Barefoot Expeditions: Galapagos Islands, Ecuador and Peru Travel Adventures

M/S THE BEAGLE, North Western Islands 8D-7N

A magnificent 105-foot twin screw steel-hulled brigantine with teak decks and beautifully designed interiors, The Beagle is in a class by itself among sailing yachts in the Galapagos.

She was built by Cubow Ltd. in Woolwich, England, in the 1970’s and registered with Lloyd’s (number Y 195095), but her designer is unknown. She’s been a charter vessel in the Islands for over a decade and has been substantially refurbished under her current ownership.

All around the wide decks, comfortable seating allows you to choose sunshine or shade for lounging and observation. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served on board with the exception of the day you visit Puerto Ayora, when you will enjoy a meal in the highlands of Santa Cruz. Meals blend Ecuadorian and continental cuisine and are served on the deck or in the saloon. Coffee and tea are available on deck, cold drinks including beer and a selection of wine and cocktails you may purchase from a well-stocked bar. Refreshing snacks, especially at teatime, round out your daily menu.

DAY 1: TUESDAY
AM: BALTRA AIRPORT. On arrival at Baltra Airport, all visitors pay their entrance fee to the Galapagos National Park. You will then be met by The Beagle’s naturalist guide who will assist you with your luggage collection and accompany you on a short bus ride to the harbor to board The Beagle.

PM: LAS BACHAS. After a light lunch, The Beagle will navigate to Las Bachas. Located on the Northern shore of Santa Cruz Island. Las Bachas is a white sand beach that is a major nesting site for the green sea turtles. The name Las Bachas (“potholes”) refers to the indentations left in the sand by laying turtles or departing hatchlings. On the shore, there are marine iguanas, and in the lagoon area flamingos are common. Visitors are welcome to swim from the beach.
DAY 2: WEDNESDAY, TOWER (GENOVESA)
AM: PRINCE PHILIP'S STEPS. After a dry landing you climb up the fairly steep Prince Philip’s Steps that take you onto a lava rock trail leading you through Palo Santo forest full of nesting birds. There’s a good chance of seeing the unique short-eared owl at this site.

PM: DARWIN BAY. After lunch and a snorkel along the amazing cliff sides, you visit the beach area of Darwin Bay, home to frigate birds, red-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, flycatchers, lava gulls, storm petrels and Darwin finches, to mention some of the birds found in this bay, formed from a caldera collapse.
DAY 3: THURSDAY, JAMES
AM: PUERTO EGAS. After a wet landing at James Bay onto a black beach, an easy stroll takes you near the coast line to observe tidal pools, marine birds, iguanas and sea lions, and often migratory birds are present in this area. This is also a good place to observe the Galapagos hawk. The trail ends at the fur sea lion grottos and, being nocturnal feeders, the fur seals sleep in and around the grottos during the day. On returning to the beach visitors may snorkel or swim.

PM: NAVIGATION. After lunch The Beagle will start navigating to the west side of Isabela Island.
DAY 4: FRIDAY, ISABELA
AM: PUNTA VICENTE ROCA. offers a dinghy ride, excellent for marine life observation, to a snorkel area where underwater wildlife take full advantage of the nutrient-rich Cromwell current that upswells in this area.

PM: TAGUS COVE. The 30 minute hike at Tagus Cove takes you to the top of a cliff to view the volcanic landscapes of Darwin Volcano and Darwin Lake, the latter an uplifted ultra-saline lake saltier than the sea. Historically used as an anchorage site by pirates and whalers, this site is again an excellent place for marine and land birds.
DAY 5: SATURDAY, FERNANDINA-ISABELA
AM: PUNTA ESPINOZA. Fernandina is the youngest island of the archipelago. As you disembark at Punta Espinoza, you must be careful not to step on the marine iguanas piled up together to retain body heat. This visiting site is rich in wildlife, sea lions, flightless cormorants, penguins, herons, Sally light-foot crabs and much more, all living side by side on this small point with its mangrove forest.

PM: URBINA BAY. Located to the south at the foot of the western side of Alcedo Volcano, Urbina Bay was uplifted in 1954 from the seabed leaving coral heads sitting out of the water. There is a large colony of land iguana, which has grown since the feral dogs and goats have been controlled through Project Isabela. It also affords an opportunity to see the Alcedo Volcano tortoise in its natural habitat.

DAY 6: SUNDAY
AM: ELIZABETH BAY. Elizabeth Bay is a marine visitor site so the excursion is made by dinghy to the Mariela Rocks, where there is an important colony of Galapagos penguins. The dinghy ride takes you into a cove surrounded by red mangrove. Here in these quiet lagoons there may be green sea turtles, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, brown pelicans, small shark and flightless cormorants.

PM: PUNTA MORENOA lava walk takes you to a series of lagoons with plenty to see along the way. Darwin’s finches, Galapagos doves, penguins, blue-footed boobies, mockingbirds and flightless cormorants are some of the abundant wildlife. Still, on Isabela, the largest island in Galapagos, you will explore Punta Moreno, a desolate and pristine landscape of impressive black lava flows affording good views of Alcedo and Sierra Azul volcanoes.
DAY 7: MONDAY, ISABELA
AM: SIERRA NEGRA- ARNALDO TUPIZA BREEDING CENTER. After breakfast, passengers head for the Sierra Negra volcano, the second largest volcanic crater in the world. It sits in the southern part of Isabela Island. Transportation is available to the end of the road, followed by a 45- minute walk on a trail to the top of the volcano from where the caldera can be viewed.

PM: PORT OF VILLAMIL- TRAVELING. Upon returning from the hike, passengers visit the Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center, to see the giant tortoises. Lunch is served upon their return to The Beagle, and afterwards, those who wish to can go swimming in one of the Coves of Villamil Port. In the afternoon the boat begins traveling toward Puerto Ayora.
DAY 8: TUESDAY, PUERTO AYORA - BALTRA AIRPORT
AM:GEMELOS. Departing visitors going to Baltra Airport and those who are remaining on The Beagle for a second week will all go together in a bus to the Gemelos, located in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. These pit craters are just off the main road that crosses the island to the airport.

** ITINERARY IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE**

Included

  • Accommodation on board Beagle Based on double occupancy cabin with private facilities
  • All excursions mentioned in the itinerary (Subject to change)
  • All transfers in Galapagos (airport - yacht-airport transfers in Galapagos are only included if the flight has been booked through us)
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • Swimming and snolkeling
  • Sea Kayaking
  • Naturalist bilingual guide (English-Spanish)
  • Fresh water, tea, coffee.
  • Snorkeling mask, Kayaks.

Not Included

  • Airflight rate Quito – Galápagos – Quito
  • Airport Transfers Galapagos( if the flight has not been booked with us, an additional airport transfer will have to be booked, if a flight delay occurs, an additional speed boat may have to be hired at your own expense to take to you to our yacht)
  • Galápagos National Park entrance fee (100 USD for adults / 50 USD for children)
  • INGALA Card (Tourist Migratory Control Card: 20 USD per person)
  • Extra drinks
  • Tips
  • Personal expenses
  • Wetsuit rental (10 USD per day)

Testimonials

  • “We had a wonderful time. Everything exceeded our expectations.”

    The McDonalds, San Francisco, CA
  • “Great Galapagos trip through Barefoot Expeditions – Highly recommended Service”
    As one of our main highlights for our 3 1/2 weeks Ecuador travel we wanted to go for a Galapagos cruise and found Barefoot Expeditions through tripadvisor as a well recommended agency with great personal service. The agency, located in Quito, is owned by Diego and Kerstin and their web page gives a good taste of their service.

    Reviews