Arrive at the airport and be escorted to the boat for check-in, a short briefing, and then lunch. On your first excusion take a panga ride to Mosquera. This tiny islet is actually home to a huge population of sea lions and many shorebirds. While at Mosquera, keep your eyes peeled for dolphins and orcas.
Sullivan Bay is known for its spectacular volcanic formations, relatively young pahoehoe lava flows, and unique geological scenery. Due to Sullivan’s relatively recent volcanic activity, few plants have been able to take root here. Look for the low-lying pioneer plant, locally known as “mollugo”, as well as the lava cactus.
Bartolome is a small island where you can enjoy some relaxed snorkeling 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 and 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.
Isabela Island was formed by five volcanoes and is the largest of the archipelago. It's also the youngest of the islands. Urbina bay is located in Western Isabela, at the foot of Alcedo volcano. Have the opportunity to observe sea turtle nesting sites as well as penguins and flightless cormorants. It is also one of the best places to see Darwin’s finches and large land iguanas. The giant tortoises which like to feed within the site’s dense vegetation can also be seen here.
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 that came to the island. This is a practice that is now forbidden. 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 the incredible view of the whole cove and Darwin Lake.
The brisk hike is followed by kayaking or a panga ride. Witness large numbers 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.
Fernandina Island is one of the most pristine and dynamic ecosystems in the entire world. La Cumbre Volcano last erupted in April 2009. The lava fields from this eruption stretch towards the ocean from its base and dominate the landscape. Punta Espinoza is a narrow piece of land where some of the most unique species of the Galapagos can be seen. Amongst these are the flightless cormorant, Galapagos snakes, marine iguanas, penguins, and the Galapagos hawk.
Punta Vicente Roca is a wonderful snorkeling site where you can usually see turtles and various types of fish. If you prefer not to snorkel, 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.
Puerto Egas (James Bay) is located on the northwest side of Santiago Island. Here there are black beaches with eroded rock formations. Take a hike past the remains of a salt mining enterprise and then continue along the coast. Tidal pools are home to a variety of invertebrate organisms, including sea urchins, octopus, and starfish. Also get a change to see marine iguanas, finches, oyster catchers, and with luck, the Galapagos Hawk. Then head to the Fur Sea Lion Grottos, one of the only places in the islands where these unique animals can be seen. Enjoy a nice swim with playful sea lions. View the abundant variety of beautiful fish and maybe see some turtles, rays, and reef sharks.
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 unique landscape. Keep an eye out for the Galapagos Hawk as well as Darwin’s finches. The beach here is also an important site for nesting marine turtles.
After breakfast, visit the highlands of Santa Cruz and see giant tortoises in their natural habitat. After this quick but informative visit, you will be escorted to Baltra Airport for departure back to the mainland.
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