Anahi Galapagos Review of Western Islands Cruise (B1)

by | Jan 11, 2024 | Ecuador, Travel

You probably landed on this post because you’re considering taking a Galapagos cruise on the Anahi, a first-class Catamaran. Or you’ve already booked your cruise and now you’re wondering what to expect.

I did 2 Anahi tours:

  • Tour B1 (Western Islands) – 8 days
  • Tour A2 (Genovesa & Central Islands) – 5 days

The 2 tours ran consecutively from April to May 2023. In total, my cruise lasted 12 days.

In this post, I’m going to share with you my honest and unbiased review of my experience on the Anahi B1 cruise around the Western Islands of the Galapagos. You’ll learn about the good, the bad, and the ugly, and by the end, hopefully, you’ll have a better idea of whether you want to book your once-in-a-lifetime adventure with them.

You can read my review of the Anahi Cruise Tour A2 to the Northeastern & Central Islands here.

Before we get started, I want to tell you why I chose the Anahi in the first place:

  • Outstanding itinerary – I thought the itinerary sounded good. I had a list of animals and landscapes that I wanted to see and the stops included all of my wants.
  • Terrific Naturalist guide – I wanted a guide that was personable and knowledgeable, and reviews of the Anahi said the guide was good. Although I’m a budget traveler and the Anahi is a first-class boat, I thought the guides would be better on the more expensive tours.
  • Fabulous Discount – The Anahi was offering a promotional discount for tours that were still not full. I contacted them directly through WhatsApp and got an even bigger discount. I paid US$3,800 for 12 days. Normally a cruise for this long would cost over US$10,000.

Let’s look at whether the itinerary was worth it and whether the guide was as good as people said he was.

By the way, I did not receive a discount or a free tour for writing this post.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate and a Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.  Please see this website’s Disclosure for more info.

About the Anahi Cruise Tours

Anahi has 4 principal tours:

  • Tour A1 – Southeastern Islands (4 days)
  • Tour A2 – Northeastern Islands – from Genovesa to San Cristobal (5 days)
  • Tour B1 – Western Islands and some Eastern Islands (8 days)
  • Tour B2 – Eastern Islands – combines Tours A1 and A2 (8 days)

You can combine tours. I took Tour B1 and Tour A2, which the Anahi Yacht website refers to as Tour D. Alternatively, you can do both Tours B1 and B2 and that will allow you to see all main Galapagos islands.

  • Tour C – Combines Tour A1 and B1 (11 Days / 10 Nights)
  • Tour D – Combines Tours A2 and B1 (12 Days / 11 Nights)
  • Tour E – Combines Tours B1 and B2 (15 Days / 14 Nights)

The Anahi yacht is a small boat with a maximum of 16 passengers.

Which is the BEST Anahi Tour?

The BEST cruise is the one that includes the wildlife and landscapes that you want to see. You will NOT experience the same wildlife on all cruises. For example, you probably won’t see penguins on Tour A2 but you’ll see them on Tour B1.

So that you don’t book the wrong tour, I’m going to help simplify your decision with this chart of the wildlife that you might see on each island for each Anahi itinerary. This chart is based on my experience and my research. If you know that I missed something or got something incorrect, let me know. I made a similar one to help me make my final decision on which tour to take.

Anahi wildlife chart

Western v. Eastern Islands?

When selecting a Galapagos cruise, you often need to choose between visiting the Western Islands or the Eastern Islands. Some cruises also have tours dedicated to what’s called the Central Islands (these are the Eastern Islands minus the northeastern island of Genovesa and the southeastern island of Espinola.)

There are only 2 Western Islands: Isabela and Fernandina. However, the Eastern part has a lot of small islands with Santa Cruz and San Cristobal being the two main ones. There is quite a difference between the Western and Eastern islands of the Galapagos.

The Western Islands of the Galapagos (Anahi Cruise B1)

  • The West Islands are the youngest in the Galapagos, so you’ll see more volcanos and there will be more active volcanos.
  • These islands have a more untouched and wild feel to them.
  • The landscape can be rather monotonous, wherever you go—black volcanic rock.
  • The water temperature is cooler so more marine life.
  • You can spot penguins!
  • And flightless cormorants.
  • You’ll see giant tortoises in the wild.
  • Not as many tourists come here, so it’s less crowded.

The Eastern Island of the Galapagos (Anahi Cruise A1 and A2)

  • Eastern islands are older, so there are fewer volcanos and no active ones.
  • The landscape is more varied from the red rock islands of Rabida to the white sand beaches of San Cristobal and Santa Cruz and the brown sand of Punta Pitt.
  • The nesting ground of many sea birds can be found on the Eastern Islands, including the frigatebird, red-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, and waved albatross.
  • Except for Espanola and Genovesa Islands, there are more tourists.

If you want to see all the wildlife in the Galapagos, do a 12-day or 15-day tour that combines Tour B1 and Tour A1 or Tour A2.

How to Book a Cruise on the Anahi?

You can book through a travel agent, a website like Galapatours that lists a variety of tours and cruises, or directly with the Anahi.

I booked my cruise directly with Anahi by contacting them through WhatsApp. Their WhatsApp # is on the Anahi Yacht website. I paid for my cruise by doing a wire transfer. It looks like their website now accepts credit cards and PayPal payments.

Booking through Anahi has its positives and negatives. First, the price for me was much cheaper. However, if something unexpected happened and I couldn’t go on the cruise or I just didn’t want to go, it would have been hard to get a refund. However, I was booking 2 weeks before my cruise started and the price they gave me was too hard to resist.

Anahi B1 (West Islands) Itinerary Overview

map of the Anahi cruise itinerary in the Galapagos

This is the itinerary for the Anahi B1 Tour:

  • Day 1 – Santa Cruz Island – El Chaco Ranch – Giant Tortoises and Lava Tunnels
  • Day 2 – Isabela Island – Sierra Negra Volcano and the Giant Tortoises Breeding Center
  • Day 3 –  Isabela Island – Punto Moreno and Elizabeth Bay
  • Day 4 – Isabela Island – Urbina Bay and Tagus Cove
  • Day 5 – Fernandina Island and Isabela Island
  • Day 6 – Santiago Island and Rabida Island
  • Day 7  – Chinese Hat and Bartolome Islands
  • Day 8 – Santa Cruz Island – North Seymour

This is the itinerary for the Anahi A2 Tour–you can read about it in my review of Anahi Cruise A2:

  • Day 1 – Santa Cruz – Playa Bachas
  • Day 2 – Genovesa Island
  • Day 3 – South Plaza Island and Santa Fe Island
  • Day 4 – San Cristobal – Punta Pitt, Kicker Rock, and Lobos Island
  • Day 5 – San Cristobal – Galapagos Tortoise Breeding Center

IMPORTANT: When I signed up for the Anahi Tour, their website said that on Day 2, we get to visit Las Tintoreras. This was one of the places I was most excited about. In reality, we did not go there and there was no explanation. Later I looked at the promotion material again from Anahi and it did say: Sierra Negras or Las Tintoreras.

Day 1  Itinerary – Anahi B1

Day 1 Itinerary on the Anahi

  • Lunch at El Chato Ranch
  • Tour El Chato Ranch Giant Tortoise Reserve
  • Puerto Ayoro (1 hour)
  • Head to the Anahi at 5:00 pm
  • Crew introductions
  • Dinner
  • Meeting with Guide

Animals You Might See Today

  • Giant tortoises
  • Sea lions
  • Sally Lightfoot Crabs

Day 1 on the Anahi Tour B1 started well but didn’t end well. Read on to find out what happened.

Day 1: Arriving in the Galapagos & El Chato Ranch

4 giant tortoise shells on a green mat

Those who arrived in the Galapagos on day 1 met the tour guide, Galo, at the airport in Baltra and then went directly to El Chato Ranch. They were late by over an hour.

I arrived in Galapagos the day before. Three other passengers did as well. We met a representative from the Anahi at the Gus Angermeyer Pier in Puerto Aroyo town on Santa Cruz at noon. The Anahi rep didn’t arrive until 12:17 pm. The rep took our luggage and we drove to El Chato Ranch.

Another passenger skipped the El Chato Ranch stop and went on a separate scuba diving tour. He met us later on the boat.

Lunch at El Chato

At El Chato Ranch, we started with lunch. All sixteen of us sat together at one long table. It was a great opportunity to get to know the people who were sitting around you. I spent about 20% of the time trying to figure out who my roommate was—I ended up being completely wrong!

We got a choice of four different dishes: seafood pasta, pasta carbonara, tuna (you will eat a lot of tuna on the Anahi), and chicken. Plus a choice of two desserts: carrot cake or fruit. I had the seafood pasta and fruit for dessert, neither of which were that good.

Giant Tortoises at El Chato Ranch

1 giant tortoise looking at another giant tortoise in the grass at the El Chato Ranch in the Galapagos

After lunch, our guide, Galo, took us on a tour of the reserve to look at the giant tortoises. The ground was wet and the grass was tall, so the Ranch provided us with rubber boots. It was also raining, so we rented umbrellas from them for US$2.

El Chato is both a cattle ranch and a reserve for the giant tortoises. The tortoises are free to roam around. They’re not in cages or pens and can leave the reserve any time they want, which they do when they need to lay their eggs.

Other than laying eggs, they just lazily roam around eating grass, lying in ponds of their pee, and having sex. We didn’t see any hanky panky on day 1, but when we visited other sanctuaries, it was a common sight.

Even though the tortoises didn’t do much, it was special enough just seeing them.

This was our first of four times seeing the giant tortoises on Tour B1. You might think that’s more than enough. However, there are three species of giant tortoises in the Galapagos—each species has adapted to its environment and thus has distinct features. The tortoises at El Chato are particularly special. They’re the only ones whose necks are short (they eat grass), while the tortoises on other islands have longer necks (they eat plants and fruit on bushes and trees).

Lava Tunnels at El Chato Ranch

We ended our tour of El Chato by going down into a lava tunnel. The Galapagos islands were formed by volcanoes 700,000 to 1,000,000 years ago, so some of the younger islands still have one or more volcanoes. El Chato Ranch was the only place we went down into tunnels formed by the lava left after an eruption.

Was the Guide on the Anahi Any Good?

One of the main reasons I chose the Anahi was that I read in Galapagos cruise reviews that the guide, Galo, was good. I also thought that a first-class boat would have better guides than a cheaper tourist-class boat. If the guide was bad, it would ruin my experience.

The guides don’t work for the boats directly. Instead, they work directly for the National Park Service. A guide usually sticks to guiding tours on one boat. As a result, they know the itinerary stops well enough to anticipate what wildlife you’re going to see.

After El Chato, I was 100% sure that I had chosen the right tour! Galo was enthusiastic, passionate, serious (especially about following park rules), knowledgeable, and good at organizing a group of 16 and explaining things. You could tell that he had done this a million times but at the same time, his enthusiasm never lagged.

Unfortunately, read further because the situation with our guide didn’t turn out so rosy.

Day 1: Puerto Aroyo

A body of water with buildings and a pier

After the ranch, we drove to Puerto Ayoro, the main town on Santa Cruz. We got about an hour to wander around the town (until 5:00 pm). This was one of only two chances we had to buy souvenirs. The other one was on day 2 on Isla Isabela. Puerto Ayoro is the better of the two stops to buy anything.

There are lots of souvenir shops along Charles Darwin Avenue, the road that runs parallel to the water.

Day 1: Meeting the Crew of the Anahi

The Anahi picked us up with pangas (dinghies) in Puerto Ayoro and drove us to the boat. I will describe the yacht later in this post.

After checking out our rooms, we all met in the lounge area for our first meeting.

Galo went over the national park rules, which he was very serious about—don’t touch the animals and don’t get close to them, and so on.

After that, we went up to the second deck where the bar was and we met the whole crew including Captain Tony.

The crew was marvelous. I cannot complain about any member of the crew—completely professional and very attentive. They always put the passengers’ safety and comfort first before anything else.

Besides the guide, there was only one other person who spoke English on board the Anahi and that was Alejandro. He was the one who served us our food and manned the bar. If we needed anything (a bottle of wine, extra ice), he helped us get it. Alejandro was fabulous!

Captain Tony was wonderful. Sometimes he would go snorkeling with us. If the journey at night was going to be rough, he would warn us the night before so we could take seasickness pills before bed. The only time he got angry was if the passengers brought sand from the beach onto the boat, which I did once.

Day 1: The Bad News

Then Galo made an important announcement.

He’s sick. Cough. Cold. Flu. COVID?

I didn’t see him coughing or sneezing, but several other passengers did notice.

And Galo is not going to be our guide for the rest of the cruise. He’s going to be on sick leave. We’re getting a new guide. This new guide is a last-minute substitute and he was the only one they could find at such short notice.

Then we met the new guide. I’m not going to tell you his name because I don’t want to embarrass him, and I don’t want to have any problems.

One of the first things out of the new guide’s mouth was that the last time he led a tour in the Galapagos was before the pandemic. The second thing out of his mouth was that he hadn’t been to our next stop in several years. So, we’re going to a place the next day the guide isn’t too familiar with.

Already from the very beginning, we didn’t have much confidence in our guide.

Suffice it to say, it wasn’t looking good for the passengers of the Anahi. However, we had no choice so we were willing to give him a chance.

Unfortunately, I haven’t told you the worst of it, yet.

So read on!

Day 1: Dinner on the Anahi

a room with two rectangular tables and chairs around the table

The passengers had all meals together around the two tables in the picture above. The setup forced people to socialize and get to know each other.

One of the biggest worries I had about being stuck on a boat for 12 days was that the other passengers would be stuck up or unfriendly. But I soon realized that I had nothing to worry about with the group on Tour B1—they ended up being some of the nicest people I’ve met while traveling.

Out of the 16 people, 14 of them were from ages 50 to 80!

  • 1 guy from the Netherlands and 1 guy from Germany – both under 40
  • A couple from Illinois – 1 doctor and the other with a medical degree but not practicing
  • A couple from Utah
  • A couple from Florida
  • A couple from Colorado — 1 from the UK and 1 from the US
  • My roommate from Finland
  • A couple from New York – 1 doctor
  • A couple from the U.S. – but I don’t remember from which state

We had three doctors on board. Later on in the cruise, we found out that having a doctor came in handy. Read on to find out what happened!

The people on my other Anahi Galapagos cruise to the Eastern Islands were much younger.

a counter lined with bowls of food like at a buffet
a counter lined with large bowls of food

The food was always served buffet style. We would get two main entrees and lots of different salads and side dishes. We also got soup at the start of every meal and dessert at the end.

On the other Anahi cruise, there were 2 vegetarians on my other Anahi cruise, so at last one main dish had no meat in it.

a plate of food

The food was very good. It turned out to be much better than I expected. I liked 99% of what I ate. The only thing that people complained about was that the tuna was overcooked every time.

My only complaint was that I wish we had gotten more Ecuadorian dishes. We got ceviche twice but we didn’t get anything like encobollado or locro de papa.

Day 1: After Dinner Meeting & Socializing

After dinner, we always had a meeting with our guide to go over the next day’s itinerary.

Then most of the passengers would meet at the bar on the second deck. The Anahi told us that outside alcohol was not allowed. Drinks were expensive. No one on Tour B1 brought outside alcohol. But on the next cruise I did with Anahi, several passengers brought their own alcohol on the boat, including a whole case of beer!

Day 1: Travel to Isla Isabella

The Anahi did most of its sailing at night. That night the Anahi traveled from Santa Cruz to Lago Isabela. The captain recommended that we take seasickness pills as it would be a rough ride to Isabela.

I took Dramamine, It was rocky but I did not get sick. I think one person on the boat got sick that first night.

What Was the Anahi Catamaran Like?

2 boats out on the ocean

The Anahi catamaran exceeded my expectations. It was bigger, more beautiful, and more comfortable than I thought it would be. The Anahi’s website has a virtual tour of the boat that is accurate.

Cabins on the Anahi

a room with 2 twin beds and a window over each bed
a room with a closet and desk and chair

There were 8 cabins on the Anahi for 16 passengers. I was traveling solo, so I had to room with a stranger. On both Anahi cruises, my roommates were both female.

The cabins were small but comfortable. There was plenty of space to store my things. I thought the bed was comfortable. Perhaps there could have been more outlets for my plugging in electronics. In the bathroom, there was shower gel, shampoo and dryer. My only complaint was that it was hard to get the temperature of the room just right–it was either too cold or too warm. Bring a fleece (check out this useful list of what to pack for the Galapagos.)

Cabins are cleaned twice a day.

Common Social Area

the deck of a ship with 3 round tables and chairs around each table

There were several areas where we could hang out, relax, and socialize.

  • Dining room – Coffee, tea, and water were available all day.
  • Lounge area – This room had books on the Galapagos and comfortable chairs and sofa to sit on.
  • Bar area and jacuzzi – This was my favorite area of the Anahi, but the jacuzzi wasn’t used much. It was turned on once and when it was, no one wanted to use it.
  • Top deck – A small area with some lounge chairs and a place to hang clothes to dry. It was often too hot on this deck during the day and too windy and cold at night.

The bar served wine, beer, and mixed drinks. Alcohol was expensive but I can’t remember the exact price of drinks. Many of us were told that we couldn’t bring our own alcohol on board. No one did on the B1 Tour but on the A2 Tour, several people brought their own beer and wine! One couple brought a whole case of beer! It was unfair that some people were allowed to bring alcohol on the boat and some weren’t.

The temperature on the Anahi was comfortable. The air conditioning was on when the passengers wanted it on and it kept the temperature comfortably cool in the bigger rooms to uncomfortably cold at times in my small cabin.

Is there internet on the Anahi?

You’ll only have internet when the boat is in Santa Cruz. There’s no internet when the boat is sailing around the other islands.

How stable was the Anahi?

The Anahi is a catamaran. That means the Anahi moves faster than other kinds of vessels. Catamarans are also more stable than other kinds of boats. You’ll still feel the effects of a rough sea in a catamaran, but the motion will be gentler than on other vessels.

Did you get seasick on the Anahi?

I was worried about getting seasick and being miserable. The only time I needed to worry was at night when the Anahi sailed from island to island. That’s when the ocean got rough and you could feel the boat rocking back and forth.

But the captain warned us each evening if the ocean would be rough that night. On those nights before going to bed, I would take a seasickness pill (Dramamine). I did NOT get seasick and slept well.

Most of my fellow passengers were also fine. On the B1 tour, there was one person who got sick, but he also got seasick on the pangas. On the A2 tour, two young kids who sick on the first night.

Day 2 on the Anahi B1 Tour

Itinerary for Day 2 on the Anahi Cruise B1

  • 7:00 am – Breakfast
  • 8:00 am –Sierra Negra Volcano on Isla Isabela
  • 12:30 pm – Lunch
  • 2:30 pm –Giant Tortoise Breeding Center on Isla Isabela
  • 6:30 pm – Dinner

Wildlife You Might See on Day 2

  • Vermilion Flycatcher
  • Marine Iguanas
  • Sea Lions
  • Flamingos

Every morning our itinerary for the day would be written on the whiteboard in the lounge area.

Day 2 on the Anahi was our first day with our new guide. After the first day with our new guide, sadly, our confidence in him did not improve.

There was only a very light drizzle at the beginning of the day. After that, we just had cloudy skies but no rain like the forecast said we would have.

Day 2: Breakfast on the Anahi

A buffet table with plates of food

Breakfast was at 7:00 am, and we would usually have one hour to eat, but at times the guide would change the schedule and at breakfast tell us that we were leaving for the excursion at 7:30 am instead of 8:00 am. It was quite annoying being rushed like that at the last minute.  

In addition, sometimes our guide would switch the itinerary around and have us out on an excursion at 6:00 am with breakfast at 8:00 am. This worked out well.

On a good note, breakfast was as filling and delicious as the other meals. We always had fruit, an assortment of cold cuts, cheese, a fried dish like French toast or fried plantains, cereal, and bread that could be toasted. We also could order an egg dish with 3 choices: fried eggs, scrambled eggs, or an omelet.

The Anahi also served coffee, tea, juice from a local fruit, and water.

Coffee, tea, and water were self-service and available all day.

Day 2: Sierra Negra Volcano

a crater in a volcano

The first excursion of day 2 was a hike up to the rim of Sierra Negra where we could look down into the volcano’s massive crater.

The slope up to the crater started gradually but as we got closer to the crater the path became steeper. Still our crew of retired folks and physically challenged folks like me made it to the top.

Along the way, we saw lots of native and invasive plants and trees and small birds. Have your camera out because we saw a rare treat: a vermillion flycatcher.

The crater is so big that I could not get the whole thing in one shot even with a wide-angle lens.

The volcano is still active and the last time it erupted was in 2018. You can see the lava fields inside the cater. Unfortunately, tourists are not allowed to go down into the crater. You can just walk along the rim of the caldera.

Day 2: Giant Tortoise Breeding Center on Isla Isabela

1 tortoise on top of another tortoise in the Galapagos

The first stop in the afternoon was at the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center. The Center is a sanctuary that takes care of injured tortoises and assists them in breeding and raising the baby tortoises before releasing them into the wild.

At one point these giant tortoises were almost extinct thanks to European sailors who would hunt the tortoises for their meat. They killed so many that on some islands like Floreana, there are none left. Here the breeding center ensures that there is a healthy population of tortoises.

I learned very little about the giant tortoises from our guide. His voice was too soft, quiet, and unenthusiastic for speaking to a group of 16 people, and he didn’t try to gather everyone around him before he started talking about the tortoises. On that day, I missed almost everything he said.

At the end of the day, we learned that our guide had been sick. But it wasn’t serious; it was just allergies. I thought maybe his allergies were the cause of his lack of enthusiasm. Actually, though, his attitude and energy level were often like that throughout the whole tour.  

a group of people walking on a wooden bridge over a forest of mangroves

We walked along a wooden walkway through mangroves from the Breeding Center to a beach, spotting marine iguanas, 2 flamingos, and some ducks.

Day 2: Free Time in Puerto Villamil

a group of people sitting on a beach at sunset

The end to our first full day in the Galapagos ended with a fun happy hour stop at the Pink Iguana on Isla Isabela—a great beachside bar.

Some of the passengers didn’t drink and instead took a walk through the town of Puerto Villamil or a walk along the beach.

Even though the guide wasn’t so great, day 2 was fabulous!

Returning to the Ship After Our Excursions

a plate of snack food and several glasses of juice

Whenever we came back to the boat after our excursions, the crew was always there to greet us—sometimes even the captain. They helped us out of the pangas, took our life jackets, handed us towels if we needed them, and best of all, gave us a nice cool glass of something to drink and often a little snack to eat.

Day 3: on the Anahi B1

Itinerary for Day 3 on the Anahi Cruise B1

  • 7:00 am – Breakfast
  • 8:00 am – Punto Moreno
  • 10:30 am – Return to the boat and prepare snorkeling gear
  • 11:00 am – Snorkeling Excursion #1
  • 12:30 pm – Lunch
  • 3:00 pm – Elizabeth Bay
  • 7:00 pm – Dinner

Wildlife You Might See on Day 3

  • Sea Lions
  • Marine Iguanas
  • Penguins
  • Blue-Footed Boobies
  • Flamingos
  • Cormorants
  • Sea Turtles
  • Pelicans
  • Lots of Colorful Fish

Our boat left Puerto Villamil the night before and made its way to the west coast of Isla Isabela. In the morning, we stopped at Punto Moreno. There were no other tourist boats nearby. Then in the afternoon, our boat cruised north along the coast of Isla Isabela to Elizabeth Bay.

Our morning itinerary on the Anahi was full of wildlife and some long and hot hiking over dry lava fields. We saw blue-footed boobies, penguins, marine iguanas, and flamingos. It was one of my favorite days in the Galapagos!

Wear good shoes, long pants, and a hat. Bring a walking stick (the Anahi will provide one for you), water, and a camera!

Day 3: Punto Moreno

2 penguins and a marine iguana standing on a rock in the Galapagos on the Anahi Tour

The wildlife highlight of the day happened during the panga ride to Punto Moreno. On the volcanic rocks near the shore, we saw sea lions, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, and penguins!

Yes! Penguins in the wild! This will be the BEST opportunity to get some photos of penguins!

a blue-footed boobie

If you want to see blue-footed boobies on your Galapagos tour, then the Anahi is a good choice. You will see a lot of them!

Our panga driver was wonderful—he slowed down and stopped so that we could get photos of the wildlife and when we’d see something new, he’d change directions and go check it out. As I said, the crew of the Anahi was professional. They thought of us first and foremost.

a cactus in a lava field with a volcano in the background

Punto Moreno was one giant lava field with cacti, a few patches of green grass, and a few ponds. It was rather surreal walking across this vast and empty landscape of hard volcanic rock.

Hiking was not easy that day–the volcanic rocks weren’t the easiest to walk on.

a flock of flamingos

There was a flock of flamingos just hanging out in a pond on the lava field.

Day 3: Snorkeling Excursion

After Punto Moreno, we went on our first of many snorkeling excursions. If you don’t snorkel, you get to hang out on the yacht.

On almost all snorkeling excursions, we would go out in two pangas (dinghies) to some spot. We would snorkel for about 1 to 1.5 hours. As we swam, the panga boats would follow us and the driver would make sure we were OK.

The water wasn’t as clear as I expected. But we still saw lots of colorful tropical fish and sea turtles.

We were supposed to follow the guide, but that rarely happened as our guide had difficulty keeping us together. He spent a lot of time looking for marine life.

There was one guy in our group who had never snorkeled before and was having some trouble. Luckily, the panga drivers were looking out for us.

Do you need a wet suit?

Half of the snorkelers wore wet suits and the other half didn’t. It was April and the water wasn’t unbearably cold, so you could probably get by without one.

I think the biggest problem is getting sunburn. If you aren’t wearing a wet suit, make sure you have a rash guard to protect your skin.. You can read this EXCELLENT article on what snorkeling gear to pack for the Galapagos.

Day 3: Elizabeth Bay

At 3:00 pm we went out on our last excursion of the day—the mangroves of Elizabeth Bay. This one was a relaxing one—all we had to do was sit in the panga while our drive took us through the mangroves and looked at the wildlife hidden in the foliage and under the water.

There were 2 pangas. Unfortunately for me and my group, the other panga had our guide, so I didn’t get to learn much about Elizabeth Bay. I don’t know if our guide didn’t know how to keep the two pangas together or if he just didn’t care. Perhaps this is how the Anahi guides a group of 16. Half of us get to learn from the guide and the other half doesn’t.

Regardless of our guideless excursion, I was having an amazing time. The Anahi gave me a chance to see some amazing wildlife and landscapes. My fellow passengers made me laugh so hard. Our panga driver was excellent and he would point out the wildlife to us.

Flightless Cormorants & Other Sea Birds in Elizabeth Bay

a heron sitting in a tree
Brown pelican in Elizabeth Bay

We passed by a lot of flightless cormorants. They have the most interesting fishing technique of any bird in the world. They dive into the water to grab their fish.

We didn’t just see cormorants, though. We saw a vast assortment of birds like whimbrels, striated herons, and pelicans.

Sea Turtles in Elizabeth Bay

a sea turtle swimming
You’ll see lots of sea turtles on your Galapagos cruise.

In the water, we saw sea lions, sea turtles, and an eagle ray. By the time you are finished with your Anahi tour, you won’t be phased by seeing your 100th sea turtle. But in the beginning, they are exciting to see in the water, especially while you’re snorkeling.

Penguins in Elizabeth Bay

2 penguins
If you want to see penguins on your Galapagos cruise, do Anahi Tour B1.

Elizabeth Bay would be the last time we saw penguins. They are so much smaller than I expected. The ones in Antarctica are much bigger. They were also rather shy in the Bay–they kept on turning their backs to us as we passed by.

The BEST place to see penguins is on Isla Isabela because the waters off the coast of this island are cold enough for penguins to survive. The ocean temperature on the eastern islands is too warm for the penguins. However, there’s one place in the East, Bartolome Island, where you supposedly can see penguins. We went there but didn’t see any.

By day 3, I was 100% certain that this cruise of the Galapagos was going to be one of the BEST places to visit in Ecuador and probably one of the top 5 places I’d visited in the world.

A Foolproof Galapagos Packing List

Struggling to figure out what to pack for the Galapagos? Check out this foolproof guide to packing for the Galapagos! Everything you need for the PERFECT Galapagos cruise.

Day 4 on the Anahi B1

Day 4 Itinerary on the Anahi

  • 6:00 am – Urbina Bay
  • 8:00 am – Breakfast
  • 9:15 am – Snorkeling from the beach at Urbina Bay
  • 11:00 am – Return to boat
  • 12:00 pm – Lunch
  • 2:30 pm – Snorkeling at Tagus Cove
  • 4:00 pm – Return to boat
  • 4:30 pm – Hike at Tagus Cove
  • 6:00 pm – Return to boat
  • 7:00 pm – Dinner

Wildlife You Might See on the Anahi

  • Giant Tortoises
  • Land Iguanas
  • Finchers
  • Warblers
  • Mockingjays

At night as the passengers slept, the Anahi cruised up the west coast of Isabela Island to Urbina Bay.

Our schedule got shuffled on day 4. Instead of starting with breakfast, we began our day with an excursion and then came back for breakfast. This was to experience Urbina Bay before the other tourists arrived. Our new guide made the decision to change the schedule, which I heard did not sit well with the captain.

Day 4: Urbina Bay

Urbana Bay is a special place for two reasons:

  • Giant tortoises in the wild and their natural habitat
  • Land Iguanas were the most beautiful here

Urbina Bay was our first wet landing—that means you hop off the panga into the water and walk to the beach. You need to wear shorts and either go barefoot or wear water shoes or sandals that can get wet. These wet landings are also a great reason for packing a dry bag. You can store your camera, phone, and shoes in them. Sometimes the water goes up to your waist. You also might slip and fall when getting out of the panga or walking to the shore. Check out this practical packing list for the Galapagos for some packing tips.

Giant Tortoises at Urbina Bay

a giant tortoise walking down a path

We arrived on a black sand beach. A path led from the beach into the forest and before we knew it, we were upon our first giant tortoise in the wild (not in any reserve or breeding center) just slowly walking along minding its own business.

As we walked along the path, we could hear the sounds of birds—finches and mockingbirds. No colorful or sexy birds this time, though.

We saw many giant tortoises that morning. Sometimes they plopped themselves down in the middle of the path and hid inside their shell. At one point a large tortoise and a smaller and perhaps younger tortoise had a standoff in the middle of the path.

Our guide kept us together on that morning but he didn’t tell us much about the tortoises. He was also not very strict about letting us get close to the animals like Galo was.

Land Iguanas at Urbina Bay

a land iguana

The land iguanas we saw that day were almost as special as the giant tortoises. We saw one or two that day. The iguanas were a beautiful bright yellow (others I saw on this Anahi tour were a dull yellow) with the perfect expression on their faces. It (especially the eyes) reminded me of a dinosaur or some prehistoric animal.

As we concluded our visit to Urbina Bay, a couple of other tour boats arrived. I was grateful that our guide had us visit this wonderful place so early.

Day 4: Snorkeling at Urbina Bay

We returned that morning to the black sand beach of Urbina Bay for some snorkeling. This time you could snorkel off the beach or snorkel from the panga.

Today’s snorkeling was the worst of the whole Anahi tour. The water wasn’t clear at all and the waves were too strong and the water too rough.

Day 4: Snorkeling at Tagus Cove

a parrot fish underwater
A parrot fish
A chocolate chip starfish
A chocolate chip starfish

As we were eating lunch, our boat was traveling up the coast of Isla Isabela to Tagus Cove. We were now about two-thirds of the way up Isla Isabela and across the channel from Isla Fernandina.

The highlight of the afternoon was the snorkeling at Tagus Cove—the water was clear and there was a large variety of colorful fishparrot fish, angel fish, puffer fish, starfish, and even one called a chocolate chip starfish. We snorkeled for 1.5 hours!

This was our first time snorkeling twice in one day. It would be like this almost every day until the end of the cruise on the Anahi. You will not complain that you didn’t snorkel enough!

Day 4: Tagus Cove

gaffiti on the rock wall

When we arrived on land on Tagus Cove, the first thing we noticed was the graffiti covering the rock face. It’s the nineteenth-century version of the twentieth-century bathroom stall.

Back in the 1800s, pirates and whalers would use Tagus Cover to hide out. Once there they would carve their names or the names of their ships in the rock wall.

a crater lake

Tagus Cove was the most strenuous hike of the Anahi tour. One of our members stayed at the beach and did not hike with us.

The hike started with a climb up some stairs to a lookout and trail where we saw a beautiful crater lake. Sometimes the level of the lake looks lower than the ocean and sometimes it looks higher.

sunset over a lava field

We hiked to the end of a trail that took us to a view of another volcano. More lava fields. And more vast empty spaces.

Not much wildlife on this hike, though. Just finches and warblers and mockingbirds. The trees, though, were special—palo santo trees. If you do any more traveling in Ecuador beyond the Galapagos, you might come across Palo Santo again—the indigenous people used it to burn incense and along the coast, it’s used to keep giant ants away.

That’s it for day 4–another unforgettable day in the Galapagos. As you can see, this is a jampacked itinerary of the Galapagos—two snorkeling excursions and two hikes, one of which started at 6:00 in the morning.

Day 5 on the Anahi B1

Day 5 Itinerary on the Anahi

  • 7:00 am – Breakfast
  • 8:00 am – Fernandina
  • 10:30 am – Return to Boat
  • 11:00 am – Snorkeling with marine iguanas
  • 12:00 pm – Lunch
  • 2:00 pm – Snorkeling at Punta Vicente Roca
  • 3:00 pm – Return to boat
  • 3:20 pm – Panga ride at Punta Vicente Roca
  • 5:15 pm – Cross the equator
  • 6:00 pm  – Sunset
  • 6:15 pm – Dinner

Wildlife You Might See on Day 5:

  • Marine iguanas
  • Sea Lions
  • Eagle Rays
  • Night Heron
  • Sally Lightfoot Crabs
  • Galapagos Hawk
  • Blue-Footed Boobies
  • Brown Noddy

Day 5 was one of the top three most special days on the Anahi. I am sure it’s going to be the highlight of your trip.

We headed to Isla Fernandina, an uninhabited island that day tours don’t get to.

Day 5: Isla Fernandina

an island with a volcano

At only 700,000 years old, Fernandina is the youngest island in the archipelago. It is thus, the most volcanically active island with eruptions taking place every few years.

Fernandina was one of my top 2 favorite stops on my Anahi cruise because of its wildlife and untouched landscape. Day tours don’t go here.

We saw a lot of animals: sea lions, herons, rays, sea turtles, a Galapagos hawk, Sally Lightfoot crabs, and best of all the marine iguanas. You might see penguins here. We didn’t.   

Marine Iguanas on Fernandina

a group of marine iguanas

The hundreds of marine iguanas staring at the sun on Fernandina was the highlight of my Galapagos cruise. Even when a group of 17 sat around staring at them from not too far away, the marine iguanas weren’t phased. They completely ignored us. They just stared at the sun as if they were in a trance.

They reminded me of a cult of sun worshippers. In fact, marine iguanas’ bodies require the sun to warm up their body temperature after swimming in the cold ocean.

Sally Lightfoot Crabs at Fernandina

several Sally Lightfoot Crabs on a black lava rock

Wherever there are black lava rocks, you are bound to see bright red Sally Lightfoot Crabs. They get the “lightfoot” part of their name from the agile way they scurry over rocks. They are light on their feet. The Sally part is supposedly the name of a famous Caribbean dancer.

Galapagos Hawk at Fernandina

a Galapagos hawk sitting

We were very lucky to see a Galapagos hawk perching on a dead tree. This endemic species has an interesting mating and family structure: two males mate with one female and then all three raise the baby hawk together.

Day 5: Snorkeling with Marine Iguanas at Fernandina

2 marine iguanas eating algae on the bottom of the ocean floor

For many travelers to the Galapagos, swimming with sea lions is the highlight of their trip. For me, it was snorkeling with the marine iguanas.

These Voldemort-looking creatures—none of them will ever win a beauty contest—swim to the bottom of the ocean to eat the algae on the rocks.

Like most animals in the Galapagos, they don’t seem to care that you’re watching them eat their lunch.

Make sure to have an underwater camera—either put your phone in a case or get a Go Pro. Check out this useful list of what to pack for the Galapagos for ideas on what you need to take photos underwater.

Day 5: Snorkeling at Punta Vicente

a large rock covered in marine iguanas

In the afternoon we went snorkeling under the high cliffs of Punta Vicente Roca.

The marine life at Punta Vicente is supposed to be some of the most abundant and diverse in the Galapagos. It’s supposed to be a good spot to see sea turtles, sharks, and rays. If you’re lucky (we weren’t), you might be able to swim with sea lions and penguins. We did see sea lions lying on the rocks, but we couldn’t tempt them to jump in and swim with us. Probably the strangest sight was a large rock covered in marine iguanas and one lone penguin–they too did not want to join us.

Maybe it’s because the water was murkier than usual and the deep and rough. The current got so strong at one point that the panga drivers called us back to the boat.

Day 5: Panga Ride at Punta Vicente

a boat in a cove with tall cliffs

The last excursion of day 5 on the Anahi was a panga ride in the waters under the cliffs and into a cave at Punta Vicente.

Wildlife at Punta Vicente

a sea lion sitting on a rock near the ocean

The cliffs and rocks of Punta Vicente were full of sea lions, marine iguanas, sea turtles, Sally Lightfoot Crabs, and sea birds like blue-footed boobies. The cliffs were covered in the blue-footed booby poop!

Day 5: Crossing the Equator

a radar monitor

After coming back from the excursion, all 16 of us, the guide, and the captain squeezed into the wheelhouse as we crossed the equator. There was no bump or anything. The only way you can tell that you are crossing the equator is by watching the radar.

At 5:15 pm, the radar read 0.00.0004’ N, letting us know that we had crossed the equator.

I hope you’re getting a good idea from this Galapagos cruise review of what Tour B1 on the Anahi is like.

Day 6 on the Anahi B1

Day 6 Itinerary on the Anahi

  • 7:00 am – Breakfast
  • 8:00 am – Puerto Egas at Santiago
  • 10:30 am – Return to boat
  • 11:00 am – Snorkeling
  • 12:00 pm – Lunch
  • 2:15 pm – Snorkeling at Rabida Island
  • 4:00 pm – Return to boat
  • 4:30 pm – Rabida Island
  • 6:00 pm – Return to boat
  • 7:00 pm – Dinner

Wildlife You Might See on Day 6:

  • Fur Seals
  • Sea Lions
  • American Oystercatcher
  • Lava Heron
  • Yellow-Crowned Night Heron
  • Flamingos

Over the night as the passengers slept, the boat traveled around the northern tip of Isabela Island, making its way to the eastern islands of the Galapagos. We woke up along the shore of Santiago Island.

Day 6: Santiago Island

Puerto Egas is named after a guy named Egas who started a salt mine on Santiago. He ran the mine until 1971 when it was shut down. While on the island, lots of animals were hunted and killed.

When we arrived on Santiago, our guide was able to round us all up and hold our attention for more than a minute while he told us about the history of the island.

But as the morning progressed, the situation with our guide went downhill.

This was one of the BIG controversies of the tour.

Fur Seals on Santiago

2 fur seals lying on a rock

The highlight for most of you on Santiago will be fur seal grotto—one of the few places you’ll get to encounter fur seals. It’s hard to tell them apart from sea lions. One way is that fur seals have fur and sea lions do not. Fur seals hang out in rocky grottos along the shore.

Tide Pools on Santiago

people walking around tide pools

The other highlight will be the tide pools along the rocky shore.

If your guide is any good, he or she will introduce you to the snails, barnacles, crabs, sponges, and fish that make their home in these tide pools.

Seabirds on Santiago

2 birds in a tide pool
Two American Oystercatchers hanging out in the tide pools of Santiago.

For me, the highlight was spotting three new seabirds that I hadn’t seen before: the American Oystercatcher with its long orange beak (it uses its long orange beak to break open oyster shells), the Lava Heron (saw this one a lot), and the yellow-crowned night heron.

The Practical Joke on Santiago

Before I explain what happened next on Santiago Island, I want to introduce you to two shipmates on the Anahi: a woman originally from Jamaica and a guy from the Netherlands.

The woman from Jamaica was a friendly, happy, and positive person with a huge heart. She was really sweet, friendly, and outgoing.

The Dutch guy was the funniest and most daring person on the boat. He was constantly doing things that he was told not to do: swimming to the Anahi instead of the panga, getting closer to the animals than allowed, and walking off on his own. He was also better at spotting animals and sea creatures than our guide was. He made me laugh more than anyone else I’d met in a long time.

While we were standing around near the tide pools, the lovely Jamaican woman pointed at a person walking far away down the shore and said to our guide,Look (our guide’s name)! There’s (Dutch guy’s name).” We all looked at where she was pointing. Everyone immediately thought it was our fellow Dutch passenger. Park rules require you to always stick with your guide.  

I don’t remember exactly what our guide said but he was not happy.

However, it was NOT the Dutch guy.

He was standing right behind the guide.

It was a funny joke. I don’t think the Jamaican woman intended to be mean.

But perhaps the joke affected our guide more than we knew or maybe it didn’t, and he was just in general sick of us. We were slow and there were a lot of older people or people with mobility issues on the tour.


Then something else happened…

FAKE “Emergency” #1 on the Anahi

We were supposed to make a loop along an interior path back to our starting point.

However, we didn’t do this.

Instead, our guide cut our excursion short. He contacted the boat to come and pick us up from the rocky shore. He told the crew that it was an emergency and that many of the passengers were too sick to continue hiking.

Not true.

I was not sick and no one else looked, acted, or said they were sick. There were three people in the group with medical degrees, and they would have known if someone was unwell.

The Anahi sent two pangas to pick us up off the rocky shore and take us back to the ship, cutting our excursion short.

I don’t know why he did this. Was he angry about the practical joke? Was he sick? Or was he just so tired of us at that point that he didn’t want to continue that morning’s excursion?

It turned out that this would not be the last time he cried wolf.

Day 6: Snorkeling at Santiago and Rabida Islands

a school of fish

Rabida Island ended up being my second favorite snorkeling experience of the Anahi cruise! Our guide kept us together. The water was clearer than it had been on the whole trip. We saw sharks, stingrays, manta rays, a lobster, starfish, sea turtles, octopuses, and massive schools of fish. We snorkeled for over a mile.

Day 6: Rabida Island

A rocky shore with water and mountains in the background

Nowhere in the world can you find a combination of colors as PERFECT as the green and red that you find on Isla Rabida. The rich red rock together with the green foliage and cacti are stunning.

Isla Rabida is the most beautiful island in the Galapagos.

The only animals on Isla Rabida we saw were flamingos having their dinner in a saltwater lagoon.

We spent our time on the island hiking up a small hill and walking along a path with views of the ocean on one side and the lagoon on the other.

FAKE “Emergency” #2 on the Anahi

When we got to the end of the path, our lovely (sarcasm) guide changed the plans again. We were supposed to walk back to the beach we arrived at.

But AGAIN our guide decided we weren’t going to do that and contacted the boat to ask them to pick us up from a rocky shore. I thought maybe it was because it was getting dark and he didn’t think it was safe to walk back. But someone who spoke Spanish said that he heard the guide tell the boat that we were too unwell to walk back.

But again no one looked sick and I heard no one say that they were sick.

I did hear the guide say under his breath, “I can’t wait until this tour is over” or “I can’t wait until this day is over.”

I think the guide was just tired of us at this point. We were a slower and older group than he was used to. We needed a guide who was patient and who considered the age and mobility of its members. One person was over 80, several over 70, one with Parkinson’s (although it wasn’t noticeable), one woman who wasn’t very athletic, and then there was me with my bad knee.

Despite not being satisfied with the guide, I was still having the best time of my life. The itinerary and the crew exceeded my expectations.

Day 7 on the Anahi B1

Day 7 Itinerary on the Anahi:

  • 7:00 am – Breakfast
  • 8:00 am – Kayaking  around Chinese Hat (group 1)
  • 9:00 am – Kayaking around Chinese Hat (group 2)
  • 10:15 am – Snorkeling
  • 11:45 am – Return to boat
  • 12:00 pm – Lunch
  • 2:30 pm – Bartolome

Animals that you might see on Day 7:

  • Sealions
  • Penguins – I did not see any but supposedly they are around Bartolome

Day 7: Kayaking & Snorkeling at Chinese Hat

an island shaped like a Chinese Hat

Our first excursion on day 7 was kayaking around the island called Chinese Hat. The island gets its unique name because it supposedly looks like a Chinese hat. To me, it looked more like a Mexican sombrero than a Chinese hat.

The Anahi divided us into two groups of kayakers. One group went out first at 8:00 am and then returned so that another group could go kayaking at 9:00 am.

After kayaking, we went snorkeling for the last time on the cruise. We snorkeled around the same place we went kayaking. This time we saw a few sharks. No hammerheads, though.

Day 7: Bartolome

a peninsula surrounded by bodies of water

Bartolome Island is home to that iconic Galapagos photo of the Pinnacle Rock. This was the one stop that I was most looking forward to.

Honestly, though, when I got to see that view in person, it was a bit disappointing. Bartolome was still beautiful, but for me, it wasn’t in the same league as the marine iguanas of Fernandina, the giant tortoises of Urbina Bay, the penguins of Punto Moreno, or the red and green of Isla Rabida.

The island is geographically interesting. It’s older than Isla Isabela and Fernandina so the soil and rocks are no longer black volcanic. Bartolome is made up of brownish rock because over time oxidation has turned the rocks and soil from black to brown.

We had a strenuous 30 to 40-minute climb to the summit of a once-active volcano. The climb was steep but most of it took place on a wooden staircase. The top gave us stunning panoramic views.

Supposedly, this is the only spot in the eastern Galapagos where you can spot penguins. I didn’t see any here.

Our Guide on the Anahi

I think it was the evening of day 7 when we learned that our guide would not be continuing with the next tour on the Anahi. We heard a rumor that the captain was so angry with the guide that he told the Anahi head office that he wouldn’t leave port if the same guide was on the boat. But we weren’t sure who would be the next guide. We were hoping that it would be Galo.

I was happy because I would be continuing on the Anahi to the northeastern islands of the Galapagos.

Tipping the Crew of the Anahi

On the last evening on the boat, we all had a little ceremony with the crew of the Anahi. They said goodbye to us and we gave them a tip.

When we had returned from our last excursion to Bartolome, there were 2 envelopes on each bed. One envelope was for tipping the crew and the other for the guide. Before leaving on our trip, the Anahi sent a voucher to everyone that included a suggested tipping amount. However, the Anahi also said that their crew was well-paid and that we weren’t obligated to leave a tip.

Some passengers gave additional tips directly to specific crew members and the captain.

Day 8 on the Anahi B1 and Anahi A2

Anahi Galapaogs B1 Itinerary:

  • 6:00 am – North Seymour
  • 8:00 am – Breakfast
  • 9:00 am – Depart the Anahi

Wildlife You’ll See on B1 Tour:

  • Blue-footed Boobies
  • Frigate Birds
  • Land Iguanas
  • Swallow-tailed gulls

Day 8 is the end of the Anahi Tour B1. After an excursion to North Seymour on Santa Cruz Island and breakfast on the boat, the passengers who ended their Anahi cruise leave for the airport. The boat then refuels and gets cleaned and stocked for the next tour. In the afternoon, the passengers for the Anahi A2 Tour come on board and head to Playa Las Bachas on Santa Cruz Island.

Do you remember how the guide cried wolf twice?

Read on to find out what happened on the last day of Tour B1! Because this was NOT our last emergency. This time, however, it ended up being a real emergency!

Day 8: North Seymour

a rocky area with trees and plants

North Seymour turned out to be one of the top 3 highlights of my Anahi cruise. You’ll get your first sighting of frigate birds with their red chests inflated and more blue-footed boobies.

North Seymour Island is north of Baltra Island, where the airport is. It was not formed by a volcano. Instead, the island was formed as the seabed was lifted upward. Therefore, it’s rather flat and dry with lots of cacti and Palo Santo trees.

Although it’s flat, be careful. The rocks are rather unstable, so it’s easy to slip and fall. Hint! Hint! Hint!

Frigate Birds at North Seymour

a frigate bird

North Seymour is one of two places in the Galapagos where the frigatebirds have their nests. The colony here is the largest in the Galapagos.

There are 2 species of frigatebirds in the Galapagos:

  • Magnificent Frigatebirds – They have some purple feathers on their back
  • Great Frigatebirds – They have some green feathers on their back

Every day so far on the Anahi, we’d been seeing them fly over our boat. They didn’t look very impressive–just some black sea birds. However, it’s not until you get to North Seymour that you see them in all their glory. The male bird inflates his red pouch and makes his coo cooing sound. It’s an unforgettable experience!

The ones without the red pouches are females. You might also see some baby frigates, too. They are cute.

Blue-Footed Boobies on North Seymour

a blue footed booby sitting

North Seymour is the blue-footed boobies’ nesting ground as well. If it’s not the season for laying eggs, you might not be able to spot an adult one here. You might only see the young chicks.

If you visit between June and August, you might be able to see the males and females do their courtship dance.

We saw one just hanging out next to the trail as if she was sitting on something—probably an egg or two. She didn’t even seem to care that we were so near to her either.

If seeing blue-footed boobies is an item on your travel bucket list, you won’t be disappointed with Tour B1.

A REAL Emergency on North Seymour

Our guide took us over these wobbly and unstable rocks to look at some swallow-tailed gulls.

And then…

One of the group members (an 80-year-old gentleman) slipped and fell and hit his head on the rocks. You could hear the sound his head made as it met the rock.

Luckily, we had three people with medical degrees on our tour, so they knew what to do.

But then…

Before anyone could do anything, one of the doctors passed out.

So, we had two people down.

But we still had two doctors left, so we’re OK.

Our guide radioed the boat for a THIRD emergency. This time it was finally a REAL emergency and not one that he made up.

Luckily, everyone eventually got back up and no one was seriously injured.

The crew, though, was so professional that they quickly came to pick up the injured passengers and bring them back to the boat. The rest of us walked back to where we had originally landed on North Seymour.

Day 8: End of Galapagos Cruise B1

After breakfast, everyone finished packing. A couple of passengers were staying in Santa Cruz, but most were flying out that day. One guy was going on a scuba diving tour.

Three of us were staying on the boat for Anahi cruise A2 to the northeastern and central islands of the Galapagos. Luckily for me, the other two who were staying on were the people I had developed a friendship with. We were eagerly waiting to know who are guide would be.

All of us spent the time between the end of B1 cruise and the beginning of the A2 Galapagos cruise washing our clothes by hand. There is no laundry service on board.

The crew spent the time between tours refueling the boat, cleaning, and stocking up on supplies.

Unfortunately, my cabinmate, who was amazing, was leaving and I was to get a new one. Hopefully, she would be as good as my Finnish roommate!

Final Thoughts on Anahi B1 Cruise

So, the tour guide was not up to snuff.

But was the Anahi B1 Cruise worth it?

Do I regret taking this cruise?

Yes, it was worth it. No, I don’t regret it. The Anahi B1 Cruise was one of the BEST travel experiences of my life. It was the best place I visited in Ecuador. I would do it all over again. The itinerary was PERFECT. I saw so many amazing wild animals, did tons of snorkeling, and made good friends. The crew treated the passengers like royalty.

I was disappointed in the guide. I am someone who loves to listen to guides teach me things about a place, and our guide didn’t know how to–he was bored explaining things to us and he was hard to hear. I am still confused by those fake emergencies.

However, I understand things happen on tours and you have to be flexible. It wasn’t anyone’s fault that Galo got sick.

Could the Anahi do anything about changing the guide in the middle of the tour? The Anahi boat was out of communication range with headquarters and we were in such a remote part of the Galapagos that we couldn’t change the guide once the cruise started.

The new guide that the Anahi found for the next tour, A2, was very good. You can read here about my review of the Galapagos cruise to the Northeastern and Central Islands.

I hope those of you who were on the fence about booking with the Anahi have made up your minds. Book the tour. You won’t regret it! The itinerary was perfect. The crew was professional and attentive. The ship was comfortable. The food was excellent.


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The Bamboo Traveler

Welcome to The Bamboo Traveler, a travel blog dedicated to helping those travelers who want to dig deeply into the history, heritage, and culture of a place. Whether it’s through the pages of your passport or the pages of a book, I’ll help you travel the world and uncover the history, culture, food, architecture, and natural beauty of some of the world’s most fascinating places.

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