Galapagos cruise Estrella del Mar - Northern Route (4)

Tour/Activity in Baltra Island, Ecuador

About this activity

Discover the islands Bartolomé, Genovesa, Santa Cruz and Santa Fé

Your Travel Experience with Galapagos PRO

Day 1

Transfer to the Estrella del Mar

After arrival at Baltra airport, staff from Estrella del Mar will greet you for the transfer to the yacht.

Bartolomé Island

Afternoon: The soft white sand beach of Bartolomé 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 centre, a particularly 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.

Day 2

Darwin Bay, Genovesa

Morning: Genovesa Island is secluded from the other main islands in the north of the archipelago and is well-known as the Bird Island.

Emerging from the narrow entrance, you'll reach Darwin Bay, surrounded by protective cliffs. Frigatebirds regularly patrol the skies here and petrels can be seen hunting coastal waters for smaller fish. The green water in the bay is evidence of a high plankton content which attracts fish and seabirds, making this wildlife-rich bay a wonderful site for snorkeling. With some luck, you may also encounter peaceful hammerheads and black spotted stingrays.

Prince Phillip's Steps, Genovesa

Afternoon: Prince Philip's Steps are a staircase sunken into volcanic rock that leads to a plateau rich with vegetation and wildlife. True to the nickname of Bird Island, this area is home to nesting masked and blue-footed boobies, Bahama ducks, petrels and gulls amongst a host of other local species. The Galápagos horned owls bask on the warm volcanic rocks here, paying no attention the tourists around them.

Day 3

Las Bachas, Santa Cruz

Morning: On the north side of Santa Cruz, you will land on 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".

Santa Fé Island

Afternoon: A prickly pear grove adorns the rocky island Santa Fé and Palo Santo trees line the trail. When you arrive at the sandy beach, you land in the midst of a sea lion colony - playful pups and lazy mothers lie fin to fin here. While snorkeling in the blue-green bay, you may be observed by young animals looking for new playmates. A special resident of the island is the endemic land iguana, which has a copper-yellowish hue. You can see these dragon-like creatures skittering between the opunita cactuses, waiting for the juicy fruit to fall from the trees.

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

Day 4

Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, Santa Cruz

Morning: Fausto Llerena breeding centre, at the Charles-Darwin station, are dedicated to raising Galapagos tortoises from different islands in the archipelago in order to ensure the ongoing survival of these unique species.

Since March 2017, the Fauto Llerena hatchery is home to the embalmed tortiose Lonesome George, who became the symbol of the Galapagos Islands. Lonesome George was the last surviving member of the Pinta Island Tortoise species. On the "Ruta de las Tortugas" you will learn about the history of tortoises in Galapagos and then visit the breeding station - from the incubator to the great dams of various islands. There is also a garden with examples of species conservation.

Transfer to Baltra Airport

Transfer to Baltra Airport for your return flight to Guayaquil or Quito.

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