This tour takes you to the Eastern islands of the archipelago, to deep, silent coves where green sea turtles swim, to the iconic Pinnacle Rock and to a red sandy beach where yet more sea lions await you. After a delicious breakfast, a panga will take you where red-footed boobies perch on prickly pear cacti, Nazca boobies nest and green sea turtles glide alongside.
Visit Black Turtle Cove, a mangrove lagoon on the coast of Santa Cruz
Explore Darwin Bay a unique site with a beautiful beach
Be amazed by the landscapes covered by sea lions’ colonies at Bartolome
After arriving at Baltra airport, be greeted by your naturalist guide to then board the M/Y WildAid´s Passion and have lunch. After lunch, navigate a short distance to Black Turtle Cove, a large mangrove lagoon on the north coast of Santa Cruz Island. Pelicans and herons roost on the branches, while marine dwellers such as green sea turtles or golden rays may cruise right next to the panga as it makes its way through the mangroves.
Travel to Genovesa Island and reach Darwin Bay (wet landing), a unique site with a beautiful beach, lined with red mangroves and soft‐haired prickly pear cacti where red‐footed boobies and great frigatebirds perch tamely.
At El Barranco (dry landing), climb the edge of a cliff where frigatebirds, masked boobies, and red-footed boobies nest. The trail takes you to the inner part of the island, populated by holy stick trees and cacti.
Today have the opportunity to observe the abundant marine life of Punta Espejo, on Marchena Island. This site is reserved for snorkeling and diving only, and it is safe to say that it is one of the best spots in the Galapagos for these activities. This location is known for having dolphins and hammerhead sharks, as well as the vast quantities of coral heads, allowing for a much higher concentration of coral than the rest of the archipelago. We will have two snorkeling activities during this morning, to have more time and opportunities to observe marine life.
After snorkeling, return to the yacht for an in-depth briefing about the ocean currents and their effect on the archipelago’s flora and fauna while we navigate to our next destination.
We will have a dry landing in Santiago Island’s Sullivan Bay, where we will walk over a recent lava flow with fresh pahoehoe lava formations, lava bubbles containing crystallized minerals, and pioneer plant fossils. Along the shoreline, we may find Galapagos penguins and herons going after small fish.
Have a dry landing on Bartolome, followed by a mild climb up a set of wooden steps to reach the summit of a spatter cone for a breathtaking panorama of the island’s iconic Pinnacle Rock and views of neighboring Santiago, and other central islands in the distance. Afterward, visit the white sand beach used as a nesting site by sea turtles, followed by snorkeling in the waters of Bartolome Island, where it is not unusual to spot Galapagos penguins.
In the afternoon, navigate a short distance to Cerro Dragon on Santa Cruz’s northwestern shore with a dry landing to visit a saltwater lagoon, home to greater flamingos, black‐necked stilts, and white‐cheeked pintails. Further inland finds a fantastic land iguana nesting site.
Day 5: Santa Cruz Highlands | Disembark
This is your last day on the islands. After breakfast, disembark in Puerto Ayora and board our transport to reach Santa Cruz Highlands. Visit one of the ranches of the area where it is possible to see giant tortoises in their natural hábitat.
After this visit, make your way to the Baltra airport for the flight to mainland Ecuador.
Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!