Day 1: M/S Beagle

 

AM: Arrival to San Cristobal Island

At your arrival to Galapagos (Puerto Baquerizo Moreno), you will be met by the M/S Beagle team in order to start an unforgettable 8 days /7 nights  exploration cruise through this unique archipelago.

 

PM: San Cristobal Island – Lobos Island

The afternoon anchorage is at Isla Lobos and, as its name suggests, it has a sea lion colony and also an endemic lava lizard. It's a good site for swimming and snorkeling alongside the sea lion pups, and on the islet, you can visit the sea lion colony. Perhaps you'll see the frigate birds displaying and building their nests, if their food supply is good.

  

Expert tips

Lobos Island

  • Highlights:       Sea lions’ colonies, blue footed boobies, small dark marine iguanas
  • Possible Activities:     Snorkeling, panga ride, walk & hikes
  • Type of Landing:          Dry or wet landing
  • Difficulty:         Easy / Moderate

Day 2: M/S Beagle

 

AM: Española Island – Suarez Point

Hood Island is one of the most popular and attractive islands. The quantity and variety of wildlife here are remarkable. At Punta Suarez you can see the waved albatross from April to December. Blue-footed bobbies, Nazca boobies, Galapagos hawks, Darwin finches, swallow-tailed gulls, Espanola mockingbirds, shorebirds, sea lions, marine iguanas and lava lizards are just some of its residents, and an impressive blowhole can be observed from the high cliffs.

 

PM: Española Island – Gardner Bay

Located on the eastern end of the island Gardner Bay has a wonderful sandy beach for swimming and observing the Galapagos sea lions.

  

Expert tips

Suarez Point

  • Highlights:       Sea lion colonies, colorful subspecies of marine iguana, hood mockingbird, endemic lava lizard, large cactus finch, blue-footed booby colonies, masked booby colonies, swallow-tailed gulls, waved albatross colony, red-billed tropicbirds, oystercatchers, blowhole, Galapagos dove, cactus finch. Mocking birds, swallow-tailed gulls
  • Possible Activities:     Nature hikes
  • Type of Landing:          Dry landing
  • Difficulty:         Moderate / Difficult

 

Gardner Bay

  • Highlights:       Long white sand beach, mockingbirds, sea lions colonies,  sea turtles, mockingbirds, yellow tailed surgeonfish, king angelfish, bump-head parrot fish, white-tipped reef sharks
  • Possible Activities:     Nature hikes, Snorkeling,  Panga Ride, kayaking
  • Type of Landing:          Wet landing
  • Difficulty:         Easy

 

Activities and Services

Day 3: M/S Beagle

 

AM: Floreana Island – Post Office Bay

In 1793 British whalers set up a barrel as the island’s post office, to send letters home on passing ships. The tradition continues to this day, simply by dropping a post card into the barrel without a stamp. The catch is you must take a post card from the barrel and see that it gets to the right place.

That is how the system began and continues to this day. Some claim it works better than the official Ecuadorian post office. You’ll have a chance to continue the traditions by sending your own card and picking up others.

 

PM:  Floreana Island – Cormorant Point

At Punta Cormorant you land on a beach with green olivine sand. Several trails allow you to explore a brackish water lagoon with a colony of flamingos who are there most of the year, and white-cheeked pintail ducks, stilts, and other shorebirds feeding alongside the flamingos. The trail then goes over a hill and dunes to a stunning white beach consisting of ground coral, where the green sea turtles’ nest.

  

Cormorant Point

Expert tips

Post Office Bay

  • Highlights:       Human history in the islands, Site of whalers, post office barrel and early settlement, lava tunnel, sea turtles and tropical fish
  • Possible Activities:     Nature hikes and  snorkeling
  • Type of Landing:          Wet landing
  • Difficulty:         Easy

 

Cormorant Point

  • Highlights:       Marine Iguanas, flightless cormorant, sea lions, penguins, Galapagos hawk, Brachycereus cactus, aa lava, turquoise-blue zayapas crabs, blue and lava herons, sea turtles
  • Possible Activities:     Nature hikes and snorkeling
  • Type of Landing:          Dry landing
  • Difficulty:         Moderate

 

Day 4: M/S Beagle

 

AM: Santa Cruz Island – Charles Darwin Research Station

The Charles Darwin Research Station is on Santa Cruz Island which is the main inhabited island in the archipelago, with a population of approximately 16,000. A visit to the station will increase one's understanding of the work being done by the foundation and the importance of preserving the Archipelago's ecosystems. A series of walkways takes you through the captive breeding program where you will see juvenile and adult tortoises from different islands.

 

PM: Santa Cruz Island – The Highlands

A highlight of any trip to the archipelago is a visit to the Santa Cruz Highlands, where the sparse, dry coastal vegetation transitions to lush wet fields and forests overgrown with moss and lichens. Our afternoon destination is the Wild Tortoise Reserve where we will have chances to track and view these friendly ancient creatures in their natural setting.

  

Expert tips

Charles Darwin Research Station

  • Highlights:       Van Straelen Exhibition Hall, giant tortoise pens, tortoise raising house, arid zone vegetation, Darwin`s finches.
  • Possible activities:      Walk
  • Type of Landing:          None (in town)
  • Difficulty:         Easy

 

The Highlands

  • Highlights:       Tortoise Reserve, lava tubes, Darwin`s finches, vermillion flycatcher
  • Possible Activities:     Walking and hiking
  • Type of Landing:          None (visit from town or airport)
  • Difficulty:         Easy / Moderate

 

Day 5: M/S Beagle

 

AM: Santa Cruz Island – Bachas Beach

Located on the northern shore of Santa Cruz Island. Las Bachas is a white sand beach that is a major nesting site for the green sea turtles. The name “Las Bachas” (“potholes”) refers to the indentations left in the sand by laying turtles or departing hatchlings. On the shore there are marine iguanas, and in the lagoon area flamingos are common. Visitors are welcome to swim from the beach.

 

PM: Chinese Hat

Chinese Hat is a little island shaped as its name implies which sits off the southeastern tip of James Island. Its small white beaches have a sea lion colony. Snorkeling is usually very good, and with luck you might see the Galapagos penguins in the water.

  

Expert tips

Bachas Beach

  • Highlights: White sandy coral beaches, sea turtles, blue footed boobies, pink flamingos, blue herons, common stilts, brown noddys, white-cheek pintail ducks, migratory birds
  • Possible Activities:     Nature hikes & snorkeling
  • Type of Landing:          Wet landing
  • Difficulty:         Easy / moderate

 

Chinese Hat

  • Highlights:       Volcanic History of the islands, Lava formations, pioneer plants, Tiquilia Chamaesyce, Scalesia stewartia, spatter cones, lava tubes, Brachycereus, Galapagos penguins, sea lions, tropical fish, sea stars, anemones, sea turtles.
  • Possible Activities:     Hike, snorkeling, swimming,  panga ride
  • Type of Landing:          Dry landing & Wet landing

 

Day 6: M/S Beagle

 

AM:  Rabida Island

A short trail inland in Rabida Island offers observations of land birds including Galapagos dove, cactus finch and the large ground-finch. Hidden behind the narrow strip of green saltbush is a briny lagoon frequented by flamingos.

 

PM:  Santiago Island – Sullivan Bay

Our next landing site is Sullivan Bay, named for the channel in which we are anchored.  Back in 1897 the island fired up its own internal kiln giving birth to a field of pahoehoe (“rope-like” in Hawaiian) lava reaching out into the channel toward Bartolome. The results gleam in the sun like a gigantic, obsidian sculpture.

   

Expert tips

Rabida Island

  • Highlights:       Red sand beach, sea lions, flamingos, brown pelican colony, Galapagos dove, cactus finch, large ground-finch, sea turtles, blue footed boobies, masked boobies, stripped salemas, Galapagos sharks, yellow tail surgeon fish, Galapagos pinguins, marine iguanas
  • Possible Activities:     Trail and snorkeling, panga ride, kayak
  • Type of Landing:          Wet landing
  • Difficulty:         Easy / moderate

 

Sullivan Bay

  • Highlights:       Lava flow from turn of this century, still virtually uneroded covers large area, pahoehoe or opey lava, hornitos, Mollugo, Brachycereus lava colonizers, lava lizards, Galapagos penguins, sea lions, spotted eagle rays, sea turtles, white-tipped reef sharks
  • Possible Activities:     Nature hikes, snorkeling
  • Type of Landing:          Dry or Wet landing
  • Difficulty:         Moderate

 

Day 7: M/S Beagle

 

AM:  Bartholomew Island

Bartolome Island is a small island located to the east of James Island. Famous for its Pinnacle Rock, it is home to a small rookery of Galapagos penguins. You can swim and snorkel around Pinnacle Rock, or walk to the other side of the island to see sea turtles nesting (from January to March) and sharks swimming close to shore. You can also climb to the highest point of the island, a climb which gives you the chance to see plants that live in lava and ash and many interesting lava formations. On this island we also see sea lions, Galapagos penguins, pelicans, Galapagos hawks, turtles and sharks.

 

PM: North Seymour Island

North Seymour is home to several species of marine birds: swallow-tailed gulls, blue-footed boobies, noddy terns and both the great and the magnificent frigate birds compete for nesting sites. Land iguanas are found alongside marine iguanas, and there are the ever-present comic sea lions as well. North Seymour is a low, flat island located north of Baltra that was uplifted from the sea by underground seismic activity

  

Expert tips

Bartholomew Island

  • Highlights:       Volcanic History of the islands, Lava formations, pioneer plants, Tiquilia Chamaesyce, Scalesia stewartia, spatter cones, lava tubes, Brachycereus, Galapagos penguins, sea lions, tropical fish, sea stars, anemones, sea turtles.
  • Possible Activities:     Hike, snorkeling, swimming,  panga ride
  • Type of Landing:          Dry landing & Wet landing
  • Difficulty:         Easy / Moderate

 

North Seymour Island

  • Highlights:       Magnificent and Great Frigatebirds, blue footed Boobies, sea lions, marine iguanas, swallow-tailed gulls, brown pelicans, yellow land iguana, snakes, endemic Palo Santo trees, low shrubby-type Opuntia, marble rays, golden eagle rays, spotted rays, sting rays, manta rays, white-tipped reef sharks, schools of king angel fish, yellow tailed surgeonfish, scorpion fish, occasional hammerhead shark
  • Possible Activities:     Nature hikes, snorkeling
  • Type of Landing:          Dry landing
  • Difficulty:         Moderate / Difficult

 

Day 8: End of Itinerary

 

AM: Santa Cruz Island – Black Turtle Cove

Your visit to Black Turtle Cove is with the dinghy to permit you to motor through the mangrove inlets. These lagoons provide a refuge to rays, sharks, and sea turtles that are clearly visible alongside the boat. The engine is turned off and you slowly approach the different species that live in this peaceful place. 

After your excursion, at a proper time, transfer to Baltra’s airport for your departure to continental Ecuador

 

Expert tips

 

Black Turtle Cove

  • Highlights: Mangrove lagoons, turtles, pelicans, herons, spotted eagle rays, golden rays. White-tipped reef sharks Brown pelicans, blue herons, lave herons
  • Type of Landing: No landing
  • Difficulty: Easy

 

Activities and Services

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