Anahi Galapagos Review of Eastern Islands A2 Cruise

by | Jan 18, 2024 | Ecuador, Travel

Are you thinking about doing a Galapagos cruise on the Anahi?

But you’re still on the fence about booking it!

Or have you already booked your Anahi cruise and you’re wondering what to expect?

I did 2 Anahi Galapagos cruises. I booked Tour A2 (Northeastern & Central Islands) and Tour B1 (Western Islands & Central Islands) in a row from April to May 2023. Both cruises lasted 12 days, and in that time, I saw most of the islands of the Galapagos.

In this Galapagos post, I’m going to share with you my review of the Anahi Galapagos Cruise A2 to the Northeastern & Central Islands. I’ve already down a review of my Anahi Cruise B1 of the Western Islands in another post.

Hopefully, from both Galapagos reviews, you’ll have a good idea of whether to book a cruise on the Anahi.

I did not receive a discount or a free tour for writing this post.

Before I tell you whether the Anahi was the right choice, let’s talk about why I chose the boat in the first place. This will give you an idea of whether my review turned out positive or negative.

  • I loved the itinerary – I had a list of wildlife and landscapes that I wanted to see and the stops on the Anahi included everything on my list.
  • The guide got rave reviews – I wanted a guide that was personable and knowledgeable, and reviews of the Anahi said the guide was good. The Anahi is a first-class boat (one level under the luxury cruises) and it was out of my budget range. However,  I thought the guides would be better on the more expensive cruises than the budget ones.
  • I got a fabulous discount – I booked my Anahi cruise 2 weeks before it started. At that time, 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 because I was a solo female traveler. They were looking for someone just like me to share a room with other solo female travelers on 2 consecutive cruises. I paid $3,800 for 12 days. The normal price was over $10,000.

Let’s look at whether the Anahi was up to snuff, and whether the guide was as good as people said he was.

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About the Anahi Cruise Tours

Anahi has 4 main tours:

  • Tour A1 – Southeastern Islands (4 days)
  • Tour A2 – Northeastern & Central 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 Tours B1 and 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)

I did Tour D, first doing Tour B1 and then continuing on the Anahi with Tour A2. This post is ONLY about Tour A2. If you want to read about what happened (including the shenanigans involving the tour guide) on the other tour, read my review of Anahi Cruise B1 HERE!

All Anahi Cruises take place on a small catamaran with a maximum of 16 passengers.

Which Anahi Cruise is the Best?

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 red-footed boobies on Anahi Tour B1, but you’ll see them on Tour A2.

It would be terrible if you booked the wrong tour. One guy on Tour A2 wanted to see penguins on his Galapagos cruise. You can only see penguins on Tour B1. He was not happy. Therefore, 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 made a mistake, 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 they call the Central Islands (these are the Eastern Islands minus Genovesa and Espinola.)

There are only 2 Western Islands: Isabela and Fernandina. However, there are a lot of islands in the Eastern part of the Galapagos 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.

Western Islands (Fernandina and Isabela):

  • These are the youngest islands, so you’ll see more volcanoes including active volcanoes
  • The islands have more of an untouched and empty feel to them
  • The landscape is almost the same wherever you go–black volcanic rock and volcanoes
  • The water is cooler here so marine life is more abundant and varied.
  • You’ll see penguins!
  • You’ll see the flightless cormorant
  • You’ll see giant tortoises in the wild
  • Fewer tourists because it’s harder for day tours to get here

Eastern Islands (All the rest of the Islands):

  • These islands are older, so you won’t see many or any volcanoes. None are active.
  • The landscape is more diverse – the red rock island of Rabida vs. the beige sand of San Cristobal Punta Pit.
  • You’ll see a lot more sea birds that you won’t see on the Western Islands like red-footed boobies, Nazca Boobies, the waved albatross, and frigatebirds.
  • The most northern and southern islands don’t get a lot of tourists because day trips don’t usually visit them.

One advantage that Tour B1 has is that it goes to the Western Islands and some of the coolest Eastern Islands.

If you want to see all the wildlife in the Galapagos, do both Tour B1 and Tour B2 (A1 + A2).

What’s the Anahi Catamaran Like?

2 boats out on the ocean

Let’s first talk about the Anahi catamaran. You might be wondering if it’s comfortable, clean, spacious, and stable.

My quick answer is yes, yes, yes, and yes!

The Anahi catamaran was better than I expected. 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 quite accurate.


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. It’s good that they were the same gender because if not, it would have been awkward. The beds are close together.

The cabins are small but comfortable. Each person had their own closet to store their clothes.The bed was comfortable. There were enough outlets to plug in one’s electronics.

In the bathroom, there was shower gel, shampoo, and dryer.

The only issue I had was that it was hard to get the temperature in the small room to be perfect–not too cold and not too hot. Sometimes the air conditioner made the room too cold. But if it was off, then it was too warm. Pack a fleece! Mine came in so handy! Check this useful post for more Galapagos packing tips.

Another thing that I liked was that our cabins were cleaned twice a day.

Finally, know this: you do not get a key to lock your cabin. I guess it’s because it’s too easy for passengers to lose their key when out on excursions.

Common Social Area

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

There were several areas where passengers could 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 an L-shaped sofa to sit on.
  • Bar area and jacuzzi – this was my favorite area of the Anahi, but don’t expect to use the jacuzzi 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.

Is There Internet on the Anahi?

When we were near the major cities on Santa Cruz and San Cristobal Islands, you could get internet connection. But when we were traveling to other islands, there was no internet at all.

How Stable Was the Anahi?

The Anahi is a catamaran. That means it moves faster than other kinds of vessels. Catamarans are also more stable as well. However, you’ll still feel the effects of a rough sea in a catamaran. It’s just that 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. However, I was fine. 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 our guide 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 other Anahi Tour B1, there was one person who got sick, but he also got seasick on the pangas. On the A2 tour, two young kids were sick on the first night.

Overall, I would give the Anahi catamaran an A+.

Anahi A2 Itinerary Overview

This is the itinerary for Anahi A2:

  • Day 1 – Santa Cruz – Playa Las 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

This is the itinerary for Anahi B1 that I did BEFORE my A2 cruise:

  • Day 1 – Santa Cruz Island – El Chaco Ranch
  • 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

Day 1 on Anahi Tour A2

Itinerary for Day of Anahi Tour A2

  • Lunch
  • Meeting with Our Guide
  • La Playa Bachas
  • Introduction of the crew
  • Dinner
  • Meeting with Guide

Wildlife You Might See on A2 Tour

  • Baby Reef Sharks
  • Marine Iguanas
  • Sally Lightfoot Crabs
  • Sea lions (I didn’t see any)

Besides myself, 2 other passengers from Anahi Cruise B1 continued with Tour A2. When the Tour B1 passengers left to fly back home, we stayed on the boat. We did laundry and waited for the new passengers for Tour A2 to come on board.

Day 1: Lunch on the Anahi

a room with two rectangular tables and chairs around the table

Day 1 started with lunch with all the passengers on the Anahi. This was different from the Anahi B2 Tour where we had lunch at the El Chato Ranch. But not to worry! The food on the Anahi was better than what we had at the El Chato Ranch.

We had all our meals in the dining room in the above photo. The setup with the two tables forced people to get to know each other and socialize.

The demographics of the people in Tour A2 group were different from the Tour B1. First, the B1 skewed older—retired people in their 70s and 80s. In the A2 group, we had:

  • A family of 4 with 2 kids from Canada
  • A family of 3 with 1 person in their 20s from Israel
  • A retired couple from Canada
  • A couple in their 20s or 30s from California
  • A couple in their 20s or 30s from the southern part of the U.S.
  • A couple in their 50s from Illinois
  • Me – A solo traveler in her 50s from the U.S.

So, I think you can’t predict what your fellow passengers are going to be like. They could be older or younger or lots of families.

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

The food was always served buffet style. We would get two main entrees and several different salads and side dishes. Every meal started with a soup and ended with a dessert.

Two of the passengers were vegetarians, so one of the main dishes was always vegetarian. On the B1 Tour, both main dishes were meat or seafood.

a plate of food
Typical dinner on the Anahi

The food was very good. It turned out to be much better than I expected. I liked 99% of what I ate and I was ALWAYS more than full after every meal. I would give the food on the Anahi an A+.

I only wish we had gotten more Ecuadorian dishes.

Day 1: A Meeting with the Guide

After lunch, we met with our guide to go over the rules and our plans for day 1 on the Anahi.

If you’ve read my review of Anahi Cruise B1, you know that the normal guide for the Anahi, Galo, got sick and the Anahi had to find a replacement at the last minute. That guide did not turn out to say the least. The passengers didn’t like him and we heard that the captain wanted him off his boat as well.

So, I was anxious to see who our next guide was going to be.

Our new guide was named Wilson, who I think usually works on the Tip Top boat. Wilson was very funny and had a great personality. He was enthusiastic, patient, and professional. He knew how to guide groups and he knew how to explain things and make it interesting for the passengers.

However, there were a couple of things that Wilson did that I thought weren’t great. He tended to walk way ahead of us on hikes, not bothering to check if we were following him or if one of us had fallen off a cliff. On one early-morning excursion, the pangas left the boat before our scheduled departure and thus, we left two passengers back on the Anahi. It was stupid and childish of him to do that because we still had to send a panga back to get them anyway.

Overall, I would give Wilson a B+. The guide on my previous Anahi cruise was a C- or D+.

Day 1: Playa Las Bachas on Santa Cruz Island

a white sandy beach
Playa Las Bachas Beach

The first stop on Anahi Tour A2 was to Playa Las Bachas on Santa Cruz Island. Playa Bachas is EVERYTHING you could want from a beach: pristine white sand, warm crystal-clear water, and gentle wavesperfect for snorkeling! To top it off, we had a beautiful blue sky.

Baby reef sharks were also fond of the water off of Playa Bachas. I saw one and others in our group saw several.

The beach is also one of the prime sea turtle nesting sites in the Galapagos. You can see where they do it by the bowl-shaped indentations in the sand. We didn’t see any sea turtles, but we saw plenty of Sally Lightfoot crabs and marine iguanas. No sea lions, though.

The other interesting thing is that the beach is home to the remains of a sunken ship that’s buried in the sand. You can see it sticking out of the sand!

The only problem with this perfect beach was that once you got out of the water, you got bitten by horseflies. These flies have the most painful bite I have ever experienced from a fly before. A few of us, therefore, wanted to go back to the yacht after finishing our snorkeling. Wilson got sort of ticked off with us for asking and said something rude.

I would give Day 1 of Anahi Tour A2 a “B“. It was the most relaxing day of my 12 days on the Anahi but the wildlife and landscape weren’t as spectacular as what I saw on other days. Wilson was a fascinating guide!

Day 1: Meeting the Crew of the Anahi

After we returned from Playa Las Bachas, we met the captain (Tony) and the crew of the Anahi for a welcome drink and a toast.

There was only one other person other than our guide that spoke English and that was Alejandro. He served us breakfast, lunch, and dinner and manned the bar. If we needed anything (ice, a band-aid or a bottle of wine), he got it for us.

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Day 2 on the Anahi A2

Itinerary for Day 2 on the Anahi Galapagos Cruise A2:

  • 5:45 am – Coffee and sunrise
  • 6:00 am – Darwin Bay on Genovesa Island
  • 7:45 am – Return to boat and breakfast
  • 10:00 am – Snorkel
  • 11:45 am – Back to Boat
  • 12:00 pm – Lunch
  • 2:30 pm – Snorkeling at Philip’s Steps
  • 3:30 pm – Back to boat
  • 4:00 pm – Philip’s Steps on Genovesa Island

You will probably see these animals on day 2:

  • Great Frigatebirds
  • Red-Footed Boobies
  • Nazca Boobies
  • Swallow-Tailed Birds
  • Sea Lions
  • Fur Seals
  • Owls

After a long and rough 8 – 10 hour cruise from Santa Cruz, we arrived in the morning on Genovesa Island, one of the least visited and hardest to get to islands. I think the kids on our cruise got seasick.

But also one of the BEST islands for bird lovers. Isla Genovesa was one of my top 3 places to visit on the Galapagos.

Day 2: Darwin Bay on Genovesa Island

We did a wet landing to get to the coral beach of Darwin’s Bay. But before getting out of the panga, we saw eagle rays swimming around the boat. When we made it to shore, we were greeted by a lazy sea lion.

a red-footed booby sitting on a tree branch
A red-footed booby on Genovesa Island

Right at the beginning of our trail, we saw a swallow-tailed gull (also called a nocturnal gull because they hunt at night). The trail went through a mangrove and more birds appeared: a Galapagos dove, red-footed boobies sitting in their nest or on a low branch of a bush, and a few Nazca boobies (a.k.a. masked boobies).

We even saw a red-footed boobie with some twigs in its mouth. At first, I thought the booby was building a nest, but the twigs, in fact, were part of its mating ritual.

There were no blue-footed boobies at Genovesa, though.

a frigatebird with its wings spread out and its red pouch inflated
A frigatebird in all its glory on Genoves Island

We eventually walked along a dense forest of salt bush, coming upon lots of frigatebirds coo cooing and inflating their red pouches. It’s all part of their mating ritual. And more and more red-footed boobies.

There are 2 kinds of frigatebirds:

  • Magnificent Frigates
  • Great Frigates

Genovesa only has Great Frigates. You can tell them apart from the Magnificent by looking at the color of their feathers on their back. If they have dark green (almost black) iridescent feathers, they are Great Frigates. If it’s purple, they are Magnificent.

We ended our excursion at a tide pool where we watched a baby sea lion looking for its mother and getting rejected by two adult sea lions.

Day 2: Snorkeling at Genovesa Island (morning and afternoon)

a school of fish
A school of surgeon fish is typical sight in the Galapagos

You will snorkel a lot on this tour—twice a day is common. On day 2, you’ll swim in the morning near the beach of Darwin Bay and then in the afternoon in the water at the foot of the cliffs of Philip’s Steps.

The waters of Darwin Bay will have the usual marine life that you see all over the Galapagos: angel fish, parrot fish, puffer fish, eagle rays, surgeon fish, and starfish.

Near the cliffs of Philip’s Steps, it’s possible to see lots of eagle rays, sharks, and an octopus. One guy in our group swore he saw a hammerhead shark.

What snorkeling gear does the Anahi provide?

The Anahi provided a mask and fins for snorkeling. They rent wet suits for US$40 a week. I did 2 cruises for 12 days total and had to pay US$80! EXPENSIVE!

Do you need a wet suit?

My Galapagos cruise was in April and May. The water is generally warmer in these months than in June through November. I probably didn’t need to wear a wet suit. But I wore it anyway to protect my skin from the sun. I did not bring a rash guard, which I should have.

All the passengers who didn’t wear a wet suit or a rash guide got sunburned.

You can read this USEFUL packing list for the Galapagos—you’ll find all the snorkeling gear that you need to pack.

Day 2: Philip’s Steps

a body of water with rocks and a cliff
Philip’s Steps

Our experience on Genovesa Island continued with a visit across the bay to Philip’s Steps. We saw fur seals lying on rocks under the cliff.

2 Nazca boobies on Genovesa Island in the Galapagos on Anahi Cruise
2 Masked Boobies hanging out

To get to Philip’s Steps, we needed to climb some steep stairs. At the top was a trail that took us through a forest of palo santo trees and past the nesting grounds of red-footed boobies and Nazca boobies.

Eventually, the trail led to a large lava field on the opposite side of Genovesa Island. We saw the nesting ground of frigatebirds and storm petrols flying in the distance. The storm petrols have their nests in the crevices in the lava fields.

a Galapagos owl on a field of lava
Galapagos owl

Wilson made a bet with us: he would buy the first person to spot a Galapagos owl a drink. Unfortunately, no one could spot one before Wilson did. We saw a couple of owls—they’re the same color as the rocks so they blend in well with their environment.

Day 2 on the Anahi was without a doubt an A+++. Genovesa is one of the BEST islands in the Galapagos if you love wildlife.

Returning to the yacht after 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.

I always felt like the crew treated the passengers on the Anahi like royalty. They were always professional. I would give them an A+++.

Day 3 on the Anahi A2 Tour

Itinerary for day 3:

  • 7:00 am – Breakfast
  • 8:00 am – South Plaza Island
  • 10:00 am – Return to boat
  • Noon – Lunch
  • 2:30 pm – Snorkel or Kayak at Santa Fe Island
  • 3:30 pm – Return to boat
  • 4:00 pm – Santa Fe Island
  • 5:45 pm – Return to boat
  • 7:00 pm – Dinner

Animals you might see on day 3:

  • Land iguanas
  • Blue-footed boobies
  • Swallow-tailed gulls
  • Red-Billed Tropic Birds
  • Lots of sea lions
  • Sea turtles
  • Eagle rays

Day 3 involved another long and rough boat ride back to the central islands of the Galapagos. On this day, we visited two smaller islands: Isla Plaza and Santa Fe Island.

Day 3: Isla Plazas

a rocky cliff with trees on it
South Plaza Island

Plaza Islands is made up of two islands. Visitors, though, are only allowed on one of them: South Plaza Island.

For an island as small as South Plaza, it’s got plenty of wildlife—sea birds like swallow-tailed gulls, blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, land iguanas, and a colony of male sea lions.

Landscape-wise, though, it was a bit boring.. The island is named after the fact that it’s flat like a plaza. No dramatic volcanoes or mountains. There are also no forests of Palo Santo Trees. Instead, the island is sparsely dotted with prickly pear cacti and covered in a succulent called Sesuvium that the land iguanas much on. In the rainy season, the succulents are bright green, and in the dry season, they turn red, orange, and purple.

a mother swallow-tailed gull and her baby swallow-tailed gull in the shade of  a large rock
Momma swallow-tailed gull and baby swallow-tailed gull

We saw several families of swallow-tailed gulls—the momma gulls and their babies.

There were also plenty of the land iguanas. The ones we saw were in the middle of shedding their skin. South Plazas and Santa Fe are the only two islands where you’ll be able to see these iguanas on the A2 tour.

a blue-footed booby standing on a rocky cliff
A blue-footed booby on South Plaza Island

As we walked along the cliffs, we were rewarded with lots of seabirds who made their homes in the cliff walls. There should be some blue-footed boobies and red-billed tropicbirds. The red-billed tropicbirds are always in flight when I saw them and I never got a good photo of one.

Our tour of South Plaza Island ended with a colony of bachelor sea lions hanging out recuperating from the mating season or living out their final years of retirement. Check out the battle scars on these bulls—they’re from the fights they get into with other bulls for control over each other’s harems.

South Plaza Island is a small island but the diversity of wildlife was greater than I expected. The blue-footed boobies were a highlight as usual for me. Although it’s not one of the best islands in the Galapagos, it’s still worth a visit! I’d give South Plaza a solid B+.

Day 3: Snorkeling & Kayaking

Day 3 included just one day of snorkeling. This one was off the coast of Santa Fe Island. You could choose between snorkeling, kayaking, or a combination of both.

It was a pleasant snorkel. The water here was not very deep. There were plenty of sea turtles and rays and the usual colorful fish in the Galapagos.

Day 3: Sante Fe

a dirt path lined with cactus
The beautiful but understated landscape of Santa Fe

After kayaking and snorkeling in the waters off of Santa Fe Island, we make it to the actual island via a wet landing. Santa Fe is another small and relatively flat island, but it’s got some interesting wildlife and landscape.

sea lions lying on the beach
A colony of lazy sea lions on Santa Fe Island

A large colony of sea lions were dozing on the sandy beach, while eagle rays were frolicking out in the cove.

After taking a million photos of the sea lions, we headed for a hike along the coast. The tall green prickly pear cactuses are rather photogenic here.

Santa Fe is famous for supposedly having the most beautiful land iguanas in the Galapagos. The iguana is a species that can only be found on Santa Fe Island. We did manage to spot one hiding out under a bush, but I thought the one on Isabela Island was more striking than the one we found lying under a cactus. The iguana was probably waiting for the fruit from the cactus to fall on the ground, so it could eat it.

Overall, the landscape of Santa Fe was very photogenic, especially at sunset. The wildlife was average for the Galapagos. I lived on the coast of California for many years and I saw sea lions every day, so seeing a beach full of sea lions was almost too typical for me. Overall, I give Santa Fe a solid B.

Day 4 of the Anahi A2 Tour

  • 5:45 am – Coffee
  • 6:00 am – Punta Pitt on San Cristobal Island
  • 8:00 am – Breakfast
  • 9:00 am – Panga ride or snorkeling around Punta Pitt
  • 10:00 am – Return to boat
  • 11:00 am – Kicker Rock
  • 12:30 pm – Lunch
  • 2:30 pm – Snorkeling around Lobos Islet
  • 4:30 pm – Return to boat
  • 7:00 pm – Dinner

Wildlife you might see on day 4:

  • Blue-footed boobies
  • Swallow-tailed gulls
  • Sea Lions
  • Red-footed boobies

We woke up on day 4 off the coast of Santa Cristobal Island at a place called Punta Pitt. We would slowly make our way down the coast of San Cristobal ending our day in the harbor of the island’s main city, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.

Day 4: Punta Pitt

a dirty path leading to a mountain ridge
The landscape on Punta Pitt was the highlight of the Anahi Galapagos Cruise A2

Punta Pitt was one of my two favorite Galapagos spots on my A2 Tour all due to the beautiful and dramatic scenery and the blue-footed boobies.

We were supposed to leave for Punta Pitt at 6:00 am, but Wilson had the pangas leave before that. Thus, two passengers got left behind on the yacht. I thought it was rude and disrespectful to do that to the passengers. They weren’t late. In the end, the panga had to go back to the catamaran to pick them up.

We arrived on a brown sandy beach that was full of tiny microscopic pieces of glass. Then we made our way along a trail up into the mountains—this hike was probably the toughest of all the hikes I did in the Galapagos.

The highlight was passing blue-footed boobies and their nests. We saw two boobies doing their mating dance.

a recently born baby blue-footed booby lying underneath an adult blue-footed booby
Momma Booby and her baby booby!

Then we saw a baby booby hatching from its egg. We were right there watching the baby come out of its shell. I could tell the momma didn’t like us watching as she tried to sit over the baby as soon as she could to hide it from us.

Blue-footed boobies often give birth to 2 babies. They keep one and then kick the other one out of the nest and let it starve to death.

This was the second best day of my Galapagos A2 Tour. I give Punta Pitt an A+. San Cristobal Island was turning into one of my favorite islands in the Galapagos.

Day 4: Snorkeling off Punta Pitt

snorkelers swimming near a rocky shore
Snorkeling with sea lions off the coast of Punta PItt

After our Punta Pitt hike, we were supposed to go on a Panga ride around the rocky islets off the shores of Punta Pitt. But Wilson changed his mind and gave us two options: panga ride or snorkeling. Half of us chose the panga and the other half snorkeling.

The rocks were popular with blue-footed boobies, red-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls.

The snorkelers were rewarded with a chance to swim with sea lions! However, one person got bitten by one of the sea lions—our guide said probably she had gotten too close to a baby sea lion and the mother didn’t like it so bit her.

Day 4: Kicker Rock

a view of Kicker Rock from the Anahi yacht
Kicker Rock is one of the top day tours in the Galapagos

Kicker Rock (or Léon Dormido- sleeping sea lion in Spanish) is one of the most popular snorkeling and diving sights in the Galapagos. The area is where a lot of different currents meet, thus bringing a wide variety of marine life. This is one place where you supposedly can see hammerhead sharks.

Unfortunately, we did not stop here to snorkel. We all took a zillion pictures of it as the boat while the Anahi passed by.

Kicker Rock was striking.

There are supposedly frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, and Nazca boobies hanging out on the rock.

Day 4: Lobos Islet

4 sea lions swimming under water
Snorkeling with sea lions was one of the highlights of my Anahi cruise.

The last excursion of the day turned out to be a real treat! It was snorkeling at Lobos Islet. A flat outcrop of rocks around a shallow body of water. It’s only about an hour’s ride from the main town of San Cristobal, so there were quite a few tour groups here.

This experience was all about snorkeling with the sea lions. There were tons of sea lions hanging out on the rocky shore and jumping into the water and playing, especially the young ones.

Snorkeling with the sea lions was a lot of fun, but in the back of my mind I kept thinking about how one of my shipmates had just gotten bit by a sea lion at Punta Pitt, so I didn’t want to get too close. I do think swimming with the marine iguanas from my Anahi Tour B1 was more interesting, though.

Overall, I’d give the snorkeling in the afternoon with the sea lions a grade of “A”.

Day 4: Tipping the Crew and Guide on the Anahi

When we got back to the boat at the end of our last excursion, a survey and 2 envelopes were waiting on the bed for each passenger. The survey just asked us how much we liked our tour. One envelope was for tipping the crew and the other envelope was for tipping the tour guide.

Before our Galapagos cruise began, the Anahi had already sent us information on suggested amounts for tipping our crew and guide. They said that all people working on the Anahi were paid well and that we weren’t obliged to tip. However, if we wanted to, we could tip these amounts. The amount depended on the number of days of one’s cruise. The recommended amounts were quite reasonable.

Some passengers gave individual crew members who were particularly attentive an additional tip.

Day 4: Farewell Meeting

Before dinner, we had a farewell toast with the crew. Our guide Wilson gave a speech and the crew thanked us for coming. Then we gave the captain and guide our envelopes with our tips inside.

Day 5 on the Anahi A2

Day 5 Itinerary

  • 6:30 am – Breakfast
  • 7:30 am – Depart boat for San Cristobal to visit the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center

Wildlife you’ll see on Day 5

  • Giant tortoises

Day 5 was the last day of my Anahi Galapagos cruise. It was also the most boring (except for touching the poisonous apples) days of the cruise.

Day 5: San Cristobal

several giant tortoises sitting in a pond of brown water

The only excursion on day 5 was a visit to a Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre. This is your only chance on the Anahi A2 Tour to see giant tortoises.

Because the tortoises almost became extinct, there are several breeding centers across the Galapagos. At the breeding center, they raise the tortoises until they become old enough to survive in the wild. Then they are released into nature.

We did see some tortoises fighting (they are solitary creatures), eating, and having sex.

The breeding center is full of poison apple trees. Just don’t do what I did and touch them because they REALLY are poisonous. If you do, you get a burning rash. But it goes away rather quickly.

Overall, I’d give day 5 a grade of a B-. This was my fourth time seeing them, so I wasn’t as excited as the other people on my tour. Plus! It was the twelfth day, and I was tired.

Final Thoughts

So that is my experience on the Anahi and Cruise A2 visiting the northeastern islands from Genovesa to San Cristobal Island. If you want to read about all 12 days on the Anahi, you can check out my other post on what it was like on the tour of the western islands on the Anahi.

I’d give the A2 Tour on the Anahi a grade of an “A+”. The itinerary was fantastic: A++. The guide was very good: B+. The crew and boat were A+++.  

Genovesa is one of my favorite islands in the Galapagos and visiting Punt Pitt and snorkeling with the sea lions on San Cristobal were two of my favorite experiences in the Galapagos.

However, I would do at least 8 days. I think 5 days in the Galapagos is not enough.

Was a 12-day cruise too long?

Nope! Not at all.

For me, 12 days was perfect. With 12 days, I saw almost all the major animals and birds in the Galapagos. The only major bird I didn’t see was the Waved Albatross. You can only see that on Espanola Island, which is on the Anahi Tour A1 or B2. Check out my review of the Anahi cruise of the Western Islands.

Because of when I visited the Galapagos, I did not see any whales or dolphins. I also did not see any hammerhead sharks.


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About the Bamboo Traveler

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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