Personalizing your travel experiences to Latin America.

M/Y Grace

M/Y Grace is a luxury yacht with capacity for 18 guests in nine spacious staterooms, five of which have twin beds and four of which have double beds. Built in 1928 in Southampton, England, the M/Y Grace has been owned by millionaire tycoons and royalty, and even was selected to serve in the British Royal Navy during WWII. This intimate and luxurious yacht has a stabilizer system for smooth sailing, a main salon with plush sofas and an entertainment system, and a front sun deck with a hot tub and ample space for sunbathing. Delicious, high-quality cuisine can be enjoyed inside or outside. Due to her smaller size, the M/Y Grace is able to visit certain sites in the Galapagos that larger ships are banned from. The M/Y Grace is also ideal for private charters for a special shared adventure with family or close friends.

Category: Luxury

Capacity: 18

Operation: Baltra/San Cristobal

Number of Cabins: 9

Length: 145 ft

Speed: 12 knots

Cabin Equipment and Services:
5 standard twin cabins, 4 standard double cabins. Private bathrooms, individual, climate controls, safe boxes, telephones, kayaks, jacuzzi.

Social Areas:
Diner, sundeck

Type of Dietary Restrictions Served on Board:
Vegetarian

Food Serving Style:


Guide Languages:
English Spanish

Drinks:


Visitor Activities:
Kayaks, hike, snorkel, panga ride

Other Activities:


Flight Route Used: Quito/Guayaquil-Baltra/San Cristobal

Single Cabin Supplement:
Yes

Children Discount:
Yes

Brief Itinerary

Day 1: Saturday

Morning: Arrival to Baltra Island

Afternoon: Santa Cruz Island: Whaler’s Bay  and Eden Islet

Day 2: Sunday

Morning: Santa Fe Island

Afternoon: South Plaza Island

Day 3: Monday

Morning: Tower Island (Genovesa): Prince Phillip’s Steps

Afternoon: Tower Island: Darwin Bay

Day 4: Tuesday

Morning: Fernandina Island: Punta Espinosa

Afternoon: Isabela Island (Albemarle): Urbina Bay

Day 5: Wednesday

Morning: Isabela Island: Tagus Cove

Afternoon: Isabela Island: Punta Vicente Roca OR Punta Albemarle

Day 6: Thursday

Morning: Santiago Island (James): Espumilla Beach or Buccanneer’s Cove

Afternoon: Santiago Island: James Bay

Day 7: Friday

Morning: Santa Cruz Island: Charles Darwin Research Station

Afternoon: Santa Cruz Island: Highlands, Lava Tubes and Pit Craters

Day 8: Saturday

Early Morning: San Cristobal: Interpretation Center

Late Morning: Depart for Mainland Ecuador

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1, Saturday

Quito or Guayaquil / Baltra, Galapagos


Morning:  Fly to Baltra in the Galapagos Islands and board M/Y Grace. Afternoon:  Santa Cruz: Whaler's Bay: Type of Landing: Wet Level of Walk:  Easy Other Activities: Snorkeling, Panga Ride

On the north shore of Santa Cruz, this beautiful sandy beach makes it a great welcome for visitors.  As we drift though the quiet waters in our panga, we are likely to see marine life and when disembarking a fabulous opportunity to enjoy the clear waters for snorkeling or swimming.  This is a peaceful place that will leave you feeling that way. (B, L, D).

Late Afternoon: Santa Cruz: Eden Island


Type of Landing: Wet Level of Walk:  Easy Other Activities: Snorkeling, Panga Ride. Kayaking


Eden Islet offers more snorkeling similar  to Whaler’s Bay and / or a panga ride in search of bluefooted boobies, masked boobies  and  great  blue  herons. You can toast your first  Galapagos sunset aboard  the Evolution from atop the sky lounge bar this evening, followed by dinner and a presentation by your Guide on the next day’s activities.


Welcome cocktail and first formal briefing. (L, D)


Day 2, Sunday

Santa Fe and South Plaza Islands

Morning: Santa Fe:  Type of Landing: Wet Level of Walk:  Medium Other Activities: Kayaking, Panga Ride, Snorkeling This may well be the oldest island in the Galapagos. You will anchor at one of the most beautiful and most sheltered bays in the archipelago, and some of the best snorkeling is here, with its crystal clear and Santa Fe Island - Mapshallow waters.


Certainly one of the best locations to see sea turtles, swim with sea lions and glimpse of the Galapagos White-tipped Shark.  After a wet landing you will walk up to a nearby cliff to see the land iguanas through an area of Opuntia Cactus. Other animals present are the Galapagos Hawk, owls, Frigates, Pelicans, Manta Rays and mockingbirds.  Our goal is to spot one of the large endemic species of land iguana.

Afternoon:  South Plaza Island:  

Type of Landing: Dry Level of Walk:  Easy One of the smallest islands of the archipelago, yet one of the richest in wildlife. The dry landing transports you to a brilliant combination of life and colors. Land iguanas wandering through bright red carpet weed, Swallow tailed gulls nesting around the overhang tops and red-billed tropicbirds and shearwaters flying with dancing displays. Mind the pirates of the sky; they will strike if you drop your guard. This 13 acre (5 hectare) island is one of the best spots in the archipelago to see land iguanas and swallow-tailed gulls, both indigenous to the Galapagos. There are iguana nests scattered all over the hill. The sheer cliffs of the southern shore are a perfect bird habitat, making it an unparalleled bird observatory especially for swallow-tailed gulls, Audubon shearwaters, and red-billed tropicbirds.  You'll also have the chance to spot the only marine - land iguana hybrids in the islands and one of the biggest sea lion colonies in the archipelago. (B,L,D)


Day 3, Monday

Tower Island: Prince Phillip’s Steps & Darwin Bay Beach

Morning: Prince Phillips Steps:

Type of Landing: Dry Level of Walk:  Moderate Other Activities: Dinghy ride along the cliffs, Snorkeling, Kayaking, Panga Ride


Tower Island could serve as a film set for a secret submarine base! The southwestern part of the island is an ocean-filled caldera ringed by the outer edges of a sizeable and mostly submerged volcano. The island sits to the northwest, slightly removed from the Galápagos archipelago. It is also known as “Bird Island,” a name it lives up to in a spectacular way. Named for a visit by the British Monarch in 1964, 25-meter (81-foot) Phillips Steps leads to a narrow stretch of land that opens out onto the plateau surrounding Darwin Bay, and extends to form the north side of the island. Red-footed boobies wrap their webbed feet around branches to perch in the bushes, and, in contrast, their “masked-booby” cousins dot the surface of the scrublands beyond. Crossing through the sparse vegetation, you will come to a broad lava field that extends towards the sea-this forms the north shore. “Storm petrels” flutter out over the ocean in swarms, then return to nest in the cracks and tunnels of the lava field, where their predator, the short-eared owl, is a frequent.


Afternoon: Darwin Bay:  Type of Landing: Wet Level of Walk:  Easy to difficult Other Activities: Panga ride, snorkeling, kayaking

Landing on the white coral sands of Darwin Bay and walking up the beach, you will be surrounded by the bustling activity of “great frigate birds.” Puffball-chicks with their proud papas who sport their bulging scarlet throat-sacks-crowd the surrounding branches, while both yellow-crowned and lava herons feed by the shore. Farther along you will discover a stunning series of sheltered pools set into a rocky outcrop, forming another natural film set. A trail beside the pools leads up to a cliff overlooking the caldera, where pairs of swallow-tailed gulls, the only nocturnal gulls in the world, can be seen nesting at the cliff’s edge. Lava gulls and pintail ducks ride the sea breezes nearby.

A brief panga ride brings us to the base of those same cliffs to reveal the full variety of species sheltering in the ledges and crevices created by the weathered basalt. Among them, red-billed tropic birds enter and leave their nests trailing exotic kite-like tails. This is also an intriguing place to go deep-water snorkeling, where the truly fortunate swimmer can spot one of the giant manta rays that frequent the inner bay along the cliff walls. You might also seem them at the surface as the sun set’s on your first full day in the Galápagos. We have the opportunity to go on walks & hikes, snorkeling, kayaking and on dinghy rides. (B, L, D)


Day 4, Tuesday

Fernandina Island: Punta Espinosa/ Isabela Island: Urbina Bay


Morning: Fernandina Island:  Punta Espinosa:  Type of Landing: Dry Level of Walk:  Moderate to hard Other activities: Snorkeling, Dinghy ride At 1495 meters (4,858 feet), the big news on this youngest and westernmost of the islands is La Cumbre volcano that erupts frequently, most recently in May 2005. Fernandina sits across the Bolivar Channel opposite Isabela. Our destination is Punta Espinosa, a narrow spit of land in the northeast corner of the island, where a number of unique Galápagos species can be seen in close proximity such as marine iguanas, sea lions, flightless cormorants, and hawks can be seen in close proximity.  As our panga driver skillfully navigates the reef, penguins show off by throwing themselves from the rocks into the water. Red and turquoise-blue zayapas crabs disperse across the lava shoreline, while herons and egrets forage through the mangrove roots. The landing is a dry one, set in a quiet inlet beneath the branches of a small mangrove forest. A short walk through the vegetation leads to a large colony of marine iguanas-a schoolyard of Godzilla’s children-resting atop one another in friendly heaps along the rocky shoreline, spitting water to clear their bodies of salt. Nearby, sea lions frolic in a sheltered lagoon. This is one of the few places you can glimpse iguanas grazing on seaweed underwater.

Farther down this stretch of shore, the world’s only species of flightless cormorants have established their colony near an inviting inlet frequented by sea turtles. Because these birds evolved without land predators-it was easier to feed on the squid, octopus, eel and fish found in the ocean-the cormorants progressively took to the sea. They developed heavier, more powerful legs and feet for kicking, serpent-like necks, and wet, fur-like plumage. Their wings are now mere vestiges. Back toward the landing and farther inland, the island’s black lava flows become more evident, forming a quiet, inner lagoon. Galápagos hawks survey the entire scene from overhead

Afternoon:  Urbina Bay:

Type of Landing: WetLevel of Walk:  Easy to DifficultOther activities: Snorkeling


It is directly west of Isabella’s Volcano Alcedo, where we will make an easy, wet landing (a hop into a few inches of water) onto a gently sloping beach. In 1954, a Disney film crew caught sight of this gleaming white strip, and on further investigation found pools of stranded sea creatures! To their astonishment, three miles (5 km) of the marine reef had been uplifted by as much as 13 feet (4 meters) in moments. Now visitors can walk amongst the dried coral heads, mollusks and other organisms that formed the ocean floor. A highlight of this excursion is the giant land iguanas, whose vivid and gaudy yellow skin suggests that dinosaurs may have been very colorful indeed. Giant tortoises inhabit this coastal plain during the wet season, before migrating to the highlands when it turns dry. Our landing beach also provides opportunities to snorkel amongst marine creatures, or just relax on shore. Here we must take care not to step on the sea turtle nests dug carefully into the sand. Swim or snorkel from the beach.  Visit to Urbina Bay. Walk amongst dried coral heads of an uplifted ocean floor and track down large land iguanas and Galapagos tortoises that live in the area. (B, L, D)


Day 5, Wednesday

Isabela Island: Tagus Cove & Punta Vicente Roca

Morning: Tagus Cove:  Type of Landing: Dry Level of Walk:  Moderate Other Activities: Dinghy ride along the coast, snorkeling, kayaking.

Isabela is the largest island in the archipelago, accounting for half of the total landmass of the Galápagos at 4,588 square kilometers. Though narrow in places, the island runs 132 km from north to south, or 82 miles. Isabella is formed from six shield volcanoes that merged into a single landmass. It is also home to the highest point in the Galápagos, Wolf Volcano at 1707 meters (5,547 feet), and calderas of up to 20 kilometers (12½ miles) across. On the way to Tagus Cove, the boat will sail through the Bolivar Channel. These are the coldest, most productive waters in the Galápagos, the upwelling of the Cronwell Current, where dolphins and whales are frequently seen. Tagus Cove, a popular anchorage for whalers, pirates and other sailors since around 1836, visitors at this time marked their names in the canyons as a sign of their arrival on this site. It was named for a British naval vessel that moored here in 1814. One can still find the names of their ships carved into the rock above our landing, a practice now prohibited, of course. The cove’s quiet waters make for an ideal panga ride beneath its sheltered cliffs, where blue-footed boobies, brown noddies, pelicans and noddy terns make their nests, and flightless cormorants and penguins inhabit the lava ledges. From our landing, a wooden stairway rises to the trail entrance for a view of Darwin Lake, a perfectly round saltwater crater, barely separated from the ocean but above sea level! The trail continues around the lake through a dry vegetation zone, and then climbs inland to a promontory formed by spatter cones. The site provides spectacular views back toward our anchorage in the bay, as well as Darwin Volcano and Wolf Volcano farther north. (B, L, D)


Hike up Tagus Cove for a spectacular view of our anchorage in the bay, as well as Darwin and Wolf Volcanoes. Afternoon: Punta Vicente Roca:

Activities: Dinghy ride, snorkeling     Located at the ‘mouth’ of the head of the sea horse, which forms the northern part of the Isabela is Punta Vicente Roca. Here the remnants of an ancient volcano form two turquoise coves with a bay well protected from the ocean swells. The spot is a popular anchorage from which to take panga rides along the cliff where a partially sunken cave beckons explorers. Masked and blue-footed boobies sit perched along the point and the sheer cliffs, while flightless cormorants inhabit the shoreline. The upwelling of coldwater currents in this part of the Galápagos, give rise to an abundance of marine life which, in combination with the protection of the coves, make Punta Vicente Roca one of the archipelago’s sough after dive spots. One cove is only accessible from the sea by way of an underwater passage. The passage opens to calm waters of the hidden cove where sea lions like to laze on the beach having traveled along the underwater route. The entire area of Punta Vicente Roca lies on the flank of 2,600 foot Volcano Ecuador. This is the island’s sixth largest volcano. Half of Volcano Ecuador slid into the ocean leaving a spectacular cutaway view of its caldera. Snorkeling can be done at Punta Vicente Roca. The abundance of marine life here, in combination with the protection of the coves, makes this one of the best snorkeling spots in the Islands. (B, L, D)

Late Afternoon: Punta Albermale:

Activities:  Dinghy ride

Punta Albemarle lies on the very northern tip of Isabela. Rocky volcanic cliffs drop down to the ocean floor as almost vertical walls. You might see large animals like manta rays, marbled rays, hammerhead sharks and marine turtles, but also Chevron barracuda, snappers, yellow fin tuna, rainbow runners, wahoo and groupers. There are also a lot of smaller fishes like creole fishes, parrotfishes, scrawled filefishes, pacific boxfishes and tiger snake eels.


Day 6, Thursday

Santiago Island: Espumilla Beach, Buccaneer’s Cove & James Bay Morning: Espumilla Beach:

Type of Landing: Wet Level of Walk:  Medium to High Other Activities: Swimming, snorkeling

Located at the north end of Puerto Egas (James Bay). A wet landing on the large coffee-colored sand beach is just north of the prized fresh water supply that once attracted pirates and whalers.

Esmpumilla Beach was changed by El Nino the brackish lagoons here underwent a process of sedimentation and the flamingo colony which once existed here has moved elsewhere.  Today the main attractions at Espumilla Beach are a palo santo forest, beach and the landscape. The beach is an important site for nesting marine turtles (Chelonia midas agassizi). One of the main

predators of sea turtle eggs were pigs, which have been entirely eradicated on Santiago. In addition thanks to the Isabela Project the 120,000 goats which once lived on Santiago have also now been eradicated and the vegetation of the island is returning to a natural state.

The trail makes a loop heading over a knob into a sparely forested area then back to the beach. Along the way those with a watchful eye may spot a variety of Galapagos Finches or a Vermilion fly catcher. Once back at the beach visitors may have the chance to swim or snorkel time permitting.

Galapagos Islands visitors who now come to Espumilla Beach come in search of birds rather than water. A short walk inland takes visitors through a mangrove forest normally inhabited by the Common Stilt. Sea Turtles also visit these mangroves to nest. Beyond the mangroves is a brackish lagoon where flocks of Pink Flamingos and White Cheeked Pintails can be seen.

Sea turtles often lay their eggs in Playa Espumilla, so be careful where you step.

Late Morning: Buccaneer’s CoveType of Landing: Wet

Level of Walk:  Easy Other Activities: Panga ride, snorkeling, kayking


Less than an hour north of Puerto Egas, Buccaneers Cove served as a safe haven for pirates, sailors  and whalers during the 18th and 19th century. Anchoring in the protected bay they were able to make much needed repairs to their ships while other men went a shore to stock up on salt, tortoises, fresh water and firewood. Several years ago ceramic jars were found at the bottom of the bay, the disregarded cargo of some mariner from years gone by. Inside the jars were supplies of wine and marmalade.

The cove is very scenic with steep cliffs made of tuff formations and the dark reddish-purple sand beach. This dramatic landscape is made all the more impressive by the hundreds of seabirds perched atop the cliffs. Two of the more recognizable rock formations are known as the "monk" and "elephant rock".

Afternoon: James Bay:  Type of Landing: Wet Level of Walk:  Easy to moderate Other Activities: Swimming, snorkeling


A wet landing at Puerto Egas, also known as James Bay, which offers an intriguing, eroded rock formation. Inland, the trail crosses the dry interior. The magical shorelines of the west of James Island are a combination of tuff cone, lava flows and organic sand. A rocky coast with a very gentle slope is used by a great number of shore birds and reptiles. Oystercatchers, whimbrels, sanderlings, turnstones, tattlers and other waders are mixed with marine iguanas and bright painted crabs to feed by the rich littoral zone.  Grand, partially collapsed lava tunnels house a Galapagos fur sea lion colony. The snorkel can be one of the best in the archipelago. Sea turtles feeding, parrot fishes, damsel fishes, white tipped reef sharks and many more...    Charles Darwin spent most of his Galapagos land time near this spot.  Darwin describes his visit to James Bay in Voyage of the Beagle. (B, L, D) From the beach we experience one of the most exuberant snorkeling sessions of our visit. (B,L,D)


Day 7, Friday

Santa Cruz Island: Puerto Ayora, Fausto Llerena Breeding Center (Charles Darwin Research Station), The Twins, Wild Land Tortoises Reserve (Highlands)

Morning:  Fausto Llerena Breeding Center:  

Type of Landing: Dry Level of Walk:  Easy Other Activities: Shopping in Puerto Ayora


The Fausto Llerena Center is located on the island of Santa Cruz and is part of the Charles Darwin Research Station. The Fausto Llerena Center receives about 7,800 visitors a month and currently houses 925 youth and 70 adult turtles. It has been the primary center for the Galapagos Tortoise Breeding Project. This project, which began in the 1970?s has been an incredible success in helping repopulate the Galapagos Giant Tortoise population.

Of the 11 species that were once considered to be endangered species 10 subspecies of Galapagos Tortoise have been brought up to guarded levels. The most noted success story is that of the Espanola Tortoises. When the project began the Hood Tortoise population consisted of 2 males and 11 females. These tortoises were brought to the Darwin Station. Miraculously a third male was discovered at the San Diego Zoo and brought to the Darwin Station to join the others in a captive breeding program. These 13 tortoises are the parents of over 1000 young tortoises now roam free on Espanola. Tortoises of this corral are accustomed to humans; it is an excellent spot for visitors to be photographed with them. Always remind your visitors not to touch them and not to step on the platform where they're food is placed. The path continues to the CDRS facilities and then to the town of Puerto Ayora.


Puerto Ayora:  

Santa Cruz is the second largest island in the Galápagos and something of a hub for the archipelago. The small town of Puerto Ayora in the southwest of this large, round volcanic island is the economic center of the Islands, with the largest population of the four inhabited islands (approx. 10,000).Tourism-including refurbishing and resupplying yachts-along with fishing and boat-building, are major sources of commerce. Puerto Ayora is home to both the Galápagos National Park and Charles Darwin Research Station,   the center of the great restorative efforts taking place in the park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here we go ashore to visit the Giant Tortoise Breeding and Rearing Program run by the research station, which began by rescuing the remaining 16 tortoises on the island of Española in the 1970s. This program has restored the population of animals there to over 1,000 today. You will see many of these animals, with their sweet ET necks and faces, from hatchlings to juveniles to large, and much older tortoises too (a few likely over 100 years old!). The local color of this port makes for an attractive stop-off, with restaurants, souvenir shops and even an internet café.  

Afternoon: The Twins (Los Gemelos): These twin pit craters, referred to as Los Gemelos (the twins) are located in the highlands. Weather permitting you can choose to hike through the unique vegetation rich with birdlife. A highlight of any trip is a visit to the Santa Cruz Highlands, where the sparse, dry coastal vegetation transitions to lush wet fields and forests overgrown with moss and

lichens. Late Afternoon: Wild land Tortoises Reserve (El Chato): Located in the green, hilly highlands of Santa Cruz Island, the El Chato Reserve is one of the best places in the islands to see the giant tortoises in their natural habitat. The tortoises are easy to spot, lumbering around eating grass and leaves and wallowing in the small pools that are common in the reserve. The best times to see tortoises here is during the cool dry season from June through December. You may also spot some highland birds, like cattle egrets, mockingbirds, finches or flycatchers. There is a trail through the reserve, leaving from the little town of Santa Rosa. From the “caseta” or little house where it begins, figure on about a three or three and a half hour hike round trip. It’s possible to hire horses and guides in Santa Rosa.


Day 8, Saturday

San Cristobal Island/ Departure

Morning:  Interpretation Centre:  Today our voyage comes to an end.  Before we bid farewell to the Evolution and her crew we pay a visit to the Interpretation Centre, which presents a comprehensive exhibit of the islands’ natural history, human interaction, ecosystems, flora & fauna..  In 1998 the Galápagos National Park Visitor Centre opened for the benefit of islanders and travelers alike, presenting a comprehensive exhibit of the islands’ natural history, human interaction, ecosystems, flora and fauna. (B)

Our guide will use the exhibits to provide an illustrated overview of the natural history of the islands. From the Interpretation Center, a short trail arrives at Frigate Bird Hill, where both “magnificent-frigates” and “great-frigates” can be seen in the same colony-ideal for learning to distinguish the two bird species.  Late Morning:  Return to Mainland Ecuador: Next we return to the airport where we began our journey in the Galápagos to flight back to the Ecuadorian mainland, Quito or Guayaquil.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1: Saturday

Morning: Arrival to San Cristobal Island


Afternoon: San Cristobal Island: Lobos & Kicker Rock

Day 2: Sunday

Morning: Hood Island (Espanola): Punta Suarez


Afternoon: Hood Island: Gardner Bay

Day 3: Monday

Morning: Floreana Island: Post Office Bay / Asylum of Peace


Afternoon: Floreana Island: Cormorant Point / Champion Islet

Day 4: Tuesday

Morning: Morning: Santa Cruz Island: Dragon Hill


Afternoon: Santa Cruz Island: Puerto Ayora / Highlands

Day 5: Wednesday

Morning: Santa Cruz Island (Indefatigable): Bachas Beach


Afternoon: Santa Cruz Island: Chinese Hat

Day 6: Thursday

Morning: Rabida Island: Jervis


Afternoon: Santiago Island (James): Sullivan Bay

Day 7: Friday

Morning: Bartolome Island: Pinnacle Rock & Overlook


Afternoon: North Seymour Island:

Day 8: Saturday

Early Morning: Mosquera Islet


Late Morning: Baltra Island: Depart for Mainland Ecuador

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1, Saturday

Quito or Guayaquil / San Cristobal, Galapagos

Morning:  Fly to San Cristobal in the Galapagos Islands and board M/Y Grace. We will transfer you to the airport for your flight to the Galápagos Islands stopping briefly in the coastal city of Guayaquil en route where you can also board the flight. The turquoise blue water surrounding the coast is visible from the air as we approach the island of San Cristobal. Charles Darwin reported encountering a pair of giant tortoises feeding on cactus during his first landing here in 1835. Upon arrival in Puerto Baquerizo, the administrative capital of the islands and a sleepy little port town, you’ll pass through Park Inspection, after which you’ll be met by your guide holding a sign for the Evolution.  Heading to the port, you’ll be treated to views of the harbor where your yacht awaits you below. It’s a very short ride to the harbor and it’s not long before you will be crossing from shore to reach the Grace, your home and adventure center for the next week. Your captain and crew will be waiting to greet you and will take care of seeing to it that your bags reach your cabin. Now it’s time to get settled in and relax as we set out on our voyage.  


Afternoon:  Lobos Island and Kicker Rock:

Other Activities: Panga Ride & snorkeling Heading up the coast from Wreck Bay and Puerto Baquerizo, you will see Lobos Island (Isla Lobos) across a small channel off the coast of San Cristóbal. This basalt island, outcropping lives up to its name of “Sea Lion Island” with its noisy population of frolicking and barking beasts. It is also a nesting place for blue-footed boobies and an excellent spot for snorkeling. This is your first chance to share the water with a playful colony of the ‘wolves of the sea followed, by Leon Dormido also known as Kicker Rock, a spectacular rock formation that rises 152 meters (500 feet) out of the Pacific. It takes the form of a sleeping lion, but from another angle you can see that the rock is

split, forming a colossal tablet and, piercing the sea, a great chisel ready for etching. Small vessels can navigate through the narrow channel between the rocks. (B, L, D)Welcome cocktail. (L, D)


Day 2, Sunday

Española (Hood) Island: Punta Suarez & Gardner Bay

Morning: Punta Suarez:  Type of Landing: Wet Level of Walk:  Moderate to difficult Hood is the southernmost island of the archipelago, and is one of the most popular due to the breathtaking variation and sheer number of fauna that greet the visitor. The giant tortoise was reintroduced to Hood in the 1970’s and counts as one of the park’s great success stories. They reside in an off-limits area, but don’t worry-the famous giant tortoise awaits you on other islands! The quantity and variety of wildlife at Punta Suarez is remarkable. Sea lions surf the waves beyond the breakwater landing, and tiny pups are known to greet your toes upon arrival. A few steps inland are the largest variety of marine iguana in the Galápagos. They bear distinctive red and black markings, some with a flash of turquoise running down their spine, and nap in communal piles. The trail then takes us beside the western edge of the island where masked boobies nest along the cliff’s edge, and then descends to a rocky beach before rising to an open area and a large gathering of nesting blue-foot boobies. Galápagos doves, cactus finch and mocking birds forage by, unconcerned by human presence. The trail continues to the high cliff edge of the southern shore; below, a shelf of black lava reaches out into the surf where a blowhole shoots a geyser of water into the air. Further east along the cliffs is the “Albatross Airport” where “waved albatross” line up to launch their great winged bodies from the cliffs, soaring out over the dramatic shoreline of crashing waves and driven spray. In the trees set back from the cliff is one of only two places in the world where the waved albatross nests. In fact, the 12,000 pairs that inhabit Hood Island comprise all but a tiny fraction of the world’s population of this species.  Lucky visitors can watch courtship ‘fencing’ done with great yellow beaks and necks among the large, fluffy, perfectly camouflaged chicks. Mating occurs year round. Visit to Punta Suarez, on Española Island, to see large marine iguanas, masked boobies and blue footed boobies nesting along the cliff’s edge, as well as the famous waved albatross. Afternoon: Gardner Bay:  Type of Landing: Wet Level of Walk:  Easy

Other Activities: Swimming, snorkeling, kayaking & panga ride. On the northeastern shore of Hood, Gardner Bay offers a magnificent long white sandy beach, where colonies of sea lions laze in the sun, sea turtles swim offshore, and inquisitive mockingbirds boldly investigate new arrivals. You will be lured into the turquoise water for a swim, but just a little further off-shore, the snorkeling by Tortuga rock and Gardner Island offers peak encounters with playful young sea lions and large schools of surprisingly big tropical fish, including yellow tailed surgeonfish, king angelfish and bump-head parrot fish. Sleepy white-tipped reef sharks can be seen napping on the bottom. (B, L, D)

Late Afternoon: Gardner Islet:  Other Activities: Panga Ride & Snorkeling.

Generally protected from the current by the islet itself, this wall dive offers some fun cave exploration where you come across a range of fascinating creatures including snake eels, marble rays, diamond rays, Galapagos pufferfish and plenty of red-lipped batfish

Highlights:  A great location for finding the infamous red-lipped batfish, as well as the occasional hammerhead in stronger currents

Late Afternoon: Osborn Islet:  Type of Landing: Wet Level of Walk:  Easy Other Activities: Snorkeling.

Gardner Bay, on the eastern side of the island, is the breeding site of nearly all of the world's 12,000 pairs of Waved Albatrosses. It has an ample white sandy beach with a myriad of sea lions, perfect for relaxing. Its rocky shores make this site a great place for diving and snorkeling.



Day 3, Monday

Floreana Island: Post Office Bay, Asylum of Peace & Punta Cormorant

Morning:  Post Office Bay:  Type of Landing: Wet and from the dinghy Level of Walk:  Easy Activities:  Snorkeling & swimming In 1793 British whalers set up a barrel as the island’s Post Office, to send letters home on passing ships. The tradition continues to this day, simply by dropping a post card into the barrel without a stamp. The catch is you must take a post card from the barrel and see that it gets to the right place. That is how the system began and continues to this day. Some claim it works better than the post office. Late Morning: Asilyum of Peace (Asilo de la Paz)Type of Landing: Dry Level of Walk:  Easy

Located in the farming area of Floreana Island, this great hill has 450 meters high. Here it is the cave of the pirates and a wonderful fresh water spring, which supplies of water to the entire population of this small island. You can have access walking from Velasco Ibarra Port or hiring a bus to go up. It is advisable to carry closed shoes. It is worth standing out that the way is amazingly rich in native species of the archipelago, both animal and vegetal. Cueva de los Piratas counts on a great historical importance, as it was for a while home of the colonizers of the island, while building their definitive housing. Currently it is in a private property. Asilo de la Paz is one of the most adventurous tourist attractions in Galapagos Island.Afternoon:  Punta Cormorant:

Type of Landing: Wet Level of Walk:  Easy Activities:  Snorkeling & panga ride Floreana has had a colorful history: Pirates, whalers, convicts, and a small band of somewhat peculiar colonists-a Baroness among them-who chose a Robinson Crusoe existence that ended in mystery and death. Today roughly fifty Ecuadorians inhabit the island. Punta Cormorant offers two highly contrasting beaches; the strand where the yacht anchors is composed of volcanic olivine crystals, giving it a greenish tint that glitters in the sun. From here a trail crosses the neck of the isthmus-that rises to form a cinder cone-to a beach of very fine white sand, formed by the erosion of coral skeletons. Descend into a lava tube before a panga ride along la loberia.  Enjoy walking to Punta Cormorant, where is home to large colonies of pink flamingoes. (B, L, D)

Late Afternoon:  Champion Islet:

Activities: Snorkeling & panga ride

A small island off the coast of Floreana, Champion is one of the top snorkeling spots in the islands (the island itself is off-limits to visitors). Occasionally, dolphins are sighted as the boats approach the shore.  The snorkeling is truly phenomenal. Lucky visitors will get to see white-tipped reef sharks, Galapagos Penguins, sea turtles, eels, and more in addition to the usual selection of dazzling reef  fish. Champion Island is special because it is one of two places where the nearly-extinct Charles (Floreana) Mockingbird is still found. The other is Gardner Island, also off the coast of Flroeana. When Charles Darwin visited the islands in 1835 Floreana Mockingbirds were common, but hunting and introduced species on Floreana caused them to become extinct on the main island, and the only survivors are now on Champion and Gardner. Conservationists want to re-introduce them to Floreana, but conditions there are not yet right for the birds, which would not survive for the same reasons they died off there in the first place. Walking on Champion is not allowed, but most operators will take visitors on panga rides around it, and lucky visitors may get to spot a Charles Mockingbird or other bird species such as Swallow-tailed Gulls, Nazca Boobies or Brown Noddies. Champion Islet is also a popular SCUBA diving site, easily reached by Puerto Ayora Dive shops. This drift dive leads you along a nice wall filled with all sorts of treasures, both big and small. A variety of amazing finds like the endemic black srtiped salema, the blue lobster, and the infamous red-lipped batfish!


Day 4, Tuesday

Santa Cruz Island: Santa Cruz Island / Fausto Llerena, Breeding Center (Charles Darwin Research Station)/ Wild land Tortoises Reserve (Highlands)

Morning:  Breeding Center:

Type of Landing: Dry Level of Walk:  Moderate Activities:  Nature Hikes

Morning: Fausto Llerena Breeding Center:  The Fausto Llerena Center is located on the island of Santa Cruz and is part of the Charles Darwin Research Station. The Fausto Llerena Center receives about 7,800 visitors a month and currently houses 925 youth and 70 adult turtles. It has been the primary center for the Galapagos Tortoise Breeding Project. This project, which began in the 1970?s has been an incredible success in helping repopulate the Galapagos Giant Tortoise population.

Of the 11 species that were once considered to be endangered species 10 subspecies of Galapagos Tortoise have been brought up to guarded levels. The most noted success story is that of the Espanola Tortoises. When the project began the Hood Tortoise population consisted of 2 males and 11 females. These tortoises were brought to the Darwin Station. Miraculously a third male was discovered at the San Diego Zoo and brought to the Darwin Station to join the others in a captive breeding program. These 13 tortoises are the parents of over 1000 young tortoises now roam free on Espanola.

Tortoises of this corral are accustomed to humans; it is an excellent spot for visitors to be photographed with them. Always remind your visitors not to touch them and not to step on the platform where they're food is placed. The path continues to the CDRS facilities and then to the town of Puerto Ayora.

Puerto Ayora is home to both the Galápagos National Park and Charles Darwin Research Station,   the center of the great restorative efforts taking place in the park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here we go ashore to visit the Giant Tortoise Breeding and Rearing Program run by the research station, which began by rescuing the remaining 16 tortoises on the island of Española in the 1970s. This program has restored the population of animals there to over 1,000 today. You will see many of these animals, with their sweet ET necks and faces, from hatchlings to juveniles to large, and much older tortoises too (a few likely over 100 years old!). The local color of this port makes for an attractive stop-off, with restaurants, souvenir shops and even an internet café.   Afternoon: Wild land Tortoises Reserve (El Chato): Located in the green, hilly highlands of Santa Cruz Island, the El Chato Reserve is one of the best places in the islands to see the giant tortoises in their natural habitat. The tortoises are easy to spot, lumbering around eating grass and leaves and wallowing in the small pools that are common in the reserve. The best times to see tortoises here is during the cool dry season from June through December. You may also spot some highland birds, like cattle egrets, mockingbirds, finches or flycatchers. There is a trail through the reserve, leaving from the little town of Santa Rosa. From the “caseta” or little house where it begins, figure on about a three or three and a half hour hike round trip. It’s possible to hire horses and guides in Santa Rosa.


Day 5, Wednesday

Sta.Cruz Island: Bachas Beach & Chinese Hat

Morning:  Bachas Beach:  

Type of Landing:   Wet Level of Walk:   Easy Other activities:  Panga Ride & Snorkeling

In WWII the American army abandoned two barges whose remains can still be seen on Bachas beach, where the sand at is made of decomposed coral, which makes it white and soft, and a favorite site for nesting sea turtles.

The Sally Lightfoot crabs are abundant on the lava rocks along the water's edge. These crabs will eat anything they can get their claws on.  On this hike, we see flamingoes, Sally Lightfoot crabs, hermit crabs, black necked stilts, and whimbrels. The sea turtles had already abandoned their nests

Afternoon:  Santiago: Sombrero Chino (Chinese Hat):

Type of Landing: Wet Level of Walk:  Easy Other Activities: Snorkeling, Panga Ride

Chinese Hat is a tiny Island just off the southeastern tip of Santiago Island is less than a quarter of 1 sq km in size. It is a fairly recent volcanic cone, which accounts for its descriptive name; it has the shape of a down-facing Chinese hat. The hat shape is best appreciated from the north side. Opposite Sombrero Chino, on the rocky shoreline of nearby Santiago, Galapagos penguins are often seen. There is a small sea lion cove on the north shore, where boats anchor and land at the visitor site. A 400 m. trail goes around the cove and through a sea lion colony and marine iguanas cover the landscape. The volcanic scenery is attractive, and there are good views of the cone. Sombrero Chino (Chinese Hat Islet), which has a beautiful landscape and a spectacular white coral sand beach, followed by snorkeling with sea lions and penguins and swimming opportunities in the cove.   Welcome cocktail and first formal briefing. (L, D)



Day 6, Thursday

Rabida (Jervis) Island / Santiago Island: Sullivan Bay

Morning:  Rabida Island:   

Type of Landing: Wet Level of Walk:  Easy Activities:  Snorkeling, panga ride & kayaking

Named after an 18th century British admiral, John Jervis, the Earl of St. Vincent, Isla Rabida is also commonly known by its English name of Jervis Island. Sitting some 5 km south of Isla Santiago, this tiny island is just roughly five square kilometers in size. Known for its unique reddish-maroon terrain, Isla Rabida is also home to large populations of sea lions, pelicans and flamingoes.  Though this island is uninhabited, visiting here is a must to enjoy the intriguing natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Make a wet landing on the unusual red sand beaches here, to see sea lion colonies flourishing amidst hundreds of nesting pelicans. This island offers some of the best views of these wonderful birds in their natural habitat. Another sight not to be missed is the saltwater lagoon found here, where vast numbers of brightly colored pink flamingoes can be seen lazying around male sea lions that have been ousted from their groups.

A reddish color due to the oxidization of lava, Isla Rabida has a wonderful walking trail, along which one can take in the palo santo trees that cover the island’s main volcanic peak. With some good snorkeling opportunities here as well along the rocks with sea lions and tropical fish, Isla Rabida makes for an enjoyable day trip whether you are alone or with company. Walk at Rabida Island on a reddish beach to observe cliffs, and steep, sloping volcanic cinder-cones.

Afternoon:  James Island: Sullivan Bay:  

Type of Landing:   Wet Level of Walk:   Medium Activities:  Snorkeling

The Sullivan Bay, one of the most outstanding volcanic sites in the Galapagos, lava field is a variety of interesting patterns. The shapes and textures of trees, which once existed there and Hornitos caused when pockets of gas or water trapped under the lava exploded. The Sullivan Bay Lava is known a Panoehoe (Hawaiian for Rope). This thin-skinned lava's molten material cools down after an eruption causing the surface materials to buckle creating a rope like appearance. Panoehoe Lava is rare to the rest of the world, but is common to the volcanoes of Hawaii and the Galapagos Islands.

In the nearly 100 year since the Sullivan Bay Flow only a few plants have managed to take root in this harsh environment. The low-lying Mollugo is commonly the first plant to emerge from a bare lava field. Together with the Lava Cactus (Brachycereus) found here these plants are evidence of life returning to Sullivan Bay.

The walk takes approximately an hour to an hour and a half. Returning to the shoreline black and white Oystercatchers can be seen fishing for crabs and mollusks in the tide pools.

After exploring the lava flow, there is swimming and snorkeling with playful sea lions off two small coralline beaches. (B,L,D)


Day 7, Friday

Bartholomew Island / North Seymour Island

Morning: Bartholomew Island:  Pinnacle Rock:  Type of Landing:   Wet on beach.  Dry at the summit site. Level of Walk:   Easy on the beach, moderate clime on the summit Other activities:  Swimming, snorkeling Visit to Bartholomew Island, hiking to the top of a dormant volcano for a beautiful panorama of lava flows, neighboring islands and Pinnacle Rock. This Island is famous for Pinnacle Rock, a towering spearheaded obelisk that rises from the ocean’s edge and is the best known landmark in the Galápagos. Galápagos penguins-the only species of penguin found north of the equator-walk precariously along narrow volcanic ledges at its base. Sea lions snooze on rocky platforms, ready to slide into the water to play with passing snorkelers. Just below the surface, shoals of tropical fish dodge in and out of the rocks past urchins, sea stars and anemones. A perfectly crescent, pink-and- white sandy beach lies just to the east of the pinnacle. Sea turtles use the beach as a nesting site and can sometimes be found wading in the shallow water near the shore, or resting in the sand to recover from the arduous task of digging nests, laying eggs and covering them over. Penguins dot the nearby rocks of the next landing site, less than a kilometer along the eastern shore. Here the submerged walls of a tiny volcanic crater give the impression of a fountain pool. This dry landing-no wet feet!-is the entrance to a 600-meter (2000-foot) pathway complete with stairs and

Boardwalks leading to Bartholomew’s summit. The route is not difficult and presents a museum of volcanologist; a site left untouched after its last eruption, where cones stand in various stages of erosion and lava tubes form bobsled-like runs from the summit. At the top you will be rewarded with spectacular views of Santiago Island and James Bay to the west, and far below, Pinnacle Rock and our beach, where the crystal blue waters of the bay cradle your yacht. Snorkel with sea lions and penguins. Afternoon:  North Seymour:

Type of Landing: DryLevel of Walk:  Easy to difficult Other activities:  Snorkeling & Panga Ride


North Seymour Island, a good nesting site for frigate birds and Blue-footed boobies, was lifted from the ocean floor by a seismic event, and its origins as a seabed give the island its low, flat profile. Cliffs only a few meters high form the shoreline, where swallow-tailed gulls sit perched in ledges. A tiny forest of silver-grey Palo Santo trees stand just above the landing, usually without leaves, waiting for the rain to bring them into bloom. This island is teaming with life! You might have to give way to a passing sea lion or marine iguana; blue-footed booby nests sit beside the trail where mating pairs perform their courtship dance. Further along, the rocky shore displays white sand, and large flocks of pelicans mass for a dive bomb feeding frenzy, rendering a tableau for us from ages long past. The trail turns inland to reveal the largest nesting site in the Galápagos of the “magnificent frigate bird.” These huge, dark acrobats have two-meter wingspans, and males, with puffed up scarlet throat sacks; sit precariously perched in low bushes to watch over their equally large chicks. Snorkel with sea lions and rays.  (B,L,D)


Day 8, Saturday

Mosquera Islet / Departure Baltra

Early morning:  Mosquera Islet:  

Type of Landing: DryLevel of Walk:  Easy to difficult Other activities:  Snorkeling


Mosquera is located between North Seymour and Baltra.  It is one of the smallest Islands resulting from an uplift of sand, made up of coral reefs and rocks. It boasts one of the largest sea lion colonies in the Galapagos archipelago.  There are occasional reports of Orca whales seen praying on the sea lion colony. It is also home to many sea birds which is an excellent site for observing shorebirds.  There is a very nice beach on Mosquera and since the Islet is mainly flat there is an easy trail leading past the sea lion colony and a nesting area for Lava Gulls. You can also spot marine iguanas, blue footed boobies and sally light food crabs. It is a fun snorkeling site, just swim off of the beach, there’s a good chance snorkelers will be joined by one of the numerous sea lions who live at this Island. There is no trail here, so any visitor can enjoy an open area. An easily accessed for scuba diving site.  Maximum depth for this dive site is 30m and currents are generally mild. This site is famous for the sea lions that come and play during the dive. Sharks, turtles, rays, barracudas and tropical fish are common in this area.

Late morning: Departure:  Head to the airport to flight back to Quito or Guayaquil in mainland. (B)

Per Person USD Rates 2015

A1 & A4 (Master Suites)

A2 & A3 (Twin Suites)

C1, C2 & C5 (Dboule Staterooms)

C3 & C4 (Twin Staterooms)

8D/7N Sat-Sat $6,800 $6,300 $6,100 $5,880
Charter $104,000.00

Single supplement 75% // 100% Xmas, Easter, New Year $500 surcharge for Christmas, Easter and New Year, for individuals and $6,500 for charter CHILDREN under 11, 30% OFF / 2 discounts p/family, NO DISCOUNT on Christmas, Easter & New Year



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