WHY THIS TRIP
The Angelito I Galapagos Cruise is a perfect trip for travelers seeking a quality Galapagos cruise experience — good guides, service and wildlife-rich itineraries — without the high end prices for fancy accommodations. The owners take great pride in the attention to detail, and you probably will find yourself on board with the owners themselves.
The Angelito is a charming 16-passenger tourist-superior yacht that has been operating in the Galapagos since 1992. Among the many choices travelers have for a tourist-superior cruise, the Angelito is quite distinct and offers quite a bit more than an average cruise. The Angelito cruise should suit any traveler looking for a first-rate, personalized experience in the Galapagos.
Perhaps the most unique advantage of the Angelito is that she’s a family-owned yacht and has been meticulously cared for over her years in the Galapagos. Oftentimes, one of the owners is your naturalist guide who has more than 20 years guiding experience. Each of the Angelito’s guides seem to be a traveler favorite and the operator prides itself on the high quality of the naturalist guides. Each guide is certified by the National Park and has extensive experience in the Galapagos, bringing the Islands to life for many travelers over the years. Previous travelers also usually always comment on the professionalism and helpfulness of the entire crew.
The Angelito offers two different 8-day itineraries on alternating weeks, each of which has its own advantages in terms of wiLdlife and scenery. The “A” itinerary visits Espanola, Bartolome, North Seymour, and Genovesa Islands, all of which are highlight Islands for wildlife viewing. This itinerary includes opportunities to snorkel with penguins, walk among hundreds of Red-Footed, Blue-Footed, and Nazca boobies; and witness the mating dance of the elusive Waved Albatross. If you don’t have much time, you can either do the first 5 days or last 4 days of the “A” itinerary and still get in a fun Galapagos experience. While it may seem like it’s a bird-intensive itinerary, there are also loads of Giant tortoises, sea lions, massive land iguanas, and green sea turtles that you’re likely to see. The “B” itinerary stays in the western part of the archipelago to explore Fernandina and the many diverse sites of Isabela, without missing snorkeling at Floreana or exploring the white-sand beaches of Santa Cruz. While you visit many sites on Isabela, that Island is actually the largest (by far) in the Galapagos and contains 60 percent of the archipelago’s land wildlife, and the snorkeling here is considered some of the best since you have so many chances to swim alongside green sea turtles, penguins, flightless cormorants, and sharks. Additionally, the many volcanoes on Isabela have created barriers for wildlife to migrate which have made some species evolve distinctly (like the many distinct species of Giant tortoises on the Island) and the feel is that you are visiting several different Islands, even though they are just several sites on one huge Island. Depending on the season, you may also see pods of dolphins or migrating whales.
If you want to get more out of the Galapagos than a typical 8-day cruise, these two itineraries can be combined to do 11-, 12-, and 15-day cruises so you get a more comprehensive experience. These longer itineraries don’t include any repeat visits and will feel adequately diverse as you explore very different parts of the Islands.
For six months in 2013, the Angelito underwent an extensive renovation which has improved all of the cabins as well as the interior and exterior communal areas. Each of the double cabins is now above deck and has a picture window; of course, each also has a private bathroom, shower, and air-conditioning. The Angelito’s updates have made the already very comfortable and cozy boat more modern and equipped for today’s Galapagos traveler.
LOCAL OPERATOR: COMETA TRAVEL
Cometa Travel is well known for doing a conscientious job as representatives of the Yacht Angelito I, as well as for its careful planning and organization of the travel packages it offers. Additionally, it takes serious responsibility for the selection and monitoring of its service providers, keeping always high standards of honesty and ethics.
The Angelito is a lovely family owned outfit. Our guide, Rocio, was so knowledgeable and passionate about the Galapagos. We were first to many sites and never rushed along. The crew was incredibly friendly and always anticipating our needs or wants. I could not more highly recommend the Angelito.
What moment or experience do you think you will remember most one year from now? Swimming with sea turtles or hiking to Sierra Negra and waiting for the most to lift were probably the most memorable moments but it’s truly hard to choose.
Anne B. –
Layna could not have arranged a better trip (Galapagos, Amazon & Peru). Everything went so well and we were very well looked after. Our guides match our excursions to our ability and we could not ask a question that wasn’t answered.
William G. –
A great trip of western South America and the Galapagos Islands!
We (three of us) had a great trip over 4 or so weeks, with many thanks to Layna George of Detour for her suggestions, planning and organising. There were many highlights, including the Galapagos Islands cruise on Angelito I for 15 days, Sani Lodge on the Napo River in the Ecuador part of the Amazon for 4 days watching birds and other wildlife, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu and our Liberty train ride – all with great guides and all in good company.
Fiona H. –
Intimate, exquisite Galapagos experience
I did a 4 day cruise on Angelito through the Galapagos with Maja as our guide. The experience was transformational. Maja was extraordinary, setting a measured, deliberate pace allowing us each to sink into the experience of each island and each creature we encountered. Her exquisite storytelling made the experience very personal. Additionally, I loved having a small group. It truly contributed to the warm experience. On the boat the crew were outstanding and provided thoughtful touches including warm delicious drinks after every snorkeling session, fresh baked goods, and lots of delicious fruit after every hike. The chef was outstanding and we ate plenty of simple, healthy, delicious food. The ceviche lesson (and subsequent appetizer) were wonderful. The crew were clearly experienced, provided excellent service, and I always felt as though I was in good hands. The cabin was clean and comfortable (and air conditioned). Bottom line: The Galapagos is a national park, is highly regulated, and all boats go to the same places on a predefined circuit. If you are looking for a friendly, comfortable, well-managed, intimate, and expertly-guided Galapagos adventure, I couldn’t recommend Angelito more highly. You can pay more for a more luxurious boat or a larger group, but you won’t get more Galapagos. Angelito delivers an exquisite, intimate experience with wonderful people and excellent value.
Kanya L. –
Maja, our guide, the crew and the boat were simply fabulous. Maja was informative, funny, friendly and professional. I loved the itinerary she did with us. Each island was different and interesting. It was amazing from the very first hike to the very last morning before we left the boat. The food and the snacks were delicious. I am very happy I spent this once-in-a-life time experience with Angelito.
Christine D. –
The crew, staff, and our naturalist Maja were top notch and made our trip unforgettable. Our cabin on the Angelito was comfortable (except for the rough seas at times!) and the meals and snacks were outstanding. Maja’s family connections to the Angelito and the Galapagos and her many years as a knowledgable guide allowed her to weave fascinating and memorable historical facts and experiences into the information she shared on our walks. We shared the Angelito with a very fun and interesting group of guests who were all very congenial and compatible. Thanks for a really wonderful experience.
Carolyn N. –
Where do I start! The Galapagos was one of the most incredible places I have ever been. I feel so lucky that I got to share this experience with my closest friends and meet people from all over the world who joined us as passengers on the boat. The Angelito was a wonderful and comfortable yacht with a kind and supportive crew that took care of us so well, and we had an outstanding guide in Maja, who opened our eyes to so many wonderful new experiences and creatures. Every day was a unique adventure that allowed us to see the world in a new way – almost like we were seeing it through the eyes of a child. I cannot recommend this trip highly enough. Detour, you were so helpful in answering all of our questions trip, and you really compelled us to book. Thank you for your support! This was a life-changing trip that I will never forget. 5 stars (I’d give it a 6 if I could!)
It was everything we hoped for and more!
Our tour guide, Hansel was amazing – the trip would not of been the same without him. Truly.
His knowledge, enthusiasm, and sense of philosophy made the nightly briefing wonderful. If you can guide future customers to his tours it will make you very popular
The trip was exceptional! The itinerary was fantastic as well as the crew. Food good and well suited for people of all tastes. I would suggest maybe having French toast, pancakes or waffles one time for breakfast replacing one of the egg dishes. All was good just a little variation there.
Hansel exceeds 5 stars. He is outstanding, amazing and a caring and intelligent, informative man watching and protecting his flock while having the time of your life. I cannot say enough wonderful things about our amazing guide.
The crew were kind, hardworking, exceptionally polite and fun. The boat perfect size for this trip and clean. One couldn’t ask for more. Best vacation ever.
I was fortunate enough to meet the owners of the Angelito I, Leo and Hugo to tell them in person how wonderful their yacht and crew was and Leo told me about the 4 mos renovation done a couple of years back.
The cabins are all on the same deck with huge windows and no bunk beds having separate beds gave us more room. The empty suitcases were kept in an empty cabin as we had 12 passengers.
I kept telling him ( Leo) how excellent the crew was and how safe we felt even though the seas were not very kind to us.
The crew also was always there to help you on and off the dinghy and leaving your cabin sparkling clean with a nice souvenir, candy or animal towel and coming back to a yummy snack and juice to energize us after a snorkeling or trekking adventure.
Omar especially was great in taking care of us when we wanted more soup or making sure we were ok when we weren’t feeling well.
I loved the welcome and the farewell social event they had for us and bringing out the crew in their formal uniforms was special.
Everyday they added more Christmas decorations to the lounge, a Christmas tree, then the hallways and finally our doors.
The food supplied was plenty although I did encourage the cook to change up the rice to yellow or with beans or anything else other than just white rice for both lunch and dinner.
The lunches and dinners were very varied with soups, appetizers such as ceviche ,meats, veggies, fish, fruits and wonderful desserts.
I felt the 8 day B itinerary needed to have more specifics about the difficulty level of the hikes and trails and given the nature of the hikes provide walking sticks to help out. The animals did not disappoint we saw many many birds that the birders on our cruise were looking for and so many animals well known to the Galapagos.
I also thought there could have been an alternate activity while hiking to the crater in Puerto Villamil without boots, rain and clouds that we would not see it at all. I felt that Efrain failed us in informing us and showing us where to get the boots and often would leave us behind while he spoke to those around him about the trail or island we were on.
The snorkeling was challenging too due to the currents and the waves, but I had my own snorkel vest and it helped battling the waves.
But besides the rough seas and a bit too much walking swelling up my feet, the cruise was great! I loved the upper deck to see the horizon and any dolphins or turtles, and rays . Being able to hang up our wet clothes upstairs too was a plus.
I feel the communication from Katie and others from Detour Destinations was also great and thorough, being able to use my US credit card instead of sending cash overseas was a big plus.
Overall a very good trip and experience during our cruise to the Galapagos from Dec. 6-13, 2015.
We had a fantastic time on the Angelito! We booked the 5 day cruise and we were able to see such a great variety of islands and wildlife in this short timeframe. The crew was friendly and accommodating, and Efrain was an amazing guide- he was extremely knowledgeable, patient, and calm. We had 11 people on our cruise, and the boat didn’t feel too crowded and during many of our landings we were the only group in sight. I would highly recommend booking through Detour (Layna and Katie were incredibly helpful- head and shoulders above those at other companies we contacted to book in the Galapagos), and cruising on the Angelito!
We booked the 15 day cruise in April on the Angelito I, for a number of reasons. We simply could not decide what we were ok in NOT seeing so decided on doing both tours.We wanted to experience as much as possible. The yacht accommodated 16 passengers and crew. which is also the number of guests allowed on shore excursions. The ship was 70′ so we were able to anchor abit closer to the islands. This allowed everyone to experience the excursions at the same time. our guides were simply amazing. We felt very fortunate in that we had a different guide for each week. Both were wonderful. and brought different guiding styles. Efrain had very sharp eyes, we didn’t miss anything. He was so patient and accommodating with our group. Very comfortable and respectful of the land and animals, which he passed along to us. We had Maja for the second week, she brought with her a biology background., 30 yers of guiding through the alapagos and a gift of storytelling. She was also paitent ith all of us but also with the animals. When guiding there she made sure we traveled slowly to ensure we didn’t miss anything Both guides provided us with evening briefings to explain the next days events. We found the itinerary was well thought out. We were provide with a very private full 2 weeks. Traavel at night was common so we were t tour next excursion when we awoke. We snorkeled just about every day. The Angelito I crew were great, so friendly and always smiling. Crew members were very efficient and accomplished at their stations. We would definitely recommend this company to anyone who asks.
The Angelito I is a great ship with a dedicated, hard-working crew. The guide (Efrain) was excellent, and the itinerary (I did the “A” itinerary) was excellent. The visits to the various islands were all unique and interesting, and the snorkeling was generally first-rate (we had one day of cloudy water, but the rest were fine). It was nice to have snacks and drinks ready for us when we came back from our excursions. Generally, I don’t care for sweet drinks, though, so I had to ask the steward to have a glass of water there for me instead. He usually remembered, but not always. Having ready access to a plastic cup (instead of just a plastic water bottle) in our cabins, would have been handy. Also, I really can’t rate the food very highly. There wasn’t much variety at breakfast, and it was disappointing to be served fruit, as dessert, that obviously came from a can. Main courses for lunch and dinner were generally OK but things that should have been special, like our last-night cake, were sub-par (the cake was dry and tasteless, although nicely decorated). However, the entire experience of the Galapagos Islands is a great adventure, and the Angelito I is a fine, comfortable ship from which to experience it. (Posted on 1/16/15)
I had a blast on the Angelito and all the activities we did on land and in the water. I was a solo traveler and found quite a few of the passengers to be very hospitable. The guide we had was knowledgeable about the Galapagos, but was really never to be seen outside of the required tour portions of the trip. The crew was great and friendly even though I spoke no Spanish. If I were to do it again, I would book on the Angelito.
Everything exceeded our expectations. Food was excellent, all the excursions were well planned and our guide Ephraim was very knowledgeable and patient! Crew very friendly. We were also lucky to have fellow shipmates from 7 countries!
Fantastic trip that surpassed our expectations. We were very lucky to see everything we had hoped to see and more. From penguins, turtles, manta rays to the small eared brown owl. The itinerary was well thought-out, never repeated itself and always had something new to see. The crew were incredibly friendly and helpful. All crew members gathered to assist with getting ready for snorkeling and embarking on the island trips. A snack and warm drink were always waiting on our return. The captain twice turned the boat round for us to watch when he spotted a school of dolphins and boobies in a feeding frenzy. The food was fantastic. Tasty and rather too plentiful. The chef did an amazing job in preparing 3 meals a day for 12 days with very little repetition and always with salads, fruit and vegetable even after days at sea. The naturalist (Gustavo) was exceptional; very knowledgable, excellent English and engaging in his descriptions of flora, fauna and geology. He was relaxed on the land walks whilst keeping the group to the allowed trails. Always eager to find wildlife, discuss it and give plenty of time to enjoy and photograph. His own excitment and interest in the wildlife was evident. Snorkeling opportunities were plentiful, once or twice nearly every day. Cabins were great with plenty of storage space. The double beds were a nice surprise as the pictures before the recent refit of the boat indicated bunk beds. We had asked for a cabin away from the motor so were disappointed to be right on top of it. A couple of suggestion for the future: Towels were washed every day which wasn’t really necessary, and as we spanned two itineraries, we had to stay on board for the morning of the transfer. We would have liked an option (potentially at additional cost) to undertake some sort of activity (walking, snorkel, beach stroll, dinghy ride) during that time. Perhaps local options could be investigated for passengers in similar situations to take advantage of. In summary, an exciting and informative trip, very well organised and delivered by friendly staff.
The trip was amazing! I am so impressed with Detour and Cometa. Kim and I were not used to having so much help planning a trip and with traveling in a foreign country. We felt very spoiled and well taken care of :). The trip itself was amazing. It exceeded expectations especially with regards to our guides knowledge of the area and emphasis on education and interpretation, wildlife sightings and the pristine condition of the Islands. It was one of the best trips of my life…so far :). The Angelita itself needs some love. The cabins need updating and the toilets were problematic :(. Simple things like better linens, mattresses, window coverings, more hooks to hang your clothes and better decor would go a long way to making the cabins more comfortable (I should note that Kim and I both own vacation rentals in Moab so we may be a bit more critical than most). We did hear that the Angelita was going in for a “re-model” so she may be getting the attention she needs. She deserves it! Layna was so great to work with! She is very professional and we appreciated how quickly she responded to our many questions. We hope to book another trip with Detour in the near future.
Nan D –
Our trip on the Angelito was wonderful. We were lucky in that we had only 7 passengers that all got along. Our guide, Efrin was well informed, and the hikes and snorkling trips showed us everything of the animals and terrain that we had imagined. The food was delicious and healthy, and we got wonderful snacks everytime we arrived back from a hike or snorkling trip. Needless to say the Galapagas should be on all bucket lists, and the Angelito is a great way to go.
Brenda A –
GREAT TRIP. WONDERFUL BOAT. ESPECIALLY GOOD CREW.
Claudia D –
The Galapagos was wonderful. The boat was beautiful, the crew excellent, the service wonderful, the islands…no words can describe. This part of our trip was the best. The walking on the islands, the snorkeling, the meals and snacks were all above expectations. And getting to know the other travelers from around the world was amazing. For my first trip out of the country, this was a perfect choice. We were so well cared for. Never a worry. The crew was very accommodating. Can’t say enough about how much we enjoyed this journey.
Great trip on land and snorkeling. Lots of animals seen in a short itinerary (we did the 5 day). Snorkeling equipment was provided, and wet suits could be rented on the boat. We snorkeled 6 times in the 5 days. The crew on the boat were very attentive to all needs of the passengers.
Jeannette N –
Since I did the 15 day trip, I found the Highlands of Santa Cruz trip not that interesting after visiting the volcano on Isabella. I would have liked to have the option to visit TORTUGA BAY instead.
The highlights were seeing the bluefooted boobies doing their dance, seeing the frigrate birds red courtship pouch,walking by all the animals/birds so closely and swimming with the sealions, penquins and sharks.
The food was good the only problem was that the fish was always a bit dry – too overcooked.
Also, I am prone to seasickness – the seasickness patch really worked!
Kate L –
The Galapagos trip on board the Angelito was wonderful. The Angelito was perfect for us. Maja was amazing. THanks so much for everything!
Some brief notes on our Galapagos trip are as follows – all answers to the first ‘chunk’ of questions are ‘top of the range’ with a major exception to the food bit. It was very poor indeed!! – especially after a new ‘chef’came on board halfway through the voyage. We had ‘more of the same’ day in day out, boring and very uninspiring. Sweets especially impoverished – no creativity in sight – e.g. 2 half tin peaches each, not real exciting! Main meals, tasteless chicken, zucchini and rice.
Some experience was certainly helpful in negotiating steep climbs, snorkelling etc., Cabins fine, problems with no washing facilities on board (or drying) other than risking life and limb right up on the roof to attempt to peg out some much needed undies, bathers, etc., The overall trip would be classed in out ‘books’ as quite easy and yes we would recommend it to friends. We would like to have been told re the roughness of the seas to expect between islands, beforehand, however. It would also be good to really impress on passengers that they carry plenty of ‘motion sickness medication. We ran out! Overall a memorable and most enjoyable adventure – many thanks.
Nancy N –
Just got back last night. The trip was amazing! The Angelito was great, top notch service and wonderful people. We were the only Americans on the boat and it was great getting to know people from all over . . . A trip of a lifetime.
Karena P –
This trip far, far exceeded my expectations. The guide (Diego) was a native of the Galapagos with more than 25 years of experience as a naturalist. He spoke at least 4 languages, was fascinating, and (most importantly) had an excellent sense of humor. The accomodations were basic, but more than adequate with great ventilation. The crew was wonderful. The itinery was fantastic and I felt like our family (kids ages 11 and 15) lived for a week on the set of an equisite nature documentary. I was happy that everyone in our group was fit enough to participate effortlessy in the hikes, swims, etc.
The little extras aboard the Angelito added greatly to the trip:
*There were two pangas, so our whole group could travel to shore/go snorkeling/etc. without one group waiting.
*The crew greeted us when we returned from an outing with homemade treats and juice. My favorite were the fresh banana fritattas.
*The rooms were cleaned every time we left the boat (beds made and trash empied). The sheets were changed every day. Wow!
*The evening briefings — about what would happen the next day, what we’d see, biological/geological features and why they were important — were excellent. I liked the way the guide compared and contrasted the informaiton in the books with what he has experienced over the last 25 years.
*The final night’s “happy hour and banquet.”
*The owner of the boat came on board in the end of the trip to hear feedback. I’m sure this makes the services provided better.