Sample Yacht Excursion Itinerary
Day 1) North Seymour Islands- Upon arrival, guests are met by the hotel naturalist guides and accompanied directly to the yacht. A stroll on flat terrain allows the observation of Palo Santo trees and colonies of blue-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls and magnificent frigate birds. Towards the other side of the island, the ocean crashes against the rocks and sea lions surf in the waves.
Day 2) El Manzanillo - Santa Cruz Highlands- This morning head to the lush highlands of Santa Cruz Island. From there a short drive across the farming area will lead us to El Manzanillo, a site recently opened to visitors at the northern edge of the Giant Tortoise Reserve. In the afternoon visit a small farm, where coffee, sugar cane and cocoa beans are grown, harvested and prepared – all organic and sustainable.
Day 3) Santa Fe Island (Barrington)- A short trek leads through woods of Opuntia cacti and Palo Santo trees. Land iguanas (endemic to Santa Fe), lava lizards and colonies of sea lions can be observed. There is opportunity to swim and snorkel.
Day 4) Divine Bay- A short distance away from Academy Bay and the bustle of Puerto Ayora, lies the quiet and wildlife-rich Divine Bay. Named after one of the islands first settlers, this cove is protected from the swells by natural volcanic reefs on one side, by a gallery of mangrove trees on the other and cliffs created eons ago by the uplift of the lava plateau. Afternoon visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise breeding programme, with time to enjoy the town, or the hotel’s facilities.
Day 5) Carrion Point & South Plaza- Located at the north-eastern tip of Santa Cruz Island, Punta Carrion boasts both shallow reefs, mangroves, and exposure to rich upwellings to the east. As a result, it’s an ideal snorkelling site with plenty of reef fish as well as occasional sea lions and sharks. South Plaza is a small island full of fascinating wildlife, both along its shore and along its dramatic, wind-swept cliffs: sea lions, land iguanas, swallow-tailed gulls, Opuntia cacti and vegetation that changes colours according to the season.
Day 6) Bartolome Island- The trail is a fairly steep climb on wooden steps to the summit, worth the effort, as there is a spectacular view of the Galapagos scenery from above. Interesting lava formations and tuff cones can be observed. Sea lions and penguins swim in the vicinity of Pinnacle Rock. Enjoy snorkeling or swimming from the beach.
Day 7) Tortuga Bay- Our panga launch will take us to Puerto Ayora and a short distance further we reach the starting point of the trail to Tortuga Bay. The walking distance is 2 km (1.3 miles) along a fairly flat and straight path, where we explore and understand the arid, deciduous forest and its inhabitants. This is a great birding trail, if you take a little time to wander about and listen to the chirps and songs.
Day 8) Departure Day- After breakfast we leave the Finch Bay Hotel and on the way to Baltra, stop at the Twin Pit Craters, great geological depressions of volcanic material, formed by a long process of slow sinking of the ground, where exceptional Scalesia trees, ferns, mosses and orchids can be seen in the surroundings. Then, overland transfer to the airport in Baltra to take the flight back to the continent.