Wednesday to Wednesday
Day 1 – Arrival & Charles Darwin Research Station
AM: Arrive at Baltra airport and Santa Cruz Island.
PM: Visit the Charles Darwin Station, a research facility and National Park Information center. The Charles Darwin Station has a giant tortoise and land iguana breeding program and interpretation center.
Day 2 - South Plaza & Santa Fe
AM: These plazas consist of two very small islands that were uplifted from the sea, separated by a channel. Only South Plaza has a visitor site. The highlights include tall Opuntia cactus, land and marine iguanas, rocky cliffs that look out towards open ocean, which is also a nesting site for red-billed tropic birds and gulls. There is also a sea lion bachelor colony here.
PM: The visitor site Santa Fe is located on the northeast end of the island, highlights include Santa Fe land iguanas, pelican nesting site, a sea lion colony, mockingbirds, and Palo Santo trees.
Day 3 - San Cristóbal
AM: San Cristóbal is the easternmost island of Galapagos and also one of the oldest. Cerro Brujo is a white sand beach on the west side of San Cristóbal. Highlights include: Sally Lightfoot crabs, marine iguanas, sea lions, Chatham mockingbirds and lava lizards
PM: El Junco lagoon is the only fresh water reservoir in Galapagos and has great views from its altitude of 700m in the highlands of San Cristóbal. Rainwater has collected in the caldera for hundreds of years and formed this lagoon. Galapaguera is a good area to see tortoises in their natural environment.
Day 4 – Española
AM: Española is the oldest of the Southern Islands and is the southernmost in the archipelago. Because of its remote location a unique range of endemic species evolved here. Gardner Bay is located on the northeast of the island, the site has a long and beautiful white sand beach inhabited by sea lion colonies.
PM: The wildlife at Punta Suarez is plentiful and varied. Along the cliff visitors can enjoy the blowhole where seawater is forced about 20m into the air. The highlights are the Waved albatross (April-Dec) that are only found on Hood, Galapagos Hawks, blue-footed boobies, Nascar boobies, and Española lava lizards.
Day 5 – Floreana
AM: Floreana is best known for its colourful history of buccaneers, whalers, convicts, and early colonists. Punta Cormorant has two contrasting beaches and a large inland lagoon where pink flamingos can be seen. Devils Crown: this is a snorkeling site located just off Punta Cormorant. The site is a completely submerged volcano that has eroded to create the appearance of a jagged crown.
PM: Post Office Bay is one of the few sites visited for its human history. Visit the remains of the Norwegian fishing village and the wooden mail barrel, where letters are dropped off and picked up by visitors and hand-delivered upon their return.
Day 6 - Santa Cruz
AM: Dragon Hill is located in the north-western side of Santa Cruz Island. Some highlights include small lagoons with flamingos, Palo Santo trees, and Opuntia cactus.
PM: Santiago Island is located between Isabela and Santa Cruz Islands. This Island offers a wide variety of seabirds, marine iguanas and fur seals. Sullivan Bay is a site of great geological interest. Highlights include the 100 hundred year old lava flow field, pahoehoe formations and lava bubbles.
Day 7 - Genovesa
AM: The steep cliffs of Darwin Bay dominate the island. This area is home to thousands of frigate birds, red-footed boobies, Noddy terns, lava gulls, tropicbirds, doves, storm petrels and Darwin's finches.
PM: We take a dingy ride and we make a dry landing on Prince Phillips's Steps (Barranco), we walk and observe the interesting lives of the birds here. There is a good possibility of seeing the unique "Short eared owl" at this site. During the dinghy rides along the cliffs, fur seals and several species of seabirds can be spotted.
Day 8 - Caleta Tortuga (Turtle Cove) and Baltra airport
AM: Turtle Cove is a red mangrove lagoon on Santa Cruz and a perfect example of how mangroves alter the marine environment to create a rich and unique habitat. Then to Baltra Airport for return flight to the mainland.