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. 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 where will take our transportation to LOS GEMELOS: two pit-craters located on each side of the road over 30 meter deep which were formed by the collapse of the roof of some magma chamber.
A few trails wander around the craters, many land birds seen such as; the vermilion flycatcher, the short eared owl, the Galapagos dove, and a great number of Darwin’s finches, including the carpenter finch, which uses a stick as a tool to help extract larvae from old stumps.
We then continue to the highlands of Santa Cruz where we will have a great opportunity to get close to giant tortoises roaming in their natural habitat. Explore a cavernous underground Lava Tunnel where you can view one of the geological wonders of our volcanic islands.The rest of the afternoon you are free to enjoy the island by yourself (depending on your flight arrival time). Welcome dinner!
On day 2 and 3 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. - Wet Landing
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.
AM: 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.
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 teh 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.
Enjoy a full free day with different options to explore such as:
* If you have any last minute tour requests, we can help you organize activities during your free time. Just let us know when youre here!
This morning you are transferred back to Baltra airport where you catch your plane back to Ecuador mainland (flight is not included).Please advise 15 days prior to the tour your arrival and departure flight details.
IMPORTANT NOTES: ALL tours are group tours and not private excursions. 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 is a great chance to meet other travelers. While traveling in speedboats from island to island you will be on your own but, you will be well looked after by certified personal, as we take the hassle out of the logistics. Tours in Galápagos and in mainland Ecuador, are subject to space and availability. Itineraries may change due to weather conditions, operational or logistical matters, meaning the number of excursions or specific locations are not guaranteed.