WESTERN LOOP | 6 Day – 5 Nights
In our 6 Day Family Cruise itinerary you will have the chance to discover all the wonders of Fernandina Island; the Western visitor site with a unique ecosystem and endemic encounters.
Once you disembark in Punta Espinoza you will be transported to the time when Charles Darwin set foot on this “living laboratory”. Marine Iguanas, Sally Light foot crabs, Flightless cormorants, sea lions and others will join you during the walk following Darwin’s steps.
We consider Fernandina the highlight of this live-abord Family Cruise adventure. But it is not the only wild site that you visit ! The boat will move in evening sailings between Santa Cruz, Isabela, Santiago & Daphne.
Every visitor site has been approved and set by Galapagos National Park regulations establishing a maximum quantity of groups at the same time on the same place !
Enjoy Fernandina and this incredible Western itinerary !
You land on the island of Baltra and you are met by Encantada yacht staff and drive from the island of Baltra to the Itabaca channel where the Encantada is waiting for the begining of our Family Cruise. We aboard the yacht settle in to our cabins and enjoy lunch. Then it’s a short ride to the north side of Santa Cruz Island for a wonderful hike at Dragon Hill. This is one of the longer trails in the Galapagos and offers a good variety of flora and fauna. Then, in the night, we begin our voyage across the sea towards Isabela Island.
Later in the afternoon, we will aboard the yacht and settle in to our cabins. At night, we will sail to Puerto Villamil –Isabela Island.
Isabela is the largest of the Galapagos Islands and also one of the youngest. We anchor in the harbor of the small town of Puerto Villamil and take a dinghy to visit Tintoreras islet. The island is a stark, rocky place with sharp volcanic rocks that shelter hundreds of marine iguanas. We have time to snorkel near the island and then go to Concha the Perla , the place it´s a natural swimming pool where you could also snorkel and with luck see penguins, sea lions and colorfull fishes, then we will return to the Encantada Family Cruise for lunch.
After lunch we head into the small town of Puerto Villamil and then go to the Flamingos Lagoon, a beautiful place where thousand of flamingos life, after we will go to the Breeding Center and the Wetlands very close to there.
We wake up near Elizabeth Bay and Moreno Point on the west side of Isabela Island and go ashore for a hike through a lava rock landscape. The mix of mangroves and tide pools make for an area rich in life and diversity. We see a number of birds, sea turtles, perhaps white-tip sharks, and flightless cormorants as we explore.
After having lunch on the boat we head the Family Cruise to the nearby Elizabeth Bay that has a number if islets that we visit by dinghy. There are penguins and blue-footed boobies along with other birds and sea life.
We arrive early at Fernandina Island, the youngest and furthest west of all the Galapagos Islands. Fewer boats make it this far and it’s the least-visited of all the Galapagos Islands. For some, Fernandina is the highlight of the Family Cruise as there are literally thousands of marine iguanas, along with almost incredulous numbers of other animals. We land to walk along a lava trail on Espinoza Point. Wildlife sightings include the flightless cormorant, hawks, tortoises, herons of varying species, crabs, sea lions (of course) and more! Because it is so remote, this is the most pristine of all the Galapagos Islands and no species of mammals were ever introduced here.
In the afternoon we go to Vicente Roca Point, a unique visitor site where landscape is consider one of the highlights during your visit.
Located on the southwestern area of Ecuador Volcano, just a few kilometers below the equatorial line.
The volcanic tuff cones and cindery slopes were eroded creating a beautiful volcanic landscape. We have a panga ride looking for some Galapagos penguins, blue footed boobies, Nazca boobies and brown boobies. While snorkeling we find sun fishes which are fairly common in these waters. When the surf is quiet and calm enough, snorkeling is very fascinating here.
Underwater cliffs are festooned with all kinds of invertebrates, corals, and algae of different kinds. This is the best opportunity in the Family Cruise to watch sea turtles feeding, just lying on the bottom, and sometimes floating in mid water almost at touching distance.
We wake up at Santiago Island and Egas Port, also known as James Bay. British buccaneers came to this bay to anchor in the 1600’s and found it to be a good source of firewood, water, tortoises, and salt. People do not live here now of course, but there are sea lions and brown pelicans among other creatures that welcome you.
We walk along a lava shoreline with marine iguanas basking, land iguanas sauntering along, and Sally Lightfoot crabs skittering away from us.
We return to the boat for lunch, then head to Rábida, an excellent snorkeling location.
We pass by Daphne Island where Peter and Rosemary Grant have done important research relative to Darwin’s finches (we highly recommend you read the book “The Beak of the Finch”) and then head the Family Cruise to the Itabaca Channel. Here we say good-bye to our yacht crew and head to the airport on Baltra to fly back to Guayaquil or Quito. End of our services.
This itinerary is subject to change without previous notice due to seasonal changes, operation logistics, last minute weather conditions and adjustments of Galapagos National Park policy.
Rate per 6 Days/ 5 Nights Live-aboard itinerary is $ 2020 USD per person in double occupancy.
• All transfers in Galapagos (if you will be arriving or departing the Galapagos on dates other than your tour dates, you must arrange your own airport transfers, or please let us know in advance and we can arrange airport transfers for you at an extra cost.).
• Navigation on board M/S Encantada.
• Accommodation in double cabins.
• Daily land visits and snorkeling activity.
• Certified Galapagos Naturalist Guide.
• Meals on board (Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner) – snacks after morning and afternoon activities.
• Purified water, Coffee and tea.
Services Not Included:
• Flight tickets to Galapagos Islands.
• Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee ($100.00).
• Galapagos Visitor Card ($10.00).
• Isabela Local Tax ($20.00).
• Local Water Taxi Cost ( Santa Cruz & Isabela Islands).
• Snorkel Gear (mask, tube and fins).
• Extra soft and alcoholic drinks.
• Underwater camera.
• Personal Expenses.
NOTE: Single cabins are available with an extra single charge