ITINERARY 8 DAYS B
Our itineraries in Galapagos offer unforgettable experiences, with our weekly departures that allow you to experience tours of 7 and up to 14 nights that include: full board, two daily guided excursions with optional activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, boat rides.
DAY 1: BALTRA / SANTA CRUZ
Arrive to Baltra airport no later than 11:00am. Transfer to Santa Cruz Island with the CEO to visit the highlands before arriving to Puerto Ayora and a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station. Board the boat in the late afternoon.
After arrival in Baltra, visit of the highlands of Santa Cruz Island for a special opportunity to view the islands’ most famous reptile: the giant tortoises in their wild habitat. What a privilege to see an endangered species roving in this lush environment! The vegetation of the area includes the Scalesia Forest (an endemic giant daisy tree) and birds such as the vermilion flycatcher will delight everyone with its scarlet feathers against an emerald green forest. Look for Darwin’s finches, particularly the famous Woodpecker Finch. We will then visit the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center and Charles Darwin Research Station to learn first hand of the conservation and research efforts in the islands. There, you’ll see several subspecies of adult tortoises, lots of hatchlings, and learn of the repatriation programs that are saving several subspecies of tortoises and iguanas from extinction.
Visit To The Highlands of Santa Cruz
Head to Santa Cruz’s verdant highlands. This is a perfect place to hike through the grounds and see giant tortoises in their natural environment, before savouring an included lunch.
Fausto Llerena Breeding Center & Charles Darwin Research Station Visit
Visit Fausto Llerena Breeding Center a great place to observe many species of tortoises and land iguanas in captivity. Brought back from the brink of extinction, see the famous Galápagos tortoise up close – a corral houses adult tortoises, and a nursery cares for the young until around age three when their shells have hardened.
This area also houses the Charles Darwin Research Station, a scientific organization initiated in 1964, which works to preserve the Galápagos' ecosystem through the conservation efforts of scientists, researchers, and volunteers. While the offices themselves are not open to visitors, the research station provides a study location for international scientists and environmental education for the local community.
DAY 2: FLOREANA: PUNTA CORMORANT / POST OFFICE BAY
Land at Punta Cormorant on Floreana Island. Guided walks to observe birds and wildlife, and learn about the natural history. Snorkelling excursion at Champion Islet.
In the afternoon visit Post Office Bay and a pirate cave in the highlands for great views of the island. In the morning, you will head to Punta Cormorant. Here you will enjoy a hike to a salt-water lagoon which is home to flamingos. Afterwards, you will snorkel Champion Islet, named after the whaler Andrew Champion, located just offshore from Floreana Island in the southern part of the Archipelago, considered as one of the most beautiful places on Galapagos for snorkeling. After lunch, you will visit the famous Post Office Bay. You will land on the beach and head to a spot where 18th century whalers placed a wooden barrel for use as an unofficial mailbox. The custom continues to this day with Galapagos visitors. So do not forget your postcards, and do not be surprised if the postcard arrives to its destination before you even get home! In the afternoon, you will visit The Asilo de la Paz. This is a hill 450m high that is behind Straw Hill in the agricultural area of the island. The main attractions are of a historic type: one is the cave of pirates and the other is the freshwater spring. The two sites are located at the base of the hill.
Punta Cormorant Visit
Visit Punta Cormorant, the only landing site on Floreana Island, and discover two amazingly different beaches: one with green sand, coloured by olivine crystals, and another with white sand particles known as 'Flour Beach'. Spend the afternoon observing flamingos and other shore birds feeding in the lagoon. Spot penguins and marine iguanas at the water’s edge.
Snorkelling (Champion Islet)
Jump on in and get up close and personal with the playful sea lion colony that reside in the waters off this tiny island. Keep an eye out for sea lions, sea turtles, rays and colourful reef fish swimming by.
Post Office Bay Visit
Visit Post Office Bay and learn about its unique history. In the late 18th century, English whaling vessels placed a barrel here to be used as a post office. Today, the box is used mainly by tourists, who may drop off and pick up unstamped letters to be carried to far destinations. Continue the tradition – leave a letter and take one to deliver (be sure it makes it to the correct location)!
Asilo de Paz - Pirate's Cave Visit
Explore a lava cave inhabited by ancient pirates who were among the first settlers on the island, keep an eye out for giant tortoises on the way as this area is part of a repopulation program for the species. Enjoy a beautiful viewpoint at the top of the hill looking out over the nearby islands.
DAY 3: ISABELA: PUNTA MORENO / ELIZABETH BAY
Morning landing at Punta Moreno on the southwest coast of Isabela to see lava formations, flamingos, and amazing views of the three most active volcanoes in the Galápagos Islands. In the afternoon visit Elizabeth Bay, which offers amazing bird and marine life viewing opportunities. Head out on the zodiacs and explore the shallows and mangroves to look for sea turtles and penguins.
In the morning you will visit Punta Moreno located southwest of Elizabeth Bay. A dry landing here is possible onto what was once flowing lava. The lava has left craters in its wake which formed crystal tide pools. By looking into these pools, you can peer into another world as the marine life drifts by your window. In the brackish pools of this area, if you’re lucky, you may see pink flamingos, white-cheeked pintails, and common gallinules. If you look carefully into the pools, you may see white-tip reef sharks and some sea turtles. In the afternoon, you will visit Elizabeth Bay, is located on the east coast of Isabela Island. Cruise on the zodiacs through the mangroves to see pelicans and an abundance of marine life in the clear water. The area is perfect for snorkeling and viewing schools of colorful fish, sea lions, and perhaps even sharks.
Elizabeth Bay Panga Ride
Head out by panga to explore, keeping an eye out for wildlife hiding among the mangroves. Search for marine turtles, rays, and flightless cormorants in the sheltered waters. Also spot blue-footed boobies, penguins, and pelicans feeding on the abundant marine life.
Punta Moreno Visit
Visit Punta Moreno and explore its interesting landscape, which is home to black lava flows and a unique system of brackish lagoons that draw in a wide range of wildlife. Spot Darwin’s finches, Galápagos doves, penguins, and more! Be sure to bring your camera for shots of the island’s amazing scenery. Punta Moreno boasts a panoramic viewpoint of three of Isabela’s imposing volcanoes: Alcedo, Sierra Negra, and Cerro Azul.
DAY 4: ISABELA / FERNANDINA
Enjoy a morning visit to Urbina Bay, located at the base of Alcedo Volcano. Keep an eye out for land iguanas. In the afternoon, land at Punta Espinoza on Fernandina, the youngest of the Galápagos Islands. Witness the large colony of sea lions, marine iguanas, and a variety of birdlife.
In the morning, you will land at Urbina Bay which presents some fascinating geological formations. In 1954, an uplift from the sea formed the bay which has been characterized by the resulting terrestrial coral reef ever since. Expect to see stingrays and sea turtles swimming near the surface of the water, as well as pelicans and marine iguanas. You will be dazzled by the breathtaking view of the Alcedo Volcano. In the afternoon, you will land at Punta Espinoza and after walking past a colony of marine iguanas and a group of sea lions, you’ll reach the island’s highlight: the flightless cormorant nesting site (seasonal). This area also provides a great opportunity to see the Galapagos hawk.
Urbina Bay Visit
Visit Urbina Bay for a unique walk among a massive marine reef that was raised out of the water in 1950 during an uplift. See “sculptures” of dried coral and other ocean formations while touring the area on foot. Urbina Bay also offers great opportunities to see land iguanas that have astonishingly yellow skin, flightless cormorants, land tortoises as well as marine turtles and rays.
Punta Espinoza Visit
Tour a number of different trails at this not-to-be-missed landing site that’s home to some of the largest colonies of marine iguanas and sea birds. Follow the path along the beach and across lava flows for a unique opportunity to explore one of the least-visited areas of the Galápagos.
Snorkelling (Punta Espinoza)
One of the best snorkelling sites in the islands, here get a glimpse of marine iguanas grazing underwater, sea lions, sea turtles, rays, puffer fish and dolphins.
DAY 5: ISABELA: TAGUS COVE / PUNTA VICENTE ROCA
Stop for a visit at Tagus Cove and hike to a lookout to get a stunning view of the bay. Spot old graffiti on the cliffs from whalers and pirates who once visited the the cove. Continue to Punta Vicente Roca, one of the lesser-visited and best snorkelling spots in the Galapagos to spot the abundant marine life.
After breakfast, you will visit Tagus Cove which is located across from Fernandina Island, near the Bolivar Channel dividing the two islands. This spot has been frequented by ships since the 1800s, using the area as an anchorage site. Trails winding by Lake Darwin up to a ridge display wonderful views. The afternoon visit is at Vicente Roca Point. Comprised of two separate coves, this site is a large bay with spectacular sea life. Keep an eye out for seahorses, sea turtles, and the strange yet fascinating Mola mola (or sunfish).
Tagus Cove Visit
Visit Tagus Cove, an Isabela Island anchorage site that was popular among whalers and pirates. Tour the area on foot for spectacular views of Darwin Lake (a spherical saltwater crater), the bay, and Darwin and Wolf volcanoes. Upon landing, take the wooden stairway to the trail entrance, and follow the trail through a dry vegetation zone. Opt to continue on an ascent to a promontory made up of spatter cones (small volcanic cones) or explore the area by dinghy.
Snorkelling (Tagus Cove)
Grab a mask and snorkel and witness schools of tropical fish as you navigate through the calm waters. If you're lucky, spot rockfish, sharks and seahorses.
Kayaking (Tagus Cove)
Kayak on the calm waters of Tagus Bay, and catch some sun as you explore the surrounding area.
Snorkelling (Punta Vicente Roca)
Snorkel at one of the Galápagos’ most desirable snorkelling sites. Enjoy the protection of nearby coves while discovering the rich array of marine life that is attracted to the upwelling of cold water currents near Punta Vicente Roca. Keep an eye out for penguins, blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, sea lions. sea turtles, rays and puffer fish.
DAY 6: SANTIAGO: BUCCANEER COVE / PUERTO EGAS
Morning excursion to Buccaneer Cove to witness the towering cliff wall rock formations and nesting seabirds. Continue in the afternoon to Puerto Egas to see the salt crater as well as a dark sand beach and tidal pools. Opportunities for snorkelling to try and spot the abundant marine life like turtles, rays and sharks.
In the morning jump in the waters of Buccaneer Cove, an area which is a testament to the fact that Santiago Island was once a refuge for British buccaneers. These pirates would anchor in the protected bay to make repairs and stock up on tortoise meat among other things. The steep cliffs, where hundreds of seabirds perch in front of the dark red sand beach, are a magnificent sight. After lunch, you will go to Egas Port, also known as James Bay, on Santiago Island which is home to the curious Galapagos hawks and quick-footed Galapagos lava lizards. The trail leads to the coastline with gorgeous tide pools and grottos full of fauna. Here the Galapagos fur sea lions bathe in the sun.
This is also a great snorkeling site.
Snorkelling (Buccaneer Cove)
Get up close and personal with the local marine life, sea lions and many marine birds, during this snorkel excursion through the beautiful waters of Buccaneer Cove.
Puerto Egas Visit
Explore the spectacular shoreline of Puerto Egas, also known as James Bay. Spot a great number of shore birds and reptiles – the beach area is home to a plethora of wildlife.
Snorkelling (Puerto Egas)
Grab a snorkel and jump into the water right off the beach to explore Puerto Egas' interesting underwater world. Keep your eyes peeled for rays, turtles, and reef sharks while snorkelling. After, visit the large tidal pool area – marine iguanas and Sally Lightfoot crabs are everywhere.
Kayaking (Buccaneer Cove)
Explore the old pirate gathering area known as Buccaneer Cove, surrounded with cliffs and a bevy of wildlife to watch for.
DAY 7: SANTA CRUZ / NORTH SEYMOUR
Visit the beach on Las Bachas and relax or swim in the crystal waters. Continue to North Seymour for guided walks to observe birds and wildlife, including vast sea lion colonies.
More snorkelling opportunities for the chance to see marine life.
The morning visit to Bachas Beach which is a swimming beach is located on the north shore of Santa Cruz. One of the few remnants of the U.S. World War II presence in the Galapagos, a floating pier, can be seen here. You may see flamingos, Sally Lightfoot crabs, hermit crabs, black-necked stilts, and whimbrels. Sea turtles also nest on the beach at night (seasonal). In the afternoon, you will visit North Seymour. Here you will be able to see Galapagos sea lions, blue-footed boobies and magnificent frigate birds which are abundant on the Island. The island was formed by a series of submarine lava flows containing layers of sediment that were uplifted by tectonic activity. The island is characterized by its arid vegetation zone.
Bachas Beach Visit
Head to Bachas Beach where the sand is made of decomposed coral, making it soft and white, and a favourite site for nesting sea turtles. Spot abundant Sally Lightfoot crabs on the lava rocks along the water's edge -- these crabs will eat anything they can get their claws on! Trek to see a wide range of wildlife, including flamingos, hermit crabs, black necked stilts, and marine iguanas.
Snorkelling (Bachas Beach)
Go snorkelling or swimming right off the white sand beach of Las Bachas. Spot all sorts of marine wildlife in its shallow waters and tidal pools. Bachas is also one of the most important beaches for the green turtle as a nesting site.
Snorkelling (North Seymour Island)
Take your time exploring the underwater world along North Seymour's beach. Be greeted by large schools of tropical fish and sea lions, and keep an eye out for sea turtles and reef sharks.
North Seymour Island
Have an amazing wildlife experience visiting North Seymour Island – this island is teeming with life! Follow trails to see all the action (you may need to give way to a passing sea lion or marine iguana while walking). Depending on the season, see blue-footed booby nests where mating pairs perform their courtship dance. Head to a rocky shore to see flocks of pelicans having lunch in a dive bomb feeding frenzy, then turn inland to a large nesting site of magnificent frigatebirds. These huge, dark acrobats have two-metre (6.5 ft) wingspans, and males, with their puffed-up scarlet throat sacks, sit precariously perched in low bushes to watch over their equally large chicks.
DAY 8: BALTRA
After breakfast, disembark and transfer from the boat to Baltra airport for onward travel.
Tour concludes upon arrival to the airport.
Please note that if booking onward travel on this day, please do not make arrangements before 11:30 as this trip ends on arrival at Baltra Airport.