Santa Cruz II 2019-2020: Northern Galapagos tour 5 days


Information

northern galagos islands
Our itinerary together begins at Baltra airport, from where we’ll sail to the glorious white beach of Las Bachas with a pair of brackish water lagoons only a few steps from the sea. These lagoons serve as feeding grounds for various wading birds, including stilts, pintail ducks and flamingos. As we continue our voyage, we explore two fascinating visitor sites on Santiago Island: Buccaneer Cove, home to a large number of marine birds, sea lions, and inter-tidal organisms, and Puerto Egas, with its great walk-along pools full of life and good snorkelling and swimming possibilities. The next day we visit the red-sand beach of Rabida Island, a lovely trail around some cliffs and a popular spot for aquatic activities, with some of the best snorkeling in Galapagos! In the afternoon, we round out the day with a stop at Bartolome Island, which offers a volcanic viewpoint with room for hiking, swimming, and exploring the beach and the coast. This is our only chance to see Galapagos penguins. What a full and rich day! From here we sail northeast, crossing the equatorial line, to the sunken crater of Genovesa Island, home to thousands of marine birds. It feels like a world a million miles from our own. We finish with an incredible encounter with nature in which we respectfully sharing a wild habitat with giant Galapagos tortoises at a private reserve up in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island and then make our way to the airport at Baltra.

  • Baltra
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santiago
  • Rabida
  • Bartolome
  • Genovesa
  • Baltra
Highlight Sites

  • Buccaneer Cove
  • Genovesa Island
  • Pinnacle Rock
  • Blue Footed Boobies (BIG15)
  • Nazca Boobies (BIG15)
  • Red Footed Boobies (BIG15)
  • American Flamingos (BIG15)
  • Great & Magnificent Frigatebirds (BIG15)
  • Galapagos Hawks (BIG15)
  • Marine Iguanas (BIG15)
  • Galapagos Penguins (BIG15)
  • Galapagos Sea Lion (BIG15)
  • Galapagos Fur Seal (BIG15)
  • Galapagos Giant Tortoises (BIG15)
  • Galapagos Doves
  • Galapagos Mockingbirds
  • San Cristobal Mockingbirds
  • Darwin Finches
  • Short-eared Owls
  • Brown Pelicans
  • Swallow-tailed Gulls
  • Lava Gulls
  • Lava (striated) Heron

Itinerary map

 

Day by day

Baltra Island
We land at Baltra Island by plane in the morning and transfer to the dock to board the Santa Cruz II, where we receive a welcome introductory briefing, boat drill and lunch.
Las Bachas (Santa Cruz Island)
This beautiful visitor site is located on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, a glorious white beach with a couple of brackish lagoons only a few steps away from the sea. These lagoons are the feeding grounds of various wading birds, from stilts to flamingos. You may enjoy swimming and or snorkelling at this beach too. Welcome cocktail, expedition plan for Tuesday and dinner.
northern las bachas
Buccaneer Cove (Santiago Island)
After breakfast, we explore the coastline along the impressive cliffs of Buccaneer Cove, learning about the area’s distant and recent history. The cove is home to a large number of marine birds, sea lions, and inter-tidal organisms. Enjoy fantastic natural formations such as the “Elephant Rock”, “The Bishop” and an impressive natural cave. Opportunity for snorkelling, and a ride on the panga or glass-bottom boat.

Puerto Egas (Santiago Island)
Once we disembark at the beach, we can enjoy a swim or snorkel amid a rocky shoreline, usually in the company of marine turtles. From here, we head off to our walk, a great opportunity to see land and marine birds amid landscape of tuff-stone layers and lava flows.  At low tide, marine iguanas graze upon the algae beds and we can also observe a colony of fur seals. After the visit, we had some time for swimming and snorkeling.
northern puerto egas

Rabida Island (Jervis)
Some groups will go for a fascinating panga ride along the shores while others will disembark on Rabida Island’s red-coloured beach, caused by the unusually high content of iron in the volcanic material. Our walk brings us close to a colony of sea lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and several species of Darwin’s finches. Very close to the beach, a salt pond occasionally hosts American flamingos. This is a great place to snorkel from the beach, both for beginners as well as for experienced snorkelers, due to the unique combination of underwater species and submarine landscapes. During navigation to our next island, we can sometimes spot dolphins!
Bartolome Island
Today’s afternoon activities begin with a wet landing on the golden beach of this famous island, dominated by the imposing Pinnacle Rock. There’s great snorkeling and swimming from the beach plus the chance to ride the glass bottom boat. After returning to the ship, we split into two group: the first lands for a hike to the summit of this diminutive island that boasts fantastic views of the archipelago. This is a moderately steep climb aided by a wooden staircase, resting platforms and handrails – the view from the top is worth the effort! The second takes to the pangas to explore the rugged and volcanic shoreline.  The groups then swap so that each one experiences the full beauty of this island.
northern bartolome island
Prince Philip Steps (Genovesa Island)
The morning starts with a steep climb (only 90 feet) up some stairs to reach a flat rocky plateau. Along our walk, we can observe large colonies of Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, great frigate birds and storm petrels. Those not wishing to disembark can enjoy a longer panga ride along the cliffs (depending on weather conditions). Kayaking is optional.
Darwin Bay (Genovesa Island)
In the afternoon, we land at this beautiful beach to enjoy some swimming and/or snorkeling.  Following our dip, we take an easy stroll to observe hundreds of birds, mainly frigate birds, red-footed and Nazca boobies, gulls, herons, finches and mockingbirds.  Opportunity for snorkeling, kayaking and swimming.
northern darwin bay
Tortoise Reserve – Baltra airport
We start our last morning at the north shore of Santa Cruz Island. After breakfast, your luggage will be taken to the airport, while you visit the Tortoise Reserve. A dry landing at a passenger’s wharf and a bus ride to the loftier region of the island will provide the last highlight of the cruise: giant tortoises in the wild. The windward slopes of the island are home to two species of giant tortoises. These lush highlands include dense forests of Galapagos daisies, orchids and bromeliads, and several endemic land birds. After this visit we will transfer directly to Baltra airport. Farewell to Galapagos

Sailing Dates

Northern - 5 Days

$3,910 /per person
Monday to Friday

2019 

Jan 07 to 11
Jan 21 to 25
Feb 04 to 08
Feb 18 to 22
Mar 04 to 08
Mar 18 to 22
Apr 01 to 05
Apr 15 to 19
Abr 29 to May 03
May 13 to 17
May 27 to 31
Jun 10 to 14
Jun 24 to 28
Jul 08 to 12
Jul 22 to 26
Aug 05 to 09
Aug 19 to 23
Sep 02 to 06
Sep 16 to 20
Sep 30 to Oct 04
Oct 14 to 18
Oct 28 to Nov 01
Nov 11 to 15
Nov 25 to 29
Dec 09 to 13

Northern - 5 Days

$4,066 /per person
Monday to Friday

2020

Jan 06 to 10
Jan 20 to 24
Feb 03 to 07
Mar 02 to 06
Mar 16 to 20
Mar 30 to Apr 03
Apr 13 to 17
Apr 27 to May 01
May 11 to 15
May 25 to 29
Jun 08 to 12
Jun 22 to 26
Jul 06 to 10
Aug 03 to 07
Aug 17 to 21
Aug 31 to Sep 04
Sep 14 to 18
Sep 28 to Oct 02
Oct 12 to 16
Oct 26 to 30
Nov 09 to 13

Activities & Highlights

northern activities galapagos tours

aquatic activites galapagos islands

What’s included?

  • Transportation to/from the airport in Galapagos*
  • Accommodation
  • All meals while on board
  • Bilingual naturalist guides
  • Conferences and lectures
  • Island excursions and activities + optional activities on Santa Cruz Island
  • Snorkeling equipment
  • Kayaks
  • Glass bottom boat
    * Restrictions apply
  • Airfare to /from Galapagos
  • Galapagos National Park entrance fee and immigration control card
  • Beverages and tips
  • Wetsuit rental
  • Internet service*
    *Due to the remote location, Internet connections are intermittent and low-bandwidth.

Itineraries for reference only. Our routes and programmes may vary according to National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, seasonal changes, safety and operational reasons, and wildlife viewing opportunities.



Packing List



The Essentials
  • Passport
  • Tickets & printed itineraries
  • Travel insurance
  • Health insurance information
  • Credit/debit cards
  • Cash (US Dollars)
  • Personal medication
The Wearables
Shoes
  • Light-weight hiking shoes
  • Water-resistant, closed-toe sport sandals
  • Anti-slip sandals for onboard
Clothing
  • Hiking shorts
  • Lightweight hiking pants
  • Casual pants and shorts (men)
  • Casual dress, skirt, shorts or pants (women)
  • Short-sleeve T-shirts
  • Long-sleeve shirts or rash guards for sun protection
  • Underwear
  • Socks (normal and for hiking)
  • Bathing suits (minimum 2)
Accessories and Gear
  • Sunglasses (optional: neck strap)
  • Wide-brimmed hat or cap
  • Bandana
Outerwear
  • Windbreaker jacket
  • Warm sweater or fleece



The Portables
Personal care
  • Toiletry kit
  • Sunblock & lip balm (waterproof + SPF 50 or higher)
  • Insect repellent
Gear
  • Small backpack/daypack (preferably waterproof)
  • Binoculars
  • Camera
  • Video camera
  • Extra memory cards and batteries
  • Tripod (optional)
  • Appliance chargers & adaptors if necessary (plugs in Ecuador are US-style A & B, 2 flat pins, 110 V)
  • Prescription snorkeling mask or specialized snorkel equipment*
  • Sealable plastic bags of various sizes
  • Journal

* All normal snorkeling equipment is available onboard and at the Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel. Some charges may apply.




Please remember that the exact route and programme may vary according to weather and ocean conditions and the wildlife we encounter. It’s also subject to change without previous notice due mainly to readjustment of the National Park policies and regulations.

  • Dry landing: guests step from the panga (dinghy) onto rocks or a dock.
  • Wet landing: as the dinghy edges onto a sandy beach, guests step into around 20 cm (8 inches) of water and wade ashore.

**At your request, we can include the Galapagos National Park entrance fee of US$ 100 and migration control card fee of US$ 20 (subject to change). However, please note that, due to administrative and operational reasons, these fees can only be included when guests travel on the operation departure date. This service does not apply for guests who travel before a departure date (even if the departure is with us).
*** Please note, we charge guests who wish to bring bottles of wine and/or spirits aboard our vessels a corkage fee of US$ 25+taxes.
**** Internet connections onboard consist in computer stations and wifi in the vessel’s social areas; due to the Galapagos’ remote location, internet connections are intermittent and low-bandwidth.

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