Petrel Itinerary E - 6 Days

M/C PETREL
Itinerary E
5-Night Cruise Friday – Wednesday

ISABELA, FERNANDINA & CENTRAL ISLANDS

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY DESCRIPTION

 (B: breakfast/ L: lunch/ D: dinner)

Friday
AM: Arrival to Baltra Island

Assistance will be provided upon your arrival by a Petrel representative after passing through immigration and baggage claim. When ready, you will be transferred to the yacht. You will then be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before the welcome briefing and lunch.

PM: North Seymour Island

The island was named after English nobleman Lord Hugh Seymour. Formed by uplifted submarine lava, the island is home to a huge colony of about 2,500 land iguanas and large populations of sea lions, blue-footed boobies, common noddies and frigatebirds. Along the coast it is possible to see land and marine iguanas and the biggest colony of Magnificent Frigatebirds.
Possible Activities: Snorkeling, dinghy ride, hike
Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights: Land and marine iguanas, frigate birds, Blue-footed Boobies, common noddies, and sea lions. Ssnorkeling: Rays, reef shark, fish, and garden eels.

( -, L, D)

Saturday
AM: Isabela Island – Vicente Roca Point

Isabela Island: This is the largest of all the Galapagos Islands, about 120 km long, and is peculiarly shaped like a sea-horse! It is one of the few islands that are populated. The last census that was taken estimated about 2,200 people living on the Southern part of the Island. The island was formed by 6 different shield volcanoes from North to South that erupted continuously, eventually joining together to form on entire land mass. Of all the islands in the archipelago, Isabela is the most active with the latest eruption coming from Wolf Volcano in May of 2015. There are lots of unique wildlife on Isabela such as the pink iguana, and more wild tortoises than any other island with a different type of species near each of the 6 volcanoes.

On Vicente Roca Point the geological formations are simply outstanding and it is a great place to view various bird species such as blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, gulls, storm petrels, and brown noddy terns. Activities here are all done on the water by either dinghy or panga, or snorkeling. On this western part of the island the Cromwell Current provides cold water and many nutrients. Due to this it is possible to see various feeding frenzies of an assortment of animals such as whales, dolphins, sea lions, and marine birds diving. At times it may also be likely to see fur seals.

Possible Activities: Snorkelling and dinghy ride

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Type of Landing: No landing

Highlights: Blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, sea lions, fur seals, whales. Snorkel - various tropical fish, sea turtles and other marine animals.

PM: Fernandina Island – Espinosa Point

No foreign species have ever invaded Fernandina Island and therefore it is one of the world’s most pristine island ecosystems. It is one of the most active islands and is the westernmost island in the archipelago. The volcano “La Cumbre” dominates the landscape with lava fields reaching the ocean. The Cromwell Current also flows on the west making the cold and nutrient rich water an ideal habitat for the Galapagos Penguin and Flightless Cormorant that nests here.

Espinosa Point area on Fernandina also provides a great opportunity to see the Galapagos Hawk. Land iguanas are found on the inner parts of the island near the volcanoes caldera and marine iguanas will nest on the coast during certain times of the year. There is only one visitor site to Fernandina which may involve a hike or snorkelling opportunity, making the rest of the island unspoiled in a most natural state.

Possible Activities: Hike and Snorkel
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry/Slippery
Highlights: Flightless cormorant, Active Volcano “La Cumbre”, various types of impressive lava formations, AA lava, Marine Iguanas, occasional land iguanas, Galapagos penguins, sea lions and sally light foot crabs. Snorkel – marine iguanas, colorful species of fish, eagle rays, sea turtles

 (B, L, D)

Sunday

AM: Isabela Island – Tagus Cove

This visitor site is located on the upper west part of the island and was named after and English war ship that used to pass the islands in the 1800’s. This was a famous spot for many pirates and sailors who have even left their names and the names of the ship inscribed on volcanic rock. There are many different characteristics of the island here from various volcanic activities such as large volcanic rocks or small little balls of petrified rain. On the hike the path leads to Darwin Lake with a tuff cone.

Possible Activities: Hike, Kayaking, Dinghy Ride and Snorkel
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry
Highlights: Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorant, finches, land iguanas, large-billed flycatchers, hawks, land birds and remnants of past pirates and sailors. Snorkel – Galapagos penguins, various species of fish, sea turtles.

PM: Isabela Island – Urbina Bay

A bit more south of Tagus Cove is Urbina Bay. Urbina Bay is an interesting site due to the uplifts of the island caused by volcanic and tectonic activity. When it rose, so did the corals and reefs that were under the surface.

You can still see them although they are beginning to deteriorate due to air exposure. There are chances of seeing giant tortoises, land iguanas, and more flightless cormorants near the coast.

(B, L, D)

Possible Activities: Hiking and snorkel
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Wet
Highlights: Exposed coral reef, giant tortoises, Galapagos hawk, land iguanas, flightless cormorants. Snorkel – green sea turtles, larger fish, Galapagos penguins.

Monday

AM: Isabela Island – Elizabeth Bay

A visitor site on the way down to the southern parts of Isabela Island is Elizabeth Bay. There are a series of islets, a lagoon and mangroves surrounding it. The mangroves provide a great place to observe many birds and at the lagoon it is possible to see sea turtles resting and feeding.
Possible Activities: Dinghy ride
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: No Landing
Highlights: Sea turtles, red and black mangroves, lava herons, Galapagos penguins, rays, flightless cormorants.

PM: Isabela Island – Moreno Point

On the South Western point of Isabela Island is Moreno Point. With striking black geological features, it is home to endemic species known only to the barren lava flows found here. Various activities are possible such as a hike, a panga ride to better see various sea birds, geological features, and snorkelling to view the vibrant underwater life.

Possible Activities: Dinghy ride, Hike and Snorkelling
Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights: Common gallinules, flamingos, paint-billed crakes, white-cheeked pintails, sea turtles, white-tipped reef sharks, pintail ducks. Snorkelling – assortment of fish, sea lions, green sea turtles, sharks.

(B, L, D)

Tuesday

AM: Isabela Island – Sierra Negra Volcano

Sierra Negra is located on the South of the Island and are two of the oldest of all Isabela’s volcanoes. A hike will show different types of vegetation and geological zones and possibly inside the caldera where petrified lava is present.

Possible Activities: Hike Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights: Various types of vegetation, geological zones, Volcano Chico and Sierra Negro – oldest volcanoes of Isabela Island, panoramic views.

 

PM: Isabela Island – Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center + Wetlands

 

The Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center, where two species of giant tortoise are bred to increase the population of these incredible animals, plays an essential role in protecting the future of the Galapagos.
As you walk around the Centre you will also be able to enjoy the beautiful gardens that boast of a wide variety of native plants.
Just outside Puerto Villamil you can also take a walk around the Isabela wetlands, comprised of lagoons, swamps and mangroves, which have become a paradise for migratory birds such as stilts and flamingos.

Possible Activities: Hike
Difficulty: Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights: Various vegetation on hike, flamingo, oystercatchers, ghost crabs, green turtle nesting site, Galapagos penguin.

(B, L, D)

Wednesday

AM: Santa Cruz Island – Charles Darwin Research Station

Today Santa Cruz is one of the most popular tourist sites. With a population of about 12,000 Galapagos natives, it has the longest paved road in the entire archipelago. One of the biggest conservation efforts is to eliminate all non-native plants and animals that are destroying native and endemic species on the island. There is no longer any volcanic activity but that does not mean there is no evidence. Santa Cruz means holy cross, but its English name comes from the British vessel – Indefatigable.

 Charles Darwin Research Station conducts many different research projects and provides assistance to other researchers and governmental institutions and agencies, especially the Galapagos National Park. Many of the results are later published online, in magazines, and popular scientific journals. The research station also plays a big part in educating the community and public schools in Galapagos. There is also the longtime running Giant Tortoise restoration program that includes various stages of the giant tortoise from eggs, hatchlings and adults.

Possible Activities: Hike
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Dry
Highlights: See the latest advances in research at the Charles Darwin Research Station. Also see Giant Tortoises and land iguanas.

 Transfer to Baltra Airport

Your cruise has officially come to an end. We hope you enjoyed your Galapagos Cruise! We will now transfer you to your scheduled departure from Baltra Airport to mainland Ecuador. Safe travels!

(B, -, - )

 ***End of cruise***

* Itineraries are subject to change without prior notice due to weather conditions, National Park regulations, emergencies on board or any unforeseen situation.
The wildlife described above is not guaranteed to be seen during your visit. Please remember to respect your distance between any and all wildlife.

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