Cruise across the Itabaca Channel to Santa Cruz Island, home of the Charles Darwin Station. Here you will have the opportunity to learn about Galapagos protection and conservation efforts before exploring the archipelago. Visit the National Park information center, the Van Staelen Exhibition Hall, and the Breeding and Research Center for Galapagos tortoises.
Take a trip up the slopes of the Sierra Negra volcano this afternoon. The crater of the Sierra Negra is 5 miles wide, the second widest in the world. Enjoy fantastic views from the crater's rim and continue your hike up to nearby Chico Volcano to see striking lava formations.
In the afternoon, embark on a marine excursion to Elizabeth Bay. Boat through the Marielas Islets, home of the largest colony of penguins in the Galapagos. Continue into a secluded red mangrove cove for a front-row seat to the entertaining antics of sea turtles, rays, pelicans, and schools of pompano and dorado fish.
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.
In the afternoon, travel west to Puerto Egas. Volcanic tuff deposits have formed a black sand beach in this area, unique in the Galapagos.
Venture on to San Cristobal this afternoon, and visit the Cerro Colorado Tortoises Protection and Growing Center on the south east side of the island. Take this opportunity to learn about San Cristobal's tortoise population, as well as its other fascinating species of native flora and fauna.
In the afternoon head to Punta Suarez, a rocky outcropping sustaining one of the largest and most varied populations of sea birds in the archipelago. Watch these birds as they swoop and dive along the cliffs, dodging impressive water spouts and pounding surf.
This afternoon, pay a visit to historical Post Office Bay. In the 18th century whalers placed a barrel at this site to serve as a post office for mariners and inhabitants of the island, and it's been in use ever since. Ascend to nearby Baroness Lookout, along the north slope of Floreana. From here, enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
Venture to South Plaza Island this afternoon. Diminutive in size, but rich in wildlife, Plaza houses some of the Galapagos' most fascinating creatures. Most notably, the island boasts a large population of hybrid iguanas, a cross between their land and marine counterparts.
In the afternoon, explore Bachas, a pair of stunning white sand beaches on Santa Cruz. Sea turtles can be found nesting in the soft sand, flamingos strut in the brackish lagoon, and abandoned barges sit just off shore, remnants of US military presence in the islands during WWII.
Travel back to Baltra in the afternoon for your departing flight.
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