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Natural Paradise: 8-Day Cruise - B

Galapagos Islands Map

8-Day Galapagos Cruise: Visit 8 Galapagos Islands

Travel all around the Galapagos Islands on this 8 day cruise aboard the Natural Paradise Galapagos Yacht. Visit a total of 8 islands on this beautiful itinerary. 

You will visit: Santa Cruz, Isabela, Fernandina, Chinese Hat, Mosquera Islet, Floreana, Española and San Cristobal Islands.


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: Tuesday – Santa Cruz Island, Eden Islet

Morning flight from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra, 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 Eden Islet.

Off the western coast of Santa Cruz Island, Eden Islet offers visitors a great chance to see a variety of Galapagos wildlife from the dinghy ride both on shore and under the water.


Activities: Dinghy ride and snorkeling
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: No landing
Highlights & Animals: Endemic salemas, reef sharks, Nazca and blue footed boobies

Galapagos wildlife

DAY 2: Wednesday – Isabela and Fernandina Islands

In the morning, visit is at Vicente Roca Point. Comprised of two separate coves, this site is a large bay with spectacular sea life. Keep an eye out for seahorses, sea turtles, and the strange yet fascinating Mola mola (or sunfish).


Activities: Snorkeling, dinghy ride & hike, 2 trails: short (0.6 mi /1 km), long (1.9 mi/3 km)
Difficulty: Easy /moderate
Type of Landing: No landing
Highlights & Animals: Penguins, blue-footed boobies, terns, Nazca boobies, two types of sea lions. sea turtles, rays and puffer fish.


In the afternoon, crossing the Bolivar Channel that divides Isabela and Fernandina Islands, you will land at Espinosa Point, and after walking past a colony of marine iguanas and a group of sea lions, reach the island’s highlight: the flightless cormorant nesting site. This area provides a great opportunity to see the Galapagos hawk.


Activities: Hike of approximately (1.2 miles / 2 km)
Difficulty: Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry and slippery at low tide
Highlights & Animals: Flightless cormorant, marine iguanas, ‘a‘ā lava, sea lions, penguins, active volcano “La Cumbre”.


galapagos snorkeling

DAY 3: Thursday– Isabela Island

In the morning, you will go to Urbina Bay which is located at the base of Alcedo Volcano on the west coast between Tagus Cove and Elizabeth Bay. This area experienced a major uplift in 1954 causing the land to rise over 16 feet. The coast expanded half a mile out leaving marine life stranded on the new shore. This area is also a great place for snorkeling.


Activities: Snorkeling, dinghy ride & hike, 2 trails: short (0.6mi/1 km), long (1.9mi/3km)
Difficulty: Easy /moderate
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Highlights & Animals: Land iguanas (the biggest in the Galapagos), hawks, coral reef, giant tortoises; snorkeling: turtles, rays, tropical fish.


In the afternoon you will visit Moreno Point located southwest of Elizabeth Bay. Here a dry landing onto what was once owing lava is possible. The lava has left craters in its wake which formed crystal tide pools. By looking into the pools, you can peer into another world as the marine life drifts by your window. In the brackish pools of this area, you may see pink flamingos, white-cheeked pintails, and common gallinules. If you look carefully into the pools, you may see white-tip reef sharks and some sea turtles.


Activities: Snorkeling, panga ride & hike (1.2 miles / 2 km)
Difficulty: Moderate / Difficult
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights: Flamingos, gallinules, pintail ducks, turtles, white-tip reef sharks.

Galapagos cruises

DAY 4: Friday – Isabela Island

The morning will consist of a visit to The Sierra Negra Volcano which is the largest basaltic caldera in the Galapagos with a diameter of 6.2 miles (10 km). The site offers impressive views and the opportunity to observe up to seven species of finches and a rich display of vegetation. The north side of the caldera provides evidence of its most recent volcanic activity in 2005.

Activities: Hiking, horseback riding, walking
Difficulty: Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry landing Highlights: Basaltic caldera, stunning views, finches.


In the afternoon you will visit The Wall of Tears (El Muro de las Lágrimas) which is 65 feet (25 meters) high and an important piece of the island history. A penal colony existed on Isabela from 1945-1959, and the prisoners were forced to build the wall, stone by stone, while in isolation from the rest of the world, and thousands died during the construction. Many claim to feel the heavy energy of this historical site, and locals claim to hear cries in the wind.


Activities: Hiking Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights & Animals: Historic sites Afterwards you will head to the Wetlands of Isabela Island which are located just outside of Puerto Villamil.


The Wetlands consist of lagoons, swamps, and mangroves and are home to a variety of unique bird species such as common stilts, whimbrels, white-cheeked pintails, and gallinules. The Wetlands can be visited on foot via a path through the swamps.


Activities: Hiking
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights & Animals: Giant mangroves, shore birds

Next you will visit Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center of Isabela. It is located about one mile (1.5 km) from Puerto Villamil. In this breeding center, populations from South Isabela Sierra Negra Volcano, Cerro Azul, Cazuela, Cinco Cerros, Roca Unión, San Pedro, Tables and Cerro Paloma have been bred in captivity. In total there are 330 juvenile and adult tortoises.


Activities: Walking
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights & Animals: Two of the five subspecies of the giant tortoise

Galapagos Natural Paradise

DAY 5: Saturday – Chinese Hat & Mosquera Islets

In the morning, you will visit Chinese Hat islet. This small islet is located near the southeast coast of Santiago Island. Its name comes from the distinct shape of the islet’s summit. This small islet is a great location to view many geological formations such as lava tubes and lava flows. Some of the lava flows were formed underwater and subsequently raised above sea level. The presence of coral heads on the lava flow indicates this phenomenon.


Activities: Hike (1.9 miles / 3 km)
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights & Animals: Lava formations, great site for snorkeling with an abundance of marine species, marine iguanas, sea lions.


In the afternoon you will visit Mosquera Islet, it is located between the islands of Baltra and North Seymour, this reef of rocks and coral (the result of an uprising) is only 160 meters across at its narrowest width. This island has one of the largest populations of sea lions and is home to many shorebirds. There have been occasional reports at this site of orcas feeding on sea lions.


Highlights: Orcas, sea lions, shore birds
Activities: Dinghy ride, snorkeling
Type of Landing: No landing
Difficulty: Easy

Natural Paradise Cruise

DAY 6: Sunday – Floreana Island

In the morning, you will visit the famous Post Office Bay. You will land on a beach and head to a spot where 18th century whalers placed a wooden barrel used as an unofficial mail box. The custom continues to this day with Galapagos visitors. So, don’t forget your postcards, and don’t be surprised if the postcard arrives to its destination before you even get home!


Activities: Short hike (less than 0.6 miles/1 km) & snorkeling
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Highlights & Animals: Post office barrel, nice sandy beach


In the afternoon, you will head to Cormorant Point. Here you will enjoy a hike to a salt-water lagoon which is home to flamingos. You will also get to swim in the crystal clear waters of the Devil’s Crown. This extinct volcano peaks out of the waters just off of Floreana’s coast and offers a magnificent snorkeling experience.


Activities: Hiking (1,5 miles / 2 km) snorkelling and dinghy ride
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Highlights & Animals: Flamingos, Devil’s Crown: the best snorkeling site in the Galapagos Islands with sharks, rays, rock formations and lots of tropical fish.


Afterwards, you will visit Champion Islet, named after the whaler Andrew Champion, is a small island located just offshore Floreana Island in the southern part of the Archipelago, considered as one of the most beautiful places on Galapagos for all snorkeling and diving fans and an excellent opportunity for dolphin watching.


Activities: Snorkeling and dinghy ride
Difficulty: Moderate / Difficult
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Highlights & Animals: Sea lions, reef fish and Nazca boobies

Natural Paradise Itinerary

DAY 7: Monday – Espanola Island

In the morning, you will visit Suarez Point. On the trail you will have the chance to see blue-footed boobies, albatrosses, and Nazca boobies. This island is the breeding site of nearly all of the world’s 12,000 pairs of waved albatrosses. You will also visit a beautiful site on the ocean front where there is a cliff that the large albatrosses use as a launching pad! You will have the chance to see the famous blowhole that spurts water into the air. The landscape is great for photography.


Activities: Hike (1.9 miles / 3 km)
Difficulty: Difficult
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights & Animals: Hood mockingbirds, Nazca boobies, waved albatrosses (from the last week of april until the last week of january), red-billed tropicbirds, lava lizards, Galapagos hawks, blue-footed boobies, blowhole, amazing landscape.


In the afternoon, excursion takes you to the spectacular Gardner Bay. After landing, you can walk across a lovely white-sand beach amongst a busy sea lion colony or dive into the water to swim with sea lion pups. You may also see curious mockingbirds on the beach.


Activities: Snorkeling, panga ride & short hike (0.6 miles / 1 km), kayaking
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Highlights & Animals: White sandy beach, sea lions, mockingbirds; snorkeling: colorful fish, sea lion nursery

Galapagos Tour

DAY 8: Tuesday – San Cristobal Island

In the morning you will involve an excursion to Lobos Island which means “Sea Lion Island.” This appropriately named island is ripe with noisy, playful, jolly sea lions who will welcome you to their home with open, well, fins. This island also offers great snorkeling opportunities as well as the chance to see blue-footed and Nazca boobies.


Activities: Short hike (less that 0.6 miles / 1 km), dinghy ride
Difficulty: Easy / moderate
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights & Animals: Sea lions, frigate birds, blue-footed boobies


After this final visit, you will be transferred to San Cristobal’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. 

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