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Galapagos Travel Guide: Cruise, Tours, Last minute deals
Angelito I Yacht: My experience on a superior tourist cruise in the Galapagos
For my second Galapagos cruise experience, I went with the Angelito I Yacht during the month of May.
On the Angelito Yacht I, I was able to visit islands that I hadn’t explored because they normally can’t be visited on Galapagos day tours. On a Galapagos cruise, I also didn’t have to worry about where to sleep or what to eat.
If you’ve seen my blog, you will have read all the information about traveling through the Galapagos Islands on your own. In this case, you would book day tours upon arrival to the islands or just explore areas that are accessible from the main towns.
If you wanted to access some of the other islands though (Fernandina Island, Santiago Island, Genovesa Island, Rabida Island), and some parts of Isabela Island, you would need to travel by cruise ship.
Before going to the Galapagos:
ANGELITO I YACHT: Superior Tourist Cruise :
Angelito I Yacht is a superior tourist cruise boat. We traveled for 5 days following the A5 itinerary. During the route, we visited one of the farthest islands called Genovesa Island.
This cruise ship has 8 double cabins, all on the main deck, low, convertible beds (i.e. either 2 simple beds or a matrimonial bed), large windows that open, private bathrooms, a safe, and enough space to store clothes. It offers a large dining area, a sundeck if you feel like sunbathing, having a beer, or reading a book while sailing to the different destinations or drink a beer while reading a book.
Itinerary A5 of the Angelito I cruise
Angelito I Cruise activities:
ANGELITO I YACHT: DAY BY DAY
– DAY 1: Baltra Island / North Seymour Island
The guide was waiting for us at 11:00 am at the airport on Baltra Island; we had to wait a bit until all the passengers gathered since the last flight arrived at 12:30 pm.
Afterward, we went to the cruise boat dock where an inflatable boat took us to the cruise boat. Once there, we ate lunch and sailed toward North Seymour Island for the first segment of our adventure.
On North Seymour, we had a dry landing on a wet dock. Sometimes this can be a little tricky since because of the movement of the water, make sure you listen to the guide and follow their instructions.
The guide will decide what hiking route to follow on North Seymour and one difference between this trip and the regular day tours to North Seymour is that you will have more time to explore the island and receive more in-depth explanations.
The trail is about 1.5km long and on it, you will be able to appreciate many different bird species and other animals like blue-footed boobies, baby boobies, frigate birds and their chicks, land iguana, lava lizards, bifurcated tailed gulls and at the end of the walk you’ll see spectacular sea lions that camouflage between the volcanic rocks on the beach.
I always say that Galapagos isn’t a zoo; you can’t expect the animals to appear when you arrive or behave the way you want them to behave, but we were lucky enough to see the courtship songs and dance of the frigate birds and blue-footed boobies.
At the end of the day during dinner, a toast was made and the entire crew was introduced. This crew is what makes the 5-day cruise in the Galapagos Islands such a unique experience.
– DAY 2: Chinese Hat Island / Bartolome Island
We started the morning with breakfast at 7:30 am while the cruise boat anchors at Chinese Hat Island. There, we participated in 2 activities: snorkeling and then a short trek on the Island.
On the trail on Chinese Hat, you’ll see Zayapa crabs, marine iguanas, gray herons, and the oystercatchers. After the hike, you’ll go snorkeling and likely see White-tipped Tintonera Sharks, sea turtles, penguins, and a variety of fish.
After noon, you’ll sail to Bartolome Island while lunch is served and have some time to rest for the afternoon activity on Bartolome Island.
The landing on Bartolome Island is dry and you should go in walking shoes. The trail takes you to a lookout point, it’s well maintained but involves lots of stairs. Along the way, the guide will stop to let people rest and explain things about the geology of the Island.
Once at the lookout point on Bartolome Island, you’ll see the best view (in my opinion!) of the Islands. Compared to the day tours, you get to see this beautiful Island with different lighting because you visit at a different time of day.
To end the day on Bartolome, you’ll go on a panga ride around Pinnacle Rock where you will hopefully see Galapagos Penguins and other bird species.
– DAY 3: Genovesa Island
Genovesa Island, or Bird Island, is an island that can only be visited on a cruise. The trip there is done overnight while guests are sleeping. It’s a good idea to take mareol or anautin because the waters can be choppy. Fortunately, I only woke up once because of the movement. The crew told me that between June and November, the sea tends to me more turbulent.
Breakfast is served at 7:00 to get to Darwin Bay at 7:30 and start a hike along a 500-meter trail (.3 miles) which can be done in sandals since you’ll only be walking on sand and coral.
I have never seen such a diversity of birds as I did on Genovesa Island. The predominant birds are red-footed boobies, white red-footed boobies (these are not albino, 20% of the red-footed boobie population is white). We also saw frigate birds, Nazca boobies (masked boobies), bifurcated tails gulls, and Genovesa darwin finches, as well as several other bird species. Along the cliff, you’ll also see the Tropical bird, lava gull, and Genovesa Cactus Finch.
In the afternoon, we visited Prince Phillies Steps where we went on a trek and were lucky to see an owl that is native to the Galapagos. On this visit, you will have a dry landing and then climb stairs to get to the top of Genovesa Island where you’ll find a multitude of birds.
During May, which is when I visited, there were many mating bird species. Among them were the red frigate bird, the Nazca boobies, the red-footed boobies, and white red-footed boobies. The sky was busy with Frigate birds stealing (hence their name) nest branches from the poor other birds who went through quite a lot of trouble to find and remove them from the bushes.
Back at the cliff, you’ll see hundreds of birds, among them the: tropical bird, Galapagos pigeons, petrels, and more frigates and boobies. A group of tourists in front of us said they saw an owl hunt a petrel for dinner. We saw the owl on the way back at a bridge where it had been spotted in previous weeks.
Upon completing the hike, we rode the inflatable boat back to Angelito I and then went on a panga ride where we saw sea lions resting in the crevices of the walls of giant rocks. We also saw Genovesa marine iguanas which don’t grow as large as the other marine iguanas in the Galapagos Islands.
To close the day, we had an early dinner because the cruise boat had to continue traveling to our next destination: Egas Port on Santiago Island and Rabida Island.
– DAY 4: Egas Port on Santiago Island / Rabida Island
The trip from Genovesa Island to Egas Port on Santiago Island was rocky at times but for the most part, felt like rocking in a hammock and everyone was able to sleep.
In Egas Port, we had breakfast at 6:30 and then had a wet landing on volcanic sand before starting the hike. The trail starts through some bushes to later pass through the volcanic formation along the island’s coast.
Along the bushy trail, if you’re lucky, you’ll see introduced land iguanas, which are the same as the iguanas on North Seymour. However, the ones we saw were significantly heavier, which means it probably has more food and less competition. We also saw lava lizards, finches, and a mockingbird.
Once on the volcanic coast of Santiago island on Puerto Egas, you’ll see double-fur sea lions which are noticeably different from the regular sea lions. You’ll also see hundreds of Zayapa crabs and their empty shells lying around. On my first visit to Egas Port, I was fortunate enough to see the Galapagos Hawk, but this time we didn’t see one since they tend to visit the area when baby marine iguanas start hatching.
After lunch which is served at 11:00, you’ll sail for another 2 hours to Rabida Island where you’ll do some snorkeling and a trek. You’ll land on the famous red-sand beach, one of the only beaches of this type in all the Galapagos Islands. On the Angelito I cruise itinerary, you first do snorkeling on Rabida Island and then go hiking.
Snorkeling on Rabida Island is now the second favorite snorkeling experience in the Galapagos Islands. It truly felt like swimming in a giant fish tank and we saw giant schools of fish. We also saw a manta ray, a golden ray and were surprised by a Tintonera Shark too!
Where we went snorkeling the depth is gradual and there isn’t much of a current until you reach the point right where the activity is concluded.
At 3 pm, we had a wet landing on Rabida Island where we walked along the red-sand beach to reach an area with a small lagoon where we spotted 5 flamingos. As a part of the hike on Rabida Island, we climbed up to a viewpoint to reach a canyon. While we hiked we observed endemic cacti on Rabida Island with many more flowers than what you’ll see on other island cacti.
On the hike, we were also lucky enough to see a snake that stayed very still while we passed. It was in the same place on the way back. We also saw the darwin finch and mockingbird. Though the sea lions are known to be here on the beach, we didn’t see them when we landed but saw them at the end of the hike.
– DAY 5: Charles Darwin Station on Santa Cruz Island
Upon our return to Puerto Ayora, we said our farewells to the other guests and the crew and, after breakfast, we landed for our last visit: Charles Darwin Research Station.
After doing the Tortoise Route (Ruta de la Tortuga) and visiting the Solitary George (who is stuffed, by the way!), everyone departs to their next destination and some continue on the cruise with the Angelito I itinerary.
ITINERARY A5 MAP
Take the following into consideration for your Galapagos Cruise:
What to take on a Galapagos Cruise:
Here are a few items you’ll need to ensure you have a good experience in this magical place. Some items you can get in town, in case you want to contribute to the local economy:
DEPARTURES AND AVAILABILITY: ANGELITO I YACHT – ITINERARY A5
DON’T MISS OUT!