Begin your adventures in the Galapagos on Baltra Island. Fly into Baltra, an arid, uplifted island dotted with salt bushes, prickly pear cactus, and palo santo trees. Head to the harbor and board your cruise ship.
Journey across to Santa Cruz Island for a visit to the Charles Darwin Station. Here you will be introduced to the fascinating species observable in the Galapagos, as well as the conservation efforts that have been enacted for their protection. Highlights of the station include the National Park information center and the Breeding and Rearing Center for Galapagos Tortoises.
Enjoy a zodiac ride through the Tintoreras, a group of small islands off of Isabela's coast. The Tintoreras are named for the white-tipped reef sharks that call these waters home, and are also a great place to spot Galapagos penguins and sea lions.
In the afternoon, explore Isabela's Sierra Negra Volcano. Hike up the highland slope to the rim of Sierra Negra. From here, take in breathtaking vistas of the volcano's 5-mile-wide crater, nearby Perry Isthmus, and the surrounding islands. Continue on to Chico Volcano, observing striking lava flows along the way.
Disembark at Punta Moreno and take a trail to a group of coastal lagoons, winding across the island along a Pahohoe lava flow.
In the afternoon, visit Elizabeth Bay in a zodiac. Your boat ride will take you through the Marielas islets into a cove surrounded by red mangroves. This area is home to the largest colony of Galapagos penguins in the archipelago, and is a great place to view sea turtles, spotted eagle and golden rays, sea lions, and schools of impressive pompano and dorado fish.
Venture to Punta Espinoza, on the northeastern tip of Fernandina. 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, take a zodiac tour of Tagus Cove. The cliffs of Tagus are ideal for spotting the Galapagos penguin and other entertaining sea birds. Embark on a 30 minute hike leading to the top of a cliff that overlooks picturesque Darwin Lake. From here, soak in spectacular views of the surrounding volcanoes and keep an eye out for historic graffiti left on the cliff walls by pirates and whalers.
Spend the morning exploring Espumilla Beach on the northern coast of Santiago Island. Espumilla is an important nesting site for turtles and is famed for its beautiful palo santo forest.
In the afternoon, travel west to Puerto Egas. Volcanic tuff deposits have formed a black sand beach in this area, unique in the Galapagos.
Travel to Isla Lobos. Traverse this quaint island, admiring blue-footed boobies, frigate birds and sea lions along the way.
After visiting Lobos, transfer to the airport in San Cristobal for your departing flight.
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