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Beach on Isabela island

Santa Cruz to San Cristobal Island

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard M/Y Stella Maris
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Enjoy this 8-day adventure in the Galapagos Islands, cruising in luxury aboard the Stella Maris from Santa Cruz to San Cristobal Island. Participate in diving excursions, hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, and wildlife viewing with expert private guides trained exclusively for Stella Maris clientele. A charter-only experience, explore the Galapagos Islands aboard your yacht in ultimate comfort and style, and enjoy the wonders the Islands have to offer like never before. Conclude your cruise with a visit to the San Cristobal Interpretation Center for an enlightening tour of the Islands' geological history as well as today's Galapagos conservation efforts. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Baltra | Santa Cruz: Charles Darwin
Day 2 : Sombrero Chino | Rabida Island
Day 3 : Espumilla Beach | Caleta Bucanero
Day 4 : Espinoza Point | Isabela: Caleta Tagus
Day 5 : Isabela Island: Elizabeth Bay & Moreno Point
Day 6 : Tintoreras | Tortoise Breeding Center
Day 7 : Santa Cruz Island | Tortuga Bay
Day 8 : San Cristobal Interpretation Center

Highlights

  • Encounter the unique wildlife of the Galapagos Islands on daily excursions
  • Explore Espumilla Beach and observe its varied birdlife
  • Snorkel in a partially sunken cave on Isabela Island
  • Visit the Tortoise Breeding Center of Isabela and its beautiful gardens
  • Tour the San Cristobal Interpretation Center and learn the Islands' history

Ship

M/Y Stella Maris

Places Visited

  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos
  • South America
  • Elizabeth Bay
  • Espumilla Beach
  • Fernandina
  • Isabela
  • Las Tintoreras
  • Punta Espinosa
  • Punta Moreno
  • Rabida
  • San Cristobal
  • San Cristobal Interpretation Center
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santiago
  • Tagus Cove
  • Tortuga Bay

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

The iconic feet of a Blue-Footed Booby A curious sea lion checks out snorkelers in the Galapagos Islands Flamingo wading in the water Isabela rock with birds Beach on Isabela island

Day 1 Baltra | Santa Cruz: Charles Darwin

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Arrive on Baltra and transfer to Charles Darwin Santa Cruz (Indefatigable) Island. Given the name of the Holy Cross in Spanish, this island's English name derives from the British vessel HMS Indefatigable. It has an area of 986 square kilometers (381 sq mi).

Day 2 Sombrero Chino | Rabida Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Chinese Hat is a small islet located near the southeast coast of Santiago. It’s shaped like a hat. This visit provides an excellent opportunity for the interpretation of geological features such as lava tubes and lava flows. Rabida Island (Jervis) bears the name of the convent of Rábida, where Columbus left his son during his voyage to the Americas. It has an area of 4.9 square kilometers (1.9 sq mi) and a maximum altitude of 367 meters (1,204 ft). Rábida has a distinctive red color due to the high concentration of iron that was contained in the lava at the moment of its formation.

Day 3 Espumilla Beach | Caleta Bucanero

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Espumilla Beach is located at the north end of Puerto Egas. The large coffee-colored sand beach is just north of the prized fresh water supply that once attracted pirates and whalers to this site. The trail heads into a sparsely forested area then takes the visitor back to the beach. Along the way those with a watchful eye may spot a variety of Galapagos finches or a vermilion flycatcher. Beyond the mangroves is a brackish lagoon where pink flamingos and white-cheeked pintails can be seen. Once back at the beach visitors may have the chance to swim or snorkel, time permitting.

Egas Point is a black sand beach located on the west side of James Bay and northwest of Santiago Island. There is a colony of fur seals and marine iguanas. Snorkeling from the beach is a common activity at this site.

Day 4 Espinoza Point | Isabela: Caleta Tagus

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Espinoza Point is a narrow ledge of lava and sand that extends from the base of the volcano to the sea located at the northeastern tip of Fernandina Island. Punta Espinoza is famous for its large colonies of marine iguanas and is the habitat of unique species like the flightless cormorant, Galapagos penguin, Galapagos hawk, and Galapagos snake, among others. It is an ideal place to observe the lava cactus (Brachycerus nesioticus), which grow on young lava and survive with little water.

Caleta Tagus is located west of Darwin Volcano on Isabela Island. The route of the trail is about 1800 meters. This was a favorite spot for pirates and whalers. At the start of the walk, going up and passing the staircase, is a small cave where we find inscriptions dating to the 1800s, proof of his visits to the islands.

Day 5 Isabela Island: Elizabeth Bay & Moreno Point

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Elizabeth Bay, located on the most western northern tip of Isabela Island, provides a spectacular landscape view of Ecuador’s volcanic caldera. The spot is a popular anchorage from which to take a panga (dingy) ride along the cliffs that are the remains of the volcano or snorkel in a partially sunken cave which is rich in marine life and a breathtaking experience. Masked and blue-footed boobies sit perched along the point and the sheer cliffs, while flightless cormorants inhabit the shoreline.

Moreno Point is located on the north coast of Isabela Island between the volcano Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul volcano. The main attractions at Punta Moreno are coastal lagoons amid black lava flows where there are several species of birds. It has a panoramic view of three volcanoes, the most active of which are Sierra Negra, Cerro Azul of Isabela Island, and La Cumbre of Fernandina Island.

Day 6 Tintoreras | Tortoise Breeding Center

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The islet Las Tintoreras is located south of Puerto Villamil. It has a small bay of completely calm turquoise waters, where you can appreciate sea lions, sea turtles, marine iguanas, rays, etc. The bay is connected to a crevice of crystal-clear shallow water, and when the tide is low, the entrance closes. In this crevice, you can see how reef sharks swim along with other small fish and sea lions.

The Tortoise Breeding Center of Isabela is located 1.5 km from Puerto Villamil. You can walk or drive. In this Breeding Center populations from South Isabela (Sierra Negra Volcano, Cerro Azul): Cazuela, Cinco Cerros, Roca Union, San Pedro, Tables and Cerro Paloma, have been reproduced in captivity. In total there are 330 between juvenile and adult tortoises. The Center has beautiful gardens consisting of native plants such as manzanillo (Hippomane mancinella), mesquite (Prosopis juliflora), prickly pear (Opuntia spp), palo santo (Bursera graveolens), lime prickly-ash (Zanthoxylum fagara), thorn shrub (Scutia pauciflora) Galapagos croton (Croton scouleri), and many other native flora.

Day 7 Santa Cruz Island | Tortuga Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Santa Cruz (Indefatigable) Island (Galápagos): Given the name of the Holy Cross in Spanish, its English name derives from the British vessel HMS Indefatigable. It has an area of 986 square kilometers (381 sq mi) and a maximum altitude of 864 meters (2834ft).

Tortuga Bay, located on Santa Cruz Island, is also a favorite place for sea turtles (which gave the name to the beach), sea lions, marine iguanas, pelicans, flamingos, and lava gulls which are endemic to the Islands and are commonly found along the shore of most beaches. It takes around an hour walk to get to the beach. You are able to see beautiful birds, including the famous Galapagos finches, as you walk. The trail to the beach is paved and marked. There are two beaches at Tortuga Bay. The main beach is used for surfing due to its strong waves. If you want to swim and just relax you can head to the west side of the beach where the waters are calm. The beaches are separated by red mangrove. Exotic and endemic plants of the Galapagos Islands are also all around the beach. As you walk around the Island of Santa Cruz make sure you visit the famous Lava Tunnels, also named Lava Tubes.

Day 8 San Cristobal Interpretation Center

  • 1 Breakfast
The San Cristobal Interpretation Center is located on San Cristobal Island. The tour offered by the Interpretation Center facilities takes the visitor through the history of the islands in the context of their geological formation, first human settlements and history, and today’s conservation issues and efforts.

M/Y Stella Maris

Per person starting at
$14,583
Stella Maris master suite
Select a Date
Master Suite
1 cabin located on upper deck. Offers a full beam layout with King-sized bed, desk, armchair, and magnificent view. Amenities include: Wi-Fi, LED TV, Bluetooth sound link, DVD/Blu-ray player, air conditioning, private en suite facilities. 29 sq m.
Select a Date
VIP
2 VIP cabins located on main deck, 1 cabin located on lower deck; all feature Queen-sized beds. Amenities include: Wi-Fi, LED TV, Bluetooth sound link, DVD/Blu-ray player, air conditioning, private en suite facilities. 18 sq m.
Stella Maris cabin
Select a Date
Standard
3 cabins located on lower deck, featuring twin beds. Amenities include: Wi-Fi, LED TV, Bluetooth sound link, DVD/Blu-ray player, air conditioning, private en suite facilities. 12 sq m.

Notes

The luxury motor yacht Stella Maris is a CHARTER-ONLY yacht. She offers the following extensive list of yacht charter amenities and extras:
  • Accommodation on board
  • Transfers around the islands
  • All excursions approved by the GNP
  • Bilingual national park guide
  • Use of the yacht's water sports gear
  • Fuel surcharge
  • Free airport assistance
  • 24hr Crew Assistance
Not included:
  • Roundtrip airfare to/from Galapagos
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • $100 Galapagos National Park fee per person
  • $10 Transit Control Card per person
  • Travel / medical insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips / A.P.A (Advance Provisioning Allowance)
Please note:

The A.P.A amount is used to cover expenses during the course of the charter in the Galapagos Islands such as: food, beverages, Galapagos National Park tax, Transit Card Tax, and other expenses not included in the Charter Fee. If there is a cancellation of the charter the A.P.A is refundable.

The crew manager of the yacht is responsible for accounting all A.P.A expenses during the charter and the breakdown will be presented to the client at the end of the charter.


Please note: The itinerary may be subject to change due to weather conditions or National Park directives. The captain may deviate from the published itinerary for any reason he deems advisable.
 

Child Discount

Children under 12 receive a discount of $135 off adult flight rates, and discounted Galapagos Entrance Fee of $50

Included

  • Accommodations on board M/Y Stella Maris based on double occupancy
  • Meals while in the Galapagos
  • Bilingual Naturalist Guide
  • Shore Excursions
  • Swimming and Snorkeling
  • Adventure Life Pre-departure Services and In-Country Assistance (Quito Representative)
  • Transfers and Baggage Handling in the Galapagos
  • Snorkeling Equipment

Excluded

  • Airfare (see Galapagos Flights)
  • Quito/Guayaquil Hotel and Transfers
  • $100 Galapagos Park Fee
  • $80 Galapagos Transit Card and Airport Assistance
  • $45 International Departure Tax
  • Minimum experience to participate: 30 logged dives or the previous evaluation of Stella Maris dive guides at another site.
  • Wetsuit rental included in charter rate.
  • 4 kayaks included in charter rate. 1 paddleboard also included.
  • Gratuities and drinks aboard the ship
  • Travel Insurance

Galapagos Flights

  • Quito - Galapagos Roundtrip
    • $530 - $595
  • Guayaquil - Galapagos Roundtrip
    • $475 - $540

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Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.
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