Petrel Itinerary D - 5 Days

Itinerary D
4-Night Cruise Monday – Friday



(B: breakfast/ L: lunch/ D: dinner)

AM: Arrival to Baltra Island

Assistance will be provided upon your arrival by a Petrel representative after passing through immigration and baggage claim. When ready, you will be transferred to the yacht. You will then be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before the welcome briefing and lunch.

PM: Santa Cruz island - highlands

Today Santa Cruz is one of the most popular tourist sites. With a population of about 12,000 Galapagos natives, it has the longest paved road in the entire archipelago. One of the biggest conservation efforts is to eliminate all non-native plants and animals that are destroying native and endemic species on the island. There is no longer any volcanic activity but that does not mean there is no evidence. Santa Cruz means holy cross, but its English name comes from the British vessel – Indefatigable.

The Highlands of Santa Cruz is a very interesting site due to the rich wildlife, hills, ferns, volcanoes and lava tubes present. Exploring the lava tubes is a surreal and unique experience. Here you can see all the different agricultural zones that are present in the Galapagos in one place. The variety of birds makes this a bird watchers delight.

Be prepared to admire the famous giant tortoises in the wild. It is impressive to see these endemic animals that give the name to the archipelago, Galapagos. Birdwatching is also one of the activities in the highlands, since this area is home of finches and other Galapagos birds. Finally, we walk into lava caves to see the enormous lava flows that formed the islands before continuing back to the M/C Petrel.

Possible Activities: Hike Difficulty: Moderate Type of Landing: Dry
Highlights: All Galapagos life zones, vermilion flycatcher, Darwin finch, yellow warblers, Galapagos rails, paint-billed crakes, short eared owls, wild Giant Tortoises.

(B, L, D)


AM: Santiago Island – Sullivan Bay

Santiago Island is the second Island visited by Charles Darwin was originally named after England’s King James the second. The island was a good source of salt, water and food for whalers and buccaneers passing. There was a salt mine inland that was used to salt fish and tortoise meat. Land iguanas used to populate the island but are now extinct. From Darwin’s own notes he wrote that land iguanas were thriving quite well since there was no place to even pitch a tent. Santiago Island today is now one of the most visited islands.

Sullivan Bay is a satellite island of Santiago. This is one of the best places to see the Galapagos fur seal. There is not much wildlife to see here, but the old lava formations are quite a site to see with tuff cones, pyroclastic cones, and other volcanic landscapes.

Possible Activities: Hike, dinghy ride and snorkel
Difficulty: Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights: Various volcanic landscapes and formations.

PM: Bartholomew Island – Pinnacle Rock

Bartholomew is another satellite island that derives from Santiago Island. It is home of the famous Pinnacle Rock and is named after James Sullivan, a friend of Charles Darwin who was also aboard the HMS Beagle. Of all the islands, this is the most photographed and is also featured in the 2003 movie “Master and Commander”.

Pinnacle rock is a volcano cone formed by magma expelled by an underwater volcano. The sea cooled the hot lava and as it exploded from contact, the pieces formed together this huge rock of many, many layers of basalt. The huge rock also has a beach where a small population of green sea turtles will nest. Galapagos penguins gather here and swimming can offer beautiful sights of colorful schools of fish and curious sea lions.

Possible Activities: Hike, snorkel and dinghy ride
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights: Galapagos penguins, Pinnacle rock, swimming, awesome photography opportunities. Snorkel – Sea lions, rays, sea turtles, sharks, many different fish.

(B, L, D)

AM: Genovesa Island – Darwin Bay

Genovesa is a horse-shoe shaped island that was formed by the eruption of a shield volcano with large slopes formed by gradual lava flows. It is known as “Bird Island” due to the wide variety of birds that can be seen. The only reptile on the entire island is the marine iguana and it is one of the very few places red-footed boobies gather in one large mass.

Darwin Bay is the result of the shield volcano where one of the sides of the caldera collapsed after years of erosion. It is one of the places in the Galapagos where red-footed boobies can be guaranteed to be seen. Over 200,000 red-footed boobies are estimated to be living in the trees and bushes of Genovesa.

Possible Activities: Hike, kayak, dinghy ride and snorkel
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights: Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, mangroves. Snorkeling
– various sharks, colorful fish, sea turtles, sea lions, occasional rays.

PM: Genovesa Island – El Barranco (Prince Phillip’s Steps)

Better known as Prince Phillip’s Steps, a steep and rocky path leads up to a cliff with a marvelous view. There is also a Palo Santo Forest that is home to nesting red-footed boobies and other birds.

Possible Activities: Hike, kayak, dinghy ride and snorkel
Difficulty: Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights: Spectacular view, red-footed boobies, wedge-romped storm petrels, Galapagos doves, short-eared owls, Palo Santo Forest. Snorkel – fish, sea turtles, rays, sharks, and sea lions.

(B, L, D)


AM: Santiago Island – Egas Port

Egas port is also known as James Bay. It is home to quick footed Galapagos lava lizards, Galapagos fur seals along the grottos and tide pools and is a great snorkeling site.

Possible Activities: Hike and snorkel

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights: Fur seals, sea lions, tidal pools and grottos, Galapagos hawk, salt water lagoon with flamingoes. Snorkeling – sea turtles, rays, sharks and amazing underwater geological formations.

PM: Santiago Island – Buccaneer Cove /Espumilla Beach

Buccaneer Cove: This cove is better known for excellent snorkeling opportunities and was once known as a refuge for British buccaneers or pirates. The underwater formations are amazing and many different species of fish gather here.

Possible Activities: Hike, kayak, dinghy ride and snorkel
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights: Historical pirate/buccaneer shelter site. Snorkeling – sea turtles, rays, sharks and amazing underwater geological formations.


We will visit Espumilla Beach where marine iguanas lounge and the Sally-Lightfoot crabs attract the hunting herons and perform 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, or a variety of other species of tropical fish.

Possible Activities: Hike, kayak, dinghy ride and snorkel
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights: Snorkeling, sea birds, historical site, and rock formations. (B, L, D)

AM: Santa Cruz Island – Black Turtle Cove

After breakfast, enjoy the visit to Black Turtle Cove, which is located on the north shore of Santa Cruz. It is a living illustration of how mangroves alter the marine environment to create a rich and unique habitat. Three mangrove species crowd the area from the shore out into the lagoon, which reaches almost a mile inland.


As you drift through quiet waters in the zodiac, you are likely to see spotted eagle rays and diamond shaped mustard rays, which swim in a diamond formation. White-tipped reef sharks slip beneath the boat and Pacific green sea turtles come to the surface for air and to mate. Waterfowl, including pelicans, herons and egret, all feed in the cove. This is a peaceful place that will make you feel calm.

Possible Activities: Dinghy ride
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: No Landing
Highlights: Various species of fish, white-tipped reef sharks, rays, and sea turtles.

Transfer to Baltra Airport

Your cruise has officially come to an end. We hope you enjoyed your Galapagos Cruise! We will now transfer you to your scheduled departure from Baltra Airport to mainland Ecuador. Safe travels!

(B, -, - )

***End of cruise***

* Itineraries are subject to change without prior notice due to weather conditions, National Park regulations, emergencies on board or any unforeseen situation.

The wildlife described above is not guaranteed to be seen during your visit. Please remember to respect your distance between any and all wildlife.


Address: Ulpiano Paez N21-74 y Robles, building VALLADOLID, Of. 104 
Office Tel: (593-2) 5016438  / Mobile: (593-9) 99256096
RIS REGISTRATION No. 1792319080001
Quito – Ecuador