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Aida Maria

Private Charter - Eastern Islands Aboard Aida Maria

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Aida Maria
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Visit some of the most popular destinations such as Bartolome, Genovesa and Floreana. Experience a wonderful time snorkeling, hiking, viewing wildlife, and exploring volcanoes. Your bilingual guides help you learn about the history, culture, plants, and animals of the Galapagos. Enjoy the wonders of the Eastern Islands of the Galapagos on this 8-day private cruise with the company of your own group, up to 16 guests.
What a life!Exploring the Galapagos - Kicker Rockflamingos FloreanaWooden boardwalk in BartolomeAida Maria
Highlights
  • Explore the white sand beaches of Las Bachas
  • Visit Black Turtle Cove, a red mangrove lagoon
  • Snorkel in the pristine waters by Cerro Dragon
  • Navigate around Kicker Rock and see blue-footed boobies
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Baltra | Embark | Bachas Beach

Fly from the Ecuadorian mainland to the islands on an early morning 90-minute flight. As you prepare to land in Baltra, peer out the window. The landscape below seems out of this world - and it is for you have come to a place like no other. The Galapagos Islands are unique to the world and you are about to see why. Your bilingual naturalist guide greets you at the airport and assists you through customs. During lunch, they introduce you to the islands and specifically the flora and fauna you encounter at the first destination, Las Bachas Beach.

On the sandy white beaches of Las Bachas, take a close look at a sea turtle nesting area and a lake frequented by leggy pink flamingos and other migratory birds. Afterward, cool off with your first dip in the deliciously blue Pacific Ocean (snorkeling). In the evening, the crew prepares a pre-dinner cocktail on the yacht before the welcome dinner. If the night is clear, as it usually is, the stars above bedazzle; look for the Southern Cross, the Big Dipper (turned upside down!), and Orion.

Day 2: Darwin Bay | El Barranco, Genovesa

Early in the morning, you’ll have breakfast and then you’ll disembark at Genovesa “Tower” Island, which is located in the northeastern part of the Galapagos (less than half a degree north of the equator). 

At “Tower” Island you’ll anchor at Darwin Bay, which is located on the southern part of the island and is actually the caldera of an extinct, partially eroded volcano, with the surrounding cliffs forming the inner lining of the rim. While the origin of the name “Tower” is not known, one can imagine it had something to do with these towering cliffs. The tour will be a long, fairly-easy walk, but it is usually hot and dry here, so you may want to carry some water. After a wet landing on a coral beach, the trail begins in an area where there are several swallow-tailed gulls. As you walk back from the beach, you’ll see a variety of Opuntia cactus and mangroves.

Tower is an outpost for many sea birds (as Española is in the south). Interestingly, there are almost no land reptiles on Tower, only very small marine iguanas. This is attributed to the direction of the ocean currents, which wouldn’t have carried the terrestrial animals here. Visit El Barranco during the afternoon then return to the boat for dinner.

Day 3: Bartolome | Sullivan Bay

Bartolome Island, which at its highest point is 114 meters, is one of the most photographed vistas in the archipelago. This island is quite young and quite volcanic, therefore, it's relatively unpopulated; only a small handful of die-hard plant and animal species have survived long enough to call this lava-land home.

In the afternoon, visit nearby Sullivan Bay. At the turn of the century a huge lava flow spilled right down to the sea and today you can stroll across this black volcanic expanse, admiring its time-frozen ripples, bubbles, and ropes.

Day 4: Black Turtle Cove | Cerro Dragon

Black Turtle Cove, is a red mangrove lagoon on Santa Cruz and is a nursery for many sharks and rays. It’s also a great location to observe mating turtles around this time of year. You might see a large group of resting White-Tip Reef Sharks, schools of Golden Rays and Spotted Eagle Rays, and a few juvenile Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks and Black-Tip Sharks. The water is very calm so they often used paddles instead of the loud panga engines to move around the area. 

After this visit, you’ll navigate for a couple of hours to Cerro Dragon, where you’ll make a dry landing on lava rocks. Cerro Dragon is a small bay on the west coast of Santa Cruz and got its name from the many land iguanas that live in the area. Land iguanas are endemic to the Galapagos Islands where they have found good mating and nesting areas.

Day 5: Charles Darwin Station | Highlands of Santa Cruz

After breakfast, sail to Santa Cruz Island, and visit the world-famous Charles Darwin Station, a non-profit institution that dedicates itself to studying and protecting the flora and fauna of the Galapagos. This is one of the best places to see land tortoises, including the Lonesome George Museum.

Then visit the station’s Tortoise Rearing Center. Here you can find baby, hand-sized tortoises, between the ages of one and five, and marvel at how they achieve such large sizes as adults (500 lbs. or more!). Galapagos tortoises are believed to have a lifespan of over 100 years, so the young ones have a long life ahead of them as long as they receive the protection they need.

Aside from the Station headquarters, Santa Cruz Island is home to the largest town and economic center of the Galapagos, Puerto Ayora. In this portside town, you can buy souvenirs (postcards, t-shirts, books, etc.) from the islands. Check out the unique Galapagos ceramic shop near the entrance of the Charles Darwin Station. After shopping in Puerto Ayora and lunch on the boat (guests may dine in town if they desire), explore the highlands or “parte alta” of the island, which is a moisture-rich area with fertile volcanic soils. Learn about the vegetation and animal life of this zone, often strikingly different than that found at lower elevations, and the best opportunity to find the famous giant tortoises in their natural habitat. Darwin’s Finches, Yellow Warblers, and other land birds will fly in and out of the moss-covered trees. From this high vantage point, you’ll be treated to beautiful views of the island.

In the late afternoon, return to town. For those who wish to check out the nightlife, this is your chance; the boat will be docked in port most of the night.

Day 6: Post office bay | Corona del Diablo | Cormorant Point, Floreana

Start your day on Floreana, one of the greenest islands in the archipelago. Ask your guide to tell you about its mysterious history laden with rumors of murderous baronesses, blackmail, and dubious disappearances.

Your first stop is Post Office Bay, where the islands’ original post office (really only a wooden barrel) was established in 1793. The current system still functions as it did three centuries ago: Visitors drop off unstamped letters and postcards AND pick up whatever mail they can hand deliver themselves when they return home! (Try it, it actually works!). 

Back on the yacht and after lunch you’ll skirt the island’s coast until you arrive at La Corona del Diablo (the Devil’s Crown), an old volcanic crater that offers some of the most spectacular snorkeling in the Galapagos. This is a great spot for seeing the wide array of tropical fish, many endemic to the islands, including purple sea stars and spiky sea urchins. The crater’s most thrilling undersea creatures, however, are the white-tipped sharks. As with most of the creatures in the Galapagos, they are unperturbed by your presence, so you can swim in their company freely and fearlessly. 

After returning to the boat you will visit Punta Cormorant, where you’ll follow a footpath to a lagoon inhabited by flaming-pink flamingos. You will also pass by a white sand beach, a Sea Turtle nesting area, and a great spot for watching sea birds and sea rays.

Day 7: Suarez Point | Gardner Bay, EspaƱola

Espanola is one of the most magical of all the islands. It is a place where the animals reign supreme and we humans are merely guests. As your dingy brings you to shore you’ll see Sea Lion pups sunbathing with Marine Iguanas and Blue Footed Boobies nesting in between, and nearby may be a Galapagos Hawk. If it is Booby mating season watch the bonded pairs do the infamous Booby dance (if it’s not mating season, ask your guide to demonstrate - after all, it’s their job to teach you about the local fauna!).

As you follow the footpath around the island, you will pass hundreds of Blue Footed Booby nesting sites including one colony of masked boobies.
There is a good chance you’ll see the thief-like Frigate Bird (which has the habit of stealing other birds’ food), as well as the stunning Red-Billed Tropicbird and the nocturnal Swallow-Tailed Gull. If it is the right time of the year (mid-April to December) you’ll also encounter the giant Waved Albatross. Apart from a few pairs that breed on Isla de Plata, off the Ecuadorian mainland, all of the world’s 12,000 Waved Albatross breed on Espanola Island. At the end of the breeding season, the entire population leaves the island and heads out to sea, where they spend years without touching land; four or five years may pass before the fledglings return to Espanola.

As you make your way around the island you’ll pass by El Soplador, a giant blowhole that explodes to heights reaching 25 feet. In the nearby tide pools you can often find lounging sea lions enjoying the blowhole’s misty spray. Following lunch on board the yacht, you’ll visit Garner Bay, a great place for sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling. Lionfish, Flycatchers, and Galapagos Hawks will keep you company as you relax under the rays of the evening sun. Dinner on the yacht completes your day.

Day 8: Isla Lobos | San Cristobal | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Arrive early in the morning in San Cristobal, the capital of the Galapagos. Isla Lobos is a very small islet made of volcanic rocks that gets its name from the colony of Sea Lions (Lobo de Mar in Spanish) that live there. Here you can observe the behavior and interaction of Sea Lions living in a small community.

Before taking the flight back to the mainland you will have some time to visit the town on your own for last-minute shopping or people-watching in the Galapagos. Transfer to the airport.

Ship/Hotel

Aida Maria

Aida Maria
Enjoy local and international cuisine in the dining area
Bar on board

Dates & Prices

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Crewed Charter Price starting at
$56,978
or $3,561 per person based on 16 max passengers
Aida Maria's Upper Deck Cabin.
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Standard
Standard cabins have upper and lower bunks.

Child Discount

20% discount for children under age 10 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.
Included
  • 7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Bilingual Naturalist Guide 
  • Adventure Life Pre-departure Services and In-Country Assistance (Quito Representative)
  • Shore Excursions, Swimming and Snorkeling 
  • Transfers and Baggage Handling in the Galapagos
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Galapagos Park Entrance Fee: $200 per adult, $100 per child under 12 (fees of $100 per adult and $50 per child valid on arrivals through Aug 1, 2024). Payable upon arrival to the Galapagos, only in cash dollars. Subject to increase by Galapagos Park Service.
  • Internal Flights: Mainland Ecuador - Galapagos - Mainland Ecuador: $475-675
  • Wetsuits are not included but are available to rent on board - $10/day per person.
  • Gear Rental: Snorkeling Gear - $5-$10/day per person.

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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.
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