Galapagos Cruise Solaris: West Route (7)

Tour/Activity in Baltra Island, Ecuador

About this activity

Discover the islands of Santa Cruz, Isabela, Fernandina, Santiago, Rábida and North Seymour

Your Travel Experience with Galapagos PRO

Day 1

Arrival in Baltra

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.

Las Bachas Beach, Santa Cruz Island

Afternoon: 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".

Day 2

Las Tintoreras, Isabela Island

Morning: Take in the gorgeous scenery and unique wildlife on Las Tintoreras. On the sandy beach, the sea lions loll in the sun or laze in the shade of the mangroves and along the shores, the blue-footed booby males show off their striking blue feet in an attempt to woo the females. Marine iguanas warm themselves up on the black lava rocks next to the Galapagos penguins and Galápagos sea lions, recovering after their dives. Even white tip reef sharks are not uncommon to find in the calm waters of the bay.

Los Humedales, Isabela Island

Afternoon: This is one of the most important wetlands in the Galapagos. With bogs and lagoons, there are many things to admire here. Walk along the path on good ground or a boardwalk and observe a variety of birds such as flamingos, Galapagos finches, Galapagos doves, Galapagos mockingbirds and sea lizards. Those interested in the flora of the wetlands will not be disappointed here either. This is one of the few places where you can see all four mangrove species. These mangroves are not only important for the inhabitants of the wetland, but they also protect the coast from the crashing waves of the sea.

Day 3

Punta Moreno, Isabela Isabela

Morning: 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 favourite 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!

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 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.

Day 4

Punta Espinoza, Fernandina Island

Morning: 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.

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 tuffstone 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

Day 5

Espumilla Beach, Santiago Isabela

Morning: Am nördlichsten Ende von James Bay liegt Espumilla Beach. Nebenan, fressenden Meerechsen, besuchen auch die Grünen Galapagos Meeresschildkröten diesen Strand, um ihre Eier hier abzulegen. Zudem bietet der Strand auch ein schönes Schnorchel-Erlebnis, hier wurden Haie, Rochen und Oktopode im klaren Wasser beobachtet. Weiter geht es auf einen Pfad, der ins Innere des Landes führt, vorbei an einer saisonalen Lagune, die teilweise aufgrund der Algen im Wasser ganz grün ist. Unterwegs könnten Sie auf Galapagos Flamingos, Bahamaenten und viele weitere Vogelarten der Galapagos Inseln treffen, mit etwas Glück erspähen Sie auch einen Galapagos Falken, der über Ihnen in den Lüften kreist.

Puerto Egas, Santiago

Afternoon: Der schwarze Strand entlang der Nordwestküste der Insel Santiago ist eine großartige Sicht, schon vom Schiff aus. Nach der Ankunft am Strand landen zwei Pfade zu einem Spaziergang ein. Der eine führt Sie entlang der Küste zu "Fellrobben Grotte", hier liegen Fellrobben im Schatten und Ruhen sie sich auf den Kühlen Steinen der Küste von der starken Sonne aus. Die Grotte bietet dafür einen exzellenten Ort und die umliegenden Becken der Flut ziehen Meeresechsen an, die darin nach Futter suchen.

Der zweite Pfad führt Sie zum Pan de Azucar Vulkan der Insel, er ist dafür verantwortlich, dass der Strand schwarz gefärbt ist. Der Krater des Vulkans ist mit Salzwasser gefüllt, der bei heißem Wetter austrocknet und eine trockene Salzlandschaft hinterlässt. Zwischen 1928 und 1930 überlegte man eine Salz-Mine anzulegen, jedoch entschied man sich dagegen, da es nicht realisierbar und lukrativ war. In der Lagune halten sich oft Galapagos Flamingos andere Vögel wie der Galapagos Falke, der in hohen Lüften über der Landschaft kreist.

Day 6

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 coloring 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.

Chinese Hat Island

Afternoon: Den Namen bekommt die kleine Insel von ihrer Form, denn wenn man von Norden auf die Insel zukommt, so sieht sie aus wie ein traditioneller chinesischer Hut. Die Insel liegt in der Nähe der Insel Santiago und das Meer zwischen den Inseln ist dadurch gut geschützt, was es dem Besucher erlaubt tief in das blaue Wasser blicken zu können. Auf der Insel gibt es die Möglichkeit einem kurzen Pfad entlang der westlichen Küste zu gehen und die beeindruckende Landschaft zu erblicken. Zu sehen gibt es hier Vulkangesteine und Rückstände von Lava, die hier einst floss. Die Atmosphäre und Gesteine der Insel erinnern an das, was die Galapagos Inseln einst waren. An den Küsten der Insel sonnen sich Seelöwen und Galapagos Pinguine oder sie suchen Zuflucht von der Sonne und kühlen sich im Schatten ab. In den Lüften der Insel könnten Sie den einen oder anderen Galapagos Falken über Ihren Köpfen kreisen sehen. Einer der Hauptgründe diese Insel zu besuchen ist jedoch das Meer, das sie umgibt. Es ist ein fantastischer Ort um zu Schnorcheln und Meeresbewohner wie Haie, Rochen und verschiedenste tropische Fische zu entdecken. Da nicht alle Boote eine Erlaubnis haben diese Insel anzufahren, lohnt es sich in jedem Fall umso mehr.

Day 7

Charles Darwin Station, Santa Cruz Island

Morning: At Charles Darwin Station, scientists from around the world research the many tortoise subspecies that are endemic to the Galapagos Islands. The highlight of the research center is the breeding station, Fausto Llerena, where baby turtles take a training course over rocks, branches, and sandy stairs in preparation for their upcoming release into the wilderness.

Visitors leave the station with a stronger understanding of the tortoises, iguanas and much of the flora native to the islands. You'll be impressed by the tiny tortoises, often only the size of your hand, who will grow over the next 100 years to become as large as 400kg!

Depature from Baltra

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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