Itinerary A Cruise Tour


Day 1: Baltra Island & Mosquera Island

Baltra Island Airport

The first airport here was built by Americans during the 2nd World War - remnants of that military base can be easily observed.  The latest airport here touts itself as the world’s first “green” airport. It opened in December 2012.  The terminal consists of recycled steel tubes taken from oil drilling operations in the Amazon.  It spreads over 6,000 square meters and required an investment of just over $24 million. The new complex uses clean, renewable technologies such as solar energy, wind farms, and seawater desalination, among other environmental innovations.  It is kept cool(ish) simply by design - no air conditioning is required.
 

Mosquera Island

Located between the islands of Baltra and North Seymour, this sand covered reef of rocks and coral (the result of an uprising) has one of the largest populations of sea lions. You can also observe several species of shorebirds and the curious sally lightfoot crabs. There have been occasional reports at this site of Orcas (Orcinus orca) feeding on sea lions. 

Day 2: Bartolomé Island & Santiago Island

Bartolomé Island

Bartolomé Island has two visitor sites that are usually combined into one visit.  The first is a swim and snorkel off a nice beach, around the iconic Pinnacle Rock; the underwater world there is really impressive. Snorkelers are in the water with the penguins, marine turtles white-tipped reef sharks, rays and other tropical fish.  The second site is accessible via a long staircase leading up to a spectacular view point from which you can see the manifestations of recent volcanic activity.
 

Santiago Island, Sullivan Bay

While it doesn’t boast much wildlife, Sullivan Bay provides visitors with an opportunity to walk across a recent lava flow and examine its otherworldly beauty. Don’t worry; the lava isn’t hot, as it was formed in the late 19th century. The trail here crosses pahoehoe lava, dotted with pyroclastic cones. Inland, striking red and yellow tuft cones rise above the flow. 

Day 3: Sombrero Chino Island & Santa Cruz Island

Sombrero Chino Island

The landing site is at a small crescent-shaped white-sand beach. A trail runs from the landing site — where you may see penguins, sea lions and Sally Lightfoot crabs — to the rocky shore of the western part of the island. Here, you’ll enter a primeval world of volcanic rubble, sharp outcroppings, and lava formations. A visit usually includes a snorkel/swim. 

Santa Cruz Island, Whale Bay

This is a beautiful greenish sand cove. The beach contains a large amount of volcanic olivine crystals, formed when the magma was still underground. A small tortoise population from Pinzon Island lives in the area, probably left by whalers or previous inhabitants. There is the opportunity to see marine iguanas and sea birds, followed by snorkeling. 

Day 4: Santa Cruz Island

Santa Cruz Island, Cerro Dragon

The 3km/2mile trail leads through dry-zone vegetation to a small hill where the land iguanas thrive. The area is home to Galapagos mockingbirds, Darwin´s finches, varieties of the endemic Opuntia and candelabra cactus, and Galapagos cotton. Green turtles, sharks, and rays may be spotted on the panga ride, while black-necked stilts, white cheeked pintails, and migratory shorebirds are often seen. 
 

Santa Cruz Island, Bachas Beach

The name originates from the end of WWII when the American army abandoned their barges, of which two floated up onshore. The beach is a good place to spot some of the characteristic Galapagos species such as flamingos, sally lightfoot crabs, marine iguanas as well as migratory and aquatic birds. It is also one of the main nesting sites for sea turtles on Santa Cruz Island.

Day 5: South Plaza Island & Santa Fe Island

South Plaza Island

Various sea birds can be spotted from the top of the sea cliffs.  Land iguanas sit patiently, waiting for cactus flowers to drop.  Marine iguanas and sea lions are also abundant.   South Plaza is also home to the beautiful succulent Sesuvium plant, which changes from bright green in the rainy season to red, orange, and purple during the dry season. 
 

Santa Fe Island

A visit begins with a wet landing on a small beach. The beaches here are popular with sea lions, which can often be seen surfing the waves. There are two visitor trails here; one leading to a scenic viewpoint atop a cliff, and the other wending through a forest of massive Santa Fe opuntia cactus. Snorkeling in the radiant blue-green waters is excellent, and you may see a Galápagos green turtle gracefully swim by.

Day 6: Floreana Island

Floreana Island, Punta Cormorant - Devil`s Crown

Between two tuff cones, the Punta Cormorant landing is on a beach with green, olivine sand. Trails allow you to explore a brackish lagoon where greater flamingoes wade through the water, sifting shrimp with their curved bills. Stingrays can be seen in the shallows. You may also see pintail ducks, stilts, large-billed flycatchers, and several species of finches.

Floreana Island, Post Office Bay

In the eighteenth century, a group of whalers set up a wooden barrel to collect mail at this site, now known as Post Office Bay. A trail behind the barrel leads through palo santo and palo verde trees to a cave, which is actually a lava tube running down to the sea.

Day 7: Española Island

Española Island, Punta Suarez

A wet landing onto a beach with Sea Lions and colourful Marine Iguanas leads on to a 2km trail through Masked and Blue-Footed Booby colonies (be careful not to step on them!) to some magnificent cliffs with a blow-hole. Beyond here is the Galapagos' only Waved Albatross colony (Apr-Dec) - watch their somewhat clumsy attempts to take-off and land. Other animals including the Large cactus finch and Galapagos Hawk may also be seen.

Española Island, Gardner Bay

A wonderful white sand beach with a myriad of sea lions, perfect for relaxing. Famous for the Española mockingbirds, which like to pick at your laces.  Great beach relaxation and swimming.

Day 8: Santa Cruz Island & Baltra Island Airport

Santa Cruz Island, Los Gemelos - Highlands

Los Gemelos (The Twins) are a pair of large pit craters on the road from Puerto Ayora to Baltra. They were created when the surface material covering empty magma chambers collapsed. You can walk along the rim of the craters and enjoy breathtaking views. The trail around the larger crater passes through a Scalesia forest and is good place to see a variety of bird species.

Baltra Island Airport

The first airport here was built by Americans during the 2nd World War - remnants of that military base can be easily observed.  The latest airport here touts itself as the world’s first “green” airport. It opened in December 2012.  The terminal consists of recycled steel tubes taken from oil drilling operations in the Amazon.  It spreads over 6,000 square meters and required an investment of just over $24 million. The new complex uses clean, renewable technologies such as solar energy, wind farms, and seawater desalination, among other environmental innovations.  It is kept cool(ish) simply by design - no air conditioning is required.

Included

  • Full meals on board (breakfast, lunch & dinner)
  • Welcome/farewell cocktails
  • 24-Hour coffee, tea, & water station
  • Galapagos Naturalist guides
  • Transfer from/to Baltra Airport

Not Included

  • Galapagos National Park entrance fee, $100
  • Migration control card, $20
  • Airfare from/to Galapagos
  • Snorkel equipment (additional charge)
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Medical insurance

Highlights

  • Galapagos penguin
  • Hybrid land/marine iguana
  • Nazca booby
  • Vermillion flycatcher
  • Waved albatross