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Sierra Negra, Isabela Island, Galapagos

Islands Circumnavigation

Example 15 Day Cruise aboard Tip Top II
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Take a 15-day cruise that covers all the magnificent wonders the Galapagos has to offer. Spend your days exploring the archipelago, swimming with friendly sea lions, and encountering Galapagos penguins, frigatebirds, flightless cormorants, giant tortoises, and many more unique native species! Get to know this fascinating and diverse world inside and out, visiting locations such as Santa Cruz, Isabela, Fernandina, Santuago, Genovesa, Rabida, Floreana, Española, and San Cristobal. Enjoy plenty of opportunities to snorkel, swim, and wander through the islands of this archipelago.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Baltra | Santa Cruz Island | Embark
Day 2 : Santiago | Bartolome
Day 3 : Genovesa
Day 4 : Santiago
Day 5 : Isabela | Fernandina
Day 6 : Isabela
Day 7 : Isabela
Day 8 : Santa Cruz Island
Day 9 : Santa Fe | South Plaza Island
Day 10 : Chinese Hat | Rabida Island
Day 11 : Santa Cruz Island
Day 12 : Floreana
Day 13 : Espanola
Day 14 : San Cristobal | Leon Dormido
Day 15 : North Seymour | Disembark | Baltra

Highlights

  • Swim and snorkel at volcanic Sullivan Bay
  • Land at Darwin Bay and observe frigatebirds, boobies, turtles & iguanas
  • Navigate around Buccaneer Cove, an area of steep cliffs and dark beaches
  • Visit the Charles Darwin Station and its Interpretive Center

Ship

Tip Top II

Places Visited

  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos
  • South America
  • Bachas Beach
  • Baltra
  • Bartolome
  • Black Turtle Cove
  • Buccaneer Cove
  • Centro de Crianza (Turtle Breeding Ctr.)
  • Charles Darwin Center
  • Chinese Hat
  • Darwin Bay
  • Devil's Crown
  • Dragon Hill
  • Elizabeth Bay
  • Espanola
  • Fernandina
  • Floreana
  • Gardner Bay
  • Genovesa
  • Highlands
  • Isabela
  • James Bay
  • Leon Dormido
  • North Seymour
  • Post Office Bay
  • Prince Philip's Steps
  • Punta Espinosa
  • Punta Suarez
  • Punta Vicente Roca (Galapagos)
  • Rabida
  • San Cristobal
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santa Fe
  • Santiago
  • Sierra Negra Volcano
  • South Plaza Island
  • Sullivan Bay
  • Urbina Bay
  • Witch Hill

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Sierra Negra, Isabela Island, Galapagos View from Bartolome Island Travelers enjoying a guided hike around the Galapagos Elizabeth Bay, Isabela Island, Galapagos, Sea Lion Kayaking Elizabeth's Bay

Day 1 Baltra | Santa Cruz Island | Embark

Fly from mainland Ecuador (Quito or Guayaquil) to Baltra and arrive at approximately 9:20 AM. Your guide conducts you to a bus, and after a short 5-kilometer ride to the pier you are ready to board the Tip Top II. As the crew weighs anchor, be greeted with your first orientation and a light snack. After navigating, disembark on Playa Las Bachas, a place where you can appreciate a flamingo lagoon. During all walks, your guide explains the details about the lives of the birds and animals. There is an optional opportunity for swimming and/or snorkeling. In the evening enjoy an orientation about the Galapagos Islands in general, a welcome cocktail with the entire crew, and dinner.

Day 2 Santiago | Bartolome

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast make a wet landing at Sullivan Bay, the perfect place to get a feel of the volcanic origin of the islands. Enjoy some swimming and snorkeling. Return to the boat for a delicious lunch and in the afternoon, make a dry landing on Bartolome Island and hike to the summit. During the hike observe colonies of marine iguanas and lava lizards. On the summit you can see an impressive view of the surrounding islands, including the eroded tuff cone of Pinnacle Rock. Return to the yacht for a delicious dinner and your nightly orientation.

Day 3 Genovesa

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, take a panga ride and make a dry landing on Prince Phillips’s Steps (Barranco). Walk and observe the interesting lives of the birds here then come aboard for a delicious lunch. Later in the afternoon make a wet landing on Darwin Bay to walk and observe frigatebirds, herons, mockingbirds, boobies, shorebirds, turtles, marine iguanas, etc. There is optional time for those who like to swim, snorkel, or kayak. Enjoy dinner on the ship, and then join your orientation about conservation efforts made to protect the Islands.

Day 4 Santiago

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, make a wet landing at James Bay (Puerto Egas) to walk and observe sponges, snails, hermit crabs, a variety of shore birds, barnacles and the endemic four-eyed blenny, marine iguanas, and sea lions. There is optional time for swimming, snorkeling, or kayaking. Return to the boat for a delicious lunch. In the afternoon, navigate around Buccaneer Cove (Caleta Bucanero), an area of steep cliffs and dark beaches. The cliffs and pinnacle are used as nesting areas by several species of seabirds. This was a popular place for 17th & 18th-century buccaneers to careen their vessels. Here you can enjoy more optional time to swim, snorkel, or kayak. Then make a wet landing to walk along a coastal trail to visit an abandoned Salt Mine. Return to the ship for dinner and your nightly orientation.

Day 5 Isabela | Fernandina

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Make a morning visit to Punta Vicente Roca to observe plenty of sea lions, marine iguanas, blue-footed and masked boobies, and flightless cormorants. Enjoy some swimming and snorkeling. After lunch, make a dry landing on Punta Espinoza to observe and see a large colony of sea lions, marine iguanas, and the flightless cormorants. The unique landscape here is covered with clumps of lava cactus. Return to the ship for dinner and your nightly orientation.

Day 6 Isabela

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Start out the day by taking a trip to Urbina Bay to take a walk and observe a coral area, land iguanas, flightless cormorants, and giant tortoises. Enjoy some time for swimming or snorkeling. Return to the yacht for lunch and in the afternoon make a panga ride around the islets of Elizabeth Bay to see marine iguanas, penguins, marine turtles, seabirds and shorebirds, herons and blue-footed boobies. Go back to the ship for dinner and your nightly orientation.

Day 7 Isabela

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, make an expedition to Sierra Negra Volcano, considered the oldest of the volcanoes on Isabela. The crater of Sierra Negra is 10 km in diameter and is the second largest in the world; its last eruption occurred in 2005. The sulfur, iron, and the cooled magma make up a colorful landscape. Your adventure begins with a 45-minute ride on a bus to the “Paradero Sierra Negra” in the highlands of Isabela - from here walk through slopes of the volcano. The trail leads to Volcan Chico (on the northeast side of Sierra Negra Volcano), a fissure composed of scum and lava. This fissure had its last eruption in 1979 and the volcanic activity lasted for a week. From here you have an amazing view of the north of the island and if the day is clear, a majestic view of the Perry Isthmus, a surrounding island. This expedition allows you to step through volcanic features and over lava flows formed in very recent years. You can also see the formations of petrified lava of many different colors and textures and fumaroles scattered throughout this area.

Return to the ship for lunch and in the afternoon visit Humedales, where you can see a series of lagoons, mangrove species, flamingos, and numerous migratory birds. After that, make a visit to the Breeding Center “Arnaldo Tupiza”, where you can observe tortoises of different ages and sizes (In total there are 330 between juvenile and adult tortoises) and where you can learn about the reproduction of the giant tortoises. Return to the ship for a delicious dinner and your nightly orientation.

Day 8 Santa Cruz Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, disembark and take a bus to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island for a visit to the native forests and twin craters. Return to the ship for a delicious lunch. In the afternoon, land at the pier for a visit to the Charles Darwin Station and its Interpretive Center. Return to the port for a walk through the little town to appreciate various handicrafts. Return to the ship for dinner and your nightly orientation.

Day 9 Santa Fe | South Plaza Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Embark on a morning excursion to Santa Fe Island to visit the cactus forest and a colony of land iguanas. Later on take some time to go swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking if you are in the mood. Enjoy some lunch aboard the ship and then sail on to South Plaza. Here have a chance to be entertained by the antics of the local sea lions. There is a cactus forest here that is great for observing land iguanas and many species of tropical birds. After this amazing day of sightseeing, return to the boat for a great dinner and your nightly ortientation.

Day 10 Chinese Hat | Rabida Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enjoy an early breakfast and make a wet landing on Chinese Hat, a small island off the Coast of Santiago Island where an abundance of wildlife can be seen. Amongst the species here are Galapagos penguins, eagle rays, sea lions, and marine iguanas. This is an excellent snorkeling site and should definitely be taken advantage of if wanted. There is an optional opportunity for some swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking.

After lunch make a wet landing on Rabida, a great place to take a nice walk and observe marine iguanas, sea lions, pelicans, blue-footed boobies, masked boobies, and brown pelicans in their natural habitat. A short walk takes you to a small saltwater lagoon where the incredible beauty of the pink flamingo can be observed. Watch as they manage to stay balanced on one foot. There is plenty of time for you to take a nice swim along with some excellent snorkeling. You can also enjoy kayaking around the island before returning to the ship for dinner.

Day 11 Santa Cruz Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast take a panga ride to Black Turtle Cove. This area consists of a series of mangrove-surrounded coves and islets which are excellent for observing white-tipped sharks, marine turtles, spotted eagle rays, and yellow cow-nosed rays. Return to the boat for a delicious lunch.

Later in the afternoon, make a dry landing on Dragon Hill, an excellent location for seeing land iguanas in large quantities. Walk to a hypersalinic lagoon that is saltier than the ocean. This is a great location for observing various species of birds including flamingos, common stilts, pintail ducks, and other species of birds. Take some time for some excellent snorkeling and explore the unique underwater world. You can also enjoy a peaceful kayaking excursion or just take a nice relaxing swim in the crystal-clear waters. Return to the ship for dinner and your nightly orientation.

Day 12 Floreana

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Make a wet landing in Post Office Bay, a historic site that recalls the days of the whalers. They presumably placed a wooden barrel here in the 18th century to use it as a post office. Leave a postcard and grab another that has been left to deliver at home. Enjoy some time to go swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking. Then take a panga ride and observe sea lion rookeries, a main attraction, on the beach and in the bay, sea turtles and marine iguanas. After lunch, visit the Devil’s Crown, a submerged volcano. This is a great location for snorkeling for those who wish to participate; it is one of the best snorkeling sites in the Islands. Make a wet landing on Point Cormorant for a short walk to the Flamingo Lagoon. Continue the walk until you reach the beach called "La Picona" to see marine turtles and their spawning grounds. There is an optional chance for a nice swim and some snorkeling at this beach. Later return to the yacht for dinner and nightly orientation.

Day 13 Espanola

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Make an early land on Punta Suarez to walk along amazing lava beds and observe the unique colonies of marine birds, including albatross. After lunch make a wet landing in Gardner Bay for a walk on the beach to observe a colony of sea lions. These friendly sea lions inhabit the beach in great quantity during the breeding season. This location is also an important nesting area for sea turtles. Then, travel by panga to Osborn Islet and the islets of Gardner. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon swimming or snorkeling in the crystal-blue waters here. Return to the boat for a delicious dinner and evening orientation.

Day 14 San Cristobal | Leon Dormido

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, make a dry landing at San Cristobal port and take a short drive to Jacinto Gordillo Turtle Breeding Center where you can learn about the reproductive process and the programs to maintain the giant tortoise Take a bus back to the port to visit the Interpretation Center of Human History of the Islands; this tour takes you through the geological and human history of the islands and their conservation. Come aboard for a delicious lunch.

In the afternoon, your experienced Captain sails easily around Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido), a massive tuff-rock that juts abruptly almost 500 feet straight from the ocean. Kicker Rock serves as a nesting place for many sea birds. There is plenty of time for those who would like to swim and/or snorkel. Then, make a wet landing on Cerro Brujo to walk on a white-sand beach and observe sea lions, brown pelicans, marine iguanas, and blue-footed boobies. This location offers a perfect swimming, snorkeling, and/or kayaking opportunity. Return to the ship for dinner and your nightly orientation.

Day 15 North Seymour | Disembark | Baltra

  • 1 Breakfast
Start early after breakfast and head to North Seymour Island for a walk along the coast and interior of the island. North Seymour is a low, flat island that was uplifted from the sea by underground seismic activity. There are many animals to observe here including blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, pelicans, frigatebirds, shore birds, sea lions, and endemic Palo Santo. Return to the ship for disembarking on the pier at 09:00. Your guide accompanies you on the bus ride directly to the airport.

Tip Top II

Per person starting at
$8,195
Tip Top II
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Main Deck Single
Cabins 1 & 2 have one single lower double bed and are 120 sq ft. Can be booked as single or matrimonial.
Tip Top II
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Main Deck
Cabins 3-6 have two single lower berths and are 196 sq ft.
Tip Top II
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Upper Deck
Cabins 7-10 are located on the Upper Deck, are 170 sq ft and feature a private balcony. Cabins 9 &10 feature a single king bed and cabins 7 & 8 have two single lower berths.

Notes

​Rates include:
  • All meals and activities throughout the cruise
  • Bilingual national park guide
  • Snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel and fins)
  • Kayaks
  • Fuel surcharge
  • Flight tickets
  • Transfer airport/yacht/airport on Gps
Rates do not include:
  • $100 (Subject to change) Galapagos National Park entrance fee
  • $20 Transit Control Card
  • Alcoholic beverages consumed onboard
  • Gratuities
  • Cancellation/medical insurance
Special Notes:
  • Children under 12 during the time of the cruise will receive a discount, providing flight tickets are booked by Tip Top Travel and the child is accompanied by an adult.​
  • Generally infants are not accepted on board the Tip Top II, however each case is subject to review and availability. If accepted, the child discount applies.
  • In order to apply for the Family Room on board the Tip Top II, your party must include either 2 adults and one child under 12 years of age, or 2 adults and 2 children under 12 years of age. No additional discount applies to the Family Room rate. The Family Room rate cannot be applied to 3 or 4 adult passengers.


PLEASE NOTE: THIS ITINERARY IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT PREVIOUS NOTICE DUE TO OPERATIONAL REASONS, WEATHER CONDITIONS, OR BY THE AUTHORITIES OF GALAPAGOS NATIONAL PARK.

Included in Your Fare:
  • Flight to the Islands
  • Transfers airport / yacht / airport in Galapagos
  • Snorkel equipment
  • Kayaks
  • International and Ecuadorian food
  • Water
  • Coffee & Herbal tea
  • Personalized service
  • Air ticket
Not Included in Your Fare:
  • Galapagos National Park & Visit Card
  • Fees
  • Gratuities
  • Bar
  • Gifts and aditional items

Child Discount

10% discount for children under age 12 at time of Galapagos cruise.

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

Included

  • Accommodations on board Tip Top II 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
  • Sea Kayaking

Excluded

  • Airfare (see Galapagos Flights)
  • Quito/Guayaquil Hotel and Transfers
  • Fuel Surcharge
  • $100 Galapagos Park Fee
  • $80 Galapagos Transit Card and Airport Assistance
  • $45 International Departure Tax
  • Wetsuits available: $30 for 4-day cruises, $35 for 5-day cruises, $40 for 8-day cruises, $65 for 11-day cruises, $70 for 15-day cruises
  • Gratuities and drinks aboard the ship
  • Travel Insurance

Galapagos Flights

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

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Jenna F

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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