In the morning, fly to Baltra from Guayaquil. This island was a strategic point during the Second World War. Once at the airport, a naturalist English speaking guide assists you and transfers you to the yacht.
After lunch, visit Hacienda Primicias and see giant tortoises in their natural habitat. The tortoises are easy to spot, lumbering around eating grass and leaves and wallowing. Some highland birds, like cattle egrets, mockingbirds, finches or flycatchers can be seen here. After the hike return to the yacht for dinner and briefing for next day.
Today, sail to Tintoreras, located south of Puerto Villamil. This area has a small bay of completely calm turquoise waters, where you can find sea lions, sea turtles, marine iguanas, rays, etc. The bay is connected to a crevice of crystal clear water, that's shallow and when the tide is low, the entrance closes. In this crevice, you can see how reef sharks swim along with other small fish and sea lions.
In the afternoon, head to the Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center. This center has a captive breeding program for tortoises from the populations of southern Isabela. Then visit Humedales for a short hike. This area is characterized by sandy beaches, rocky shores, and mangroves. The area has a number of trails where you can see all four species of mangroves found in Galapagos and also migratory birds: whimbrel, short-billed dowitcher, wilson’s phalarope, common tern, blue-winged teal, osprey, black-bellied and semipalmated plovers, greater and lesser yellowlegs to name a few. Afterwards, take a bus to the Wall of Tears. The wall was constructed between 1946 and 1959 while Isabela was a penal colony. As punishment the prisoners were forced to build the wall from huge blocks of lava. The wall is named for the many convicts that died while building the wall. Then board the boat for dinner.
After breakfast, take a zodiac to one of the most colorful and volcanically varied islands in the archipelago as well as a great snorkeling site. Begin on Rabida's famous maroon sandy beach and take an easy hike to a stunning lookout that looks over the amazing landscapes of the Galapagos.
Rabida is a birdwatcher's delight. Some of the rarest species are in abundance on this island, such as nine varieties of finches, Large-billed Flycatchers, Galapagos Hawks and Brown Pelicans.
After lunch, sail to Cerro Dragon on Santa Cruz Island. Take a walk to a hypersalinic (saltier than the ocean) lagoon behind the beach, often frequented by flamingos, common stilts, pintail ducks and other species of birds. Then take a short walk to the hill, which offers a great view of the bay and a nesting site of land iguanas. Many of the iguanas that nest here have been repatriated by the Charles Darwin Research Station.
Day 4 Black Turtle Cove - Baltra
This morning, take a panga ride to to Black Turtle Bay (Caleta Tortuga Negra). This area is very special due to its lovely beach with sea lions and its clear, calm water. Black (Pacific Green) Turtles and many different types of birds can be seen feeding here as you are paddled around the beautiful lagoons hidden in the mangroves. After this visit transfer to Baltra Airport by bus for your return flight to Guayaquil/Quito.
This was our first trip to South America and we were a little nervous. But Adventure Life made things so easy! All our questions were answered before we left, and our guide, Vidal, was amazing! He gave us enough space to explore without rushing us along. He also knew where the best picture taking opportunities were, which was great.