Galapagos Cruises Day 1
Baltra Island - Santa Cruz Island: Charles Darwin Research Station - Puerto Ayora
Am. Arrival to Baltra Island.
Guide will recieve you at the airport and assist you. Transfer across Santa Cruz to Puerto Ayora. Lunch enroute.
Pm. Visit to the Charles Darwin Station,
Ttravelers have the chance to investigate the Charles Darwin Research Station in Puerto Ayora, staffed with international scientists conducting biological research and conservation projects. Here you can also admire Giant Tortoises, that are part of the breeding program.
Travelers can also admire the impressive Giant Prickly-Pear Cactus forest and many land birds. The visit to the station takes around 40 minutes. After this visit passengers have some free time to walk around town and shop for souvenirs. Board the Amigo Yacht.(L, D)
Galapagos Cruises Day 2
Rabida Island - Santiago Island: Port Egas
Am. Rabida Island, Dry landing at the dark red colored beach of volcanic origin, frequented by sea lions. It is often considered the geographic center of Galapagos because it has the most diversified volcanic rocks of all the Islands . Here a short trail leads to a salt water lagoon, where we find small colonies of Flamingos feeding. The brown pelican nests in the mangrovesan be found at the far side of the lagoon. Also to be observed are boobies and 9 species of Darwin 's finches. Dinghie ride by the reefs with an excellent snorkeling opportunity.
Pm. Port Egas, Santiago Island
Visit the dark sand beach at Puerto Egas during a wet landing. Most of the landscape are tuff-stone layers and lava flows, the surrounding area is prime for spotting and observing Hunting Herons, Great Blue Herons, Lava Herons, Oyster Catchers, and the Yellow Crowned Night Heron.
Passengers enjoy the sight of Marine Iguanas grazing upon algae beds at low tide and sharing space with Red Sally Light-Foot Crabs. There is a colony of Fur-Seal swimming in deep pools of cool water called “grottos”.
This is an excellent spot for swimming and snorkeling in search of Octopuses, Sea Horses, Star Fish and other sea life caught in the small tidal pools. From a safe distance travelers can admire Moray Eels, Hammerhead Sharks, White Tip and Galapagos Sharks, Golden and White Spotted Eagle Rays, Jacks, Wahoo, Tuna, Groupers, Red-Tailed and Dog Snappers, Sea Lions, and Sea Turtles. All located in the back drop of cold water and warm water corals, fans, and sponge.(B, L, D)
Galapagos Cruises Day 3
Bartolome Island - Santiago Island: Sullivan Bay
Am. Bartolome Island, Dry landing.
Arriving on this island, passengers will see volcanic formations including lava bombs, spatter, and cinder cones. After a hike to the summit visitors will have an impressive view of the surrounding islands, including the eroded tuff cone of Pinnacle Rock.
During the ascent travelers will often see a large colony of Marine Iguanas and Lava Lizards. Red Mangroves, Tiquilla, and various cacti all add to the experience. Visitors also enjoy a chance to cool off while snorkeling. Here travelers often see the Galapagos Penguin, Sea Turtles, and White Tipped Sharks from a safe distance.
Pm. Sullivan Bay, The Sullivan Bay lava field is a variety of interesting patterns. The shapes and textures of trees, which once existed there and Hornitos caused when pockets of gas or water trapped under the lava exploded. The Sullivan Bay Lava is known a Panoehoe (Hawaiian for Rope). This thin-skinned lava's molten material cools down after an eruption causing the surface materials to buckle creating a rope like appearance. Panoehoe Lava is rare to the rest of the world, but is common to the volcanoes of Hawaii and the Galapagos Islands.
In the nearly 100 year since the Sullivan Bay Flow only a few plants have managed to take root in this harsh environment. The low-lying Mollugo is commonly the first plant to emerge from a bare lava field. Together with the Lava Cactus (Brachycereus) found here these plants are evidence of life returning to Sullivan Bay.
The walk takes approximately an hour to an hour and a half. Returning to the shoreline black and white Oystercatchers can be seen fishing for crabs and mollusks in the tide pools.
After exploring the lava flow, there is swimming and snorkeling with playful sea lions off two small coralline beaches.(B, L, D)
Galapagos Cruises Day 4
North Seymour Island - South Plaza Island
Am. North Seymour Island, Here is where you can admire the beautiful frigate birds and nests of blue-footed boobies. Watch your step, as the boobies don't worry much about where they nest, and you might just step on one. The trees are dotted with male frigate birds trying to attract the attention of the ladies by inflating their bright red skin flaps.
They sometimes fly in the air to call more attention to themselves, which is, in itself, a funny display, as the puffy flap throws off their sense of balance! There's a circular path that takes you through the island to a beautiful, rocky shore where the waves crash a silvery-blue.
This is also a hot diving spot and highly recommended. Here, you have a great chance to see hammerheads, garden eels, tropical fish, sea lions, the pacific green sea turtle, and any number of other colorful, interesting sea life. The currents are strong; just hold on, and enjoy the show.
Pm. South Plaza Island, This island is full of life. There are colonies of sea lions and land iguanas. On the steep banks it is possible to see a great number of birds such as nesting tropic birds and fork-tailed seagulls, but most of all, enjoying the beautiful view from atop the steep banks or strolling along the base of the cliff is an extremely pleasurable experience. The Opuntia cacti grow here too and the vegetation changes color according to the season of the year.(B, L, D)
Galapagos Cruises Day 5
San Cristobal Island: Galapaguera - Kicker Rock - Lobos Islet - Port Baquerizo Moreno
Am. Galapaguera (Giant tortoise reserve in natural habitat), We start at the beach and walk aprox. 3.2 miles each way. A lava lizard scuttles by every now and then, to a long-chilled lava lake. Along the way on our last visit we saw approximately 38 Saddleback Tortoises, some very large.
The trail is mostly flat, with some gentle uphill stretches, following the route of a dry wash for the most part, up between two old, weathered cinder cones and then slightly downhill to the lava lake.
We get a refreshing swim in the sea when we reached the shore at the end of the trail. Going in, the birding is decent. There are lots of Small and Medium Ground Finches, some Galapagos Flycatchers, many Yellow Warblers, and a handful of fearless San Cristobal Mockingbirds. The last visit a Mockingbird tried to rifle our packs at the turnaround.
Pm. Kicker Rock - Lobos islet - Port Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristobal island. Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido) also known as the Sleeping Lion because of its resemblence, is located of the coast of San Cristobal. The remains of a lava cone eroded by the sea, the two vertical rocks rising 500 feet from the ocean form a small channel that is navigable by small boats.
This Galapagos Islands natural monument has become a favorite sight for cruises due to the many Tropicbirds, Frigates and boobies that fill the surrounding air.
Isla Lobos is located heading up the coast from Wreck Bay and Puerto Baquerizo north of San Cristobal Island also known as Chatham, 1 hour across a small channel. Isla Lobos means ”Sea-Lion Island”, and the name is certainly appropriate because they frolic, leap and make a racket here. It is also a nesting place for Blue-footed Boobies and a good place for snorkeling.
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is the provincial capital of the Galapagos and the second largest settlement area in the islands. It originated as a penal colony more than a hundred years ago. Now a sleepy town overlooking the harbor known for its relaxed attitude.
An Interpretation Center 's new buildings, lush gardens and sweeping ocean views are a strong contrast to the 1960's style buildings at the Charles Darwin Center . Visitors to the Interpretation Center can learn about both the geological and human history of the islands, conservation issues, and natural history.(B, L, D)
Galapagos Cruises Day 6
Espanola Island: Gardner Bay - Punta Suarez
Am. Gardner Bay, This is a wet landing on a white coral beach amidst a large colony of Sea Lions.
This site has no trails, therefore hiking, is not possible. But it is considered as open area where you can spot Galapagos Hawks, American Oyster Catchers, Galapagos Doves, Hood Mockingbirds, 3 species of Darwin Finches and Yellow Warblers, Lava Lizards, Marine Iguanas and a great place for swimming and snorkeling, the best place for this spot is by the rock outcropping that looks like a turtle.
Often snorkelers see many of the Galapagos marine species such as King Angelfish, Creole Fish, Damsel Fish, Parrot Fish, Manta Rays, White Tipped Reef Sharks, and many more.
Pm. Punta Suarez, Travelers enjoy a dry landing at Suarez Point. Upon landing visitors will learn more about the lava terrain while crossing the inactive lava fields. Aside from the Sea Lion colonies, this is one of the most important sites for bird watching.
As soon as visitors put foot on this island many species can be spotted and observed closely. Among the many species, the Hooded Mocking bird and Red Billed Tropic After crossing the nesting grounds you will reach the world's largest colony of Waved Albatross (15000 approx.)
Their mating rituals are a highlight of the visit. Nearing the end of this excursion passengers will visit the famous blowhole, where water shoots into the air at almost 23 mts. ( 75 ft .)(B, L, D)
Galapagos Cruises Day 7
Floreana Island: Post Office Bay - Point Cormorant
Am. Post Office Bay, not the most scenic of the visitor sites, but probably one of the most famous sites in Galapagos. Here is where a post barrel was placed and put into use in the late 18th century by English whaling vessels.
You are invited to leave a post card and to pick up any mail from your home area.Take a short visit to the remains of a Norwegian commercial fish drying and canning operation and a lava tube that extends to the sea.
Pm. Punta Cormorant - Devil`s Crown, Wet landing on a greenish colored sand beach. Passengers will hike a well marked trail beginning in the Black Mangrove beds heading towards the back of the lagoon. The large, brackish lagoon holds one of the biggest populations of flamingos in the Galápagos.
This island is best known for its endemic plant life, such as the Galápagos millwork, Passion flower, and unique button mangrove. Novice snorkelers can practice back on the main beach where the sea lions are playful, while experienced snorkelers can roam the waters around Devils Crown.(B, L, D)
Galapagos Cruises Day 8
Santa Cruz Island: Highlands - Baltra airport - mainland Ecuador
Am. Port Ayora - The Gemelos (twins) are a pair of craters approximately 30 meters deep located on either side of the road to Baltra (island where the airport lies). The holes could be created because of a volcanic explosion or because of magma chambers inside earth.
A good place to see the Galapagos hawk and barn owl. The sorrounding forrest is full of birds such as the vermilion flycatcher or the yellow warbler.
The highlands and settlement area of Santa Cruz are worth seeing for the contrast of the vegetation with the arid coastal zones. Transfer out to Baltra Airport by bus. Return flight to the mainland. End of services.(B)
B= breakfast, L= lunch, D= dinner.