Mary Anne Itinerary West

ITINERARY WEST - 8 Days / 7 nights

(Saturday - Saturday)

Starting in Puerto Ayora, you will learn about the conservation efforts and programs being run at the Charles Darwin Research Station. This tour will then take you to backwater lagoons where flamingoes perform and cormorants nest, and to bays where you can snorkel and see sea turtles, penguins, sea lions and tropical fish. Spend an afternoon relaxing, dozing on the sun deck or whale watching from the bow.

ROUTE:

DAY BY DAY 

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MORNING FLIGHT TO BALTRA - HIGHLANDS & FAUSTO LLERENA BREEDING CENTER

AM: After arriving at Baltra airport, we will be greeted by an Angermeyer Cruises representative and then board a bus that will take us to the Highlands of Santa Cruz Island for our first visit in the Galapagos. The Highlands are lush and green in contrast to the arid coastal vegetation. The highland forests are dominated by the endemic Scalesia tree and are home to many bird species, including the short-ear owl. Here, we will have lunch at a local ranch while looking for the famous giant tortoises, which are in constant migration from the highlands to the coast. After lunch, we will head to Puerto Ayora for our second visit, the Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Center.

PM: In the breeding center, we will see tortoises from different islands. The animals are found in large semi natural pens for their protection, but also to ensure an easy view for the tourists. The pens are divided according to four different stages: eggs, neonates, juveniles (held here until they are mature enough to be "repatriated"), and adults

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PUNTA CORMORANT, DEVIL'S CROWN & POST OFFICE BAY

AM: We spend the day on Floreana, legendary homestead of infamous Baroness Eloise Von Wagner de Bousquet. Wet landing onto the olivine beaches of Punta Cormorant, where we will be seeking Greater Flamingos on the brackish lagoon on our way to another special beach with the finest sand you’ll set foot on, a sea turtle nesting ground where sharks and rays also visit regularly. We end the outing with a short panga ride to snorkel in the Devil’s Crown, an old volcanic crater and a key snorkeling site.

PM: After lunch, we will visit Post Office Bay (wet landing), where you can drop your postcards in the barrel as the whalers did centuries ago and select cards to hand deliver when you return home.

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BLACK BEACH, ASILO DE LA PAZ & FULL AFTERNOON NAVIGATION

AM: This morning we will visit Floreana Island´s Black Beach to learn about the intriguing human history of the island and its first inhabitants. 

We will visit this fresh water source known as Asilo de La Paz, as well as the caves that served as hideouts for pirates and where the first Galapegueño was born, according to the stories of Floreana, which involve the infamous Baroness Eloise Wagner von Bousquet and her lovers who mysteriously began to disappear after settling on the island.

PM: After our visit, we will have the best opportunity for a not‐so‐common yet well-beloved activity in the archipelago, a full afternoon navigation to look for whales and dolphins. This afternoon is completed by the impressive landscapes of Isabela and the Cerro
Azul volcano.

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PUNTA MORENO & URBINA BAY

AM: We arrive at Isabela, the largest island in the Galapagos. After breakfast, we step ashore at Punta Moreno (dry landing) onto a superb pahoehoe lava flow surrounded by giant shield volcanoes, some of which are still active! From here we will do a short hike to a lagoon where flamingos are usually present.

PM: We disembark at Urbina Bay (wet landing) onto a black sand beach, a nesting site for green sea turtles. We take a brief hike inland in search of land iguanas and giant tortoises (seasonal) that migrate to and from the highlands. At the beach, we will admire the remains of a geological uplift exposing coral heads and marine fossils, and if the sea conditions and time are on our side, we will also snorkel in these waters.

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TAGUS COVE & PUNTA ESPINOSA

AM: Dry landing near Tagus Cove, a historical pirate hideaway where names of countless ships are recorded for posterity on the cliff face. Hike through beautiful Galapagos landscapes to Darwin Lake, a salt‐water crater lagoon surrounded by tuff stone.

PM: We cross Bolivar Channel to Fernandina Island, one of the world’s most pristine sites, and disembark (dry landing) at Punta Espinosa. Strolling along the shoreline, we will be on the lookout for flightless cormorants, Galapagos sea lions, Galapagos penguins and hawks, sooty‐colored marine iguanas and bright red‐orange Sally Lightfoot crabs.

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PUERTO EGAS, BUCCANEERS COVE & ESPUMILLA BEACH

AM: At Puerto Egas (wet landing) we disembark on a dark sand volcanic beach with an interesting history of human settlement. Sleepy Galapagos fur seals lounge under arches of lava carved by the ocean and occasionally dip into the crystalline pools, also known as “grottos.” Walk along the shore and observe the abundant marine life.

PM: At Buccaneer Cove we will take a panga ride around the beautiful coastline. This place got its name because it used to be a refuge for British Buccaneers, which anchored here to collect supplies and clean their ships among other activities. The cove is very scenic with views of the cliffs and a dark beach. Do not forget to look for two unusual rock
formations known as ‘the monk’ and ‘elephant rock.’We head to central Santiago to disembark at Espumilla (wetlanding), onto a golden‐colored sand beach, used by green
sea turtles as a nesting site. A forest trail will take us through some of the largest specimens of Palo Santo on the islands to observe yellow warblers, the amazing Galapagos flycatcher, and Darwin finches.

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SULLIVAN BAY & NORTH SEYMOUR

AM: We head across to Sullivan Bay (dry landing) in Santiago to walk over a recent lava flow, including very fresh pahoehoe lava formations, lava bubbles containing crystallized minerals and pioneer plants. Along the shoreline, we may find Galapagos penguins and herons going after small fish.

PM: We disembark on North Seymour (dry landing), a small uplifted island, where we will walk right up to bird nesting colonies of the two species of frigate birds, blue‐footed
boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls, and experience, depending on the season, spectacular mating ritual displays

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MOSQUERA ISLET & DEPARTURE

AM: Mosquera is a small islet located between Baltra and North Seymour Islands and measuring about 160 meters across and 600 meters long. It is home to one of the largest sea lion colonies and is also a haven for shorebirds. Orcas occasionally come to the islet to feed on the sea lions.  

After this visit, the ship will sail to Baltra where passengers ending their trip will disembark, and passengers beginning their cruise will join us on board. In addition to the land visits, we offer a good balance of other activities such as snorkeling, panga rides, and kayaking.

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GALAPAGOS TOURS AND CRUISES
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Quito – Ecuador

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