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Fragata: 15 Day Itinerary

15 Days FROM USD 7,000

Overview

Board the comfortable motor yacht Fragata and prepare for an amazing journey to the Galapagos. Explore the enchanting islands of the Galapagos such as Isabela Island where you’ll be entertained by Galapagos penguins and sea lions that often pop out on shore. The many islands have an abundance of flora and fauna and you might come across marine turtles, giant iguanas and many bird species. Be tempted by the crystal clear waters, go snorkelling and discover the underwater wildlife!

Optional Activities :

Trip Code: ECTSFR15

Location: Galapagos Islands - Ecuador

Ship: Yacht Fragata

CRUISE ITINERARY

Welcome to Galapagos. Transfer from Baltra’s Airport to the yacht. Las Bachas is a beautiful white-sand beach on the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island. There you can go for a stroll or do some easy snorkelling in the gentle surf. Sea turtles lay their eggs at the edge of the vegetation: You can also look for a rusted pontoon, a relic of the Second World War. In fact, “bachas” is a poor pronunciation of “barges,” two of which were wrecked offshore at that time: the locals mispronounced the name and it stuck.

Baltra airport & Bachas Beach

Darwin Bay is the only sandy beach found in the caldera on Genovesa. Colonies of the Great Frigates are found along the beach. Male exhibit their red balloon pouch to females for hope of a match. Red-footed boobies nest in the trees in contrast to the other two booby species which do so on the ground.

We will also visit El Barranco (Prince Philip’s Steps), a carved out of stone stair. This will lead you to a wide plateau, where you can observe large colonies of masked boobies, frigate birds, storm petrels and bahama ducks. During this easy stroll you will cross a little Scalesia wood, in which you can observe the short-eared owl. The same path will lead you back to your boat.

Genovesa Island: Barranco & Darwin Bay

In Bartolomé Island you will ascend to admire the spectacular panorama of the Sullivan Bay and the famous Pinnacle Rock. The beaches at the foot of the Pinnacle Rock are excellent for snorkelling from which you can discover the marvellous underwater world.

In the afternoon, you will visit Sullivan Bay on the east coast of Santiago. We land on a white coral sand beach and begin our walk over lava that flowed less than 100 years ago. This is the perfect place to see and feel the volcanic origin of Galapagos.

Bartolome Island & Sullivan Bay

South Plaza has unique Sesuvium plants and Opuntia cactuses scattered across the landscape which provide some of the most interesting wildlife observations available in Galapagos. Land iguanas are easily seen from the trail, frequently under the shade of cactuses, waiting for a prickly pear to fall.

Santa Fe is one of the most entertaining destinations for shore excursions in the Galapagos Islands. It has two trail choices for visitors, one of which takes you to the tallest Opuntia cactus in the Galapagos. While the other trail takes you into the highlands where land iguanas can be seen. After a long walk, the opportunity to swim in calm waters or snorkel with playful sea lions will be pretty tempting.

South Plazas & Santa Fe Islands

The first landing for the day is at Cerro Brujo, where there is a chance to go hiking, swimming and snorkelling. The sandy beach is home to Sally-light foot crabs, brown pelicans, blue-footed boobies and California sea lions. In the afternoon pass through the dramatic León Dormido, or Kicker Rock, which is a magnificent rock in the middle of the sea, set in a shape resembling a sleeping lion. The rock rises 150 metres above the surface and is divided into two parts by a narrow channel navigable by small vessels.

San Cristobal Island

In the morning, you will visit the spectacular Gardner Bay. After landing, you can walk across a lovely white sand beach amongst a busy sea lion colony or dive into the water to swim with sea lion pups. You can also see curious mockingbirds on the beach.

Next visit is the small island in front of Gardner Bay, Gardner Islet. There you will find steep cliffs, large boulders and sandy ledges. For adventure you will find on one end of the island are curvy tunnels and the other are caves that make for a fascinating exploration. Next up is Osborne Islet, a marine visitor site on Espanola Island. Osborn Islet is near Española and is a great place to observe sea lions, parrot fish, butterfly fish, coral and possible red-lipped bat fish.

You will end the day visiting Suarez Point, located on the western end of Espanola Island, you will find a large population of albatross, or wild sea birds as well as carnivorous mockingbirds.

Espanola Island

Wet landing on an olivine green sand beach. We hike from the black mangrove beds to a brackish lagoon, which usually holds one of the largest flamingo populations in the Galapagos. This island features some endemic plants such as Scalesiavillosa, white and black mangrove, and holy stick. The trail continues to a beautiful white-sand beach, one of the most important nesting sites of Green Pacific Sea Turtles. It is important to avoid walking in the water due to the Sting Rays that may be hiding in the sand, which can be dangerous if accidentally stepped on. From the beach one can spot sea turtles, Blue-footed Boobies plunging into the water, and small reef sharks floating along the shoreline in search of food.

This coral-sand beach marks the end of our trail, and we head back to the olivine beach we landed on to swim or snorkel amongst sea turtles, reef fish, sea lions and, on a good day, white-tipped reef sharks. A small colony of penguins resides on Floreana and can sometimes be observed as well.

The Darwin Station also works providing environmental education to communities and schools within the islands, and to tourists visiting the Galapagos Islands.

Floreana Island

Visit North Seymour for guided walks to observe birds and wildlife, including vast sea lion colonies. Disembark at Baltra and take an excursion to Mosquera Islet for its vast white sand beach. The island is an uplifted reef of rocks and coral. It is home to one of the largest populations of sea lions, while you can also observe shorebirds and occasional reports of orca sightings.

North Seymour Island, Baltra Island

Comprised of two separate coves, Punta Vicente Roca is a large bay with incredible sea life including seahorses, sea turtles, and the strange yet fascinating mola-mola (or pacific sunfish). The next visit is a privileged one to the heavily restricted island of Fernandina. It is one of the world's most pristine island ecosystems with no foreign species having ever invaded. La Cumbre volcano dominates the landscape with lava fields reaching the ocean. Land at Punta Espinosa for a walkway past a colony of marine iguanas and a group of sea lions for the highlight of a flightless cormorant nesting site.

Isabela Island

During the morning wet landing on a volcanic black beach. Depending on the season, we may find Giant tortoises, Land iguanas and the unusual Flightless Cormorant. After a short walk inland, snorkelling time is allotted, giving you yet another chance to swim with Sea turtles, Sea lions and countless tropical fish. Urbina Bay features a wide variety of plant life that changes depending on the season. We can observe the beautiful colours of plants that attract different insects, birds and reptiles. We will explore the uplifted coral reef that resulted from 1954 volcanic activity, with a spectacular view of Alcedo Volcano. There are whale-watching opportunities during the cold season (May - December) while navigating from Urbina Bay to Tagus Cove.

After lunch we visit Tagus Cove (Isabela Island) Dry landing on Galapagos’ largest Island where we will learn about the eruption of the five volcanoes that formed it. The trail leads to Darwin salt-water Crater Lake and excellent views of lava fields and volcanic formations. This us a great site to see land birds such as Galapagos Hawks, Ground and Tree finches, Large-billed flycatchers and Yellow warblers. We will return by the same path for a dinghy ride along a shoreline full of marine wildlife, where we will admire a variety of Seabirds such as Blue-footed booby, Brown Noddy, Terns, Flightless Cormorant and, depending on the season, a large number of Galapagos Penguins which are only 35 cm tall; the only penguin species in the world to extend its range into the northern hemisphere along the Equator. They lay their eggs in small cracks of lava, on the lower parts of the island near the shoreline not reached by the ocean waves. Most of the individuals live on this Western portion of Isabela, others are scattered further South on the Island. We will have an opportunity to snorkel in deep water. Graffiti believed to have been left by19th-century pirates is a curious reminder of an intriguing past. Many names of the early visitors to this site, pirates and whalers, are written on the cliffs along the shore.

Isabela Island: Urbina Bay & Tagus Cove

Morning visit to Puerto Egas, James Bay, where you land on a black beach with intriguing eroded rock formations. A trail leads to a series of crystal-clear grottos formed of broken lava tubes, which are home to sea lions, fur seals, marine iguanas and tropical fish.

Afternoon visit to Chinese Hat Islet, a fairly recent volcanic cone and so-called for its distinctive shape. On the rocky shoreline of nearby Santiago, Galapagos penguins are often seen. There is a small sea lion cove on the north shore where boats anchor and land at the visitor site. Snorkelling with sea lions and penguins as well as swimming opportunities in the cove.

Egas Port & Chinese Hat Island

Arriving to Baltra we will take a shuttle thought out to Santa Cruz Island where we will reach the highlands of the Islands with its green vegetation where we will stop to visit Primicias Ranch, here we will be able to see Giant Turtles in their natural habitat. Another attraction here is an excursion through the lava tunnel where we will explain you about the geological formation of the Islands, lunch at the ranch. After this visit we will head to Puerto Ayora to check- in at selected hotel, and then we will visit Charles Darwin Station, where we can see the breeding center of the turtles of the other islands. Return to hotel for accommodation.

Charles Darwin Station & Primicias Ranch

During the morning we will take you to Tintoreras, a delightful place reached by a nice zodiac ride. "Tintoreras” are small islands in front of Puerto Villamil coast. There is Heron lava on the lookout on mangrove branch and Galapagos penguins and sea lions often pop out on shore. White-tipped reef sharks are fairly common in the archipelago. Their name in Spanish is “tintorera”, thus the name of this site as they are always found here resting in the shallow waters.

This afternoon the wetlands close to Puerto Villamil village will be visited. There are a few lagoons, swamps and mangroves, primarily known for their migrant bird populations. One of the most attractive species to be seen is the flamingo.

You will also visit the Arnaldo Tupiza breeding center, where giant tortoises are reared in captivity on Isabela, to better protect the main sub specie of this island.

The Wall of Tears also known as ‘Muro de las Lagrimas’ is another point of interest; the wall was constructed of clocks of lava rock between 1946 and 1959, when Isabela was a penal colony.

Isabela Island

In the morning, we disembark at Rábida Island’s red-coloured beach. A stroll allows us to observe a large colony of sea lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and several species of Darwin’s finches. This is a great place to snorkel from the beach. We can also enjoy a panga ride, kayaking or ride in our glass-bottom boat.

The north shore of Santa Cruz hosts Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill). Our walk includes circling a brackish water lagoon frequented by lagoon birds, while further inland, the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western islands of the archipelago.

Rabida Island &Dragon Hill

Board a zodiac boat to head to Black Turtle Cove, on the northern side of Santa Cruz Island. The red mangrove lagoon is very calm and quiet which makes it an ideal place as a nursery for many sharks and rays. Its crystal waters allow observation of large groups of white-tip reef, black tipped reef and hammer heads sharks, schools of golden rays and spotted eagle rays. Sea turtles are frequently seen and sometimes they are seen mating in the mangrove-lined waters. Pelicans and herons are also seen in this area. Complete your Galapagos cruise and transfer to Baltra airport for your outward flight.

Black Turtle Cove & Baltra airport
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Pricing & date

Fragata: 15 Day Itinerary from USD 7,000
Departing Ending Duration
20 Dec 2019 03 Jan 2020 15
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Important Information

  • Accommodation on board and/or hotel of Puerto Ayora.
    All meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner).
    Snacks after visits.
    Naturalist bilingual guide (English-Spanish).
    Fresh water to drink, tea, coffee.


    NOT INCLUDED:
    Air flight rate to/from Galápagos.
    INGALA transit card:
    Snorkeling gear (mask, tube, fins).
    Wet Suits
    Extra drinks.
    Tips.
    Personal expenses.

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request

  • Contact us for more details

  • Season and availability

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.