Galapagos

Western Galapagos Islands Cruise - ECO GALAXY M/C

6 days | 5 nights
Shared tour
From 4200USD per person
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EcoGalaxy

Superior

Cruise Description

Explore the paradisiacal bays and otherworldly landscapes of the volcanic islands that make up the seemingly untouched western region of the Galapagos onboard the first-class EcoGalaxy catamaran.

On this 6-day Western Galapagos Islands cruise, you'll experience the region's highlights in a variety exciting ways - encountering brown pelicans and colonies of marine iguanas on dinghy rides, embarking on scenic strolls along the islands' many nature trails, and visiting the facilities that work to preserve the precious species that inhabit these islands.

Sail to your first site on this EcoGalaxy itinerary after arriving at Seymour Airport on Baltra Island - the Charles Darwin Research Centre on Santa Cruz Island, dedicated to marine life conservation and maintaining biodiversity in the region. With your guide, tour the Breeding and Rearing Center to witness tortoises live in captivity.

Then sail onward to Isabela Island and spend time discovering its highlights on the EcoGalaxy, observing white-tipped reef sharks resting in the calm turquoise waters between the collection of islets of Las Tintoreras. At 4640 sq. km, Isabela Island is the largest, yet one of the youngest islands in the archipelago.

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.

The EcoGalaxy sails onward to Elizabeth Bay where you'll have the opportunity to visit the breeding grounds of the Galapagos penguins, and from there, go on to embark on a 3.2 km trail with your naturalist guide to observe land iguanas, tortoises and Darwin's finches at Urbina Bay, and walk the barren landscape of Punta Espinosa on Fernandina Island, observing the large colonies of marine iguana that bask in the sun.

Journey onwards to Vicente Roca Point at the base of Volcán Ecuador to observe the green turtles, seahorses, and the ocean sunfish Mola Mola, and learn how Puerto Egas briefly operated as a salt mining business in the late 1920s.

Explore the striking landscape of Rabida, its surreal red sand beach and matching rust-colored cliffs a result of oxidation. Your seven day Western Galapagos Islands cruise ends with a visit to the tranquil mangrove forests of Black Turtle Cove, where you'll have the opportunity to encounter black-tip reef sharks, marine turtles and numerous varieties of rays.

Following your visit, be transported to Seymour Airport on Baltra Island for your onward flight to Quito or Guayaquil.

This EcoGalaxy itinerary packs in some of the Galapagos archipelago's most popular western highlights in just six days, with unique opportunities to snorkel in pristine waters, conquer sweeping viewpoints and embark on guided walks along sandy beaches.

The catamaran, which was recently constructed in 2014, practices environmental sustainability by operating on low fuel consumption and utilizing biodegradable cleaning materials and energy-efficient LED lights. With modern cabins that accommodate a maximum of 16 guests, a sundeck with shaded areas and welcoming social lounges, EcoGalaxy delivers guests an exclusive experience.

Destinations

Galapagos

Trip at a glance

Visits

BALTRA ISLAND ISLAND

SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

ISABELA ISLAND: Tintoreras, Moreno Point, Elizabeth Bay, Urbina Bay, Vicente Roca Point

FERNANDINA ISLAND: Espinoza Point

SANTIAGO ISLAND: Egas Point

RABIDA ISLAND: Black Turtle Cove

Trip details

Itinerary

Day 1 ARRIVAL - BALTRA AIRPORT – SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

Morning

Arrival at Seymour Airport on Baltra Island (GPS)

Meet and greet your naturalist guide upon arrival at Seymour Airport on Baltra Island. Before leaving the airport, you'll pass an inspection point where your Transit Control Card will be stamped. Be sure to store this with your travel documents as you'll need to show it again when you depart the Galapagos Islands. If you haven't already, you'll also pay the Galapagos National Park entrance fee of 100 USD here. You'll then be escorted onboard the EcoGalaxy where your captain and crew will welcome you with drinks and lunch.

Afternoon

Charles Darwin Research Station

Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island this afternoon. 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, and tour the information center, the Van Staelen Exhibition Hall and the Breeding and Rearing Center to witness tortoises live in captivity.

Evening

Enjoy dinner and evening on the EcoGalaxy.

MEALS
  • Lunch onboard
  • Dinner onboard

Day 2 ISABELA ISLAND: TINTORERAS & MORENO POINT

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 turquoise 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, as well as colonies of marine iguanas and lava lizards that like to bask in the sun. Indulge in breakfast aboard the EcoGalaxy following this morning excursion, and set sail to your next destination.

Afternoon

Moreno Point

Arrive at Isabela Island after lunch this afternoon 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 dinghy ride along the pristine shoreline, keep your eyes peeled for marine iguanas and brown pelicans. Then discover a striking panoramic view of the Sierra Negra, Cerro Azul and La Cumbre - the three most active volcanoes in the Galapagos.

Evening

Enjoy dinner and evening on the EcoGalaxy.

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard
  • Lunch onboard
  • Dinner onboard

Day 3 ISABELA ISLAND: ELIZABETH BAY & URBINA BAY

Morning

Elizabeth Bay

Made up of a collection of small islets, coastal mangrove forests and rocky reefs, Isabela Island is a sanctuary for wildlife and the premiere breeding site for Galapagos penguins. View a variety of wildlife on your visit to Red Mangrove Cove, ranging from brown pelicans to spotted eagle rays and sea lions. Then enjoy lunch aboard the EcoGalaxy.

Afternoon

Urbina Bay

On the western shores of Isabela Island at the base of Alcedo Volcano, Urbina Bay is an area that was a result of an uplift from the sea in 1954, causing the land to rise some five meters in height. Following a wet landing on the beach, you'll follow a 3.2 KM trail with your naturalist guide, observing land iguanas, tortoises and Darwin's finches.

Evening

Enjoy dinner and evening on the EcoGalaxy.

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard
  • Lunch onboard
  • Dinner onboard

Day 4 FERNANDINA & ISABELA ISLAND

Morning

Punta Espinoza

As the third largest island in the Galapagos, Fernandina is also the youngest. Visit Espinoza Point, home to the flightless cormorant and recognized for its large colonies of marine iguanas. 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

Vicente Roca Point

Reach the northern shores of Isabela Island this afternoon on this seven-day EcoGalaxy 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.

Evening

Enjoy dinner and evening on the EcoGalaxy.

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard
  • Lunch onboard
  • Dinner onboard

Day 5 SANTIAGO ISLAND & RABIDA ISLAND

Morning

Puerto Egas

Reach Puerto Egas on Santiago Island this morning 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 meters 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.

Afternoon

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'll 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, embark on a 1.1 km trail and look for varieties of songbirds in the surrounding mangrove bushes. Rabida is also a favorite stop on this 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.

Evening

Enjoy dinner and evening on the EcoGalaxy.

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard
  • Lunch onboard
  • Dinner onboard

Day 6 DEPARTURE DAY: SANTA CRUZ ISLAND: BLACK TURTLE COVE

Morning

Black Turtle Cove

Discover Black Turtle Cove on your final morning aboard the EcoGalaxy. Situated on the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island, land among a tranquil landscape of mangrove forests. 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'll have the opportunity to encounter black-tip reef sharks, marine turtles and numerous varieties of rays.


Following your visit to Black Turtle Cove, you'll be transferred to Seymour Airport on Baltra Island for your flight to Quito or Guayaquil.

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard

Map

Video

Services

What's included

Accommodation

Nights
5 nights onboard M/C EcoGalaxy

Meals

Full board plan
5 breakfasts + 5 lunches + 5 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
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