Galapagos Cruise Isabela II : Northern Route (5)

Tour/Activity in Baltra Island, Ecuador

About this activity

Discover the islands of Santa Cruz, Santiago, Santa Fe and Genovesa

Your Travel Experience with Galapagos PRO

Day 1

Transfer from Baltra Airport to Santa Cruz Island

Arrival at Baltra Airport and then we take you to the Itabaca Channel to take a ferry across to Santa Cruz Island. A 30-minute bus ride takes us to a restaurant in the Highlands of Santa Cruz Island to enjoy lunch, and then continue to Puerto Ayora.

Highlands of Santa Cruz

Afternoon: After lunch, we drive to a nearby reserve that is one of the best places in the archipelago to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat. The tortoises are easy to spot, lumbering around, munching on grass and leaves and wallowing in small pools. There are several lava tunnels to explore in the reserve, too. A short bus ride takes us down to Puerto Ayora to board Yacht Isabela II.

Day 2

Puerto Egas, Insel Santiago

Morning: Following a wet landing on a black, sandy beach, our trail takes us to enjoy close-up encounters with recently-reintroduced land iguanas, plus land and marine birds amid a landscape of tuff-stone layers, craggy rocks, and lava flows. At low tide, marine iguanas graze upon the algae beds. We can also observe a colony of fur seals, usually dozing in the shade of some rocks.

Chinese Hat

Afternoon: This islet, formed only fairly recently, makes a beautiful afternoon visit as we explore the wildlife along its 1,312 ft long (400 m long) trail, which begins at a crescent-shaped, white sandy beach. The cove offers excellent swimming and snorkeling opportunities amid white-tipped reef sharks and Galapagos penguins.

Day 3

Genovesa Island - Prince Philip’s Steps

Morning: The day kicks off with a panga ride along the cliffs of “Bird Island”, as Genovesa is affectionately nicknamed, followed by a landing at a steep staircase which connects us with a flat plateau. From here the trail winds its way through large colonies of Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, great frigatebirds, and storm petrels. With luck, we’ll be able to spot the short-eared owl. Those who do not wish to disembark can enjoy a longer panga (inflatable dinghy) ride along the cliffs, weather conditions permitting. Snorkeling and kayaking activities are available.

Darwin Bay

Afternoon : We land after lunch at the beautiful white beach of Darwin Bay. Here we walk amid literally hundreds of birds, most of which are frigatebirds, red-footed and Nazca boobies, as well as gulls, herons, finches, and mockingbirds.

Day 4

Santa Fe Island

Morning: We take the dinghy over to this idyllic sandy-white beach populated by colonies of sea lions. Galapagos hawks are often easily observed, perched atop salt bushes. The Santa Fe land iguana may be spotted during our exploration. Following the walk, we can snorkel and swim along a natural wave barrier or ride the glass-bottom boat.

Punta Carrion

Afternoon: In the afternoon, we make our way around to the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island, to the eastern mouth of the Itabaca Channel. Boarding our dinghies, we explore this rocky coastline’s interesting formations, plant life, and wildlife, before enjoying the marine world, either with a mask and snorkel, or aboard our glass-bottom boat. If we are lucky, we will come across playful sea lions, dozens of reef fish — different types of puffers, surgeonfish, angelfish, groupers, hogfish, hawkfish, parrotfish, blenny, etc. — and hopefully catch a glimpse of white-tipped reef sharks.

Day 5

Transfer to Baltra Island

After breakfast, transfer to the airport in time for your flight back to the mainland, or continue on with your planned trip through the Galapagos Islands.

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