Arrive at the San Cristobal airport this morning and transfer to the boat. While enjoying lunch on board set sail and cruise the shores of this island. This afternoon brings a shore visit at the El Junco Lagoon.
This is one of the islands that has the most interesting human history. It was one of the earliest islands to be inhabited. In 1793 a post office barrel was erected on Floreana to facilitate delivery to the United States and Europe. Today, this area of the island is of course called Post Office Bay.
Explore Cormorant Point in the afternoon, with more than 50 volcanic cones rise in an 80-mile area. Pink flamingos, clear water and interesting coral growths make this a perfect spot for snorkeling.
Continue to Devil's Crown, a volcanic crater near Floreana that has been eroded by the waves. Here snorkelers are immersed in a world of color and movement filled with schools of fish that move as one: king angelfish, yellowtail surgeonfish, and needlefish. There are also parrotfish, Moorish idols, and damselfish, sea cucumbers, sea stars, sea urchins, sleeping sharks, turtles, rays and many more, making this one of the best snorkeling sites in the Galapagos.
This morning stop at Suarez Point, an amazing site and one of the most attractive in the Galapagos, because of the quantity and variety of wildlife. The trail along the island will take you past sea lions surfing the breaking waves, iguanas basking in the warm sun and boobies nesting right in your path. The trail continues towards the cliffs and the blowhole, which is a fissure in the lava where water spurts high in the air like a geyser.
This afternoon, Gardener Bay offers great opportunities for enjoying some beach time in the Galapagos. Here the mockingbirds will be the center of your attention as they keep you company on top of your hat or investigating your belongings.
From your landing point in the town of Puerto Ayora, enjoy an excursion to the Twin Craters, located in the highlands of this second largest island in the Galapagos archipelago. The lush greenery of the Santa Cruz highlands offers a welcome contrast with the arid scenery of the smaller, lower islands. You will get a chance to see enormous pit craters, lava tunnels and giant tortoises roaming freely.
Continue on to the Charles Darwin Station, where you can observe tortoise research and breeding programs. Scientists, park rangers, and park managers among others conduct the conservation of the islands and make huge efforts to preserve this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Land on the white-sand coral beach of Darwin Bay. Set out on foot through the mangroves and view nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls. Tidal pools are teeming with young sea lions and reef fish, and the occasional hammerhead shark can be found among the rocks.
Continue to El Barranco, also known as Prince Phillip's Steps. Hike up the steep rocky face to the top of a cliff where you can see red-footed boobies, short-eared lava owls, galapagos swallows, and Galapagos doves.
The first stop for the day is at the most recognizable islands in the Galapagos, with its gently sloping cone rising out of the clear water below. Located just off the Santiago Island, this volcanic island offers gorgeous beaches where one can spot Sally-Lightfoot crabs and marine iguanas. Take the trail passing through a colony of endemic sea lions before enjoying the view at the end.
Journey to Mosquera Islet, a reef of rocks and coral. This islet houses one of the largest populations of sea lions and many sea birds make their nests along the rocky shore.
Explore Cerro Brujo (Wizard Hill), a collapsed volcano with white sand beaches just north of Kicker Rock. Home to sea lions, blue footed boobies, marine iguanas, brown pelicans, Sally Lightfoot crabs, sea turtles and rays.
Kicker Rock (or Leon Dormido) is an enormous rock, located off the north west coast of San Cristobal, that rises 500 feet straight up from the ocean. It has the shape of a sleeping lion, and a split with towering verticals on either side, forming a narrow channel.
Stop at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, which is also the capital of the province Galapagos. Enjoy a visit to the Interpretation Center which was recently opened by the Galapagos National Park. This is an amazing educational and informational contribution to the island community and travelers. Continue from the center to the airport for your return flights home.
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