At the Santa Cruz Highlands, walk along the path and observe the hills, ferns, volcanoes, and rich wildlife. This area is home to giant tortoises, forest, mockingbirds, Bahama ducklings, white-cheeked pintail ducklings, Darwin finches, and many other species. Explore the underground lava tubes, which are more than one kilometer (half a mile) long, with your local guides.
After the visit, have a box lunch before transfering to the main deck to embark onboard the M/C Cormorant and start the cruise.
Visit the Sierra Negra Volcano, boasting the largest basaltic caldera in Galapagos at 9 x 10km. The site offers impressive views and the opportunity to observe up to 7 species of finch and a rich display of vegetation. The north side of the caldera provides evidence of its most recent volcanic activity in 2005.
Next arrive at the Tortoise Breeding Station (Puerto Villamil), created to protect animals in their first years of life from the threats of foreign species such as pigs and donkeys. Giant tortoise eggs are collected and brought to the center where they are hatched and kept for five years before being released to their natural environment.
Conclude the day by visiting the Wetlands of Isabela Island, located just outside of Puerto Villamil. They consist of lagoons, swamps, and mangroves and are home to a variety of unique bird species such as common stilts, whimbrels, white-cheeked pintails, and gallinules. The Wetlands can be visited on foot via a path that winds through the swamps.
Sail for Elizabeth Bay, located on the east coast of Isabela Island. The bay contains many islets, which can be visited by dinghy. Penguins and blue-footed boobies can be spotted on the rocky islets. With an abundance of marine life and clear water, the area is perfect for snorkeling and viewing schools of colorful fish, sea lions, and perhaps even sharks.
Later in the day, travel to Urbina Bay located at the base of Alcedo Volcano on the west coast, between Tagus Cove and Elizabeth Bay. This area experienced a major uplift in 1954, causing the land to rise over 16 feet. The coast expanded half a mile out, leaving marine life stranded on the new shore. This area is also a great place for snorkeling.
Arrive at Isabela Island, the largest in the archipelago and also one of the youngest and most volcanically active. The morning visit is to Vicente Roca Point. Comprised of two separate coves, this site is a large bay with spectacular sea life. Keep an eye out for seahorses, sea turtles, and the strange yet fascinating Mola-mola (sunfish).
Explore Buccaneer Cove, a safe haven where pirates in the 1600 and 1700’s would stake out on the Northwestern side of Santiago Island. Sea turtles now take the pirate's place and dig their nests for their eggs near the mangrove trees. It is a great location for snorkeling and many marine birds and sea lions can be found here.
Visit Espumilla Beach, a popular place for marine iguanas and Sally Lightfoot Crabs. The crabs attract the hunting herons, performing the dance of predator and prey. With an abundance of marine life including octopi, moray eel, and shark, snorkeling is highly recommended.
Set sail for Darwin Bay and land on its white-sand coral beach. Take a half-mile trail through the mangroves and view Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls. Tidal pools are teeming with young sea lions and reef fish, and the occasional hammerhead shark can be found among the rocks. At the end is a spectacular view off a cliff.
Transfer to the airport and connect back to the mainland.