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Beach on Isabela island

Naturalist Cruise

Baltra - Seymour - Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Galaxy Diver II
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Embark on an 8-day Galapagos Naturalist cruise aboard Galaxy Diver II. Explore Bachas Beach, known for its WWII history, where sea turtles nest and vibrant marine life thrives. Hike through Pahoehoe lava, discovering pioneer plants and diverse bird species. Dive into coral sand beaches for mesmerizing snorkeling experiences. Visit Rábida's unique red lava rocks, encounter diverse wildlife, and explore Punta Espinosa's marine iguana colony. Discover Tagus Cove, a Charles Darwin site, and explore Elizabeth Bay's mangroves. Encounter wildlife on Isabela Island, explore Villamil's wetlands, and delve into Floreana's intriguing history. Conclude with a visit to the Charles Darwin Station and North Seymour Island's bird colonies before transferring to the airport for your return flight to continental Ecuador.
Flamingo LagoonFrigate BirdSea lions on Rabida beachGalapagos penguin on a rockSea lion by the kayaksBlue-footed booby mating danceGalapagos Tortoise close upBeach on Isabela island
  • Explore diverse wildlife, spot Galapagos penguins and Blue-footed boobies
  • Snorkel amidst sea turtles, rays, and a diverse fish population
  • Hike to witness Darwin finches and mockingbirds at Tagus Cove
  • Discover RĂ¡bida, renowned for vibrant red lava formations
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.

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Baltra Airport | Embark | Bachas Beach

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Departure to the Galapagos Islands, arrive at Baltra airport, where your naturalist guide to the National Park will be waiting for you.

Bachas gets its name from the remains of two large barges (mispronounced by locals as “bachas”) left by the Americans during WWII. At low tide, you can still see the iron skeletons of the barges buried in the white sand. From November to May, this place is also one of the most important sea turtle nesting grounds in the entire Galapagos islands. There are also several small saltwater lagoons where you often see flamingoes, herons, and other aquatic birds.

Snorkel: After the walk, you will have the option to swim or snorkel from the beach. The area is rich in some of the most common fish species of the Galapagos, but you can also find white-tipped reef sharks and rays.

Highlights: American flamingoes, white-cheeked pintails, sandpipers, lava gulls, and blue-footed boobies.
Trail: 1.6 km / 1 mi
Activities: Hiking and Snorkeling

Day 2: Sullivan Bay | Rabida

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This hike is a journey into understanding the birth of these volcanic islands. You will walk in a very well-preserved flow of Pahoehoe lava, which will give you endless opportunities to see the delicate textures of this type of lava which only appears in a few places throughout the world. At first sight, the barren landscape looks completely deprived of life, but look carefully for pioneer plants, lava lizards, and small birds. By the shore, you can find penguins, pelicans, and oystercatchers. 
Snorkel: You will have the option to swim or snorkel from a coral sand beach or from the dinghies. Getting underwater is like traveling to another world: if the land is almost lifeless, the sea is teaming with life, including large schools of fish, Galapagos penguins, reef sharks, turtles, and rays.

Highlights: Pahoehoe lava, Galapagos penguins, oystercatchers, Galapagos hawks.
Trail: 2.2 km / 1.4 mi
Activities: Hiking and Snorkeling

Rábida is a small island famous for its reddish lava rocks (rich in iron) which gives it a unique look. The beach is also red and hosts a small colony of sea lions. There is a small saltwater lagoon where you will see ducks and stilts and sometimes flamingoes. The trail will take you inland to get beautiful views of the beach and the lagoon. Look for Darwin finches, flycatchers, and mockingbirds. In the cliffs along the coast, you can find Nazca & blue-footed boobies, brown noddy, herons, and the two species of sea lions: Galapagos and fur seals.  
Snorkel: You can snorkel from the beach and explore a sheltered rocky area, which is excellent for fish, sea lions, and reef sharks. Look at the high diversity of small invertebrates attached to the vertical walls.

Highlights: Red-sand beach, Galapagos sea lions, Galapagos hawks, flycatchers, Darwin finches, Galapagos mockingbirds, ducks, flamingoes.  
Trail: 2 km / 1.2 mi
Activities: Hiking, Snorkeling, Panga ride, and Kayaking

Day 3: Espinoza Point | Tagus Cove

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located at the base of an imposing volcano (the most active in the Galapagos islands) this site is one of the jewels of the Galapagos National Park. As soon as you disembark you will be surrounded by hundreds of marine iguanas, as this is the largest colony for the species. Sea lions bask in the beaches while their pups play in tide pools. Along the shore, you will see flightless cormorants, which are restricted to the western areas of the archipelago. Surrounded by cold plankton-rich waters, Punta Espinosa is home to an array of species, including herons, pelicans, oystercatchers, sea turtles, shorebirds, and many more. Look up in the mangroves as Galapagos hawks often perch to look for their prey.
Snorkel: The nutrient-rich waters around Punta Espinosa attract great numbers and diversity of fish and sea turtles. Seaweeds are also abundant, making this place the best for seeing marine iguanas feeding underwater. Following a cormorant underwater as it chases fish through the reef is one of the most amazing snorkel experiences you may have on your trip.

Highlights: Galapagos hawks, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, penguins, sea turtles, sea lions, herons, oystercatchers, shorebirds, sally light-foot crabs.  
Trail: 1.6 km / 1 mi
Activities: Hiking and Snorkeling

Tagus Cove is one of the places Charles Darwin visited during his exploration of the Galapagos islands. A trail will take you through a dry Palo Santo forest where you can see Darwin finches and mockingbirds. You will get great views of Darwin’s Lake and the large volcanos of northern Isabela. A boat tour along the shore will give you chances to see penguins, cormorants, marine iguanas, and a very unique species: the Galapagos martin, a small endemic bird that is one of the most endangered species on the island. 
Snorkel: The nutrient-rich waters around Tagus Cove attract a lot of sea turtles and a great diversity of fish, but also penguins, who feast on large schools of anchovies. It is common to see cormorants underwater as they chase fish through the reef.

Highlights: Galapagos hawks, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, herons, penguins, sea turtles, sea stars.  
Trail: 2.6 km / 1.6 mi
Activities: Hiking, Snorkeling, Panga ride, and Kayaking

Day 4: Urbina Bay | Elizabeth Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This place is known for the dramatic uplifting that happened here during the 1950’s. A large portion of the coast was pushed up, exposing many hectares of previously submerged land. Look carefully along the trail and you will find small shells and corals, proof that the area was underwater more than sixty years ago. The trail will give the opportunity to see land iguanas and, during certain seasons, giant tortoises. Galapagos hawks nest in the area and are often seen flying or perched on the trees.  
Snorkel: You can snorkel from the beach to see sea turtles, cormorants, and penguins. Fish are also abundant in the area. 

Highlights: Galapagos hawks, land iguanas, Galapagos hawks, Galapagos mockingbirds, Darwin finches, and flycatchers.
Trail: Short trail: 1.2 km / 0.7 mi. | Long Trail: 3.0 km / 1.8 mi
Activities: Hiking and Snorkeling

Elizabeth Bay is a beautiful sheltered bay surrounded by large mangroves and barren lava fields. There is no trail here so you will take a dinghy tour to explore many channels, pools, and coves teeming with life. This is one of the best locations on the islands to see Galapagos penguins, but don’t expect to see thousands of them, as the entire population of the islands is only about 3.000 of them. Flightless cormorants also nest in the area and blue-footed boobies and pelicans often fish in these shallow and rich waters. Rays and sea turtles are also very abundant.

Highlights: Galapagos hawks, sea turtles, rays, Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorants, and herons.
Activities: Panga ride and Kayaking

Day 5: Tintoreras | Wetlands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located very close to Puerto Villamil, the main town in Isabela, this small islet is surprisingly rich in wildlife. There are extensive colonies of marine iguanas and sea lions and you will see rays and sea turtles in the shallow channels. Here it’s easy to see reef sharks, locally known as “Tintoreras”. Herons and gulls are also common and if you are lucky, you might see a Galapagos penguin, as there are a few individuals in the area. 

Highlights: Reef sharks, Galapagos penguins, marine iguanas, sea lions, Galapagos mockingbirds, Darwin finches, herons, gulls.
Trail: 1.1 km / 0.7 mi
Activities: Hiking, Snorkeling, Panga ride, and Kayaking

The wetlands of Villamil include a large area of lagoons, channels, and coves located near the town. The saltwater lagoons are surrounded by mangroves and are rich in bird species, sheltering species such as American flamingos, white-cheeked pintails, gallinules, stilts, herons, and other shorebirds. The main trail starts at the town and ends at the Tortoise Breeding Center.

Highlights: American flamingoes, gallinules, ducks, stilts, herons. 
Trail: 1.2 km / 0.8 mi
Activities: Hiking

Day 6: Post Office bay | Cormorant Point

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Floreana is famous for the tales of German settlers and the baroness during the late 1920s and 30s. Assassinations, disappearances, and other unsolved mysteries are the ingredients of this fascinating story. Post office bay was often used by whalers to anchor their ships and go up to the highlands to get fresh water and tortoises. Most boats visiting the Galapagos had to come to this place sooner or later, so a system of mail was established more than 200 years ago: a barrel near the beach became the way to leave messages to other ships and also to the outside world. This mail system is still in use and will allow you to send postcards from the Galapagos to the outside world. Aside from a small beautiful beach and a lava tunnel, the area is great for dinghy tours to look for sea lions, green sea turtles, shorebirds, small sharks, and, with some luck, Galapagos penguins.
Snorkel: There is a great snorkel from the beach, as you can see lots of sea turtles, rays, a great diversity of fish, and, if you are really lucky, a Galapagos penguin.   

Highlights: Sea Lions, sea turtles, finches, shorebirds, marine iguanas, penguins. 
Trail: 0.7 m / 0.4 mi
Activities: Hiking and Snorkeling

Punta Cormorant is located in the north of Floreana and it is known for its large coastal lagoon with American flamingoes, white-cheeked pintails, black-necked stilts, and other shorebirds. There is a beautiful white sand beach which is an important nesting ground for green sea turtles where you can also see rays and reef sharks. In the last years, small groups of blue-footed boobies have started to breed right by the trail. This is also a great trial to look at endemic plants.

Highlights: American flamingo, blue-footed booby, frigatebirds, tropicbirds, Galapagos shearwaters, sea lions, sea turtle nesting site, finches, shorebirds, coral-sand beach. 
Trail: 1.6 km / 1 mi
Activities: Hiking, Snorkeling, and Panga ride

Day 7: Highlands | Charles Darwin Station

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Either if you do this visit starting from Baltra or from Puerto Ayora, a bus will take you to the highlands stopping along the way at one of the reserves to visit the lush highland forests where you will look for Galapagos Giant tortoises in their natural environment. This is the best place in the Galapagos to see these gentle giants (reaching over 300 kg / 600 pounds!) casually grazing and resting in freshwater ponds. This is also home for a great diversity of birds rarely found in the lowlands, including finches (tree, woodpecker, and vegetarian finches), flycatchers, and several species of water birds. You will visit a lava tunnel (depending on the itinerary) and learn how these extraordinary formations were created by ancient volcanic eruptions.

Highlights: Giant tortoises, Darwin finches, barn owls, white-cheeked pintails, Galapagos flycatchers, Lava tunnels. 
Trail: 1-1.5 km / 0.6-0.9 mi
Activities: Hiking

The Charles Darwin Station is a nonprofit organization that has been working for decades together with the Galapagos National Park to preserve the biodiversity of these unique islands. During this visit, you will learn about the projects that both institutions carry together to protect the native species and eradicate the invasive ones that are threatening the Galapagos environment. One of the most important and emblematic projects has been reproducing giant tortoises in captivity. The visit is mostly outdoors in a beautiful dry native forest with giant cacti and many other interesting native plants. It is also a fantastic place to find several endemic Darwin finches, as well as flycatchers and mockingbirds.

Highlights: Galapagos giant tortoise & land iguanas breeding program, Darwin finches, Galapagos mockingbirds, Galapagos flycatchers, yellow warblers.  
Trail: 2 km / 1.2 mi
Activities: Hiking

Day 8: Seymour | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
This island is home to large colonies of both magnificent and great frigatebirds and you can see them displaying their red balloons to attract a female. Blue-footed boobies nest in the ground and perform their famous dance in the open areas, while swallow-tailed gulls perch on the cliff edges. Land iguanas are common inland while their marine cousins bask in the rocks by the sea, close to sea lions, which often like to body surf in the waves. 

Highlights: Galapagos sea lions, blue-footed boobies, magnificent & great frigatebirds, land & marine iguanas, swallow-tailed gulls, shearwaters, and Darwin finches.
Trail: 1.4 km / 0.8 mi
Activities: Hiking, Snorkeling, and Kayaking

Then, transfer to the airport to take your flight back to continental Ecuador.


Galaxy Diver II

Galaxy Diver II
Galaxy Diver II Solarium

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$5,060 2-3 travelers
Matrimonial Cabin
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Matrimonial Cabin
The upper deck features 4 double cabins convertible into a matrimonial setup, with large windows that offer beautiful light and a spectacular panoramic view of the ocean. Each cabin is equipped with a private bathroom with a shower and hot/cold water, a hair dryer, and a towel dryer.
Twin Cabin
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Twin Cabin
The main deck features 2 twin cabins with panoramic views and one cabin that can be matrimonial or twin. The lower deck has one twin cabin. Each cabin includes a private bathroom with a shower and hot/cold water, a hair dryer, and a towel dryer.

Child Discount

10% discount for children under 12 (between 6 to 11 years old). Child discounts are conditional and may not apply to 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.
  • 7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Bilingual Naturalist Guide 
  • Beach Towels
  • Welcome cocktail
  • Unlimited purified water, coffee, and tea
  • One snack after each activity (except last day)
  • Transportation Airport-Channel / Channel-Airport (Lobitos Bus)
  • Shampoo, hair conditioner, and soap for daily use
  • Hair dryer in the cabins
  • Snorkeling equipment, wetsuits, kayaks, and paddleboards are all included in the cruise cost and are available for your use onboard.
  • 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.
  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages.


When to Go

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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