Yacht La Pinta – 5 days / 4 nights – Northern Galapagos – Monday to Friday
Northern 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 Santa Cruz Island, the most populous of the archipelago, where we meet giant tortoises in the wild and then venture to the shores of Eden Islet. From there, we hop over to the lovely crescent bay of Chinese Hat. On Wednesday, one of the iconic sites of the archipelago awaits: Bartolome Island, with its wooden walkway up to a panoramic viewpoint, golden sandy beach and great snorkeling opportunities. Close-by, Sullivan Bay gives us a great introduction to the volcanic origins of the islands. We end with an exciting visit to the sunken caldera of Genovesa, far up in the northeast of the archipelago, a privileged place to visit amid thousands of marine birds. The entire crew aboard La Pinta will do our utmost to ensure your Galapagos experience is truly deeply moving and memorable.
- Santa Cruz
- Chinese Hat Islet
- Pinnacle Rock
- Chinese hat
- Darwin Bay
- Highlands of Santa Cruz
(Highlighted species are Big15)
- * Blue-footed booby
- * Nazca booby
- * Red-footed booby
- * Great & magniﬁcent frigatebird
- * Galapagos hawk
- * Marine iguana
- * Galapagos penguin
- * Galapagos sea lion
- * Galapagos fur seal
- * Galapagos giant tortoise
- Galapagos dove
- Galapagos mockingbird
- Darwin’s ﬁnches
- Short-eared owl
- Brown pelican
- Swallow-tailed gull
- Lava gull
- Lava (striated) heron
Note: * Big15
Itinerary Table (summary)
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 Mondays of the year will serve as departure dates for this specific itinerary. Please refer to our Sailing Dates table for exact departure dates for Mondays of the year.
Following our morning arrival at Baltra Airport, we transfer to the Itabaca Channel, taking a small ferry across the channel to the north shore of Santa Cruz Island. We board our bus to the highlands, where we’ll learn about Santa Cruz’s unique ecosystems and biodiversity. Lunch is served at a local restaurant.
Highlands (Santa Cruz Island)
After lunch, we continue by bus to reach a reserve that is one of the best places in the archipelago to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat. The tortoises are easy to spot, lumbering around, eating grass and leaves and wallowing in the small pools. There are several lava tunnels in the reserve, too. A short bus ride takes us down to Puerto Ayora to board Yacht La Pinta.
Eden Islet (Santa Cruz Island)
After breakfast, a panga ride takes us to Eden Islet, located off the coast of Santa Cruz, where we can observe blue-footed boobies diving into the water, reef sharks and frigates. There’s a chance to snorkel and, if weather conditions permit, to ride in the glass-bottom boat. The volcanic setting of this area is quite stunning due to its variety of volcanic debris, including cinder cones, tuff cones, and semi-eroded lava flows.
Sombrero Chino Islet
The tiny island of Sombrero Chino gets its name from its appearance, reminiscent of a Chinese hat. This islet, formed only fairly recently, makes a beautiful visit as one explores the wildlife along its 400-metre long trail, which begins at a crescent-shaped white sandy beach. The cove offers excellent swimming and snorkeling opportunities amid white-tipped reef sharks and Galapagos penguins.
This morning, a Galapagos icon awaits: Bartolome Island. A great way to start the day, with a steep climb up a wooden staircase: the view from the top is worth the effort! Following the walk, we take to the dinghies for a ride around colossal Pinnacle Rock, followed by time to enjoy the beach and some snorkeling. We can also ride in the glass-bottom boat for great views of the underwater world.
Sullivan Bay (Santiago Island)
After lunch, we board the pangas to land at Sullivan Bay on the east coast of Santiago, a white coral sand beach great for swimming and snorkeling, and with a trail over a lava field that flowed here less than 100 years ago. This is the perfect place to see and feel the volcanic origin of Galapagos while observing its wildlife.
In the morning, we begin our exploration of this island with an easy stroll to observe marine and land birds. There is an optional walk over sharp lava and uneven terrain for dramatic views, or else we can return to the beach to enjoy swimming and snorkeling at this beautiful natural harbor. The more adventurous can snorkel along the cliffs or paddle sea kayaks.
Prince Philip’s Steps (Genovesa Island)
The afternoon starts with a very interesting panga ride along the cliffs before we disembark for a short but steep climb up a wooden staircase. Once at the top, the land is flat, allowing for a captivating walk of about a mile to the other side of this small island, observing large colonies of Nazca boobies, frigate birds and storm petrels and the elusive short-eared owl.
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 location for building an airport.
Sailing Dates & Prices
*This itinerary departs every second Monday. If a Monday does not appear in the list below, it is either because we are fully booked for that Monday departure period or simply because we do not operate this specific itinerary on that Monday departure period due to our 15-day sailing cycle (to cover each separate region of the archipelago).
Monday to Friday*
Jan 04 to 08
Jan 18 to 22
Feb 01 to 05
Feb 15 to 19
Mar 01 to 05
Mar 15 to 19
Mar 29 to Apr 02
Apr 12 to 16
Apr 26 to 30
May 10 to 14
May 24 to 28
Jun 07 to 11
Jun 21 to 25
Jul 05 to 09
Jul 19 to 23
Aug 02 to 06
Aug 16 to 20
Aug 30 to Sep 03
Sep 13 to 17
Sep 27 to Oct 01
Oct 11 to 15
Oct 25 to 29
Nov 08 to 12
Dec 20 to 24
- All meals
- Soft drinks *
- Island sightseeing
- Naturalist guides and lecture services in English/Spanish only
- Wetsuit rental and snorkeling 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, Sheraton, Wyndham) to the 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 to guests who travel before the 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.