Embark the Darwin Yacht and meet the Captain and crew. Visit Mosquera in the afternoon, a reef of rocks and coral (the result of an uprising) and a great white sand beach. Its narrowest width reaches about 160 meters and it has an estimated length of 600 meters. This island has one of the largest populations of sea lions. You can also observe several species of shorebirds. There have been occasional reports at this site of orcas (Orcinus orca) feeding on sea lions.
In the afternoon travel to Santa Fe, located on the northeast end of the island bearing the same name. Of the two species of land iguanas present in the Galapagos, the Conolophus subcristatus inhabits South Plaza, Santa Cruz, North Seymour/Baltra, Isabela, and Fernandina, however the species Conolophus pallidus only lives on Santa Fe. It is distinguished mainly by the larger and paler color (hence its scientific name). Studies according to Geist D.J suggest that Santa Fe could be the oldest Galapagos volcano, as there are sub-aerial rocks dating back 3.9 million years. Santa Fe also has a mix of underwater lava pushed to the surface by uprising and lava that was deposited subsequent to the uprising. An additional attraction is the presence of giant tunas that have a trunk wider than in any other location in the Galapagos.
In the afternoon go to Punta Suarez, located on the west coast of Española Island. The hiking trail here is about 1670 meters and takes approximately 2 hours. Española is known as one of the oldest islands, with an estimated age of 3.3 million years. Basaltic lava rocks cover much of the island. The albatross (Diomedea irrorata) is endemic to Española Island and is present from April to December, but has also been reported in the “Isla de la Plata” (National Park Machalilla). Española has a high percentage of endemism due to its isolation from other islands and species; a variety of carnivorous mockingbirds, lava lizards (the largest of the 7 species endemic to the Galapagos), and Darwin's finches are considered endemic to Española.
In the afternoon, go to Cormorant Point located on the north coast of Floreana Island. The trail is approximately 720 meters and goes to a lagoon with a wonderful view and fine sand beach. In the lagoon one can find a large population of flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber) and on the beach a nesting area for sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), as well as other species of flora and fauna. At Cormorant Point there are two endemic plant species: Scalesia vellosa and Lecocarpus pinaffitidus. The beach landing contains a large amount of olivine crystals, giving it a greenish color. These crystals have been expelled by the wind of nearby tuff cones. The glass was formed when the magma was still underground. There is also a beach composed of polished hermatypic coral sand. These areas are ideal for stingrays, which prefer fine sands in order to escape natural predators.
In the afternoon, visit the high part of Santa Cruz Island, “Los Gemelos” or “The Twin Pit Craters”. They are, geologically speaking, seen as craters but their formation is not directly due to volcanic action. Rather they were created as a result of the collapse or sinking of surface materials into cracks or manholes. In 1989 a circular path around the largest crater was opened, which passes through the interior of the Scalesia forest, an excellent place to observe land birds, especially the woodpecker finch and the vermillion flycatcher. Another plant that draws attention is the Galapagos guava or guayabillo tree, Psidium galapageium, which has a clean and smooth bark and branches covered with epiphytes and brown liverworts.
Disembark the Darwin on Baltra Island for your flight back to the mainland.