A comprehensive voyage around the western islands of the Galapagos archipelago, discovering pristine environments and astounding wildlife.
This trip includes visits to several islands of the Galapagos archipelago, starting at Santa Cruz where you can get up close to giant tortoises at the breeding centre. You then spend a couple of days exploring Isabela, home to South American fur seals and Galapagos penguins, not to mention the birdlife to be found in the island’s lagoons.
Continue your voyage to Fernandina Island, an active volcano with rugged slopes and unusual lava formations, before landing at the intriguing red beach of Rábida and seeking out the land iguanas of Cerro Dragón. Finally, end with a visit to Santiago and its tiny neighbouring island, Sombrero Chino (Chinese Hat) - a fairly recent volcanic cone, home to sea lions, Sally Lightfoot crabs, marine iguanas and lava lizards.
A typical 8 day Western Islands itinerary is shown below, on board Anahi, however we offer a variety of other voyages, durations and vessels.
Arrive at Baltra airport and transfer to vessel
After settling in, you head up to the highlands of Santa Cruz, which offer a lush green contrast to the beaches and lowlands elsewhere on the island, and where there is a chance to observe giant tortoises in the wild (July to mid April) if weather conditions are good.
Isabela: Sierra Negra Volcano & tortoise breeding centre
This morning, visit Sierra Negra, one of the most active volcanoes in the Galapagos, and one of five volcanos on the island of Isabela. Enjoy some stunning views here before an afternoon visit to the tortoise breeding centre and the island's wetlands, home to a variety of unique bird species such as whimbrels, gallinules and white-cheeked pintails.
Isabela: Moreno Point & Elizabeth Bay
Remaining around Isabela Island, visit Moreno Point on the west coast of the island, where you can hike along the paths with good chances of seeing flamingos, turtles and even white-tip reef sharks along the coast. Nearby is Elizabeth Bay, where the rocks play host to many blue-footed boobies.
Isabela: Tagus Cove & Urbina Bay
Today the plan is to land at Tagus Cove on the northwest of Isabela - this inlet provided a favourite anchorage for pirates and whalers over the centuries. Highlights here include Galapagos penguins and flightless cormorants. An uphill hike takes you to the rim of Darwin Lake, a crater filled with salt water, and to a dramatic viewpoint.
Continue in the afternoon to Urbina Bay, a great place for snorkelling and home to some of the largest iguanas in the Galapagos, as well as giant tortoises, turtles, rays and a myriad of tropical fish.
Fernandina: Punta Espinoza / Isabela: Punta Vicente Roca
The morning is dedicated to exploring the youngest island of the archipelago - Fernandina - which, having no introduced mammals, boasts a very unique environment with a very high density of marine iguanas, who share their space with sealions, Sally lightfoot crabs, hawks, Galapagos penguins and flightless cormorants. In the afternoon, return to Isabela and Punta Vicente Roca, a large bay and snorkeling site.
Santiago: Puerto Egas / Rábida
First stop today is the island of Santiago, home to an incredible wealth of wildlife: marine iguanas, sea lions, fur seals, land and sea turtles, flamingos, Galapagos hawks, dolphins and sharks to name a few!
In the afternoon, disembark on Rábida’s red-coloured beach, so named because of the unusually high content of iron in the volcanic material. A walk brings you close to a large colony of sealions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and several species of Darwin’s finches.
Sombrero Chino & Bartolome
Named after its appearance of a chinese hat, Sombrero Chino is a tiny island located off the south-eastern tip of San Salvador island. At the northern end of the island you will find a small colony of sea lions, and Galapagos penguins can also occasionally be found swimming here. A trail around the cove should reward you with sightings of oystercatchers, as well as marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs and lava lizards.
In the afternoon, your voyage continues to Bartolome, and its stunning rock formations. This island is home to one of the most recognisable landmarks in the Galapagos - Pinnacle Rock, an impressive lava tower. The beautiful pink and white sand beach is the location for sea turtles who return here each year to lay their eggs.
North Seymour, disembark & transfer to Baltra airport
Home to one of the most iconic residents of the Galapagos Islands - the blue-footed booby - North Seymour Island is also home to large colonies of nesting frigatebirds. Disembark in the afternoon to end your week of unforgettable wildlife encounters!
You should note: Exact itinerary and duration will depend on your chosen vessel, departure date and local conditions.