Aida Maria Itinerary A


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Sunday Morning: Fly from the Ecuadorian mainland to the islands on an early morning 90-minute flight. As you prepare to land in Baltra, look out the window. The landscape below will seem otherworldly – you’ll truly be landing in a place like no other. The Galapagos Islands are completely unique and you’re about to see why. Your bilingual naturalist guide will greet you at the airport and meet you after customs. During lunch he/she will introduce you to the islands, specifically the flora and fauna that you will encounter at our first destination, Las Bachas Beach.

Sunday Afternoon: Bachas On the sandy white beaches of Las Bachas you will get a close look at a sea turtle nesting area as well as a lake frequented by pink flamingos and other migratory birds. Afterwards, you’ll cool off with a dip in the beautiful, blue Pacific Ocean. As this is the first evening together, the crew will invite everyone to a pre-dinner cocktail on the yacht before the welcome dinner. If the night is clear, as it usually is, the stars above will sparkle; look for the Southern Cross, the Big Dipper (turned up-side down!) and Orion. 

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Monday Morning: Darwin Bay
A beautiful bay area due to the great diversity of seabirds that nest in the mangroves that dominate the area. These include red-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, Galápagos petrels, seabirds, Darwin finches, mockingbirds, and Galápagos doves.

Sunday Afternoon: Prince Philip's Steps: We will climb 25 meters of stairs at one of the best bird nesting sites on the islands. We will have the opportunity to snorkel, hike, and take a ride in a panga. 

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Tuesday Morning: Bartolomé
Bartolome Island, which at its highest point is 114 meters, is one of the most photographed vistas in the archipelago. This island is quite young and quite volcanic, therefore, it's relatively unpopulated; only a small handful of die-hard plant and animal
species have survived long enough to call this lava-land home. 

Tuesday afternoon: Bahia Sullivan
After the visit to Bartolome Island you’ll visit nearby Sullivan Bay. At the turn of the century a huge lava flow spilled right down to the sea and today you can stroll across this black volcanic expanse, admiring its time-frozen ripples, bubbles and ropes.

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Wednesday Morning: Daphne / Black Turtle Cove Black Turtle Cove, is a red mangrove lagoon on Santa Cruz and is a nursery for many sharks and rays. It’s also a great location to observe mating turtles around this time of year. You might see a large groups of resting White-Tip Reef Sharks, schools of Golden Rays and Spotted Eagle Rays, and a few juvenile Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks and Black-Tip Sharks. The water very calm so we often used paddles instead of the loud panga engines to move around the area.

Wednesday afternoon: Cerro Dragon After this visit you’ll navigate for a couple of hours to Cerro Dragon, where you’ll make a dry landing on lava rocks. Cerro Dragon is a small bay on the west coast of Santa Cruz and got its name from the many land iguanas that live in the area. Land iguanas are endemic to the Galapagos Islands where they have found good mating and nesting areas.

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Thursday Morning: Santa Cruz (Indefatigable) Island – Charles Darwin Research Station
Santa Cruz is one of the inhabited islands to be visited during this itinerary. Puerto Ayora, with a population of about 25,000 people is the location of the Charles Darwin Research Station and Galapagos National Park main headquarters world famous for their tortoise breeding programs. After this visit, the passengers who finish the cruise must go to the airport to take the departure flight, the transfer is coordinated previously.

Thursday Afternoon: Santa Cruz (Indefatigable) Island – The highlands After touring the Station, journey by bus to the highlands to go for a walk through the giant lava tubes and also have the unique opportunity to see the giant tortoises in the wild quite close to you in their natural surroundings.
After this activity there will be some free time to explore the town of Puerto Ayora on your own.

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Friday Morning: Post Office Bay (Floreana Island)
Wet landing at the historical Post Office Bay to learn about the human side of the islands, the early inhabitants and the story of the first barrel. But before that a panga ride will take you to nearby islets to observe sea lions, rays, sea turtles, boobies and possibly the Galapagos penguin. 

Friday Afternoon: Punta Cormorant (Floreana Island)
After Lunch, disembark at Point Cormorant (wet landing) for an easy walk to see the Flamingos that inhabit a brackish water lagoon, and other birds like ducks, stilts, sandpipers, etc. For those who like water activities there is great snorkeling opportunity at Devil's Crown and eroded islet offshore Punta Cormorant. 

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Saturday Morning: Española (Hood) Island — Punta Suarez
Punta Suarez is one of the most outstanding wildlife areas of the archipelago, with a long list of species found along its cliffs and sand or pebble beaches. The most emblematic one is the Galapagos Albatross that nests here from April to December, but apart from this huge bird this island is also the home of the naïve Hood mockingbirds, Galapagos doves and Galapagos hawks. Several types of reptiles, including the brilliantly colored marine iguana and the oversized lava lizard,
are unique to this island. When heavy swells are running, Punta Suarez is also the site of a spectacular blow hole, with thundering spray shooting 30 yards in to the air. 

Saturday Afternoon: Española (Hood) Island — Gardner Bay
Gardner Bay is on the eastern shore and has a magnificent beach. This white sandy beach is perfect spot for a colony of sea lions, and is also a major nesting site for sea turtles. Around the small islets nearby, snorkelers will find lots of fish and sometimes seaturtles and sharks. 

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Sunday Morning: Lobos Island (San Cristóbal) It takes around one hour by boat from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno to get to Lobos Island. This is a peaceful small area separated by a channel from San Cristobal Island and it is a great place for snorkeling. After a dry landing and a short walk sea lions, marine iguanas and blue footed boobies can be seen in different spot of the island. End of the cruise, passengers take the return flight at the indicated time



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