Home » Tip Top III 8 Day North, West & Central Islands
Explore the wonders of Galapagos aboard the spectacular Tip Top II which offers the highest level of comfort and professionalism. The North, West and Central Islands offers an array of majestic endemic wildlife to meet close-up, including marine iguanas, lava lizards, flamingos and turtles to name a few. This tour will further include expeditions to iconic locations such as Prince Philip's Steps to view the breeding grounds of shorebirds; Sierra Negra Volcano to observe lava flows and fumaroles; and Charles Darwin Station to learn more about geological formations and evolutionary development
Unwind on the exotic white sands of Las Bachas Beach, then go and meet Flamingos nearby a lagoon.
Embark on a journey to James Bay to observe sponges, snails, hermit crabs, shore birds, barnacles, the endemic four-eyed blenny, marine iguanas and sea lions.
Indulge in a session of swimming, snorkeling or kayaking at Darwin Bay.
Admire the uplifted delicate coral reef at Urbina Bay that occurred in 1954
Trek to Sierra Negra Volcano, which is considered the oldest of the volcanoes on Isabela island.
Visit the Arnaldo Tupiza breeding centre, which houses 330 tortoises of various ages and sizes.
Itinerary in Brief
Day 1: Arrive in Baltra Airport - Las Bachas Beach
Day 2: Sullivan Bay - Bartolome Island
Day 3: Prince Philip's Steps - Darwin Bay
Day 4: James Bay - Buccaneer Cove
Day 5: Punta Vicente Roca - Punta Espinosa
Day 6: Urbina Bay - Elizabeth Bay
Day 7: Sierra Negra - Arnaldo Tupiza tortoise breeding centre
Day 8: Charles Darwin Research Station - Departure
*M/C Tip Top III also offers 4, 5, 11 & 15 day cruises, please call us for details
Day 1: Las Bachas Beach
Arrive into Baltra airport and transfer to the pier by bus to board the spacious Tip Top III and meet your bilingual naturalist guide. The morning will include an orientation with a light snack before disembarking onto Las Bachas. Here you can unwind on the exotic white sands and then go for a stroll to meet the wading Flamingos nearby a lagoon. As an option you can delve into a snorkeling session in the shallow waters of the beach to view marine animals. By the afternoon retreat back to the vessel to enjoy a delicious dinner with a welcome cocktail and learn more about the origin of Galapagos Islands and evolutionary development concepts through a lecture.
Day 2: Sullivan Bay (located in Santiago Island) & Bartolome Island
After breakfast visit Sullivan Bay on the east coast of Santiago to inspect the fascinating volcanic origin of the Galapagos Islands. Observe large lava rock flows, and other volcanic formations that happened thousands of years ago up until the more recent eruption in the early 20th century. Later following a lunch break land on Bartholomew Island, to hike a trail of stairs towards the summit of an extinct volcano. During the trail peer at the multi-coloured rock formations, marine iguanas and lava lizards whilst gazing at the impressive panoramic view of the surrounding islands including the eroded tuff cone of Pinnacle Rock.
Day 3: Prince Philip's Steps & Darwin Bay (located in Genovesa Island)
Take a morning thrilling panga or dinghy ride to arrive in time for an excursion to Prince Philip's Steps also known as El Barranco. Whilst at this visitor site marvel at the variety of seabird colonies living in the crevices of the rock formations. Later following a lunch break land onto Darwin Bay to meet diverse wildlife including frigate birds, herons, mockingbirds, boobies, shorebirds, turtles, and marine iguanas in their natural environment. If you like you can swim, snorkel or kayak in the bay before retiring to the vessel for dinner and an informative lecture about the conservation efforts made by scientists, volunteers and researchers to protect the island.
Day 4: James Bay & Buccaneer Cove (located in Santiago Island)
In the morning land on Santiago Island to visit James Bay in Puerto Egas and enjoy an expedition to observe sponges, snails, hermit crabs, a variety of shore birds, barnacles, the endemic four-eyed blenny, marine iguanas and sea lions. Take time out to swim or snorkel to inlets along the coast. Afterwards in the late afternoon, navigate around Buccaneer Cove also known as Caleta Bucanero, to an area of steep cliffs and dark beaches. The cliffs and pinnacle around the area are used as nesting areas by several species of seabirds. This was a popular place for 17th & 18th century buccaneers to careen their vessels. Towards the late afternoon you can choose to spend your time swimming, snorkeling or kayaking just in time for dinner and a nightly informative lecture.
Day 5: Punta Vicente Roca (located in Isabela Island) & Punta Espinosa (located in Fernandina Island)
Enjoy an early morning panga ride towards Punta Vicente Roca which is a great place to observe plenty of sea lions, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, masked boobies, and flightless cormorants. Later take a swim or snorkel in this ideal location to catch a glimpse of more marine wildlife and its impressive underwater formations. Climb aboard for a delicious lunch and relax during the journey to Fernandina before making a dry landing on Punta Espinoza to observe a large colony of sea lions, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants and clumps of lava cactus. Return to the comfortable vessel for dinner and a nightly informative lecture.
Day 6: Urbina Bay & Elizabeth Bay (located in Isabela Island)
Just after breakfast, enjoy a walk to Urbina Bay located at the base of Alcedo Volcano which experienced an uplift from the sea in 1954 and now features an exposed delicate coral reef to be admired. Along the walk get up close to land iguanas, flightless cormorants and giant tortoises. Take some time afterwards to enjoy a relaxing swim or snorkel. Return to the vessel for lunch and then engage in a panga ride around the islets of Elizabeth Bay to see more species of marine iguanas, penguins, marine turtles, seabirds, shorebirds, herons and blue-footed boobies. The biggest colonies of penguins are found here due to the cooler waters of west coast Isabela.
Day 7: Sierra Negra & Arnaldo Tupiza (located in Isabela)
After breakfast, trek to Sierra Negra Volcano, which is considered the oldest of the volcanoes on Isabela island. The volcano has a crater that is 10 km in diameter making it the second largest in the world. The last recorded eruption occurred in 2005 and has left behind sulfur, iron and the cooled magma creating a colorful landscape. The morning adventure starts with a 45 minutes bus ride to the highlands of Isabela, to arrive at 'Paradero Sierra Negra', from there walk besides the slopes of the Sierra Negra Volcano. The trail continues to Volcan Chico (on the northeast of Sierra Negra Volcano), which is a fissure composed of lava. From here absorb the amazing view of the northern end of the island and if the day is clear enjoy a majestic view of the surrounding Perry Isthmus island. After lunch visit Humedales, to see a series of lagoons, mangrove species, flamingos and numerous migratory birds. By the late afternoon, visit the iconic breeding centre known as Arnaldo Tupiza, to observe tortoises of various ages and sizes. There is an impressive total of 330 tortoises contained within the centre bred in captivity to conserve their populations. Learn about the reproduction of the giant tortoises, also take a look at the different native plants. Return to the cruise for a delicious dinner and a nightly informative lecture.
Day 8: Charles Darwin Research Station (located in Santa Cruz Island)
Morning will be spent in the Charles Darwin Research Station and training centre that allows scientists, researchers and volunteers to work together and conserve the Galapagos ecosystem and wildlife. You will tour the exhibition
centre and then head back to Baltra airport by bus for departure.
Departs - Selected dates (listed below)
Upper Deck Cabin
Private bathroom (toilet, shower, washbasin and vanity)
Locker and drawers
Lower Deck Cabin
Private bathroom (toilet, shower, washbasin and vanity)
Locker and drawers
Ship Deck Plan
The first class Tip Top III yacht was constructed in 2001 and redesigned in 2008 to offer the highest level of security and the best experiences of the Galapagos Islands. With room for 16 travellers it offers the highest level of comfort along with a lounge, bar, sun deck and dining room. The vessel has a naturalist bilingual guide and eight experienced crew members that will provide personalised professional service
to each guest. Further the chef will combine Ecuadorian and international
cuisine to create delicious dishes.
Year Built: 2001
Length: 104 feet
Beam: 22 feet
Draft: 5 feet
Cruising speed: 11 knots
Flights to/from the Galapagos
Pre/Post cruise transfers
All meals during voyage
All excursions and activities mentioned in program
Use of kayaking and snorkelling equipment
What's not included?
Arrival/departure taxes or reciprocity fees, visa fees where applicable