Fernandina Island is regarded as one of the most pristine island environments anywhere in the world, where life has evolved in its natural state, far from the intervention of Man. From the west, we venture back to the Central Islands, landing at the intriguing red beach of Rábida and seeking out the land iguanas of Cerro Dragón. On Santa Cruz, we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and get up close to giant tortoises in their natural environment. In the south, we learn about the Galápagos very own 'murder mystery', spot flamingoes and snorkel at one of the best sites in the archipelago: Champion Islet. Back in the central islands, we explore the placid bay of Santa Fe as well as the dramatic cliffs of South Plaza.
Whether it's the western, central or southern islands we visit, all the crew aboard La Pinta will do our utmost to ensure your Galápagos experience is truly, deeply moving and memorable.
• Highlight Sites: Post Office Bay, Darwin Lake, Urbina’s Upheaval, Charles Darwin Research Station
• Icon Species: Galápagos sea lion, Galápagos fur sea lion, Giant tortoises, Santa Fe land iguana, Galápagos land iguana, Marine iguanas, Hybrid iguana, Blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, Galápagos doves,, Galápagos mockingbirds, San Cristóbal mockingbirds, Floreana mockingbirds, Darwin finches, Greater flamingos, Galápagos hawks, Brown pelicans, Greater frigates, Magnificent frigates, Flightless cormorants, Galápagos penguins, Swallow-tailed gulls, Lava gulls, lava (striated) herons, Galápagos martins
Our adventure begins with a morning flight to Baltra Island and immediate transfer to the dock to board Yacht La Pinta. There’s an introductory welcome briefing, boat drill, cabin assignment followed by lunch.
North Seymour Island
Following an afternoon disembarkation, we enjoy a walk along the coast and the interior of this beautiful flat island, observing numerous bird colonies as well as sea lions and land iguanas. There are opportunities for coastal exploration by dinghy. Evening briefing, welcome cocktail and dinner.
Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela Island)
Since there is no landing site at this location, the coastal exploration is by panga, while the naturalist guide explains the dramatic geology of the area, with remains of lava flows and tuff stone layers. There is abundant wildlife and, depending on the conditions of the ocean, we’ll be able to snorkel along the cliffs, hopefully in the company of green sea turtles.
Punta Espinoza (Fernandina Island)
In the afternoon, we visit the youngest and most pristine island of the archipelago, Fernandina, one of many visitors’ all-time favourites. Punta Espinoza has an amazing combination of barrenness and abundant wildlife. Highlights include hawks, penguins, flightless cormorants and astounding views of the surrounding volcanic landscapes.
Urbina Bay (Isabela Island)
After breakfast, we disembark at Urbina Bay, on the western side of Isabela Island, the result of an uplifting of the ocean floor. Here you can see corals, shells, and large and very colourful Galapagos land iguanas, as well as (occasionally) giant tortoises. Navigating the Bolívar Channel, there are good chances of spotting several species of whales.
Tagus Cove (Isabela Island)
On the northwest of Isabela, secluded Tagus Cove provided a favourite anchorage for pirates and whalers over the centuries, and today makes a great visitor site. An uphill hike takes us to the back of Darwin Crater, filled with salt water. We can snorkel or ride kayaks amid the dramatic landscape before going on our hike.
In the morning, we disembark at Rabida Island’s red-coloured beach. A stroll along the beach allows us to observe marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and several species of Darwin’s finches. This is a great place to snorkel from the beach. For non-snorkelers, we can ride our glass-bottom boat for an exploration of life underneath the waves.
Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill) (Santa Cruz Island)
The north shore of Santa Cruz hosts the fascinating landscapes of Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill). Our walk includes circling a brackish water lagoon frequented by lagoon birds, while further inland, the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western islands of the archipelago, as well as the chance to observe land iguanas.
Puerto Ayora & Charles Darwin Research Station
The morning visit heads to the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise pens within an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest. These are the Galapagos’ headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. A delicious lunch is served at the poolside of the Finch Bay Eco Hotel.
Highlands of Santa Cruz Island
After lunch, we head up to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island by vehicle. This is a great place to look for the emblematic Darwin’s Finches and the endemic Scalesia trees. The highlands are also great for exploring the exuberant vegetation where giant tortoises roam in the wild. This will surely be one of the most remembered visits of the whole voyage.
Post Office Bay
After breakfast, we land at Post Office Bay to visit the historic barrel that has served as a post office in the archipelago for over two centuries. Panga rides along the maze of channels on Floreana’s north shore can also be enjoyed. Views from La Lobería and the Baroness Viewpoint are quite rewarding. There’s great kayaking and swimming from the beach as well.
Champion Islet & Punta Cormorant (Floreana Island)
Before disembarking at Punta Cormorant we can snorkel or ride our glass-bottom boat along the coast of an extinct cone called “Champion Islet”. Later in the afternoon, our visit to Punta Cormorant takes in an olivine-crystal beach for an easy walk by a brackish water lagoon where bird species like american flamingos may be observed. On the other side of the island, we come to a white-sand beach where sea turtles come out at night to nest.
Our journey ends at Baltra Island, where we transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland. Baltra’s flat substrate (due to its uplifted origin) is the reason why the island was chosen back in the 1940s as the location to building an airport.
Galápagos Itineraries are subject to change due to weather, logistical, Galápagos Park regulations or operational reasons.
Luxury Cabin/Captain Cabin
The yacht’s straightforward cabin configuration is distributed across the Cabin Deck. There are 20 Luxury Cabins (Twin/Doubles). All of the beds can be separated or joined according to guests’ needs. Four cabins can be interconnected for friends or families travelling together.
Sitting area; queen, fixed queen, or twin beds; desk and chair; private bath with shower; safe deposit box
Luxury Plus Cabin/Admiral Cabin
The yacht’s straightforward cabin configuration is distributed across the Cabin Deck. There are 4 Luxury Plus Cabins (Triples) . All of the beds can be separated or joined according to guests’ needs. Four cabins can be interconnected for friends or families travelling together.
Sitting area with foldout couch; queen or twin beds; desk and chair; private bath with shower; safe deposit box
Galapagos National Park admission fee and transit Control Card for Galapagos: 120 USD pp
Vessel Type: Small Ship
Length: 63 metres
Passenger Capacity: 48 (in 24 cabins)
Built / refurbished: 1983 / 2007 / 2020
The elegant, recently renovated La Pinta reflects the combined dreams shared by captains, crew, guides, and guests over the years. This beautiful 48-guest yacht features spacious cabins with floor-to-ceiling windows and sophisticated yet relaxed decks and lounges.
In one of the world’s greatest marine environments, you can be sure your surroundings are front and center. From bow to stern, the elegant and sophisticated La Pinta recently received a full interior makeover and would steal the show anywhere less impressive. Instead, she’s the perfect complement to the great outdoors. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the lounge showcase the views with a décor that nods to the nautical. Geared up for adventure play and wildlife, the yacht also has a fun-to-explore expedition room lined with maps and artwork, a canopied terrace, and an alfresco dining area. Her Ecuadorian crew exudes friendliness, fueled by pride in their vessel, the Galapagos Islands, and a desire to share them both. Because some good things are too good to keep secret.
Onboard Features include three public decks, on-deck hot tub, exercise room with fitness equipment, expedition room along with an outdoor sky bar and observation lounge.
The lounge features floor to ceiling windows, the library features historical materials, and the aft covered al fresco dining area also features the hot tub and bar. Perfection.
The Dining Room features open seating. Meals are served at table at set times. Unlimited beverages, alcoholic and non, are included in the price of the cruise. Vegetarian options are always available. Dietary restrictions are happily accommodated with advance notice.
Cabin Features: Floor-to-ceiling view windows; air conditioning; universal docking station; hairdryer, conditioning shampoo, body wash; in-room safe deposit box
Voyage on board in selected cabin category
All meals while on board
Sightseeing on the islands
Naturalist guides and lecture services in English/Spanish
Transfers in the Galapagos
Trip specific inclusions;
Transfer from main hotels in Quito (Casa Gangotena, Hilton Colón, Swissôtel, Marriott, Dann Carlton) and in Guayaquil (Hilton Colón, Oro Verde, Wyndham, Sheraton) to airport for flights to / from Galapagos are included in these rates. To coordinate these transfers we must have guest’s hotel contact
International and domestic flights
Return flights between Ecuador and Galapagos (Approx USD$550.00 per person)
Galapagos National Park fee and transit card (Approx USD$120.00 per person)
Transfers other than those stated
Beverages purchased on board
Passport and visa costs where applicable
Wet suits (Available on board some ships to hire)
During Peak Season (Dec 24 - Jan 01) a surcharge applies