8- and 5-Day cruise M/S Encantada Northern Loop
The highlights of this tour:
- The Galapagos Islands – a once-in-a-lifetime-experience
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Vacation Style Holiday TypeDiscovery, Nature
Activity Level Leisurely
Group Size Medium Group
The M/S Encantada is a superior tourist class yacht, loved for her
charming candy-apple red style and her small, cozy atmosphere. The boat offers 6 cabins with twin bunk beds to accommodate a total of 12 passengers. All cabins have air conditioning and private bathrooms with hot water.
- Flight reservations to/from Galápagos
- All transfers in Galápagos
- Accomodations in double occupancy
- Bilingual naturalist guide
- All meals (B. L. D.)
- FLIGHT tickets to/from Galápagos
- Transit control card $20
- Entrance fee to the National Park
- Soft and alcoholic drinks *Tips
- Snorkel Gear & Wetsuits
- Isabela local tax $20
Charles Darwin Station
You land on the island of Baltra and drive 10 minutes from the airport to the Itabaca channel where a ferry ride takes you to the island of Santa Cruz. From here we travel across the island, stopping to see some of the giant Galapagos tortoises. Upon arrival
in the seaside town of Puerto Ayora there is time to visit the Charles Darwin Research Center wich has been working in Galapagos since 1959 under an agreement with the Government of Ecuador to work closely with
Government Institutions, providing scientific knowledge and assistance to ensure the conservation of Galapagos.
Later in the afternoon we aboard the yacht and settle into our cabins. After dinner we pull anchor and begin our travels towards
the island of Genovesa.
Prince Philipp Steps & Darwin Bay
AM: Prince Philipp Steps
We arrive in the morning at the island of Genovesa and have a dry landing at El Barranco, or Prince Phillip’s steps where a steep, rocky path leads to the top of a
high cliff. There are spectacular views from here and the opportunity to observe red-footed boobies, short-eared lava owls, Galapagos doves and Galapagos
PM: We return to the boat and continue to
Darwin Bay to nd a white-sand coral
beach and a half-mile trail that winds
through mangrove trees lled with
various birds. We should see Nazca
boobies, red-footed boobies and
swallow-tailed gulls among other birds.
There we will have the opportunity to
explore tide pools and interact with
curious, playful sea lions.
Bartolome & Sullivan Bay
We arrive at the island of Bartolome, an extinct volcano where lava and rocks are shaded in red, black and green. This is the
home of the iconic Pinnacle Rock. Here we climb a trail of stairs to the summit of the volcano, where we can enjoy panoramic views of the island as distant islands. We then return to a lovely beach that is perfect for snorkeling where we will have a chance at seeing Galapagos penguin – and with any
luck, a chance to snorkel with them!
PM: Sullivan Bay
Then we continue to Sullivan Bay where
there is a large lava eld with fascinating
patterns, which are the result of explosions of
gas or water coming forth from the
Bainbridge, Chinese Hat & Black Turtle Cove
AM: Bainbridge and Chinese Hat
Today we visit Bainbridge Rock, also known as James Bay. A trail follows the coastline where there are tide pools and grottos filled with sea life. This is an excellent chance to see the Galapagos fur seal bathing in the sun. We also visit Chinese Hat which is a place of fairly recent volcanic activity and a few intact lava tunnels. This is another place to snorkel and swim in tranquil blue waters, watching colorful fish and playing with young sea lions.
PM: Black Turtle Cove
After lunch on the boat we head to the northern part of the island of Santa Cruz to visit Caleta Tortuga Negra, a small bay surrounded by mangroves and only
accessible by dinghy. It’s a safe home for marine life such as white tip reef sharks, sea turtles and various rays such as manta rays
and eagle rays.
North Seymour & Concha Perla
AM: North Seymour
Our last day on the Encantada still has more discovery. We go to the official visitor site of Seymour North where there is a large breeding colony of frigate birds and blue-footed boobies. The trail leads up among their nests where we will have to watch our step for land and marine iguanas. It’s a special place to end our Galapagos
adventure and then return to the Itabaca Canal for a short transfer back to the Baltra airport and a flight to Quito or Guayaquil.
PM: Concha Perla
After your last visit on The Encantada, our guide will take you to the port of Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz Island) for lunch. Afterwards, we will take the Public speedboat to Isabela (14:00), which lasts approximately two and a half hours. After arriving at Isabela, we will take a brief rest at the hotel and then head to the Concha de Perla lagoon, where you can swim with sea lions, colorful varieties of fish, and with luck sea turtles.
Sierra Negra Volcano & Tortoise Breeding Center & Flamingos Lagoon
AM: Sierra Negra Volcano
Early in the morning (8:00 am aprox.), after breakfast, we will prepare ourselves for the Sierra Negra Volcano hike by putting on comfortable walking shoes and possibly a rain jacket, making sure our cameras are stored in waterproof bags and to bring sunscreen, water, and hats, and
finally by preparing our box lunch at the hotel to take with us. We will then travel approximately 45 minutes by truck or bus to begin the 12 km hike (appx. 3 hours). The hike is long, but not very difficult as the inclines and
declines are quite gradual. Sierra Negra Volcano has the second largest crater in the world, measuring approximately 6 miles in diameter and 300 feet deep. We will reach Volcan Chico before heading back, which should
provide a spectacular view of the incredible moonlike terrain. (L|D)
PM: Tortoise Breeding Center
In the afternoon we will visit the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center of Isabela,
where we will be able to see a variety of species of giant tortoises in
captivity. We will also hear how this center has successfully been able to
breed and raise the giant tortoises in order to preserve many of their
endangered subspecies. (B|BXL|D)
We will also have time to visit the Flamingos Lagoon.
Wall of Tears/Wetlands and Tintoreras Islet
AM: Wall of Tears / Wetlands
We head into the small town of Puerto Villamil, a fishing village with sand streets and a laid-back feel. Our destination is outside of town to a place called the Wall of
Tears. From 1945 to 1959 there was a penal colony here and part of the forced labor program was constructing a huge wall some 65’ high. It’s an interesting part of the human saga of life on the Galapagos Islands.
PM: Tintoreras Islet
The islet is a stark, rocky place with sharp volcanic rocks that shelter hundreds of marine iguanas. We walk along a narrow
trail and peer into a small lagoon filled with white-tipped reef sharks. Further along the trail we are likely to see sea lions lounging
and perhaps a Galapagos penguin or two. We have time to snorkel near the island. Friday at 5:00 a.m. we will prepare ourselves to go to the dock (wake-up at
4:30 AM). We will take the Public
speedboat, which leaves at 6:00 a.m. (subject to change), From Isabela to Puerto Ayora (2 hour and a half estimated travel time).
Transfer out | Baltra airport.
AM: Gemelos Craters
Depending on the time one the flights, we may be able to visit two sunken “holes” similar to craters, known as “Los Gemelos”.
These craters were formed by the
collapsed of the earth beneath which lava had passed and created giant tunnels, which facilitates the collapse and creation of the craters. It is an excellent place to observe land
birds, especially the woodpecker finch and flycatcher found in large numbers, are curious and quite tame. There are 7 plants in Galapagos endemic among them is the Scalesia giant plants that are
relatives of sunflowers. Another plant that notice is guayabillo trees, which have a clean and smooth bark.
The M/S Encantada is a superior tourist class yacht, loved for her charming candy-apple red style and her small, cozy atmosphere. The boat offers 6 cabins with twin bunk beds to accommodate a total of 12 passengers. All cabins
have air conditioning and private bathrooms with hot water.
- Length: 69 ft, 21 m
- Beam: 17 ft, 5.2 m
- Speed: 7 knots
- 5 crew members
- + 1 bilingual naturalist guide
- Snorkel equipment