After arriving at the Baltra airport, a guide will be waiting to escort you to the bus that will take you to the yacht. There is a short introduction and a nice snack before heading to North Seymour Island. Here, observe blue footed boobies (they nest from May to November), marine iguanas, pelicans, frigatebirds, shore birds, sea lions, and endemic Palo Santo. During all walks, your guide will be explaining details about the lives of the birds and animals. There is the option to enjoy some time swimming and snorkeling if you are in the mood. Later, back on the yacht, enjoy a short lecture about the origin and evolution of the Galapagos Islands followed by a welcome cocktail and dinner.
After breakfast, make a wet landing on Darwin Bay to walk and observe frigatebirds, herons, mockingbirds, boobies, shorebirds, turtles, and marine iguanas. Optional: time for those who would like to swim, snorkel or kayak. In the afternoon, make a dry landing on Prince Phillips’s Steps (Barranco) to walk and observe the interesting lives of the birds. Enjoy dinner on the yacht, and then an orientation about conservation efforts made to protect the Islands.
Start your day with a wet landing on James Bay (Puerto Egas) to walk and observe sponges, snails, hermit crabs, a variety of shore birds, barnacles, the endemic four-eyed blenny, marine iguanas, and sea lions. Optional: time for those who would like to swim, snorkel or kayak. Return to the boat for a delicious lunch, then make a wet landing on Espumilla, a brown sand beach. This beach is an important site for nesting marine turtles. Here, observe land birds such as yellow warblers, Darwin’s finches, and Galapagos flycatchers. A trail takes us through a Palo Santo forest. Walk behind the beach to a saltwater lagoon, where occasionally flamingos are seen. Optional: time for those who would like to swim and/or snorkel. Then visit an abandoned Salt Mine. Return to the yacht and then navigate around Buccaneer Cove (Caleta Bucanero), an area of steep cliffs and dark beaches. The cliffs and pinnacle are used as nesting areas by several species of seabirds. This was a popular place for 17th & 18th century buccaneers to careen their vessels. Optional: time for those who would like to swim, snorkel or kayak.
Spend your morning on a panga ride around Punta Vicente Roca to observe plenty of sea lions, marine iguanas, blue-footed and masked boobies, and flightless cormorants. Optional: time for those who would like to swim and/or snorkel. In the afternoon, make a dry landing on Punta Espinoza to observe and see a large colony of sea lions, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, and clumps of lava cactus.
After breakfast, take a panga ride through Tagus Cove, a protected cove between the shoulders of two volcanic craters which protect it from the open sea; observe penguins, marine iguanas, sea lions, and a variety of birds including flightless cormorants and blue footed boobies. Optional: time for those who would like to swim, snorkel and/or kayak. Then make a wet landing on Urbina Bay to take a walk and observe a coral area, land iguanas, flightless cormorants, and giant tortoises. Optional: time for those who would like to swim, snorkel and/or kayak. Return to the yacht for lunch. After lunch, ride around the islets of Elizabeth Bay to see marine iguanas, penguins, marine turtles, seabirds and shorebirds, herons and blue-footed boobies.
Start the day with a dry landing to the islet Las Tintoreras, which has a small bay of completely calm turquoise waters. Observe hundreds of marine iguanas, sea turtles, sea lions, Galapagos penguins, rays, and white tip sharks. Then make an expedition to the Sierra Negra Volcano, considered the oldest of the volcanoes on Isabela. The crater of Sierra Negra is 10 km in diameter and is the second largest in the world. Its last eruption occurred in 2005. The sulfur, iron and cooled magma make a colorful landscape. Your adventure begins with a 45 minute ride on a bus to the highlands of Isabela. Once you arrive at the “Paradero Sierra Negra”, walk or horseback ride (extra cost) through slopes of the volcano. The trail brings us to Volcan Chico (on the northeast of Sierra Negra Volcano), a fissure composed of scum and lava. This fissure had its last eruption in 1979 and the volcanic activity lasted for a week. From here, admire an amazing view of the north of the island, and if the day is clear you may have a majestic view of the Perry Isthmus, a surrounding island. This expedition allows you to step through volcanic features and over lava flows formed in very recent years. You may also see the formations of petrified lava of many different colors and textures and fumaroles scattered throughout this area. After lunch, visit the Breeding Center “Arnaldo Tupiza”, where you can observe tortoises of different ages and sizes (in total there are 330 juvenile and adult tortoises) and learn about the reproduction of the giant tortoises. You can also see different native plants at the Breeding Center. After that, visit the Wall of Tears, a historic place in the Galapagos Islands. This site was a penal colony for 13 years, where the prisoners built a wall with huge blocks of lava as punishment. There, observe lava lizards, Galapagos finches, and hawks. Before returning to the yacht, visit Humedales, where you can see a series of lagoons, mangrove species, flamingos, and numerous migratory birds.
After breakfast, make a wet landing on Point Cormorant for a short walk to the Flamingos Lagoon. Continue walking until you reach the beach called "La Picona" to see marine turtles and their spawning grounds. Optional: time for those who would like to swim and/or snorkel. Later, take a panga ride to Champion Islet, a small island off the Coast of Floreana Island. The principal attraction of Champion Islet is the nearly-extinct Charles (Floreana) mockingbird. Visitors can also observe bird species such as swallow-tailed gulls, Nazca boobies or brown noddies. It is a great place for snorkeling, as well as searching for sea turtles, reef fishes, Galapagos penguins, and white-tipped reef sharks. Optional: time for those who would like to swim and/or snorkel. In the afternoon, make a wet landing on Post Office Bay, a historic site that recalls the days of the whalers, who presumably placed a wooden barrel in the 18th century to use as a post office. Optional: time for those who would like to swim and/or snorkel. Later, take a bus for a short ride from the small town Puerto Velasco Ibarra to the Asilo de la Paz. A historic site, this area was inhabited by the early settlers who found a freshwater spring and refuge in the “cave of pirates”. This was the home of the first settlers of the island - Patrick Watkins lived there first, then Dr. Ritter and his companion Dora Strauch, and then the Wittmer family. Visit the cave of pirates and a corral built by the National Park Service, where you can find Galapagos tortoises (from various islands) in captivity.
The last day of this amazing journey will take you to the Charles Darwin Research Station and its Interpretive Center. Here, scientific research and environmental education is conducted in efforts of conserving the incredible habitat of the Galapagos. Make your way to the airport in Baltra for your return to the mainland.
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