Morning: Arrival to the airport in Baltra, reception by the cruise guide and transfer to the yacht. Afternoon: Lunch service. Visit to Charles Darwin Scientific Station and Breeding Center*. Dry landing.
*The main visit in Puerto Ayora is to Charles Darwin Station. An excellent way to begin learning about the islands, their origin and formation. You will learn about how the Galapagos turtles are raised and meet Jorge, the famous solitary turtle. The Scientific Station has its own beach that receives many visitors on weekends. Evening: Guide briefing. Dinner service and navigation to Santa fe
SANTA FE / SOUTH PLAZA
Morning: Breakfast service. Navigation to Santa Fe. Wet landing. Nature walk*. Deep water snorkeling.
*Santa Fe Island is home to one of the most beautiful coves in all the Galapagos. It is located in the southeastern part of Galapagos, 2 1/2 hours from Santa Cruz and 3 hours from San Cristobal. Santa Fe was formed from an uplift (rather than a volcano) giving the island a relatively flat surface rather than the typical conical shape of the other islands. Visits to Santa Fe begin with a panga boat ride across the lovely turquoise lagoon. Once ashore you are brought into contact with one of the many sea lion colonies in the Galapagos. Bulls compete for the right of beach master while cows lounge in the sun. It is quite a fascinating sight! The loop trail around the island leads past the salt bushes where Galapagos Hawks can be approached easily. Santa Fe is home to endemic Land Iguanas. These iguanas are the largest in the islands and they are beige to chocolate brown in color and resemble small dinosaurs. Reaching the summit there is a stunning view of the cove beneath.
Afternoon: Lunch service. Dry landing. Visit to South Plaza. Nature walk*. Deep water snorkeling.
*Your visit to South Plaza begins with a dry landing. The rocky trail circumnavigates the island displaying the combination of dry and coastal vegetation zone. South Plaza has one of the largest populations of Land Iguanas in the Galapagos. The iguanas seem to be everywhere once you land. These larger than average yellow‐brown land iguanas feed on the fruit and pads of the prickly pear cactus. South Plaza is also home to Marine Iguanas living along the coast and a Hybrid Iguanas whose fathers are Marine Iguanas and mothers are Land Iguanas. As the walk continues along the sea cliffs Swallow‐tailed Gulls, Frigatebirds, Audubon Shearwaters, Red‐billed Tropicbirds, Brown Pelicans, Blue‐Footed and Masked Boobies are frequently seen. Beneath along the shore a colony of Bachelor Sea Lions can be seen.
Evening: Guide briefing. Dinner service and navigation to Chinese Hat
CHINESE HAT / SULLILVAN BAY
Morning: Breakfast service. Deep water snorkeling. Visit to Bartolome. Dry landing. Nature walk*.
*Visit to Chinese Hat, a tiny island just off the southeast tip of Santiago. Its name describes the island's shape. Those visitors who travel to the island will find its special landscape worth the visit. Though centrally located it is one of the least visited sites in the area. National Park Service restrictions have limited the number of visitors to Chinese Hat. Multi‐day cruises with 14 passengers or less are the only ones permitted at this site. The landing is on a beautiful crescent‐shaped white sand beach, home to Sea Lions and Sally Lightfoot Crabs. The trail on Sombrero Chino's explores its volcanic origin, one of the most evident in the islands.
The lava rock is very fragile and tends to break off when people walk over it. The sharp outcroppings caused from these breaks make it necessary to wear good walking shoes. Patches of Pahoehoe Lava, cracked lava and lava tubes can be found on the island. While the path does not lead up the striking red rust sides of the Chinese Hat to the caldera, it does venture high enough on the island to offer some spectacular views of the waves crashing below. Snorkeling in the waters near Chinese Hat can create a stir; white‐tipped sharks frequent the area, as do the playful Galapagos Penguins and Sea. Afternoon: Lunch service. Santiago Island. Wet landing at Sullivan bay. Nature walk*. Deep water snorkeling.
*This fascinating volcanic site was named after Bartholomew James Sullivan,the first lieutenant on HMS Beagle, the ship that brought Charles Darwin to the Galapagos. This unique landscape is composed of a pair of eroded scoria lava cones which were engulfed by a recent (in geological terms) pahoehoe lava flow and which is considered one of the finest in the world.There are easy to spot tuff cones, miniature spatter cones, and the imprints of tree branches in the once molten rock all over the island. Though the lava flow is over 170 years old, it looks much more recent because of its isolation on the island, that has greatly helped to its preservation.Pioneer plants such as Brachycereus cactus and the endemic herb Mollugo are starting to colonize the dark grey rocks and lava, preparing the way for other plant species. Evening: Guide briefing. Farewell cocktail. Dinner service and navigation to Santa Cruz Island.
BLACK TURTLE COVE/ BALTRA
Morning: Panga boat ride to Black Turtle Cove*. Breakfast service. Check out and airport departure at 8 AM.
*In the morning, a panga boat ride to Caleta Tortuga, also known as Black Turtle Cove. There is no landing at this sight. It is located on the north side of Santa Cruz Island and the way to reach it is by a panga boat (motorized canoe). You will be able to see its mangrove swamp where marine turtles are nesting during certain seasons of the year, as well as sharks and rays.