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Natural Paradise: 4-Day Cruise

Galapagos Islands Map

4-Day Galapagos Cruise: Genovesa, Santiago & Santa Cruz Island

Cruise all around the Galapagos Islands on this 4 day cruise aboard the Natural Paradise Galapagos Yacht. Visit a total of 3 islands on this exciting itinerary. 

From the shield volcano island of Genovesa Island and its impressive landscapes to the islands of Santiago and Santa Cruz, where you will find blue footed boobies, sea lions and tortoises.


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.

rabida island galapagos

DAY 1: Saturday – Santa Cruz Island


Morning flight from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra Island, Galapagos Islands.

You will arrive at Baltra Island in the morning. After passing through immigration and baggage claim, you will be met by the Natural Paradise staff and transferred to the yacht.

You will be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before lunch and a welcome briefing. In the afternoon you will visit Charles Darwin Station on Santa Cruz Island. The Charles Darwin Research Station is home to turtles ranging from 3-inches (new hatchlings) to 4-feet long. Subspecies of turtles interact with one another and many of the older turtles are accustomed to humans stretching out their heads for a photo opportunity. The babies are kept until they are about four years old and strong enough to survive on their own. 


Activities: Walking
Difficulty: Easy
Type of landing: Dry landing
Highlights & Animals: Galapagos Tortoises in captivity

Galapagos wildlife

DAY 2: Sunday – Genovesa Island, El Barranco & Darwin Bay

In the morning, you will visit El Barranco which is also known as Prince Phillip’s Steps. It is a steep, rocky path that leads up to a high cliff-face. A marvelous view can be appreciated from here. This site is also home to palo santo vegetation as well as red-footed boobies, short-eared lava owls, Galapagos swallows, and Galapagos doves. 


Activities: Hiking (0.9 miles / 2 Km)
Difficulty: Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry, difficult landing
Highlights & Animals: Red-footed boobies, short-eared lava owls, storm-petrels, Galapagos doves.


In the afternoon, you will visit the white-sand coral beach of Darwin Bay which heads a half mile trail (0.75km) that winds through mangroves filled with land birds. Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls can be spotted here. Further down the path we’ll find tidal pools where sea lions swim playfully. At the end is a spectacular view of a cliff. 

Activities: Hiking (0.9 miles / 1.5 Km), snorkeling, kayaking, and dinghy ride
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Highlights & Animals: Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, mangroves, coral pebble beach, snorkeling: rays, colourful reef fish, and hammerhead sharks.

galapagos snorkeling

DAY 3: Monday – Santiago Island

In the morning, visit is to Espumilla Beach where marine iguanas lounge and the Sally Lightfoot crabs attract the hunting herons performing the dance of predator and prey right before your eyes. Snorkeling is highly recommended as you could and yourself face to face with an octopus, moray eel, shark and a variety of other species of tropical fish. 

Activities: Snorkeling and swimming. 
Difficulty: Easy
Type of landing: Wet landing
Highlights & Animals: Snorkeling


In the afternoon, you will go to Egas Port, also known as James Bay, on Santiago Island which is home to the curious Galapagos hawks and quick-footed Galapagos lava lizards. The trail leads to the coastline with gorgeous tide pools and grottos full of fauna. Here the Galapagos fur sea lions bathe in the sun. This is also a great snorkeling site. 

Activities: Snorkeling, hiking (1.2 miles/2 km)
Difficulty: Easy / Moderate
Type of landing: Wet landing
Highlights & Animals: Fur sea lions, Galapagos sea lions, tidal pools and grottos, Galapagos hawks, oystercatchers, marine iguanas, finches; snorkeling: reef sharks, turtles, rays, nice underwater formations.

Galapagos cruises

DAY 4: Tuesday – Santa Cruz Island

The morning visit, Bachas Beach, is located on the north shore of Santa Cruz which is a swimming beach. One of the few remnants of the U.S. World War II presence in the Galapagos, a floating pier, can be seen here. You may see flamingos, Sally Lightfoot crabs, hermit crabs, black-necked stilts, and whimbrels. Sea turtles also nest on the beach.


Activities: Hiking
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Highlights & Animals: World War II remnants, Sally Ligthfoot crabs, hermit crabs, blacknecked stilts, whimbrels, sea turtles.


After this final visit, you will be transferred to Baltra’s airport in time for your flight back to the 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, Galapagos Islands tours, and Southeast Asia cruises. We provide you with the finest collection of cruises in Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Panama and Southeast Asia. As travel experts we have all the advice you need to help you find and book your dream cruise and an unforgettable adventure.