To ensure that no animals or plants are brought to Baltra Island's airport from Quito or Galapagos (or both), travelers must pass an airport inspection. Once you have cleared the entrance to the park, your guide will meet and greet you in the lobby. He or she will then take you on the short bus ride to Itabaca Channel. We will cross the canal by using a small boat and then board the bus for the 45 minute / 1 hour drive to Puerto Ayora.
Motorized Zodiacs, called 'Pangas', will take you to the M/C Yacht Catamaran ANAHI from the town's pier. After a refreshing drink, the crew will welcome you aboard and then you'll be taken to your cabins for lunch.
You will be taken to Santa Cruz Island's highlands, where you will have your first experience in the Galapagos Islands. You will be taken on a pleasant walk amongst the trees, including ferns, sedges, miconias and others. You will be amazed at the large tortoises who roam free in the farm, which is their natural habitat. Tortoises are shy and will usually withdraw into their shells if they see you approaching. These beautiful animals are not meant to be touched or fed. There are many species of birds in the area, including the iconic Darwin finches and the rare Pajaro Brujo (Wizard Bird), which is known for its beautiful red coloration. You will also find a nice, simple structure that allows you to rest and purchase drinks, beer or local fruit juices. You'll then head to one the many lava tunnels in the area. Enjoy a short walk into the tunnel to see the incredible results of the powerful volcanic eruptions that occurred 5 million years ago and created the islands we now know. After this visit, we'll return to Puerto Ayora. At 7 p.m., you'll enjoy the official welcome drink and dinner. The guide will give you information about the next day's activities and general recommendations for tourists to the Galapagos islands.
The navigation to Isabela Island will begin at Puerto Ayora at around 1 a.m. To the port of Puerto Villamil. The guide will wake you up at 6:30 AM and prepare breakfast for you at 7:30 AM.
We begin our first visit to Las Tintoreras in the morning. It is easy to get to this spot, as visitors can land at high tide or low tide. This beautiful site is located south of Puerto Villamil. You can see sea lions, turtles, and marine iguanas in the calm waters. There are also rays and other species of Oceanside fauna. It is connected to a shallow, clear bay that closes at low tide.
This is a favorite spot for fish and sharks. The trail from this point to the next is mostly "Ah Ah" type Lava. There are two beaches: a blackstone beach and one with white sand. We will be greeted by sea lions, who are peacefully sleeping on the first beach. There are also marine iguanas nesting in this area. There are also Nolana galapageia, an endemic species that is rare in Ecuador and is found in areas not typical of the continental coast zones.
Chile and Peru are the only exceptions
The second beach is completely surrounded by white mangrove (Laguncularia Racemosa) and button mangrove (Conocarpuserecta). You will see marine iguanas under mangroves and on the rocks throughout the trail.
Las Tintoreras is a rare place where iguanas can breed successfully. This is due to the lack of non-native animals which could harm the newly born reptiles. Many parts of Las Tintoreras can be used to nest marine iguanas. When nesting season is underway, be careful when exploring the area. Tintoreras, or reef sharks here, have nocturnal feeding habits. Some individuals will remain in the crevices and marine ponds throughout the day for rest. This is why you cannot swim in the area. For lunch, we'll return to the yacht.
After visiting Tintoreras you will embark to Puerto Villamil and head up to the Sierra Negra Volcano, a large shield-type volcanic located at the south eastern end Isabela Island. It rises to 1124m. It is located between the volcanoes Cerro Azul and Alcedo to its north. It is also the most active volcano in Galapagos, with its most recent eruption occurring in October 2005.
The volcano tour starts in Puerto Villamil. After a 30-minute car ride, we arrive at the start of our 1 hour-long walk to the massive caldera's rim. This stunning view is made possible by the fact that the caldera is 7.2 x 9.3kms in size and is the second largest crater in the entire world, after the Ngorongoro in Tanzania. The recent lava flow can be seen from several points along the rim.
2005 volcanic eruption. Another 2 hours of hiking from the Sierra Negra crater's rim, you will reach Volcan Chico, an area where you can observe fumes and explore this Martian-like environment. You can also see the distant volcanoes on Isabela Island from here. This last visit is recommended only for tourists in good physical condition. It depends on the group.
After lunch we'll visit The Wetlands, where we can view a wide range of endemic birds. After this visit, we will spend some time in Puerto Villamil. We will then board the yacht for a well-deserved meal and rest.
Punta Moreno can be found on the northern coast of Isabela Island, between Cerro Azul and Sierra Negra. The trail runs for approximately 2100m and follows a lava flow called "Pahohoe", which is lava that has been solidified into corrugated cardboard or accordion. It then leads to a series of coastal lagoons. The area has a small amount of vegetation, concentrated in the mangroves and around the lakes. The area is home to three types of cacti, as well as several interesting bird species. This is also where you can see the three most active volcanoes in the Galapagos, which are Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul on Isabela Island as well as La Cumbre of Fernandina Island. Unfortunately, wild dogs once lived on this site until the 1970s. They drank the brackish water here and were fed by marine iguanas and sea lions. We return to the boat after this visit for lunch and a brief rest before we move on to our afternoon activity.
Flamingos are not to be scared. They can be sensitive to noise and easily get scared. Keep within the group. You will need to traverse 700m of brokenlava to reach the large lagoon. It is quite dangerous and long. This hike requires you to wear comfortable, appropriate shoes. It is best to do this activity during the morning or late afternoon, as it can be hot and sunny.
This excursion does not have a landing point at Elizabeth Bay. It is done in a Zodiac. The excursion begins into the cove, which is surrounded red mangroves, where you can enjoy their red roots, green leaves, and red roots. Here you can see sea turtles and flightless cormorants as well as golden rays (spotted eagle), brown pelicans, sea lions, and golden rays (golden rays), golden rays (golden rays), and brown pelicans. Visitors have often been able see Galapagos Hawks flying overhead as schools of Pompano or Dorado fish swim below. This is a truly amazing site.
Due to the abundance of marine and terrestrial wildlife, as well as the beautiful and unique landscapes.
We will return to the yacht for dinner, and then we'll rest.
This is the Alcedo volcano's east base. The trail runs approximately 3200m and begins on the beach, where a wet landing takes place. It then continues through sand and rock, lava and coral formations along a coastline. As many aspects of the formation of the archipelago's geological structures can be seen, this area is one of the most impressive. You can see turtles and rays in the waters of the bay. There is also a trail that leads to a coral reef high above the water surface, which is evidence of sealift, which took place in 1954.
It is possible to access the Alcedo or Darwin volcanoes from here. You can also see large, colorful land iguanas as well as huge Galapagos turtles and flightless cormorants.
After a tasty lunch onboard, we will return to the yacht for a brief navigation to Tagus Cove. Visitors will have the opportunity to view the Galapagos penguin and the flightless cormorant while on a tour of the cliffs by zodiac. A 30-minute hike up the trail to the top of cliff from the landing dock takes you to Darwin Lake, an ultra-saline uplifted lake. From this spot, you can also view several volcanoes. The trail's length is approximately 1800m. It was once a popular spot for pirates as well as whalers. This tradition continues with the names of ports and boats. The walk begins at a cave, where you will find inscriptions from the 1800s. The majority of the trail is gravel and leads to the island's interior, which runs alongside Darwin Lake. The walk will allow you to identify the distinctive vegetation and land birds of the arid zone.
We finally see the lava fields from Darwin Volcano. Darwin Lake is located on a cone of "tuff", which contains saltwater. Its depth is approximately 9m. Due to the high saltiness, it is devoid of fish and other forms of life. The site must have experienced explosive volcanic eruptions as it has many volcanic rocks. These rocks include volcanic rocks of various sizes.
Fernandina, the third-largest island in the archipelago, has only one visitor site. Espinoza Point, which is located at the northeastern tip is a narrow ledge made of lava and sandy that extends from the volcano's base to the ocean. The island's last eruption was recorded in May 2005. It lasted for three days. In 1968, two-thirds of the caldera floor fell to 300m below its maximum depth. This was the most explosive eruption ever recorded.
The last two land-iguanas to live in this area were killed by starvation in 1989. It is believed they came from the flanks the volcano where they are abundant. Espinoza Point is known for its large colonies marine iguanas, and unique species such as the Galapagos penguin flightless, Galapagos falcon, Galapagos bird, and Galapagos snake. It also serves as a great spot to see the Brachycerus Nesioticus, a lava cactus that grows on young volcanic rock and can survive without much water. It is possible to snorkel the area with marine iguanas and large colonies sea turtles. If we are lucky, you might even see beautiful seahorses.
Locals believe Isabela Island is shaped like a sea horse. Vicente Roca Point can be found at the mouth. Two turquoise coves are formed by the remains of an old volcano.
We can take pangas along the cliffs to see the remnants of the volcano, or visit a partially sunken cave at water's edge. Blue-footed and masked boobies perch on the point and along the sheer cliffs while flightless cormorants live along the shoreline. The fur sea lions are also visible, which are very similar to the Galapagos sea-lions.
This area of the Galapagos is home to a wealth of marine life thanks to the upwelling of cold water currents. Vicente Roca Point is one of the most sought-after diving spots in the archipelago. Punta Vicente Rocca's entire area is located on the flank of Volcano Ecuador at 790m (2,592ft), the sixth-largest volcano in Ecuador. After our activity in the area is over, we will start navigation. This will take us across the equatorial boundary. We will be celebrating the crossing to northern hemisphere with a special cocktail.
The visitor site Egas Port is a black sand beach located on the west side of James Bay, northwest of Santiago Island. South of the beach is Sugarloaf Volcano, which has deposits of volcanic tuff, the same that has favored the formation of the black sand beaches across the archipelago. El Crater is just north of this site; and has a saltwater lagoon, which during the summer dry season becomes a salt mine which was attempted first between 1928 and 1930 to no major success, followed by a new attempt in 1964 which lasted for a longer period. These entrepreneurial attempts caused environmental damage due to the usage of native and endemic wood firewood and the introduction of invasive plants and animals.
This site is called Puerto Egas, after Mr. Hector Egas who attempted to exploit salt here and failed due to the price of salt in other areas of the country. The walk along the rugged shoreline, especially at low tide, will allow us to observe many marine species as Iguanas bask on the rocks and sea lions laying in the tide pools. At the end of the trail there is a series of grottoes or sea caves where fur seals and night herons are regularly found resting on the shady ledges.
You have the opportunity to snorkel from the beach of Puerto Egas, to enjoy the seascape relatively different from what we have seen in previous days.
In the afternoon we will visit Rabida Island, unique due to the red color of the rocks and sand. The volcanic material in this island is very porous and external factors such as rain, salt water, and sea breeze have acted as an oxidizing agent. Upon arrival we will enjoy a snorkeling activity, to learn about marine life in this area with interesting species.
Later we will visit the terrestrial visit site that is located on the east coast of Rabida Island, consisting of a red sand beach, a coastal lagoon behind the beach, and a loop trail. The approximate distance of the trail is 1.1 kilometers. A short walk along a trail will lead you to the lagoon to observe the beautiful land birds such as finches, doves, yellow warblers, and mocking birds. This lagoon is also a colony of Flamingos. The red sand beach, along with the animals, lagoons and vegetation make this a great visit spot!
After a short nightly navigation, you will wake up in the charming Chinese Ht Chanel. The small island is situated near Santiago's south-east coast. It is nicknamed because of its unique shape, which is similar to a Chinese Hat from far away. The island's unusual shape, which is similar to a Chinese Hat, was discovered through observation and analysis. There are colonies of sea lions, marine iguanas and Galapagos penguins that cover the landscape.
The trek covers 700m. It takes approximately half an hour to complete the trek at a moderate pace. This bay is home to many fishes and sharks. You could also explore the area by kayaks, visiting interesting geological formations.
Bartolome, which is located just across from Sullivan Bay and close to Santiago Island, is one of the most well-known points in the Galapagos. We can swim around a pinnacle and between rocks that have been deposited on the surface, creating amazing marine life labyrinths. The first site allows visitors to climb to the top of the island. Later, we visit the summit, where you can see a variety volcanic formations such as lava bombs and spatter cones, cinder cones and lava flows. One of the most beautiful panoramas in the archipelago is the moon-like landscape.
The second location offers visitors the opportunity to relax on a beautiful sandy beach that provides great snorkeling opportunities. The pinnacle rock is a tall, towering mountain that dominates Bartolome's landscape.
North Seymour, located north of Baltra is where we made our last trip on this itinerary aboard Anahi Yacht. The trail covers 3.5km (2 miles) of distance. Captain George S. Smith introduced North Seymour to 72 land iguanas, from Baltra, in 1932 and 1933.
Alan Hancock and his crew set out to ensure that the animals would survive in better conditions than Baltra, which was already home to goats. The crew of Valero III (Hancock’s ship) took Baltra's iguanas. They were malnourished, and it was found that they had successfully colonized the island after being introduced into North Seymour, in 1934.
The land iguanas were slowly lost to the United States during the Second World War, when they occupied Baltra in order to establish a military base. North Seymour was home to 600 iguanas by the end 2008, 400 of which were repatriated, and 200 of them were wild-born. Today, the Baltra introduced species have been eradicated and the population of land iguanas is the largest in the archipelago. It also has a large area that allows for their reproduction. It hosts the largest Great Frigate bird nesting colony in Galapagos, and its main vegetation is low and bushy.