Galapagos Cruise Alya: South Eastern Route (5)

Tour from Baltra Island to San Cristóbal Island, Ecuador

About this activity

Travel to the islands of Floreana, Espanola, Santa and South pPlaza

Your Travel Experience with Galapagos PRO

Day 1

Transfer from Baltra airport to the harbour

You will arrive on the island of Baltra in the morning at the airport and transfer to the harbor to board the ship. The briefing will be conducted onboard.

Lobos Island

Afternoon: The small Lobos Island is situated near to San Cristóbal Island and is home to not only a huge colony of sea lions but also to fur seals that enjoy resting quietly on rocks. In the midst of this uninhabited island, you can find blue-footed boobies nursing their nestlings! There are one to two paths that will you to the center of the island, where you can truly enjoy the tranquility of the Galapagos Archipelago. This island is a favorite among visitors, especially for those who enjoy immersing themselves in nature. Diving: Often used as a warm-up dive site, Lobos Island is a sweet dive filled with starfish, rays, various fish, turtles, eagle rays, and sometimes marine iguanas.

Day 2

Gardner Bay

Morning: This outstanding white sand beach at Gardner Bay is an import nesting place for the green pacific sea turtle. However, the large Galapagos Sea Lion colony is sure to steal the show here. The female sea lions say at the nursery and take care of their pups until they are three years old, even though sea lions can also fish independently when they are 5 months old. During mating and nesting season, the number of sea lions is even higher! Join the colony of sea lions on the beautiful white coral beach. From the shoreline, you can observe the Galapagos hawks, American oystercatchers, Galapagos doves, mockingbirds, gold-warblers, lava lizards, marine iguanas and three different types of Darwin finch! When snorkeling or diving, you have the opportunity to see the diverse underwater world of Gardner Island. Californian angelfish, neon fish, parrotfish, manta rays and white-tip reef sharks all call these waters home.

Suarez Point

Afternoon: Española is a geologically interesting island where you can explore the volcanic formations and spot a lot more of the Galapagos's unique fauna. Regular sightings include large sea lion colonies and flocks of seabirds, such as the Española mockingbird, the Nazca booby and the spectacular red-beaked tropicbird. There are also marine iguanas, lizards and Sally Lightfoot crabs.

A long hike will take you past the world's largest colony of Galapagos albatrosses! During mating season (May to December) you will have the opportunity to see the nesting area of the albatrosses and if you're lucky, you'll even get to witness their courting dance. The courting dance of the albatross is extra special as it is the start of a life-long bond for these birds who mate for life. Other interesting birds include Galapagos doves, Galapagos hawks, whip-tailed gulls.

Make a final stop to admire the dramatic topography of the famous Blow Hole, catapulting seawater an impressive 23 meters into the air.

Day 3

Post Office Bay

Morning: Floreana offers a wonderful testament to the fascinating human history of the Archipelago. Although paling in comparison to the geological history, human history extends far beyond the island's first residents.

At Post Office Bay you can learn about the historic barrel that has served as a post office in the archipelago for over two centuries. Lonely sailors, away from home for years at a time, would stop at Floreana to restock their supplies of food and water. The homesick sailors devised a clever solution - they left letters in a makeshift 'post box' on Floreana, and when passing ships stopped on the way back to their home port, they would pick up all the letters destined for that place and deliver them.

To this day, the system is alive and well - each year thousands of visitors continue to leave letters for loved ones, and search for letters to bring home and deliver. To keep the tradition alive, hunt for a letter destined for a town near you and hand-deliver it.

Devil's Crown

Afternoon: Devil's Crown is a half-sunken volcano crater offering a small snorkeling paradise. The sandy sloping crater walls are a playground for starfish, sea turtles and tropical fish, while white tip reef sharks seem to prefer the rocky caves at the bottom of the crater. Schools of white-and-yellow Surgeonfish, large, colourful Parrotfish, and dazzling King Angelfish are a regular sight at the Devil's Crown. It is important to note that this site can get some stronger currents and there is no easy place to stand if you are getting tired. The boat remains nearby should you require it.

Day 4

Santa Fe Island

Morning: Upon arrival at the white sand beach, you will be greeted by a large colony of sea lions. A trail leads you from the beach into a forest of prickly pears and Palo Santo trees. It is not rare to spot Galapagos hawks and even owls in the salt bushes. Even harmless snakes and the endemic rice rat can be discovered with a little luck while exploring the island. Arguably the most special, however, is the Santa Fé iguana. This species differs from its peers due to its significantly lighter color and distinct dorsal spines. Snorkeling and swimming on the beach, kayaking or a tour with the glass bottom boat make this trip unforgettable.

Please Note: The Galapagos National Park has placed a temporary ban on swimming, snorkeling or diving in the waters around Santa Fé.

South Plaza Island

Afternoon: One of the smallest and most colourful islands in the archipelago, Plaza Sur, or 'South Plaza' in English, is just a short sail from Santa Cruz. Reaching dry land, you will come across some of the island’s friendly sea lions, one of the many types of animals in South Plaza for you to discover.

Wander by the nesting places of swallow-tailed gulls, Audubon shearwaters, red-tailed tropicbirds, masked boobies and frigatebirds. The entire island is carpeted with dense sesuvium plants. From June to November, during the colder and drier season, the plants turn a deep red color which gives the island a dramatic, fascinating atmosphere. Watch the iguanas searching high up in the opuntia trees for fruit - a sight you'll never see anywhere else in the world.

Day 5

Charles Darwin Station and the end of the cruise

Morning: At Charles Darwin Station, scientists from around the world research the many tortoise subspecies that are endemic to the Galapagos Islands. The highlight of the research center is the breeding station, Fausto Llerena, where baby turtles take a training course over rocks, branches, and sandy stairs in preparation for their upcoming release into the wilderness.

Visitors leave the station with a stronger understanding of the tortoises, iguanas and much of the flora native to the islands. You'll be impressed by the tiny tortoises, often only the size of your hand, who will grow over the next 100 years to become as large as 400kg!

Upon reaching Baltra island, you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight back to the mainland, or continue with the remaining itinerary in the Galapagos.

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