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Aida Maria Budget 8 Day Cruise

Overview

The Aida Maria offers a great value economy cruise of the Galapagos for those on a tight budget. Each of the eight double cabins has a private bath and hot shower as well as air conditioning. The ship features a large sundeck with plenty of social areas.
Please note that the below itinerary is a guide and that itineraries vary depending on departure date. Your sales consultant will provide you with more details on the different itinerary options available and applicable departure dates.

Trip Code: GATSAM8

Location: Galapagos Islands - Ecuador

ITINERARY INSPIRATION

Upon arrival at Isla Baltra, meet your guide at the arrivals area at the airport to transfer to the port and embark upon the Aida Maria. The first landing will be at Playa Las Bachas, or Bachas Beach, on Isla Santa Cruz. Observe a sea turtle nesting area on the white sands, while behind the beach you can see flamingos and other shore birds at a lagoon. You may wish to take a refreshing dip back on the beach in the Pacific Ocean waters.

Sunday, Embark & Playa Las Bachas

Having cruised to the northeast of the Galapagos, land at Isla Genovesa, a haven for bird watchers. In the morning visit El Barranco, or Prince Philip’s Steps, a rocky path up a cliff face, well worth the exertion for some incredible views as well as sightings of red-footed boobies, Galapagos swallows and Galapagos doves. Continue to Darwin Bay, a coral beach surrounded by towering cliffs. Set off on a trail past opuntia cacti and mangroves, sighting many a land and sea bird.

Monday, Isla Genovesa

Visit the volcanic island of Bartolomé, climbing up to its peak for stunning views. Continue to Sullivan Bay, the site of a mass black solidified lava flow that you can walk across and admire. A short navigation brings you to Sombrero Chino, or Chinese Hat, so-called for its distinctive shape. The small volcanic cone has a coastal trail to spot bird and wildlife, as well as a beautiful beach, which is perfect for snorkeling with sea lions.

Tuesday, Bartolomé, Sullivan Bay & Sombrero Chino

Arrive at Isla Daphne Major, a tuff cone made up of volcanic ash. Circumnavigate the island on the lookout for blue-footed boobies, frigate birds and Darwin’s finches. Continue to Black Turtle Cove, a red mangrove lagoon where you will see a number of reef sharks, rays and perhaps mating turtles. In the afternoon, head to Cerro Dragón, a small bay of lava rocks of which land iguanas have made their home.

Wednesday, Isla Daphne Major

Land on the central island of Santa Cruz for the day. Begin at the Charles Darwin Station, which is dedicated to the study and protection of flora and fauna in the archipelago. At the Tortoise Rearing Center you can see the young before making your way to see giant tortoises that can weigh 400kg. The largest town of the Galapagos, Puerto Ayora, is located on the island and a stop will be made for souvenir shopping. Continue through to the highlands, a fertile zone full of vegetation and with it comes the birdlife including Darwin’s finches, yellow warbles and vermillion flycatchers. You can gain excellent views from the peak of the highlands.

Thursday, Isla Santa Cruz

Make various stops on Isla Floreana, starting off at Punta Cormorant for a flamingo inhabited lagoon before Playa Carolina for a sea turtle nesting area. Embark back upon the yacht to arrive at La Corona del Diablo, Devil’s Crown, an enclosed area for some of the best snorkelling in the Galapagos, observing white tipped sharks, purple sea stars, sea urchins and many a tropical fish. Continue to Post Office Bay, where ancient whalers placed a wooden barrel for use as a manual post office, a system that still functions to this day.

Friday, Isla Floreana

Today visits the southern island of Española, a fascinating island full of wildlife. Approach the island by dinghy, where you will see sea lions on the shore, together with blue footed boobies and marine iguanas. On dry land, take a path around the island passing hundreds of booby nesting sites, and you may see the frigate bird, red billed tropicbird, swallow tailed gull and season-dependent, the giant waved albatross. Almost the entire global population of albatross nest on Española. On the path, reach El Soplador, a giant blowhole that fires water over 20m in the air. Following lunch on board the yacht, visit Garner Bay, a great place for sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling. Lion fish, flycatchers, and Galapagos hawks frequent the bay.

Saturday, Isla Española

On the final day of the cruise, make stops on Isla San Cristóbal in the morning before departure in the afternoon. Navigate around León Dormido, or Kicker Rock, a tuff volcanic cone that has been eroded to form the shape of a sleeping lion and is home to blue footed boobies and frigate birds. Continue to Isla Lobos to see the colony of sea lions. Disembark at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno to transfer to the airport for your return flight to mainland Ecuador.

Sunday, Isla San Cristóbal & Disembark
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Pricing & date

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Important Information

  • Shipboard accommodation 
    All meals whilst on board 
    English-speaking naturalist guide  
    All shore excursions as mentioned in itinerary 
    Drinking water, coffee and tea

    Exclusions 

    Return airfares from mainland Ecuador 
    Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee (US100 per person subject to change) 
    Galapagos Transit Control Card (US20 per person subject to change) 
    Visa fees (if applicable) 
    Travel insurance
    Beverages (other than coffee and tea) 
    Gratuities for the crew
    Optional activities not mentioned in the itinerary 

  • 1 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request

  • Contact us for more details

  • Season and availability
     

Accommodation

We believe that appropriate accommodation should add to the authentic travel experience, as well as providing utmost enjoyment. For that reason our accommodation is scrutinised by our staff on the ground frequently, ensuring the properties adhere to our high standards. This key will help you understand the levels of accommodation available on this tour.

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your South American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first hand experience, our consultants will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.

Sustainability

Chimu Adventures undertakes a number of sustainability measures within its operations including:

1) Only using local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprints. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting.

2) Where possible, using locally owned and operated boutique hotels to maximise the return to the local community.

3) Chimu’s “Pass it on” programme has provided funding to hundreds of local community projects in Latin America. Our aim is to empower local communities, helping them to develop their own infrastructure for the future. Since 2006, we have been working with Kiva (a well-known Non-Governmental Organisation), providing hundreds of loans to local businesses all over South America.

4) In our pre tour information we provide a range of tips and advice on how to minimise your impact on both local environments and communities.

5) Chimu Adventures’ offices also take a number of sustainability measures including carbon offsets for company vehicles and most staff travel. Chimu Adventure’s internal processes are also structures to create a paperless office and to reduce waste. There are also internal programmes to help staff minimise their carbon footprint such as our staff bike purchase assistance plan which encourages office staff to commute to work via bicycle. Currently almost half of our office based staff commute to work via bicycle.