Arrive in San Cristobal where a guide will be waiting to meet you and transfer you to the ship. The first excusion of the trip starts at the Galapagos National Park Interpretation Center provides a complete history of the Galapagos, primarily focusing on its volcanic origins to the present. Tijeretas Hill provides an excellent location to view the bay and the surrounding areas of San Cristobal. Have the chance to observe the magnificent and great frigate birds that wander this area.
Punta Suarez is a unique landscape that is brimming with eye-opening lava beds where you can observe unique colonies of marine birds, including albatross. Espanola is very isolated from the other islands allowing it to have a high proportion of endemic fauna. Gardner bay is an excellent place for making friends with the sea lions that inhabit the beach here. This location is also an important nesting area for sea turtles. Further inland, Nazca and blue-footed boobies nest near the trail and Galapagos doves peck around and finches go about their day to day business unaware of visitors. Further down the trail there is a blowhole, which is a fissure in the lava where water spurts high into the air resembling a geyser.
One of the Galapagos most famous islands due to many unique stories about past settlers is Floreana. Post Office Bay is home to a unique “post office” which was a wooden barrel that was used as an unofficial mail box in 18th century by whalers and other frequenters of the island. Continue the tradition by leaving addressed postcards in the barrel and grabbing a different postcard to mail when you return home. Floreana is also a magnificent site for swimming and kayaking. For the more adventurous guests, there is an option to visit the inside of a lava tunnel. Watch your step because this tunnel has been kept untouched and completely natural over these many years. Punta Cormorant is a great site for bird-watching. Cormorant Point has a large lagoon where an array of species including flamingos, stilts, and pintail ducks tend to wander. Bring binoculars so you can see these incredible creatures up close.
Make an early visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station and its Interpretive Center. The scientific research and environmental education being practice here helps with conserving the natural beauty of the Galapagos. You can see tortoises here in all stages of life, from a three inch hatchling to a grown adult at four feet. Then bus will take you to the airport in Baltra for your return to the mainland.
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