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A snorkeler walking along a white sandy beach.

Northern Islands

Example 5 Day Cruise aboard Aida Maria
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Exploring the Galapagos
  • Take a tour around Darwin Bay
  • Snorkel off the beach of Las Bachas
  • Visit Daphne Island, home to thousands of birds such as blue-footed boobies
Places Visited
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive in Baltra, Galapagos | Embark | Bachas Beach

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Your bilingual naturalist guide greets you at the airport and assists you through customs. During lunch he/she introduces you to the islands and specifically the flora and fauna you can expect to encounter at your first destination: Las Bachas Beach.

On the sandy white beaches of Las Bachas get a close look at a sea turtle nesting area and a lake frequented by leggy pink flamingos and other migratory birds. Afterward, cool yourself off with a dip in the deliciously blue Pacific Ocean (snorkeling). As this is your first evening on board, the crew invites you to a pre-dinner cocktail on the yacht before the welcome dinner. If the night is clear, as it usually is, the stars above are sure to dazzle - look for the Southern Cross, the Big Dipper (turned up-side down!) and Orion.

Day 2: Genovesa | El Barranco | Darwin Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Early in the morning enjoy breakfast before disembarking at Genovesa or Tower Island, which is located in the northeastern part of the Galapagos.

Anchor at Darwin Bay, located on the southern part of the island, which is actually the caldera of an extinct partially-eroded volcano. While the origin of the name Tower is not known, one can imagine it had something to do with the towering cliffs that encircle it. The tour is a long, fairly-easy walk, but it is usually hot and dry here, so you may want to carry some water. After a wet landing on a coral beach the trail begins in an area where there are several swallow-tailed gulls. As you walk back from the beach, look out for a variety of Opuntia cactus and mangroves. Following the walk there is time for snorkeling. Visit El Barranco during the afternoon then return to the boat for dinner.

Day 3: Bartolome Island | Sullivan Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Bartolome Island, which at its highest point is 114 meters, is one of the most photographed vistas in the archipelago. This island is quite young and quite volcanic, therefore it's relatively unpopulated; only a small handful of die-hard plant and animal species have survived long enough to call this lava-land home.

After the visit to Bartolome Island you can go snorkeling off its golden sand beach - and you may even swim with penguins. In the afternoon visit nearby Sullivan Bay. At the turn of the century a huge lava flow spilled right down to the sea and today you can stroll across this black volcanic expanse, admiring its time-frozen ripples, bubbles, and ropes.

Day 4: Black Turtle Cove | Cerro Dragon

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Early in the morning arrive on Black Turtle Cove, which is a red mangrove lagoon on Santa Cruz and is a nursery for many sharks and rays. It’s also a great location to observe mating sea turtles during nesting season. Expect to see large groups of resting white-tip reef sharks, schools of golden rays and spotted eagle rays, and a few marine birds like blue-footed boobies and pelicans. The water is very calm so paddles are often used instead of the loud panga engines to move around the area.

After lunch navigate for a couple of hours to Cerro Dragon, where as soon as the ship arrives - weather permitting - you can go snorkeling and shortly after that make a dry landing on lava rocks. Cerro Dragon is a small bay on the west coast of Santa Cruz and got its name from the many land iguanas that live in the area. Land iguanas are endemic to the Galapagos Islands where they have found good mating and nesting areas.

Day 5: Disembark in Santa Cruz Island | Transfer to Baltra

  • 1 Breakfast
Following breakfast on board, disembark the Aida Maria and transfer to the Baltra airport for your independent flights home.

Photo Gallery

A snorkeler walking along a white sandy beach. Exploring the Galapagos Snorkel on the Endeavour with the sea lions. Travelers being guided across the volcanic landscape. A penguin swims in the beautiful clear waters.



Aida Maria

The Aida Maria
The Aida Maria
The Aida Maria

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
Aida Maria's Upper Deck Cabin.
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Standard cabins have upper and lower bunks.

Child Discount

20% discount for children under age 10 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.
  • 4 Breakfasts, 3 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
  • Gear Rental: Snorkeling Gear
  • 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
  • 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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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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