Embark the Darwin Yacht and meet the Captain and crew. In the afternoon, visit Las Bachas, located in the northern part of Santa Cruz Island. Las Bachas consists of two beaches that have a combined length of about 1 km long. The predominant vegetation is of the coastal zone. This site represents one of the main nesting sites of sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) on Isla Santa Cruz. It is a good place to see flamingos, as well as migratory and aquatic birds.
Punta Pitt is composed of volcanic tuff substrate. High winds present there have led to natural erosion. This is the only site in the Galapagos Islands where you can watch the three species of boobies and two species of frigates nesting in the same area, as there is enough food so there is no competition between them. The blue footed boobies nest in the interior (rare in the cliffs), red-footed boobies nest on bushes, and masked boobies nest in the cliffs. Another added attraction is the presence of sea lions.
This afternoon explore Cerro Brujo, located on the north coast of San Cristóbal Island. The trail at this visitor's site can be done in about three hours, including the panga ride. Its main attraction is the powder-like sandy beach, other than multiple species of flora and fauna. It is an eroding tuff cone that at several locations is composed of lava type a – a. It is formed by low-viscosity lava that contains little gas, breaks while it solidifies, and is pushed by lava continuing to flow from behind. Cerro Brujo offers an excellent landscape, where you can see Kicker Rock (geologic formation), the southern part of Upper San Cristobal, and the coast adjacent to Cerro Brujo.
Next head to Isla Lobos, about an hour by boat from Port Baquerizo Moreno. The length of the trail is 850 meters and the estimated travel time is one hour. There is a small population of blue-footed boobies and common frigate birds nesting on this site. You can observe the two species of sea lions present in the archipelago. During the tour you go through a dry vegetation zone, substrate of volcanic rocks, and a sandy area. On the panga tour brown pelicans and several species of shorebirds can be observed. While snorkeling, it’s common to see juvenile sea lions, manta rays and sea turtles.
Set off to El Chato (Tortoise Reserve) in the afternoon. Follow the trail starting in Santa Rosa, which is surrounded by tall grass and borders the boundaries of some farms. Depending on the season, it can contain mud and slippery rocks. At 1 km there is a pool of water that is filled with tortoises during the rainy season. The road to the reserve is one of the best places to observe land birds. Tree and ground finches, vermilion flycatchers, and cattle egrets inhabit the area and sometimes Galapagos rails have been seen.
Spend the afternoon at the Isabela Wetlands, a complex of trails that includes Cerro Orchilla, a lookout which you can access via a staircase and from which you can see the bay and the town of Puerto Villamil, Sierra Negra Volcano, the Cerro Azul Volcano, islets, and rocks. Enjoy this spectacular scenery. Other trails at this site lead to picnic areas, mangrove forests, lava tubes, rocky beaches, and the Tortoise Breeding Center.
Dragon Hill, located in northwestern Santa Cruz Island, consists of a trail that runs through three different environments at just 1,600 m long. Its name is derived from the fact that in 1975, this site was one of the only places on Santa Cruz Island where there were land iguanas (Conolophus subcristatus) in a healthy state. In the lagoons at this site, there are shrimp (Artemia salina), the same as is the food of flamingos; at certain times of the year they are more abundant and therefore the population of these birds is larger. During rainier times the water of the lagoons becomes too sweet and therefore shellfish and shorebird populations decline.
In the afternoon, enjoy a non-motorized Panga ride in Black Turtle Cove, a mangrove estuary on the north coast of Santa Cruz Island. Many rays, sea turtles, pelicans, and others live in the mangroves.
Disembark the ship on Baltra for your flight back to the mainland.