Yacht Isabela II – 7 days / 6 nights – Northern Galapagos – Tuesday to Monday
Northern Islands Galapagos Itinerary
Our itinerary together begins on San Cristobal Island and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the Galapagos Province. On our first afternoon, we visit Cerro Colorado, breeding centre of the islands’ famous giant tortoises amid a fantastic deciduous forest. We sail north overnight, to awake at the sunken caldera of Genovesa Island, a privileged place to visit amid thousands of marine birds. Back in the central islands, on Thursday we learn about Buccaneer Cove’s distant and recent history aboard our inflatable dinghies, before exploring the underwater realm, snorkeling or aboard the glass-bottom boat. Across the way, we disembark at the popular site of Puerto Egas, a great place to see land and marine birds amid a landscape of tuff-stone layers and lava flows.
Motoring overnight, we find ourselves amongst the youngest islands of the Galapagos. Here, we explore Punta Espinoza with its amazing combination of barrenness and abundant wildlife. Highlights include hawks, penguins and the flightless cormorant. Later, at Tagus Cove, an uphill hike takes us to the rim of Darwin Crater and some lovely views, followed by an inflatable dinghy ride to spot local wildlife, a swim, kayak or snorkel. We continue our exploration of Isabela Island the following day, at Urbina Bay, the intriguing result of an uplifting of the ocean, home to large and very colorful Galapagos land iguanas, and then at Punta Vicente Roca with its abundant wildlife and, hopefully, sightings of green sea turtles. Sunday sees us anchor to visit the red beach of Rabida Island and its large colony of sea lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers, and several species of Darwin’s finches. In the afternoon, we visit the north shore of Santa Cruz, host to Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill), home to land iguanas and with a trail that offers a beautiful view of the bay.
Wherever we sail, whatever we do, all the crew aboard the Isabela II will do our utmost to ensure that your Galapagos experience is truly, deeply moving and memorable.
- San Cristobal
- Santa Cruz
- Buccaneer Cove
- Darwin Lake
- Urbina’s Upheaval
- Kicker Rock
- Punta Espinoza
- Red Beach
- Galapagos sea lion
- Galapagos fur seal
- Giant tortoises
- Galapagos land iguana
- Marine iguanas
- San Cristobal lava lizard
- Blue-footed boobies
- Nazca boobies
- Red-footed boobies
- Galapagos doves
- Galapagos mockingbirds
- San Cristobal mockingbirds
- Darwin finches
- American flamingos
- Galapagos hawks
- Short-eared owls
- Brown pelicans
- Greater frigates
- Magnificent frigates
- Flightless cormorants
- Galapagos penguins
- Swallow-tailed gulls
- Lava gulls
- Lava (striated) herons
- Galapagos martins
Day by Day
We arrive by plane at San Cristobal Island and transfer to Yacht Isabela II for cabin assignment, introductory briefing and lunch.
Cerro Colorado Breeding Centre
After lunch, we land back at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and drive 40 minutes to the island’s southern shore. At Cerro Colorado, we visit the breeding centre of the highly-endangered giant tortoises in the midst of a fantastic deciduous forest, home to dozens of bird species and the endemic San Cristobal lava lizard.
Overnight, we navigate northbound to the incredible bird haven on Genovesa Island, crossing the equator on the way. The morning starts with a panga ride along the cliffs of this dramatic island, followed by a dry landing with a steep climb (90 feet) up some stairs to reach a flat plateau. Along our walk, we can observe large colonies of Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, great frigatebirds and storm petrels. Coastal exploration along the cliffs (depending on weather conditions) will let us see more wildlife, including Galapagos fur seals. We can also enjoy snorkeling and kayaking.
Darwin Bay (Genovesa Island)
In the afternoon, we land at the beach for an easy stroll observing hundreds of birds, mainly frigatebirds, red-footed and Nazca boobies, gulls, herons, finches and mockingbirds. There’s an optional walk over sharp lava and uneven terrain for dramatic views, or else we can return to the beach to enjoy snorkeling at this beautiful natural harbor.
After breakfast, we enjoy a coastal exploration along the impressive cliffs of Buccaneer’s 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 “The Bishop” and an impressive natural cave. This is a great site for snorkeling too or ride in our glass-bottom boat.
Puerto Egas (Santiago Island)
This is a wonderful opportunity to see land and marine birds amidst a 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. Back at the beach where we land, there’s very good snorkeling and swimming here.
In the morning, we visit the youngest island of the archipelago, Fernandina. Punta Espinoza has an amazing combination of barrenness and abundant wildlife. Highlights include hawks, penguins, flightless cormorants, and some of the densest colonies of marine iguanas. Snorkeling here usually bring unexpected marine encounters.
Tagus Cove (Isabela Island)
Across the narrow Bolivar Channel, we anchor at this cove on the northwest of Isabela. It provided a favorite anchorage for pirates and whalers over the centuries. An uphill hike takes guests to the rim of Darwin Crater, filled with salt water and to a dramatic viewpoint. After our walk, we take a panga ride to spot local wildlife, including some Galapagos penguins with the possibility of swimming, kayaking or snorkeling.
After breakfast we disembark at Urbina Bay, the result of an uplifting of the ocean floor in 1954. Here you can find corals, shells and many other calcareous organisms exposed above water. This area is also home to large and very colorful Galapagos land iguanas, and occasionally to giant tortoises. Along the shoreline, after the hike, guests may encounter flightless cormorants and see penguins while snorkeling.
Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela Island)
Since there is no landing site at this location, the coastal exploration is by skiff, while naturalists explain the dramatic geology of the area, with remains of lava flows and tuff stone layers. There is abundant wildlife and, depending on the conditions of the ocean, we’ll be able to snorkel along the cliffs, hopefully in the company of green sea turtles and penguins. Expedition plan for Sunday and dinner.
In the morning, we disembark at Rabida Island’s red-colored beach. A stroll allows us to observe a large colony of sea lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and several species of Darwin’s finches. This is a great place to snorkel from the beach. We can also enjoy a panga ride, kayaking or ride in our glass-bottom boat.
Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill) (Santa Cruz Island)
The north shore of Santa Cruz hosts Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill). Our walk includes circling a brackish water lagoon frequented by lagoon birds, including ducks, stilts and some few flamingos. Further inland, the trail brings us to the nesting area of land iguanas, and then it offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western islands of the archipelago
Our journey ends at Baltra Island where we transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland.
|Cabin||Max. Guests Capacity||2020 Price per Person (US $)||2021 Price per Person (US $)
[Note: Itinerary changes to Northern 5D/4N – Sailing Monday to Friday]
|Owner’s Cabin||2||$ 5,456||$ 4,236|
|Classic Cabin||2||$ 5,210||$ 4,052|
|Classic Family Cabin*||3||$ 5,210||$ 4,052|
|Standard Cabin||2||$ 4,910||$ 3,820|
*accommodates 2 adults + 1 child under 12 years old
- All meals
- Island sightseeing
- Naturalist guides and lecture services in English/Spanish only
- Snorkeling gear
- Internet / Wi-Fi *
- Luggage handling
- Medical care on board (not including the cost of medication)
- Transfers in the islands
- Shared transfers from main hotels in Quito (Casa Gangotena, Hilton Colon, Sheraton, Marriott, Dann Carlton) and in Guayaquil (Hilton Colon, Oro Verde, Hampton Inn, Sheraton) to airport for flights to/from Galapagos are included in these rates. To coordinate these transfers, we must have guests’ hotel contact information.
- Wet suits available for rent, NET rate US$ 30 + VAT per guest for 7-day expeditions
- Air transportation to / from Galapagos and airport taxes (subject to change without previous notice)
- Galapagos National Park entrance fee (US$ 100 subject to change without previous notice)**
- Migration Control Card (US$ 20 subject to change without previous notice)**
- Fuel surcharge
- Alcoholic **and non alcoholic beverages
- Gifts and additional items
- Travel insurance
The Ultimate Galapagos Packing List
(As recommended by our seasoned Galapagos Experts)
Our very own Destination Experts have worked hard to prepare this Ultimate Galapagos Packing List. These folks have an intimate knowledge and understanding of the Galapagos Islands and our ships. They have combed through the advice of several travelers and come up with the only Galapagos Packing List you’ll need. Make sure you check off our Top 5 Essential and Top 5 Wearable Items and check out the Additional Recommended Items to bring. Pack light, pack smart, and don’t worry if you forget something because those items below that are marked with an asterisk (*) are available in our onboard boutique shop.
Top 5 Essential Items
|1||Small backpack/daypack||We recommend you bring one that is waterproof.|
|2||Water bottle *||By the way, you’ll receive a reusable water bottle when you arrive on board any one of our ships or when you get to the Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel.|
|3||Ziploc-style baggie with your medication||Even though our Galapagos cruises feature an onboard medical officer, available 24/7, please remember to pack any specific and essential prescription medication.|
|4||Drybag||This item keeps your valuables dry at all times as you hop on and off the dinghy, or panga, on your way to and from aquatic and land activities.)|
|5||Waterproof, see-through phone pouch||This item is useful for taking photos underwater or aboard a panga, as it keeps your phone dry and protected, guaranteeing that you’ll be able to share your memories with friends, family, and followers. (P.S. Feel free to tag us on your social media!|
Top 5 Wearable Items
|1||Wide-brimmed hat or cap with strap *||A strap keeps your hat from flying off as you travel along in the dinghy.|
|2||Short-sleeve cotton T-shirts||These keep you fresh during activities. By the way, we have a dryer on board!|
|3||Long-sleeve expedition-style shirts *||Long sleeves will protect you from the strong and direct sunlight along the equator. As an extra layer, being able to roll your sleeves up or down gives you the ability to adjust to the elements and remain comfortable.|
|4||Convertible cargo pants *||Similar to long-sleeve expedition-style shirts, these lightweight pants with removable lower legs allow you to remain comfortable and cool or warm and dry, whether hiking along the coast or hanging out on one of the ship’s outdoor decks.|
|5||Water-resistant, closed-toe sport sandals with non-slippery soles||Hop on and hop off without changing shoes! Don’t worry about getting wet, or slipping. Use these on expeditions and aboard the ship.|
Additional Recommended Items
Head to Toe: We also recommend bringing the following:
|1||Sunglasses||It’s a good idea to use these with a neck strap so you won’t misplace them.|
|2||Bandana *||This is a great item for protecting your neck when it gets too sunny or while traveling aboard the dinghy.|
|3||Windbreaker jacket||It can get a little windy out at sea, particularly during the Galapagos dry season.|
|4||Warm sweater or fleece||It can get a little chilly at night; an extra layer can provide you with just the right amount of comfort and warmth.|
|5||Casual pants, shorts, dress, or skirt||Back on board the ship, you may want to change into something a little more comfortable.|
|6||Bathing suits||It’s a good idea to bring two (2), in case you want to change suits between aquatic activities|
|7||Socks||You’ll be using your feet quite a bit so we recommend treating them right. Bring comfortable socks: some for hiking and some for lounging.|
|8||Anti-slip sandals and/or comfortable shoes||When your sandals are still drying, you’ll be glad you brought some extra footwear.|
Portables and Gear
|1||Toiletry kit||Keep in mind that we provide eco-friendly amenities in every cabin.|
|2||Waterproof sunblock * and lip balm (SPF 50+)||If you’re planning to take part in aquatic activities, make sure your sunblock and lip balm are eco-friendly and not harmful to ocean life.|
|3||Insect repellent *||You won’t encounter many mosquitos in the Galapagos, but it never hurts to have some on hand.|
|4||Binoculars||Our Naturalist Guides will be happy to lend you theirs, but you’re welcome to bring you own if you’d like.|
|5||Camera, plus extra memory cards and batteries||If you have a nice camera you want to use on this trip, bring it!|
|6||Device chargers and adaptors if necessary||Electrical outlets in Ecuador are 110-120V, 60Hz, types A & B.|
|7||Prescription snorkeling mask or specialized snorkel equipment||All regular snorkeling equipment is available aboard each of our ships, as well as at the Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel. Some charges may apply. Consult your Destination Expert.|
If you want to make sure you don’t leave anything behind, print our downloadable packing checklist (better if you do so on a recycled paper, we designed it in such a way so that you use the less amount of ink possible.)
Our Onboard Boutique
Visit our onboard boutique and find items ranging from handicrafts to everyday necessities. Find the perfect gift for your friends and family, and purchase any of the items suggested in our packing list. Item availability and prices are subject to change.
* 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.
** 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 $25+taxes.