Let’s say you made the choice to book a cruise to the Galapagos. Congratulations! You did your research, you read the articles about our fabulous comprehensive itineraries, and now it’s time to decide and plan your itinerary. The schedule below is a snapshot of the day we spend on Santa Cruz, one of the few inhabited islands, and we’re pleased to announce we have recently added new activities to our Itinerary A, to make your adventure all the more spectacular.
Effective with our cruise on February 26th, we have made the following enhancements to our Itinerary A on board the ORIGIN and the Eric & Letty to the day we spend on Santa Cruz Island. Check out these newly added features and book your cruise today!
THURSDAY on ITINERARY A
- Disembark at Puerto Ayora, located at the southern shore of the Santa Cruz Island. This port city is the social heart of the Galapagos, with a population of 24,000.
- Travel by bus to the highlands, passing through all seven vegetation zones found in the Galapagos.
- Visit Rancho El Manzanillo, a privately-owned hacienda where giant tortoises roam in their natural habitat. Rancho El Manzanillo will replace the visit to Las Primicias).
- Stop at the lava tunnels at El Mirador, the largest in the archipelago (instead of El Chato), and visit Los Gemelos, (The Twins), a pair of large craters. Return to the yacht for lunch on board.
- That afternoon, visit the Centro de Crianza Fausto Llerena (formerly Charles Darwin Research Station). Marvel at the tortoise corals and the breeding center with hatchlings and miniature tortoises that will be repatriated when grown.
- A new exhibit honoring Lonesome George has just opened this week at Symbol of Hope Exhibition Hall in Puerto Ayora. George was a worldwide icon of conservation as the last surviving tortoise from Pinta Island that tragically died of natural causes. This is your chance to see a relic of biodiversity up close and personal. Learn more here.
- We will stop at a local chocolate shop to learn how high quality Arriba cacao is produced in Ecuador. The Chocogalapagos shop is locally owned and located at the entrance of the station and park. The owners give our guests a sample and also offer products for sale.
- Stroll through town to shop for souvenirs or stop at an internet café or new museum to stimulate the local economy.
- Or for those who prefer active options, we can arrange for kayaking at Punta Estrada or to ride bicycles (additional charges apply).
- Return to the yacht for dinner or, if you wish, you may remain ashore for dinner on your own at a local restaurant. Zodiac shuttles from the yachts to the main dock will be offered throughout the evening.
The following are optional activities that have an additional charge that must be paid in cash directly to the operators and cannot be prepaid:
MAPRAE museum – This is the first virtual museum featuring pre-Colombian artefacts that uses augmented reality. Learn about ancient cultures of the Amazonian and coastal areas of Ecuador through innovative technology. The entrance fee is $12 per person, includes a tablet with ear phones with explanations in English and Spanish, and is open until 10PM. Located across from the Hotel Sol y Mar.
Guests can kayak or paddle board on a fairly easy route along the mangroves where you will see landscapes, sea lions, marine iguanas and sea birds. The duration is two hours and the charge is $30 per person, including a local guide, paddle and life jackets. There is a minimum of 6 guests and maximum of 18, including tandem kayak and paddle boards. Ecoventura will provide transportation to and from the yacht to the Finch Bay dock. Our guides or concierge on Origin will offer to make arrangements for our guests the day prior to visiting Santa Cruz.
Photo credit Agua de Mar Galápagos Kayak & Paddle Board
Bicycle ride from the main dock – Guests can go cycling along designated paths or to the highlands town of Bellavista with “Bicicletas Ramiro Tomala”. This is a popular route! There is a charge of $5 for one hour and 30 minutes and includes bicycles and helmets. Minimum of 3 bikes and there is no maximum.
This is just one day in your seven-day adventure in the Galapagos. To see a day to day schedule, check out our fully detailed itineraries here!