Black Turtle Cove is one of the most beautiful marine sites. It is made up of a complex maze of tranquil salt-water inlets surrounded by three different species of mangrove. Its waters are a nursery site for sea turtles, rays, and sharks as well as a nesting site for sea birds. This is a site that is only accessible by panga.
Rábida is a small island with red volcanic rocks surrounding a beautiful red sand beach. Here there is a colony of sea lions and a pelican nesting site. The trail leads to a salt water lagoon where you can view various types of shore birds. Rábida is considered to be one of the best snorkeling sites in the Galapagos Islands, so enjoy the opportunity to go snorkel, or if you prefer to kayak or take a panga ride, that is also available.
Puerto Egas (James Bay) is located on the northwest side of Santiago Island. The landing is on a black beach with eroded rock formations surrounding it. The trail crosses the dry interior where you will pass the remains of a salt mining enterprise. Continue along the coast to see tidal pools that are home to an abundant variety of invertebrate organisms, including sea urchins, octopus, and starfish. Have the chance to also see marine iguanas, finches, oyster catchers, and possibly the Galapagos Hawk. The Fur Sea Lion Grottos is one of the only places in the islands where the Fur Sea Lion can be viewed.
After the walk, take a relaxing swim or snorkel around the bay. This will allow you the chance to see sea lions, various fish, and possibly turtles, rays, and reef sharks.
Tagus Cove was historically used as an anchoring place for pirates, buccaneers, and whalers. There are the name of hundreds of ships painted on the high ridges, a practice that is now forbidden. Take a hike through an area of vegetation and the volcanic landscape of Darwin volcano. At the top of the trail, you will enjoy an incredible view of the whole cove and Darwin Lake.
The early morning activity is followed by kayaking or a panga ride. This will give you the opportunity to see a bounty of blue-footed boobies perched on the ledges of the cliffs. Also enjoy the chance to see marine iguanas, penguins, brown pelicans, brown noddy terns, and swallow-tailed gulls. While exploring the channel between Fernandina and Isabela Islands, enjoy the possibility of an encounter with dolphins and whales.
Fernandina Island is one of the most pristine and dynamic ecosystems in the entire world. La Cumbre Volcano last erupted in April 2009 and its lava flows dominate the landscape here all the way to the ocean. Punta Espinoza is a narrow piece of land where some of the most unique Galapagos species can be seen. These include the flightless cormorant, Galapagos snakes, marine iguanas, penguins and the Galapagos hawk.
Urbina bay is located in Western Isabela, at the foot of Alcedo volcano. After a wet landing on a stunning black-sand beach, observe sea turtle nesting sites. This area is also known for penguin and flightless cormorant sightings and is one of the best places to see Darwin’s finches and large land iguanas. Keep an eye out for Galapagos tortoises while on this excursion. They like to feed within the site’s dense vegetation.
Excellent snorkeling can be found in Punta Vicente Roca. Sea turtles can usually be seen as well as several varieties of fish. For those who do not snorkel, take a panga ride for the opportunity to study some of the Galapagos’ spectacular geological rock formations. Nazca boobies, pelicans, swallow-tailed gulls, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants and penguins are often seen in the area.
After a delicious breakfast, disembark in Puerto Ayora and enjoy a quick yet informative visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station. After that you will be escorted to the Baltra airport for departure back to the mainland.