Discover the spellbinding natural beauty of the Enchanted Islands on this eight-day Western and Central Galapagos Islands cruise onboard the Galaxy Yacht.
Your journey begins at Seymour Airport on Baltra Island where you'll meet and greet your expert naturalist guide and fellow passengers. Then after a warm welcome on board the luxury yacht, sail towards the Highlands of Santa Cruz. Spend your first afternoon here where you'll see the Twin Craters and observe giant tortoises in their natural habitat.
Then dedicate the second and third days to exploring Isabela Island in depth. At 4640 sq. km, Isabela Island is the largest, yet one of the youngest islands in the archipelago, and you'll have the opportunity to observe white-tipped reef sharks resting in the calm turquoise waters as you sail through the islets of Las Tintoreras.
Continue to Moreno Point, where you'll walk its lava fields and explore the tidal lagoons, keeping your eyes peeled for sightings of herons, frigatebirds, and green turtles. From there, the Galaxy sails onward to Elizabeth Bay where you'll have the opportunity to visit the breeding grounds of the Galapagos penguins.
Then reach Urbina Bay and embark on a 3.2 km trail with your naturalist guide to observe land iguanas, tortoises, and Darwin's finches in their natural habitat, and uncover pirate history at Tagus Cove on the northwestern shores of Isabela Island. This final stop on Isabela Island is a site historically frequented by pirates who left their mark by carving the names of the vessels they commanded into the site's surrounding cliff faces.
Then sail to Fernandina Island, the third-largest in the Galapagos archipelago at 642 sq. km. Walk the barren landscape of Punta Espinosa, observing the large colonies of marine iguana that bask in the sun. Despite its barren landscape, the lava cacti thrive here, against a dramatic backdrop of Volcán La Cumbre.
Reach Santiago Island and begin with a visit to Puerto Egas, a site that briefly operated as a salt mining business in the late 1920s. Sail onward to Santiago Island to observe green turtles nest on striking Espumilla Beach, backed by the tallest Palo Santo trees, and explore Dragon Hill on the northwestern shores of Santa Cruz, aptly named for the population of Galapagos land iguanas that populate this island. Observe mini-land dragons roam the sun-drenched sands, feeding on the fruits of the Opuntia Cacti.
Allow the tranquil mangrove forests of Black Turtle Cove to captivate you, and encounter black-tip reef sharks, marine turtles, and numerous varieties of rays. Explore the striking red landscape of Rabida before seeing Chinese Hat, a gently sloping volcanic cone on a tiny 1 sq. km islet near the southeast coast of Santiago that takes the form of a Chinaman's hat.
Leave this curious geologic feature for North Seymour and learn how a group of 72 undernourished land iguanas colonized the land. Following your time on North Seymour, be transported to the airport for your onward flight to Quito or Guayaquil.
This eight-day Western and Central Galapagos Islands cruise on the Galaxy Yacht brings you the best this region has to offer with an itinerary that perfectly combines excursions with leisure time. This five-star vessel was newly renovated in 2017 and boasts nine spacious double cabins, a sundeck with shaded areas, and cozy social lounges that invite you to relax. With a maximum capacity of 16 guests and an enthusiastic crew of eight, Galaxy delivers a comfortable and personalized experience.