Sunday: The Enchanting Galapagos. First stop North Seymour
The major attraction here is the colony of Frigate birds, the largest in the Galapagos. The full trail is about 2 kilometers long and passes very close to the colony. Also along the path, there are breeding pairs of Blue-footed Boobies. There are always Iguanas and sea lions present to observe and photograph.
Monday: San Cristobal and Espanola Islands
In the morning, see Kicker Rock. This Island is off the north Shore of San Cristobal Island and it is a massive, angular rocky block, the Galapagos version of Gibraltar. We will bring our Zodiacs down and we will circumnavigate the rock for picture taking. In the afternoon arrive in Espanola Island, a favorite of many visitors. At Suarez Point we will observe Sea lions, Galápagos Hawks, Blue-footed Boobies, Masked Boobies and a red variation of Marine Iguanas. The trail is about 3 kilometers long with small boulders the entire trail.
Tuesday: Santa Cruz
This morning, we will anchor at Puerto Ayora where the Charles Darwin Research Station is located. This afternoon, head for Cerro Dragon, a beautiful view of the landscape from the top of the hill and two small brackish lagoons where occasionally flamingos and other shore birds obtain their food.
Wednesday: Bachas Beach and Bartolome Island
Bachas Beach is a fine coralline sand beach with a pair of lagoons located close to the landing beach. These lagoons occasionally have Greater Flamingos feeding in the shallows. Turtles nest in this area from February to May. Afternoon arrival in Bartolome Island. We will take a moderately strenuous hike to the top of a volcanic cone, which makes up most of the island. On the return and at the end of the hike, there will be wet landing and time for swimming and snorkeling from the beach.
Thursday: Isabela and Fernandina
Isabela Island is composed of five volcanoes that over the years have coalesced into one island. There are five different subspecies of giant tortoises spread upon their slopes. At this Visitor's site we will hike up to 370 feet and return with a Zodiac ride along the cliffs. Fernandina is the youngest and the most volcanically active. The trail inland will take you through a recent lava flow landscape with small trees of mangroves growing close to the coast. The primary attractions here are the several sea lion colonies, the largest colony of marine iguanas, and at the tip of the peninsula a nesting area of flightless cormorants.
Friday: Santiago and Rabida
The most popular walk in Santiago is to explore Port Egas. The trail, about 2 kilometers long, starts by crossing the dry interior and returning by a beautiful coastal area. We may see oystercatchers, marine Iguanas, sandpipers, Galapagos hawks, Sally "light foot" crabs and fur sea lions. Rabida is considered the geographic center of the Galapagos. The visitor site has a red beach with a small lagoon that occasionally has flamingos. We may see Pelicans, Sea lions, Darwin finches and Opuntia cactus. We will hike up along a rocky trail to an 80-foot altitude lookout point, and then proceed to the beach for snorkeling.
Saturday: Floreana and Santa Cruz
In Floreana, a short trail directly behind the landing beach leads to a clearing, where there appears to be pile of junk and graffiti is located. This is the famous Post Office Barrel that started functioning as a mailing system for whalers from 1793. Sailors starting their voyage would leave mail in the barrel to be picked up by ships returning home. In the afternoon, upon arrival back in Santa Cruz, you may visit the Darwin Research Station or head for the highlands and look for giant tortoises in the wild.
Sunday - Back to the continent
This morning, after breakfast, you will be transferred back to the airport in time for your departure flight.