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Alya, Sun Deck

Private Charter - Western Islands Aboard Alya

Example 6 Day Cruise aboard Alya
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Enjoy the Western Islands of the Galapagos archipelago and discover all that this wonderful destination has to offer. Snorkel with sea lions and kayak surrounded by unique species. On this 6-day private journey, explore the exclusive shores of Santa Cruz, Isabela, Fernandina, and Santiago. Experience stunning encounters with Galapagos wildlife as you take part in adventure options such as hiking and swimming in pristine crystal-clear waters. 
Colorful kayaks on the beachBlue-footed booby mating danceSea Lion resting on Red SesuviumOverlook at Pitt PointAlyaAlya, Sun Deck
Highlights
  • Observe the famed Galapagos giant tortoises in their natural habitat
  • Witness the famous dance of the blue-footed boobies at Vicente Roca Point
  • Look for Galapagos penguins, one of the most rare penguin species on earth
  • Cruise along Moreno Point's shoreline to spot amazing marine iguanas
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: Santa Cruz | Embark | Highlands

Departure to the Galapagos Islands, arrival at Baltra airport, where our naturalist guide of the National Park will be waiting for you.

Either if you do this visit starting from Baltra or from Puerto Ayora, a bus will take you to the highlands stopping along the way at one of the reserves to visit the lush highland forests where you will look for Galapagos Giant tortoises in their natural environment. This is the best place in the Galapagos to see these gentle giants (reaching over 300 kg / 600 pounds!) casually grazing and resting in freshwater ponds. This is also home for a great diversity of birds rarely found at the lowlands, including finches (tree, woodpecker and vegetarian finches), flycatchers and several species of water birds. You will visit a lava tunnel (depend on the itinerary) and learn how these extraordinary formations where created by ancient volcanic eruptions.
Highlights: Giant tortoises, Darwin finches, barn owls, white-cheeked pintails, Galapagos flycatchers, Lava tunnels. 
Trail: 1-1.5 km / 0.6-0.9 mi
Level: Easy
Dry landing and hiking

 

Day 2: Isabela, Moreno Point | Elizabeth Bay

Moreno Point is a magical place with extensive lava fields which look lifeless at first sight. Once inland, scattered brackish lagoons form oasis of life where you can find flamingoes, gallinules, ducks and herons. Along the shore you will look for penguins, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, blue-footed boobies, sea lions, oystercatchers and other shore birds.
Snorkel: You will snorkel to see sea turtles, cormorants and many species of fish. Look carefully in the long seaweeds and you might find a sea horse.   
Highlights: American flamingoes, ducks, gallinules, penguins, cormorants, marine iguanas, sea lions, Galapagos mockingbirds, Darwin finches.
Trail: 1.6 km / 1 mi
Level: Hard
Dry landing, Hiking, Snorkeling, Panga ride

Elizabeth Bay is a beautiful sheltered bay surrounded by large mangroves and barren lava fields. There is no trail here so you will take a dinghy tour to explore many channels, pools and coves teeming with life. This is one of the best locations in the islands to see Galapagos penguins, but don’t expect to see thousands of them, as the entire population of the islands is only about 3.000 of them. Flightless cormorants also nest in the area and blue-footed boobies and pelicans often fish in these shallow and rich waters. Rays and sea turtles are also very abundant.
Highlights: Galapagos hawks, sea turtles, rays, Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorants, herons. 
Level: Easy
Panga Ride

Day 3: Isabela, Urbina Bay | Fernandina, Espinosa Point

This place is known for the dramatic uplifting that happened here during the 1950’s. A large portion of the coast was pushed up, exposing many hectares of previously submerged land. Look carefully along the trail and you will find small shells and corals, a proof that the area was underwater more than sixty years ago. The trail will give the opportunity to see land iguanas and, during certain seasons, giant tortoises. Galapagos hawks nest in the area and are often seen flying or perched on the trees.  
Snorkel: You can snorkel from the beach to see sea turtles, cormorants and penguins. Fish are also abundant in the area. 
Highlights: Galapagos hawks, land iguanas, Galapagos hawks, Galapagos mockingbirds, Darwin finches, flycatchers.
Short trail: 1.2 km / 0.7 mi. | Long Trail: 3,0 km / 1,8 mi
Level: Easy
Wet landing, Hiking, and Snorkeling

Located at the base of an imposing volcano (the most active in the Galapagos islands) this site is one of the jewels of the Galapagos National Park. As soon as you disembark you will be surrounded by hundreds of marine iguanas, as this is the largest colony for the species. Sea lions bask in the beaches while their pups play in tide pools. Along the shore you will see   flightless cormorants, which are restricted to the western areas of the archipelago. Surrounded by cold plankton-rich waters, Punta Espinosa is home for an array of species, including herons, pelicans, oystercatchers, sea turtles, shorebird and many more. Look up in the mangroves as Galapagos hawks often perch to look for their prey.
Snorkel: The nutrient-rich waters around Punta Espinosa attracts great numbers and diversity of fish and sea turtles.  Seaweeds are also abundant, making this place the best for seeing marine iguanas feeding underwater.  Following a cormorant underwater as it chases fish through the reef is one on the most amazing snorkel experiences you may have on your trip.
Highlights: Galapagos hawks, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, penguins, sea turtles, sea lions, herons, oystercatchers, shorebirds, sally light-foot crabs.  
Trail: 1.6 km / 1 mi
Level: Moderate
Dry landing, Hiking, Snorkeling and Panga ride

Day 4: Isabela, Tagus Cove | Vicente Roca Point

Tagus cove is one of the places Charles Darwin visited during his exploration of the Galapagos islands. A trail will take you through a dry Palo Santo forests where you can see Darwin finches and mockingbirds. You will get great views of Darwin’s lake and the large volcanos of northern Isabela. A boat tour along the shore will give you chances to see penguins, cormorants, marine iguanas and a very unique species: the Galapagos martin, a small endemic bird which is one of the most endangered species on the island. 
Snorkel: The nutrient-rich waters around Tagus Cove attracts a lot of sea turtles and a great diversity of fish, but also penguins, who feast on large schools of anchovies. It is common to see cormorants underwater as they chase fish through the reef.
Highlights: Galapagos hawks, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, herons, penguins, sea turtles, sea stars.  
Trail: 2.6 km / 1.6 mi
Level: Hard
Dry landing, Hiking, Snorkeling, Panga ride, Paddle boarding, and Kayaking

Surrounded by some of the tallest cliffs in the Galapagos, Vicente Roca point is a great location to observe spectacular landscapes and interesting volcanic features. There is no trail here but you will take a dinghy tour along the shore to get a closer view of pelicans, flightless cormorants, sea turtles, boobies, Galapagos fur seal and marine iguanas. The area is also known to be a good location for whales and dolphins.
Snorkel: Snorkel in the cove to look for sea turtles, penguins, sea lions, cormorants, rays and many different species of fish. Look for fan corals, sponges and other invertebrates growing on the walls.
Highlights: Marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, penguins, sea turtles, fur seals, Nazca & blue-footed boobies 
Level: Easy
Snorkeling, and Panga ride

Day 5: Santiago, Espumilla Beach | Egas Port

Espumilla is a beautiful 1km (0,6 mi) long beach with rusty-brown sand, located in the northern coast of Santiago. It is surrounded by large mangrove trees and a very interesting native dry forest, which is home to Galapagos hawks but also a great diversity of finches, mockingbirds and doves. Don’t forget to check the salt pan, as during the rainy season there could be flamingoes and ducks.
Highlights: Bobbies, oystercatchers, herons, Galapagos mockingbirds, Darwin finches, Galapagos hawks. 
Trail: 2.3 km / 1.4 mi (plus and extra loop 1 km-0.6 mi)
Level: Easy
Wet landing, Hiking, Snorkeling, Panga ride, Paddle boarding, and Kayaking

Despite its name, there is no “port” at Puerto Egas, but you might see a few remains of the last attempts to colonize the island during the 60’s. The trail goes along the coastline which is rich in wildlife, with marine iguanas basking in the sun everywhere, Galapagos sea lions, herons, oystercatchers and many shorebirds. At the end of the trail an area called “the grottos” is home for a small colony of the endemic Galapagos fur seal, much more difficult to see at close range than its cousin. As recently as 2019, land iguanas where re-introduced to the area, so look around for these impressive reptiles which where extinct from Santiago for over a century.  
Snorkel: You can snorkel from the beach and explore an area of rocky bottoms which is excellent for fish, turtles and reef sharks. Often, sea lions are also present and are happy to interact with divers. 
Highlights: Galapagos sea lions, Galapagos fur seals, oystercatchers, marine & land iguanas, Galapagos hawks, herons, shorebirds, Darwin finches, Galapagos doves. 
Trail: 2.3 km / 1.4 mi
Level: Easy
Wet landing, Hiking, and Snorkeling

Day 6: Bachas Beach, Santa Cruz | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Bachas gets its name from the remains of two large barges (mispronounced by locals as “bachas”) left by the Americans during WWII. At low tide you can still see the iron skeletons of the barges buried in the white sand. From November till May, this place is also one of the most important sea turtle nesting grounds in the entire Galapagos islands. There are also several small saltwater lagoons where you often see flamingoes, herons, and other aquatic birds. 
Highlights: American flamingoes, white cheeked pintails, sandpipers, lava gulls, blue footed boobies.
Trail: 1.6 km / 1 mi
Level: Easy
Wet landing, Hiking, and Snorkeling

Then, transfer to the airport to take your flight back to continental Ecuador.

Ship/Hotel

Alya

Alya Bridge
Alya living room
Alya Bar

Dates & Prices

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Crewed Charter Price starting at
$71,440
or $4,465 per person based on 16 max passengers
Alya Double cabinAlya Twin Cabin
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Standard
9 comfortable cabins, 8 with private balconies. All the beds can be double or twin. Upper Deck cabins are 172ft² / 16m²; Main Deck cabins measure 215ft² / 20m².

Notes

Please provide your wetsuite size in advance prior to trip

Child Discount

10% discount for children under 12 years of age. Children over 6 years old are welcome aboard. 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
  • 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners
  • 5 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Snorkeling equipment, wetsuits, kayaks, and paddleboards are all included in the cruise cost and are available for your use onboard.
  • 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

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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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