Unique wildlife experience viewing animals
that are nowhere else on earth
Expert naturalist guide on board cruise
Snorkeling and swimming with wildlife
Great walks, many are very gentle
Tour description provided by World Expeditions
Accompanied by a naturalist guide, this eight day cruise explores this isolated volcanic archipelago in search of seals, tortoises, unusual bird life iguanas and lizards. Cachalote I is a charismatic 96 foot schooner rigged motor sailer and features seven cabins each with a private bathroom. Passengers can relax on one of the three wooden decks while sailing or anchored in secluded bays. This extension can ideally be combined with any of our South American journeys.
7 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 7 dinners
Twin share berth
Internal flights approx. us$475
Professional naturalist guide and support staff
Transport to and from cruise
Group medical kit
Ingala control card and galapagos park fee to the value of us$110. (please note if arriving to the galapagos prior to the cruise these fees can't be prepaid - contact your consultant for further details).
Day 1 Fly to Galapagos from Quito/Guayaquil, commence cruise
You can commence your itinerary in the city of Quito, located in the highlands of Ecuador just south of the equator or alternatively you may chose to commence from Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador located on the banks of the Guayas River. From your starting city you fly to the Baltra airport in the Galapagos Islands. You will then be met upon arrival and transferred to your boat to commence your cruise. Baltra airport. Visit the highlands of Santa Cruz, home to giant tortoises. The highlands offer the lush humid zone with its vegetation of Miconia bushed, Scalesia and inactive volcanic comes. Santa Cruz has more endemic plants than any other island in the Galapagos. We have an afternoon visit to the Charles Darwin research station is located in the town of Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island; a ten minute walk from the centre of town. At The Charles Darwin Research Station you'll learn first hand of the conservation and research efforts in the Galapagos islands. See the tortoise hatchlings and breeding programs which are saving several races of tortoises from extinction. Tour the Van Straelen Exhibit Hall. For most, this will be your only opportunity to see the giant Galapagos tortoises.
Day 2 Sombrero Chino and Rabida Island (Jervis)
NOTE: Itineraries are flexible and are subject to change according to weather, local conditions and circumstances beyond our control. You will follow one of two itineraries however please note they should be used as a guide only. These are offered on alternate weeks, your consultant will advise which itinerary is scheduled to operate on your desired date. The first itinerary (shown here) is the Fernandina itinerary.
Today we visit Sombrero Chino (Chinese Hat), so named for its shape, situated off the southeast tip of Santiago. We will then journey to Rabida (Jervis) where the dark red coral beach is home to a sea lion bachelor colony. Chinese hat is a tiny Island just off the southeastern tip of Santiago Island is less than a quarter of 1 sq km in size. It is a fairly recent volcanic cone, which accounts for its descriptive name, it has the shape of a down-facing Chinese hat. Wet Landing - there is a small sea lion cove on the north shore, where boats anchor and land at the visitor site. A 400 meter trail goes around the cove and through a sea lion colony - marine iguanas cover the landscape. The volcanic scenery is attractive, and there are good views of the cone. There are snorkeling and swimming opportunities in the cove. Opposite Sombrero Chino, on the rocky shoreline of nearby Santiago, Galapagos penguins are often seen. Rabida Island (Jervis) is one of the most colorful and volcanically varied islands in the archipelago and a great snorkeling site. Its famous maroon sandy beach and stunning lookouts provide wonderful landscapes. The island is a birdwatcher’s delight. Some of the rarest species are in abundance, such as nine varieties of finches, Large-billed Flycatchers, Galapagos Hawks and Brown Pelicans.
Day 3 ISABELA: Sierra Negra and Puerto Villamil
Isabela Island (Albemarle), the largest of the Galapagos Islands formed by five volcanoes fused together. Planned landings include Puerto Villamilo and its Tortoise breeding centre, Sierra Negra, home to a caldera with a 10km diameter and the islet Las Tintoreras, located south of Puerto Villamil. It has a small bay of completely calm waters inhabited by sea lions, sea turtles, marine iguanas and rays. Located in the southern part of Isabela between the volcanoes Alcedo and Cerro Azul, Sierra Negra's caldera at 6 miles x 5 miles is the largest in the Galapagos and the second largest in the world. The journey up to the crater begins at Puerto Villamil. From the town of Villamil you follow the road to the small town of Santo Tomas. The trip takes between 3 - 5 hours. The landscape along the way is quite lovely. Once on top there are a series of fumaroles inside small craters. The view during the "rainy season" is quiet spectacular. This afternoon we visit Puerto Villamil. This port is home to many native Galapagenians and home to many important visitor sites. The port is surrounded by extensive, white sandy beaches with lagoons and wetlands on its borders. A great place to absorb history and culture, the town also provides shopping opportunities. Visit to the Breeding Centre. Today's highlights are: beautiful white sandy beach, marine iguanas, giant mangroves, small land tortoises, Shore Birds, Blue-footed Boobies, Tintoreras and giant tortoise.
Day 4 ISABELA: Punta Moreno and Elizabeth Bay
Today we enjoy Isabela Island, and the spectacular volcano views from Punta Moreno and Elizabeth Bay which is only accessible by dinghy. It is possible to see penguins on the small islets in the bay, the end of which is long and narrow surrounded by three species of mangroves. The waters here are home to Galapagos Sea Turtles and rays which we hope to see. Punta Moreno is located near Elizabeth Bay on the west coast of Isabela Island. The plethora of birds seen during a dinghy ride along the striking rocky shores or a hike along path through lava rock leading to tide pools and mangroves create a birdwatcher’s delight. In the tide pools green sea turtles or white-tip sharks can be spotted. The main attractions are Blackish water lagoons, Flamingos and White cheeked pintail ducks. This afternoon we visit Elizabeth Bay, which is located on the east coast of Isabela Island. The bay contains many islets, which can be visited by dinghy. Penguins and Blue-footed Boobies can be spotted on the rocky islets. With an abundance of marine life and clear water, the area is perfect for snorkeling and viewing schools of colorful fish, sea lions, and perhaps even sharks.
Day 5 ISABELA: Urbina Bay - Tagus cove
This morning we explore Urbina Bay and this afternoon we spend at Tagus Cove. Lying at the foot of Alcedo Volcano, south of Tagus Cove, is Urbina Bay - one of the best and the most recent example of geological uplift in the Galapagos. Here you can see Penguins, Noddy terns, Marine Iguanas and Historic grafffiti. Lying directly east of Fernandina on the west coast approximately 2/3's of the way up Isabela is the narrow channel of Tagus Cove. The coves quiet waters make for an ideal panga ride beneath its sheltered cliffs, where blue-fitted boobies, brown noddies, pelicans and noddy terns make their nests, and flightless cormorants and penguins inhabit the lava ledges.
Day 6 FERNANDINA: Punta Espinoza - ISABELA: Punta Vicente Roca
The youngest of the Galapagos Islands, Fernandina is approximately 700,000 years old. It's location to the west and on the far side of Isabela makes it one of the least visited islands. This morning we are at Punta Espinoza (Fernandina Island). Flightless Cormorant, Pelicans, Sea Lions, Sally Light Foot Crabs and an abundance of Marine Iguanas can be seen along the shores of one of world´s most active volcanoes. This afternoon we spend at Punta Vicente Roca. Punta Vicente Roca is a wonderful snorkeling site, where you can usually see turtles as well as all kinds of fish. After the snorkeling you will go on a panga ride, which will give you the opportunity to study some of the Galapagos' spectacular geological rock formations. Nazca boobies, pelicans, swallow-tailed gulls, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants and penguins are often seen in the area.
Day 7 JAMES: Puerto Egas and Bartolome
Also known as James and San Salvador, the central location and numerous landing sites make Santiago a part of almost every Galapagos itinerary. Thjs morning at Puerto Ega (James Island) you will see Galapagos Fur Seals in pools cut into lava cliffs and there is a good chance of spotting the Galapagos Hawk, the Galapagos Dove and Vermilion Flycatcher. Tucked behind Espumilla Beach are salt water lagoons where Flamingos and White Cheeked Pintail Ducks may be seen. This afternoon at Bartolome Island, it begins with a rock and concrete pathway. The walk continues through volcanic sand, which can be slow to cross. Once through the sand the steep ascent continues up a wooden stairway. From landing to top the walk takes approximately 30 to 40 minutes. Nowhere else is the geological history of the Islands better portrayed than here. The most impressive volcanic scenery.
Day 8 Cruise concludes, fly to Quito/Guayquil
North of Baltra (South Seymour) is the small islet of North Seymour. The largest colony of Magnificent Frigate birds is found here, as well as nesting Blue footed Boobies and Swallow Tailed Gulls. On your final day your cruise concludes and we head back to the airport at Baltra for your flight back to Quito or Guayaquil on the mainland. Upon arrival on the mainland your trip concludes.