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South Plaza Island

Private Charter - East Central Islands Aboard Estrella del Mar

Example 9 Day Cruise aboard Estrella
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Embark on a 9-day private cruise aboard Estrella del Mar to explore the East Central Islands of the Galapagos. Begin on San Cristobal Island, steeped in history. Witness giant tortoises at the Galapaguera Islands and discover unique bird nesting at Punta Pitt. Explore Cerro Brujo's beaches and Kicker Rock's vibrant marine life. Encounter rare wildlife on Española Island. Learn about Floreana Island's enigmatic past at Post Office Bay and enjoy snorkeling at Flour Beach. North Seymour Island teems with birdlife, Bartolomé Island offers volcanic vistas, and Genovesa Island is a birdwatcher's paradise. Conclude your journey at Borrero Bay, exploring Twin Craters and the Charles Darwin Research Station before bidding farewell to this unforgettable expedition.
Wooden boardwalk in BartolomePinnacle rock on BartolomeWildlife in the GalapagosSea lion on Santiago Island in the GalapagosFlamingo LagoonFrigate BirdGiant TortoiseSea lion by the kayaksKicker Rock near San Cristobal IslandBlue-footed booby mating danceA male frigatebird rests in the trees of the GalapagosSouth Plaza Island
Highlights
  • Witness giant tortoises in their natural habitat at Galapaguera Islands
  • Discover diverse bird nesting sites at scenic Punta Pitt
  • Snorkel alongside captivating marine life at iconic Kicker Rock
  • Encounter unique wildlife on Española Island's untouched landscapes
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: San Cristobal | Embark | Interpretation Center

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
San Cristobal is the fifth largest and easternmost Galapagos Island. It has the oldest permanent settlement and was the first place Darwin landed in 1835 Manuel Cobos and Jose Monroy founded the Orchillera Society, a penal colony; sugarcane was planted and a fishing enterprise thrived from 1952 to 1960. Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is the provincial capital.

At the beginning of this itinerary, full of activities and picturesque places, go to the island's interpretation center. The Galapagos National Park Visitor Centre in San Cristobal opened in 1998, provides a comprehensive history of the archipelago, its ecosystems, vegetation, and animals. It has two interpretive panels describing the natural and cultural history of the archipelago. It also has a small auditorium, meeting rooms, and video equipment for community events

After this visit, travel to the "Galapaguera Islands". This is an artificial turtle breeding program and a tourist information center, created by the National Park in 2003. Visitors can see giant tortoises in a natural setting. They can learn about how they came to be, evolved, and were threatened by other creatures.
Activities: Trekking

Day 2: Punta Pitt | Cerro Brujo | Kicker Rock, San Cristobal

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After an enjoyable start to the day and breakfast, head to Punta Pitt, a bachelor colony of sea lions on the eastern edge of San Cristobal. It is the only place in the Galapagos where all three species nest Swallow-tailed gulls and storm petrels, two frigatebird species, are also present. The view of sea lions from the top of the cliff is spectacular, as is the outline of the island's sparse, wind-scoured peaks. The walk around the site provides a closer look at the resilient plants that survive in this volcanic wasteland.
Activities: Trekking, Kayaking, Panga ride, Snorkeling

From Punta Pitt, continue to Cerro Brujo, where swimming and snorkeling are common activities on Cerro Brujo's coral-sand beach. Charles Darwin and Captain Fitzroy both visited a tuff cone's remains. The scenery is spectacular with sea lions, marine iguanas, and migratory birds. The lagoon can be completely dry at times and the bottom can contain salt deposits.
Activities: Trekking, Kayaking, Panga ride, Snorkeling

After lunch, head to Kicker Rock. This coral-sand beach is about ten minutes from the airport. Sea lions sleep on the sand and rocks along this beach. Birds such as yellow warblers, frigatebirds, and various finches can be seen alongside the sea lions.
Activities: Circumnavigation 

Day 3: Gardner Bay | Suarez Point, Española

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Española is one of the oldest Galapagos Islands, with an estimated age of four million years. It is a typical shield volcano, formed from a single caldera in the center. Over millennia, it gradually withdrew from the hot region where it developed. The Waved Albatross, the Española Lava Lizard, and the Española Mockingbird are just some of the endemic species here.

Begin the day with an excellent start and after breakfast, head to Gardner Bay. With a large stretch of white sand beach, three species of Darwin's finches, and Española mockingbirds, Gardner Bay is one of the most scenic beaches in the Galapagos. The only species of the carnivorous mockingbird is the Española mockingbird, which feeds on insects, turtle hatchlings, sea lion placentas, and newborn boobies. Green turtles can be seen gliding through the water or pulling themselves onto the beach. Visitors swim or snorkel along the rocks in the shallow sea.
Activities: Trekking, Kayaking, Snorkeling

In the afternoon head to Punta Suarez, a famous site in the Galapagos. Here, animals such as sea lions, marine iguanas, Española lava lizards, Galapagos hawks, Española mockingbirds, three species of Darwin's finches, and Galapagos pigeons can be seen The breeding colony of the Waved Albatross is the showpiece of the site, producing a single egg each year and sharing the responsibility of incubating it. In January, the entire colony leaves Española to fish for three months before returning to the island. 

Day 4: Post Office Bay | Cormorant Point, Floreana

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The island of Floreana was the site of the first post office in the Galapagos Islands, colonized by Ecuadorians in 1832 It was also the site of several mysterious disappearances in the 1930s, including an Austrian baroness. Transport to and from Floreana is limited, with a fortnightly boat service from Santa Cruz Island.

The north of Floreana Island is a basalt tuff formation between Post Office Bay and Punta Cormorant It is an impressive viewpoint and a historical attraction. Ideal for mangrove interpretation and sightings of golden eagle rays, sea turtles, sea lions, mullets, and possibly Galapagos penguins. The Baronesses' Lookout is named after Baroness Eloisa Von Wagner. She lived on Floreana Island and appreciated this place, using it as a strategic point to observe ships approaching the island.

Then, journey to Post Office Bay to learn about human history in the Galapagos: Whalers left addressed letters in a wooden barrel they placed in the bay in 1793. Today, guests are welcome to leave postcards and browse the collection. In 1926 Norwegians tried unsuccessfully to colonize the area. There is a lava tube that visitors can enter by climbing a ladder from the Post Office Barrel.
Activities: Trekking, Kayaking, Panga ride, Snorkeling

Cormorant Point is a popular tourist destination and has two beaches: a green sandy one with olivine crystals and a white sandy one with small broken corals. The main attraction is the Flamingo Lagoon. Here tourists can see Galapagos flamingos wading in brackish water. Green turtles and rays can be found at Flour Beach, and Floreana is famous for its strange disappearances in the 1930s. Floreana can only be reached by boat from Santa Cruz Island.
Activities: Trekking, Kayaking, Panga ride, Snorkeling

Day 5: North Seymour Island | Bartolomé

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
North Seymour Island: was formed by submarine lava flows and is currently home to around 2,500 land iguanas, blue-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, common noddies, and frigate birds. The Hancock expeditions relocated them in the early 1930s. The aim was to create better conditions for their survival. There are no land iguanas at North Seymour, but there are large numbers of blue-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, common noddies, and frigatebirds.

This uninhabited island lies in Sullivan Bay, east of Santiago Island. The island is home to Pinnacle Rock, a volcanic cone that is the result of lava release from an underwater volcano. Bartolomé visitors may recognize the island and Pinnacle Rock from the 2003 blockbuster film Master and Commander. Today, tourists can choose between two locations: one that requires a trek to an excellent viewpoint, and another on the beach, where they can enjoy snorkeling and swimming. Birdwatchers will want to look out for Galapagos Penguins, Herons, and Galapagos Hawks.
Activities: Trekking, Panga ride, Snorkeling

Day 6: Darwin Bay | Prince Philip's Steps, Genovesa

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
It is a horseshoe-shaped island in the northeastern of the Galapagos archipelago. This island was formed by the eruption of a shield volcano and the subsequent collapse of one side of the caldera. There have been no recorded eruptions, but there is evidence of ongoing lava flows at the volcano's fringes. Genovesa is nicknamed 'The Bird Island' because of the large number and variety of bird species that nest there. These species include frigatebirds, Nazca and red-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, storm petrels, red-billed tropicbirds, finches, and mockingbirds. Visitors can visit two sites: one along the beach, where snorkeling and swimming are popular, and one at the point where the two sites meet.

The star of the day is Darwin Bay It is a tiny sand and coral beach that can be reached by walking Visitors can see red-footed boobies, two plumage variants of the bird, and other bird species such as frigatebirds, Nazca birds, orange flocks, white-billed tropicbirds, finches, and mockingbirds. Genovesa is well known for its bird species, including frigatebirds, Nazca, red flocks, white-billed tropicbirds, finches, and mockingbirds. Visitors should look out for Galapagos penguins and herons

After lunch, head to El Barranco (Prince Philip's Steps): The Galapagos visitor attraction, Prince Philip's Steps, is named after Prince Philip, who visited the island in 1965 and 1981. Through the cracks in the lava cliffs, visitors can see marine life. The walk continues inland, passing more boobie nesting colonies in the Palo Santo forest. At the end, visitors can gaze out over a rocky lava plain with wedge-rumped storm petrels and short-eared owls.
Activities: Trekking, Kayaking, Panga ride

Day 7: South Plaza | Santa Fe

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Off Santa Cruz's east coast, they consist of two tiny crescent-shaped islands: the North Plaza and the South Plaza South Plaza is home to a wide variety of species and is known for its spectacular flora. Conservation issues include the decline of the cactus population, which is a vital food source for land iguanas. The long-term goal is to regenerate the cactus forest while maintaining a healthy land iguana population.
Activities: Trekking, Kayaking, Panga ride

Santa Fe is a small island in the Galapagos archipelago that has no fresh water and has never had a human presence. It is home to many goats, which drink seawater. With two snorkeling sites in the landing bay and another in the next bay, it is a popular place for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Activities: Trekking, Kayaking, Panga ride

Day 8: El Chato | Twin Craters | Charles Darwin, Santa Cruz

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
El Chato is located in Santa Rosa, 21.7 kilometers from Gus Angermeyer. It offers visitors the opportunity to observe giant tortoises, owls, Darwin's finches, and lava tunnels. Approximately 400 meters of formed lava have left a film tunnel nearby.

Then enjoy Los Gemelos (Twin Craters): These two large pit craters on the road between Puerto Ayora and Baltra were formed by the collapse of bare magma chambers. Both craters are accessible by stopping at the side of the road and exploring them by walking around their edges. A circular trail leads to the larger crater through the picturesque Scalesia forest. This is a great place to see land birds such as the Galapagos Dove, Vermilion Flycatcher, Short-eared Owl, and many finch species.
Activities: Trekking

Charles Darwin: In this renowned national park site, just northeast of Puerto Ayora, over 200 scientists and volunteers are involved in research and conservation efforts, the most well-known of which involves giant tortoise captive breeding programs. Through the arid zone vegetation, you can observe Galapagos giant tortoises in their enclosures. A nursery with incubators is also available (the baby tortoises are repatriated to their home islands once they reach 1.5kg or about four years old).
Activities: Trekking

Day 9: Borrero Bay | Baltra | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Even though today is your last day, the fun isn't over yet! Start the day at Borrero Bay: Green turtles visit Borrero Bay, a white coral beach. Yellow warblers and Darwin's finches are attracted to palo santo, leather leaf, and salt-tolerant plants here. The elevation of the extinct volcano reveals many vegetation zones, from littoral to arid, humid, and dry pampas. It is a stunning landscape that can be enjoyed while swimming in the azure waters of the bay or strolling along the beach.
Activities: Trekking

Transfer to the airport.

Ship/Hotel

Estrella

Estrella del Mar
Main deck bar
Upper deck living area

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Crewed Charter Price starting at
Upper deck cabin
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Upper deck
Four twin-bed cabins on the upper deck, each with a window, en-suite bathrooms, and air conditioning. These cabins feature both upper and lower berths (bunk beds). With premium linens, generous storage space, charging ports for electronics, private bathrooms with hot showers, and expansive windows. Cabin numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4
Lower deck
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Lower deck
Four lower-deck cabins with twin beds and skylights, each equipped with an en-suite bathroom and air conditioning. These cabins feature both upper and lower berths (bunk beds). Cabin numbers: 5, 6, 7, 8

Child Discount

20% discount for children under 12 years of age. Children over 6 years old are welcome aboard.

Children under 12 may receive discounts on Galapagos flight fares and entrance fees. Contact us for details.
Included
  • 8 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 8 Dinners
  • 8 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Use of Kayaks
  • Unlimited water, coffee, and tea
  • Snorkeling Gear
  • Airport-yacht-airport transfers (for all guests arriving at the scheduled meeting point, date, and time)
  • All excursions as mentioned in the itinerary with one English-speaking naturalist guide
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. Payable upon arrival to the Galapagos, only in cash dollars. Subject to increase by Galapagos Park Service.
  • Wetsuits are not included but can be rented on board
  • Internal Flights: Mainland Ecuador - Galapagos - Mainland Ecuador: $475-675
  • Soft drinks or alcoholic beverages 

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
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May
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Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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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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