ITINERARY

D – SOUTH

(Thu – Mon) 5 days / 4 nights

Our Galapagos itineraries offer unforgettable experiences, with our weekly departures allowing you to experience 3-, 4-, 7-, and up to 14 –nights tours including: full board, two daily guided excursions with optional activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, dinghy rides and our new feature daily diving tours for license-holding divers.

DAY BY DAY

First day on board  you wonder how the week is going to be in your adventure through the islands.

DAY 1

Thursday

AM – San Cristobal Airport

Departure from Quito or Guayaquil to San Cristobal in a 2-hour flight. Upon arrival, passengers are picked up at the airport by our naturalist guides and taken on a ten-minute bus drive to the pier to board the M/V Galapagos Legend.

PM – Interpretation Center & Tijeretas Hill (San Cristobal Island)

Dry landing in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the Galapagos Islands. Passengers visit the Interpretation Center, an excellent place to learn about islands’ history in The Museum of Natural History which displays information about the volcanic origins of the islands, their remoteness from the continent, ocean currents, climate, the arrival of the different species and their colonization, among other points of interest. The human history is also showcased, chronologically narrating the most significant events related to the discovery and the island’s colonization.

 

Difficulty level: easy /intermediate

Type of terrain: flat/stairs

Duration: 1-hour visit / 1-hour walk

 

Tijeretas Hill 

Involves a high-intensity walk amidst beautiful landscapes and a magnificent view at the foot of a frigate bird nesting colony.

 

Difficulty level: difficult

Type of terrain: Rocky

Duration: 1-hour visit

DAY 2

Friday

AM – Gardner Bay, Gardner & Osborn islets (Española Island)

Wet landing on a beautiful white coral sandy beach guarded by a colony of sea lions. There are no trails, so we stay along the shore where we can spot Galapagos hawks, American Oystercatchers, Galapagos Ground Doves, Hood mockingbirds, Yellow Warblers, lava lizards, marine iguanas, and three species of Darwin’s finches: a subspecies of the Large Cactus Finch, which is similar to the large ground finch, the Small Ground Finch (Geospiza fuliginosa) and the Warbler Finch (Certhidea Olivacea), another endemic subspecies. Swimming and snorkeling offer a great variety of the Galapagos’ marine wildlife: king angelfish, Creole fish, damsel fish, parrotfish, manta rays, and white-tipped reef sharks.

 

Difficulty level: easy

Type of terrain: sandy

Duration: 1-hour walk / 1-hour snorkeling

 

PM – Suarez Point (Española Island)

 

Dry landing. An island of geological interest, we explore volcanic formations and a riveting wildlife: large sea lion colonies and seabirds including the Española mockingbird, Nazca Boobies, and the spectacular Red-billed Tropicbird. You will also encounter marine iguanas, lava lizards, and the colorful Sally Lightfoot Crabs.

 

A somewhat lengthy hike will bring you among Nazca and Blue-footed Boobies, right up to nesting grounds that sometimes overlap the trail. Other birding favorites include Galapagos Dove, Galapagos Hawk, Swallow-tailed Gulls and the world’s largest colony of Waved Albatross, an unequivocal highlight during mating season (May-December).

 

Admire the island’s dramatic backdrop, featuring the famous “Soplador”, a seaward blowhole that shoots up water up to 23 m (75 ft) in the air.

Difficulty level: difficult

Type of terrain: rocky

Duration: 2½-hour walk

DAY 3

Saturday

AM – Post Office (Floreana Island)

Wet landing. Located on the north side of Floreana, the bay was named because in 1793 Captain James Colnett installed a wooden barrel which served as an informal post office for sailors passing through, who would take letters with them back to their destinations. Today, visitors continue the tradition by placing unstamped postcards inside the barrel, hoping that some other traveler, going to the letter destination, will take it back for free. The chances are that the letter posted can take a long time to arrive at its destination. However, there have been cases where it has arrived before the sender.

We may also encounter Darwin’s finches, Yellow Warbler and Lava Lizards. Great snorkeling opportunities with Green Pacific Sea Turtles. As well, the island is best known for its endemic vegetation: Scalesia villosa, Lecocarpus Pinnatifidus, and the Galapagos Milkwort. Snorkelers can practice on the main beach among playful sea lions.

 

Difficulty level: easy

Type of terrain: sandy

Duration: 30-minutes walk / 1-hour snorkeling

PM – Cormorant Point / Devil’s Crown / Champion (Floreana Island)

Wet landing, on an olivine green, sanded beach. We hike from the black mangrove beds to a brackish lagoon, which usually holds one of the largest flamingo populations in the Galapagos. This island features some endemic plants such as Scalesia villosa, white and black mangrove, and holy stick. The trail continues to a beautiful white sandy beach, one of the most important nesting sites of Green Pacific Sea Turtles. It is important to avoid walking in the water due to the Sting Rays that may be hiding in the sand, which can be dangerous if accidentally stepped on. From the beach, one can spot sea turtles, blue-footed boobies plunging into the water, and small reef sharks floating along the shoreline in the search for food.

This coral-sand beach marks the end of our trail, and we head back to the olivine beach we landed on, to swim or snorkel amongst sea turtles, reef fish, sea lions and, on a good day, white-tipped reef sharks. A small colony of penguins resides on Floreana and can sometimes be observed as well.

Difficulty level: easy

Type of terrain: sandy & flat

Duration: 1-hour walk / 1-hour snorkeling

DAY 4

Sunday

AM – Charles Darwin Research Station & Fausto Llerena Breeding Center (Santa Cruz Island)

Dry landing. We visit the Station where the Galapagos giant tortoise breeding program takes place as part of our efforts to preserve the fragile Galapagos environment and where the famous Lonesome George (the last surviving specimen of his species) lived for decades. Admire a prickly-pear cactus forest and variety Darwin’s finches and other land birds. The Darwin Station also works providing environmental education to the communities, schools, and tourists visiting the Galapagos Islands. You will also have some free time to visit the town and shop for souvenirs.

Difficulty level: intermediate

Type of terrain: flat

Duration: 1½-hour visit

 Highlands Tortoise Reserve (Santa Cruz Island)

Great opportunity to observe giant tortoises in their natural habitat. Lava tunnel formations are the result of the many eruptions that have occurred throughout history. In the Scalesia forest, Vermilion Flycatcher, Short-eared Owls, and several finch species can be spotted.

Difficulty level: easy

Type of terrain: flat & muddy (depending on season)

Duration: 45-minute drive / 1 ½-hour walk

PM –Ballena Bay / Eden Islet (Santa Cruz)

Wet landing. Ballena (Whale) Bay is a beautiful green sand cove at the base of Dragon Hill on the west coast of Santa Cruz Island. The beach* contains plenty of olivine crystals of volcanic origin. The crystals were formed when the magma was still underground. The content is magnesium, iron, and silica. A small population of tortoises from Pinzón Island lived at the site but were probably taken by whalers or previous inhabitants.  Opportunity to see marine iguanas* and sea birds* followed by snorkeling.

Difficulty level: intermediate

Type of terrain: rocky

Duration: 1-hour walk / 1-hour snorkeling

Eden Islet is off the western coast of Santa Cruz. It offers opportunities to see Nazca and blue-footed boobies, reef sharks, and banks of endemic bream fish, either from the dinghy or while snorkeling.

Difficulty level: intermediate

Type of terrain: water

Duration: 1-hour snorkeling

DAY 5

Monday

AM – Carrion Point (Santa Cruz Island)

Dinghy ride at the entry of the Itabaca channel in a lagoon with turquoise water, where we can observe sharks, blue footed boobies, and different kinds of fish.

Difficulty level: easy

Type of terrain: none

Duration:  1 hour dinghy ride

 

Baltra Airport

After the visit, passengers will be transferred to the airport for their return flight to Guayaquil or Quito.

D   SOUTH 5 days / 4 nights
Thursday - Monday
 

Flight to San Cristobal / from Baltra: AV1630, departing Quito 10:10 / Guayaquil 11:50, arriving Galapagos 12:40.

Return flight: AV1633, departing Galapagos 10:05 arriving Guayaquil 12:50 / Quito 14:50.

DAY1 TIME VISIT ISLAND HIGHLIGHTS TERRAIN DIFFICULTY
LEVEL
ACTIVITIES
TYPE DIVING
SITE LEVEL
THU AM San Cristobal airport San Cristobal Meet and greet, bus transfer to the port, check-in on board. - - - San Cristobal medium
PM Tijeretas San Cristobal Landscape, viewpoint, seasonal frigatebird colony. steps moderate
  • trekking
- -
Interpretation Center San Cristobal Learn about the history of the islands, San Cristobal mockingbird. flat easy
  • trekking
- -
FRI AM Gardner Bay Española Hood mockingbird, marine wildlife, sea lion, marine turtles. sandy easy
  • trekking
  • dinghy ride
  • snorkeling
  • kayak
- -
Osborn or Gardner Islets Española Marine Wildlife water -
  • trekking
- -
PM Suarez Point Española Largest colony of waved albatross, Nazca and blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, landscape El Soplador (the blowhole) rocky demanding
  • trekking
- -
SAT AM Post Office Floreana Darwin finches, green pacific sea turtles, historical place since 1793 sandy easy
  • trekking
  • snorkeling
- -
PM Cormorant Point Floreana White and black mangrove, flamingoes, sea turtles, sea lions sandy & flat easy
  • trekking
  • dinghy ride
  • snorkeling
- -
Devil’s Crown Floreana Sting rays and colorful fish water moderate
  • dinghy ride
  • snorkeling
- -
Champion Islet Floreana Sharks, sea lions - -
  • dinghy ride
- -
SUN AM Charles Darwin Research Stations & Fausto Llerena Breeding Center Santa Cruz Giant tortoises, Darwin finches, prickly-pear, cactus forest, interpretation center flat easy
  • trekking
-  
AM

Highlands

Santa Cruz Giant tortoises, lava tubes, scalesia forest, Chato Reserve flat & muddy easy
  • snorkeling
- -
PM

Eden Islet

Santa Cruz Marine Wildlife water -
  • dinghy ride
  • snorkeling
  • kayak
- -
PM

or Ballena Bay

Santa Cruz Nice Beach for swimming, marine iguanas, sea birds and nesting area for sea turtle, seasonal giant tortoisestd> sandy low
  • trekking
  • dinghy ride
  • snorkeling
  • kayak
- -
MON AM Carrion Point Santa Cruz Circumnavigation, good place for snorkeling water - - Gordon Rocks or
Seymour & Mosquera

- advanced
- medium

Baltra
airport
Baltra Check-out, transfer to airport
7-night guests Baltra’ shore
- - -
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