Galapagos Cruise Petrel: Western Route (6)

Tour/Activity in Baltra Island, Ecuador

About this activity

Discover the islands of North Seymour, Isabela, Fernandina, and Santa Cruz islands onboard Petrel

Your Travel Experience with Galapagos PRO

Day 1

Transfer from Baltra Airport to the boat

After your arrival in Baltra airport, transfer to the boat for your onboard briefing about the boat and the islands.

North Seymour Island

Afternoon: The small island of North Seymour is one of the most diverse islands in the Galapagos archipelago. It is only about two square kilometers in size and above all known for of 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 endemic balsa trees.

Day 2

Punta Vicente Roca, Isabela Island

Morning: The largest in the archipelago, this seahorse-shaped island is also one of the most volcanically active. While there is no cleared landing site at Punta Vicente Roca, your guide will explain the impressive geology and wonderful wildlife diversity in the area from aboard the dinghy. Explore the two coves and the large bay with spectacular sea life. Keep an eye out for seahorses, sea turtles, and the weird and wonderful mola-mola, also known as sunfish. In good conditions, Punta Vicente Roca is considered one of the best snorkelling sites in the Galapagos.

Punta Espinoza, Fernandina Island

Afternoon: Fernandina is the youngest island in the archipelago, regularly impressing visitors with the pristine condition and the sheer number of resident wildlife. Large colonies of marine iguanas and sea lions sun themselves on the beautiful sandy beach while Galapagos hawks circle overhead. After a walk through the interesting landscape, we'll reach the island's highlight: the nesting site of the Flightless cormorant.

Day 3

Tagus Cove, Isabela Island

Morning: The historical pirate hideaway of Tagus Cove has been frequented by sailors since the 1800s. The names of visiting ships were often painted and carved in to the cliffs surrounding the cove.

Trails wind their way around Lake Darwin up to a ridge, offering wonderful views of the landscape and the ocean, where Wolf and Darwin Islands dot the horizon. Punta Tortuga, just north of Tagus Cove, is another idyllic tropical beach surrounded by mangroves. Later, take a dinghy ride through the cliffs, observing penguins, flightless cormorants, boobies, pelicans and Sally Lightfoot crabs. Return to the cove to relax on the shore or snorkel.

Urbina Bay, Isabela Island

Afternoon: Urbina Bay graces the southeast flank of the Alcedo Volcano. After volcanic activity in 1954 caused a significant uplift, the coast expanded almost a kilometer out. Marine life found a way to thrive in this newly fertile area and many species chose to stay. Today, this area is a great place for snorkeling. During your hike, you may see a large colony of land iguanas, Darwin's finches, giant tortoises (from June to September) and flightless cormorants.

Several species of whale have been spotted in the waters you'll be navigating through today.

Day 4

Elizabeth Bay, Isabela Island

Morning: High, colorful mangroves contrast with the lava on the shoreline. Schools of colourful fish and sea lions play in the water here between the islets of Eizabeth bay.

On these rocky islets, penguins and blue-footed boobies can be spotted. The abundance of marine life and the clear water make this place a brilliant snorkeling spot.

Punta Moreno, Isabela Island

Afternoon: Moreno Point is located near Elizabeth Bay on the west coast of Isabela Island. The plethora of birds to be seen during a dinghy ride along the striking rocky shores, or a hike along path through lava rock leading to tide pools and mangroves, make this day a birdwatcher’s delight. In the tide pools green sea turtles or white-tip sharks can be spotted.

Day 5

Sierra Negra Volcano, Isabela Island

Morning: The Sierra Negra Volcano boasts the largest basaltic caldera in Galapagos with a diameter of up to 10km. The site offers impressive views and the opportunity to observe up to 7 species of finch and a rich display of local flora. The north side of the caldera provides evidence of Sierra Negra's most recent volcanic activity in 2005.

Wetlands and Wall of Tears, Isabela Island

Afternoon: Just outside of Puerto Villamil, lagoons, swamps, and mangroves make up the beautiful Wetlands. Home to a variety of unique bird species such as Common Stilts, Whimbrels, White-Cheeked Pintails, and Gallinules, the Wetlands can be visited on foot via a path that winds through the swamps.

El Muro de las Lágrimas (Wall of Tears) is a visitor point approximately 7 kilometers west of Puerto Villamil. The wall is about 150 meters long and was built under cruel conditions by convicts of the infamous penal colony "Porvenir" in the 40s and 50s. First named the Wall of Tears by local residents, who state that the wall often emits an eerie, crying sound and the area is said to have a "heavy energy".

The penal colony was closed after a prison uprising in 1959, but the wall remains intact as a memorial to the large number who needlessly lost their lives during the construction of the wall. Rumor has it that there are still descendants of the prison escapees living on the island.

Today Isabela island is mainly home to a variety of lava lizards. Darwin's finches and Galapagos hawks are often spotted along the walk here, as well as giant tortoises, so keep your camera ready!

Day 6

Charles Darwin Station, Santa Cruz Island

Morning: Charles Darwin Research Station houses an information center, a museum and a tortoise hatchery. During the tour you will learn about the different species of Galapagos turtles and the breeding program, meet yellow land iguanas as they snack on the fruit of the Opuntia, and learn about the various endemic plants of the Galapagos archipelago.

Transfer to Balta Airport

Please keep in mind that on departures days, your morning visit will be early and short in order to arrive at the airport in time for your returning flight to Ecuador’s mainland.

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