Arrive on the island of San Cristobal where a guide will be waiting to meet you and accompany you on the bus ride to the waterfront. Check in to your cabin and receive a brief introduction while heading out to the first landing site. Heading up the coast from Wreck Bay and Puerto Baquerizo, Kicker Rock is a spectacular formation that rises 152 meters out of the Pacific. Once on the island of Isla Lobos, take a walk on the trail to view baby sea lions and various types of boobies amidst the sands beneath the salt bushes. Have a chance to snorkel with playful sea lions that enjoy a good swim with visitors.
Hood is the southernmost island of the archipelago, and is one of the most popular due to the stunning variation and incredible number of fauna that greet visitors. IT is also home of the well known Gardner Bay. The giant tortoise was reintroduced to Hood in the 1970's and counts as one of the park's greatest stories of success.
Punta Suarez is a remarkable location based off it's quantity and variety of wildlife. Enjoy the friendly company of sea lions at this location. The tiny pups have been know to greet your toes upon arrival. Take a walk further inland to view a colorful variety of marine iguanas. The trail continues up the western edge of the island where masked and Nazca boobies' nesting sites can be viewed. The trail also allows for the chance to see nesting blue-footed boobies, Galapagos doves, the cactus finch, albatross, and mocking birds. Further down the trail there is a blowhole amongst the black lava landscape that shoots up water like a geyser.
Gardner Bay offers a striking long white sandy beach where colonies of sea lions bath in the sun, sea turtles swim offshore, and mockingbirds bolding investigate any new arrivals to the area. Enjoy some snorkeling off Gardner Island where whimsical sea lions swim around visitors. There is also an abundance of tropical fish to observe. There is also an option to kayak for those who are interested.
Floreana has a colorful history of pirates, whalers, convicts, and early settlers that were particular about their surroundings. At this location in 1793, whalers set up a barrel as a post office used to send letters home. Feel free to drop in a post card and grab another to mail when you return home. Continue inland to experience some exploratory swimming in a lava tube but make sure to bring a flashlight! Post Office Bay offers some amazing snorkeling where one can encounter sea turtles and tropical fish.
Next, stop at Asylum of Peace which is a historical site where the pirate Patrick Watkins once lived in a cave here. There is also a freshwater spring here that served as a source of water for early settlers.
Punta Cormorant offers to amazing and unique beaches. One is an incredible green color due to the volcanic olivine crystals present in the sand. The other beach is made up of very fine white sand and is known as Flour Beach. This sand was formed by the erosion of coral skeletons. There is a hypersaline lagoon in the basin of Punta Cormorant which is home to flamingoes, pintails, stilts, and other wading birds.
Champion is the next stop and is know for its outstanding snorkeling full of prime underwater sea lion interactions. Dolphins frequent this location as well as humpback whales.
The second largest island in the Galapagos is Santa Cruz. Puerto Ayora is a seaside economic center of this island, focused on fishing and tourism. This is a fun little port town to wander around in. This is the home of the Charles Darwin Research Station which has put great efforts into environmental restoration. Visit the Wild Tortoise Reserve to have a chance to view these friendly and amazing creatures. This is a great opportunity to view the giant tortoises in their natural environment. Then make your way down a wooden staircase into the mouth of the arched entrance of a lava tube.
Las Bachas is comprised of two sandy white-coral beaches that are prime egg-laying sites for sea turtles. Take a brief walk inland to a lagoon where pink flamingos are often found as well as great blue herons, common stilts, brown noddys, white-cheek pintail ducks, and other migratory birds.
Chinese Hat acquired its name because of its unique shape that resembles the traditional shape of a Chinese Coolie's hat. Have the chance to view the fiery colored Sally Lightfoot Crab as well as marine iguanas sunning themselves on the rocks. Snorkel in the cove here and have a chance to see penguins as they dart pass.
Depending on the tide, you may have a chance to visit Black Turtle Cove which is covered with four species of mangroves. Observe spotted eagle rays and cow nosed or golden rays as they swim below.
At the geological center of the archipelago, Jervis is an island of different color with its incredible deep red sandy beach and towering cliffs. This is a great location for getting close to the nesting brown pelicans. Hike in to see various land birds including Galapagos doves, the cactus finch, and the large ground finch. There is also a lagoon frequented by beautiful flamingoes. Rabida also offers an excellent kayaking route for those who are interested. There are sea turtles that will sometimes swim up to the kayak before noticing you and darting back into the water.
Sullivan Bay is covered by a huge field of pahoehoe lava reaching all the way into the channel. Take a panga ride along the black rocky coast in search of the Galapagos penguin. Enjoy some excellent snorkeling along the lava flow and swimming with penguins and sea lions. Watch the sun set over Sullivan Bay and light up the tower-like Pinnacle Rock to the east.
Bartolomé is famous for Pinnacle Rock which is a towering spearheaded obelisk rising from the ocean off the shore here. This is a well liked place for snorkelers with hoards of tropical fish, urchins, sea stars, and anemones. There is also the chance to swim with playful sea lions. The beach here is beautiful and is used as a nesting site by sea turtles.
North Seymour Island was lifted by seismic activity leading to its low, flat profile. There is a tiny forest of silver-grey Palo Santo trees above the landing here. Have the chance to view the courtship dance of the blue-footed boobies. A truly unique site to see. Up the trail a bit there is a nesting site for the frigates. The males can be seen inflating their large throat sacks to attract females.
Mosquera is a small island consisting of a long narrow stretch of white sand, rocks, and tide pools. A stroll down the beach offers the opportunity to view brown pelicans, boobies, and one of the largest populations of sea lions in the Galapagos.
Santa Fe offers an incredible turquoise lagoon that is protected by a peninsula of tiny islets forming the perfect anchorage. It is one of the oldest islands in the archipelago. Enjoy interactions with the friendly sea lions that hang out on the beach here. An ascending trail that leads toward the cliffs allows for an opportunity to spot one of the largest species of land iguanas endemic to Santa Fe. Santa Fe offers some advance kayaking opportunities for those who are in the mood.
South Plazas Island likes just off the coast of Santa Cruz and is one of the smallest but richest islands in the archipelago. It is rich with lush and diverse flora including green prickly-pear cacti and red sesuvium. There is a very healthy population of sea lions making their home here as well as unique birdlife such as Nazca and blue-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls.
Take a walk up the beach of Darwin Bay and witness the bustling activity of the great frigate birds. Farther along the trail there are a series of pools set in the rocky outcrop and marine iguanas, lava lizards, and Galapagos doves rest close to the trail. Across the bay at Prince Phillip's Steps, there is some amazing snorkeling to be had at this location with a variety of marine life. The stairway is a 25-meter stretch that opens out onto the plateau surrounding Darwin Bay. Have a chance to observe the red-footed boobies, the masked-booby, and, with luck, even get a glimpse at the short-eared owls.
Fernandina is the youngest and westernmost island of the Galapagos and is the home of Punta Espinosa at the northeast corner of the island. There are a number of unique species on this island including penguins, red and turquoise-blue zayapas crabs, blue and lava herons, marine iguanas, sea lions, etc. Down the shore from one of the most active volcanoes in the world, La Cumbre, is the location of one of the world's only species of flightless cormorants. The snorkeling here offers some amazing sites as well.
Urbina Bay is the next stop that is home to the giant land iguanas who have vivid yellow skin making them very colorful. There are also giant tortoises on the coastal plain during the wet season before migrating to the highlands.
Tagus Cove, named after a british warship, was used for an anchorage by pirates and whalers. You can still see the names of the ships carved into the ridge, a practice that is now prohibited. Take a panga ride to view where blue-footed boobies, brown noddies, pelicans, and noddy terns make their nests. Take a walk up a wooden stairway to Darwin Lake which is a round, saltwater crater.
At the northern part of Isabela lies Punta Vicente Roca. An ancient volcano formed two turquoise coves with a perfectly calm bay inside. This calmness makes it an ideal spot for diving. Snorkeling here offers the opportunity to see sea lions, turtles, spotted eagle rays, and manta rays.
Punta Albemarle is the location of an abandoned radar station from WWII that can still be seen. It is also a prime nesting location for the flightless cormorant, and the largest marine iguanas also make their homes here.
Charles Darwin spent several days exploring and collecting specimens from this island. Pirates and whalers also favored the cove here, Buccaneer Cove, because it offers fresh water and they used to kill the giant tortoises for food. Espumilla Beach is an excellent location for bird watching. Take a walk through the mangroves to a brackish lagoon where flocks of pink flamingos and white cheeked pintails wade in the water.
James Bay offers some unique sites for this tour. There is a black beach with amazing eroded rock formations and there is a trail that goes along the rim of an extinct volcanic crater. A path leading south takes visitors to a series of crystal-clear grottos formed of broken lava tubes which is home to sea lions and tropical fish. This is an excellent place for watching fur lions as they rest on the rocks by the grottos.
Puerto Ayora is the seaside economic center for fishing and tourism in the Galapagos. This is also the location for the Charles Darwin Research Station. Enjoy an education visit here and have the opportunity to see giant tortoises at the Breeding Center. Here they are working to restore the population of the giant tortoise by helping them to survive in their natural habitat. At the Tortoise Reserve, you will have a chance to track down these friendly creatures for a close encounter. There will also be a chance to visit the amazing lava tubes. These are underground tunnels that can be reached by a wooden stairway.
Explore the visitor center off Wreck Bay and have a chance to stroll through the quaint port town. From here a guide will accompany you to the airport to return to the mainland.
|Twin Cabin: C,3,4||Double Cabin: C1, 2, 5||Twin Cabin: A 2,3||Suite: A 1,4|