Galapagos Cruise Celebrity Xpedition: Southern Route (8)

Tour/Activity in Baltra Island, Ecuador

About this activity

Discover the islands of Seymour, Plaza Sur, Santa Fé, San Crostóbal, Floreana and more onboard Celebrity Xpedition

Your Travel Experience with Galapagos PRO

Day 1

Arrival at Baltra Island

You will arrive at Baltra in the morning, where the crew will welcome you. Your guide will accompany you to the ship where you will be given a briefing regarding the coming days onboard. Afterward, you will be shown to your room.

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 aromatic endemic balsa trees. The island was formed underwater and later lifted up through plate movements. While hiking here, you can be sure to find many evidence of fossils and interesting geological materials.

Day 2

Plaza Sur

Morning: 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.

Santa Fé Island

Afternoon: Upon arrival at the white sand beach, you will be greeted by a large colony of sea lions. A trail leads you from the beach into a forest of prickly pears and Palo Santo trees. It is not rare to spot Galapagos hawks and even owls in the salt bushes. Even harmless snakes and the endemic rice rat can be discovered with a little luck while exploring the island. Arguably the most special, however, is the Santa Fé iguana. This species differs from its peers due to its significantly lighter color and distinct dorsal spines.

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

Day 3

Punta Pitt, San Crisóbal Island

Morning: Punta Pitt is considered one of the most beautiful and impressive sites of the whole archipelago of Galapagos. The erosion of the high cliffs and the almost constantly foggy morning give Punta Pitt an eerie atmosphere. The point's location has also made it a favourite nesting site for many sea birds. Here you can observe the three different species of boobies and great frigate birds nesting in the same area. The walking 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.

Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and Interpretation center, San Cristóbal Island

Afternoon: Punta Pitt is considered one of the most beautiful and impressive sites of the whole archipelago of Galapagos. The erosion of the high cliffs and the almost constantly foggy morning give Punta Pitt an eerie atmosphere. The point's location has also made it a favorite nesting site for many sea birds. Here you can observe the three different species of boobies and great frigate birds nesting in the same area. The walking 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.

Day 4

Post Office Bay, Floreana Island

Afternoon: Floreana offers a wonderful testament to the fascinating human history of the Archipelago. Although paling in comparison to the geological history, human history extends far beyond the island's first residents.

At Post Office Bay you can learn about the historic barrel that has served as a post office in the archipelago for over two centuries. Lonely sailors, away from home for years at a time, would stop at Floreana to restock their supplies of food and water. The homesick sailors devised a clever solution - they left letters in a makeshift 'post box' on Floreana, and when passing ships stopped on the way back to their homeport, they would pick up all the letters destined for that place and deliver them.

To this day, the system is alive and well - each year thousands of visitors continue to leave letters for loved ones, and search for letters to bring home and deliver. To keep the tradition alive, hunt for a letter destined for a town near you and hand-deliver it.

Cormorant Point, Floreana Island and Champion Inslet

Afternoon: Punta Cormorant is home to two stunning natural beaches. You'll make a wet landing in the first bay, where you'll find a special black sand beach that twinkles green in the sunlight. The shimmering sand is made of olivine crystals, remnants of a long-gone violent volcanic eruption. In the waters here are sea turtles, reef fishes, sea lions, and even reef sharks! There is also a small penguin colony in Floreana where you might have a chance to see on your lucky day.

Following the short trail along the beach, you'll come to a second little bay. Visitors will be delighted by the soft, white powdery sand that feels like walking in fine baking flour. This gorgeous beach certainly earned the name "Flour Beach". In the bay, you will likely spot green sea turtles, and if you wander back from the sandy stretch, you can find a saltwater lagoon that attracts vibrant flamingos and the adorable white-cheeked pintails.

Champion Islet, located just off Floreana Island, is considered one of the most beautiful snorkeling spots in Galapagos. Seahorses, green sea turtles, and surgeonfish are common to Champion. This is one of the best opportunities for dolphin watching and is one of the last two natural habitats of the Charles Mockingbird.

Day 5

Elizabeth Bay, Isabela Island

Morning: The wide and sheltered Elizabeth Bay, on Isabela's east coast, hosts a bevy of the archipelago's unique wildlife. The mangrove-lined shore contrasts starkly against the surrounding lava fields. The myriad of small islets and rocky reefs make this is a particularly rich area for wildlife.

The waters here are particularly clear, and this makes Elizabeth Bay a great place to spot the rays, sharks, green sea turtles, Galapagos penguins, pelicans, and Galapagos sea lions known to gather here. Nearer to the shores and mangroves you'll see Galapagos flightless cormorants and the sunbathing marine iguanas.

Punta Moreno, Isabela Island

Afternoon: Punta Moreno is a rugged young lava bay. At first, it appears to be a lifeless landscape, however as you walk over the cooled lava, you'll see new green areas and lagoons hosting a wide variety of birds. Marine iguanas and lava lizards are usually found in the lagoons you'll often meet flamingos foraging here for their favorite meal. While the sharp rocks make this hike a little tricky, its path itself is easy enough to be enjoyed by everyone and provides an unforgettable landscape set against a backdrop of the volcanoes Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul.

We recommend bringing plenty of water during this visit, as the lava field reflects the sun making the temperature higher than average. Don't forget to apply sunscreen!

Day 6

Charles Darwin Station, 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 preparation for their upcoming release into the wilderness. Since the 1970s, at least 2000 tortoises have been released successfully into the wild! 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!

Santa Cruz Highland

Afternoon: 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 and giant tortoises roam around at ease in their natural environment.

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.

Day 7

Gardner Bay, Española Island

Morning: This outstanding white sand beach at Gardner Bay is an import nesting place for the green pacific sea turtle. However, the large Galapagos Sea Lion colony is sure to steal the show here. The female sea lions say at the nursery and take care of their pups until they are three years old, even though sea lions can also fish independently when they are 5 months old. During mating and nesting season, the number of sea lions is even higher! 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!

Punta Suarez, Española Island

Afternoon: Española is a geologically interesting island where you can explore the volcanic formations and spot a lot more of the Galapagos' 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.

Day 8

Departure from Baltra

Upon arrival at the Baltra Harbour, you will be brought to the airport to catch your returning flight back to the mainland or continue with your planned itinerary.

Outdoor & Sports
Landscapes & Sceneries
Wildlife & Nature
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