This cruise guides you through the highlights of the Galapagos' northern islands on a 4-day cruise. Travel from North Seymour to Santa Cruz, experiencing wonders such as the red sand beaches of Rabida and the gentle giant tortoises of the Charles Darwin Center. There are many amazing sites to behold. Indulge in the opportunity to snorkel, kayak, and become acquainted with the archipelago's endemic wildlife species.
Day 1 : Baltra - Santa Cruz Day 2 : Genovesa Day 3 : Santiago - Rabida Day 4 : Santa Cruz Island - Charles Darwin Center - Baltra
Arrive at Baltra Island Airport and transfer to the boat for where you will check-in and receive basic information.
The first excursion of the trip will be to Black Turtle Cove, which is situated in the northern part of Santa Cruz. Surrounded by mangroves, this islet is only accessible by dinghy. The shallow cove here is a safe haven for young marine life including black-tip and white-tip reef sharks, sea turtles, and a variety of rays.
El Barranco, also known as Prince Phillip's Steps, are steep and rocky paths that lead up to a high cliff-face. Delight in the spectacular views. This site is home to some amazing and unique palo santo vegetation as well as red-footed boobies, short-eared lava owls, Galapagos swallows, and Galapagos doves.
Darwin Bay's fabulous white sand coral beach is the start to a half mile trail that winds through marvelous mangroves packed with land birds. Take pleasure in the opportunity to spot Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls. Further down the path are tidal pools where whimsical sea lions swim playfully in the pristine waters.
Land on a coral beach that leads you towards a lava field that extends as far as the eye can see. There are few signs of plant life that have managed to emerge over the past 100 years since the most recent volcanic explosion so keep an eye out for the few that have grown there. This is a truly amazing volcanic experience.
Rabida Island is one of the most colorful and volcanically varied islands in the archipelago. Its famous maroon sandy beach and stunning lookouts provide exceptional and rare landscapes. Some of the most scarce species of birds are in abundance here, such as nine varieties of finches, large-billed flycatchers, Galapagos hawks, and brown pelicans making it a birdwatcher’s delight. This is a great snorkeling site if you choose to indulge.
Day 4 Santa Cruz Island - Charles Darwin Center - Baltra
The Charles Darwin Research Station is home to turtles ranging from 3-inches as hatchlings to 4-feet long. Subspecies of turtles interact with one another and many of the older turtles are accustomed to humans stretching out their hands for some friendly interaction. This facility prepares tortoises for reintroduction into their natural habitat. The babies are kept until they are about four years old and strong enough to survive on their own. After this amazing experience you will be transferred to the Baltra Airport to return to the mainland.
The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.