Volcanic Wonder Western & Northern Route - Evolve Yacht - Galapagos Cruise

Volcanic Wonder Western & Northern Route - Evolve Yacht | Evolve | Galapagos Tours Volcanic Wonder Western & Northern Route - Evolve Yacht | Evolve | Galapagos Tours
Embark on an unforgettable 8-day journey aboard the Evolve yacht, designed for avid birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. Explore pristine islands like Genovesa, known as "Bird Island," where you'll encounter an array of seabirds including red-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, and magnificent frigatebirds. Snorkel alongside playful sea lions and marine iguanas, and hike through diverse landscapes teeming with endemic wildlife such as Galapagos hawks and land iguanas. Visit the Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado to observe giant tortoises and learn about conservation efforts. Delve into the human history of the islands at the Interpretation Center and enjoy leisurely walks along scenic trails. Each day brings new opportunities to discover the unique avian biodiversity and natural wonders of the Galapagos Islands, all while enjoying the comfort and hospitality of the Evolve yacht.

8 Day Galapagos Itinerary

Day 1: San Cristobal Airport & Leon Dormido

Upon arrival at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (SCY) on San Cristobal Island, our guides will be ready to escort you to your expedition yacht. After a short bus journey to the dock, followed by a Zodiac ride to the yacht anchored in the bay, you will be shown to your cabin and treated to a delightful lunch. Following this, there will be a welcome briefing and a brief safety demonstration, after which you can select your snorkeling equipment and wetsuit for the week. You'll have time to settle in after lunch before the yacht departs from the harbor. Within a few hours, we will arrive at Leon Dormido (Spanish for "sleeping lion"), a remnant of a vertical tuff cone formation rising 500 feet from the ocean. Erosion has sculpted the rock, creating a stunning backdrop for sunset photography. As we sail around the formation, you'll easily spot blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, and frigatebirds nesting on the cliffs. Following a briefing on activities for the next day, you can join our Captain and crew for a cocktail reception. An elegant multi-course dinner, prepared by our skilled chefs, will be served.

Day 2: Genovesa Island: Darwin Bay & Prince Philip’s Steps

In the morning, you will arrive at Prince Philip’s Steps on Genovesa (Tower) Island, known as one of the most impressive spots in the Galapagos for bird watching due to its diverse species. Throughout the day, keep your camera ready as your guides will show you red-footed boobies nesting in palo santo trees, Nazca boobies near the trail, and storm petrels gathering in large numbers in an open lava field. With some luck, you might even catch sight of the elusive short-eared owl. Lunch will be served on deck, weather permitting, featuring grilled seafood and a cooking demonstration on how to prepare Ecuadorian ceviche. You'll have the choice to explore the cliffs up close by kayak or stand-up paddleboard, or participate in a deep-water snorkeling excursion from the Zodiac. Keep an eye out for the red-billed tropic bird hiding in the rock crevices.

Day 3: Santa Cruz Island: Bachas Beach & Dragon Hill

This morning, you will explore Las Bachas on the northern side of Santa Cruz Island, named after old barges left on the beach. Here, dozens of vibrant pink flamingos can be observed feeding in the interior lagoons, while a long stretch of white sand provides a picturesque setting for a leisurely stroll. Your guides will identify endemic plant species and share captivating stories about the history of the Galapagos. Before heading back to the yacht for lunch, you'll have the opportunity to snorkel from the beach alongside playful sea lions. Don't forget your underwater camera to capture images of colorful tropical fish, sea stars, and possibly even sharks gliding along the ocean floor. Later in the day, upon setting foot on Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill), you'll be treated to a breathtaking panoramic view of the bay and island terrain. Keep an eye out for flamingos in the brackish lagoon, along with various plant species like opuntia cactus, Palo Santo trees, and Muyuyo trees (Cordia Lutea). As you traverse the trail, watch for Darwin’s finches, Galapagos flycatchers, yellow warblers, and Audubon shearwaters. Your guides will also point out birds such as stilts, pintail ducks, and sandpipers. Along the path, you may spot golden land iguanas basking in the sun. These unique iguanas, distinct from their marine counterparts, are endemic to the Galapagos and were once part of a breeding program at the research station. Following a leisurely walk along the trail, you'll return to the yacht for a briefing and dinner.

Day 4: Isabela Island: VIcente Roca Point & Urbina Bay

Start your morning with a Zodiac excursion at Punta Vicente Roca. Your experienced driver will skillfully guide you through wave-sculpted caves and bring you up close to tuff walls adorned with colorful Sally Lightfoot crabs. Be sure not to miss the opportunity to snorkel here, where you can watch playful penguins diving and grooming themselves on rock formations, and observe sea turtles poking their heads above water before gracefully swimming below.

After a satisfying lunch, relax on the sun deck and take in the stunning scenery as we sail through the Bolivar Channel. Keep your eyes peeled for the chance to witness whales riding the bow wave, dolphins leaping in graceful arcs, and perhaps even spot the unique Mola-Mola, a giant sunfish with distinctive triangular fins.

In the afternoon, disembark at Urbina Bay on Isabela Island and witness surprising evidence of volcanic activity. Coastal seabed that was previously submerged was exposed during a dramatic uplift from an eruption in 1954, with some remaining coral skeletons towering several feet high. Explore the island and encounter a diverse collection of animal species, including Galápagos land iguanas, marine iguanas, Darwin’s finches, brown pelicans, flightless cormorants, and occasionally giant Galápagos tortoises.

After your exploration, return to the vessel for your evening briefing and dinner. Following dessert, step outside and marvel at the faint glow of the Milky Way. As we cross the Equator, enjoy a visit from King Neptune himself! Our crew dresses as pirates for this fun-filled maritime ritual, and guest participation is optional, making it an enjoyable experience for guests of all ages.

Day 5: Fernandina Island: Espinosa Point & Isabela Island: Tagus Cove

This morning promises another remarkable geological experience as we stop at Punta Espinoza on Fernandina, the youngest and most pristine island in the Galápagos archipelago, formed by active volcanoes encircling the coast. With no introduced animals on this island, you'll have the chance to witness the ecosystem in its purest state. Sea lion harems rest on the beach, with resident bulls vigilantly guarding their territory and watching out for sharks that pose a threat to the colony's pups. Along the rugged shoreline, hundreds of marine iguanas—the largest colony in the Galapagos—bask in the sun, blending seamlessly with the dark volcanic rocks. Your guide will point out the nests of flightless cormorants, which remain near shore after losing their ability to fly. You'll also have the opportunity to snorkel here, accompanied by large sea turtles that frequent the area. 

Return to the yacht for a barbecue lunch served on the sundeck, offering a prime vantage point for whale watching.

After lunch, your guide will provide an enlightening lecture on Charles Darwin and his Theory of Evolution, as well as discuss social and environmental projects benefiting the Galápagos. Later in the day, explore some of the human history of the Galapagos as we go ashore at Tagus Cove, a historic stopping point for pirates and whalers for centuries. Sections of the rocky cliffs are adorned with graffiti dating back to the 1800s. Hike at a brisk pace to a saltwater lagoon and scenic overlook, taking in the ocean views, lava fields, and volcanic formations. You can choose to explore the secluded cove shoreline by kayak or paddleboard, where you'll encounter various animals, including Galápagos penguins, boobies, pelicans, and other seabirds.

As we sail toward the geographic center of the archipelago tonight, we'll cross the equator for the third and final time.

Day 6: Rabida Island & Santa Cruz Island: Black Turtle Cove

This morning, you'll explore the dark red beach of Rabida (Jervis) Island, which is considered the geographic center of the Galápagos due to its highly diversified volcanic rocks. Follow a brief trail to a saltwater lagoon teeming with greater flamingos. Along the way, keep an eye out for marine iguanas, mockingbirds, and yellow warblers. You may also spot Darwin’s finches, whose observation significantly contributed to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. If you opt to snorkel this morning, you might encounter a colony of sea lions or rays, with golden rays and spotted eagle rays being the most common.

Guests aboard the Evolve will visit Puerto Egas on Santiago (James) Island, where you can leisurely stroll along the shoreline, observing octopus, starfish, and other marine life caught in tide pools. Look out for great blue herons, lava herons, American oystercatchers, and yellow-crowned night herons. During low tide, watch marine iguanas feed on exposed green algae, displaying beautiful coloration during mating season due to green and red algae consumption. The walk concludes at grottos, deep clear-water pools where once-endangered fur sea lions can be encountered. Before returning to the yacht, take advantage of the opportunity to snorkel from the beach.

After lunch, relax on deck and admire the dramatic landscape and frequent dolphin sightings as we sail. Guests aboard the Evolve will enjoy a Zodiac excursion at Caleta Tortuga Negra (Black Turtle Cove) through serene coves and inlets surrounded by mangroves, with views of mating sea turtles (September to February), white-tipped reef sharks, and golden cow-nosed rays. We'll return to the vessel for the Captain’s Farewell cocktail with the crew, followed by dinner and a special presentation by your guides.

Day 7: Santa Cruz Highlands & Fausto Llerena Breeding Center

This morning, when you awaken, your yacht will be anchored in the bustling harbor of Academy Bay. You'll disembark at Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island, the social hub of the Galapagos with a population of 24,000 residents. Our first stop will be the breeding center Centro de Crianza Fausto Llerena and the Charles Darwin Research Station, where we'll learn about ongoing conservation efforts through exhibits along the wooden trail. Here, you'll see hatchlings and miniature tortoises that will eventually be released into the wild by the National Park once they mature. One notable exhibit commemorates Lonesome George, the last surviving tortoise from Pinta Island, whose tragic death marked the extinction of his species. Lonesome George has since become a global symbol, underscoring the importance of wildlife preservation efforts. A more uplifting tale is that of Diego, a saddleback tortoise transported from the San Diego Zoo, who single-handedly fathered hundreds of descendants after his species was reduced to just 14 individuals.

After returning to the yacht for lunch, we'll board a private bus for a scenic journey to the highlands of Santa Cruz, passing through all seven vegetation zones with vibrant plant life at higher elevations. Our destination is Montemar, privately-owned land dedicated to habitat restoration for giant tortoises, where these magnificent creatures roam freely in their natural environment. During our exclusive visit, you'll learn about organic and biodynamic coffee cultivation and harvesting. Take a leisurely hike, exploring the grounds, enjoying the panoramic views, and admiring local art and craftsmanship on display.

We'll return to the yacht for a sumptuous multi-course Captain's farewell dinner accompanied by a presentation highlighting the memorable experiences from your week in this paradise.

Day 8: Gianni Arismendy Interpretation Center

On your final morning in the Galapagos, we disembark after breakfast. To wrap up the trip on a perfect note, you'll visit the Interpretation Center on San Cristobal Island to delve deeper into the human history of the Galapagos Islands. Take a leisurely stroll along the paved trail before boarding a bus to the town.

Guests aboard the Evolve will enjoy an early morning visit to Isla Lobos. Following the visit, you'll have time for any last-minute photos or shopping before your flight back to the mainland. A short bus ride will take you to the airport with ample time for check-in.

Itinerary Map

Click on the map to navigate the itinerary
Volcanic Wonder Western & Northern Route - Evolve Yacht | Galapagos Map

8 Day Galapagos Itinerary Includes

  • Cabin accommodation
  • All meals and snacks
  • Open bar policy
  • Captains cocktail hour and daily briefings
  • Guided shore excursions
  • Use of snorkeling equipment
  • Use of wet suit
  • Use of Kayaks
  • Stand up paddle boards and transfers between the airport and dock in Galapagos (Sundays only)
  • Satellite communications (Wi-Fi) – Available 24/7 and limited to one PIN per cabin.

8 Day Galapagos Itinerary Does not Include

  • Gratuities for guides and crew
  • Premium alcoholic beverages
  • Light laundry service
  • Galapagos entrance fee (park tax)
  • INGALA Transit card (TCT)

8 Day Galapagos Itinerary Highlights

  • Witnessing the captivating courtship displays of blue-footed boobies.
  • Exploring pristine landscapes teeming with diverse birdlife like Nazca boobies and frigatebirds.
  • Encountering giant tortoises in their natural habitat and learning about conservation efforts.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast Served Daily
  • 7 Dinners
  • 8 Lunches
Darwin | Galapagos Islands
Cráteres gemelos | Yellow Warbler | Galapagos Islands
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno | Galapagos Islands

More information about the Galapagos Islands you visit in this 8 day itinerary:

Volcanic Wonder Western & Northern Route - Evolve Yacht
8 Days (B)
From $9,750.00 per person

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