This cruise allows you to experience more than just the highlights of the Galapagos' northern islands. Take a 5-day adventure and travel from beautiful Santa Cruz, to the remote island of Genovesa, to San Cristobal to get up close and personal with giant tortoises, and everywhere in between. Walk across the shimmering black lava beds to view the amazing creature that make their homes there. Snorkel, hike and become acquainted with the archipelago's endemic wildlife species.
Day 1 : Baltra - Santa Cruz Island Day 2 : Genovesa Day 3 : South Plaza Island - Santa Fe Day 4 : San Cristobal - Leon Dormido - Lobos Day 5 : San Cristobal
Have an up close encounter as you snorkel with sea lions at Punta Pitt
View an abundance of birdlife after climbing Prince Phillip's Steps
Learn about conservation efforts at the Charles Darwin Research Center
After arriving at the Baltra airport, there will be a guide to accompany you to the boat for check-in. After settling in, the first excursion of the trip will begin with Bachas Beach. Las Bachas Beach is located in the north of Santa Cruz Island and has incredible soft, white sand that is derived from decomposed coral. This fine grain sand makes this area a favorite nesting site for sea turtles. Behind the beach there is a small brackish lagoon where it is possible to observe flamingos and other coastal birds such as black-necked stilts and whimbrels.
Genovesa, or Tower Island, is the northernmost island in the archipelago that is allowed to be visited by non-diving cruises. This island is extremely remote and home to literally millions of birds belonging to many different species. Amongst these species include the red-footed booby as well as frigates, swallow-tailed gulls, and even endemic owls. El Barranco, also known as Prince Phillip’s Steps, is a steep path with stairs carved into the rock. This path leads to a plateau with an abundance of bird life amongst a Palo Santo forest. Some of the inhabitants include Nazca boobies, Galapagos doves, mockingbirds, and petrels. With some luck, have a chance to spot a short-eared lava owl.
Darwin Bay is home to a stunning soft, coralline white sandy beach that is perfect for a blissful stroll. A trail from the beach immerses you into lush mangroves where red-footed boobies nest. Enjoy the other local inhabitants that roam this area including sea lions, swallow-tail gulls, frigates, and more. Snorkeling is a must here as sharks, colorful reef fish, rays and tortoises are common.
South Plaza Island happens to be quite small, but it is actually home to a large Opuntia cacti forest, land iguanas, and one of the largest sea lion colonies in the central region of the archipelago. Sesuvium is an endemic plant that inhabits this island and is a great climate indicator. Its color is a greenish-yellowish during the rainy season and a bright red during the dry season. There will also be opportunities to see Nazca boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, and other kinds of sea birds as well as various types of finches.
Rather than by a volcano, Santa Fe was formed by uplifting. Some of the island’s endemic species include the Galapagos Hawk, Galapagos Snake, rice rats, different types of finches, and the Galapagos Mockingbird. Wander around the island to see salt bushes where Galapagos hawks and Santa Fe land iguanas tend to wander and have a chance to witness friendly and playful sea lions accompany you during your snorkeling activities.
Enjoy an excursion to Punta Pitt which is located on the eastern tip of San Cristobal Island. Take a hike up to a plateau to view the spectacular landscape which is so unique and beautiful it is definitely worth the effort. Watch out for the Red-Footed Boobies nesting in the cliffs. The water is great here so enjoy the opportunity for kayaking, snorkeling or swimming. Cerro Brujo’s breathtaking beach is also home to an abundance of sea lions. They are curious and extremely friendly creature that make for an awesome up close and personal experience. This is also where Charles Darwin first stepped foot on in the Archipelago!
Day 5 San Cristobal
The Galapagos Turtles Breeding Center is located in the northeast part of San Cristobal Island. This was created to conserve the San Cristobal tortoise species. The center has the goal to lead and guide the tourists in conservation topics and protection of the environment. This area contains native plants and giant tortoises in their natural habitat. This is a great location to see these amazing creatures in all stages of life. After this, transfer to the airport for your flight back to Quito or Guayaquil.
Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!