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South Plaza Island

South Central Islands

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Tip Top II
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Enjoy this inmersive 8-day cruise through the South Central Islands of the Galapagos aboard the Tip Top II. Explore Santa Fe's unique cactus forest and colony of land iguanas, discover the wildlife-rich coastline of Santiago Island, enjoy a Zodiac ride in Black Turtle Cove´s series of mangrove-surrounded coves and islets, and make friends with the gentle giant tortoises at the Charles Darwin Research Station. Overflowing with wildlife, volcanic wonders, and breathtaking landscapes, this is the perfect vacation choice!

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Baltra | Santa Cruz Island | Embark
Day 2 : Santa Fe | South Plaza Island
Day 3 : Chinese Hat | Rabida Island
Day 4 : Santa Cruz Island
Day 5 : Floreana
Day 6 : Espanola
Day 7 : San Cristobal | Leon Dormido
Day 8 : North Seymour | Disembark | Baltra


  • Enjoy plenty of swimming, snorkeling and kayaking opportunities
  • Visit Chinese Hat's rocky shoreline looking for penguins, rays & iguanas
  • Walk to Dragon Hill's hypersalinic lagoon for flamingo observation
  • Land in Gardener Bay for a close encounter with a colony of sea lions


Tip Top II

Places Visited

  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos
  • South America
  • Baltra
  • Black Turtle Cove
  • Charles Darwin Center
  • Chinese Hat
  • Devil's Crown
  • Dragon Hill
  • Espanola
  • Floreana
  • Gardner Bay
  • Leon Dormido
  • North Seymour
  • Post Office Bay
  • Punta Suarez
  • Rabida
  • San Cristobal
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santa Fe
  • Santiago
  • South Plaza Island
  • Witch Hill


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

South Plaza Island Chinese Hat (Sombrero Chino) Island, Galapagos Floreana Island Punta Suarez, Espanola Kicker rock

Day 1 Baltra | Santa Cruz Island | Embark

Fly from mainland Ecuador (Quito or Guayaquil) to Baltra, arriving at approximately 9:20 AM in the Galapagos Islands.Take a bus ride to the Itabaca Channel, and cross the channel by barge, then continue to Puerto Ayora by bus. Board the Tip Top II where the crew greets you, settle into your cabin, and enjoy a light snack and your first orientation. In the afternoon, land at the pier for a visit to the Charles Darwin Station and its Interpretive Center. Return to the port for a walk through the little town to appreciate various handicrafts. Enjoy a welcome cocktail with the entire crew, and dinner.

Day 2 Santa Fe | South Plaza Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Embark on a morning excursion to Santa Fe Island to visit the cactus forest and a colony of land iguanas. Later on take some time to go swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking if you are in the mood. Enjoy some lunch aboard the ship and then sail on to South Plaza. Have a chance to be entertained by the antics of the sea lions hanging out here. There is a cactus forest that is great for observing land iguanas and many species of tropical birds. After this amazing day of sightseeing, return to the boat for a great dinner and your nightly ortientation.

Day 3 Chinese Hat | Rabida Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enjoy an early breakfast and make a wet landing on Chinese Hat, a small island off the Coast of Santiago Island where an abundance of wildlife can be seen. Amongst the species here include Galapagos penguins, eagle rays, sea lions, and marine iguanas. This is an excellent snorkeling site and should definitely be taken advantage of if wanted. There is an optional opportunity for some swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking in this location.

After lunch make a wet landing on Rabida, a great place to take a nice walk and observe marine iguanas, sea lions, pelicans, blue-footed boobies, masked boobies, and brown pelicans in their natural habitat. A short walk takes you to a small saltwater lagoon where the incredible beauty of the pink flamingo can be observed. Watch as they manage to stay balanced on one foot. There is plenty of time for you to take a nice swim along with some excellent snorkeling. You can also enjoy kayaking around the island before returning to the ship for dinner.

Day 4 Santa Cruz Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast take a panga ride on Black Turtle Cove. This area consists of a series of mangrove-surrounded coves and islets which are an excellent place for observing white-tipped sharks, marine turtles, spotted eagle rays, and yellow cow-nosed rays. Return to the boat for a delicious lunch.

Later in the afternoon, make a dry landing on Dragon Hill, an excellent location for seeing land iguanas in large quantities. Walk to a hypersalinic lagoon that is saltier than the ocean. This is a great location for observing various species of birds including flamingos, common stilts, pintail ducks, and other species of birds. Take some time for some excellent snorkeling and explore the unique underwater world. You can also enjoy a peaceful kayaking excursion or just take a nice relaxing swim in the crystal-clear waters. Return to the ship for dinner and your nightly orientation.

Day 5 Floreana

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Make a wet landing in Post Office Bay, a historic site that recalls the days of the whalers. They presumably placed a wooden barrel here in the 18th century to use it as a post office. Leave a postcard and grab another that has been left to deliver at home. Enjoy some time to go swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking. Then take a panga ride and observe sea lion rookeries, a main attraction, on the beach and in the bay of the Lobería, sea turtles and marine iguanas. After lunch, visit the Devil’s Crown, a submerged volcano. This is a great location for snorkeling for those who wish to participate. It is one of the best snorkeling sites in the Islands. Make a wet landing on Point Cormorant for a short walk to the Flamingo Lagoon of this island. Continue the walk until you reach the beach called "La Picona" to see marine turtles and their spawning grounds. There is an optional chance for a nice swim and some snorkeling at this beach. Later return to the yacht for dinner and nightly orientation.

Day 6 Espanola

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Make an early land on Punta Suarez to walk along amazing lava beds and observe the unique colonies of marine birds, including albatross. After lunch make a wet landing in Gardner Bay for a walk on the beach to observe a colony of sea lions. These friendly sea lions inhabit the beach in great quantity during the breeding season. This location is also an important nesting area for sea turtles. Then, travel by panga to Osborn Islet and the islets of Gardner. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon swimming or snorkeling in the crystal-blue waters here. Return to the boat for a delicious dinner and evening orientation.

Day 7 San Cristobal | Leon Dormido

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, make a dry landing on San Cristobal port and take a short drive to Jacinto Gordillo Turtle Breeding Center, where you can learn about the reproductive process and the programs to maintain the giant tortoise. Take a bus back to the port to visit the Interpretation Center of Human History of the Islands; this tour takes you through the geological and human history of the islands and their conservation. Come aboard for a delicious lunch.

In the afternoon, your experienced Captain sails easily around Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido), a massive tuff-rock that juts abruptly almost 500 feet straight from the ocean. Kicker Rock serves as nesting place for many sea birds. There is plenty time for those who would like to swim and/or snorkel. Then, make a wet landing on Cerro Brujo to walk on a white-sand beach and observe sea lions, brown pelicans, marine iguanas, and blue-footed boobies. This location offers a perfect swimming, snorkeling and/or kayaking opportunity. Return to the ship for dinner and your nightly orientation.

Day 8 North Seymour | Disembark | Baltra

  • 1 Breakfast
Start early after breakfast and head to North Seymour Island for a walk along the coast and interior of the island. North Seymour is a low, flat island that was uplifted from the sea by underground seismic activity. There are many animals to observe here including blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, pelicans, frigatebirds, shore birds, sea lions, and endemic Palo Santo. Return to the ship for disembarking on the pier at 09:00. Your guide accompanies you on the bus ride directly to the airport.

Tip Top II

Per person starting at
Tip Top II
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Main Deck Single
Cabins 1 & 2 have one single lower double bed and are 120 sq ft. Can be booked as single or matrimonial.
Tip Top II
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Main Deck
Cabins 3-6 have two single lower berths and are 196 sq ft.
Tip Top II
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Upper Deck
Cabins 7-10 are located on the Upper Deck, are 170 sq ft and feature a private balcony. Cabins 9 &10 feature a single king bed and cabins 7 & 8 have two single lower berths.


  • Children under 12 during the time of the cruise will receive a discount, providing flight tickets are booked by Tip Top Travel and the child is accompanied by an adult.​
  • Generally infants are not accepted on board the Tip Top II, however each case is subject to review and availability. If accepted, the child discount applies.
  • In order to apply for the Family Room on board the Tip Top II, your party must include either 2 adults and one child under 12 years of age, or 2 adults and 2 children under 12 years of age. No additional discount applies to the Family Room rate. The Family Room rate cannot be applied to 3 or 4 adult passengers.
  • Please reserve your wetsuit in advance prior to trip.

Child Discount

10% discount for children under age 12 at time of Galapagos cruise.

Children under 12 receive a discount of $135 off adult flight rates, and discounted Galapagos Entrance Fee of $50


  • Accommodations on board Tip Top II based on double occupancy
  • Meals while in the Galapagos
  • Bilingual Naturalist Guide
  • Shore Excursions
  • Swimming and Snorkeling
  • Adventure Life Pre-departure Services and In-Country Assistance (Quito Representative)
  • Transfers and Baggage Handling in the Galapagos
  • Snorkeling Equipment
  • Sea Kayaking


  • Airfare (see Galapagos Flights)
  • Quito/Guayaquil Hotel and Transfers
  • Fuel Surcharge
  • $100 Galapagos Park Fee
  • $80 Galapagos Transit Card and Airport Assistance
  • $45 International Departure Tax
  • Wetsuits available - $30 short and $35 long size for 4-day tours; $35 short and $40 long size for 5-day tours; $40 short and $50 long size for 8-day tours; $65 short and $75 long size for 11-day tours; and $70 short and $80 long size for 15-day tours
  • Gratuities and drinks aboard the ship
  • Travel Insurance

Galapagos Flights

  • Quito - Galapagos Roundtrip
    • $530 - $595
  • Guayaquil - Galapagos Roundtrip
    • $475 - $540

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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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