Natural Paradise

The best choice for your Galapagos Islands adventure, on board a luxury cruise.

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The best choice for your Galapagos Islands adventure, on board a luxury cruise.

Natural Paradise is a new luxury yacht for those travelers with discerning tastes. This intimate, customized vessel transports 16 passengers through the enchanted Galapagos Islands on eight-, five- and four-day excursions.

All accommodations have comfortable beds, safety deposit boxes, air-conditioning, private bathrooms with hot water, and plenty of space for your belongings. Natural Paradise’s 10 crewmembers are attentive to their guests’ needs. An official, bilingual naturalist guide will lead you on your exploration.

DECKS AND CABINS

Elegant and comfortable, the Natural Paradise is the newest yacht in Galapagos. Four of her nine cabins feature private balconies and the main deck suite can be converted into a triple room. Her social areas include a beautiful teak sundeck with Jacuzzi and a cozy al fresco dining. On the main deck you will find a spacious lounge and dining room. Snorkelling equipment, wetsuits and sea kayaks are available on board.

MAIN DECK 

LOWER DECK 

UPPER DECK

SUN DECK

SPECIFICATIONS 

Year of construction:2016
TypeMotor Yacht
Length:111 feet / 34 meters
Beam:26 feet / 8 meters
Draft:4 feet / 1. 40 meters
Gross Tonnage:145 Tons
Capacity:16 passengers
Accommodation:Upper Deck: 4 double cabins with private balcony
Main Deck: Dining room, bar, social area, 3 double cabins
Lower Deck: 2 double cabins
*All cabins with private bathrooms, hot water and air-conditioning
Main engines:CUMMINS / 2 X 400 HP / 1800 RPM
Max speed:14 knots
Crew:9 Crew members + 1 Cruise Director + 1 Bilingual Guide
Generators:2 X 50 Kw
Safety & Navigation:FURUNO Radar
GPS
Depth sounders
ACR radio
VHF – DSS radio
ABC Fire Extinguishers
All required navigation equipment

ITINERARIES

Cruise (Sat – Tue) – 4 days / 3 nights

Day 1: Saturday
Santa Cruz Island
Morning flight from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra, Galapagos Islands.

You will arrive at Baltra Island in the morning. After passing through immigration and baggage claim, you will be met by a Natural Paradise staff member and transferred to the yacht. You will be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before lunch and a welcome briefing.

In the afternoon you will head to the highlands. Accessible by bus from Puerto Ayora, the highlands of Santa Cruz are a deep green which contrast beautifully with the dry, lower part of the islands. The predominant vegetation in the highlands are Scalesia trees which create a lush green forest. The lava tunnels, over half a mile long, are underground and walking through them is a unique, surreal experience.

Then, you will visit Fausto Llerena Breeding Center in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, where giant tortoises are bred in captivity; this is home to tortoises ranging from 3-inches (new hatchlings) to 4-feet long when adults. Subspecies of the giant tortoises interact with one another, and many of the older tortoises are accustomed to humans stretching out their heads for a photo opportunity. The babies are kept until they are about four years-old and are strong enough to survive on their own.

Day 2: Sunday
– AM – Genovesa Island – El Barranco
In the morning, you will visit El Barranco which is also known as Prince Phillip’s Steps. It is a steep, rocky path that leads up a high cliff rock face. A marvelous view can be appreciated from here. This site is also home to Palo Santo vegetation as well as red-footed boobies, short-eared owls, Galapagos storm petrels, and Galapagos doves.

Possible Activities: Hiking (0,9 miles / 2 Km)
Difficulty: Moderate
Type of Landing:  Dry, difficult landing
Highlights: Red-footed boobies, short-eared owls, storm-petrels, Galapagos doves.

– PM – Darwin Bay
In the afternoon, you will visit the white-sand coral beach of Darwin Bay which includes a half mile trail (0,75km) that winds through mangroves filled with land birds. Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls, which can easily be spotted here. Further down the path we’ll find tidal pools where sea lions swim playfully. At the end is a spectacular view of a cliff.

Possible Activities: Hiking (0,9 miles / 1,5 Km), snorkeling, kayaking, and dinghy ride
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights: Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, swallow-tail gulls, mangroves, coral pebble beach, snorkeling: rays, colorful reef fish, and hammerhead sharks occasionally.

Day 3: Monday
– AM – Santiago Island – Espumilla
The morning visit is to Espumilla Beach where marine iguanas lounge and the Sally Lightfoot crabs attract the hunting herons performing the dance of predator and prey right before your eyes. Snorkeling is highly recommended as you could come face to face with an octopus, moray eel, shark and a variety of other species of tropical fish.

Possible Activities: Snorkeling and swimming
Difficulty: Snorkeling – Easy
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights: Snorkeling

– PM – Santiago Island – Egas Port
In the afternoon, you will go to Egas Port, also known as James Bay, on Santiago Island which is home to the curious Galapagos hawks and quick-footed Galapagos lava lizards. The trail leads to the coastline with gorgeous tide pools and grottos full of fauna. Here the Galapagos furseals bathe in the sun. This is also a great snorkeling site.

Possible Activities: Snorkeling, hiking (1.2 miles/2 km)
Difficulty: Easy / moderate
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Highlights & Animals: Furseals, Galapagos sea lions, tidal pools and grottos, Galapagos hawks, oyster catchers, marine iguanas, finches; snorkeling: reef sharks, turtles, rays, nice underwater formations.

Day 4: Tuesday
– AM – Santa Cruz
Morning’s visit is to Bachas Beach, which is located on the north shore of Santa Cruz which is a beach for swimming. One of the few remnants of the U.S. World War II presence in the Galapagos, a floating pier, can be seen here. You may see flamingos, Sally Lightfoot crabs, hermit crabs, black-necked stilts, and whimbrels. Sea turtles also nest on the beach.

Possible Hiking
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Highlights: World War II remnants, Sally Lightfoot crabs, hermit crabs, blacknecked  stilts, whimbrels, sea turtles.

After this final visit, you will be transferred to the Baltra airport in time for your flight back to the mainland

Cruise (Tue – Sat) – 5 days / 4 nights

Day 1: Tuesday
– AM – San Cristobal
Morning flight from Quito or Guayaquil to San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands. You will arrive at San Cristobal Island in the morning. After passing through immigration and baggage claim, you will be met by a Natural Paradise staff member and transferred to the yacht. You will be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before lunch and a welcome briefing.

In the afternoon, you will visit Kicker Rock. This striking rock formation is located a couple hours off the western shore of San Cristobal. Jutting out of the water, the rocks stand vertically at hundreds of feet above the ocean divided by a small channel. Although there are no landing areas, kayaking and snorkeling allow visitors to spot a variety of marine life.

 Possible Activities: Snorkeling and dinghy ride
Difficulty: Difficult (Deep water snorkeling)
Type of Landing: No landing
Highlights: Great snorkeling: sharks, tropical fish, turtles, manta rays (occ.), hammerhead sharks, spectacular rock formations; sea birds: blue- footed boobies, Nazca boobies & frigate birds.

Day 2: Wednesday
– AM – North Seymour
In North Seymour you may see Galapagos sea lions, blue-footed boobies, and magnificent frigate birds which are abundant on this island. North Seymour was formed by a series of submarine lava flows containing layers of sediment that were uplifted by tectonic activity. The island is characterized by its arid vegetation zone.

Possible Activities: Dinghy ride & hiking (1.5 miles / 2.41 km)
Difficulty: Moderate / Difficult
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights: Land & marine iguanas, frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, sea lions; snorkeling: rays, reef sharks, fish, garden eels.

– PM – South Plaza Island
In the afternoon, you will visit South Plaza Island. This small island with steep cliffs was formed by rising lava and is now covered by Opuntia cacti. It is also home to one of the largest sea lion colonies as well as colorful yellow and red land iguanas. The most characteristic plant is the Sesuvium. During the rainy season its color is a greenish to yellowish tone and in the dry season (end of June through January) a bright red.

Possible Activities: Hike (1.5 miles / 2 ½ km)
Difficulty: Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights: Land iguanas, sea lion colony, Audubon’s shearwaters, swallow-tailed gulls, Nazca boobies, amazing landscape with cliffs.

Day 3: Thursday
– AM – Rabida Island
In the afternoon you will visit Rabida Island which is one of the most colorful and volcanically varied islands in the archipelago, as well as a great snorkeling site. We will start on Rabida’s famous red/maroon sand beach, and after an easy hike, you will arrive to a stunning view point to enjoy then amazing landscapes. The island is a birdwatcher’s delight. Some of the rarest species are in abundance such as nine varieties of finches, large-billed flycatchers, Galapagos hawks and brown pelicans.

Possible Activities: Snorkeling, panga ride & short hike (0,6 miles / 1km)
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights: Snorkeling: white-cheeked pintail ducks, colorful fish, sea lions, brackish water lagoon, penguins, Galapagos hawk.

– PM – Bartholomew Island
In the afternoon, you will head to Bartholomew Island where the famous Pinnacle Rock is found. Bartholomew consists of an extinct volcano with a variety of red, orange, black and even green volcanic formations. We will take a trail of stairs to the summit of the volcano (about 30 or 40 minutes) where you will enjoy one of the best views of the islands! You will also visit a small, beautiful beach surrounded by the only vegetation found on this barren island. The beach is perfect for snorkeling where you may even see and swim with Galapagos penguins.

Possible Activities: Dinghy ride, snorkeling & hiking (1.2 miles/ 2 km)
Difficulty: Moderate/difficult. Walk up to the top of the volcano’s 375 wooden steps (450 feet / 150 meters).
Type of Landing: Dry and wet landings
Highlights & Animals: Pinnacle Rock, panoramic view, moonlike landscape, penguins, pioneer plants, lava cactus; snorkeling: penguins, reef sharks, rays, and great colorful fish.

Day 4: Friday
– AM – Santiago Island – Sullivan Bay
In the morning, you will visit Sullivan Bay located on the southeast part of Santiago. This place is interesting for its geology because the area is covered by lava flows. This place has elevations in the form of small volcanoes formed by the lava flows. 

Possible Activities: Hiking
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights: Lava flows, small volcanoes

– PM – Santa Cruz Island – Dragon Hill
In the afternoon you will visit Dragon Hill on Santa Cruz. The visitors’ site at Dragon Hill is located on the northwestern part of Santa Cruz Island and consists of a trail that runs through three different environments although it is only slightly less than a mile long (1,600 meters). The beach is very rocky. At high tide it’s a nice place for snorkeling. At this Dragon Hill you can find vegetation typical of the intertidal and dry zones.

Possible Activities: Dinghy ride and short hike
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights & Animals: Fragatebirds, herons, blue-footed boobies, rays, reef sharks

Day 5: Saturday
– AM – Santa Cruz Island – Twins Craters
In the morning you will visit the Twin Craters, located opposite to each other on both sides of the road leading from Puerto Ayora to Baltra. The name is only figurative; not real craters, these formations were created by the collapse of surface material in underground fissures and chambers. The view is breathtaking.

Possible Activities: Walking and scape viewing
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights: Pit craters, Scalesia Forest

After this final visit, you will be transferred to Baltra’s airport in time for your flight back to the mainland.

Cruise A (Tue – Tue) – 8 days / 7 nights

Day 1: Tuesday
– AM – San Cristobal Island
Morning flight from Quito or Guayaquil to San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands.
You will arrive at San Cristobal Island in the morning. After passing through immigration and baggage claim, you will be met by a Natural Paradise staff member and transferred to the yacht. You will be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before lunch and a welcome briefing.

In the afternoon, you will visit Kicker Rock. This striking rock formation is located a couple hours off the western shore of San Cristobal. Jutting out of the water, the rocks stand vertically at hundreds of feet above the ocean divided by a small channel. Although there are no landing areas, kayaking and snorkeling allow visitors to spot a variety of marine life.

Possible Activities: Snorkeling and dinghy ride
Difficulty: Difficult (Deep water snorkeling)
Type of Landing: No landing
Highlights: Great snorkeling: sharks, tropical fish, turtles, manta rays (occ.), hammerhead sharks, spectacular rock formations; sea birds: blue- footed boobies, Nazca boobies & frigate birds.

Day 2: Wednesday
– AM – North Seymour

In North Seymour you may see Galapagos sea lions, blue-footed boobies, and magnificent frigate birds which are abundant on this island. North Seymour was formed by a series of submarine lava flows containing layers of sediment that were uplifted by tectonic activity. The island is characterized by its arid vegetation zone.

Possible Activities: Dinghy ride & hiking (1.5 miles / 2.41 km)
Difficulty: Moderate / Difficult
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights: Land & marine iguanas, frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, sea lions; snorkeling: rays, reef sharks, fish, garden eels.

– PM – South Plaza Island
In the afternoon, you will visit South Plaza Island. This small island with steep cliffs was formed by rising lava and is now covered by Opuntia cacti. It is also home to one of the largest sea lion colonies as well as colorful yellow and red land iguanas. The most characteristic plant is the Sesuvium. During the rainy season its color is a greenish to yellowish tone and in the dry season (end of June through January) a bright red.

Possible Activities: Hike (1.5 miles / 2 ½ km)
Difficulty: Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights: Land iguanas, sea lion colony, Audubon’s shearwaters, swallow-tailed gulls, Nazca boobies, amazing landscape with cliffs.

Day 3: Thursday
– AM – Rabida Island
In the afternoon you will visit Rabida Island which is one of the most colorful and volcanically varied islands in the archipelago, as well as a great snorkeling site. We will start on Rabida’s famous red/maroon sand beach, and after an easy hike, you will arrive to a stunning view point to enjoy then amazing landscapes. The island is a birdwatcher’s delight. Some of the rarest species are in abundance such as nine varieties of finches, large-billed flycatchers, Galapagos hawks and brown pelicans.

Possible Activities: Snorkeling, panga ride & short hike (0,6 miles / 1km)
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights: Snorkeling: white-cheeked pintail ducks, colorful fish, sea lions, brackish water lagoon, penguins, Galapagos hawk.

– PM – Bartholomew Island
In the afternoon, you will head to Bartholomew Island where the famous Pinnacle Rock is found. Bartholomew consists of an extinct volcano with a variety of red, orange, black and even green volcanic formations. We will take a trail of stairs to the summit of the volcano (about 30 or 40 minutes) where you will enjoy one of the best views of the islands! You will also visit a small, beautiful beach surrounded by the only vegetation found on this barren island. The beach is perfect for snorkeling where you may even see and swim with Galapagos penguins.

Possible Activities: Dinghy ride, snorkeling & hiking (1.2 miles/ 2 km)
Difficulty: Moderate/difficult. Walk up to the top of the volcano’s 375 wooden steps (450 feet / 150 meters).
Type of Landing: Dry and wet landings
Highlights & Animals: Pinnacle Rock, panoramic view, moonlike landscape, penguins, pioneer plants, lava cactus; snorkeling: penguins, reef sharks, rays, and great colorful fish.

Day 4: Friday
– AM – 
Santiago Island – Sullivan Bay
In the morning, you will visit Sullivan Bay located on the southeast part of Santiago. This place is interesting for its geology because the area is covered by lava flows. This place has elevations in the form of small volcanoes formed by the lava flows. 

Possible Activities: Hiking
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights: Lava flows, small volcanoes

– PM – Santa Cruz Island – Dragon Hill
In the afternoon you will visit Dragon Hill on Santa Cruz. The visitors’ site at Dragon Hill is located on the northwestern part of Santa Cruz Island and consists of a trail that runs through three different environments although it is only slightly less than a mile long (1,600 meters). The beach is very rocky. At high tide it’s a nice place for snorkeling. At this Dragon Hill you can find vegetation typical of the intertidal and dry zones.

Possible Activities: Dinghy ride and short hike
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights & Animals: Fragatebirds, herons, blue-footed boobies, rays, reef sharks

Day 5: Saturday
– AM – Santa Cruz Island
In the morning, you will head to the highlands. Accessible by bus from Puerto Ayora, the highlands of Santa Cruz are a deep green which contrast beautifully with the dry, lower part of the islands. The predominant vegetation in the highlands are Scalesia trees which create a lush green forest. The lava tunnels, over half a mile long, are underground and walking through them is a unique, surreal experience.

Possible Activities: Hiking (1.5 miles / 2 ½ km)
Difficulty: Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights: Lava tunnels, Finches, wild tortoises, tortoise nesting site.

Then, you will visit the Twin Craters located opposite to each other on both sides of the road leading from Puerto Ayora to Baltra. The name is only figurative; not real craters, these formations were created by the collapse of surface material in underground fissures and chambers. The view is breathtaking.

– PM – Fausto Llerena Breeding Center
In the afternoon, you will visit Fausto Llerena Breeding Center in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, where giant tortoises are bred in captivity; this is home to tortoises ranging from 3-inches (new hatchlings) to 4-feet long when adults. Subspecies of the giant tortoises interact with one another, and many of the older tortoises are accustomed to humans stretching out their heads for a photo opportunity.
The babies are kept until they are about four years-old and are strong enough to survive on their own.

Possible Activities: Walking
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights: Giant Land Tortoises

Day 6: Sunday
– AM – Genovesa Island – El Barranco
In the morning, you will visit El Barranco which is also known as Prince Phillip’s Steps. It is a steep, rocky path that leads up a high cliff rock face. A marvelous view can be appreciated from here. This site is also home to Palo Santo vegetation as well as red-footed boobies, short-eared owls, Galapagos storm petrels, and Galapagos doves.

Possible Activities: Hiking (0,9 miles / 2 Km)
Difficulty: Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry, difficult landing
Highlights: Red-footed boobies, short-eared owls, storm-petrels, Galapagos doves

– PM – Darwin Bay
In the afternoon, you will visit the white-sand coral beach of Darwin Bay which includes a half mile trail (0,75km) that winds through mangroves filled with land birds. Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls, which can easily be spotted here. Further down the path we’ll find tidal pools where sea lions swim playfully. At the end is a spectacular view of a cliff.

Possible Activities: Hiking (0,9 miles / 1,5 Km), snorkeling, kayaking, and dinghy ride
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Highlights: Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, swallow-tail gulls, mangroves, coral pebble beach, snorkeling: rays, colorful reef fish, and
hammerhead sharks occasionally.

Day 7: Monday
– AM – Santiago Island – Espumilla
The morning visit is to Espumilla Beach where marine iguanas lounge and the Sally Lightfoot crabs attract the hunting herons performing the dance of predator and prey right before your eyes. Snorkeling is highly recommended as you could come face to face with an octopus, moray eel, shark and a variety of other species of tropical fish.

Possible Activities: Snorkeling and swimming
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Highlights:  Snorkeling

– PM – Santiago Island – Egas Port
In the afternoon, you will go to Egas Port, also known as James Bay, on Santiago Island which is home to the curious Galapagos hawks and quick-footed Galapagos lava lizards. The trail leads to the coastline with gorgeous tide pools and grottos full of fauna. Here the Galapagos furseals bathe in the sun. This is also a great snorkeling site.

Possible Activities: Snorkeling, hiking (1.2 miles/2 km)
Difficulty: Easy / moderate
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Highlights: Furseals, Galapagos sea lions, tidal pools and grottos, Galapagos hawks, oyster catchers, marine iguanas, finches; snorkeling: reef sharks, turtles, rays, nice underwater formations.

Day 8: Tuesday
– AM – Santa Cruz Island – Bachas
Morning’s visit is to Bachas Beach, which is located on the north shore of Santa Cruz which is a beach for swimming. One of the few remnants of the U.S. World War II presence in the Galapagos, a floating pier, can be seen here. You may see flamingos, Sally Lightfoot crabs, hermit crabs, black-necked stilts, and whimbrels. Sea turtles also nest on the beach.

Possible Activities: Hiking
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Highlights: World War II remnants, Sally Lightfoot crabs, hermit crabs, blacknecked stilts, whimbrels, sea turtles.

After this final visit, you will be transferred to the Baltra airport in time for your flight back to the mainland.

Cruise B (Tue – Tue) – 8 days / 7 nights

Day 1: Tuesday
– AM – Arrival to San Cristobal
Morning flight from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra, Galapagos Islands. You will arrive at Baltra Island in the morning. After passing through immigration and baggage claim, you will be met by a Natural Paradise staff member and transferred to the yacht. You will be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before lunch and a welcome briefing.

– PM – Eden Islet
In the afternoon you will visit Eden Islet on Santa Cruz. Off the western coast of Santa Cruz Island, Eden Islet offers visitors a great chance to see a variety of Galapagos wildlife from the dinghy ride both on shore and under the water.

Possible Activities: Dinghy ride and snorkeling
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Noe
Highlights: Endemic salemas, reef sharks, Nazca and blue footed boobies

Day 2: Wednesday 
– AM – Isabela Island – Vicente Roca Point
The morning visit is to Vicente Roca Point. Comprised of two separate coves, this site is a large bay with spectacular sea life. Keep an eye out for seahorses, sea turtles, and the strange yet fascinating Mola mola (or sun fish).

Possible Activities: Snorkeling, dinghy ride & hike, 2 trails: short (0.6mi/1 km), long (1.9mi/3km)
Difficulty: Easy /moderate
Type of Landing: No landing
Highlights: Penguins, blue-footed boobies, terns, Nazca boobies, two types of sea lions. Sea turtles, rays and puffer fish.

– PM – Fernandina Island – Espinosa Point
In the afternoon, crossing the Bolivar Channel that divides Isabela and Fernandina Islands, you will land at Espinosa Point, and after walking past a colony of marine iguanas and a group of sea lions, you will reach the island’s highlight: the flightless cormorant nesting site. This area also provides a great opportunity to see the Galapagos hawk.

Possible Activities: Hike (approximately 1.2 miles / 2 km)
Difficulty: Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry and slippery at low tide
Highlights: Flightless cormorant, marine iguanas, ‘a‘ā lava, sea lions, penguins, active volcano “La Cumbre”.

Day 3: Thursday
– AM – Isabela Island – Urbina Bay
 In the morning, you will visit Urbina Bay which is located at the base of Alcedo Volcano on the west coast between Tagus Cove and Elizabeth Bay. This area experienced a major uplift in 1954 causing the land to rise over 16 feet. The coast expanded half a mile out leaving marine life stranded on the new shore. This area is also a great place for snorkeling.

Possible Activities: Snorkeling, dinghy ride & hike, 2 trails: short (0.6mi/1 km), long (1.9mi/3km)
Difficulty: Easy /moderate
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Highlights: Land iguanas (the biggest in the Galapagos), hawks, coral reef, giant tortoises; snorkeling: turtles, rays, tropical fish.

– PM – Moreno Point
 In the afternoon you will visit Moreno Point located southwest of Elizabeth Bay. Here a dry landing onto what was once owing lava is possible. The lava has left craters in its wake which formed crystal tide pools. By looking into the pools, you can peer into another world as the marine life drifts by your window. In the brackish pools of this area, you may see pink flamingos, white-cheeked pintails, and common gallinules. If you look carefully into the pools, you may see white-tip reef sharks and some sea turtles.

Possible Activities: Snorkeling, panga ride & hike (1.2 miles / 2km)
Difficulty: Moderate / difficult
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights: Flamingos, gallinules, pintail ducks, turtles, white-tip reef sharks.

Day 4: Friday
– AM – Isabela Island – Sierra Negra Volcano
The morning will consist of a visit to the Sierra Negra Volcano which is the largest basaltic caldera in the Galapagos with a diameter of 6.2 miles (10 km). The site offers impressive views and the opportunity to observe up to seven species of finches and a rich display of vegetation. The north side of the caldera provides evidence of its most recent volcanic activity in 2005.

Possible Activities: Hiking, horseback riding, walking
Difficulty: Difficult
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights: Basaltic caldera, stunning views, finches.

– PM – The Wall of Tears (El Muro de las Lágrimas)
In the afternoon you will visit The Wall of Tears (El Muro de las Lágrimas) which is 65 feet (25 meters) high and an important piece of the island history. A penal colony existed on Isabela from 1945-1959, and the prisoners were forced to build the wall, stone by stone, while in isolation from the rest of the world, and thousands died during the construction. Many claim to feel the heavy energy of this historical site, and locals claim to hear cries in the wind.

Possible Activities: Hiking
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights: Historic sites

Afterwards you will head to the Wetlands of Isabela Island which are located just outside of Puerto Villamil. The Wetlands consist of lagoons, swamps, and mangroves and are home to a variety of unique bird species such as common stilts, whimbrels, white-cheeked pintails, and gallinules. The Wetlands can be visited on foot via a path through the swamps.

Possible Activities: Hiking
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights: Giant mangroves, shore birds, flamingos

Next you will visit Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center of Isabela. It is located about one mile (1.5 km) from Puerto Villamil. In this breeding center, populations from South Isabela Sierra Negra Volcano, Cerro Azul, Cazuela, Cinco Cerros, Roca Union, San Pedro, Tables and Cerro Paloma have been bred in captivity. In total there are 330 juvenile and adult tortoises.

Possible Activities: Walking
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights: Two of the five species of the giant tortoise

Day 5: Saturday)
– AM – Santiago Island – Chinese Hat islet
In the morning, you will visit Chinese Hat islet. This small islet is located near the southeast coast of Santiago Island. Its name comes from the distinct shape of the islet’s summit. This small islet is a great location to view many geological formations such as lava tubes and lava flows. Some of the lava flows were formed underwater and subsequently raised above sea level. The presence of coral heads on the lava flow indicates this phenomenon.

Possible Activities: Hike (1,9 miles / 3 km)
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights: Lava formations, great site for snorkeling with an abundance of marine species, marine iguanas, sea lions

– PM – Mosquera Islet
In the afternoon you will visit Mosquera Islet. It is located between the islands of Baltra and North Seymour, this reef of rocks and coral (the result of an uprising) is only 160 meters across at its narrowest width. This island has one of the largest populations of sea lions and is home to many shorebirds. There have been occasional reports at this site of orcas feeding on sea lions.

Possible Activities: Dinghy ride, snorkeling
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: No landing
Highlights: Orcas, sea lions, shore birds

Day 6: Sunday
– AM – Floreana Island – Post Office Bay
In the morning, you will visit the famous Post Office Bay. You will land on a beach and head to a spot where 18th century whalers placed a wooden barrel used as an unofficial mail box. The custom continues to this day with Galapagos visitors. So, don’t forget your postcards, and don’t be surprised if the post card arrives to its destination before you even get home!

Possible Activities: Short hike (less than 0.6 miles/1 km) & snorkeling
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights:  Post office barrel, nice sandy beach

Cormorant Point hosts a large flamingo lagoon where other birds such as common stilts and whitecheeked pintails can also be seen. The beaches on this island are distinct: The Green Beach is named so due to its green color, which comes from a high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand, and the Four Sand Beach is composed of white coral.

Possible Activities: Dinghy ride & hike (1.25 mi /2 km)
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights:  Flamingoes, green-colored beach

– PM – Champion Islet
Afterwards, you will visit Champion Islet, named after the whaler Andrew Champion, which is a small island located just offshore Floreana Island in the southern part of the Archipelago, considered as one of the most beautiful places on Galapagos for all snorkeling and diving fans and an excellent opportunity for dolphin watching.

Possible Activities: Snorkeling and dinghy ride
Difficulty: Moderate / Difficult
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Highlights: See lions, reef fish and Nazca boobies

Day 7: Monday
– AM – Española Island – Suarez Point
In the morning, you will visit Suarez Point. On the trail you will have the chance to spot blue-footed boobies, albatrosses, and Nazca boobies. This island is the breeding site of nearly all of the world’s 12,000 pairs of waved albatrosses. You will also visit a beautiful site on the ocean front where there is a cliff that the large albatrosses use as a launching pad! You will have the chance to see the famous blowhole that spurts sea water into the air. The landscape is great for photography.

Possible Activities: Hike (1,9 miles / 3 km)
Difficulty: Difficult
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights: Hood mockingbirds, Nazca boobies, waved albatrosses (approximately from the last week of April until the last week of January), red-billed tropicbirds, lava lizards, Galapagos hawks, blowhole, amazing landscape and maybe blue-footed boobies.

– PM – Gardner Bay
The afternoon excursion takes you to the spectacular Gardner Bay. After landing, you can walk across a lovely white-sand beach amongst a busy sea lion colony or dive into the water to swim with sea lion pups. You may also see curious mockingbirds on the beach.

Possible Activities: Snorkeling, panga ride, short hike (0,6 miles / 1km) and Kayaking
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights: White sandy beach, sea lions, mockingbirds; snorkeling: colorful fish, sea lion nursery

Day 8: Tuesday
– AM – San Cristobal Island – Lobos Island
In the morning you will take an excursion to Lobos Island which means “Sea Lion Island.” This appropriately named island is ripe with noisy, playful, jolly sea lions who will welcome you to their home with open, well, fins. This island also offers great snorkeling opportunities as well as the chance to see blue-footed and Nazca boobies.

Possible Activities: Short hike (less that 0,6 miles / 1 km), dinhy ride
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights: Sea lions, frigate birds, blue-footed boobies

After this final visit, you will be transferred to the San Cristobal airport in time for your flight back to the mainland.

 

 

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