Day 1: Galapagos Islands
Our adventure begins with a morning flight to Baltra Island and immediate transfer to the dock to board Yacht La Pinta. There’s a welcome introductory briefing, boat drill, cabin assignment and then lunch. We weigh anchor and start sailing for our first afternoon outing. In the afternoon, we visit South Plaza Island The turquoise waters of the this location contrast brilliantly with the volcanic terrain of the shoreline, while a carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents serves as groundcover for a grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cactus beyond, populated by colourful Galapagos land iguanas. Along the coastline one finds sea lion colonies, while sea birds play with the thermals that form along the cliffs of this small but spectacular island. By all means, this island is a great introduction to the natural essence of the islands.
Full itinerary map here: http://bit.ly/la-pinta-5-days-a
Day 2: Galapagos Islands
In the morning, you will visit Santa Fe Island. We take the dinghy over to this idyllic sandy-white beach populated by colonies of sea lions. Galapagos hawks are often easily observed, perched atop salt bushes. The Santa Fe land iguana, unique to just this island, may be spotted during the walk. During the morning we can also arrange some aquatic activities including kayaking, snorkelling and even some coastal exploration. After lunch, we disembark at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the provincial capital, and drive 40 minutes to the island’s southern shore. At Cerro Colorado, we visit the breeding centre for the highly endangered giant tortoises in the midst of a fantastic deciduous forest, home to dozens of bird species, including the San Cristobal mockingbird, and the San Cristobal lava lizard, both island endemics. Some free time in town by the end of the day.
Day 3: Galapagos Islands
In the morning, you will visit Punta Pitt. We land at the eastern tip of San Cristobal Island this morning. The trail that ascends from the beach provides spectacular views of the shoreline; we can observe frigates, plus a colony of bachelor sea lions. Look around and try to spot here all the species of boobies! After the walk, if conditions are favourable, there is time for a panga ride or do some snorkelling. In the afternoon following lunch on board, a dinghy ride along the shores of tuff-stone layers takes us to Cerro Brujo's expansive, white coral beach, great for walking, with rewarding bird-watching featuring seabirds and shore birds. Also, look out for Galapagos sea lions. These are the same shores that Charles Darwin walked upon, back in September 1835. You will love this white-coralline beach.
Day 4: M/Y La Pinta
Our morning outing at Punta Suarez provides an exciting walk on lava/boulder terrain to visit its unique sea bird colonies, including the waved albatrosses (seen from early April to early January), boobies, swallow-tail gulls, and the famous “blowhole” lava formation. Also, look for red-green-black marine iguanas. Many regard this site as one of the most rewarding Galapagos’ visits. Back on board for lunch. In the afternoon, we set down at the beautiful, white coral beach of Gardner Bay for a short walk to observe the sea lions, mockingbirds, finches, or enjoy the beach. There is great snorkelling in this area, or else there’s time to kayak or ride the glass-bottom boat.
Day 5: End of Itinerary
This morning, we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and the captive rearing programme for the giant tortoises. Here we witness the efforts and results of Galapagos fieldwork and study done in the name of science. We transfer via bus across Santa Cruz Island and a short ferry ride to Baltra. Our journey ends at Baltra Island, where we transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland. Baltra's flat substrate (due to its uplifted origin) is the reason why the island was chosen back in the 1940s as the construction site for an airport.
Activities and Services