Short and packed with highlights this itinerary allows travelers to visit some of the iconic locations in Galapagos like Floreana island and its olive sand beach (Cormorant Point), an island the looks like a Chinese hat but offers the opportunity to spot tropical penguins. Walk along the giant tortoises in the wild and spotting marine iguanas is another attraction of this southern islands travel route. Snorkel with sea lions and marine turtles. The Yolita II yacht is one of the more reputable small ships that navigate the Galapagos archipelago, she is comfortable and spacious, a great option that is affordable. Also, available as a private charter yacht, an option that allows exploring the Galapagos in privacy with your small group of friends or family.
After a 2-hour flight, you are greeted by your naturalist guide. Pick up baggage and transfer to the docks where you will meet the Yolita yacht. Get to know the crew and settle in. This is the beginning of Galapagos 4 day cruise adventure. This afternoon, visit the tortoises of the El Chato Reserve.
Head to Santa Cruz’s verdant grasslands and the El Chato Reserve, a perfect place to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat. Explore the reserve’s lagoon and lava tunnels, keeping an eye out for owls that often roost in the tunnels’ entrances. A favorite day trip and a good introduction to the archipelago's endemic wildlife.
During the first evening of your Galapagos cruise, the national park guide will introduce the rest of the crew members, will create the ambiance for fellow travelers to get to know each other. Your guide will also offer a nature lecture answering any questions about the wildlife encounters of your first day tour in the Galapagos Islands.
Dinner is served before the yacht lifts anchor. The captain and crew plan their route carefully to make sure guests enjoy their meals while the vessel is in a quiet bay. Navigation takes place during evenings and every morning's sunrise catches your ship at a different island.
Today it is time to visit the Post Office Bay on Floreana island and learn about its unique history. In the late 18th century, English whaling vessels placed a barrel here to be used as a post office. The site became famous as it was the only way to send news back home, every vessel that set anchor at bay would carry the mail to the closest mainland port. Today, the box is used mainly by tourists, who may drop off and pick up un-stamped letters to be carried to far destinations. Continue the tradition –leave a letter and take one to deliver (be sure it makes it to the correct location)!
Enjoy an amazing snorkeling experience at the ‘Devil’s Crown’, an old underwater volcanic cone just north of the Punta Cormorant. Spot large schools of tropical fish, rays, reef sharks, scalloped hammer head sharks, and sea turtles that make their home among the coral reef. Be sure you’re a strong swimmer; the currents can be intense.
Visit Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill), a popular cruise ship landing site. Here you can enjoy some prime bird watching. Take a short walk from the beach to a hyper saline(saltier than the ocean) lagoon frequented by pink flamingos, common stilts, pin tail ducks, and other types of birds. Pass through a Scalesia tree forest; endemic to the area, there are only 400 specimens of Scalesia trees left in the world. A walk to the hill beyond the lagoon will take you to the nesting grounds of the orange colored land iguanas.
Explore Chinese Hat’s beautiful landscape and spectacular white-coral sand beach followed by snorkeling with sea lions and penguins and swimming opportunities in the cove. The red vesuvium flowers, and the black lava field contrast beautifully with the turquoise waters in the channel. Just across the bay is Santiago island.
On the last morning of your 4 days Galapagos cruise you will explore the mangrove lagoon at Black Turtle Cove. In the afternoon, transfer for a flight back to Quito or Guayaquil.
Explore the mangroves by panga (zodiac) to find rich marine wildlife between the fresh and salt waters. Keep any eye out for manta rays and sea turtles in this tranquil ecosystem. White tip reef sharks can also be seen gliding by. You can also spot blue footed booby colonies on the ocean rocks that surround cove. Guides are instructed to turn off the zodiac motor while inside the cove. This quiet exploration avoids disturbing marine life and allows for better encounters with animals that nest on the mangroves (brown pelicans and herons).