Tuesday: Arrival / San Cristobal
Upon arrival at San Cristobal airport, visitors must go through an inspection in order to verify that no foreign plants or animals are being introduced to the islands. An entrance fee of $100 (unless it has been prepaid) must be paid to the Galapagos National Park in order to conserve the islands. A representative of our M/Y Galápagos Se Star Journey, will meet you right outside an, help collect your luggage, and escort your bus ride to the harbor.
PM: Puerto Chino And Breeding Center
In the afternoon, you will visit Puerto Chino. It is rife with huge cactus over the trail like trees. Once you get on the beach, you will enjoy its surroundings with it wildlife. Sea lions share the beach with people so its common see the puppies playing and swimming. Enjoy the deep blue waters with the waves and tide, occasionally there is wildlife to see, especially tortoises.
After, you will visit the Breeding Center Jacinto Gordillo, also known as the “Galapaguera” is a good place to observe Galapagos tortoises in its natural habitat. San Cristobal island has endemic species such as: the Mockingbird Nesomimus melanotis, lava lizard (Microlophus bivittatus), Chatham Leaf-toed Gecko (Phyllodactylus leei) and the tortoises. All of these species can be observed in this place, the beach is really big and it works as a nesting zone for marine tortoises.
AM: Gardner Bay
Located on the north-eastern coast of Hood, Gardner Bay provides an excellent beach for relaxing, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and the opportunity to observe sea lions. Here we can also observe sharks in the crystal clear ocean waters.
PM: Española Island, Punta Suarez
This rocky land spot sustains one of the most impressive and varied colonies of sea birds in the Galapagos. Along with its southern shore, high cliffs rise up from the sea affording the visitor spectacular views of soaring birds and of the blow whole where water spouts up to 50-75 feet into the air according to the intensity of the surf.
AM: Punta Cormorant
This site offers probably the best Flamingo lagoon in the Galapagos; it is also one of the largest in the islands. There are two tuff lava cones between it, so, the area gets a special atmosphere. There are various species of shorebirds to observe besides flamingos; the most frequent are common stilts, white-checked pintail ducks and, likewise other migratory birds. It is very interesting to see the two distinct beaches: “The Green Beach” (due to its high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand) and the “Flour Sand Beach” which is made up of coral.
PM: Post Office Bay & Baroness Bay
Historically, this site is the location of a wooden barrel placed in the 18th century by the crew of a whaling ship. The mariners, as well as tourist used it as a post office. In fact, the idea is to carry letters or postcards to their destination by hand. At the same time, this site was the landing area for some of the first colonists.
We will continue to the north of the island and will visit the Baroness Bay, here we will have the opportunity to Kayak and explore the inlets where seabird nesting sites and sea lion colonies can be found. It is said that Baroness Eloisa von Wagner loved this place and spent several hours watching the horizon. It is a beautiful bay that allows to breathe in the coastal and volcanic scenery. You will enjoy amazing views from the Sea Star sundeck covering the scenery from Enderby islet to Post office bay, Cerro Pajas, the pool of flamingos and wide forest of Palo Santo
AM: Santa Fe Island
Santa Fe is in the southeastern part of the Galapagos. This island was formed from an uplift instead than a volcanic origin, this is why is mostly flat. There are some theories which assure this could be the oldest island in the Archipelago. Santa Fe is the home of a number of endemic species like the Galapagos Hawk, Galapagos snake, Galapagos mockingbird, rice rats and one of the two species of lands Iguanas of the islands. After disembarkation in the beautiful and clear waters, you will be in contact with one of the many sea lion colonies. You can see many salt bushes along the trail as well giant prickly pear cactus, gigantism is a characteristic of oceanic islands. There are great possibilities of snorkeling with playful sea lions and tropical fishes.
Plazas is at the east of Santa Cruz Island and forms part of two islands known as Islas Plazas. Despite its small size, some of the most interesting and outstanding species of the Galapagos are found here. The Plazas land iguanas are smaller than its relatives found at other islands. Throughout the island are several hybrid iguanas, a result of crossing a male marine iguana and a female land iguana, they are unique, recognizable at first glance by their black/gray color, with a land iguana’s crest, but face and tail of the marine iguana. The big population of iguanas is due to the presence of tunas, their favorite food. You can see swallow Tailed Gulls nesting along the cliffs with other sea bids as Audubon shearwaters, red-billed tropicbirds, frigate birds and brown pelicans.
AM: North Seymour
Seymour is an uplifted (as opposed to volcanic) island and so is generally flat and strewn with boulders. There are good nesting sites here for a large population of magnificent frigate birds. Blue-footed boobies perform their courtship dance in the more open areas and swallow-tailed gulls perch on the cliff edges. Despite the tremendous surf that can pound the outer shore, sea lions haul out onto the beach and that you can find surfing.
Watch your step, as the boobies don’t worry much about where they nest, and you might just step on one. The trees are dotted with male frigate birds trying to attract the attention of the ladies by inflating their bright red skin flaps. They sometimes fly in the air to call more attention to themselves. There’s a circular path that takes you through the island to a beautiful, rocky shore where the waves crash a silvery-blue.
PM: Bachas Beach, Santa Cruz Island
These two small beaches are in the West of Turtle Cove. Their sand is made of decomposed coral, which makes it white and soft, making it a favorite nesting site for sea turtles. Behind one of the beaches, there is a small brackish water lagoon, where occasionally is possible to observe flamingos and other coastal birds, such as black-necked stilts and whimbrels. The other beach is longer, but it has two old barges abandoned during the Second World War when the USA used Baltra Island as a strategically point to protect the Panama Channel.
AM: Mosquera Islet
The Mosquera Islet is located between Baltra and North Seymour Islands and it was formed by a geological uplift. In its narrowest width reaches 160 meters approximately. This islet has one of the largest populations of sea lions. Visitors can also observe several species of shorebirds, reports of dolphins and orcas if you are lucky.
After the morning excursion you will be taken to the airport for your flight to the mainland