Archipel I & II

Meet the two pioneers of Galapagos: Archipel I & II! These motor catamarans arrived in 2002, and offer stable double hulls, wide decks and large social areas, all of which are nearby each other. Each catamaran offers eight cabins above the waterline, with two windows for a nice sea view. They also include clean private facilities, hot/cold water, low beds, air-conditioning, and a storage space for a comfortable stay.

The Archipel I not only has a contemporary new design, but also appears (together with the Archipel II) as one of the only catamarans in its category. True value for money, and a great alternative for those looking for a catamaran experience, at competitive rates.

New on Archipel I:
Redesigned interior social areas, with a fresh contemporary look.
Completely redesign of cabins, featuring now brighter colours and ocean view with two separate windows which can be opened.
Brand new interior and exterior furniture
Elegant teak wood floor on the spacious sun-deck
Al Fresco dining with great views from the sun-deck.
Weekly BBQ on the last dinner of every cruise.
ATC quality standard in guidance and service.

ARCHIPEL I - ITINERARY A

DAYS/ 7 NIGHTS - Monday to Monday

Day 1

AM – Arrival at San Cristobal airport (SCY) Upon arrival at the Seymour Ecological Airport, travelers pass through an airport inspection point to make sure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands, and to pay the park entrance fee of $100 (unless it has been prepaid). A guide will meet you, help you collect your luggage, and escort you on a short bus ride to the harbor.

PM – Cerro Colorado (San Cristobal) Cerro Colorado Tortoises Protection and Growing Center, located at 40 minutes approximately by bus to the south east of the island, was built to improve the status of the population of the island tortoises. The center includes a large corral, a Visitors center, breeding center and an interpretative trail. Along this trail, it is possible to see different species of native and endemic plants as well as birds like the San Cristobal Mockingbird, Yellow Warblers, many species of finches and the Galapagos flycatcher.

Day 2

AM – South Plaza South Plaza is located at the east of Santa Cruz Island, and forms part of two islands known as Islas Plazas. Despite its small size, some of the most interesting and outstanding species of the Galapagos are found here. The Plazas land iguanas are smaller than its relatives found on other islands. There are several hybrid iguanas, a result of crossing a male marine iguana and a female land iguana; they are unique, recognizable at first glance by their black/gray color, with a land iguana's crest, but face and tail of the marine iguana. The big population of iguanas is due to the presence of tunas, their favorite food. Swallow Tailed Gulls nesting in the rugged cliffs are seen along with other sea birds such as Audubon shearwaters, red-billed tropicbirds, frigate birds and brown pelicans.

PM – Santa Fe Located in the southeastern part of the Galapagos, this island was formed from an uplift instead than from a volcanic origin; this is why it is mostly flat. There are some theories that assure that this could be the oldest island in the Archipelago. Santa Fe is the home of a number of endemic species like the Galapagos Hawk, Galapagos snake, Galapagos mockingbird, rice rats and one of the two species of land Iguanas of the islands. After disembarkation in the beautiful and clear waters, you will be in contact with one of the many sea lion colonies. Along the trail, many saltbushes can be seen, as well giant Prickly pear cactus. There are great possibilities of snorkeling with playful sea lions and tropical fishes.

Day 3

AM – Champion Islet (Floreana) Bottlenose dolphins frequently escort our passage to Champion Islet and you can see them from nearby jumping the wakes! Underwater, Galapagos sea lions are playful acrobats that become the number one attraction. There are also lots of reef fish, and perhaps a green Pacific turtle. An inflatable dinghy ride along the shoreline of this islet offers sightings of lots of sea birds that are endemic to the archipelago, including Galapagos penguins, blue-footed boobies, magnificent frigate birds and red-billed tropicbirds, swallow-tailed gulls and lava herons. A bird watchers wish is to get a glimpse of the Charles mockingbird on top of prickly pear cacti. This mockingbird is a scientific and historic key species, because it put Darwin on track of his theory of ‘adaptive radiation’.

PM – Loberia & Asylum of Peace (Floreana) The Asylum of Peace Island is a historical interest for guests. This hike goes past a mesmerizing cave and visits a fascinating freshwater spring. La Loberia beach is an ideal spot to enjoy the ocean, as well as the cute sea lions that habit there.

Day 4

AM – Charles Darwin Research Station Although the great majority of Galapagos visitors come here to observe and appreciate natural wonders, it is also interesting to learn how the protection and conservation of the islands are done. The main attractions are the National Park information center, the Van Staelen Exhibition Hall, the Breeding and Rearing Center for young tortoises, and adult Galapagos tortoises in captivity.

PM – Highlands (Santa Cruz) The road to the highlands leaves from Bellavista, a small village located at a 15-minute drive from Puerto Ayora and passes through the agricultural zone, near the National Park boundary, the Miconia Zone, and then goes to the Fern and Sedge zone. With clear weather, this area gives you beautiful scenes of rolling hills and extinct volcanic cones covered with grass and lush greenery all year round. Here you will visit the Twin Craters, which are two pit craters, as well as a local ranch where we can observe the Giant Tortoise specie of Santa Cruz Island in its natural habitat.

Day 5

AM – Tintoreras Islet “Tintoreras” are small islands in front of the Puerto Villamil coast. There are Herons on the lookout on mangrove branches, Galapagos Penguins and sea lions that often pop out on shore. White-tipped reef sharks (in Spanish: Tintoreras) are common in the archipelago and are very commonly found resting in the shallow waters.

PM- Tortoise Breeding Center & Wetlands Isabela Island is the largest and one of the youngest islands in the Galapagos archipelago. We land in Puerto Villamil, which has the second smallest population in Galapagos with approximately 3.000 habitants. First, we will visit the Flamingos Lagoon; the largest coastal lagoon found in Galapagos and is one of the main reproductive sites for the greater Flamingos On your visit to Colorado Hill, you will get to discover the amazing and emblematic Giant Galapagos Tortoises in the Tortoise breeding center, and maybe even get to see one hatch (seasonally)! In addition, you will get to see how much hard work is put into save the last local giants of San Cristobal.

Day 6

AM – Moreno Point (Isabela) Moreno Point is located on the north coast of Isabela Island between the volcanos Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul. The trail runs along a solidified lava flow called “Pahohoe”, into a complex of coastal lagoons. Its main attraction are several species of birds, which are found around the lakes and mangroves.

PM – Elizabeth Bay (Isabela) This is a marine visitor site, so the excursion has no landing point. Your zodiac ride starts with a visit to the Marielas islets where the largest and most important penguin colony reside in the Galapagos Islands. The excursion continues into the cove that is surrounded by red mangroves where you can admire their red roots and green leafs. Here, you are able to observe sea turtles, flightless cormorants, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, brown pelicans and sea lions. Frequent visitors have been able to see Galapagos Hawks soaring overhead whilst schools of Pompano and Dorado fish swimming down below.

Day 7

AM – Tagus Cove (Isabela) Tagus Cove, a tour along the cliffs will give the visitors a good chance to see the Galapagos penguin, the flightless cormorant and other sea birds. From the landing dock, it is about a 30-minute hike along the trail up to the top of the cliff from where you can view Darwin Lake, an uplifted lake saltier than the sea. You can also see several volcanoes from this location. Look carefully at the graffiti on the surrounding cliffs of the cove, it has been written by pirates, whalers and buccaneers in past centuries!

PM – Espinoza Point (Fernandina) Fernandina is the third largest island in the archipelago and has a single visitor site: Punta Espinoza located at the northeastern tip of the island. Here, marine iguanas conglomerate in larger groups than in any other island. They bask around in the sand, swim near the shore and sometimes, block the way at the landing dock. Among the unique species found here, we can find the Flightless Cormorant.

Day 8

AM – Bachas Beach (Santa Cruz) These two small beaches are found to the West of Turtle Cove. Their sand is made of decomposed coral, which makes it white and soft, and a favorite nesting site for sea turtles. Behind one of the beaches there is a small blackish water lagoon, where it is occasionally possible to observe flamingos and other coastal birds, such as black-necked stilts and whimbrels. The other beach is longer, but it has two old barges that were abandoned during the World War II, when USA used Baltra Island as a strategic point to protect the Panama Channel.

PM – Transfer out to Seymour Ecological Airport (GPS) Assisted by the naturalist guide and some crewmembers, the dinghy will bring you and your luggage to the Seymour Ecological Airport, where we will take the shuttle back to the airport.

ARCHIPEL I - ITINERARY B

8 DAYS/ 7 NIGHTS - Monday to Monday

Day 1

AM – Arrival at Seymour Ecological Airport (GPS) Upon arrival at the Seymour Ecological Airport, travelers pass through an airport inspection point to make sure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands, and to pay the park entrance fee of $100 (unless it has been prepaid). A guide will meet you, help you collect your luggage, and escort you on a short bus ride to the harbor.

PM – North Seymour This islet is one of most visited sites, and it is overloaded with bird life. An easy circular path takes you through the archipelago’s most extensive colonies of blue-footed boobies and frigate birds. At the beginning of the breeding season, adult frigatebird-males blow up their vivid red pouches to impressive football-sized balloons. This is one of the few spots where you can compare the magnificent and the great frigatebird breeding next to each other.

Day 2

AM – Prince Philip’s Steps (Genovese) Before landing, you will make an inflatable dinghy-ride along the eastern arm of the caldera. While we approach, the massive 25 m / 80 ft high walls become overwhelming. Sometimes, a Galapagos fur seal is resting or a seabird is nesting on one of the ledges at the base. Then, you have to hike and overcome the steep stairs from the landing dock to a bush of palo santo shrubs on top. Red-footed boobies gratefully use these scarce nesting-places; so that they don’t have to nest on the rocky ground. On arriving at the seaside of the rim, the bushes open up and you can enjoy wide views, a strong sea breeze and the amazing flying skills of uncountable seabirds. Following the exposed seaside rim, you will first pass the Nazca boobies and finally reach the extensive storm petrel nesting places, where you might be lucky to spot the well-camouflaged short-eared owl hunting for them on foot!

PM – Darwin Bay Inside the submerged caldera of Genovesa lies Darwin Bay, with a diameter of more than 1,5 km / 1 mi and it is almost 200 m / 650 ft deep. The small area will surprise you repeatedly, walking along a coral sand beach, crossing barren lava formations and creeks, passing tidal pools, shrubs and further ahead following the top of some cliffs. With this peaceful surrounding, every single species has occupied its own ecological niche (or habitat) without disturbing others.

Day 3

AM – Bartolome The beautiful volcano islet of Bartolome is among the youngest of the islands, and on a geological scale was just recently born out of fire. Although at first sight lifeless, Bartolome offers some of the wildest landscapes and best panoramas in the entire archipelago. To enjoy the postcard view of the idyllic ‘Pinnacle Bay’ you have to climb the stairs to the viewpoint on top of the island (114m/375ft). Enter a dramatic world of threatening (though extinguished) nearby spatter cones, craters, and lightweight lava droplets that have been spewed out by fiery fountains. The Summit Trail is also ideal to witness how scanty pioneer vegetation such as lava cactus is struggling to take root in the bare virgin lava fields.

PM – Sullivan Bay (Santiago) Setting foot at the lava stream covering Sullivan Bay is like landing on the moon. The desolate, stretched-out fields seem mostly lifeless, but there is plenty to see on this highly popular site amongst photographers. Pacific green turtles seasonally burry eggs in the tiny white sand beach, where you may also encounter crabs, a strayed blue heron or an oystercatcher. On the lava flow, only sparse pioneer vegetation such as lava cacti and carpetweed are able to grow. You might encounter a lava lizard, locusts or a small snake-species (Galapagos racer).

Day 4

AM – Charles Darwin Research Station Although the great majority of Galapagos visitors come here to observe and appreciate natural wonders, it is also interesting to learn how the protection and conservation of the islands are done. The main attractions are the National Park information center, the Van Staelen Exhibition Hall, the Breeding and Rearing Center for young tortoises, and adult Galapagos tortoises in captivity.

PM – Highlands (Santa Cruz) The road to the highlands leaves from Bellavista, a small village located at a 15-minute drive from Puerto Ayora and passes through the agricultural zone, near the National Park boundary, the Miconia Zone, and then goes to the Fern and Sedge zone. With clear weather, this area gives you beautiful scenes of rolling hills and extinct volcanic cones covered with grass and lush greenery all year round. Here you will visit the Twin Craters, which are two pit craters, as well as a local ranch where we can observe the Giant Tortoise specie of Santa Cruz Island in its natural habitat.

Day 5

AM – Cormorant Point (Floreana) The peninsula of Cormorant Point forms the extreme north cape of Floreana, which formed by numbers of smaller volcanic cones, covered by tropical dry forest (palo santo). At the landing beach, you will be welcomed by a small Galapagos sea lion-colony. The green sand on this beach contains a high percentage of glassy olivine crystals that have been blown out by the surrounding tuff cones. The ‘flour sand’ beach on the southern side of the peninsula is formed of even finer white coral sand that feels very smooth to your feet. Parrotfishes have pulverized it, grinding the calcareous skeletons of living coral. You can recognize schools of stingrays that love the sandy bottom to hide themselves. During the first months of the year, Pacific green turtles come ashore to bury their eggs.

PM – Post Office Bay (Floreana) Post Office Bay is one out of three nearby visitor’s sites on Floreana’s northern coast. Bring your postcards and post them in the peculiar barrel on this historic site. The barrel commemorates an improvised mail service that was set-up for communication between British 16th century whalers and poachers.

Day 6

AM – Gardner Bay (Española) The striking white beach at Gardner Bay is an important breeding site for Pacific green turtles. However, without doubt its main attraction is the Galapagos sea lion colony. Females stay year round in this nursery, suckling their pups up to an age of 3 years, although these start to fish after 5 months of their birth. During the breeding- and mating season, the colony becomes even bigger.

PM – Suarez Point (Española) Huge ocean waves bang onto the southern basaltic cliffs of Suarez Point, forming a spectacular blowhole, where the water sprays meters high into the air (depending on the season, the tide and how strong the sea breeze pushes the waves). Take your time for a meditative break in silence on this emblematic viewpoint, and convert this unforgettable moment in a lifetime experience.

Day 7

AM – Pitt Point (San Cristobal) Two wind sculptured tuff cones at Pitt Point make up the extreme eastern end of San Cristobal, and thus, the archipelago as well. These cliffs were the first sight of land when HMS Beagle and Charles Darwin arrived on September 15, 1835. On the small green sand beach, you will be welcomed by a group of barking Galapagos sea lions. This is a bachelor colony, where males usually relax and prepare themselves for fighting and mating. From saltbush and spiny shrubs behind the beach, a trail leads up to an area of tropical dry forest vegetation: most of the year leafless palo santo trees, yellow cordia shrubs, tiny prickly pear cacti and carpetweed that turns red in the dry season. After the pretty steep climb through a gully to the cliff top, you can wander around the only colony in Galapagos that counts with all three species of boobies: bluefooted, red-footed and Nazca booby; as well as both species of frigate bird (great and magnificent), famous because of their scarlet balloon-sized pouches during mating season. Frigate birds would rather attack returning boobies and conduct aerial battles than fishing for themselves.

PM – Witch Hill (San Cristobal) The primary attraction of this site is the coral sand beach, an excellent place to swim and snorkel. Witch Hill is the remains of a tuff cone and one of the first sites visited by Charles Darwin. It has an impressive landscape, where it is often possible to see coastal and migratory birds, including pelicans, Blue-footed Boobies and Swallow-tailed Gulls; as well as sea lions and marine iguanas. At times, the lagoon is completely dry and deposits of salt may be found in the bottom. The people of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno used to use the lagoon as a salt mine.

Day 8

AM – Lobos Islet (San Cristobal) The Lobos Islets beach harbors a colony of Galapagos sea lions. As in other colonies in the archipelago, you can approach nurturing females within a few meters. In the breeding season this colony is also visited by territorial males, defending and mating the harem on their part of the beach. This low islet houses more than just Galapagos sea lions. Two other emblematic species breed here. Male blue-footed boobies and great frigate birds that try to impress the females (and tourists) with clumsy dances heaving their striking blue feet or blow-up their balloon-sized scarlet pouches. During the breeding season, the fluffy and hungry chicks cry for food, and when their wings get strong enough, these will learn to fly.

PM – Transfer out to San Cristobal Airport (SCY) Assisted by the naturalist guide and some crewmembers, the dinghy will bring you and your luggage to the Seymour Ecological Airport, where we will take the shuttle back to the airport.

 

 

ARCHIPEL I - ITINERARY A 8 DAYS/ 7 NIGHTS

Monday to Monday

Day 1

AM – Arrival at San Cristobal airport (SCY) Upon arrival at the Seymour Ecological Airport, travelers pass through an airport inspection point to make sure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands, and to pay the park entrance fee of $100 (unless it has been prepaid). A guide will meet you, help you collect your luggage, and escort you on a short bus ride to the harbor.

 

PM – Cerro Colorado (San Cristobal) Cerro Colorado Tortoises Protection and Growing Center, located at 40 minutes approximately by bus to the south east of the island, was built to improve the status of the population of the island tortoises. The center includes a large corral, a Visitors center, breeding center and an interpretative trail. Along this trail, it is possible to see different species of native and endemic plants as well as birds like the San Cristobal Mockingbird, Yellow Warblers, many species of finches and the Galapagos flycatcher.

 

Day 2

AM – South Plaza South Plaza is located at the east of Santa Cruz Island, and forms part of two islands known as Islas Plazas. Despite its small size, some of the most interesting and outstanding species of the Galapagos are found here. The Plazas land iguanas are smaller than its relatives found on other islands. There are several hybrid iguanas, a result of crossing a male marine iguana and a female land iguana; they are unique, recognizable at first glance by their black/gray color, with a land iguana's crest, but face and tail of the marine iguana. The big population of iguanas is due to the presence of tunas, their favorite food. Swallow Tailed Gulls nesting in the rugged cliffs are seen along with other sea birds such as Audubon shearwaters, red-billed tropicbirds, frigate birds and brown pelicans.

 

PM – Santa Fe Located in the southeastern part of the Galapagos, this island was formed from an uplift instead than from a volcanic origin; this is why it is mostly flat. There are some theories that assure that this could be the oldest island in the Archipelago. Santa Fe is the home of a number of endemic species like the Galapagos Hawk, Galapagos snake, Galapagos mockingbird, rice rats and one of the two species of land Iguanas of the islands. After disembarkation in the beautiful and clear waters, you will be in contact with one of the many sea lion colonies. Along the trail, many saltbushes can be seen, as well giant Prickly pear cactus. There are great possibilities of snorkeling with playful sea lions and tropical fishes.

 

Day 3

AM – Champion Islet (Floreana) Bottlenose dolphins frequently escort our passage to Champion Islet and you can see them from nearby jumping the wakes! Underwater, Galapagos sea lions are playful acrobats that become the number one attraction. There are also lots of reef fish, and perhaps a green Pacific turtle. An inflatable dinghy ride along the shoreline of this islet offers sightings of lots of sea birds that are endemic to the archipelago, including Galapagos penguins, blue-footed boobies, magnificent frigate birds and red-billed tropicbirds, swallow-tailed gulls and lava herons. A bird watchers wish is to get a glimpse of the Charles mockingbird on top of prickly pear cacti. This mockingbird is a scientific and historic key species, because it put Darwin on track of his theory of ‘adaptive radiation’.

 

PM – Loberia & Asylum of Peace (Floreana) The Asylum of Peace Island is a historical interest for guests. This hike goes past a mesmerizing cave and visits a fascinating freshwater spring. La Loberia beach is an ideal spot to enjoy the ocean, as well as the cute sea lions that habit there.

 

Day 4

AM – Charles Darwin Research Station Although the great majority of Galapagos visitors come here to observe and appreciate natural wonders, it is also interesting to learn how the protection and conservation of the islands are done. The main attractions are the National Park information center, the Van Staelen Exhibition Hall, the Breeding and Rearing Center for young tortoises, and adult Galapagos tortoises in captivity.

 

PM – Highlands (Santa Cruz) The road to the highlands leaves from Bellavista, a small village located at a 15-minute drive from Puerto Ayora and passes through the agricultural zone, near the National Park boundary, the Miconia Zone, and then goes to the Fern and Sedge zone. With clear weather, this area gives you beautiful scenes of rolling hills and extinct volcanic cones covered with grass and lush greenery all year round. Here you will visit the Twin Craters, which are two pit craters, as well as a local ranch where we can observe the Giant Tortoise specie of Santa Cruz Island in its natural habitat.

 

Day 5

AM – Tintoreras Islet “Tintoreras” are small islands in front of the Puerto Villamil coast. There are Herons on the lookout on mangrove branches, Galapagos Penguins and sea lions that often pop out on shore. White-tipped reef sharks (in Spanish: Tintoreras) are common in the archipelago and are very commonly found resting in the shallow waters.

 

PM- Tortoise Breeding Center & Wetlands Isabela Island is the largest and one of the youngest islands in the Galapagos archipelago. We land in Puerto Villamil, which has the second smallest population in Galapagos with approximately 3.000 habitants. First, we will visit the Flamingos Lagoon; the largest coastal lagoon found in Galapagos and is one of the main reproductive sites for the greater Flamingos On your visit to Colorado Hill, you will get to discover the amazing and emblematic Giant Galapagos Tortoises in the Tortoise breeding center, and maybe even get to see one hatch (seasonally)! In addition, you will get to see how much hard work is put into save the last local giants of San Cristobal.

 

Day 6

AM – Moreno Point (Isabela) Moreno Point is located on the north coast of Isabela Island between the volcanos Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul. The trail runs along a solidified lava flow called “Pahohoe”, into a complex of coastal lagoons. Its main attraction are several species of birds, which are found around the lakes and mangroves.

 

PM – Elizabeth Bay (Isabela) This is a marine visitor site, so the excursion has no landing point. Your zodiac ride starts with a visit to the Marielas islets where the largest and most important penguin colony reside in the Galapagos Islands. The excursion continues into the cove that is surrounded by red mangroves where you can admire their red roots and green leafs. Here, you are able to observe sea turtles, flightless cormorants, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, brown pelicans and sea lions. Frequent visitors have been able to see Galapagos Hawks soaring overhead whilst schools of Pompano and Dorado fish swimming down below.

 

Day 7

AM – Tagus Cove (Isabela) Tagus Cove, a tour along the cliffs will give the visitors a good chance to see the Galapagos penguin, the flightless cormorant and other sea birds. From the landing dock, it is about a 30-minute hike along the trail up to the top of the cliff from where you can view Darwin Lake, an uplifted lake saltier than the sea. You can also see several volcanoes from this location. Look carefully at the graffiti on the surrounding cliffs of the cove, it has been written by pirates, whalers and buccaneers in past centuries!

 

PM – Espinoza Point (Fernandina) Fernandina is the third largest island in the archipelago and has a single visitor site: Punta Espinoza located at the northeastern tip of the island. Here, marine iguanas conglomerate in larger groups than in any other island. They bask around in the sand, swim near the shore and sometimes, block the way at the landing dock. Among the unique species found here, we can find the Flightless Cormorant.

 

Day 8

AM – Bachas Beach (Santa Cruz) These two small beaches are found to the West of Turtle Cove. Their sand is made of decomposed coral, which makes it white and soft, and a favorite nesting site for sea turtles. Behind one of the beaches there is a small blackish water lagoon, where it is occasionally possible to observe flamingos and other coastal birds, such as black-necked stilts and whimbrels. The other beach is longer, but it has two old barges that were abandoned during the World War II, when USA used Baltra Island as a strategic point to protect the Panama Channel.

 

PM – Transfer out to Seymour Ecological Airport (GPS) Assisted by the naturalist guide and some crewmembers, the dinghy will bring you and your luggage to the Seymour Ecological Airport, where we will take the shuttle back to the airport.

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