(Friday - Thursday) 7 days / 6 nights.
We’re delighted to have you aboard for this journey of discovery to some of the most beautiful islands in the Galapagos. This itinerary will take us to the true origins of the archipelago, to a world only recently created by the epic tectonic upheavals of our Earth’s crust. Fernandina Island is regarded as one of the most pristine island environments anywhere in the world, where life has evolved in its natural state, far from the intervention of man. After visiting the far west, we will venture back to the Central Islands, landing at the intriguing red beach of Rabida and then seeking out the land iguanas of Cerro Dragon. On Santa Cruz Island, we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and get up close to giant tortoises in their natural environment. Heading south, we will learn about the Galapagos’ very own “murder mystery” while spotting flamingos and snorkeling at one of the best sites in the whole archipelago: Champion Islet. Back in the Central Islands, we head back to Baltra Island to get you on your flight back to the mainland. You will find all these corners of the Galapagos absolutely stunning, and they will delight you in different ways. Rest assured the crew aboard La Pinta will do their utmost to ensure your Galapagos tour is a truly moving and memorable one.
DAY BY DAY:
Day 1 - Baltra & North Seymour Islands
This adventure begins with your morning flight to Baltra Island and an immediate transfer to the nearby dock to board Yacht La Pinta. After an introductory briefing onboard, we will all partake in an emergency boat drill, after which you will be assigned to your cabin and then be invited to lunch.
North Seymour Island
In the afternoon, we will disembark and get to enjoy a walk along the coast and inner area of this beautiful and relatively flat island. Throughout the excursion, you will get to observe numerous bird colonies as well as sea lions and land iguanas. There’s also the possibility of exploring the coast aboard the dinghies. Afterwards, we will head back onboard for an evening briefing, a welcome cocktail and then dinner.
Day 2 - Isabela & Fernandina Islands
Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela Island)
Because there is no disembarking site at this location, this coastal exploration is done aboard dinghies. Naturalist guides will explain the dramatic geology of the area that are made up of lava flows and tuff stone layers. There is abundant wildlife present here and, depending on weather conditions, you will be able to snorkel along the cliffs, most likely in the company of green sea turtles!
Punta Espinoza (Fernandina Island)
In the afternoon, we will visit the youngest and most pristine island of the archipelago – Fernandina. This island is ranked among one of the top islands to visit in Galapagos, by guests and guides alike. Here, you will discover an amazing interplay between barren terrain and abundant wildlife. Highlights here include: hawks, penguins, flightless cormorants and astounding views of the surrounding volcanic landscapes.
Day 3 - Urbina Bay and Tagus Cove
Urbina Bay (Isabela Island)
After breakfast, we will disembark at Urbina Bay over on the western side of Isabela Island. This visitor site happens to be the result of the tectonic uplift of the ocean floor! As a result, we will get to see plenty of corals and shells alongside large and very colorful Galapagos land iguanas. Occasionally, we might even be lucky enough to spot giant tortoises. While sailing across the Bolívar Channel, we will have a high chance of spotting several species of whales.
Tagus Cove (Isabela Island)
Over on the northwest side of Isabela is secluded Tagus Cove – an anchorage spot that once served as a pit stop for pirates and whalers for several centuries. Nowadays, Tagus Cove is a superb visitor site. Upon disembarking, we will partake in an uphill hike that takes them to the rear of Darwin Crater, which consists entirely of salt water. Afterwards, you can choose to snorkel or ride kayaks along the dramatic coastal landscape.
Day 4 - Rabida & Santa Cruz Islands
In the morning, we will disembark at Rabida Island’s red-colored beach. A stroll along the beach allows us to observe marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and several species of Darwin’s finches. This is a great place to snorkel from the beach, too. Non-snorkelers are invited to ride Yacht La Pinta’s glass-bottom boat for an exploration of life underneath the waves.
Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill) [Santa Cruz Island]
The north shore of Santa Cruz hosts the fascinating landscapes of Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill). The walk here involves casually circling a brackish-water lagoon that’s often frequented by lagoon birds. Further inland, the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay as well as the western islands of the archipelago. You might even be lucky enough to observe land iguanas here, too!
Day 5 - Santa Cruz Island
Puerto Ayora & Charles Darwin Research Station
The morning visit heads to the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise pens within an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest. These are the Galapagos’ headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. Following our visit, we drive up to highlands of Santa Cruz for lunch.
Highlands of Santa Cruz Island
The highlands of Santa Cruz Island are another world entirely from the drier coast, lush and green due to the heavier rainfall they receive. This is a great place to look for the emblematic Darwin’s Finches and the endemic Scalesia trees. The highlands are also excellent for exploring the exuberant vegetation where giant tortoises roam in the wild. We visit a giant tortoise reserve to meet these lumbering giants up-close. There’s more time to explore more of this fascinating ecosystem, before returning to the yacht at the end of the day.
Day 6 - Floreana Island
Post Office Bay
After breakfast, we will disembark at Post Office Bay (Floreana Island) to visit the historic “Post Office Barrel” that has functioned as a post office in the archipelago for over two centuries! Dinghy rides along the maze of channels over on Floreana’s north shore can also be enjoyed. Views from La Lobería and the Baroness Viewpoint are quite rewarding, too. There’s great kayaking and swimming from the beach here as well.
Champion Islet & Cormorant Point
Before disembarking at Cormorant Point, you can enjoy snorkeling or a ride on Yacht La Pinta’s glass-bottom boat that travels along the coast of an extinct cone called “Champion Islet.” Later on, in the afternoon, you will get to visit Cormorant Point, which has an olivine-crystal beach and a brackish water lagoon where bird species like American flamingos can be spotted. A brief walk to the other side of the island rewards guests with a beautiful, white-sand beach that is often the spot for sea turtles to come and nest.
Day 7 - Baltra Island
The journey ends at Baltra Island, where you will be transferred to the airport to take your flight back to the mainland. Baltra’s flat substrate (due to its tectonically uplifted origin) is the reason for why this island was chosen back in the 1940’s as the location for building an airport.