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Kayaking the warm waters of the Galapagos

Private Charter - Central & Southern Islands Aboard Petrel

Example 6 Day Cruise aboard Petrel
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Explore the Central and Southern Islands of the Galapagos archipelago on this 6-day private adventure aboard the Petrel. Visit outstanding wildlife viewing areas and some of the best snorkeling and swimming locations in the islands. Enjoy historic sites and exhibits on natural history, human history, and conservation.
lounging in the harbor - Santa CruzGiant Land Tortoise, Santa CruzSanta FeKayaking the warm waters of the Galapagos
Highlights
  • Explore the Twin Craters with your private group of up to 16 guests
  • Snorkel around the coral reef at Devil's Crown
  • View the colorful Sesuvium plant on South Plaza Island
  • Walk across the white sand beaches amongst a busy sea lion colony
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 Island | Embark | Highlands, Santa Cruz

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Assistance will be provided upon your arrival by a Petrel representative after passing through immigration and baggage claim. When ready, you will be transferred to the yacht. You will then be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before the welcome briefing and lunch.

As part of your day, you will head towards the Highlands of Santa Cruz to visit the Twin Craters or Gemelos, meaning twins in Spanish, which are two caved-in magma chambers of a previous volcano. After years of erosion and extinction, the once full chambers caved in leaving two similar craters that can be seen on a short hike that passes by a Scalesia forest. Then, be prepared to admire the famous giant tortoises in the wild. It is impressive to see these endemic animals that give the name to the archipelago, Galapagos. Birdwatching is also one of the activities in the highlands since this area is home to finches and other Galapagos birds. Finally, walk into lava caves to see the enormous lava flows that formed the islands before continuing back to the M/C Petrel.
Possible Activities: Hike
Difficulty: Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry Landing

Day 2: South Plaza Island | Santa Fe Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
South Plaza is one of the smallest islands with a visitor site but is home to an incredible amount of diverse flora and fauna. It has a large population of Sesuvium plants like the prickly pear cactus tree which is an important source of food for the land iguana. Just a few years ago mice were finally eradicated from the island, helping the population of land iguanas grow healthily once more.
Possible Activities: Hike
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights: Cacti native only to South Plaza, land iguanas, finches, sea lions, swallow-tailed gulls, and red-billed tropicbirds.

Santa Fe Island is home to the unique Santa Fe land iguana and is the only place to find the Opuntia cactus. Giant tortoises were once native to this island but after many years of pirates and buccaneers visiting the island and taking the tortoises aboard as food, they became extinct. The Island is also called Barrington Island, named after British Admiral Samuel Barrington. Large numbers of sea lions can be found on the landing beach and Galapagos hawks can also sometimes be seen.
Possible Activities: Short hike, Dinghy Ride, Kayaking, and snorkel
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights: Galapagos hawk, Santa Fe land iguana, Opuntia Cactus, sea lions, lava lizards.

Day 3: Lobos Island | David Rodriguez Giant Tortoise Breeding Center, San Cristobal

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
San Cristobal Island is the fifth largest island in the Galapagos and lies farthest East. It is where Darwin first landed back in 1835 and where the first permanent settlements were founded. Today the main port Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is the capital of the Galapagos and houses many government offices, the Ecuadorian Navy, and an airport with daily flights to the mainland of Ecuador. Conservation challenges the island faces to include invasive plants like blackberry and guayaba and insects like the blackfly. Lobos Island is an islet about an hour away from San Cristobal. Blue-footed boobies will nest here seasonally. In recent years frigate birds have begun to nest here. Sea lions are abundant, as well as marine iguanas. It is a very calm and tranquil site with beautiful views, including Kicker Rock off in the distance.
Possible Activities: Hike
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights: Frigate birds, sea lions, blue-footed boobies and nesting sites, views of Kicker Rock, and marine iguanas. Snorkel – sea lions, sea turtles, rays.

This is the fifth largest island in the Galapagos and lies farthest East. It is where Darwin first landed back in 1835 and where the first permanent settlements were founded. Today the main port Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is the capital of the Galapagos province and houses many government offices, the Ecuadorian Navy, and an airport with daily flights to the mainland of Ecuador. Conservation challenges the island faces to include invasive plants like blackberry and guayaba and insects like the blackfly. A visit to the David Rodriguez Breeding Center provides information about the origin and evolution of the giant tortoise and explains why the center is so vital in safeguarding the future of these incredible creatures. Walking through the trails of the reserve, you can see baby tortoises being reared in seminatural conditions - a brilliant demonstration of the commitment the local people have to preserve the wildlife that makes the Galapagos so special.
Possible Activities: Hike Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights: Giant tortoises up close and roaming freely, exhibits of various stages of tortoise breeding, learn more about their origin, evolution, natural habitat, and threats of introduced animals and plants.

Day 4: Gardner Bay, Osborn Islet & Gardner Islet | Suarez Point, Espanola

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Here lies the southernmost island in the Galapagos, as well as the oldest. It is estimated to be about four million years old. Because it is so far away from the other islands it has the most endemic species. It is a wonderful opportunity for some great photography of endemic bird species that are found only in Espanola and awesome landscapes created by millions of years of erosion. Gardner Bay/Osborn Islet/Gardner Islet: Visit one of the best beaches in the Galapagos. The white sandy beach is home to a large colony of friendly and playful sea lions. Three different types of finches can be seen. The Espanola Mockingbird is very friendly, but probably looking for food. At one point in time, tourists must have given it water or food, which taught them bad habits. The site is also where green sea turtles will come to nest their eggs between January and March.
Possible Activities: Hike, snorkel, Kayak, and dinghy ride
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights: Espanola Mockingbird, the longest beach in the Galapagos, three species of Darwin’s finches, a large colony of sea lions, and occasional green sea turtles. Snorkel – coral fish, sea lions, and other marine life.

This is a phenomenal site where you will get to see many of Espanola Island’s endemic species. The trail will pass by the only Waved Albatross breeding site. If you are lucky, you might see a young albatross, take off for its first flight after up to five years at sea. Older birds stay at sea for months at a time, only coming back to breed. They have the same mate for life and will meet each other each year, only here to reproduce. Other species that can be seen are marine iguanas that stay brightly colored year-round, Galapagos doves, Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, red-billed tropic birds, and Darwin finches.
Possible Activities: Hike
Difficulty: Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights: Only Waved albatross breeding site, blow hole on the point, Nazca boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, red-billed tropic birds, three different species of finches, Galapagos doves, marine iguanas, sea lions

Day 5: Devil's Crown & Cormorant Point | Post Office Bay & Baroness Lookout Point

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This Island is one of the most interesting when it comes to human history. The first Galapagos resident was an Irishman who lived on Floreana from 1807 to 1809. It is the site of the first post office within the islands created by whalers in the 1700s. Later it became the first island to be colonized by Ecuadorians, but to this day is still very isolated. Surrounded by mystery, in the 1930s various disappearances occurred and are thought to be because of tension between a baroness and her three servants who arrived after an already settled husband and wife, who gave birth to the first to be born in the Galapagos and another couple of a doctor and a female companion who lived off the land from their garden. The small population of today lives off the land with homegrown farms and gets their water from rain-filled ponds during the rainy season. There is one hotel with the only phone in the port of Velasco Ibarra where most residents live, the rest live up in the highlands. Transportation is limited and is only available every two weeks.

Devil’s Crown is a visitor site that boasts the best snorkeling opportunities. Below the surface are amazing volcanic structures that have submerged over time. Hundreds of different colorful fish species can be found here among the coral reefs. Sharks, rays, sea turtles, hammerhead sharks, and sea lions are also common visitors. It is an underwater spectacle that cannot be missed.

OR Another fun and interesting visitor site is Cormorant Point. Two beaches can be visited and flamingoes can be seen wading through brackish lagoons looking for shrimp, which gives them their bright and vibrant colors. One of the beaches looks green because of olivine crystals and the other is appropriately called Flour Beach a powdery white, made from finely pulverized coral.
Possible Activities: Snorkel, dinghy ride, and hike
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights: Devil’s Crown - a wide array of colorful fish species – king angel fish, balloon fish, yellow tail grunts, white-tipped sharks, hammerheads, eagle rays, sea turtles, sea lions, and more. Cormorant Point – flamingoes, green olivine crystal beach, coral beach, pintail ducks, large-billed flycatchers, several finches, green turtle nesting area, and stilts.

A completely human-influential site, Post Office Bay is the first official post office created by passing whalers in the 1700s. To this day visitors continue the tradition as many leaves addressed messages on postcards in the barrel to be sent by future visitors while picking up postcards left behind by previous visitors to send when they return home. It is a fun exchangeable activity many visitors enjoy.

OR On the northern part of the island, Baroness Lookout Point has a beautiful landscape and historic view. It was named after the supposed Austrian Baroness that was the subject of many mysterious disappearances and well-known stories of loathing by those on Floreana.
Possible Activities: Hike, kayak, dinghy ride, and snorkel
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights: Barrel Post Office – leave/pick up postcards, remnants of Norwegian settlement, beach, sea turtles, amazing landscapes. Snorkel – Sea turtles, corals, rays, colorful assortment of fish species.

Day 6: Charles Darwin Research Station, Santa Cruz | Disembark | Baltra Airport

  • 1 Breakfast
Today Santa Cruz is one of the most popular tourist sites. With a population of about 12,000 Galapagos natives, it has the longest paved road in the entire archipelago. One of the biggest conservation efforts is to eliminate all non-native plants and animals that are destroying native and endemic species on the island. There is no longer any volcanic activity but that does not mean there is no evidence. Santa Cruz means holy cross, but its English name comes from the British vessel – Indefatigable.
The Charles Darwin Research Station conducts many different research projects and provides assistance to other researchers and governmental institutions and agencies, especially the Galapagos National Park. Many of the results are later published online, in magazines, and in popular scientific journals. The research station also plays a big part in educating the community and public schools in Galapagos. There is also the longtime-running Giant Tortoise restoration program that includes various stages of the giant tortoise from eggs, hatchlings, and adults.
Possible Activities: Hike
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Dry
Highlights: See the latest advances in research at the Charles Darwin Research Station. Also, see Giant Tortoises and land iguanas.

Your cruise has officially come to an end. Hope you enjoyed your Galapagos Cruise! They will now transfer you to your scheduled departure from Baltra Airport to mainland Ecuador. Safe travels!

Ship/Hotel

Petrel

Petrel
Al fresco area
Living area

Dates & Prices

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Crewed Charter Price starting at
$88,790
or $5,549 per person based on 16 max passengers
Stateroom cabin
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Stateroom
30 m2 / 323 ft2, Air Conditioner / Private Balcony, Convertible Twin or King Accommodation.
Suite cabin
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Suite
43 m2 / 463 ft2, Air Conditioner / Private Balcony, King or Triple Accommodation

Notes

Motor Catamaran PETREL
  • Capacity for 16 guests.
  • Cruise Concierge onboard.
  • 11 Crew Members.
  • 4, 5, 6, & 8 Day Journeys.
  • Expedition equipment.
  • Activities equipment.
Rates are per person based on double occupancy.
Rates are subject to change regardless of circumstances. (Airfare, Control Visitor card, Galapagos Entrance Fee)
Keep in mind that for individual bookings, children must be at least 7 years old to participate in the tour
Please provide your wetsuite size in advance prior to trip

Child Discount

25% Discount applies when traveling with two adults. Children must be under 12 years old by the time they 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
  • 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
  • Soft drinks and juices
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.
  • Alcoholic Drinks
  • Internal Flights: Mainland Ecuador - Galapagos - Mainland Ecuador: $475-675

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Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.
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