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8-Day Reina Silvia Cruise: Western 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 6 remote islands on this breathtaking itinerary. 

From Santa Cruz Island and its impressive landscapes to the impressive Isabela island 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) TWIN CRATERS & 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. You will have lunch at the local restaurant and visit the Twin Craters located opposite to each other on both sides of the road leading from Puerto Ayora to Baltra. The name is only figurative; not real craters, these formations were created by the collapse of surface material in underground fissures and chambers. The view is breathtaking.

 

Activities: Walking
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights and Animals: Giant tortoises, finches, warblers and mockingbirds

 

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.

 

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

Galapagos wildlife

DAY 2: SUNDAY

FLOREANA: CORMORANT POINT / CHAMPION/POST OFFICE BAY / ASILO DE LA PAZ

In the morning, 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), snorkeling and dinghy ride
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Highlights and 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 The Champion Island, named after the whaler Andrew Champion, is a small island ocated 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: See lions, reef fish and Nazca boobies

 

After lunch, you will visit the famous Post Office Bay. You will land on the beach and head to a spot where 18th century whalers placed a wooden barrel for use as an unofficial mail box. The custom continues to this day with Galapagos visitors. So do not forget your postcards, and do not be surprised if the post card arrives to its destination before you even get home!
 

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

 

In the afternoon, you will visit The Asilo de la Paz. This is a hill 450m high that is behind Straw Hill in the agricultural area of the island. The main attractions are of an historic type: one is the cave of pirates and the other is the freshwater spring. The two sites are located at the base of the hill.

Activities: Walking, dinghy ride and kayaking
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights and Animals: Tortoises

galapagos snorkeling

DAY 3: MONDAY

ISABELA: MORENO POINT / ELIZABETH BAY

In the morning you will visit Moreno Point located southwest of Elizabeth Bay. Here a dry landing onto what was once flowing 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: Hiking (1.5 miles / 2 km), snorkeling and dinghy ride
Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights & Animals: Flamingos, gallinules, pintail ducks, turtles and white-tip reef sharks

 

In the afternoon, you will visit Elizabeth Bay, is located on the east coast of Isabela Island. The bay contains many islets, which can be visited by dinghy. Penguins and blue-footed boobies can be spotted on the rocky islets. With an abundance of marine life and clear water, the area is perfect for snorkeling and viewing schools of colorful fish, sea lions, and perhaps even sharks.

Activities: Hiking (1.5 miles / 2 km) and dinghy ride
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Highlights & Animals: Mangrove forest (unique in Galapagos), sea turtles, penguins, rays, herons and sea lions

Galapagos cruises

DAY 4: TUESDAY

ISABELA AND FERNANDINA: URBINA BAY / ESPINOZA POINT

In the morning, you will land at Urbina Bay which presents some fascinating geological formations. In 1954, an uplift from the sea formed the bay which has been characterized by the resulting terrestrial coral reef ever since. Expect to see stingrays and sea turtles swimming near the surface of the water along with flightless cormorants, pelicans, and marine iguanas. You will be dazzled by the breathtaking view of the Alcedo Volcano.

Activities: Hiking / 2 trails: short (0.6 miles / 1 km), long (1.8 miles / 3 km) and snorkeling
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 and tropical fish

 

In the afternoon, you will land at Espinoza Point and after walking past a colony of marine iguanas and a group of sea lions, you’ll reach the island’s highlight: the flightless cormorant nesting site. This area also provides a great opportunity to see the Galapagos hawk.

Activities: Hiking (1.5 miles / 2 km) and snorkeling
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Highlights & Animals: Penguins, blue-footed boobies, terns, sea lions. Snorkeling: sea turtles, rays and puffer fish

Galapagos crabs

DAY 5: WEDNESDAY 

ISABELA: TAGUS COVE / VICENTE ROCA POINT

After breakfast, you will visit Tagus Cove which is located across from Fernandina Island, near the Bolivar Channel dividing the two islands. This spot has been frequented by ships since the 1800s, using the area as an anchorage site. Trails winding by Lake Darwin up to a ridge display wonderful views. Punta Tortuga, just north of Tagus Cove, is another lovely beach surrounded by mangroves.

Activities: Long hike (1.5 miles / 2 km), snorkeling, dinghy ride and kayaking
Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights & Animals: Penguins, flightless cormorants, Darwin Volcano & Lake

 

The afternoon 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 and dinghy ride
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: No landing
Highlights & Animals: Penguins, blue-footed boobies, terns, Nazca boobies, two types of sea lions. Snorkeling: sea turtles, rays and puffer fish

rabida island galapagos

DAY 6: THURSDAY

ESPUMILLA BEACH / BUCCANEER COVE / EGAS PORT / SALT MINES

In the morning you will start visiting 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 find yourself face to face with an octopus, moray eel, shark and a variety of other species of tropical fish.

Activities: Snorkeling, dinghy ride and kayaking
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Highlights & Animals: Snorkeling and kayaking

 

Next you will visit the Buccaneer Cove which is a testament to the fact that Santiago Island was once a refuge for British buccaneers. These pirates would anchor in the protected bay to make repairs and stock up on tortoise meat among other things. The steep cliffs, where hundreds of seabirds perch in front of the dark red sand beach, are a magnificent site.

Activities: Short hike along the beach (less than 0.6 miles / 1 km), snorkeling, dinghy ride and kayaking
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Highlights & Animals: Seabirds, historical site, snorkeling and rock formations

 

After lunch, 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: Hiking (1.5 miles / 2 km), and snorkeling
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Highlights & Animals: Fur sea lions, Galapagos sea lions, tidal pools and “grottos,” Galapagos hawks, oyster catchers, marine iguanas, finches.
Snorkeling: reef sharks, turtles, rays and nice underwater formations

 

Later in the afternoon you will visit the Minas de Sal, located northwest of Santiago Island. The trail has an approximate distance of 8 km. round-trip. This site has an important history from the year 1683 when William Ambrose Cowley visited this place, it was he who gave the name of James to the Bay and the island there have been many travelers who have visited this place to exploit this natural resource and salted beef and fish.

Activities: Hiking (5 miles / 8 km)
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights & Animals: Crater of the salt mines

galapagos sea turtle

DAY 7: FRIDAY

BACHAS BEACH / NORTH SEYMOUR

The morning visit to Bachas Beach which is a swimming beach is located on the north shore of Santa Cruz. 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: Walking on the beach and snorkeling
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Highlights & Animals: World War II remnants, Sally Lightfoot crabs, hermit crabs, blacknecked, whimbrels and sea turtles

 

In the afternoon, you will visit North Seymour. Here you will be able to see Galapagos sea lions, blue-footed boobies and magnificent frigate birds which are abundant on the Island. The island was formed by a series of submarine lava flows containing layers of sediment that were uplifted by tectonic activity. The island is characterized by its arid vegetation zone.

Activities: Hiking (1.5 miles / 2 km), snorkeling and dinghy ride
Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights & Animals: Land & marine iguanas, frigate birds, blue-footed boobies and sea lions. Snorkeling: rays, reef shark, colourful fish and garden eels

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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