Galapagos Cruise La Pinta : Western Route (7)

Tour/Activity in Baltra Island, Ecuador

About this activity

Explore the islands of Fernandina, Floreana, Rábida, Santa Cruz, Seymour, and Isabela Islands

Your Travel Experience with Galapagos PRO

Day 1

Transfer to the yacht

Transfer from the Baltra Airport to the yacht La Pinta. Receive your cabin keys then sit down for lunch after your safety briefing.

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 endemic balsa trees.

Day 2

Punta Vicente Roca, Isabela Island

Morning: The largest in the archipelago, this seahorse-shaped island is also one of the most volcanically active. While there is no cleared landing site at Punta Vicente Roca, your guide will explain the impressive geology and wonderful wildlife diversity in the area from aboard the dinghy. While you explore the two coves and the large bay with spectacular sea life, keep an eye out for seahorses, sea turtles, and the weird and wonderful mola-mola, also known as sunfish. In good conditions, Punta Vicente Roca is considered one of the best snorkelling sites in the Galapagos.

Punta Espinoza, Fernandina Island

Afternoon: Fernandina is the youngest island in the archipelago, regularly impressing visitors with the pristine condition and sheer number of resident wildlife. Large colonies of marine iguanas and sea lions sun themselves on the beautiful sand beach while Galapagos hawks circle overhead. After a walk through the interesting landsape, we'll reach the island's highlight: the nesting site of the Flightless cormorant.

Day 3

Urbina Bay, Isabela Island

Morning: Urbina Bay graces the southeast flank of the Alcedo Volcano. After volcanic activity in 1954 caused a significant uplift, the coast expanded almost a kilometer out. Marine life found a way to thrive in this newly fertile area and many species chose to stay. Today, this area is a great place for snorkeling. During your hike, you may see a large colony of land iguanas, Darwin's finches, giant tortoises (from June to September) and flightless cormorants.

Several species of whale have been spotted in the waters you'll be navigating through today.

Tagus Cove, Isabela Island

Afternoon: The historical pirate hideaway of Tagus Cove has been frequented by sailors since the 1800s. The names of visiting ships were often painted and carved in to the cliffs surrounding the cove.

Trails wind their way around Lake Darwin up to a ridge, offering wonderful views of the landscape, the ocean, with Wolf and Darwin Islands dotting the horizon. Punta Tortuga, just north of Tagus Cove, is another idyllic tropical beach surrounded by mangroves. Later, take a panga ride through the cliffs, observing penguins, flightless cormorants, boobies, pelicans and Sally Lightfoot crabs. Return to the cove to relax on the shore or snorkel.

Day 4

Rábida Island

Morning: On arrival at Rábida Island's red sand beach you will be greeted by the resident sea lions, basking in the sun. The island's otherworldy red colouring is a result of the high level of iron and magnesium left behind from previous volcanic activity.

A stroll along the beach reveals marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and several species of Darwin’s finches. If you look carefully you may also spot the bright red Sally Lightfoot crabs, who have found possibly the only place on earth where they can effectively camouflage themselves. Snorkelling here is wonderful, or for those who prefer to stay dry, you can ride our glass-bottom boat to get a glimpse of the life beneath the waves.

Cerro Dragón, Santa Cruz Island

Morning: Cerro Dragón, or Dragon Hill, is home to an impressive population of land iguanas. These dragon-like creatures can be found patrolling the sun-scorched, boulder-strewn island, snacking lazily at the fruit of their favorite food, the Opuntia Cacti. Behind the beach, you'll find a hidden salt water lagoon, often hosting a small flamboyance of flamingoes.

Back at the bay, you'll have some extra time to enjoy the water or relax on the shore if you like.

Day 5

Charles Darwin Research Station, Santa Cruz

Morning: Charles Darwin Research Station houses an information center, a museum and a tortoise hatchery. During the tour you will learn about the different species of Galapagos turtles and the breeding program, meet yellow land iguanas as they snack on the fruit of the Opuntia, and learn about the various endemic plants of the Galapagos archipelago.

In preparation for their release in to the wild, the young tortoises in the breeding program are put through a rigorous "training course", involving scrambling over stones, branches and sandy terrains. This is adorable to watch and many visitors list this as a highlight of their trip.

Highlands of Santa Cruz Island

Afternoon: After lunch, venture into the 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, and coffee plantations and fruit orchards line the streets. Here, you can observe the famous Galapagos giant tortoises in the wild.

The Scalesia zone between 250 and 600 meters altitude offers the opportunity to discover many endemic tree species not found in the Ecuadorean jungle. The twin craters, Los Gemelos, are also in this zone. Los Gemelos are not craters in the technical sense, rather 70 meter vertical gullies carpeted with lush vegetation.

Day 6

Post Office Bay, Floreana Island

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

Here at Post Office Bay, 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 home port, 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.

Other highlights on Floreana include dinghy rides along the maze of channels on Floreana’s north shore, a stroll along La Lobería and learning about the murder mystery surrounding Baroness lookout. There's great kayaking and swimming from the beach as well.

Champion Islet and Punta Cormorant, Floreana Island

Afternoon: Don your snorkelling gear or keep dry in our glass-bottom boat to explore along the coast of an extinct cone called Champion Islet.

Champion Islet, located just off Floreana Island, is considered one of the most beautiful snorkelling spots in Galapagos. This is one of the best opportunities for dolphin watching, and is one if the last two natural habitats of the Charles Mockingbird.

Later in the afternoon, dip your toes in to the soft white sand at Punta Cormorant. A short stroll brings you to another flamingo lagoon. On the other side of the island, you can also see a white sand beach where sea turtles come out at night to nest.

Day 7

Transfer to Baltra Airport

Transfer from the harbour to the Baltra airport in time for your return flight.

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