Natural Paradise: Central & Northern Galapagos Islands
Duration: 8 Days
Book now and save US$1000 + 1 free hotel night and airport transfers on selected 2018 departures.
Hop on board Galapagos' newest vessel and experience the exquisite beauty of Galapagos' Islands. This 8 day cruise will allow all travelers to discover the best of what the Central & Northern Islands have to offer. You'll be surrounded in natural serenity and breathtaking scenery as you encounter a vast array of wildlife and marine species including land iguanas, sea lions, Galapagos doves, flamingos, reef sharks, and many more
Choose from a range of activites such as hiking, horseback riding, snorkelling
Encounter marine species and a variety of unique bird species
Opportunity to capture breathtaking landscapes from stunning lookouts
Itinerary in Brief
Day 1: San Cristobal Island
Day 2: North Seymour & South Plaza Islands
Day 3: Rabida & Bartholome Islands
Day 4: Santiago & Santa Cruz Islands
Day 5: Santa Cruz Islands
Day 6: Genovesa Island
Day 7: Santiago Island
Day 8: Santa Cruz Island - Baltra Airport
Day 1: San Cristobal Island - Kicker Rock
Morning flight from Quito or Guayaquil to San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands.
You will arrive at San Cristobal Island in the morning. After passing through immigration and baggage
claim, you will be met by the Natural Paradise staff and transferred to the yacht. You will be shown
to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before lunch and a welcome briefing.
In the afternoon, you will visit Kicker Rock. This striking rock formation is located a couple hours off
the western shore of San Cristobal. Jutting out of the water, the rocks stand vertically at hundreds of
feet above the ocean divided by a small channel. Although there are no landing areas, kayaking and
scuba diving allow visitors to spot a variety of marine life.
Day 2: North Seymour - South Plaza Island
In North Seymour you will be able to see Galapagos sea lions, blue-footed boobies, and magnificent
frigatebirds which are abundant on this island. North Seymour was formed by a series of submarine lava
flows containing layers of sediment that were uplifted by tectonic activity. The island is characterized
by its arid vegetation zone.
In the afternoon, you will head to South Plaza Island. This small island with steep cliffs was formed by
rising lava and is now covered by Opuntia cacti. It is also home to one of the largest sea lion colonies
as well as colorful yellow and red land iguanas. The most characteristic plant is the Sesuvium. During
the rainy season its color is a greenish to yellowish tone and in the dry season (end of June through
January) a bright red.
Day 3: Rabida Island - Bartholome Island
In the afternoon you will visit Rabida Island which is one of the most colourful and volcanically varied
islands in the archipelago, as well as a great snorkeling site. We will start on Rabida’s famous maroon
sandy beach, and after an easy hike, you will arrive to a stunning lookout to enjoy the amazing
landscapes. The island is a birdwatcher’s delight. Some of the rarest species are in abundance such as
nine varieties of finches, large-billed flycatchers, Galapagos hawks and brown pelicans.
In the afternoon, you will head to Bartholome Island, home of the famous Pinnacle Rock. Bartholomew
consists of an extinct volcano with a variety of red, orange, black and even green volcanic formations.
We will take a trail of stairs to the summit of the volcano (about 30 or 40 minutes) where you will
enjoy one of the best views of the islands! You will also visit a small, beautiful beach surrounded by
the only vegetation found on this barren island. The beach is perfect for snorkeling where you may
even see Galapagos penguins.
Day 4: Sullivan Bay - Dragon Hill
In the morning, you will visit Sullivan Bay located on the southeast part of Santiago. This place is
interesting for its geology because the area is covered by lava flows. This place has elevations in the
form of small volcanoes formed by the lava flows.
In the afternoon you will visit Dragon Hill on Santa Cruz. The visitors’ site at Dragon Hill is located
on the northwestern part of Santa Cruz Island and consists of a trail that runs through three different
environments although it is only slightly less than a mile long (1,600 meters). The beach is very rocky.
At high tide it’s a nice place for snorkeling. At this visiting site you can find vegetation typical of the
intertidal and dry zones
Day 5: Twin Craters - Fausto Llerena Breeding Centre
In the morning, you will visit Twin Craters located opposite to each other on both sides of the road
leading from Puerto Ayora to Baltra. The name is only figurative; not real craters, these formations
were created by the collapse of surface material in underground fissures and chambers. The view is
In the afternoon, you will visit Fausto Llerena Breeding Center in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island,
where giant tortoises are bred in captivity; this is home to tortoises ranging from 3-inches (new
hatchlings) to 4-feet long adults. Subspecies of the giant tortoises interact with one another, and many
of the older tortoises are accustomed to humans stretching out their heads for a photo opportunity.
The babies are kept until they are about four years-old and strong enough to survive on their own.
Day 6: El Barranco - Darwin Bay
In the morning, you will visit El Barranco which is also known as Prince Phillip’s Steps. It is a steep, rocky path that leads up to a high cliff-face. A marvelous view can be appreciated from here. This site is also home to palo santo vegetation as well as red-footed boobies, short-eared lava owls, Galapagos swallows, and Galapagos doves.
In the afternoon, you will visit the white-sand coral beach of Darwin Bay which heads a half mile trail (0,75km) that winds through mangroves filled with land birds. Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls can be spotted here. Further down the path we’ll find tidal pools where sea lions swim playfully. At the end is a spectacular view of a cliff.
Day 7: Espumilla Beach - Egas Port
In the morning, visit is to Espumilla Beach where marine iguanas lounge and the Sally Lightfoot crabs attract the hunting herons performing the dance of predator and prey right before your eyes. Snorkeling is highly recommended as you could and yourself face to face with an octopus, moray eel, shark and a variety of other species of tropical fish.
In the afternoon, you will go to Egas Port, also known as James Bay, on Santiago Island which is
home to the curious Galapagos hawks and quick-footed Galapagos lava lizards. The trail leads to the coastline with gorgeous tide pools and grottos full of fauna. Here the Galapagos fur sea lions bathe in
the sun. This is also a great snorkelling site.
Day 8: Bachas Beach - Return to Baltra
The morning visit, Bachas Beach, is located on the north shore of Santa Cruz which is a swimming
beach. One of the few remnants of the U.S. World War II presence in the Galapagos, a floating pier,
can be seen here. You may see flamingos, Sally Lightfoot crabs, hermit crabs, black-necked stilts, and whimbrels. Sea turtles also nest on the beach.
After this final visit, you will be transferred to Baltra’s airport in time for your flight back to the