8DAYS/7NIGHTS (A) ITINERARY 2016
DAY 1 (SATURDAY)
MORNING FLIGHT FROM QUITO OR GUAYAQUIL TO BALTRA (GALAPAGOS) BACHAS BEACH (SANTA CRUZ ISLAND)
Assistance will be provided for you when you arrive to the airport by one of our representatives after you have landed. You will arrive at Baltra Island in the morning. After passing through immigration and baggage claim you will be met by Cormorant staff and transferred to the yacht. You will be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before lunch and a welcome briefing. The afternoon visit, Bachas Beach, is located on the north shore of Santa Cruz, and is a great swimming beach. One of the few remnants of the U.S. World War II, a floating pier, remains. You may see flamingos, Sally-Lightfoot crabs, hermit crabs, Black-Necked stilts, and Whimbrels. Sea turtles also nest off the beach. + +
DAY 2 (SUNDAY)
BARTHOLOMEW ISLAND & SULLIVAN BAY (SANTIAGO ISLAND) Our morning visit includes Bartholomew Island, home of the famous Pinnacle Rock. Bartholomew consists of an extinct volcano with a variety of red, orange, black and even green volcanic formations. We will take a trail of stairs to the summit of the volcano (about 30 or 40 minutes), where you will enjoy one of the best views of the islands! You will also visit a small, beautiful beach, surrounded by the only vegetation found on this barren island. The beach is perfect for snorkeling where you may even see the Galapagos penguins.
8-Day Cruise - OPTION A Saturday to Saturday
Santa Cruz, Bartholomew, Santiago, South Plaza, Santa Fe, San Cristobal, Espaola and Floreana
BACHAS BEACH Difficulty: Easy Type of Landing: Wet Landing Highlights: World War II remnants, Sally-Lightfoot crabs, hermit crabs, Black-necked Stilts, whimbrels, and sea turtles.
BARTHOLOMEW ISLAND Possible Activities: Dinghy ride, snorkeling & hike (1.2 mi / 2 km) Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult. Walk up to the top of volcano 114 meters, 375 wooden steps Type of Landing: Dry and Wet Landing Highlights: Pinnacle rock, panoramic view, moonlike landscape, penguins, pioneer plants, lava cactus, snorkeling, penguins, reef sharks, sting-rays, and a variety of colorful fish.
Located southeast of Santiago Island, Sullivan Bay is of great geological interest. The area is covered by Pahoehoe lava flows combined with AA lava. It was very active 200 years ago. This flow is geologically very young. The magma formed is flat, but the movement of underground lava, the rapid cooling and other eruptions led to the break in many places. 200 meters around the landing, you can see patterns of vegetation that were burned during the eruption. A visit to this area of black lava is preferable in the afternoon because the temperature is more pleasant and the light is better for photographs.
SULLIVAN BAY Possible Activities: Hike (1.3 mi / 1 km) swimming and snorkeling Difficulty: Moderate: The lava is very hot due to the sun, be sure to have thick-soled shoes. Type of Landing: Dry landing at the rocky shore and a wet landing at the white sand beach. Highlights: Pahoehoe lava flows, which have hardened in accordion like formation. Small glass-like bubbles of lava can be found, called hornitos. Swimming with sea lions and other wildlife from the shore is a lovely way to finish off the tour.
DAY 3 (MONDAY) SOUTH PLAZAS ISLAND & SANTA FE ISLAND
In the morning, you will head to South Plaza Island. This small island with steep cliffs was formed by rising lava and is now covered by Opuntia cacti. It is also home to one of the largest sea lion colonies as well as colorful yellow and red land iguanas. The most characteristic plant is the Sesuvium. During the rainy season its color is a greenish to yellowish tone and in the dry season (end of June through January) a bright red. Our afternoon visit is to Santa Fe Island, formed by a volcanic uplift. Santa Fe (Barrington) is home to the small picturesque bay and anchorage on the island northeast coast. The bay has two visitor trails, one leading to a scenic viewpoint atop a cliff and the other spanning from a small beach to a tall prickly pear cactus forest. The island is home to a colony of sea lions which would be more than happy to join you for a swim. Santa Fe also has its own sub-species of land iguana.
SOUTH PLAZA ISLAND Possible Activities: Hike (1.5 mi / 2 km) Difficulty: Moderate Type of Landing: Dry Landing Highlights: Land iguanas, sea lion colony, Audubons shearwaters, Swallow-tailed Gulls, Nazca Boobies and amazing landscape with cliffs.
SANTA FE ISLAND Possible Activities: Hiking and swimming Difficulty: Moderate Type of Landing: Dry Landing Highlights: Land Iguanas, giant tunas, sea lions.
DAY 4 (TUESDAY) WITCH HILL & PITT POINT (SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND)
We will visit Witch Hill (Cerro Brujo) in the morning where you will explore one of the nicest beaches in the Galpagos. You'll be tantalized by the texture and sight of the powdered, soft, white sand. With a colony of sea lions and Blue-footed Boobies, this scenic place is bustling with life. Just beyond the beach is a lagoon, thriving with Egrets and Great Blue Herons. The turquoise water and abundant marine life will invite you to snorkel their midst.
In the afternoon we will visit Pitt Point. Pitt Point holds its own as the northeastern most site on Isabela. After an easy hike, you will be rewarded with a unique treat. Herein lays the only nesting site which hosts all three species of Galpagos Boobies. Photographers will be thrilled with this intimate natural experience. The attractive volcanic tuff formations will have geologists and laymen alike imagining the forces of nature that possessed the earth to create this land.
DAY 5 (WEDNESDAY)
LOBOS ISLAND & KICKER ROCK (SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND)
In the morning we will visit Lobos Island, a rocky bay just a 30 minute walk from Puerto Baquerizo. Note the beautifully colored plants in the area down by the beach and the enormous colony and nursery that Galapagos sea lions call home. Sea lions are normally here and dozens can be seen at any time as well as shore birds and marine iguanas.
In the afternoon youll enjoy a dinghy ride and snorkeling around Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido), known as the Sleeping Lion because of its resemblance, this site is located off the coast of San Cristobal. The remains of a lava cone eroded by the sea and two vertical rocks rising 500 feet above the ocean form a small channel that is navigable by small boats. This Galapagos Islands natural monument has become a favorite
WITCH HILL Possible Activities: Hike, dinghy ride, snorkeling & kayaking Difficulty: Easy walk along the beach Type of Landing: Wet Landing Highlights: Beautiful rock formations, sea lions, shore-birds, and land birds: finches and mockingbirds. Snorkeling: spot tropical fish, anemones, sponge coral.
PITT POINT Possible Activities: Dinghy ride, snorkeling, kayaking & hike (1.5 mi / 2 km) Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult Type of Landing: Wet Landing Highlights: Wonderful landscape, sea lion colony, three possible species of Boobies.
LOBOS ISLAND Possible Activities: 30 minute walk Difficulty: Easy /Moderate Type of Landing: Dry Landing Highlights: Sea lion colony, shore birds, unique colored plants, marine iguanas.
sight for cruises due to the many tropicbirds, frigate birds and boobies that fill the surrounding air. Beneath the sea the crystal waters offer a brilliant show of colorful tropical fish and invertebrates.
Possible Activities: Snorkeling & Dinghy Ride Difficulty: Easy Type of Landing: No Landing Highlights: Deep water snorkeling: Sharks, tropical fish, turtles, manta rays (occ.), hammerhead sharks, and spectacular rock formations. Sea birds: Blue-footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies & frigatebirds.
DAY 6 (THURSDAY)
SUAREZ POINT & GARDNER BAY / OSBORN ISLET (ESPAOLA ISLAND) Espaola Island is the southernmost island of the Galapagos and is the breeding site of nearly all of the Waved Albatrosses in the entire world. Espaola is densely populated with mockingbirds, Blue-footed and Nazca Boobies, Darwin finches, Galapagos Doves, hawks, red and green marine iguanas, and loads of sea lions. In the morning we will arrive at 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. This site presents wonderful photographic opportunities!
Gardner Bay, on the eastern side of the island, is the breeding site of nearly all of the worlds 12,000 pairs of Waved Albatrosses. It has an ample white sandy beach with a myriad of sea lions, perfect for relaxing. Its rocky shores make this site a great place for diving and snorkeling.
SUAREZ POINT Possible Activities: Hike (1.9 mi / 3 km) Difficulty: Difficult Type of Landing: Dry Landing Highlights: Hood mockingbird, Nazca Boobies, Waved Albatross, Red-billed tropicbirds, lava lizards, Galapagos Hawk, Blue-footed Boobies, blow hole, amazing landscape.
GARDNER BAY/OSBORN ISLET Possible Activities: Snorkeling, dinghy ride, kayaking, and short hike of (0.6 mi/1 km) Difficulty: Easy Type of Landing: Wet Landing Highlights: White sandy beach, sea lions, mockingbirds; snorkeling: colorful fish, sea lion nursery.
DAY 7 (FRIDAY)
CORMORANT POINT / CHAMPION ISLET & POST OFFICE BAY/ BARONESS VIEW POINT (FLOREANA ISLAND) We will visit two sites on Floreana Island. Floreana is known for its fabulous snorkeling sites, its vibrantly pink flamingos and its black sand beaches. We will head to Cormorant Point in the northern part of Floreana. Here, land on a green colored beach from the olivine crystals it is composed of. Enjoy a hike to a salt-water lagoon which is home to flamingos and other sea birds. The trail continues to another beach known as Flour Beach because of the very fine white-sand particles it is made of, it is also really important to turtles that nest there. You will also get to swim in Champion Islet, one of the best snorkeling sites in the Galapagos Islands.
In the afternoon, we will visit the famous Post Office Bay and Baroness View Point. You will land on a beach and head to a spot where 18th century whalers once placed a wooden barrel for use as an unofficial mail box. The custom continues to this day with Galapagos visitors. So, dont forget your postcards, and dont be surprised if the post card arrives to its destination before you even get home! Baroness View Point offers spectacular views of the coastline and is a great place to learn more about the endemic Mangroves.
POST OFFICE BAY/BARONESS VIEW POINT
Possible Activities: Short hike (less than 0.6 mi / 1km) & snorkeling, historical views Difficulty: Easy Type of Landing: Wet Landing Highlights: Barrel Post Office, nice sandy beach, Mangrove forest, great views of coastline.
DAY 8 (SATURDAY)
CHARLES DARWIN STATION & DEPARTURE
In the morning we start at the Charles Darwin Station- Breeding Center "Fausto Llerena" home to turtles ranging from 3-inches (new hatchlings) to 4-feet long. Here you will observe the various sub-species of turtles interacting with each other, and possibly with you. Many of the older turtles are accustomed to humans. The babies are only kept until they are about four years old, or large enough to survive in the wild. These conservation efforts continue to be extremely successful.
CORMORANT POINT/CHAMPION ISLET
Possible Activities: Hike, Dinghy Ride & Snorkeling (1.2 mi / 2km) Difficulty: Easy Type of Landing: Wet Landing Highlights: Sea lions, flamingos, rays, olive crystals, rock formations.
CHARLES DARWIN STATION
Possible Activities: Walking Difficulty: Easy Type of Landing: Dry landing Highlights: Giant Tortoises, land and marine iguanas, variety of birds
After this final visit, you will be transferred to Baltras airport in time to catch your flight back to the mainland. Please keep in mind that on departure days, your morning visit will be early and short since we need to be prepared before heading back toward the airport for your returning flight to Ecuadors mainland.
Important: Itineraries and activities are subject to change without prior notice. Depending on weather conditions and water currents, some wildlife described above may not be visible.