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Sally Lightfoot Crab on a rock

Isabela, Fernandina & Central Islands

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Petrel
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Aboard the Petrel, visit Isabela, Fernandina, and the Central Islands of the Galapagos. Explore rocky coastlines, volcanic landscapes, beaches, and forest trails while viewing abundant wildlife. Snorkel, hike, and ride by dinghy to experience impressive landscapes, historic sites, and a Research Center while on your Galapagos tour.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Baltra Island / Embark / North Seymour Island
Day 2 : Isabela - Vicente Roca Point / Fernandina - Esp
Day 3 : Isabela - Tagus Cove & Urbina Bay
Day 4 : Isabela - Elizabeth Bay & Moreno Point
Day 5 : Isabela - Sierra Negra Volcano, Wetlands, & the Wall of Tears
Day 6 : Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Station & Los Gemelos
Day 7 : South Plaza Island & Santa Fe Island
Day 8 : San Cristobal - Isla Lobos / Disembark


  • Take a dinghy ride around Elizabeth Bay and see an abundance of marine life
  • View the Sierra Negra Volcano and enjoy sites of the lowlands
  • See a plethora of birds while hiking along tide pools and mangroves
  • Visit Lobos Island and watch the sea lions rest and play on the shores



Places Visited

  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos
  • South America
  • Baltra
  • Charles Darwin Center
  • Elizabeth Bay
  • Espinosa Point
  • Fernandina
  • Humedales and Wall of Tears
  • Isabela
  • Los Gemelos (Twin Craters)
  • Punta Moreno
  • San Cristobal
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santa Fe
  • Sierra Negra Volcano
  • South Plaza Island
  • Tagus Cove
  • Vicente Roca Point


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Sally Lightfoot Crab on a rock Rocky coastline of Isabela Kayaking Tagus Cove Land Iguana, North Seymour View of Isabela From Fernandina

Day 1 Baltra Island / Embark / North Seymour Island

Arrive in Baltra airport and transfer to the boat. Attend a briefing on board about the boat and the island.

Explore the rocky coast of North Seymour Island, where Galapagos sea lions, blue-footed boobies, and magnificent frigatebirds are abundant. The island was formed by a series of submarine lavas containing layers of sediment that were uplifted by tectonic activity. The island is characterized by its arid vegetation zone.

Day 2 Isabela - Vicente Roca Point / Fernandina - Esp

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The largest in the archipelago, the seahorse-shaped island of Isabela is also one of the youngest and most volcanically active. The morning visit is to Vicente Roca Point. The remnants of an ancient volcano form two turquoise coves, with a large bay protected from ocean swells and with spectacular sea life. Keep an eye out for seahorses, sea turtles, and the strange yet fascinating Mola-mola (sunfish).

Crossing the Bolivar Channel that divides Isabela and Fernandina Islands, land at Espinosa Point. After walking past a colony of marine iguanas and a group of sea lions gathered on black lava rocks, reach the island's highlight: the flightless cormorant nesting site. This area also provides a great opportunity to see the Galapagos hawk.

Day 3 Isabela - Tagus Cove & Urbina Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Tagus Cove is located across from Fernandina Island, near the Bolivar Channel dividing the two islands. This spot has been frequented by ships since the 1800s, using the area as an anchorage site. Trails winding by Lake Darwin up to a ridge display wonderful views. Punta Tortuga, just north of Tagus Cove, is another lovely beach surrounded by mangroves. Here have the opportunity to see penguins as well as marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs, and sea lions.

Urbina Bay is located at the base of Alcedo Volcano on the west coast, between Tagus Cove and Elizabeth Bay. This area experienced a major uplift in 1954, causing the land to rise over 16 feet. The coast expanded half a mile out, leaving marine life stranded on the new shore. This area is a great place for snorkeling, where you may spot turtles and rays.

Day 4 Isabela - Elizabeth Bay & Moreno Point

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Elizabeth Bay is located on the east coast of Isabela Island. The bay contains many islets, which can be visited by dinghy. As the ship enters the bay, hawks soar overhead and penguins and blue-footed boobies can be spotted on the rocky islets. With an abundance of marine life and clear water, the area is perfect for snorkeling and viewing schools of colorful fish, sea lions, and perhaps even sharks.

Moreno Point is located near Elizabeth Bay on the west coast of Isabela Island. The plethora of birds seen during a dinghy ride along the striking rocky shores or a hike along path through lava rock leading to tide pools and mangroves create a birdwatcher’s delight. In the tide pools green sea turtles or white-tip sharks can be spotted.

Day 5 Isabela - Sierra Negra Volcano, Wetlands, & the Wall of Tears

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Sierra Negra Volcano boasts the largest basaltic caldera in Galapagos at 9 x 10km. The site offers impressive views of the lowlands and the opportunity to observe up to 7 species of finch and a rich display of vegetation. The north side of the caldera provides evidence of its most recent volcanic activity in 2005.

The Wetlands of Isabela Island consist of lagoons, swamps, and mangroves and are home to a variety of unique bird species such as common stilts, whimbrels, white-cheeked pintails, and gallinules. The Wetlands can be visited on foot via a path that winds through the swamps.

From 1945-1959, a penal colony hosted prisoners who were forced to build a wall, stone by stone, in isolation. This now historical site (El Muro de las Lagrimas), towering at 65 feet (25m) high, took the lives of thousands during its construction. Locals claim to hear cries emanating from the heavy energy surrounding the site.

Day 6 Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Station & Los Gemelos

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Charles Darwin Research Station provides scientific assistance to ensure the proper preservation of the Galapagos. The statios is home to turtles ranging from 3-inches (new hatchlings) to 4-feet long. Subspecies of turtles interact with one another and many of the older turtles are accustomed to humans, stretching out their heads for a pet. The babies are kept until they are about four years old and strong enough to survive on their own.

Los Gemelos, or The Twins, are two volcanic depressions on the highest part of Santa Cruz. On your visit to the highlands, walk along a path, observing the hills, ferns, volcanoes, and rich wildlife. This area is home to giant tortoises, forest, mockingbirds, Bahama ducklings, white-cheeked pintail ducklings, Darwin finches, and many other species. Come upon the underground lava tubes, which are more than one kilometer (half a mile) long. Local guides provide information and flashlights. Walking through the lava tubes is a unique and surreal experience.

Day 7 South Plaza Island & Santa Fe Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
South Plaza Island is a small island with steep cliffs formed by rising lava and is now covered by Opuntia cacti. It is also home to one of the largest sea lion colonies as well as colorful yellow and red land iguanas. The most characteristic plant is the Sesuvium. During the rainy season its color is a greenish to yellowish tone and in the dry season (end of June through January) a bright red.

Santa Fe (Barrington) is home to the small picturesque bay and anchorage on the island’s northeast coast. The bay has two visitor trails, one leading to a scenic viewpoint atop a cliff, and the other spanning from a small beach to a tall prickly pear cactus forest. Endemic land iguanas are often seen.

Day 8 San Cristobal - Isla Lobos / Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
In the early morning, visit Isla Lobos or Lobos Island, named after the sea lions that rest and play on its rocky shores. It is also home to blue-footed boobies, great frigatebirds, brown pelicans, lava gulls, common noddies, yellow warblers and small and medium ground finches. There is good snorkeling in the clear waters of the channel and this is one of the best sites at which to swim with sea lions underwater.

Disembark and transfer to the airport for your returning flight to Ecuador's mainland.



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Petrel Savings - Book now and save 10%.
Applies to Dec 9, 2016 departure
Per person starting at
Suite on the Galapagos ship Petrel
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6 Double Staterooms located on both the Main and the Upper Decks: 323 ft² with private balcony and en-suite bath facilities. 1 Single Stateroom located on the Upper Deck: 151 ft² with en-suite bath facilities.
Suite on the Galapagos ship Petrel
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2 spacious Suites located on the Main Deck include a sitting area, private balcony and en-suite bath facilities. 463ft²


* Prices per person, based on a double occupancy

* Please keep in mind that for individual bookings, children must be at least 7 years old to participate in the tour.


Please note: This Galapagos cruise itinerary is subject to change without previous notice due to weather conditions and National Park regulations. Itineraries of 8 or more days may be scheduled to stop at ports for various cruise logistic reasons and/or for embarking/disembarking passengers.

Rates Include:
- All shore excursions
- All meals throughout the cruise
- Soft drinks and juices
- Champagne reception
- Complimentary fruit platter
- Galapagos National Park certified Guide
- Use of snorkeling gear and wetsuits
- Kayaks

Rates do not Include:
- Roundtrip airfare to Galapagos (subject to change)
- Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee: $100 (subject to change)
- Galapagos Transit Control Card: $20 (subject to change)
- Tips to crew
- Alcoholic beverages
- Plastic bottled sodas

Single Supplement

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

Child Discount

25% discount for children under 12 years at time of Galapagos cruise traveling with two adults.

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


  • Accommodations on board Petrel 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
  • Wetsuit
  • Sea Kayaking


  • Airfare (see Galapagos Flights)
  • Quito/Guayaquil Hotel and Transfers
  • $100 Galapagos Park Fee
  • $80 Galapagos Transit Card and Airport Assistance
  • $45 International Departure Tax
  • Gratuities and drinks aboard the ship
  • Travel Insurance

Galapagos Flights

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

Optional Hospitality Packages

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Kassandra Miller
Kassandra M

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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
Justin Chappelle

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