A sophisticated, upscale travel experience for 48 guests in 24 cabins that combines modern design, spacious rooms, and gourmet cuisine with top adventure. The ship offers a wide variety of aquatic activities including snorkelling, kayaking and a glass-bottom boat.
Day 1: Thursday
Our adventure begins with a morning flight to Baltra Island and immediate transfer to the dock to board Yacht La Pinta. There’s a welcome introductory briefing, boat drill, cabin assignment and then lunch. We weigh anchor and start sailing for our first afternoon outing.
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 beyond, populated by yellow-grey land iguanas. Along the coastline one finds sea lion colonies, while sea birds play with the thermals that form along the cliffs of this small but spectacular island.
Day 2: Friday
Santa Fe Island
We take the dinghy over to this idyllic sandy-white beach populated by colonies of sea lions. Galapagos hawks are often easily observed, perched atop salt bushes. The Santa Fe land iguana, unique to just this island, may be spotted during the walk. Following the walk, we can snorkel and swim along a natural wave barrier or ride the glass-bottom boat.
Cerro Colorado Tortoise Habitat
After lunch, we disembark at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the island’s capital, and drive 40 minutes to the island’s southern shore. At Cerro Colorado, we visit the breeding centre for highly endangered giant tortoises in the midst of a fantastic deciduous forest, home to dozens of bird species, including the San Cristobal mockingbird, and the San Cristobal lava lizard, both island endemics.
Day 3: Saturday
Punta Pitt (San Cristobal Island)
We land at the eastern tip of San Cristobal Island this morning. The trail that ascends from the beach provides spectacular views of the shoreline; we can observe frigates, plus a colony of bachelor sea lions. After the walk, if conditions are favourable, there is a chance to swim from the beach and snorkel.
In the afternoon following lunch on board, a dinghy ride along the shores of tuff-stone layers takes us to Cerro Brujo’s expansive, white coral beach, great for walking, with rewarding bird-watching featuring seabirds and shore birds. Also, look out for Galapagos sea lions. These are the same shores that Charles Darwin walked upon, back in September 1835.
Day 4: Sunday
Our morning outing at Punta Suarez provides an exciting walk on lava/boulder terrain to visit its unique sea bird colonies, including the Galapagos albatross (April – January), boobies, swallow-tail gulls, and the famous “blowhole” lava formation. Also, look for red-green-black marine iguanas. Many regard this site as the best in the Galapagos. Back on board for lunch.
In the afternoon, we set down at this beautiful, white coral beach for a short walk to observe the sea lions, mockingbirds, finches, or enjoy the beach. There is great snorkelling in this area, or else there’s time to kayak or ride the glass-bottom boat.
Day 5: Monday
Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz Island)/ Baltra Airport
Disembarking in the morning, we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and the captive rearing programme for the giant tortoises. Here we witness the efforts and results of Galapagos fieldwork and study done in the name of science. We transfer via bus across Santa Cruz Island and a short ferry ride to Baltra. Our journey ends at Baltra Island, where we transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland. Baltra’s flat substrate (due to its uplifted origin) is the reason why the island was chosen back in the 1940s as the construction site for an airport.
- All meals, soft drinks
- Island sightseeing, naturalist guides and lecture services in English / Spanish
- Wet suit rental and snorkelling gear
- Taxes and transfers in the islands
- Transfer from main hotels in Quito and in Guayaquil to airport