AM: Arrival in San Cristobal Airport and Transfer to the boat
PM: Breeding Center Jacinto Gordillo “Galapaguera”
Is a new visitor site in the northeast part of San Cristobal Island and can now be reached in roughly one hour by road from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. On the trees and shrubs surrounding the site, you may see land birds like warblers, finches and mockingbirds, and giant tortoises can be observed along the trail. They live there wild but in a protected area to assure their survival by sealing them off from introduced predators like pigs and goats. Once the tortoise perceives danger, it goes into its defensive stance retreating into its hard shell.
AM: Santa Fe Island
Santa Fe (Barrington) is home to the small picturesque bay and anchorage on the island’s northeast coast. The bay has two visitor trails, one leading to a scenic viewpoint atop a cliff, and the other spanning from a small beach to a tall prickly pear cactus forest. Santa Fe Island
Santa Fe (Barrington) is home to the small picturesque bay and anchorage on the island’s northeast coast. The bay has two visitor trails, one leading to a scenic viewpoint atop a cliff, and the other spanning from a small beach to a tall prickly pear cactus forest.
PM: South Plaza Island
In the morning, you will head to South Plaza Island. This small island with steep cliffs was formed by rising lava and is now covered by Opuntia cacti. It is also home to one of the largest sea lion colonies as well as colorful yellow and red land iguanas. The most characteristic plant is Sesuvium. During the rainy season its color is a greenish to yellowish tone and in the dry season (end of June through January) a bright red.
AM: Bartholomew Island
Home of the famous Pinnacle Rock, Bartholomew consists of an extinct volcano with a variety of red, orange, black and even green volcanic formations. A trail of stairs leads to the summit of the volcano, boasting one of the best views of the islands. The beach is perfect for snorkeling and possible sightings of the Galapagos penguin.
PM: Egas Port
Also known as James Bay, Egas Port is home to the curious Galapagos hawks and quick-footed Galapagos lava lizards. The trail leads to a coastline with gorgeous tide pools and grottos full of fauna. Here the Galapagos fur sea lions bathe in the sun. This is also a great snorkeling site.
AM: Espinoza Point
No foreign species have ever invaded Fernandina Island, and therefore it is one of the world's most pristine island ecosystems. The volcano “La Cumbre” dominates the landspace with lava fields reaching the ocean. The island's highlight features the flightless cormorant nesting site. This area provides a great opportunity to see the Galapagos hawk.
PM: Vicente Roca Point
Located on the northwestern coast of the island and comprised of two separate coves, this site is a large bay with spectacular sea life. Seahorses, sea turtles, and the strange yet fascinating Mola mola (sunfish) may be spotted here. This bay is great for diving and snorkeling.
AM: Urbina Bay
Urbina Bay is located at the base of Alcedo Volcano on the west coast between Tagus Cove and Elizabeth Bay. This area experienced a major uplift in 1954 causing the land to rise over 16 feet. The coast expanded half a mile out leaving marine life stranded on the new shore. This area is also a great place for snorkeling.
PM: Tagus Cove
Tagus Cove is located across from Fernandina Island near the Bolivar Channel dividing the two islands. This spot has been frequented by ships since the 1800s using the area as an anchorage site. Trails winding by Lake Darwin up to a ridge display wonderful views. Punta Tortuga, just north of Tagus Cove, is another lovely beach surrounded by mangroves.
AM: Buccaneer Cove
Buccaneer Cove is a testament to the fact that Santiago Island was once a refuge for British buccaneers. These pirates would anchor in the protected bay to make repairs and stock up on tortoise meat among other things. The steep cliffs, where hundreds of seabirds perch in front of the dark red sand beach, are a magnificent site.
PM: Sullivan Bay
A coral beach landing leads you towards a lava field as far as the eye can see. Hunt and peck over the two distinguished types of lava, pahoehoe and 'a'a, for signs of plant life that have managed to emerge over the past 100 years since the most recent volcanic explosion. A truly amazing volcanic experience…up close and personal!
AM: El Chato Tortoise Reserve
The El Chato reserve is divided into two areas: Caseta and Chato. The trail begins at Santa Rosa (13.7 miles / 22 km) from Puerto Ayora, with the Caseta route being the more challenging. The reserve allows visitors to observe giant tortoises in the wild during the dry season and is also a good place to spot short-eared owls, Darwin’s finches, yellow warblers, Galapagos rails and paint-billed crakes.
PM: Charles Darwin Station
The Charles Darwin Research Station is home to turtles ranging from 3-inches (new hatchlings) to 4-feet long. Subspecies of turtles interact with one another and many of the older turtles are accustomed to humans stretching out their heads for a photo opportunity. The babies are kept until they are about four years old and strong enough to survive on their own.
AM: Lobos Island
The name of this island means "Sea Lion Island." This appropriately named island is ripe with noisy, frolicking, jolly sea lions who will welcome you to their home with open, well, fins. This island also offers great snorkeling opportunities as well as the chance to see blue-footed and Nazca boobies.
PM: Transfer to the San Cristobal Airport