Galapagos Journey itinerary

Sample of a day by day itinerary with the description of the visits and the activities (subject to change with previous notification)

DAY 1: Monday Mainland – Galapagos San Cristobal Island
Galapagos Sea Star JourneyAM: Flight to Galapagos from Quito or Guayaquil Airport
The flight from Quito to the Galapagos is approximately 2 ½ hours. Upon arrival at San Cristobal travelers pass through an airport inspection point to insure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands and to pay the park entrance fee of $100 (unless prepaid), and $20 for the INGALA card which is an identity card that you need.

PASEENGERS     ADULT     CHILD (under 12 years old)
FOREIGNERS     $100     $50

Guides will meet you, collect your luggage, and escort you on the short bus ride to the harbor.  Motorized rafts, called ‘Pangas’ will transport you to the M/C Seaman Journey and our crew will welcome you onboard.  After departure and lunch, the first island visit is made.

PM: Interpretation center
It is an interpretation center with exuberant gardens and stunning ocean views in contrast with the 1960´s buildings in Charles Darwin Center. Visitor to the interpretation center can learn a lot ovenr the geological and human history of the islands, conservation facts and natural history. This is the oldest museum of the Natural History of the Galapagos Islands that is trying to preserve the nature of the islands.
B/-/D

DAY 2: Tuesday Galapagos Cruise San Cristobal Island
AM: Galapaguera
A short visit to the Galapaguera that is a good place to observe Galapagos tortoises in its natural habitat. San Cristobal island has endemic species such as: the Mockingbird  Nesomimus melanotis, lava lizard (Microlophus bivittatus), Chatham Leaf-toed Gecko (Phyllodactylus leei) and the tortoises. All of these species can be observed in this place, the beach is really big and it works as a nesting zone for marine tortoises. Between January and May it is common to find the footprints of the female tortoises that have climbed to the sand dunes to deposit their eggs.

PM: Cerro Brujo, San Cristobal Island
Cerro Brujo is a beautiful beach of white coral beach where you can swim and watch birds and sea lions, plus you can snorkel.This is the first coast where Charles Darwin walked in 1835. In this marvelous lava landscape where you can see seabirds like blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, herons, frigate birds and shore birds. The protected bay is very popular to observe young tortoises and for swimming.
The pools with salty water behind the sand dunes were used for the fishers as a salt mine in order to preserve food for the local population.

Among the fauna that you can observe the Chatham Mockingbird and the San Cristobal Lava Lizard, both species are endemic to the island and unique to the area as they cannot be observed nowhere else.
Also you can find the island canary, the Galapagos turtles and with luck the little bird known as the Pájaro Brujo in
Spanish, an endemic specie from San Cristobal Island. The vegetation covers all the route where you can find species like the candelabrum cactus and carob trees.

Located on the north coast of Isla San Cristobal it is a peaceful place with white sand and crystal water, a perfect combination for an incredible stay.
B/L/D

Day 3: Wednesday - Galapagos Cruise Española Island
AM: Bahía Gardner
Located on the north-eastern coast of Hood, Gardner Bay provides an excellent beach for relaxing, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and the opportunity to observe sea lions. Here we can also obs erve sharks in the crystal clear ocean waters.

PM: Suarez Point
This area is great for spotting blue-footed boobies, albatrosses and Nazca boobies. A beautiful site on the ocean front, the large waved albatrosses use the cliff as a launching pad. The famous attraction is the magnificent blowhole, spurting water high into the air at least from 50 to 75 meters high. This site presents wonderful photograph opportunities.
B/L/D

DAY 4: Thursday Galapagos Cruise Floreana Island
AM: Cormorant Point
This site offers probably the best flamingo lagoon in the Galapagos; it is also one of the largest in the islands. It’s situated between two tuff lava cones that give the area a special atmosphere. There are various species of shorebirds to observe besides flamingos; the most frequent are common stilts, white-checked pintail ducks, and other migratory birds. It is very interesting to see the two distinct beaches: “The Green Beach” (due to its high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand) and the “Flour Sand Beach” which is made up of coral.

PM: Post office bay & Baroness Lookout
Historically, this site is the location of a wooden barrel that wasplaced in the 18th century by the crew of a whaling ship. It has been used since this time by mariners and tourists as a post office. The idea is to carry letters or postcards to their destination by hand. Apart from being the Post Office Barrel, this site was the landing area for some of the first colonists. We will continue to the north of the island and will ascent to an elevated slope to enjoy a beautiful vista at the Baroness lookout.
It is said that Baroness Eloisa Von Wagner loved this place and spent several hours watching the horizon. Within walking distance (30 m) are the ruins of what is known as h er house. From this lookout, the landscape covers the coastline from the Enderby islet to Post Office Bay, as well as Cerro Pajas, the pool of flamingos and wide forest of Palo Santo.
B/L/D

DAY 5: Friday Galapagos Cruise Santa Cruz Island
AM: Charles Darwin Station
Although the great majority of Galapagos visitors come here to observe and appreciate natural wonders, it is also interesting to learn how the protection and conservation of the islands are carried out.  One of the main attractions are the National Park information center, the Van Straelen Exhibition Hall, the Breeding and Rearing Center for young tortoises, Lonesome George (turtle from Pinta), and adult Galapagos tortoises in captivity.

PM: Santa Cruz Highlands
Journeying across Santa Cruz into the highlands visitors are delighted by the isl and's variety of life and geology. Beginning at the coast and traveling across Santa Cruz the road departs from Puerto Ayora climbing through the agricultural lands and into the mist covered forests. Santa Cruz possesses all of the various life zones prese nt in the archipelago. As you travel through these zones birders are enchanted. Whether it's the bright red feathers of a vermillion flycatcher or one of Darwin's Finch almost every bird present in the islands can be found here. Santa Cruz offers excellent opportunities for viewing wild Galapagos Tortoises. Tracking tortoises is not the only exciting activity to be found in the highlands. There are also plenty of lava tubes, sinkholes and craters to explore. Theses eerie formations offer a fascinating hike into the belly of the island to view its volcanic make-up.
B/L/D

DAY 6: Saturday Galapagos Cruise Isabella Island
AM: White Tipped Reef Shark Canal (Tintoreras)
A delightful place reached by a nice zodiac ride. "Tintoreras” are small islands in front of Puerto Villamil coast.
There is Heron lava on the lookout on mangrove branch, and Galapagos penguin and sea lion often pop out on shore.  White-tipped reef sharks are fairly common in the archipelago. Their name in Spanish is Tintorera, thus the name of this site as they are always found here resting in the shallow waters.

PM: Wall of Tears
The Wall of Tears is a historic site in Isabela. Between 1946 and 1959 Isabela was a penal colony, where prisoners build a wall with huge blocks of lava as punishment. The wall is 100 meters long and 7 meters high. Due to the arduous labor and harsh conditions  in  which  the  prisoners  lived,  this  site  is known as the wall of tears.
A set of stairs provides a bird's eye view of the wall and the surrounding landscape. You can still see the cement foundations of the USA base dating back to the
Second World War.
B/L/D

DAY 7: Sunday Galapagos Cruise Isabela Island
AM: Punta Moreno
Punta Moreno is located on the north coast of Isabela Island between the volcano Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul volcano. The trail runs along a lava flow Pahohoe (solidified lava in the form of corrugated or an accordion) into a complex of coastal lagoons, its main attraction are several species of birds which can be found around this lakes and mangroves

PM: Urbina Bay
Urbina Bay is located at the base of Alcedo Volcano on the west coast, between Tagus Cove and Elizabeth Bay. This area experienced a major uplift in 1954, causing the land to rise over 16 feet. The coast expanded half a mile out, leaving marine life stranded on the new shore. This area is also a great place for snorkeling. Urbina Bay is a path that starts at the beach where a landing is made wet, the course is approximately 3200m, and substrates through the sand, pumice, lava, coral and vegetation in a coastal area suffered an uprising and the listener can appreciate iguana burrows. It is an ideal place to see red and blue lobster.
In Bahia Urbina you can see a lot of Darwin's finches. Its main attraction is the land iguanas, larger than in places like South Plaza Island, Galapagos tortoises also in the wild, sometimes even out of season they are on the bottom of the islands.
Also in this area stands a large amount of vegetation Muyuy, chamomile and Rosewood, but among all these plants stand out the beautiful flowers of cotton Darwin, endemic to the Galapagos Islands.
B/L/D

DAY 8: Monday Galapagos Cruise Fernandina Island / Isabella Island
AM: Espinoza Point
Espinoza Point is a place famous for its large colonies of marine iguanas and as the habitat of unique species like the flightless cormorant, Galapagos penguin, Galapagos hawk, and Galapagos snake.

PM: Tagus Cove
Tagus Cove is located across from Fernandina Island, near the Bolivar Channel dividing  the  two islands. This spot has been frequented by ships since the 1800s, using the area as an anchorage site. Trails winding by Lake Darwin up to a ridge display wonderful views. Punta Tortuga, just north of Tagus Cove, is another lovely beach surrounded by mangroves.
Tagus Cove, a tour along the cliffs in a zodiac will give the visitors a good chance to see the Galapagos penguin, the flightless cormorant and other sea birds. From the landing dock it is about a 30 minute hike along the trail up to the top of the clif from where you can view Darwin Lake, an uplifted ultrasaline lake saltier than the sea. You can also see several volcanoes from this location. Look carefully at the graffiti on the surrounding cliffs of the cove, it has been written by pirates, whalers and bucaneers in past centuries. The name Tagus Cove comes from a British warship that passed accros tha island looking for food.
B/L/D

DAY 9: Tuesday Galapagos Cruise Santiago Island
AM: Playa Espumilla / Bucanero
Espumilla  beach  is  located  in  northern coast of  Santiago Island in James Bay. During the last presence the El Niño phenomenon, one of the two lagoons in this site, underwent a process of sedimentation, thus causing the disappearance
of a  representative  colony  of  flamingos.  The main attractions are the  palosanto  forest  and  the marvelous. The beach is an important site for nesting marine turtles.

PM: Puerto Egas, Santiago Island
Its black beach is located at the west side of the island and is the main attraction of the island. Their volcanic tuff deposits have favored the formation of this special black sand beach.
This site is called Puerto Egas, because there was an attempt of company of Hector Egas, to start the exploitation of salt, which failed because the price of salt in the continent was very cheap, and did not justify its exploitation in Galapagos. The project was  abandoned and they left their infrastructure.
B/L/D

DAY 10: Wednesday Galapagos Cruise Rabida / Chinese Hat
AM: Rabida
Rábida Island is unique because the red color of the rocks and sand.   The volcanic material in this island is very porous and external factors as rain, salt water, and sea breeze have acted as an oxidizing agent.
A short walk along a trail lead you to a coastal lagoon behind the beach which permits you to observe the land birds such as finches, doves, yellow warblers, and mocking birds. At the lagoon there is a colony of flamingos.

PM: Chinese hat
This is a small islet (1 sq km) located just off the southeastern tip of Santiago Island. It is a recent volcanic cone, shaped like a Chinese hat when seen from north side. On the west you can see lava formations, formed under the sea and raised upward, this is why coral heads are found on the lava. This is an excellent visit for interpretation of geological features such as lava tubes and lava flows. The landscape is covered by sea lions colonies, marine iguanas, and Galapagos penguins.
B/L/D

DAY 11: Thursday Galapagos Cruise Santiago Island
AM: Sullivan Bay
Santiago, also called James, or San Salvador Island, is located in the west central part of the Galapagos archipelago. It is the fourth largest island in the archipelago (following Isabela, Fernandina and Santa Cruz). Along with some of the large western volcanoes of Isabela and Fernandina, Santiago is also volcanically active, with many young flows and cones to be seen, particularly along the south, west, and  east  coasts. These may even be seen from the summit of Darwin Volcano and from space. A number of historic eruptions have been reported over the last 2 centuries. Santiago actually consists of two coalesced volcanoes: a typical shield volcano on the northwest end and a low, linear fissure volcano on the southeast end.

PM: Bartolome
Bartolome Island is situated across Sullivan Bay. It has an altitude of 114 meters , from where we can observe one of the most beautiful sceneries of the Galapagos Islands such as: Volcanic cones, lunar- like craters, lava fields, and the famous Toba formed pinnacle eroded by the sea. There is very little vegetation on this island. It has two breathtaking beaches where marine turtles exist and at the base of the pinnacle, as well as a very small colony of Galapagos penguins.
B/L/D

DAY 12: Friday Galapagos Cruise Santa Cruz Island
AM: Bachas Beach
These two small beaches are found to the West of Turtle Cove.  Their sand is made of decomposed coral, which makes it white and soft, making it a favorite nesting site for sea turtles.  Behind one of the beaches there is a small brackish water lagoon, where occasionally is possible to observe flamingos and other coastal birds, such as black-necked stilts and whimbrels.  The other beach is longer, but it has two old barges that were abandoned during the Second World War, when the USA used Baltra Island as a strategically point to protect the Panama Channel.

PM: North Seymour
Is an uplifted (as opposed to volcanic) island and so is generally flat and strewn with boulders. There are good nesting sites here for a large population of magnificent frigate birds. Blue-footed boobies perform their courtship dance in the more open areas and swallow-tailed gulls perch on the cliff edges. Despite the tremendous surf that can pound the outer shore, sea lions haul out onto the beach and can be found bodysurfing.
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DAY 13: Saturday Galapagos Cruise Genovesa Island
AM: El Barranco
The visitor site of El Barranco is located in the southern part of Darwin Bay on Genovesa Island. The trail is on volcanic rock that has a length of 1.5 km and the tour can be done in about 2 hours.  The youngest area of the island, from a geological point of view, lies in this area. The cliffs located in the south are composed of very fragile lava. The natural erosion that has occurred in these lava flows has become the ideal place for nesting Storm Petrels. You can see two species of petrels that nest in cavities and holes in the lava. One of its main predators is the short-eared owl. The red-footed booby nests only in the outer islands of the archipelago, Punta Pitt, Gardner (Floreana), Wolf, Darwin and Genovesa. Also present on this island is the masked booby. During the “panga rides” along the cliffs fur sea lions can be seen and several species of seabirds.

PM: Darwin Bay
This bay has its origin when the crater of this island collapsed below sea level. The wet landing is on a beautiful white coral sandy beach. This is a favorite island for birdwatchers: red footed-booby, masked boobies, wandering tattlers, lava gulls, whimbrels, yellow- crowned, and black-crowned lava herons, and yellow warblers can be seen in the area.
Continuing on the trail, visitors climb gradually to the edge of the cliff seeing Red-Foots nesting in the Mangrove trees below. Bird watching includes sightings of sharp-beaked finches, large cactus
and ground finches, Galapagos doves, and swallow-tailed gulls. Reaching the end the trail at the cliff's edge offers an incredible view of the island and the many birds living there.
B/L/D

DAY 14: Sunday Galapagos Cruise Santa Cruz Island / Santa Fe Island
AM: Plazas
Santa Fe IslandPlazas is located at the east of Santa Cruz Island, and forms part of two islands known as Islas Plazas. Despite its small size, some of the most interesting and outstanding species of the Galapagos are found here. The Plazas land iguanas are smaller than its relatives found at other islands. Throughout the island are several hybrid iguanas, a result of crossing a male marine iguana and a female land iguana, they are unique, recognizable at first glance by their black/gray color, with a land iguana's crest, but face and tail of the marine iguana. The big population of iguanas is due to the presence of tunas, their favorite food.   Swallow tailed gulls nesting in the rugged cliffs are seen along with other sea birds as: Audubon shearwaters, red-billed tropicbirds, frigate birds, and brown pelicans.

PM: Santa Fe
Located in the southeastern part of the Galapagos, this island was formed from an uplift instead than a volcanic origin, this is why is mostly flat. There are some theories which assure this could be the oldest island in the Archipelago. Santa Fe is the home of a number of endemic species like the Galapagos hawk, Galapagos snake, Galapagos mockingbird, rice rats, and one of the two species of lands Iguanas of the islands.
After disembarking in the beautiful and clear waters you will be in contact with one of the many sea lion colonies. Along the trail many salt bushes can be seen as well giant Pickly pear cactus, gigantism is a characteristic of oceanic islands. There are great possibilities of snorkeling with playful sea lions and tropical fishes.
B/L/D

DAY 15: Monday Galapagos Cruise San Cristobal Island
AM: Jacinto Gordillo Breeding Center
Jacito GordilloIn 2004 the Breeding and Rearing Center for young tortoises Jacinto Gordillo, named after a famous settler, was located in Cerro Colorado, San Cristobal Island, in order to take care of young tortoises. In 2008 an assisted reproduction program started on the island with due to the birth of a little turtle in captivity.
After the morning excursion you will be taken to the airport for your flight to the mainland.

B/-/-
Transfer to San Cristobal airport
Flight to Quito or Guayaquil

Itinerary A: 4D/3N
Fri     
A.m. Arrival at Baltra airport. Transfer to the yacht.
P.m. Visit the Island of Seymour
Sat     
A.m. Genovesa El Barranco
P.m. Genovesa B. Darwin
Sun     
A.m. Plazas Sur
P.m. Santa Fe Island
Mon     
A.m. San Cristóbal:Center. Crianza Jacinto Gordillo-Junco
Transfer to the airport

Itinerary B: 5D/ 4N:
Mon     
A.m. San Cristobal airport. Transfer to the yacht.
P.m. San Cristobal Interpretation Center
Tue     
A.m. San Cristobal Galapaguera Natural
P.m. San Cristobal Cerro Brujo
Wed     
A.m. Española Bahía Gardner - Islote GardJanr
P.m. Española Islote Osborn - Punta Suarez
Thu     
A.m. Florena Punta Cormorant - Champion
P.m. Floreana: Post Office Bay
Fri     
A.m. Visit Charles Darwin Station - Twin craters
Transfer to the airport in Baltra.

Itinerary C: 8D / 7N:
Fri     
AM: Baltra. Transfer to Pto. Ayora .
P.M.Highlands of Santa Cruz.
Sat     
A.m. Isabela: Tintoreras- Centro Crianza Arnaldo Tupiza
P.m. Isabela: Humedales - Muro de Lágrimas
Sun     
A.m. Isabela: Punta Moreno
P.m. Isabela: Bahía Urbina
Mon     
A.m. Fernandina: Punta Espinoza
P.m. Isabela: Caleta Tagus
Tue     
A.m. Santiago: Playa Espumilla - Caleta Bucanero
P.m. Santiago: Puerto Egas
Wed     
A.m. Rabida
P.m. Sombrero Chino (chinese hat)
Thu     
A.m. Santiago: Bahía Sullivan
PM: Bartolome
Fri     
AM: Visit the island of Seymour. Airport in Baltra.