Santa Cruz Island | Galapagos tortoise
El Barranco | Galapagos Islands
Santiago Island | Galapagos marine iguana
Sierra Negra Volcano | Galapagos Island

Galapagos tours & cruises west islands + genovesa circuit endemic catamaran

Discover the marvels of the West islands + Genovesa island as you cruise through the volcanic rocks, isles and different island formations of the Galapagos archipelago. Observe flightless cormorants on Fernandina island, walk amongst nesting red footed boobies al El Barranco and cool off as you swim with rays, sea lions and iguanas off Isabela island. Ride in zodiacs, hike on lava and other geological formations on an 8 day tour packed with wildlife encounters and nature experiences. The Endemic is a luxury catamaran with gourmet cuisine, world class service and private balconies in each cabin.

Upon arrival, reception and assistance at the airport, transfer from Baltra Airport to the M/C Endemic In the afternoon, visit to Las Bachas, which is a beautiful white-sand beach, located on the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island. There you can go for a stroll or do some easy snorkeling in the gentle surf. Sea turtles lay their eggs at the edge of the vegetation. You can also look for a rusted pontoon, a relic of the Second World War. In fact, “bachas” is a poor pronunciation of “barges,” two of which were wrecked offshore at that time: the locals mispronounced the name and it stuck.

In the morning, visit to Darwin Bay, which is the only sandy beach found in the caldera on Genovesa. Colonies of the Great Frigates are found along the beach. Male exhibit their red balloon pouch to females for hope of a match Red-footed boobies nest in the trees in contrast to the other two booby species which do so on the ground.

In the afternoon, you will go to El Barranco (Prince Philip’s Steps), a carved out of stone stair. This will lead you to a wide plateau, where you can observe large colonies of masked boobies, frigate birds, storm petrels and ducks. During this easy stroll you will cross a small Scalesia forest, habitat of the short-eared owl. The same path will lead you back to your boat.

In the morning, after breakfast, the Twin Craters will be visited. Located in the highlands of Santa Cruz on the road to Baltra airport from Puerto Ayora, these scenic craters are approximately 30 meters deep.  These two huge land depressions are surrounded by a Scalesia forest with abundant birds such as the yellow warbler and the Vermilion Flycatcher. Gorgeous views of the leafy green highlands forest are also part of the visit.  You will stay in the highlands of Santa Cruz island to see giant tortoises in the wild. These impressive animal gives the name to the archipelago. You can easily appreciate the Galapagos giant tortoises in their natural habitat, eating, walking among others. This is also a good place to see birds such as short-eared owls, Darwin’s finches, yellow warblers, Galapagos rails and paint-billed crakes. As part of this experience, you will visit underground lava tubes formed by cooled and solidified lava. Then we will continue our journey to board the M/C Endemic.

In the afternoon, you will visit Sullivan Bay, located on the east coast of Santiago Island. We land on a white coral sand beach and begin our walk over lava that flowed less than 100 years ago. This is the perfect place to see and feel the volcanic origin of Galapagos. Also in this area you will admire flora that grows in lava fields.

Isabela Island is the largest of the archipelago with a surface of 4,588 square kilometers. It encompasses more than the half of the total land area of Galapagos. In the morning, you will be transported to the Wetlands (Humedales), that are a complex of trails of 6 kilometers long, located south of Isabela Island. They have a wide variety of flora and abundant bird life, including gallinules, finches, stilts and ducks among others.

Or you may visit Sierra Negra Volcano, one of largest craters in the archipelago with a diameter of five kilometers. It offers mesmerizing views with great contrast in colors between lava fields, vegetation and fumaroles.

On the way up to Orchilla hill, giant tortoises and marine iguanas will appear. From the viewpoint the spectacular scenery of the bay, the town of Puerto Villamil, volcanoes, islets and rocks can be appreciated. Isabela wetlands has endemic and introduced species.

After lunch visit the Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center of Isabela, infant and juvenile giant tortoises can be seen until they are ready to be released and survive in the wild.

Or you may visit the Wall of Tears. This is a man-made monument which has been built in the 40’s by prisoners, since Isabela island was once an Ecuadorian penal colony and building up the wall was part of the punishment.

In the morning, you will discover Elizabeth Bay, which is a marine visitor site. The excursion is carried out in a zodiac and so there is no landing point . Your zodiac ride starts with a visit to the Marielas islets where there is the largest and most important penguin colony in the Galapagos Islands. The excursion continues into the cove that is surrounded by red mangroves where you can spot sea turtles, flightless cormorants, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, brown pelicans and sea lions.

In the afternoon, Urbina Bay will be visited. Here you can see coral formations, large colored land iguanas. The possibility of seeing giant turtles, flightless cormorants, blue-footed boobies, penguins and marine iguanas is excellent.

After breakfast, Tagus Cove will be the first attraction to see. A ride along the cliffs in a zodiac will give visitors a good chance to see the Galapagos penguin, the flightless cormorant and other sea birds.

From the landing dock it is about a 30-minute hike along the trail up to the top of the cliff from where you can view Darwin Lake, a saline lake saltier than the sea. You can also see several volcanoes from this location.

After lunch, Espinoza point will be visited, which is one of Fernandina’s visit points. Located within a fascinating lava scenery with Lava-Cactuses. On the surface of the lava, mangroves thrive. The highlights are sea lions, penguins, the flightless cormorant (especially in spring and summer), and one of the biggest iguana colonies of Galápagos.

In the morning, you will have the opportunity to discover the Buccaneer Cove that is located just north of James Bay. 
It was known as a safe haven in the 17th and 18th century for pirates to stash their loot, take on fresh water and capture tortoises for food. It is a nice place for a zodiac ride, snorkeling and kayaking. Blue-footed, Nazca boobys, fur seals, and Galapagos hawks can be seen flying overhead.

Or visit to Espumilla Beach will take place. It is a pristine sandy beach and a popular place for marine iguanas and Sally Lightfoot Crabs. The crabs attract the hunting herons, performing the dance of predator and prey. With an abundance of marine life including octopi, moray eel, and shark, snorkeling is recommended and available.

In the afternoon, you will be taken to Rabida Island. Its main attraction is the red sand beach, famous for its cactus groves and rock formation scenery, aside from the vegetation of the arid zone and the presence of native and endemic species. During the walk on the red sand beach you will see brown pelicans’ nests, and a lagoon where flamingos are seen from time to time..


 

In the morning, visit to Mosquera, a small islet found between Baltra & North Seymour Islands. Lava gulls, sea lions, Sally light foot crabs inhabit this sand bank with an extension of over 600 meters. It also hosts the largest populations of sea lions and orca whales that can be seen occasionally depending on the season you visit the islet.

After this last visit, transfer to Baltra airport for your return flight to mainland Ecuador.
Assistance and farewell at the airport.

Galapagos map

Highlights

  • Keep an eye out for dolphins as they swim at the bow of the Endemic catamaran
  • Walk amongst nesting red footed boobies in the mangrove forest at Darwin bay
  • Swim with marine iguanas as they feed on algae off the coast of Fernandina island
  • Learn about the flightless cormorant an icon in the theory of evolution
  • Enjoy a different sunset at a distinct Galapagos island every afternoon
Itinerary B

Itinerary B

Itinerary C

Itinerary C