Arrive at the airport in Baltra from the mainland of Ecuador, where a guide will meet you and accompany you to the bus that will be taken to the Itabaca Channel. Cross the channel by barge and then continue to Puerto Ayora by bus and board the yacht. Enjoy a light snack while participating in the first orientation. In the afternoon, take a panga ride to Black Turtle Cove, a series of mangrove-surrounded coves and islets where you can observe spotted eagle rays, marine turtles, white-tipped sharks, and yellow cow-nosed rays. Board the yacht for dinner.
After breakfast, start the day with a trip to Sombrero Chino, also known as Chinese Hat, a small island off the coast of Santiago Island. This island got its name from its unique shape that resembles a hat. Here you can observe Galapagos penguins, eagle rays, sea lions, and marine iguanas on the rocky shoreline. This is an excellent snorkeling site and there will be time for those who would like to swim, snorkel, and kayak.
While at Rábida, walk and observe marine iguanas, sea lions, pelicans, blue-footed boobies, masked boobies, and brown pelicans. After a nice walk, arrive at a small saltwater lagoon where pink flamingos can be observed. After this have the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing swim, do some exploratory snorkeling, or enjoy some easy snorkeling.
Sullivan Bay is the perfect place to get a feel of the volcanic origin of these islands and will be the first stop of the day. Observe the beauty of the landscape and wildlife that make their homes here. Feel free to continue exploring with some relaxing snorkeling or just take a nice swim. There is much to explore at this beautiful location.
Later in the afternoon, head to Bartolomé Island and hike to the summit where there will be many chances to observe colonies of marine iguanas and lava lizards. On the summit we see an impressive view of the surrounding islands and the splendor of the unique eroded tuff cone of Pinnacle Rock.
Santa Fe Island is a great place to visit the cactus forest and it is home to a colony of land iguanas which are always fun to observe. For those who would like to swim, snorkel, and kayak, this is a great location to do so.
After a pleasant lunch aboard the yacht, enjoy an excursion to South Plaza. Be entertained by the antics of the sea lions who make their home here. Observe land iguanas and many species of tropical birds while taking a walk through a cactus forest.
Day 5: Santa Cruz Island - Baltra
After breakfast, head to Las Bachas Beach, a place where we can appreciate a flamingo lagoon. During all walks, your guide will be explaining details about the lives of the birds and animals. Return to the yacht and disembark at 9:00 am. Your guide will then accompany you on the bus ride directly to the airport.
Wetsuits are not included but are available to rent on board - $30 short and $35 long size for 4-day tours; $35 short and $40 long size for 5-day tours; $40 short and $50 long size for 8-day tours; $65 short and $75 long size for 11-day tours; and $70 short and $80 long size for 15-day tours.
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.