Yacht Isabela II – 5 days / 4 nights – Southern Galapagos – Friday to Tuesday
Southern Islands Galapagos Itinerary
Our itinerary begins on Santa Cruz Island, the most populous in the archipelago. Journey to the lush vegetation of the highlands to meet giant tortoises face to face before venturing down to the world-famous Charles Darwin Research Station. After embarking at the end of the day, we sail south to the island of Floreana, where we disembark at two history-filled sites: Post Office Bay in the morning and Cormorant Point in the afternoon. We then head west to Española Island and its remarkable visitor site, Punta Suarez, a favourite of many visitors. Here, we’ll wander along the rugged coastline, home to hundreds of marine iguanas, sea lions, marine birds, including the Galapagos albatross (from April to early January). In the afternoon, Gardner Bay provides a wonderful setting for a combination of beach-time, swimming, snorkeling or exploring aboard the glass-bottom boat. Next, stop on San Cristobal Island, the capital of the Galapagos Province. We explore the northern shores of the island, visiting the fascinating sites of Punta Pitt and Cerro Brujo, taking us back to young Charles Darwin’s visit of 1835. We end our journey at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.
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.
- Santa Cruz
- Champion Islet
- San Cristóbal
- Post Office Bay
- Charles Darwin Research Station
- Kicker Rock
- Punta Suarez
- Galapagos sea lion
- Galapagos giant tortoises
- Marine iguanas
- Blue-footed boobies
- Nazca boobies
- Red-footed boobies
- Galapagos doves
- Galapagos mockingbirds
- San Cristobal mockingbirds
- Española mockingbirds
- Floreana Mockingbirds
- Española lizards
- Floreana lava lizards
- Darwin finches
- Galapagos hawks
- Brown pelicans
- Galapagos penguins
- Swallow-tailed gulls
- Lava gulls
- Lava (striated) herons
- Galapagos albatrosses (April to early January)
Day by Day
We arrive at Baltra airport and then we take you to the Itabaca Channel to take a ferry across to Santa Cruz Island. A 30-minute bus ride takes us to a restaurant in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island to enjoy lunch, and then continue to Puerto Ayora. Depending on local weather conditions up in the highlands, we may include a short hike which will be a great introduction to some Galapagos wildlife. Our Expedition Team will advise accordingly.
Note: Please dress with comfortable shoes and clothes, bring a small backpack with any medicine you might be taking, sunblock, insect repellent and anything you need during the excursion as you will go on board Yacht Isabela II and the end of the day.
Puerto Ayora and the Charles Darwin Research Station After driving down from the highlands, we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise pens within an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest home to many land birds. These are the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. Late afternoon we stroll along the main street of Puerto Ayora before embarking on Yacht Isabela II. We review the expeditions plan for next day, and enjoy the Captain’s welcome cocktail and dinner.
Punta Cormorant (Floreana Island) Our visit to Punta Cormorant takes in an olivine-crystal beach for an easy walk by a brackish water lagoon where bird species like stilts and American flamingos may be observed. On the other side of the island, we come to a white-sand beach where sea turtles come out at night to nest. Snorkeling will happen at lovely “Champion Islet” site, or ride in the panga or glass-bottom boat.
Gardner Bay (Española Island) In the afternoon, we set down at this beautiful, white coral beach for a short walk to observe Galapagos sea lions, finches, maybe a hawk or just enjoy the beach. There is great snorkeling in this area, or else there’s time to kayak, or enjoy the glass-bottom boat. The turquoise colour of the waters at this location will be a favourite one to photograph.
Cerro Brujo (San Cristobal Island) In the afternoon, following lunch on board, we set out on a panga ride along the shores of tuff-stone layers which take us to Cerro Brujo's expansive, white coraline beach, great for walking, with rewarding birdwatching including good views of both sea and shore birds. Also, keep your eyes open for Galapagos sea lions. These are the same shores that Charles Darwin walked upon, back in September 1835. After the walk, there is a chance to swim and snorkel.
|Cabin||Max. Guests Capacity||2020 Price per Person (US $)||2021 Price per Person (US $)
[Note: Itinerary changes to Southeastern 7D/6N – Sailing Friday to Thursday]
|Owner’s Cabin||2||$ 3,938||$ 5,712|
|Classic Cabin||2||$ 3,766||$ 5,454|
|Classic Family Cabin*||3||$ 3,766||$ 5,454|
|Standard Cabin||2||$ 3,550||$ 5,142|
*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.
Special Notes * 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.