Galapagos

Central & Western Galapagos Islands Cruise - SOLARIS M/Y

8 days | 7 nights
Shared tour
From 4995USD5995USD per person
Sorry, there are no prices defined for this date. Please contact us by clicking on "Free quote"

Close

Cruise Description

This 8-day Central Western Galapagos Islands cruise sails to some of the region's most popular islands and picturesque islets, combining the natural highlights of this region with visits to historical sites and local research facilities to gain a well rounded and in-depth understanding of the Galapagos.

The five stars Solaris offers passengers an exclusive experience as an attentive crew of eight goes above and beyond to meet the needs of an intimate group of 16 passengers.

Begin your journey on Baltra Island where you'll meet and greet your knowledgeable naturalist guide and fellow passengers, and visit your first site on this cruise - Las Bachas Beach on Santa Cruz Island, where you'll discover the role it played in World War II.

From there, the Solaris sails onward to Isabela Island, where you'll observe white-tipped reef sharks resting in the calm waters between the collection of islets.

After a tour of the Wetlands for the opportunity to spot the elusive flamingo, climb the 20-meter walls of The Wall of Tears, a reminder of the penal colony Isabela Island once was.

Observe Galapagos Giant Tortoises at the Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center, and learn how the facility is contributing to the preservation of this species.

Visit Punta Moreno, where on a guided walk along a trail, you'll come to a striking panoramic view of the Sierra Negra, Cerro Azul and La Cumbre - three of the most active volcanoes in the Galapagos.

Learn the history of pirates in this region at Tagus Cove and journey onward to 642 sq. km Fernandina Island, the third-largest island in the archipelago, and walk the barren landscape of Punta Espinosa, observing the large colonies of marine iguana that bask in the sun here.

Spend time on Santiago Island, and after a walk along the golden sands of Espumilla Beach, go snorkeling with schools of tropical fish at Buccaneer's Cove.

Dive into the history of Puerto Egas and learn how this site briefly housed a salt mining business in the late 1920s. Then explore the otherworldly landscape of Rabida, its striking red sand beach and matching rust-colored cliffs a result of oxidation.

See 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, then spend a day exploring the highlights of Santa Cruz Island.

Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station on the outskirts of Puerto Ayora, the premiere breeding site of the Galapagos Islands, and learn how this facility is working to maintain biodiversity in the region.

Then tour the Highlands where you'll see the Twin Craters and observe giant tortoises in their natural habitat. Your final morning on this eight-day Central Western Galapagos Islands cruise takes you to North Seymour, where you'll witness the most extensive colonies of blue-footed boobies and frigatebirds in the archipelago.

With this itinerary, you'll spend your days snorkeling and swimming in radiant turquoise waters, walking along nature trails to discover native flora and fauna and embarking on guided hikes across the volcanic landscape while spotting endemic sea birds and colonies of sea lions.

With 11 bright and modern cabins and floor to window ceilings on the main and upper decks, you'll be discovering the pristine nature of the Galapagos in indulgent comfort, as you sink into your plush bed at the end of the night, or spot wildlife in the ocean from the main deck sailing between Santa Cruz and North Seymour on the Solaris.

Destinations

Galapagos

Trip at a glance

Visits

SANTA CRUZ ISLAND: Las Bachas, Charles Darwin Research Station, Highlands

ISABELA ISLAND: Tintoreras, Wetlands, Wall Of Tears, Tortoise Breeding Center, Punta Moreno, Tagus Cove, Punta Vicente Roca

FERNANDINA ISLAND: Punta Mangle, Punta Espinoza

SANTIAGO ISLAND: Espumilla Beach, Buccaneer Cove, Puerto Egas, Rabida, Chinese Hat

NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND

Trip details

Itinerary

Day 1 ARRIVAL – BALTRA

Morning

Arrival at Seymour Airport on Baltra Island (GPS) 

Arrive at Seymour Airport on Baltra Island this morning and meet and greet your naturalist guide and fellow passengers at the arrivals hall. Here, your luggage will be inspected and your Galapagos National Park entrance fee will be collected. By dinghy, board the Solaris and tour the facilities of this luxury 16 passenger yacht.

Afternoon

Las Bachas 

Arrive at Santa Cruz Island on the Solaris this afternoon and visit the white coral sand Bachas Beach on the northern shores of Santa Cruz west of Black Turtle Cove. This beach earned its name after World War II when the American army abandoned their barges on the beach. Unable to pronounce "barge" in the English language, "bachas" is the result of a mispronunciation, resulting in the name of the beach. Stroll the pristine coastline where its sands meet the turquoise bay, and orange Sally Lightfoot crabs scurry between the rocks at your feet. Reach a brackish lagoon on your walk, where white-cheeked pintails and hunting herons wade in the water, and catch a glimpse of the American flamingos that inhabit this island. From your naturalist guide, learn about the role Bachas Beach plays as one of the island's main sea turtle nesting sites. 

Evening

Enjoy your first dinner and night on the Solaris.

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard
  • Lunch onboard
  • Dinner onboard

Day 2 ISABELA ISLAND

Morning

Las Tintoreras 

A group of islets just off the shores of Puerto Villamil, Las Tintoreras is the Spanish name for white-tipped reef sharks, which can be commonly spotted resting in the calm and clear waters. As you walk along the nature trail with your guide, keep your eyes peeled for Galapagos penguins and sea lions along the mangrove-lined shoreline.

Afternoon

Wetlands, Wall of Tears and Tortoise Breeding Centre

Journey to the wetlands of Isabela Island on the Solaris this afternoon, a short distance from Puerto Villamil village. The lagoons, swamps and mangroves here are recognized for their migrant bird populations, one of which is the flamingo. You'll also visit the Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center, where endangered Galapagos Giant Tortoises live in captivity. See five different endemic subspecies and how they're cared for to ensure their survival in the wilderness on the Galapagos Islands. Reaching some 20 meters in height, The Wall of Tears on Isabela Island is a historical site constructed by prisoners of this former penal colony between 1946 and 1959. Stroll to the top of the wall and learn how it was constructed.

Evening

Enjoy dinner and evening on the Solaris.

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard
  • Lunch onboard
  • Dinner onboard

Day 3 ISABELA & FERNANDINA ISLANDS

Morning

Punta Moreno

Arrive at Isabela Island after breakfast this morning and visit Moreno Point on its western shores. Explore the tidal lagoons and extensive lava fields, keeping your eyes peeled for sightings of herons, frigatebirds and green turtles. Take in the shrub dotted landscape of Moreno Point, where candelabra cacti reach impressive heights of up to seven meters, towering above surrounding mangrove bushes and saltwater lagoons fringed with seagrass. On a guided walk along a trail, experience the solidified lava beneath your feet and keep your eyes peeled for marine iguanas, brown pelicans and a striking panoramic view of the Sierra Negra, Cerro Azul and La Cumbre - the three most active volcanoes in the Galapagos.

Afternoon

Punta Mangle and Tagus Cove 

This afternoon, the Solaris will cross the Bolivar Channel and reach Tagus Cove on the northwestern shores of Isabela Island. This site was historically frequented by pirates who left their mark by carving the names of their ships onto the cliff faces that surround the cove. Following a 3 km trail with your guide, reach Darwin Lake, a saltwater lagoon reaching nine meters in depth contained within a tuff cone. The cliff faces of Tagus Cove provide a number of nesting sites for sea and coastal birds, and from the inflatable dinghy, you'll have the opportunity to see flightless cormorants, storm petrels and flocks of blue-footed boobies and brown pelicans.

Evening

Enjoy dinner and evening on the Solaris.

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard
  • Lunch onboard
  • Dinner onboard

Day 4 ISABELA & FERNANDINA ISLANDS

Morning

Punta Espinosa

As the third largest island in the Galapagos, Fernandina is also the youngest. Visit Espinoza Point across from Tagus Cove, home to the flightless cormorant and recognized for its large colonies of marine iguanas that bask in the sun. Free of any introduced species, Fernandina is one of the world's most pristine islands, and despite its barren landscape, the lava cacti thrive here, against a dramatic backdrop of Volcán La Cumbre. Tread with care between January and June, during the nesting period of the marine iguana.

Afternoon

Punta Vicente Roca 

Reach the northern shores of Isabela Island this afternoon on this eight day Solaris cruise and visit Vicente Roca Point at the base of Volcán Ecuador. Observe the rich marine wildlife here and spot green turtles, seahorses, schools of barracuda, and the ocean sunfish Mola Mola on a panga ride.

Evening

Enjoy dinner and evening on the Solaris.

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard
  • Lunch onboard
  • Dinner onboard

Day 5 SANTIAGO ISLAND

Morning

Espumilla Beach and Buccaneer's Cove 

Reach the western shores of Santiago Island on Day Five of this eight-day Central Western Galapagos Islands cruise on the Solaris. Take in the island's stunning landscape and see some of the region's tallest Palo Santo trees. Walk along the golden sands of Espumilla Beach, where green turtles come to nest. With your naturalist guide, ascend a hill for sweeping views of the sand and sea below. Following your time on Espumilla Beach, go snorkeling at the nearby Buccaneer's Cove.

Afternoon

Puerto Egas

Reach Puerto Egas on Santiago Island this afternoon and disembark on its black sand beach by wet landing, a site named after entrepreneur Hector Egar who opened a salt mine here in the late 1920s. The site, which operated briefly, is now home to white-cheeked pintails and flamingos, though it remains closed to visitors. Admire the view of the 395 meter high Pan de Azúcar, and with your guide, learn the factors that made the salt mine business impractical on this island while roaming its scenic shoreline for a chance to see marine iguanas, sea lions and Sally Lightfoot crabs. Here, you'll also have the opportunity to see a colony of Galapagos fur seals bask in the shade provided by the area's rock arches and grottos.

Evening

Enjoy dinner and evening on the Solaris.

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard
  • Lunch onboard
  • Dinner onboard

Day 6 RABIDA & CHINESE HAT

Morning

Rabida 

Otherworldly Rabida boasts a landscape of strewn boulders and large prickly pear cacti, as well as a striking red sand beach backed by matching rust-colored cliffs. A result of oxidized iron, sunrise and sunset give these geologic features an intense glow. Outside of the mating season, visitors to the red beach are greeted by a large colony of Galapagos sea lions. Here you will also visit a small saltwater lagoon, and because it's the arid island's most fertile place, it attracts a range of marine wildlife like pintails and flamingos. With your naturalist guide, look for varieties of songbirds in the surrounding mangrove bushes on a short walk. Rabida is also a favorite stop on this Central Western Galapagos Islands cruise for its breeding brown pelicans. Watch from the beach as they hover above the surface of the sea and hunt in V-shaped formations, plunge-diving for their prey.

Afternoon

Chinese Hat

A gently sloping volcanic cone with a height of 52 m, this tiny 1 sq. km islet near the southeast coast of Santiago takes the form of a Chinaman's hat, hence 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. A walk with your naturalist guide will reveal Chinese Hat's volcanic history, its lava bombs and tunnels. Continue to a white sand coral beach and spot marine iguanas and lava lizards along the trail as your guide discusses the predicted rapid colonization of this islet due to its favorable conditions and close proximity to Santiago.

Evening

Enjoy dinner and evening on the Solaris.

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard
  • Lunch onboard
  • Dinner onboard

Day 7 SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

Morning

Charles Darwin Station

Arrive at the Charles Darwin Research Station on the outskirts of Puerto Ayora, the premiere breeding site of the Galapagos archipelago. Featuring a number of interpretations and information centers about the National Park throughout, 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. Enjoy some free time to stroll the quaint streets of Puerto Ayora before boarding the Solaris.

Afternoon

Highlands 

This afternoon, you'll visit the Highlands of Santa Cruz where you'll trek with your naturalist guide to see the Twin Craters and visit a local ranch to observe giant tortoises in their natural habitat. If the weather permits, you'll also be able to view the stunning scenery of extinct volcanic cones carpeted with lush greenery. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes, long pants, a hat and sunblock. Return to Puerto Ayora after your visit to the Highlands.

Evening

Enjoy dinner and evening on the Solaris.

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard
  • Lunch onboard
  • Dinner onboard

Day 8 DEPARTURE DAY

Morning

North Seymour

The island of North Seymour was formed by the uplifting of underwater volcanic lava, which resulted in a small flat island 1.9 sq. km in size. Following a dry landing, learn about the 72 land iguanas that were introduced to North Seymour in 1932 to colonize the island. Captain Alan Hancock and his crew transported these undernourished iguanas from Baltra Island in the hopes that they will thrive in better conditions on North Seymour. And in 1934 just two years later, the species was identified to have adapted without issues. Walk the arid boulder-strewn landscape with your guide, and follow along an easy circular path that takes you past the most extensive colonies of blue-footed boobies and frigatebirds in the archipelago.


Transfer to Seymour Airport on Baltra Island

Your visit to North Seymour concludes this eight-day Central Western Galapagos Islands cruise on the Solaris. Your guide and friendly crew members will transfer you by shuttle to Seymour Airport on Baltra island for your onward journey, and accompany you to the check-in counters and departure hall.

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard

Map

Services

What's included

Accommodation

Nights
7 nights onboard Solaris M/Y

Meals

Full board plan
7 breakfasts + 7 lunches + 7 dinners

Transportation

Bus
All transfers from/to Baltra Airport

Orientation

Guide
Shared English-speaking naturalist guide

What's not included

  • Entrance Fee to Galapagos National Park (100 USD/Person)
  • TCT Ingala Migration Card (20 USD/Person)
  • Domestic Flights
  • International Flights
  • 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
Send inquiry

Cookies are small text files downloaded to your computer each time you visit a website.
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website.