Parting Shots: How a Galapagos Charter Became the Trip of a Lifetime!

Galapagos Islands Charter

The Galapagos Islands is the perfect place to charter a small yacht or catamaran expedition for just you and your group of family or friends. This allows for a more private and even personalized experience, where the guide and crew are dedicated entirely to your group. As there are many boats in the Galapagos meant for just 16 – 20 passengers, a Galapagos charter boat is often the best choice for large groups of friends, clubs, and multi-generational family vacations, and it’s easier than some may think. There are also a variety of boat types available: you can charter a private luxury boat, a tourist superior, or a first class boat.  Additionally, some nice discounts come into play when you are able to charter a full boat instead of buying the individual cabin spaces. Keep reading to journey alongside this Knowmad group and learn more about Galapagos charter boats. 

Meg reached out to us about a year and a half in advance with the interest in getting a group of friends together to travel to the Galapagos. As she had a large group of friends interested, we suggested working to try and charter a 16-passenger boat just for her friends. Fortunately, as she was reaching out far enough in advance, we were able to place an extended hold on one of our favorite first class boats, Anahi, while her friends registered and spread the word on the trip. In the end, they nearly filled the boat with 14 total passengers. They created lifelong memories together while they shared new experiences: snorkeling with sea lions, sea turtles, penguins, and even marine iguanas; walking alongside the giant Galapagos tortoises; observing blue-footed boobies doing their unique (and frankly quite funny) mating dance, red frigate birds puffing out their big red chests, and so much more. “It was the trip of a lifetime and MORE!,” Meg wrote us after the trip.

Interested in chartering a Galapagos boat of your own for your family or friends? Reach out to a Galapagos Trip Specialist today for more information on how to charter a boat and/or chat about other Galapagos cruise options. For more inspiration, browse through all of the wonderful photos below, taken by Jon, one of Meg’s fellow adventurers!

Exclusive Galapagos Boat Charter     Exclusive Boat Charters Galapagos

GALAPAGOS CHARTER – TRIP OF A LIFETIME

1 Galapagos Charter

DAY 1 USA – Quito
You will fly from the USA to Quito, most likely arriving in the evening. Upon your arrival in Quito you will be met at the airport and transferred to your accommodations, conveniently located near the Quito airport.

  • No meals – Wyndham Airport Hotel

 

DAY 2 Quito – Galapagos
In the morning you will be met in your hotel lobby and taken to the airport in accordance with your approximately 2.5-hour flight onward to the Baltra airport in the Galapagos. To ensure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands, your luggage will be inspected at the Quito airport. Upon arrival in Baltra, you will pass through an airport inspection point where your TCT (Transit Control Card) will be checked and stamped (please keep this carefully with your passport as you will need to show it again when you leave Galapagos). After exiting the inspection point you will be met by your guide who will escort you on a short bus ride to the harbor. From the harbor, motorized rafts called pangas will transport you to your accommodations on the Anahi Catamaran Yacht, where you will have lunch as you depart for your first island visit. In the afternoon you will enjoy your first excursion into the Santa Cruz highlands, where you will be delighted by the island’s variety of life and geology. Climb through agricultural lands and mist-covered forests, watch the bright red feathers of a vermillion flycatcher or one of Darwin’s finches fly by, and track tortoises through the craters and volcanic lava tubes.

  • B, L, D – Anahi Catamaran Yacht, standard cabin

 

DAY 3 Isabela Island
Today you will visit Isabela Island, the largest and one of the youngest islands in the Galapagos archipelago. In the morning you will visit Las Tintoreras, a group of small islands that are named after the white tipped ‘Tintoreras’ reef sharks that swim in the calm waters. Taking a panga to the landing point you will possibly see almost all of the archipelago’s iconic wildlife: white-tipped sharks, sea lions, turtles, and of course pelicans and blue-footed boobies. Enjoy a hike along the trail that includes a white sand beach, mangroves, and marine iguanas at every turn, before returning to the yacht for lunch. In the afternoon you will hike towards the rim of the Sierra Negra volcano, the second widest crater in the world. From this viewpoint you’ll have fantastic views of the 6 x 5-mile-wide crater, the rest of the volcanoes, and the Perry Isthmus, a 12 km-wide lava field. If you are still feeling energized and would like, you can also hike further on to the Chico Volcano to view more striking lava formations, examples of the geological occurrences that have created the Galapagos Islands.

  • B, L, D – Anahi Catamaran Yacht

 

DAY 4 Isabela Island

Charter A Galapagos Boat
After breakfast on the Anahi you will continue your exploration of Isabela Island, visiting Punta Moreno by a trail that runs along a lava flow pahoehoe (solidified lava in an accordion or corrugated form) into a complex of coastal lagoons. Its main attractions are several species of birds that are found around the lakes and mangroves. After lunch, you will embark on a zodiac ride into Elizabeth Bay where you will visit the largest penguin colony in the Galapagos islands, as well as a cove surrounded by red mangroves where, from the zodiac, you can possibly observe sea turtles, flightless cormorants, rays, brown pelicans, schools of Dorado fish and sea lions.

  • B, L, D – Anahi Catamaran Yacht

 

DAY 5 Isabela Island

Galapagos Islands Trip Boat Charter 1     Galapagos Islands Private Travel
Your day will begin on the west coast in Urbina Bay, where the waters of the bay are a good place to possibly see turtles and rays, and a short trail leads you to a coral reef. From the landing point it is also easy to reach the Alcedo and Darwin volcanoes, where you can see large, colored land iguanas and often have the possibility of seeing giant Galapagos turtles, blue-footed boobies, Galapagos penguins, pelicans and marine iguanas. After lunch, you will take a zodiac along the cliffs of Tangus Cove to a landing dock, from which it is about a 30-minute hike up to the top where you can view Darwin Lake, an uplifted ultra-saline 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, left by pirates, whalers and buccaneers in past centuries.

  • B, L, D – Anahi Catamaran Yacht

 

DAY 6 Fernandina Island
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 you will continue to see many of the unique species of the Galapagos, especially marine iguanas basking in the sand and flightless cormorants searching for food in the ocean. In the afternoon, you will visit Vicente Roca Point, where the remnants of an ancient volcano form two turquoise coves with a bay well protected from the ocean swells. This is a perfect place to take panga rides along the cliffs or explore a partially-sunken cave at the water’s edge, as well as enjoy the abundance of marine life in one of the archipelago’s most sought after dive spots.

  • B, L, D – Anahi Catamaran Yacht

 

DAY 7 Santiago Island & Rábida Island

Galapagos Vacation     Galapagos Charter
Santiago Island was the site of a small salt mining industry in the 1960s, one of several unsuccessful attempts to commercialize the Galapagos. Today you will visit the black sand beaches of Puerto Egas, be able to view iguanas and sea lions in the tide pools, and see land birds along the rugged shoreline. On a hike inland to the salt crater there is also a series of grottoes and sea caves where fur seals and night herons are regularly found resting on the shady ledges. For many, this is the only opportunity to see the Galapagos fur seal, once thought to be on the verge of extinction. After lunch you will visit Rábida Island, unique because of the red color of its rocks and sand. A short walk along a trail will lead you to a coastal lagoon behind the beach where you can observe land birds such as finches, doves, yellow warblers, and mockingbirds. Often at this lagoon there is also a colony of flamingos.

  • B, L, D – Anahi Catamaran Yacht

 

DAY 8 Santiago Island & Bartolomé Island

Galapagos Islands Charter Travel     Private Galapagos Charter Snorkeling

In the morning, you will visit a small islet located just off the southeastern tip of Santiago Island. Here you will see lava formations, coral heads, and a landscape covered by sea lion colonies, marine iguanas and Galapagos penguins. Afterwards you will visit Bartolomé Island, a small barren island with two main visitors’ sites. The first site offers you the option to climb to the summit of the island, from where you can observe a variety of volcanic formations including lava bombs, spatter and cinder cones, lava flows, and lava tubes. This moon-like landscape provides one of the most scenic panoramas in the archipelago. At the second visitor site you will have the chance to relax on a beautiful beach, which offers great snorkeling opportunities. Multi–colored fish and occasionally penguins and sea turtles have been seen at the base of the tall pinnacle rock, which dominates Bartolomé’s landscape. A short walk across to Bartolomé’s second beach, where swimming is strictly prohibited, visitors can see white-tipped reef sharks swimming along the shore.

  • B, L, D – Anahi Catamaran Yacht

 

DAY 9 Galapagos – Quito – USA
Getting an early start to your day, your last Galapagos excursion is to Seymour Island, an uplifted (as opposed to volcanic) island, generally flat and strewn with boulders. Due to its unique composition it hosts good nesting sites for a large population of magnificent frigatebirds. Blue-footed boobies perform their courtship dance in the more open areas and swallow-tailed gulls perch on the cliff edges. Despite the tremendous surf that can pound the outer shore, sea lions haul out onto the beach and can also be found bodysurfing. After the morning excursion you will be taken to the airport in accordance with your flight to the mainland. Upon arrival in the Quito airport you will be responsible for collecting your bags and checking in for your onward international flight home. This is often a long and unavoidable lay over, so we recommend crossing the street to the airport center for a farewell meal.

  • B

 

DAY 10 Arrive home.

Luxury Yacht Charter

Saludos,
Renee

South America Travel - Renee DaviesRenee is a Trip Specialist at Knowmad Adventures, a company dedicated to creating unique, private and custom trips in South America. She lived in Mexico for over 3 years and is excited to help Knowmad travelers discover the wonderful impact not just travel, but really experiencing a different country and culture can have on your life. Read Renee’s biography and more about the Knowmad team.