Galapagos

Northern Galapagos Islands Cruise - ALYA M/Y

5 days | 4 nights
Shared tour
From 3400USD per person
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Cruise Description

Isolated by geography and situated some 1000 km off the west coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands ranks high on any traveler’s visit to this South American nation.

Begin with a warm welcome to the Northern Galapagos upon arrival at Seymour Airport on Baltra Island, and spend the next five days exploring five remote volcanic islands on the luxury 16 passenger Alya Catamaran.

Set sail to Santa Cruz, Genovesa and Santiago Islands, engaging in afternoons of swimming, snorkeling, and hiking for the opportunity to encounter the bountiful wildlife that inhabits the islands’ delicate ecosystems - marine iguanas, red-footed boobies and a collection of tropical birds, many of which are endemic to the Galapagos.

Embark on nature walks to discover the native flora and fauna, as well as volcanic features that make up the island’s geography.

End your Galapagos cruise with a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz, an institution widely recognized for its research and conservation efforts.

This 5-day journey to the Northern Galapagos is a must for wildlife enthusiasts and anyone with a desire to experience the fragile natural communities that make up the Enchanted Islands.

Destinations

Galapagos

Trip at a glance

Visits

GENOVESA ISLAND: Darwin Bay & Barranco

SANTIAGO ISLAND: Sullivan Bay

BARTOLOME ISLAND: Dragon Hill

SANTA CRUZ ISLAND: Black Turtle Cove, Chinese Hat, Charles Darwin Station

Trip details

Itinerary

Day 1 ARRIVAL - BALTRA AIRPORT – BLACK TURTLE COVE

Morning

Arrival at Seymour Airport on Baltra Island (GPS)
Meet and greet your guide at the airport who will escort you to the Alya Catamaran.
Your captain and crew will welcome you onboard the luxury vessel with a refreshing welcome drink. Get acquainted with your cabin while lunch is prepared.

Afternoon

Black Turtle Cove
Following lunch, discover Black Turtle Cove - a tranquil landscape of mangrove forest situated on the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island. Seemingly unscathed by human development, this bay is accessible by dinghy only, and the shallow cove acts as a refuge for a wealth of marine life, where you will have the opportunity to encounter black-tip reef sharks, marine turtles and a variety of rays.

Evening

Dinner and night onboard.

MEALS
  • Lunch onboard
  • Dinner onboard

Day 2 GENOVESA ISLAND: DARWIN BAY & BARRANCO

Morning

Darwin Bay
Set sail to Genovesa Island, north of Santa Cruz Island, where you will reach Darwin Bay by wet landing. Disembark at this coral beach for leisurely strolls along its shoreline and bountiful photo opportunities as you encounter colonies of frigatebirds, red-footed and mask boobies and marine iguanas as you reach a nearby mangrove swamp. Passionate birdwatchers will also be delighted by the presence of herons, the great terrestrial finch and cactus finch. Following your visit on land, you will enjoy some time at leisure to swim and snorkel in the shimmering waters of Darwin Bay. Re-energize with snacks and refreshments on board before indulging in lunch. 

Afternoon

El Barranco
Named after a visit by the Duke of Edinburgh in the 1960s, El Barranco is also fondly recognized as Prince Philip's Steps, a steep and rocky path that leads visitors to a set of rugged cliff faces some 25 meters up to view the island's varied species of sea birds. Despite its daunting appearance, this climb on the eastern stretch of Darwin Bay is made easy with the presence of sturdy wooden handrails. Embark on a walk along the Barranco Path, winding your way past colonies of red-foot and mask boobies, and observing tropical birds, petrels, frigatebirds and finches in their natural habitat. Enjoy dinner on board after an exciting afternoon of birdwatching.

Evening

Dinner and night onboard.

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard
  • Lunch onboard
  • Dinner onboard

Day 3 SANTIAGO ISLAND: SULLIVAN BAY & BARTOLOME ISLAND

Morning

Santiago Island
A favorite stop on any Galapagos itinerary because of its unique geological characteristics, reach Sullivan Bay on the southeastern end of Santiago Island by wet landing this morning and embark on a hike across a wild terrain of volcanic features. This stretch of Santiago Island was carpeted in flowing lava following an eruption in the early 1900s, formulating a relatively young landscape. Well preserved due to its remote location, you will have the opportunity to observe Sullivan Bay's collapsed craters, hornitos or lava ovens, and experience hardened lava flow and pahoehoe - ropy lava, beneath your feet. Indulge in snacks and refreshing beverages onboard the Alya before lunch.

Afternoon

Bartolome Island
After a wet landing at the beach, follow your guide on a 114-meter footpath to the summit of Bartolome Island to discover the pioneering plants of tiquilia, scalesia and chamaesyce that inhabit this region. Budget time to revel in the sweeping views of Santiago, Rabida and Isabela Islands from atop Bartolome, and follow along a path that leads to the south beach, winding through mangrove swamps and sand dune vegetation. Make your way to the north beach, where you have a leisurely time to swim and snorkel off the pristine shores of the island. Visit the Galapagos' iconic Pinnacle Rock before dinner on board, a highly anticipated attraction of the Enchanted Islands for its opportunity to spot penguins.

Evening

Dinner and night onboard.

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard
  • Lunch onboard
  • Dinner onboard

Day 4 DRAGON HILL – SANTA CRUZ ISLAND: CHINESE HAT

Morning

Chinese Hat
A gently sloping volcanic cone in the shape of a Chinaman's hat gives this islet near the southeast coast of Santiago its name. Volcanic in origin, the spatter cone Chinese Hat is a product of an eruption on nearby Santiago Island, which spewed a mountain of molten rocks and lava, forming this islet. The mass accumulation of volcanic debris was eroded over time to give it its gentle incline, and the ocean carved a channel that separated the Santiago Volcano and Chinese Hat. Disembark on a white sand coral beach, and with your guide, follow the 700-meter roundtrip footpath that hugs the coast of the islet, discovering lava fields and tunnels while spotting marine iguanas and lava lizards along the trail.

Afternoon

Mosquera
Situated between Baltra and Seymour Islands, this islet is a popular stop on any Galapagos itinerary for its sizable sea lion colony. Observe as they sunbathe or splash in the water, and then enjoy time on Mosquera's white sand beach while keeping your eyes peeled for sightings of sea birds.

Evening

Dinner and night onboard.

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard
  • Lunch onboard
  • Dinner onboard

Day 5 DEPARTURE DAY: SANTA CRUZ ISLAND: CHARLES DARWIN STATION – AIRPORT

Morning

Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island after breakfast this morning, and reach the entrance of the breeding center via private bus. As the main breeding site of the Galapagos Islands, this facility is dedicated to marine life conservation and maintaining biodiversity in the region. Learn the story of Lonesome George, the fabled final survivor of the giant tortoise species who lived at the Charles Darwin Research Station for four decades. As the final stop on the Galapagos itinerary, you will be transferred to the airport for your onward journey.

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard

Map

Video

Services

What's included

Accommodation

Nights
4 nights onboard Alya M/Y

Meals

Full board plan
4 breakfasts + 4 lunches + 4 dinners

Transportation

Bus
All transfers from/to Baltra Airport

Orientation

Guide
Shared English-speaking naturalist guide

What's not included

  • Domestic Flights
  • International Flights
  • Entrance Fee to Galapagos National Park (100 USD/Person)
  • TCT Ingala Migration Card (20 USD/Person)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Wetsuit Rental
  • Extra Meals
  • Drinks
  • Tips

Dates and Prices

Arrival date

Important notes

Each guest must strictly follow the Galapagos National Park Rules: 

  • Remain on marked trails at visitor sites and respect signs at all times for the protection of wildlife
  • Maintain a distance of at least six feet (two meters) from wildlife to avoid disturbing them, even if they approach you
  • Never feed wildlife, as this can cause health problems
  • Flash photography is not permitted when taking photos of wildlife
  • Professional photography and videos recorded for commercial purposes must be authorized by the Galapagos National Park Department
  • It is your responsibility not to introduce food, animals, or plants into the Archipelago. Cooperate fully with all environmental inspection and quarantine officials during your visit.
  • Do not take or buy any products or souvenirs made from banned substances, including black coral, shells, lava rock, animal parts, or any native wood or vegetation prior to leaving Galapagos. This is illegal and must be reported
  • Practice “leave-no-trace” principles in order to maintain the beauty of the environment
  • Pack out all trash and dispose of or recycle it in the populated areas or on your tour boat
  • Smoking and/or campfires are strictly prohibited within the Galapagos National Park
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