Departure to the Galapagos Islands, arrival at Baltra airport, where our naturalist guide of the National Park will be waiting for you.
Black Turtle Cove gets its name from the abundance of green see turtles, locally known as: “tortugas negras”. There is no landing here so you will be doing a boat tour on the dinghies, exploring shallow channels and small coves surrounded by beautiful mangrove forests. Reef sharks, sea turtles and several species rays inhabit this beautiful area which is considered an important mating area for turtles and a nursery for several species of sharks. Herons, pelicans and boobies are also common here as they prey in schools of anchovies.
Rábida is a small island famous for its reddish lava rocks (rich in iron) which gives it a unique look. The beach is also red and hosts a small colony of sea lions. There is a small salt water lagoon where we will see ducks and stilts and sometimes flamingoes. The trail will take you inland to get beautiful views of the beach and the lagoon. Look for Darwin finches, flycatchers and mockingbirds. In the cliffs along the coast you can find Nazca & blue-footed boobies, brown noddy, herons and the two species of sea lions: Galapagos and fur seals.
This small islet is formed by a volcanic cone with a perfect symmetrical shape. It is separated from Santiago by a narrow channel forming one of the most beautiful bays in the islands. Blue-turquoise water and coral sand beaches surrounded by dark lava rocks gives this area a real tropical character, which makes even more surprising finding penguins resting in the rocks. The trail goes along the shore, taking you through a small colony of sea lions.
This island is home for large colonies of both magnificent and great frigatebirds and you can see them displaying their red balloons to attract a female. Blue-footed boobies nest in the ground and perform their famous dance in the open areas, while swallow-tailed gulls perch on the cliff edges. Land iguanas are common inland while their marine cousins bask in the rocks by the sea, close to sea lions, which often like to body surf in the waves.
Mosquera is mostly a barren sand bar with some rocky areas and scattered salt-resistant plants. You can walk along the beach and enjoy seeing playful sea lion pups surfing the waves and having a great time in the tide pools. Look for endemic lava gulls which are often seen flying over the beach in the search of food.
This hike is a journey into understanding the birth of these volcanic islands. You will walk in a very well preserved flow of Pahoehoe lava, which will give you endless opportunities to see the delicate textures of these type of lavas which only appear in a few places throughout the world. At first sight the barren landscape looks completely deprived of life, but look carefully for pioneer plants, lava lizards and small birds. By the shore, you can find penguins, pelicans and oystercatchers.
Bartolome is one of the most iconic places in the Galapagos and one of the few where you can see penguins without going to the remote areas of western Isabela and Fernandina. You will get great views of Pinnacle Rock, located in the northern side of the island, right next to a beautiful peach-color sand beach.
The hike to the top of the island is fantastic and will offer you incredible views of lunar landscapes with scattered volcanic cones. Many islands are visible from this outlook, as well as the bay of Sullivan and the Pinnacle rock.
El Barranco is located in the southern part of Darwin Bay at Genovesa Island. The cliffs face the sea are made of very fragile fractured lava, making it the ideal place for storm petrel to build their colonies, which attracts an important population of short-eared owls preying of the nesting birds. Red footed and Nazca boobies are abundant along the trail. At the base of the cliffs you can see Galapagos fur seals resting in shaded areas, as well as several species of seabirds.
Genovesa is a favorite island for birdwatchers as it is home for very large colonies of seabirds. From the minute you set foot at the beach you will be amazed by the noise of hundreds of boobies, gulls and frigatebirds flying over your heads, perched in the bushes or nesting on the sandy terrain. The trail is an ultimate wildlife experience as there are animals everywhere; sea lions and marine iguanas near the sea; night herons, lava & swallow tailed gulls, Darwin finches, Galapagos doves, mockingbirds and many more species inland.
Located in the outskirts of Puerto Baquerizo, this center is dedicated to the history of human presence in the Galapagos. Since the times of the early Spanish explorers to the present times, including illustrious visitors such as Charles Darwin, this permanent exhibition will take you through the dangers and struggles of the first settlers trying to survive the harsh Galapagos environment.
Then, transfer to the airport to take your flight back to continental Ecuador.