Yacht Isabela II: Northern Galapagos Tour
Northern Islands Galapagos Itinerary
Our itinerary together begins on San Cristóbal Island and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the Galapagos Province. On our first afternoon, we visit Cerro Colorado, breeding centre of the islands’ famous giant tortoises amid a fantastic deciduous forest. We sail north overnight, to awake at the sunken caldera of Genovesa Island, a privileged place to visit amid thousands of marine birds. Back in the central islands, on Thursday we learn about Buccaneer Cove’s distant and recent history aboard our inflatable dinghies, before exploring the underwater realm, snorkelling or aboard the glass-bottom boat. Across the way, we disembark at the popular site of Puerto Egas, a great place to see land and marine birds amid a landscape of tuff-stone layers and lava flows.
Motoring all night, we find ourselves amid the youngest islands of the Galapagos the next day, visiting Punta Espinoza with its amazing combination of barrenness and abundant wildlife. Highlights include hawks, penguins and the flightless cormorant. Later, at Tagus Cove, an uphill hike takes us to the rim of Darwin Crater and some lovely views, followed by an inflatable dinghy ride to spot local wildlife, a swim, kayak or snorkel. We continue our exploration of Isabela Island the following day, at Urbina Bay, the intriguing result of an uplifting of the ocean, home to large and very colourful Galapagos land iguanas, and then at Punta Vicente Roca with its abundant wildlife and, hopefully, sightings of green sea turtles. Sunday sees us anchor to visit the red beach of Rábida Island and its large colony of sea lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers, and several species of Darwin’s finches. In the afternoon, we visit the north shore of Santa Cruz, host to Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill), home to land iguanas and with a trail that offers a beautiful view of the bay.
Wherever we sail, whatever we do, all the crew aboard the Isabela II will do our utmost to ensure your Galapagos experience is truly, deeply moving and memorable.
- San Cristóbal
- Santa Cruz
- Buccaneer Cove
- Darwin Lake
- Urbina’s Upheaval
- Kicker Rock
- Galapagos sea lion
- Galapagos fur seal
- Giant tortoises
- Galapagos land iguana
- Marine iguanas
- Blue-footed boobies
- Nazca boobies
- Red-footed boobies
- Galapagos doves
- Galapagos mockingbirds
- San Cristóbal mockingbirds
- Darwin finches
- Greater flamingos
- Galapagos hawks
- Short-eared owls
- Brown pelicans
- Greater frigates
- Magnificent frigates
- Flightless cormorants
- Galapagos penguins
- Swallow-tailed gulls
- Lava gulls
- Lava (striated) herons
- Galapagos martins
Day by Day
We land at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno's airport and transfer to the dock and the Isabela II, where we check in, receive an introductory briefing and have lunch on board. Galapaguera Cerro Colorado (San Cristóbal Island) After lunch, we land back at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and drive 40 minutes to the island's southern shore. At Cerro Colorado, we visit the breeding centre of the highly-endangered giant tortoises in the midst of a fantastic deciduous forest, home to dozens of bird species and the endemic San Cristóbal lava lizard.
Overnight, we navigate northbound to the incredible bird island, Genovesa, crossing the equator on the way. The morning starts with an inflatable dinghy ride along the cliffs of this dramatic island, followed by landing with a steep climb (90 feet) up some stairs to reach a flat plateau. Along our walk, we can observe large colonies of Nazca boobies, red footed boobies, great frigate birds and storm petrels. Those not wishing to disembark can enjoy a longer inflatable dinghy ride along the cliffs (depending on weather conditions). We can also enjoy snorkelling and kayaking. Darwin Bay (Genovesa Island) In the afternoon, we land at the beach for an easy stroll observing hundreds of birds, mainly frigate birds, red footed and Nazca boobies, gulls, herons, finches and mockingbirds. There's an optional walk over sharp lava and uneven terrain for dramatic views, or else we can return to the beach to enjoy snorkelling at this beautiful natural harbour.
After breakfast, we enjoy a coastal exploration along the impressive cliffs of Buccaneer's Cove, learning about the area's distant and recent history. The cove is home to a large number of marine birds, sea lions, and inter-tidal organisms. Enjoy fantastic natural formations such as the "Elephant Rock", "The Bishop" and an impressive natural cave.
This is a great site for snorkelling too! Or ride in our glass-bottom boat. Puerto Egas (Santiago Island) This is a great opportunity to see land and marine birds amid a landscape of tuff-stone layers and lava flows. At low tide, marine iguanas graze upon the algae beds and we can also observe a colony of fur seals. Back at the beach where we land, there's very good snorkelling and swimming here.
In the morning, we visit the youngest island of the archipelago, Fernandina. Punta Espinoza has an amazing combination of barrenness and abundant wildlife. Highlights include hawks, penguins and the flightless cormorant. Opportunity to snorkel. Tagus Cove (Isabela Island) Across the narrow Bolívar Channel, we anchor at this cove on the northwest of Isabela. It provided a favourite anchorage for pirates and whalers over the centuries.
An uphill hike takes guests to the rim of Darwin Crater, filled with salt water and to a dramatic viewpoint. After our walk, we take an inflatable dinghy ride to spot local wildlife, with the possibility of swimming, kayaking or snorkelling.
After breakfast we disembark at Urbina Bay, the result of an uplifting of the ocean in 1954. Here you can find corals, shells and many other calcareous organisms exposed above water. This area is also home to large and very colourful Galapagos land iguanas, and occasionally to giant tortoises. Along the shoreline, after the hike, guests may encounter flightless cormorants and see penguins while snorkelling.
Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela 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. Expedition plan for Sunday and dinner.
In the morning, we disembark at Rábida Island's red-coloured beach. A stroll allows us to observe a large colony of sea lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and several species of Darwin's finches. This is a great place to snorkel from the beach. We can also enjoy an inflatable dinghy ride, kayaking or ride in our glass-bottom boat.
Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill) (Santa Cruz Island) The north shore of Santa Cruz hosts 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.
Baltra Island Our journey ends at Baltra Island where we transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland.
|Cabin||2018 Price per Person (US $)||Max. Guests Capacity|
|Owner’s Cabin||$ 5,550||2|
|Classic Cabin||$ 5,304||2|
|Classic Family Cabin*||$ 5,304||3|
|Standard Cabin||$ 4,998||2|
*accommodates 2 adults + 1 child under 12 years old
Our itineraries include
Accommodation, all meals, island sightseeing, naturalists and lecture services, snorkelling gear, WiFi and Internet-enabled computer terminals (intermittent and low-bandwidth connections) and Galapagos transfers.
- Shore excursions
- All meals
- Bilingual naturalist guides
- Conferences and lectures
- Visits to the islands mentioned in the itinerary
- Transportation to / from the airport in Galapagos
- Snorkelling equipment
- Internet and WiFi (intermittent and low-bandwidth)
They don’t include
Airline tickets to/from Galapagos, Galapagos National Park admission fee (US $100 subject to change without notice), transit Control Card for Galapagos (US$ 20 per person), wet suits, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage, tips, gifts and additional items. Please note, we charge guests who wish to bring bottles of wine and/or spirits aboard our vessels a corkage fee of $25+taxes.
- Airline ticket to/from Galapagos, subject to change
- Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee and Immigration control card, subject to change
- Alcoholic beverages and tips
- 2 mm “shorty” wet suit rental
- 1 small backpack (waterproof)
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Sneakers with rubber soles
- Long pants
- Long and Short sleeved shirts
- Wind breaker
- Bathing suit
- wetsuit for snorkelling in cold months
- Hat or cap
- Toilette kit (biodegradable shampoo please)
- Sun block
- Camera & camcorder
- Any medicine you may be taking
- Book/ Notebook
Please remember that the exact route and programme may vary according to weather and ocean conditions and the wildlife we encounter.
Itineraries and programme are subject to change without previous notice due mainly to readjustment of the National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, seasonal changes or safety reasons.
- Dry landing: guests step from the dinghy onto rocks or a dock.
- Wet landing: as the dinghy edges onto a sandy beach, guests step into knee-deep water and wade ashore.
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