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A giant lagoon with hundreds of giant tortoises- La Galapaguera, San Cristobal

Northwestern Islands II

Example 11 Day Cruise aboard Archipell I
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Explore all the northwestern islands have to offer on this amazing 11-day cruise. This is an adventure packed full of outstanding opportunities to snorkel, swim, and wander through the islands of this archipelago. The northwest islands are known for their striking volcanic features, pristine white sand beaches, and peaceful lagoons, and are an excellent way to get to know the Galapagos! Take pleasure in the wide variety of flora and fauna here as well as spectacular scenery on these islands.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : San Cristobal | Embark | Galapaguera
Day 2 : South Plazas Island | Santa Fe Island
Day 3 : Peace Asylum | Loberia, Floreana
Day 4 : Charles Darwin Research Station | El Chato, Santa Cruz Island
Day 5 : Tintoreras | Wetlands, Isabela Island
Day 6 : Moreno Point | Elizabeth Bay, Isabela Island
Day 7 : Tagus Cove, Isabela Island | Espinoza Point, Fernandina Island
Day 8 : Bachas Beach, Santa Cruz Island | North Seymour
Day 9 : Prince Philip's Steps | Darwin Bay, Genovesa
Day 10 : Bartolome Island | Sullivan Bay, Santiago Island
Day 11 : Charles Darwin Research Station, Santa Cruz Island | Disembark | Baltra

Highlights

  • Swim in Santa Fe´s calm waters and snorkel with playful sea lions
  • Visit La Loberia, a small beach home to a colony of sea lions
  • Observe white tip sharks resting in the water near the shores of Tintoreras
  • Discover the marvelous Galapagos underwater world

Ship

Archipell I

Places Visited

  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos
  • South America
  • Bachas Beach
  • Baltra
  • Bartolome
  • Charles Darwin Center
  • Darwin Bay
  • Elizabeth Bay
  • Espinosa Point
  • Fernandina
  • Floreana
  • Genovesa
  • Haven of Peace
  • Highlands
  • Humedales and Wall of Tears
  • Isabela
  • La Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado
  • La Loberia
  • Las Tintoreras
  • North Seymour
  • Prince Philip's Steps
  • Punta Moreno
  • San Cristobal
  • San Cristobal Airport
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santa Fe
  • Santiago
  • South Plaza Island
  • Sullivan Bay
  • Tagus Cove

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

A giant lagoon with hundreds of giant tortoises- La Galapaguera, San Cristobal Kayak and snorkel in clear blue waters A male frigatebird rests in the trees of the Galapagos (Floreana) Coastline Blue-footed booby mating dance

Day 1 San Cristobal | Embark | Galapaguera

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today your guide awaits for you at San Cristobal Airport and takes you to the Archipell Catamaran which anchors at Baquerizo Moreno harbor. After arrival on board, check in and receive general information. Enjoy your first lunch aboard and prepare yourself for your first excursion to the Galapaguera, which is located in the northeast part of San Cristobal Island. This center has been created to conserve the San Cristobal tortoise species and has the goal to lead and guide the tourists in conservation topics and protection of the environment. An attractive trail native plants leads to meeting giant tortoises in their natural habitat.

Day 2 South Plazas Island | Santa Fe Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
South Plaza has unique Sesuvium plants and Opuntia cactuses scattered across the landscape which provide some of the most interesting wildlife observations available in Galapagos. Land iguanas are easily seen from the trail hiding under the shade of cactuses, waiting for a prickly pear to fall. 

Santa Fe is one of the most entertaining destinations for shore excursions at Galapagos Islands. It has two trail choices for visitors, one of which takes you to the tallest Opuntia cactus in the Galapagos, while the other trail takes you into the highlands where land iguanas can be found. After a long walk, the opportunity to swim in calm waters or snorkel with playful sea lions is pretty tempting.

Day 3 Peace Asylum | Loberia, Floreana

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Peace Asylum is a visitor site where an artisan spring is located. This spring attracted pirates, whalers and later settlers to Floreana as it was one of the very few year-round sources of fresh water in the Galapagos. La Cueva de los Piratas (Pirate’s Cave) is quite literally where pirates carved temporary shelter out of soft stone and is also the place where one of the original settlers landed.

La Loberia is a small beach, which is home to a colony of sea lions, as well as some marine iguanas. It’s possible to walk there from town for some recreational snorkeling. If you’re lucky, the sea lions join you! Fortunate snorkelers may spot a ray or a shark.

Day 4 Charles Darwin Research Station | El Chato, Santa Cruz Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Charles Darwin Research Station contains of an information centre, a museum, a library and a tortoise breeding station. In the tortoise breeding station you can encounter tortoises of different subspecies, which get prepared for reintroduction to their natural habitats. The most popular inhabitant of this Station probably is the Lonesome George turtle. 

The Highlands of Santa Cruz have incredible zones of vegetations. There make a visit to the private farm “Las Primicias”. This reserve offers you one of the best possibilities to see the huge turtles of Santa Cruz Island in their natural habitat. You can observe them from a very close distance.

Day 5 Tintoreras | Wetlands, Isabela Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Isabela Island is the largest of the archipelago with a surface of 4588 square kilometers. It engages more than the half of the land area of whole Galapagos. Take an easy walk through the unique lava landscape with its huge colonies of sea lizard and sea lion colonies on the island of Tintoreras. Have a chance to observe white tip sharks resting in the flat water near the shore.

Humedales (The Wetlands) are a complex 6km long trail, located south of Isabela Island. They have a wide variety of flora and fauna, as well as a spectacular scenery of the bay, the town of Puerto Villamil, volcanoes, islets and rocks. Isabela wetlands present both natural and introduced species.

Day 6 Moreno Point | Elizabeth Bay, Isabela Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Punta Moreno has a young volcanic landscape with numerous fresh-water pools and lagoons. This is a great habitat for flamingos, bahama ducks and other birds. Later travel to the mangrove area of Elizabeth Bay with little off-shore islands. There you can see little dwarf penguins as well as schools of manta rays, turtles and other giants of the ocean such as whale-sharks and others. The mangrove woods are home of different seabirds and herons. Elizabeth Bay is a marine visitor site. The excursion is carried out in a zodiac because there is no landing point. Your zodiac ride starts with a visit to the Marielas islets where the largest and most important penguin colony in the Galapagos Islands lives. The excursion continues into the cove that is surrounded by red mangroves where you are able to observe sea turtles, flightless cormorants, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, brown pelicans and sea lions.

Day 7 Tagus Cove, Isabela Island | Espinoza Point, Fernandina Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Take a tour along the cliffs of Tangus Cove in a zodiac to get a good chance at seeing the Galapagos penguin, the flightless cormorant and other sea birds. From the landing dock it is about a 30 minute hike along the trail up to the top of the cliff from where several volcanoes and the Darwin Lake can be viewed. This is an uplifted ultra saline lake saltier than the sea.

Espinoza Point is one of Fernandina’s visit points and is situated within a fascinating lava scenery with Lava-Cactuses and on the surface of the lava growing mangroves. The highlights are sea lions, penguins, the flightless cormorant (especially in spring and summer) and one of the biggest iguana colonies of Galapagos. Do not miss a snorkeling trip during which you have the possibility to explore the beautiful underwater world.

Day 8 Bachas Beach, Santa Cruz Island | North Seymour

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Las Bachas is a beautiful white-sand beach on the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island. Go for a stroll or do some easy snorkeling in the gentle surf. Sea turtles lay their eggs at the edge of the vegetation here. There is a rusted pontoon, a relic of the Second World War also at this location. Two barges were wrecked offshore at that time.

Afterwards, join an excursion to North Seymour, an island located slightly to the north of Baltra. It is a low, flat island, formed as a result of submarine lava formation uplift. Covered with low vegetation, it contains the largest colony of magnificent frigate birds in the Galapagos. There is also a large population of blue-footed boobies that perform an amusing courtship dance when nesting conditions are right. It really is one of the highlights of this island

Day 9 Prince Philip's Steps | Darwin Bay, Genovesa

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
El Barranco (Prince Philip’s Steps) is a staircase carved out of stone. This staris lead you to a wide plateau, where you can observe large colonies of masked boobies, frigate birds, storm petrels and bahama ducks. During this easy stroll cross a little Scalesia woodland, in which you can observe the short-eared owl. The same path leads you back to your catamaran.

In the afternoon visit Darwin Bay, the only sandy beach found in the crater of Genovesa Island. Colonies of great frigates are found along the beach. The males exhibit their red balloon pouch to females in hope of a match. Red-footed boobies nest in the trees in contrast to the other two booby species which nest in the ground.

Day 10 Bartolome Island | Sullivan Bay, Santiago Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning land at Bartolomé Island and admire the spectacular panorama of Sullivan Bay and the famous Pinnacle Rock. The beaches at the foot of Pinnacle Rock are excellent for snorkeling and for discovering the marvelous Galapagos underwater world. In the afternoon, visit Sullivan Bay on the east coast of Santiago. Then, land on a white coral sand beach and begin your walk over lava that flowed less than 100 years ago. This is the perfect place to see and feel the volcanic origin of the Galapagos.

Day 11 Charles Darwin Research Station, Santa Cruz Island | Disembark | Baltra

  • 1 Breakfast
In the morning, continue down to Puerto Ayora and tour the important Charles Darwin Research Station where you can visit one of the largest Galapagos tortoises and land iguana breeding centers. The local guide gives you a detailed explanation on the islands evolution. After that, transfer to Baltra airport for your flight back to mainland Ecuador.

Archipell I

Per person starting at
$6,823
Archipell I & II's Twin Cabin.
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Standard Cabin
8 cabins with twin or double beds. Feature private facilities with hot & cold water, A/C.

Notes

Please reserve your kayak in advance prior to trip

Child Discount

20% 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 Archipell I 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
  • $100 Galapagos Park Fee
  • $80 Galapagos Transit Card and Airport Assistance
  • $45 International Departure Tax
  • Wetsuits available - $10/day per person
  • Gratuities and drinks aboard the ship
  • Travel Insurance

Galapagos Flights

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

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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
Jack Charney

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