Aida Maria Galapagos Yacht
|Trip Length||8||Trip Code||SA - HG - 01|
|Tour Group||1 - 16||Age Range||Open|
Aida Maria Galapagos Yacht: Tour Information
The 16 passenger, tourist superior Aida Maria offers a great combination of comfort, style and economy. The yacht has a broad sun deck to enjoy the warm Galapagos sun.
The Aida Maria was built in Ecuador, custom designed for Galapagos island cruising, all interiors are nicely decorated. Accommodations are air-conditioned, each of the 8 outside double cabins have twin upper / lower beds. All rooms have private bathroom with shower and generous hot and cold water supplies. The Aida Maria offers a spacious sun deck, interior buffet area, 2 separate social areas with a well equipped bar, TV & VCR, stereo & library. Snorkeling gear available on board. The Aida Maria is fully equiped for diving and has all necessary dive equipment on board for rent. The itinerary has been planned to combine ocassional dives with land visits in the Galapagos islands.
AIDA MARIA SPECIFICATIONS
- Length: 62.5ft , 19.53m
- Beam: 17.2ft , 5.36m
- Speed: 9 knots
- Crew: 8 + guide
- Level of guide: I, II or III
- Capacity: 16
- Number of cabins: 8 twin cabins (bunk beds)
- Private bathroom: yes
- Air conditioning:
- Hot water: yes
- Sundeck: yes
- Other: Bar, lounge area, TV & VCR
Snorkelling / Diving
- Snorkelling: included
- Diving possible: no
8 DAYS Starts Sunday or Thursday
Aida Maria Galapagos Yacht
Day 01 Sunday: Flight to Galapagos -Baltra/Bachas
Flight to the Galapagos Island Baltra from which you will have a short transfer to the harbor. There your ship will be ready to embark. In the morning you have the possibility to go on a boat ride to untouched mangrove bays at the northern shore of the Island Santa Cruz and observe some of the inhabitants of this unique ecosystem. Amongst the wildlife here are: sea turtles, sharks and manta rays.
Day 02 Monday: Plazas Islands - Santa Fe
Located to the east of Santa Cruz, the main characteristics on the small island South Plaza are the Opuntia cacti and the carpets of red sesuvium, a luscious plant that turns green in the rainy season. The cactus is the main food of land iguanas, which are usually found resting in the shade of the cacti. The island contains one of the largest sea lion colonies of Galapagos, swallow-tailed gulls and red-billed tropicbirds nesting, and boobies roosting on the south cliff of the island.
Santa Fe has one of the most beautiful coves of all the visitor sites in the archipelago. A turquoise lagoon with two small white sand beaches are protected by a peninsula where sea lions rest. A trail runs along side the coast and then crosses through an Opuntia Forest. These prickly pear cacti are the largest ones in Galapagos. The Santa Fe species of land iguanas are larger and of a paler yellow than on the other islands. After the hike you can swim or snorkel in the bay with sea lions.
Day 03 Tuesday: Española Island (Punta Suarez / Gardner Bay)
Española is the southernmost island of the archipelago, and being so isolated a high percentage of its fauna is endemic.
Punta Suarez, on the western coast of the island, is one of the most popular and attractive places in Galapagos. Sea lions, the picturesque marine iguana, blue footed and masked boobies nesting next to the trail are found here. This is also the only place in the world where the waved albatross nests. Along the cliffs there is a spectacular view of a large blowhole.
Gardner Bay has a beautiful white sand beach that is shared with sea lions and curious mocking birds.
Day 04 Wednesday: Floreana Island
Floreana Island is perceived as one of the most exotic Islands of the archipelago.
At Punta Cormorant you land on a green olivine sand beach. Following a 100 m long path you will soon reach a lagoon with flamingos, white-checked pintail ducks and other shorebirds. The trail goes on to a white beach made of ground coral; it looks like flour. This is the green sea turtle´s nesting place. North of Punta Cormorant an eroded volcano called the Devil´s Crown is a snorkel´s delight. To the west, Post Office Bay, keeps the legendary post barrel that whalers used, to send their mail.
Day 05 Thursday: Santa Cruz/Charles Darwin Station - Highlands
Santa Cruz is the second largest island in the Galapagos. The small town of Puerto Ayora is the economic centre of the archipelago, with the largest population of the 4 inhabited islands (approx 10.000). Santa Cruz is also the only island where six different zones of vegetation can be seen: Coastal, Arid, Transition, Scalesia, Miconia, and Pampa Zones. The Charles Darwin Research Station and the Galapagos National Park offices are based here. We will have an opportunity to visit some of the best scientists of their kind. Scientists, park rangers and park managers among others, who make huge efforts to preserve this Unesco World Heritage Site conduct the conservation of the islands. The station is also a tortoise breeding and rearing centre, where tortoises of different subspecies are prepared for reintroduction to their natural habitats.
The most popular inhabitant of this island will probably be Lonesome George. He is the only survivor of the specific turtle species.
The lush greenery of the Santa Cruz highlands is a welcome contrast to the arid landscape of the smaller, lower islands. Points of interest are the famed lava tunnels, a fun and geologically informative visit. The trip to the highlands ends with a visit to the Twin Craters. The vegetation around these is very special and is renowned for its about 300 fern species and the many sunflowers.
Day 06 Friday: James Bay - Rábida
From the visitor center at James Bay on the island Santiago a small path leads you in a southern direction along the coast. Passing by the ruins of a former salt mine company and the many inhabitants of the bank area, like sea lions, lizards, herons, and crabs, you arrive at the famous fur seal grotto the best place on the Galápagos to observe these elegant animals. In the afternoon you'll do a trip to the beach of the small volcanic island Rabida. A small path leads to a small lagoon very popular with flamingos. On the way there you pass many pelicans nesting. The beach is also considered as one of the most beautiful snorkel places in Galápagos and also frequently visited by many sea lions due to its wealth of fish .
Day 07 Saturday: Bartolomé - Sullivan
Today you will visit the island Bartolome and climb the lookout. From there you can admire the spectacular panorama of the Sullivan Bay and the famous needle shaped rock, the so called Pinnacle Rock. The beaches at the foot of the Pinnacle Rock boast some fine snorkeling spots from which you can discover the marvellous underwater world with a good chance to encounter penguins or the softly gliding turtles. Later on you will anchor at Santiago Island's wonderful Sullivan Bay. At your arrival sea lions will stick their heads out of the water to welcome you and during the season the turtles hatch the beaches are covered with little turtles. The main attraction of the bay is the broad, about 100 years old stream of lava and its bizarre surface.
Day 08 Sunday: Seymour North - Baltra - flight back to Quito
You will visit the North Seymour Island, which is most of all renowned for its frigatebirds and their intense courting rituals. The island is also inhabited by other frigate birds and blue-footed boobies, as well as endemic black lizards and sea lions inhabiting its shores. After that we will have a short stop at the harbor of Baltra (formerly known as south Seymour). You will cross the Itabaca Channel to Baltra, to take your flight back to the mainland.
The 8 day tour can also be shortened to a 5-day cruise.
The 5 day tour departs on Sundays
The 8 day tour departs on Thursdays and Sundays
Local Tour Payments (LTP) or a Kitty payment, if stated is paid direct to your tour leader / crew on day 1.