Galapagos Cruise Koln: Northern Route (4)

Tour/Activity in Baltra Island, Ecuador

About this activity

Yacht cruise through the islands Genovesa, Santiago and Santa Cruz

Your Travel Experience with Galapagos PRO

Day 1

Transfer to the yacht

You will arrive on Baltra in the morning where your Crew will greet you and your guide will bring you to the boat. You will be informed about the coming days and get a chance to get to know the boat and your cabin.

Black Turtle Cove, Santa Cruz Island

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

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".

Afterwards, enjoy a welcome cocktail with the entire crew and sit down for dinner back on the yacht.

Day 2

Prince Phillip’s Steps, Genovesa Island

Morning: 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.

Darwin Bay, Genovesa Island

Afternoon: Genovesa Island is secluded from the other main islands in the north of the archipelago and is well-known as 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 snorkelling. With some luck, you may also encounter peaceful hammerheads and black spotted stingrays.

Day 3

Rábida Island

Morning: The small island has only one access point for visitors, located on the east coast. The red beach, the lagoon near the coast and the 1.1-kilometre-long circular walk on the island are breathtaking. The red colour of the rock and beach is due to the porous ferruginous volcanic rock and various environmental factors such as rain, saltwater and the coastal winds. Along with the highest concentration of volcanic features and the environmental factors that act as oxidants, the red colour of the island is created.

After a wet landing, you can see sea lions and marine lizards relaxing on the Galapagos red beach. Just past the beach is one of the nesting sites for pelicans, which use the island's plants for shelter. It is one of the best places to see pelicans and sometimes a flamingo or two is spotted. The path of the island leads through opuntias, and a variety of birds can be seen here such as Darwin's finches, Galapagos doves or Galapagos mockingbirds. After the short walk, you can dive and swim in the bay, the clear water offers a good view of the underwater world.

Cerro Dragon, Santa Cruz Island

Afternoon: Der Drachen Berg repräsentiert einen großen Erfolg in der Geschichte der Instandhaltung und Schutz der Natur der Galapagos Inseln. Bis 1975 waren fast alle Landechsen des Drachen Bergs ausgelöscht, da eingeschleppte Hunde sie jagten und die Anzahl drastisch dezimierten. Mit dem Zuchtprogramm der Galapagos Inseln konnte die Population wieder gesteigert werden und schon 1991 wurde die letzte in Gefangenschaft geborene Landechse in die Freiheit entlassen. Seither kontrollieren die Zuchtstationen Populationen und versuchen die Population der Arten so gut wie möglich wiederherzustellen und zu unterstützen. Aber nicht nur der Berg hat viel zu bieten, schon die Küste ist beeindruckend! Der felsige Strand ist ein schöner Ort um die Unterwasserwelt kennen zulernen und Rochen, Haie und grüne Meeresschildkröten zu sehen. Am Fuße des Berges kommen Sie an zwei Salzwasserlagunen vorbei, wo Sie den einen oder anderen Flamingo sehen können und treffen während der kleinen Wanderung nach oben vielleicht auch noch auf Darwin Finken und Spottdrosseln.

Day 4

Fausto Llerena, Santa Cruz Island

Morning: Visit the Galapagos giant tortoises and land iguana breeding programme, where the famous Lonesome George (the last surviving specimen from Pinta Island) lived for decades. The centre is managed by Galapagos National Park (GNP) staff in collaboration with scientists from the Charles Darwin Station (CDS). Here, eggs from Pinzon, Santiago and Santa Cruz Islands hatch without the risk of introduced species. After artificial incubation, the "galapaguitos" (newborn turtles) are bred until they are 5 years old so that when they are released in their original habitats, they have enough skills to survive on their own. Since the 1970s, more than 2,000 specimens have returned to their native islands. In addition, Darwin Station works on several scientific projects, botanical research and provides environmental education for local communities, schools and tourists. If there is still time, you can take a stroll through the small town of Puerto Ayora.

Transfer to Baltra Island

You will return to the harbour of Baltra. From there, transfer to Baltra Airport in time for your return flight to the mainland or continue with your planned route through the Galapagos.

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