Your Travel Experience with Galapagos PRO
Transfer at Baltra Airport to Santa Cruz Island
After arrival at Baltra Airport, transfer to the harbour and board the Beluga.
Highlands of Santa Cruz Island
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. Here you can observe the famous Galapagos giant tortoises in the wild, using the new knowledge you gained at Charles Darwin Station in the morning.
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.
Sombrero Chino, Chinese Hat
Morning: Sombero Chino was named by locals for its shape, resembling the outline of a Chinese hat. Since the management of the National Park restricted the number of visitors, rare creatures of the Galapagos Islands can once again be seen up close.
Sea lion colonies live on the white coral sand beach. Here you can also see the American oystercatcher and Galapagos penguins swimming along the shore, as well as the Sally Lightfoot crabs, which contrast starkly with the black volcanic stones.
Sullivan Bay, Santiago Island
Afternoon: Although this beauiful 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.
Darwin Bay, Genovesa Island
Morning: Genovesa Island is secluded from the other main islands in the north of the archipelago and is well-known as the 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 snorkeling. With some luck, you may also encounter peaceful hammerheads and black spotted stingrays.
Prince Phillips Steps, Genovesa Island
Afternoon : 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.
Black Turtle Cove, Santa Cruz Island
Morning: 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 water very calm, this area can be navigated using paddles instead of the loud panga engines, increasing your chances of wildlife encounters.
Transfer to Baltra Island
Transfer to the Baltra airport in time for your return flight to Quito or Guayaquil.