Transfer to meet the Yolita. Get to know the crew and settle in. This afternoon, visit the tortoises of the El Chato Reserve,
Highlands Giant Tortoises Visit
Head to Santa Cruz’s verdant highlands and the El Chato Reserve, a perfect place to see giant tortoises in their natural environment. Explore the reserve’s lagoon and lava tunnels, keeping an eye out for owls that often roost in the tunnels’ entrances.
Post Office Bay Visit
Visit Post Office Bay and learn about its unique history. In the late 18th century, English whaling vessels placed a barrel here to be used as a post office. Today, the box is used mainly by tourists, who may drop off and pick up unstamped letters to be carried to far destinations. Continue the tradition –leave a letter and take one to deliver (be sure it makes it to the correct location)!
Snorkelling (Corona del Diablo)
Enjoy an amazing snorkelling experience at the ‘Devil’s Crown’, an old underwater volcanic cone just north of the Punta Cormorant. Spot large schools of tropical fish, rays, reef sharks, and sea turtles that make their home among the coral reef. Be sure you’re a strong swimmer; the currents can be intense.
Cerro Dragón Visit
Visit Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill) for some prime bird watching. Take a short walk from the beach to a hyper salinic(saltier than the ocean) lagoon frequented by pink flamingos, common stilts, pintail ducks, and other species of birds. Pass through a Scalesia tree forest; endemic to the area, there are only 400 specimens of Scalesia trees left in the world.
Chinese Hat Visit
Explore Chinese Hat’s beautiful landscape and spectacular white-coral sand beach followed by snorkelling with sea lions and penguins and swimming opportunities in the cove.
Explore the mangrove lagoon at Black Turtle Cove. In the afternoon, transfer for a flight back to Quito.
Black Turtle Cove Excursion
Explore the mangroves by panga to find rich marine wildlife between the fresh and salt waters. Keep any eye out for manta rays and sea turtles in this tranquil ecosystem. White tip reef sharks can also be seen gliding by.