Arrive in San Cristobal and begin your Galapagos adventure with a trip to Cerro Colorado Tortoise Protection and Growing Center. This is an excellent place to be introduced to the native wildlife of the archipelago. Visit the corral, breeding and visitor centers, and take a walk on the interpretive trail, observing tortoises and native birds along the way.
This morning will find you in beautiful Gardner Bay on Española Island. Kayak or snorkel in the crystal clear waters of Gardner, and relax on the beach alongside playful sea lions.
In the afternoon, explore Punta Suarez. The rocky cliffs of Punta Suarez are a hot spot for shore birds. Enjoy watching them swoop and dive through the spectacular water spouts and pounding surf.
In the morning, travel to Punta Cormorant, home of the most impressive flamingo lagoon in the Galapagos. Set between two tuff lava cones, the lagoon provides habitat for a myriad of bird species, in addition to the large flamingo colony. While here, spend time enjoying Florena's two distinctive beaches: the Green Beach and the Flour Sand Beach.
This afternoon embark on a historic excursion to Post Office Bay. In the 18th century, whalers placed a wooden barrel at this site that has served as a post office for mariners and tourists ever since. Continue on to Baroness Lookout, hiking up a gentle slope for a rewarding view of the island below.
Spend the morning touring Santa Fe, an uplifted island in the southeastern part of the Galapagos. Theorized as the oldest is island in the archipelago, Santa Fe is home to numerous native species of birds and reptiles. Enjoy a snorkel along the crystalline shore before departing Santa Fe.
Journey on to South Plaza, an island small in stature but rich in wildlife. Here you can observe the fascinating hybrid iguana, a species whose existence resulted from breeding between native marine and land iguanas. Also present on Plazas are large populations of swallow tailed gulls, audubon shearwaters, red-billed tropicbirds, and brown pelicans.
Start your day with a trip to North Seymour Island. This flat, rocky island provides ideal habitat for frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, and swallow-tail gulls. Circle the island on a lovely shoreline path, admiring the wildlife and enjoying the crashing waves.
In the afternoon, head to Bachas Beach on Santa Cruz Island. The beach's soft white sand is attributed to the decomposition of coral, and makes Bachas a favorite nesting site for sea turtles. Explore the brackish-water lagoon located behind the beach, a common hangout for flamingos and coastal birds.
This morning you will venture to Mosquera, a small islet formed by geological uplift. Featuring rock and coral reefs, and a beautiful white sand beach, Mosquera is a great place to snorkel and swim. Observe scuttling red lava and sally lightfoot crabs, several species of shorebirds, and colonies of lounging sea lions.
From Mosquera, travel to Santa Cruz Island for a trip up Dragon Hill. The trail to Dragon passes along a hyper-saline lagoon and rewards trekkers with beautiful views of the bay below.
Today's adventures begin with a trip to Black Turtle Cove. Black Turtle is a unique and secluded destination; a quiet red mangrove lagoon that serves as a nursery for large schools of reef and hammer head sharks, as well as golden and spotted eagle rays. Paddle into the cove and enjoy viewing these fascinating creatures up-close.
Journey on to Chinese Hat in the afternoon. This island derived its name from its distinctly conical shape. Chinese Hat is an ideal destination for viewing volcanic formations, such as lava tubes and flows, and is also home to sea lions, marine iguanas, and Galapagos penguins.
Begin the day at Darwin Bay on Genovesa Island. Darwin was formed when Genovesa's crater collapsed below sea level, leaving a beautiful white coral beach in its stead. Traverse the area on a winding trail, passing through prime birdwatching country and finding yourself eventually at a cliff's edge overlooking picturesque Genovesa.
Explore a different area of the Bay in the afternoon, El Barranco. This site is also known as Prince Philip's Steps and leads up to a plateau on Darwin's eastern side. Here you will see trees full of masked and red-footed boobies alongside lava flows housing short-eared owls and storm petrels.
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!
Cruise to Santa Cruz and begin your day with a tour of the highlands. The trail leaves from Bellavista, passing through a number of distinct vegetative zones and affording explorers with lovely views of Santa Cruz's lush, rolling hills.
In the afternoon, visit the Charles Darwin Station. Here you will learn about the important conservation work going on in the Galapagos. Tour the National Park Information Center, the Breeding and Rearing Center for young tortoises, and the Van Staelen Exhibition Hall, gaining insight into wildlife preservation history and on-going efforts.
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.
Spend the morning exploring Punta Moreno, on Isabela's north coast. Take a trail along a Pahohoe lava flow into a complex of coastal lagoons, observing multifarious, entertaining bird species along the way.
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.
Today's adventure begins on Fernadina Island, home of some of the most unique species in the archipelago. View large groups of iguanas, who congregate along the rocky shore, and observe the famous flightless cormorant. This captivating bird has adapted to a predator-less life on the islands, evolving over time to be better swimmers and marine hunters.
Journey on to Tagus Cove on Isabela Island, for a zodiac tour along its impressive cliffs. Land and embark on a short hike to a cliff-top viewpoint where you will be rewarded by stunning views of Darwin Lake and Isabela's surrounding volcanoes. Along the way, take note of the historic graffiti left here by pirates and whalers of old.
Start your day with a visit to Santiago's Espumilla Beach. Enjoy the pristine, sandy expanse, explore the palo santo forest, and observe Espumilla's nesting marine turtles.
In the afternoon, head to the west side of the island for a visit to Puerto Egas. This iconic, striking black beach was formed by volcanic tuff deposits.
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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