of this small island, observing large colonies of Nazca boobies, frigate birds and storm petrels and the elusive short eared owl.
DAY 5: Friday
Our journey ends at Baltra Island, where we transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland. Baltra’s flat substrate (due to its uplifted origin) is the reason why the island was chosen back in the 1940s as the location to building an airport.
- 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.