Begin your Galapagos adventure on the island of Baltra, part of a pair known as the Seymour Islands. Baltra was created by geological uplift and has a variety of endemic species such as salt bushes, prickly pear cactus and palo santo trees. Bird life is also plentiful here, and very entertaining!
In the afternoon, travel on to Dragon Hill. Located on Santa Cruz Island, this area boasts a hyper-saline lagoon, a favorite site of native flamingos. Climb up the hill and enjoy breathtaking views of the bay below.
Visit Rabida Island, famous for its striking red rock and sand. Walk along island trails to a coastal lagoon where a myriad of bird species can be observed.
In the afternoon, travel on to Chinese Hat, a conical-shaped islet off of the southeastern tip of Santiago. Chinese Hat is a great place to observe volcanic features, such as lava tubes and flows, in addition to sea lions, marine iguanas, and Galapagos penguins.
Cruise to Genovesa Island and begin your day at Darwin Bay. Darwin came into existence when Genovesa's crater collapsed into the sea, leaving beautiful white coral sand beaches in its stead. This island is favored by bird-watchers, boasting numerous species including red footed and masked boobies, wandering tattlers, lava gulls, whimbrels, and various herons. A trail takes you across the island and up to a cliff edge. From here, admire the incredible view of the island landscape below.
In the afternoon, ascend the southern plateau of Darwin Bay, known as El Barranco. This area is a popular nesting site for masked and red-footed boobies as well as storm petrels and short-eared owls.
Head to Bartolomé Island, site of some of the most beautiful landscape in the archipelago. Volcanic evidence is all over the island: volcanic cones, lunar-like craters, and the famous Toba pinnacle. Bartolomé's two beaches are not only breathtaking, they're also home to marine turtles and a small colony of Galapagos penguins.
After leaving Bartolomé, travel to Santiago Island. Santiago is an active volcano and the fourth largest island in the archipelago.
Explore the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. Hike through the island's agricultural zone, Miconia zone, as well as the Fern and Sedge zone. Take in the beautiful scenery of the rolling hills and grassy volcanic cones as you peruse the island.
In the afternoon, visit the Charles Darwin Station. Here you will learn about Galapagos conservation efforts, visiting the Van Staelen Exhibition Hall, the Breeding and Rearing Center for Galapagos tortoises, and the general information center. Learning about the protection of the species you've been observing throughout your trip.
Take a zodiac ride to the "Tintoreras," a cluster of islands off of the coast of Puerto Villamil. Herons perch on the mangroves, Galapagos penguins and sea lions lounge on shore, and white-tipped reef sharks rest in the shallow waters.
In the afternoon, venture to the highlands of Isabela Island. Hike up the Sierra Negra slope to the volcano's rim. From this vantage point you will have a fantastic view of the 5 mile wide crater and surrounding islands. Continue on to Chico Volcano and watch the striking lava formations that have helped shaped Isabela.
Visit Punta Moreno, on the north coast of Isabela. Wander along a trail that follows a Pahohoe lava flow into a group of coastal lagoons. This area is know for the spectacular bird species that inhabit its lakes and mangroves.
In the afternoon, take a zodiac ride through to Marielas Islet, home of the largest and most prominent Galapagos penguin colony. Your journey will take you into a red mangrove cove where turtles, flightless cormorants, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, brown pelicans, sea lions, and schools of pompano and dorado fish are frequently spotted.
In the morning, visit Punta Espinoza, the only visitor site on Fernandina Island. Punta Espinoza is a hot spot for iguanas, housing the largest concentrated population in the Galapagos. The area also provides habitat for the famous flightless comorant, a predator-less species that have evolved to survive in their island home.
Journey on to Tagus Cove and tour the picturesque cliffs in a zodiac. Disembark and hike up the cliff side for a view of Darwin Lake and the surrounding volcanoes. This site is also displays historic graffiti, written centuries ago by pirates and whalers.
Spend the morning at Espumilla beach on the northern coast of Santiago Island. This beach is an important sea turtle nesting site and gateway to the beautiful Palo Santo forest.
In the afternoon, head to the west side of the island for a visit to Puerto Egas. This site is known for its distinctive black sand beaches, formed by volcanic tuff deposits.
Visit quaint Isla Lobos. Take a trail across the island, observing blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, and sea lions along the way.
Transfer to the San Cristobal airport for your departing flight.
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