Day 1: Galapagos Islands
Upon arrival to the airport in San Cristobal Island, you will take a boat ride to be transferred to Grand Majestic Yacht. After settling in the yacht and lunch, your first visit will be to Charles Darwin Research Station and Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Center, where you will learn about the conservation efforts that have been made to preserve the Galapagos species, and is also home to tortoises ranging from 3-inches (new hatchlings) to 4-feet long adults. End of the day and dinner onboard.
Full itinerary map here: http://bit.ly/queen-beatriz-a-5-days
Day 2: Galapagos Islands
Santa Fe is home to more sea lions, and these ones are very eager for swimming partners! It’s a lovely place to take a dip, and the landscape on the inland trails is also beautiful, with cacti forests home to a unique sub-species of land iguanas. Hiking towards the cliffs on Santa Fe will lead you to a forest of prickly pear cactus.
A member of the cactus family, their name comes from the pear shaped fruit the plant produces. Santa Fe is home to endemic land iguanas. Once back at the beach you will have free time to snorkel back in the lagoon. Playful sea lions pups and florescent fish make for fascinating company. A small island, Plaza Sur is nonetheless a place of great beauty, where you will get close to sea lions and onto trails past one of the Galapagos’ largest land iguana populations, resting amid cacti and volcanic landscapes colored bright red and green by sesuvium. The island’s rugged southern cliffs are an excellent place to spot tropicbirds and swallow-tailed gulls, as well as ‘the gentlemen’s club’, a gathering of male sea lions either too young or too old to be beach masters!
Day 3: Galapagos Islands
Today you will cruise to the island of Española - the southernmost island of the Galapagos and one of the most spectacular. Because of its remote location, this island has a large population of endemic fauna. It is the breeding site for nearly all of the world's 12,000 pairs of waved albatrosses and also home to colonies of blue-footed and masked boobies. Trails from the golden beaches, where sea lions bathe and marine iguanas make their way towards the water, will lead you right through the middle of booby colonies, and Galapagos doves and mockingbirds are also often seen. You will also visit the beautiful white sandy beaches at Bahia Gardner, which are great places for swimming and relaxing. The rocks off the coast provide excellent snorkeling opportunities, with reef sharks, turtles and many species of tropical fish, including surgeon and angelfish, often seen. The small white-tipped reef sharks are also often spotted resting under the rocks.
You will also pay a visit to Punta Suarez, one of the most attractive locations in the Galapagos and home to large and varied wildlife population - a walk along its trails will take you to a cliff top viewpoint, where you'll gain a magical panorama. Boobies line the rocky shoreline beneath you, while frigate birds may be seen overhead; nearby enormous male sea lions can be seen lounging and albatross use the cliffs as their ‘runway’, helping become airborne by the southeast winds that blow across this part of the island.
If you’re lucky you’ll see the elaborate courtship rituals performed by albatrosses before the female chooses her lifelong mate!
Day 4: Grand Queen Beatriz
This morning you will visit Punta Pitt on the eastern end of Isla San Cristobal. Walk to the top of the volcanic hill for expansive views of the sparsely vegetated area. A variety of seabirds nest here, including blue-footed boobies and frigates. Close by you will pass through Leon Dormido (Kicker Rock), which is a magnificent rock in the middle of the sea, the shape resembles a sleeping lion. The rock rises 150 meters above the surface and is divided into two parts by a narrow channel.
In the afternoon you will head to Lobos Island, named like this because of the big lion sea lion colony that resides here. You can also snorkel at this place, along sea lions and spot blue-footed boobies and marine iguanas. End of the day and dinner onboard.
Day 5: End of Itinerary
First activity of the last day will be landing at San Cristobal Island, You will visit the Galapagos National Park Visitor Center or San Cristobal Interpretation Center, opened for the benefit of islanders and travelers alike in 1998, presenting a comprehensive exhibit of the islands’ natural history. After this activity you will be transferred to San Cristobal Airport to take your flight back to the continent.
Activities and Services