DAY 1 (Sunday): Fly to Galapagos. Visit Las Bachas

Early in the morning you will catch your flight from mainland Ecuador to the Galapagos. Arriving to the airport, you must first pay the National Park entrance fee of U.S. $100 per person before collecting your luggage. Leaving the arrival hall, the National Park Guide of the “Angelito I” will be waiting for you and accompany the whole group to the Baltra harbor, where the “Angelito I” is anchored. Now the cruise can begin! You begin your trip with a visit to Las Bachas, which is a white coral beach in the north of the Island Santa Cruz. You have a wet landing and easy walk along the beach to small brackish water lagoons. On the sandy beaches of Las Bachas you will get a close look at a sea turtle nesting area and further on, you walk to a lake frequented by pink flamingos, black-necked stilts, whimbrels and white cheeked pintail ducks. Afterwards, you’ll cool off with a dip in the beautiful, blue Pacific Ocean and you can snorkel here as well. (Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 2 (Monday): Mosquera & Cerro Dragon

Mosquera is a newly opened, small sandy island located between North Seymour and Baltra. Mosquera has one of the biggest sea lion colonies in Galapagos with different Harems and it is a wonderful visiting point to observe their behavior. Often you have the possibility to see the endemic lava gulls and other coastal birds. On the lava rocks we find marine iguanas sunning themselves in-between swims in the ocean to hunt for seaweed. Brightly colored Sally Light-foot crabs are also present here. Later in the day, you visit Cerro Dragón (which means Dragon Hill), a scenic spot where you can find very iconic Galapaganean wildlife. The short hike passes a flamingo lagoon, located behind the beach vegetation and then leads through an impressive forest of prickly pear cactus forest. A loop trail goes to a small hill where land iguanas live and nest. The view from this small hill over the surrounding landscape is spectacular. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 3 (Tuesday): Isabela Island: Tagus Cove; Fernandina Island: Punta Espinoza

Today you visit some of the most far-flung and wildlife-rich sites within the Galapagos archipelago. The western Islands of Isabela and Fernandina are usually the top highlight of any cruise due to the large populations of iconic Galapagos animals and their unusual relationships with their environs. You make several stops on Isabela because it is such a massive Island with incredible diversity at each stop along the way due to lava flows which isolated many animals. You begin with a visit to Tagus Cove on Isabela Island. This protected cove was a favorite resting site for the early pirates and whalers who also carved and painted their names in the high cliffs of the cove. Here, you embark on a scenic walk uphill to Darwin Lake, a saltwater crater lake, and then a bit further on, we have a wonderful view overlooking the lava fields of Darwin Volcano. After the hike, you have a zodiac ride along the cliffs to look for Galapagos penguins and flightless cormorants. If the water is clear, Tagus Cove is a fascinating snorkeling spot with a great amount of marine invertebrates to be found on the vertical walls. The hike at Fernandina may feel like the most remote and scenic excursion during your entire cruise. Fernandina’s stark black landscape is juxtaposed by neighboring Isabela’s lush volcanoes and the turquoise ocean in between. But this visit is about much more than scenery since you have the opportunity to see an abundance of marine iguanas, Sally Light-foot crabs, flightless cormorants, sharks, and sea turtles. It’s common here to snorkel in a bevy of sea turtles feasting on sea grass alongside swimming marine iguanas and penguins on the hunt for fish. Fernandina is probably the most pristine of all the Islands in the Galapagos since there have never been introduced mammals that plagued many other Islands in the archipelago. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 4 (Wednesday): Isabela Island: Urbina Bay & Elizabeth Bay

You begin today with an early hike at Urbina Bay where your guide will explain the recent geologic events that created the bay and the surrounding uplift. Wildlife here includes colorful land iguanas, giant tortoises, and flightless cormorants. After your hike, you snorkel in the bay where you may spot Galapagos penguins and sea lions. Later in the day, you will travel to Elizabeth Bay which is ideal for snorkeling and wildlife viewing. While traveling to the Bay, you may be lucky enough to spot migrating whales (between June and September). More likely, you’ll come across Galapagos penguins, blue-footed boobies, flightless cormorants, sea turtles, sea lions, and sharks once in the cove. Outside of the mangrove cove we make a dinghy drive around the small islets, the Marielas. These islets are important nesting places for the Galapagos Penguin and you often see a lot of Blue-footed Boobies resting in the steep cliffs. The flightless cormorants are also easy to spot on these islets as well. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 5 (Thursday): Isabela Island: Punta Moreno & Navegation to Puerto Villamil

Early in the morning we head out for a hike on the rough lava field of Punta Moreno. It’s a place where you can see all the three species of cactus: candelabra cactus, prickly pear cactus and lava cactus. Hopefully, in the middle of the lava field amidst some brackish water pools, you will find flamingoes, common gallinules, white cheeked pintail ducks and paint-billed crakes. On a dinghy drive you can see flightless cormorants, Galapagos Penguins and huge marine iguanas. Around 11 a.m. we depart for the long (about 6 hours) but beautiful navigation to Puerto Villamil. We follow along the shoreline of the Volcano Cerro Azul, which is very scenic. Your guide and you will be on the look-out for dolphins, sperm whales, humpback whales, and orca pods; if they are spotted, we stop to observe them. Just before dark we arrive in the small harbor Puerto Villamil. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 6 (Friday): Isabela Island: Sierra Negra, Volcan Chico, Puerto Villamil

Today you see a vastly different side of the Galapagos as you visit the idyllic beach town of Puerto Villamil and explore the high volcanoes just outside town. By bus you begin the journey to the rim of the Sierra Negra caldera. You leave the bus behind and walk for about an hour, observing the different vegetation zones as you ascend. Often it is a little bit raining or misty and foggy. You finally arrive at the rim of the huge caldera, measuring 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) from north to south and 5.6 miles (9 kilometers) from east to west. This is the second largest caldera in the world and a very impressive site. After the hike, you make a trip to the lagoons of Villamil. You start in the Tortoise Breeding Center where you can see different subspecies of the Galapagos land tortoises and the work for restoring the population of endangered populations. There are loads of adorable, tiny tortoises at all stages and you’ll find the research center here is a charming counterpart to the much larger Darwin Station on Santa Cruz. On the walk back to town you take a nice trail from lagoon to lagoon and look for flamingoes, common gallinules, white-cheeked pintail ducks and black-necked stilts. If there is time, you can kick back on the sprawling white sand beach of Puerto Villamil and enjoy the view out over the turquoise water. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 7 (Saturday): Floreana Island

This morning you have a wet landing on the “Green Beach” of Punta Cormorant. Depending on the light conditions, the sand shines green because of the high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand. On an easy walk you come to a big salt-water lagoon with flamingoes, white-cheeked pintail ducks, black-necked stilts and, depending of the season, more migratory shore birds. After another short walk you come to the “White Flour Sand Beach,” made of white corals. It’s a famous nesting beach for marine turtles. Making sure not to disturb any nesting sites, you may be lucky enough to see the remains of tiny turtle egg shells lying on the beach. Often you can see a lot of stingrays in the shallow water. After your walk, you travel a short way to Devil’s Crown, the remains of a volcano now sunken into the ocean and whose sharp rocks make the shape of a black crown. This is one of the most famous snorkeling places in Galapagos, but it is only suitable for experienced snorkelers. Here, you are likely to snorkel alongside sharks, eels, turtles, sea lions, and an assortment of dazzling fish. Before lunch, you make a short visit to the famous barrel in Post Office Bay. This “post office” is simply a barrel and was first used in 1793 by the whalers. They used it to receive and send letters home and to have contact within them; this tradition continues with the visitors who come to the Galapagos today. A nearby beach is also lovely for wandering, swimming, or snorkeling on your own. After this visit we navigate to Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island, arriving around 5:00 p.m. You will have a bit of time to explore the town before returning to the Angelito for dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 8 (Sunday): Daphne & Depart Galapagos

Early in the morning you’ll arrive to Daphne Island, a conical Island, which is home to thousands of birds such as blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, tropic birds, and many more. We’ll navigate around this volcanic cone and get as close as possible for you to observe the birds without disturbing them (of course, binoculars are recommended to make sure you get a good look at the birds). Daphne has been a great research site on which many scientists have spent years studying the behavior of Darwin’s finches. After breakfast, around 8:00 a.m, you depart for Baltra airport for your flight back to the mainland. (Breakfast)





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