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Isabela rock with birds

Western Islands II

Example 5 Day Cruise aboard Archipell II
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Take a 5-day cruise on the Archipell II and experience the wonders of the Galapagos western islands. Spend your days discovering the beautiful Santa Cruz, wildlife-rich Isabela, cliff-laden Fernandina, and the stunning white sands of Bachas Beach. Experience close encounters with unique species, including giant Galapagos tortoises, flamingoes, manta rays, whale-sharks, flightless cormorants, friendly sea lions, and more! 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Baltra Airport | Embark | Twin Craters, Santa Cruz
Day 2 : Tintoreras Islet | Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center
Day 3 : Moreno Point | Elizabeth Bay, Isabela
Day 4 : Tagus Cove, Isabela | Espinoza Point, Fernandina
Day 5 : Bachas Beach, Santa Cruz | Disembark | Baltra Airport

Highlights

  • Observe Galapagos giant tortoises from a very close distance
  • Take an easy walk through Tintoreras' unique lava landscape
  • Tour Espinoza Point and visit one of the Galapagos' biggest iguana colonies

Ship

Archipell II

Places Visited

  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos
  • South America
  • Bachas Beach
  • Baltra
  • Elizabeth Bay
  • Espinosa Point
  • Fernandina
  • Isabela
  • Las Tintoreras
  • Los Gemelos (Twin Craters)
  • Punta Moreno
  • Santa Cruz
  • Tagus Cove

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Isabela rock with birds Giant Tortoise A kayaking trip to see the local bird life of the Galapagos. Flamingo Lagoon Traveler's waking on the seal covered beach.

Day 1 Baltra Airport | Embark | Twin Craters, Santa Cruz

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today your guide awaits for you at Baltra Airport and takes you to the Archipell Catamaran which anchors in Puerto Ayora harbor. After arrival on board, check in and receive general information, then enjoy your first lunch on board.

Afterwards get ready for your first excursion visit to the Highlands of Santa Cruz Island, and see incredible areas of vegetation. The road to the highlands leaves from Bellavista, a small village located at a 15-minute drive from Puerto Ayora and passes through the agricultural zone, near the National Park boundary, the Miconia Zone, and then goes to the Fern and Sedge zone. With clear weather, this area gives you beautiful scenes of rolling hills and extinct volcanic cones covered with grass and lush greenery all year round. Here visit the Twin Craters, which are two pit craters, as well as a local ranch where you can observe the Giant Tortoise specie of Santa Cruz Island in its natural habitat.

Day 2 Tintoreras Islet | Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
“Tintoreras” are small islands in front of the Puerto Villamil coast. There are Herons on the lookout on mangrove branches, Galapagos penguins and sea lions that often pop out on shore. White-tipped reef sharks (in Spanish: Tintoreras) are common in the archipelago and are very commonly found resting in the shallow waters.

In the Arnaldo Tupiza Tortoise Breeding Centre, you can see hundreds of giant Galapagos tortoises of all sizes. Vulnerable hatchlings are not gigantic at all, even smaller than the size of your hand! This project just outside Puerto Villamil was created to rescue the endangered populations of Isabela’s both southernmost volcanoes. From the almost incredible estimations of 250,000 giant tortoises in the 16th century, by the 1970s there were only about 3,000 individuals remaining. One thing becomes clear on your visit: it’s hard work to save these creatures from extinction by reproduction in captivity and repopulation. The good news is that these programmes are successful and have already saved several species from extinction so far. By 2015 their number increased to about 32,000 in all the archipelago. Don’t forget to visit the native botanical garden of this breeding center. It also attracts colorful songbirds such as yellow warblers, Darwin’s nches, Galapagos and vermillion flycatchers. Finally, there is no greater counterpart to the cumbersome tortoises than the graceful American flamingos which frequently lter the saline waters of the adjacent lagoon for shrimp and algae. They are joined by a handful of species of aquatic and shorebirds, from which some even migrate from Canada and Alaska

Day 3 Moreno Point | Elizabeth Bay, Isabela

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning sail to Moreno Point, located on the north coast of Isabela Island between the volcanos Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul. The trail runs along a solidified lava flow called “Pahohoe”, into a complex of coastal lagoons. Its main attraction are several species of birds, which are found around the lakes and mangroves.

In the afternoon head to Elizabeth Bay, a marine visitor site, so the excursion has no landing point. Your zodiac ride starts with a visit to the Marielas islets where the largest and most important penguin colony reside in the Galapagos Islands. The excursion continues into the cove that is surrounded by red mangroves where you can admire their red roots and green leafs. Here, you are able to observe sea turtles, flightless cormorants, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, brown pelicans and sea lions. Frequent visitors have been able to see Galapagos hawks soaring overhead whilst schools of pompano and dorado fish swimming down below.

Day 4 Tagus Cove, Isabela | Espinoza Point, Fernandina

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today take a tour along the cliffs of Tagus Cove in a zodiac to get a good chance at seeing the Galapagos penguin, the flightless cormorant and other sea birds. From the landing dock it is about a 30 minute hike along the trail up to the top of the cliff from where several volcanoes and the Darwin Lake can be viewed. This is an uplifted ultra saline lake saltier than the sea. You can also see several volcanoes from this location. Look carefully at the graffiti on the surrounding cliffs of the cove, it has been written by pirates, whalers and buccaneers in past centuries!

This afternoon sail to Fernandina, the third largest island in the archipelago. Stop at the island's single visitor site: Punta Espinoza located at the northeastern tip of the island. Here, marine iguanas conglomerate in larger groups than in any other island. They bask around in the sand, swim near the shore and sometimes, block the way at the landing dock. Among the unique species found here, you can find the flightless cormorant.

Day 5 Bachas Beach, Santa Cruz | Disembark | Baltra Airport

  • 1 Breakfast
These two small beaches are found to the West of Turtle Cove. Their sand is made of decomposed coral, which makes it white and soft, and a favorite nesting site for sea turtles. Behind one of the beaches there is a small blackish water lagoon, where it is occasionally possible to observe flamingos and other coastal birds, such as black-necked stilts and whimbrels. The other beach is longer, but it has two old barges that were abandoned during the World War II, when USA used Baltra Island as a strategic point to protect the Panama Channel.

After you visit to Bachas Beach disembark and transfer to Baltra Airport.

Archipell II

Per person starting at
$2,750
Archipell I & II's Twin Cabin.
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Twin Cabin
Cabins feature lower berths and private en-suite bath facilities with hot & cold water, A/C.
Cruise the Galapagos on the Archipell ship
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Standard Cabin
8 cabins with twin or double beds. Feature private facilities with hot & cold water, A/C.

Notes

Please reserve your kayak in advance prior to trip

Child Discount

20% 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

Included

  • Accommodations on board Archipell 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

Excluded

  • Airfare (see Galapagos Flights)
  • Quito/Guayaquil Hotel and Transfers
  • $100 Galapagos Park Fee
  • $80 Galapagos Transit Card and Airport Assistance
  • $45 International Departure Tax
  • Wetsuits available - $10/day per person
  • Gratuities and drinks aboard the ship
  • Travel Insurance

Galapagos Flights

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

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The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
Gale Cantor

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