Archipell itinerary A5

ITINERARY A5 - 5 Days / 4 nights
(Thursday - Monday)

Our adventurous 4 nights route runs around the largest island of Isabela. Explore the untouched western end of Galapagos, which has just been born out of fire and the lush highlands. Nutrient rich ocean upwellings are a magnet to all kinds of marine and birdlife. It’s true that accessing this remote, less-frequented region demands longer navigation (mainly overnight), but our stable catamaran enables you to witness Survival of the Fittest, without experiencing it.



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AM - Arrival at Baltra airport
Upon arrival at Baltra airport, you will 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 harbour. 

PM - Fausto Llerena Breeding Centre (Santa Cruz)
At this site, you can observe tortoises that come from various islands of the archipelago. They comply with the captive breeding programme and then return to repopulate the areas where their population has been affected. The land iguanas of Santa Cruz, Isabela and North Seymour are also in a captive breeding
programme, as the populations in these areas suffered from feral dogs. One of the main attractions is the famous embalmed Lonesome George. Estimated to have died between 93 and 109 years of age, it is recognised as the last of its kind and a symbol of the efforts invested to conserve endangered species. The captive tortoises are used to the presence of visitors, so it's a great place to take photos with them.

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AM - Moreno Point (Isabela)
Moreno Point is located on the north coast of Isabela Island, between the volcanos Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul. The trail runs along a solidified pahoehoe lava flow into a complex of coastal lagoons. Its main attractions are several species of birds, which are found around the lakes and mangroves.

PM - Elizabeth Bay (Isabela)
This is a marine visitor site, so the excursion has no landing point. Your dinghy ride starts with a visit to the Marielas islets where the largest and most important penguin colony resides in the Galapagos Islands. The excursion continues into the cove, surrounded by red mangroves where you can admire their red
roots and green leaves. Here, you can observe sea turtles, flightless cormorants, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, brown pelicans and sea lions. Frequent visitors have been able to see Galapagos hawks soaring overhead with schools of pompano and dorado fish swimming down below.

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AM - Tagus Cove (Isabela)
A tour along the cliffs in a dinghy will give the visitors a good chance to see the Galapagos penguin, the ightless cormorant and other sea birds. From the landing dock, it is about a 30-minute hike along the trail up to the top of the cliff from where you can view Darwin Lake, an uplifted ultra saline lake saltier than the sea. You can also see several volcanoes from this location. Look carefully at the grafti on the surrounding cliffs of the cove! They were written
by pirates, whalers and buccaneers in past centuries.

PM - Espinoza Point (Fernandina)
Fernandina is the third-largest island in the archipelago and has a single visitor site: Punta Espinoza, located at the northeastern tip of the island. Marine iguanas conglomerate in larger groups than on any other island. They bask around in the sand, swim near the shore and sometimes block the way at the landing dock. Among the unique species found here, is the flightless cormorant. This bird had to adjust its way of survival and perfection its skills of finding food in the ocean. Their wings, tails and feet progressively adapted for swimming. To see these birds is to witness evolution happening right in front of you.

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AM - Egas Port (Santiago)
Puerto Egas is a black beach located on the west side of Santiago Island. Volcanic tuff deposits have favoured the formation of this special black sand beach and this is the main attraction of the Island. This site is called Puerto Egas because there was an attempt of Hector Egas to start the exploitation of salt, which failed. After all, the price of salt on the continent was very cheap and did not justify its exploitation in the Galapagos. The project was abandoned and
they left their infrastructure.

PM - Rábida
Rábida Island is unique because of the red colour of the rocks and sand. The volcanic material in this island is very porous and external factors such as rain, saltwater and sea breeze have acted as an oxidizing agent. A short walk along a trail will lead you to a coastal lagoon behind the beach that allows for the observation of land birds as finches, doves, yellow warblers and mockingbirds. There is also a colony of amingos at the lagoon.

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AM - Bachas Beach (Santa Cruz)
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 favourite nesting site for sea turtles. There is a small brackish water lagoon behind one of the beaches, where  occasionally it is possible to observe amingos 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 strategic point to protect the Panama Channel. After this, assisted by the naturalist guide and some crew members, you will be taken to the Seymour Ecological Airport. 

It has been a pleasure accompanying you on this unique trip and we hope to see you again very soon!





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Quito – Ecuador