Natural Paradise Itinerary A - 8 days

 
DAY 1: TUESDAY
AM: ARRIVAL AT SAN CRISTOBAL AIRPORT AND TRANSFER TO THE BOAT.
PM: KICKER ROCK

This striking rock formation is located a couple of hours off the western shore of San Cristobal. Jutting out of the water, the rocks stand vertically at hundreds of feet above the ocean divided by a small channel.tortoise marina green

Although there are no landing areas, circumnavigation, and dinghy rides allow visitors to spot a variety of marine life.

WITCH HILL:

Located on the northern coast, this eroded hill and its surroundings present one of the most picturesque beaches in the Galapagos
with its white powdery sand and the abundance of animals. Wildlife includes sea turtles, rays, and various types of booby birds.
The clear water provides an excellent opportunity for enjoying swimming and snorkeling. 

Highlights: Sharks, tropical fish, turtles, manta rays (occ.), hammerhead sharks, spectacular rock formations; sea birds: blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies & frigatebirds.

Possible Activities: Dinghy ride
Type of Landing: No landing
Difficulty: Easy 

frigate animal

 

DAY 2: WEDNESDAY
AM: NORTH SEYMOUR

In North Seymour you may see Galapagos sea lions, blue-footed boobies, and magnificent frigate birds which are abundant on this
island. North Seymour 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.

blue footed1

PM: SOUTH PLAZA ISLAND

In the morning, you will head to South Plaza Island. This small island with cliffs was formed by rising lava and is now covered by Opuntia cacti. It is also home to one of the largest sea lion colonies as well as colorful yellow and red land iguanas. The most characteristic plant is Sesuvium. During the rainy season, its color is greenish to a yellowish tone, and in the dry season (end of June through January) a bright red.

Highlights: Land iguanas, sea lion colony, Audubon's shearwaters, swallow-tailed gulls, Nazca boobies, amazing landscape with cliffs Possible Activities: Hike (1.5 miles / 2 ½ km)
Type of Landing:  Dry landing 

Difficulty: Moderatemarine iguanaDAY 3: THURSDAY

AM: RABIDA ISLAND

Rabida Island (Jervis) is one of the most colorful and volcanically varied islands in the archipelago and a great snorkeling site. Its famous maroon sandy beach and stunning lookouts provide wonderful landscapes. The island is a birdwatcher’s delight.eagles isla espanola

Some of the rarest species are in abundance, such as nine varieties of finches, large-billed flycatchers, Galapagos hawks, and brown pelicans.

Highlights: Snorkeling: white-cheeked pintail ducks, colorful fish, sea lions, brackish water lagoon, penguins, Galapagos hawk
Possible Activities: Snorkeling, dinghy ride & short hike (0.6 miles /1 km)
Type of Landing:    Wet landing
Difficulty: Easy/moderate          brown pelicans sqanta cruz

PM:  PINNACLE ROCK

You will head to Bartholomew Island where the famous Pinnacle Rock is found. Bartholomew consists of an extinct volcano with a
variety of red, orange, black and even green volcanic formations. We will take a trail of stairs to the summit of the volcano (about 30
or 40 minutes) where you will enjoy one of the best views of the islands! You will also visit a small, beautiful beach surrounded by
the only vegetation found on this barren island. The beach is perfect for snorkeling where you may even see and swim with
Galapagos penguins.

fish animalDAY 4: FRIDAY
AM: SULLIVAN BAY

A coral beach landing leads you towards a lava field as far as the eye can see. Hunt and peck over the two distinguished types of lava, pahoehoe and 'a'a, for signs of plant life that have managed to emerge over the past 100 years since the most recent volcanic explosion. lizard animal

A truly amazing volcanic experience…up close and personal!

Highlights: Variety of lava formations and landscapes, pahoehoe lava which is found primarily in Hawai'i

and the Galapagos islands, 'a'a lava, and pristine coral sand beach
Possible Activities: Walk, snorkel, swim
Type of Landing:  Wet landing
Difficulty: Easy to moderate. Be sure to wear good solid walking shoes or boots as the 'a'a lava is very sharp and pointy. 

PM: DRAGON HILL (CERRO DRAGÓN)

Situated on Santa Cruz Island, Dragon Hill is one of the newest visitor sites accessible to tourists in the Galapagos Islands. One of the lengthier Galapagos walking trails will lead visitors along a beach and up a trail to the lagoon lookout where bright flamingos, pintail ducks, and land iguanas can be spotted.

Highlights: Land iguana nesting spot, Galapagos flamingos, common stilts, palo santo trees, and cacti forest
Possible Activities: Walking and hiking
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Difficulty: Easy to moderate: the trail may get muddy at times, and there is uneven rocky terrain.

flemish animals

DAY 5: SATURDAY
AM: SANTA CRUZ HIGHLANDS

Reached by bus from Puerto Ayora, the highlands of Santa Cruz are a deep green contrasting beautifully with much of the dry, lower islands.  The dominant vegetation in the highlands is the forest of Scalesia trees creating the lush green color.tortoises galapaguera san cristobal

The lava tubes, over half a mile long, are underground, and walking through them is a unique, surreal experience.

Highlights: Lava tunnels, wild turtles, tortoises breeding center.
Possible Activities: Hike (1.5 miles/ 2 ½ km)
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Difficulty: Moderate (long)

AM: LOS GEMELOS (TWIN CRATERS)

Los Gemelos, or the Twin Craters, are located opposite each other on both sides of the road leading from Puerto Ayora to Baltra. The name is only figurative; not real craters, these formations were created by the collapse of surface material in underground fissures and chambers. The view is breathtaking.

 

PM: HIGHLIGHTS: PIT CRATERS, SCALESIA FOREST

Possible Activities: Short hiking
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Difficulty: Moderate

Charles Darwin Station / Fausto Llerena Breeding Center The Charles Darwin Research Station is home to turtles ranging from 3 inches (new hatchlings) turtle breeding center

accustomed to humans stretching out their heads for a photo opportunity.

The babies are kept until they are about four years old and strong enough to survive on their own.

Highlights: Giant tortoises in captivity
Possible Activities: Walking
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Difficulty: Easy

DAY 6: SUNDAY
AM: EL BARRANCO

Also known as Prince Phillip's Steps, El Barranco’s steep, rocky paths lead up to a high cliff face.  A marvelous view can be appreciated from here. This site is also home to palo santored footed booby galapagos

vegetation as well as red-footed boobies, short-eared lava owls, Galapagos swallows, and Galapagos doves.

Highlights: Red-footed boobies, short-eared lava owls, storm petrels, Galapagos doves
Possible Activities: Hiking (0.9 miles/2 km)
Type of Landing: Dry, difficult landing
Difficulty: Moderate

PM: DARWIN BAY

This white sand coral beach heads a half-mile trail (0.75km) that winds through mangroves filled with land birds. Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls can be spotted here. Further down the path are tidal pools where sea lions swim playfully. At the end is a spectacular view of a cliff.

Highlights: Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, mangroves, coral pebbles beach, snorkeling: rays, colorful reef fish, and hammerhead sharks
Possible Activities: Hiking (0.9 miles/1.5 km), snorkeling, kayaking & dinghy ride
Type of Landing: Wet landing.
Difficulty: Easy/moderatesea leon punta vicente roca galapagosDAY 7: MONDAY

AM: ESPUMILLA BEACH

Espumilla Beach is a popular place for marine iguanas and Sally Lightfoot crabs. The crabs attract the hunting herons dancing 

marine iguana

predators and prey. With an abundance of marine life including octopi, moray eels, and sharks, snorkeling is highly recommended.

Highlights: Snorkeling
Possible Activities: Snorkeling and swimming
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Difficulty: Easy

AM: BUCCANEER COVE

Buccaneer Cove 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 cliffs, where hundreds of seabirds perch in front of the dark red sand beach, are magnificent sites.

Highlights: Sea birds, historical site, snorkeling, rock formations
Possible Activities: Short walk along the beach (less than 0.6 miles/1 km)
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Difficulty: Easyaudubon shearwaters santa cruz galapagos

PM: EGAS PORT

Also known as James Bay, Egas Port is home to the curious Galapagos hawks and quick-footed Galapagos lava lizards. The trail leads to a 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.eagles isla espanola

Highlights: Fur sea lions, Galapagos sea lions, tidal pools and “grottos”, Galapagos hawk, oystercatchers, marine iguanas, finches;

snorkeling: reef sharks, turtles, rays, nice underwater formations.
Possible Activities: Snorkeling, hiking (1.2 miles/2 km)
Type of Landing:    Wet landing
Difficulty: Easy/moderate

 
DAY 8: TUESDAY
AM: BACHAS BEACH

Located on the north shore of Santa Cruz, Las Bachas is a swimming beach. 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,

tortoise marina green

Sally Lightfoot crabs, hermit crabs, black-necked stilts, and whimbrels. Sea turtles also nest off the beach.

Highlights: World War II remnants
Animals: Sally Lightfoot crabs, hermit crabs, black-necked stilts, whimbrels, sea turtles
Type of Landing:    Wet
Difficulty: Easy

 
TRANSFER TO BALTRA AIRPORT

Please note:
Itineraries are unlikely to change significantly but are subject to change. Weather, wildlife breeding, safety concerns, instructions from the Galapagos National Park, specific abilities and interests of passengers as well as operational matters may cause your guide or captain to change the time or nature of visits. Your guide and captain will always endeavor to select the best itinerary within these limits.

iguana marina puerto egas

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