DAY BY DAY
For all those passionate about nature, this itinerary explores the west of Isabela Island, one of the most remote places in the archipelago. Visit the giant Galapagos tortoises, discover the breeding center, enjoy the most picturesque places inside and outside of the water, and of course, celebrate when crossing the equatorial line!
Our star tour, this itinerary will allow you to disconnect from the outside world and experience the incredible natural world of the Galapagos Islands. A trip that you certainly cannot miss.
DAY 1: FRIDAY
AM: Flight from Quito or Guayaquil to the Galápagos Islands.
PM: Santa Cruz Island: Highlands
Upon our arrival to Baltra Airport, our guide will greet us in the lobby, assist you with your luggage, and will accompany us on the short bus ride (15 minutes) to the Itabaca Channel. After crossing, we will travel for 45 minutes to 1 hour by bus towards the highlands of the island of Santa Cruz. Then we will enjoy a delicious lunch on a private ranch. Passengers who embark on the yacht in Puerto Ayora will have lunch aboard and will go to visit the highlands with the rest of the group later. Our guide will take us on a walk through a beautiful forest full of ferns, sedges, and miconias, while you might also observe some giant tortoises in their natural habitat. Later, we will head to one of the many lava tunnels in the area. Here we will enjoy a short walk through the tunnel, where we can admire the results of a powerful volcanic eruption that occurred millions of years ago. After our visit, we will head to Puerto Ayora and board the yacht, where we will have an official welcome drink, followed by dinner. After dinner, our guide will explain the following day’s activities as well as some general recommendations for visitors of the Galápagos Islands.
DAY 2: SATURDAY
AM: Isabela Island: Puerto Villamil.
Isabela is the name of the largest and the youngest island within the Galápagos Archipelago. In the morning we will begin our first visit to the islets known as Las Tintoreras, located south of Puerto Villamil. This area has a small bay of calm turquoise water, where we can observe sea lions, sea turtles, marine iguanas, stingrays, and many more aquatic species. Next, we will walk along a path and explore two different beaches. The first beach that we will encounter is a popular place for sea lions and marine iguanas that nest in the area, while the second beach is surrounded by button mangroves (Conocarpus erecta) and white mangroves (Laguncularia
After the visit to "Las Tintoreras", we will disembark to Puerto Villamil to head to the Sierra Negra Volcano, found in the highlands of the island, as it rises to an altitude of 1124m. It is located between the Cerro Azul volcano to the west, and the Alcedo volcano to the north. Furthermore, it is one of the most active volcanoes of the Galápagos, with the latest eruption occurring in June 2018.
PM: Sierra Negra Volcano
After lunch, during the afternoon, we will visit the wetlands known as “Los Humedales”, where we will be able to see a wide variety of wetland birds with majority of them being endemic to the island.
After our visit, we will have some free time in the small town of Puerto Villamil. At the end of the day we will board the yacht for dinner and a well-deserved rest.
DAY 3: SUNDAY
AM: Isabela Island: Punta Moreno
Punta Moreno is located on the north coast of Isabela Island, between the Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul volcanoes. The distance of the trail is about 2100 meters, but this will grant us a panoramic view of the three most active volcanoes in the Galápagos: Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul on Isabela Island, and the summit of Fernandina Island. We will have the opportunity to do a surface dive in this area, where, despite the cold waters, marine life is abundant. After this visit we will return to the yacht for lunch and a little rest before heading out for our afternoon activity.
PM: Isabela Island: Elizabeth Bay
In the afternoon we will visit Elizabeth Bay. The trip will begin in a cove surrounded by red mangroves. Here we will be able to observe sea turtles, flightless cormorants, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, brown pelicans and sea lions. Visitors have often been able to see Galápagos falcons fly over their heads, while Pompano and Mahi-mahi fish schools are seen swimming below. This is an amazing site due to the large amount of marine and terrestrial fauna as well as due to the unique and beautiful landscape of the area. After this visit, we will return to the yacht for dinner and rest.
DAY 4: MONDAY
AM: Isabela Island: Urbina Bay
Urbina Bay is located at the east base of the Alcedo volcano, with an approximately 3200m path connecting it to the beach, where, after a beach landing, we will have to cross through the coastal zone, traversing sand, rocks, lava, corals, and plant formations. At this site, we will be able to see large sized land iguanas, as well as giant Galápagos tortoises, flightless cormorants, blue-footed boobies,
Galápagos penguins, pelicans, and marine iguanas.
PM: Isabela Island: Tagus Cove
We will return to the yacht to enjoy a delicious lunch, followed by a short sailing towards Tagus Cove. Here we will have the opportunity to snorkel, surface dive, or to kayak. At around 4pm, we will hike to the top of the cliff that takes us to a viewpoint of Lake Darwin, a lake that has high saline concentrations.
Finally, we will observe Lake Darwin. It doesn’t contain any fish, and only a few lifeforms due to its high salinity. Supposedly, in the past there was an explosive volcanic eruption in the area, since there are large number of volcanic rocks of varying sizes that can be found here. Among the most common are small spherical balls, that are almost perfect in shape, referred to as “lapili” or petrified rain.
DAY 6: TUESDAY
AM: Fernandina Island: Punta Espinoza
Fernandina is the third largest island in the archipelago and has only one point of interest. Punta Espinoza is located on the far northeast part of the island and is a narrow platform of lava and sand that extends from the base of the volcano to the sea. Punta Espinoza is well known for its large colonies of marine iguanas, and its unique fauna full of species such as the flightless cormorant, the galápagos penguin, the Galápagos falcon, and the Galápagos racer snake. After this visit, there will be a possibility to snorkel in the area, where we will be able to swim with marine iguanas, large colonies of sea turtles, and if we are lucky even with beautiful seahorses.
PM: Fernandina Island: Isabela Island: Punta Vicente Roca
Isabela Island is believed to have the shape of a seahorse, where Punta Vicente Roca would be considered the mouth. At this location you will find the remains of an ancient volcano that forms two coves with clear turquoise water, in conjunction with a bay protected from the waves of the ocean. From this point, we will have a snorkeling activity, followed by a panga ride along the cliffs to observe the remains of the volcano, or we may explore a cave that is partially found underwater. Nazca boobies and blue-footed boobies perch along the steep cliffs, while the flightless cormorants inhabit the coast.
At the end of our activity, we will begin navigating the ship, so that we will approach and cross the equator line. At this point, we will have a special cocktail to celebrate our crossing to the northern
DAY 7: WEDNESDAY
AM: Santiago Island
Puerto Egas is a black sandy beach located on the west side of James Bay, northwest of Santiago Island. The site gets its name after Mr. Héctor Egas, who tried to exploit the salt found in this area, however failed due to the price of salt in other parts of the country. The hike along the rugged coastline, especially during low tides, will allow us to observe many marine species, such as the iguanas relaxing on the rocks, and the sea lions resting in the tidal pools. We will have the opportunity to snorkel near the beach of Puerto Egas in order to enjoy the marine landscape that is relatively different from previously visited locations.
PM: Rábida Island
In the afternoon we will visit Rábida Island, said to be unique due to the red color of its rocks and sand. The volcanic material on this island is very porous and external factors such as rain, saltwater and sea breeze have acted as an oxidizing agent. When we arrive, we will enjoy a snorkeling activity, in order to learn about the marine life in this area, that is full of interesting aquatic species.
A short walk along a trail will take us to a lagoon to observe the beautiful terrestrial birds, such as finches, pigeons, yellow warblers and mocking birds. This lagoon is also home to a colony of flamingos. The red sand beach, along with the animals, lagoons, and vegetation make this place an excellent location to visit.
DAY 7: THURSDAY
AM: Sombrero Chino Islet
After a short night sailing, the sun will dawn on the beautiful “Sombrero Chino” channel. This small islet is located near the southeastern coast of Santiago Island. Our visit provides an excellent opportunity for the observation and understanding of geological characteristics such as lava tubes and lava flows. The landscape is covered by colonies of sea lions, marine iguanas, and occasionally Galápagos penguins. The trail is 700 meters (there and back) and the minimum time that is required for this hike is one
hour at a moderate pace. We will take our time to swim in this beautiful bay area, where we will be amongst sharks, stingrays, unique species of fish, and occasionally penguins, before returning to the yacht to enjoy a barbecue on top deck. We can also spend time exploring the area with kayaks, visiting the magnificent geological formations from the surface.
PM: Bartolomé Island
Bartolomé Island is one of the most famous spots in the Galápagos, located in front of Sullivan Bay near the island of Santiago. When arriving at this unique location, we will have the opportunity to
enter the water and swim around the famous Pinnacle Rock, and between the rocks that come out from below the surface of the water, forming an incredible labyrinth for the marine life.
Later we will visit the top of the island, where we will be able to observe a variety of volcanic formations, including volcanic bombs, ash cones, lava flows and lava tubes. This lunar scenery provides one of the most scenic landscapes of the archipelago. At the second site that we will visit, we will have the opportunity to relax on a beautiful beach, which offers excellent opportunities for snorkeling. Multicolored fish, and occasionally penguins and sea turtles have been seen at the base of the Pinnacle Rock, which dominates the landscape of Bartolomé.
DAY 8: FRIDAY
AM: North Seymour Island
North Seymour is a small island located to the north of Baltra and will act as our last visit on the itinerary aboard Catamaran Yacht Anahí, and we will be able to observe the land iguanas of Baltra.On Baltra we will take a bus to the Baltra Island Airport. Our amazing Galapagos journey ends here.
We will say goodbye to our guide and companions with whom we shared this wonderful adventure.