Your Travel Experience with Galapagos PRO
Arrival in Baltra and Bartolomé
After arriving in the airport of Baltra, transfer to the harbour to board your ship.
Bartolomé in the northern part of the archipelago was nominated for the World Travel Awards 2012 as the most beautiful beach of South America. Here, you will find a fascinating, lunar-like volcanic landscape. At its center, the famous landmark of Galapagos: Pinnacle Rock.
A climb to the highest point of the island offers a wonderful view of the landscape. Take a swim together with some of the penguins who play in the waters and on the shores of the bay here.
On arrival at Rábida Island's red sand beach you will be greeted by the resident sea lions, basking in the sun. The island's otherworldy red colouring is a result of the high level of iron and magnesium left behind from previous volcanic activity.
A stroll along the beach reveals marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and several species of Darwin’s finches. If you look carefully you may also spot the bright red Sally Lightfoot crabs, who have found possibly the only place on earth where they can effectively camouflage themselves.
Pinzón Island, Ballena Bay and Charles Darwin Station, Santa Cruz
You start your day on Pinzón, named after the sailors Martin Alonso Pinzón and Vicente Yáñez Pinzón. You can see giant tortoises, sea lions and Galapagos hawks here.
The next stop is the Ballena on Santa Cruz. Ballena Bay is a cove of green sand on the west coast of Santa Cruz Island. The special sand contains a large amount of olivine crystals that originate from volcanic materials. The crystals were formed when the magma was still underground. Near the beach there are ceramic relics, left from human settlements that were close to the beach in 1846.
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 in to 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!
Las Bachas Beach and transfer to Baltra
On the north side of Santa Cruz, you will land on Las Bachas Beach - one of the most important nesting sites for the Galapagos Island's sea turtle population.
A hidden lagoon behind the bay reveals a treasure trove of animal sightings - sunbathing iguanas, curious shorebirds, and Darwin finches, mockingbirds and seagulls frolic here. Native plant life is also interesting in this area. Red and black mangroves and salt bushes line the edges of the pond.
In this heavenly place you will also find the remains of barges that sank long ago when the US Navy operated a base on the island of Baltra during the Second World War. Local people changed the word Barges to "Bachas".
Afterwards you go back to Baltra harbor and from there you are either taken to the airport for your return flight to the mailand, or you continue your individual Galapagos program.