This Cachalote Hood itinerary consists of a 6-day/5-night Galapagos cruise touring San Cristobal, Espanola (Hood), Floreana, Santiago, Genovesa (Tower) and Santa Cruz Islands. This eastern route will take you in close contact with unique flora and fauna such as: tall opuntia cacti, salt bush, scalesia forest, orchids, prickly pear cacti, giant albatross, marine iguanas, lava lizards, Sally lightfoot crab, blue-footed boobies, marine turtles and hammerhead sharks.
The Hood itinerary details are listed below, or click the following links to view the other Cachalote routes.
Galapagos Isabela 6 days/5 nights
Galapagos Tower 8 days/7 nights
Galapagos Fernandina 8 days/7 nights
Cachalote Galapagos Cruise Main Page
Day 1 - FRI - Baltra to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno
This morning, depart on a three-hour flight to the island of Baltra in the Galapagos. Meet your Expedition Leader and transfer to the ship. Enjoy your first island visit at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the provincial capital of the Galapagos and the second largest settlement area in the islands. Tour the Interpretation Center with its lush gardens and sweeping ocean views. Visitors to the Interpretation Center can learn about both the geological and human history of the islands, conservation issues and natural history.Accommodations: CachaloteIncluded Meals:
lunch and dinner
Day 2 - SAT - Gardner Bay & Punta Suarez
Gardner Bay (Espanola/Hood Island) is located on the northeastern portion of the island and offers a magnificent long, white sandy beach full of colonies of sea lions, sea turtles, and inquisitive mockingbirds. The beach is considered an open area where you are free to explore. Snorkeling at Gardner Bay is fantastic. This is often your first chance to swim with the sea lions and is an opportunity that should not be missed.
After lunch, head to Punta Suarez. Found on the western tip of Espanola Island, Punta Suarez offers great wildlife such as sea lions, sea birds and the largest marine iguanas of Galapagos. This is one of the best sites in the Galapagos. The amount of wildlife is overwhelming. After a short walk down to a beach and back up the other side blue-footed boobies are seen nesting just off the trail. Continuing down the trail, come to the only place where waved albatross nest in the islands. Some 12,000 pairs nest on Espanola each year. The feeling is very dramatic and it seems like a desolate wilderness as the waves crash on the jagged cliffs below and the blowhole shoots water 50-70 feet/15-30 meters into the air. The sky above is full of sea birds including red-billed tropicbirds, American oystercatchers, swallow-tailed gulls, and Audubon's shearwaters.Accommodations: CachaloteIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 3 - SUN - Punta Cormorant & Post Office Bay
The visit to Punta Cormorant on Floreana Island offers two contrasting beaches. Arriving ashore, encounter a green sand beach (the green sand is caused by the olivine crystals derived silicates or magnesium and iron) from where you will follow the trail leading to a lagoon full of pink flamingos and other shore birds. The walk continues to another beach on the other side made of fine white sand particles known as "Flour Beach." Located just off Punta Cormorant this is the best snorkeling in the Galapagos! To see the crown you need to go underwater to an almost completely submerged volcano, which erosion has transformed the cone into a series of jagged peaks creating the "Devil's Crown." The highlight of the visit is snorkeling in the center of the crater.
Next make a visit to Floreana's Post Office Bay. This is one of the few sites that is visited for its human history. Whaling Captain James Colnett established the wooden post barrel in the early 1793. Over the years thousands of ships have stopped to send and receive mail at Post Office Bay. Arriving at Post Office Bay you will land on a brown sand beach, passing the sea lions lying in the sun. At the post barrel the guide will pull a handfull of letters for the group. Continuing the tradition, the letters are brought home with the traveler and then mailed or hand-delivered to the addressee. You also have the opportunity to send letters of your own.Accommodations: CachaloteIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 4 - MON - Dragon Hill & Sullivan Bay
The north shore of Santa Cruz Island hosts Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill). A dinghy ride among mangrove-lined islets allows the observation of the dramatic landscape and coastline, an area of amazing past volcanic activity. While exploring the nearby waters, various types of birds can be seen, such as boobies, frigates and pelicans. Quite commonly, the black lava will reveal the presence of marine iguanas. The navigation in shallow turquoise colored water gives the chance to see marine turtles, rays and sharks. Make a dry landing for a walk that includes a brackish water lagoon frequented by greater flamingos, common stilts, pintail ducks and a variety of shore and lagoon birds. Farther along the trail, head to Dragon Hill, which offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western area of the archipelago. This area is a natural nesting site of a large number of land iguanas, which is constantly monitored and assisted by the Charles Darwin Research Station.
In the evening tour the Sullivan Bay lava field which has a variety of interesting patterns. The shapes and textures of trees, which once existed there, and hornitos were caused when pockets of gas or water trapped under the lava exploded. The Sullivan Bay lava is known a panoehoe (Hawaiian for rope). This thin-skinned lava's molten material cools down after an eruption causing the surface materials to buckle creating a rope like appearance. Enjoy an hour walk through the lava field, and return to the shoreline for observation of black and white oystercatchers fishing for crabs and mollusks in the tide pools.Accommodations: CachaloteIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 5 - TUE - El Barranco & Darwin bay, Genovesa
Begin today in El Barranco (Prince Philip's Steps ) located on the eastern side of Darwin's Bay. Enjoy a scenic panga ride along the rocky cliff ledges. The ride permits an outstanding vantage point to view the island's many shore birds; red-billed tropicbirds navigate their way into the small crevasses that harbor their nests, red-footed boobies perch in the palo santo trees, and frigatebirds fly endlessly searching for food. Reaching the shore the dry landing is at the base of the steep rocky steps named after his Royal Highness Prince Philip who visited the island in the 1960s. The climb up the stairs is fairly easy for those with good balance, and a handrail helps make the journey more manageable. At the top of the steps the trail becomes relatively flat and bird life abounds. At the end of forest the trail reaches a lava field at the west end of the island. Here buzzing over the lava are thousands of small wedge-rumped storm petrels and band-rumped storm petrels looking for the crevice they make their home. Short-eared owls fly over the lava hunting their favorite meal, storm petrel eggs. Red-billed tropicbirds, blue-footed boobies, Audubon's shearwaters, noddy terns, red-footed boobies, frigatebirds and masked boobies fill the air.
A landing on the white coral beach in the middle of Darwin Bay begins your afternoon excursion. Once ashore the number of birds seems overwhelming, Nazca boobies soar overhead; great frigatebirds display their pouches while resting on the nearby rocks and plants; mockingbirds scamper quickly across the sand. It's easy to see why Darwin Bay is a favorite of birders. Beyond the beach a series of tide pools carved out of black volcanic rock offers wandering tattlers, lava gulls, whimbrels and turnstones a place to fish. Yellow-crowned, black-crowned and lava herons and white and yellow warblers have also been seen in the area. Follow the coast-lined trail through the salt bush and mangrove nesting area of the great frigatebirds and red-footed boobies. Continuing on the trail, climb gradually to the edge of the cliff seeing red-foots nesting in the mangrove trees below. Bird watching from the trail includes sightings of sharp-beaked finch, large cactus finches, large ground finches, Galapagos doves and swallow-tailed gulls. Reaching the end the trail at the cliff's edge offers an incredible view of the island and the many birds living there.Accommodations: CachaloteIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 6 - WED - Turtle Cove & Return to Baltra
Spend your last morning on the islands exploring Black Turtle Cove. Located on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, it is a living illustration of how mangroves alter the marine environment to create a rich and unique habitat. Three mangrove species crowd the area from the shore out into the lagoon, which reaches almost a mile inland. As you drift though the quiet waters in your panga, you are likely to see spotted eagle rays and diamond-shaped mustard rays, which swim in a diamond formation. White-tipped reef sharks slip beneath the boat and Pacific green sea turtles come to the surface for air and to mate. Waterfowl, including pelicans, herons and egret, all feed in the cove. This is a peaceful place that will leave you feeling that way. After some relaxing wildlife viewing, you will be met and taken to the airport for the flight back to Quito.Accommodations:
breakfastGALAPAGOS CRUISE INCLUSIVE PACKAGE:
For your convenience we offer an Inclusive Package with three nights hotel accommodations in Quito, all airport/hotel transfers, Galapagos flights, Galapagos National Park entrance fees and taxes, Galapagos migration card and your Galapagos cruise. View details of our Galapagos Cruise Inclusive Package
Travelers not interested in our inclusive package must purchase Galapagos flights in conjunction with their Galapagos cruise.
GALAPAGOS CRUISE CUSTOM PACKAGE:
If you are booking a cruise-only program our experts can assist with hotels, transfers, flights and tours. Call AdventureSmith Explorations about customizing your tour or the possibilities of combining this trip with our Mainland Ecuador
and Peru: Machu Picchu
extensions. We are Galapagos cruise and Ecuador travel experts and our staff can help you customize the perfect Galapagos cruise or Ecuador tour package.
Extend Your Trip:
This trip combines well with our Peru, Machu Picchu 6 Day Explorer
. Call AdventureSmith Explorations about the possibilities of combining trips to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos.
Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itinerary may be altered due to weather, wildlife, National Park regulation or at the captain's discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of Galapagos cruising unique.
Double accommodation in cabins, all meals, excursions and guides.
International airfare; Airfare from mainland Ecuador; Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee (US $100 per adult, $50 for children under 12 years old. This can be paid directly by passengers [cash only] or it is included in our INCLUSIVE PACKAGE TOURS); Galapagos National Institute Migration Control Card (US $10 per person); departure tax ($40.80); gratuities for guides, crew, drivers or local staff; bottled beverages on board; other personal expenses, medical services or insurance of any kind. Snorkel gear and wetsuits are available for rent. For 2013 Christmas and New Years weeks, a $130 holiday surcharge applies per person.
There is a 50% surcharge for single occupancy. If you are traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, a Roommate Share Program will guarantee double occupancy rates for boat cabins even if we are unable to match you with a roommate.
Families & Children:
Children under 12 years old receive a 40% discount when traveling with 1 adult. One child per adult at discounted rate. Not applicable over Christmas and New Years departures. There is no minimum age for children.
Arrival & Departure:
Most flights to the Galapagos will depart Quito or Guayaquil between 7:00am-9:00am on day 1 and return between 2:00pm-5:00pm on the final day. We highly recommend travelers arrive Ecuador 2 days prior to their Galapagos cruise.
Payment & Cancellation:
A cruise deposit of $700 per person is required at the time of booking. For land packages a deposit of $300 per person is required at the time of booking. A Reservation Form
, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Cancellations are subject to the following fees, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 61 days - 10% of total trip cost
60 to 0 days - 100% of total trip cost
Terms & Conditions:
This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions
. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information is sent upon confirmation.
We highly recommend our travelers protect their investment with travel insurance. Please note that you must purchase your travel insurance policy within 14 days of booking your trip for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions. Click the link below for a selection of policies from our partners at Travelex.
There are numerous opportunities to swim and snorkel. The underwater experience is an integral part of any Galapagos cruise. We encourage all travelers to try snorkeling. Snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel, fins, floating vest and net bag) and wet suits are available to rent for a fee. Wet suits are recommended from June to December.
Daily excursions from the boat to the islands will be made in pangas (dinghies). Trip members will hike from the landing point to specific areas for wildlife observation. Hiking time for most landings will be a couple of hours round-trip with lots of time to stop to study, photograph and enjoy the flora and fauna. Some landings are dry but many are "wet," requiring cautious footing on slippery rocks. The boat staff will be on hand to assist.
This trip will be enjoyed by anyone who is in good health and leads an active life.
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