Friday: Arrival / Baltra
PM: North Seymour
On this lovely Central Island enjoy a walk along the coast and the interior of this beautiful flat island, observing numerous bird colonies as well as sea lions and land iguanas. There are opportunities for coastal exploration by dinghy.
AM: Vicente Roca Point
PM: Espinoza Point
In the afternoon, visit the youngest and most pristine island of the archipelago, Fernandina, one of many visitors’ all-time favorites. Punta Espinoza has an amazing combination of barrenness and plentiful wildlife. Highlights include: penguins, hawks, the flightless cormorant and astounding volcanic landscapes.
AM: Urbina Bay
We disembark at Urbina Bay in the morning, located on the western side of Isabela Island, the result of an uplifting of the ocean floor. Here you can see colorful large Land Iguanas, corals, shells and occasionally, giant tortoises. While crossing Bolívar Channel, there are good chances of spotting several species of whales.
PM: Tagus Cove
On the northwest of Isabela, secluded Tagus Cove provided a perfect anchorage spot for pirates and whalers over the centuries, and today makes a great visitor site. An uphill hike takes us to the back of Darwin Crater, filled with salt water; we can snorkel or ride kayaks amid the dramatic landscape.
AM: Rabida Island
PM: Dragon Hill
The north shore of Santa Cruz hosts the fascinating landscapes of “Cerro Dragon”. Our walk includes circling a brackish water lagoon frequented by lagoon birds, while further inland, the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western islands of the archipelago, as well as the chance to observe land iguanas.
AM: Charles Darwin Station
PM: Santa Cruz Highlands
After lunch, we head up to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island by vehicle. This is a great place to look for the emblematic Darwin’s Finches and the endemic Scalesia trees. The highlands are also great for exploring the exuberant vegetation where giant tortoises roam in the wild.
AM: Post Office Bay
PM: Cormorant Point
Before disembarking at Punta Cormorant we can snorkel or ride our glass-bottom boat along the coast of an extinct cone called “Champion Islet”. Later in the afternoon, we arrive to olive-colored crystal beach for an easy walk by a brackish water lagoon where bird species like American Flamingos may be observed. On the other side of the island, we come to a white-sand beach where sea turtles come out at night to nest.
AM: BaltraOur journey ends at Baltra Island, where we transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland. Baltra’s flat substrate (due to its uplifted origin) is the reason why the island was chosen back in the 1940s as the location to building an airport.