Begin your Galapagos cruise on Bartolomé Island, known as one of the most scenic in the archipelago. Reaching an altitude of 114 meters, Bartolomé offers stunning views of the Galapagos' volcanic features, including cones, lunar-like craters, lava fields, and the famous Toba pinnacle.
Venture to Punta Espinoza. This site is home to some of the more unique species in the Galapagos, including the iconic flightless cormorant. This special bird has adjusted to a predator-less life on the archipelago, adapting to their marine environment in order to find food in the ocean.
In the afternoon, disembark in Puerto Villamil on Isabela Island. Venture up the highlands along Sierra Negra's volcanic slope. Arrive eventually at its impressive 5-mile-wide crater, the widest of its kind in the world. From here, admire the fantastic view of the surrounding volcanoes and the island below. Hike on to Chico Volcano for an up-close look at lava formations, the building blocks of the archipelago.
In the afternoon, travel via zodiac to Elizabeth Bay. Boat around the Marielas islets, home of the largest penguin colony in the Galapagos. Admire the mangroves, observe sea turtles, flightless cormorants, schools of Dorado fish, among many others.
Visit the National Park information center, the Van Staelen Exhibition Hall, and the Breeding and Research Center for Galapagos tortoises.
In the afternoon, embark on a historic excursion to Post Office Bay. In the 18th century, whalers placed a wooden barrel at this site that has served as a post office for mariners and tourists ever since. Continue on to Baroness Lookout, hiking up a gentle slope for a rewarding view of the island below.
Move on to Punta Suarez in the afternoon, a rocky outcropping on Española's southern shore. This site provides habitat for the largest, most varied populations of sea birds in the Galapagos. Watch as birds soar along the cliffs, dodging the spectacular water spouts and pounding surf.
The southern portion of Darwin Bay features El Barranco, a trail leading hikers up to a gorgeous plateau, perfect for admiring the picturesque beach.