Embark on San Cristobal, the easternmost island in the Galapagos archipelago and, geologically, one of the oldest. Travel by bus to Cerro Tijeretas or “Frigatebird Hill” situated on the edge of town. This is one of two sites where the entire family can spot nesting colonies of both species of frigatebirds (great and magnificent). The trail leads to Punta Carola where there are beautiful vistas. Find lava lizards, the medium ground finch, and Chatham mockingbirds. Return to the yacht to join your fellow yacht mates this evening for your briefing followed by the Captain’s welcome cocktail party and dinner prepared by culinary school-trained chefs. Kid-friendly menus are offered for the younger ones.
Arrive at Cerro Brujo, a breathtaking white coral beach. Cerro Brujo is considered to be one of the most pristine in the Galapagos Islands and is ideal for birders and short walks. Snorkel or swim with sea lions or take a Zodiac ride. Arrive at Cerro Brujo, a breathtaking white coral beach, considered one of the most spectacular in the Galapagos and perfect for a peaceful walk with expansive views and good bird watching. Kayak from the beach or enjoy a family swim with sea lions. Zodiac ride through a cave called The Cathedral.
Cruise toward the northeastern tip of San Cristobal to Punta Pitt, a tuff formation that serves as a nesting site for many sea birds including all three types of boobies: blue-footed, Nazca, and red-footed boobies, both frigate species, swallow-tailed gulls, storm petrels, shearwaters, brown pelicans, and a colony of sea lions. Punta Pitt is considered to be a first class site for birds and on par with Genovesa (Tower) Island. Snorkel with your children at Pitt Rock with sea lions and colorful fish such as the king angel and surgeon fish. Return to the yacht to cruise around Leon Dormido or “Kicker Rock”,a vertical tuff cone formation that rises abruptly almost 500 feet out of the ocean. On the cliffs, spot blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, and magnificent frigatebirds.
Punta Suarez, Espanola, offers the highest range of endemic species in the Galapagos. Land on the beach as sea lions greet and observe your movements. Colonies of blue-footed boobies are found engaging in sky-pointing, a technique used to show off for future mates. Snorkel and swim with sea lions in the shallows or sit on the beach and observe Sally Lightfoot crabs skirt across the lava rocks.
Land on Gardner Bay, Española (Hood) and walk along a seemingly endless stretch of white sandy beach home to large colonies of sea lions. There is no trail to follow so this is a chance for a family exploration or a long walk where you can find a Galapagos hawk, Darwin’s finch, or hood mockingbird. Swim with sea lions right from the beach, explore the bay and islets by kayak, or just relax with your children on the beach. Snorkel on Gardner Islet with a colorful diversity of sea life near Tortuga Rock and explore by Zodiac caves covered with invertebrates.
Step ashore at Punta Cormorant, one of the only populated islands in the Galapagos archipelago. This island is intriguing, presenting a rich human history with that of the animals. Hike along a trail towards a brackish lagoon, home of the Bahama duck, common stilt, Galapagos flycatcher, yellow warbler and the greater flamingo, the pinkest in the world! The trail leads to a beach with powder soft sand where sea turtles lay their eggs in the sand dunes and sting rays swim in the shallow water.
Kid-friendly snorkeling is available at Devil’s Crown, a shallow sunken crater colonized by a brilliant array of colorful fish and corral, white-tipped sharks, sea turtles, spotted eagle rays and sea stars. After lunch, visit Post office Bay, one of the most famous sites in the Galapagos where a post barrel was erected and put into use in the late 18th century by English whaling vessels. Leave a post card and pick up any mail from your home area. The entire family can swim from the beach with sea lions. Late afternoon, take a Zodiac ride near Baroness Point and spot sea turtles and rays.
**Since Aug 2020, yachts are no longer able to visit Darwin Station or Santa Cruz Highlands as regularly listed in the day description below. We expect these restrictions to lift at some point in the future.**
Travel by bus to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. Watch as the scenery changes, eventually covering each of the seven vegetation zones represented in the Galapagos. Visit Las Primicias, a private farm where you can encounter giant tortoises in their natural habitat. Stop at the tunnels, the largest lava tubes found in the Galapagos.
Visit Los Gemelos, Spanish for “The Twins”, a pair of large pit craters where you may see the red male vermilion flycatcher. Next, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and meettortoise and land iguana corrals and the breeding center with new hatchlings and miniature tortoises not yet ready to be repatriated. Lonesome George is no longer alive but there is Diego, “The Professor” who has been more successful at mating. Visit Puerto Ayora, the social heart of the islands with the largest population of 24,000 where you can shop for souvenirs or stop at an internet cafe. You have the option to remain in town on your own account to stimulate the local economy or you can return to the boat for dinner. There is a schedule for zodiac transportation from the yacht to town later in the evening.
Day 6: Santa Cruz Island | Bartolome | Chinese Hat
Stop at Bartolome, an island which is largely inhospitable to most plants and wildlife. Hike a 30-minute trail to the summit of a dormant volcano. Admire lava bombs, spatter, and cinder cones caused by old eruptions. The entire family can snorkel in the clear water with schools of tropical fish and Galapagos penguins or take a ride on the zodiac.
Visit Las Bachas, Spanish for “barges”. There is a long stretch of a soft white sand beach and interior lagoons home to the greater flamingo. There is also a wonderful chance to snorkel here from the beach.
Located off the southern tip of Santiago is the Chinese Hat, which owes its name to its shape. After a wet beach landing with sea lion colonies, the trail gives way to a primeval landscape of volcanic rubble including cracked lava formations and lava tubes. Start a family quest for marine iguanas and pairs of oystercatchers and snorkel at a site that is frequented by Galapagos penguins.
Visit South Plaza, a small geological uplift with tall cliffs featuring spectacular views. Take a trail through prickly pear or Opuntia and Sesuvium forests, often finding Galapagos land iguanas feeding on cactus leaves. Encounter a colony of bachelor sea lions and observe their rights of power. These dominant bulls are in various stages of recovery from battles lost over prime beach territory.
Land at North Seymour, a small geological uplift. Follow a trail that leads to swallow-tailed gulls, blue-footed boobies and the endemic land iguanas. Visit the largest colony of magnificent frigatebirds found in the Galapagos. As you stroll along the beach, find marine iguanas and sea lions body surfing the northern swells.
Day 8: San Cristobal | Disembark
Visit by bus the Interpretation Center opened on San Cristobal Island in 1999. Here the entire family can gain a more complete understanding of the natural and human history of the Islands.
In the afternoon, transfer with your family to the airport for your connecting flight to the mainland.
Apologies for the inconvenience. Prices for not yet published. Below per person rate based on previous season. Contact us to confirm upcoming season pricing.
Prices for are estimated based on inflation. Contact us to confirm pricing and availability for your desired departure date.
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All 10 cabins feature two twin beds that can be converted to one king bed. There are 2 cabins with interconnecting doors.
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Single cabins are limited. A share request may be placed and if matched, the share rate will apply. Otherwise, the single rate will apply.
Age restrictions: Children under 7 years of age are not accepted unless the parents or legal guardians sign a hold harmless release. Children age 11 and younger are permitted only on a designated family departure. Children under the age of 5 are only permitted on exclusive charter basis.
Ecoventura has made arrangements with VERIS, a certified lab in Ecuador to provide a PCR test on Saturday morning for guests who need to show a negative test result within 3 days before their return flight home. The cost is $125 and can be added to your onboard account and paid in cash or credit card. The test results are available on Sunday.
25% discount for children age 11 and younger at time of Galapagos cruise. 15% discount for children age 12-17 at time of Galapagos cruise. Child discounts are conditional and may not apply on certain departures. Please contact us for more information.
Children under 12 may receive discounts on Galapagos flight fares and entrance fees. Contact us for details.
Initial deposit is $750 per person ($1500 for singles), and most travelers will call our office and pay the deposit with a credit card.
Final payment is due 70 (100 days for holiday weeks) prior to departure by bank transfer, check or credit card. All final payments by credit card may be subject to a surcharge and maximum of $20,000 charge
If you are traveling to the Galapagos, your crew will work very hard to make your Galapagos adventure most enjoyable. At the end of the voyage, tips will be collected and distributed among your guide and other members of the crew. Gratuities or tips are always at your discretion.
For passengers on the MV Origin, it is recommended that you budget a $350-400 gratuity per person, per week. For passengers on the MY Eric & Letty, it is recommended that you budget a $250-300 gratuity per person, per week. This is, of course, if you are pleased with the service on board.
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.