ISABELA II, 9D 8N GALAPAGOS

Central + Southern Galapagos Day by Day

Day 1

SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

Day 2

SANTA FE & SOUTH PLAZA ISLANDS

Day 3

NORTH SEYMOUR & SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS

Day 4

BARTOLOME & SANTIAGO ISLANDS

Day 5

BALTRA & SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS

Day 6

FLOREANA ISLAND

Day 7

ESPAÑOLA ISLAND

Day 8

SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND

Day 9

SAN CRISTOBAL- CHATHAM ISLAND

Galapagos Itineraries

Yacht Isabela II’s excellently-crafted itineraries allow for some of the best-in-class wildlife and island coverage in Galapagos. Many of this yacht’s excursions take place at exclusive visitor sites too, meaning guests will often have entire areas to themselves. Multiple naturalist guides on Yacht Isabela II also means that guests have the added freedom to choose from a wider range of activities on each day of their itinerary.

Safety and sustainability are both at the forefront of Yacht Isabela II, with a 24-hour onboard Medical Officer and its own water treatment plant. This is also one of the few yacht’s in Galapagos that comes equipped with plenty of the definitive exploration tools (dinghies, kayaks, snorkeling gear, paddleboards, etc.) that you’ll need to experience Galapagos properly, including a glass-bottom boat!

Day 1

Baltra Airport – Santa Cruz Island

  • We arrive at Baltra Airport and then we take you to the Itabaca Channel to take a ferry across to Santa Cruz Island. A 30-minute bus ride takes us to a restaurant in the Highlands of Santa Cruz Island to enjoy lunch, and then continue to Puerto Ayora.

Puerto Ayora and the Charles Darwin Research Station

  • After driving down from the highlands, we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise. The campus houses the islands’ headquarters of scientific investigation and conservation. During the late afternoon we will stroll along the main street of Puerto Ayora before embarking. Once aboard, you’ll receive the Captain’s welcome cocktail and dinner.

Day 2

Santa Fe Island

  • A stunning anchorage provides the jumping-off point for our visit to this sandy white beach with many sea lion harems. Galapagos hawks are often easily observed here. The endemic land iguana, unique to this island, may be spotted during the walk. Snorkelling and swimming from the beach, kayaking or a ride in our glass-bottom boat.

South Plaza Island

  • The turquoise waters of the channel here contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline, while a carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents serves as groundcover for a grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cactus, all of this populated by yellow-gray land iguanas.

Day 3

North Seymour Island

  • The morning starts with an enjoyable walk along the coast and the interior of this island, observing numerous bird colonies as well as sea lions and marine iguanas. There are opportunities for snorkelling, coastal exploration or a glass-bottom boat ride that offer great views into the underwater world.

Las Bachas (Santa Cruz Island)

  • After WWII, US military barges were beached and abandoned here. Today it is an important nesting area for the east Pacific green sea turtle. Located on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, it is a glorious white sand beach, with several brackish lagoons only a few steps away from the sea. These lagoons serve as the feeding grounds for various wading birds, from stilts to flamingos. We can swim and/or snorkel from the beach

Day 4

Bartolome Island (James Island)

  • Bartolome Island is one of the Galapagos’ most iconic sites. Guests will start the day with a steep climb up a wooden staircase where the view from the top will make the climb worth it! Following the walk, we will take the dinghies for a ride around colossal Pinnacle Rock.

Sullivan Bay (Santiago Island)

  • After lunch, we will get on board the inflatable dinghies to land at Sullivan Bay on the east coast of Santiago Island, which offers a white coral sand beach that is great for swimming. There is also a trail that goes over a lava field that flowed here less than a hundred years ago. This is the perfect place to see and feel the volcanic origin of Galapagos.

Day 5

Itabaca Channel (Baltra & Santa Cruz)

  • Our vessel is anchored today at beautiful Aeolian Cove and our outing starts right at the stunning azure waters of the Itabaca Channel. This sliver of ocean separates the islands of South Seymour (Baltra) and Santa Cruz. Its mangrove laden coastline adds a magnificent green color to the volcanic substrate, creating a beautiful backdrop for where we might see some seabird species, including blue-footed boobies, brown pelicans, noddy terns, and more.

Highlands of Santa Cruz Island

  • We then hop aboard our private ground transport on the northern side of the island that will take us from the lowlands to the highlands. Along the way, the many diverse vegetation zones will keep our eyes busy as we see change not only in altitude, but also in plant vegetation. A visit to “Los Gemelos Pit Craters” and a lunch will be had up in the highlands at a local farm that is home to freely roaming giant tortoises. Note: Activities during this half of the day are T.B.D. based on the level of interest of the group. The Charles Darwin Research Station does not have to be repeated after the highlands.

Day 6

Post Office Bay & Baroness Cove

  • After breakfast, we land at Post Office Bay to visit the historic barrel that has served as a post office in the archipelago for over two centuries. Snorkelling off the beach will be offered afterwards.

Cormorant Point

  • Our visit to Cormorant Point consists of an olivine-crystal beach that makes for an easy walk to a brackish water lagoon where bird species like American flamingos can be observed. On the other side of the island, we come to a white-sand beach where sea turtles come out at night to nest. At Champion Islet, guests can choose between snorkelling, an inflatable dinghy ride or a ride in our glass-bottom boat.

Day 7

Punta Suarez

  • Our morning outing at Punta Suarez provides an exciting walk across lava/boulder terrain to visit its unique sea bird colonies, including the waved albatrosses, boobies, swallow-tail gulls, and the famous “blowhole”. Also, look for red-green-black marine iguanas.

Gardner Bay

  • In the afternoon, we’ll set foot on this beautiful, white coral beach and go on a short walk to observe the sea lions, mockingbirds, finches or enjoy the beach. There is great snorkelling in this area. Kayaking, an inflatable dinghy-ride or a ride the glass-bottom boat are also offered.

Day 8

Punta Pitt

  • In the morning, we land on the eastern tip of the island. The trail that ascends from the beach provides spectacular views of the shoreline and is the only site in the Galapagos where the three species of boobies can be found together, as well as the two frigate species, plus a colony of bachelor sea lions. After the walk, if conditions are favourable, there is a chance to swim, kayak or snorkel from the beach or take an inflatable dinghy ride.

Cerro Brujo

  • In the afternoon, following our onboard lunch, a dinghy ride along the shores of tuff-stone layers takes us to Cerro Brujo’s expansive, white coraline beach. This is a great spot for walking, with rewarding views of seabirds and shore birds.

Day 9

Puerto Baquerizo Moreno

  • After breakfast, we depart to the pier and airport for our flight back to the Ecuadorian mainland.

Departure Dates

The Vessel

Yacht Isabela II is ideally-designed for Galapagos expedition cruising. It offers handsome installations to perfectly complement the day’s outings, providing guests with the perfect, intimate space for exploring Darwin’s islands in absolute comfort. Traditionalists will enjoy feeling at home with a crew that has remained almost unchanged for years, leading to seamless attention to detail that will make the entire journey feel extra special.

Additionally, Yacht Isabela II recently (mid-2018) underwent a complete and drastic renovation process that saw its interior and exterior areas completely refreshed and updated.

Decks

Guests are invited to enjoy the fresh air atop the Sun deck or find fascinating books about nature and history in the library. Delicious meals – served impeccably in the dining room or al fresco – will nourish the senses as a well-deserved reward after each and every expedition. Guests are more than welcome to take a break in the hot tub, stay strong in the fitness room, or have a drink at the bar or outside as they sunbathe.

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