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The Aida Maria

Private Charter - Western Islands Aboard Aida Maria

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Aida Maria
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This 8-day Western Islands Galapagos charter explores the wildlife-rich shores of Santa Fe, Isabela, Rabida and more! Join this unique small ship adventure! Learn about the flora and fauna from your guides. Watch sea lions play on the shore, snorkel, and visit the Wall of Tears on your tour aboard the Aida Maria.
Sea lion coming in from a swim
Highlights
  • Visit the corrals of Los Lobos and witness giant tortoises
  • Follow a path to Santa Fe's forest of giant cacti
  • Hike to the Sierra Negra Volcano during your private charter
  • Explore the coastal lagoons of Punta Moreno
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: San Cristobal | Embark | Cerro Tijeretas

Arrive at  San Cristobal Island Airport and transfer to the Aida Maria for your private charter of the Galapagos Islands. Then you continue to the visit to Cerro Tijeretas located at 2 km from Puerto Ayora, is the only one site that you can see two different kinds of Fragatas living on the same colony.
Return to the boat , dinner.

Day 2: Santa Fe | South Plaza Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Continue to Santa Fe Island and enjoy a noisy welcome from the sea lion colony. Follow your guide along the path to reach Santa Fe's main attraction, a towering forest of giant cacti. Look for marine and land iguanas, lava lizards, and land tortoises throughout the forest. After the walk, snorkel with sea lions, lionfish, and sea turtles. 

After lunch head to South Plaza Island to see a large colony of sea lions lounging in the sun. Enjoy cacti, lava gulls, yellow warblers, and red-billed tropic birds.

Day 3: Santa Cruz Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Travel to Tortuga Bay and view plants, flowers, gecko lizards, and birds. Swim and surf the beaches separated by a red mangrove. Explore the exotic and endemic plants around the beach. 

Day 4: Isabela

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Hike to the Sierra Negra Volcano, one of the oldest volcanos in the Galapagos. Next visit the humedales, which is a mangrove area with small brackish water lagoons that create the perfect environment for a small type of shrimp that serves as the food for the island’s flamingos.

Following this visit you are transported to “The Wall of Tears.” When the Ecuadorian government first took possession of the islands their main purpose was to harbor Ecuadorian prisoners; since there was not much for them to do they were forced to carry rocks to a far location and build a wall.

Day 5: Isabela

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Arrive in Punta Moreno on the west coast of Isabela. There are three kinds of cacti found here and the vegetation in this area is sparse and concentrated mainly in the mangrove area and around the lakes. 

The main attractions at Punta Moreno are the coastal lagoons amid black lava flows where there are several species of birds. Here you have a panoramic view of three of the most active volcanoes in the Galapagos. Continue to Elizabeth Bay and observe marine life. You can usually spot the the Galapagos penguins on the rocky islet at the entrance of the bay. 

Travel through a small passage lined with mangroves and emerge into an enclosed cove. Here look for marine turtles, rays, flightless cormorants, sea lions, and the Galapagos hawk.

Day 6: Isabela | Fernandina

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Punta Espinoza is a narrow ledge of lava and sand that extends from the base of the volcano to the sea. There is a vivid description from Captain Benjamin Morrell who witnessed and recorded and an eruption of Fernandina in the 1820’s that probably gave rise to the Point. In 1975, there was an uprising, about 90 cm, which is why the pier built for landing can only be used during high tide.

Punta Espinoza is a place famous for its large colonies of Marine Iguanas as well as being the habitat of unique species like the Flightless Cormorant, the Galapagos Penguin, the Galapagos Hawk, and the Galapagos Snake, among others. It’s an ideal place to observe the lava cactus (Brachycerus Nesioticus), which grow on young lava and survive with little water.

During lunchtime, navigate to Punta Vicente Roca on the northern tip of Isabela island, after a couple of hours we will arrive at this visitors place, the activity for the afternoon is snorkeling, Punta Vicente Roca is home to sea lions, fur seals, penguins, turtles, flightless cormorants, so there is always the opportunity to find any of this animals in the water. The snorkel takes place along a wall of volcanic ash called tuff stone featuring amazing underwater volcanic formations including a small cave wherein season it is possible to see sea turtles.

After snorkeling goes back on board and continue on our way to James Island.

Day 7: Santiago | Rabida

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Travel to the black sand beaches of James Bay. Explore the surrounding area and then head to Rabida. Rabida Island has beautiful red sand beaches, a coastal lagoon, and a loop trail. The color of the rocks and sand on the beach is due to the very porous volcanic material, which with the help of environmental factors, has acted as an oxidizing agent. 

Day 8: North Seymour | Disembark | Baltra

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast arrive at North Seymour Island. Here see frigatebirds, blue-footed boobies, and sea lions. 

Transfer to Baltra Island to catch your plane back to the mainland.

Photo Gallery

The Aida Maria Sea lion coming in from a swim Wildlife on a Galapagos islands tour Moreno Point, Isabela Island, Galapagos The Aida Maria

Map

Ship/Hotel

Aida Maria

The Aida Maria
The Aida Maria
The Aida Maria

Dates & Prices

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Crewed Charter Price starting at
$54,578
or $3,411 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, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Professional, bilingual guide service as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
  • Gear Rental: Snorkeling Gear
  • 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
  • Galapagos Park Entrance Fee: $100 per adult, $50 per child under 12
  • Internal Flights: Mainland Ecuador - Galapagos - Mainland Ecuador: $475-675
  • Wetsuits are not included but are available to rent on board - $10/day per person.

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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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