Adventure cruise in the South and Central Galapagos Islands 8 days

Experience a 7-night adventure cruise in the southern and central islands of the Galapagos wildlife reserve. Enjoy a total of 14 excursions on diverse visitor sites, including wildlife-abundant Española, North Seymour, and Floreana islands. Get up close with the waved albatross at Punta Suarez, explore the cloudforest at the twin craters in the Santa Cruz highlands, and discover the pahoehoe lava fields on Santiago. All of this will be possible on the Darwin yacht, which is run by an efficient and eco-friendly operation that supports the Villacis family's livelihood.
Day 1: Baltra Island & Mosquera Islet

To ensure that no foreign plants or animals are brought into the islands, travelers passing through Baltra Airport must undergo an inspection and pay a park entrance fee of $100. A guide will meet and assist travelers with their luggage, and escort them on a short bus ride to the port of Seymour, where they will board the Yacht Darwin and be welcomed by the captain and crew.

Mosquera Islet

Mosquera Islet is a reef formed by rocks and coral, with a wide white sand beach that is around 160 meters at its narrowest point and an estimated length of 600 meters. This island has a large population of sea lions and is a great spot to observe various species of shorebirds. There have been occasional sightings of Orcas feeding on sea lions in the area.

Day 2: South Plaza Island & Santa Fe Island

South Plaza Island

Plaza Sur Island, one of two islands known as Islas Plazas, can be found east of Santa Cruz Island. The landing spot is on the north coast of the island, in a channel that separates it from Plaza Norte Island. Plaza Sur is 13 hectares in size and has a height of 25m. The succulent plant, Sesuvium edmonstonei and Portulaca oleracea, are commonly found on the island and are the preferred food of the land iguanas. The land iguanas on Plaza Sur are smaller than those found on other sites and nest during the hot season. There are several hybrid iguanas found throughout the island, which are the result of a male marine iguana and a female land iguana mating. These hybrid iguanas are unique in appearance, recognizable by their black or gray color, with a land iguana’s crest, but face and tail of the marine iguana. The iguana population may decrease during consecutive dry years due to a lack of food and water. The allowed tour is a group tour with a naturalist guide, which includes guided walks.

Santa Fe Island

Santa Fe Island's visitor site is located on the northeast part of the island. Of the two species of land iguanas found in the Galapagos, the Conolophus subcristatus inhabits Plaza Sur, Santa Cruz, North Seymour/Baltra, Isabela, and Fernandina, while the Conolophus pallidus species only lives in Santa Fe. This species is mainly distinguished by its larger and paler color. According to Geist D.J, Santa Fe could be the oldest Galapagos volcano, with sub-aerial rocks dating back 3.9 million years. The island of Santa Fe has a mix of underwater lava pushed to the surface by uprising and lava that were deposited subsequently to the uprising. Another attraction of Santa Fe Island is the presence of giant tunas with a wider trunk than any other island.

Day 3: Española Island: Gardner Bay, Islote Gardener, Islote Osborn & Punta Suarez

Gardner Bay

Gardner Bay is situated in the northern coast of Española Island, and the visitor area is made up of two beaches that have a combined length of 1300 meters. The main attraction in this area is the colony of sea lions during the breeding season. The location is also home to three species of Darwin’s finches and serves as an important nesting area for sea turtles.

Punta Suarez

Punta Suarez is found west of Española Island, and the trail is approximately 1670 meters long, taking around two hours to complete. Española Island is estimated to be 3.3 million years old and is mainly covered with basaltic lava rocks. The albatross, an endemic species to Española Island, can be seen between April and November or December. Española Island has a high level of endemism because it is isolated from other islands, which has led to the development of unique species such as turquoise-colored marine iguanas and carnivorous mockingbirds. Additionally, the island has the largest of the seven species of lava lizards that are endemic to the Galapagos.

Day 4: Floreana Island: Post Office Bay & Punta Cormorant

Post Office Bay

The location known as Post Office Bay has a historical significance related to the whaling era, where ships came to collect supplies of Galapagos tortoises and water. It is believed that a whaling boat captain placed a barrel in the 18th century, for sailors passing through the bay to leave mail and deliver letters with the same destination. This tradition is still being followed by tourists visiting Galapagos today. Additionally, there is a lava tunnel of interest that was formed by the still liquid lava that leaks and spills outward, leaving a hollow cavity. Visitors are allowed to take a guided tour.

Punta Cormorant

On the other hand, Punta Cormorant, situated on the northern coast of Floreana Island, is a site for visitors to explore. The trail is approximately 720 meters long and leads to a lagoon, a fine sand beach, and scenic views. Flamingos can be spotted in large numbers in the lagoon, while sea turtles nest on the beach. Visitors can also witness other species of flora and fauna, including two plant species that are endemic to the place. The beach at Punta Cormorant has a greenish hue due to the large amount of olivine crystals that have been expelled from nearby tuff cones. The beach also has a smooth texture composed of polished Hermatypic coral sand that is preferred by stingrays to escape from natural predators.

Day 5: Santa Cruz Island: Charles Darwin Station & Twins Craters

Charles Darwin Station

The Charles Darwin Station tour commences at the information booth of the GNP, leading visitors to the Van Straelen interpretation Center, the breeding center, and then an elevated circular path made of wood. The path provides a view of the Española Island tortoises and concludes in the tortoise exhibit corral. These tortoises are used to human presence, making it an ideal location for visitors to take photographs, although they are reminded not to touch them or step on the platform where their food is placed. The tour continues to the CDRS facilities and then to the town of Puerto Ayora. Guided walks with a naturalist guide are permitted.

Twin Craters

Twin Craters, also known as The Pit Craters, were not formed directly due to volcanic action, but rather by the collapse or sinking of surface materials into cracks or manholes. A circular path around the largest crater was opened in 1989, providing visitors with a view of the Scalesia forest, an excellent location to observe land birds, especially the woodpecker finch and the vermillion flycatcher. The vermillion flycatcher is a common bird in the area and their nesting season is from January to April, with nests constructed of moss and lichen. The Galapagos Guava or guayabillo tree, Psidium galapageium, is another noteworthy plant species found at Twin Craters, with clean and smooth bark and branches covered in epiphytes and brown liverworts, Bryopteris liebmanniana.

Day 6: Santiago Island: Port Egas & Playa Espumilla

Port Egas

Port Egas is situated on the west side of James Bay, northwest of Santiago Island. The beach is made of black sand that was formed due to the volcanic tuff deposits from the nearby Sugarloaf Volcano. To the south of the beach lies the Crater, which contains a saltwater lagoon that turns into a salt mine during the dry summer season.

Espumilla Beach

Espumilla is a visitor site located on the northern coast of Santiago Island in James Bay. The main attractions of this place include a palo santo forest, beach, and the surrounding scenery. It is an important nesting site for marine turtles, particularly the Chelonia midas agassizi species.

Day 7: Bartolome Island & Santiago Island: Sullivan Bay

Bartolome Island

Bartolomé is a remarkable visitor site in the Galapagos Islands that boasts stunning natural landscapes, including two beaches, Pinnacle Rock, and impressive sand dunes. The site is home to unique local species such as the Galapagos penguin and sea turtles, which choose this site for nesting. Visitors can enjoy swimming and snorkeling at North Beach and explore the small path along the mangroves to access South Beach. The island is relatively young, and only a few pioneer plant species, such as Tiquilia nesiotes, Tiquilia fusca, and Chamaesyce spp., can be found there. Visitors can also observe spatter cones to the east and tuff cones to the west of the summit. The Tower or Pinnacle, which is part of a tuff cone, is home to a small colony of penguins, making Bartolomé an ideal place to see them.

Santiago Island: Sullivan Bay

Sullivan Bay, located in the southeast of Santiago Island, is a site of significant geological interest. Visitors can choose to land on the rocky shore for a dry landing or the white sand beach for a wet landing. The area is covered with Pahoehoe lava flows that were very active in the late 1800s, with the Sullivan lava flow formed in 1897. The magma is flat, but the movement of underground lava, rapid cooling, and other eruptions resulted in many breaks and formations that have a thickness of 1.5m. These formations did not cover much of the previous relief, forming "kipukas" or islands of vegetation surrounded by newer lava tides. The trail is approximately 1.5 km long, and visitors can take around one hour and a half to explore it.

Day 8: North Seymour – Transfer out
North Seymour is situated to the north of Baltra (also known as South Seymour) and the trail covers a distance of 2 miles. This island, along with Plaza Sur, Plaza Norte, Baltra, northeastern Santa Cruz, Santa Fe, and part of Española, were created by eruptions of volcanic lava from underwater. The lava formed a flat layer along cracks on the ocean floor and took over a million years to rise and become the islands we see today. The vegetation is predominantly shrubs and is home to the largest nesting colony of Great Frigatebirds in the Galapagos. It is noteworthy that this is the farthest west distribution of the species. The common frigatebird can also be found on the island.


  • Accommodation in double/twin bunk-bed cabins with private facilities
  • All meals during cruise, drinking water, coffee & tea
  • All excursions accompanied by bilingual licensed guide as per itinerary
  • Cruise Fuel Surcharge
  • Transfers within the islands on cruise dates as per itinerary
  • Personalized 24/7 assistance during tour.

Not Included

  • Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee US$100 per person (in cash only on Islands)
  • Galapagos Migration Card US$20 in cash per person (at Mainland’s Airport)
  • Alcoholic / soft drinks, personal expenses, extras, tips and other services not specified in the program
  • Bus ride from Baltra airport to Itabaca Channel: $5 per way per person in cash
  • Snorkeling equipment and all sizes wet-suits for rent on board (in cash)
  • Travel, medical & cancelation Insurance and any services on Mainland
  • Flights to Galapagos from Quito / Guayaquil
  • International flights to/from Ecuador.