Your Travel Experience with Galapagos PRO
Transfer to the island of Santa Cruz and embarkment
After arriving in Baltra Airport, you will be greeted by a staff member from Passion who will take you directly for your first excursion. We recommend that you wear clothing that is appropriate for the afternoon hike in the Santa Cruz highlands. You will have access to your bags again at 5pm when you board the yacht.
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.
Afterwards, head back to Puerto Ayora, where you can explore the town and shops at your leisure before returning to Passion at 5pm. Once on board, you can enjoy your official welcoming from the crew and captain, with dinner and the briefing for the next day's activities.
Punta Cormorant, Devil's Crown and Post Office Bay, Floreana
Morning: Punta Cormorant is home to two stunning natural beaches. You'll make a wet landing in the first bay, where you'll find a special black sand beach that twinkles green in the sunlight. The shimmering sand is made of olivine crystals, remnants of a long-gone violent volcanic eruption.
Following the short trail along the beach, you'll come to a second little bay. Visitors will be delighted by the soft, white powdery sand that feels like walking in fine baking flour. This gorgeous beach certainly earned the name "Flour Beach". In the bay, you will likely spot green sea turtles, and if you wander back from the sandy stretch, you can find a saltwater lagoon that attracts vibrant flamingos and the adorable white-cheeked pintails.
Devil’s Crown is a submerged eroded volcanic crater. The interior of the crater forms an ideal coral reef habitat, making it one of the most fascinating places to snorkel in the Galapagos. Here you can observe beautiful corals, sea lions, reef fish, hammerhead sharks, and several other species of fish.
Floreana offers wonderful testament to the fascinating human history of the Archipelago. Although paling in comparison to the geological history, human history extends far beyond the island's first residents.
Post Office Bay
Afternoon: At Post Office Bay you can 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 homeport, 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.
Asilo de la Paz, Floreana
As well as Post Office Bay, Floreana is famous for its mysterious stories revolving around its first inhabitants, Doctor Ritter, Dora Strauch, and the Wittmer family. You should also be sure to visit the Cave of Pirates, which is located near a fresh water fountain that once served as the only source of freshwater for the families living there. The fountain was called the Asylum of Peace by the Wittmers.
Enjoy an afternoon of whale watching on the way to Isabela Island.
On a look out for whales and dolphins
Afternoon: This afternoon is the rare opportunity to look out for whales and dolphins in the waters in this area of the Galapagos archipelago. Since the waters here is the second largest protected marine area in the world, marine creatures thrive and flourish and thus preserve the high biodiversity. Some of the largest inhabitants of this area are different species of whales. Enroute from Floreana to Isabela, your chances of encountering whales and dolphins are very high so do keep a lookout for these fascinating creatures.
To end the day on a high note, you will get to enjoy the impressive and breathtaking landscape in Isabela Island as well as of the Cerro Azul mountain.
Punta Moreno and Elizabeth Bay, Isabela
Punta Moreno is a rugged young lava bay. At first it appears to be a lifeless landscape, however as you walk over the cooled lava, you'll see new green areas and lagoons hosting a wide variety of birds. Marine iguanas and lava lizards are usually found in the lagoons you'll often meet flamingos foraging here for their favorite meal. While the sharp rocks make this hike a little tricky, its path itself is easy enough to be enjoyed by everyone and provides an unforgettable landscape set against a backdrop of the volcanoes Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul.
We recommend bringing plenty of water during this visit, as the lava field reflects the sun making the temperature higher than average. Don't forget to apply sunscreen!
Elizabeth Bay, Isabela
Afternoon: The wide and sheltered Elizabeth Bay, on Isabela's east coast, hosts a bevy of the archipelago's unique wildlife. The mangrove-lined shore contrasts starkly against the surrounding lava fields. The myriad of small islets and rocky reefs make this is a particularly rich area for wildlife.
The waters here are particularly clear, and this makes Elizabeth Bay a great place to spot the rays, sharks, green sea turtles, Galapagos penguins, pelicans, and Galapagos sea lions known to gather here. Nearer to the shores and mangroves you'll see Galapagos flightless cormorants and the sunbathing marine iguanas.
Urbina Bay, Isabela and Punta Espinoza, Fernandina
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.
Punta Espinosa, Fernandina Island
Afternoon: Fernandina is the youngest island in the archipelago, at only around 700,000 years old. Surrounded by hills amidst a lava landscape covered with cacti and mangroves is the visitor location Punta Espinoza. Meet sea lions and hundreds of marine iguanas basking on the black lava rocks and on the beach. While snorkeling you might come close to the resident penguins darting quickly through the water. This is a perfect spot for finding the flightless cormorant.
Tagus Cove and Punta Vicente Roca, Isabela
Morning: 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 into the cliffs surrounding the cove.
Trails wind their way around Lake Darwin up to a ridge, offering wonderful views of the landscape and 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, enjoy 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.
Punta Vicente Roca, Isabela Island
Afternoon: The sea-horse-shaped island of Isabela is the largest of the archipelago and the most volcanically active. Punta Vicente Roca is considered one of the most impressive and spectacular places of the enchanted Galapagos Islands with high cliffs and tuff stone giving this area a majestic feel.
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 snorkeling sites in the Galapagos.
Espumilla Beach and Puerto Egas, Santiago
Morning: Espumilla Beach is known for its marine iguanas and red cliff crabs, also known as Sally Lightfoot crabs. The crabs attract hunting herons, who perform their hunter-prey dance. The richness of marine fauna, such as octopus, moray eels and various sharks lends a unique feel to snorkeling in the waters off Espumilla.
Puerto Egas, Santiago
Afternoon: After landing on the black sand beach of Puerto Egas, Santiago Island hike along a 2km long coastal area boasting sea lions, Sally Lightfoot crabs, lava lizards, Galapagos hawks and lava herons. The rugged lava coast with natural pools, where sea lions bathe and herons play marks the end of your hike.
An excursion to Santiago Island is also one of the rare chances to see Galápagos fur seals in the wild, though not in large numbers.
North Seymour and Conclude in Baltra
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 cruise will conclude in the harbor 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.
End of Cruise
Afternoon: Your cruise will conclude at Baltra and you will be transferred to the airport from here or continue with your planned itinerary in the Galapagos Islands.