This 98-foot-long Montserrat sailing vessel is a tourist-class yacht that sails the waters of the Galapagos Islands. The ship has 10 wood-paneled, carpeted, air-conditioned, spacious cabins – two of them with double beds. You will sail on board the Monserrat during this thrilling 5-Day/4-night Galapagos Islands tour to stunning volcanic island environments. On board the first-class 20-passenger Monserrat Motor Yacht, you will follow the “South-East” itinerary will take you amazingly scenic islands such as San Cristobal, Española, Floreana, and Santa Cruz. In addition to the activities on board the yacht, you can go on daily land excursions for hiking, wildlife watching, kayaking snorkeling and swimming (as the Monserrat provides free snorkeling gear and kayaks to complete your Galapagos Islands vacation of adventure). On these excursions, you will be accompanied by the ship's naturalist guides, who are thoroughly familiar with the local plant and animal life of the islands.
“I enjoyed the scenery and the exotic wildlife on the islands very much. The airport transfers in both directions went smoothly and the service on board was very good.”
AM: In the morning, you will fly from Quito or Guayaquil (on the Ecuadorian mainland) to Baltra Island, in the heart of the Galapagos archipelago and the main point of entrance to this natural paradise. Upon your arrival at the airport, you will need to pay the national park entry fee, which goes to protecting both the Galapagos National Park and Marine Reserve. A member of your ship's crew will then welcome and accompany you to your yacht: the M/Y Monserrat.
PM: Today we will anchor off Mosquera Island, which is located near Itabaca Channel and in between the Baltra and Seymour islands. The island consists of a long narrow stretch of white sand, rocks, and small lagoons with large populations of sea lions (in fact, this is one of the best places to take photos of these aquatic mammals). After a wet landing, a stroll down the beach will also permit views of Brown pelicans and Blue-footed boobies.
AM: In the morning we will take a short boat trip across the harbor of Isabela Island. After passing sea lions and pelicans that bathe in the sun on the fishing boats we will visit Tintoreras Islet and/or Sierra Negra Volcano, depending on the time.
On the small island of Tintoreras, we will take an easy walk through the bizarre lava landscape with its huge colonies of marine iguanas. A colony of sea lions is also located here, and it’s common to see Whitetip reef sharks resting in the water near the shore. These sharks are called “tintoreras” in Spanish, giving the island its name.
In addition, or alternatively, we will drive to the highlands of Isabela Island and start hiking up to the edge of the Sierra Negra Volcano’s crater. The volcano — reaching a height of around 1,500 meters and having an outer diameter of approximately nine kilometers (over 5 miles) — is the second largest caldera in the world. We will hike along the cone to a resting place in the northeast. From the Sierra Negra Volcano, you will be able to see the Volcan Chico, a volcano that is about 90 minutes away on foot and known for its moon-like lava landscape.
PM: This afternoon we will visit Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center, which is home to about 330 of these creatures. As the center is located only about a mile (1.5 km) from Puerto Villamil, you can either walk or drive to it. There, you can find a number of tortoise species that have been reproduced in captivity, with a few of them being in danger of extinction. In addition to tortoises, there are also beautiful gardens in which you can stroll around. These hold native plants such as manzanillo, mesquite, prickly pears and palo santos. Since there are wasps in the area, make sure you don’t wear bright-colored clothes, as these attract those insects.
AM: We will make a wet landing on Chinese Hat Island, located southeast of Santiago Island. Its name describes the shape of the island, which you will be able to discern from a distance. This island’s landscapes are dominated by volcanic formations and fragile lava tubes. Because of this, it’s very important to stay on the paths. You will encounter a small colony of sea lions and then proceed to hike through this dark, unyielding island of solid rock.
PM: In the afternoon we will take a trip to the dark-rust-colored beach of the small, volcanic Rabida Island. A short path leads to a small lagoon that is popular among flamingos. This beach is one of the most beautiful snorkeling places in the Galapagos Islands and it has a great abundance of tropical fish and sea lions. Rabida Island is also the only site where Batfish live.
AM: In the morning we will land on the fourth largest island in the Galapagos: Santiago Island, also known as “James Island” or “San Salvador Island.” The old rusted machines and run-down buildings of former salt mine workers are still apparent on the island, though the last attempts to populate Santiago Island were given up on forty years ago.
We will make a wet landing onto Santiago’s Puerto Egas beach. Its black volcanic sand was visited by Darwin in 1835 and still maintaining an abundance of marine iguanas. After a short walk of about 2 km along the coast, we will reach the rugged lava coastline of James Bay. The unique, truly striking layered terrain of Santiago’s shores is home to a variety of resident and migrant birds, including the bizarre Yellow-crowned Night heron and an astounding array of marine wildlife – including lobsters, starfish and marine iguanas grazing on algae beds alongside Sally Light-foot Crabs. Colonies of endemic fur seals swimming in cool water pools formed by volcanic rocks are another highlight.
PM: In the afternoon we will visit Santiago Island’s Espumilla Beach, where marine iguanas relax and sea turtles nest. While snorkeling, you might come upon octopuses, morays and many types of tropical fish. There is also a Palo Santo forest close to this beach.
From there we will go to Buccaneer Cove, which in the 18th and 19th centuries was a shelter for pirates, whalers and sailors. The bay is surrounded by high tuff cliffs where many sea-bird nest. In the cliffs, you can try to find two rock formations that look like a monkey and an elephant.
AM: After a dry landing onto North Seymour Island, we will take a short walk along its coast, where you will encounter Swallow-tailed gulls, sea lions and Cliff crabs. This part of Seymour Island is also known for being a major nesting site for Blue-footed boobies and one of the largest colonies of Magnificent frigatebirds (a species different from the Great frigatebird). As you enjoy this relaxing hike around various nesting sites, you can also spot both of the endemic species of iguanas: marine iguanas and land iguanas.
PM: Concluding this amazing experience in the Galapagos Islands, you will be transferred to the Baltra Island airport for your return flight to the Ecuadorian mainland. Enjoy your last look back at the “enchanted islands,” a unique paradise with inspiring natural wonders.
|Low Season||Mid Season||High Season|
|Lower Twin||US$ 2,849||US$ 2,949||US$ 3,049|
|Upper Twin||US$ 3,049||US$ 3,149||US$ 3,249|
“My husband, daughter and I want to thank you again for making our trip to the Galapagos extremely awesome!”