8 Days Exploring the Best Sites of the Southern Islands

Our 8 day cruise of Southern Galapagos is a great cruise aboard one of the smallest ships in the Galapagos Islands, Nemo 2. Carrying just 12 passengers you will have the opportunity to spot a huge variety of the wildlife in the Galapagos including Galapagos Penguins, Iguanas, turtles and seals. This cruise includes a visit the site known as Chinese Hat, an exclusive location which only permits vessels of 12 passengers or less to make landings. The perfect small ship for maximum exploration

The Southern itinerary also takes in the islands of Santa Cruz, Santa Fe and Floreana. This provides a great selection of sites from many of the Galapagos Islands “must-sees”, to some of the more “off the beaten track” spots that will give you the opportunity to find a slice of the Galapagos all to yourself.

Your cruise will be accompanied at all times by an experienced naturalist guide on board to keep you informed about the Galapagos Islands unique eco-system and wildlife. The Galapagos is one of the world’s most unique eco-systems and you are sure of a once in a lifetime experience.

Why Book With Latin Routes?

  • Prices the same or better than the cruise operators directly
  • Fully packaged protection, so everything booked with us is protected should any cruise arrangements be disrupted
  • Great Offers and Promotions throughout the year
  • 100% financial protection with ATOL and ABTA
  • Extensive knowledge of the Galapagos Islands and Ships to help you decide on the right cruise
  • Tailor your Galapagos Holiday and explore South America while you are there

Day 1: Baltra - Bachas

After your arrival to the airport in Baltra, you will be met by a representative and transferred to the yacht. Once on board you will navigate to your first site, Bachas Beach. A great first landing site, there is a delightful swimming beach here with a lagoon behind. Relax or take a stroll and start your wildlife watching encounters. Here you can spot great blue herons and small waders such as sander lings and semi-palmated plovers. The area is also known as a nesting areas for green sea turtles from November to February. This eveneing enjoy your first dinner while the ship naviagates to Santa Cruz.

Day 2: Santa Cruz- Highlands Finca Primicias - Charles Darwin Station

The highlands of Santa Cruz are home to finca “Las Primicias”. This reserve offers you one of the best possibilities to see the huge turtles of Santa Cruz Island in their natural habitat.

Afterwards you will head to the Charles Darwin Scientific Station, which is an excellent way to begin learning about the islands and their origins. You can also see how the Galapagos turtles are raised. Back on board you will enjoy dinner while the ship navigates to San Cristobal.

Day 3: San Cristobal - Cerro Brujo - Leon Dormido - Lobos Island

One of the first sites visited by Charles Darwin, Cerro Brujo is a beautiful white sand beach where brown pelicans, blue-footed boobies, sea lions, and marine iguanas are all found.

Afterwards you will move on to Kicker Rock, also known as León Dormido. These rocks are located of the coast of San Cristobal and are the remains of a lava cone eroded by the sea. This natural monument has become a favourite sight for cruises due to the many tropicbirds, frigates and boobies that fill the surrounding air.

The final visit of the day will be to Lobos Island, which is known for its population of sea lions and fur sea lions. You will also encounter a nesting ground for the great frigate bird and a small number of blue footed boobies. Back on board enjoy dinner while navigating to San Cristobal.

Day 4: Española - Punta Suarez - Gardner Bay

In the morning you will arrive at Punta Suarez on Española Island. Punta Suarez offers great wildlife such as Sea Lions, sea birds and the largest Marine Iguanas of Galapagos.  It’s regarded as one of the best sites in the Galapagos because the amount of wildlife is overwhelming. Along the beach there are many Sea Lions, colourful Lava Lizards and Marine Iguanas.

After lunch you will visit Gardner Bay which is around a 45-minute boat ride from Punta Suarez. It has a white sand beach and there is a small colony of sea lions. The possibilities for swimming or scuba diving are excellent here. Wildlife includes brightly colored Marine Iguanas, Española Lava Lizards, Hood Mockingbirds, Swallow Tailed Gulls, Blue Footed and Masked Boobies, Galapagos Hawks, a selection of Finch, and the Waved Albatross.

Day 5: Floreana Punta Cormorant - Champion - Mirador De La Baronesa - Post Office Bay

This morning you will arrive at Post Office Bay on the island of Floreana. In 1793 British whalers established the Post Office Barrel to send letters to and from England. This tradition has continued over the years, and even today visitors may drop off and pick up letters, without stamps, to be carried to far destinations.

Afterwards you will visit Cormorant Point, which offers two contrasting beaches. Arriving on shore you will encounter a green sand beach (the green sand is caused by the olivine crystals derived silicates or magnesium and iron) from here you will follow the trail leading to a lagoon where Pink Flamingoes and other shore birds can be seen in the distance making their home.

The walk continues to another beach on the other side of the area known as “Flour Beach” because it is made of fine white sand. In the waters Ghost Crabs and Rays can be seen swimming. Overnight you will navigate to Santa Fe.

Day 6: Santa Fe - South Plaza

In the morning visit Santa Fe Island, home to one of the most beautiful coves in all the Galapagos. Santa Fe is located in the southeastern part of Galapagos and was formed from an uplift (rather than a volcano) giving the island a relatively flat surface rather than the typical conical shape of the other islands.  Visits to Santa Fe begin with a panga ride across the lovely turquoise lagoon. Once ashore you are brought into contact with of the many sea lion colonies in the Galapagos.

Take a walk on the trail here to see Galapagos Hawks and endemic Land Iguanas. These iguanas are the largest in the islands and they are beige to chocolate brown in color and resemble small dinosaurs. Reaching the summit there is a stunning view of the cove beneath.

After lunch you will navigate to South Plazas, upon landing take a walk on the rocky trail that circumnavigates the island. South Plaza has one of the largest populations of Land Iguanas in the Galapagos and they seem to be everywhere once you land!
Head back to the ship for dinner and navigate to Chinese Hat.

Day 7: Chinese Hat - Bartolome

Today you will visit Sombrero Chino, is a tiny island just off the southeast tip of Santiago. Its name (Chinese Hat) describes the island's shape. Those visitors who travel to the island will find its special landscape worth the visit. National Park Service restrictions have limited the number of visitors and only cruises with 12 passengers or less are permitted at this site. The landing is on a beautiful crescent-shaped white sand beach, home to Sea Lions and Sally Lightfoot Crabs. A trial explores the islands volcanic origin, one of the most evident in the islands.  

The lava rock is very fragile and tends to break off when people walk over it. The sharp outcroppings caused from these breaks make it necessary to bring good shoes. Patches of Pahoehoe Lava, cracked lava and lava tubes can be found on the island. The trail ventures high enough on the island to offer some spectacular views of the waves crashing against the shore.  Snorkeling in the waters near Sombrero Chino can offer sightings of white-tipped sharks, Galapagos Penguins and Sea Lions.

After lunch, navigation to Bartolome which is a desolate island consisting of an extinct volcano and a variety of red, orange, green, and glistening black volcanic formations. The best known of the island's features is the Tuff Cone known as Pinnacle Rock which has become one of the best recognized and most photographed sights in the islands. A prominent sight it was used as a target for US airmen during WWII. Lying beside the Pinnacle Rock are twin half moon shaped beaches. 

The northern beach is a popular snorkeling site where visitors have the opportunity to swim with fish, Sea Lions and Galapagos Penguins. Much larger animals can be found near the southern beach including stingrays, spotted eagle rays, white-tipped sharks, and black-tipped sharks

Day 8: Caleta - Baltra

In the morning you will enjoy a panga ride in Caleta Tortuga, also known as Black Turtle Cove, on the north side of Santa Cruz. Navigate through the mangrove swamps where there are nesting marine turtles during certain seasons of the year as well as sharks and rays. Finally disembark in Baltra and transfer to the airport for your flight back to the mainland.

Nemo 2

The Nemo 2 is a sail catamaran and one of the smallest ships in the Galapagos Islands. As a result she offers just 12 passengers an intimate expedition cruise experience, perfect for maximizing your Galapagos exploration.

For a small ship the Nemo 2 caters for its passengers well with both indoor and outdoor common areas as well as a small sun deck complete with lounge chairs where you can lie down and relax while the sights of the islands pass you by. There is a small bar on board stocked with a variety of beer, wine, hard alcohol and soda.

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Why book with Latin Routes?

  • All of our holidays are Truly Individual - you choose the destinations, inclusions & budget.
  • From charming guesthouses to 5* luxury, choose the accommodation to suit you.
  • Our Travel Specialists will help you to create your perfect holiday to Latin America.
  • We only cover Latin America & Antarctica, which ensures we know our destinations, inside out.
  • All our Travel Specialists have extensively travelled throughout Latin America.
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  • As a team of passionate travellers, we really do care about you and your holiday.