Cruise to North Seymour, where you can admire frigatebirds and the nests of blue footed boobies. The trees are filled by male frigates inflating their red skin to catch the female’s attention. It’s a spectacle of nature you don’t want to miss.
Upon arrival at the island, travel via a round road to a gorgeous rocky seashore where silver-blue waves crash. Here there is also a highly recommended diving site, with opportunities to see hammer fishes, garden eels, tropical fishes, sea lions, the Pacific green marine turtle, and many more astonishing and unique species. Or, you can opt to go snorkeling or walk along the beach.
Primicias is a private ranch and is the natural habitat in which world famous giant tortoises live. They prefer the higher parts of the islands, where the weather is cooler and humid. Close to this place, there are lava tunnels that once were rivers in which hot lava used to run.
Puerto Ayora is a city of approximately 20,000 people where the offices of the Galapagos National Park Administration are located. The Charles Darwin Station is located here, famous for the captive breeding of giant Galapagos tortoises which can live up to 150 years. The station was created in 1964, and features a Natural History Interpretation Center that manages educational programs at the service of the Galapagos National Park. This station is also an operation center for foreign scientists to conduct research.
Urbina Bay is located on the west side of Isabela Island in Alcedo Volcano. One night in 1954, the whole bay was lifted 5 meters due to tectonic forces, stranding coral reefs, sea urchins, lobsters and others. The landing spot is in a little wet beach of black sand, which can be difficult when there are strong waves. There’s a land tour that begins on the bay’s beach where you disembark. Encounter numerous Darwin’s finches, but the main attractions are probably the reptiles (land iguanas & turtles). A wide variety of vegetation, such as the Palo Santo trees, chamomile, mumuyos, and the beautiful Darwin’s cotton flowers can be seen here as well.
Your next stop is at Espinoza Point on Fernandina Island, the youngest of the archipelago and the most volcanically active. Espinoza Point is a narrow stream of lava and sand that extends from the base of the volcano to the sea. This is the Galapagos’ third biggest island, named after King Ferdinand the Catholic who funded the travels of Columbus. This site is famous for its huge marine iguana colonies who reunite in large numbers. It is also very popular due to the fact that it does not have any introduced mammals and is the home of rare and unique species such as the flightless cormorant, the Galapagos penguin, the Galapagos sparrow hawk, and the Galapagos snake, among others.
Also on Santiago, visit Buccaneers Cove, an especially interesting site for those who love geology and volcanoes. Buccaneers Cove got its name because it used to be a safe haven for pirates, whalers, and sailors during the XVIII and XIX centuries. The sailors used to take their boats there to clean and get supplies. View the impressive cliffs made of tuff formations and a dark reddish-purple sand beach, snorkel in deep waters, kayak, or take a panga ride.
Next head to Darwin Bay, which was formed by a crater and is almost a perfect circle. At the end of the walking path, there’s a white sand beach full of sea lions and amazing birds of different species. During the walk, see the nesting colonies of the common frigate, the Nazca booby, and the swallow-tailed seagull. In Darwin Bay you can go diving through the inner or outer wall. It’s a great opportunity to see up close some of earth’s most beautiful animals and some that are unique to the Galapagos.
Return to Baltra to disembark the Nemo II and continue your independent travels.
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