Chinese Hat Islet
We’re delighted to have you aboard for this journey of discovery that will visit some of the most beautiful islands in the Galapagos! Our itinerary together begins on Santa Cruz Island, the most populated island in the archipelago, where we meet giant tortoises in the wild and then venture to the shores of Eden Islet. From there, we hop over to the lovely crescent bay of Chinese Hat. On Wednesday, one of the iconic sites of the archipelago awaits: Bartolomé Island, with its wooden walkway up to a panoramic viewpoint, along with its golden sandy beach that offers some great snorkeling opportunities offshore. Nearby Sullivan Bay will then give us a great introduction to the volcanic origins of the islands. We end with an exciting visit to the sunken caldera of Genovesa – one of the most isolated islands in Galapagos, located far up in the northeast region of the archipelago – a privileged place to visit that is home to hundreds of marine birds. The entire crew aboard La Pinta will do their utmost to ensure your Galapagos tour is a truly moving and memorable experience.
Day by Day
Day 1 - Santa Cruz & Baltra Islands
Baltra Island Airport
Following your morning arrival at Baltra Airport, you will take a transfer ferry across the Itabaca Channel – a small channel that separates the north shore of Santa Cruz Island from Baltra Island. Afterwards, you will board a private bus that will take you, along with other guests, up into the highlands, where we will all have the opportunity to learn about Santa Cruz’s unique ecosystems and biodiversity. Lunch is served at a local restaurant.
Highlands (Santa Cruz Island)
After lunch, we will continue by private bus to reach a reserve that is one of the best places in the archipelago to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat. The tortoises are easy to spot lumbering around, eating grass and sometimes even wallowing in the small pools. There are several lava tunnels in the reserve, too. After this, a short, private bus ride will take us down to the town of Puerto Ayora to board Yacht La Pinta.
Day 2 - Santa Cruz & Sombrero Chino Island
Eden Islet (Santa Cruz Island)
Following breakfast, a panga ride will take us down to Eden Islet, located off the coast of Santa Cruz Island, where they can observe blue-footed boobies diving into the water, reef sharks and frigates. There’s a chance to snorkel or ride aboard La Pinta’s own glass-bottom boat, weather permitting. The volcanic setting of this area is quite stunning due to its variety of volcanic debris, complete with cinder cones, tuff cones, and semi-eroded lava flows.
Sombrero Chino Islet
The tiny island of Sombrero Chino gets its name from its appearance, which is reminiscent of a Chinese Hat. This islet, which formed fairly recently, makes for a beautiful visit as one explores the wildlife along its 400-meter long trail, which begins at a crescent-shaped white sand beach. The cove offers excellent swimming and snorkeling opportunities in the company of whitetip reef sharks and Galapagos penguins.
Day 3 - Bartolome & Santiago Islands
On this morning, an iconic and postcard-worthy Galapagos feature awaits: Bartolome Island. We will disembark from our dinghy shuttle boats and begin a steep climb up a wooden staircase where the view from the top makes the trek well worth the effort! Following the walk, we will once again hop aboard the dinghies for a ride around the colossal Pinnacle Rock. After this, there will be time for you guests to enjoy the beach as well as some snorkeling. You can also choose to ride aboard the glass-bottom boat for great views of the underwater world.
Sullivan Bay (Santiago Island)
After lunch, we will board the dinghy to disembark at Sullivan Bay over on the east coast of Santiago Island. This visitor site comes complete with a white coral-sand beach, which is great for swimming and snorkeling. Additionally, there’s a trail that goes over a lava field that once flowed here less than 100 years ago. This is the perfect place to see and feel the volcanic origin of Galapagos while observing its wildlife.
Day 4 - Genovesa Island
In the morning, we will begin our exploration of this island with a casual stroll to observe marine and land birds. There is an optional walk over sharp lava and uneven terrain that rewards us with dramatic views, too. Otherwise, you can simply choose to return to the beach to enjoy swimming and snorkeling at this beautiful, natural harbor. If you are feeling more adventurous, you can opt to snorkel along the cliffs or paddle in sea kayaks.
Prince Philip’s Steps
The afternoon starts with a very interesting dinghy ride along the cliffs before we disembark at Prince Philip’s Steps – the start of a steep but short climb up a wooden staircase. Once at the top, the terrain is pretty flat, which allows for a mesmerizing, mile-long walk to the other side of this small island. Along the way, guests will get to check out large colonies of Nazca boobies, frigatebirds and storm petrels as well as the elusive short-eared owl.
Day 5 - Baltra Island
Baltra Island Airport
The journey ends at Baltra Island, where you will take your transfer to the airport to hop on your flight back to the mainland. Baltra’s flat terrain (due to its tectonically uplifted origin) is the reason for why this island was chosen as the location to build an airport back in the 1940’s.
*Tuesday to Monday*
*Tuesday to Monday*
Prices Per Person
- All meals
- Soft drinks*
- Island sightseeing
- Naturalist guides and lecture services in English/Spanish only
- Wet suit rental and snorkeling gear
- Taxes and transfers in the islands.
- Transfer from main hotels in Quito (Casa Gangotena, Hilton Colon, Mercure, Sheraton, Marriott, Dann Carlton) and in Guayaquil (Hilton Colon, Oro Verde, Sheraton, Wyndham) to airport for flights to/from Galapagos are included in these rates. To coordinate these transfers we must have guest’s hotel contact.
*Soft drinks include juices and carbonated drinks, not “virgin” cocktails.
** Internet connection aboard Yacht La Pinta consists of 2 computer stations (available in the library) and Wi-Fi in the yacht’s social areas. Due to the Galapagos’ remote location, internet connection is intermittent and low-bandwidth.
- Airfare to/from the Galapagos*
- Galapagos National Park admission fee (US$100 per person)**
- Transit Control Card for Galapagos (US$20 per person)**
- Alcoholic beverages***
- Gifts and additional items.
*Upon request, airline tickets can be included. Metropolitan Touring guarantees availability of these flights. Airfare is subject to change.
**Upon request, we can include the Galapagos National Park and INGALA Transit Control Card fees (US$100 and US$20 respectively and subject to change without prior notice). However, due to logistical reasons, these fees can only be included when guests travel on the operational departure date and not before.
***Guests may bring their own wine or spirits; however, there is a corkage fee of US$27 + tax.
- During peak season dates, Metropolitan Touring reserves the right to prioritize reservations taking into account factors such as payment and confirmation dates. A peak season supplement also applies.
- We reserve the right to limit the number of twin/double cabins for single use dependent on availability.
- Only 3 Luxury Cabins are available for single use, with a surcharge of 50% of the price per person.
- Twin/Double Cabins incur a 100% surcharge of the price per person when used as singles, please check availability first.
- Luxury Plus Cabins (of which there are 4) incur a 50% surcharge per person when used as twin or double.
- Regardless the number of cabins occupied, the ship’s authorized maximum operating capacity cannot exceed 48 guests.
- Galapagos Itineraries are subject to change due to weather, logistical or operational reasons.
- All rates are subject to change. If fuel prices increase, additional charges may apply.
- All credit card payments are exempt from additional fees.