Eric & Letty - Itinerary A
M/Y Eric & Letty – Itinerary A Southern/Central route
SUNDAY: Upon arrival to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, SAN CRISTOBAL, our crew is waiting at the airport to escort you by bus to the main deck and then by zodiac to your yacht anchored in the bay. After the welcome briefing and safety drill, a delicious buffet lunch is served. We travel by bus to Cerro Tijeretas (Frigatebird Hill) situated on the edge a town. This is one of two sites where you can spot nesting colonies of both species of Frigate birds (Great and Magnificent). The trail leads to Punta Carola where there are beautiful views. We find lava lizards, the medium ground finch and Chatham mockingbird. We return to the yacht for our briefing followed by our Captain’s welcome cocktail party and dinner prepared by our well-trained chefs.
MONDAY: We arrive to Cerro Brujo, a breathtaking white coral sand beach, considered one of the most spectacular in Galapagos and perfect for a peaceful walk with expansive views. We have an opportunity to snorkel or kayak from the beach or swim with sea lions. A zodiac ride takes us through a cave called “The Cathedral”. During lunch, we cruise toward the northeastern tip of San Cristobal to Punta Pitt, a tuff formation that serves as a nesting site for many sea birds including all three types of boobies: Blue footed, Nazca and Red-footed, both Frigate species, swallow-tailed gulls, Storm petrels, Shearwaters, Brown pelicans and a colony of sea lions. Punta Pitt is considered to be a first class site for sea birds on par with Genovesa (Tower) Island. Here we can snorkel at Pitt Rock with sea lions and colorful fish such as King Angel and Surgeon fish. Back on board, we cruise around Leon Dormido (Kicker Rock), a vertical tuff cone formation that rises abruptly almost 500 feet out of the ocean. From the sun deck, we spot Blue-footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies and Magnificent Frigate birds.
TUESDAY: We disembark at Punta Suarez, ESPANOLA (Hood), where we witness the highest rate of endemic species in Galapagos. Sea lions noisily greet us as we land on their beach. Curious Hood mockingbirds peck at our shoelaces. From April to December, the waved albatross, found only on Espanola, perform their wild mating ritual. Colonies of blue-footed boobies engage in “sky-pointing” to show off for potential mates. Nazca boobies busily care for their young. Stunning swallow-tailed gulls are the only nocturnal gulls in the world and fish at night. Red-billed tropicbirds take shelter under the cliffs. We also find Darwin’s Finches, Galapagos Doves and Galapagos Hawks. Observe a unique species of marine iguana identified with traces of red and green colorings. Colorful sally light-foot crabs crawl along the shoreline near to the famous "blow hole". After lunch we have a wet landing on Gardner Bay, ESPANOLA(Hood), walk along seemingly endless stretch of this white sandy beach where you’ll find large colonies of sea lions. There is no trail to follow so this is a chance to explore or take a long walk. You may find a Galapagos Hawk, Darwin’s Finches or Hood Mockingbird. Swim with sea lions right from the beach, explore the bay and islets by kayak or just relax on the beach. There’s an excellent snorkeling site off Gardner Islet with a colorful diversity of sea life near Tortuga Rock. Explore caves by Zodiac covered with invertebrates. We return to the yacht for a briefing followed by dinner.
WEDNESDAY: Step ashore at Punta Cormorant, FLOREANA (Charles), one of the few populated islands in the Galapagos. Floreana presents a rich human history with mystery and intrigue. Set foot on a green-sand beach alive with the sounds of sea lions, lava herons, yellow crowned night heron, blue-footed boobies and penguins. Follow a trail to a brackish lagoon, home of the Bahama ducks, common stilts, Galapagos Flycatcher, Yellow warblers and the Greater Flamingos, the pinkest in the world. Wind your way past a rich variety of plants including Morning Glory, Cut Leaf Daisies, Black, red and white mangroves, Palo Verdes and Scalesia. The trail leads to a beach with power soft sand where sea turtles lay their eggs in the sand dunes and rays swim in the shallow water. After the walk, we have an opportunity to snorkel at Devil’s Crown, a shallow sunken crater colonized by a brilliant array of colorful fish and corral. Today lunch is served on the sundeck if weather conditions permit. After lunch, we visit Post office Bay, not the most scenic, but one of the most famous sites in Galapagos where a post barrel was erected and put into use in the late 18th Century by English whaling vessels. There is a chance to swim from the beach with sea lions. You are invited to leave a post card and to pick up any mail from your home area. Late afternoon, we take a Zodiac ride at Baroness Point where we spot sea turtles and rays. We return to the yacht for a briefing followed by dinner.
THURSDAY: We travel by bus to the highlands of SANTA CRUZ Island. The scenery gradually changes as we wind our way through all seven vegetation zones found in Galapagos. Here, we visit the tortoise reserve at “Las Primicias” one of the private farms in the highlands where we encounter giant tortoises in their natural habitat. We stop at "the tunnels", the largest lava tubes found in Galapagos. We visit Los Gemelos, Spanish for “The Twins”, a pair of large pit craters where we find the bright red male vermilion flycatcher. After lunch, we visit the Centro de Crianza Fausto Llerena (Charles Darwin Research Station). We visit the tortoise corals and the breeding center with new hatchlings and miniature tortoises not yet ready to be repatriated. Scientists from all over the globe work at the station and conduct biological research from anatomy to zoology. We stop at Van Straelen Hall where there are exhibits and a presentation. Visitors can see the tortoise and land iguana corrals. Puerto Ayora is the social heart of the islands with the largest population of 24,000. This evening you have the option to return to your yacht for a buffet dinner or remain in town on your own account. Those who return to the yacht will be provided zodiacs to return to town to shop for souvenirs or stop in at an internet café. Zodiacs will be provided for your return to your yacht.
FRIDAY: Located off the Southern tip of Santiago is Sombrero Chino (Chinese Hat) that owes its name to its shape. After a wet beach landing with sea lion colonies, the trail gives way to a primeval landscape of volcanic rubble including cracked lava formations and lava tubes. We find marine iguanas and pairs of oystercatchers. You can choose to snorkel at a site that is frequented by Galapagos penguins. We disembark at BARTOLOME, where it seems like we are walking on the moon. This young Island is inhospitable to most plants and animals. After a dry landing, climb 30 minutes up stairs leading to the summit of a once active volcano. Along the way, we pause to marvel at lava bombs, spatter cones and cinder cones. From the top of the wooden stairs, we can gaze out across the island for a panoramic view of the island and "Pinnacle Rock", an eroded tuff cone. Crystal clear water is an invitation to snorkel from the beach with schools of tropical fish and Galapagos Penguins or take a Zodiac ride.
SATURDAY: Today we visit SOUTH PLAZA, a small geological uplift with tall cliffs offering spectacular views. After a dry landing, the trail leads us through Prickly Pear or Opuntia and Sesuvium. Here we can find the Galapagos Land Iguana feeding on the cactus leaves. Toward the end of the hill, we encounter a colony of bachelor sea lions. The dominant bulls are in various stages of recovery from battles lost over prime beach territory. We also find Swallow tailed gulls, Shearwaters and Red-billed tropicbirds who build their nests along the cliffs. After lunch, we have a dry landing at North Seymour, a small geological uplift. We follow a trail that leads us to Swallow-tailed gulls, Blue-footed boobies and the endemic Land iguanas. Visit the largest colony of Magnificent Frigate birds found in Galapagos. As we stroll along the beach, we find Marine Iguanas and sea lions body surf the northern swells. We return to the yacht for the Captain’s Farwell cocktail party and dinner as well as a special slide show presentation by your guides.
SUNDAY: We visit the Interpretation Center opened on San Cristobal Island in 1999 by bus. Here we gain a more complete understanding of the natural and human history of the Islands. Afterwards, we spend time in port before heading to the airport for our flight back to the mainland departing before noon time.
Ecoventura reserves the right at its sole option and discretion and that of the Captain of the vessel without liability for damages or refund of any kind to deviate from the vessel's advertised or ordinary itinerary. Itineraries are subject to change at any time for any reason including mechanical failure and without prior notice. Ecoventura will not be held responsible for any refunds whatsoever for changes to the printed or scheduled itinerary.