Friday to Thursday
Day 1 Baltra Island /North Seymour Island
Our adventure begins with a morning flight to Baltra Island and immediate transfer to the dock to board Yacht La Pinta. There’s a welcome introductory briefing, boat drill, cabin assignment and then lunch.
Following an afternoon disembarkation, we enjoy a walk along the coast and the interior of the beautiful flat island, observing numerous bird colonies as well as sea lions and land iguanas. There are opportunities for coastal exploration by dinghy. Evening briefing, welcome cocktail and dinner.
Day 2 Punta Vicente Roca ( Isabela Island)/ Punta Espinoza (Fernandina Island)
Since there is no landing site at this location, the coastal exploration is by dinghy, while the naturalist guide explains the dramatic geology of the area, with remains of lava flows and tuff stone layers. There is abundant wildlife and, depending on the conditions of the ocean, we’ll be able to snorkel along the cliffs, hopefully in the company of green sea turtles.
In the afternoon, we visit the youngest and most pristine island of the archipelago, Fernandina, one of many people’s all-time favourites. Punta Espinoza has an amazing combination of barrenness and abundant wildlife. Highlights include hawks, penguins, the flightless cormorant and astounding views of the surrounding volcanic landscapes.
Day 3 Urbina Bay/ Tagus Cove (Isabela Island)
After breakfast, we disembark at Urbina Bay, on the western side of Isabela Island, the result of an uplifting of the ocean floor. Here you can find corals, shells, and large and very colourful Galapagos land iguanas, giant tortoises (occasionally). Navigating the Bolívar Channel, there are good chances of spotting species of whales.
On the northwest of Isabela, secluded Tagus Cove provided a favourite anchorage for pirates and whalers over the centuries, and today makes a great visitor site. An uphill hike takes us to the back of Darwin Crater, filled with salt water. We can snorkel or ride kayaks amid the dramatic landscape before our hike.
Day 4 Rabida Island/ Cerro Dragon-Dragon Hill ( Santa Cruz Island)
In the morning, we disembark at Rábida Island’s red-coloured beach. A stroll along the beach or a short hike in a loop for cliff views, allows us to observe marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and several species of Darwin’s finches. This is a great place to snorkel from the beach. For non-snorkelers, we can ride our glass-bottom boat for a submarine exploration.
The north shore of Santa Cruz hosts the fascinating landscapes of Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill). Our walk includes circling a brackish water lagoon frequented by lagoon birds, while further inland, the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western islands of the archipelago, as well as the chance of observing land iguanas.
Day 5 Purto Ayora & Charles Darwin Research Station/ Highlands of Santa Cruz Island
The morning visit heads to the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise pens within an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest. These are the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. A delicious lunch is served at the poolside of the Finch Bay Eco Hotel on the other side of Puerto Ayora.
After lunch, we wind up to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island by vehicle. This is a great place to look for the brilliant Vermilion Flycatcher and the endemic Scalesia trees. From December to mid-April and July to December a visit to observe giant tortoises in the wild may be included, if weather conditions are good.
Day 6 Post Office Bay/ Punta Cormorant/Champion Islet & Punta Cormorant
After breakfast, we land at Post Office Bay to visit the historic barrel that has served as a post office in the archipelago for over two centuries. There’s great snorkelling from the beach as well.
Before disembarking at Punta Cormorant we can snorkel or ride our glass-bottom boat along the coast of an extinct cone called “Champion Islet”. Our visit to Punta Cormorant takes in an olivine-crystal beach for an easy walk by a brackish water lagoon where bird species like greater flamingos may be observed. On the other side of the island, we come to a white-sand beach where sea turtles come out at night to nest.
Day 7 Baltra Airport
After breakfast, we depart for the port and airport for our flight back to the mainland.