You will arrive at San Cristobal Island in the morning. After going through immigration and baggage claim you will be met by a Galaven staff member and transferred to the yacht. You’ll be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before lunch and a welcome briefing.
The Jacinto Gordillo Breeding Center is a new visitor site in the northeast part of San Cristóbal Island and takes approximately one hour by road from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. At the Breeding Center, you will be able to admire the hatchling turtles, from their birth until they are 4 years old when the grown turtles are taken to their natural habitat.
In the afternoon you will visit Puerto Chino located 15,2 miles (24.5 km) away from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and a few miles from the Breeding Center Cerro Colorado, this walk takes approximately 30 minutes to the beach.
Your morning visit is to Santa Fe Island (Barrington) which is home to the small picturesque bay and anchorage on the island’s northeast coast. The bay has two visitor trails: one leading to a scenic viewpoint atop a cliff, and the other spanning from a small beach to a tall prickly pear cactus forest.
In the afternoon, you will head to South Plaza Island. This small island with steep cliffs was formed by rising lava and is now covered by Opuntia cacti. It is also home to one of the largest sea lion colonies as well as colorful yellow and red land iguanas. The most characteristic plant is Sesuvium. During the rainy season, its color is a greenish to yellowish tone and in the dry season (end of June through January) a bright red.
Today you will visit Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Center. This is home to tortoises ranging from 3-inches (new hatchlings) to 4-feet long. Subspecies of tortoises interact with one another and many of the older tortoises are accustomed to humans, stretching out their heads for a photo opportunity. The babies are kept here until they are about four-years-old and strong enough to survive on their own.
The afternoon visit is to a site called Los Gemelos (Twin Craters). Los Gemelos wait for you at the end of a short hike. These sinkholes are often referred to as craters, though the term is only descriptive, not literal. They were created by the collapse of surface material in underground fissures and chambers.
The endemic Scalesia forest surrounds the site where you may see vermillion flycatchers, short-eared owls, and finches.
The morning will consist of a visit to The Sierra Negra Volcano which is the largest basaltic caldera in the Galapagos at 9 or 10 km. The site offers impressive views and the opportunity to observe up to 7 species of finches and a rich display of vegetation. The north side of the caldera provides evidence of its most recent volcanic activity in 2005.
The afternoon visit will head to the Wetlands of Isabela Island, which are located just outside of Puerto Villamil. The Wetlands consist of lagoons, swamps, and mangroves and are home to a variety of unique bird species such as common stilts, whimbrels, white-cheeked pintails, and gallinules. The Wetlands can be visited on foot via a path through the swamps.
The Wall of Tears (El Muro de las Lágrimas) is 65-feet / 25-meters high and an important piece of the island history. A penal colony existed on Isabela from 1945-1959, and the prisoners were forced to build the wall, stone by stone, while in isolation from the rest of the world and thousands died during the construction. Many claim to feel the heavy energy of this historical site, and locals claim to hear cries in the wind.
The Tortoise Breeding Station was created to protect animals in their first years of life from the threats of foreign species such as pigs and donkeys. Giant tortoise eggs are collected and brought to the center where they are hatched and kept for five years before being released to their natural environment.
In the morning you will visit Moreno Point located southwest of Elizabeth Bay. Here a dry landing onto what was once flowing lava is possible. The lava has left craters in its wake which formed crystal tide pools. By looking into the pools, you can peer into another world as the marine life drifts by your window.
In the brackish pools of this area, you may see pink flamingos, white-cheeked pintails, and common gallinules. If you look carefully into the pools, you may see white-tip reef sharks and some sea turtles.
In the afternoon, you will visit Tagus Cove on Isabela Island which is located across from Fernandina Island, close to the Bolivar Channel dividing the two islands. This spot has been frequented by ships since the 1800s, using the area as an anchorage site. Trails winding by Lake Darwin up to a ridge display wonderful views. Punta Tortuga, just north of Tagus Cove, is another lovely beach surrounded by mangroves.
In the morning you will visit Fernandina Island. No foreign species have ever invaded this island, and therefore it is one of the world’s most pristine island ecosystems. Fernandina is the youngest island in the Galapagos. Access to this site is extremely restricted by the Galapagos National Park, and you will be one of those very lucky visitors. The volcano “La Cumbre” dominates the landscape with lava fields reaching the ocean.
Crossing the Bolivar Channel that divides Isabela and Fernandina Islands, you will land at Espinosa Point, and after walking past a colony of marine iguanas and a group of sea lions, you’ll reach the island’s highlight: The flightless cormorant nesting site. This area also provides a great opportunity to see the Galapagos hawk.
In the afternoon, you will head to Isabela Island, which is the largest in the archipelago. This seahorse-shaped island is also one of the youngest and most volcanically active. The afternoon visit is at Vicente Roca Point. Comprised of two separate coves, this site is a large bay with spectacular sea life. Keep an eye out for seahorses, sea turtles, and the strange yet fascinating Mola mola (or sunfish).
Your morning visit is to Espumilla Beach where marine iguanas lounge and the Sally Lightfoot crabs attract the hunting herons performing the dance of predator and prey right before your eyes. Snorkeling is highly recommended as you could find yourself face to face with an octopus, moray eel, shark and a variety of other species of tropical fish.
In the afternoon you will head for Bartolome Island, home of the famous Pinnacle Rock. Bartolome consists of an extinct volcano with a variety of red, orange, black and even green volcanic formations. You will take a trail of stairs to the summit of the volcano (about 30 or 40 minutes) where you will enjoy one of the best views of the islands! You will also visit a small, beautiful beach surrounded by the only vegetation found on this barren island. The beach is perfect for snorkeling where you may even see the Galapagos penguins.
In North Seymour you will be able to see Galapagos sea lions, blue-footed boobies, and magnificent frigate birds which are abundant on North Seymour Island. The island was formed by a series of submarine lava containing layers of sediment that were uplifted by tectonic activity. The island is characterized by its arid vegetation zone.
After this final visit, you will be transferred to Baltra airport in time for your flight back to the mainland.