Bartolome is a small island that has two visitor sites. At the first site you can snorkel around Pinnacle Rock. Penguins can usually be spotted here. Then it’s back on board for a quick change of clothes followed by a short dinghy ride to a dry landing. From here climb to the highest point on the island. On the way up, encounter different volcanic formations including spatter and tuff cones, lava flows, and lava tubes. From the summit, enjoy a wonderful view of Sullivan Bay. If the hike isn't for you, enjoy a panga ride around the island. Enjoy the unique flora and fauna of the island including sea lions, pioneer plants, reef sharks, rays and colorful reef fish.
Tagus Cove was used as an anchoring place for pirates, buccaneers, and whalers. The high ridges are painted with the names of hundreds of ships (a practice now forbidden) that came to the island. Take a hike on a trail that goes through an area of vegetation and the volcanic landscape of Darwin volcano. Once the top has been reached, enjoy an incredible view of the whole cove and Darwin Lake.
The brisk “power-hike” is followed by kayaking or a panga ride, where you will have the opportunity to see a large number of blue-footed boobies perched on the ledges of the cliffs, as well as marine iguanas, penguins, brown pelicans, brown noddy terns, and swallow-tailed gulls. Enjoy the opportunity to encounter dolphins and whales while exploring the channel between Fernandina and Isabela Island.
Punta Vicente Roca is a wonderful snorkeling site where you can usually see turtles and various types of fish. Instead of snorkeling, you can also enjoy a panga ride. This allows for an opportunity to study some of the Galapagos’ spectacular geological rock formations. In this area you can see Nazca boobies, pelicans, swallow-tailed gulls, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, and penguins.
The visitors site on Espumilla Beach is on the northern coast of Santiago Island in James Bay. The main attractions here are a Palo Santo forest, beach, and the landscape. The Palo Santo forest at Espumilla has some of the tallest of this species of tree in the entire archipelago. Also look out for the Galapagos Hawk as well as Darwin’s finches. The beach here is also an important site for nesting marine turtles.
After the visit, drive to the green highlands of Santa Cruz, where you will have the opportunity to visit a tortoise reserve to search for giant tortoises in their natural surroundings.
El Barranco, also known as Prince Phillip’s Steps, is a steep path with stairs carved into the rock which leads to a plateau. There is a Palo Santo forest here that is home to an abundance of bird life. Have the chance to see Nazca boobies, Galapagos doves, mockingbirds, and petrels. With some luck, you may even spot a short-eared lava owl.
Darwin Bay’s beautiful white sand is only the beginning of a incredible excursion. A trail from the beach takes you into lush mangroves where red-footed boobies nest. Many other animals make their home here including sea lions, swallow-tail gulls, frigates, and more. Enjoy fabulous snorkeling here as sharks, colorful reef fish, rays and sea turtles are common.
Enjoy breakfast aboard before disembarking for the airport on Baltra Island and returning to the mainland.
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