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Cruising the Galapagos: M/C Archipel II

Duration
4-8 Days
Prices From:
US$ 5,290

Explore the world’s greatest natural playground on this journey through the Galapagos Islands aboard Archipel II. Enjoy 5-star accommodations aboard the cruise vessel and explore the biodiverse islands, hiking across the volcanic landscape and seeing the incredible animals that call it home.


The M/C Archipel II offers several comprehensive Galapagos Islands cruises, ranging from 4 to 8 days, which take you to a variety of islands showcasing the amazing wildlife and volcanic landscapes that have made this archipelago famous. Explore the world’s greatest natural playground aboard the M/C Archipel II.

Departing from either San Cristobal or Baltra Island, these itineraries offer excellent service and maximum comfort aboard the 5-star vessel. The itineraries are as follows:

4-Day Itinerary A

San Cristobal – South Plaza – Santa Fe – Floreana – Santa Cruz

Start on San Cristobal, home to some of the oldest settlements in the islands, where you’ll head to the Cerro Colorado Tortoises Protection and Growing Center to see the famous Giant Tortoises. On South Plaza, hike through a landscape of prickly pear cactus to spot Galapagos land iguanas and sea lion colonies. Continue to Santa Fe to see giant prickly pear cactuses and hike across the remnants of an ancient volcano. On Floreana, spot Galapagos penguins and blue-footed boobies as well as dolphins off Champion Islet, then explore the cave and freshwater spring of Loberia and Asylum of Peace. Close out on Santa Cruz to visit Charles Darwin Station and learn about the history of the islands, as well as once again see the spectacular tortoises that define them.

4-Day Itinerary B

North Seymour – Genovesa – Bartolome – Santa Cruz

Begin on North Seymour, where you’ll explore a bird lover’s paradise of seabirds, frigate birds, and Nazca boobies. On Genovesa, hike up El Barranco and gaze out over Darwin Bay to take in the volcanic landscape. On Bartolome, enjoy the spectacular sight of Pinnacle Rock before exploring the moon-like landscape populated by Galapagos Penguins. You may even spot some green sea turtles in the water. Close out like Itinerary A on Santa Cruz, where you’ll visit Charles Darwin Station.

5-Day Itinerary

Santa Cruz – Floreana – Espanola – San Cristobal

Start on Santa Cruz, where you’ll venture through the highlands and begin your journey through Galapagos National Park. Connect to Floreana to see the sea lion colony of Cormorant Point, as well as waters filled with stingrays and parrotfish. Head over to Post Office Bay to see the Post Office Barrel that’s been used as a mailbox since the 18th century. You’ll also spot some Galapagos Penguins on a dinghy cruise. On Espanola, see the green sea turtles of Gardner Bay before heading to Punta Suarez, breeding site for almost all of the world’s waved albatross. End your cruise on San Cristobal. Stroll along the green sand beach at Pitt Point, walk in the footsteps of Charles Darwin at Cerro Brujo, and see the sea lions of Isla Lobos before passing by Kicker Rock, which triumphantly juts out of the water, to close out your exploration.

8-Day Itinerary

San Cristobal – South Plaza – Santa Fe – Floreana – Santa Cruz – Isabela – Fernandina

The first four days of this itinerary are identical to 4-Day Itinerary A. From Santa Cruz, head to Isabela to see the white-tip reef sharks of Las Tintoreras. Continue to Punta Moreno to hike along a lava river on the island’s north coast. Then swing over to Elizabeth Bay to spot sea turtles before ending up at Tagus Cove to see the volcanic crater of Darwin Lake. On Fernandina, you’ll see animals that have never had contact with other species, such as the rare flightless cormorants. Close out back on Santa Cruz, where you’ll spot flamingos and enjoy the beaches of Turtle Cove. You’ll also spot remnants of the American military presence from World War II.


 

At Goway we are experts at designing personalized itineraries to suit your special interests, tastes and budget. Let us arrange your ultimate travel experience today.
Duration
4-8 Days
Prices From:
US$ 5,290

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Arrival at San Cristobal Airport - Cerro Colorado

AM: Arrival at San Cristobal Airport
Upon arrival at San Cristobal Airport, a check-up will be carried out first to ensure that no foreign plant or animal species are introduced on the islands. Furthermore, your TCC (Transit Control Card) is stamped; this must be kept safe during your trip, as it has to be presented again on your return flight. In addition, entrance to the Galapagos National Park is due for entry ($100USD) if this has not yet paid. Your guide will meet you at the airport, assist you with the luggage and accompany you on the short bus ride to the port of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Here you will climb aboard the catamaran Archipel II. After greeting the crew and the captain, your cabins will be assigned to you and then you will enjoy your first lunch on-board.

PM: Cerro Colorado (San Cristobal)
Cerro Colorado Tortoises Protection and Growing Center is located at approximately 40 minutes by bus to the southeast of the island. This center was built to improve the status of the population of the island's tortoises. It includes a large corral, a visitor center, breeding center and an interpretive trail. Along this trail it is possible to see different species of native and endemic plants as well as birds including the San Cristobal Mockingbird, Yellow Warblers, and many species of finches and the Galapagos flycatcher.

Meal Plan Lunch and Dinner
Duration7 Nights
Accommodation

M/C Archipel II

More Info

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    M/C Archipel II


    Archipel II is a comfortable Galapagos catamaran accommodating 16 passengers in private twin and matrimonial cabins. The catamaran build provides stability for a safe and comfortable Galapagos cruise. Passengers can relax in the spacious common areas or enjoy cocktails from the boat's well-supplied bar. A …

    Archipel II is a comfortable Galapagos catamaran accommodating 16 passengers in private twin and matrimonial cabins. The catamaran build provides stability for a safe and comfortable Galapagos cruise. Passengers can relax in the spacious common areas or enjoy cocktails from the boat's well-supplied bar. A conference area with television, DVD player, projector, library and table games gives passengers a way to wind-down in between excursions.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Conference Room
    • Library

    More Details

Day 2

South Plaza - Barrington Bay (Santa Fe)

AM: South Plaza
After breakfast you will enjoy an unforgettable guided walk on South Plaza, the best place to encounter endemic Galapagos land iguanas, patient and photogenic models. You can also look out for some of the unique hybrids between the male marine iguana and female land iguana. Arriving at the upper rim, about 20m/75ft downwards impressively droning waves splash against the foot of soaring cliffs. Clouds of petrels, storm petrels, shearwaters and brown noddies make spectacular flights and sometimes look like they're walking on the waves. Take your binoculars and don't miss the red-billed tropic bird with its graceful long tail and spectacular mating fights. These cliffs are also a nesting place for the endemic swallow-tailed gull.

PM: Barrington Bay (Santa Fe)
After lunch you will land right in the middle of a Galapagos sea lion colony on the beach, where you will have time for a refreshing swim or excellent snorkeling among tropical reef fish in the crystal-clear azure waters of Barrington Bay. You will also encounter bizarre giant prickly pear cactus (opuntia) forests. These are the largest cacti on the islands, with extremely thick trunks, and can grow over 10m/33ft tall! At the end of the morning we have a wet landing at the beach of Santa Fe where we have a guided nature walk. This extraordinary island is a remnant of probably the most ancient volcano on the Galapagos. Your guide will decide whether the easy shorter circuit is followed or a strenuous longer hike land inward (moderate level; about 3km/2mi).

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 3

Champion Islet - Loberia and Asylum of Peace (Floreana)

AM: Champion Islet (Floreana)
Bottlenose dolphins frequently escort our passage to Champion Islet and you can see them from nearby jumping the waves! Underwater, Galapagos sea lions are playful acrobats that become the number one attraction. There are also lots of reef fish, and perhaps a green Pacific turtle. An inflatable dinghy ride along the shoreline of this islet offers sightings of lots of seabirds that are endemic to the archipelago, including Galapagos penguins, blue-footed boobies, magnificent frigate birds and red-billed tropic birds, swallow-tailed gulls and lava herons. A bird watcher's wish is to get a glimpse of the Charles Mockingbird on top of prickly pear cacti. This mockingbird is a scientific and historic key species, because it put Darwin on track of his theory of 'adaptive radiation'.

PM: Loberia and Asylum of Peace (Floreana)
The Asylum of Peace Island is of historical interest for guests. This hike goes past a mesmerizing cave and visits a fascinating freshwater spring. La Loberia beach gets its name from the huge amount of sea lions that populate the island and rest on the sand. It's an ideal spot to relax by the ocean, go snorkeling as well as enjoy the sea lions that live there.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 4

Santa Cruz: Charles Darwin Station - Highlands

AM: Charles Darwin Station (Santa Cruz)
Our dinghies will bring you to the touristic pier of Puerto Ayora, from where you will be brought to the Charles Darwin Research Station. This is where biological research and indispensable conservation management of this unique archipelago are carried out. The complex houses interpretation and information centers about the National Park and the Galapagos Marine Reserve. The most memorable part of your visit will probably be the successful breeding center and the enclosures with Galapagos giant tortoises. Afterwards, you will have some free time to stroll around.

PM: Highlands (Santa Cruz)
Because wild Galapagos giant tortoises don't stop at official National Park boundaries, dozens of them also roam on the adjacent woodlands in the populated agricultural zone of Santa Cruz. Thanks to their concentration around their favorite muddy pools, these semi-open pastures and moist scalesia woodlands are the best place for a quick visit.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 5

Las Tintoreras - Tortoise Breeding Center and Wetlands

AM: Las Tintoreras (Isabela)
Just outside the harbor of Puerto Villamil, a group of islets protrude just above the ocean. The jagged black formations, dotted with mangrove and candelabra cactus, are the remnants of a lava stream that has ended up in the ocean.

Marine life gets trapped, including spectacular whitetip reef sharks (called "tintoreras" in Spanish, as is the site's official name). This species of shark is fairly common in the archipelago, and generally spotted on the seabed when snorkeling, while they rest from their nocturnal hunts. At this unique location you can observe them comfortably from the bank in the crystal-clear turquoise waters. Sometimes turtles and elegant white-spotted eagle rays or golden rays glide back and forth through this calm channel, as well as smaller fish and Galapagos sea lions. Also, this is where the largest species of marine iguanas reproduce. The rocky shoreline with its intertidal life also attracts sally lightfoot crabs, lava herons and Galapagos penguins, which reside on the other (western) side of Isabela.

PM: Tortoise breeding centre & Wetlands
Isabela Island is the largest and one of the youngest islands in the Galapagos archipelago. We land in Puerto Villamil, which has the second smallest population in the Galapagos with approximately 3000 inhabitants. First, we will visit the Flamingos Lagoon; the largest coastal lagoon found in the Galapagos and one of the main reproductive sites for the greater flamingos. On your visit to Colorado Hill, you will get to discover the amazing and emblematic giant Galapagos tortoises in the Tortoise breeding center, and maybe even get to see one hatch (seasonally)! In addition, you will get to see how much hard work is put into saving the last local giants of San Cristobal.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 6

Punta Moreno - Elizabeth Bay

AM: Punta Moreno (Isabela)
Punta Moreno is located between the volcanoes Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul, on the north coast of Isabela Island. The trail leads along the lava river Pahoehoe to a complex of several coastal lagoons. The main attraction are various bird species which can be found in lakes and mangrove forests.

PM: Elizabeth Bay
The inflatable dinghy will turn landwards, leaving the surf behind and entering the calm estuary of Elizabeth Bay through a narrow entrance. Graceful Pacific green turtles swim gracefully around you, sometimes popping up their heads to take a breath. You might also see spotted eagle rays or sharks. Brown pelicans and blue-footed boobies show diverging plunge-diving techniques, while lava herons and great blue herons prefer to wait patiently for what comes along. You can also compare the huge red mangroves with black, white and button mangroves.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 7

Tagus Cove - Punta Espinoza

AM: Tagus Cove (Isabela)
In the morning, we will enter the Bolivar Channel to Tagus Cove (navigation time: 3 hours). Meanwhile, you can enjoy the delicious lunch buffet before snorkeling and visiting Tagus Cove. Explosive eruptions have blown out a part of the outer rims of both tuff cones, and created their characteristic horseshoe shapes and Tagus Cove. The inner crater rim contains Darwin Lake. Traditionally sailors started to write the names of their vessels on the eastern cliffs of Tagus cove.

During the hike along the inner crater ridge of Darwin Lake you can continue to a great viewpoint on the outer caldera rim, with views to the outstretched lava slopes of Darwin Volcano. This arid inland zone is overgrown with characteristic tropical dry forest vegetation including a special variety of palo santo, Galapagos cotton and yellow cordia (muyuyu). During the hike you can spot different Darwin's finches, flycatchers and Galapagos hawks.

PM: Punta Espinoza (Fernandina)
Espinoza Point is Fernandina's only terrestrial visitors site, and one of the few locations where you will find some bizarre outgrowths of natural selection. The figurehead is the emblematic flightless cormorant that lives exclusively in the remote west of Galapagos, and could be considered as the 'holy grail of evolution'. You will also love the almost unworldly views with the dominating cone of Volcan La Cumbre as a spectacular backdrop. The narrow headland that you walk along is the end of a lava tongue that has reached the coast and solidified upon contact with the cold seawater.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 8

Las Bachas - Transfer to Baltra Airport

AM: Las Bachas (Santa Cruz)
These two small beaches are located in the west of the Turtle Cove on Santa Cruz. Their sand consists of decomposed corals, which makes it white and soft. This makes it the favorite nesting site for sea turtles. Behind one of the beaches there are small water lagoons, where flamingos and other coastal birds, such as black-necked stilt birds and rainbows, can occasionally be spotted. On the second beach, which is the wider one, you can explore the remains of two abandoned warships. In the Second World War these were left by the US, as the island of Baltra was used as a strategic point for the protection of the Panama Canal. After this excursion, you will be escorted to the airport for your flight to Quito or Guayaquil.

PM: Transfer to Baltra Airport

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES: 

2019

8 Day  Nov 25; Dec 9,23
5 Day  Oct 24; Dec 19
4 Day - Itinerary A Nov 25; Dec 9,23
4 Day - Itinerary B  Dec 30

2020

8 Day Jan 6, 20; Mar 2, 30; Apr 13, 27; May 11; Jul 6, 20; Aug 3, 17; Sep 28; Oct 12, 26; Nov 9, 23; Dec 7
5 Day Jan 2, 30; Apr 9; May 7, 21; Jul 16; Aug 13; Oct 8; Dec 3
4 Day - Itinerary A Jan 6, 20; Mar 2, 30; Apr 13, 27; May 11, 25; Jul 6, 20; Aug 3, 17; Sep 28; Oct 12, 26; Nov 9, 23; Dec 7, 21
4 Day - Itinerary B Jan 27; Feb 10; Apr 6; May 18; Jul 13; Aug 10; Oct 5, Nov 30

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • All on-board accommodation
  • Return flights from Quito to the Galapagos
  • Park fee and tourist ticket
  • All meals
  • Regular soft drinks and juices 
  • Island sightseeing
  • Galapagos National Park bilingual Guide 
  • Use of wet suits and snorkeling gear
  • Kayaks

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

OTHER INFORMATION:

Itineraries: Due to government regulations designed to control and protect the impact of tourism, each vessel, based on length of cruise has its own distinct itinerary.  The itineraries are designed to allow visitors to visit all regions of the islands and we suggest you request the advice of Goway's Latin specialists as to which itinerary would suit you best.

TB CONDORTGUA0120CR: CTG MA
28 Sep 2020
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