This 4-day northern route aboard the Nemo I includes visits to sea bird colonies of North Seymour, exclusive Genovesa Island filled with hundreds of thousands of seabirds, spectacular volcano islets Bartolome and Chinese Hat, and the highlands of Santa Cruz. Prepare yourself for the most dramatic landscapes and spectacular encounters with Galapagos species such as blue-footed boobies, giant tortoises, land and marine iguanas, sea lions, penguins, and more!
Visit the most extensive breeding colony of blue-footed boobies
Snorkel and kayak at the sheltered coral sand beach of Darwin Bay
Climb the stairs of Bartolome´s Summit Trail for panoramic views
Travel to the agricultural zone of Santa Cruz and meet giant tortoises
Upon arrival in Baltra, a naturalist guide from the Nemo I greets you and transfers you to the ferry across the Itabaca Channel. On Santa Cruz you continue by bus through the lush highlands to the harbour of Puerto Ayora. Then, take a dinghy to the yacht and head to your first stop, North Seymour Island.
On the island, enjoy the company of frigatebirds, swallow-tailed gulls, and sea lions as you walk along the beaches and rocky shorelines. Take a guided walk through the large seabird colonies, following a circular loop and watching as blue-footed boobies show their courtship rituals, in which their remarkable feet play an important role.
In the morning, walk along the white coral sandy beaches of Genovesa, a favorite island for birdwatchers, as it is home to red footed-boobies, masked boobies, wandering tattlers, lava gulls, yellow warblers, whimbrels, and yellow-crowned, black-crowned, and lava herons. Darwin Bay is a compact site that shows the extreme varied coastal ecosystems of the Galapagos in miniature.
In the afternoon, explore Prince Phillip's Steps (also known as El Barranco). Here you can climb to a plateau that surrounds the eastern side of Darwin Bay as you search for red-footed boobies and masked boobies in the trees, and storm petrels and short-eared owls nesting in the lava flows. At the seaside of the rim, the bushes open up and you can enjoy wide views, a strong sea breeze, and the amazing flying skills of uncountable seabirds.
The scenic views off Bartolome are some of the most stunning in all of the Galapagos. This morning, take time to observe volcanic cones, lunar-like craters, lava fields, and the famous Toba-formed pinnacle eroded by the sea. Then, walk to two breathtaking beaches, where you can find marine turtles and Galapagos penguins. Snorkel at the foot of Pinnacle Rock, the most representative landmark of the Galapagos, with crescent sand beaches on each side, and dunes with evergreen mangrove bushes in between.
In the afternoon, hike around the unique island called Chinese Hat. This island features unique geological features such as lava flows and lava tubes. On the west side of the island, you can even find lava formations that formed under the sea and raised upwards. Also enjoy the company of sea lion colonies, marine iguanas, and Galapagos penguins that live around the island.
After an early breakfast it’s time say goodbye and to leave the yacht. Travel by inflatable dinghy and private bus from the pier of Puerto Ayora into the highlands. In the agricultural zone you can see Galapagos giant tortoises in the wild. Thanks to their concentrations around their favorite muddy pools, these semi-open pastures and moist Scalesia woodlands are best place for a quick visit
After your trip, transfer to the Baltra airport for your flight back to Guayaquil or Quito.
The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.