Your trip starts on board Alya Cruise to the gorgeous Seymour Island. You might have to make way for a Sea Lion or Marine Iguana to pass.
You will continue to Plazas. This island is now a tectonic massif, giving it the shape of a tilted table top.
Moving on to Santa Fe where you will get the chance to snorkel with the Galapagos Sea Lions.
Visit San Cristobal Island where you will learn more about Giant Tortoises in Interpretation Center.
Enjoy an amazing snorkel experience in one of the most emblematic places of the Galapagos, Kicker Rock.
Continue to Española Island, one of the oldest islands. You can find many thorny plants and native animals including the Waved Albatros.
Coming to the end of your expedition, you will explore Floreana Island. This island is associated with a strange and curious history of its inhabitants.
Closing your trip with a fantastic experience in the Highlands of Santa Cruz Island where you will get to see the impressive Giant Tortoises living in their natural habitat!
AM: BALTRA AIRPORT
Welcome to the Enchanted Galapagos Islands!
After the immigration process, you’ll be met in the Arrivals lounge by your English-speaking guide who will take you to your transfer vehicle for the short journey to your waiting ship.
This island is home to large colonies of both magnificent and great frigatebirds and you can see them displaying their red balloons to attract a female. Blue-footed boobies nest in the ground and perform their famous dance in the open areas, while swallow-tailed gulls perch on the cliff edges. Land iguanas are common inland while their marine cousins bask in the rocks by the sea, close to sea lions, which often like to body surf in the waves.
Of the two twin islands, only South Plazas is allowed to be visited, while North Plazas is kept exclusively for scientific research. This is a small islet, but it packs an impressive amount of wildlife.
Right after you land, you will see Galapagos land iguanas waiting under prickly-pear cacti feed on their fruits. A large colony of sea lions will give you the opportunity to see playful pups enjoying the tide pools, but also large grumpy males defending their territories. The trail will take you to a cliff where you can observe many sea birds, such as frigatebirds, red-billed tropicbirds, boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, and pelicans. Reddish succulent vegetation with scattered cacti covers most of the islands like a carpet, giving this island a unique personality.
PM: SANTA FE
Giant Prickly-pear cacti and barren lava rocks surround the landing spot at Santa Fe, located inside one of the most beautiful bays in the Galapagos. Turquoise water and white sand beaches make this location a perfect home for a large colony of sea lions which you will see basking in the sand. Inland, look down for endemic Santa Fe land iguanas, but also look up for Galapagos hawks, which often perch at the top of the cactus looking for prey. Darwin finches, Galapagos doves, mockingbirds, and lava lizards are also common along the trail.
AM: INTERPRETATION CENTER
Located on the outskirts of Puerto Baquerizo, this center is dedicated to the history of human presence in the Galapagos. From the times of the early Spanish explorers to the present times, including illustrious visitors such as Charles Darwin, this permanent exhibition will take you through the dangers and struggles of the first settlers trying to survive the harsh Galapagos environment.
PM: LOBOS ISLAND
Lobos island is a small islet separated from San Cristobal by a narrow channel, forming a sheltered bay where sea lion pups play in tidal pools. Despite its small size, the island is surprisingly packed with wildlife, especially with “Lobos Marinos”, the Spanish name for sea lions. Groups of sea lions will welcome you at the landing spot, but as you walk a few steps inland, male frigatebirds displaying their inflated red balloons will be perched on the bushes and trees. A small colony of blue-footed boobies, which often nest right on the trail, will give you the opportunity to observe their famous courtship dance.
AM: GARDNER BAY
Gardner beach is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and interesting beaches to visit in the Galapagos. Its fine coral sand and turquoise water give it a totally tropical appearance, which contrasts with the presence of sea lions basking on the beach. You will have the opportunity to walk along the beach and learn about the biology of sea lions and other endemic species, such as the Española mockingbird, marine iguanas, and Galapagos hawks.
Snorkel: There are several great snorkeling places at Gardner bay. It is a fantastic site to swim with sea lions, reef sharks, rays, and many species of fish, including; Angelfish, Parrotfish, Damselfish, Surgeonfish, and many others.
PM: SUAREZ POINT
This rocky trail is one the most amazing nature walks you can do in the Galapagos islands.
From the moment you set foot on the island and all the way along the trail, the amount and diversity of fauna are truly amazing. Sea lions and marine iguanas will be the first ones welcoming us, followed by large colonies of sea birds, including Nazca and Blue-footed boobies, gulls, and tropicbirds. At the end of the trail, we will visit a colony of waved albatross (April to January), the largest bird in the islands and one of the most interesting because of its powerful flight and elaborate courtship. Waved albatross only nest at Española, so this is the only place where you will see them at close range.
AM: CORMORANT POINT / DEVIL´S CROWN
Punta Cormorant is located in the north of Floreana and it is known for its large coastal lagoon with American flamingoes, white-cheeked pintails, black-necked stilts, and other shorebirds. There is a beautiful white sand beach which is an important nesting ground for green sea turtles where we can also see rays and reef sharks. In the last years, small groups of blue-footed boobies have started to breed right by the trail. This is also a great trial to look at endemic plants.
PM: ALIERI HILL
Alieri hill is the remnant of an old volcano located in the transition zone of Floreana, 15 minutes away by bus from the town. This is one of the best locations for plant lovers, as the vegetation is largely native, with many endangered endemic species hard to find elsewhere. The views of the northern coast are also superb and there are interesting birds to look for, such as flycatchers, yellow warblers, and Darwin finches.
Either if you do this visit starting from Baltra or from Puerto Ayora, a bus will take you to the highlands stopping along the way at one of the reserves to visit the lush highland forests where you will look for Galapagos Giant tortoises in their natural environment.
This is the best place in the Galapagos to see these gentle giants (reaching over 300 kg / 600 pounds!) casually grazing and resting in freshwater ponds. This is also home to a great diversity of birds rarely found in the lowlands, including finches (tree, woodpecker, and vegetarian finches), flycatchers, and several species of water birds.
You will visit a lava tunnel (depending on the itinerary) and learn how these extraordinary formations were created by ancient volcanic eruptions.