Day 1: The Enchanted Galapagos Islands. This day you will travel to one of the most amazing places in the world, the Galapagos Islands. This group of 13 major islands and dozens of smaller islets and rocks, all the result of volcanic activity, certainly appear to be out of this world. These islands are the perfect place for birders with 28 endemic species. There of course are lots of other things to see including playful sea lions, exotic plant life, volcanoes and haunting land and seascape.
Early in the morning your guide will transfer you to the airport to catch your Galapagos flight. Upon your arrival you will pay the Galapagos National Park entrance fee (US$ 100 cash per person). Outside the airport, the ship’s guide will be waiting to transfer you to the pier where your boat will be ready to start your cruise. Onboard the guide will explain the rules that you have to follow in the Galapagos according the National Park policies and will give you some safety lessons. You will have lunch and in the afternoon you will visit Bachas, a beautiful beach with sand made of decomposed coral, which makes it white and soft and a perfect site for nesting sea turtles. Return to the boat for dinner and overnight. (B, L, D) Blue-footed Booby, Lava Heron, Lava Gull, Galapagos Dove, Smooth-billed Ani, Galapagos Flycatcher, Medium Ground-finch. Galapagos Penguin occasional.
Day 2: Isabela: Playa Negra / Fernandina: Pta Espinosa. Galapagos Penguin, Galapagos Petrel, Elliott’s Storm-petrel, Wedge-rumped, Storm-petrel, Great Frigatebird, Blue-footed Booby, Narzca Booby, Flightless Cormorant, White-cheeked Pintail, Greater Flamingo, Lava Heron, Wandering Tattler, Swallow-tailed Gull, Galapagos Dove, Dark-billed Cuckoo, Galapagos Mockingbird, Medium Ground-finch, Small Ground-finch, Mangrove Finch (rare). After breakfast we will visit Playa Negra that is located in Isabela Island. We will have lunch and visit Fernandina Island, the youngest and most pristine island in the Galapagos, with no introduced species.
Here recent lava flows formed by an active volcano are evident. Along the shoreline hundreds of marine iguanas form the largest colony found in the Galapagos, sea lions with resident bulls guard their territory. Flightless Cormorant’s build their nests here and Galapagos Hawks can be seen overhead. Possible snorkeling, dinner and overnight in the boat. (B, L, D)
Day 3: Isabela: Urbina Bay – Pta. Moreno. On this day you will visit two of the most important places of Isabela Island, Urbina Bay and Pta. Moreno. In Urbina Bay we will have the opportunity to see coral heads and other marine formations left on the surface after the uplift. A walk will show land and marine iguanas and (occasionally) giant tortoises. Flightless Cormorants and Brown Pelicans nest along the coast during their breeding season. Lunch and in the afternoon we will visit Pta. Moreno where you will see lava fields, flamingo lagoons, and we should see penguins. (B, L, D)
Day 4: Isabela: Pto. Villamil – Highlands. After breakfast we will visit another important place in Isabela Island, Pto. Villamil, the town that is located on the south-eastern coast of the island and has some of Galapagos’ most beautiful beaches, with a number of brackish water lagoons, which provide refuge to migratory birds that arrive to Galapagos. The Giant Tortoise Breading Center can be also visited. Here National Park collects adults (to mate in captivity) and eggs of giant tortoises from the two southern volcanoes on Isabela Island. Hatchlings are raised for several years, and then reintroduced to their habitat. Possible snorkeling.
After lunch we will visit Isabela Highlands and its main attraction, Volcano Sierra Negra, located at the southern end of Isabela, one of the most impressive volcanoes of the archipelago. Its caldera measures 10 Km across from north to south. A visit to this area is quite impressive in addition to its attractiveness. Following the rim of the caldera to the north, a site called "Volcano Chico" is reached comprising a group of small craters and fumaroles. If you head south to the end of the rim of Sierra Negra Volcano the so-called "Sulphur Volcano" is reached, where huge amount of sulfur are found due to the continuous action of fumaroles. This is one of the preferred places for birdwatchers. Return to the boat to dinner and overnight. (B, L, D)
Day 5: Espanola: Pta. Suarez – Gardner Bay: Hood Mockingbird, Small Ground-finch, Large Cactus-finch, Warbler Finch, Smooth-billed Ani, Swallow-tailed Gull, Lava Gull, Wandering Tattler, Galapagos Hawk, Lava Heron, Narzca Booby, Blue-footed Booby, Great Frigatebird, Red-billed Tropicbird, Leach’s Storm-petrel, Madeiran Storm-petrel, Wedge-rumped Storm-petrel, Elliot’s Storm-petrel, Galapagos Petrel, Waved Albatross. After breakfast you will visit Pta. Suarez and in the afternoon Gardner Bay, both places in Española Island. Pta. Suarez is a rocky point of land that sustains one of the most impressive and varied colonies of sea birds in the Galapagos.
Along its southern shore, steep cliffs rise up from the sea, for a spectacular view of soaring birds and the famous blowhole. A noisy colony of Sea Lions and curious mockingbirds greet us as we land on their beach. You will meet a multitude of Blue-footed Boobies, Narzca Boobies and endemic marine iguanas with unique traces of red and green soak up the heat from the sun. In Gardner Bay we find a good spot for swimming and a long brilliant white, powder-sand beach for walking. This site is favored by sea turtles for nesting, sea lions for peaceful walks. Dinner and overnight in the boat. (B, L, D)
Day 6: Floreana: Post Office Bay – Pta. Cormorant. Galapagos Penguin (occasional), Elliot’s Storm-petrel, Wedge-rumped Storm-petrel, Red-billed Tropic-bird, Blue-footed Booby, Narzca Booby, Lava Heron, Swallow-tailed Gull, Galapagos Dove, Dark-billed Cuckoo, Smooth-billed Ani, Galapagos Flycatcher, Charles Mockingbird, Medium Ground-finch, Small Ground-finch, Medium Tree-finch, Small Tree-finch.
After breakfast we will enjoy Floreana Island, here you will visit the famous Post Office Bay from where you can mail some letters to your friends and for sure they will arrive. Later we will have time to snorkel in one of the most spectacular places for snorkeling, Devil’s Crown, where you will swim with sea lions, colorful fish and with sharks. Lunch and visit Pta. Cormorant, where you will find a nice lagoon full of pink flamingos and a beautiful beach where you will see some rays close to the beach. Return to the boat for dinner and overnight. (B, L, D)
Day 7: Santa Cruz: Highlands. Charles Darwin Station. Galapagos Petrel, Elliot’s Storm-petrel, Red-billed Tropicbird, Great Frigatebird, Blue-footed Booby, Narzca Booby, White-cheeked Pintail, Greater Flamingo, Striated Heron, Lava Heron, Galapagos Rail (hard to find), Lava Gull, Smooth-billed Ani, Dark-billed Cuckoo, Galapagos Flycatcher, Galapagos Mockingbird, Large Ground-finch, Medium Ground-finch, Small Ground-finch, Common Cactus-finch, Large Tree-finch, Small Tree-finch, Woodpecker Finch, Warbler Finch. Santa Cruz is the second largest island of the archipelago and it is the home of the Charles Darwin Research Station and Galapagos National Park headquarters. Here you will learn first hand of the conservation and research efforts in the islands seeing the tortoise hatchlings and breeding programs, which are saving several races of tortoises from extinction.
We will stroll through the town of Puerto Ayora to buy souvenirs, mail postcards and absorb some local color in the social heart of the islands. In the afternoon you will visit the highlands of Santa Cruz. Here, there is a big possibility to see the Giant tortoises in the wild style of life at a private farm. Visit a pair of large pit craters called "Los Gemelos" (Spanish word for twins) and the largest lava tunnels found in the Galapagos. Return to Pto. Ayora and then to the boat to dinner and overnight. (B, L, D)
Day 8: Genovesa: El Barranco – Darwin Bay. Great Frigate-bird, Red-footed Booby. This day you will visit Genovesa Island, one of the favorite islands for birdwatchers because of its high diversity of birds especially for Great Frigate-birds and the Red-footed Booby, a species possible to see only in this island. Full day in Genovesa and return to the boat to diner and overnight. (B, L, D)
Day 9: Pto. Egas – Bartolome. Greater Flamingo, White-cheeked Pintail, Galapagos Hawk, Lava Heron, Galapagos Penguin, Galapagos Dove, Vermilion Flycatcher. Breakfast and departure to Pto. Egas in Santiago Island, where you will enjoy of lava flows, here you can see for the last time the playful sea lions, hawks marine iguanas and several heron species. Return to the boat to take your lunch while you sail to Bartolome Island, famous for its spectacular landscapes, penguins and its Pinnacle. Return to the boat to enjoy of your farewell dinner party, overnight. (B, L, D)
Day 10: North Seymour – Baltra – Quito. Blue-footed Booby and Magnificent Frigate-birds nest. Swallow-tailed Gull possible. After breakfast on this last day of your cruise you will visit a small and flat Island, called North Seymour. A trail makes a loop to the southwest, inland and along the rocky coast, crossing the colony of Blue-footed Boobies, followed by a colony of Magnificent Frigate-birds. Their nests of twigs are made on the Palo Santos (endemic of this island) as well as on the salt bushes bordering the beach. Sea Lions bask on the black lava rocks and the surf crashes on the rocky shore of the coast at sunset. After this visit you will travel to Baltra Island where you will be transferred to the airport to catch your flight back to Quito. In the airport in Quito, our guide will be there to transfer you to Café Cultura Hotel. Free afternoon, diner and overnight in your hotel. (B, L, D)
B- Breakfast; L-Lunch; D-Dinner; BL-Box Lunch
-Category: Tourist Superior class motor yacht
-Capacity: 16 guests
-Guide + 7 Crew
-Length: 70 ft Beam: 20 ft
-Speed: 10 knots
-Facilities: 8 double cabins with A/C, private bathrooms with hot/cold water showers. Deck salon, dining area, small library, and sundeck. Snorkeling gear available in the boat.
A ship with power and grace, the Daphne yacht combines the best of all that is modern in design, safety and comfort cruising. Constructed in 1997, the seventy-foot cruise ship Daphne defines style. The vessel's eight double cabins are carpeted and contain private bathrooms with hot water showers. The air-conditioned accommodations include a pleasant dining room, lively bar, idyllic sun deck, solarium a peaceful library and a TV/VHS room to maximize your enjoyment. This Galapagos cruiser offers ultimate comfort and entertainment.
The Daphne was constructed in Puerto Ayora specifically for Galapagos Island cruises. Since its construction, the Daphne has gained worldwide recognition for ecological and diving cruises,receiving acclaim for its excellent,first-class service; expert crew; bilingual naturalist guides;exquisite menus that offer the best national and international cuisine available, and an efficient water desalination/purification system.
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