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Archipel I Galapagos 8 Day Cruise Itinerary B

Archipel I Galapagos 8 Day Cruise Itinerary B

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Description

Our 8-day itinerary aboard the yacht Archipel I allows you to combine the seabird colonies of North Seymour and the exclusive Genovesa with the spectacular volcanic islands Bartolome and Charles Darwin Research Station. Moreover, you will have the chance to explore Española, the most southern point of the archipel and swim with sea lions in the Loberia, on Isla Floreana.

Trip Name
Archipel I Galapagos 8 Day Cruise Itinerary B
Days
8
Overview
Vessel Type: Catamaran Length: 88 ft, 27 m Passenger Capacity: 16 Built: 2005 Stable & wide Meet the two pioneers of the Galapagos: Archipel I & II! These motor catamarans arrived in 2002, and offer stable double hulls, wide decks and large social areas, all of which are near to each other. Our cosy accommodation Each catamaran offers eight cabins above the waterline, with two sea-view windows. They also include clean private facilities, hot/cold water, low beds, air-conditioning, and storage space for a comfortable stay. Spacious social areas The Archipels have ample social areas that will complement a comfortable stay. Shared with a total of just 16 guests; the lounge, solarium, resting areas & 'Al Fresco' dining area are great choices for you to relax and enjoy the nature that surrounds you. Greater safety on-board Safety on-board (and during the programmed activities) is always our highest concern. We have therefore obtained the International Safety Management Certificate of the International Marine Organisation (IMO), carry proper security equipment, and put board regulations and safety instructions.  

Itinerary



Day 1 - Day 1 Arrival at Baltra Airport (GPS) & North Seymour
Upon arrival Baltra, travellers pass through an airportinspection point to make sure that no foreign plants oranimals are introduced to the islands, and to pay the parkentrance fee of $100 (unless it has been prepaid). A guidewill meet you, help you collect your luggage, and escort youon a short bus ride to the harbour.This islet is one of most visited sites, and it is teeming withbirdlife. An easy circular path takes you through the archipelago’s most extensive colonies of blue-footed boobies andfrigate birds. At the beginning of the breeding season, adultfrigatebird-males blow up their vivid red pouches to impressive football-sized balloons. This is one of the few spotswhere you can compare the magnicent and the greatfrigatebird breeding next to each other
Day 2 - Day 2 Prince Philip’s Steps (Genovesa) & Darwin Bay
Before landing, you will take an inatable dinghy-ride alongthe eastern arm of the caldera. As we approach, the soaring25m / 80ft high walls become overwhelming. Sometimes, aGalapagos fur seal is resting or a seabird is nesting on one ofthe ledges at the base.You will then have to hike and overcome the steep stairsfrom the landing dock to a bush of palo santo shrubs on top.Red-footed boobies gratefully use these scarce nestingplaces; so that they don’t have to nest on the rocky ground.Upon arriving at the edge of the rim, the bushes open upand you can enjoy panoramic views, a strong sea breeze andthe amazing ying skills of countless seabirds. Following theexposed rim, you will rst pass the Nazca boobies andnally reach the extensive storm petrel nesting places,where if you’re lucky you can spot the well-camouagedshort-eared owl hunting for them on foot!Inside the submerged caldera of Genovesa lies Darwin Bay,with a diameter of more than 1.5km / 1mi and it is almost200 m / 650 ft deep. The small area will surprise you repeatedly, walking along a coral sand beach, crossing barren lavaformations and creeks, passing tidal pools, shrubs andfurther ahead following the top of some cliffs. With thispeaceful surrounding, every single species has occupied itsown ecological niche (or habitat) without disturbing others.
Day 3 - Day 3 Bartolomé & Sullivan Bay (Santiago)
The beautiful volcano islet of Bartolomé is among the youngest of the islands, and on a geological scale was just recentlyborn out of re. Although at rst sight lifeless, Bartolomé offerssome of the wildest landscapes and best panoramaso theentire archipelago. To enjoy the postcard view of the idyllic‘Pinnacle Bay’ you have to climb the stairs to the viewpoint ontop of the island (114m/375ft). Enter a dramatic world ofthreatening (though extinguished) nearby spatter cones,craters, and lightweight lava droplets that have been spewedout by ery fountains. The Summit Trail is also ideal for witnessing how scanty pioneer vegetation such as lava cactus struggles to take root in the bare virgin lava elds.Setting foot at the lava stream covering Sullivan Bay is likelanding on the moon. The desolate, stretched-out eldsseem mostly lifeless, but there is plenty to see on this highlypopular site amongst photographers. Pacic green turtlesseasonally bury eggs in the tiny white sand beach, where youmight also encounter crabs, a strayed blue heron or anoystercatcher. On the lava ow, only sparse pioneer vegetation such as lava cacti and carpetweed are able to grow. You might encounter a lava lizard, locusts or a smallsnake-species (Galapagos racer).
Day 4 - Day 4 Charles Darwin Research Station & Highlands (Santa Cruz)
Although the great majority of Galapagos visitors comehere to observe and appreciate natural wonders, it is alsointeresting to learn how the protection and conservation ofthe islands are carried out. The main attractions are theNational Park information centre, the Van Staelen ExhibitionHall, the Breeding and Rearing Centre for young tortoises,and adult Galapagos tortoises in captivity.The road to the highlands leaves from Bellavista, a smallvillage located a 15-minute drive from Puerto Ayora, andpasses through the agricultural zone, near the National Parkboundary, the Miconia Zone, and then goes to the Fern andSedge zone. With clear weather, this area boasts beautifulscenes of rolling hills and extinct volcanic cones coveredwith grass and lush greenery all year round. Here you willvisit the Twin Craters, which are two pit craters, as well as alocal ranch where we can observe the giant tortoise ofSanta Cruz Island in its natural habitat.
Day 5 - Day 5 Cormorant Point (Floreana) & Post Office Bay (Floreana)
The peninsula of Cormorant Point forms the extremenorth cape of Floreana, which formed from smaller volcaniccones, covered by tropical dry forest (palo santo). At thelanding beach, you will be welcomed by a small Galapagossea lion colony. The green sand on this beach contains a highpercentage of glassy olivine crystals which have been blownout by the surrounding tuff cones. The ‘our sand’ beach onthe southern side of the peninsula is made up of even nerwhite coral sand which feels very smooth on the feet. Parrotsh have pulverised it, grinding the calcareous skeletons ofliving coral. You can spot schools of stingrays who love thesandy bottom to hide themselves. During the rst monthsof the year, Pacic green turtles come ashore to bury theireggs.Post Ofce Bay is one out of three nearby visitor’s sites onFloreana’s northern coast. Bring your postcards and postthem in the peculiar barrel on this historic site.The barrel commemorates an improvised mail service thatwas set up for communication between British 16th-century whalers and poachers.
Day 6 - Day 6 Gardner Bay (Espanola) & Suarez Point (Española)
The striking white beach at Gardner Bay is an importantbreeding site for Pacic green turtles. However, withoutdoubt its main attraction is the Galapagos sea lion colony.Females stay year round in this nursery, suckling their pupsup to an age of 3 years, although they start to sh after 5months of their birth. During the breeding and matingseason, the colony becomes even bigger.Huge ocean waves crash onto the southern basaltic cliffs ofSuarez Point, forming a spectacular blowhole, where thewater sprays metres high into the air (depending on theseason, the tide and how strongly the sea breeze pushes thewaves). Take your time for a meditative break in silence atthis emblematic viewpoint, and convert this unforgettablemoment in a lifetime experience.
Day 7 - Day 7 Pitt Point (San Cristóbal) & Witch Hill (San Cristóbal)
Two wind sculptured tuff cones at Pitt Point make up theextreme eastern end of San Cristóbal, and thus, the archipelago as well. These cliffs were the rst sight of land whenHMS Beagle and Charles Darwin arrived on the 15th ofSeptember 1835. On the small green sand beach, you willbe welcomed by a group of barking Galapagos sea lions. Thisis a bachelor colony, where males usually relax and preparethemselves for ghting and mating.From the saltbush and spiny shrubs behind the beach, a trailleads up to an area of tropical dry forest vegetation: most ofthe year you will nd leaess palo santo trees, yellow cordiashrubs, tiny prickly pear cacti and carpetweed that turns redin the dry season. After the somewhat steep climb througha gully to the clifftop, you can wander around the onlycolony on the Galapagos that is home to all three species ofboobies: blue-footed, red-footed and Nazca booby; as wellas both species of frigate bird (great and magnicent),famous because of their scarlet balloon-sized pouchesduring mating season. Frigate birds prefer to attack returningboobies and conduct aerial battles rather than shing forthemselves.The primary attraction of this site is the coral sand beach, anexcellent place to swim and snorkel. Witch Hill is theremains of a tuff cone and one of the rst sites visited byCharles Darwin. It has an impressive landscape, where it isoften possible to see coastal and migratory birds, includingpelicans, blue-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls; aswell as sea lions and marine iguanas. At times, the lagoon iscompletely dry and deposits of salt can be found at thebottom. The people of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno used touse the lagoon as a salt mine.
Day 8 - Day 8 Lobos Islet (San Cristóbal) & Transfer out to San Cristóbal Airport (SCY)
The Lobos Islets beach harbours a colony of Galapagos sealions. As in other colonies in the archipelago, you canapproach nurturing females within a few metres. In thebreeding season this colony is also visited by territorialmales, defending and mating the harem on their part of thebeach. This low islet is home to more than just Galapagossea lions. Two other emblematic species breed here: maleblue-footed boobies and great frigate birds who try toimpress the females (and tourists) with clumsy dances,heaving their striking blue feet or blowing up theirballoon-sized scarlet pouches. During the breeding season,the uffy and hungry chicks cry for food, and when theirwings get strong enough, they will learn to y.Assisted by the naturalist guide and some crewmembers,the dinghy will bring you and your luggage to the San Cristóbal Airport, where we will take the shuttle back to theairport.
Day 9 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type

Inclusions

    • Guided Hikes
    • Wildlife Observation
    • Birdwatching
    • Photography & Filming
    • Visit a breeding project & Visitor centre
    • Dry & wet landings
    • Inflatable dinghy rides
    • Snorkelling
    • Relaxing

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