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Galapagos Legend Cruise.jpg

Coral I & II: 4-Day Cruise to the Central Islands

Galapagos – Superior

4-Day Galapagos Cruise to the Central Islands

This 4-day Galapagos cruise itinerary takes you on a trip to the central islands of the archipelago on and around Santa Cruz Island.

There are plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal with endemic wildlife on Santa Fe and North Seymour Islands. Keep it short and sweet on this 4 day Galapagos cruise.

Note:

Please note that the itinerary below is dependent on the Galapagos National Park regulations, weather and sea conditions, wildlife behavior, and accessibility to locations, so may vary. All times indicated are approximate, and are also subject to change.


Galapagos Legend vessel

Day 1: SUNDAY

AM: Baltra Airport Departure

Arriving in Galapagos, passengers are picked up at the airport by our natural guides and taken (ten minute bus drive) to the pier to board the M/Y Coral I or M/Y Coral II.

 

PM: Santa Cruz Islands, Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, Charles Darwin Station– Dry landing

Visit to the Galapagos giant tortoises and land iguanas breeding program, where the famous Lonesome George (last surviving specimen of Pinta Island) lived for decades. The center is conducted by the Galapagos National Park (GNP) staff with the collaboration of scientists from the Charles Darwin Station (CDS). Here eggs taken from Pinzon, Santiago and Santa Cruz Islands hatch with out the danger of introduced species. After artificial incubation; the “galapaguitos” (newborn tortoises) are reared until the age of 5, when they are released in their native habitats, having the capabilities to survive alone. Since the 70s, more than 2000 specimens have returned to their own islands. In addition, the Darwin Station works in several scientific projects, botanical research, providing environmental education to communities, schools within the Islands and tourists. If there is enough time, it is possible to visit the town, Puerto Ayora.
Difficulty level: Easy
Type of terrain: Flat
Duration: 1:30 hours walk
 

Galapagos snorkeling

Day 2: MONDAY
AM: Mosquera Islet, Snorkeling– Wet Landing

Mosquera Islet is located between North Seymour and Baltra Island. This flat, sandy island has a large colony of sea lions. It is also an excellent site to observe shorebirds such as herons and lava gulls. There is no trail on the islet, visitor can enjoy the open area. Most of the islet is covered with sand and barren lava rock. Very little sesuvium portulacastrum plants grow on the sand.
Difficulty level: Easy
Type of terrain: Sandy
Duration: 1:30 hours walk / snorkeling


PM: North Seymour Island, Snorkeling– Dry landing

Off the Baltra Island and not far from Santa Cruz Island, is North Seymour. This landmass was formed by a series of underwater volcanic eruptions, which deposited layers of lava on the ocean floor. After arrival and an approximately two hours walk, large nesting colonies of blue-footed boobies, great frigate birds, and swallow-tailed gulls can be seen. Land iguanas and on a lucky day Galapagos snakes can be encountered along the path.
Difficulty level: Intermediate
Type of terrain: Rocky ground
Duration: 2 hours walk / 30 minute snorkeling
 

santa fe island

DAY 3: TUESDAY
AM: Santa Fe Island, Snorkeling– Wet landing

Santa Fe shows white sand beaches surrounded by sea lion colonies; through the island path an endemic cactus forest is passed, home the Santa Fe land iguanas (the largest in the islands). This island is the habitat for a number of species, including: the Galapagos hawk, Galapagos snakes, rice rats (one of the few endemic Galapagos rodents), a variety of finches and one of the four mockingbird species of the archipelago.
Difficulty level: Intermediate
Type of terrain: Rocky
Duration: 1:30 hours walk / 1 hour deep-water snorkeling


PM: South Plaza Islet– Dry landing

There are two Plaza Islets (north and south) located east of Santa Cruz Island. On the northern part of the Islet, visitors begin the journey along an impressive cactus forest were colorful yellow and red land iguanas live, the population number is around 300 animals; during dry season they survive on fruits and flowers of the opuntia cacti. A peculiar thing to see in South Plaza is the hybrid iguana (sea and land). When reaching the highest point, tropicbirds can be seen. During the dry season (June – January) the usually greenish and yellowish vegetation change of color creating a bright red landscape.
Difficulty level: Intermediate
Type of terrain: Rocky
Duration: 2 hour walk

 

galapagos iguana

Day 4: WEDNESDAY

AM: San Cristobal Island, Interpretations Center, Tijeretas Hill– Dry Landing

San Cristobal is home of the capital town of the Galapagos Province, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Passengers visit the Interpretation Center, which is an excellent place to learn about the nature and history of the Islands, displaying information of Galapagos volcanic origins, their remoteness from the continent, ocean currents, climate, arrival of the original species, among other points of interest. The human interaction is also showcased, chronologically narrating the most significant events about the colonization of the islands. Later on a high-intensity hike can be done to visit Tijeretas Hill, a beautiful landscapes ending with a magnificent view of a nearby large frigate bird colony. If there is enough time, a town visit can be planned.
Difficulty level: Easy / Intermediate
Type of terrain: Flat / Stairs
Duration: 1 hour visit / 1 hour walk to Tijeretas Hill

PM: San Cristobal Island, Transfer to the Airport

Be assisted to San Cristobal airport for your flight to the Ecuador mainland.


  • Please note that all cruise itineraries are subject to change due to seasonal weather conditions (and resultant variations in ocean cruising conditions) affecting accessibility to locations. Thus navigation routes, times and excursions may need to be modified at the cruise captain’s discretion.
  • Passengers should also be aware that animal sightings cannot be guaranteed due to the unpredictability of wildlife behavior. 

About Rainforest Cruises

Rainforest Cruises is a boutique travel company specializing in Amazon river cruises and tours, providing you with the finest collection of cruises in Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands and Panama. As South American travel experts we have all the advice you need to help you find and book your dream cruise and an unforgettable adventure of a lifetime.

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