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Chinese Hat (Sombrero Chino) Island, Galapagos

Islands Circumnavigation

Example 15 Day Cruise aboard Tip Top III
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Take a cruise on this 15-day voyage that covers all the magnificent wonders the Galapagos has to offer. Spend your days exploring the archipelago. Snorkel and swim with friendly sea lions. Also enjoy several opportunities to encounter the incredible wildlife including Galapagos penguins, frigatebirds, flightless cormorants, tortoises, and many more unique native species! Get to know this fascinating and unique world inside and out.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Baltra - Santa Cruz Island
Day 2 : Santa Fe - South Plaza Island
Day 3 : Chinese Hat - Rabida
Day 4 : Santa Cruz Island
Day 5 : Floreana
Day 6 : Espanola
Day 7 : San Cristobal - Leon Dormido
Day 8 : North Seymour - Santa Cruz Island
Day 9 : Santiago - Bartolome
Day 10 : Genovesa
Day 11 : Santiago
Day 12 : Isabela - Fernandina
Day 13 : Isabela
Day 14 : Isabela
Day 15 : Santa Cruz Island - Baltra


Tip Top III

Places Visited

  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos
  • South America
  • Bachas Beach
  • Baltra
  • Bartolome
  • Black Turtle Cove
  • Charles Darwin Center
  • Chinese Hat
  • Dragon Hill
  • Espanola
  • Floreana
  • Genovesa
  • Highlands
  • Leon Dormido
  • North Seymour
  • Rabida
  • San Cristobal
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santa Fe
  • Santiago
  • South Plaza Island


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Chinese Hat (Sombrero Chino) Island, Galapagos Beach time at Cerro Brujo, San Cristobal Kayaking and snorkeling in the Galapagos. Approaching kicker rock Beach time at Cerro Brujo, San Cristobal

Day 1 Baltra - Santa Cruz Island

After a flight from mainland Ecuador to Baltra airport, a guide will meet you and accompany you to the Itabaca Channel. From here cross the channel by barge and then continue to Puerto Ayora by bus to board the yacht. Enjoy a light snack and run through orientation before the first excursion to the Charles Darwin Research Station and its Interpretive Center. Enjoy watching giant tortoises in their natural environment. Return to the port for a walk through the little town. There are various handicrafts made here. Then return to the boat for a welcome cocktail and dinner.

Day 2 Santa Fe - South Plaza Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The first excursion of the day will be to Santa Fe Island to visit the cactus forest and a colony of land iguanas. For those who would like to swim, snorkel, and kayak, this is a great location to do so. Return to the yacht for lunch and sail to South Plaza, where you can enjoy the antics of the sea lions who make their home here. Observe land iguanas and many species of tropical birds while taking a walk through a cactus forest.

Day 3 Chinese Hat - Rabida

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, start the day with a trip to Chinese Hat (Sombrero Chino), a small island off the coast of Santiago Island. It got its name from the unique shape of the island that resembles a hat. Here you can observe Galapagos penguins, eagle rays, sea lions, and marine iguanas on the rocky shoreline. This is an excellent snorkeling site and there will be time for those who would like to swim, snorkel, and kayak.

Enjoy some lunch and then head to Rábida to walk and observe marine iguanas, sea lions, pelicans, blue-footed boobies, masked boobies, and brown pelicans. Walk to a small saltwater lagoon where the incredible pink flamingo can be observed. After this have the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing swim, do some exploratory snorkeling, or enjoy some easy snorkeling.

Day 4 Santa Cruz Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Start the day out with a panga ride on Black Turtle Cove. This is a series of mangrove-surrounded coves and islets. This is an excellent opportunity to observe white-tipped sharks, marine turtles, spotted eagle rays, and yellow cow-nosed rays. Return to the yacht to disembark and then be escorted by a guide to the airport for return to the mainland.

Day 5 Floreana

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The historic site of Post Office Bay was established during the days of the whalers. They placed a wooden barrel here in the 18th century to use it as a post office. It is tradition to leave a postcard and grab another that has been left by previous travelers to deliver at home.

Then take a panga ride to La Lobería and observe sea lion rookeries, a main attraction, on the beach. The bay of the Lobería is great for seeing 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.

Head to Point Cormorant for a short walk to the Flamingo Lagoon and then continue the walk until you reach the beach called "La Picona". Here there are chances to see marine turtles and their spawning grounds. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon of snorkeling or swimming. Later return to the yacht for dinner and nightly orientation.

Day 6 Espanola

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Punta Suarez is a location filled with amazing lava beds to walk to and observe unique colonies of marine birds, including albatross. Next, 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 quantities during the breeding season. This location is also an important nesting area for sea turtles. Take a panga ride to Osborn Islet and the islets of Gardner. Here you have the option of swimming or snorkeling in the crystal blue waters. Return to the boat for a delicious dinner and evening orientation.

Day 7 San Cristobal - Leon Dormido

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning head out to Punta Pitt in San Cristobal Island where the amazing olivine beaches can be viewed. These beaches are a unique green color. There is also another trail that ascends to the top of a volcanic tuff hill that passes through several natural viewpoints. Punta Pitt is composed of volcanic tuff substrate and the high winds here have led to natural erosion. This area is unique because it is the only site in the Galapagos Islands where you can watch the three species of boobies and two species of frigates nesting in the same area. Later sail around Kicker Rock, a massive tuff-rock that juts abruptly almost 500 feet straight up from the ocean. Many sea birds use Kicker Rock as a nesting place. This is also a great place for swimming and snorkeling if you are in the mood.

Later in the day, make a trip to Cerro Brujo and walk over the beautiful white sand beach. Observe sea lions, brown pelicans, marine iguanas, and blue-footed boobies while making your way around this incredible island. Have some fun kayaking, snorkeling, or swimming at this location.

Day 8 North Seymour - Santa Cruz Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Start out early and head to North Seymour Island and walk along the coast and interior of the island to enjoy its unique landscape. North Seymour is a low, flat island that was uplifted from the sea by underground seismic activity. There is an abundance of wildlife to observe here including the blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, pelicans, frigatebirds, shore birds, sea lions, and endemic Palo Santo.

Day 9 Santiago - Bartolome

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Start the day with an excursion to Sullivan Bay, which is a perfect place to get a feel of the volcanic origin of these islands. Observe the beauty of the landscape and wildlife that make their homes here. Feel free to continue exploring with some relaxing snorkeling or just take a nice swim.

In the afternoon, make a dry landing on Bartolomé Island. Hike to the summit where there will be many chances to observe colonies of marine iguanas and lava lizards. On the summit, see an impressive view of the surrounding islands and the splendor of the unique eroded tuff cone of Pinnacle Rock.

Day 10 Genovesa

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The morning will begin with a dry landing on Prince Phillips’s Steps. This is a great location for observing the various birds here going about their daily routine. After a nice lunch, head on over to Darwin Bay to walk and observe frigatebirds, herons, mockingbirds, boobies, shorebirds, turtles, and marine iguanas. There is a plethora of unique animal life at this location that are a must see while touring the Galapagos. Have a chance to participate in some excellent kayaking, snorkeling, and swimming, and then head back to the ship for a delicious dinner.

Day 11 Santiago

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The morning begins with a trip to James Bay (Puerto Egas) where there are opportunities to observe sponges, snails, hermit crabs, a variety of shore birds, and barnacles. There are also other interesting creatures on this island including the endemic four-eyed blenny, marine iguanas, and sea lions which are all a treat to observe. Enjoy many activities while at this location including kayaking, snorkeling, and swimming.

After lunch, navigate around Buccaneer Cove (Caleta Bucanero), an area of steep cliffs and dark beaches. Several species of seabirds use the cliffs and pinnacle here as nesting areas. This was a popular place for 17th & 18th century buccaneers to careen their vessels. Enjoy some fun water activities before making a wet landing and walking along a coastal trail to visit the abandoned Salt Mines.

Day 12 Isabela - Fernandina

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning visit Punta Vicente Roca to observe plenty of sea lions, marine iguanas, blue-footed and masked boobies, and flightless cormorants. Enjoy some swimming and snorkeling.

Make a dry landing on Punta Espinoza to observe and see a large colony of sea lions, marine iguanas and the flightless cormorants. The unique landscape here is covered with clumps of lava cactus. Return to the yacht for dinner and our nightly orientation.

Day 13 Isabela

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Start out the day by taking a trip to Urbina Bay. Enjoy the beautiful coral area located here and have a chance to observe land iguanas, flightless cormorants, and giant tortoises. Witness these amazing creatures in their natural environment. Then take a panga ride around Tagus Cove, which is a protected cove between the shoulders of two volcanic craters that keep it safe from the open sea. This is a great place to observe penguins of the Galapagos, marine iguanas, sea lions, and a variety of birds. Amongst this variety of bird life are flightless cormorants and blue footed boobies. After the chance to enjoy some water activities and lunch, take a panga ride around the islets of Elizabeth Bay. Here there are opportunities to see marine iguanas, penguins, marine turtles, seabirds and shorebirds, herons, and blue-footed boobies that inhabit this area.

Day 14 Isabela

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The first stop of the day is to the islet of Las Tintoreras. The small bay is made up of completely calm turquoise waters where there are hundreds of marine iguanas, sea turtles, sea lions, Galapagos penguins, rays, and white tip sharks. Next head to Sierra Negra Volcano which is considered the oldest of the volcanoes on Isabela. The crater of Sierra Negra is 10 km in diameter and is the second largest in the world. The sulfur, iron, and the cooled magma make a colorful landscape.

A bus ride will take you to the highlands of Isabela next, starting at “Paradero Sierra Negra”. From here, take a walk through slopes of the volcano. There is also the option to do it by horseback. The trail leads us to Volcan Chico which last erupted in 1979 and is composed of scum and lava. Witness an amazing view of the area north of the island, and if the day is clear there is an outstanding view of the island of Perry Isthmus. Formations of petrified lava of many different colors and textures and fumaroles are scattered throughout this area.

The afternoon starts with a trip to the Breeding Center. Many tortoises of different ages and sizes can be observed at the breeding center. They range from three inches as hatchlings to four feet. This visit also provides travelers the chance to learn about the reproduction of the giant tortoises. Shortly after, make a visit to the historically significant Wall of Tears. This site was a penal colony for 13 years. Here the prisoners built a wall with huge blocks of lava as punishment. Observe lava lizards, Galapagos finches, and hawks at this location before moving on to the Humedales, which is a wetland that consists of lagoons, mangrove species, flamingos and numerous migratory birds.

Day 15 Santa Cruz Island - Baltra

  • 1 Breakfast
Make an early visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station and its interpretive Center. The scientific research and environmental education being practiced here helps with conserving the natural beauty of the Galapagos. The bus will take you to the airport in Baltra for your return to the mainland.

Tip Top III

Per person starting at
Tip Top III's Lower Deck Cabins.
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Cabins 1-2
2 lower deck cabins with double lower berth and single upper berth.
Comfortable cabin accommodations in a variety of bedding arrangements
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Cabins 3-6
4 lower deck cabins with single and double lower berths.
Tip Top III's Upper Deck Single Cabin.
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Cabins 7 & 8 - Single Cabins
2 upper deck cabins with one double lower berth
Tip Top III's Upper Deck Twin Cabin.
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Cabins 9 & 10
2 upper deck cabins with two single lower berths


Please reserve your wetsuit in advance prior to trip.

Internal Galapagos flights included.

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 III 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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Erik S

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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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