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Isabela rock with birds

Private Charter - Western Islands II

Example 5 Day Cruise aboard Archipel II
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Discover the Galapagos volcanic landscapes bursting with fascinating wildlife on this 5-day private expedition aboard the Archipel II. Visit the Twin Craters, where you can observe the Giant Tortoise specie of Santa Cruz Island in its natural habitat. Take a tour along the cliffs of Tagus Cove in a zodiac to get a good chance at seeing the Galapagos penguin, the flightless cormorant, and other sea birds. Bachas Beach is located west of Turtle Cove and features sand made of decomposed coral, which is white and soft. Additionally, it is a popular nesting site for sea turtles. Experience close encounters with unique species with our well-balanced excursion program or even during your spare time. 

 
A kayaking trip to see the local bird life of the Galapagos.Giant TortoiseFlamingo LagoonTraveler's waking on the seal covered beach.Isabela rock with birds
Highlights
  • Take an easy walk through Tintoreras' unique lava landscape with your private group of up to 16 guests
  • Tour Espinoza Point and visit one of the Galapagos' biggest iguana colonies
  • Observe Galapagos giant tortoises from a very close distance
Places Visited
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Baltra Airport | Embark | Twin Craters, Santa Cruz

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today your guide awaits you at Baltra Airport and takes you to the Archipel Catamaran, which anchors in Puerto Ayora harbor. After arriving on board, check-in, receive general information and enjoy your first lunch on board.

Afterward, get ready for your first excursion visit to the Highlands of Santa Cruz Island, and see incredible areas of vegetation. The road to the highlands leaves from Bellavista, a small village located at a 15-minute drive from Puerto Ayora and passes through the agricultural zone, near the National Park boundary, the Miconia Zone, and then goes to the Fern and Sedge zone. With clear weather, this area gives you beautiful scenes of rolling hills and extinct volcanic cones covered with grass and lush greenery all year round. Here visit the Twin Craters, which are two pit craters, as well as a local ranch where you can observe the Giant Tortoise species of Santa Cruz Island in its natural habitat.

Day 2: Tintoreras Islet | Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
“Tintoreras” are small islands in front of the Puerto Villamil coast. There are Herons on the lookout on mangrove branches, Galapagos penguins, and sea lions that often pop out on shore. White-tipped reef sharks (in Spanish: Tintoreras) are common in the archipelago and are very commonly found resting in shallow waters.

In the Arnaldo Tupiza Tortoise Breeding Centre, you can see hundreds of giant Galapagos tortoises of all sizes. Vulnerable hatchlings are not gigantic at all, even smaller than the size of your hand! This project just outside Puerto Villamil was created to rescue the endangered populations of Isabela’s southernmost volcanoes. From the almost incredible estimations of 250,000 giant tortoises in the 16th century, by the 1970s, there were only about 3,000 individuals remaining. One thing becomes clear on your visit: it’s hard work to save these creatures from extinction by reproduction in captivity and repopulation. The good news is that these programs are successful and have already saved several species from extinction so far. By 2015 their number increased to about 32,000 in all the archipelago. Don’t forget to visit the native botanical garden of this breeding center. It also attracts colorful songbirds such as yellow warblers, Darwin’s finches, Galapagos, and vermillion flycatchers. Finally, there is no greater counterpart to the cumbersome tortoises than the graceful American flamingos, which frequently alter the saline waters of the adjacent lagoon for shrimp and algae. They are joined by a handful of species of aquatic and shorebirds, from which some even migrate from Canada and Alaska

Day 3: Moreno Point | Elizabeth Bay, Isabela

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning sail to Moreno Point, located on the north coast of Isabela Island between the volcanos Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul. The trail runs along a solidified lava flow called “Pahohoe”, into a complex of coastal lagoons. Its main attraction is several species of birds, which are found around the lakes and mangroves.

In the afternoon head to Elizabeth Bay, a marine visitor site, so the excursion has no landing point. Your zodiac ride starts with a visit to the Marielas islets where the largest and most important penguin colony resides in the Galapagos Islands. The excursion continues into the cove that is surrounded by red mangroves where you can admire their red roots and green leaves. Here, you are able to observe sea turtles, flightless cormorants, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, brown pelicans, and sea lions. Frequent visitors have been able to see Galapagos hawks soaring overhead whilst schools of pompano and dorado fish swimming down below.

Day 4: Tagus Cove, Isabela | Espinoza Point, Fernandina

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today take a tour along the cliffs of Tagus Cove in a zodiac to get a good chance at seeing the Galapagos penguin, the flightless cormorant, and other sea birds. From the landing dock, it is about a 30-minute hike along the trail up to the top of the cliff from where several volcanoes and Darwin Lake can be viewed. This is an uplifted ultra saline lake saltier than the sea. You can also see several volcanoes from this location. Look carefully at the graffiti on the surrounding cliffs of the cove, and it has been written by pirates, whalers, and buccaneers in past centuries!

This afternoon sail to Fernandina, the third largest island in the archipelago. Stop at the island's single visitor site: Punta Espinoza, located at the northeastern tip of the island. Here, marine iguanas conglomerate in larger groups than on any other island. They bask around in the sand, swim near the shore and sometimes, block the way at the landing dock. Among the unique species found here, you can find the flightless cormorant.

Day 5: Bachas Beach, Santa Cruz | Disembark | Baltra Airport

  • 1 Breakfast
These two small beaches are found to the West of Turtle Cove. Their sand is made of decomposed coral, which makes it white and soft, and a favorite nesting site for sea turtles. Behind one of the beaches, there is a small blackish water lagoon, where it is occasionally possible to observe flamingos and other coastal birds, such as black-necked stilts and whimbrels. The other beach is longer, but it has two old barges that were abandoned during World War II when the USA used Baltra Island as a strategic point to protect the Panama Channel.

After you visit Bachas Beach disembark and transfer to Baltra Airport.

Ship/Hotel

Archipell II

Relax on the deck and soak in the sun.
Enjoy sightseeing on the deck with a delicious snack.
The bridge and captain of the Archipell.

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Crewed Charter Price starting at
$46,320
or $2,895 per person based on 16 max passengers
Archipell I & II's Twin Cabin.
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Twin Cabin
Cabins feature lower berths and private en-suite bath facilities with hot & cold water, A/C.
Cruise the Galapagos on the Archipell ship
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Standard Cabin
8 cabins with twin or double beds. Feature private facilities with hot & cold water, A/C.

Child Discount

20% discount for children under age 12 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
  • Meals as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Professional, bilingual guide service as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
  • 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
  • Snorkeling and kayaking equipment is included in the cruise cost and available for your use on board.
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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Beyond expectations! Then again we weren't sure what to expect. Lovely stay at the lodge, met other like-minded travelers (many had their trips planned by Adventure Life) and the owner was a gracious hostess. It felt like you were one happy family, visiting with a favorite aunt.
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