Galapagos cruise La Pinta : Eastern Route (5)

Tour/Activity in Baltra Island, Ecuador

About this activity

Explore islands of San Cristóbal, Santa Cruz, Española, Santa Fé and Plaza Sur onboard La Pinta

Your Travel Experience with Galapagos PRO

Day 1

Transfer to the yacht

Transfer from the Baltra Airport to the luxury yacht La Pinta. Receive your cabin keys then sit down for lunch after your safety briefing.

Plaza Sur 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 2

Santa Fe Island

Morning: You take the dinghy over to this idyllic sandy-white beach populated by colonies of sea lions. Galápagos hawks are often easily observed, perched atop salt bushes. The Santa Fe land iguana, unique to just this island, may be spotted during the walk. Following the walk, you can snorkel and swim along a natural wave barrier or ride the glass-bottom boat.

The Galapagos National Park has placed a temporary ban on swimming, snorkeling or diving in the waters around Santa Fé. Rest assured, your tour operator will substitute it with something equally fantastic!

La Galapaguera on San Cristóbal Island

Afternoon: After lunch, you disembark at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the island's capital, and drive 40 minutes to the island’s southern shore. At Cerro Colorado, you visit the breeding centre for highly endangered giant tortoises in the midst of a fantastic deciduous forest, home to dozens of bird species, including the San Cristóbal mockingbird, and the San Cristóbal lava lizard, both island endemics.

Day 3

Punta Pitt on San Cristóbal Island

Morning: Punta Pitt is located at the east end of San Cristóbal Island. The trail covers 1400m and takes roughly 2 hours, including an olivine beach approximately 90 meters long, and a trail that ascends to the top of a volcanic tuff hill passing through several natural viewpoints.

This is the only site in the Galapagos Islands, where you can watch the three species of boobies and 2 species of frigates nesting in the same area. There are also plenty of curious sea lions in the area.

Cerro Brujo on San Cristóbal Island

Afternoon: Cerro Brujo is a volcanic cone that looks over a beautiful white sandy beach which has plenty of sea lions, pelicans, blue-footed boobies, and marine iguanas. From atop the hill you also have a great view over to Leon Dormido. After the hike, cool off with a dip in the perfect aquamarine waters.

Day 4

Punta Suarez on Española Island

Morning: 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.

Gardner Bay on Española Island

Afternoon: 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.

Day 5

Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island

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 prepareation 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!

Transfer to Baltra Airport

Transfer to Baltra Airport by bus for your return flight to Guayaquil or Quito, or continue on with your individual Galapagos travels.

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