The La Pinta Northern Islands small ship cruise focuses on the Northern Galapagos Islands of Santa Cruz, Santiago and Genovesa. Arrive at Baltra and visit the Highlands of Santa Cruz Island including El Chato Reserve, one of the best places to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat. Explore Whale Bay and the tiny island of Sombrero Chino to view several species of shore birds, marine iguanas, lava lizards, Galapagos penguins and Sally lightfoot crabs. Bartolome Island offers a vigorous hike with spectacular views and a dinghy or glass-bottom boat ride around Pinnacle Rock. At Sullivan Bay on James Island experience a newly formed lava landscape. On Genovesa Island visit Prince Phillip's Steps to observe large colonies of Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, frigate birds and storm petrels.
2013 5 Day/4 Night Cruise Only
Monday 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
Jul 01 - Jul 05, 2013
Jul 15 - Jul 19, 2013
Jul 29 - Aug 02, 2013
Aug 12 - Aug 16, 2013
Aug 26 - Aug 30, 2013
Sep 09 - Sep 13, 2013
Sep 23 - Sep 27, 2013
Oct 07 - Oct 11, 2013
Oct 21 - Oct 25, 2013
Nov 04 - Nov 08, 2013
Nov 18 - Nov 22, 2013
Dec 02 - Dec 06, 2013
Dec 16 - Dec 20, 2013
Dec 30 - Jan 02, 2014
Sombrero Chino Islet
Price Philip's Steps
La Pinta's Northern Islands Cruise can be combined with the Eastern or Western Islands Cruise to create trips of 8, 11, 12 or 15 days in length. View the Northern Islands Cruise details on this page or click on the links to view details of other La Pinta Galapagos cruises.
La Pinta - Western Galapagos Islands 8 day/7 night
La Pinta - Eastern Galapagos Islands 4 day/3 night
La Pinta Galapagos Cruises Main Page
Day 1 - MON - Baltra & El Chato
Morning arrival at Baltra Airport, transfer to the Itabaca Channel. A small ferry will take you across the Channel to the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, where you'll board a bus to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island to learn about the unique montane ecosystems and biodiversity. Lunch at a local restaurant.
After lunch, travel by bus to El Chato Reserve, one of the best places in the archipelago to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat. The tortoises are easy to spot, lumbering around, eating grass and leaves and wallowing in the small pools that are common in the reserve. You may also spot some highland birds, like cattle egrets, mockingbirds, finches or flycatchers. There are several lava tunnels in the reserve, a great place to spot the barn owl. There is also a small lagoon covered in red algae where gallinules and Galápagos pintails can be found. Bus ride to Puerto Ayora to board Yacht La Pinta. Introductory briefing including the expedition plan for Tuesday, welcome cocktail and dinner.Accommodations: La PintaIncluded Meals:
lunch and dinner
Day 2 - TUES - Bahía Ballena & Sombrero Chino
After breakfast disembark (wet landing) at a beautiful olivine beach (a volcanic crystal that forms in fast-cooling lava). The area has historical relevance since a small community lived in this area in the late 1900s, collecting lichen (Rosella Tictoria), used in the textile industry. The trail leads guests to an old water hole used by the former settlers. There are also boobies, land birds and beautiful views of the northwest side of Santa Cruz Island to enjoy. Several activities are possible after the walk, such as snorkeling or a panga ride along the shoreline. Back on board for lunch.
Less than a quarter-of-a-square-kilometer in size, the tiny island of Sombrero Chino gets its name from its appearance: a Chinese hat. Lying just off the southeastern tip of San Salvador Island (James), this islet, only formed fairly recently, makes a beautiful visit as one explores along its 400-meter-long trail, which begins at a crescent-shaped white sandy beach. Several species of shore birds can be spotted, along with marine iguanas, lava lizards, Galápagos penguins and Sally lightfoot crabs. The cove offers excellent swimming and snorkeling opportunities with white-tipped reef sharks and tropical fish. Briefing and dinner.Accommodations: La PintaIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 3 - WED - Bartolomé Island & Sullivan Bay
Disembark at Bartolomé Island (dry landing) for a hike to the summit. A great way to start the day! This is a steep climb up a wooden staircase with handrails and several resting and observation stops; the view from the top is worth the effort. Following the walk, a dinghy ride around colossal Pinnacle Rock, is rewarding, followed by time to enjoy the beach (wet landing) and some snorkeling, with possible Galápagos penguin sightings. Guests can also ride on the glass-bottom boat for great views of the underwater world. Lunch on board.
After lunch, board the panga for the short ride to the landing site at Sullivan Bay on the east coast of Santiago. Wet landing on a white coral sand beach and a walk over lava that flowed here less than 100 years ago. This is the perfect place to see and feel the volcanic origin of Galápagos. The last major eruption on Santiago was probably in the early 1900s. One observer aboard a sailing vessel reported that the ship approached the lava flow so closely that the pine tar used to seal the hull of the ship began to soften, and the captain had to hurry the ship away from the bay. Briefing and dinner.Accommodations: La PintaIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 4 - THR - Darwin Bay & Prince Philip's Steps
In the morning, a wet landing for an easy stroll observing thousands of birds, mainly frigate birds, red-footed and masked boobies, gulls, herons, finches and mockingbirds. Optional walk over sharp lava and uneven terrain for dramatic views, or else return to the beach to enjoy swimming and snorkelling at this beautiful natural harbour. The more adventurous can snorkel along the cliffs or paddle sea kayaks. Lunch on board.
The afternoon starts with a very interesting panga ride along the cliffs and then disembark (dry landing) on rocks for a steep climb (90 feet) up some stairs. Once at the top of the stairs, the land is flat, allowing for a stimulating walk of about a mile to the other side of this small island, observing large colonies of masked boobies, frigate birds and storm petrels. Those not wishing to disembark can enjoy a longer panga ride along the cliffs (depending on weather conditions). Farewell cocktail, departure briefing and dinner.Accommodations: La PintaIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 5 - FRI - Baltra & Return to Quito
Disembark on Baltra Island. Transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland. Enjoy the evening at your leisure back at the hotel.Accommodations:
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.
Twin/double cabins booked for single use and triple cabinsbooked for double 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.
La Pinta Northern Galapagos small ship cruise will be enjoyed by anyone who is in good health and leads an active life.
Extended Itinerary Pricing:
Longer Galapagos La Pinta itineraries are available by combining the ship's shorter itineraries. Receive a 10% discount on the Eastern or Northern Islands itinerary when Western Islands is added to create an 11- or 12-day cruise. Or receive a 50% discount on Eastern Islands when combining all La Pinta itineraries for a 15-day cruise. Applies only to full-rate bookings; not applicable for promotional rates. Contact AdventureSmith Explorations for pricing and more information.