Galapagos Cruise Santa Cruz II - Northern Route (5)

Tour/Activity in Baltra Island, Ecuador

About this activity

Discover the islands of Santa Cruz, Santiago, Bartolomé and Genovesa.

Your Travel Experience with Galapagos PRO

Day 1

Baltra Airport to the Ship

From Baltra Airport you will be transferred to the port, where you will board directly. After a welcome drink and a quick explanation of the safety rules, you can enjoy your first lunch on the Santa Cruz II.

All your luggage will be brought directly to your cabin on board.

Recommendation for the first day: Please put on comfortable shoes and clothes and bring a small backpack with you. There you can store the things you may need for the first excursion, such as medicine, sunscreen and insect repellent, since you will not return to the yacht until the evening.

Las Bachas Beach

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".

Day 2

Buccaneer Cove, Santiago

Buccaneer Cove is evidence of Santiago's long history as a haven for British buccaneers. These pirates were likely anchoring in this sheltered bay to make repairs and, among other things, to increase their supplies of turtle meat. The steep cliffs surrounding the bay, where hundreds of seabirds settle on the dark red sand beach, are an impressive sight to behold.

Puerto Egas, Santiago

After landing on the black sand beach of Puerto Egas, Santiago Island hike along a 2km long coastal area boasting sea lions, Sally Lightfoot crabs, lava lizards, Galapagos hawks and lava herons. The rugged lava coast with natural pools, where sea lions bathe and herons play marks the end of your hike.

An excursion to Santiago Island is also one of the rare chances to see Galápagos fur seals in the wild, though not in large numbers.

Day 3

Rábida

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.

Bartolomé

Today's activities start with a wet landing on the golden coloured beach of this famous island, where the imposing Pinnacle Rock stands out. On Bartolomé you can comfortably walk to the highest point of the island and have a breathtaking view of the archipelago from there. The ascent is not difficult - the path goes over wooden stairs and platforms and is secured with railings. You should not miss this view!

Day 4

Prince Philip Steps, Genovesa

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

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.

Darwin Bay, Genovesa

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.

Day 5

Highlands of Santa Cruz

As you venture into Santa Cruz's higher altitude areas, you will notice the changes in the vegetation as the climate becomes wetter and warmer. The earth in the upper altitudes is rich in minerals. Coffee plantations and fruit orchards line the streets. Here you can observe the famous Galapagos giant tortoises in the wild.

The Scalesia forests in this area offer the opportunity to discover endemic species of the Galapagos Islands, as well as giant cacti and a variety of deciduous trees and edible fruits.

Here you can also visit the twin 'craters' Los Gemelos. While they are not craters in the technical sense, these 70 meter vertical gullies with a carpet of lush vegetation are an impressive sight to behold.

Return to the harbour of Baltra

You will return to the harbour of Baltra. From there transfer by bus to Baltra Airport in time for your return flight to the mainland, or continue with your individual Galapagos program.

Outdoor & Sports
Beach
Landscapes & Sceneries
Wildlife & Nature