Explore three magical Galapagos Islands via private yacht on this 6-day tour of the archipelago's standout sights. Start on Santa Cruz, where you'll come face-to-face with giant tortoises in the lush highlands, soak up the sun on the sands of Tortuga Bay Beach, and discover a world of natural history and conservation at the Charles Darwin Research Station. After a day spent hiking the grasslands and caves of Floreana, head to Isabela to snorkel the turquoise waters of Tintoreras alongside penguins, sea lions, and sea turtles.

Highlights

  • Explore the islands of Santa Cruz, Floreana & Isabela by private yacht
  • Visit with giant Galapagos tortoises in the wild
  • Immerse yourself in the natural world at the Charles Darwin Research Station
  • Snorkel with penguins & sea lions at Las Tintoreras
  • Stroll the pink sands of Tortuga Bay Beach

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive at Santa Cruz Island - Puerto Ayora Puerto Ayora
Day 2 Tortuga Bay & Charles Darwin Research Station Puerto Ayora
Day 3 Santa Cruz - Floreana - Isabela Isla Isabela
Day 4 Isabela Island Isla Isabela
Day 5 Isabela - Santa Cruz Puerto Ayora
Day 6 Transfer Out  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive at Santa Cruz Island - Puerto Ayora

Giant Tortoise
See giant Galapagos tortoises in their natural habitat

Welcome to the Galapagos Islands! Upon arrival at Baltra Island airport, your guide will be waiting to welcome you and help arrange your transfer from the airport to Puerto Ayora—the largest town in the Galapagos Archipelago and your base for the night. On the way, you'll cross the beautiful Itabaca Channel to reach the island of Santa Cruz, where private transportation will take you on a journey to the highlands where you can observe giant Galapagos tortoises in the wild. After lunch, continue to Puerto Ayora to check in to your hotel and spend the evening at your leisure.

Day 2: Tortuga Bay & Charles Darwin Research Station

Iguana at Tortuga Bay
Pristine sand and surf at Tortuga Bay Beach

This morning starts with a hike to the heavenly Tortuga Bay Beach. Famed for its soft coral sand and spectacular scenery, this stretch of coast is considered one of the archipelago's most picturesque spots. The first part of the beach has strong waves so is not recommended for swimming, but continue walking west to reach a tranquil bay of calm, welcoming water. Here you can observe colonies of marine iguanas and marine birds, as well as mangroves, cacti forests, and fascinating coastal flora. After plenty of time to enjoy the sand and surf, you'll return to town in time for lunch.

In the afternoon, a short walk takes you to the Fausto Llerena Interpretation Center, where you can learn about the Galapagos National Park´s work and observe tortoises of different species and sizes. Continue to the Charles Darwin Station, where scientists from all over the world work together to protect the unique flora and fauna of the Galapagos. Environmental projects include water analysis, protection of endemic wildlife, effects of tourism on nature, and other pressing issues. Visit the turtle rearing station to see where animals are raised before being released into nature, and keep an eye out for land iguanas, who live around the station. 

Day 3: Santa Cruz - Floreana - Isabela

Marine iguanas sunbathing on the shore

Today starts bright and early as you prep for a full-day journey exploring the islands aboard a small private yacht. The first leg takes you to the historically fascinating Floreana Island, home to the small village of Puerto Velasco Ibarra. Along the way, keep an eye out for turtles, rays, sea birds, and dolphins. A local water taxi will transport you from your yacht to the town's pier, where you'll be greeted by a welcome party of sea lions and marine iguanas enjoying the morning sun.

From here, a local transport bus known as a Chiva picks you up for a quick 30-minute drive up to the Floreana highlands. The ascent follows a simple mud road through the arid coastal zone, before transforming dramatically into riotous green scenery. Pass tropical banana, coffee, and cacao plantations before ending at the island's highest pampa grasslands. From here you'll set out on a scenic walk to the place known as Asilo de La Paz (Peace Asylum), the historic home of the German Whitmer family who settled the area in 1932. Explore their hillside cave homes and the area's lush surroundings, keeping an eye out for Galapagos tortoises roaming freely among the trees and, weather permitting, sweeping views across the hills to the Pacific Ocean.  

After a leisurely lunch, it's time to get back on the water for another scenic sail towards Isabela Island. Drop anchor at the island's largest town of Puerto Villamil, where a local aquatic taxi takes you to the shore and your hotel for the night. 

Day 4: Isabela Island

Blue-footed boobies and sea lions on Isla Isabela

Board a local boat this morning to reach the spectacular Tintoreras Islet for a short hike and some snorkeling. See Humboldt penguins, marine iguanas, sea lions, and sharks, which rest in the natural channels formed by lava flows. Afterward, you can snorkel in the turquoise water and spot different fish, sea turtles, rays, and penguins before returning to Puerto Villamil for lunch.

Take an afternoon stroll to Los Humedales (the Wetlands), a stunning area characterized by sandy beaches, rocky shores, and mangroves. While walking along the main trail, you can see all four species of mangroves found in the Galapagos, and observe bright pink flamingos and migratory birds including whimbrels, short-billed dowitchers, Wilson’s phalaropes, common terns, blue-winged teals, osprey, black-bellied and semipalmated plovers, and greater and lesser yellowlegs. Continuing along the path, you'll arrive at the Tortoise Breeding Center, home to tortoises of all sizes and subspecies. After experiencing this intimate look at the flora and fauna of Isabela island, return to your hotel, where the rest of your afternoon is free to relax or explore on your own.

Day 5:  Isabela - Santa Cruz

Curious sea lions greet island arrivals

After breakfast, transfer to the pier of Puerto Villamil to board your private yacht again for a scenic trip back to the city of Puerto Ayora. Upon arrival, you'll be transferred to your hotel for check-in and have some free time for a relaxed lunch. 

In the afternoon, you'll set sail aboard a small boat for a tour of the unique coastal areas near Puerto Ayora. Set off towards Camaño Islet where colonies of playful sea lions and distinctive blue-footed and masked boobies abound. Stopping at German's Bay, you'll disembark and hike to the famous Canal del Amor, where white-tipped sharks can often be found basking in the lava channels. Continue towards Playa de Los Perros, a beautiful area of dry forest and rocky ocean shore with breathtaking views. Your last stop is the narrow, cool-water swimming hole of Las Grietas, where you can swim and snorkel amongst a jumble of small cliffs and tumbled boulders. Return to the hotel for a well-deserved rest and a celebratory farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 6: Transfer Out

Return to Baltra Island to catch your flight home

This morning you'll bid the Galapagos Islands farewell, transferring to the airport of Baltra Island. A bus ride takes you back to the Itabaca Channel, where you'll cross via local ferry and continue to the airport. On the way, you can stop by the dramatic natural formations of Crater los Gemelos for one final photo-op before catching your flight home.