Yacht La Pinta – 7 days / 6 nights – Western – Friday to Thursday
Western 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. This itinerary will take us to the true origins of the archipelago, to a world only recently created by the titanic tectonic upheavals of our Earth’s crust, whose volcanic hot spot formed the islands in a blink of an eye in geological time. Fernandina Island is regarded as one of the most pristine island environments anywhere in the world, where life has evolved in its natural state, far from the intervention of man. From the west, we venture back to the Central Islands, landing at the intriguing red beach of Rabida and seeking out the land iguanas of Cerro Dragon. On Santa Cruz, we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and get up close to giant tortoises in their natural environment. In the south, we learn about the Galapagos very own “murder mystery”, spot flamingos and snorkel at one of the best sites in the archipelago: Champion Islet. Back in the Central Islands, we head back to Baltra Island for the flight back to the mainland. You will find all corners of the Galapagos stunning, and they will delight you in different ways. Rest assured the crew aboard La Pinta will do their utmost to ensure your Galapagos experience is truly deeply moving and memorable.
- North Seymour
- Santa Cruz
- Post Ofﬁce Bay
- Urbina Upheaval
- Darwin Lake
- Charles Darwin Research Station
- Baroness Tower
(Highlighted species are Big15)
- * Blue-footed booby
- * Nazca booby
- * Flightless cormorant
- * American ﬂamingos
- * Great & magniﬁcent frigatebird
- * Galapagos hawk
- * Land iguana
- * Marine iguana
- * Galapagos penguin
- * Galapagos sea lion
- * Galapagos fur seal
- * Galapagos giant tortoise
- Galapagos dove
- Galapagos mockingbird
- Floreana mockingbird
- Darwin’s ﬁnches
- Brown pelican
- Swallow-tailed gull
- Lava gull
- Lava (striated) heron
- Galapagos martin
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 Fridays of the year will serve as departure dates for this specific itinerary. Please refer to our Sailing Dates table for exact departure dates for Fridays 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 an introductory welcome briefing, boat drill, cabin assignment followed by lunch.
North Seymour Island
Following an afternoon disembarkation, we enjoy a walk along the coast and the interior of this beautiful flat island, observing numerous bird colonies as well as sea lions and land iguanas. There are opportunities for coastal exploration by dinghy. Evening briefing, welcome cocktail and dinner.
Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela Island)
Since there is no landing site at this location, the coastal exploration is by panga, while the naturalist guide explains 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.
Punta Espinoza (Fernandina Island)
In the afternoon, we visit the youngest and most pristine island of the archipelago, Fernandina, one of many visitors’ all-time favourites. Punta Espinoza has an amazing combination of barrenness and abundant wildlife. Highlights include hawks, penguins, flightless cormorants and astounding views of the surrounding volcanic landscapes.
Urbina Bay (Isabela Island)
After breakfast, we disembark at Urbina Bay, on the western side of Isabela Island, the result of an uplifting of the ocean floor. Here you can see corals, shells, and large and very colourful Galapagos land iguanas, as well as (occasionally) giant tortoises. Navigating the Bolívar Channel, there are good chances of spotting several species of whales.
Tagus Cove (Isabela Island)
On the northwest of Isabela, secluded Tagus Cove provided a favourite anchorage for pirates and whalers over the centuries, and today makes a great visitor site. An uphill hike takes us to the back of Darwin Crater, filled with salt water. We can snorkel or ride kayaks amid the dramatic landscape before going on our hike.
In the morning, we disembark at Rabida Island’s red-coloured beach. A stroll along the beach allows us to observe marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and several species of Darwin’s finches. This is a great place to snorkel from the beach. For non-snorkelers, we can ride our glass-bottom boat for an exploration of life underneath the waves.
Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill) (Santa Cruz Island)
The north shore of Santa Cruz hosts the fascinating landscapes of Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill). Our walk includes circling a brackish water lagoon frequented by lagoon birds, while further inland, the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western islands of the archipelago, as well as the chance to observe land iguanas.
Puerto Ayora & Charles Darwin Research Station
The morning visit heads to the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise pens within an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest. These are the Galapagos’ headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration.
Highlands of Santa Cruz Island
After lunch, we head up to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island by vehicle. This is a great place to look for the emblematic Darwin’s Finches and the endemic Scalesia trees. The highlands are also great for exploring the exuberant vegetation where giant tortoises roam in the wild. This will surely be one of the most remembered visits of the whole voyage.
Post Office Bay
After breakfast, we land at Post Office Bay to visit the historic barrel that has served as a post office in the archipelago for over two centuries. Panga rides along the maze of channels on Floreana’s north shore can also be enjoyed. Views from La Lobería and the Baroness Viewpoint are quite rewarding. There’s great kayaking and swimming from the beach as well.
Champion Islet & Punta Cormorant (Floreana Island)
Before disembarking at Punta Cormorant we can snorkel or ride our glass-bottom boat along the coast of an extinct cone called “Champion Islet”. Later in the afternoon, our visit to Punta Cormorant takes in an olivine-crystal beach for an easy walk by a brackish water lagoon where bird species like 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.
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 to building an airport.
Sailing Dates & Prices
*This itinerary departs every second Friday. If a Friday does not appear in the list below, it is either because we are fully booked for that Friday departure period or simply because we do not operate this specific itinerary on that Friday departure period due to our 15-day sailing cycle (to cover each separate region of the archipelago).
Friday to Thursday*
Jan 08 to 14
Jan 22 to 28
Feb 05 to 11
Feb 19 to 25
Mar 05 to 11
Mar 19 to 25
Apr 02 to 08
Apr 16 to 22
Apr 30 to May 06
May 14 to 20
May 28 to Jun 03
May 29 to Jun 04
Jun 11 to 17
Jun 25 Jul 01
Jul 09 to 15
Jul 23 to 29
Aug 06 to 12
Aug 20 to 26
Sep 03 to 09
Sep 17 to 23
Oct 01 to 07
Oct 15 to 21
Oct 29 to Nov 04
[Contact a destination expert for availability
in November and December]
- All meals
- Soft drinks *
- Island sightseeing
- Naturalist guides and lecture services in English/Spanish only
- Wet suit 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, 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 subject to change without notice)
- Transit Control Card for Galapagos (US$ 20 per person)
- Alcoholic drinks
- Gifts and additional items
Ask our Galapagos Experts Last Minute Prices!
|Cabin||Guest Capacity||2021 per person (US $)|
|Luxury Cabin (20)*||2||$ 6,732|
|Luxury Plus Cabin (4)*||3||$ 6,732|
* 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.
***** Laundry service is only available on the 7-night itinerary