DAY BY DAY
DAY 1: SATURDAY
AM: Arrival to San Cristobal Airport and transfer to the M/C Ocean Spray
Welcome to the incredible Galapagos Islands and your luxury catamaran, the M/C Ocean Spray! Upon arrival onboard the vessel, your guide and crew members will greet you and take you to your accommodations. After freshening up, a short briefing will be given on health, safety and emergency protocols, and you will be given a description of normal routines and different areas aboard the M/C Ocean Spray.
PM: San Cristobal Island – Lobos Island / Kicker Rock
Lobos Island is home to a large colony of boisterous sea lions who love to bask in the warm rays of sunshine and play along the island’s rock shores. It is also home to several different bird species, including frigatebirds, pelicans, and yellow warblers, among others. There is a small channel that runs along the island where the waters are very clear, making it easy to spot huge sea turtles, furtive rays, and even white-tipped sharks!
Kicker Rock is one of the archipelago’s most iconic visitor sites. It consists of two eroded volcanic cones that rise more than 100 meters from the waves in the middle of the open water. It is one of the Galapagos’ most renowned diving sites, and visitors can often see colorful underwater species from the deck of the M/C Ocean Spray.
DAY 2: SUNDAY
AM: San Cristobal Island – Pitt Point
Pitt Point is truly an “otherworldly” visitor point – it feels like you have stepped out onto another planet! The hike up to the top of the hill provides visitors with sweeping panoramic views of the island and the surrounding ocean, and the trail expertly curves around blue-footed booby nests on the ground. Toward the top of the island, visitors can see red-footed boobies nesting in the low trees, giving you up-close encounters with both incredible species.
PM: San Cristobal Island – Witches Hill
Witches Hill has several deep crevices and eroding rocks along the shore where different shore birds nest and feed. Visitors will be able to get close to them on the Zodiac ride, which is often accompanied by friendly sea lions and different kinds of tropical fish visible in the clear waters along the shoreline. Afterward, you’ll disembark on a powdery white-sand beach where you can swim and snorkel in the crystal-clear turquoise waters.
DAY 3: MONDAY
AM: Floreana Island – Post Office Bay
Post Office Bay is one of the archipelago’s most fascinating visitor points due to its human history. Centuries ago, sailors set up a barrel here where they would leave letters to loved ones back home. Other ships would also stop by and look through the addresses on the letters, and take the ones that were addressed to their own destinations – and the first Galapagos mail service was born! Today, the tradition lives on – you can leave a complementary postcard addressed to someone anywhere in the world, and someday a fellow traveler might take it with them and mail it!
PM: Floreana Island – Cormorant Point / Devil’s Crown
Cormorant Point is home to two different beaches, and there is a saltwater lagoon just a short walk beyond one of them that is a nesting site for flamingos. Ones of the beaches looks green because of its extraordinarily high content of small olivine crystals, while the other is known as Flour Beach due to its powdery white sand made of pulverized white coral. Visitors can sometimes see rays meandering along the shoreline, as well as different kinds of tropical fish.
Devil’s Crown hosts one of the archipelago’s best snorkeling sites, where snorkelers can see, just below the surface, several incredible volcanic structures that have submerged over the centuries. Today, they are home to countless colorful fish species, as well as sharks, rays, sea turtles, sea lions, and starfish, among many others!
DAY 4: TUESDAY
AM: Santa Cruz Island – Black Turtle Cove
Located along the northern side of Santa Cruz Island, Black Turtle Cove is a shallow inlet surrounded by mangroves that provide natural protection for several juvenile marine species. Just under the calm waters of the cove, visitors can see majestic sea turtles, different kinds of rays, and both white-tip and black-tip reef sharks. Blue-footed boobies and pelicans both enjoy hunting in these nutrient-rich waters, and can often be seen dive-bombing into the water.
PM: Bartholomew Island – Pinnacle Rock
The most iconic geographical feature of the Galapagos Islands is, unquestionably, Pinnacle Rock. A volcanic cone that formed by magma forcefully expelled by an underwater volcano, the sea instantly cooled the lava as it exploded upward, forming an enormous rock rising out of the sea. Today, there is a small beach around the rock where green sea turtles nest during breeding season. It is also a gathering point for fun-loving Galapagos penguins who love to dive into the water from the base of Pinnacle Rock and splash around in its azure waters. Not to be outdone, Pinnacle Rock is frequented by curious sea lions and many kinds of tropical fish.
DAY 5: WEDNESDAY
AM: Genovesa Island – Darwin Bay
Darwin Bay used to be a shield volcano, but one of the sides of its caldera collapsed after centuries of erosion. The bay is well-known for the sheer number and variety of birds that can been found here – in fact, over 20,000 red-footed boobies are estimated to call this island home, nesting among the trees and bushes of Genovesa Island. You will also fine Nazca and blue-footed boobies Darwin finches, and lots of marine life, including marine iguanas, rays, and sea lions.
PM: Genovesa Island – El Barranco
El Barranco, also known as Prince Phillip’s Steps, is a visitor site at the top of a cliff, rewarding visitors with an incredible panoramic view of the area. There is also a Palo Santo forest nearby, which is a nesting spot for red-footed boobies and other shorebirds.
DAY 6: THURSDAY
AM: Santiago Island – Espumilla Beach / Buccaneer Cove
Santiago Island is the second island in the archipelago that Charles Darwin set foot on, and Buccaneer Cove, once a refuge for passing pirates, sailors and whalers, is an excellent place to snorkel and swim. There are beautiful underwater formations that are home to many marine species, especially large schools of colorful tropical fish.
PM: Santiago Island – Egas Port
Egas Port, also known as James Bay, is home to quick-footed Galapagos lava lizards and lounging marine iguanas. The grottos and tide pools surrounding the bay hide all kinds of different marine species, and it’s always exciting to see what you can find! This is also one of the best places to go snorkeling in the entire Galapagos.
DAY 7: SATURDAY
AM: North Seymour Island
Named after English nobleman Lord Hugh Seymour, this island was formed by uplifted submarine lava. Home to more than 2,500 land iguanas and large populations of sea lions, blue-footed boobies, and other bird species, North Seymour Island is also frequented by many different shark species, which can sometimes be seen from the Zodiac or from the M/C Ocean Spray itself.
PM: Santa Cruz Island – Highlands
The highlands of Santa Cruz Island are fascinating given their height (up to 1,500 meters above sea level), varied wildlife, and other geological surprises, such as sinkholes and lava tunnels. Exploring the tunnels is truly a surreal, unique experience. Visitors will be able to see the different agricultural zones and crops grown by the islanders, and can often see Galapagos Giant Tortoises in their native environment here. There is also a large variety of birds in the highlands, making them a birdwatchers’ delight.
DAY 8: SATURDAY
Mosquera Islet is located between North Seymour Island and Baltra, which is just off the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island. The islet is home to a reef of rocks and coral resulting from a volcanic uprising, as well as a long, white-sand beach. The narrowest part of the islet is only 160 meters wide, and it is mostly surrounded by black lava rocks; however, on the southwest side of Mosquera there is a landing point. Despite its small size, Mosquera Islet is home to one of the Galapagos’ largest colonies of sea lions, and there are several species of shorebirds that make it their home, too. Given the large number of sea lions present, visitors can see orca whales periodically throughout the year who come to feed on them.
Transfer to Baltra Airport
On the last day of your cruise, the only visit you have is to Mosquera Islet. Afterwards, you´ll board the M/C Ocean Spray to gather your belongings and freshen up for your transfer to the airport.