Morning flight from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra, Galapagos Islands.
You will arrive at Baltra Island in the morning. After passing through immigration and baggage claim, you will be met by a Cormorant staff member and transferred to the yacht. You will be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before lunch and a welcome briefing.
You will visit “Fausto Llerena” Giant Tortoises Creeding Center in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, where giant tortoises are bred in captivity; this is home to tortoises ranging from 3-inches (new hatchlings) to 4-feet long adults. Subspecies of the giant tortoises interact with one another, and many of the older tortoises are accustomed to humans stretching out their heads for a photo opportunity. The babies are kept until they are about four-years-old and strong enough to survive on their own.
Journey to Tintoreras Islet, located a short distance from Puerto Villamil, home to a great variety of wildlife. Its turquoise, crystalline waters are inhabited by white-tipped reef sharks, Galapagos penguins, marine turtles and sea lions. One of its beaches, surrounded by mangroves, is one of the few sites where marine iguanas can reproduce successfully.
Visit the Sierra Negra Volcano, boasting the largest basaltic caldera in Galapagos at 9 x 10km. The site offers impressive views and the opportunity to observe up to 7 species of finch and a rich display of vegetation. The north side of the caldera provides evidence of its most recent volcanic activity in 2005.
Next arrive at the Tortoise Breeding Station (Puerto Villamil), created to protect animals in their first years of life from the threats of foreign species such as pigs and donkeys. Giant tortoise eggs are collected and brought to the center where they are hatched and kept for five years before being released to their natural environment.
Conclude the day by visiting the Wetlands of Isabela Island, located just outside of Puerto Villamil. They consist of lagoons, swamps, and mangroves and are home to a variety of unique bird species such as common stilts, whimbrels, white-cheeked pintails, and gallinules. The Wetlands can be visited on foot via a path that winds through the swamps.
Moreno Point is located southwest of Elizabeth Bay. Here a dry landing onto what was once owing lava is possible. The lava has left craters in its wake which formed crystal tide pools. By looking into the pools, you can peer into another world as the marine life drifts by your window. In the brackish pools of this area, you may see pink flamingos, white-cheeked pintails, and common gallinules. If you look carefully into the pools, you may see white-tip reef sharks and some sea turtles.
Elizabeth Bay is located on the east coast of Isabela Island. The bay contains many islets, which can be visited by dinghy. Penguins and blue-footed boobies can be spotted on the rocky islets. With an abundance of marine life and clear water, the area is perfect for snorkeling and viewing schools of colorful fish, sea lions, and perhaps even sharks.
Day 4: Espinosa Point, Fernandina | Vicente Roca Point, Isabela
Crossing the Bolivar Channel that divides Isabela and Fernandina Islands, you will land at Espinoza Point, and after walking past a colony of marine iguanas and a group of sea lions, you will reach the island’s highlight: the flightless cormorant nesting site. This area also provides a great opportunity to see the Galapagos hawk.
Comprised of two separate coves, Vicente Roca Point is a large bay with spectacular sea life. Keep an eye out for seahorses, sea turtles, and the strange yet fascinating Mola mola (or sunfish) while you snorkel.
Day 5: Egas Port | Espumilla Beach | Buccaneer Cove, Santiago
Egas Port, also known as James Bay, on Santiago Island is home to the curious Galapagos hawks and quick-footed Galapagos lava lizards. The trail leads to the coastline with gorgeous tide pools and grottos full of fauna. Here the Galapagos fur seals bathe in the sun. This is also a great snorkeling site.
In Espumilla Beach marine iguanas lounge and the Sally Lightfoot crabs attract the hunting herons performing the dance of predator and prey right before your eyes. Snorkeling is highly recommended as you could come face to face with an octopus, moray eel, shark and a variety of other species of tropical fish.
Buccaneer Cove is a testament to the fact that Santiago Island was once a refuge for British buccaneers. These pirates would anchor in the protected bay to make repairs and stock up on tortoise meat among other things. The steep cliffs, where hundreds of seabirds perch in front of the dark red sand beach, are a magnificent site.
You will head to Bartholomew Island where the famous Pinnacle Rock is found. Bartholomew consists of an extinct volcano with a variety of red, orange, black and even green volcanic formations. We will take a trail of stairs to the summit of the volcano (about 30 or 40 minutes) where you will enjoy one of the best views of the islands! You will also visit a small, beautiful beach surrounded by the only vegetation found on this barren island. The beach is perfect for snorkeling where you may even see and swim with Galapagos penguins.
You will visit Sullivan Bay located on the southeast part of Santiago. This place is interesting for its geology because the area is covered by lava flows. This place has elevations in the form of small volcanoes formed by the lava flows.
This small islet is located near the southeast coast of Santiago Island. Its name comes from the distinct shape of the islet’s summit. This small islet is a great location to view many geological formations such as lava tunnels and lava flows. Some of the lava flows were formed underwater and subsequently raised above sea level. The presence of coral heads on the lava flow indicates this phenomenon.
The visitors’ site at Dragon Hill is located in northwestern Santa Cruz Island and consists of a 1,600 m long trail that runs through three different environments. The beach is very rocky. At high tide it’s a nice place for snorkeling. At this visiting site you can find vegetation of the typical intertidal zone and dry zone.
Day 8: North Seymour | Baltra | Disembark
Sail for North Seymour Island to view Galapagos sea lions, blue-footed boobies, and magnificent frigatebirds. The island was formed by a series of submarine lavas containing layers of sediment that were uplifted by tectonic activity. The island is characterized by its arid vegetation zone.
Transfer to the airport and connect back to the mainland.
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Prices for are estimated based on inflation. Contact us to confirm pricing and availability for your desired departure date.
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(cabins 1 to 6) All feature private balconies and en-suite bath facilities.
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(cabins A and B) Spacious suites located on the main deck include a sitting area, private balcony and en-suite bath facilities.
25% discount for children under 12 years at time of Galapagos cruise traveling with two adults. Child discounts are conditional and may not apply on certain departures. Please contact us for more information.
Children under 12 may receive discounts on Galapagos flight fares and entrance fees. Contact us for details.
Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!