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.
In the afternoon, travel to Santa Cruz to learn about Galapagos protection and conservation at the Charles Darwin Station. Your understanding of the important conservation efforts taking place across the archipelago will be greatly enhanced by your first-hand experience with the Galapagos' natural wonders and precious wildlife.
In the morning take a zodiac ride to the Tintoreras, a collection of small islands off of the Puerto Villamil coast. Taking their name from the white-tipped reef sharks that inhabit the surrounding waters, the Tintoreras are rich in wildlife and geological features.
This afternoon explore Isabela's famous Sierra Negra Volcano. Land in Puerto Villamil and hike up Sierra Negra's slope to the rim overlooking its impressive 5 mile-wide crater. Take in the breathtaking views from this vantage point before continuing on to Chico Volcano. Chico is a great place to study and observe the lava formations that have shaped the Galapagos' landscape throughout history.
Today you will visit Punta Moreno on the north coast of Isabela Island. Take a trail along a lava flow into a maze of coastal lagoons that provide habitat for a number of mangrove-loving bird species.
This afternoon travel via zodiac to Elizabeth Bay. Boat around the Marielas islets, home of the largest penguin colony in the Galapagos. Admire the mangroves, observe sea turtles, flightless cormorants, schools of Dorado fish, among many others.
This morning cruise over to Fernandina Island. Some of the most unique species in the Galapagos are found at Punta Espinoza on the northeastern tip of the island. A favorite resident of Punta Espinoza is the flightless cormorant. This fascinating creature has adapted to its predator-less, island existence, evolving into a marine species capable of finding food in the ocean.
Visit Isabela's Tagus Cove this afternoon, beginning with a zodiac tour of the impressive shoreline cliffs. Land nearby and hike about 30 minutes to a cliff-top that offers views of stunning Darwin Lake, the cove below, and historic cliff-side pirate graffiti.
Today you will visit Santiago Island in the west-central part of the Galapagos. Santiago is one of the larger islands in the archipelago, and is also volcanically active. Young lava flows and cones are observable, particularly along the south, west, and east coasts. These flows are not only visible from other islands in the archipelago, they can also be spotted from outerspace!
Begin your last day in the Galapagos with a visit to Isla Lobos. Home to a representative variety of native wildlife, Lobos is the perfect place to bid farewell to your favorite Galapagos creatures. Traverse the island's vegetative zones, volcanic rocks, and sandy shoreline before returning to San Cristobal for your departing flight.
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