EXPEDITIONS

Itineraries

Our itineraries take you to isolated islands and remote visitor points, where unique wildlife can be found Join our short or long cruise itineraries, daily excursions are led by top Galapagos National Park guides

tortoisse

Paddle boarding

Kayaking off the beach

Dinghy ride

Snorkeling

Walking

tort

Wildlife observation

Cruises of 7, 5, 4 and 3 nights

Embarking and disembarking days: Sunday | Tuesday | Thursday

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DAY BY DAY ITINERARY DESCRIPTION

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Endemic 7-Night Cruise in Western Galapagos

Relax in luxury while sailing through the Galapagos Islands. The Endemic seven-night cruise, centered around Western Galapagos, includes visits to spectacular sites on Santa Cruz, Rabida, Santiago, Isabela, and Fernandina. We also include a short trip over to Genovesa Island located in the Northeastern Galapagos—a wonderful stop for bird lovers. The Endemic seven-night cruise in Western Galapagos extends Sunday to Sunday, giving you plenty of time to relax by yourself, with family, or with friends. Our exclusive Endemic yacht holds a maximum of sixteen passengers and has a limited eleven-person crew. This intimate size of our luxurious Galapagos cruise ship allows you to customize your weeklong cruise in the Western Galapagos to your needs.

Sunday: AM: Arrival to Baltra Island Airport, reception and transfer to the yacht for the first visit.

Sunday: PM visit:
Playa las Bachas/Bachas Beach, Santa Cruz Island.

The name “bachas” is derived from the English word ‘barges’ and dates from World War Two, when the USA had a military base in the Galapagos Islands. Bachas is a lovely beach, great for swimming or some easy snorkeling off shore. Shore birds like whimbrels and stilts are common, as are sea lions and Sally Lightfoot crabs. A brackish lagoon popular with flamingos is a short walk from the main beach.

Monday: AM visit: Bahía Darwin/Darwin Bay, Genovesa (Tower) Island.

The long-eroded remnants of a prehistoric volcanic crater, Genovesa Island has a distinctive crescent shape. A memorable visitor site on the bay leads through some mangroves and past many nesting birds including Red-footed and Nazca Boobys, Frigate Birds, gulls and more. From February to June, the Frigate Birds inflate their bright red throat pouches. Look for stingrays trapped in tidal pools at low tide. Following the visit, our guests will have the opportunity to snorkel, kayak or take a panga ride around the tranquil bay. Snorkelers sometimes see Hammerhead sharks!

Monday: PM Visit: El Barranco/Prince Philip’s Steps, Genovesa (Tower) Island.

Across Darwin Bay from the morning visitor site, Prince Philip’s Steps is a spectacular site for bird lovers. After a brief clamber up a rocky bluff, visitors emerge onto a plateau where they can see the elusive Short-eared Owl: this site is one of the only places in Galapagos where these birds are commonly seen. Look for Red-footed and Nazca Boobys, storm petrels and Tropic Birds. The visit is followed by the chance to do some more snorkeling or kayaking in the bay.

Tuesday: AM Visit: Los Gemelos/The Twins, Santa Cruz Island.

The “twins” of the leafy highlands of Santa Cruz island are two sinkholes created long ago by underground lava tunnels which collapsed. A shady trail covers the short distance between the main road and the two sinkholes. Your guides will explain about the special forest found in and around the sinkholes: it is home to many Scalesia pedunculate trees, endemic to Galapagos. The Twins visitor site is a good place to see finches, Vermilion Flycatchers and mockingbirds.

Continuing on, we will stay in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island to visit a ranch where giant tortoises can be seen in the wild. The islands were named after this giant creature that lives in the archipelago. During our visit you will easily spot these giants walking, eating and enjoying their natural habitat, they are totally friendly. In this area you can also see birds such as short-eared owls, Darwin finches, yellow warblers and paint-billed crackers. To finish our tour, you will walk through underground solidified lava tubes. Then the Endemic is waiting for you to move on with our journey in Galapagos.

Tuesday: PM Visit: Bahía Sullivan/Sullivan Bay, Santiago Island.

Sullivan Bay features a sandy shore surrounded by lava fields. The lava is relatively recent, being only about 100 years old. Guides will point out the hardy “pioneer” plants: specialized flora which is the first to colonize a lava field. After a hike, guests will enjoy a refreshing swim with the chance to do some snorkeling!

Wednesday: AM Visit: Humedales/Wetlands, Isabela Island.

Isabela Island’s wetlands are home to abundant bird life, including flamingos, stilts, whimbrels, gallinules, finches, Pintail Ducks, Brown Pelicans and more. Marine iguanas creep through the marshes as well, and an occasional giant tortoise makes an appearance. Part of the trail goes up Orchilla hill, which offers a nice view of the nearby town of Puerto Villamil.

Wednesday: AM Visit: Sierra Negra, Isabela Island.

Sierra Negra (“Black Mountain”) Volcano was active as recently as 2005 and it is possible to see very recent lava flows and fumaroles. The visit includes the main volcanic caldera and several smaller craters at the Chico Volcano site. There are not many animals in the barren heights of the volcano, but hikers are rewarded with an unforgettable lesson in volcanic geology and a great view of Isabela and Fernandina Islands!

Wednesday: PM visit: Centro de Crianza Arnaldo Tupiza /Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center, Isabela Island.

The Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding center is a highlight of any visit to Isabela Island. Here, giant tortoises of the Isabela Island subspecies are hatched and cared for until they can survive on their own in the wild. Hundreds of adorable baby tortoises lumber about in raised pens, designed to protect them from predators including rats and ants. Even the walk to get to the breeding center from town is fun, as it is connected to Puerto Villamil by a boardwalk over some marshy wetlands where sightings of flamingos and other water birds are common.

Wednesday: PM Visit: Muro de las lágrimas/The Wall of Tears, Isabela Island.

The Wall of Tears is a wide, high stone wall built not far from Puerto Villamil. A visit to the Wall of Tears offers a rare glimpse into the human history of the Galapagos; Isabela Island was once home to an Ecuadorian penal colony, and construction of the Wall of Tears was a form of punishment. Some locals think it’s haunted!

Thursday: AM Visit: Bahía Elizabeth/Elizabeth Bay, Isabela Island.

Elizabeth Bay and the small, rocky islets which are found there are home to many spectacular species of Galapagos bird life, including penguins, the Galapagos Hawk, Nazca Boobys, finches, flightless cormorants, warblers and more. In the clear sea below, visitors will see thriving marine life, including schools of fish, Spotted Eagle Rays, sea lions and marine iguanas. Elizabeth Bay is only seen by panga ride: visitors will not land at all.

Thursday: PM Visit: Bahía Urbina/Urbina Bay, Isabela Island.

In 1954, volcanic activity deep underground rocked Isabela Island, thrusting up part of Urbina Bay. The bay’s landscape changed overnight, gaining five meters in height and a kilometer of soggy land that had previously been underwater. Visitors can still see desiccated coral formations on the trail around part of the bay. Urbina Bay is home to abundant wildlife, including land iguanas, giant tortoises and lava lizards. Bird life includes finches, hawks and mockingbirds. The hike, a relatively long one at 3000 meters, is followed by a refreshing swim or some snorkeling in the bay.

Friday: AM visit: Caleta Tagus/Tagus Cove, Isabela Island.

A visit to Tagus cove includes a short hike to a scenic outlook and a panga ride along the coastline to look for penguins. After the hike, guests may choose to do some kayaking and snorkeling, where they are almost certain to see sea turtles.

Friday: PM visit: Punta Espinoza/Espinoza Point, Fernandina Island.

Punta Espinoza is one of the most remarkable visitor sites in all of Galapagos. This memorable hike includes good wildlife watching as well as geology and many spectacular spots for taking photos. Guests will walk over recent (geologically speaking) lava flows, see a nesting colony of Flightless Cormorants, and step gingerly through a low maze of marine iguanas sunning themselves. Look for lava lizards, Galapagos snakes and Galapagos Hawks.

Saturday: AM Visit: Caleta Bucanero/Buccaneer Cove, Santiago (James) Island.

The islands are so beautiful that it’s possible to forget about their interesting human history. Although there is nothing left of their presence (no buried treasure – sorry!), pirates and whalers used to stop in Buccaneer Cove to repair their ships, take on fresh water and capture tortoises for food. There is no trail here, but it is a good spot for a panga ride, snorkeling, and kayaking. As the panga cruises along the shore, look for Blue-footed and Nazca Boobys, fur seals, sea lions, and Galapagos Hawks soaring overhead.

Saturday: AM Visit: Playa Espumilla/Espumilla Beach, Santiago (James) Island.

Playa Espumilla (“Foamy Beach”) is a pristine sandy beach on the northern part of Santiago Island. At either end of the beach, trails lead through some mangroves to a salty lagoon, where lucky visitors may get to see flamingoes, Pintail Ducks, stilts or other wading birds. There is good snorkeling and kayaking off the beach.

Saturday: PM Visit: Rabida Island.

Rabida is a remarkable island, famous for its cactus groves and scenic rock formations. Finches and other small land birds are commonly seen flitting around the cacti alongside the trails. The hike starts along a red sand beach where Brown Pelicans nest in mangroves. Short trails lead from the beach to some lagoons where flamingos are sometimes seen. After the hike, visitors can cool off with a swim or some snorkeling. Lucky snorkelers and kayakers will see fish, sea lions and turtles.

Sunday: AM Visit: Mosquera Islet.

Mosquera is a sandy, sparsely vegetated sand bar known for sea lions, lava gulls, shorebirds and Sally Lightfoot crabs. Lucky visitors might get to see a Yellow-crowned Heron as well! The visit features a guided walk around the islet and the chance to snorkel offshore.

Transfer from the M/C Endemic to Baltra airport for your return flight to mainland Ecuador. Assistance and farewell at the airport.

Endemic 7-Night Cruise in Southern Galapagos

Escape the hustle-and-bustle of everyday life and hop on board the Endemic for a seven-night cruise in the Southern Galapagos. You’ll visit attractions on the Central and Southern Galapagos Islands during our luxury eight-day cruise. Some favorite stops include the picturesque landscape of South Plaza Island and Punta Suarez. Here, many visitors see Waved Albatross! On top of the many landside adventures, there’s plenty to enjoy onboard the Endemic seven-night cruise in the Southern Galapagos. The Endemic’s upper, lower, and sky deck hosts breathtaking views across the open water. The many social spaces onboard are perfect for relaxing with family or socializing with other passengers. So, what are you waiting for? Learn more about the Endemic Cruise line, or book your seven-night getaway to the Galapagos today!

Sunday: AM: Baltra Island Airport. Arrival to Baltra airport and transfer to the yacht.

Sunday: PM Visit:

Cerro Dragón/Dragon Hill, Santa Cruz Island.Some say the rocky hill got its name because it’s shaped like a dragon, others say it’s because there are so many land iguanas along the trail. Either way, Dragon Hill is a fun hike along a dusty trail winding through cacti and Palo Santo trees. Look for birds, including flycatchers, warblers and flamingos and pintail ducks in the salty lagoons. This visit is followed by the opportunity to snorkel offshore.

Monday: AM Visit: Leon Dormido/Kicker Rock, off San Cristobal Island.

Apparently, no one can agree what Kicker Rock looks like. This distinctive rock formation off the coast of San Cristobal island is called León Dormido, or “Sleeping Lion” in Spanish, but “Kicker Rock” in English. Depending on how you squint at it, it can be seen as vaguely shaped like a lion or a boot. It is one of the best snorkeling and diving sites in Galapagos: lucky visitors may get to see hammerhead sharks and sea turtles in addition to many dazzling reef fish.

Monday: AM Visit: Cerro Brujo/Witch Hill, San Cristobal Island.

“Witch Hill” gets its name from the “pájaro brujo,” or witch bird, better known in English as the Vermilion Flycatcher. The site bewitches visitors even without the little red birds: it consists of a white coral sand beach perfect for playing in the sand, kayaking or snorkeling. It is possible to snorkel or kayak in the gentle surf off the beach. Panga rides take guests past some interesting rock formations along the island shore.

Monday: PM Visit: Isla Lobos/Sea Lion Island, off San Cristobal Island.

“Sea Lion Island” lives up to its name! One of the best snorkeling spots in the Galapagos, Isla Lobos is a long islet parallel to the coast of San Cristobal Island, creating a calm channel perfect for beginning snorkelers. The island is home to a large colony of sea lions who sometimes splash into the water and frolic with swimmers and snorkelers. It’s also a great place to practice your kayak skills if you’re rusty!

Tuesday: AM Visit: Bahía Gardner/Gardner Bay, Española Island:

One of only two sites on spectacular Española island where visitors are allowed to land, Gardner Bay is a gorgeous white-sand beach where guests can lounge and get some sunshine alongside sleeping sea lions. There isn’t much wildlife (crabs and marine iguanas are common, as are some wading birds) but it’s one of the best beaches in Galapagos! Those who have not had their fill of snorkeling earlier in the morning can putter around in the gentle surf off the beach.

Tuesday: AM Visit: Islote Osborn, Islote Gardner/Osborn and Gardner Islets, off of Española Island.

One of the best snorkeling spots in all of Galapagos, Osborn Islet is known for tranquil waters and abundant sea life. Sea lions frolic with snorkelers while brilliantly colorful parrot fish nip at the coral on the sea bed. Nearby, Gardner Islet is also home to a sea lion colony. These islets are close to one another and guides may decide to go to one or the other depending on conditions.

Tuesday: PM Visit: Punta Suarez/Suarez Point, Española Island.

An amazing visitor site, Punta Suarez is the personal favorite of many veteran Galapagos guides. It is the only place in all of the islands where visitors can reliably expect to see the majestic Waved Albatross. The albatrosses migrate away from Española between January and April, but are there for the rest of the year. Suarez Point is also home to Nazca Boobys, Blue-footed Boobys, Red-billed Tropic Birds, marine iguanas, mockingbirds and more.

Wednesday: AM Visit: Isla Santa Fe/Santa Fe Island.

Santa Fe is a small island, but it has a memorable trail which winds its way through a forest of tall, prickly cacti. The cacti are the preferred food of a booming population of endemic Land Iguanas. The Santa Fe rice rat, one of the few mammals native to the islands, is also found there, although the elusive rodent is seldom seen by visitors. The native population of giant tortoises on Santa Fe was wiped out by whalers over a century ago, but in 2015 some Española tortoises were released onto the island. It is possible to go snorkeling and kayaking off of the island after the hike.

Wednesday: PM Visit: Charles Darwin Station/Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, Santa Cruz Island.

Named after the Galapagos Park Ranger who served for 43 years, the Fausto Llerena Breeding center is home to hundreds of baby tortoises of different sub-species being raised until they are large enough to be released. Over the years, thousands of tortoises have been released into the wild. Here, visitors can learn all about the tortoises and other conservation programs run by the prestigious Charles Darwin Foundation.

Thursday AM Visit: Plaza Sur/South Plaza Island.

A low, rocky island populated by cacti and a healthy population of land iguanas, South Plaza Island is always a favorite among visitors to Galapagos. The island is home to the sesuvium plant, which is bright red at certain times of the year. This gives the site an otherworldly look and makes it one of the most picturesque sites in the islands. As you hike, look for boobys diving for fish offshore!

Thursday: PM Visit: Bartolomé/Bartholomew Island.

Bartholomew is a small but scenic island, home to the iconic, pointy Pinnacle Rock. There are only two visitor areas on Bartholomew: a series of wooden steps leading to a scenic overlook and a small, sandy beach. There’s not a lot of wildlife on the way up the steps – look for lava lizards – but the view is spectacular. The small beach is one of the better snorkeling spots in the Galapagos, as there is a small penguin colony there and the penguins enjoy darting around snorkelers underwater. You can also see any number of fish and rays, and maybe even a shark or two if you’re lucky.

Friday: AM Visit: Corona del Diablo/Devil’s Crown, off of Floreana Island.

The Devil’s Crown is a jagged set of rocks in a roughly circular shape off of Floreana Island: they are the final remnants of an ancient volcanic crater mostly eroded over the ages. It’s a marvelous snorkeling spot: the deep water on one side is good for seeing large rays, sharks and other spectacular large marine life, while the interior of the ‘crown’ is calm and often full of playful sea lions.

Friday AM Visit: Punta Cormorant/Cormorant Point, Floreana Island.

Cormorant Point features two beaches and a flamingo lagoon, but oddly enough, no cormorants (which are found mostly in the western islands of Fernandina and Isabela). Cormorant point is sort of like two sites in one: the landing site is a green sandy beach popular with sea lions, but a short walk takes you to the other side of the point and a gorgeous white sand beach. You can wade in up to your ankles, but don’t go any deeper: the waters of this beach are full of stingrays! On most days, you can see dozens of them just off the beach.

Friday: PM Visit: Mirador de la Baronesa/The Baroness’ Overlook, Floreana Island.

From a sandy beach, a short trail leads to the Baroness’ overlook, where visitors will get a good view of the Floreana coastline. Ask your guide for the story of the “Baroness of the Galapagos.” It’s a murder mystery which is unsolved to this day! After a visit to the overlook, there will be the opportunity to take a panga ride along the coast or take out one of the sea kayaks.

Friday: PM Visit: Bahía Post Office/Post Office Bay, Floreana Island.

Back in the day, whalers and other ships roamed the seas, often for years at a time. For the men who worked these ships, communication with home was very difficult and they would leave letters in certain places around the globe: one such drop off was a barrel at what came to be known as “Post Office Bay.” The barrel is still there: leave your own letter for a loved one! The site also features a nice sandy beach perfect for relaxing or snorkeling.

Saturday AM Visit: Sombrero Chino/Chinese Hat, off Santiago (James) Island.

Chinese Hat, named for its distinctive conical shape, is a visitor site memorable for geology and animal life. The island is known for lava tubes and pillow formations, meaning that it likely was formed underwater and later was pushed to the surface by geological forces. Besides being an informative case study in volcanic geology, Chinese Hat is home to sea lions, penguins and Sally Lightfoot Crabs. The hike is followed by panga rides, snorkeling and, kayaking.

Saturday: PM Visit: Seymour Norte/North Seymour Island.

Another visitor favorite, North Seymour has something for everyone. The Frigate Birds and Blue-Footed Boobys nest right next to the rocky trail, allowing for spectacular photographs. The island is home to a booming population of Land Iguanas, often seen contentedly munching on cactus pads. There are usually dozens of sea lions near the landing site and along the beach. As if that’s not enough, the snorkeling is excellent!

Sunday: AM visit: Caleta Tortuga Negra/Black Turtle Cove, Santa Cruz Island.

Black Turtle Cove is a lagoon on Santa Cruz Island. It is a maze of mangroves, and pangas are forced to paddle so that their motors do not disturb the wildlife there. You never know what you’ll see in Black Turtle Cove: there might be sharks, sea turtles, herons or even a school of Golden Rays gently gliding through the water. There is no swimming or snorkeling permitted in Black Turtle Cove.

Transfer from the M/C Endemic to Baltra airport for your return flight to mainland Ecuador. Assistance and farewell at the airport.

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ACTIVITY CHART

Endemic 4–Night Southeastern Galapagos Cruise

For first-time cruisers to see-fairing aficionados, Golden Galapagos Cruises offers a chance for a luxurious five-day, four-night adventure to the Southeastern Galapagos Islands. Our luxury catamaran, the Endemic, will take you on a four-night Southeastern Galapagos cruise filled with relaxation and scenic stops. Throughout our five-day Galapagos cruise, you’ll tour Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Espanola, and Santa Fe Island. Our sea and land excursions—handpicked by our seasoned tour guides—include adventures into the Galapagos wilderness and fun-filled snorkeling dives off the coast. Because we are a full-service cruise and tour company, we can extend your four-night Southeastern Cruise on the Endemic to land-based tours in Ecuador and Peru. Check out our Galapagos cruise add-ons, and book your next adventure with Golden Galapagos Cruises.

Sunday: AM: Baltra Island Airport. Arrival to Baltra airport and transfer to the yacht.

Sunday: PM Visit:
Cerro Dragón/Dragon Hill, Santa Cruz Island.Some say the rocky hill got its name because it’s shaped like a dragon, others say it’s because there are so many land iguanas along the trail. Either way, Dragon Hill is a fun hike along a dusty trail winding through cacti and Palo Santo trees. Look for birds, including flycatchers, warblers and flamingos and pintail ducks in the salty lagoons. This visit is followed by the opportunity to snorkel offshore.

Monday: AM Visit: Leon Dormido/Kicker Rock, off San Cristobal Island.
Apparently, no one can agree what Kicker Rock looks like. This distinctive rock formation off the coast of San Cristobal island is called León Dormido, or “Sleeping Lion” in Spanish, but “Kicker Rock” in English. Depending on how you squint at it, it can be seen as vaguely shaped like a lion or a boot. It is one of the best snorkeling and diving sites in Galapagos: lucky visitors may get to see hammerhead sharks and sea turtles in addition to many dazzling reef fish.

Monday: AM Visit: Cerro Brujo/Witch Hill, San Cristobal Island.
“Witch Hill” gets its name from the “pájaro brujo,” or witch bird, better known in English as the Vermilion Flycatcher. The site bewitches visitors even without the little red birds: it consists of a white coral sand beach perfect for playing in the sand, kayaking or snorkeling. It is possible to snorkel or kayak in the gentle surf off the beach. Panga rides take guests past some interesting rock formations along the island shore.

Monday: PM Visit: Isla Lobos/Sea Lion Island, off San Cristobal Island.
“Sea Lion Island” lives up to its name! One of the best snorkeling spots in the Galapagos, Isla Lobos is a long islet parallel to the coast of San Cristobal Island, creating a calm channel perfect for beginning snorkelers. The island is home to a large colony of sea lions who sometimes splash into the water and frolic with swimmers and snorkelers. It’s also a great place to practice your kayak skills if you’re rusty!

Tuesday: AM Visit: Bahía Gardner/Gardner Bay, Española Island:
One of only two sites on spectacular Española island where visitors are allowed to land, Gardner Bay is a gorgeous white-sand beach where guests can lounge and get some sunshine alongside sleeping sea lions. There isn’t much wildlife (crabs and marine iguanas are common, as are some wading birds) but it’s one of the best beaches in Galapagos! Those who have not had their fill of snorkeling earlier in the morning can putter around in the gentle surf off the beach.

Tuesday: AM Visit: Islote Osborn, Islote Gardner/Osborn and Gardner Islets, off of Española Island.
One of the best snorkeling spots in all of Galapagos, Osborn Islet is known for tranquil waters and abundant sea life. Sea lions frolic with snorkelers while brilliantly colorful parrot fish nip at the coral on the sea bed. Nearby, Gardner Islet is also home to a sea lion colony. These islets are close to one another and guides may decide to go to one or the other depending on conditions.

Tuesday: PM Visit: Punta Suarez/Suarez Point, Española Island.
An amazing visitor site, Punta Suarez is the personal favorite of many veteran Galapagos guides. It is the only place in all of the islands where visitors can reliably expect to see the majestic Waved Albatross. The albatrosses migrate away from Española between January and April, but are there for the rest of the year. Suarez Point is also home to Nazca Boobys, Blue-footed Boobys, Red-billed Tropic Birds, marine iguanas, mockingbirds and more.

Wednesday: AM Visit: Isla Santa Fe/Santa Fe Island.
Santa Fe is a small island, but it has a memorable trail which winds its way through a forest of tall, prickly cacti. The cacti are the preferred food of a booming population of endemic Land Iguanas. The Santa Fe rice rat, one of the few mammals native to the islands, is also found there, although the elusive rodent is seldom seen by visitors. The native population of giant tortoises on Santa Fe was wiped out by whalers over a century ago, but in 2015 some Española tortoises were released onto the island. It is possible to go snorkeling and kayaking off of the island after the hike.

Wednesday: PM Visit: Charles Darwin Station/Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, Santa Cruz Island.
Named after the Galapagos Park Ranger who served for 43 years, the Fausto Llerena Breeding center is home to hundreds of baby tortoises of different sub-species being raised until they are large enough to be released. Over the years, thousands of tortoises have been released into the wild. Here, visitors can learn all about the tortoises and other conservation programs run by the prestigious Charles Darwin Foundation.

Thursday AM Visit: Plaza Sur/South Plaza Island.
A low, rocky island populated by cacti and a healthy population of land iguanas, South Plaza Island is always a favorite among visitors to Galapagos. The island is home to the sesuvium plant, which is bright red at certain times of the year. This gives the site an otherworldly look and makes it one of the most picturesque sites in the islands. As you hike, look for boobys diving for fish offshore!

Transfer from the M/C Endemic to Baltra airport for your return flight to mainland Ecuador. Assistance and farewell at the airport.

Endemic 3-Night Southern Galapagos Cruise

Only have a few days for a short escape? No worries! Our Endemic three-night Southern Galapagos cruise will satisfy your taste for adventure and relaxation on the open sea. During your four-day Galapagos island hopping tour, you’ll visit popular sites on Santa Cruz Island, Floreana Island, North Seymour Island, and Santiago Island. Highlights of our four-day Galapagos cruise on the Endemic includes visiting picturesque sandy beaches, local landmarks, and snorkeling. While traveling between stops, there is plenty of time to relax on the Endemic’s luxury deck and lounge. If you’re looking for a short and sweet couple’s getaway or a long-weekend vacation with friends, the Endemic three-night Southern Galapagos cruise is perfect for you. Book your luxurious four-day getaway with Golden Galapagos Cruises, today.

Thursday AM Visit: Baltra Island Airport.
Meet upon arrival to Baltra airport and transfer to the Galapagos Endemic catamaran.

Thursday: PM Visit: Bartolomé/Bartholomew Island.
Bartholomew is a small but scenic island, home to the iconic, pointy Pinnacle Rock. There are only two visitor areas on Bartholomew: a series of wooden steps leading to a scenic overlook and a small, sandy beach. There’s not a lot of wildlife on the way up the steps – look for lava lizards – but the view is spectacular. The small beach is one of the better snorkeling spots in the Galapagos, as there is a small penguin colony there and the penguins enjoy darting around snorkelers underwater. You can also see any number of fish and rays, and maybe even a shark or two if you’re lucky.

Friday: AM Visit: Corona del Diablo/Devil’s Crown, off of Floreana Island.
The Devil’s Crown is a jagged set of rocks in a roughly circular shape off of Floreana Island: they are the final remnants of an ancient volcanic crater mostly eroded over the ages. It’s a marvelous snorkeling spot: the deep water on one side is good for seeing large rays, sharks and other spectacular large marine life, while the interior of the ‘crown’ is calm and often full of playful sea lions.

Friday AM Visit: Punta Cormorant/Cormorant Point, Floreana Island.
Cormorant Point features two beaches and a flamingo lagoon, but oddly enough, no cormorants (which are found mostly in the western islands of Fernandina and Isabela). Cormorant point is sort of like two sites in one: the landing site is a green sandy beach popular with sea lions, but a short walk takes you to the other side of the point and a gorgeous white sand beach. You can wade in up to your ankles, but don’t go any deeper: the waters of this beach are full of stingrays! On most days, you can see dozens of them just off the beach.

Friday: PM Visit: Mirador de la Baronesa/The Baroness’ Overlook, Floreana Island.
From a sandy beach, a short trail leads to the Baroness’ overlook, where visitors will get a good view of the Floreana coastline. Ask your guide for the story of the “Baroness of the Galapagos.” It’s a murder mystery which is unsolved to this day! After a visit to the overlook, there will be the opportunity to take a panga ride along the coast or take out one of the sea kayaks.

Friday: PM Visit: Bahía Post Office/Post Office Bay, Floreana Island.
Back in the day, whalers and other ships roamed the seas, often for years at a time. For the men who worked these ships, communication with home was very difficult and they would leave letters in certain places around the globe: one such drop off was a barrel at what came to be known as “Post Office Bay.” The barrel is still there: leave your own letter for a loved one! The site also features a nice sandy beach perfect for relaxing or snorkeling.

Saturday AM Visit: Sombrero Chino/Chinese Hat, off Santiago (James) Island.
Chinese Hat, named for its distinctive conical shape, is a visitor site memorable for geology and animal life. The island is known for lava tubes and pillow formations, meaning that it likely was formed underwater and later was pushed to the surface by geological forces. Besides being an informative case study in volcanic geology, Chinese Hat is home to sea lions, penguins and Sally Lightfoot Crabs. The hike is followed by panga rides, snorkeling and, kayaking.

Saturday: PM Visit: Seymour Norte/North Seymour Island.
Another visitor favorite, North Seymour has something for everyone. The Frigate Birds and Blue-Footed Boobys nest right next to the rocky trail, allowing for spectacular photographs. The island is home to a booming population of Land Iguanas, often seen contentedly munching on cactus pads. There are usually dozens of sea lions near the landing site and along the beach. As if that’s not enough, the snorkeling is excellent!

Sunday: AM visit: Caleta Tortuga Negra/Black Turtle Cove, Santa Cruz Island.
Black Turtle Cove is a lagoon on Santa Cruz Island. It is a maze of mangroves, and pangas are forced to paddle so that their motors do not disturb the wildlife there. You never know what you’ll see in Black Turtle Cove: there might be sharks, sea turtles, herons or even a school of Golden Rays gently gliding through the water. There is no swimming or snorkeling permitted in Black Turtle Cove.

Transfer from the M/C Endemic to Baltra airport for your return flight to mainland Ecuador. Assistance and farewell at the airport.

Thursday AM Visit: Plaza Sur/South Plaza Island.
A low, rocky island populated by cacti and a healthy population of land iguanas, South Plaza Island is always a favorite among visitors to Galapagos. The island is home to the sesuvium plant, which is bright red at certain times of the year. This gives the site an otherworldly look and makes it one of the most picturesque sites in the islands. As you hike, look for boobys diving for fish offshore!

Transfer from the M/C Endemic to Baltra airport for your return flight to mainland Ecuador. Assistance and farewell at the airport.

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Endemic 5-Night Central Galapagos Cruise

The Endemic five-night Central Galapagos cruise is ideal families, retirees, couples, and all other adventurous individuals. The itinerary focuses on Galapagos Central Islands and gives you a chance to experience something new while sailing in luxury. Although most of the six-day Galapagos cruise takes place near Santa Cruz and Santiago, we include excursions to Floreana Island and Genovesa Island as well. By extending the cruise to the north and south, you’ll get a taste of what it’s like across Galapagos. Each island you visit offers its own unique environment and wildlife that you will not want to miss. During the Endemic five-night Central Galapagos cruise, you’ll have opportunities to snorkel, boat, bird-watch, and explore the numerous island sites with a native national park guide.

Thursday AM Visit: Baltra Island Airport.
Meet upon arrival to Baltra airport and transfer to the Galapagos Endemic catamaran.

Thursday: PM Visit: Bartolomé/Bartholomew Island.
Bartholomew is a small but scenic island, home to the iconic, pointy Pinnacle Rock. There are only two visitor areas on Bartholomew: a series of wooden steps leading to a scenic overlook and a small, sandy beach. There’s not a lot of wildlife on the way up the steps – look for lava lizards – but the view is spectacular. The small beach is one of the better snorkeling spots in the Galapagos, as there is a small penguin colony there and the penguins enjoy darting around snorkelers underwater. You can also see any number of fish and rays, and maybe even a shark or two if you’re lucky.

Friday: AM Visit: Corona del Diablo/Devil’s Crown, off of Floreana Island.
The Devil’s Crown is a jagged set of rocks in a roughly circular shape off of Floreana Island: they are the final remnants of an ancient volcanic crater mostly eroded over the ages. It’s a marvelous snorkeling spot: the deep water on one side is good for seeing large rays, sharks and other spectacular large marine life, while the interior of the ‘crown’ is calm and often full of playful sea lions.

Friday AM Visit: Punta Cormorant/Cormorant Point, Floreana Island.
Cormorant Point features two beaches and a flamingo lagoon, but oddly enough, no cormorants (which are found mostly in the western islands of Fernandina and Isabela). Cormorant point is sort of like two sites in one: the landing site is a green sandy beach popular with sea lions, but a short walk takes you to the other side of the point and a gorgeous white sand beach. You can wade in up to your ankles, but don’t go any deeper: the waters of this beach are full of stingrays! On most days, you can see dozens of them just off the beach.

Friday: PM Visit: Mirador de la Baronesa/The Baroness’ Overlook, Floreana Island.
From a sandy beach, a short trail leads to the Baroness’ overlook, where visitors will get a good view of the Floreana coastline. Ask your guide for the story of the “Baroness of the Galapagos.” It’s a murder mystery which is unsolved to this day! After a visit to the overlook, there will be the opportunity to take a panga ride along the coast or take out one of the sea kayaks.

Friday: PM Visit: Bahía Post Office/Post Office Bay, Floreana Island.
Back in the day, whalers and other ships roamed the seas, often for years at a time. For the men who worked these ships, communication with home was very difficult and they would leave letters in certain places around the globe: one such drop off was a barrel at what came to be known as “Post Office Bay.” The barrel is still there: leave your own letter for a loved one! The site also features a nice sandy beach perfect for relaxing or snorkeling.

Saturday AM Visit: Sombrero Chino/Chinese Hat, off Santiago (James) Island.
Chinese Hat, named for its distinctive conical shape, is a visitor site memorable for geology and animal life. The island is known for lava tubes and pillow formations, meaning that it likely was formed underwater and later was pushed to the surface by geological forces. Besides being an informative case study in volcanic geology, Chinese Hat is home to sea lions, penguins and Sally Lightfoot Crabs. The hike is followed by panga rides, snorkeling and, kayaking.

Saturday: PM Visit: Seymour Norte/North Seymour Island.
Another visitor favorite, North Seymour has something for everyone. The Frigate Birds and Blue-Footed Boobys nest right next to the rocky trail, allowing for spectacular photographs. The island is home to a booming population of Land Iguanas, often seen contentedly munching on cactus pads. There are usually dozens of sea lions near the landing site and along the beach. As if that’s not enough, the snorkeling is excellent!

Sunday: AM visit: Caleta Tortuga Negra/Black Turtle Cove, Santa Cruz Island.
Black Turtle Cove is a lagoon on Santa Cruz Island. It is a maze of mangroves, and pangas are forced to paddle so that their motors do not disturb the wildlife there. You never know what you’ll see in Black Turtle Cove: there might be sharks, sea turtles, herons or even a school of Golden Rays gently gliding through the water. There is no swimming or snorkeling permitted in Black Turtle Cove.

Sunday: PM visit: Playa las Bachas/Bachas Beach, Santa Cruz Island.
The name “bachas” is derived from the English word ‘barges’ and dates from World War Two, when the USA had a military base in the Galapagos Islands. Bachas is a lovely beach, great for swimming or some easy snorkeling off shore. Shore birds like whimbrels and stilts are common, as are sea lions and Sally Lightfoot crabs. A brackish lagoon popular with flamingos is a short walk from the main beach.

Monday: AM visit: Bahía Darwin/Darwin Bay, Genovesa (Tower) Island.
The long-eroded remnants of a prehistoric volcanic crater, Genovesa Island has a distinctive crescent shape. A memorable visitor site on the bay leads through some mangroves and past many nesting birds including Red-footed and Nazca Boobys, Frigate Birds, gulls and more. From February to June, the Frigate Birds inflate their bright red throat pouches. Look for stingrays trapped in tidal pools at low tide. Following the visit, our guests will have the opportunity to snorkel, kayak or take a panga ride around the tranquil bay. Snorkelers sometimes see Hammerhead sharks!

Monday: PM Visit: El Barranco/Prince Philip’s Steps, Genovesa (Tower) Island.
Across Darwin Bay from the morning visitor site, Prince Philip’s Steps is a spectacular site for bird lovers. After a brief clamber up a rocky bluff, visitors emerge onto a plateau where they can see the elusive Short-eared Owl: this site is one of the only places in Galapagos where these birds are commonly seen. Look for Red-footed and Nazca Boobys, storm petrels and Tropic Birds. The visit is followed by the chance to do some more snorkeling or kayaking in the bay.

Tuesday: AM Visit: Los Gemelos/The Twins, Santa Cruz Island.
The “twins” of the leafy highlands of Santa Cruz island are two sinkholes created long ago by underground lava tunnels which collapsed. A shady trail covers the short distance between the main road and the two sinkholes. Your guides will explain about the special forest found in and around the sinkholes: it is home to many Scalesia pedunculate trees, endemic to Galapagos. The Twins visitor site is a good place to see finches, Vermilion Flycatchers and mockingbirds.

After our visit you will be transferred to Baltra airport to take your return flight to mainland Ecuador. Assistance and farewell at the airport.

Endemic 5-Night Western Galapagos Cruise

Take a luxurious trip to Western Galapagos through Golden Galapagos Cruises. With new, luxury cruise ships and experienced staff on board, our Endemic five-night Western Galapagos cruise package is a perfect escape any time of year. As you tour around the Galapagos largest island, Isabela, and the always popular central islands, you’ll see and experience something new every day. We specifically designed the Endemic five-night Western Galapagos cruise with an equal mix of relaxation and adventure. This combination is perfect for couples looking to unwind or families wanting to create lasting memories. Learn more about our five-night cruises in the Galapagos or find out how you can customize your travels by contacting our team at Golden Galapagos Cruises.

Tuesday: AM: Baltra Island Airport. Arrival to Baltra airport and transfer to the yacht.

Tuesday: PM Visit: Bahía Sullivan/Sullivan Bay, Santiago Island.
Sullivan Bay features a sandy shore surrounded by lava fields. The lava is relatively recent, being only about 100 years old. Guides will point out the hardy “pioneer” plants: specialized flora which is the first to colonize a lava field. After a hike, guests will enjoy a refreshing swim with the chance to do some snorkeling!

Wednesday: AM Visit: Humedales/Wetlands, Isabela Island.
Isabela Island’s wetlands are home to abundant bird life, including flamingos, stilts, whimbrels, gallinules, finches, Pintail Ducks, Brown Pelicans and more. Marine iguanas creep through the marshes as well, and an occasional giant tortoise makes an appearance. Part of the trail goes up Orchilla hill, which offers a nice view of the nearby town of Puerto Villamil.

Wednesday: AM Visit: Sierra Negra, Isabela Island.
Sierra Negra (“Black Mountain”) Volcano was active as recently as 2005 and it is possible to see very recent lava flows and fumaroles. The visit includes the main volcanic caldera and several smaller craters at the Chico Volcano site. There are not many animals in the barren heights of the volcano, but hikers are rewarded with an unforgettable lesson in volcanic geology and a great view of Isabela and Fernandina Islands!

Wednesday: PM visit: Centro de Crianza Arnaldo Tupiza /Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center, Isabela Island.
The Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding center is a highlight of any visit to Isabela Island. Here, giant tortoises of the Isabela Island subspecies are hatched and cared for until they can survive on their own in the wild. Hundreds of adorable baby tortoises lumber about in raised pens, designed to protect them from predators including rats and ants. Even the walk to get to the breeding center from town is fun, as it is connected to Puerto Villamil by a boardwalk over some marshy wetlands where sightings of flamingos and other water birds are common.

Wednesday: PM Visit: Muro de las lágrimas/The Wall of Tears, Isabela Island.
The Wall of Tears is a wide, high stone wall built not far from Puerto Villamil. A visit to the Wall of Tears offers a rare glimpse into the human history of the Galapagos; Isabela Island was once home to an Ecuadorian penal colony, and construction of the Wall of Tears was a form of punishment. Some locals think it’s haunted!

Thursday: AM Visit: Bahía Elizabeth/Elizabeth Bay, Isabela Island.
Elizabeth Bay and the small, rocky islets which are found there are home to many spectacular species of Galapagos bird life, including penguins, the Galapagos Hawk, Nazca Boobys, finches, flightless cormorants, warblers and more. In the clear sea below, visitors will see thriving marine life, including schools of fish, Spotted Eagle Rays, sea lions and marine iguanas. Elizabeth Bay is only seen by panga ride: visitors will not land at all.

Thursday: PM Visit: Bahía Urbina/Urbina Bay, Isabela Island.
In 1954, volcanic activity deep underground rocked Isabela Island, thrusting up part of Urbina Bay. The bay’s landscape changed overnight, gaining five meters in height and a kilometer of soggy land that had previously been underwater. Visitors can still see desiccated coral formations on the trail around part of the bay. Urbina Bay is home to abundant wildlife, including land iguanas, giant tortoises and lava lizards. Bird life includes finches, hawks and mockingbirds. The hike, a relatively long one at 3000 meters, is followed by a refreshing swim or some snorkeling in the bay.

Friday: AM visit: Caleta Tagus/Tagus Cove, Isabela Island.
A visit to Tagus cove includes a short hike to a scenic outlook and a panga ride along the coastline to look for penguins. After the hike, guests may choose to do some kayaking and snorkeling, where they are almost certain to see sea turtles.

Friday: PM visit: Punta Espinoza/Espinoza Point, Fernandina Island.
Punta Espinoza is one of the most remarkable visitor sites in all of Galapagos. This memorable hike includes good wildlife watching as well as geology and many spectacular spots for taking photos. Guests will walk over recent (geologically speaking) lava flows, see a nesting colony of Flightless Cormorants, and step gingerly through a low maze of marine iguanas sunning themselves. Look for lava lizards, Galapagos snakes and Galapagos Hawks.

Saturday: AM Visit: Caleta Bucanero/Buccaneer Cove, Santiago (James) Island.
The islands are so beautiful that it’s possible to forget about their interesting human history. Although there is nothing left of their presence (no buried treasure – sorry!), pirates and whalers used to stop in Buccaneer Cove to repair their ships, take on fresh water and capture tortoises for food. There is no trail here, but it is a good spot for a panga ride, snorkeling, and kayaking. As the panga cruises along the shore, look for Blue-footed and Nazca Boobys, fur seals, sea lions, and Galapagos Hawks soaring overhead.

Saturday: AM Visit: Playa Espumilla/Espumilla Beach, Santiago (James) Island.
Playa Espumilla (“Foamy Beach”) is a pristine sandy beach on the northern part of Santiago Island. At either end of the beach, trails lead through some mangroves to a salty lagoon, where lucky visitors may get to see flamingoes, Pintail Ducks, stilts or other wading birds. There is good snorkeling and kayaking off the beach.

Saturday: PM Visit: Rabida Island.
Rabida is a remarkable island, famous for its cactus groves and scenic rock formations. Finches and other small land birds are commonly seen flitting around the cacti alongside the trails. The hike starts along a red sand beach where Brown Pelicans nest in mangroves. Short trails lead from the beach to some lagoons where flamingos are sometimes seen. After the hike, visitors can cool off with a swim or some snorkeling. Lucky snorkelers and kayakers will see fish, sea lions and turtles.

Sunday: AM Visit: Mosquera Islet.
Mosquera is a sandy, sparsely vegetated sand bar known for sea lions, lava gulls, shorebirds and Sally Lightfoot crabs. Lucky visitors might get to see a Yellow-crowned Heron as well! The visit features a guided walk around the islet and the chance to snorkel offshore.

Transfer from the M/C Endemic to Baltra airport for your return flight to mainland Ecuador. Assistance and farewell at the airport.

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Itineraries are subject to change without prior notice due to weather conditions, National Park regulations, emergencies on board or any unforeseen situation.