This itinerary takes you beyond the basics and takes you to one of the most photogenic highlights of the Galapagos Islands: Bartholomew Island. The sparkling bays from atop Pinnacle Rock offers views you won't soon forget.
Meanwhile, the northern island of Genovesa is a great destination for dramatic hikes and San Cristobal is a heaven for playful Galapagos sea lions.
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.
DAY 1: TUESDAY
AM: Baltra Island, Embarkation
Arrival in Baltra airport and transfer to the boat. Welcome drink & briefing onboard about the boat and the island.
PM: Bartholomew Island – dry landing
Activities: hiking, panga exploration, snorkeling
Home of the famous Pinnacle Rock, Bartholomew consists of an extinct volcano with a variety of red, orange, black and even green volcanic formations. A trail of stairs leads to the summit of the volcano, boasting one of the best views of the islands. The beach is perfect for snorkeling and possible sightings of the Galapagos Penguin. Highlights include panoramic views, moonlike landscape, penguins, pioneer plants, lava cactus; snorkeling: penguins, reef sharks, rays, and great colorful fish.
DAY 2: WEDNESDAY
AM: Genovesa Island, Darwin Bay – wet landing
Activities: hiking, kayaking, panga exploration, snorkeling
This white-sand coral beach heads a half mile trail (.75km) that winds through mangroves filled with land birds. Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls can be spotted here. Further down the path are tidal pools where sea lions swim playfully. At the end is a spectacular view off a cliff. Highlights include Nazca boobies, red- footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, mangroves, coral pebbles beach, snorkeling: rays, colorful reef fish and hammerhead sharks.
PM: Genovesa Island, Prince Phillip’s Steps – dry landing
Also known as El Barranco, Prince Phillip's Steps' steep, rocky paths leads up to a high cliff-face. A marvelous view can be appreciated from here. This site is also home to Palo Santo vegetation as well as red-footed boobies, short-eared Lava Owls, Galapagos swallows, and Galapagos doves.
DAY 3: THURSDAY
AM: Santiago Island, Espumilla Beach – dry landing
Espumilla Beach is a popular place for marine iguanas and Sally Lightfoot Crabs. The crabs attract the hunting herons, performing the dance of predator and prey. With an abundance of marine life including octopi, moray eel, and shark, snorkeling is highly recommended. A highlight is snorkeling.
AM: Santiago Island, Buccaneer Cove – wet landing
Activities: panga exploration, snorkeling
Years ago Buccaneer Cove was a safe haven where pirates in the 1600 and 1700’s would stake out on the Northwestern side of Santiago Island. Sea turtles now take the pirates place and dig their nests for their eggs near the mangrove trees. It is a great location for snorkeling and many marine birds and sea lions can be found here. Highlights include rock formations, tropical fish, turtles, and sting-rays while snorkeling.
PM: Santiago Island, Puerto Egas – dry landing
Activities: hiking, snorkeling
Also known as James Bay, Egas Port is home to the curious Galapagos hawks and quick-footed Galapagos Lava Lizards. The trail leads to a coastline with gorgeous tide pools and grottos full of fauna. Here the Galapagos Fur Sea Lions bathe in the sun. This is also a great snorkeling site. Highlights include fur sea lions, Galapagos sea lions, tidal pools and “grottos”, Galapagos Hawk, oyster catchers, marine iguanas, finches; snorkeling: reef sharks, turtles, rays, and nice underwater formations.
DAY 4: FRIDAY
AM: North Seymour Island – dry landing
Activities: hiking, panga exploration, snorkeling
Galapagos sea lions, blue-footed boobies and magnificent frigatebirds are abundant on North Seymour Island. The island was formed by a series of submarine lavas containing layers of sediment that were uplifted by tectonic activity. The island is characterized by its arid vegetation zone. Highlights include land & marine iguanas, frigatebirds, blue-footed boobies, sea lions; snorkeling: rays, reef shark, fish, and garden eels.
PM: Santa Cruz Island, Highlands – dry landing
Here at the Highlands, you can walk along a path, observing the hills, ferns, volcanoes, and rich wildlife. This area is home to giant tortoises, forest, mockingbirds, Bahama ducklings, white-cheeked pintail ducklings, Darwin finches, and many other species. Highlights include wild turtles and discovering the tortoises breeding center.
DAY 5: SATURDAY
AM: Mosquera Island – no landing
Activities: panga exploration
Located between the islands of Baltra and North Seymour, this reef of rocks and coral (the result of an uprising) is only 160 meters across at its narrowest width. This island has one of the largest populations of sea lions and is home to many shorebirds. There have been occasional reports at this site of orcas feeding on sea lions. Highlights include orcas, sea lions, and shore birds.
PM: Balta Island, Transfer to the Airport
Be assisted to Balta 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.