Sailing on board the luxurious Natural Paradise yacht, spend 10 days exploring the natural highlights of the Galapagos Islands; snorkelling with sea lions and sea turtles, observing the abundant birdlife and encountering marine iguanas and other endemic wildlife. Navigate the remote Galapagos Islands aboard the Natural Paradise, a luxury 16 passenger yacht designed specifically for exploring these remarkable islands. To help you aboard and in your search for the Galapagos “Big 15”, you will be joined throughout by a dedicated crew and the expertise of a certified Galapagos naturalist guide. From playful sea lions to colonies of blue-footed boobies and an abundance of fascinating marine life, this expeditions sole focus is to get you up close and personal with the archipelago’s unique wildlife.
After arriving in Quito, head out on a half day tour to weave your way through the streets and plazas of the Old Town and admire the characteristic colonial architecture, including the cathedral and President's palace. Much of the city is built on top of an old Inca settlement, and the influence of the indigenous cultures is also evident.
The following day you will transfer to the airport for your flight to the small island of Baltra, where you will transfer to the dock and board the Natural Paradise, your home for the next week. Your first stop is Vicente Roca Point where you will have the opportunity to go snorkelling, looking out for sea turtles, seahorses and even the weird and wonderful Mola mola, the largest bony fish in the world.
Next up is Urbina Bay, and you can take a short hike to observe the island's giant tortoises and land iguanas and head to Moreno Point on the southwestern side of Isabela, where you can view the craters and tide pools that were formed by historic volcanic activity and are now a haven for marine wildlife. This is also a great area for birdwatching, and you may witness pink flamingos, gallinules, and blue herons.
Disembark on Isabela Island once more to visit the Sierra Negra Volcano, the tortoise breeding centre, and the Wall of Tears, constructed between 1945 and 1959 by the prisoners of the islands' penal colony.
Sail to Mosquera Islet, a rocky reef that is home to a large population of sea lions and shorebirds and observe the wildlife from your panga, and, if you're lucky, you may even be able to observe the orcas which visit the area to hunt.
Drop anchor at Post Office Bay on Floreana Island and move on to Cormorant Point, where you will have a short hike to a saltwater lagoon to observe the resident flamingos and swim in the crystal clear waters of the Devil's Crown, an extinct volcano just off the coast of Floreana.
Visit Punta Suarez on Espanola Island, home to the highest rate of endemic species in the Galapagos, including sea lions, hood mockingbirds, waved albatross, blue-footed and nazca boobies, red-billed tropicbirds, Darwin's finches, and marine iguanas. Walk along the picturesque white-sand beach at Gardner Bay, where you will encounter large colonies of sea lions.
Your final stop-off in the Galapagos Islands will be at Lobos Island, named after the sea lions that come to rest on its rocky shorelines, along with bird species such as boobies, pelicans, and frigate-birds. Afterwards, you will head back to the airport for your return flight to Ecuador, in time for your international flight home.
The Natural Paradise is a modern luxury yacht, purpose-built for exploring the Galapagos Islands. Hosting just 16 passengers at a time, the spacious cabins are spread out over three decks, with upper deck cabins having their own private balconies. The sundeck also boasts a large jacuzzi and al fresco barbecue area, perfect for relaxing with a sundowner.