Did you know? This is the smallest species of sea lion, with females weighing around 165 lb(75kg) and makes up to about 440 lb (200 kg). Its ancestor apparently reached the archipelago around 1.2 millions years ago, and the species currently numbers around 20,000 individuals.
Baltra is a basaltic plateau-which belongs geologically to Santa Cruz-faulted in an east-west direction. In the distant past, the island was once connected to Santa Cruz and North Seymour.
Baltra airport was built by the Americans during World War II. The army base was intended to defend the Panama Canal against japanese air raids, but the attack never came.
Baltra, Santa Cruz / Charles Darwin Station (D)
Upon arrival to Baltra Island you naturalist guide will wait for you in the arrivals hall and take you to your first visit on Santa Cruz Island. Before this you will be transferred from Seymour airport by an airport bus (10 min ride) and a ferry ride (5min) to the northside of Santa Cruz in to town of Puerto Ayora which takes around 45 minutes to get to the hotel
In the afternoon, we will visit Charles Darwin Station, where we can check out giant tortoises in captivity and learn about the breeding program of this iconic animal then, return to the hotel for the Welcome Dinner.
Santa Cruz island / Daily tour (B, L)
On day 2 you will visit any two islands of the below list (one island per day). Depending on your departure and availability the visits of the islands will vary. Each island is unique in itself and has different highlights to offer. This is an amazing chance to reach out to inhabited islands in the archipelago. Each day tour will include lunch onboard, a walking and a snorkeling activity to maximize your experience.
AM: North Seymour is a small flat island, with a trail about two kilometers long. Palo santos trees are endemic to the island and stand just above the landing site usually without leaves waiting for the rain to bring them into bloom. Opuntia, the local prickly pear cactus, is the food for the land iguanas.
Swallow-tailed gulls sit perched in ledges of the cliffs only a few meters high form the shoreline. Amongst the emblematic fauna of the island you will be able to see sea lions basking on the lava rock, during the walk you can find land iguanas and colonies of blue- footed boobies and magnificent frigates.
PM: Las Bachas, a beautiful coralline beach located on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, is the perfect place for practicing snorkeling, swimming or to simply enjoy the white soft sand. Several brackish lagoons only a few steps away from the sea are the feeding grounds of various wading birds, from stilts to flamingos.
AM: The Plazas Islands (North and South), Only South Plaza is open to visitors. Here the vegetation and is represented by annual plants such as sesuvium, and by opuntia cacti. The sesuvium, serves as groundcover for a grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cactus. Yellow-Brown land iguanas sit beneath waiting patiently for pears to drop.
Depending on the dry or the wet season the island wears a red carpet during the months of May to December.
You will disembark on South Plazas where you will be greeted by a colony of sea lions inhabits the island, The trail takes you gradually towards the southern cliff of the island where you will be able to observe nesting swallow-tailed gulls and several sea birds such as tropicbirds, frigates, Nazca and blue-footed boobies, Audubon shearwaters, pelicans gliding the sky.
PM: You will have the possibility of snorkeling in the calm waters of Punta Carrión where you will be able to observe a variety of tropical fish, sea turtles, rays,yellowtail mullets and white tip reef sharks that peacefully rest on the sandy bottom.
Santa Fé offers a beautiful bay, In the middle of a sunny day the lagoon turns into an eye-catching turquoise blue. The white Sandy bottom is only a few meters below the Surface.
You will disembark on a small sandy beach where you will be able to see a colony of sea lions basking lazily in the sun. A trail leads inland to the top of a Cliff, from where the view is breathtaking. Two species of land iguanas inhabit the archipelago, but one of these, the endemic dwells only in Santa Fe; it is biggers, with a whitish color, sometimes chocolate Brown when moulting. The Galapagos hawk often overlooks the beach.
This island is also characteristic by its forest of the giant prickly pear cactus, or Radiate headed scalesia, is an attractive Bush with white flowers and exquisite fragance.
PM: After the visit on land you will be taken to enjoy snorkeling in the clear waters of the anchoring site of Santa Fé. You will be able to see a variety of tropical fish and a possibility of swimming with sea lions, sea turtles, small white-tip sharks, spotted Eagle rays and round stingrays are common to the small bay.
BARTOLOME / SULLIVAN BAY
AM: A very impressive Little island in front of Sullivan Bay, with a landscape of real volcanic desolation: tuff cones, spatter cones, scoria formations and black volcanic sand.
A trail of 600–meters with stairs leads to the Summit of the central of the volcano. From the top of the volcano, the view is extraordinary and offers one of the most emblematic sceneries of the Galapagos Islands,. Towards the east, a field of spatter cones punctuates the island. Towards the west, one is amazed by the isthmus of Bartolome, cover by mangroves and bordered by two small coves of Golden sand in the shape of half moons. On the north beach, the Pinnacle Rock stands like a finger pointed to the sky.
PM: Depending on the permission of the boat this day you have also the opportunity to do snorkeling in one of both places; on the north cove, under Pinnacle Rock or in Sullivan Bay, this last one is a clear evidence of the volcanic past of the islands. Both places give a unique experience.
Tortuga Bay Beach / Santa Cruz Highlands (B,L)
This morning you will visit the beautiful Tortuga bay beach, with our local guide. A 45 minutes walk on a cobblestone path (2.5 km one way) leads you to one of the fine white sandy beaches of the archipelago. An enchanting forest of the tall Opuntia Cactus and volcanic rock surrounds the path, and the view is breathtaking. Throughout your walk you can see finches, yellow warblers, mockingbirds, and lava lizards. An excellent place also for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking or surfing. Marine iguanas, blue footed boobies, sharks, sea birds and sea turtles can be spotted here.
In the afternoon we continue to the highlands of Santa Cruz where we will have a great opportunity to get close and personal with the giant tortoises roaming in their natural habitat. Explore cavernous underground Lava Tunnels where you can view one of the geologic wonders of our volcanic islands. These activities will be followed up with a full lunch in the highlands.
Transfer to San Cristobal / Interpretation Center / Cerro Tijeretas / La Loberia (B)
Early in the morning we give you a box breakfast; you will be sailing unaccompanied to San Cristobal island by public speedboat (2 hours). Speedboat rides can be bumpy therefore prepare yourself with seasickness medication.
Upon your arrival, our representative will meet you at the port and will assist you with the hotel check-in. With our specialized guide we are going to visit The Interpretation Center which will bring you closer to the human and natural history of the archipelago.
We continue to CERRO DE LAS TIJERETAS (FRIGATEBIRD HILL) is a hill covered with palo santos, overlooking an almost circular cove. This place has a beautiful panoramic view of the surrounding coastline of Wreck Bay and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, as well as the very well known Kicker Rock. you may observe two species of frigate birds, perhaps nesting, this bird having their "courtship" display in March- April.
In the afternoon, we are going to visit LA LOBERIA, a beautiful coral sand beach where we can observe many sea lions and marine iguanas. We will take a short walk to observe the native flora and Darwin´s finches, finishing off the day with your choice of relaxing on the beach or swimming/snorkeling in crystal clear sea water before you return to the hotel.
San Cristobal island / Daily tour (B, L)
You will be picked up by your guide after breakfast. Based on availability, you will get to visit either: ISLAS LOBOS or KICKER ROCK. Optional activities may include walking, swimming and snorkeling. After your exciting day you´ll return to the Hotel
Kicker rock, Islas Lobos (B,L)
*This morning you will have the opportunity to visit one of these beautiful places below describes based on availability.
Kicker rock islet.
Located on the west side of the island, a 45 minute boat from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno makes it a great day excursion.
It consists of two stunning vertical walls/rock formation of 500ft. surrounded by abundant sea life (especially sharks including hammerheads!) and a variety of fishes.
While snorkeling around the walls you can have great sightings of marine life, including, sea turtles and sea lions.
During the excursion you also have time to explore one of the many beautiful beaches close to Kicker Rock where you will have time for relaxing on the beach or do some extra snorkeling.
Today we enjoy a box lunch onboard.
We arrive back to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno early afternoon where you can enjoy some free time in town.
Is an small islet a 30 minutes by boat from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, surround by wildlife such as frigate birds, blue footed boobies, sea lions colonies, marine iguanas and sea birds. The tour involves a walk for approximately 1 hour follow by snorkeling around the area or you can enjoy some relax time in a nearby beach. Enjoy lunch on board.
We arrive back to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno early afternoon where you can enjoy some free time in town.
*Excursion Kicker rock, Islas lobos based on availability
This morning you will have breakfast in the hotel and then transfer back to the airport where you catch your plane back to Ecuador mainland (flight is not included).
Depending on your time departure, you still have some hours to do few activities nearby such as walk or swimming at the close beach, just to name few considering the airport in San Cristobal island is located just 5 minutes from the town. And that most of the flights departures from this island are at mid-day.
Check our multiple hotel locations available pending availability.
For your information this trip is not a group tour. You will be guided during activities by various naturalist guides from the Galapagos National Park. During the activities you will meet other passengers from other tour companies which makes a great chance to meet other travelers. Transiting in the speedboats from island to island you will be on your own but your well looked after as we take the hassle out of all the logistics. Tour Operations in Galápagos, are subject to space availability and itineraries may change, due to weather conditions, operational and logistical matters, so the number of excursions and visits are limited, so not specific excursion can be guaranteed.
5 Nights Accommodation.
Naturalist Guide (during activities)
All activities described in the tour.
Snorkeling Equipment during excursions
5 breakfast, 3 lunch, 1 dinner
24/7 Emergency contact
Flights between Quito, Guayaquil and the Galapagos.
100 USD park entry fee - cash only.
20 USD fee - cash only
15 USD meals not described in the tour, per person, per day.