Santa Cruz, Genovesa & Santiago Islands
On board M/Y Odyssey-First Class Boat or M/Y Grand Odyssey – Deluxe Boat
Cruise Length: 5 DAYS / 4 NIGHTS
Starting From: US$ 3020,00 per person, based in double accommodation (Standard Cabin M/Y Odyssey)
2014 Dates: Jan 5-9 / Jan 19-23 / Feb 2-6 / Feb 16-20 / Mar 2-6 / Mar 16-20 / Mar 30-Apr 3 / Apr 13-17 / Apr 27-May 1 / May 11-15 / May 25-29 / Jun 8-12 / Jun 22-26 / Jul 6-10 / Jul 20-24 / Aug 3-7 / Aug 17-21 / Aug 31-Sep 4 / Sep 14-18 / Sep 28-Oct 2 / Oct 12-16 / Oct 26-30 / Nov 9-13 / Nov 23-27 / Dec 7-11 / Dec 21-25* Special Holiday departure
Santa Cruz, Genovesa & Santiago Islands: Program Overview
Explore Santa Cruz, Genovesa & Santiago Islands.
Santa Cruz is the second largest island of the archipelago and the most populated, it hosts the headquarters of the Galapagos National Park Office. Santa Cruz Islands main atractions are Cerro Dragón, known for its flamingo lagoon and Black Turtle Cove; a site surrounded by mangroves, which sea turtles, rays and small sharks sometimes use as a mating area.
The Highlands of Santa Cruz is also a popular visitor site, specially due to the lava tunnels and tortoise farm. This area is characterized by its exuberant flora, lush vegetation and Scalesia forest.
Genovesa Island is one of the northest islands of the archipelago, it is also known as the Birds Island, due to its large population of birds which nest here, including frigate birds, Red-footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies, Swallow-tailed Gulls, Tropicbirds, Darwin’s finches, and Galapagos Mockingbirds. Santiago Island is home to the marine iguanas, sea lions, fur seals, land and sea turtles; flamingos, dolphins and sharks are also found here. It only takes 5 days to be marveled by the amazing biodiversity of the Galapagos Archipelago.
The M/Y Galapagos Odyssey is a first class boat, built to fulfill the highest expectations of any traveler seeking to experience the wonders of the Galapagos Islands in an exclusive way. This yacht has been designed especially for small groups to offer you more privacy and comfort, and to reduce the impact on the fragile Galapagos eco-system.
16 passengers, 10 Crew Members and 1 Naturalist guide.
Facilities on board:
The Odyssey offers elegant and inviting social areas that are used to hold trip meetings, discuss day to day itinerary, and to socialize with other passengers. The Boat has 9 elegant Cabins with lower berths , air-conditioning and private bathroom.
The M/Y Grand Odyssey combines luxury, privacy and comfort in the marvellous setting of the Galapagos Islands. M/Y Grand Odyssey has a capacity for 16 passengers, it features 7 spacious Galapagos & Matrimonial suites (25m2 aprox) and 1 Odyssey Suite (35m2 aprox) equipped with panoramic windows to enjoy the wonderful landscapes of the islands, private bathroom, hot/cold water, air conditioning with independent controls, minibar, TV. Twin beds or one faux queen bed and connected suites for families.M/Y Grand Odyssey comply with local and international safety regulations, and sustainable practices to protect the fragility of the Archipelago.
16 passengers, 10 Crew Members and 1 Naturalist Guide
Facilities on board:
The yacht offers a large solarium with shaded and uncovered areas, two Jacuzzis, comfortable sun loungers and a Mini Spa offering therapies and massages. Social areas include Saloon, mini library and video library. Snorkelling equipment and kayaks are available without any extra charge. Local and International dishes especially designed by the chef, are served in the cozy atmosphere of its dining room.
Itinerary – Day by Day
Day 1: Sunday AM Baltra
Airport Flight from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra Airport. Travelers pass through an airport inspection point to insure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands, as well as to pay the park entrance fee of $100 (unless it has been prepaid). A guide will meet you, help you collect your luggage, and escort you on a short bus ride to the harbor.
PM Dragon Hill The visitor site at Dragon Hill has been open for visits on 1993. This site is located in northwestern Santa Cruz Island and consists of a trail that lead to a hyper-saline lagoon behind the beach, frequented by flamingos, pintail ducks and other species of birds. This site has been re populated with land iguanas from Seymour, Isabela and Santa Cruz islands. There is a short walk to the Hill, which offers a beautiful view of the bay.
Day 2: Monday AM Rábida (VISIT FOR M/Y ODYSSEY ONLY)
Rábida Island is unique because the red color of the rocks and sand. The volcanic material in this island is very porous and external factors as rain, salt water and sea breeze have acted as an oxidizing agent. A short walk along a trail lead us to a coastal lagoon behind the beach permits the observation of land birds as finches, doves, yellow warblers and mocking birds. At the lagoon there is a colony of flamingos.
AM Black Turtle Cove (VISIT FOR M/Y GRAND ODYSSEY ONLY) This little cove is located at the northern side of Santa Cruz Island, this is a red mangrove lagoon very calm and quiet which made an ideal place as nursery for many sharks and rays. Its crystal waters permits to observe large groups of white-tip reef, black tipped reef and hammer heads sharks, schools of golden rays and spotted eagle rays. There are no landing sites so the visit is done by panga or kayak. Sea turtles are frequently seen and sometimes they are seen mating in the mangrove-lined waters. Pelicans and Herons are also seen in this area.
PM Chinese hat This is a small islet (1 sq km) located just off the southeastern tip of Santiago Island. It is a recent volcanic cone, shaped like a Chinese hat when seen from north side. On the west it can be seen lava formations, formed under the sea and raised upward, this is why coral heads are found on the lava. This is an excellent visit for interpretation of geological features such as lava tubes and lava flows. The landscape is covered by sea lions colonies, marine iguanas and Galapagos penguins.
Day 3: Tuesday AM El Barranco, Genovesa Island
El Barranco is located in the southern part of Darwin Bay and it is also known as Prince Philip’s Steps, passengers will climb to a plateau that is part of the stretch of land that surrounds Darwin Bay on its eastern side. There is a big population of Masked boobies and Red-Footed boobies in the tree; Storm petrels and Short-eared Owls have found in Genovesa lava flows the ideal place for nesting.
PM Darwin Bay, Genovesa Island This bay has origin when the crater of this island collapsed below sea level. The wet landing is on a beautiful white coral sandy beach. This is a favorite island for birdwatchers: red footed-booby, masked boobies, wandering tattlers, lava gulls, whimbrels Yellow-crowned, black-crowned and lava herons, with and yellow warblers can be seen in the area. Continuing on the trail, visitors climb gradually to the edge of the cliff seeing Red-Foots nesting in the Mangrove trees below. Bird watching includes sightings of Sharp-Beaked Finches, Large Cactus and Ground Finches, Galapagos Doves and Swallow-Tailed Gulls. Reaching the end the trail at the cliff’s edge offers an incredible view of the island and the many birds living there.
Day 4: Wednesday AM: Bartolomé Island Bartolomé Island is situated across Sullivan Bay.
It has an altitude of 114 meters, from where we can observe one of the most beautiful sceneries of the Galapagos Islands such as: Volcanic cones, lunar-like craters, lava fields, and the famous Toba formed pinnacle eroded by the sea. There is very little vegetation on this island. It has two breathtaking beaches where marine turtles exist and at the base of the pinnacle, as well as a very small colony of Galapagos penguins.
PM: The Sullivan Bay, Santiago Island Santiago, also called James, or San Salvador Island, is located in the west central part of the Galapagos archipelago. It is the fourth largest island in the archipelago (following Isabela, Fernandina and Santa Cruz). Along with some of the large western volcanoes of Isabela and Fernandina, Santiago is also volcanically active, with many young flows and cones to be seen, particularly along the south, west, and east coasts. These may even be seen from the summit of Darwin Volcano and from space. A number of historic eruptions have been reported over the last 2 centuries. Santiago actually consists of two coalesced volcanoes: a typical shield volcano on the northwest end and a low, linear fissure volcano on the southeast end.
Day 5: Thursday AM: Highlands, Santa Cruz Island
The trail to the highlands leaves from Bellavista and passes through the agricultural zone, near the National Park boundary, the Miconia Zone, and then goes to the Fern and Sedge zone. With clear weather (unpredictable) this area affords beautiful scenes of rolling hills and extinct volcanic cones covered with grass and lush greenery all year round. Continue to the airport to boar the flight that will take you to Quito or Guayaquil.
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