Yacht La Pinta – 5 days / 4 nights – Eastern Galapagos – Thursday to Monday
Eastern Galapagos Itinerary
We’re delighted to have you on board for this journey of discovery to some of the most beautiful islands in the Galapagos. Our itinerary together begins on Baltra Island, a former military base during World War II, and now an Ecuadorian naval and air force station. Once all formalities are completed, we venture east along the volcanic shores of North Seymour and Santa Cruz Islands, until we reach the Plazas Islands. Our adventures start with a dry landing at a manmade jetty on South Plaza Island. During the next day, we will explore Santa Fe Island and San Cristobal Island, home to the provincial capital of the Galapagos province. Then, we sail south to Española Island, with its remarkable visitor site (a favourite of many visitors): Punta Suarez. Here, we’ll wander along the rugged coastline, home to hundreds of marine iguanas, sea lions, marine birds, and even albatross (during much of the year). In the afternoon, Gardner Bay provides a wonderful setting for a combination of beach-time, swimming, snorkelling or exploring aboard the glass-bottom boat. We end on Monday with a visit to the world-famous Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island, the most populous in the archipelago. Wherever we sail, whatever we do, the entire crew aboard La Pinta will do our utmost to ensure your Galapagos experience is truly deeply moving and memorable.
- South Plaza
- Santa Fe
- San Cristobal
- Santa Cruz
- Charles Darwin Research Station
- Kicker Rock
- Punta Suarez
- Punta Pitt
(Highlighted species are Big15)
- Galapagos albatross (From April to December)
- Blue-footed booby
- Nazca booby
- Red-footed booby
- Great & magniﬁcent frigatebird
- Galapagos hawk
- Land iguana
- Marine iguana
- Santa Fe land iguana
- Galapagos sea lion
- Galapagos giant tortoise
- Galapagos dove
- Galapagos mockingbird
- San Cristobal mockingbird
- Española mockingbird
- Darwin’s ﬁnches
- Brown pelican
- Swallow-Tailed gull
- Lava gull
- Lava (striated) heron
Note: * Big15
Day by Day
Important Note: Yacht La Pinta operates on a 15-day cycle (to cover each separate region of the archipelago), meaning that not all Thursdays of the year will serve as departure dates for this specific itinerary. Please refer to our Sailing Dates table for exact departure dates for Thursdays of the year.
Our adventure begins with a morning flight to Baltra Island and immediate transfer to the dock to board Yacht La Pinta. There’s a welcome introductory briefing, boat drill, cabin assignment and then lunch. We weigh anchor and start sailing for our first afternoon outing.
South Plaza Island
The turquoise waters of the channel here contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline, while a carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents serves as groundcover for a grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cactus beyond, populated by yellow-grey land iguanas. Along the coastline one finds sea lion colonies, while sea birds play with the thermals that form along the cliffs of this small but spectacular island.
Santa Fe Island
We take the dinghy over to this idyllic sandy-white beach populated by colonies of sea lions. Galapagos hawks are often easily observed, perched atop salt bushes. The Santa Fe land iguana, unique to just this island, may be spotted during the walk. Following the walk, we can snorkel and swim along a natural wave barrier or ride the glass-bottom boat.
Cerro Colorado Tortoise Habitat.
After lunch, we disembark at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the island’s capital, and drive 40 minutes to the island’s southern shore. At Cerro Colorado, we visit the breeding centre for highly endangered giant tortoises in the midst of a fantastic deciduous forest, home to dozens of bird species, including the San Cristobal mockingbird, and the San Cristobal lava lizard, both island endemics.
Punta Pitt (San Cristobal Island)
We land at the eastern tip of San Cristobal Island this morning. The trail that ascends from the beach provides spectacular views of the shoreline; we can observe frigates, plus a colony of bachelor sea lions. After the walk, if conditions are favourable, there is a chance to swim from the beach and snorkel.
In the afternoon following lunch on board, a dinghy ride along the shores of tuff-stone layers takes us to Cerro Brujo’s expansive, white coral beach, great for walking, with rewarding bird-watching featuring seabirds and shore birds. Also, look out for Galapagos sea lions. These are the same shores that Charles Darwin walked upon, back in September 1835.
Our morning outing at Punta Suarez provides an exciting walk on lava/boulder terrain to visit its unique sea bird colonies, including the Galapagos albatross (April – January), boobies, swallow-tail gulls, and the famous “blowhole” lava formation. Also, look for red-green-black marine iguanas. Many regard this site as the best in the Galapagos. Back on board for lunch.
In the afternoon, we set down at this beautiful, white coral beach for a short walk to observe the sea lions, mockingbirds, finches, or enjoy the beach. There is great snorkelling in this area, or else there’s time to kayak or ride the glass-bottom boat.
Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz Island)/ Baltra Airport
Disembarking in the morning, we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and the captive rearing programme for the giant tortoises. Here we witness the efforts and results of Galapagos fieldwork and study done in the name of science. We transfer via bus across Santa Cruz Island and a short ferry ride to Baltra. Our journey ends at Baltra Island, where we transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland. Baltra’s flat substrate (due to its uplifted origin) is the reason why the island was chosen back in the 1940s as the construction site for an airport.
Sailing Dates & Prices
*This itinerary departs every second Thursday. If a Thursday does not appear in the list below, it is either because we are fully booked for that Thursday departure period or simply because we do not operate this specific itinerary on that Thursday departure period due to our 15-day sailing cycle (to cover each separate region of the archipelago).
Thursday to Monday*
Jan 14 to 18
Jan 28 to Feb 01
Feb 11 to 15
Feb 25 to Mar 01
Mar 11 to 15
Mar 25 to 29
Apr 08 to 12
Apr 22 to 26
May 06 to 10
May 20 to 24
Jun 03 to 07
Jun 17 to 21
Jul 01 to 05
Jul 15 to 19
Jul 29 to Aug 02
Aug 12 to 16
Aug 26 to 30
Sep 09 to 13
Sep 23 to 27
Oct 07 to 11
Oct 21 to 25
Nov 04 to 08
Dec 16 to 20
Dec 30 to Jan 03
- All meals
- Soft drinks *
- Island sightseeing
- Naturalist guides and lecture services in English/Spanish only
- Wet suit rental and snorkelling gear
- Internet *
- Taxes and transfers in the islands. Transfer from main hotels in Quito (Casa Gangotena, Hilton Colón, Swissôtel, Marriott, Dann Carlton) and in Guayaquil (Hilton Colón, Oro Verde, Wyndham, Sheraton) to airport for flights to / from Galapagos are included in these rates. To coordinate these transfers we must have guest’s hotel contact.
* Please note: Soft drinks include juices and carbonated drinks, not “virgin” cocktails.
**Wi-Fi is available in the yacht’s social areas; due to the Galapagos’ remote location, internet connections are intermittent and low-bandwidth.
- Airfare to/from Galapagos
- Galapagos National Park admission fee (US$ 100 per person, subject to change without notice)
- Transit Control Card for Galapagos (US$ 20 per person, subject to change without notice)
- Alcoholic drinks
- Gifts and additional items
Ask our Galapagos Experts Last Minute Prices!
|Cabin||Guest Capacity||2021 per person (US $)|
|Luxury Cabin (20)*||2||$ 5,024|
|Luxury Plus Cabin (4)*||3||$ 5,024|
* twin/double cabins have a 100% surcharge when used as singles
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.
- 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.
****Wifi is available in the vessel’s social areas; due to the Galapagos’ remote location, internet connections are intermittent and low-bandwidth.
Eastern Island Itinerary
All About the Galapagos
* Please note: soft drinks are considered juices and carbonated drinks, not “virgin” cocktails.
** Wifi is available 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 and migration control card fee. 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 $27+taxes.