PETREL CRUISE EXPEDITIONS

Itineraries for Petrel Yacht Packages

At Golden Galapagos Cruises, we understand that the most wonderful part of a trip to the Galapagos Islands is the incredible endemic wildlife, the otherworldly landscapes, and the stunning scenes beneath the waves. That’s why we focus on providing multiple fun, unique, and unforgettable exploration opportunities to our guests every single day on each Golden Galapagos cruise.

tortoisse

Paddle boarding

Kayak

Kayaking off the beach

Boat

Dinghy ride

Snorkeling

Snorkeling

Hiking

Walking

Tortoise

Wildlife observation

Cruises of 7, 5, 4 and 3 nights

Embarking and disembarking days: Sunday | Tuesday | Thursday

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY DESCRIPTION

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FULL ITINERARY
ACTIVITY CHART

Petrel 7-Night / 8 Days A

Upon your arrival, assistance will be provided by a Petrel representative after passing through immigration and the baggage claim. When ready, you will be transferred to the yacht. You will then be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before the welcome briefing and lunch.

North Seymour Island: Named after English nobleman Lord Hugh Seymour, this island was formed by uplifted submarine lava. The island is home to a huge colony of about 2,500 land iguanas and large populations of sea lions, blue-footed boobies, common noddies, and frigatebirds. Along the coast, you can see land and marine iguanas as well as the biggest colony of magnificent frigate birds in the archipelago.

Possible Activities: Snorkeling, hiking, and dinghy ride

Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult

Type of Landing: Dry

Highlights: Land and marine iguanas, frigatebirds, blue-footed boobies, common noddies, and sea lions.
Snorkeling: Rays, reef shark, fish, and garden eels

Isabela Island – Vicente Roca Point

Isabela Island: The largest of all the Galapagos Islands at about 120 km long, Isabela is peculiarly shaped like a sea-horse! It is one of the few islands with a permanent human settlement. The most recent census estimated about 2,200 people are living on the Southern part of the Island. With a very violently active volcanic history, the island was formed by six different shield volcanoes that erupted continuously and eventually merged together to form a single unified land mass.

Of all the islands in the archipelago, Isabela is the most active with the latest eruption coming from Wolf Volcano in May 2015. Boasting some truly unique wildlife, you will find the largest population of wild tortoises, the pink iguana, and various other species near each of the island’s volcanoes.

Vicente Roca Point: This point gives visitors sweeping views of the island’s many unique geological formations, making it an amazing place to view various bird species such as blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, gulls, storm petrels, and brown noddy terns. Water activities on this island are outstanding, and nearly all of our activities will come by way of either dinghy rides or snorkeling.

The most awe-inspiring moment may come by way of a feeding-frenzy near the westernmost point of the island. Here, the Cromwell Current continuously supplies cold water and nutrients to the area. Naturally, dolphins, sea lions, marine diving birds, whales, and even the occasional fur seal are attracted to this thriving area.

Vicente Roca Point

Possible Activities: Snorkeling and dinghy ride
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: None
Highlights: Blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, sea lions, fur seals, whales.
Snorkeling – various tropical fish, sea turtles and other marine animals.

Punta-Vicente-Roca-Galapagos-Islands

Fernandina Island – Espinosa Point

Fernandina Island: Possibly the most isolated island in the world! Not a single foreign species has ever invaded Fernandina Island, making it the most pristine ecosystem on record. It is location as the westernmost island in the archipelago gives it unimpeded access to the Cromwell Current. The cold, nutrient-rich water makes it an ideal habitat for the Galapagos penguin and flightless cormorant that nest here. The volcano known as “La Cumbre” dominates the landscape, with recently formed lava fields reaching the ocean, highlighting the fact that it is among the most volcanically active islands in the archipelago.

Espinosa Point: This is the lone visitor site on Fernandina Island, which allows the rest of the island to continue its unspoiled existence. Land iguanas are found on the inner parts of the island near the volcanic calderas, and marine iguanas’ nest along the coast during certain times of the year. This also provides the best opportunity to see the Galapagos hawk. This visitor site involves some hiking, and if the weather is nice there’s a change to go snorkeling.

Possible Activities: Hiking or snorkeling

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Type of Landing: Dry/Slippery

Highlights: Flightless cormorant, Active Volcano “La Cumbre”, various types of impressive lava formations, AA lava, marine iguanas, occasional land iguanas, Galapagos penguins, sea lions and sally light foot crabs.
Snorkeling – marine iguanas, colorful species of fish, eagle rays, sea turtles.

Espinosa-Galapagos-Islands-Golden-Galapagos

Isabela Island – Tagus Cove

Tagus Cove: Dedicated to the old English warship that used to pass by the island during the 1800’s, this visitor site is a relic of the island’s previous tenants. This was a famous spot for many pirates and sailors who left their names and the names of their ships etched in the volcanic rock on one side of the cove. The main hiking path leads to Darwin Lake where many wildlife species can be seen. Along the way, you will also encounter unique geological features, ranging from massive volcanic rocks to miniature balls of petrified rain.

Possible Activities: Hiking, snorkeling, kayaking, and dinghy ride

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Type of Landing: Dry

Highlights: Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorant, finches, land iguanas, large-billed flycatchers, hawks, land birds and remnants of past pirates and sailors.
Snorkeling – Galapagos penguins, various species of fish, sea turtles.

Isabela Island – Urbina Bay

Urbina Bay: The bay’s uplifts were formed by thousands of years of volcanic and tectonic activity. The increased altitude ended up bringing the corals and reefs to the surface from their once underwater home. Although exposure to air leads to its eventual death, the coral and reefs can be seen without snorkeling. Visitors often see giant tortoises, land iguanas, and more flightless cormorants near this coast.

Possible Activities: Hiking and snorkeling

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Type of Landing: Wet

Highlights: Exposed coral reef, giant tortoises, Galapagos hawk, land iguanas, flightless cormorants. Snorkeling – green sea turtles, large tropical fish, Galapagos penguins.

Isabela Island – Elizabeth Bay

Elizabeth Bay: The Elizabeth Bay visitor site is located near the tip of the island. The final destination is home to a saltwater pond and mangroves that surround a small series of islets. Many birds have laid claim to the landscape for lounging, while Sea Turtles use it for feeding and sunbathing.

Possible Activities: Dinghy ride

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Type of Landing: None

Highlights: Sea turtles, red and black mangroves, lava herons, Galapagos penguins, rays, flightless cormorants.

Isabela Island – Moreno Point

Moreno Point: Located on the southwestern part of Isabela Island, this is your chance to see the endemic species that call this barren lava flow home. A surreal, otherworldly environment, the deep black geological features will make you do a double-take. You have the option of a land trail or an aquatic tour aboard a dinghy to better see various sea birds, geological features, or to go snorkeling to enjoy the vibrant underwater life.

Possible Activities: Hiking, snorkeling, dinghy ride

Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult

Type of Landing: Dry

Highlights: Common gallinules, flamingos, paint-billed crakes, white-cheeked pintails, sea turtles, white-tipped reef sharks, pintail ducks.
Snorkeling – assortment of fish, sea lions, green sea turtles, sharks.

Isabela IslandVolcano Chico & Sierra Negro Volcano

Volcano Sierra Negro: The oldest volcanos on Isabela Island, Volcano Sierra Negro is found near the southern end. A hike will show different types of vegetation and geological zones formed mostly due to the nutrients and remnants left by past eruptions. Depending on seasons and weather conditions, it might even be possible to explore inside one of the calderas where you will find petrified lava.

Possible Activities: Hiking

Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult

Type of Landing: Dry

Highlights: Various types of vegetation, geological zones, panoramic views.

Sierra-Negra-Galapagos-Islands-Galapagos-Golden

Isabela Island – Wetlands and Breeding Center

Wetlands: This is a fascinating visitor site where mangroves and a white sand beach can be seen. The wall itself has a sad story – it was built by prisoners who were kept on the island as a cruel way to keep them busy. The wall is about 3 meters wide, 100 meters long, and 5 to 6 meters high. The other side of the island consists of wetlands. These are comprised of lagoons, swamps, and various mangroves that are home to unique bird species – definitely a must see for enthusiastic birdwatchers!

Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center: The Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center, where two species of giant tortoise are bred to increase the population of these incredible animals, plays an essential role in protecting the future of the Galapagos.

As you walk around the center you will also be able to enjoy the beautiful gardens that boast of a wide variety of native plants.

Possible Activities: Hiking

Difficulty: Moderate

Type of Landing: Dry

Highlights: Various vegetation on hike, flamingo, oystercatchers, ghost crabs, green turtle nesting site, Galapagos penguin.

Santa Cruz Island – Charles Darwin Research Station

Santa Cruz Island: Home to a permanent population of 12,000 inhabitants, Santa Cruz also boasts the longest paved road in the archipelago. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the archipelago, given its infrastructure and amenities. Conservation activities are evident throughout the island, with a special focus on eliminating all of the invasive plants and animals that wreak havoc on the delicate endemic ecosystem, further reducing the numbers of unique species here.

Although there are no active volcanos on Santa Cruz, the towering peaks and scars left behind on the landscape are a constant reminder of its past.

Charles Darwin Research Station: Conducts many different research projects and provides assistance to other researchers and government institutions and agencies, especially the Galapagos National Park. Many of the results of this research are later published online, in magazines, and in highly-regarded scientific journals. A major partnership between the research center and the public school system in the Galapagos focuses on continuing to educate the community about all aspects of conservation.

Possible Activities: Walking

Difficulty: Easy

Type of Landing: Dry

Highlights: See the latest advances in research at the Charles Darwin Research Station. Also, see Giant tortoises and land iguanas.

Highlands of Santa Cruz Island

Twin Craters: Two caved-in magma chambers of a previous active volcano. The other name for this location, Los Gemelos, means “the twins” in Spanish. Sadly, after years of erosion and shifts in the earth, the once full chambers caved in, leaving two similar craters that can be seen on a short hike that passes by a Scalesia forest.

Giant Tortoise Ranch:  As part of your day, we will head towards the Highlands of Santa Cruz to admire the famous giant tortoises in the wild. It is impressive to see these endemic animals that give the name to the archipelago, Galapagos. Birdwatching is also one of the activities in the highlands, since this area is home of finches and other Galapagos birds.

Finally, we walk into lava caves to see the enormous lava flows that formed the islands before continuing back to the M/C Petrel.

Possible Activities: Hiking

Difficulty: Moderate

Type of Landing: Dry

Highlights: On the trail to the craters, many different land birds can be seen in the Scalesia forest – finches, short-eared owls, vermilion flycatchers, and Galapagos doves.

South Plaza Island

South Plaza: Home to an incredible amount of diverse flora and fauna despite its small size, South Plaza is just big enough to fit a landing site for tourists. It will come as no surprise, then, that everything you see will never be very far away. However, be careful where you step. It has a large population of Sesuvium plants, like the prickly pear cactus tree, that are an important source of food for the land iguana.

This island is also a shining example of successful conservation efforts to restore the island to its former pristine conditions. Just a few years ago, non-native mice were finally eradicated from the island, helping the population of land iguanas grow to a heathy level.

Possible Activities: Hiking

Difficulty: Easy

Type of Landing: Wet

Highlights: Cacti native only to South Plaza, land iguana, finches, sea lions, swallow-tailed gulls, red-billed tropicbirds.

Santa Fe Island

Santa Fe: Home to the unique Santa Fe land iguana and the only place to find Opuntia cactus, this island used to have a denser and more diverse population of species. However, expeditions of pirates and buccaneers visiting the islands has led to the extinction of the Giant Tortoises on this particular island.

Large numbers of sea lions can be found on the landing beach, and Galapagos hawks occasionally do a flyby. The Island is also called Barrington Island, named after British Admiral Samuel Barrington.

Possible Activities: Kayaking, hiking, snorkeling and dinghy ride

Difficulty: Easy

Type of Landing: Wet

Highlights: Galapagos hawk, Santa Fe land iguana, Opuntia Cactus, sea lions, lava lizards.

Lobos Island

San Cristobal Island: The fifth-largest island in the archipelago, San Cristobal is located in the easternmost part of the Galapagos. Boasting a rich history, this island is where Charles Darwin first landed back in 1835 and was home to the Galapagos’ first permanent settlements.

Today, you can find the Ecuadorian Naval Base, government offices, and the airport in the capital city of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Conservation challenges facing the island include invasive flora, such as blackberry and guayaba plants, as well as insects like the black fly.

Lobos Island: Large groups of sea lions and marine iguanas rule supreme here. Depending on the season, blue-footed boobies also nest here. Recently, the frigate bird has also been seen here by visitors, although it normally resides elsewhere. This islet, located about an hour away from San Cristobal, is a very calm and pristine site with amazing views, including Kicker Rock off in the distance.

 Possible Activities: snorkeling, hiking and dinghy ride

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry

Highlights: Frigate birds, sea lions, blue-footed boobies, and nesting sites, views of Kicker Rock, marine iguanas.
Snorkeling – sea lions, sea turtles, rays.

Transfer to San Cristobal Airport

Thank you for taking part in this incredible journey with us. Your cruise has officially come to an end. We will now transfer you to your scheduled departure from San Cristobal Airport to mainland Ecuador. Safe travels!

Petrel 7-Night Cruise

ARRIVAL AT SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND (GALAPAGOS)

Welcome to the Galapagos! Our Petrel representative will be waiting for you once you’ve made it through baggage claims and customs. From there, you’ll be taken to your first destination on this journey: the yacht. After settling in your rooms, you’ll have some time to unwind and relax. Lunch will be provided and a Welcome Briefing will be given where we will go over all the details of your trip.

San Cristobal Island – C.C. David Rodriguez Giant Tortoise Breeding Center

San Cristobal Island: Starting in the easternmost part of the archipelago, San Cristobal Island lays claim to being the fifth largest island in the Galapagos. Boasting a rich history, this island is where Charles Darwin first landed back in 1835 and was home to the Galapagos’ first permanent settlements. Today you’ll also see the Ecuadorian Naval Base, government offices, and the airport, which all call the capital city of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno home. This island faces a few conservation challenges, including invasive plants like blackberry and guayaba, and insects like the black fly.

A visit to the David Rodriguez Breeding Center provides information about the origin and evolution of the giant tortoise and explains why the center is so vital in safeguarding the future of these incredible creatures.

Walking through the trails of the reserve, you can see baby tortoises being reared in semi-natural conditions – a brilliant demonstration of the commitment the local people have to preserving the wildlife that makes the Galapagos so special.

Possible Activities: Hike

Difficulty: Easy

Type of Landing: Dry

Highlights: Giant tortoises up close and roaming freely, exhibits of various stages of tortoise breeding. Learn more about their origin, evolution, natural habitat, and threats of introduced animals and plants.

Espanola Island – Gardner Bay/Osborn Islet/Gardner Islet

Espanola Island: Moving to the southernmost Island in the Galapagos, we’ll visit Espanola Island. Formed from a fiery, explosive past and millions of years of erosion, this island is home to some of the most endemic species on Earth. The picturesque landscapes and unique fauna offer an idyllic backdrop for your memories. The island also holds the claim of being the oldest island in the archipelago (over 4 million years old!) and being the most isolated island of the archipelago.

Gardner Bay/Osborn Islet/Gardner Islet: Among the top beaches in the Galapagos, this white sandy beach offers you some time in the sun with friendly and playful seas lions. Three different types of finches can be seen here along with nesting Green Sea Turtles and their eggs (January-March). You might also see the Espinosa mockingbird, which has learned to be friendly around humans due to the mischievous (and prohibited!) behavior of visitors who fed them in opposition to conservation laws.

Possible Activities: Hike, snorkel, dinghy ride and kayak

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Type of Landing: Wet

Highlights: Espanola mockingbird, longest beach in Galapagos, three species of Darwin’s finches, large colony of sea lions, and occasional green sea turtles. Snorkel – coral fish, sea lions, and other marine life.

Suarez Point: Most of the island’s endemic community can be seen along the trail. Imagine it like the Grand Central of species. You might even see young albatrosses preparing for their five-year journey at sea as you’re walking by the only Waved albatross breeding site. The older population will only remain at sea for a few months before returning to this island to breed. Other species that can be seen are marine iguanas that stay brightly colored year-round, Galapagos doves, Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, red-billed tropic birds, and Darwin finches.

Possible Activities: Hike

Difficulty: Moderate

Type of Landing: Dry

Highlights: Only Waved albatross breeding site, blowhole on the point, Nazca boobies, swallow tailed gulls, red-billed tropic birds, three different species of finches, Galapagos doves, marine iguanas, and sea lions.

Floreana Island – Devil’s Crown/Cormorant Point

Floreana Island: This Island is one of the most interesting in terms of human history. The first Galapagos resident was an Irishman who lived on Floreana from 1807 to 1809. It is the site of the first post office within the islands created by whalers in the 1700’s. Later, it became the first island to be colonized by Ecuadorians, but to this day it is still very isolated. Surrounded by mystery, in the 1930’s, various disappearances occurred and are thought to be due to tension between a baroness and her three servants. They arrived after an husband and wife had arrived. They eventually gave birth to the first known human born in the Galapagos. Another couple arrived shortly afterwards – a doctor and his female companion, all of whom lived off the land. Today’s miniscule population still live off the land on small farms and obtain their water from rain-filled ponds during the rainy season. There is a single hotel with the only phone in the port of Velasco Ibarra where most residents live. The rest of the inhabitants live up in the island’s remote highlands.

Devil’s Crown: Offering once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to visitors, this tourist site at Devil’s Crown boasts some of the best snorkeling in the archipelago. Imagine swimming around a submerged volcano that continues to sink further due to tectonic plating. Hundreds of different colorful fish species can be found here among the coral reefs. Sharks (most notably hammer heads), rays, sea turtles, and sea lions are also common visitors, making this an underwater spectacle that cannot be missed.

Cormorant Point: Another fun and interesting visitor site, two incredible but geologically different beaches reside here. One of the beaches looks green because of olivine crystals and the other is appropriately called Flour Beach – it’s covered in powdery white sand made of fine pulverized coral. Flamingos can be seen wading through saltwater ponds looking for shrimp, which give them their bright and vibrant colors. It is unquestionably a unique location.

Possible Activities: Snorkel, hike, dinghy ride

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Type of Landing: Wet

Highlights: Devil’s Crown – a wide array of colorful fish species – king angel fish, balloon fish, yellow tail grunts, white-tipped sharks, hammerheads, eagle rays, sea turtles, sea lions, and more.

Cormorant Point – flamingoes, green olivine crystal beach, coral beach, pintail ducks, large-billed fly catchers, several finches, green turtle nesting area, and stilts.

Post Office Bay/Baroness Lookout Point

Post Office Bay: A bay created entirely due to human settlements on the island, Post Office Bay is the site of the first official post office erected by passing whalers in the 1700’s. A tourist attraction has arisen here as many visitors leave addressed messages on post cards in a barrel to be sent by future visitors while picking up post cards left behind by previous visitors to send when they return home – a fun way to deliver the mail!

Baroness Lookout Point: On the northern part of the island, Baroness Lookout Point has a beautiful landscape and historic message. It was named after the supposed Austrian Baroness who was at the heart of many mysterious disappearances and well-known stories of loathing by those on Floreana.

Possible Activities: Hike, Kayak, snorkel, dinghy ride

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Type of Landing: Wet

Highlights: Barrel Post Office – leave/pick up post cards, remnants of Norwegian settlement, beach, sea turtles, and amazing landscapes.

Snorkel – Sea turtles, corals, rays, and colorful assortments of fish species.

Santa Cruz – Charles Darwin Research Station & Highlands

Santa Cruz Island: Boasting the longest paved road in the archipelago, Santa Cruz Island is home to a population of 12,000 people, and is one of the most popular tourist destinations given its infrastructure and different attractions around the island. Conservation efforts, easily evident around the island, are especially focused on eliminating all non-native plants and animals that wreak havoc on the delicate endemic ecosystem, further reducing the numbers of unique species here. Although volcanic activity is longer active on this island, the towering peaks and scars left on the landscape are a constant reminder of its past.

Charles Darwin Research Station: The station conducts many different research projects and provides assistance to other researchers and government institutions and agencies, especially the Galapagos National Park. Many results of this research are later published online, in magazines, and in highly-regarded scientific journals. A major partnership between the research center and the public school system in the Galapagos focuses on continuing to educate the community about all aspects of conservation.

Possible Activities: Hike

Difficulty: Easy

Type of Landing: Dry

Highlights: See the latest advances in research at the Charles Darwin Research Station as well as Giant tortoises and land iguanas.

Highlands: Although an easy destination to get to, the reward merits a lifetime of expedition. As if an artist’s paintbrush from heaven created the lava tubes, the exploration of this lava field is unique and surreal. It is surrounded by hills, ferns, wildlife, and volcanoes. Here you can see all of the different agricultural zones that are present in the Galapagos in one place. The sheer variety of birds also makes this a bird watcher’s delight.

Possible Activities: Hike

Difficulty: Moderate

Type of Landing: Dry

Highlights: All Galapagos life zones, vermilion flycatcher, Darwin finch, yellowwarblers, Galapagos rails, paint-billed crakes, short-eared owls, and wild Giant tortoises.

Santiago Island – Sullivan Bay

Santiago Island: Charles Darwin’s second stop on his journey, Santiago Island was originally named after England’s King James II. Original settlers here were attracted to this location by the plentiful source of clean water, salt mines, and food for hunting. The salt mines also offered people the ability to preserve fish and tortoise meat. Land iguanas used to populate the island, but are now extinct. From Darwin’s own notes he wrote that land iguanas were thriving quite well since there was no place to even pitch a tent. Santiago Island today is now one of the archipelago’s most visited islands.

Sullivan Bay: With the distinction of being the best place in the archipelago to catch a glimpse of the elusive Galapagos fur seal, Sullivan Bay lies along the coast of Santiago. While there isn’t a plethora of wildlife species to see here, the ancient lava formations are quite a site to see with their tuff cones, pyroclastic cones, and other volcanic landscapes.

Possible Activities: Hike, snorkel and dinghy ride

Difficulty: Moderate

Type of Landing: Dry

Highlights: Various volcanic landscapes and formations, Galapagos fur seal.

Bartholomew Island – Pinnacle Rock

Bartholomew Island: Bartholomew is a satellite island off the coast of Santiago Island. In a tribute to a member of Darwin’s crew aboard the HMS Beagle, Pinnacle Rock was named after James Sullivan. This iconic natural sculpture shines as a Mecca for all local animals to gather. This island is probably the most photographed island in the Galapagos. Perhaps it was due to its time in the spotlight in Hollywood’s 2003 movie “Master and Commander,” or the massive colonies of wildlife that can be seen here.

Pinnacle Rock: Galapagos penguins gather here. Swimming offers beautiful sights of colorful schools of fish and curious sea lions. This beautiful landmass was formed by violent underwater volcanic explosions. Countless layers of basalt compounded it into what you see today. Directly next to Pinnacle Rock, there’s a small beach where Galapagos Green Sea Turtles have been known to nest – definitely a sight to behold.

Possible Activities: Hike, snorkel and dinghy ride

Difficulty: Easy

Type of Landing: Wet

Highlights: Galapagos penguins, Pinnacle Rock, swimming, and awesome photography opportunities.

Snorkeling – Sea lions, rays, sea turtles, sharks, and many different fish.

Genovesa Island – Darwin Bay

Genovesa Island: A child of a shield volcano with gradual lava flows, this island ended up shaped like a horseshoe. The massive influx of different species of birds have rightfully earned this island the nickname of “Bird Island”. The sole reptile on this island is the marine iguana. It is also one of the very few places red-footed boobies gather in one large group.

Darwin Bay: Darwin Bay is the result of a shield volcano where one of the sides of the caldera collapsed after generations of erosion. The red-footed booby finds this bay irresistible, making it the only place where you’re almost guaranteed to see them. Over 200,000 red-footed boobies are estimated to be living in the trees and bushes of Genovesa.

Possible Activities: Hike, kayak, snorkel, dinghy ride

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Type of Landing: Wet

Highlights: Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, and mangroves.

Snorkeling – various sharks, colorful fish, sea turtles, sea lions, and occasional rays.

Genovesa Island – El Barranco (Prince Phillip’s Steps)

El Barranco: Better known as Prince Phillip’s Steps, a steep and rocky path leads up to a cliff with a marvelous view where a person can truly appreciate the beauty of this island. The early life cycles of many birds, including red-footed boobies, are on full display here. Just a short hike on the island and you’ll be in the heart of the Palo Santo Forest. Make sure you take all the pictures you can!

Possible Activities: Hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, dinghy ride

Difficulty: Moderate

Type of Landing: Dry

Highlights: Spectacular view, red-footed boobies, wedge-romped storm petrels, Galapagos doves, short-eared owls, and Palo Santo forest. Snorkel – fish, sea turtles, rays, sharks, and sea lions.

Santiago Island – Egas Port

Egas Port: Egas port, better known as James Bay, is home to the fleet-footed Galapagos lava lizards, Galapagos fur seals along the grottos, and tide pools. However, if you truly want to experience this island, don’t miss out on an incredible morning of snorkeling in the azure waters around the port.

Possible Activities: Hike, snorkel

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Type of Landing: Wet

Highlights: Fur seals, sea lions, tidal pools, grottos, Galapagos hawk, and salt water lagoon with flamingoes.

Snorkeling – sea turtles, rays, sharks, and amazing underwater geological formations.

Santiago Island – Buccaneer Cove / Espumilla Beach

Buccaneer Cove: Continuing with amazing snorkeling opportunities, Buccaneer Cove offers amazing underwater formations teeming with various different species of fish that gather here. This area was dubbed Buccaneer Cove due to its role as a refuge for British buccaneers and pirates in the annals of history.

Possible Activities: Hike, kayak, snorkel, dinghy ride

Difficulty: Easy

Type of Landing: Wet

Highlights: Historical pirate/buccaneer shelter site.

Snorkeling – sea turtles, rays, sharks, and amazing underwater geological formations.

Espumilla Beach: Once again, snorkeling is highly recommended, as you could find yourself face to face with an octopus, moray eel, shark, or a variety of other species of tropical fish. This beach is also a veritable tour-de-force of wildlife, such as the Sally Lightfoot crabs battling back and forth with herons who would like nothing more than to make lunch out of them as the marine iguanas in the background almost seem oblivious to what is happening around them.

Possible Activities: Hike, kayak, dinghy ride and snorkel

Short walk along the beach (less than 0.6 mi / 1 km)

Difficulty: Easy

Type of Landing: Wet

Highlights: Sea birds, historical site, and rock formations.

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.

Possible Activities: Dinghy ride

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Type of Landing: No landing

Highlights: Various species of fish, white-tipped reef sharks, rays, and sea turtles.

Transfer to Baltra Airport

We will now transfer you to your scheduled departure from Baltra Airport to mainland Ecuador. Safe travels!

Important:

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

The wildlife described above is not guaranteed to be seen during your visit. Please remember to respect your distance between any and all wildlife.

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FULL ITINERARY
ACTIVITY CHART

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FULL ITINERARY
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Petrel 3 Nights / 4 Days C

ARRIVAL TO SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND (GALAPAGOS)

Welcome to the Galapagos! Our Petrel representative will be waiting for you once you’ve made it through baggage claims and customs. From there, you’ll be taken to your first destination on this journey: the yacht. After settling in your rooms, you’ll have some time to unwind and relax. Lunch will be provided and a Welcome Briefing will be given where we will go over all the details of your trip.

San Cristobal Island – C.C. David Rodriguez Giant Tortoise Breeding Center

San Cristobal Island: Starting in the easternmost part of the archipelago, San Cristobal Island lays claim to being the fifth largest island in the Galapagos. Boasting a rich history, this island is where Charles Darwin first landed back in 1835 and was home to the Galapagos’ first permanent settlements. Today you’ll also see the Ecuadorian Naval Base, government offices, and the airport, which all call the capital city of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno home. This island faces a few conservation challenges, including invasive plants like blackberry and guayaba, and insects like the black fly.

A visit to the David Rodriguez Breeding Center provides information about the origin and evolution of the giant tortoise and explains why the center is so vital in safeguarding the future of these incredible creatures.

Walking through the trails of the reserve, you can see baby tortoises being reared in semi-natural conditions – a brilliant demonstration of the commitment the local people have to preserving the wildlife that makes the Galapagos so special.

Possible Activities: Walk

Difficulty: Easy

Type of Landing: Dry Landing

Highlights:  Giant tortoises up close and roaming freely, exhibits of various stages of tortoise breeding, learn more about origin, evolution, natural habitat, and threats of introduced animals and plants.

Espanola Island – Gardner Bay/Osborn Islet/Gardner Islet

Espanola Island: Moving to the southernmost Island in the Galapagos, we’ll visit Espanola Island. Formed from a fiery, explosive past and millions of years of erosion, this island is home to some of the most endemic species on Earth. The picturesque landscapes and unique fauna offer an idyllic backdrop for your memories. The island also holds the claim of being the oldest island in the archipelago (over 4 million years old!) and being the most isolated island of the archipelago.

Gardner Bay/Osborn Islet/Gardner Islet: Among the top beaches in the Galapagos, this white sandy beach offers you some time in the sun with friendly and playful seas lions. Three different types of finches can be seen here along with nesting Green Sea Turtles and their eggs (January-March). You might also see the Espinosa mockingbird, which has learned to be friendly around humans due to the mischievous (and prohibited!) behavior of visitors who fed them in opposition to conservation laws.

Possible Activities: Walk, Snorkel, Dinghy Ride and kayak

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Type of Landing: Wet Landing

Highlights: Espanola Mockingbird, longest beach in Galapagos, three species of Darwin’s finches, large colony of sea lions, occasional green sea turtles.  Snorkel – coral fish, sea lions, and other marine life.

Suarez Point: Most of the island’s endemic community can be seen along the trail. Imagine it like the Grand Central of species. You might even see young albatrosses preparing for their five-year journey at sea as you’re walking by the only Waved albatross breeding site. The older population will only remain at sea for a few months before returning to this island to breed. Other species that can be seen are marine iguanas that stay brightly colored year-round, Galapagos doves, Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, red-billed tropic birds, and Darwin finches.

Possible Activities: Hike

Difficulty: Moderate

Type of Landing: Dry Landing

Highlights:  Only Waved albatross breeding site, blow hole on the point, Nazca boobies, swallow tailed gulls, red-billed tropic birds, three different species of finches, Galapagos doves, marine iguanas, sea lions.

Floreana Island – Devil’s Crown/Cormorant Point

Floreana Island: This Island is one of the most interesting when it comes to human history.  The first Galapagos resident was an Irishman who lived on Floreana from 1807 to 1809. It is the site of the first post office within the islands created by whalers in the 1700’s. Later it became the first island to be colonized by Ecuadorians, but to this day is still very isolated.

Surrounded by mystery, in the 1930’s various disappearances occurred and is thought to be because of tension between a baroness and her three servants who arrived after an already settled husband and wife, who gave birth to the first to be born in Galapagos and another couple of a doctor and female companion who lived of the land from their garden.  The small population of today lives off the land with home grown farms and gets their water from rain filled ponds during the rainy season.  There is one hotel with the only phone in the port of Velasco Ibarra where most residents live, the rest live up in the highlands.

Devil’s Crown: Offering once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to visitors, this tourist site at Devil’s Crown boasts some of the best snorkeling in the archipelago. Imagine swimming around a submerged volcano that continues to sink further due to tectonic plating. Hundreds of different colorful fish species can be found here among the coral reefs. Sharks (most notably hammer heads), rays, sea turtles, and sea lions are also common visitors, making this an underwater spectacle that cannot be missed.

Cormorant Point: Another fun and interesting visitor site, two incredible but geologically different beaches reside here. One of the beaches looks green because of olivine crystals and the other is appropriately called Flour Beach – it’s covered in powdery white sand made of fine pulverized coral. Flamingos can be seen wading through saltwater ponds looking for shrimp, which give them their bright and vibrant colors. It is unquestionably a unique location.

Possible Activities: Snorkel, dinghy ride, hike

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Type of Landing: Wet Landing

Highlights: 

Devil’s Crown – a wide array of colorful fish species – king angel fish, balloon fish, yellow tail grunts, white-tipped sharks, hammerheads, eagle rays, sea turtles, sea lions and more.

Cormorant Point – flamingoes, green olivine crystal beach, coral beach, pintail ducks, large-billed fly catchers, several finches, green turtle nesting area, and stilts.

Post Office Bay/Baroness Lookout Point

Post Office Bay: A bay created entirely due to human settlements on the island, Post Office Bay is the site of the first official post office erected by passing whalers in the 1700’s. A tourist attraction has arisen here as many visitors leave addressed messages on post cards in a barrel to be sent by future visitors while picking up post cards left behind by previous visitors to send when they return home – a fun way to deliver the mail!

Baroness Lookout Point: On the northern part of the island, Baroness Lookout Point has a beautiful landscape and historic message. It was named after the supposed Austrian Baroness who was at the heart of many mysterious disappearances and well-known stories of loathing by those on Floreana.

Possible Activities: Walk, kayak, dinghy ride, snorkel

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Type of Landing:  Wet Landing

Highlights:  Barrel Post Office – leave/pick up post cards, remnants of Norwegian settlement, beach, sea turtles, amazing landscapes.  Snorkel – Sea turtles, corals, rays, colorful assortment of fish species.

Santa Cruz – C.C. Charles Darwin Research Station & Highlands

Charles Darwin Research Station:  The station conducts many different research projects and provides assistance to other researchers and government institutions and agencies, especially the Galapagos National Park. Many results of this research are later published online, in magazines, and in highly-regarded scientific journals. A major partnership between the research center and the public school system in the Galapagos focuses on continuing to educate the community about all aspects of conservation.

Possible Activities: Walk

Difficulty: Easy

Type of Landing: Dry

Highlights: See the latest advances in research at the Charles Darwin Research Station.  Also see Giant Tortoises and land iguanas.

Transfer to Baltra Airport

Thank you for joining us on this amazing journey! Your cruise has officially come to an end.  We hope you enjoyed your Galapagos Cruise!  We will now transfer you to your scheduled departure from Baltra Airport to mainland Ecuador.  Safe travels!

Important:

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

The wildlife described above is not guaranteed to be seen during your visit.  Please remember to respect your distance between any and all wildlife.

Petrel 4 Nights / 5 Days D

ARRIVAL TO BALTRA ISLAND (GALAPAGOS)

Upon your arrival, assistance will be provided by a Petrel representative after passing through immigration and the baggage claim. When ready, you will be transferred to the yacht. You will then be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before the welcome briefing and lunch.

Santa Cruz Island – Highlands

Santa Cruz Island: Boasting the longest paved road in the archipelago, Santa Cruz Island is home to a population of 12,000 people, and is one of the most popular tourist destinations given its infrastructure and different attractions around the island.

Conservation efforts, easily evident around the island, are especially focused on eliminating all non-native plants and animals that wreak havoc on the delicate endemic ecosystem, further reducing the numbers of unique species here. Although volcanic activity is longer active on this island, the towering peaks and scars left on the landscape are a constant reminder of its past.

Highlands: Although an easy destination to get to, the reward merits a lifetime of expedition. As if an artist’s paintbrush from heaven created the lava tubes, the exploration of this lava field is unique and surreal. It is surrounded by hills, ferns, wildlife, and volcanoes.

Here you can see all of the different agricultural zones that are present in the Galapagos in one place. The sheer variety of birds also makes this a bird watcher’s delight.

After the visit to the Highlands, you will be transferred to the yacht.  You will then be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before the welcome briefing.

Possible Activities:  Hike

Difficulty:  Moderate

Type of Landing: Dry

Highlights: All Galapagos life zones, vermilion flycatcher, Darwin finch, yellow warblers, Galapagos rails, paint-billed crakes, short eared owls, wild Giant Tortoises.

Santiago Island – Sullivan Bay

Santiago Island: Charles Darwin’s second stop on his journey, Santiago Island was originally named after England’s King James II. Original settlers here were attracted to this location by the plentiful source of clean water, salt mines, and food for hunting. The salt mines also offered people the ability to preserve fish and tortoise meat. Land iguanas used to populate the island, but are now extinct. From Darwin’s own notes he wrote that land iguanas were thriving quite well since there was no place to even pitch a tent. Santiago Island today is now one of the archipelago’s most visited islands.

Sullivan Bay:  With the distinction of being the best place in the archipelago to catch a glimpse of the elusive Galapagos fur seal, Sullivan Bay lies along the coast of Santiago. While there isn’t a plethora of wildlife species to see here, the ancient lava formations are quite a site to see with their tuff cones, pyroclastic cones, and other volcanic landscapes.

Possible Activities: Hike and snorkel

Difficulty: Moderate

Type of Landing: Dry Landing

Highlights: Various volcanic landscapes and formations.

Bartholomew Island – Pinnacle Rock

Bartholomew Island: Bartholomew is a satellite island off the coast of Santiago Island. In a tribute to a member of Darwin’s crew aboard the HMS Beagle, Pinnacle Rock was named after James Sullivan. This iconic natural sculpture shines as a Mecca for all local animals to gather. This island is probably the most photographed island in the Galapagos. Perhaps it was due to its time in the spotlight in Hollywood’s 2003 movie “Master and Commander,” or the massive colonies of wildlife that can be seen here.

Pinnacle Rock:  Galapagos penguins gather here. Swimming offers beautiful sights of colorful schools of fish and curious sea lions. This beautiful landmass was formed by violent underwater volcanic explosions. Countless layers of basalt compounded it into what you see today. Directly next to Pinnacle Rock, there’s a small beach where Galapagos Green Sea Turtles have been known to nest – definitely a sight to behold.

Possible Activities: Hike, snorkel, dinghy ride

Difficulty: Easy

Type of Landing: Wet Landing

Highlights: Galapagos penguins, Pinnacle rock, swimming, awesome photography opportunities.  Snorkeling – Sea lions, rays, sea turtles, sharks, many different fish.

Genovesa Island – Darwin Bay

Genovesa Island: A child of a shield volcano with gradual lava flows, this island ended up shaped like a horseshoe. The massive influx of different species of birds have rightfully earned this island the nickname of “Bird Island”. The sole reptile on this island is the marine iguana. It is also one of the very few places red-footed boobies gather in one large group.

Darwin Bay: Darwin Bay is the result of a shield volcano where one of the sides of the caldera collapsed after generations of erosion. The red-footed booby finds this bay irresistible, making it the only place where you’re almost guaranteed to see them. Over 200,000 red-footed boobies are estimated to be living in the trees and bushes of Genovesa.

Possible Activities: Hike, kayak, dinghy ride, and snorkel

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Type of Landing: Wet Landing

Highlights:  Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, mangroves.

Snorkeling – various sharks, colorful fish, sea turtles, sea lions, occasional rays.

 

Genovesa Island – El Barranco (Prince Phillip’s Steps)

El Barranco: Better known as Prince Phillip’s Steps, a steep and rocky path leads up to a cliff with a marvelous view where a person can truly appreciate the beauty of this island. The early life cycles of many birds, including red-footed boobies, are on full display here. Just a short hike on the island and you’ll be in the heart of the Palo Santo Forest. Make sure you take all the pictures you can!

Possible Activities: Hike, kayak, dinghy ride, and snorkel

Difficulty: Moderate

Type of Landing: Dry Landing

Highlights: Spectacular view, red-footed boobies, wedge-romped storm petrels, Galapagos doves, short-eared owls, Palo Santo Forest.

Snorkeling – fish, sea turtles, rays, sharks, and sea lions.

Santiago Island – Egas Port

Egas Port: Egas port, better known as James Bay, is home to the fleet-footed Galapagos lava lizards, Galapagos fur seals along the grottos, and tide pools. However, if you truly want to experience this island, don’t miss out on an incredible morning of snorkeling in the azure waters around the port..

Possible Activities: Hike and Snorkel

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Type of Landing: Wet Landing

Highlights: Fur seals, sea lions, tidal pools and grottos, Galapagos hawk, salt water lagoon with flamingoes.

Snorkeling – sea turtles, rays, sharks and amazing underwater geological formations.

Santiago Island – Buccaneer Cove/Espumilla Beach

Buccaneer Cove: Continuing with amazing snorkeling opportunities, Buccaneer Cove offers amazing underwater formations teeming with various different species of fish that gather here. This area was dubbed Buccaneer Cove due to its role as a refuge for British buccaneers and pirates in the annals of history.

Possible Activities: Hike, kayak, dinghy ride and snorkel

Difficulty: Easy

Type of Landing: Wet Landing

Highlights: Historical pirate/buccaneer shelter site.

Snorkeling – sea turtles, rays, sharks and amazing underwater geological formations.

Espumilla Beach: Once again, snorkeling is highly recommended, as you could find yourself face to face with an octopus, moray eel, shark, or a variety of other species of tropical fish. This beach is also a veritable tour-de-force of wildlife, such as the Sally Lightfoot crabs battling back and forth with herons who would like nothing more than to make lunch out of them as the marine iguanas in the background almost seem oblivious to what is happening around them.

Possible Activities: Hike, kayak, dinghy ride and snorkel
Short walk along the beach (less than 0.6 mi / 1 km)

Difficulty: Easy

Type of Landing: Wet Landing

Highlights: Snorkeling, sea birds, historical site, and rock formations.

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.

Possible Activities: Dinghy ride

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Type of Landing: No Landing

Highlights: Various species of fish, white-tipped reef sharks, rays, and sea turtles.

Transfer to Baltra Airport

Thank you for joining us on this amazing journey! Your cruise has officially come to an end.  We hope you enjoyed your Galapagos Cruise!  We will now transfer you to your scheduled departure from Baltra Airport to mainland Ecuador.  Safe travels!

Important:

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

The wildlife described above is not guaranteed to be seen during your visit.  Please remember to respect your distance between any and all wildlife.

D

FULL ITINERARY
ACTIVITY CHART

E

FULL ITINERARY
ACTIVITY CHART

Petrel 5-Night / 4 Days E

ARRIVAL TO BALTRA ISLAND (GALAPAGOS)

Upon your arrival, assistance will be provided by a Petrel representative after passing through immigration and the baggage claim. When ready, you will be transferred to the yacht. You will then be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before the welcome briefing and lunch.

NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND

Named after English nobleman Lord Hugh Seymour, this island was formed by uplifted submarine lava. The island is home to a huge colony of about 2,500 land iguanas and large populations of sea lions, blue-footed boobies, common noddies, and frigatebirds. Along the coast you can see land and marine iguanas as well as the biggest colony of magnificent frigate birds in the archipelago.

Possible Activities: Snorkel, dinghy ride & hike

Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult

Type of Landing: Dry Landing

Highlights: Land and marine iguanas, frigate birds, Blue-footed Boobies, common noddies, and sea lions. Snorkeling: Rays, reef shark, fish, and garden eels.

Isabela Island – Vicente Roca Point

Isabela Island: The largest of all the Galapagos Islands at about 120 km long, Isabela is peculiarly shaped like a sea-horse! It is one of the few islands with a permanent human settlement. The most recent census estimated about 2,200 people are living on the Southern part of the Island. With a very violently active volcanic history, the island was formed by six different shield volcanoes that erupted continuously and eventually merged together to form a single unified land mass.

Of all the islands in the archipelago, Isabela is the most active with the latest eruption coming from Wolf Volcano in May 2015. Boasting some truly unique wildlife, you’ll find the largest population of wild tortoises, the pink iguana, and various other species near each of the island’s volcanoes.

Vicente Roca Point:  This point gives visitors sweeping views of the island’s many unique geological formations, making it an amazing place to view various bird species such as blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, gulls, storm petrels, and brown noddy terns.

Water activities on this island are outstanding, and nearly all of our activities will come by way of either panga rides or snorkeling. The most awe-inspiring moment may come by way of a feeding-frenzy near the westernmost point of the island.

Here, the Cromwell Current continuously supplies cold water and nutrients to the area. Naturally, dolphins, sea lions, marine diving birds, whales, and even the occasional fur seal are attracted to this thriving area.

Possible Activities: Snorkel and dinghy ride

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Type of Landing: No landing

Highlights:  Blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, sea lions, fur seals, whales.  Snorkel – various tropical fish, sea turtles and other marine animals.

Fernandina Island – Espinosa Point

Fernandina Island: Possibly the most isolated island in the world! Not a single foreign species has ever invaded Fernandina Island, making it the most pristine ecosystem on record. It’s location as the westernmost island in the archipelago gives it unimpeded access to the Cromwell Current. The cold, nutrient-rich water makes it an ideal habitat for the Galapagos penguin and flightless cormorant that nest here. The volcano known as “La Cumbre” dominates the landscape, with recently formed lava fields reaching the ocean, highlighting the fact that it is among the most volcanically active islands in the archipelago.

Espinosa Point:  This is the lone visitor site on Fernandina Island, which allows the rest of the island to continue its unspoiled existence. Land iguanas are found on the inner parts of the island near the volcanic calderas, and marine iguanas’ nest along the coast during certain times of the year. This also provides the best opportunity to see the Galapagos hawk. This visitor site involves some hiking, and if the weather is nice there’s a change to go snorkeling.

Espinosa Point

Possible Activities: Hike or Snorkel

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Type of Landing: Dry/Slippery

Hightlights:  Flightless cormorant, Active Volcano “La Cumbre”, various types of impressive lava formations, AA lava, Marine Iguanas, occasional land iguanas, Galapagos penguins, sea lions and sally light foot crabs.  Snorkel – marine iguanas, colorful species of fish, eagle rays, sea turtles

Isabela Island – Tagus Cove

Tagus Cove: Dedicated to the old English warship that used to pass by the island during the 1800’s, this visitor site is a relic of the island’s previous tenants. This was a famous spot for many pirates and sailors who left their names and the names of their ships etched in the volcanic rock on one side of the cove. The main hiking path leads to Darwin Lake where many wildlife species can be seen. Along the way, you’ll also encounter unique geological features, ranging from massive volcanic rocks to miniature balls of petrified rain.

Possible Activities: Hike, Kayak, dinghy ride, or snorkel

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Type of Landing: Dry

Hightlights:  Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorant, finches, land iguanas, large-billed flycatchers, hawks, land birds and remnants of past pirates and sailors.

Snorkeling – Galapagos penguins, various species of fish, sea turtles.

Isabela Island – Urbina Bay

Urbina Bay: The bay’s uplifts were formed by thousands of years of volcanic and tectonic activity. The increased altitude ended up bringing the corals and reefs to the surface from their once underwater home. Although exposure to air leads to its eventual death, the coral and reefs can be seen without snorkeling. Visitors often see giant tortoises, land iguanas, and more flightless cormorants near this coast.

Possible Activities: Hike and snorkel

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Type of Landing: Wet

Highlights: Exposed coral reef, giant tortoises, Galapagos hawk, land iguanas, flightless cormorants.
Snorkeling – green sea turtles, larger fish, Galapagos penguins.

Isabela Island – Elizabeth Bay

Elizabeth Bay: The Elizabeth Bay visitor site is located near the tip of the island. The final destination is home to a saltwater pond and mangroves that surround a small series of islets. Many birds have laid claim to the landscape for lounging, while Sea Turtles use it for feeding and sunbathing.

Possible Activities: Dinghy ride

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Type of Landing: No Landing

Highlights: Sea turtles, red and black mangroves, lava herons, Galapagos penguins, rays, flightless cormorants.

Isabela Island – Moreno Point

Moreno Point:  Located on the southwestern part of Isabela Island, this is your chance to see the endemic species that call this barren lava flow home.

A surreal, otherworldly environment, the deep black geological features will make you do a double-take. You have the option of a land trail or an aquatic tour aboard a panga to better see various sea birds, geological features, or to go snorkeling to enjoy the vibrant underwater life.

Possible Activities:  Dinghy ride, hike, Snorkel

Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult

Type of Landing: Dry Landing

Highlights: Common gallinules, flamingos, paint-billed crakes, white-cheeked pintails, sea turtles, white-tipped reef sharks, pintail ducks.

Snorkeling – assortment of fish, sea lions, green sea turtles, sharks.

Isabela IslandSierra Negra Volcano

Volcano Sierra Negra: The oldest volcanos on Isabela Island, Volcano Sierra Negro is found near the southern end. A hike will show different types of vegetation and geological zones formed mostly due to the nutrients and remnants left by past eruptions. Depending on seasons and weather conditions, it might even be possible to explore inside one of the calderas where you will find petrified lava.

Possible Activities: Hike

Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult

Type of Landing: Dry Landing

Highlights:  Various types of vegetation, geological zones, and Sierra Negro – oldest volcanoes of Isabela Island, panoramic views.

Isabela Island – Wetlands and Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center

Wetlands: This is a fascinating visitor site where mangroves and a white sand beach can be seen. The wall itself has a sad story – it was built by prisoners who were kept on the island as a cruel way to keep them busy. The wall is about 3 meters wide, 100 meters long, and 5 to 6 meters high.

The other side of the island consists of wetlands. These are comprised of lagoons, swamps, and various mangroves that are home to unique bird species – definitely a must see for enthusiastic birdwatchers!

Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center: The Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center, where two species of giant tortoise are bred to increase the population of these incredible animals, plays an essential role in protecting the future of the Galapagos.

As you walk around the center you will also be able to enjoy the beautiful gardens that boast of a wide variety of native plants.

Possible Activities: Hike

Difficulty: Moderate

Type of Landing: Dry Landing

Highlights: Various vegetation on hike, flamingo, oystercatchers, ghost crabs, green turtle nesting site, Galapagos penguin.

Santa Cruz Island – Charles Darwin Research Station

Santa Cruz Island: Home to a permanent population of 12,000 inhabitants, Santa Cruz also boasts the longest paved road in the archipelago. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the archipelago, given its infrastructure and amenities. Conservation activities are evident throughout the island, with a special focus on eliminating all of the invasive plants and animals that wreak havoc on the delicate endemic ecosystem, further reducing the numbers of unique species here.

Although there are no active volcanos on Santa Cruz, the towering peaks and scars left behind on the landscape are a constant reminder of its past.

Charles Darwin Research Station:  Conducts many different research projects and provides assistance to other researchers and government institutions and agencies, especially the Galapagos National Park. Many of the results of this research are later published online, in magazines, and in highly-regarded scientific journals.

A major partnership between the research center and the public school system in the Galapagos focuses on continuing to educate the community about all aspects of conservation.

Possible Activities: Walk

Difficulty: Easy

Type of Landing: Dry

Highlights: See the latest advances in research at the Charles Darwin Research Station.  Also see Giant Tortoises and land iguanas.

Transfer to Baltra Airport

Thank you for taking part in this incredible journey with us. Your cruise has officially come to an end.  We hope you enjoyed your Galapagos Cruise!  We will now transfer you to your scheduled departure from Baltra Airport to mainland Ecuador.  Safe travels!

Important:

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

The wildlife described above is not guaranteed to be seen during your visit.  Please remember to respect your distance between any and all wildlife.

Petrel 5 Night / 6 Days F

ARRIVAL TO BALTRA ISLAND (GALAPAGOS)

Upon your arrival, assistance will be provided by a Petrel representative after passing through immigration and the baggage claim. When ready, you will be transferred to the yacht. You will then be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before the welcome briefing and lunch.

Santa Cruz Island – Highlands

Santa Cruz Island: Home to a permanent population of 12,000 inhabitants, Santa Cruz also boasts the longest paved road in the archipelago. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the archipelago, given its infrastructure and amenities. Conservation activities are evident throughout the island, with a special focus on eliminating all of the invasive plants and animals that wreak havoc on the delicate endemic ecosystem, further reducing the numbers of unique species here.

Although there are no active volcanos on Santa Cruz, the towering peaks and scars left behind on the landscape are a constant reminder of its past.

Twin Craters: Two caved-in magma chambers of a previous active volcano. The other name for this location, Los Gemelos, means “the twins” in Spanish. Sadly, after years of erosion and shifts in the earth, the once full chambers caved in, leaving two similar craters that can be seen on a short hike that passes by a Scalesia forest.

Giant Tortoise RanchTo wrap up our visit, we’ll visit some fascinating lava tunnels to better understand how the islands were formed. Besides, admire the famous giant tortoises in the wild. This is a fun adventure that adds a flourish to the end of our day! After the visits, we will return to Petrel for a delicious dinner.

Possible Activities: Hike

Difficulty: Moderate

Type of Landing: Dry Landing

Highlights: On the trail to the craters many different land birds can be seen in the Scalesia forest – finches, short eared owls, vermilion flycatchers, and Galapagos doves.

South Plaza Island

South Plaza: Home to an incredible amount of diverse flora and fauna despite its small size, South Plaza is just big enough to fit a landing site for tourists. It’ll come as no surprise, then, that everything you see will never be very far away. However, be careful where you step. It has a large population of Sesuvium plants, like the prickly pear cactus tree, that are an important source of food for the land iguana.

This island is also a shining example of successful conservation efforts to restore the island to its former pristine conditions. Just a few years ago, non-native mice were finally eradicated from the island, helping the population of land iguanas grow to a heathy level.

Possible Activities: Hike

Difficulty: Easy

Type of Landing: Wet Landing

Highlights: Cacti native only to South Plaza, land iguana, finches, sea lions, swallow tailed gulls, red-billed tropicbirds.

Santa Fe Island

Santa Fe: Home to the unique Santa Fe land iguana and the only place to find Opuntia cactus, this island used to have a denser and more diverse population of species. However, expeditions of pirates and buccaneers visiting the islands has led to the extinction of the Giant Tortoises on this particular island. Large numbers of sea lions can be found on the landing beach, and Galapagos hawks occasionally do a flyby. The Island is also called Barrington Island, named after British Admiral Samuel Barrington.

Possible Activities: Short hike, dinghy ride, kayak and snorkel

Difficulty: Easy

Type of Landing: Wet Landing

Highlights:  Galapagos hawk, Santa Fe land iguana, Opuntia Cactus, sea lions, lava lizards.

San Cristobal Island – Lobos Island

San Cristobal Island:  The fifth-largest island in the archipelago, San Cristobal is located in the easternmost part of the Galapagos. Boasting a rich history, this island is where Charles Darwin first landed back in 1835 and was home to the Galapagos’ first permanent settlements. Today, you can find the Ecuadorian Naval Base, government offices, and the airport in the capital city of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Conservation challenges facing the island include invasive flora, such as blackberry and guayaba plants, as well as insects like the black fly.

Lobos Island: Large groups of sea lions and marine iguanas rule supreme here. Depending on the season, blue-footed boobies also nest here. Recently, the frigatebird has also been seen here by visitors, although it normally resides elsewhere. This islet, located about an hour away from San Cristobal, is a very calm and pristine site with amazing views, including Kicker Rock off in the distance.

Possible Activities: Short hike, dinghy ride, Snorkel

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Type of Landing: Dry Landing

Highlights: Frigate birds, sea lions, blue-footed boobies and nesting sites, views of Kicker Rock, marine iguanas.  Snorkel – sea lions, sea turtles, rays.

David Rodriguez Breeding Center: A visit to the David Rodriguez Breeding Center provides information about the origin and evolution of the giant tortoise and explains why the center is so vital in safeguarding the future of these incredible creatures.

Walking through the trails of the reserve, you can see baby tortoises being reared in semi-natural conditions – a brilliant demonstration of the commitment the local people have to preserving the wildlife that makes the Galapagos so special.

Possible Activities: Hike

Difficulty: Easy

Type of Landing: Dry Landing

Highlights:  Giant tortoises up close and roaming freely, exhibits of various stages of tortoise breeding, learn more about origin, evolution, natural habitat, and threats of introduced animals and plants.

Espanola Island – Gardner Bay/Osborn Islet/Gardner Islet

Espanola Island: Moving to the southernmost Island in the Galapagos, we’ll visit Espanola Island. Formed from a fiery, explosive past and millions of years of erosion, this island is home to some of the most endemic species on Earth. The picturesque landscapes and unique fauna offer an idyllic backdrop for your memories. The island also holds the claim of being the oldest island in the archipelago (over 4 million years old!) and being the most isolated island of the archipelago.

Gardner Bay / Osborn Islet / Gardner Islet: Among the top beaches in the Galapagos, this white sandy beach offers you some time in the sun with friendly and playful seas lions. Three different types of finches can be seen here along with nesting Green Sea Turtles and their eggs (January-March). You might also see the Espinosa mockingbird, which has learned to be friendly around humans due to the mischievous (and prohibited!) behavior of visitors who fed them in opposition to conservation laws.

Possible Activities: Hike, snorkel, dinghy ride and kayak

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Type of Landing: Wet Landing

Highlights: Espanola Mockingbird, longest beach in Galapagos, three species of Darwin’s finches, large colony of sea lions, occasional green sea turtles.

Snorkeling – coral fish, sea lions, and other marine life.

Suarez Point: Most of the island’s endemic community can be seen along the trail. Imagine it like the Grand Central of species. You might even see young albatrosses preparing for their five-year journey at sea as you’re walking by the only Waved albatross breeding site. The older population will only remain at sea for a few months before returning to this island to breed. Other species that can be seen are marine iguanas that stay brightly colored year-round, Galapagos doves, Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, red-billed tropic birds, and Darwin finches.

Possible Activities: Hike

Difficulty: Moderate

Type of Landing: Dry Landing

Highlights:  Only Waved albatross breeding site, blow hole on the point, Nazca boobies, swallow tailed gulls, red-billed tropic birds, three different species of finches, Galapagos doves, marine iguanas, sea lions.

Floreana Island – Devil’s Crown/Cormorant Point

Floreana Island: This Island is one of the most interesting when it comes to human history.  The first Galapagos resident was an Irishman who lived on Floreana from 1807 to 1809. It is the site of the first post office within the islands created by whalers in the 1700’s. Later it became the first island to be colonized by Ecuadorians, but to this day is still very isolated.  Surrounded by mystery, in the 1930’s various disappearances occurred and is thought to be because of tension between a baroness and her three servants who arrived after an already settled husband and wife, who gave birth to the first to be born in Galapagos and another couple of a doctor and female companion who lived of the land from their garden.  The small population of today lives off the land with home grown farms and gets their water from rain filled ponds during the rainy season.  There is one hotel with the only phone in the port of Velasco Ibarra where most residents live, the rest live up in the highlands.  Transportation is limited and is only available every two weeks.

Devil’s Crown: Offering once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to visitors, this tourist site at Devil’s Crown boasts some of the best snorkeling in the archipelago. Imagine swimming around a submerged volcano that continues to sink further due to tectonic plating. Hundreds of different colorful fish species can be found here among the coral reefs. Sharks (most notably hammer heads), rays, sea turtles, and sea lions are also common visitors, making this an underwater spectacle that cannot be missed.

Cormorant Point: Another fun and interesting visitor site, two incredible but geologically different beaches reside here. One of the beaches looks green because of olivine crystals and the other is appropriately called Flour Beach – it’s covered in powdery white sand made of fine pulverized coral. Flamingos can be seen wading through saltwater ponds looking for shrimp, which give them their bright and vibrant colors. It is unquestionably a unique location.

Possible Activities: Snorkel, dinghy ride and hike

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Type of Landing: Wet Landing

Highlights:  Devil’s Crown – a wide array of colorful fish species – king angel fish, balloon fish, yellow tail grunts, white-tipped sharks, hammerheads, eagle rays, sea turtles, sea lions and more.  Cormorant Point – flamingoes, green olivine crystal beach, coral beach, pintail ducks, large-billed fly catchers, several finches, green turtle nesting area, and stilts.

Post Office Bay/Baroness Lookout Point

Post Office Bay: A bay created entirely due to human settlements on the island, Post Office Bay is the site of the first official post office erected by passing whalers in the 1700’s. A tourist attraction has arisen here as many visitors leave addressed messages on post cards in a barrel to be sent by future visitors while picking up post cards left behind by previous visitors to send when they return home – a fun way to deliver the mail!

Baroness Lookout Point: On the northern part of the island, Baroness Lookout Point has a beautiful landscape and historic message. It was named after the supposed Austrian Baroness who was at the heart of many mysterious disappearances and well-known stories of loathing by those on Floreana.

Possible Activities: Hike, kayak, dinghy ride, snorkel

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Type of Landing:  Wet Landing

Highlights:  Barrel Post Office – leave/pick up post cards, remnants of Norwegian settlement, beach, sea turtles, amazing landscapes.

Snorkeling – Sea turtles, corals, rays, colorful assortment of fish species.

Santa Cruz – Charles Darwin Research Station

Charles Darwin Research Station: Boasting the longest paved road in the archipelago, Santa Cruz Island is home to a population of 12,000 people, and is one of the most popular tourist destinations given its infrastructure and different attractions around the island.

Conservation efforts, easily evident around the island, are especially focused on eliminating all non-native plants and animals that wreak havoc on the delicate endemic ecosystem, further reducing the numbers of unique species here. Although volcanic activity is longer active on this island, the towering peaks and scars left on the landscape are a constant reminder of its past.

Possible Activities: Hike

Difficulty: Easy

Type of Landing: Dry

Highlights: See the latest advances in research at the Charles Darwin Research Station.

Also see Giant Tortoises and land iguanas.

Transfer to Baltra Airport

We will now transfer you to your scheduled departure flight from Baltra Airport to mainland Ecuador.  Safe travels!

Important:

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

The wildlife described above is not guaranteed to be seen during your visit.  Please remember to respect your distance between any and all wildlife.

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FULL ITINERARY
ACTIVITY CHART

Itineraries are subject to change without prior notice. Changes to your Endemic cruises’ Galapagos expedition schedule may occur due to weather conditions, National Park regulations, emergencies on board, or any unforeseen situation.