Galapagos Cruise Millennium : Central Route (5)

Tour from Baltra Island to San Cristóbal Island, Ecuador

About this activity

Discover the islands of Bartolomé, Santiago, Santa Cruz, Plaza and Santa Fe aboard Millenium

Your Travel Experience with Galapagos PRO

Day 1

Transfer from Baltra to North Seymour

After arrival in the Baltra Airport, you will be greeted by a staff member and transferred to the catamaran.

After lunch on board, you will anchor at the island of North Seymour; here you can appreciate the largest colony of frigate birds living together with swallow-tailed gulls and pelicans. North Seymour is also home to a group of large, old land iguanas that were brought here many years ago from the nearby island of Baltra. A small endemic tree called bursera malacophylla, is found only here and on three small neighboring islands.

In the afternoon you will witness a special spectacle: Sea lions surf on the big, oncoming waves from the west.

Dinner and overnight on board.

Day 2

Bartolomé Island and Sullivan Bay, Santiago

Bartolomé in the northern part of the archipelago was nominated for the World Travel Awards 2012 as the most beautiful beach of 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.

Although the beautiful landing beach at Santiago deserves its own 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.

Dinner and overnight on board.

Day 3

Las Bachas and Cerro Dragón, Santa Cruz

On the north side of Santa Cruz, you will land on Las Bachas Beach - one of the most important nesting sites for the Galapagos Island's sea turtle population.

A hidden lagoon behind the bay reveals a treasure trove of animal sightings - sunbathing iguanas, curious shorebirds, and Darwin finches, mockingbirds and seagulls frolic here. Native plant life is also interesting in this area. Red and black mangroves and salt bushes line the edges of the pond.

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".

After lunch on board, the ship takes course southwest. You won't find a more fitting place name than Cerro Dragón, "Dragon Hill", located behind a flamingo lagoon.

Dragon-like land iguanas roam across the sun-scorched, boulder-strewn island, grazing freely on the fruits and flowers of their favourite food, the Opuntia Cacti. Cerro Dragón is a great opportunity to get out your camera and capture some of what makes the Galapagos Islands so unique.

Dinner and overnight on board.

Day 4

Plaza Sur and Santa Fé

AM: Plaza Island PM: Santa Fe

At dawn you reach the Plaza Sur Island. 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. 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.

You will spend the afternoon on the island of Santa Upon arrival at the white sand beach you will be greeted by a large colony of sea lions. A trail leads you from the beach into a forest of prickly pears and Palo Santo trees. It is not rare to spot Galapagos hawks and even owls in the salt bushes. Even harmless snakes and the endemic rice rat can be discovered with a little luck while exploring the island. Arguably the most special, however, is the Santa Fé iguana. This species differs from its peers due to its significantly lighter color and distinct dorsal spines.

Please Note: The Galapagos National Park has placed a temporary ban on swimming, snorkeling or diving in the waters around Santa Fé.

Dinner and overnight on board.

Day 5

Interpretation Center and Conclude, San Cristóbal

The National Park Interpretation Center, located on San Cristóbal, was built in collaboration with the Spanish Science Center. The tour offered by the Center for Interpretation's staff gives guests a good overview of the Galapagos Islands. The tour takes us through the history of the islands in the context of nature, humankind, and conservation. It also tells the story of the first settlers on the islands.

The cruise will conclude in San Cristóbal. From there, transfer to the airport in time for your return flight to the mainland, or continue with your planned route through the Galapagos.

Beach
Landscapes & Sceneries
Wildlife & Nature