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Sea lions on beach in Rabida

Private Charter - West & Central Islands + Genovesa Aboard M/C Galapagos Endemic

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard M/C Endemic
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Relax in luxury on a weeklong private cruise across the Western Galapagos Islands onboard the M/C Endemic. Additionally, it includes a brief visit to Genovesa Island, located in the northeastern region, an excellent stop for bird enthusiasts. Your journey begins at Baltra, where you may swim or snorkel at the lovely Bachas Beach and witness a flamingo colony. The next day, observe the Great Frigates and nesting Red-footed boobies in Darwin Bay before proceeding to The Twins in Santa Cruz. Sierra Negra's hikers are rewarded with a fantastic lesson in volcanic geology and a spectacular perspective of the Isabela and Fernandina Islands. Your trip concludes with a morning visit to Mosquera Islet to watch sea lions and orca whales before disembarking in Baltra.


 
Flamingo LagoonA male frigatebird rests in the trees of the GalapagosSea lion encounter while snorkelingColorful land iguanaWarm waters of the Galapagos archipelago Snorkeling with friendsSea lions on beach in Rabida
Highlights
  • Hike along scenic rock formations surrounded by cactus groves at Rabida with your private group of up to 16 guests
  • Visit Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center, home to hundreds of baby tortoises
  • Walk over recent lava flows in Punta Espinoza
  • Kayak, snorkel or take a panga ride around the tranquil bay of Genovesa
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Baltra Island | Embark | Bachas Beach, Santa Cruz

Arrival to Baltra Island Airpot and transfer to the M/C Endemic. The name “bachas” is derived from the English word ‘barges’ and dates from World War II, when the USA had a military base in the Galapagos Islands. Bachas is a lovely beach, great for swimming or some easy snorkeling offshore. Shorebirds like whimbrels and stilts are common, as are sea lions and Sally Lightfoot crabs. A brackish lagoon popular with flamingos is a short walk from the main beach.

Day 2: Darwin Bay | El Barranco, Genovesa Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning, visit Darwin Bay, the only sandy beach found in the caldera on Genovesa. Colonies of the Great Frigates are found along the beach. Male exhibit their red balloon pouch to females for a hope of a match. Red-footed boobies nest in the trees in contrast to the other two booby species, which do so on the ground. 

In the afternoon, go to El Barranco (Prince Philip’s Steps), a carved out of stone stair. This leads you to a wide plateau, where you can observe large colonies of masked boobies, frigate birds, storm petrels, and ducks. During this easy stroll, you cross a small Scalesia forest, the habitat of the short-eared owl. The same path will lead you back to your boat.

Day 3: The Twins, Santa Cruz Island | Sullivan Bay, Santiago Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The “twins” of the leafy highlands of Santa Cruz island are two sinkholes created long ago by underground lava tunnels which collapsed. A shady trail covers the short distance between the main road and the two sinkholes. Learn about the special forest found in and around the sinkholes: it is home to many Scalesia pedunculate trees endemic to Galapagos. The Twins visitor site is a good place to see finches, Vermilion Flycatchers, and mockingbirds.

Sullivan Bay features a sandy shore surrounded by lava fields. The lava is relatively recent, being only about 100 years old. Observe the hardy “pioneer” plants: specialized flora that first colonizes a lava field. After a hike, enjoy a refreshing swim with the chance to do some snorkeling!

Day 4: Sierra Negra | Wetlands | The Wall of Tears | Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center, Isabela Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sierra Negra (“Black Mountain”) Volcano was active as recently as 2005, and it is possible to see very recent lava flows and fumaroles. The visit includes the main volcanic caldera and several smaller craters at the Chico Volcano site. There are not many animals in the barren heights of the volcano, but hikers are rewarded with an unforgettable lesson in volcanic geology and a great view of Isabela and Fernandina Islands!

Island’s wetlands are home to abundant birdlife, including flamingos, stilts, whimbrels, gallinules, finches, pintail ducks, brown pelicans, and more. Marine iguanas creep through the marshes as well, and an occasional giant tortoise makes an appearance. Part of the trail goes up Orchilla hill, which offers a nice view of the nearby town of Puerto Villamil.

The Wall of Tears is a wide, high stone wall built not far from Puerto Villamil. A visit to the Wall of Tears offers a rare glimpse into the human history of the Galapagos; Isabela Island was once home to an Ecuadorian penal colony, and the construction of the Wall of Tears was a form of punishment. Some locals think it’s haunted!

The Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding center is a highlight of any visit to Isabela Island. Here, giant tortoises of the Isabela Island subspecies are hatched and cared for until they can survive on their own in the wild. Hundreds of adorable baby tortoises slowly move about in raised pens to protect them from predators, including rats and ants. Even the walk to get to the breeding center from town is fun, as it is connected to Puerto Villamil by a boardwalk over some marshy wetlands where sightings of flamingos and other water birds are common.

Day 5: Elizabeth Bay | Urbina Bay, Isabela Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Elizabeth Bay and the small, rocky islets found there is home to many spectacular species of Galapagos birdlife, including penguins, the Galapagos hawk, Nazca boobies, finches, flightless cormorants, warblers, and more. Visitors see thriving marine life in the clear sea below, including schools of fish, spotted eagle rays, sea lions, and marine iguanas. Elizabeth Bay is only seen by panga ride: visitors do not land at all.

In 1954, volcanic activity deep underground rocked Isabela Island, thrusting up part of Urbina Bay. The bay’s landscape changed overnight, gaining five meters in height and a kilometer of soggy land that had previously been underwater. Visitors can still see desiccated coral formations on the trail around part of the bay. Urbina Bay is home to abundant wildlife, including land iguanas, giant tortoises, and lava lizards. Birdlife includes finches, hawks, and mockingbirds. The hike, a relatively long one at 3000 meters, is followed by a refreshing swim or snorkeling in the bay.

Day 6: Tagus Cove, Isabela Island | Espinoza Point, Fernandina Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A visit to Tagus cove includes a short hike to a scenic outlook and a panga ride along the coastline to look for penguins. After the hike, guests may choose to do kayaking and snorkeling, which is almost sure to see sea turtles.

Punta Espinoza is one of the most remarkable visitor sites in all of Galapagos. This memorable hike includes good wildlife watching as well as geology and many spectacular spots for taking photos. Guests walk over recent (geologically speaking) lava flows, see a nesting colony of flightless cormorants, and step gingerly through a low maze of marine iguanas sunning themselves. Look for lava lizards, Galapagos snakes, and Galapagos Hawks.

Day 7: Espumilla Beach | Buccaneer Cove, Santiago Island | Rabida Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Playa Espumilla (“Foamy Beach”) is a pristine sandy beach on the northern part of Santiago Island. At either end of the beach, trails lead through some mangroves to a salty lagoon, where lucky visitors may get to see flamingoes, pintail ducks, stilts, or other wading birds. There is good snorkeling and kayaking off the beach.

The islands are so beautiful that it’s possible to forget about their interesting human history. Although there is nothing left of their presence (no buried treasure – sorry!), pirates and whalers used to stop in Buccaneer Cove to repair their ships, take on fresh water, and capture tortoises for food. There is no trail here, but it is good for a panga ride, snorkeling, and kayaking. As the panga cruises along the shore, look for blue-footed and Nazca boobies, fur seals, sea lions, and Galapagos hawks soaring overhead.

Rabida is a remarkable island, famous for its cactus groves and scenic rock formations. Finches and other small land birds are commonly seen flitting around the cacti alongside the trails. The hike starts along a red sand beach where brown pelicans nest in mangroves. Short trails lead from the beach to some lagoons where flamingos are sometimes seen. After the hike, visitors can cool off with a swim or some snorkeling. Lucky snorkelers and kayakers see fish, sea lions, and turtles.

Day 8: Mosquera Islet | Disembark | Baltra Airport

In the morning, visit Mosquera, a small islet found between Baltra & North Seymour Islands. Lava gulls, sea lions, Sally Lightfoot crabs inhabit this sandbank with an extension of over 600 meters. It also hosts the largest populations of sea lions and orca whales that can occasionally be seen depending on the season you visit the islet.

After this last visit, transfer to Baltra airport for your return flight to mainland Ecuador.
 

Ship/Hotel

M/C Galapagos Endemic

M/C Endemic, Sun Deck
M/C Endemic, Interior
M/C Endemic

Dates & Prices

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Crewed Charter Price starting at
$128,190
or $8,012 per person based on 16 max passengers
M/C Endemic, Matrimonial Cabin
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Suite
Each cabin has personalized air conditioning control, a balcony, spacious private bathroom and either a king-size bed or two twin-size beds.
M/C Endemic, Single Cabin
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Single Suite
A suite as above, dedicated for solo occupancy. Each cabin has personalized air conditioning control, a balcony, spacious private bathroom and one twin-size bed.

Notes

Rates do not include: 
-Round trip flights to Galapagos
-Galapagos National Park Entrance fee
-Transit Control Card
-Alcoholic and bottled beverages
-Tips for guides and crew
-Travel insurance

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
  • 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Snorkeling equipment, wetsuits, transparent sea kayaks, and stand-up 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: $100 per adult, $50 per child under 12
  • Internal Flights: Mainland Ecuador - Galapagos - Mainland Ecuador: $475-675

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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
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