ANAHI ITINERARY B2
DAY 1 (Friday): Baltra Airport & Santa Cruz Island: Bachas Beach
AM: Flight to Galapagos from Quito Airport
Upon arrival at San Cristobal travelers pass through an airport inspection point to ensure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands and to pay the park entrance fee of $100 (unless prepaid), and $10 for the required INGALA transit control card. Guides will meet you, collect your luggage, and escort you on the short bus ride to the harbor. Motorized rafts, called “pangas,” will transport you to the M/C Anahi and the crew will welcome you onboard. After departure and lunch, the first island visit is made.
PM: Bachas Beach
These two small beaches are found to the west of Turtle Cove. Their sand is made of decomposed coral, which makes it white and soft, making it a favorite nesting site for sea turtles. Behind one of the beaches there is a small brackish water lagoon, where occasionally it is possible to observe flamingos and other coastal birds, such as black-necked stilts and whimbrels. The other beach is longer, and has two old barges that were abandoned during the WWII when the United States used Baltra Island as a strategic point to protect the Panama Canal. (Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 2 (Saturday): Genovesa Island: Darwin’s Bay & El Barranco
AM: Darwin Bay
This bay originated when the island’ crater collapsed and submerged. The wet landing is on a beautiful white coral sandy beach. This is a favorite island for birdwatchers, who stand a great chance of seeing red footed-boobies, masked boobies, wandering tattlers, lava gulls, whimbrels, yellow- and black-crowned lava herons, and yellow warblers.
Continuing on the trail, visitors climb gradually to the edge of the cliff to observe Red-Foots nesting in the Mangrove trees below. Bird watching includes sightings of sharp-beaked finches, large cactus and ground finches, Galapagos doves, and swallow-tailed gulls. Reaching the end the trail at the cliff’s edge offers an incredible view of the island and the many birds living there.
PM: El Barranco
The visitor site of El Barranco is located in the southern part of Darwin Bay on Genovesa Island. The 1.5-kilometer trail is on volcanic rock and the tour can be done in about 2 hours. The youngest area of the island, from a geological point of view, is found in this area. The cliffs located in the south are composed of very fragile lava. The natural erosion that has occurred in these lava flows has become the ideal place for nesting Storm petrels. You can see two species of petrels that nest in cavities and holes in the lava. One of its main predators is the short-eared owl. The red-footed booby, which nests only in these outer islands of the archipelago, can be found here as well as Punta Pitt, and Gardner (Floreana) and Wolf islands. Also present on this island is the masked booby. During the panga rides along the cliffs fur sea lions can be seen along with several species of seabirds. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 3 (Sunday): Plazas Island & Santa Fe Island
Plazas is located at the east of Santa Cruz Island, and forms part of two islands known as Islas Plazas. Despite its small size, some of the most interesting and outstanding species of the Galapagos are found here. The Plazas land iguanas are smaller than its relatives found on other islands. Throughout the island are several hybrid iguanas, a result of crossing a male marine iguana and a female land iguana. The hybrids are unique, recognizable at first glance by their black/gray color, but with a land iguana’s crest and the face and tail of the marine iguana. The big population of iguanas is due to the presence of tuna, their favorite food. Swallow-tailed gulls nesting in the rugged cliffs are seen along with other sea birds such as Audubon shearwaters, red-billed tropicbirds, frigate birds, and brown pelicans.
PM: Santa Fe
Located in the southeastern part of the Galapagos, this island was formed from an uplift rather than volcanic activit6y, which is why it is mostly flat. Some theories suggest this could be the oldest island in the Archipelago. Santa Fe is the home of a number of endemic species like the Galapagos hawk, Galapagos snake, Galapagos mockingbird, rice rats, and one of the two species of land iguanas of the islands. After disembarking in the beautiful and clear waters you will be in contact with one of the many sea lion colonies. Along the trail the rampant vegetation includes salt bush and giant prickly pear cactus; gigantism is a characteristic of oceanic islands. There are great possibilities of snorkeling with playful sea lions and tropical fishes. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 4 (Monday): San Cristobal Island: Pitt Point & Kicker Rock & Lobos Island
AM: Pitt Point
This place is on the north of San Cristobal, the home of endemic species such as lava lizards and red-footed boobies. The view is impressive when you walk to the high part of the island.
You may be lucky to come across the infrequently seen red-footed booby but also the Chatham mockingbird, found only on San Cristobal Island.
PM: Kicker Rock
Also known as the Sleeping Lion because of the resemblance, it is located of the coast of San Cristobal. A lava cone eroded by the sea, the two vertical rocks rising 500 feet from the ocean form a small channel that is navigable by small boats. This Galapagos Islands natural monument has become a favorite sight for cruises due to the reliability of seeing many tropical birds, frigates, and boobies that fill the surrounding air.
Beneath the sea the nearly crystal waters offer a brilliant show of colorful tropical fish and invertebrates.
Isla Lobos is about an hour by boat from Port Baquerizo Moreno. The 850-meter trail takes about an hour to walk, along which you can see nesting blue-footed boobies and common frigate birds. You can observe the two species of sea lions living in the archipelago. During the tour you go through a dry vegetation zone, a substrate of volcanic rocks and a sandy area. During the panga tour brown pelicans and several species of shorebirds can be observed; although while snorkeling it is common to see juvenile sea lions, manta rays and sea turtles. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 5 (Tuesday): San Cristobal Island: Interpretation Center & Frigate Hill
AM: Interpretation Center
The Interpretation Center will help you learn about both the geological and human history of the islands, conservation issues, and natural history. The older Museum of Natural History aims to the preservation of the natural history of the islands.
Frigate Bird Hill
The trip to the Hill takes approximately 30 minutes. Once there, you are treated to a spectacular view of the white beaches and a panoramic view of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. The hill is often visited by frigate birds, hence the name. Both Magnificent and Great frigate birds are commonly observed, making it the perfect place to compare and learn how to distinguish them.
PM: La Loberia
The beach, located 10 minutes from the airport of San Cristobal, is a coral sand beach with sea lions. In fact, La Loberia is a piece of coast that has been named for the large number of sea lions resting on the rocks and sand. The tour will take you to observe button mangrove, white mangrove, chala, palo santo, cotton, Tiquilia, morning glory and other species of the littoral zone known as the cacho de chivo, whose seeds are the main source of food for several species of finches. Besides the sea lions, yellow warblers, frigates and various species of finches can be seen. On the rocks, large Galapagos marine iguanas can be found, unique in the world. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 6 (Wednesday): Española Island: Punta Suarez & Gardner Bay
AM: Punta Suarez
This rocky spot sustains one of the most impressive and varied colonies of sea birds in the Galapagos. Along its southern shore, high cliffs rise up from the sea affording the visitor spectacular views of soaring birds and of the blow hole where water spouts up to 75 feet into the air, depending on the intensity of the surf.
PM: Gardner Bay
Located on the northeastern coast of Hood, Gardner Bay provides an excellent beach for relaxing, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and the opportunity to observe sea lions. Here you can also observe sharks in the clear ocean waters. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 7 (Thursday): Floreana Island: Cormorant Point, Devil’s Crown & Post Office Bay
AM: Cormorant Point
This site offers probably the best flamingo lagoon in the Galapagos; it is also one of the largest in the islands. It’s situated between two tuff lava cones that give the area a special atmosphere. There are various species of shorebirds to observe besides flamingos, including common stilts, white-checked pintail ducks, and other migratory birds. You’ll also see the two distinct beaches: “The Green Beach” (due to its high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand) and the “Flour Sand Beach,” which is made up of coral.
The Devil’s Crown, located just off Punta Cormorant, offers some of the best snorkeling in the Galapagos. In fact, the only way to see the Crown is by water. A Marine Visitor Site, no landings are allowed. Sometimes referred to as Onslow Island, this is an almost completely submerged volcano, and erosion has transformed the cone into a series of jagged peaks; as a result, this site really does look like a devil’s crown.
PM: Post Office Bay & Baroness Lookout
Historically, this site is the location of a wooden barrel that was placed by the crew of a whaling ship in the 18th century. It has been used since by mariners and tourists as a post office. The idea is to carry letters or postcards to their destination by hand. Apart from being the Post Office Barrel, this site was the landing area for some of the first colonists. You will continue to the north of the island and ascend a slope to enjoy a beautiful vista at the Baroness lookout. It is said that Baroness Eloisa Von Wagner loved this place and spent several hours watching the horizon. Within walking distance (30 meters) are the ruins of her home. From this lookout, the landscape covers the coastline from the Enderby islet to Post Office Bay, as well as Cerro Pajas, a pool of flamingos and wide forest of Palo Santo. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 8 (Friday): Santa Cruz Island: Charles Darwin Station & Baltra Airport
AM: Charles Darwin Station
Although the great majority of Galapagos visitors come here to observe and appreciate natural wonders, it is also interesting to learn how the protection and conservation of the islands are carried out. The main attractions are the National Park information center, the Van Straelen Exhibition Hall, the Breeding and Rearing Center for young tortoises, Lonesome George (turtle from Pinta), and adult Galapagos tortoises in captivity.
After the morning excursion you will be taken to the airport for your flight to the mainland. (Breakfast)