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Volcanic Wonders of The Galapagos

San Cristobal Island, Genovesa Island, Santa Cruz Island, Isabela Island, Fernandina Island, Rabida Island and Puerto Ayora

Designed by Evie

This example itinerary from

$9,500pp

8 days

DESTINATIONS > LATIN AMERICATHE GALAPAGOS > Volcanic Wonders of The Galapagos

Designed by Evie

This example itinerary from

$9,500pp

8 days

Highlights

  • Discover nature trails and exceptional birdlife on Santa Cruz Island
  • Enjoy a traditional maritime custom when you cross the equator
  • Experience extraordinary diversity of landscape and wildlife between islands
  • Stay on board one of the most luxurious yachts in the Galapagos
  • Learn about the infamous history of pirates and trade in the Galapagos

What’s Included

  • 7 nights in a double Stateroom Cabin on The Origin 
  • The open bar policy includes wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, coffee, and tea.
  • Cooking demonstrations, after-excursion gourmet bites and afternoon tea service with pastries.
  • All meals and after excursions snacks using local ingredients from sustainable providers.
  • Satellite communications (Wi-Fi) – Available 24/7 and limited to one PIN per cabin.
  • Guided shore excursions twice daily, evening briefings and enrichment lectures
  • Wet suits to hire (full 3mm) in your approximate size and snorkelling equipment (mask, fins and snorkel)
  • Two zodiacs and a glass-bottom boat for an exploration of the shoreline
  • Multiple Kayaks (five doubles and a single) and two stand-up paddleboards
  • Domestic land transfers in The Galapagos Islands 

Example Itinerary

Day 1

San Cristobal Island

  • Sunset sail around the 500-foot volcanic formation, Kicker Rock at sunset with sundowners
  • Enjoy your first delicious dinner prepared by the yacht’s excellent team of chefs

Arrive on San Cristobal Island, where you will be taken by bus and zodiac to The Origin. 

As the yacht sets sail, climb to the top deck and enjoy a drink from the sun deck bar as you circumnavigate Kicker Rock. Take in your first of many spectacular sunsets and enjoy a delicious dinner prepared by accomplished chefs as the boat changes course and sails towards Genovesa Island.

Day 2

Genovesa Island

  • See red-footed and Nazca boobies nesting on the island
  • Relax on a coral beach and swim alongside playful sea lions

Wake up this morning to views of Genovesa Island. You’ll land at Prince Philip’s Steps, one of the most spectacular places in Galápagos for birdwatching. 

Your naturalist guides will point out red-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, and storm petrels as they gather in large numbers in an open lava field. With luck, you may even see the elusive short-eared owl. After a BBQ lunch on the yacht and a demonstration on how to make Ecuadorian ceviche, you’ll have the option to explore the cliffs up close, either by kayak or stand-up paddleboard or on a deep-water snorkelling excursion from the Zodiac. Look for the red-billed tropic bird hiding in the crevices of the rock.

Later in the afternoon, you’ll land at Darwin Bay, a stunning coral sand beach. Here, you’ll see both swallow-tailed gulls and lava gulls nesting and feeding near the tide pools. A forest of Opuntia cactus and mangroves provides shelter for Great frigate birds. The male of the species attracts its mate by inflating a red pouch on his chest. End the afternoon by relaxing on the beach, or swimming with friendly sea lions in the warm water.

Day 3

Las Bachas

  • Watch pink flamingos feeding in a lagoon 
  • Enjoy a nature trail to the top of the hill for stunning views of Santa Cruz island

This morning you’ll visit Las Bachas on the northern side of Santa Cruz Island. Dozens of bright pink flamingos feed on the interior lagoons, and a long white sandy beach is a beautiful place for a gentle walk. 

Climb to the peak of Dragon Hill for panoramic views of the bay. You may see flamingos in the brackish lagoon along the way. As you walk the dedicated nature trail, look for Darwin’s finches, Galápagos flycatchers, yellow warblers, and Audubon shearwaters. The Origin guides will also pause to point out birds such as stilts, pintail ducks and sandpipers. Scan the path for yellow land iguanas, strikingly different from their marine cousins.

Day 4

Punta Vincente Rock & Isabela Island

  • Look out for sea turtles swimming around the coves of Punta Vincente Rock 
  • Enjoy a maritime ritual as you cross the equator after dinner

Navigate on zodiacs between the wave-sculpted caves of Punta Vincente Rock. 

This is a wonderful place to snorkel above the reefs. Swim with penguins diving playfully in the water and look out for sea turtles that frequent this bay. After lunch, take a seat on the sun deck to enjoy the scenery as The Origin sails through the Bolivar Channel. If you are lucky, you will see whales riding the bow wave or dolphins jumping. 

In the afternoon, disembark at Urbina Bay on Isabela Island. A diverse variety of animals inhabit this island, including Galápagos land iguanas, marine iguanas, Darwin’s finches, brown pelicans, flightless cormorants, and the occasional giant Galápagos tortoise. After a day of exploring and another fabulous dinner on board, step outside and observe the pale glow of the Milky Way. As you cross the equator for the first time, enjoy a fun-filled evening. The crew like to dress as pirates to celebrate this evening but guest participation is optional.

Day 5

Fernandina Island

  • Explore the pristine marine life on Fernandina Island 
  • Learn about the whalers and pirates that once roamed this island

This morning stop at Punta Espinoza on Fernandina Island, the youngest and most pristine Island in Galápagos, formed by active volcanoes that stretch around the coast. 

With no introduced animals on this island, you can observe the ecosystem as it has always been. Sea lion harems lie on the beach and hundreds of marine iguanas form the largest colony in Galapagos. Your guide will show you nests of flightless cormorants, which stay close to shore. You’ll have an opportunity to snorkel in the company of large sea turtles. Return to The Origin for a BBQ lunch served on the sun deck, where you’ll have a prime view for whale watching.

After lunch, you’ll learn about some of the darker histories of the Galapagos when you step ashore on Tagus Cove. This was once a favourite stopping point for pirates and whalers. Sections of the rocky cliffs are inscribed with markings from as far back as the 1800s. Hike at a faster pace to a saltwater lagoon and scenic view of the ocean, lava fields, and volcanic formations. You may choose to explore the shoreline of the secluded cove by kayak or paddleboard.

Day 6

Rabida Island

  • Discover the remarkable diversity of Rabida Island 
  • Kayak through bays and mangroves and look for white-tipped reef sharks and cow-nosed rays

This morning, you’ll disembark on the dark red beach of Rabida Island. 

This small island is considered the geographic centre of the Galápagos because its volcanic rocks are the most diversified in the archipelago. A short trail will lead you to a saltwater lagoon filled with greater flamingos. Along the way, look for marine iguanas, mockingbirds and yellow warblers. If you choose to snorkel this morning, you may see a colony of sea lions or rays going about their daily lives. Several species of rays live in the Galápagos, but golden rays and spotted eagle rays are the most common.

Take a zodiac excursion at Black Turtle Cove through a series of peaceful bays and inlets surrounded by mangroves whose large roots rise out of the water. View pairs of mating sea turtles (Sept to Feb), white-tipped reef sharks and golden cow-nosed rays. We return to the vessel for the Captain’s Farewell cocktail with the crew and dinner with a special presentation by the Origin’s guides.

Day 7

Puerto Ayora

  • Explore the bustling town of Puerto Ayora and visit the Charles Darwin Research Station 
  • Visit a private farm where giant tortoises roam free

When you wake up this morning, your yacht will be one of the dozens of boats anchored in the lively harbour of Academy Bay. You’ll disembark at Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island, the social heart of the Galápagos. Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and learn about ongoing conservation efforts. Children love seeing the hatchlings and miniature tortoises that will be repatriated by the National Park when fully grown. 

Return to the yacht for lunch and later board a bus for a short ride to a lava tunnel. This hollow formation is created when lava on the earth’s surface cools and hardens while molten lava flows through the middle. Then visit a privately-owned farm where giant tortoises, some weighing over 500 pounds, roam freely. Return to the yacht for dinner or remain ashore and dine at a local restaurant (not included). True Travel will provide a list of restaurant recommendations before your trip to The Galapagos and we can make reservations ahead of time. Zodiac shuttles from the yachts to the main dock will be available throughout the evening.

Day 8

San Cristobal Island

  • Visit the Interpretation Centre in San Cristobal 
  • Depart from the Galapagos Islands

As a perfect way to end the trip, visit the Interpretation Centre in San Cristobal to discover more about the human history of the Galapagos Islands. There is also a paved trail, where you can enjoy a brief walk before a bus ride back to town. Then check in at the airport in plenty of time for onward flights to mainland Ecuador.

Mary

Detailed information was appreciated in order for a successful trip.

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