STELLA MARIS Galapagos Luxury cruise based in the Galapagos offers a truly luxury experience, is perfect for your luxury charter.
Luxurious accommodations, the likes of wich have never been seen in the Galapagos Islands, set the tone for the M/Y STELLA MARIS. This yacht takes leisure to another level. Grand appointments and attentive crew are important aspects contributing to the overall experience aboard the yacht; however, the savory cuisine available is its crowning jewel. We design menus based upon your tastes, as well as local Galapagos cuisine that will tantalize your taste buds after a day of sightseeing. Our creative chefs use only the finest ingredients to create specialized meals for you. Adaptable to any discerning palate, the M/Y STELLA MARIS chefs will craft an experience that will satisfy all of your senses.
Day 1: Monday
San Cristobal Island
Arrival to San Cristobal, transfer to the yacht.
Is a small flat island, located 10 kilometers northeast of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, on the coast of Isla San Cristobal. Isla Lobos name is given because it is home to several sea lions that frolic on the beach. It is also the ideal place to observe nesting frigates and blue-footed boobies. It has a protected channel where you can do snorkeling with sea lions.
Day 2: Tuesday
Punta Pitt-San Cristobal (Dry Landing): Located at the eastern end of Isla San Cristobal. Is a group of eroded volcanoes, sparsely populated by the endemic vegetation of the islands.
Cerro Brujo – Leon Dormido
This beautiful beach of white coral is located on the north coast of the San Cristobal Island where you can swim, snorkel and observe the sea lions. In the vicinity of the beach you can also see a variety of seabirds like blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, herons, frigate birds and shore birds.
We also visit Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido) also known as the Sleeping Lion because of its resemblance. It is located of the coast of San Cristobal, and you can find the remains of a lava flows eroded by the tides, as well as two vertical rocks rising 500 feet from the ocean that form a small channel that is navigable by small boats. This Galapagos Island’s natural monument has become a favorite sight for cruises due to the many Tropicbirds, Frigates and Boobies that fill the surrounding air. Beneath the sea, the crystal clear waters offer a brilliant show of colorful tropical fish and invertebrates.
Day 3: Wednesday
Española Island – Gardner Bay
Is located on the north-eastern coast of Hood, Gardner Bay provides an excellent beach for relaxing, swimming and the opportunity to observe sea lions. Here we can also observe sharks and other sea life in the crystal clear ocean waters.
Española Island – Punta Suarez
This rocky land sustains one of the most impressive and varied colonies of sea birds in the Galapagos. Along its southern shore, high cliffs rise up from the sea affording the visitor spectacular views of soaring birds, and of the blow whole where water spouts up to 50-75 feet into the air according to the intensity of the surf.
Day 4: Thursday
Floreana Island – Punta Cormorant – Devil’s Crown (Snorkeling)
This site offers probably the best Flamingo lagoon in the Galapagos; it is also one of the largest in the islands. It is situated between two volnoes that give the area a special atmosphere. There are various species of shorebirds to be seen besides flamingos; the most frequent are common stilts, white-checked pintail ducks and other migratory birds. This is a unique zone due to the high percentage of endemic plant species. It is also very interesting to see the two distinct beaches: “The Green Beach” (due to its high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand) and the “Flour Sand Beach” which is made up of coral.
Post Office Bay – Baronesa view point
Historically, this site is the location of a wooden barrel that was placed in the 18th century by the crew of a whaling ship. It has been used since this time by mariners and tourists as a post office. The idea is to carry letters or postcards to their destination by hand. Apart from being the Post Office Barrel, this site was the landing area for some of the first colonist.
Day 5: Friday
North Seymour Island
After breakfast in the morning on this island you can see blue-footed boobies, colonies of frigates, fork-tailed gulls, terns, sea lions, lava lizards and land iguanas. Palo Santo trees can also be observed.
After lunch visit to the Pinnacle Rock beach for swimming and snorkeling. In the afternoon dry landing to reach the viewpoint of Bartolome. On this island, you can see interesting formations of lava and cinder cones. After a 30 to 40 minute hike, a wooden staircase leads to the top of the island where there are beautiful views of the nearby beaches. This island is one of the most visited and photographed because of Pinnacle Rock.
Day 6: Saturday
This is the breeding ground for the tree-loving Red-footed Booby and the ground-nesting Masked Booby. This is also home to four species of Darwin Finches: the Large Ground Finch, Sharp-beaked Ground Finch, Large Cactus Finch and Warbler Finch. Natural history enthusiasts will recall that Charles Darwin’s observation of varied adaptations of finches’ beaks helped inspire his theories on natural selection. Genovesa is also home to the indigenous Galapagos Mockingbird and the Galapagos Dove. If time permits, you can snorkel at El Barranco on the west side of Darwin Bay.
Genovesa is the only northern island of the Archipelago open to visitors. This 14 sq km. island is the tip of a submerged shield volcano that rises 76 meters above the sea level. Its central crater is filled with salt water. Ocean erosion created the Darwin Bay on the southern slope. Genovesa lacks on reptiles, except for the Marine Iguanas. It is a paradise for sea birds, including large colonies of the Red-footed Boobies and Great Frigate birds. Swimming, snorkeling and dingy rides are available.
Day 7: Sunday
South Plazas Island
One of a pair of small uplifted islands a short distance from the east coast of Santa Cruz, South Plaza has unique Sesuvium plants and Opuntia cactuses scattered across the landscape which provide some of the most interesting wildlife observations available in Galapagos. Land iguanas are easily seen from the trail under the shade of cactuses waiting for a prickly pear to fall. Swallow-tailed gulls, along with various other sea birds, use the rising air to glide effortlessly over the escarpment and the protected rocky seashore is prime habitat for a large colony of noisy sea lions.
Santa Fe island
Snorkeling along the rocky coast of the island you can see a variety of fish and sea turtles. On land you can see colonies of sea lions, land iguanas, frigate birds, Galapagos doves and lava lizards. The island flora is unique as you can see a forest of giant cacti and Palo Santo trees.
Day 8: Monday
El Chato – Twin Craters – Baltra
We will travel by bus up into the gently sloping and forested highlands. The scenery changes continuously as we ascend through all seven vegetation zones found in the Galápagos. We will visit a private reserve where giant tortoises lounge around a quiet pond grazing on vegetation “El Chato”. After plenty of time to explore the reserve we will drive to a pair of large sinkholes called “The Twins” (Los Gemelos) where we will explore some ancient lava tubes. These tunnels are the largest lava tubes found in Galápagos and as we walk through them our feet will trace the path of the once-molten rock that flowed millions of years ago. This may also be an opportunity to observe Darwin finches, yellow warblers, bright red vermillion flycatchers and Giant Tortoises that gave the name to these islands. Then transfer to the airport.
Day 1: Monday
Arrive to Galapagos and transfer to the yacht.
We will start our cruise with a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station. The Charles Darwin Research Station is based at Santa Cruz. Visitors are encouraged to donate to this organization, which carries out investigations and advises the Ecuadorian government and travel agencies on minimizing the impact of tourism on the islands. It contains a national-park information center and a museum. The station is also a tortoise breeding and rearing center, where tortoises of different subspecies are prepared to be reintroduced back to their natural habitat.
Day 2: Tuesday
Small islet located nears the south-east of Santiago. It’s shaped like a Chinese hat when seen from afar. It is an island consisting of a cone type “Splash” (lava ejected as droplets and falling close to where it came out, which forms a cone angle) that forms the top, and lava tubes that run down to the coast. In the west you can see lava formations, which are an indicator that the flows were formed under the sea and have been raised towards the exterior, reason why coral heads on lava can be seen. This visit provides an excellent opportunity for the interpretation of geologic features such as lava tubes and lava flows.
Also known by the name of Jervis in honor of a British Admiral John Jervis, Earl of St. Vincent. Rabida is located 5 km south of Santiago Island and is commonly regarded as the geographical center of the Galapagos Islands. It has an area of 4.9 km ² and a maximum altitude of 367 meters. It has a high iron content, which causes that this place has a distinctive reddish color. Its main attraction is the salt lagoon with flamingoes, pelicans and boobies place where they build their nests.
Day 3: Wednesday
Santiago Island – Playa Espumilla – Caleta Bucanero
Espumilla Beach is located in northern coast of Santiago Island in James Bay. During the last presence the El Niño phenomenon, one of the two lagoons in this site, underwent a process of sedimentation, thus causing the disappearance of a colony of flamingos. The main attractions are the Palo Santo forest and the marvelous. The beach is also an important site for nesting marine turtles.
The Black Beach is located at the west side of the Island and is the main attraction. The volcanic tuff deposits have created the formation of this special black sand beach. This site is called Puerto Egas, because there was an attempted, to start the exploitation of salt, which failed because the price of salt in the continent was very cheap and did not justify its exploitation in Galapagos. The project was abandoned and they left their infrastructure
Day 4: Thursday
Fernandina is the third largest island in the archipelago and has a single visitor site: Punta Espinoza located at the northeastern tip of the island. Just across Tagus Cove, is a visitor’s site where some of the unique species of Galapagos can be seen. Marine iguanas conglomerate in larger groups than in any other island. They bask around in the sand, swim near the shore and sometimes block the way at the landing dock. Among the unique species found here, is the Flightless Cormorant. A bird that do to the lack of predators had to adjust their way of survival and perfect their skills of finding food in the ocean. Their wings, tails and feet progressively adapted for swimming. To see these birds, is to witness evolution happening right in front of you can get within 2m of the cormorants and penguins.
A tour along the cliffs in a zodiac will give the visitors a good chance to see the Galapagos penguin, the flightless cormorant and other sea birds. From the landing dock it is about a 30 minute hike along the trail up to the top of the cliff from where you can view Darwin Lake, an uplifted ultra-saline lake saltier than the sea. You can also see several volcanoes from this location. Look carefully at the graffiti on the surrounding cliffs of the cove, it has been written by pirates, whalers and buccaneers in past centuries.
Day 5: Friday
Located on the most western northern tip of Isabela Island is a spectacular landscape view of the Ecuador’s volcano’s caldera. The spot is a popular anchorage from which to take panga (dingy) ride along the cliff that are the remains of
the volcano or snorkel in a partially sunken cave which is rich in marine life and a breathtaking experience. Masked and bluefooted boobies sit perched along the point and the sheer cliffs, while flightless cormorants inhabit the shoreline.
Punta Moreno is located on the north coast of Isabela Island. The route of the trail is approximately 2100 meters. The main attraction in Punta Moreno is the coastal lagoons in the middle of black lava flow where there are several species of birds. It has a view of 3 volcanoes, the most actives in the Galapagos; Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul.
Day 6: Saturday
Tintoreras – Wetlands
This day will lead you to the largest island of the archipelago, Isabela Island. With a surface of 4588 sq.km the island encompasses more than half the land area of the entire Galápagos. Here you will have a short boat trip through the harbor bay of Isabela. Pass sea lions and pelicans; take a relaxing sunbath on the fishing boat. Eventually, we will reach the small island of “Tintoreras”. Here you will take an easy walk through the bizarre landscape of lava with its huge colonies of sea lizards. Also a colony of sea lions is local here and often you can observe white tip sharks, resting in the flat water near the shore. You will walk with your guide to the historic Wall of Tears.
We head up to the highlands from Puerto Villamil to Sierra Negra slope, and later we will do some hiking on uneven terrain until we arrive to the Sierra Negra volcano rim. Sierra Negra is the second widest crater in the world. From this viewpoint, you have fantastic sights to the 6 x 5 -mile-wide crater, the rest of the volcanoes and Perry Isthmus, a 12 Km wide lava field. From here we can hike to Chico Volcano to watch the striking lava formations, examples of the geological occurrences that have created the Galapagos Islands. We also visit the tortoise birth center of Isabella.
Day 7: Sunday
El Chato – Highlands
Our first stop is at Los Gemelos (the twins), which are a pair of craters approximately 30m deep, it is a Volcanic action underneath the ground made the magna chambers empty causing the above ground to cave in, creating several craters, of which Los Gemelos are the largest. However, our main time in the Santa Cruz highlands will be spent at the Tortoise Reserve EL CHATO, where a number of the endemic Santa Cruz subspecies of Giant Tortoise, “Geochelone elephantopus porteri”, wander freely. The highlands are also home to Scalesia, Miconia, and Pampa vegetation zones. Birds in this area include several species of finch, the vermillion flycatcher, Galápagos rail, Galapagos Dove, and paint-billed cake. We also may have the opportunity to visit the spectacular lava tubes on the island.
The interesting walk to the Turtle Bay beach, perhaps the most beautiful beaches in the Galapagos, that includes swimming and snorkeling, observing colonies of marine iguanas, pelicans, Darwin’s finches, sharks, sharks, sea turtles, the incredible forest Giant Cactus, and the nesting of marine iguanas.
Day 8: Monday
This site has educational information about the evolution of the Galapagos Islands and animal life in the islands. Then transfer to the airport of San Cristobal.
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