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 Dragon Hill in the afternoon. Located on the northwest side of Santa Cruz, this site features a trail leading to a hyper-saline lagoon, home to a variety of bird species. Take a short walk up the hill and soak in the stunning view of the islands and bay below.
Today begins with a visit to Black Turtle Cove, a small, exclusive destination nestled into the northern side of Santa Cruz. Surrounded by red mangroves, this quiet cove constitutes an ideal nursery for a variety of sharks and rays. No landing sites exist in the cove, so you can either paddle in with a kayak or a panga. Observe large groups of white and black-tip reef sharks, hammerhead sharks, and schools of golden and spotted eagle rays. It is also possible to spot sea turtles, pelicans, and herons in this unique environment.
In the afternoon, journey on to Chinese Hat, a small islet off of Santiago. Named for its distinctive shape, Chinese Hat is a recent volcanic cone that exhibits fascinating lava formations. Admire its lava tubes and flows, and observe its entertaining colonies of sea lions and penguins.
Cruise to Genovesa Island today, beginning 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.
Venture to Bartolomé this morning, an island boasting some of the most beautiful scenery in the archipelago. Bartolomé's landscape consists of a spectrum of features including volcanic cones, lunar-like craters, lava fields, and Toba. Its two breathtaking beaches are home to sea turtles and a rare colony of Galapagos penguins.
This afternoon, visit Santiago Island, located in the west-central part of the Galapagos. It is still volcanically active, spotted with young lava flows and cones visible from many vantage points, including outerspace!
Today get to know Santa Cruz Island, beginning with a tour of the picturesque highlands. Take a trail from Bellavista, through an agricultural area, along the National Park boundary, the Miconia zone, and into the fern and sedge zone. On a clear day, enjoy views of rolling hillsides and extinct volcanic cones.
Journey back to Baltra for your departing flight.
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