Nemo Galapagos

Galapagos Cruise Nemo – Standard


The Nemo Galapagos cruise is a perfect boat if you’re looking for a more adventurous cruise. It is a small motor and sailing catamaran that offers a very unique experience of discovering the Galapagos Islands. With its capacity of only 14 passengers, it offers an intimate way of traveling. The catamaran will make for a more tranquil and enjoyable ride than the larger yachts.

Whenever weather conditions allow it, the captain will turn off the Nemo’s motors and hoist the sail. If you have sailing experience, you are more than welcome to help.

While cabins are rather small, social areas are nice and welcoming, and the food is delicious. Of course a naturalist guide will be aboard with you and show you the incredible wildlife of the Islands during your Nemo Galapagos cruise.

Highlights: sailing aboard a small catamaran
Number of days:
Regions: Galapagos
Interests: Cruise, Nature & Wildlife
Category: Standard
Total CO2 emission, in lb (per day for cruises): 170



Click on the icons to see details about each visited place.

Itinerary

The Nemo offers two itineraries, A and B. Both itineraries can be split up into a 4-day and a 5-day itinerary. Of course, you can also combine the itineraries, if you are looking for a longer cruise. Here is an overview of the itineraries, detailed descriptions are below:

Itinerary A:

Baltra – North Seymour – Genovesa – Bartholome – Chinese Hat – Santa Cruz – Isabela – Fernandina – Santiago – Daphne – Baltra

Itinerary B:

Baltra – Santa Cruz – Isabela – Floreana – Española – Santa Cruz – San Cristobal – Santa Fe – South Plaza – Santa Cruz – Baltra

Itinerary A 4 days:

Baltra – North Seymour – Genovesa – Bartholome – Chinese Hat – Santa Cruz – Baltra

Itinerary A 5 days:

Baltra – Santa Cruz – Isabela – Fernandina – Santiago – Daphne – Baltra

Itinerary B 4 days:

Baltra – Santa Cruz – San Cristobal – Santa Fe – South Plaza – Santa Cruz – Baltra

Itinerary B 5 days:

Baltra – Santa Cruz – Isabela – Floreana – Española – Santa Cruz

Itinerary A

Day 1 AM: Arrival at Baltra Airport

Upon arrival at Baltra Airport, you will first 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). Here you will also pay the Galapagos National Park entrance fee of USD 100 (unless it has been prepaid). To ensure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands, your luggage will be inspected as well. At the arrival hall a naturalist guide will meet you and escort you on a short bus ride to the harbor at Baltra. By dinghy you will be taken to the yacht.

PM: North Seymour Island

North Seymour is an uplifted (different to volcanic origin) island and so is generally flat and strewn with boulders. There are good nesting sites here for a large population of magnificent frigate birds. 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 be found bodysurfing. Watch your step, as the boobies don’t worry much about where they nest, and you might just step on one. The trees are dotted with male frigate birds trying to attract the attention of the ladies by inflating their bright red skin flaps (seasonal activity). They sometimes fly in the air to call more attention to themselves. There’s a circular path that takes you through the island to a beautiful, rocky shore where the waves crash with a silvery-blue color.

Day 2 AM: Darwin Bay (Genovesa)

This bay has origin when the crater of this island collapsed below sea level. The wet landing is on a beautiful white coral sandy beach. This is a favorite island for birdwatchers: red footed-boobies, masked boobies, wandering tattlers, lava gulls, whimbrels Yellow-crowned, black-crowned and lava herons, and yellow warblers can be seen in the area. Continuing on the trail, visitors climb gradually to the edge of the cliff seeing Red-Foots nesting in the Mangrove trees below. Bird watching includes sightings of Sharp-Beaked Finches, Large Cactus and Ground Finches, Galapagos Doves and Swallow-Tailed Gulls. Reaching the end the trail at the cliff’s edge offers an incredible view of the island and the many birds living there.

PM: Prince Phillip Steps (Genovesa)

El Barranco is located at the southern part of Darwin Bay and it is also known as Prince Philip’s Steps. Passengers will climb to a plateau that is part of the stretch of land that surrounds Darwin Bay on its eastern side. There is a big population of Masked boobies and Red-Footed boobies in the trees; Storm petrels and Short-eared Owls have found the ideal place for nesting in the lava flows.

Day 3 AM: Bartolomé

Bartolomé Island is situated across Sullivan Bay. It has an altitude of 114 meters, from where we can observe one of the most beautiful sceneries of the Galapagos Islands such as: Volcanic cones, lunar-like craters, lava fields, and the famous Toba formed pinnacle eroded by the sea. There is very little vegetation on this island. It has two breathtaking beaches where marine turtles exist and at the base of the pinnacle, as well as a very small colony of Galapagos penguins.

PM: Chinese Hat

This is a small islet located just off the southeastern tip of Santiago Island. It is a recent volcanic cone, shaped like a Chinese hat when seen from north side. On the west side lava formations may be observed, formed under the sea and raised upward, this is why coral heads are found on the lava. This is an excellent visit for interpretation of geological features such as lava tubes and lava flows. The landscape is covered by sea lions colonies, marine iguanas and Galapagos penguins.

Day 4 AM: Sierra Negra Volcano, Isabela Island

Isabela Island is the largest and one of the youngest islands in the Galapagos archipelago. We land in Puerto Villamil, which has the third largest population in Galapagos with approximately 3000 hab. We head up to the highlands from Puerto Villamil to Sierra Negra slope, and later we will do some hiking on uneven terrain until we arrive to the Sierra Negra volcano rim. Sierra Negra is the second widest crater in the world. From this viewpoint, you have fantastic sights to the 6 x 5 -mile-wide crater, the rest of the volcanoes, and Perry Isthmus, a 12 Km wide lava field. From here we can hike to Chico Volcano to watch the striking lava formations, examples of the geological occurrences that have created the Galapagos Islands.

PM: Arnoldo Tupiza Tortoise Breeding Center

This is where giant tortoises are reared on Isabela. It is located 1.5 kilometers from Pto. Villamil, this important center has a captive breeding program for tortoises from the populations of southern Isabela. Here you can learn about the processes of reproduction and breeding. In total there are about 300 tortoises of all size between juveniles and adults. Isabela Island is the only island in the world which has 5 different species of these giant reptiles.

Day 5 AM: Punta Moreno (Isabela)

Punta Moreno is located on the north coast of Isabela Island between the volcano Sierra Negra and the Cerro Azul volcano. The trail runs along a lava flow Pahohoe (solidified lava in the form of an accordion) into a complex of coastal lagoons. Its main attractions are several species of birds which can be found around the lakes and mangroves.

PM: Elizabeth Bay, Isabela

This is a marine visitor site, the excursion is carried out in a zodiac and so there is no landing point. Your zodiac ride starts with a visit to the Marielas islets where there is the largest and most important penguin colony 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. It is here that you are able to observe sea turtles, flightless cormorants, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, brown pelicans and sea lions. Frequently visitors have been able to see Galapagos Hawks soaring overhead whilst schools of Pompano and Dorado fish swim below.

Day 6 AM: Punta Espinosa (Fernandina)

Fernandina is the third largest island in the archipelago and the site Punta Espinosa is located at the northeastern tip of the island. Just across Tagus Cove, is a visitor’s site where various unique species of Galapagos can be seen. 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, is the Flightless Comorant. A bird that, due to the lack of predators, evolved differently; it’s wings, tails and feet progressively adapted for swimming. To see these birds, is to witness evolution happening right in front of you. You can observe the flightless cormorants and penguins very closely.

PM: Urbina Bay, Isabela Island

Urbina Bay is located along the west coast of Isabela, between Elizabeth Bay and Tagus Cove. It is close to the base of the Alcedo Volcano. The coastline has undergone a major uplift in 1954, which caused the shore to expand three quarters of a mile out. Here you will be able to find corals, shells, and many other calcareous organisms exposed above water. Urbina Bay is home to large and colorful land iguanas and giant tortoises of the Alcedo Volcano population. A lot of Darwin finches can be seen as well.

Day 7 AM: Puerto Egas (Santiago)

Its black beach is located at the west side of the island and is its main attraction. Volcanic tuff deposits have favored the formation of this special black sand beach. This site is called Puerto Egas, because there was an attempt of the company of Hector Egas to start the exploitation of salt. It failed, because the price of salt in the continent was very low and did not justify its exploitation in Galapagos. Thus the project was abandoned.

PM: Espumilla Beach, Bucaneer Cove (Santiago)

Espumilla beach is located at the northern coast of Santiago Island in James Bay. During the last presence of the “El Niño phenomenon”, one of the two lagoons of this site underwent a process of sedimentation, thus causing the disappearance of a representative colony of flamingos. The main attraction is the palo santo forest. The beach is an important site for nesting marine turtles. At the nearby Buccaneers Cove we have a great snorkeling opportunity.

Day 8 AM: Daphne Major

Daphne Major is a volcanic island just north of Santa Cruz Island and just west of Baltra Island. It consists of a tuff crater rising 120 m. above the sea. An intensive study of Darwin’s finches has taken place here by the biologists Peter and Rosemary Grant. Their results have been supporting strongly Darwin’s theory of evolution. We are not allowed onto the island. Daphne offers a big variety of other birds including Galápagos Martins, Blue-footed Booby, Nazca Booby, Short-eared Owls, Red-billed Tropicbirds and Magnificent Frigate birds.

Transfer to Baltra airport for your flight back to Guayaquil or Quito.

Itinerary B

Day 1 AM: Arrival at Baltra Airport

Upon arrival at Baltra Airport, you will first 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). Here you will also pay the Galapagos National Park entrance fee of USD 100 (unless it has been prepaid). To ensure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands, your luggage will be inspected as well. At the arrival hall a naturalist guide will meet you and escort you on a short bus ride to the harbor at Baltra. By dinghy you will be taken to the yacht.

PM: Las Bachas (Santa Cruz)

These two small beaches are found to the West of Black Turtle Cove.  Their sand is made of decomposed coral, which makes it white and soft, making it a favorite nesting site for sea turtles.  Behind one of the beaches there is a small brackish water lagoon, where occasionally it is 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 Second World War, when the USA used Baltra Island as a strategically point to protect the Panama Channel.

Day 2 AM: White Tipped Shark

Las Tintoreras is a small bay on an islet, located 5 minutes on a dinghy ride from Port of Villamil, which permits the visitor to observe the White tipped shark. There is a colony of skarks that can often be seen resting in the lava canal. In addition to the sharks there are sea lions, sea turtles, marine iguanas, and rays in the beautiful, calm turquoise waters. Volcano Alcedo is one of the five shield volcanoes that form Albemarle Island the famous “Geyser” or hot steam fumarole will be reached, while all around are Galapagos giant tortoises of the Alcedo race. Nearby hundreds of marine iguanas can be observed, as ‘Las Tintoreras’ is one of their main breeding sites. On the nearby sandy beaches, sea lions play and relax in the sun. This is one of Isabela’s most beautiful visitor sites.

PM: Arnoldo Tupiza Tortoise Breeding Center

This is where giant tortoises are reared on Isabela. It is located 1.5 kilometers from Pto. Villamil, this important center has a captive breeding program for tortoises from the populations of southern Isabela. Here you can learn about the processes of reproduction and breeding. In total there are about 300 tortoises of all size between juveniles and adults. Isabela Island is the only island in the world which has 5 different species of these giant reptiles.

DAY 3 AM: Punta Cormorant, Devil’s Crown (Floreana)

This site offers probably the best Flamingo lagoon in the Galapagos; it is also one of the largest in the islands. It’s situated between two tuff lava cones that give the area a special atmosphere. There are various species of shorebirds to observe besides flamingos; the most frequent are common stilts, white-checked pintail ducks and other migratory birds. It is very interesting to see the two distinct beaches: “The Green Beach” (due to its high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand) and the “Flour Sand Beach” which is made up of coral. After our visit of Cormorant Point we will continue with our yacht to the nearby islet known as Corona del Diablo (Devil’s Crown), where we can enjoy some great snorkeling.

PM: Post Office Bay (Floreana)

Historically, Post Office Bay is the location of a wooden barrel that was placed in the 18th century by the crew of a whaling ship. Since this time it has been used by mariners and tourists as a post office. The idea is to carry letters or postcards to their destination by hand. Apart from being the Post Office Barrel, this site was the landing area for some of the first colonists. We will continue to the north of the island and ascend to an elevated slope to enjoy a beautiful view from the Baroness Lookout. It is said that Baroness Eloisa von Wagner loved this place and spent several hours watching the horizon. Within walking distance (30 m) are the ruins of what is known as her House. From this lookout, the landscape covers the coastline from the Enderby islet to Post Office Bay, as well as Cerro Pajas, the pool of flamingos and wide forest of Palo Santo.

DAY 4 AM: Punta Suarez (Española)

This rocky land spot sustains one of the most impressive and varied colonies of sea birds in the Galapagos. Along its southern shore, high cliffs rise up from the sea affording the visitor spectacular views of soaring birds and of the blow whole where water spouts up to 50-75 feet into the air according to the intensity of the surf

PM: Gardner Bay (Española)

Located on the north-eastern coast of Hood, Gardner Bay provides an excellent beach for relaxing, swimming and snorkeling, and the opportunity to observe sea lions. Here you may also observe sharks in the crystal clear ocean waters.

Day 5 AM: Santa Cruz Highlands Tortoises Farm

Santa Cruz also offers excellent opportunities for viewing wild tortoises, both roaming through pastures in the agricultural zone and in the Tortoise Reserve, which is accessible from Santa Rosa or Salasaca. Several farms serve food and allow visitors to explore their grounds in search of tortoises. Descending through the agricultural zone into the Transition Zone where the Tortoise Reserve is located, the introduced vegetation of the farmlands is replaced by native vegetation. The pond at El Chato is surrounded by forest where short-eared owls, Darwin’s finches, Vermilion Flycatchers, Yellow Warblers, Galapagos Rails, and Paint-billed Crakes can be seen. As the visitor walks into the forests overgrown with lichens, ferns, and other epiphytes, it is time to listen carefully for the sound of heavy footsteps and the sound of shrubs being slowly crushed as the tortoises make their way through the brush.

PM: Charles Darwin Station, Santa Cruz Island

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 carried out. The Breeding and Rearing area of the scientific center are definitely a worthwhile visit.

Day 6 AM: Punta Pitt ( San Cristobal)

At the far eastern end of San Cristóbal is Punta Pitt. Disembarking onto the small beach, visitors are confronted by the strong stench and cacophony of barking sea lions. This is a bachelor colony, and most are exhausted from fighting and mating. A steep gully leads up the cliff to a breeding ground for Boobies of all three varieties: Red-footed, Blue-footed and Nazca. It’s the only place in the Galapagos where you can see all three species nesting together. Two species of frigatebirds are also present, as are Swallow-tailed Gulls and Storm Petrels. The view of sea lions from the top of the cliff over the beach is magnificent, as are the contours of the barren, wind-eroded peaks of the island. The trail across the Punta Pitt site offers a closer look at the hardy vegetation that manages to thrive in this volcanic wasteland. From Saltbush and spiny shrubs next to the beach the trail leads up to an area of Palo Santo trees, big yellow-green shrubs, tiny cacti and, in the dry season, carpets of red Vesuvius.

PM: Urbina Bay, PM: Cerro Brujo (San Cristobal)

The primary attraction of this site is the coral sand beach. It is an excellent place to swim and snorkel. Cerro Brujo is the remains of a tuff cone. It is one of the first sites visited by Charles Darwin. Captain Fitzroy climbed to the top of the hill to scout out reefs. 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 7 AM: Santa Fe

Located in the southeastern part of the Galapagos, this island was formed from an uplift, which explains why it is mostly flat. There are some theories which assure 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 lands 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 salt bushes can be seen as well as giant prickly pear cactus. There are great possibilities of snorkeling with playful sea lions and tropical fishes.

PM: Plazas

South Plazas 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. Throughout the island 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 as: Audubon shearwaters, red-billed tropicbirds, frigate birds and brown pelicans.

Day 8 AM: Black Turtle Cove (Santa Cruz)

This little cove is located at the northern side of Santa Cruz Island, this is a red mangrove lagoon very calm and quiet which makes it an ideal place as nursery for many sharks and rays. Its crystal waters permits to observe large groups of white-tip reef, black tipped reef and hammer heads sharks, schools of golden rays and spotted eagle rays.  There are no landing sites so the visit is done by zodiac. Sea turtles are frequently seen and sometimes they are seen mating in the mangrove-lined waters. Pelicans and Herons are also seen in this area. Transfer to Baltra airport for your flight back to Guayaquil or Quito.

Rates and Services

Price per person: US$ starting at 1,295 (4 days)
(based on 2 people traveling)

Price includes:

  • Accommodation aboard the Nemo I yacht
  • Full board
  • Excursions and activities with English-speaking naturalist guide
  • Transfers
  • Snorkeling equipment

Not included:

  • Flights from/to Galapagos
  • Entrance Fee Galapagos National Park ($ 100 per person)
  • Migration Control Card INGALA ($ 20 per person)
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Personal expenses and tips
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks
  • Wetsuit

Accommodation

The Nemo is a small sailing catamaran with capacity for 12 passengers. Most of the cabins offer accommodation in bunk beds.

Deck Plan:

Nemo Galapagos Deck Plan

Additional Information

For more information about the Galapagos, check out our Galapagos Information Page. We have also compiled a list of Galapagos travel tips. Maybe we have a last minute offer for the Nemo or a similar yacht? Have a look at our Special Offers Galapagos Page.

Wondering what to pack? We created a packing list which can help you get started.

Find some more general information about Ecuador as well as practical travel information.

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