Galapagos - Coral 5 Day Cruise

  • days: 5
  • from: $4,235

Description

The Coral I & II is a blend of comfort and style. Incorporating teak-wood and modern decor and with a crew of 10, it offers the perfect combination for an intimate cruising experience. All cabins are fully air-conditioned with private facilities and can accommodate up to 36 passengers.

Itinerary B - Begins Wednesdays

2019 Departures:

09 and 23 January, 06 and 20 February, 06 and 20 March, 03 and 17 April, 01, 15 and 29 May, 12 and 26 June, 10 and 24 July, 07 and 21 August, 04 and 18 September, 02, 16 and 30 October, 13 and 27 November, 11 and 25 December

Day 1 Santa Cruz Island

Welcome to the Galapagos Islands! Your adventure begins today with a visit to the Santa Cruz Highlands. Located to the northwest of Puerto Ayora, the Highlands are a natural reserve for giant tortoises. These enormous, slow-moving reptiles are responsible for the island’s name and approaching them in their humid, forest abode is always an inspiring adventure. They weigh between 250 and 300 kilograms and can live between 150 and 200 years. [L,D]

Day 2 Isabela Island (Vicente Roca Point) - Fernandina Island (Espinosa Point)

Vicente Roca Point is a promontory with two protected turquoise coves on either side of the remains of a tuff cone, with one of them only accessible from the sea. It offers great opportunities for snorkelling, showcasing a wide variety of marine life such as red-lipped batfish, sea horses and sun fish. The geological formations also provide the perfect setting for a dinghy ride along the coast to observe a great diversity of sea and coastal birds such as noddies, brown pelicans and Galapagos penguins. In the afternoon continue to Espinosa Point on Fernandina Island where you can see the island of Isabela across the Bolívar Channel. This area boasts some of the highest diversity of endemic sea fauna in the Galapagos. The largest, most primitive-looking race of marine iguanas can be found mingling with sea lions and Sally Lightfoot Crabs - a wonderful opportunity for photos! [B,L,D]

Day 3 Isabela Island (Urbina Bay/Tagus Cove)

Today visit Urbina Bay, unique for its volcanic black beach. Depending on the season, you may find giant tortoises, land iguanas and the unusual flightless cormorant. After a short walk inland, snorkelling time is allotted, giving you the chance to swim with sea turtles, sea lions and countless tropical fish. Urbina Bay also features a wide variety of plant life that changes depending on the season. You can observe the beautiful colours of plants that attract different insects, birds and reptiles. You will explore the uplifted coral reef that resulted from 1954 volcanic activity, with a spectacular view of Alcedo Volcano.  This afternoon continue to Tagus Cove, where you will learn about the eruption of the five volcanoes that formed Isabela Island. The trails leads to Darwin salt-water Crater Lake and offer excellent views of lava fields and volcano formations. This is a great site to see land birds such as Galapagos hawks, Large-billed flycatchers and Yellow warblers. [B,L,D]

Day 4 Santiago Island (Salt Mines/Egas Port/Sullivan Bay)

The Salt Mines visitor site on Santiago Island has an important history. British buccaneers anchored in this area during the 1600s since it was a good place to dry fish and salt tortoise meat with salt from the salt-lake of the crater. The first part of Egas Port trail is comprised of volcanic ash and the other half of the trail is a partially uneven terrain that leads to the best tidal pool areas in the Galapagos. Here it is possible to see fur seals and Sally Lightfoot crabs. The unique terrain of Santiago’s shores is home to a variety of birds, including the bizarre Yellow-crowned night heron and the Galapagos hawk. Colonies of endemic fur seals swimming in cool water pools formed by volcanic rocks can also be seen. This afternoon visit Sullivan Bay on the south-eastern coast of the island. Sullivan Bay features extensive pa-hoe-hoe lava flows and interesting tuff cones formed during the last quarter of the 19th century. Walking on the solidified lava gives the impression of being on another planet. Tree moulds are found, indicating that in that position large plants once grew in small crevices, until the lava flows of past eruptions burned down the flora. [B,L,D]

Day 5 Santa Cruz Island

Spend your last morning in the Galapagos at Bachas Beach on the north side of Santa Cruz. Behind the beach lie two small flamingo ponds with iguanas, coastal birds, Darwin’s finches, mockingbirds and gulls, along with interesting native and endemic vegetation, red and black mangroves, salt bushes and much more. This beach is also one of the main nesting sites of sea turtles in the Galapagos. At this site you will also find the remains of barges that sank long ago, once the property of the United States Navy when they operated an airbase on Baltra Island during World War II. A fascinating way to finish your visit to the memorable Galapagos! [B]

Itinerary D - Begins Wednesdays

2019 Departures:

02, 16 and 30 January, 13 and 27 February, 13 and 27 March, 10 and 24 April, 08 and 22 May, 05 and 19 June, 03, 17 and 31 July, 14 and 28 August, 11 and 25 September, 09 and 23 October, 06 and 20 November, 04 and 13 December

Day 1 San Cristobal Island

Welcome to the Galapagos Islands! Your adventure begins today with a visit to the Interpretation Centre in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno to discover more about the origins of the Galapagos, including a visit to the Museum of Natural History. You might also choose to hike up to Tijeretas Hill to admire the beautiful landscapes. The walk also ends with a magnificent view of a nearby frigate bird colony. [L,D]

Day 2 San Cristobal Island (Witch Hill/Pitt Point)

Cerro Brujo, also known as ‘Witch Hill’ is an eroding tuff cone that, at several locations, is composed of lava formations. There is also a beautiful white sandy beach which is great for snorkelling and sunbathing. Here you can observe a wide variety of migratory birds including Black-necked stilts, Ruddy turnstones, Whimbrels, and White-cheeked pintails. Cerro Brujo offers beautiful views of Kicker Rock, the southern part of San Cristobal and the adjacent coast. In the afternoon you’ll visit Pitt Point, home to a 90-metre-long olivine beach and a path that climbs to the top of a volcanic tuff, through several magnificent viewpoints. This is probably the only site where the three booby species of the Galapagos can be seen together (Nazca, Blue-footed, and Red-footed), as well as two species of frigate birds and a sea lion colony. It is also excellent for dinghy rides and snorkelling, where a good range of sea birds can be observed. [B,L,D]

Day 3 Espanola Island (Suarez Point/Gardner Bay)

This morning visit Suarez Point on Española, an island of geological interest. It is one of the oldest in the Galapagos and one of the most isolated in the archipelago. Combined with the great variety of wildlife found, makes this site one of the most attractive in the Galapagos. You will explore volcanic formations and admire riveting wildlife: large colonies of sea lion and seabirds including Española mockingbird, Nazca boobies, and the spectacular red billed tropic bird. You will also encounter singular marine iguanas which are turquoise in colour, turning red in the breeding season, lava lizards, and the colourful Sally Lightfoot crabs. On a hike you’ll discover Nazca and blue-footed boobies and the nesting grounds that sometimes overlap the trail. Other birding favourites include Galapagos dove, Galapagos hawk, swallow-tailed gulls and the world's largest colony of waved albatross. Admire the island's dramatic backdrop, featuring the famous ‘Soplador’, a seaward blowhole that shoots water at some 23 metres in the air. This afternoon you will discover Gardner Bay, landing on a beautiful white coral sand beach guarded by a colony of sea lions. There are no trails so you’ll spend time along the shore where you can spot Galapagos hawk, American oystercatcher, Galapagos dove, hood mockingbird, yellow warbler, lava lizards, marine iguanas, and three species of Darwin finches. Swimming and snorkelling you’ll see a great variety of Galapagos marine wildlife including king angelfish, creole fish, damsel fish and parrot fish. [B,L,D] 

Day 4 Floreana Island (Champion Islet/Cormorant Point/Post Office Bay)

Champion is a small Islet located just offshore from Floreana Island, offering great scenery from the boat or snorkelling along a wall filled with a variety of marine wildlife like the endemic black striped salema, the blue lobster, long nose hawkfish, sea horses, coral hawkfish, sea lions, and the famous red-lipped batfish. You’ll then visit Cormorant Point, an olivine green sand beach. Take a hike along the black mangroves to a brackish lagoon that is usually home to one of the largest flamingo populations in the Galapagos. This island features some endemic plants such as the Scalesiavillosa, white mangrove, and palo santo trees. The trail continues to a beautiful white-sand beach, one of the most important nesting sites of green Pacific sea turtles. It is important to avoid walking in the water due to the stingrays that may be hiding in the sand. From the beach is easy to spot sea turtles, blue-footed boobies plunging into the water, and small reef sharks searching for food along the shoreline. Upon return to the olivine beach you’ll have the opportunity to swim or snorkel with the local marine life. In the afternoon you will visit Post Office Bay on the north side of Floreana, named due to a wooden barrel installed in 1793 by Captain James Colnett which served as an informal post office for sailors passing through, who would take the letters with them to their destinations. Nowadays, visitors continue the tradition by placing unstamped postcards inside the barrel, hoping that some other traveller going to the letter’s destination will take it back for free. Here you will also have great snorkelling opportunities. [B,L,D] 

Day 5 Santa Cruz Island

This morning land at the Santa Cruz highlands and visit a private farm where giant tortoises are found in their natural habitat. The road to the reserve is also one of the best places to observe land birds. Tree and ground finches, vermillion flycatchers and Cattle egrets inhabit the area. A fascinating way to finish your memorable visit to the Galapagos! [B]

Inclusions

  • Accommodation based on twin-share cabin with private facilities
  • All meals on board (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
  • A program of included shore excursions and sightseeing
  • INGALA Galapagos Visitor Card Fee ($20pp US)

Exclusions

  • Airfares to the Galapagos Islands (approximately $745pp AU for cruises)
  • Galapagos Islands National Park entrance fee ($100pp US)

The Small Print: Prices are per person based on twin share with private facilities. Single traveller prices are available upon request. Seasonal surcharge may apply over peak travel periods, holiday seasons and special events. Itinerary is subject to change without notice. Cabin upgrades and itinerary length variations may be available, please contact Bunnik Tours for more details.