Baltra Island/North Seymour Island
Our adventure begins with a morning flight to Baltra Island and immediate transfer to the dock to board Yacht La Pinta. There’s a welcome introductory briefing, boat drill, cabin assignment and then lunch.
North Seymour Island
After disembarking in the afternoon, we enjoy a walk along the coast and the interior of the beautiful flat island, observing numerous colonies of birds, as well as sea lions and land iguanas. There are opportunities for coastal exploration by dinghy. Evening briefing, welcome cocktail and dinner.
Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela Island)/Punta Espinoza (Fernandina Island)
Since there is no landing site at this location, the coastal exploration is by dinghy, while the naturalist guide explains the dramatic geology of the area, with remains of lava flows and tuff stone layers. Wildlife is in abundance and, depending on the conditions of the ocean, we’ll be able to snorkel along the cliffs, hopefully in the company of green sea turtles.
Punta Espinoza (Fernandina Island)
In the afternoon, we visit the youngest and most pristine island of the archipelago, Fernandina, which is often the favourite of many visitors. Punta Espinoza has an amazing combination of barrenness and abundant wildlife. Highlights include hawks, penguins, the flightless cormorant and astounding views of the surrounding volcanic landscapes.
Urbina Bay/Tagus Cove (Isabela Island)
After breakfast, we disembark at Urbina Bay, on the western side of Isabela Island, the result of an uplifting of the ocean floor. Here you can find corals, shells, and large and very colourful Galápagos land iguanas, as well as the occasional giant tortoise. Navigating the Bolívar Channel, there's a good chance that we'll spot a whale or two.
Tagus Cove (Isabela Island)
On the northwest of Isabela, the secluded Tagus Cove has provided a favourite anchorage for pirates and whalers over the centuries, and today makes a great visitor site. An uphill hike takes us to the back of Darwin Crater, which is filled with salt water. We can snorkel or ride kayaks amid the dramatic landscape before our hike.
Rábida Island /Cerro Dragón-Dragon Hill (Santa Cruz Island)
In the morning, we disembark at Rábida Island’s red-sand beach. A stroll along the beach allows us to observe marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and several species of Darwin’s finches. This is a great place to snorkel from the beach. For those non-snorkelers, we can take a ride in our glass-bottom boat for a spot of submarine exploration.
Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill) (Santa Cruz Island)
The north shore of Santa Cruz is home to the fascinating landscape of Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill). Our walk includes circling a brackish water lagoon frequented by lagoon birds while, further inland, the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western islands of the archipelago, as well as the chance of observing land iguanas.
Puerto Ayora & Charles Darwin Research Station/Highlands of Santa Cruz Island
The morning visit heads to the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise pens within an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest. These are the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. A delicious lunch is served at the poolside of the Finch Bay Eco Hotel.
Highlands of Santa Cruz Island
After lunch, we wind up to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island by vehicle. This is a great place to look for the brilliant Vermilion Flycatcher and the endemic Scalesia trees. From December to mid-April and July to December a visit to observe giant tortoises in the wild may be included, if weather conditions are good.
Post Office Bay/Punta Cormorant (Floreana Island)
After breakfast, we land at Post Office Bay to visit the historic barrel that has served as a post office in the archipelago for over two centuries. Panga rides along the maze of channels on Floreana’s north shore can also be enjoyed. There’s great snorkelling from the beach too.
Champion Islet & Punta Cormorant (Floreana Island)
Before disembarking at Punta Cormorant we can snorkel or ride our glass-bottom boat along the coast of an extinct cone-volcano called “Champion Islet”.
Our visit to Punta Cormorant includes an olivine-crystal beach for an easy walk by a brackish water lagoon, where bird species such as greater flamingos may be observed. On the other side of the island, we come to a white-sand beach where sea turtles come out at night to nest.
Santa Fe Island/South Plaza Island
We take the dinghy over to this idyllic sandy-white beach populated by colonies of sea lions. Galápagos hawks are often easily observed, perched atop salt bushes. The endemic land iguana, unique to this island, may be spotted during the walk. Following the walk, we can snorkel and swim along a natural wave barrier.
South Plaza Island
The turquoise waters of the channel here contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline, while a carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents serves as groundcover for a grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cactus beyond, populated by yellow-gray land iguanas. Along the coastline, one finds colonies of sea lions, while sea birds play with the thermals that form along the cliffs of this small but amazing island.
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristóbal Island)
After breakfast, we depart for the port and airport for our flight back to the mainland.
• Please remember that the exact route and programme may vary according to weather and ocean conditions and the wildlife we encounter. It's also subject to change without previous notice due mainly to readjustment of the National Park policies and regulations.
-Dry landing: guests step from the dinghy onto rocks or a dock.
-Wet landing: as the dinghy edges onto a sandy beach, guests step into around 20 cm (8 inches) of water and wade ashore.
PACKING CHECK LIST
• 1 Small backpack
• Comfortable walking shoes
• Sneakers with rubber soles
• Long pants
• Long and Short sleeved shirts
• Wind breaker
• Bathing suit - wetsuit for snorkelling in cold months
• Hat or cap
• Toiletries (biodegradable shampoo please)
• Sun block
• Sunglasses and strap
• Camera, underwater camera & camcorder
• Any prescription medicine you may require