Galapagos Private Journey

With an Expert Naturalist Guide

Note: This trip must start on a Saturday
 
 

Overview

The Galápagos Islands are truly “a world unto themselves,” as Darwin wrote. Aboard your own private yacht with your naturalist guide, set off into Darwin’s world for an active journey full of nature hikes, snorkeling, and wonder. Abundant marine life makes for fantastic snorkeling, and swimming with playful sea lions is an experience you’ll never forget! A Private Journey allows you to choose your own dates and your traveling companions—and still enjoy the signature quality of a Wilderness Travel group trip. The Passion has two 7-night/8-day routes (Eastern Itinerary and Western Itinerary) operating Saturday to Saturday—or opt to combine both for a 15-day Ultimate Galápagos journey! Your route will depend on your travel dates. No matter which itinerary you choose, you’ll enjoy hiking, snorkeling, optional sea kayaking, and the unforgettable experience of life aboard a romantic yacht. Each itinerary sees all the major species of the Galápagos. For any questions about the differences between these routes, please reach out to our team of Area Specialists.

Itinerary at a Glance

Eastern Islands Itinerary

Days 1-3
Black Turtle Cover / Genovesa (Tower) Island / Bartolomé Island

Fly to Baltra, board your yacht, and enjoy a Zodiac cruise at Black Turtle Cove, a large mangrove lagoon on the north coast of Santa Cruz Island where pelicans and herons roost on the branches while marine dwellers such as green sea turtles or golden rays may cruise right next to our Zodiac. You'll then navigate to Genovesa (Tower) Island for a walk among its huge colony of photogenic red-footed boobies perched in palo santo trees—the only member of the booby family to nest in trees. A hike to the top of Bartolomé offers breathtaking views of Pinnacle Rock, the Galápagos’ most famous icon, and neighboring Santiago Island. We’ll be on the lookout for tiny Galápagos penguins, the only penguin species that lives north of the equator.

Days 4-5
Rábida Island / Santa Cruz Highlands / Charles Darwin Research Station

Rábida’s red-sand beaches give way to a saltwater lagoon with greater flamingos and white-cheeked pintails. After a snorkeling excursion, head into the highlands of Santa Cruz Island to visit El Chato Tortoise Reserve and search for these giant creatures in the wild. You’ll also visit the Charles Darwin Research Station’s tortoise-breeding facility. Established in 1959, the research station works closely with the Galápagos National Park Service to protect the islands. Here you’ll see giant tortoise species from several different islands.

Days 6-8
South Plaza / Santa Fé Island / Española / Los Gemelos

Step ashore on South Plaza (Plaza Sur), where huge seagoing marine iguanas roam the shores, and swallow-tailed gulls and red-billed tropicbirds rest. On Santa Fé Island, you’ll have the chance to snorkel in the beautiful turquoise waters before heading to fascinating Española, the southernmost island in the archipelago, for a spectacular walk on Punta Suarez near marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, and Galápagos sea lions. The huge waved albatross, with its seven-foot wingspan, are considered endemic not only to the Galápagos but also to Española. Disembark on Day 8 in Baltra, and en route to the airport, make a short stop at Twin Craters (Los Gemelos). 

 

Western Islands Itinerary

Days 1-3
Santa Cruz Island / Darwin Station / Floreana

Fly to Baltra and explore the lush Santa Cruz highlands to look for the giant Galápagos tortoises that gave the islands their name. Board your yacht, then visit the Charles Darwin Research Station’s tortoise-breeding facility. Cruise to Floreana for a walk to a salt-water lagoon where pink flamingos wade. Snorkel at Devil’s Crown, a volcanic rock formation, and visit historic Post Office Bay, where sailors once left letters to be picked up by the next passing ship.

Days 4-5
Isabela Island / Urbina Bay / Tagus Cove / Fernandina

Land at Punta Moreno on Isabela for a walk on a superb broken lava flow surrounded by giant shield volcanoes—some are still active! Visit Urbina Bay, with its black-sand beach where green sea turtles nest, and hike at Tagus Cove, once an anchorage for pirate boats, for views of the volcanic landscapes of Darwin Volcano and Darwin Lake, a saline lake that is saltier than the sea! Cross Bolivar Channel to Fernandina Island and land at Punta Espinosa, a narrow point of land extending out from the base of the Fernandina Volcano, the most active volcano in the Galápagos. During nesting season (the first half of the year), you may see tiny marine iguana hatchlings here, as well as flightless cormorants, land iguanas, and Galápagos penguins.

Days 6-8
Santiago / Sullivan Bay / North Seymour

At Santiago, visit magnificent Puerto Egas, where you might see Darwin’s finches and the endemic Galápagos hawk. Enjoy idyllic Espumilla Beach, a great place for swimming and snorkeling and an important site for nesting marine turtles. Walk the recent lava flows of Sullivan Bay, with their fresh pahoehoe formations, then head to North Seymour to hike among prehistoric-looking marine iguanas and a colony of magnificent frigatebirds. Disembark at Baltra and transfer to the airport for ongoing flights.

Highlights

Highlights

Travel in comfort and style aboard your own private luxury yacht
Enjoy an active journey full of nature hikes and wildlife wonders
Snorkel with playful sea lions and tiny Galápagos penguins

Details

Length: 8 days
Cost From: $94,000  
Arrive: Baltra, Galapagos
Depart: Baltra, Galapagos
Lodging: 7 nights aboard the yacht
Meals: All meals included as indicated in the Detailed Itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Small Boat and Yacht Cruising, Snorkeling, Walking, Wildlife and Natural History
Trip Level:

Daily hikes, snorkeling, optional sea kayaking
Galapagos 2023 brochure

Download Brochure

View our online digital brochure of The Galápagos Islands 2023, featuring incredible wildlife adventures in Darwin’s Islands aboard the yacht Mary Anne, or the luxury yacht Passion. Or request a print copy to be sent by mail, or by calling 800-368-2794.