Travel aboard the
Take luxury cruising to the next level aboard one of the most eco-friendly yachts in the Galápagos, the 20-guest Origin. Embark on an 8-day cruise to south-central Galápagos, exploring San Cristobal, Española, Floreana Islands and others on this decadent yacht specially designed for comfort. Featuring spacious staterooms with panoramic windows, world-class cuisine, elegant sundeck with daybeds and hammocks, jacuzzi, bar, boutique, and fitness room, Origin takes you on an unforgettable adventure. Each day, take the opportunity to kayak, stand up paddleboard, or snorkel these crystal waters alongside sea turtles, penguins, sea lions, pelicans, and more under the guidance of your expert naturalist guide.
San Cristobal Island
Arrive in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal Island. Take a short bus ride to the dock where a boat transfers you to the Origin. Settle into your cabin after a welcome briefing and safety drill, then sit down to a delicious buffet lunch.
In the afternoon, tour Cerro Tijeretas, or Frigatebird Hill, one of two sites where you’ll find nesting colonies of the two species of frigatebird, the Great and the Magnificent. Walk the trail to Punta Carola for scenic views, crossing paths with lava lizards, the medium ground finch, and the San Cristobal mockingbird. Return to the Origin for the Captain’s welcome cocktail party and specially prepared dinner.
San Cristobal Island
Go ashore this morning to Punta Pitt, considered one of the best sites to see the many types of Galápagos birds nesting inside this volcanic formation. See blue-footed, red-footed, and Nazca boobies, both types of frigatebird, swallow-tailed gulls, storm petrels, shearwaters, and brown pelicans. Snorkel or swim with sea lions off Pitt Rock where you’ll also encounter colorful fish such as the king angelfish and surgeonfish.
After lunch, spend your afternoon at Cerro Brujo, or Witch Hill. This breathtaking white coral beach features expansive views and more birdwatching. Take a peaceful walk along the beach, swim with sea lions, or use the kayaks or stand up paddle boards to take yourself on a tour of the island. Enjoy a zodiac ride through the mysterious cave called The Cathedral before returning to the ship for dinner and later, take a dip in the jacuzzi under the starlit sky.
Disembark at Punta Suarez on Española Island, home to the greatest number of native species in the Galápagos. Sea lions and curious mockingbirds greet you on the beach while colonies of blue-footed boobies engage in an aerial show. From April to December you’ll have the chance to see the waved albatross, found only on this island. In addition, spot Darwin’s finches, Galápagos doves, red-billed tropicbirds, Galápagos Hawks, and fiery-colored marine iguanas and Sally Lightfoot crabs. Follow a trail to the uniquely created blowhole that sprays ocean water through the volcanic rocks.
By the afternoon you’ll be in Gardner Bay on a seemingly endless white sand beach. Take a leisurely stroll on the beach watching for the Galápagos hawk or Hood mockingbird. Swim with the playful sea lions from the beach or snorkel near Tortuga Rock where a colorful array of underwater life is on full display. Explore the bay and islets by kayak or take a Zodiac ride to explore the caves covered with starfish and other marine wildlife.
After breakfast go ashore to Punta Cormorant on Floreana Island, where the olive-colored mineral beach is alive with the sounds of sea lions, lava herons, yellow-crowned night herons, blue-footed boobies, and penguins. Hike to a lagoon where Bahama ducks, stilts, Galápagos flycatchers, yellow warblers, and flamingos reside. Wind your way past a rich variety of plants including the morning glory, cut-leaf daisies, several varieties of mangrove, palo verde, and scalesia.
The trail ends at Devil’s Crown, a beach where sea turtles lay their eggs in the powdery sand dunes and stingrays swim in the shallow water. Take the opportunity to snorkel the shallow, sunken crater colonized by a brilliant array of colorful fish, sea turtles, spotted eagle rays, and sea stars.
After lunch, visit one of the most famous sites in the Galápagos, Post Office Bay. Named for the barrel placed here in the late 18th century that English whaling vessels used as a “post office.” Continue the tradition by leaving a postcard, then picking up someone else’s postcard to hand deliver it to the address. Swim with sea lions, stroll along the beach, then take a Zodiac ride to Baroness Point to search for sea turtles and rays.
Santa Cruz Island
Today you’ll tour Santa Cruz Island starting at Puerto Ayora. Travel by bus into the highlands, passing through all seven vegetation zones found in the Galápagos to reach Rancho El Manzanillo, a privately-owned hacienda where giant tortoises roam in their natural habitat. Explore the largest lava tunnels in the Galápagos at El Mirador, and visit Los Gemelos, or The Twins, a pair of large craters before returning to the ship for lunch.
This afternoon, visit the Centro de Crianza Fausto Llerena, formerly the Charles Darwin Research Station. See the tortoise breeding center with hatchlings and baby tortoises, as well as a new exhibit honoring Lonesome George, a worldwide icon of conservation as the last surviving tortoise from Pinta Island.
Afterward, you’ll have the chance to shop and stroll through town for souvenirs or a museum tour. Stop at a local chocolate shop to learn how high quality Arriba cacao is produced in Ecuador. You can also kayak Punta Estrada or bicycle around the island if you desire.
You have the option to return to the Origin for dinner or remain on shore to dine on your own at a local restaurant. A Zodiac will shuttle you from the yacht to the main dock throughout the evening.
Sombrero Chino, or Chinese Hat, is a small island off the southern tip of Santiago shaped like a coolie hat. Land on a beach with colonies of sea lions, then hike a trail to a primeval landscape of cracked lava and tubes. Marine iguanas and oystercatchers frequent the area, as well as large numbers of Galápagos penguins, which you’ll have the chance to snorkel alongside from the beach.
After lunch, disembark at Bartolome, a young Island with an alien-like landscape covered by a dormant volcano that is inhospitable to most plants and animals. Climb a long wooden staircase to the summit. Pass lava bombs, spatter and cinder cones, until you reach the top where you are treated to a panoramic view of the islands, including the distinct volcanic formation known as Pinnacle Rock.
Return to the beach to snorkel with schools of tropical fish, reef sharks, and Galápagos penguins or take a Zodiac ride along the rocky shoreline.
South Plaza Island / North Seymour Island
Today’s adventure starts on South Plaza Island, a small island with tall cliffs where swallow-tailed gulls, shearwaters, and red-billed tropicbirds build their nests. Hike the trails that lead through prickly pear and Sesuvium, and past land iguanas that feed on cactus leaves. Back on the beach, you’ll have the chance to snorkel in deeper water between North and South Seymour Islands before lunch.
Go ashore at North Seymour where you’ll witness the largest colony of magnificent frigatebirds in the Galápagos. Watch marine iguanas and sea lions body surfing the northern swells. Spot blue-footed boobies, gulls, and land iguanas before returning to the ship for the Captain’s farewell cocktail party and dinner, as well as a special slide show presentation by your guides.
San Cristobal Island
Travel by bus to the Interpretation Center on San Cristobal to gain a more complete understanding of the history of the islands. Spend some time exploring this port town before heading to the airport for your flight home.
NOTE: The above itinerary reflects the intended program, however, should be read as a guide only. The actual itinerary will depend on weather conditions, wildlife encounters, and any unforeseen circumstances beyond the operator’s control.