Departure from Quito/Guayaquil to Baltra island (2 1/2 hours flight). Our natural guides pick up passengers at the airport and take them to the bus stop to board the M/V Galapagos Legend.
We will be visiting the Santa Cruz highlands in the afternoon. You can see many different species of birds in the Galapagos mountains, including vermillion flycatchers and yellow warblers. You can see the many ecosystems on the island from the road to the reserve. It is a great way to experience the diversity. From the coast, the road winds through the agricultural zone to reach dense and humid forests. You may also see Galapagos giant tortoises wandering in the paddocks and the pastures. This is an ideal spot for bird watchers as almost all land birds on the island live or migrate here.
It is amazing to see the diversity of sea life that shelters in the crevices on the lava rock cliffs. A small group of fur seals can be found close to the landing area. Red-billed tropicbirds are seen flying overhead, switching between their nests in the bay and their nests. At the foot of a path that passes through a seabird colony, you will find a steep staircase that runs up to the top of rocks. The trail then continues inland, allowing you to view more nesting colonies of boobies in the Palo Santo forest. Wedge-romped Storm-Petrels are visible flying in all directions from the trail's end, just above a lava plain. You may be able to see a short-eared Owl if you're lucky.
You will find a small coral and sand beach. The trail leads west along the tidal lagoon, then up a steep rocky hill to reach a viewpoint overlooking Darwin Bay and the cliffs. Visitors will find pairs of swallow-tailed and lava gulls along the trail close to the tidal lake. You will continue on the trail through Palo Santo trees and Opuntia cedars, as well as Saltbushes, which are home to red-footed bobies and Great Frigate birds. Visitors can see red-footed bobies in this area. Genovesa's trees and bushes are home to more than 100,000 red-footed bobies.
Dry landing. To see Dragon Hill's flamingos, walk by a brackish lake. You will find beautiful views of nearby islands and anchored boats as you walk along the trail. Mockingbirds, Galapagos doves, yellow warblers and Darwin's finches can be found in the forest.
Wet landing. Santa Fe has white sand beaches, surrounded by sea-lion colonies. Through the island path, an endangered cactus forest can be passed, home to the Santa Fe land Iguanas, the largest of the islands. This island is home to a number species including the Galapagos Hawk, Galapagos snakes and rice rats, one of the few endemic Galapagos rodents. There are also a variety finches and one mockingbird species.
Wet landing. Two small flamingo lakes are located on the north side Santa Cruz. They were used by iguanas to sunbathe. This beach is the primary nesting site for sea turtles in the Galapagos. The average turtle will lay 70 eggs per season, which is three to four times the normal number. This paradisiacal spot will also contain the remains of barges, which were sunk long ago when the United States Navy had a base on Baltra Island during World War II. Locals changed the name barges to "Bachas".
Wet Landing, Mosquera Islet can be found between North Seymour Island and Baltra Island. The island is flat and sandy with a large colony sea lions. This is a great spot to see shorebirds like lava gulls and herons. The islet is undeveloped and visitors can freely enjoy its open space. The majority of the island is covered in sand and barren volcanic rock. The sand is not suitable for growing sesuvium por Tulacastrum plants.
Wet landing. Egas Port, a volcanic sand beach of black color, was visited by Darwin in 1835. The trail's first section is made of volcanic ash, which is eroded tuff. The second half is uneven volcanic basaltic rock terrain. Santiago shore's unique and strikingly layered terrain is home to many animals, including the yellow-crowned nightheon. You can easily see colonies of endemic fur sealings in volcanic rock pools.
Rabida Island, wet landing. This island is home to sea lion colonies. Its unique beaches are covered in dark-red sand. Rabida Island is the epicenter for the Galapagos Islands because of its volcanic geology. From July to September, nesting brown pelicans can be found along with nine species of the famous Darwin’s finches. To observe nesting seabirds, a dinghy ride is taken along the cliffs. You can snorkel off the coast where you will find marine life at its best.
Urbina Bay: Wet landing (may be difficult due the tide). To see giant tortoises, land Iguanas and an unusual flightless cormorant, you will need to go to Urbina Bay. A short walk inland will bring you to snorkeling, where you can swim with sea turtles and sea lions. Urbina Bay is home to many different plants, each with a different range of flowers. This attracts different insects, birds and reptiles. The island's highlight is the coral reef, which was created by the 1954 seismic activity. Here you can see Alcedo Volcano. Whale watching is possible from Urbina to Tagus Cove during May-December.
We have a dry landing at Tagus Cove. Now we're on Galapagos largest island, where we'll learn more about the eruption of the five
It is formed by volcanoes. This trail takes you to Darwin's salt water crater lake, with spectacular views of volcanic formations and lava fields. The same route will take us back to Darwin's salt-water crater lake. We will enjoy a dinghy ride along the shoreline, which is home to a wide variety of seabirds including the blue-footed boby, brown noddy and flightless cormorant. Depending on the season, we may also see a lot of Galapagos Penguins (the only penguin species that live in the tropics), as well as a number of other seabirds. There are approximately 2,000 penguins living on the islands. Others live further south. You will be able to snorkel in deep waters. The curious reminder of a fascinating past is Graffiti, which is believed to be left behind by 19th-century pirates.
It is possible to see Isabela Island from Espinosa Point. This area boasts the most diverse endemic marine fauna in the Galapagos. These are the home to some of the most primitive and large marine iguanas.
It was seen mingling among sea lions, and Sally light-foot crabs. Fernandina offers a rare opportunity to see flightless cormorants nesting at Galapagos penguins' nesting sites and the Galapagos Hawk, which is the "King of predators" on the islands. The majority of Fernandina terrain is covered by AA and Pa-hoehoe lava formations. In the inland, vegetation is sparse with very few brachycereus-cacti. Mangroves can be found at the beaches.
Deep-water snorkeling is possible at the Bolivar Channel in Vicente Roca Point, one of the most beautiful marine havens on Earth. We can access the coast by water and take a dinghy along the coast to see a wide variety of coastal birds, including Nazca and blue-footed Bobies, noddies and brown pelicans as well as penguins and flightless cormorants. This area of the Galapagos is a great place to deep-snorkel.
Dry landing. Galapagos' mountains offer a variety of bird species, including tree and ground finches,...vermillion flycatchers and yellow warblers. Cattle egrets can also be seen (usually standing on the tortoises shell). You can see the diversity of ecosystems on the island from the road to the reserve. It is a great way to experience it all. From the coast, the road winds through the agricultural zone to reach dense and humid forests. You may also see Galapagos Giant Tortoises wandering in the paddocks and often seen along the road. This is an ideal spot for birdwatchers, as almost all land birds on the island live or migrate here.
Passengers will be taken to the airport to catch their return flight to Guayaquil, or Quito, after the visit.