Hop on board the Alya vessel and venture to the Western islands of Galapagos. Over 8 days, this cruise will cover everything you need to know and experience in Galapagos. Start with visiting the breeding homes of the endangered tortoises, marine iguanas and penguins on these islands, followed by meeting with the wildlife species such as sea lions, hawks, rare boobies and many more. Don't forget to bring your comfortable shoes and swimmers for an incredible time both on land and in water!
Experience the natural beauty and scenery that Galapagos has to offer
Meet the inhabitants of the West islands, including marine iguanas, sea-lions, hawks, tortoises and many more
Make the most out of this journey with a range of water and land activities such as snorkelling and hiking
Visit the breeding home of endangered tortoises and land iguanas in Santa Cruz, and the breeding home of penguins in Elizabeth Bay.
Itinerary in Brief
Day 1: Santa Cruz
Day 2: Isabela Island
Day 3: Isabela Island & Fernandina Island
Day 4: Isabela Island
Day 5: Santiago Island
Day 6: Rabida & Santiago Islands
Day 7: Santa Cruz & South Plaza
Day 8: San Cristobal Island
Day 1: Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Station
Arrive at Baltra airport and meet at the Airport Reception. Our friendly staff will assist your transfer to the vessel. Welcome on board Alya Catamaran, where you will be greeted with a welcome drink and lunch.
Our first stop is Charles Darwin Station, located in the Main Port of Santa Cruz Island, we will take our private bus to the breeding center of endangered tortoises and land iguanas in captivity. This center is the main site for breeding. Animals that were in danger of extinction in the different islands are maintained in captivity and thanks to the dedicated work of several institutions, some species are recovering. This center was also home to the most famous tortoise "the Solitary George”, the last survivor of the species of Pinta Island. Dinner will be served as we return back to the Alya.
Day 2: Isabela Island - Moreno Point & Elizabeth Bay
Moreno Point is located on the north coast of Isabela Island between the volcano Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul. The main attractions at Punta Moreno are coastal lagoons amidst black lava flows where there are several species of birds. It has a panoramic view of three volcanoes, the most active of the Galapagos that are Sierra Negra, Cerro Azul of Isabela Island and La Cumbre of Fernandina Island. Lunch will be served.
In the afternoon, we will visit Elizabeth Bay, this is one of the island's breeding sites for penguins. Located on the west coast of Isabela, Elizabeth Point is a marine visitor site. Visit the red mangrove cove and meet brown pelicans, flightless cormorants, spotted eagle rays, golden rays and sea lions. Dinner will be served upon return to the Alya.
Day 3: Isabela Island / Fernandina - Urbina Bay & Espinoza Point
Urbina bay is located at the base of Alcedo Volcano between Elizabeth Bay and Tagus Cove. We will begin hiking for 3.2km, where we can observe land iguanas, hawks, tortoises; and possibly blue and red lobsters. We will rest for lunch and continue to Fernandina Island.
Fernandina is the 3rd largest island of Galapagos and has just one visit place: Espinoza Point. Espinoza Point is famous for its big colonies of marine iguanas and is home to flightless Cormorants, Galapagos penguins, hawks, Galapagos snakes and many other. From Espinoza Point, we can admire Fernandina Island and its volcano which the last eruption was on May 2005. Fernandina is the only island that doesn’t have any mammal inhabitants and the open areas are very fragile. In nesting time of marine iguana (January to June) we need to be very careful when hiking to avoid disruption. We will return to the Alya for dinner.
Day 4: Isabela Island - Tagus Cove & Vicente Roca Point
Tagus cover is located west of Darwin Volcano on Isabela Island. During our hike, we will find several inscriptions (names of boat pirates) since the 1800s. Tagus Cove was named after an English ship that crossed the island to look for Galapagos tortoises as food for the crew. From this area we can admire the Darwin Lake, a 9m deep salt water lake with no fishes. It is very easy to spot different species of birds here. Lunch will be served.
Our next visit is to the Vicente Roca Point, comprising of two separate coves, this site is a large bay with spectacular sea life. Keep an eye out for seahorses, sea turtles, and the strange yet fascinating Mola-mola (sunfish). We will return to the Alya for dinner.
Day 5: Santiago Island - Espumilla Beach & Egas Port
Espumilla Beach is one of the main attractions on this island where tortoises use as a nesting place. Enjoy the beach and landscape. Lunch will be served.
In the afternoon, we will visit Egas Port, a site where we will find a black sand beach. South of this beach is a volcano called Pan de Azucar. The volcanic deposits had contributed to the formation of this black sand beach. The crater of this volcano has a salt lake which in warmer months, becomes dry and possibly turns into a salt mine. Between 1928 and 1930, there were some explorations to this mine, though it didn’t function properly causing damanges to the environment as workers used endemic woods. Presently, the salt mine is no longer accessible to the public.We will end the day with dinner aboard the Alya.
Day 6: Rabida Island & Santiago Island
Today, we will explore Rabid Island, known for its red sand beach, a coastal lagoons and a loop trail. The approximate distance of the trail is 1.1 kilometers. The color of the rocks and sand on the beach is due to the very porous volcanic material, which with the help of environmental factors (rain, salt water and sea breeze, has acted as an oxidizing agent. The main attraction of the place is the red sand beach, scenery, aside from the vegetation of the arid zone and the presence of native and endemic species. Lunch will be served
Our next stop is to the Chinese hat, A small islet located near the south-east coast of Santiago. It's shaped like a Chinese hat when seen from afar, hence its name. It is an island consisting of a cone type "Splatter" (lava ejected as drops and falls close to where it came from, which forms a cone inclined) that forms the summit and many lava tubes that go down to the coast. On the west, you can see pillow-type lava formations, which are an indicator that the flows were formed under the sea and have been raised upward, which is why coral heads are found on the lava. This visit provides an excellent opportunity for the interpretation of geological features such as lava tubes and lava flows. Dinner will be served upon returning to the Alya.
Day 7: Santa Cruz - Bachas Beach & Plaza Islands
Bachas Beach is located north of Santa Cruz Island; the beach has total extension of 1km. The site takes its name since Second War when the American army left two barges on the beach, the first colony of people weren't able to pronounce 'barges' correctly, instead, they called it Bachas. Lunch will be served.
Next, we will visit South Plaza Island, an island created by land uplift and where land iguanas are known to be smaller because of their nesting during warmer months. We will begin a hike that goes along an extraordinary cliff where sea birds nest. On this island, there are approximately 1000 sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki) and they are located in south side of Plazas. We will return to the Alya for dinner.
Day 8: San Cristobal - El Junco Lagoon
Our final day will be spent exploring the El Junco Lagoon, located 19km from Port inside a small crater, which in turn lies within the caldera of a large volcano, now extinct and hard to distinguish without geological knowledge. The name of the lake comes from a type of plant that is common in the surrounding area, known as "junco". Eleocharis mutates and is a member of the Cyperacea family.
We will then begin transferring everyone back to the airport.
Departs - Selected dates (listed below)
This new Catamaran offers 9 comfortable cabins, 8 of them with private balcony.
Upper deck consists of 4 cabins
Main deck consists of 5 cabins
All the beds can be double or twin.
Each cabin is equipped with:
Telephone for internal communication on board
Bar with a variety of drinks
Sundeck with bar.
* Our complete itineraries are developed for the benefit of our passengers, who will have the opportunity to combine hiking, snorkeling, beach and kayaking; our professional guides will introduce you to the most relevant sites on each island.
Ship Deck Plan
Type: Superior First class motor Catamaran
Construction: Guayaquil 2017
Length: 31,50 m
Beam: 12.50 m
Draft: 1.70 m
Capacity: 16 passengers
Crew: 8 members + 1 bilingual guide
Cruising speed: 12 knots
Engines: 2 Cumming Motors 350 HP
Water capacity: 2.500 gallons
Diesel capacity: 2.500 gallons
Electric power: 110V and 220V