Galapagos Cruise Galaxy - Northern Route (5)

Tour from Baltra Island to San Cristóbal Island, Ecuador

About this activity

Discover the islands Rabida, Seymour, Mosquera, Santiago, Genovesa and Bartolomé

Your Travel Experience with Galapagos PRO

Day 1

Transfer from Baltra

You will arrive in Baltra in the morning where the crew will greet you. Your guide will accompany you to your cruise, and a briefing will be held regarding the following days onboard. Then, you will be brought to your cabin.

Black Turtle Cove, Santa Cruz

Afternoon: Black Turtle Cove is a red mangrove lagoon serving as a nursery for sharks and rays. Black Turtle Cove is a great location to observe mating sea turtles during nesting season. Travellers often see large groups of resting white-tip reef sharks, schools of golden rays and the incredibly beautiful spotted eagle rays. As the water is usually very calm, this area can be navigated using paddles instead of the loud panga engines, increasing your chances of wildlife encounters.

Day 2

Rábida

Morning: 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.

Chinese Hat Island

Afternoon: One of the most recognisable of the Galapagos Islands, Sombrero Chino's name means "Chinese Hat" and it's easy to see why: this islet off of Santiago is shaped like an old-fashioned Chinese hat, with its gently sloping cone rising out of the clear Galapagos water. It's one of the smallest Galapagos Islands but don't be fooled - it has a terrific visitor site with an unforgettable view!

Day 3

North Seymour

Morning: The small island of North Seymour is one of the most diverse islands in the Galapagos archipelago. It is only about two square kilometres in size and above all known for the intensive courtship rituals of many magnificent frigatebirds, taking place here during mating season. The island is also home to large colonies of land iguanas, marine iguanas and sea lions. The characteristic bush landscape features diverse species of animals amongst the aromatic endemic balsa trees.

Mosquera Island

Afternoon: Between the two islands North Seymour and Baltra lies the small island Mosquera. The narrow island's coastline stretches out with white sand beaches, lava rocks and tide pools. Created by Geological uplift, the island has a relatively flat landscape. Mosquera is a great place for snorkeling, strolling on the beach, and enjoying the animal life without the tourist crowds that are common on many of the more popular islands. This islet is home to a huge colony of resident sea lions, and is also home to many shorebirds.

Day 4

Sullivan Bay, Santiago

Morning: Although this beautiful beach deserves its place in the highlights list, the day will surprise you with another highlight: the special pahoehoe lava flows.

Almost 100 years ago, lava flowed across the island and left behind various forms of soil: braided and stringy lava fields alternate with sharp-edged jagged formations. Feel the warm stones of the black, unreal lava landscape under your hands and move back to the time of origin, when volcanoes raged here, ultimately creating a paradise.

Bartolomé Island

Afternoon: 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 centre, 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.

Day 5

Prince Phillip's Steps, Genovesa

Morning: Prince Philip's Steps are a staircase sunken into the 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 to the tourists around them.

Darwin Bay, Genovesa

Afternoon: Genovesa Island is secluded from the other main islands in the north of the archipelago and is well-known as 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 snorkelling. With some luck, you may also encounter peaceful hammerheads and black spotted stingrays.

Day 6

Interpretation Center, San Cristóbal

Morning: The National Park Interpretation Center, located on San Cristóbal, was built in collaboration with the Spanish Science Center. The tour offered by the Center for Interpretation's facilities offers a good overview of the Galapagos Islands. The tour takes us through the history of the islands in the context of nature, humankind, and conservation. It also tells the story of the first settlers on the islands.

Departure from San Cristóbal Island

Your cruise ends here and from the harbour at San Cristóbal, you will transfer to the airport where you will travel back to Ecuador or continue with your planned program in the Galapagos Islands.

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