Galapagos Islands Small Yacht Cruise

11 Days from From $5,795

Cruise the Galapagos in an upscale yacht with Bio Bio Expeditions. The Galapagos are a wildlife treasure. Nothing quite compares to the joy of observing animals in the wild here, or the sense of wonder and privilege felt while spending time with creatures that don’t run or fly away when humans approach.

Galapagos Adventure with Bio Bio Expeditions

Cruise the Galapagos in an upscale yacht with Bio Bio Expeditions!

The Galapagos are a wildlife treasure. Nothing quite compares to the joy of observing animals in the wild here, or the sense of wonder and privilege felt while spending time with creatures that don’t run or fly away when humans approach.

An outstanding natural history guide will lead us on exciting hiking trips each day through incredible habitats in this unmatched wildlife spectacle.

You’ll enjoy watching the world’s only seagoing lizards, to flightless cormorants and penguins, flamingos, inflatable frigate birds, wave albatrosses, clownish boobies, patriarchal giant tortoises, and 13 species of Darwin finches. There can often be thrilling encounters with animals–up close and in large numbers.

This expedition often provides extraordinary opportunities to swim with marine mammals such as sea lions, fur seals, dolphins, and manta, eagle, and golden rays, as well as thousands of the 300 species of colorful fish.

We have selected the “Coral II” motor yacht for our travels as it is a spectacular small yacht with only a maximum of 18 people, making this is the ideal way to explore these enchanting islands.

Galapagos Trip Highlights:

  • Deluxe, upscale yacht limited to 18 passengers
  • Enjoy up close and personal encounters with wildlife in one of the world’s top nature destinations!
  • The most comprehensive Galapagos experience available, with nature hikes, swimming, and sea kayaking excursions
  • Knowledgeable and personable naturalist on board our yacht to lead all hikes and activities.
  • Optional opportunities to SCUBA dive

SCUBA option!
For adventurous and certified divers looking for the best diving sites in the Galapagos Islands, now you can add a diving tour in the Islands along professional masters and instructors to your itinerary. Most divers consider the Galapagos Islands the best diving experience of their careers.

The massive amounts of sharks that swim on the Galapagos waters, the feeding frenzies to be witnessed in several locations, the playful sea lions and the diverse volcanic formations, make this location a unique diving experience.

This is an optional activity for certified divers, which you can enjoy during our cruise tour. The diving experience is the most rewarding complementary activity for those who know the secret of the underwater world. Please call for more information!

Itinerary Snapshot

(Meals included: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)

Day 1
Arrive to Quito and check in to hotel, SwissÔtel. Hotel website: http://www.swissotel.com/hotels/quito/

Day 2
Walking tour of historic Quito. B

Day 3
AM – Baltra Airport
PM – Highlands Turtle Reserve (San Cristobal Island) B, L & D

Day 4
AM – Punta Vicente Roca
PM – Punta Espinosa B, L & D

Day 5
AM – Urbina Bay
PM – Tagus Cove B, L & D

Day 6
AM – Egas Port
PM – Sullivan Bay B, L & D

Day 7
AM – Bachas Beach
PM – Charles Darwin Research Station B, L & D

Day 8
AM – Mosquera Islet
PM – North Seymour Island B, L & D

Day 9
AM – Santa Fe Island
PM – South Plaza Island B, L & D

Day 10
AM – Kicker Rock circumnavegation & Cerro Colorado (San Cristobal Island)
PM – San Cristobal Airport to Quito. Check-in at hotel, near the airport: hotelnuevoaeropuerto.com B

Day 11
Fly out of Quito. B

*Note: depending on availability we may choose a different hotel of similar type and equal quality.

Meals: Breakfast is served from 7:30 to 8:30, except for Sunday when it is served at 6:00 and Wednesday at 7:00. Lunch is at 12:30 and dinner at 19:30, except on Monday and Saturday when it will be served at 18:30.

Dry Landings: Passengers step directly from a dinghy onto rocks or a dock. We recommend: walking shoes. Special care is highly recommended when walking on wet rocks.

Wet Landings: The dinghy edges toward the beach, where you step into knee-deep water assisted by crew members and guides. We recommend: swimming suit or shorts, walking shoes or sandals, towel (provided by the crew while disembarking)

Day 1
Arrive in Quito, Ecuador where a representative will meet and bring you to SwissÔtel. For more information on our hotel accommodations, please see their website at www.swissotel.com/hotels/quito/

A bit about Quito
The capital of Ecuador was founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city and stands at an altitude of 2,850 m. Despite the 1917 earthquake, the city has the best-preserved, least altered historic centre in Latin America. The monasteries of San Francisco and Santo Domingo, and the Church and Jesuit College of La Compañía, with their rich interiors, are pure examples of the ‘Baroque school of Quito’, which is a fusion of Spanish, Italian, Moorish, Flemish and indigenous art.

Day 2
Guided informational hike of Quito. Quito’s old-town is like walking through time and back again amidst splendid 16th century architecture, churches bathed in gold, convents tucked away behind hand–carved, baroque doors and block upon block of Spanish-style.

Day 3
AM – Baltra Airport
Departure from Quito to Baltra Island (2 ½-hour flight). Arriving in the Galapagos, you will be picked up at the airport by our natural guides and taken to a ten-minute bus drive to the pier to board the M/Y Coral II.

PM – Highlands Tortoise Reserve (Santa Cruz Island)
In the mountains of Galapagos, you can admire different kinds of birds, such as tree and ground finches, vermillion flycatchers, paint-billed crakes, yellow warblers, and cattle egrets (usually standing on the tortoises’ shells). The journey to the reserve offers great opportunities to see the contrasts that the island offers in reference to the variety of ecosystems. The road goes from the coast through the agricultural zone and straight up to the dense humid forests. Often, Galapagos Giant Tortoises are also seen on the way, wandering through pastures in the paddocks. This spot is a bird watchers’ haven since almost every land bird present on the island lives or migrates here.

Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: flat & muddy sometimes (seasonal conditions)
Duration: 45-minute drive / 1 ½-hour walk

DAY 4
AM – Vicente Roca Point (Isabela Island)
Great deep-water snorkeling at one of the richest marine havens on Earth, the Bolivar Channel. Accessible by water, we take a dinghy ride along the coast to observe a great diversity of sea and coastal birds; Nazca and blue-footed boobies, noddies, brown pelicans, penguins, flightless cormorants. The upwelling of cold water currents in this part of the Galapagos gives rise to an abundance of marine life, a perfect place for deep snorkeling.

Difficulty Level: moderate / high
Type of terrain: water
Duration: 1-hour snorkeling / 1-hour dinghy ride

PM – Espinosa Point (Fernandina Island)
Dry landing. From Espinosa Point, you get a wide view of Isabela Island across the Bolivar Channel, an area that boasts some of the highest diversity of endemic sea fauna in the Galapagos. Here the largest, most primitive-looking marine iguanas are found mingling with sea lions and Sally Lightfoot crabs. Fernandina displays a wonderful opportunity to encounter flightless cormorants at their nesting sites, Galapagos penguins and the “King” of predators on the islands, the Galapagos hawk. Pa-hoe-hoe and AA lava formations cover the majority of Fernandina terrain. Vegetation is scarce inland, with few brachycereus cacti. In the shore mangrove can be found.

Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: flat/semi rocky
Duration: 1 ½-hour walk / 1-hour snorkeling

DAY 5
AM – Urbina Bay (Isabela Island)
Wet landing (might be difficult depending on the tide). Volcanic black beach, depending on the season, it is possible to find giant tortoises, land iguanas, and the unusual flightless cormorant. After a short walk inland it´s snorkeling time, a chance to swim with sea turtles, sea lions, and countless tropical fish. Urbina Bay features a wide variety of plants with the different range of colors in flowers, attracting different insects, birds, and reptiles. One of the highlights of the island is the uplifted coral reef that resulted from the 1954 seismic activity; here the views of Alcedo Volcano are remarkable. When navigating from Urbina to Tagus Cove, whale watching is usual in May – December.

Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: flat & rocky
Duration: 1 ½-hour walk / 1-hour snorkeling

PM – Tagus Cove (Isabela Island)
Dry landing on Galapagos’ largest island, where we will learn about the eruption of the five volcanoes that form it. The trail leads to Darwin’s salt-water crater lake and excellent views of lava fields and volcanic formations. We will return by the same path for a dinghy ride along a shoreline full of marine wildlife, where we will admire a variety of seabirds, such as Bluefooted Booby, Brown Noddy, terns, Flightless Cormorant and depending on the season, a large number of Galapagos Penguins which are only 35 cm tall; the only penguin species in the world to live in the tropics. The population of penguins on the islands is about 2,000 individuals, most of which live on this western portion of Isabela; others are scattered further south. We will have an opportunity to snorkel in deep water. Graffiti believed to have been left by 19th-century pirates is a curious reminder of an intriguing past.

Difficulty level: intermediate/difficult
Type of terrain: steep/steep
Duration: 2-hour walk / 40-minutes dinghy ride / 1-hour deep water snorkeling

DAY 6
AM – Egas Port (Santiago Island)
Wet landing. Egas Port is a black volcanic sand beach, visited by Darwin in 1835. The first section of the trail is formed of volcanic ash (eroded tuff) and the other half is an uneven terrain of volcanic basaltic rock. The unique, truly striking layered terrain of Santiago shore is home to a variety of animals including the bizarre yellow-crowned night heron and marine wildlife including lobster, starfish and marine iguanas grazing on algae beds alongside Sally light-foot crabs. It is easy to see colonies of endemic fur seals swimming in cool water volcanic rock pools.

Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: flat & semi-rocky
Duration: 1 ½-hour walk / 1-hour snorkeling

PM – Sullivan Bay (Santiago Island)
Wet landing. This site located at the southeastern portion of Santiago Island is of important geologic interest. It features extensive relative young pa-hoe-hoe lava flows formed during the last quarter of the 19th century. In the middle of the lava flow, older reddish-yellowcolored tuff cones appear. Mollugo plants with their yellow-to-orange whorled leaves usually grow out of the fissures. Walking on the solidified lava gives the impression of been in another planet. Tree molds are found, indicating that in that position large size plants grew in small crevices, until the lava flow of past eruptions burned down the flora of the island.

Difficulty level: difficult
Type of terrain: flat volcanic lava
Duration: 1½-hour walk / 1-hour snorkeling / beach time

DAY 7
AM – Bachas Beach (Santa Cruz Island)
Wet landing. On the north side of Santa Cruz; behind the beach lies two small flamingo ponds were iguanas sunbathe, see coastal birds, Darwin finches, mockingbirds, and gulls, as well as interesting native vegetation like red and black mangrove, salt bushes. This beach is one of the main sea turtles nesting sites in the Galapagos. A turtle can lay eggs 3 or 4 times per season with an average of 70 eggs each time. At this paradisiacal site, we will also find the remains of barges that sank a long time ago, when the United States Navy operated a base during World War II on Baltra Island. Local people modified the word barges to “Bachas”.

Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy
Duration: 1-hour walk / 1-hour snorkeling/ beach time

PM – Charles Darwin Research Station & Fausto Llerena Breeding Center (Santa Cruz Island)
Dry landing. We visit the Station where the Galapagos giant tortoise breeding program takes place as part of our efforts to preserve the fragile Galapagos environment and where the famous Lonesome George (the last surviving specimen of his species) lived for decades. Admire a prickly-pear cactus forest and variety Darwin’s finches and other land birds. The Darwin Station also works providing environmental education to the communities, schools, and tourists visiting the Galapagos Islands. You will also have some free time to visit the town and shop for souvenirs.

Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: flat
Duration: 1 ½-hour visit

DAY 8
AM – Mosquera Islet
Wet Landing, Mosquera Islet is located between North Seymour and Baltra Island. This flat, sandy island has a large colony of sea lions. It is also an excellent site to observe shorebirds such as herons and lava gulls. There is no trail on the islet, the visitor can enjoy the open area. Most of the islet is covered with sand and barren lava rock. Very little sesuvium portulacastrum plants grow on the sand.

Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy
Duration: 1 ½-hour walk & snorkeling

PM – North Seymour Island
Dry landing. This is perhaps one of the busiest tourist destinations on the archipelago. Off of Baltra Island (where the airport is located) and not far from Santa Cruz, North Seymour is the most accessible for day trips out of Santa Cruz’s main port, Puerto Ayora. An approximately two hour walk amidst large nesting colonies of blue-footed boobies*, magnificent and great frigatebirds,* and swallow-tailed gulls for an in depth encounter with sea bird breeding cycles and as well as sea lions. You will also encounter sea lions, land iguanas, and on a lucky day, you might even come across a Galapagos Snake.

Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: rocky ground
Duration: 2-hour walk / 30-minute snorkeling

DAY 9
AM – Santa Fe Island
Wet landing. Santa Fe shows white sand beaches surrounded by sea lion colonies; through the island path, an endemic cactus forest is passed, home the Santa Fe land iguanas (the largest in the islands). This island is the habitat for a number of species, including the Galapagos hawk, Galapagos snakes, rice rats (one of the few endemic Galapagos rodents), a variety of finches and one of the four mockingbird species of the archipelago.

Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: rocky
Duration: 1 ½-hour walk / 1-hour deep-water snorkeling

PM – South Plaza Islet
Dry landing. There are two Plaza Islets (north and south) located east of Santa Cruz Island. On the northern part of the Islet, visitors begin the journey along an impressive cactus forest were colorful yellow and red land iguanas live, the population number is around 300 animals; during the dry season they survive on fruits and flowers of the opuntia cacti. A peculiar thing to see in South Plaza is the hybrid iguana (sea and land). When reaching the highest point, tropicbirds can be seen. During the dry season (June – January) the usually greenish and yellowish vegetation change of color creating a bright red landscape (sesuviumedmonstonei plant).

Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: rocky
Duration: 2-hour walk

DAY 10
AM – Kicker Rock Circumnavigation
Kicker Rock can be seen directly from the vessel. In the sea northeast of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is this ancient and eroded volcanic tuff lava named Leon Dormido or Kicker Rock it is formed by two rocks approximately 148 m, named for its resemblance of a sleeping lion. It serves as home to many of the typical Galapagos sea animals, such as birds, sea lions, blue and Nazca boobies and frigate. With rare sightings of swallow turtle gulls, tropic birds, and pelicans.

Difficulty level: easy
Type of Terrain: water
Duration: 1-hour circumnavigation

Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve (San Cristobal Island)
Dry landing in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Passengers visit the San Cristobal Giant Tortoise Breeding Center to learn about the National Park’s conservation programs. Enjoy a beautiful landscape on the way to the Reserve. Passengers will also have the opportunity to visit the village’s port, have a drink or shop for arts and crafts and other souvenirs.

Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of Terrain: sandy
Duration: 40-minute bus drive to the Reserve / 1-hour visit

PM – San Cristobal Airport
After the visit you will go to San Cristobal Airport for their return flight to Quito and land around 4pm. We will check into our hotel, which is near the airport in Quito.

Day 11
Transfer to airport for your flight back home, or begin your trip extension.
Call for details.

The Coral II is the perfect combination of classic beauty and exquisite style.  Built in Holland,  she surpasses all the standards you would expect from a high-class yacht in order to make your cruise among the enchanted islands extraordinary.

Every cabin features handsome wood decoration, along with air-conditioning, a private bathroom, safe deposit box, telephone, and your choice of background music.  Additionally, the Coral II has plenty of room to relax with three sundecks (some shaded), a Jacuzzi, comfortable dining room and lounge.

Deck Plan Coral I & II

View photos of the cabins

Departure Dates:

2022
April 11-21

Trip Length: 11 Days
Trip Price:

2022:
$5,795 (Standard Plus Cabin) or $6,445 (Junior Cabin), per person, based on double occupancy.
Does not include price of flight between Quito and Baltra or National Park entrance fees.

*Families: please call for cabin configuration availability so that we can ensure proper cabin assignments to fit your family’s needs.

Youth Price: From $5,795
Deposit: $600

Extensions available:

  • Hacienda Zuleta in the Andes

    Built in 1691, Hacienda Zuleta lies in the spectacular Andean mountain range of Ecuador at 9,600 feet. Explore the mountains by horseback, mountain bike or foot. Learn about the rich culture of this community that still operates as they did hundreds of years ago. Dine on food that is locally sourced and fall asleep to the crackling fire in your room’s fireplace.

    Customizable from $280 per person, based on double occupancy
  • Ecuador Amazon Extension

    In only 4 or 5 days, it is not uncommon for even the most casual birder to see over 250 species here. With only minimal effort you can expect to see dozens of colorful parrots, toucans, hummingbirds, tanagers, hawks, and oropendolas, as well as many monkey, frog and snake species, to name a few.

    4 Days/3 Nights or
    5 Days/4 Nights from $1,190 Per person, based on double occupancy
  • Galapagos Safari Camp

    Galapagos Safari Camp is a new way to experience the Galapagos, either in addition to a cruise or as a unique destination in itself.

    This eco-luxury tented camp – one of the first in Latin America – follows the African safari tradition in which guests enjoy total comfort under canvas while experiencing nature in its purest form.

     

    5 Days from $4,035.00 per person, based on double occupancy