Galapagos Megayacht agency
Destination and Sample Itinerary
Galapagos, the Archipelago of unrivaled beauty mystery and amazing creatures, are now well known as the “enchanted isles”. The Galapagos National Park is also a Marine Reserve considered among the best ten world diving places, for all divers and naturalists.
The Islands are easily accessible after a couple of days cruising from the Panama Canal, to a distance from around 900 miles sailing south the pacific, to the equatorial line, the Equator crosses through the Galapagos Archipelago, which are 600 miles off the coast of Mainland Ecuador- There are 13 major islands and 115 islets, Being Santa Cruz the most populated one, among the four inhabited , with a total population estimated in 28.000..In Santa Cruz you find the National Park Administration Offices and the Charles Darwin Research Station, having the name from Darwin’s famous theory of evolution and survival of the fittest, here you can also learn more about the unique ecosystem of these islands, Fauna, Flora, Geology, History, marine biology, Oceanography in which are greatly influenced by several ocean currents, learning about the different conservation programs such as the land Iguanas , giant tortoises rearing programs.
In Academy Bay, Santa Cruz, you find all sort of facilities for either the small sailboat, or the most sophisticated mega yacht , the following suggested seven-day cruising Itinerary, will cover most of land and marine highlights, the best for land visits and the best dive sites for the marine life lovers, making it the cruise of a lifetime.
Departing from Academy Bay at midnight, in order to save time for the daily activities, going towards the southeast, you will find the island of Hood or Española, most of the islands have 2 and 3 names, you have enough time to drop anchor at Punta Suarez bay early in the morning
Punta Suarez. is one of the most popular and attractive visits of the Galapagos. The quantity and variety of wildlife at this site is remarkable. When landing, young sea lions surf the breaking waves, while a few steps inland groups of the Española variety of iguanas bask in the sun. Further inland, Masked and Blue-foot Boobies nest almost right on the trail, The trail continues toward the cliffs and the famous blowhole, a fissure in the lava where water spurts high in the air like a geyser, where you can take a salt water shower.
The cracks in the rock are home to the attractive Swallow-tailed Gulls and Red-billed Tropicbirds. Further up the cliff, in an area of low-lying tress, is the only place where the Waved Albatross nests, and in fact, the 10 to 15,000 pairs of albatrosses on Hood are all the individuals of this species that exist on the planet. They perform one of the most spectacular rituals of the animal world. Watching these large birds (up to 1 meter high / 3.3 feet) take off is another unforgettable moment. The albatrosses clumsily wobble to the edge of the cliff and launch themselves against the wind to be transformed into gracious flying creatures.
GardnerBay. offers a great possibility for the visitor to enjoy some beach time in the Galapagos. Here, the extroverted mockingbirds sit on top of visitor’s hats, peck at their feet and investigate their belongings.
Floreana (Santa Maria, Charles)
Floreana has a colorful history of pirates, whalers, convicts, and colonists. In 1793 British whalers set up the Post Office barrel to send letters to and from England. This tradition has continues and visitors now can post their cards and letters to anywhere in the world
Punta Cormorant, offers two highly contrasting beaches; the landing beach is of volcanic origin and is composed of olivine crystals, giving it a greenish tinge. At the end of the short trail is a carbonate beach of very fine white sand, formed by the erosion of coral skeletons; it is a nesting site for green sea turtles. Between these two beaches is a salt lagoon frequented by flamingoes, pintails, stilts, and other wading birds. An old eroded volcanic cone called Devil's Crown is a popular roosting site for seabirds such as boobies, pelicans, and frigates and it is not uncommon to see red-billed tropicbirds in rocky crevices. The center of Devil's Crown is an outstanding snorkeling spot full of sea lions and colorful fish.
From Floreana you sail to Puerto Villamil on Isabela Island, the largest Island in the archipelago, with a small population.This island is formed when six shield volcanoes merged. All but one of these volcanoes remains active, Sierra negra, with the latest eruption in 1998, making Isabela one of the most volcanically-active places on Earth, its caldera (a large crater which is the second largest in the world), the other volcanoes and the Perry Isthmus beyond. From here hike to Chico Volcano, with its puffing fumaroles and striking lava formations, examples of the geological events that have formed the Galapagos Islands over millions of years. In the late afternoon, return to Puerto Villamil, where you can visit the giant tortoises corrals. You can enjoy the nice typical sea food restaurants in Puerto Villamil .
Sailing around the coastline west of Isabela, on the way to Tagus Cove, the boat will sail through Bolivar Channel. These are very productive waters; whales and dolphins are often seen here. Tagus Cove was historically used as an anchoring site for pirates and whalers. The nature trail is an ascent through the typical dry vegetation zone and offers spectacular views of Darwin Lake, a saltwater crater lake and the long narrow inlet that appears to connect with it. At the top of the trail it is possible to observe the different vegetation zones, as well as catch a glimpse of Darwin and Wolf Volcanoes as well as Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorants and pelicans.
Punta Vicente Roca, Here the remnants of an ancient volcano form two turquoise coves with a bay well protected from the ocean swells. The spot is a popular anchorage from which to take panga rides along the cliff that are the remains of the volcano or explore a partially sunken cave at the water’s edge. Masked and blue-footed boobies sit perched along the point and the sheer cliffs, while flightless cormorants inhabit the shoreline.
The upwelling of coldwater currents in this part of the Galápagos, give rise to an abundance of marine life which, in combination with the protection of the coves, make Punta Vicente Roca one of the archipelago’s sough after dive spots. One cove is only accessible from the sea by way of an underwater passage. The passage opens to calm waters of the hidden cove where sea lions like to laze on the beach having traveled along the underwater route. The entire area of Punta Vicente Roca lies on the flank of 2,600 foot Volcano Ecuador. This is the island’s sixth largest volcano. Half of Volcano Ecuador slid into the ocean leaving a spectacular cutaway view of the volcanic caldera.
Tower island is formed by the remaining edges of a large crater this is now mostly submerged: known as “bird island”, it certainly honors its name. Darwin Bay Beach is filled with frigate birds and their bustling activity. Along the trail are pairs of Swallow-tailed Gulls, the only nocturnal gulls in the world and Red-footed Boobies, with their contrasting red feet and blue bills.
Lava Gulls, Pintail Ducks, Yellow Crowned and Lava Herons, and other birds feed near the shores of a tidal lagoon just beyond the rocky edge that faces the bay. A panga ride along the walls of the crater reveals the variety of animals that find shelter in the ledges and crevices of the lava. Above, the elegant Red-billed Tropicbirds fly in and out of their nests. At Prince Philip’s Steps, visitors climb to a plateau that is part of the stretch of land that surrounds Darwin Bay on its eastern side. Everywhere one looks, there are Masked boobies on the ground and Red-Footed boobies in the trees.
Beyond a broad lava field that extends towards the ocean, thousands of storm petrels flutter like swarms of locusts, and Short-eared Owls hunt down the more inexperienced ones. Snorkeling can be done at the beach or alongside the cliffs. The water inside the bay is very rich in nutrients, so one never knows what may be encountered. Tower is one of the most fantastic islands because of its animals, its landscape, its remoteness and its unspoiled nature.
Santiago (San Salvador or James)
On the northwestern side of the island is South James Bay ,or Puerto Egas. The landing is on a black beach with eroded rock formations in the background. The trail crosses the dry interior, where the remains of a salt-mining enterprise can still be seen and then continues along the coast. Intertidal pools are home to a variety of invertebrate organisms. Land iguanas are scattered around feeding on exposed algae while Oyster Catchers try to capture Sally Lightfoot Crabs. The trail then leads to the Fur Seal Grottos, one of the only places in the islands where Fur Seals can be seen. Puerto Egas is a good spot for taking pictures. Either at dawn or sunset, the light for photography is perfect. The lava and the black sand seem to catch fire and the animals acquire a surreal quality.
On the other side of the island, the northeast, is SullivanBay. Across a narrow channel from Bartolome, this site offers the possibility of seeing a recent pahoehoe (ropy) lava flow, formed about 100 years ago. It is exciting to imagine how this lava flowed down to the sea, engulfing everything in its way. After exploring the lava flow, there is swimming and snorkeling with playful sea lions off two small coralline beaches.
Bartolome is famous for its Pinnacle Rock, which is the most representative landmark of the Galapagos. Precariously walking on the rocks at the base of the Pinnacle Rock are Galapagos Penguins, the smallest species of penguin and the only one found north of the Equator. At the beach on the southern side, across the isthmus of the island, there are sea turtles either nesting, wading in the shallow water near the shore or just resting in the sand, exhausted after swimming a long way to these beaches to lay their eggs. White-tipped Reef Sharks patrol close to shore. At the other side of landing, it ispossible to climb to the highest point of the island. The site is like a museum of volcanology, an eruption site left untouched after the explosion. If it weren’t for the small lava lizards scurrying around and the pioneer Mollugo plants, the visitor could be well walking on the surface of the moon.
Heading down south you reach SouthPlaza, is one of the smallest islands visited, 426 feet wide (130 meters) and just over ½ mile (1 kilometer) long. Here there is a large colony of sea lions, numbering about 1,000 bulls, cows and pups, occupying the smooth rocks. The small cactus forest is populated by land iguanas, which can be seen sunning themselves or feeding on Opuntia pads and fruits. Along the cliff edge nesting swallow-tailed gulls are the predominant seabirds, along with tropicbirds and shearwaters. Generally between the months of January to June, the dormant ground cover undergoes a drastic change; the red Sesuvium turns bright green and the leafless evening-blooming Portulaca bursts into large yellow flowers relished by the iguanas.
Keeping going south towards the end of the 7 day Itinerary, in the way to Santa Cruz, you findSanta Fe (Barrington) Santa Fe has one of the most beautiful coves of all the visitor sites in the Galapagos. It is a turquoise lagoon protected by a peninsula that extends from the shore, by a row of rocks and a small island that are aligned with it. Santa Fe is an island that was not formed by a volcanic eruption (it does not have the typical cone shape) but by an uplift that was the result of tectonic activity.
The ascending trail takes to the peak of a precipice where the Santa Fe species of land iguana can be seen; they are a more bright yellow and have uncommonly large spikes on their spine. Back at the landing beach, there is another trail in the opposite direction that runs alongside the coast and then crosses through a very picturesque forest of Prickly Cactus. These Opuntia trees are the largest of their type in the islands.
After a long hike, there is nothing pleasent than a swim in the calm waters of the bay or snorkeling in the company of sea lions at the base of the rocks.
Toll Free:1-800-4260802 ---- Miami 305-332 3099
Telefax : 954 967 2547
PO BOX 312 Hallandale FL 33008 USA
Main Office: 6306 SW 23 St. Suite 100 Miramar FL 33023 USA
Branch Offices in Quito and Santa Cruz Island-Galapagos-Ecuador
International callers 001-305-332 3099
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