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Galapagos Solaris Cruise 8 Day Itinerary A

Galapagos Solaris Cruise 8 Day Itinerary A

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Description

This exclusive 7-night itinerary primarily explores the remote western islands of Isabela and pristine Fernandina, which are both just recently born out of fire. After navigating clockwise around Isabela we will return to the heart of the archipelago to visit several sites on Santiago and its satellite islets, before finishing on and around Santa Cruz and North Seymour. This cruise itinerary includes two nights of quiet rest at fairly calm anchorage-sites.

Trip Name
Galapagos Solaris Cruise 8 Day Itinerary A
Days
8
Overview
Vessel Type: Motor Yacht Passenger Capacity: 16 Lenght: 36 m Built: 2019 Welcome aboard Motor Yacht Solaris! This beautiful and modern yacht comprises comfort and relaxation into one. There’s a special and unique feature that can’t be underestimated - this Galapagos cruise is 100% solo traveller friendly! You can forget about single supplement headaches and join one of our 5 main deck cabins! Furthermore, our trained crew & cruise director, assisted by our naturalist guide, will be ready to serve your every need, making your stay as comfortable as possible.

Itinerary



Day 1 - Day 1 – Tuesday AM – Arrival at Baltra Airport PM – Bachas (Santa Cruz)
AM – Arrival at Baltra AirportUpon arrival at Seymour Ecological Airport, a check-up iscarried out rst, to ensure that no foreign plant or animalspecies are introduced on the islands. Furthermore, yourTCC (Transit Control Card) is stamped; this must be keptsafe during your trip, as it has to be presented again on yourreturn ight. In addition, entrance to the Galapagos NationalPark is due for entry (US $ 100), if this has not yet beenpaid. Your guide will meet you at the airport, assist you withthe luggage and accompany you on the short bus ride tothe harbour of Puerto Ayora. Here you will climb aboardthe yacht San Jose. After greeting the crew and the captain,your cabins will be assigned to you and then you will enjoyyour rst lunch on-board.PM – Bachas (Santa Cruz)These two small beaches are located in the west of theTurtle Cove on Santa Cruz. Their sand consists ofdecomposed corals, which makes it white and soft. Thismakes it the favorite nesting site for sea turtles. Behindone of the beaches there are small water lagoons, whereamingos and other coastal birds, such as black-neckedstilt birds and rainbows, can occasionally be spotted. Onthe second beach, which is the wider one, you canexplore the remains of two abandoned warships. In theSecond World War these were left by the US, as theisland of Baltra was used as a strategic point for theprotection of the Panama Canal. After this excursion,you will be escorted to the airport for your ight toQuito or Guayaquil.
Day 2 - Day 2 – Wednesday AM – Whitetip reef shark channel (Isabela) PM – Wetlands, Wall of tears, Tortoise breeding centre (Isabela)
AM – Whitetip reef shark channel (Isabela)Just outside the harbour of Puerto Villamil a group of isletsprotrude just above the ocean. The jagged black formations,dotted with mangrove and candelabra cactus, are theremnants of a lava stream that has ended up in the ocean.Marine life gets trapped, including spectacular whitetip reefsharks (called “tintoreras” in Spanish, as is the site’s ofcialname). This species of shark is fairly common in the archipelago, and generally spotted on the seabed when snorkelling,while they rest from their nocturnal hunts. At this uniquelocation you can observe them comfortably from the bankin the crystal-clear turquoise waters.Sometimes turtles and elegant white-spotted eagle rays orgolden rays glide back and forth through this calm channel,as well as smaller sh and Galapagos sea lions. Also, this iswhere the largest species of marine iguanas reproduce. Therocky shoreline with its intertidal life also attracts sallylightfoot crabs, lava herons and Galapagos penguins, whichreside on the other (western) side of Isabela.PM – Wetlands, Wall of tears, Tortoise breeding centre(Isabela)After lunch aboard you will visit the local tortoise breedingcentre, where you can see hundreds of giant Galapagostortoises of all sizes. The vulnerable hatchlings are not gigantic at all, even smaller than the size of your hand! This projectjust outside Puerto Villamil was created to rescue theendangered populations of Isabela’s both southernmostvolcanoes. In Puerto Villamil and the surrounding wetlandsthere is the historical ‘Wall of tears’ (national cultural heritage), where prisoners were punished and forced to build thislong wall of lava clocks. Also, you might have the chance tosee American amingos. At the end of the afternoon youwill have some free time to explore the village and/or itsbeach.
Day 3 - Day 3 – Thursday AM – Moreno Point (Isabela) PM – Mangle Point (Fernandina) & Tagus Cove (Isabela)
AM – Moreno Point (Isabela)Punta Moreno is located between the volcanoes SierraNegra and Cerro Azul, on the north coast of Isabela Island.The trail leads along the lava river Pahoehoe to a complexof several coastal lagoons. The main attraction are variousbird species which can be found in lakes and mangroveforests.PM – Mangle Point (Fernandina) & Tagus Cove (Isabela)We will enter the Bolivar Channel to Tagus Cove (navigationtime: 3h). Meanwhile you can enjoy the delicious lunchbuffet before snorkelling and visiting Tagus Cove. Explosiveeruptions have blown out a part of the outer rims of bothtuff cones, and created their characteristic horseshoeshapes and Tagus Cove. The inner crater rim containsDarwin Lake. Traditionally sailors started to write the namesof their vessels on the eastern cliffs of Tagus cove. During thehike along the inner crater ridge of Darwin Lake you cancontinue to a great viewpoint on the outer caldera rim, withviews to the outstretched lava slopes of Darwin Volcano.This arid inland zone is overgrown with characteristic tropical dry forest vegetation including a special variety of palosanto, Galapagos cotton and yellow cordia (muyuyu). Duringthe hike you can spot different Darwin’s nches, ycatchersand Galapagos hawks.
Day 4 - Day 4 - Friday AM - Espinoza Point (Fernandina) PM - Vicente Roca Point (Isabela)
AM - Espinoza Point (Fernandina)Espinoza Point is Fernandina’s only terrestrial visitors site,and one of the few locations where you will nd somebizarre outgrowths of natural selection. The gurehead isthe emblematic ightless cormorant that lives exclusively inthe remote west of Galapagos, and could be considered asthe ‘holy grail of evolution’. You will also love the almostunworldly views with the dominating cone of Volcán LaCumbre as a spectacular backdrop. The narrow headlandthat you walk along is the end of a lava tongue that hasreached the coast and solidied upon contact with the coldseawater.PM - Vicente Roca Point (Isabela)Whilst having lunch we will cross the Bolivar Channel forthe last time to Vicente Roca Point, just at the mouth ofIsabela’s seahorse-shape. While entering a dark cave belowa spectacular arch, roaring echoes of the waves will accompany you. Just around the corner the collapsed amphitheatre of Volcan Ecuador offers another impressive view. Thecalmer waters of the coves are well-protected against theocean swell and are a fairly cold, but great place for snorkelling amongst various species of shark, penguins, puffer shand even seahorses!
Day 5 - Day 5 - Saturday AM - Espumilla Beach, Buccaneer Cove (Santiago) PM - Puerto Egas (Santiago)
AM: Espumilla Beach, Buccaneer Cove (Santiago)Espumilla Beach is a visitor’s site at the northern end ofJames Bay, on the western coast of Santiago. This beach hasbeen revived as an important breeding site for turtles, as itis no longer suffering from digging wild pigs. The turtlesreturn year after year to bury their eggs into the cinnamoncoloured sand dunes.The beach ridge hides a mangle withtwo picturesque lagoons. The colony of American amingosand aquatic birds used to be its main attraction, but after theclimate phenomenon of El Niño, strong sedimentationaltered the brackish water environment, and it no longercontains their food. During the climb of a hill you will berewarded with a beautiful overview of the transitions fromsea into beach into mangrove into dry palo santo forest.PM: Puerto Egas (Santiago)At lunchtime we will navigate south to Puerto Egas with itsfamous fur seal grottos, where you will enjoy another, verydifferent guided walk along the coastline. Its masterly sculptured coastline of black basalts and polished multi-colouredash-layers forms a photogenic scene with collapsed lavatunnels, natural arches, caves and blowholes such as‘Darwin’s toilet’. In a grotto directly below a spectacular rockarch at the end of the beach, a colony of sea lions occupiesthe shade. Hundreds of sally lightfoot crabs seem evenbrighter orange against the black rocks.
Day 6 - Day 6 - Sunday AM - Rabida PM - Chinese Hat
AM: RabidaAfter lunch and a ‘wet landing’ on the remarkable red beachof Rabida, there are two short guided hikes. Oxidised ironparticles give the rocks and sand their rusty colour. Thebeach wall holds a shallow green-fringed lagoon; this oasis isthe most fertile place on the otherwise arid islet, which isovergrown with leaf-dropping palo santo trees. The saltypool attracts all kind of aquatic birds, like pintails and sometimes American amingos. Between the evergreen foliage ofthe surrounding mangrove bushes many species of songbirds hide and breed. One of the most outstanding attractions is the major breeding colony of brown pelicans, theonly ones in the world that plunge-dive. On return you willbe picked up by the inatable dinghies, to get ready for snorkelling.PM: Chinese HatChinese Hat is a 52m/170ft high volcanic cone, forminganother islet off the rocky coast of Santiago, where a smallcolony of Galapagos penguins has settled. Because itsprimordial re has been extinguished recently, this is anexcellent place to learn more about volcanism, lava bombsand lava tunnels.On the beach you can also nd curious pillow-type lavaswith coral heads on top! These spheres have a submarineorigin before being lifted above sea level. Beaches of whitecoral sand grow, and holes in the eroding lava elds are lledup with lava sand, which enables rooting. Galapagos sea lionsand countless marine iguanas contribute to fertilsation. Thisall together creates more favourable options for newcomers, like saltbush and the discolouring sesuvium carpet.Colonisation of Chinese Hat can occur in a much higherpace than elsewhere, hence Santiago is just a stone’s throwaway
Day 7 - Day 7 – Monday AM - Charles Darwin Station (Santa Cruz) PM - Highlands (Santa Cruz)
AM: Charles Darwin Station (Santa Cruz)Our dinghies will bring you to the touristic pier of PuertoAyora, from where you will be brought to the CharlesDarwin Research Station. This is where biological researchand indispensable conservation management of this uniquearchipelago are carried out. The complex houses interpretation and information centres about the National Park andthe Galapagos Marine Reserve. The most memorable partof your visit will probably be the successful breeding centreand the enclosures with Galapagos giant tortoises.Afterwards you usually can spend some free time in thecozy town, before having lunch aboard.PM: Highlands (Santa Cruz)Because wild Galapagos giant tortoises don’t stop at ofcialNational Park boundaries, dozens of them also roam on theadjacent woodlands in the populated agricultural zone ofSanta Cruz. Thanks to their concentration around theirfavourite muddy pools, these semi-open pastures and moistscalesia-woodlands are the best place for a quick visit.
Day 8 - Day 8 - Tuesday AM - North Seymour Transfer to Baltra Airport
AM: North SeymourThe tabletop islet of North Seymour is an uplifted part ofthe seabed. Between the dry shrubs you might perceive aGalapagos land iguana. You can spot lots of seabirds, such asbrown pelicans, red-billed tropicbirds, endemic swallow-tailed gulls and seasonally even Nazca boobies. But the mainattraction are the archipelago’s most extensive breedingcolonies of blue-footed boobies and frigatebirds. At thestart of the breeding season adult frigatebird-males blowup their vivid red pouches to impressive football-sizedballoons. After this tour, the dinghy will bring you and yourluggage to Baltra, where we take the airport shuttle.Transfer to Baltra Airport
Day 9 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type

Inclusions

    • Great & American Frigatebird
    • Galapagos Penguin
    • Green Sea Turtle
    • Whitetip reef Shark
    • Booby colonies
    • Galapagos Sea Lion
    • Galapagos giant tortoise
    • Marine Iguana
    • Flightless Cormorant

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