Petrel Itinerary A


AM: Baltra Island: Arrival in Baltra airport and transfer to the boat. Briefing onboard about the boat and the island.

 PM: North Seymour Island

Galapagos Sea Lions, Blue-footed Boobies and Magnificent Frigatebirds are abundant on North Seymour Island. The island was formed by a series of submarine lavas containing layers of sediment that were uplifted by tectonic activity. The island is characterized by its arid vegetation zone.


Highlights: Land & marine iguanas, frigatebirds, Blue-footed Boobies, sea lions; snorkeling: Rays, reef shark, fish, garden eels.

Possible Activities: Snorkeling, dinghy ride & hiking (1.5 mi/2.5 km)

Type of Landing: Dry landing


Difficulty: Moderate / Difficult



Isabela Island - Vicente Roca Point


The largest in the archipelago, this seahorse-shaped island is also one of the youngest and most volcanically active. The morning visit is to 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 (sunfish).


Possible Activities: Snorkeling & panga ride

Difficulty: Easy / Moderate

Type of Landing: No landing

Highlights & Animals: Penguins, Blue-footed Boobies, terns, Nazca Boobies, two types of sea lions. Snorkeling: sea turtles, rays and puffer fish.


PM: Espinosa Point

Crossing the Bolivar Channel that divides Isabela and Fernandina Islands, we will land at Espinosa Point. After walking past a colony of marine iguanas and a group of sea lions, we'll reach the island's highlight: the Flightless cormorant nesting site. This area also provides a great opportunity to see the Galapagos Hawk. 


Highlights: Flightless Cormorant, marine iguanas, A'A lava, sea lions, penguins, active volcano “La Cumbre”

Possible Activities: Hike (1.2 mi/2 km)

Type of Landing: Dry and slippery at low tide

Difficulty: Moderate 



 AM: Tagus Cove

Tagus Cove 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. Punta Tortuga, just north of Tagus Cove, is another lovely beach surrounded by mangroves.


Highlights: Penguins, Flightless Cormorants, Darwin Volcano & Lake

Possible Activities: Long hike, snorkeling, dinghy ride

Type of Landing: Dry landing


Difficulty: Moderate / Difficult



 PM: Urbina Bay

Urbina Bay is located at the base of Alcedo Volcano on the west coast, between Tagus Cove and Elizabeth Bay. This area experienced a major uplift in 1954, causing the land to rise over 16 feet. The coast expanded half a mile out, leaving marine life stranded on the new shore. This area is also a great place for snorkeling.


Highlights: Land iguanas (the biggest in Galapagos), hawks, coral reef, giant tortoises; snorkeling: turtles, rays, tropical fish

Possible Activities: Snorkeling, dinghy ride & hike, 2 trails: short (0.6mi/1 km), long (1.9mi/3km)

Type of Landing: Wet landing


Difficulty: Easy / Moderate



AM: Elizabeth Bay

Elizabeth Bay is located on the east coast of Isabela Island. The bay contains many islets, which can be visited by dinghy. Penguins and Blue-footed Boobies can be spotted on the rocky islets. With an abundance of marine life and clear water, the area is perfect for snorkeling and viewing schools of colorful fish, sea lions, and perhaps even sharks.

Highlights: Mangrove forest (unique in Galapagos), sea turtles, penguins, rays, herons, sea lions.

Possible Activities: Two-hour dinghy ride

Type of Landing: No landing


Difficulty: Easy


PM: Moreno Point

Moreno Point is located near Elizabeth Bay on the west coast of Isabela Island. The plethora of birds seen during a dinghy ride along the striking rocky shores or a hike along path through lava rock leading to tide pools and mangroves create a birdwatcher’s delight. In the tide pools green sea turtles or white-tip sharks can be spotted.


Highlights: Flamingoes, gallinules, Pintail ducks, turtles, whitetip reef sharks.

Possible Activities: Snorkeling, dinghy ride & hike (1.2mi/2km)

Type of Landing: Dry landing

Difficulty: Moderate / Difficult\


AM: Sierra Negra Volcano

The Sierra Negra Volcano boasts the largest basaltic caldera in Galapagos at 9 x 10km. The site offers impressive views and the opportunity to observe up to 7 species of finch and a rich display of vegetation. The north side of the caldera provides evidence of its most recent volcanic activity in 2005.


Highlights: Basaltic caldera, stunning views, finches

Possible Activities: Hiking, horseback riding, walking

Type of Landing: Dry landing

Difficulty: Moderate


PM: The Wetlands 

(Puerto Villamil)

The Wetlands of Isabela Island are located just outside of Puerto Villamil. The Wetlands consist of lagoons, swamps, and mangroves and are home to a variety of unique bird species such as Common Stilts, Whimbrels, White-Cheeked Pintails, and Gallinules. The Wetlands can be visited on foot via a path that winds through the swamps.


Highlights: Giant mangroves, Shore Birds

Possible Activities: Hicking

Type of Landing: Dry landing

Difficulty: Easy


PM:  The Wall of Tears 

(Puerto Villamil)

From 1945-1959, a penal colony hosted prisoners who were forced to build this wall, stone by stone, in isolation. This now historical site (El Muro de las Lagrimas), towering at 65 feet (25m) high, took the lives of thousands during its construction. Locals claim to hear cries emanating from the heavy energy surrounding the site.


Highlights: Historic site

Possible Activities: Hicking

Type of Landing: Dry landing

Difficulty: Easy



AM: Charles Darwin Station

The Charles Darwin Research Station is home to turtles ranging from 3-inches (new hatchlings) to 4-feet long. Sub-species of turtles interact with one another and many of the older turtles are accustomed to humans, stretching out their heads for a pet. The babies are kept until they are about four years old and strong enough to survive on their own. 


Highlights: Giant Tortoises in captivation

Possible Activities: Walking

Type of Landing: Dry landing

Difficulty: Easy


 PM: Los Gemelos (Twin Craters)

You’ll also visit the highlands. A place you can walk along a path, observing the hills, ferns, volcanoes, and rich wildlife. This area is home to giant tortoises, forest, mockingbirds, Bahama ducklings, White-cheeked Pintail ducklings, Darwin finches, and many other species. You will come upon the underground lava tubes, which are more than one kilometer (half a mile) long. Local guides are will provide information and flashlights. Walking through the lava tubes is a unique and surreal experience.


Highlights: Pit craters, Scalesia Forest

Possible Activities: Short hiking

Type of Landing: Dry landing

Difficulty: Moderate



AM: South Plaza Island

In the morning, you will head to South Plaza Island. This small island with steep 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 the Sesuvium. During the rainy season its color is a greenish to 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 (2 ½ km /1.5 mi)

Type of Landing: Dry landing

Difficulty: Moderate



PM: Santa Fe Island

Santa Fe (Barrington) is home to the small picturesque bay and anchorage on the island’s northeast coast. The bay has two visitor trails, one leading to a scenic viewpoint atop a cliff, and the other spanning from a small beach to a tall prickly pear cactus forest. 


Highlights: Land Iguanas, giant tunas

Possible Activities: Hiking

Type of Landing: Dry landing

Difficulty: Moderate



Isla Lobos

Isla Lobos or Lobos Island is named after the sea lions that rest and play on its rocky shores. It is also home to blue-footed boobies, great frigate-birds, brown pelicans, lava gulls, common noddies, yellow warblers and small and medium ground finches. There is good snorkeling in the clear waters of the channel and this is one of the best sites at which to swim with sea lions underwater.


Highlights: Snorkeling with sea lions, frigatebirds, Blue-footed Boobies

Possible Activities: Short hike (less than 0.6 mi/1 km), dinghy ride, snorkeling.

Type of Landing: Dry landing

Difficulty: Easy/moderate


PM: Transfer to the Airport

Please keep in mind that on departures days, your morning visit will be early and short since we need to be prepared before heading back toward the airport for your returning flight to Ecuador’s mainland.





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Quito – Ecuador