La Pinta Yacht – 8 days / 7 nights – Western Galapagos – Friday to Friday
Western Galapagos Itinerary
Fernandina Island is regarded as one of the most pristine island environments in the world, where life has evolved in its natural state, far from the intervention of mankind. From the west, we venture back to the central islands, landing at the intriguing red beach of Rabida Island and seeking out the land iguanas of Dragon Hill. 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 explore the placid bay of Santa Fe Islands as well as the dramatic cliffs of South Plaza.
Whether it’s the western, central or southern islands we visit, all the crew aboard Yacht La Pinta will do our utmost to ensure that your Galapagos experience is truly, deeply moving and memorable.
- North Seymour
- Santa Cruz
- Santa Fe
- South Plaza
- San Cristobal
- Post Office Bay
- Darwin Lake
- Urbina’s Upheaval
- Charles Darwin Research Station
- Galapagos sea lion
- Galapagos fur sea lion
- Giant tortoises
- Santa Fe land iguana
- Galapagos land iguana
- Marine iguanas
- Hybrid iguana
- Blue-footed boobies
- Nazca boobies
- Galapagos doves,
- Galapagos mockingbirds
- San Cristobal mockingbirds
- Floreana mockingbirds
- Floreana lava lizards
- Darwin finches
- American flamingos
- Galapagos hawks
- Brown pelicans
- Greater frigatebirds
- Magnificent frigatebirds
- Flightless cormorants,
- Galapagos penguins
- Swallow-tailed gulls
- Lava gulls, lava (striated) herons
- Galapagos martins
Day by Day
Baltra Island/North Seymour Island
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.
North Seymour Island
Following an afternoon disembarkation, we enjoy a walk along the coast and the interior of the 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)/Punta Espinoza (Fernandina Island)
Since there is no landing site at this location, the coastal exploration is by dinghy, 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 people's all-time favourites. Punta Espinoza has an amazing combination of barrenness and abundant wildlife. Highlights include hawks, penguins, the flightless cormorant and astounding views of the surrounding volcanic landscapes.
Urbina Bay/Tagus Cove (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 find corals, shells, and large and very colourful Galapagos land iguanas, giant tortoises (occasionally). Navigating the Bolívar Channel, there are good chances of spotting 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 our hike.
Rábida Island /Cerro Dragón-Dragon Hill (Santa Cruz Island)
In the morning, we disembark at Rábida 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 those non-snorkelers, we can ride our glass-bottom boat for a submarine exploration.
Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill) (Santa Cruz Island)
The north shore of Santa Cruz hosts the fascinating landscapes of Cerro Dragón (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 of observing land iguanas.
Puerto Ayora & Charles Darwin Research Station/Highlands of Santa Cruz Island
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 headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. A delicious lunch is served at the poolside of the Finch Bay Eco Hotel.
Highlands of Santa Cruz Island
After lunch, we wind up to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island by vehicle. This is a great place to look for the brilliant Vermilion Flycatcher and the endemic Scalesia trees. From December to mid-April and July to December a visit to observe giant tortoises in the wild may be included, if weather conditions are good.
Post Office Bay/Punta Cormorant (Floreana Island)
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. There's great snorkelling 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".
Our visit to Punta Cormorant takes in an olivine-crystal beach for an easy walk by a brackish water lagoon where bird species like greater 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.
Santa Fe Island/South Plaza 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 endemic land iguana, unique to this island, may be spotted during the walk. Following the walk, we can snorkel and swim along a natural wave barrier.
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-gray 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 amazing island.
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristóbal Island)
After breakfast, we depart for the port and airport for our flight back to the mainland.
|Cabin||2016 Price per Person (US $)|
|Luxury Cabins*||$ 6.895|
|Luxury Plus Cabins*||$ 6.895|
* Luxury Cabins for single use incurr and Luxury Plus Cabins (4) for twin/double use have a surcharge of 100%.
- All meals
- Soft drinks *
- Island sightseeing
- Naturalist guides and lecture services in English/Spanish only
- Wet suit rental
- Snorkelling 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.
- 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 ****
- Laundry *****
- Gifts and additional items
- Travel insurance
- 1 small backpack
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Sneakers with rubber soles
- Long pants
- Long and short sleeved shirts
- Wind breaker
- Bathing suit or a wetsuit for snorkelling in cold months
- Hat or cap
- Sunblock and repellent
- Camera & video recorder
- Any medicine you may be taking
Western Island Itinerary
* Please note: soft drinks are considered juices and carbonated drinks, not “virgin” cocktails.
** 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.
***** Laundry service is only available on the 7-night itinerary
Your Galapagos Travel Expert Since 1969