Flying from Quito or Guayaquil, you will arrive at around midday (local time) to San Cristobal where you will be greeted at the lobby by our guide, who will be waiting to take us to the Yacht Anahi. Our baggage will be handled by one of our crew members who will transport them directly to the yacht.
We’ll head to the dock to board the small Zodiacs to take us to the Yacht Anahi. Our Captain and crew will welcome you with a drink and then you will be allocated in your cabins. Following lunch our guide will give a short explanation about the afternoon activities. At about 2 p.m. you will disembark and start our walking tour to visit the Interpretation Center of San Cristobal, located in the outskirts of the small city of Pto. Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the Galapagos Province. The interpretation center gives us a great introduction to the islands, from the natural and human history, to the actual efforts taken by the National Park and marine reserve to protect the fragile environment. We then walk up to the place known as Frigate Bird Hill.
This short hike starts from the interpretation Center and takes about 30 minutes to reach the top of the hill. Once there, visitors are treated to a spectacular view of the white beaches and the amazing Kicker Rock formation emerging from the Pacific Ocean, and the roofs of the houses of Puerto Baquerizo. The hill is often visited by Frigate birds who nest here in certain times of the year, thus giving it its name. Both the species of “Magnificent” frigate birds and “great” frigate birds can be seen here!
From the hill we descend towards the small cove known as Punta Carola, a place where we find a colony of cute sea lions. A great spectacle!
In the morning after a night boat ride, we will be arriving to Española Island, also known as Hood Island after Viscount Samuel Hood. It is located in the extreme southeast of the archipelago and is considered, along with Santa Fe, one of the oldest islands at approximately four million years of age. The island is slowly becoming a rocky, barren land with little or no vegetation, with sand and soft shingle beaches which attracts a healthy number of Galapagos Sea Lions.
We will visit the two spots that are especially popular with visitors: In the morning and after breakfast we will be visiting Suárez Point, a destination of great interest due of its abundance of bird-life. This island also has its own species of animals, such as the Española Mockingbird, which has a distinctive longer and more curved beak than variations in other islands; the Española lava lizard; the Marine Iguana of the subspecies venustissimus, which has red markings on its back; among others. We can also observe Swallow-tailed Gulls and other tropical birds that live in the rocky slopes. Amongst the most interesting attractions we find the Waved Albatross, where almost the entire world population arrives to breed here from March to January, and the mating dances of the funny Blue-footed Boobies. There are hundreds of masked Boobies, colonies of sea lions, huge colonies of marine iguanas, and different species of birds. We’ll return to the yacht for lunch and after a short rest we begin our afternoon visit to Bahía Gardner which has a lovely beach, excellent for swimming and snorkeling. Here we also find a big colony of playful sea lions and with luck we can observe Galapagos hawks and the local species of snakes, while almost certainly Darwin
finches, mocking birds and sea turtles.
Floreana Island was named after Juan José Flores, the first president of Ecuador during whose administration the government of Ecuador took possession of the archipelago. It was previously called Charles Island (after King Charles II of England), and Santa Maria after one of Columbus’ ships. The island has an area of 173 square km (67sq mi) formed by volcanic eruptions like most main islands of the archipelago, with the highest point being Cerro Pajas at 640m (2,100ft). In the morning we will go to Punta Cormorant, a site which probably offers the largest and best flamingo lagoon in the Galapagos. It is situated between two “tuff” type cones that give the area a special atmosphere. There are various species of shorebirds to be seen besides flamingos, the most frequent being stilts, white-checked pintail ducks and other migratory birds. This is a unique zone due to the high percentage of endemic (unique to the island) plant life. Here we see the “green beach” (due to high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand) and the “Flour sand beach” made up of coral which are two of the most interesting beaches of the islands. We can also snorkel from the beach around the area. We return to the yacht to start our snorkel activity at the place known as
Corona del Diablo (Devil’s Crown). This is a submerged eroded volcanic crater where the interior of the formation is ideal for the sustainment of a wonderful coral reef habitat making it one of the most fascinating marine sites in the Galapagos. Here you can observe reefs, sea lions, reef fish, hammerhead sharks, and several other species of fish. We’ll return for lunch to the yacht, followed by a short navigation and rest period.
Our afternoon visit will be to the famous Post Office Bay, which historically served as a letter exchange station through the use of a wooden barrel that was placed in the 18th century by the crew of a whaling ship. Both Sailors and tourists have used this rudimentary system to exchange correspondence to every corner of the world! The idea is to carry letters or postcards to their
destination by hand, thus creating a very special “Postal Service” apart from being the Post Office location this site was also the landing area for some of the first colonists. Later on we will visit the place known as “Asilo de La Paz” (Haven of Peace), known for its bizarre history as one of the first occupied spaces of the islands by a German family with the last name of Wittmer. After exploring the caves where this family used to live, we will return to our yacht to begin our navigation towards the port of Puerto Ayora, the biggest town in Galapagos.
After breakfast, we will depart from our ship, and with the company of your guide we will visit a interesting attraction point before heading to the airport. We start with a walk in the Galapagos National Park “Fausto Llerena” turtle breeding and Interpretation Center where we can learn about the work done to maintain the species of this unique animal.
Then we will be transported to the Itabaca Channel which we cross with a local ferry to take a bus on the other side headed to the Airport of Baltra Island. Here our voyage ends, and we will say goodbye to our guide and to the Galapagos Islands, which wait for your next visit.