Arrive into the Galapagos at the Baltra airport. Transfer to your ship and set sail.
Located between North Seymour and Baltra Island is the small island of Mosquera. The island consists is a long narrow stretch of white sand, rocks, and tide pools. Created by geological uplift, the island is flat rather than the conical shape of the volcanic islands. Mosquera Island is a great place for snorkeling, strolling on the beach, and enjoying wildlife without the tourist crowds common at many of the more popular islands.
Start the morning with a visit to Vicente Roca on the island of Isabela. The largest island in the Galapagos, it is also the youngest and the most volcanically active. Vicente Roca Point is comprised of two separate coves with a large bay and offers an amazing amount of marine life to be spotted.
Continue to Fernandina, located to the west of Isabela, which makes it the westernmost island in Galapagos. No foreign species have ever invaded this island, and as a result it claims one of the world's most pristine island ecosystems. On your walk across this island you will pass the largest colony of land iguanas in Galapagos, and if you're lucky and if the water is clear enough, you might see them feed underwater while snorkeling. Continue on your walk and pass a group of lazy sea lions, before arriving at the island's highlight - the flightless cormorant nesting site.
Tagus Cove is one of the landing spots on the island and was historically used as an anchoring site for pirates and whalers. The trail that goes from Tagus Cove will take you through many different vegetation zones and offers spectacular views of Darwin Lake, which is a saltwater crater lake. Once you get to the top of the trail, you will be able to see Darwin Volcano as well as Wolf Volcano, which is the highest point of the islands.
Santiago provides habitat for many of the 30-40,000 fur seals that call the Galapagos home. If you plan on taking pictures of the fur seals, Puerto Egas is an excellent spot. At dawn or sunset, the light is perfect for great photography. There are also plenty of sea lions on the black beach of Puerto Egas. Take a moment after exploring the island and swim with the playful sea lions off the coast of two small coral-lined beaches.
One of the most recognizable Galapagos Islands, Chinese Hat is easy to see why: this islet off of Santiago is shaped like an old-fashioned Chinaman’s hat, a gently sloping cone rising out of the clear Galapagos water. Because of its distinctive shape, this island has fascinated visitors as long as they have been coming to Galapagos. Follow the trails and stroll the beaches, spotting Sally Lightfoot crabs, marine iguanas, lava lizards and more. Lucky snorkelers may even see the rare Galapagos penguin here.
Visit the world famous Charles Darwin Research Center where efforts to protect and preserve the native and endemic animals are developed. Learn about the giant tortoise rearing programs.
The Charles Darwin Research Center was created in 1960 by an international committee in order to promote research, conservation, and education in the Galapagos Islands. The center is located on Isla Santa Cruz, a short walk away from Puerto Ayora. At the center, visitors can tour the Van Straelen Exhibition Center where staff members are available to answer questions about the islands and the ongoing restoration process. The center also runs slide shows (narrated in several languages) that describe the history of the islands and the current conservation efforts.
Beyond the tortoises are several shaded patios along the elevated boardwalks that weave throughout the center. Here visitors can take a break from the crowds and observe many of the native bird species, including Darwin's famous finches.
Land in Tintoreras, a small bay of calm turquoise waters where sea lions, sea turtles, marine iguanas, rays and more frolic in the clear waters. A white sand beach and a black stone beach provide a nesting site for marine iguanas.
Visit the Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center located near Puerto Villamil, where several species of tortoises are being cared for. Continue to the wet lands of Isabela, which consist of lagoons, swamps and mangroves. Here you will find the home to a variety of unique bird species such as common stilts, whimbrels, and gallinules.
Rabida is a bird-watchers delight. Some of the rarest species are in abundance, such as 9 varieties of finches, large billed flycatchers, Galapagos hawks and brown pelicans. The dark red sand beaches and a horde of snoring sea lions make for spectacular snorkeling. Also, the island is home to the skinny legged Flamingo, which can be seen in a salt-water lagoon near the beach.
Hike Dragon Hill (Cerro Brujo) on Santa Cruz Island. This site consists of a trail that runs through three different environments along the way. View marine iguanas as well as the Galapagos flamingo.
Spend the morning at Black Turtle Cove, a mangrove estuary on the northern shores of Santa Cruz Island. Many rays, sea turtles, pelicans and other wildlife live among the mangroves.
Transfer to the Baltra airport for your journey home.