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8-Day Reina Silvia Galapagos Cruise: Eastern Route

Galapagos – Superior

Galapagos Map

8-Day Galapagos Cruise: Eastern Islands

Bounce all around the Galapagos Islands on this complete 8 day cruise aboard the Reina Silvia cruise. Visit a total of 9 islands on this breathtaking itinerary. 

From San Cristobal Island and its impressive landscapes to the southeastern island of Española where you will find blue footed boobies, this journey takes it all in.

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.


majestic galapagos cruise

DAY 1: SATURDAY
 

MORNING FLIGHT FROM QUITO OR GUAYAQUIL TO BALTRA (GALAPAGOS) HIGHLANDS & FAUSTO LLERENA BREEDING CENTER

Assistance at the airport by our representatives for your Galapagos flight. You will arrive at the airport on Baltra Island in the morning and after passing through immigration and baggage claim, you will be met by guide from the Reina Silvia. Reached by bus from Puerto Ayora, the Highlands of Santa Cruz are a deep green, contrasting beautifully with much of the dry, lower islands. The dominant vegetation in the highlands is the Scalesia trees, creating the lush green color. The lava tubes, over half a mile long, are underground and walking through them is a unique, surreal experience.

 

Activities: Hike (1.5 mi / 2 ½ km)
Difficulty: Moderate (long)
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights & Animals: Lava tunnel, wild turtles, tortoises breeding center

 

The afternoon visit is the “Fausto Llerena” breeding center where giant tortoises are bred in captivity and reared until the age of 5 years, when they can survive the effects of introduced predators. This is home to tortoises ranging from 3-inches (new hatchlings) to 4-foot long adults. Subspecies of the giant tortoises interact with one another, and many of the older tortoises are accustomed to humans stretching out their heads for a photo opportunity.

 

Activities: Walking and bird watching
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights & Animals: Giant land tortoises in captivity

Galapagos wildlife

DAY 2: SUNDAY

ESPAÑOLA: GARDNER BAY / GARDNER ISLET / OSBORN ISLET / SUAREZ POINT

 

In the morning, you will visit 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 can also see curious mockingbirds on the beach.

 

Activities: Short hike (0.6 miles /1 km), snorkeling, dinghy ride and kayaking
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Highlights: Hood mockingbirds, Nazca boobies, waved albatross, red-billed tropic birds, lava lizards, Galapagos hawk, blue-footed boobies, blow hole and amazing landscape

 

Next visit is the small island in front of Gardner Bay, Gardner Islet. There you will find steep cliffs, large boulders and sandy ledges. For adventure you will find on one end of the island are curvy tunnels and the other are caves that make for a fascinating exploration.
 

Activities: Cave/tunnel exploration, snorkeling and dinghy ride
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Highlights & Animals: Abundance of fish, eels, bat fish, eagle rays, hammerheads and peacock flounders

 

Next up is Osborne Islet, a marine visitor site on Espanola Island. Osborn Islet is near Española and is a great place to observe sea lions, parrot fish, butterfly fish, coral and possible red-lipped bat fish

 

Activities: Snorkeling
Difficulty: Easy entry level
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Highlights & Animals: Sea lions, parrot fish and butterfly fish.

 

You will end the day visiting Suarez Point, located on the western end of Espanola island, you will find a large population of albatross, or wild sea birds as well as carnivorous mockingbirds.

 

Activities: Hiking (1.9 miles / 3 km) and bird watching
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Highlights & Animals: Albatross, mockingbirds and iguanas

 

galapagos snorkeling

DAY 3: MONDAY

SAN CRISTOBAL: LOBOS ISLAND / KICKER ROCK / PITT POINT

Your morning visit will involve an excursion to Lobos Island which means “Sea Lion Island”. This appropriately named island is ripe with boasting, playful sea lions who will welcome you to their home upon landing on San Cristobol Island. This island offers great snorkeling opportunities as well as the chance to see blue-footed and Nazca boobies.

Activities: Short hike (less than 0.6 miles / 1 km), dinghy ride and snorkeling
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights & Animals: Snorkeling with sea lions, frigate birds and blue-footed boobies

 

Next, you will visit Kicker Rock. This striking rock formation is located a couple hours off the western shore of San Cristobal. Jutting out of the water, the rocks stand vertically at hundreds of feet above the ocean divided by a small channel. Although there are no landing areas, kayaking and scuba diving allow visitors to spot a variety of marine life.

Activities: Snorkeling and dinghy ride
Difficulty: Easy Type of Landing: No Landing
Highlights & Animals: Sharks, fish, turtles, manta rays (occasionally), hammerhead sharks, spectacular rock formations, blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies and frigate birds.

 

In the afternoon, you will end up visiting the Pitt Point, situated on the north-eastern tip of the island, hosts frigatebirds, storm petrels, and all three types of booby birds: the Nazca, blue-footed and red-footed boobies. A steep trail goes up a cliff and through a ravine leading visitors to an area with an abundance of birds.

Activities: Hiking (1.5 miles / 2 km)
Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Highlights & Animals: Frigatebirds, storm petrels, Nazca boobies, blue- and red-footed boobies

Galapagos cruises

DAY 4: TUESDAY

SAN CRISTOBAL: SANTA FE / SOUTH PLAZA

In the morning, you will visit Santa Fe Island (Barrington) which is home to a small, picturesque bay also named Santa Fe. The bay has two visitor trails, one leading to a scenic viewpoint atop a cliff, and the other spanning from a small beach to a tall prickly pear cactus forest.

Activities: Hiking ( 1.5 miles / 2 km), snorkeling, dinghy ride and kayaking
Difficulty: Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights & Animals: Land iguanas and giant Opuntia cacti

 

In the afternoon, you will head to South Plaza Island. This small island with steep cliffs was formed by rising lava and is now covered by Opuntia cacti. It is also home to one of the largest sea lion colonies as well as colourful yellow and red land iguanas. The most characteristic plant is the Sesuvium. During the rainy season its colour is a greenish to yellowish tone and in the dry season (end of June through January) a bright red.

Activities: Hiking (1.5 miles / 2 km)
Difficulty: Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights & Animals: Land iguanas, sea lion colony, Audubon’s shearwaters, swallow-tailed gulls, Nazca boobies and amazing landscape with cliffs

Galapagos crabs

DAY 5: WEDNESDAY

GENOVESA: DARWIN BAY / EL BARRANCO

In the morning, you will visit the white-sand coral beach of Darwin Bay which 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 find tidal pools where sea lions swim playfully. At the end is a spectacular view of a cliff.

Activities: Hiking (0.6 miles / 1 km), snorkeling, kayaking and dinghy ride
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Highlights & Animals: Nazca and red-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, mangroves, coral pebble beach, rays, colourful reef fish and hammerhead sharks (occasionally)

 

In the afternoon, 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: Short hike (less than 0.6 miles / 1 km), snorkeling, dinghy ride and kayaking
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Highlights & Animals: Red-footed boobies, short-eared lava owls, storm-petrels and Galapagos doves

rabida island galapagos

DAY 6: THURSDAY

SANTIAGO / BARTHOLOMEW: SULLIVAN BAY / BARTHOLOMEW ISLAND

The morning visit heads to Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island, located on the southeast part of the island. This place is interesting for its geology because the area has elevations in form of small volcanoes, formed by the lava flows.

Activities: Hiking (0.6 miles / 1 km), snorkeling and dinghy ride
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights & Animals: Lava flows and small volcanoes

 

In the afternoon, you will head to Bartholomew Island, home of the famous Pinnacle Rock. Bartholomew consists of an extinct volcano with a variety of red, orange, black and even green volcanic formations. We will take a trail of stairs to the summit of the volcano (about 30 or 40 minutes) where you will enjoy one of the best views of the islands! You will also visit a small, beautiful beach surrounded by the only vegetation found on this barren island. The beach is perfect for snorkeling where you may even see Galapagos penguins.

Possible Activities: Hiking (1.2 miles / 2 km), dinghy ride and snorkeling
Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult. Walk up to the top of volcano 114 meters and 375 wooden steps
Type of Landing: Dry and wet landing
Highlights & Animals: Pinnacle Rock, panoramic view, moon-like landscape, penguins, pioneer plants, lava cactus, penguins, reef sharks, rays and great colourful fish

galapagos sea turtle

DAY 7: FRIDAY

RABIDA ISLAND / CHINESE HAT ISLET

In the morning you will visit Rabida Island (or Jervis) is one of the most colorful and volcanically varied islands in the archipelago as well as a great snorkeling site. You will start on Rabida’s famous maroon sandy beach and after an easy hike you will arrive to a stunning lookout to enjoy the amazing landscapes. The island is a birdwatcher’s delight. Some of the rarest species are in abundance such as nine varieties of finches, large-billed flycatchers, Galapagos hawks and brown pelicans.

Activities: Short hike (0.6 miles / 1 km), snorkeling, dinghy ride and kayaking
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Highlights & Animals: White-cheeked pintail ducks, colorful fish, sea lions, brackish water lagoon, penguins and Galapagos hawk

 

In the afternoon, 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: Hiking (1.9 miles / 3 km), snorkeling and dinghy ride
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Highlights & Animals: Lava formations, great site for snorkeling with an abundance of marine species, marine iguanas and sea lions

 

Galapagos hiking

DAY 8: SATURDAY

BALTRA

After breakfast, you will be transferred from the boat to Baltra airport for your 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. 

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