Galapagos yacht cruise: The Enchanted Islands
A Galapagos private yacht charter cruise vacation is like going back to time immemorial. This pre-historic volcanic landscape includes deserted beaches and abundant fauna – including the famous marine iguanas and giant tortoises. No wonder this archipelago is also called the Enchanted Islands.
The 13 Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador are surrounded by another 100 small volcanic islands. Almost entirely deemed a protected national park. The Galapagos are a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979 and are named a biosphere and marine reserve. Home to over 2000 endemic species, this place inspired Charles Darwin to develop his theory of evolution.
An aquatic life paradise, the Galapagos Islands are ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving. Hiking the volcanic terrain, relaxing on virgin beaches, and observing the uniquely mysterious wildlife is a once-in-a-lifetime “bucket list” destination for nature lovers.
Surprisingly, the majority of the islands are uninhabited. A private Galapagos yacht cruise is undoubtedly the best option to discover the islands with your friends and family.
10 Reasons to Book a Galapagos Luxury Yacht Charter Cruise
- Hike the impressive and varied island landscapes, crowned by 21 volcanos.
- While you are off exploring the Galapagos’ amazing nature, allow your dedicated yacht crew to prepare ways to spoil you upon your return onboard.
- Relax and enjoy the year-round sunshine on the white sandy beach of Tortuga Bay.
- Watch the charming sea lions, prehistoric iguanas, and the famous giant tortoises in their incredible natural habitat.
- Take a picture of you and your loved ones from the iconic Pinnacle Rock on Bartholomew (Bartolomé) Island – you are capturing a priceless memory!
- Snorkel the colorful vibrant reefs and discover even more vibrant life beneath the ocean´s surface.
- Take an exhilarating walk to the highlands where the two immense Los Gemelos craters await you.
- Find out why birdwatchers delight in photographing the numerous exotic species on Tower (Genovesa) Island.
- This is your rare opportunity to scuba dive the second biggest marine reserve in the world.
- Fall in love with the picturesque landscapes of Jervis (Rábida) Island.
A Sample One Week Galapagos Islands Private Yacht Charter Itinerary
Keep in mind that this itinerary is meant only as an inspiration for your trip and is subject to change. Based on the yacht ́s itinerary, the captain and crew will be as accommodating as possible by suggesting the best activity options that match your interests. Our team is at your disposal to organize the perfect luxury private yachting experience in the Galapagos Islands.
Key Information for Planning Your Galapagos Private Yacht Charter Cruise
|Duration of the cruise:||1 Week (8 days/7 nights). 5 or 4 days is possible as well.|
|Boarding/Embarkation:||Normally embarkation takes place on Tuesdays from South Seymore (Baltra). For other itineraries, boarding takes place on Chatham Island (San Cristobal).|
|Disembarkation:||Normally disembarkation takes place on Tuesdays from South Seymore (Baltra). For other itineraries, boarding takes place on Chatham Island (San Cristobal)|
|Nearest Airport:||Baltra Airport. There are domestic flights available from both Quito and Guayaquil international airports.|
|Port Arrival:||A private transfer takes you directly to the yacht which is only minutes away from the airport.|
|Best season to charter a yacht in the Galapagos:||The Galapagos Islands offer the perfect climate to enjoy a yachting vacation all year round. However, depending on what interests you most, consider that the islands have two seasons: dry and humid. The humid season is from January to June and the air and sea temperatures are warmer. There is little rain, the skies are clear, the vegetation is lush and the sea is calm. There is more birds nesting activity, but a bit less sea life. From July to December in contrast, the dry season offers a lower sea temperature which is ideal for spotting enhanced marine life while snorkeling and scuba diving and also offers stimulating birdwatching from land.|
|The best time to book your trip:||We recommend reserving at least 6 months in advance because there is a greater selection and availability for the best yachts in the Galapagos Islands.|
|This holiday is recommended for:||This vacation is ideal for families and groups of friends. This is a relaxing destination. Travel to the Galapagos is perfect for nature lovers, wildlife observers, and birdwatchers. For people who enjoy sports, the Galapagos offers snorkeling, scuba diving, and hiking. A luxury yachting vacation. Honeymoon destination.|
Detailed One Week Galapagos Islands Luxury Private Yacht Charter Guide
ISLA SANTA CRUZ
Santa Cruz (originally Indefatigable) is an island lover’s dream because it has everything you can imagine to see in the Galapagos. This island boasts sandy white beaches with crystal-clear water in Tortuga Bay, a contrasting impressive landscape of lava tunnels, abundant vegetation, and wildlife all the way up toward the two awe-inspiring “Los Gemelos” volcanic craters at almost 3000 feet.
Take a pleasant excursion to the El Chato nature reserve in the heart of the island where you can witness the imposing giant tortoise that gives this archipelago its name. An encounter with these massive prehistoric animals in their own habitat is just one example of just how abundant and astonishing nature is in the Galapagos.
- Watch the giant prehistoric tortoises roam freely.
- Explore the verdant hills on your way to visit the Los Gemelos volcanic craters and the lava tunnels in the area.
- Snorkel the whimsical Las Grietas geological formations.
CHARLES (FLOREANA) ISLAND
Allow your Galapagos luxury private yacht cruise crew to pamper you on deck while you contemplate the intense blue ocean and enjoy the sea breeze on your cruising journey to Charles (Floreana) Island.
Historically, this remote island was a perfect pirate hideout because of its caves. Feel how you become part of nature itself on your Galapagos yacht holiday as you swim alongside friendly sea lions, observe colorful iguanas, the slow giant tortoises, and pink flamingos on Cormorant Point.
- Visit Post Office Bay to drop your handwritten postcard in the legendary letterbox founded by 18th-century whalers.
- Enjoy the pink Flamingos on Cormorant Point lagoon.
- Snorkel among playful sea lions and the exuberant underwater sea life in Devil ́s Crown.
HOOD (ESPAÑOLA) ISLAND
It is easy to see why Hood Island is considered to be the crown jewel of the Galapagos Islands. Flocks with thousands of seabirds like the Albatross, Blue-Footed Boobies, and the Galapagos Nazca Booby create an unforgettable spectacle of nature. Gardner Bay is a lovely turquoise-blue cove perfect for taking a little snorkel and relaxing with your family and friends. Oh, but remember: you will also be sharing company with your Hood Island sea lion and iguana neighbors.
- Bask in the sun while surrounded by sea lions in Gardner Bay.
- Take a fun excursion with your family and friends to Suarez Point for some birdwatching and try to count how many different species you can see.
- Snorkel to the coral reefs to join the tropical fish for a swim.
CHATHAM (SAN CRISTOBAL) ISLAND
Of the three main islands in the Galapagos, Chatham (San Cristobal) provides the most tranquility; it is a remote corner of the Pacific where life seems to take on a slower pace.
Chatham is a paradise for scuba and snorkel enthusiasts. Rising 450 feet above the Pacific ́s sea level, Kicker Rock is an old volcanic peak that harbors a subaquatic wonderland below.
Sunset is the ideal time to take a pleasant dip in the crystal-clear waters of Witch Hill. Without a doubt, by now you can surely agree that taking a boating vacation in the Galapagos is an unforgettable pageant of stimulating experiences.
- Study the natural history of the Galapagos Islands in the Gianni Arismendi Interpretation Center.
- Scuba dive or snorkel at Kicker Rock to experience the vibrant underwater sea life.
- Enjoy a glorious beach paradise on Puerto Chino Beach or Witch Hill.
BARRINGTON (SANTA FE) ISLAND & PLAZA SUR
The landscapes on Barrington Island (Santa Fe) and Plaza Sur, are quite different from the rest of the archipelago and probably much different than what you have seen so far on the trip. The forest of huge cactus and a carpet of red plants everywhere contrast dramatically with the blue sea, creating a scene that looks like you are touring another planet. This is an excellent occasion to step ashore for amazing photo opportunities with family and friends for the vivid backdrops and, of course, to also capture iguanas, sea lions, and a plethora of bird species.
- Walk among the unique giant cactus forests and see the fields of Galapagos Sesuvium.
- Look for sea turtles on a snorkeling dive.
- Photograph prehistoric Galapagos Iguanas in their myriad of colors.
TOWER (GENOVESA) ISLAND
As you journey on your private yacht in the Galapagos toward the remote Tower Island, the Pacific Ocean’s deep blue captivates your imagination. This island is truly one of the archipelago’s natural treasures.
Tower Island is literally a volcano that magnificently emerges from the ocean’s depths and its crater is a saltwater lagoon in the middle of the island. Ideal for birdwatching, the island is aptly called “Bird Island” because of the quantity and variety of species including Frigates, the elusive Red-Footed Booby, and other marine birds.
- Try to spot the coveted Red-Footed Booby and other unique species while birdwatching.
- Hike to “El Barranco” and look out over the cliff views.
- Take a refreshing dip and snorkel among rays, turtles, and even friendly sharks in Darwin Bay.
JAMES (SANTIAGO), BARTHOLOMEW (BARTOLOMÉ) & JERVIS (RÁBIDA) ISLANDS
Your Galapagos private cruise charter trip isn’t complete until you have visited Jervis, James, and Bartholomew Islands.
On James (Santiago) Island, Sullivan Bay cherishes a coral beach that is a rare breath-taking sight. A volcanic eruption created this barren lava landscape that extends as far as the eyes can see. To top off this very surreal panorama, adorable penguins abound.
Meanwhile, Jervis (Rábida) is one of the most chromatic volcanic islands. Can you imagine taking a swim on Mars? Well, the next closest experience to a vacation on Mars is spending time with your family and friends on Jervis’ red sand beaches and sharing some time snorkeling along the shore.
Perhaps you prefer a land excursion. Hike Bartholomew Island over great lava expanses with cone ash formations dotted along the path up to the height of the island. Here you will be rewarded with gorgeous views from Pinnacle Rock, a shark tooth-shaped peak - another iconic destination in the Galapagos.
- Hike over the Sullivan Bay volcanic lava landscapes.
- Explore the red sand beach found on Jervis (Rábida) Island.
- Take a photograph from the iconic Pinnacle Rock on Bartholomew Island.
In the north of Indefatigable (Santa Cruz), a mangrove forest hides Black Turtle Cove. This shallow cove is only accessible by boat and its transparent waters are optimal to catch a glimpse of rays, sea turtles, and friendly sharks swimming in the coral reef.
These picture-perfect beaches offer a chance to squeeze out the last precious moments of your Galapagos Island yacht cruise vacation, so feel free to sunbathe, take a relaxing swim or contemplate the flamingos and lazy iguanas.
- Take pictures of the showy pink flamingos on Dragon Hill.
- Saunter and relax on the superb Las Bachas beach.
- Explore the nature hidden by Black Turtle Coves’ mangroves.