Galapagos Cruise Bonita: Northern Route (5)

Tour/Activity in Baltra Island, Ecuador

About this activity

Discover the islands of Santa Cruz, Plaza Sur, Genovesa, Santiago, Bartolomé and Seymour

Your Travel Experience with Galapagos PRO

Day 1

Arrival at Baltra and transfer to cruise

You will arrive in Baltra in the morning where the crew will greet you. Your guide will accompany you to your cruise, and a briefing will be held regarding the following days onboard. Then, you will be brought to your cabin.

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. The island is around 1.5 km long and 500m wide. 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

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 the nesting season. Travelers 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 very calm, this area can be navigated using paddles instead of the loud panga engines, increasing your chances of wildlife encounters.

Highland of Santa Cruz

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 3

Darwin Bay, Genovesa Island

Morning: At Genovesa Island, your ship will dock at Darwin Bay, which is an old volcanic crater that is now flooded with seawater. Your rubber dinghies will land on the picturesque sandy beach, where sea lions are often found resting and enjoying the sun. Upon landing, you will also get to see many marine iguanas, like miniature versions of pre-historic dinosaurs. A short walk inland will lead you to sea birds of all kinds and sizes, while dozens of young red-footed boobies sit on branches of bushes just an arm's length from you. Do watch out for the great frigatebird and yellow-crowned herons along the way!

Prince Philip's Steps, Genovesa Island

Afternoon: Prince Philip's Steps are a staircase sunken into the 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 to the tourists around them. If you are lucky, you may also chance upon hammerhead sharks in the waters here.

Day 4

Sullivan Bay, Santiago Island

Morning: Although this beautiful 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.

Bartolomé Island

Afternoon: Bartolomé in the northern part of the archipelago was nominated for the World Travel Awards 2012 as the most beautiful beach in South America. Here, you will find a fascinating, lunar-like volcanic landscape. At its center, the famous landmark of Galapagos: Pinnacle Rock.

A climb to the highest point of the island offers a wonderful view of the landscape. Take a swim together with some of the penguins who play in the waters and on the shores of the bay here.

Day 5

North Seymour Island

Morning: 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.

Departure from Baltra Island

Your cruise ends here and from the harbor at Baltra, you will transfer to the airport where you will travel back to Ecuador or continue with your planned program in the Galapagos Islands.

Arts & Culture
Tickets & Sightseeing Passes
Day Trips & Excursions
Outdoor Activities & Sports
Nature & Wildlife
Aerial Tours
Boat Tours