Home » Galapagos » Tip Top II 8 Day Central, East & South Islands
Duration: 8 days
Explore the wonders of Galapagos aboard the spectacular Tip Top II which offers the highest level of comfort and professionalism. The Central, East and South Islands offers an array of majestic endemic wildlife to meet close-up, including penguins, sea lions, flamingos, white-tipped sharks, marine turtles, and spotted eagle rays to name a few. This tour will further include expeditions to iconic locations such as Dragon Hill, which as the name suggests is home to a large population of land iguanas; and Devils Crown, which is a submerged volcano that offers a unique snorkeling experience
Enjoy a trek through a giant cactus forest known as Opuntia and meet a colony of native land iguanas.
Meet an abundance of unique wildlife including marine iguanas, sea lions, pelicans, blue-footed boobies, masked boobies and brown pelicans all on Rabida Island.
Take a thrilling panga ride to glance at the white-tipped sharks, marine turtles, spotted eagle rays, and yellow cow-nosed rays up-close.
Come across a hypersalinic lagoon, to witness elegant flamingos, common stilts, pintail ducks and other species of sea birds at Dragon hill.
Visit Jacinto Gordillo Turtle Breeding Center to learn about the turtles reproductive process and programs to maintain the species.
Itinerary in Brief
Day 1: Arrive in Baltra Airport - Charles Darwin Research Station
Day 2: Santa Fe Island - South Plaza Island
Day 3: Chinese Hat - Rabida Island
Day 4: Black Turtle Cove - Dragon Hill
Day 5: Post office Bay - Devils Crown - Punta Cormorant
Day 6: Punta Suarez - Gardner Bay - Osborn Islet
Day 7: Port Bacquerizo - Jacinto Gordillo Breeding Centre - Kicker Rock - Cerro Brujo
Day 8: North Seymour Island- Departure
*Tip Top II also offers 4, 5, 11 & 15 day cruises for this itinerary, please call us for details
Day 1: Charles Darwin Research Station (located in Santa Cruz Island)
Arrive into Baltra Airport to meet you naturalist tour guide and ride the bus to the Itabaca Channel. Cross the channel by barge and then continue to Puerto Ayora by bus. Here you will board the vessel and have a light snack along with an orientation. In the afternoon, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and its Interpretive Center in which researchers, scientists and volunteers work together to conserve the Galapagos ecosystem and wildlife. Return back to the port for a walk through the small town to appreciate various handicrafts and then enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner back aboard the vessel.
Day 2: Santa Fe Island & South Plaza Island
After breakfast, disembark onto Santa Fe Island which is at the centre of the Galapagos Archipelago. Enjoy a trek through a giant cactus forest known as Opuntia and meet a colony of native land iguanas that live within the forest. Enjoy a swim, snorkel or kayaking session in a nearby lake and then return to the vessel for a delicious meal and get ready to set sail towards South Plaza. By the afternoon arrive at the Pier of South Plaza, and enjoy the antics of the adult sea lions and their young pups. Later take a walk through a prickly pear cactus forest and observe land iguanas and many species of tropical birds. By the end of the day return to the comfortable vessel for dinner and a nightly informative lecture.
Day 3: Chinese Hat Island & Rabida Island
Start the day with a trip to Chinese Hat (Sombrero Chino), a small island off the Coast of Santiago Island that is shaped like a hat when seen from a distance. On the rocky shoreline gaze at the Galapagos penguins, eagle rays, sea lions and marine iguanas. Chinese Hat also offers an excellent snorkeling, swimming and kayaking site for the adventurous. Return to the boat for a delicious lunch and then make a nearby landing on Rabida. Here you will get an opportunity to meet an abundance of unique wildlife including marine iguanas, sea lions, pelicans, blue-footed boobies, masked boobies and brown pelicans. Later walk and arrive at a small saltwater lagoon to see graceful pink flamingos wading in the waters. By the end of the day return to the vessel for a hearty dinner, lecture, and books to read more about the Galapagos Islands.
Day 4: Black Turtle Cove & Dragon Hill (located in Santa Cruz Island)
Take a thrilling ride aboard a panga (dinghy) to manoeuvre towards Black Turtle Cove, which consists of a series of mangrove-surrounded coves and islets. Glance at the white-tipped sharks, marine turtles, spotted eagle rays, and yellow cow-nosed rays during the ride up-close. Ensuing the incredible marine experience return to the boat for a delicious lunch whilst the vessel heads towards Dragon Hill. As the name suggests Dragon Hill is home to large populations of land iguanas which you will see along the trail. Whilst on the trail you will come across a hypersalinic lagoon, which is saltier than the ocean, to witness elegant flamingos, common stilts, pintail ducks and other species of sea birds in their natural environment. Immerse yourself in cool waters for a relaxing swim or snorkel to end the trail. Return to the comfortable vessel for dinner and enjoy an optional nightly informative lecture about the Galapagos Islands.
Day 5: Post Office Bay, Devils Crown & Punta Cormorant (located in Floreana Island)
After breakfast, arrive at Post Office Bay, which is a historic site that whalers in the 18th century, presumably had placed a wooden barrel to be used as a convenient post office. Next take a panga ride through the waters La Lobería of Post Office Bay, to inspect sea lion rookeries, sea turtles and marine iguanas on the beach and in the bay of the Lobería. In the afternoon, visit a submerged volcano known as Devils Crown, for one of the best snorkeling experiences in the Galapagos. Afterwards board the vessel to reach Punta Cormorant, for a short expedition to see the a flamingo filled lagoon then continue until you reach the La Picona beach to see marine turtles and their spawning grounds. End the exciting day with a lovely dinner and a nightly lecture accompanied with the group.
Day 6: Punta Suarez, Gardner Bay, & Osborn Islet (located in Espanola)
Make an early dry landing onto Punta Suarez to walk along lava beds and observe the unique colonies of marine birds, including albatross between May and December. Return to the vessel for lunch and by the afternoon arrive in the turquoise waters of Gardner Bay for a walk on the coraline beach to observe a colony of sea lions, which inhabit the beach in great quantity during the breeding season. The beach is also an important nesting area for sea turtles. Then embark on a panga ride around the Osborn Islet and the islets of Gardner and enjoy a cool swim or snorkel as an option.
Day 7: Port Bacquerizo, Jacinto Gordillo Breeding centre, Kicker Rock & Cerro Brujo (located in San Cristobal)
In the morning the vessel will make a dry landing on San Cristobal port, and after a short drive you will arrive at Jacinto Gordillo Turtle Breeding Center to learn about the turtles reproductive process and the programs to maintain the species. Take the bus back to the port to visit an Interpretation Center of Human History. The tour aims to educate about the geological and human history of the islands and its conservation. In the afternoon, your experienced Captain sails easily around Kicker Rock, a massive tuff-rock that juts abruptly almost 500 feet straight from the ocean. Kicker Rock serves as nesting place for many sea birds. Take this perfect opportunity to swim or snorkel near the rock formation. By the late afternoon land on Cerro Brujo to walk on its white sandy beach and observe sea lions, brown pelicans, marine iguanas and blue-footed boobies.
Day 8: North Seymour Island
Explore the coast and the interior of North Seymour Island, which is a low, flat island that was uplifted from the sea by underground seismic activity. Meet native blue footed boobies who nest from May to November, marine iguanas, pelicans, frigate birds, shore birds, sea lions and the endemic Palo Santo. Finally return to the vessel for disembarkment ono the island's pier and then take a bus ride directly to Baltra airport for departure.
Departs - Selected dates (listed below)
Main Deck Cabin
Private bathroom (toilet, shower, washbasin and vanity)
Locker and drawers
Upper Deck Cabin
Private bathroom (toilet, shower, washbasin and vanity)
Locker and drawers
Ship Deck Plan
The Tip Top II Catarmaran was built in 2008 and redesigned in 2015-2016 to offer the highest level of comfort and the best experience of the Galapagos Islands. With room for 16 travellers it provides space for relaxation along with a lounge, bar, sun deck and dining room. The vessel has a naturalist billingual guide and eight experienced crew members that will provide a personalised professional service
to each guest. Further the chef will combine Ecuadorian and international
cuisine to create delicious dishes.
Year Built: 2008
Length: 104 feet
Beam: 40 feet
Draft: 5 feet
Cruising speed: 12 knots
Flights to/from the Galapagos
Pre/Post cruise transfers
All meals during voyage
All excursions and activities mentioned in program
Use of kayaking and snorkelling equipment
What's not included?
Arrival/departure taxes or reciprocity fees, visa fees where applicable