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Aida Maria

Private Charter - Northern Islands Aboard Aida Maria

Example 5 Day Cruise aboard Aida Maria
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Join the Aida Maria on this 5-day private voyage through the northern islands of the Galapagos. Visit some of the best wildlife-viewing spots in the archipelago as well as beautiful locations to enjoy all the sights, sounds, and fun this unique places has to offer. The Galapagos Islands are totally unique in the world: come see why.
A snorkeler walking along a white sandy beach.Exploring the GalapagosSnorkel on the Endeavour with the sea lions.Travelers being guided across the volcanic landscape.Aida Maria
Highlights
  • Take a tour around Darwin Bay with your private group of up to 16 guests
  • Snorkel off the beach of Las Bachas
  • Visit Daphne Island, home to thousands of birds such as blue-footed boobies
Places Visited
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.

After the visit to Bartolome Island, you’ll 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 we 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, Santa Cruz | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
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.

After the visit to Charles Darwin Station disembark and transfer to the airport.

Ship/Hotel

Aida Maria

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

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Crewed Charter Price starting at
$38,984
or $2,437 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
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
  • 4 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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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen
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