ITINERARY C - 8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS
Baltra Island – Bachas Beach
Departing Guayaquil to Galapagos (1½ Hour Flight).
BALTRA ISLAND: Home to Galapagos’ main airport, this will be the starting point of your experience aboard the best tour of the Galapagos Islands. A bilingual guide will meet you at the airport and assist you during the transfer onboard Golondrina Cruise. Welcome Ceremony, briefing session.
PM: After Lunch
BACHAS BEACH: Wet landing on the North coast of Santa Cruz. One of the main nesting grounds for sea turtles of the entire archipelago, its clear waters are a perfect invitation to go swimming before heading back onboard.
EL BARRANCO: Dry landing. Also known as the Prince Phillip Steps (after the Duke of Edinburgh’s visit in 1964), “The Cliff” is a flat lava rock formation that can be easily accessed by a wooden ladder and provides an amazing view of the surrounding habitat; you’ll find red-footed bobbies, swallow-tailed gulls, the Galapagos dove and many other species among the Palo Santo trees and lava cacti during the 2-kilometer walk. Lunch onboard.
DARWIN BAY: This enormous bay dominates the Island and just like Prince Phillip’s Steps is home to colonies of frigates and a great variety of marine life.
Bartolome Island – Santiago Island
BARTOLOME: Dry and Wet landings. This island features distinctive lava formations and ash-cones, as well as a 375-step wooden ladder that takes you 114 meter above sea level to the top of the volcano were a spectacular view of the bays below awaits you. The prominent “Pinnacle Rock” is located on this island and is one of the most visited sites in Galapagos.
SULLIVAN BAY (SANTIAGO): An amazing diving spot with white sand beaches where you can share the water with penguins and sea lions.
Plaza Sur Island – Santa Fe Island
PLAZAS ISLAND: Dry landing. This tiny cliff-bounded island was formed out of lava and now is covered by the Opuntia cacti. Resting place of one of the biggest sea-lion colonies in the Galapagos, as well yellow and red-land iguanas, Plaza Sur also holds numerous species of birds. During the 2½ kilometer walk on the island you’ll notice the its most characteristic plant is the Sesuvium. A low, round-leafed bush that changes colors from green to yellow as rain becomes more scare during the months of April and May; and becomes bright red in the late part of June, until the end of dry season in January. Lunch onboard.
SANTA FE: Wet landing. Snorkel and swim with sea lions in the turquoise waters of Santa Fe after taking a trail through a forest of giant cacti and Palo Santo trees where you’ll spot dozens of swallow-tailed gulls, petrels, and lava gulls.
San Cristobal Island – Lobos Island
KICKER ROCK: A gigantic lava rock that sticks out of the Pacific Ocean’s surface. The volcanic formation is split into two, forming a small channel between the two sections and creating a surreal diving spot or an exciting dinghy (panga) ride. The rock is frequented by an array of seafaring birds, but the real attraction of the “Sleeping Lion”, as it’s called in Spanish, is the marine life: spotted eagle rays, sea turtles, white-tipped reef sharks, Galapagos sharks, and hammerhead sharks are usual visitors to Kicker Rock.
WITCH’S HILL: An eroded hill of lava surrounded by coral reef that locals used to frequent to get salt, for food preservation. Witch’s Hill is no longer exploited for salt, but home of two salt-tolerant species of plants as well as blue and red footed bobbies, rays and sea turtles. Lunch on board.
LOBOS ISLAND: Named after the German geologist, Theodor Wolf, this island offers no landing site and is mainly frequented by master divers, the cold currents attract the rarer sea life and create a truly unique snorkeling / diving experience.
PUNTA SUAREZ: Dry landing. A congregation place for the blue footed and masked bobbies, Darwin finches, Galapagos doves, and from April to June the albatrosses make this part of Española their nesting grounds. Take the 3 kilometer trail and visit the colonies of sea lions and marine iguanas at the blowhole known as “El Soplador” (the blower) that sprays water around 75 feet (25m) into the air.
GARDNER BAY: Wet landing. Located on the east side of Española, this spot is the nesting ground for almost all the Galapagos albatross in the world; some 12 thousand albatross-couples visit the bay every year. After a 45 minute dinghy (panga) ride, you’ll arrive at a white-sand beach populated by the usual colony of sea lions. Excellent for snorkeling.
GARDNER ISLET: Gardner Islet offers a magical landscape both above and beneath the water surface. Many small fish can be seen while snorkeling around the site as well as sea urchins and stars.
Floreana Island – Santa Cruz Island
CORMORANT POINT: Wet Landing. This site holds a large lagoon where flamingos come to feed. The green sanded beach owes its color to the olivine crystals present in the soil and it is the perfect texture for the sea turtles to lay their eggs during their breeding season from December to May.
DEVIL’S CROWN: No landing. This wave-eroded volcanic crater surrounded by coral reef creates an impressive underwater landscape where you’ll be able to find schools of colorful fish, sharks and sea turtles.
SANTA CRUZ ISLAND (CHARLES DARWIN SCIENTIFIC STATION): Visit the 1959-established Charles Darwin Station to learn about the Giant Tortoises and their reproduction, as well as the origin and formation of the archipelago.
Seymour Island – Baltra Airport
Wet landing. Seymour Island is famous for being a gathering spot for blue footed bobbies, frigates, swallow-tailed gulls, marine iguanas and sea lions. The island’s vegetation is dominated by the Palo Santo tree and the climate is typically arid.
After the visit, transfer over the Baltra Airport and flight back to mainland.