The La Pinta Western Islands Cruise focuses on San Cristobal, Floreana, Santa Cruz, Rabida, Fernandina and Isabela of the Galapagos Islands. At North Seymour Island walk along the coast and interior observing bird colonies of boobies, frigates, swallow-tailed gulls, sea lions and marine iguanas. Vicente Roca is a marine site where you will observe flightless cormorants, sea lions, Galapagos fur seals, Galapagos penguins, blue footed and Nazca boobies. Punta Esponoza offers the highest density of marine iguanas, sea lions, hawks, penguins and the flightless cormorant. Tagus Cove was a favorite anchorage for pirates and whalers. Rabida Island features a red-sand beach and a large colony of sea lions, marine iguanas and flamingos. Visit Puerto Ayora and the Charles Darwin Research Station and the highlands of Santa Cruz Island to see giant tortoises. Land at Post Office Bay and cruise in a small craft to see sea lions, sea turtles, rays and penguins. Cormorant Point is home to flamingos, pintail ducks, common stilts, herons, sandpipers and nesting sea turtles. Santa Fe has a breeding colony of sea lions and endemic land iguana. The colorful South Plaza harbors iguanas, sea lions, frigates and more birds. Conclude in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal Island.
2013 8 Day/7 Night Cruise Only
Friday to Friday
Price per person based on double
Fuel Surcharges May Apply
2013 High Season Surcharge: Add $200 per adult, $130 per child; Mar 22-29, Mar 25-29, Mar 29-Apr 1, Mar 29-Apr 5, Dec 20-27, Dec 23-27, Dec 27-Jan 3, Dec 30-Jan 3
$1495 per person includes 3 nights hotel, transfers, city tour, internal flights, park fees and taxes. View details
Jun 07 - Jun 14, 2013
Jun 21 - Jun 28, 2013
Jul 05 - Jul 12, 2013
Jul 19 - Jul 26, 2013
Aug 02 - Aug 09, 2013
Aug 16 - Aug 23, 2013
Aug 30 - Sep 06, 2013
Sep 13 - Sep 20, 2013
Sep 27 - Oct 04, 2013
Oct 11 - Oct 18, 2013
Oct 25 - Nov 01, 2013
Nov 08 - Nov 15, 2013
Nov 22 - Nov 29, 2013
Dec 06 - Dec 13, 2013
Dec 20 - Dec 27, 2013
Darwin Research Station
Santa Cruz Highlands
Most Galapagos cruise travelers will require pre- and post-cruise accommodations in Ecuador, round-trip flights, National Park entrance fees & transit cards etc. Choose our Galapagos Cruise Package or work with our experts on a custom Galapagos tour. See trip notes for more details.
La Pinta's Western Islands Cruise can be combined with the Northern or Eastern Islands Cruise to create trips of 8, 11, 12 or 15 days in length. View the Western Islands Cruise details below or click on the links to view details of other La Pinta Galapagos cruises.
Northern Galapagos Islands 5 days/4 nights
Eastern Galapagos Islands 4 days/3 nights
La Pinta Main Page
Day 1 - FRI - Baltra Island & North Seymour
Morning arrival to Baltra Island and immediate transfer to the dock to board Yacht La Pinta. Welcome introductory briefing and lunch.
Afternoon disembarkation (dry landing) for a walk along the coast and the interior of Seymour island, observing bird colonies of blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, swallow tailed gulls and also sea lions and marine iguanas. Opportunity for snorkeling or coastal exploration. Evening briefing, welcome cocktail and dinner.Accommodations: La PintaIncluded Meals:
lunch and dinner
Day 2 - SAT - Punta Roca & Punta Espinoza
Since there is no landing site at this location, the coastal exploration is by dinghy, while the naturalist guide explains the dramatic geology of the area with remains of lava flows and tuff stone layers. This is the nesting place for flightless cormorants, the only existing marine birds in the world other than penguins that have changed their condition of flying birds to diving birds. Wildlife here also includes sea lions, Galápagos fur seals, Galápagos penguins, blue-footed and Nazca boobies and noddy terns. Depending on the conditions of the ocean, it will be possible to schedule a snorkeling outing along the cliffs of partly-sunken Ecuador Volcano, near the northern tip of Isabela Island. This area has a very rich marine life, and is seasonally visited by green sea turtles. Lunch on board.
Afternoon visit to the youngest island of the archipelago, Fernandina. Disembark (dry landing) for a one-mile walk over dark lava. Punta Espinoza has an amazing combination of barrenness and a lot of wildlife. Having no introduced mammals, Fernandina boasts a very unique environment with the highest density of marine iguanas, sharing their space with sea lions, Sally lightfoot crabs, hawks, penguins and the flightless cormorant. Snorkeling is possible. Evening briefing and dinner.Accommodations: La PintaIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 3 - SUN - Urbina Bay & Tagus Cove
After breakfast (wet landing) disembark at Urbina Bay, located at the foot of volcanoes Alcedo and Darwin, west of Isabela Island, the result of an uplifting of the ocean in 1954. Here you can find corals, shells, and many other calcareous organisms exposed above water. This area is also home to large and very colorful Galápagos land iguanas and giant tortoises (occasionally), as well as a good spot to observe Darwin’s finches. Along the shoreline, after the hike, guests may encounter flightless cormorants and see penguins while snorkeling in this beautiful cove. Lunch on board.
On the northwest of Isabela, secluded Tagus Cove provided a favorite anchorage for pirates and whalers over the centuries. Old graffiti is still found carved on its walls. The vegetation in the area includes the fragrant palo santo trees. These white-barked trees are leafless and look dead most of the year. They leaf and spring back to life in the wet season. An uphill hike takes guests to the back of Darwin Crater, filled with salt water. The view at the end of the trail is worth the climb. Darwin is one of Isabela’s six volcanoes, a remarkable contrast to the lower islands to the east of the archipelago. Possibilities to swim, snorkel or kayak. There is no beach in the area, so these activities are done from the pangas. Briefing and dinner.Accommodations: La PintaIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 4 - MON - Rábida Island & Cerro Dragón
Disembark at Rábida Island (wet landing) on a red-colored beach, due to the unusually high content of iron in the volcanic material. A gratifying stroll along the beach of this small island (1.9 sq. mi.) allows the observation of a large colony of sea lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and several species of Darwin’s finches. Very close to the beach, hidden behind a strip of green saltbush, is a salt pond where at times greater flamingos migrate. This is a great place to snorkel from the beach, both for beginners as well as for experienced snorkelers, due to the unique combination of underwater species and submarine landscapes. During navigation to the next island, dolphins are often spotted. Lunch on board.
The north shore of Santa Cruz hosts Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill). Dry landing and a walk that includes a brackish water lagoon frequented by lagoon birds, including stilts, pintail ducks, sandpipers, sanderlings and more. Farther inland, the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western islands of the archipelago. This area is a natural nesting site for land iguanas, constantly monitored and assisted by the Charles Darwin Research Station. The arid-zone vegetation can be a rewarding location for bird watching, where Darwin’s finches, Galápagos mockingbirds, the endemic Galápagos flycatcher and yellow warblers are regular sightings. Tonight our expedition plan will reveal the interesting sites of the day ahead.Accommodations: La PintaIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 5 - TUES - Puerto Ayora & Santa Cruz Highlands
Morning disembarkation (dry landing) to visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise pens within an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest home to many land birds. These are the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. Lunch at the poolside of the Finch Bay Eco Hotel.
After lunch, visit the highlands of Santa Cruz Island, with their impressive Scalesia forest and the geological formation of the twin pit craters known Los Gemelos. From December to mid-April a visit to see the giant tortoises in the wild may be included, if weather conditions are good. Next day’s expedition plan and dinner.Accommodations: La PintaIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 6 - WED - Post Office Bay & Punta Cormorant
After breakfast, a wet landing at Post Office Bay to visit the historic barrel that has been serving as a post office in the archipelago for over two centuries, to learn about the human side of the islands, its early inhabitants and the adventures of pirates and whalers. Panga ride along the maze of channels in the north shore of Floreana, see the sea lion colonies, marine turtles in shallow waters, rays and occasionally penguins. Wet landing on Baroness Cove and a short walk up to the observation tower to enjoy breathtaking views of Floreana and its nearby islets. Snorkeling and/or kayaking is possible. Back on board for lunch.
Disembark at Punta Cormorant (wet landing) at an olivine-crystal beach for an easy walk that includes a brackish water lagoon where bird species like greater flamingos, pintail ducks, common stilts, herons, sandpipers and others may be observed. This outing also includes a white-sand beach where sea turtles come out at night to nest (from December to May). Possibility of snorkeling from the beach; a ride in our glass-bottom boat; or for advanced snorkelers, “The Devil’s Crown,” if conditions permit. Briefing and dinner.Accommodations: La PintaIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 7 - THR - Santa Fe & South Plaza Island
After breakfast, a wet landing on a sandy white beach with many sea lion harems. Bulls vie for the right of “Beach Master” while smaller males masking as females make stealthy mating moves. Galápagos hawks are often easily observed, perched atop salt bushes. The giant prickly pear cacti found here live up to their name with tree-sized trunks! The endemic land iguana, unique to this island, may be spotted during the afternoon walk. Snorkeling and swimming from the beach rounds off the rewarding experience. Lunch on board.
Disembark (dry landing) in the channel between North and South Plaza Islands, where the island tilts toward the water, the approach makes for a lavishly colorful sight! The turquoise waters of the channel contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline. The rocks have grown thick with green seaweed in places, speckled with bright orange Sally lightfoot crabs. Farther up the shore a carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents serves as groundcover for a grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cactus. Yellow-gray land iguanas sit beneath these, waiting patiently for pears to drop. Along the coastline one finds sea lion colonies, while frigates, swallow-tailed gulls and shearwaters glide playing with the thermals that form along the cliffs of this small but amazing island. Briefing and dinner.Accommodations: La PintaIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 8 - FRI - San Cristóbal Return to Quito
After breakfast, departure to the port and airport for flight back to the mainland. Spend the evening at your leisure back at the hotel.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:
Receive a 10% discount on La Pinta's Eastern or Northern Island itineraries when the 8-day Western Islands is added. Receive a 50% discount on Eastern Islands when combining all La Pinta routes for a 15-day itinerary. Applies only to full-rate bookings; not applicable for promotional rates. Call AdventureSmith for more information about extending your cruise, or combining this cruise with a land package.
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.
Accommodations, all meals, soft drinks, island sightseeing, naturalist guides and lecture services in English/Spanish (guiding in other languages upon request for groups larger than 10 guests: German, French, Italian), snorkel gear, wetsuit rental, internet and low-bandwidth WiFi onboard, taxes and transfers in the islands. Transfer from main hotels in Quito (Casa Gangotena, Hilton Colon, Swissôtel, Marriott, Dann Carlton) and in Guayaquil (Hilton Colon, Oro Verde, Hampton Inn, Sheraton) to airport for flights to/from Galápagos are included in these rates. To coordinate these transfers we must have guest's hotel contact.
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; alcoholic beverages; other personal expenses; medical services or insurance of any kind. Fuel surcharge may apply. During Peak/High Season, there is a surcharge of $200 per adult and $130 per child; no discounts apply.
La Pinta offers three designated single cabins. Twin/double cabins for single use have a surcharge of 50% of the price, or 100% during high season.
Families & Children:
Children under 12 years old at the time of sailing receive 25% off when sharing the cabin with 2 adults (applies only to one child per adult, paying full fare). Minimum child age is 6 years old. Six cabins are connected, for the convenience of families traveling together, and there are also 4 triple cabins of approximately 22 square meters (236 square feet). These triple cabins accommodate 2 adults and 1 child in a sofa bed. A “Young Pirates” program allows children, 6 to 12 years old, to fully absorb the Galapagos at their own pace. Young guests will enjoy a different educational approach with “children only” activities, special meals, interpretative recreational material and books.
Arrival & Departure:
Most flights to the Galapagos will depart Quito or Guayaquil between 7:00am and 9:00am on day 1 and return between 2:00pm and 5:00pm on the final day. We highly recommend travelers arrive Ecuador two 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. When a trip cancellation is received between 60 and 0 days from departure, the full trip price will be charged.
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 (recommended June through December) are available for the duration of the cruise.
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.