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Kayaking in Galapagos

East & West Galapagos

Baltra - Santa Cruz - Example 15 Day Cruise aboard Aqua Mare
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For the most comprehensive tour of the Galapagos Archipelago, combine Aqua's east and west itineraries into a full 15-day voyage. With the diversity of each island's flora and fauna influenced by its own climatic conditions, there are no two trips from Baltra Island that are the same. See hammerhead sharks in Bahia Darwin and the rare Pahoehoe lava flows in Bahia Sullivan. No place will be left unexplored during the expeditions.
 
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Highlights
  • Enjoy the views of Daphne Island.
  • Visit Mosquera Islet and view the colonies of sea lions.
  • Discover Caleta Tagus a favorite anchorage spot for pirates and whalers.
  • Explore gas-rich basaltic lava rocks at Punta Moreno.
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Baltra Island | Playa Las Bachas

Once you arrive at Baltra airport, you will be met by our team and escorted on a short cross-island transfer to the jetty. Receive a warm welcome aboard Aqua Mare, the Galapagos islands’ first 50m luxury super yacht with our 16-strong crew where you will be treated with the utmost attention courtesy of our 1:1 crew to guest ratio. A delicious Nikkei-inspired lunch crafted by consultant chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino will be served and you will also receive a snorkeling kit complete with mask, fins, snorkel, and an optional shorty wetsuit for your personal use during the week. You will also receive as a welcome gift a special waterproof bag to place your belongings during wet landings and an Aqua Expeditions water bottle.

The afternoon will see you head out onto your first excursion to Playa Las Bachas on the northern part of Santa Cruz Island for a short 20-minute hike taking us to two ponds where you can observe various species of flamingos, ducks, shore birds and sometimes marine iguanas. It is also possible to spot Darwin finches, yellow warblers, and mockingbirds among the coastal vegetation, mangroves, and saltbush. For those who prefer to snorkel, the beach is one of the main nesting sites of sea turtles, so you will no doubt come across one or two! Head home to the yacht for the evening to indulge in your first sumptuous dinner in the Archipelago, making it the perfect start to your Galapagos adventure.

Day 2: El Barranco | Bahía Darwin, Genovesa Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
For those who missed the equatorial crossing the night before, ask our crew for your very own equator crossing certificate - although this is usually reserved for our young explorers, even the young at heart will proudly be able to take this home! This morning explore Genovesa Island, where you will take a tender ride along the volcanic rocks of El Barranco to view the fur seals resting inside rock crevices. A 1.5 km hike inland takes us to the lava fields to view red-footed boobies as well as great frigate birds and Galapagos storm petrels.

After the visit, we will return to the yacht to get suited up for your snorkeling session to view bottlenose dolphins, schools of hammerhead sharks, colorful fish and pristine corals. The tenders will accompany us alongside the cliffs to observe the animal species that rest on the cliffs before a splendid lunch back onboard. The afternoon sees us at Bahía Darwin’s coralline beach for hiking, snorkeling, stand-up paddle boarding, or kayaking. Make it a family affair after dinner at the lower deck Beach Club by enjoying a private movie screening. We recommend watching the Planet Earth documentary on the Galapagos, the swashbuckling box office Master and Commander, or simply enjoy the starlit skies from the upper deck.

Day 3: Bahía Sullivan, Santiago Island | Sombrero Chino Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Start the morning early with a workout or a guided meditation on our upper deck followed by a refreshing breakfast. Our first excursion of the day will take us to the northeast of Santiago Island with a dry landing at Bahía Sullivan to discover recent Pahoehoe lava flows.

After a sumptuous lunch and lecture on the geology of the Galapagos from one of our expert scientist guides onboard Aqua Mare, we depart to Sombrero Chino Island, so named after the small crater that forms the islet. The surrounding crystal-clear waters provide a great opportunity to observe sea lions and penguins from above. There will be time for snorkeling, stand-up paddle boarding, and kayaking. Return to the yacht for evening sundowners and a barbecue dinner on the upper deck, with the volcanic island serving as a stunning backdrop to your once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Day 4: Bartolomé Island | Cerro Dragón, Santa Cruz Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
With an early morning anchor at Bartolomé Island, you will embark upon a mild climb up to the summit of a spatter cone for a spectacular view of the island’s iconic Pinnacle Rock. Cool down afterwards with a snorkel where you may encounter sea turtles and Galapagos penguins, before heading back to the yacht for lunch as we sail towards Santa Cruz Island.

Our afternoon excursion takes us to Cerro Dragón or Dragon Hill, so named because in 1975 it was one of the only places in the Santa Cruz Island where scientists could still find a healthy population of land iguanas (Conolophus subcristatus). The hiking trail begins with a wet landing and continues inland to a flamingo lagoon, ending with the option to swim and snorkel from the beach or walk along the mangroves and sand dunes of the south beach. Back onboard, swap tales of your magnificent excursion over an al fresco dinner encompassing South American Pacific coast and Peruvian Nikkei style crafted by consultant chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino.

Day 5: El Chato Giant Tortoise Reserve | Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, Santa Cruz Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning you will explore the El Chato Giant Tortoise Reserve to see these wild Galapagos creatures up close in their natural habitat. The area is also a great place to observe Darwin finches, yellow warblers, flightcatchers, cattle egrets, and if lucky Galapagos Rails.

After a mouth-watering lunch and afternoon lecture on the evolution of Darwin finches presented by our expert guides in the panoramic lounge, you will take a tender ride to Darwin Station and National Park headquarters to observe tortoises in captivity at the Fausto Llerena Breeding Centre, as well as the different age hatchlings categorized by islands. There will be free time to enjoy the town of Puerto Ayora before returning to the ship. Refreshing superfruit juices await at our Beach Club, which is located at water level at the aft of the ship or enjoy the scenic sunset views from the upper deck. For divers there is the option of a full day of diving instead of joining the day excursions.

Day 6: Punta Suárez, Bahía Gardner | Islote Osborn, Española Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Rise and shine to a guided meditation on our upper deck before disembarking in Punta Suárez for this morning’s excursion. This visitor site is one of the most interesting landing sites in Galapagos, due to the high percentage of unique endemism in its fauna such as Española mockingbirds, lava lizards, Galapagos tortoises, marine iguanas, and the unique Waved Albatross.

In the afternoon, we will take a tender ride to the beautiful array of islets where you will be able to snorkel alongside playful sea lions, sea turtles, sharks, rays and many different species of reef fishes. The last visit of the day will be Bahía Gardner, an outstanding coralline sand beach that boasts one of the biggest colonies of sea lions in the Galapagos. Back at the yacht, head over to our bar to socialize over Happy Hour with a glass of our special Aqua Bloody Mary as the crew prepares for departure to our next anchorage.

Day 7: Fondeadero, Sante Fé (barrington) Island | Plaza Sur Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After a night of sailing, you will visit Santa Fé (also known as Barrington) Island for your penultimate day. It is one of the oldest in the Galapagos Islands (around 3.6 million years old), with the island being characterized to some degree by its vegetation of palo santo trees, a pear cactus that is called Opuntia Echio Barringtonensis, and many other native bushes. Here we will spot land iguanas, lava lizards, swallow-tailed gulls, shearwater petrels, red-billed tropic birds, mockingbirds, Darwin finches, and Galapagos hawks. After the visit, we will be able to take advantage of the last full day in the Galapagos by snorkeling, kayaking, or stand-up paddle boarding.

As you enjoy lunch onboard - we recommend the Galapagueña lobster lettuce wraps with Acevichado dressing - the boat will sail to South Plaza Islet, located off the eastern shore of Santa Cruz. In the afternoon you disembark at Plaza Sur Island, a small, but diverse little islet. Head out on a two-hour hiking excursion led by your guide to discover the island’s unique landforms. Swap notes on everything you’ve seen today at your final recap briefing once back aboard and toast farewell under the amazing starlit skies of the Archipelago to your new found friends over a glass of wine.

Day 8: Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Build your own adventure today from a selection of activities such as a morning run to Academy Bay for a beach morning, an introductory scuba dive with a local certified dive operator, hike to the Las Grietas fissure canyon for a cool snorkel in the crystal clear waters or even choose to bicycle around and outside of Puerto Ayora town.

You will be able to meet new companions joining you onward for the next seven nights over another delicious lunch aboard. As they explore the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center in the afternoon, yours is free to spend at your leisure - just let our Cruise Director know and all the arrangements will be made. If you prefer to slow down the pace, our tenders can take you out for a short snorkeling excursion, or stay onboard Aqua Mare to sunbathe on our upper deck sun loungers. Regroup at the end of the day over dinner where our chefs will present you with a dazzling array of native Ecuadorian and Galapagoan ingredients.

Day 9: Punta Cormorant, Bahía Post Office | Mirador De La Baronesa, Floreana Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
For your ninth morning in the Galapagos, we will be anchored in the southern part of the Archipelago at Floreana Island. After breakfast, the morning wet landing excursion will take you to a big brackish water lagoon to observe Greater Flamingos, ducks, black-necked stilts and other shore birds at Punta Cormorant. You will be able to observe where sea turtles nest at night, and spot stingrays and sharks swimming very close to the shore. Later you will return to the boat to prepare for kayaking or take a short tender ride to Devil’s Crown for snorkeling.

Enjoy a splendid lunch consisting of fresh Ecuadorian recipes with an Andean twist before heading back out to Floreana to pay tribute to an old island tradition at Bahía Post Office. The visit will follow another quick tour of what once was a fishing enterprise in the 1920s before continuing onboard the tenders to visit Mirador de la Baronesa. A delicious feast showcasing Japanese technique combined with Peruvian seasoning using only the freshest local fish and seafood awaits when you return onboard Aqua Mare. Stay out on the upper deck with a cocktail if you would like to admire the northern and southern hemispheres’ starlit skies tonight.

Day 10: Punta Moreno | Bahía Urbina, Isabela Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After a night of sailing, the morning sees our beautiful superyacht anchored on the western side of Isabela Island. As the biggest and youngest island in the Archipelago, Isabela was formed by five relatively young volcanoes and is characterized by giant tortoises and marine iguanas. For the morning excursion, a hike at Punta Moreno takes us to the mangroves and gas-rich basaltic lava rocks resulting from a large basaltic lava flow which came from the Cerro Azul volcano on Isabela hundreds of years ago. There are mangrove lagoons along the shore and small saltwater lagoons inland, where you will observe ducks, shore birds, stilts, blue-winged teals, flamingos, and gallinules. After the visit you will have the opportunity to go snorkeling near the shore or return to the yacht to rest and enjoy the majestic landscapes Isabela has to offer.

In the afternoon, the yacht will sail north to Bahía Urbina, a 6km point, once underwater and uplifted in 1954 up to 3m above sea level. Here you can see tortoises, land iguanas and the biggest marine iguanas roaming free in the Archipelago. We end the day with an unforgettable view of Isabela’s five volcanoes as we dine on refreshing seafood salads, baked fish, potato llapingachos, tuna crudo, barbequed plantains, and shrimp ceviche beneath the stars.

Day 11: Punta Espinoza, Fernandina Island | Caleta Tagus, Isabela Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Start the morning early with a workout on our upper deck at our next anchorage point of Punta Espinoza, part of a huge lava flow formed from one of the many eruptions of La Cumbre volcano, known to be one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Famous for its large colonies of marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, Galapagos penguins, Galapagos hawks, lizards and snakes, you will spend the morning on shore with the option to snorkel before returning to the yacht for a sumptuous lunch and lecture on the geology of the Galapagos from one of our expert scientist guides.

As Aqua Mare crosses the Bolivar Channel back towards Isabela Island, prepare to channel your inner pirate for the afternoon excursion visiting Caleta Tagus, once a favorite anchorage spot for pirates and whalers. Here we will hike to see Darwin Lake, a saltwater lake trapped inside a tuff cone. If you would rather not hike, you can take your pick from our eight double kayaks, snorkeling, stand-up paddle boarding, or a ride on our elegant black tenders to explore the cove and its surroundings. Return to the yacht for evening sundowners and head to the bridge after dinner for a chat with our captain as we cross the equatorial line twice while rounding the top of Isabela island sailing to our next anchorage point.

Day 12: Puerto Egas, Playa Espumilla | Caleta Bucanero, Santiago Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning sees us disembark on the black sand beaches of Puerto Egas, northwest of Santiago Island. Once the location of a salt mine (1967), today you can take a two and a half-hour hike to find the abandoned mine turned into a shallow saltwater lake. For those who prefer to stay by the beach, you will be able to walk the intertidal zone to the fur seal grottos or snorkel to watch sea turtles, sea lions and white-tipped sharks.

We head back to the yacht for lunch encompassing flavors of the South American Pacific coast and Peruvian Nikkei style crafted by Pedro Miguel Schiaffino. Then our tenders will continue their adventure to Playa Espumilla, where a wet landing will set us upon a golden sandy beach, a well-known breeding ground for sea turtles. You will also visit Caleta Bucanero, a 17th century pirate rest stop where pirates used to stock up on fresh tortoise meat and fresh water. The day will end with a choice of snorkeling, kayaking, or stand-up paddle boarding before winding down back onboard with Happy Hour over a glass of our signature cocktails as the crew prepares for departure to our next adventure.

Day 13: Rábida Island | Caleta Tortuga Negra, Santa Cruz Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Awake to the sounds of nature and a fresh breakfast before departing by tender to Rábida Island, also known as the red island. The color is the result of the oxidation of very old porous lava. You will be able to hike, take out one of our eight double kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, or snorkel, as well as observe hundreds of sea lions who have made their home on the beach.

After a delicious lunch, you can listen to an afternoon lecture on the evolution of Darwin’s finches presented by our expert guides in the panoramic lounge. The Aqua Mare will sail towards the north of Santa Cruz Island, to Caleta Tortuga Negra, a mangrove estuary that is home to sea turtles. This is a tender ride excursion as there is no landing site, but you will be able to spot green sea turtles, as well as three different types of sharks: the black tip, the Galapagos, and the famous blue shark. End this glorious day by discovering more of Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino’s masterful and innovative farm-to-table creations at dinner.

Day 14: Seymour Norte Island | Mosquera Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Your penultimate day in the Archipelago begins with a refreshing breakfast before heading out to Seymour Norte Island, formed by uprisings of underwater volcanic lavas some 3.1 million years ago. The island is mostly known for its healthy population of land iguanas, blue-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, and great frigate birds. After a morning full of fun activities, you will head back to the yacht for a delicious lunch aboard Aqua Mare.

For the afternoon excursion, hop on to one of our tenders for a wet landing onto Mosquera Islet. While the rock pile is one of the smallest in the Archipelago, it is home to one of the largest colonies of sea lions in the Galapagos, and if you’re lucky you may even spot migratory orcas. Around sunset you will return to the sleek comfort of Aqua Mare for your last evening aboard. Swap notes on everything you’ve experienced during this most incredible adventure with your friends onboard and toast farewell with something special from our curated wine list.

Day 15: Daphne Island | Baltra Island

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The last day begins with a luxurious breakfast set against the morning sunrise before setting out for one final excursion by tender. You will enjoy the views of the fragile visitor site of Daphne Island, a scientific use zone for scientists studying Darwin’s finches. You will observe Nazca boobies, red-billed tropicbirds, and blue-footed boobies nesting at Daphne Major terraces, which is also the site of a 40-year study on the evolution in Darwin’s finches, demonstrating evolution occurring over short periods of time.
We return to the ship for a refreshing juice and to pack up the last of your belongings as we set sail to Baltra Island, bidding farewell to our crew and beautiful home for the past week. You will be escorted to the airport for your flight back to the mainland and onward journey home with all the wonderful memories we hope you will cherish forever.

Ship/Hotel

Aqua Mare

Aqua Mare Beach Club
Aqua Mare TopDeck Sunbed
Aqua Mare Dining Area

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$17,950
Aqua Mare Owner's Suite
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Owner's Suite
Located on the main deck, a grand suite like this rarely becomes available unless you charter an entire superyacht. For the exceptional few booking the Owner’s Suite on Aqua Mare, this is one way to assure a trip of a lifetime. At 80 square meters, this luxurious cabin leaves every hotel suite behind. The Owner’s Suite boasts a California king-size bed and multiple closets that will make your home closet envious with its grand beam-to-beam size. Eight large windows plus two more in the bathroom complete that extra over-the-top luxury. A separate study can be conveniently closed off for private dining or to accommodate two more guests in lower and upper beds (the upper one being a comfortable pullman). The bathroom features a large double shower, separate toilet, and vanity with sofa for added comfort. Additional features include a large hydraulic 40" TV hidden from view, two armchairs, and veneer craftsmanship of the highest standards. It has a separate fresh intake valve and is a suite is made for an A-list guest who expects only the best of the best.
Aqua Mare Cabin 2
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Category II
This 26 square meter cabin is located on the Main Deck and is among the first suites to be booked. A comfortable king-sized bed faces a large window, allowing you to enjoy spectacular views from your bed. Two custom built-in armchairs provide space to catch up on reading or plan for your next excursions. The en-suite bathroom has a walk-in shower and plenty of counter space and storage capacity. A separate closet area provides some privacy for the early riser in the couple. An automatic built-in popup TV entertains you in case you want to catch up on your latest Netflix episodes that can be air-played onto the large 40-inch screen. Raw silk wall panels ensure a high level of luxury.
Aqua Mare Category III cabins
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Category III
Located on the lower deck via an elegant circular staircase, this cabin is very quiet. It has a good amount of light streaming in through two oval portholes. Fitted with a queen-sized bed, incredible veneer panels, and suede ceiling panels, this suite is luxurious. Tucked in the corner is a stylish leather desk complete with a comfortable bamboo armchair. Like all suites, it also boasts a flat-screen TV seamlessly built into one of the walls, complete with an Apple TV for air playing your pre-downloaded TV shows or streaming your music to the in-room sound system. The bathroom spans the entire width of the cabin and is illuminated via its porthole. Double sinks and plenty of storage space provide room enough for two. A large walk-in shower and armchair in the bathroom are also a clear indication of the spaciousness of this superyacht.
Aqua Mare Category IV cabin
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Category IV
For those wanting a twin cabin that is located on the lower deck, this is the perfect fit. If you're traveling with family, there is also the option to transform it into a triple cabin. Two large lower twin beds and one beautifully tucked-in Pullman accommodate three adults comfortably. Two portholes and one in the bathroom provide natural light throughout the cabin. A cozy leather-clad desk adds comfort with its elegant bamboo chair. The same craftsmanship is present in all our cabins and this suite shows off the versatility of the Italian CRN yard. The spacious bathroom is fitted with top-of-the-line finishing including Italian marble and veneers.
Aqua Mare Cabin 5
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Category V
Located on the Bridge Deck, this suite complete with a queen-sized bed is located on the highest level of the yacht. The cozy and complete small bathroom suits all needs. Ample closet space is sufficient to unpack fully for your seven nights onboard. It even comes with a leather-clad writing desk and a comfortable bamboo writing chair. A great room with plenty of natural light and a wonderful private view from the large panoramic window.
Included
  • 14 Breakfasts, 14 Lunches, 15 Dinners
  • 14 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Scuba Diving
  • Laundry Service
  • Alcoholic and non specified beverages
  • Use of Snorkeling Equipment and Wet Suits
  • Wifi
  • Group transfers between vessel on recommended flights
  • All available non-motorized water sports
  • Galapagos Park entrance fee and INGALA transit card
  • Kayaks and stand-up paddleboards
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
  • Visa
  • Private Transfers
     
  • Boutique purchases

Map

When to Go

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Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
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