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Moreno Point, Isabela Island, Galapagos

Western Islands

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Nemo I
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This 8-day journey through the Western Islands of the Galapagos rounds the largest Island Isabela and passes by the pristine Fernandina. Anchor at Santiago´s James Bay and sail round the sea bird-laden volcano islet of Daphne Major. Explore the largest sea bird colonies and some of the most remote corners of the archipelago on this adventurous route with the most dramatic landscapes and amazing wildlife encounters.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Baltra | North Seymour | Embark
Day 2 : Genovesa
Day 3 : Bartolome | Chinese Hat
Day 4 : Santa Cruz
Day 5 : Isabela
Day 6 : Fernandina | Isabela
Day 7 : Santiago
Day 8 : Daphne | Baltra | Disembark

Highlights

  • Meet North Seymour's colonies of frigatebirds and blue-footed boobies
  • Walk, snorkel, and kayak next to Galapagos sea lions in Darwin Bay
  • Learn about Charles Darwin Research Station's conservation program
  • Look for marine iguanas and groups of Galapagos penguins in Marielas islets

Ship

Nemo I

Places Visited

  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos
  • South America
  • Baltra
  • Bartolome
  • Charles Darwin Center
  • Chinese Hat
  • Daphne Island
  • El Chato Tortoise Reserve
  • Elizabeth Bay
  • Espinosa Point
  • Fernandina
  • Genovesa
  • Isabela
  • North Seymour
  • Puerto Egas
  • Punta Moreno
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santiago
  • Urbina Bay

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Moreno Point, Isabela Island, Galapagos (Seymour) Sea Lions in and out of the H2O Kayaking Elizabeth's Bay Wooden boardwalk in Bartolome Chinese Hat (Sombrero Chino) Island, Galapagos

Day 1 Baltra | North Seymour | Embark

Upon arrival in Baltra, a naturalist guide from the Nemo I greets you and transfers you to the ferry across the Itabaca Channel. On Santa Cruz you continue by bus through the lush highlands to the harbour of Puerto Ayora. Then, take a dinghy to the yacht and head to your first stop, North Seymour Island.

On the island, enjoy the company of frigatebirds, swallow-tailed gulls, and sea lions as you walk along the beaches and rocky shorelines. Take a guided walk through the large seabird colonies, following a circular loop and watching as blue-footed boobies show their cute courtship rituals, in which their remarkable feet play an important role.

Day 2 Genovesa

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning, walk along the white coral sandy beaches of Genovesa, a favorite island for birdwatchers, as it is home to red footed-boobies, masked boobies, wandering tattlers, lava gulls, yellow warblers, whimbrels, and yellow-crowned, black-crowned, and lava herons. Darwin Bay is a compact site that shows the extreme varied coastal ecosystems of the Galapagos in miniature.

In the afternoon, explore Prince Phillip's Steps (also known as El Barranco). Here you can climb to a plateau that surrounds the eastern side of Darwin Bay as you search for red-footed boobies and masked boobies in the trees, and storm petrels and short-eared owls nesting in the lava flows. At the seaside of the rim, the bushes open up and you can enjoy wide views, a strong sea breeze, and the amazing flying skills of uncountable seabirds. 

Day 3 Bartolome | Chinese Hat

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The scenic views off Bartolome are some of the most stunning in all of the Galapagos. In this morning, take time to observe volcanic cones, lunar-like craters, lava fields, and the famous Toba formed pinnacle eroded by the sea. Then, walk to two breathtaking beaches, where you can find marine turtles and Galapagos penguins. Snorkel at the foot of  Pinnacle Rock, the most representative landmark of the Galapagos, with crescent sand beaches on each side, and dunes with evergreen mangrove bushes in between.

In the afternoon, hike around the unique island called Chinese Hat. This island features unique geological features such as lava flows and lava tubes. On the west side of the island, you can even find lava formations that formed under the sea and raised upwards. Also enjoy the company of sea lion colonies, marine iguanas, and Galapagos penguins that live around the island.

Day 4 Santa Cruz

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, travel by inflatable dinghy and private bus from the harbor of Puerto Ayora into the highlands. In the Chato Reserve (or a ‘tortoise farm’ in the agricultural zone) you can see Galapagos giant tortoises in the wild. The pond in the native forest reserve is the most authentic setting, but sometimes also requires an adventurous quest for these silent heavyweights. You have to listen carefully for the sound of heavy footsteps and of shrubs being slowly crushed. It is estimated that in 2015 about 32,000 tortoises lived in the wild in all the islands, most on restricted locations of Isabela.

In the afternoon, tour the Charles Darwin Research Center and learn about the biological research and indispensable conservation management of this unique archipelago. The complex houses a bunch of interpretation and information centers about the National Park and the Galapagos Marine Reserve. Discover the successful breeding center and encounter Galapagos giant tortoises.

Day 5 Isabela

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today, continue your journey around Isabela, starting with a journey around Punta Moreno. Walk along a trail that runs along a lava flow Pahohoe (solidified lava in the form of an accordion) into an area of coastal lagoons. As you hike around the lakes and mangroves, keep your eye out for the many bird species that live on the island. Tidal pools form natural traps and attract scavengers and hunters, such as bright orange Sally Lightfoot crabs, oystercatchers, and herons. During a dinghy ride along the jagged shoreline, you can spot marine iguanas that wait patiently for their turn at lowest tide to graze weeds on the seabed, and a breeding colony of brown pelicans in the mangroves.
 
In the afternoon, take a zodiac ride through Elizabeth Bay and Marielas Islets, an excellent place to spot marine iguanas and small family groups of Galapagos penguins in the front row of the cliffs. Next, turn landwards and enter the calm estuary. Whilst exploring lagoons and shallow creeks, the outboard engine can be turned off to enjoy sounds of nature. Meet brown pelicans, the only pelicans in the world that plunge-dive, though more superficial than the spectacular rocket-like diving of blue-footed boobies. 

Day 6 Fernandina | Isabela

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Start today with visits to Punta Espinosa, Fernandina’s only terrestrial visitor's site, and one of the few locations where you can find some bizarre outgrowths of natural selection. A perfect example is the emblematic flightless cormorant that lives exclusively in the remote west of Galapagos, and could be considered as the ‘holy grail of evolution’. Together with its neighbor, the Galapagos penguin, these are two of the rarest and most vulnerable bird species in the world, with less than 2000 individuals each.

In the afternoon, head back to Isabela and explore Urbina Bay. This very wide beach provides ample nesting places for iguanas, turtles, and even for Galapagos giant tortoises that descend all the way down from Alcedo volcano in the wet season. The marine and land iguanas of Urbina Bay are the largest of the Galapagos.

Day 7 Santiago

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning, walk along the black beaches of Puerto Egas, the southernmost visitor's site along James Bay. Walk through its masterly sculptured coastline of black basalts and polished multi-colored ash layers that form a photogenic scenery with collapsed lava tunnels, natural arches, caves, and blowholes. Explore a grotto at the end of the beach, where a colony of Galapagos fur seals occupies the shade, sheltering from the equatorial sun. This refuge is the very best place to see these endemic, shy, and once heavily hunted marine mammals.

In the afternoon, enjoy the sights of Espumilla Beach, an important breeding site for turtles that return year after year to bury their eggs into the cinnamon-colored sand dunes. Have a great snorkeling opportunity at Bucaneer Cove.

Day 8 Daphne | Baltra | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Spend your morning cruising around the beautiful Daphne Major, where you can view red-billed tropicbirds, Galapagos martins, short-eared owls, blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, and magnificent frigatebirds. This islet also has been the location for an important multi-decade study of Darwin’s finches.

After your trip to Daphne Major, transfer to the Baltra airport for your flight back to Guayaquil or Quito.

Nemo I

Per person starting at
$3,250
Bunk beds in a Nemo I cabin 7
Select a Date
Cabins
7 cabins

Notes

$0 - $4,000 single supplement

Please Note:
• Itinerary is subject to change in case of force majeure caused by exceptional and natural circumstances.
• Approximate departure and navigation times are just indicative and depend on the sea state and decisions of the captain.
• Observation of specific species can never be guaranteed.

Included in Your Fare: 
• All meals, water, coffee and (herbal) tea
• All excursions as mentioned in the itinerary (itinerary subject to change) with bilingual naturalist guide (English & Spanish)
• Assistance with the check-in procedure at Quito airport (if the flight has been booked together with the cruise)
• All transfers & ground transportation in the Galapagos as mentioned in the itinerary (airport-yacht-airport transfers in the Galapagos are only included if the flight has been booked together with the cruise)
• Snorkeling equipment
• Use of single/twin sea kayaks at approved visitor’s sites
• Bathroom and beach towels

Not Included in Your Fare:
• Return flights
• Galapagos National Park entrance fee
• Transit Control Card 
• Airport transfers in the Galapagos 
• Single Supplement fee for booking a guaranteed single cabin 
• Optional wetsuit rental (for wetsuit hire we need to know your size maximum 2 weeks before your travel to Galapagos S/M/L/XL)
• Soft and alcoholic drinks
• Personal travel insurance
• Personal expenses, extras and tips

Single Supplement

This yacht requires single travelers to pay a supplement for private accommodations unless a roommate can be found.

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 Nemo 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

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
  • Wetsuit Rental 4/5 days tour: $25 - 8 days tour: $35
  • Gratuities and drinks aboard the ship
  • Travel Insurance

Galapagos Flights

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

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Mary Curry
Mary C

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This was our first trip to South America and we were a little nervous. But Adventure Life made things so easy! All our questions were answered before we left, and our guide, Vidal, was amazing! He gave us enough space to explore without rushing us along. He also knew where the best picture taking opportunities were, which was great.
Lindsay Gompf

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