Our South America expert Will enjoys a week-long cruise on stylish yacht La Pinta around the spectacular Galapagos, and takes us through a day onboard and onshore. With colourful wildlife and stunning landscapes, a day in these unique islands provides non-stop action-packed adventure.
Sunrise and sea lions
While my fellow passengers were still sleeping, I made sure I was up at 6am to see the sunrise, as the boat docked on the shoreline of Bartolemé Island. (Galapagos sunrises are well worth getting up for).
Following an epic buffet breakfast that really sets you up for the day, I slapped on the sunscreen and put on shades and a wide-brimmed hat (being on the Equator the sun is pretty fierce here, even in the early morning), before we climbed in the pangas (dinghies) to head onshore. Bartolemé Island offers the chance to explore some of the most iconic sights of the Galapagos, from jagged peaks such as the famous Pinnacle Rock to surreal lunar landscapes. We passed sea lions basking on the beach and bright Sally Lightfoot crabs on the rocks, alongside lava lizards and Galapagos snakes. The guides are incredible and really bring the Galapagos to life.
Snorkelling with sharks
Then it was into the sea for a snorkel around the distinctive Pinnacle Rock where I came across white tip reef sharks, eagle rays, lobsters, moray eels, sea turtles and more playful sea lions. The water was a little chilly, but I was there at the coldest time of year, after all.
Lunch and lava flows
After lunch back on board and a chance to enjoy the sun on deck, we headed onshore again, this time onto the island of Santiago, where we walked across a volcanic lava flow that's only 100 years old (a mere baby in the volcanic world). It can be challenging terrain, and the provided walking sticks are useful- but you are rewarded with incredible landscapes and perfect photo opportunities.
On returning to La Pinta at about 5pm, the Americans headed to the Jacuzzi while the Europeans made a beeline for the bar- also the venue for an evening briefing where we got useful updates on the day’s activities, sailing times and schedules for the next day. Following a delicious a la carte dinner featuring fresh seafood, we settled in front of the TV to watch the always-inspiring David Attenborough enthusing about the Galapagos (quite rightly). By 10pm, the boat was pretty quiet, with tired but happy people looking forward to the next day’s adventures.