Coral I & II: Yacht Details

The Corals provide the intimacy of a small ship with the stability of a larger vessel

Coral I & II are first class motor yachts that provide an excellent way to experience the islands.  The Coral I fits 36 passengers, and the Coral II fits 20.  Both are classic, well-appointed vessels that have recently been fully renovated.  On both yachts, the dining room and lounge are spacious and comfortable, and each yacht has three sun decks.  Each cabin has its own full private bath and cabins have ample space, with beds that can be adjusted to either one queen bed or two twin beds, depending on your preference.

Day by Day Itinerary

BRIEF SUMMARY (for detailed island visits please scroll down)
7 night cruises run from Sunday to Sunday or Wednesday to Wednesday

Itinerary A
Sunday:          Arrive to Baltra / Charles Darwin Research Center
Monday:          Floreana: Cormorant Point / Post Office Bay
Tuesday:        Española: Gardner Bay / Suárez Point
Wednesday:  Daphne Island / Depart for Mainland

Itinerary B
Wednesday:  Arrive to Baltra / Ballena Bay (Santa Cruz)
Thursday:       Tagus Cove (Isabela) / Espinosa Point (Fernandina)
Friday:             Isabela: Elizabeth Bay / Urbina Bay
Saturday:        Santiago: Buccaneer Cove & Espumilla Beach / Sullivan Bay
Sunday:           El Chato (Santa Cruz) / Depart for Mainland

Itinerary C
Sunday:          Arrive to Baltra / Charles Darwin Research Center
Monday:          Santa Fe / South Plaza
Tuesday:        North Seymour / Bachas Beach (Santa Cruz)
Wednesday:  Interpretation Center (San Cristobal) / Depart for Mainland

Itinerary D
Wednesday:  Arrive to San Cristobal / Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve
Thursday:       San Cristobal:  Cerro Brujo / Punta Pitt
Friday:             Mosquera Islet / Bartolome
Saturday:        Rabida / Egas Port (Santiago)
Sunday:           El Chato (Santa Cruz) / Depart for Mainland

Corals 3 night Galapagos Cruise Itinerary (A)

Sunday to Wednesday


Day 1 Sunday Arrive to Baltra / Charles Darwin Research Center
Once you arrive to the Galapagos Islands you will be met by a representative of the Corals who will assist you with your luggage and transfer you to your ship to start your cruise. Your first excursion is on Santa Cruz Island where you will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station where the Galapagos giant tortoise breeding program takes place. It is an excellent place for visitors to be photographed with them. You will also have the opportunity to admire a prickly-pear cactus forest and a variety Darwin finches and other land birds. The Darwin Station also works providing environmental education to communities and schools within the islands, and to tourists visiting the Galapagos. You will also have some free time to visit the town and shop for souvenirs.

Day 2 Monday Floreana: Cormorant Point / Post Office Bay
Today starts with a wet landing on an olivine green sand beach. You will hike from the black mangrove beds to a brackish lagoon, which usually holds one of the largest flamingo populations in the Galapagos. The trail continues to a beautiful white-sand beach, one of the most important nesting sites of Green Pacific Sea Turtles. It is important to avoid walking in the water due to the Sting Rays that may be hiding in the sand, which can be dangerous if accidentally stepped on. From the beach one can spot sea turtles, Blue-footed Boobies, and small reef sharks. This coral-sand beach marks the end of the trail, and you head back to the beach where you landed to swim or snorkel amongst sea turtles, reef fish, sea lions and, on a good day, white-tipped reef sharks. A small colony of penguins resides on Floreana and can sometimes be observed as well.
 
In the afternoon you will have a wet landing at Post Office Bay, located on the north side of Floreana. The bay is so-named because in 1793 Captain James Colnett installed a wooden barrel which served as an informal post office for sailors passing through. Today, visitors continue the tradition by placing unstamped postcards inside the barrel that should reach their destinations for free. You may also encounter Darwin’s finches, Yellow Warblers, and lava lizards. There are great snorkeling opportunities with Green Pacific Sea Turtles as well.

Day 3 Tuesday Española: Gardner Bay / Suárez Point
Your day starts with a wet landing on a white coral sand beach that is home to a sea lion colony. There are no trails, so you will stay along the shore where we can spot Galapagos hawks, American Oystercatchers, Galapagos Ground Doves, Hood mockingbirds, Yellow Warblers, lava lizards, marine iguanas, and three species of Darwin’s finches. Swimming and snorkeling offer a chance to see a great variety of Galapagos marine wildlife: king angelfish, Creole fish, damsel fish, parrotfish, manta rays, and white-tipped reef sharks.

In the afternoon, there is a dry landing at Suárez Point where you will explore volcanic formations and riveting wildlife: large sea lion colonies and seabirds including Española mockingbird, Nazca Boobies, and the spectacular Red-billed Tropicbird. You will also encounter marine iguanas, lava lizards, and the colorful Sally Lightfoot Crabs. A somewhat lengthy hike will bring you among Nazca and Blue-footed Boobies, right up to nesting grounds that sometimes overlap with the trail. You can admire the island’s dramatic backdrop featuring the famous Soplador, a seaward blowhole that shoots water some 75 feet in the air.

Day 4 Wednesday Daphne Island / Depart for Mainland
In the morning you will circumnavigate the islet of Daphne, an eroded tuff cone formation that was created by successive volcanic activity, for an opportunity to see Darwin’s finches, Blue-footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies, Red-billed Tropicbirds, Swallow-tailed Gulls, and Brown Noddies. Afterwards, you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight to the Ecuadorian mainland.

Corals 4 night Galapagos Cruise Itinerary (B)

Wednesday to Sunday


Day 1 Wednesday Arrive to Baltra / Ballena Bay
Once you arrive to the Galapagos Islands you will be met by a representative of the Corals who will assist you with your luggage and transfer you to your ship to start your cruise. Your first excursion is a wet landin at Ballena (Whale) Bay. This bay is a green sand cove at the base of Dragon Hill on the west coast of Santa Cruz Island. The beach contains a large amount of olivine crystals of volcanic origin tjat were formed when the magma was still underground. You will also have an opportunity to see marine iguanas and sea birds, followed by snorkeling.

Day 2 Thursday Tagus Cove (Isabela) / Espinosa Point (Fernandina)
You will start your day with a dry landing on Isabela Island and you will learn about the eruptions of the five volcanoes that formed it. The trail you will take leads to Darwin’s salt-water crater lake and there are excellent views of lava fields and volcanic formations. You will return by the same path for a dinghy ride along a shoreline full of marine wildlife, where you will admire a variety of seabirds, such as Blue-footed Booby, Brown Noddy, terns, Flightless Cormorants, and depending on the season, a large number of Galapagos Penguins. You will have an opportunity to snorkel in deep water as well as admire the graffiti believed to have been left by 19th-century pirates.

Afterwards you will have a dry landing at Espinosa Point, where you can admire the island of Isabela across the Bolívar Channel, an area that boasts some of the highest diversity of endemic sea fauna in the Galapagos. The largest, most primitive-looking race of marine iguanas can be found mingling with sea lions and Sally Lightfoot Crabs. This is also a wonderful opportunity to encounter Flightless Cormorants at their nesting sites, Galapagos Penguins, and the “King” of predators on the Islands, the Galapagos Hawk. “Pa-hoe-hoe” and “AA” lava formations cover the majority of the terrain. Vegetation is thus scarce inland, but you will encounter Brachycereus cacti and extensive mangrove beds lining the shores.

Day 3 Friday Isabela: Elizabeth Bay / Urbina Bay
In the morning you will visit Elizabeth Bay on Isabela Island. Here you will take a dinghy ride along a coast surrounded by mangrove trees for an opportunity to admire Flightless Cormorants, Galapagos Penguins, and a sea turtle nesting site.

After a wet landing on a volcanic “black” beach in the afternoon, you may find giant tortoises, land iguanas, or the Flightless Cormorant depending on the season. After a short walk inland, snorkeling time is allotted, giving you yet another chance to swim with sea turtles, sea lions, and tropical fish. Urbina Bay features a wide variety of plant life that changes depending on the season. You can observe a variety of colorful plants that attract different insects, birds, and reptiles as well as explore the uplifted coral reef that resulted from volcanic activity in 1954.

Day 4 Saturday Santiago: Buccaneer Cove & Espumilla Beach / Sullivan Bay
This morning you will have a wet landing on Santiago Island. This visitor site is surrounded by a mangrove forest, which makes for a pleasant walk, taking you to a lookout of the entire bay. You will have the chance to see Darwin finches, mockingbirds, and White-checked Pintail. There’s also a lagoon where Flamingoes can occasionally be seen. Buccaneer Cove was a safe haven for pirates, sailors and whalers during the 18th and 19th century. It is very scenic with steep cliffs made of tuff formations and a dark reddish-purple sand beach.

In the afternoon you will have a wet landing at Sullivan Bay. This visitor site is located at the southeastern portion of Santiago Island, and is of important geologic interest due to the extensive lava flows believed to have been formed during the last quarter of the 19th century.

Day 5 Sunday El Chato (Santa Cruz) / Depart for Mainland
Your morning starts with a dry landing on Santa Cruz. You will reach the Santa Cruz highlands on bus and visit a private farm, Primicias (El Chato), where giant tortoises are found in their natural habitat. The road to the reserve is one of the best places to observe land birds. Tree and ground finches, vermillion flycatchers, and Cattle Egrets inhabit the area. After your visit you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight to the Ecuadorian mainland.

Corals 3 night Galapagos Cruise Itinerary (C)

Sunday to Wednesday


Day 1 Sunday Arrive to Baltra / Charles Darwin Research Center
Once you arrive to the Galapagos Islands you will be met by a representative of the Corals who will assist you with your luggage and transfer you to your ship to start your cruise. Your first excursion is on Santa Cruz Island where you will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station where the Galapagos giant tortoise breeding program takes place. You can also admire a prickly-pear cactus forest and a variety Darwin finches and other land birds while there. The Darwin Station also works providing environmental education to communities and schools within the islands, and to tourists visiting the Galapagos Islands. You will also have some free time to visit the town and shop for souvenirs.

Day 2 Monday Santa Fe / South Plaza
The morning starts with a wet landing on a white sand beach on Santa Fe Island that is surrounded by a sea lion colony. You will continue walking through an endemic cactus forest as you search for the Santa Fe land iguana, the largest in the islands and distinctively paler. This island is home to a number of endemic species including the Galapagos Hawk, the Galapagos Snake, rice rats, a variety of finches, and one of the four species of Galapagos mockingbirds. The afternoon will include deep-water snorkeling as well.

In the afternoon, after a dry landing on the northern part of South Plaza, you begin a walk where you can see a cactus forest surrounded by land and marine iguanas. On South Plaza Island there is a large colony of the smaller sized land iguanas that you can also observe.

Day 3 Tuesday North Seymour / Bachas Beach (Santa Cruz)
The morning begins with a dry landing on North Seymour. Off of Baltra Island (where the airport is located) and not far from Santa Cruz, North Seymour is the most accessible for day trips out of Santa Cruz’s main port, Puerto Ayora. You will take an approximately two hour walk amidst large nesting colonies of blue-footed boobies, magnificent and great frigate birds, and swallow-tailed gulls for an in depth encounter with sea bird breeding cycles. You may also encounter sea lions, land iguanas, and on a good day, a Galapagos Snake.

In the afternoon you will have a wet landing on the north side of Santa Cruz where behind the beach lie two small flamingo ponds with iguanas, coastal birds, Darwin finches, mockingbirds, and gulls. You will also find native and endemic vegetation such as red and black mangroves, salt bushes, and much more. This beach is one of the main nesting sites of sea turtles in the Galapagos. Here you will also find the remains of barges that sank long ago, once property of the United States Navy when they operated an airbase on Baltra Island during World War II.

Day 4 Wednesday Interpretation Center (San Cristobal) / Depart for Mainland
The morning starts with a dry landing in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the Galapagos Islands. Passengers visit the Interpretation Center, an excellent place to learn about the natural history of the Galapagos. The Museum of Natural History displays information on the volcanic origins of the islands, their remoteness from the continent, ocean currents, climate, the arrival of the different species and their colonization, and other points of interest. The human history is also showcased, chronologically narrating the most significant events related to the discovery and colonization of the islands. The Tijeretas Hill involves a high intensity walk through beautiful landscapes ending with a magnificent view nearby a large frigate bird colony. After your excursion you will be transferred to the airport your flight back to the Ecuadorian mainland.

Corals 4 night Galapagos Cruise Itinerary (D)

Wednesday to Sunday


Day 1 Wednesday Arrive to San Cristobal / Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve
Once you arrive to the Galapagos Islands and have retrieved your luggage you will be met by a representative of the Corals and be transferred to your ship to start your cruise. Your first excursion is on San Cristóbal Island. After a dry landing in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno you will take a 40 minute bus drive to visit the San Cristóbal giant tortoise Breeding Center to learn about the National Park’s conservation programs. You will also have the opportunity to visit the port village, have a drink, or shop for souvenirs.

Day 2 Thursday San Cristobal: Cerro Brujo / Punta Pitt
You will start your day with a wet landing at Cerro Brujo, an eroding tuff cone that at several locations is composed of aa lava formations and a beautiful white sand beach, great for snorkeling and sunbathing. You will visit a lagoon where several migratory bird species can be seen and you can enjoy the beautiful views of Kicker Rock, the southern part of San Cristobal Island, and the adjacent coast.

The afternoon will consist of a wet landing at Pitt Point followed by a high intensity hike on rocky terrain. The trail includes an olivine beach that is 90 meters long and a path that climbs to the top of a volcanic tuff. This is probably the only site where the three booby species of the Galapagos can be seen together: Nazca, Blue-footed, and Red-footed; as well as two species of frigate birds and a sea lion colony. It is also excellent for dinghy rides and snorkeling, where a good range of sea birds can be observed.

Day 3 Friday Mosquera Islet / Bartolome
The day will start with a wet Landing on Mosquera Islet, located between North Seymour and Baltra Islands. This flat, sandy island has a large colony of sea lions. It is also an excellent site for observing shorebirds such as herons and Lava Gulls. There is no trail on Mosquera Island, so visitors are free to explore this open area. Most of the islet is covered with sand and barren lava rock.

The afternoon will consist of a dry landing on Bartolome Island where you will discover a fascinating moonscape formed by different volcanic parasitic cones —lava bombs, spatter, cinder cones —as you hike to the summit (370 steps) for impressive views of the surrounding islands, including the eroded tuff cone Pinnacle Rock. You will also encounter marine iguanas and lava lizards. Beach time is a great opportunity to snorkel and see (perhaps swim with) Galapagos Penguins, sea turtles, and White-tipped Reef Sharks among a great variety of colorful fish.

Day 4 Saturday Rabida / Egas Port (Santiago)
The morning visit is to Rabida where you will have a wet landing. Here, dark-red sand covers these the beach and has an incredible landscape. Rábida is considered the epicenter of the Galapagos Islands due to the diversity of its volcanic geology. Nesting Brown Pelicans are found from July through September and nine species of the famous Darwin’s finches can also be seen. You will also take a dinghy ride along cliffs to observe nesting seabirds, and snorkel off the coast where marine life is particularly active.

After a wet landing on a beach of black volcanic sand in the afternoon you will follow a trail comprised of volcanic ash (eroded tuff) and volcanic basaltic rock. The unique layered terrain of Santiago’s shores is home to a variety of resident and migrant birds, including the bizarre Yellow-crowned Night Heron and an astounding array of marine wildlife including lobsters, starfish, marine iguanas, and Sally Light-foot Crabs. Colonies of endemic fur seals swimming in cool water pools formed by volcanic rocks are also a highlight.

Day 5 Sunday El Chato (Santa Cruz) / Depart for Mainland
The day begins with a dry landing on Santa Cruz Island where you will reach the highlands (45 minute drive) and visit a private farm, Primicias (El Chato), where giant tortoises are found in their natural habitat. The road to the reserve is one of the best places to observe land birds. Tree and ground finches, vermillion flycatchers, and Cattle Egrets inhabit the area. Later you will disembark at the docks in Baltra and transfer by bus to the airport for your flight back to the Ecuadorian mainland.

Corals 7 night Galapagos Cruise Itinerary (C+D)

Sunday to Sunday


Day 1 Sunday Arrive to Baltra / Charles Darwin Research Center
Once you arrive to the Galapagos Islands you will be met by a representative of the Corals who will assist you with your luggage and transfer you to your ship to start your cruise. Your first excursion is on Santa Cruz Island where you will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station where the Galapagos giant tortoise breeding program takes place. You can also admire a prickly-pear cactus forest and a variety Darwin finches and other land birds while there. The Darwin Station also works providing environmental education to communities and schools within the islands, and to tourists visiting the Galapagos Islands. You will also have some free time to visit the town and shop for souvenirs.

Day 2 Monday Santa Fe / South Plaza
The morning starts with a wet landing on a white sand beach on Santa Fe Island that is surrounded by a sea lion colony. You will continue walking through an endemic cactus forest as you search for the Santa Fe land iguana, the largest in the islands and distinctively paler. This island is home to a number of endemic species including the Galapagos Hawk, the Galapagos Snake, rice rats, a variety of finches, and one of the four species of Galapagos mockingbirds. The afternoon will include deep-water snorkeling as well.

In the afternoon, after a dry landing on the northern part of South Plaza, you begin a walk where you can see a cactus forest surrounded by land and marine iguanas. On South Plaza Island there is a large colony of the smaller sized land iguanas that you can also observe.

Day 3 Tuesday North Seymour / Bachas Beach (Santa Cruz)
The morning begins with a dry landing on North Seymour. Off of Baltra Island (where the airport is located) and not far from Santa Cruz, North Seymour is the most accessible for day trips out of Santa Cruz’s main port, Puerto Ayora. You will take an approximately two hour walk amidst large nesting colonies of blue-footed boobies, magnificent and great frigate birds, and swallow-tailed gulls for an in depth encounter with sea bird breeding cycles. You may also encounter sea lions, land iguanas, and on a good day, a Galapagos Snake.

In the afternoon you will have a wet landing on the north side of Santa Cruz where behind the beach lie two small flamingo ponds with iguanas, coastal birds, Darwin finches, mockingbirds, and gulls. You will also find native and endemic vegetation such as red and black mangroves, salt bushes, and much more. This beach is one of the main nesting sites of sea turtles in the Galapagos. Here you will also find the remains of barges that sank long ago, once property of the United States Navy when they operated an airbase on Baltra Island during World War II.

Day 4 Wednesday San Cristobal: Interpretation Center / Cerro Colorado
The morning starts with a dry landing in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the Galapagos Islands. Passengers visit the Interpretation Center, an excellent place to learn about the natural history of the Galapagos. The Museum of Natural History displays information on the volcanic origins of the islands, their remoteness from the continent, ocean currents, climate, the arrival of the different species and their colonization, and other points of interest. The human history is also showcased, chronologically narrating the most significant events related to the discovery and colonization of the islands. The Tijeretas Hill involves a high intensity walk through beautiful landscapes ending with a magnificent view nearby a large frigate bird colony.

In the afternoon you will take a 40 minute bus drive to visit the San Cristóbal giant tortoise Breeding Center to learn about the National Park’s conservation programs. You will also have the opportunity to visit the port village, have a drink, or shop for souvenirs.

Day 5 Thursday San Cristobal: Cerro Brujo / Punta Pitt
You will start your day with a wet landing at Cerro Brujo, an eroding tuff cone that at several locations is composed of aa lava formations and a beautiful white sand beach, great for snorkeling and sunbathing. You will visit a lagoon where several migratory bird species can be seen and you can enjoy the beautiful views of Kicker Rock, the southern part of San Cristobal Island, and the adjacent coast.

The afternoon will consist of a wet landing at Pitt Point followed by a high intensity hike on rocky terrain. The trail includes an olivine beach that is 90 meters long and a path that climbs to the top of a volcanic tuff. This is probably the only site where the three booby species of the Galapagos can be seen together: Nazca, Blue-footed, and Red-footed; as well as two species of frigate birds and a sea lion colony. It is also excellent for dinghy rides and snorkeling, where a good range of sea birds can be observed.

Day 6 Friday Mosquera Islet / Bartolome
The day will start with a wet Landing on Mosquera Islet, located between North Seymour and Baltra Islands. This flat, sandy island has a large colony of sea lions. It is also an excellent site for observing shorebirds such as herons and Lava Gulls. There is no trail on Mosquera Island, so visitors are free to explore this open area. Most of the islet is covered with sand and barren lava rock.

The afternoon will consist of a dry landing on Bartolome Island where you will discover a fascinating moonscape formed by different volcanic parasitic cones —lava bombs, spatter, cinder cones —as you hike to the summit (370 steps) for impressive views of the surrounding islands, including the eroded tuff cone Pinnacle Rock. You will also encounter marine iguanas and lava lizards. Beach time is a great opportunity to snorkel and see (perhaps swim with) Galapagos Penguins, sea turtles, and White-tipped Reef Sharks among a great variety of colorful fish.

Day 7 Saturday Rabida / Egas Port (Santiago)
The morning visit is to Rabida where you will have a wet landing. Here, dark-red sand covers these the beach and has an incredible landscape. Rábida is considered the epicenter of the Galapagos Islands due to the diversity of its volcanic geology. Nesting Brown Pelicans are found from July through September and nine species of the famous Darwin’s finches can also be seen. You will also take a dinghy ride along cliffs to observe nesting seabirds, and snorkel off the coast where marine life is particularly active.

After a wet landing on a beach of black volcanic sand in the afternoon you will follow a trail comprised of volcanic ash (eroded tuff) and volcanic basaltic rock. The unique layered terrain of Santiago’s shores is home to a variety of resident and migrant birds, including the bizarre Yellow-crowned Night Heron and an astounding array of marine wildlife including lobsters, starfish, marine iguanas, and Sally Light-foot Crabs. Colonies of endemic fur seals swimming in cool water pools formed by volcanic rocks are also a highlight.

Day 8 Sunday El Chato (Santa Cruz) / Depart for Mainland
The day begins with a dry landing on Santa Cruz Island where you will reach the highlands (45 minute drive) and visit a private farm, Primicias (El Chato), where giant tortoises are found in their natural habitat. The road to the reserve is one of the best places to observe land birds. Tree and ground finches, vermillion flycatchers, and Cattle Egrets inhabit the area. Later you will disembark at the docks in Baltra and transfer by bus to the airport for your flight back to the Ecuadorian mainland.

Corals 7 night Galapagos Cruise Itinerary (B+C)

Wednesday to Wednesday


Day 1 Wednesday Arrive to Baltra / Ballena Bay (Santa Cruz)
Once you arrive to the Galapagos Islands you will be met by a representative of the Corals who will assist you with your luggage and transfer you to your ship to start your cruise. Your first excursion is a wet landin at Ballena (Whale) Bay. This bay is a green sand cove at the base of Dragon Hill on the west coast of Santa Cruz Island. The beach contains a large amount of olivine crystals of volcanic origin tjat were formed when the magma was still underground. You will also have an opportunity to see marine iguanas and sea birds, followed by snorkeling.

Day 2 Thursday Tagus Cove (Isabela) / Espinosa Point (Fernandina)
You will start your day with a dry landing on Isabela Island and you will learn about the eruptions of the five volcanoes that formed it. The trail you will take leads to Darwin’s salt-water crater lake and there are excellent views of lava fields and volcanic formations. You will return by the same path for a dinghy ride along a shoreline full of marine wildlife, where you will admire a variety of seabirds, such as Blue-footed Booby, Brown Noddy, terns, Flightless Cormorants, and depending on the season, a large number of Galapagos Penguins. You will have an opportunity to snorkel in deep water as well as admire the graffiti believed to have been left by 19th-century pirates.

Afterwards you will have a dry landing at Espinosa Point, where you can admire the island of Isabela across the Bolívar Channel, an area that boasts some of the highest diversity of endemic sea fauna in the Galapagos. The largest, most primitive-looking race of marine iguanas can be found mingling with sea lions and Sally Lightfoot Crabs. This is also a wonderful opportunity to encounter Flightless Cormorants at their nesting sites, Galapagos Penguins, and the “King” of predators on the Islands, the Galapagos Hawk. “Pa-hoe-hoe” and “AA” lava formations cover the majority of the terrain. Vegetation is thus scarce inland, but you will encounter Brachycereus cacti and extensive mangrove beds lining the shores.

Day 3 Friday Isabela: Elizabeth Bay / Urbina Bay
In the morning you will visit Elizabeth Bay on Isabela Island. Here you will take a dinghy ride along a coast surrounded by mangrove trees for an opportunity to admire Flightless Cormorants, Galapagos Penguins, and a sea turtle nesting site.

After a wet landing on a volcanic “black” beach in the afternoon, you may find giant tortoises, land iguanas, or the Flightless Cormorant depending on the season. After a short walk inland, snorkeling time is allotted, giving you yet another chance to swim with sea turtles, sea lions, and countless tropical fish. Urbina Bay features a wide variety of plant life that changes depending on the season. You can observe a variety of colorful plants that attract different insects, birds, and reptiles as well as explore the uplifted coral reef that resulted from volcanic activity in 1954.

Day 4 Saturday Santiago: Buccaneer Cove & Espumilla Beach / Sullivan Bay
This morning you will have a wet landing on Santiago Island. This visitor site is surrounded by a mangrove forest, which makes for a pleasant walk, taking you to a lookout of the entire bay. You will have the chance to see Darwin finches, mockingbirds, and White-checked Pintail. There’s also a lagoon where Flamingoes can occasionally be seen. Buccaneer Cove was a safe haven for pirates, sailors and whalers during the 18th and 19th century. It is very scenic with steep cliffs made of tuff formations and a dark reddish-purple sand beach.

In the afternoon you will have a wet landing at Sullivan Bay. This visitor site is located at the southeastern portion of Santiago Island, and is of important geologic interest due to the extensive lava flows believed to have been formed during the last quarter of the 19th century.

Day 5 Sunday Santa Cruz: El Chato / Charles Darwin Research Station
Your morning starts with a dry landing on Santa Cruz. You will reach the Santa Cruz highlands on bus and visit a private farm, Primicias (El Chato), where giant tortoises are found in their natural habitat. The road to the reserve is one of the best places to observe land birds. Tree and ground finches, vermillion flycatchers, and Cattle Egrets inhabit the area.

In the afternoon you will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station where the Galapagos giant tortoise breeding program takes place. You can also admire a prickly-pear cactus forest and a variety Darwin finches and other land birds while there. The Darwin Station also works providing environmental education to communities and schools within the islands, and to tourists visiting the Galapagos Islands. You will also have some free time to visit the town and shop for souvenirs.

Day 6 Monday Santa Fe / South Plaza
The morning starts with a wet landing on a white sand beach on Santa Fe Island that is surrounded by a sea lion colony. You will continue walking through an endemic cactus forest as you search for the Santa Fe land iguana, the largest in the islands and distinctively paler. This island is home to a number of endemic species including the Galapagos Hawk, the Galapagos Snake, rice rats, a variety of finches, and one of the four species of Galapagos mockingbirds. The afternoon will include deep-water snorkeling as well.

In the afternoon, after a dry landing on the northern part of South Plaza, you begin a walk where you can see a cactus forest surrounded by land and marine iguanas. On South Plaza Island there is a large colony of the smaller sized land iguanas that you can also observe.

Day 7 Tuesday North Seymour / Bachas Beach (Santa Cruz)
The morning begins with a dry landing on North Seymour. Off of Baltra Island (where the airport is located) and not far from Santa Cruz, North Seymour is the most accessible for day trips out of Santa Cruz’s main port, Puerto Ayora. You will take an approximately two hour walk amidst large nesting colonies of blue-footed boobies, magnificent and great frigate birds, and swallow-tailed gulls for an in depth encounter with sea bird breeding cycles. You may also encounter sea lions, land iguanas, and on a good day, a Galapagos Snake.

In the afternoon you will have a wet landing on the north side of Santa Cruz where behind the beach lie two small flamingo ponds with iguanas, coastal birds, Darwin finches, mockingbirds, and gulls. You will also find native and endemic vegetation such as red and black mangroves, salt bushes, and much more. This beach is one of the main nesting sites of sea turtles in the Galapagos. Here you will also find the remains of barges that sank long ago, once property of the United States Navy when they operated an airbase on Baltra Island during World War II.

Day 8 Wednesday Interpretation Center (San Cristobal) / Depart for Mainland
The morning starts with a dry landing in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the Galapagos Islands. Passengers visit the Interpretation Center, an excellent place to learn about the natural history of the Galapagos. The Museum of Natural History displays information on the volcanic origins of the islands, their remoteness from the continent, ocean currents, climate, the arrival of the different species and their colonization, and other points of interest. The human history is also showcased, chronologically narrating the most significant events related to the discovery and colonization of the islands. The Tijeretas Hill involves a high intensity walk through beautiful landscapes ending with a magnificent view nearby a large frigate bird colony. After your excursion you will be transferred to the airport your flight back to the Ecuadorian mainland.

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