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Ray swimming in the Galapagos

Northwestern Islands I

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Archipell II
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Meet the unique wildlife and landscapes of the Galapagos northwestern islands on this 8-day voyage aboard the Archipell II. Spend 8 days exploring the rich shores of Santa Cruz, Isabela, Fernandina, Genovesa, Bartolome and Santiago, and become really immersed in the unique splendor of these islands. Wander across island trails, relax in white coral sand beaches, learn about giant tortoises reintroduction programs, and enjoy excellent swimming and snorkeling opportunities. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Baltra | Embark | Highlands, Santa Cruz Islands
Day 2 : Tintoreras | Breeding Center Arnaldo Tupiza | Wetlands, Isabela Island
Day 3 : Moreno Point | Elizabeth Bay, Isabela Island
Day 4 : Tagus Cove, Isabela Island | Espinoza Point, Fernandina Island
Day 5 : Bachas Beach, Santa Cruz Island | North Seymour
Day 6 : Bartolome Island | Sullivan Bay, Santiago
Day 7 : Wall of Tears | Interpretation Center, Isabela
Day 8 : Disembark | Baltra

Highlights

  • Meet the huge sea lizard and sea lion colonies of Tintoreras
  • Travel to Elizabeth Bay´s mangrove area to see schools of manta rays
  • Relax and swim at Las Bachas beautiful white-sand beach
  • Visit Santiago´s east coast to learn about the origin of the Galapagos

Ship

Archipell II

Places Visited

  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos
  • South America
  • Bachas Beach
  • Baltra
  • Bartolome
  • Elizabeth Bay
  • Espinosa Point
  • Fernandina
  • Highlands
  • Humedales and Wall of Tears
  • Isabela
  • Las Tintoreras
  • North Seymour
  • Punta Moreno
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santiago
  • Sullivan Bay
  • Tagus Cove

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Ray swimming in the Galapagos Taking a detailed tour with a very experienced guide. A pair of friendly sea lions Isabela, Volcano Negro Travelers take a zodiac through the waters of the Galapagos.

Day 1 Baltra | Embark | Highlands, Santa Cruz Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today your guide awaits for you at Baltra Airport and takes you to the Archipell Catamaran which anchors in Puerto Ayora harbor. After arrival on board, check in and receive general information, then enjoy your first lunch on board.

Afterwards get ready for your first excursion visit to the Highlands of Santa Cruz Island, and see incredible areas of vegetation. Later visit the private farm “Las Primicias”. This reserve offers you one of the best possibilities to see giant Galapagos tortoises of Santa Cruz Island in their natural habitat. You can observe them from a very close distance.

Day 2 Tintoreras | Breeding Center Arnaldo Tupiza | 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.

Visit the Breeding Center Arnaldo Tupiza, the Tortoise Breeding Center of Isabela, 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. Explore the Breeding Center's beautiful gardens, consisting of native plants, such as manchineel (poisonous apple tree), mesquite, prickly pear, holy stick, lime prickly-ash, thorn shrub, Galapagos croton, Glorybower, Sea Island or Creole cotton, radiate-headed plants, yellow cordia, snowberry or milkberry, myrtle, nickerbean or nickernut and Darwin's Daisy.

Afterwards stop at Humedales (The Wetlands), 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 3 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 4 Tagus Cove, Isabela Island | Espinoza Point, Fernandina Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Take a tour along the cliffs of Tagus 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 5 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 6 Bartolome Island | Sullivan Bay, Santiago

  • 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 7 Wall of Tears | Interpretation Center, Isabela

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning visit a historical place that was built by prisoners from Ecuador’s first jail. There learn something about their life and habits in jail. Later, visit the fascinating Interpretation Center Arnaldo Tupiza, where you can discover Galapagos’ mysteries and make a visit to the breading center.

Day 8 Disembark | Baltra

  • 1 Breakfast
Early in the morning after breakfast be transfered to Baltra’s airport to take the flight back to the continent.

Archipell II

Per person starting at
$4,962
Archipell I & II's Twin Cabin.
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Twin Cabin
Cabins feature lower berths and private en-suite bath facilities
Cruise the Galapagos on the Archipell ship
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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 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
  • $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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Kevin M

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Beyond expectations! Then again we weren't sure what to expect. Lovely stay at the lodge, met other like-minded travelers (many had their trips planned by Adventure Life) and the owner was a gracious hostess. It felt like you were one happy family, visiting with a favorite aunt.
Nancy Sin

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