On this journey discover some of the most beautiful islands in the Galapagos. This itinerary begins on Santa Cruz Island, the most populous of the archipelago, where you will meet giant tortoises in the wild and then venture to the shores of South Plaza, Santa Fe, San Cristobal and Española Islands.
About the vessel:
A sophisticated, upscale travel experience for 48 guests in 24 outside cabins that combines modern design, spacious rooms, and gourmet cuisine with top adventure. All cabins have air conditioning and private facilities. Three public decks include an ample bar-salon, dining room, natural history library, sky bar and sundeck. A Jacuzzi and gym complete the on board amenities. Included in your cruise cost are the use of snorkelling equipment, kayaks, wet suits, and excursions on a glass bottomed boat.
Very early this morning, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Galapagos.
Your Galapagos Cruise include: Accommodation in selected cabin, all meals, Island sightseeing, Naturalist guides and lecture services in English, snorkelling gear, shared transfers in the islands and from main hotels in Quito and Guayaquil.
Please remember that the exact route and program may vary according to weather and ocean conditions and the wildlife we encounter.
There are two types of landings throughout your Galapagos tour:
Dry landing: guests step from the dinghy onto rocks or a dock.
Wet landing: as the dinghy edges onto a sandy beach, guests step into knee-deep water and wade ashore.
On arrival, you will be met at Baltra airport and transferred to the dock to board Yacht La Pinta. There’s a welcome introductory briefing, boat drill, cabin assignment and then lunch. You will start sailing for your first afternoon outing.
PM: South Plaza Island
The turquoise waters of the channel here contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline, while a carpet of scarlet Sesuvium succulents serves as ground cover for a grove of luminescent green Prickly-pear cactus beyond, populated by yellow-grey land iguanas. Along the coastline one finds Sea Lion colonies, while sea birds play with the thermals that form along the cliffs of this small but spectacular island.
AM: Santa Fe Island
Take a dinghy over to this idyllic sandy-white beach populated by colonies of sea lions. Galapagos hawks are often easily observed, perched atop salt bushes. The Santa Fe land iguana, unique to just this island, may be spotted during the walk. Following the walk, you can snorkel and swim along a natural wave barrier or ride the glass-bottom boat.
PM: Cerro Colorado Tortoise Habitat
After lunch, disembark at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the island’s capital, and drive 40 minutes to the island’s southern shore. At Cerro Colorado, visit the breeding centre for highly endangered giant tortoises in the midst of a fantastic deciduous forest, home to dozens of bird species, including the San Cristobal Mockingbird, and the San Cristobal Lava Lizard, both island endemics.
AM: Punta Pitt
Land at the eastern tip of San Cristobal Island this morning. The trail that ascends from the beach provides spectacular views of the shoreline; you can observe Frigates, plus a colony of bachelor Sea Lions. After the walk, if conditions are favourable, there is a chance to swim from the beach and snorkel.
PM: Cerro Brujo
In the afternoon following lunch on board, a dinghy ride along the shores of tuff-stone layers will take you to Cerro Brujo’s expansive, white coral beach, great for walking, with rewarding bird-watching featuring seabirds and shore birds. Also, look out for Galapagos Sea Lions. These are the same shores that Charles Darwin walked upon, back in September 1835.
AM: Punta Suarez
Your morning, outing at Punta Suarez, provides an exciting walk on lava/boulder terrain to visit its unique sea bird colonies, including the Waved Albatrosses (April – January), Boobies, Swallow-tail gulls, and the famous “blowhole” lava formation. Also, look for red-green-black Marine Iguanas. Many regard this site as the best in the Galapagos. Back on board for lunch.
PM: Gardner Bay
In the afternoon, set down at this beautiful, white coral beach for a short walk to observe the Sea Lions, Mockingbirds, Finches, or enjoy the beach. There is great snorkelling in this area, or else there’s time to kayak or ride the glass-bottom boat.
AM: Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz Island)
Disembarking in the morning, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and the captive rearing programme for the Giant Tortoises. Here, witness the efforts and results of Galpagos fieldwork and study done in the name of science.
Transfer via bus across Santa Cruz Island and a short ferry ride to Baltra. Your journey ends at Baltra Island, where you will be transferred to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland.