Day 1 – Tuesday
Upon arrival at San Cristobal Airport, travelers pass through an airport inspection point to insure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands, as well as to pay the park entrance fee of $100 (unless it has been prepaid). A guide will meet you, help you collect your luggage, and escort you on a short bus ride to the harbor. In the afternoon, visit to Cerro Colorado Tortoises Protection and Growing Center, located at 40 minutes aprox by bus to the south east of the island. This center was built to improve the status of the population of the island tortoises. The center includes a large corral, a Visitors center, breeding center and an interpretative trail. Along this trail it is possible to see different species of native and endemic plants as well as birds like the San Cristobal Mockingbird, Yellow Warblers and many species of finches and the Galapagos flycatcher.
Day 2 – Wednesday
AM: Española Island, Gardner Bay Located on the north-eastern coast of Hood, Gardner Bay provides an excellent beach for relaxing, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and the opportunity to observe sea lions. Here we can also observe sharks in the crystal clear ocean waters.
PM: Española Island, Punta Suarez This rocky land spot sustains one of the most impressive and varied colonies of sea birds in the Galapagos. Along its southern shore, high cliffs rise up from the sea affording the visitor spectacular views of soaring birds and of the blow whole where water spouts up to 50-75 feet into the air according to the intensity of the surf.
Day 3 – Thursday
Day 5 – Saturday
AM: Punta Cormorant, Floreana This site offers probably the best Flamingo lagoon in the Galapagos; it is also one of the largest in the islands. It’s situated between two tuff lava cones that give the area a special atmosphere. There are various species of shorebirds to observe besides flamingos; the most frequent are common stilts, white-checked pintail ducks and other migratory birds. It is very interesting to see the two distinct beaches: “The Green Beach” (due to its high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand) and the “Flour Sand Beach” which is made up of coral.
PM: Post office bay & Baroness Lookout, Floreana Historically, this site is the location of a wooden barrelthat was placed in the 18th century by the crew of a whaling ship. It has been used since this time by mariners and tourists as a post office. The idea is to carry letters or postcards to their destination by hand. Apart from being the Post Office Barrel, this site was the landing area for some of the first colonists. We will continue to the north of the island and will reach an elevated slope to enjoy a beautiful view at the Baroness Lookout. It is said that Baroness Eloisa von Wagner loved this place and spent several hours watching the horizon. Within walking distance (30 m) are the ruins of what is known as her House. From this lookout, the landscape covers the coastline from the Enderby islet to Post Office Bay, as well as Cerro Pajas, the pool of flamingos and wide forest of Palo Santo.
Day 4 – Friday
AM :Santa Fe Located in the southeastern part of the Galapagos, this island was formed from an uplift instead than a volcanic origin, this is why it is mostly flat. There are some theories which assure this could be the oldest island in the Archipielago. Santa Fe is the home of a number of endemic species like the Galapagos Hawk, Galapagos snake, Galapagos mockingbird, rice ratsand or one of the two species of lands Iguanas of theislands. After disembarkation in the beautiful and clearwaters you will be in contact with one of the many sealion colonies. Along the trail many salt bushes can be seen as well as giant Pickly pear cactus. There are great possibilities of snorkeling with playful sea lions and tropical fishes.
PM: Plazas Plazas is located at the east of Santa Cruz Island and forms part of two islands known as Islas Plazas. Despite its small size, some of the most interestingand outstanding species of the Galapagos are found here. The Plazas land iguanas are smaller than its relatives found at other islands. Throughout the island are several hybrid iguanas, a result of crossing a male marine iguana and a female land iguana, they are unique, recognizable at first glance by their black/graycolor, with a land iguana’s crest, but face and tail of the marine iguana. The big population of iguanas is due to the presence of tunas, their favorite food. Swallow Tailed Gulls nesting in the rugged cliffs are seen along with other sea bids as: Audubonshearwaters, red-billed tropicbirds, frigate birds and brown pelicans.
AM: North Seymour Island
Seymour is an uplifted (as opposed to volcanic) island and so is generally flat and strewn with boulders. There are good nesting sites here for a large population of magnificent frigate birds. Blue-footed boobies perform their courtship dance in the more open areas and swallow-tailed gulls perch on the cliff edges. Despite the tremendous surf that can pound the outer shore, sea lions haul out onto the beach and can be found bodysurfing. 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. There’s a circular path that takes you through the island to a beautiful, rocky shore where the waves crash a silvery-blue.
PM: Bachas Beach, Santa Cruz Island
These two small beaches are found to the West of Turtle Cove. Their sand is made of decomposed coral, which makes it white and soft, making it a favorite nesting site for sea turtles. Behind one of the beaches there is a small brackish water lagoon, where occasionally it is possible to observe flamingos and other coastal birds, such as black-necked stilts and whimbrels. The other beach is longer, but it has two old barges that were abandoned during the Second World War, when the USA used Baltra Island as a strategically point to protect the Panama Channel.
Day 6 - Sunday
AM: Mosquera Islet
Mosquera Islet is located between Baltra and North Seymour. This is a small islet formed by a geological uplift, with a reef of rocks and coral and a great white sand beach, where lies a big population of sea lions. You can also observe several species of shorebirds. This site offers great snorkeling and swimming. Along the rocks are commonly running Red Lava crabs or Sally light-foot crabs.
Then transfer to the airport at Baltra Island for flight back home
• The route of the ship and the itinerary are subject to change and can vary depending on the regulations and policies of the Galapagos National Park, weather, seasonal changes, safety, etc.