Based on Galapagos suites (double occupancy). Price includes 2 nights at a 5-Star boutique hotel - Illa Experience
When Do You Want To Go?
A 6-day cruise to discover the sublime paradise islands of the Galápagos. You will start the journey in Puerto Ayora, sailing from west to east and exploring many fascinating islands along the way, such as Isabela Island – the largest in the Galápagos.
You’ll be landing in golden-sand beaches peppered with fantastic wildlife, from the Galápagos penguins to various species of iguanas and green turtles nesting further inland. The adventure will also take you to interesting trails across lava fields, mangroves and volcanoes.
Day 1: Thursday – Santa Cruz Island
Day 2: Friday – Galápagos cruise
Day 3: Saturday – Galápagos cruise
Day 4: Sunday – Galápagos cruise
Day 5: Monday – Galápagos cruise
Day 6: Tuesday – Galápagos cruise
You’ll fly from Quito to the Galápagos, arriving in Santa Cruz Island. You will be met by a guide, and escorted on a bus ride to Itabaca Channel, where you’ll be transferred to Puerto Ayora.
In the afternoon, you’ll visit the Charles Darwin Research Station – named after the famed British naturalist who visited the island in 1835 aboard the HMS Beagle. Many visitors come to observe the Galápagos’ pristine wildlife, and to learn about the hard work people here are doing to protect and preserve the region’s precious flora and fauna. We recommend you stopping by the national park information centre, the Van Staelen Exhibition Hall and the Breeding Centre, where you will enjoy meeting the young Galápagos tortoises that are soon to be taken to their natural habitat.
Morning: White Tipped Reef Shark Canal, Isabela Island
This pristine area can be reached by Zodiac boats. Once there, you will find a group of small islets named “Tintoreras”. The area is known for being home to the Galápagos penguins and sea lions that can be seen on the shore, but you’ll also find many white-tipped reef sharks – no need to worry though, this type of shark is harmless and tends to swim away from humans. Most of the time, you’ll find large numbers of them resting in the shallow waters.
Afternoon: Sierra Negra Volcano, Isabela Island
Isabela is the largest island in the Galápagos. You’ll be landing in Puerto Villamil, which has a population of approximately 3,000 inhabitants, and from there will start your hike to the Sierra Negra volcano which boasts the second largest volcanic crater in the world. Enjoy the panoramic views from the volcano’s slopes, and admire the striking lava formations of neighbouring Chico Volcano.
Morning: Punta Moreno, Isabela Island
Punta Moreno is situated in the northern coast of Isabela Island, between the Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul volcanoes. You’ll follow a trail through lava fields, heading towards beautiful lagoons near the coast. Several species of birds can be found in the area, such as great blue herons and pelicans nesting in the mangrove forest.
Afternoon: Elizabeth Bay, Isabela Island
Situated on the west coast of Isabela Island, this bay is home to the largest colonies of penguins thanks to its cooler waters. It is also where the biggest species of marine iguanas in the archipelago can be found, as the area has an important concentration of algae, their primary food. You’ll cruise in a Zodiac along the coast and visit the Marielas Islets where you’ll see the penguins, before continuing into a cove surrounded by red mangroves. The area is filled with remarkable wildlife such as sea turtles, flightless cormorants, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, brown pelicans and sea lions.
Morning: Punta Espinoza, Fernandina Island
The third largest island in the archipelago, Fernandina Island has just one single visitor site: Punta Espinoza. The island is one of the most pristine locations on the planet – no other animals have been introduced to Fernandina, which means it has maintained its ecosystem. Punta Espinoza has the highest population density for marine iguanas, which pepper the whole area, sharing their space with sea lions, flightless cormorants, penguins and sally lightfoot crabs that contrast beautifully with the dark grey lava field.
Afternoon: Tagus Cove, Isabela Island
A tour along the shore in a Zodiac will give you amazing views of Tagus Cove, where you’ll have a great opportunity to see Galápagos penguins, flightless cormorants and other birdlife. On land, you’ll hike along the trail to the top of the cliff for magnificent views of Darwin Lake – an uplifted lake saltier than the sea. You’ll also notice many written words carved into the surrounding cliffs, which were made by passing pirates, whalers and buccaneers over the past centuries.
Morning: Espumilla Beach, Santiago Island
The cruise will continue to Espumilla Beach, located on the northern coast of Santiago Island. This beautiful golden-sand beach is home to many species such as the Galápagos petrel, and pelicans that feed near the beach thanks to the high number of ghost crabs to be found here. Further inland, you will find many nests of green turtles throughout the area.
Afternoon: Puerto Egas, Santiago Island
The remarkable black-sand of the beach in Puerto Egas is due to the high concentration of volcanic materials in the sand. This area gets its name from Hector Egas, the would-be salt-miner in the 1920s whose planned salt-mining venture ultimately failed despite the relative ease of extracting the salt, because of too-high transportation costs. Nowadays, it is a great place to observe birds such as the white-cheeked pintail and the occasional flamingo. You can also follow a short trail to rocky landscapes where you’ll find fur seals and sea lions.
Morning: Isla Lobos, San Cristobal
Isla Lobos is a small island situated in San Cristobal Island. You’ll follow a trail across dry vegetation, volcanic fields and sandy areas, enjoying the small population of blue-footed boobies and frigatebirds you’ll come across nesting in the area.
After the visit, you’ll be transferred to the airport in San Cristobal, where you will catch your flight back to Quito.
Illa Experience Hotel can be found in the welcoming San Marcos neighbourhood of Quito, close to Plaza Grande and a short walk from the city museum and Basilica of the National Vow. Set in a historic mansion house on a peaceful side street, this 10-room luxury boutique hotel offers visitors the chance to immerse themselves in this cosmopolitan South American city.
Experience the majestic beauty of the Galápagos archipelago from the motor yacht - Sea Star Journey. This superior yacht offers exceptional facilities for couples, solo travellers and families. Offering a selection of 5 and 6-day cruise itineraries, the ship is perfect for those with less than a week to explore the Galápagos Islands.
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