Itinerary B: 2013
Day 1:  Quito or Guayaquil / Baltra - Galapagos
Today we fly to Baltra Island in the Galapagos in the morning. Flight time is approximately 1½ hours. Upon arrival we board M/Y GRACE where you will have lunch and a quick briefing en route to our first visitor sites: Whaler Bay, a beautiful green sand cove at the base of Dragon Hill and Eden Islet, home to a great variety of seabirds and marine iguanas and also a great snorkeling site.

After these visits we get ready for our welcome cocktail and first briefing before continuing to dinner. (Lunch, Dinner)
Day 2:  Santa Fe - South Plaza
AM: Santa Fe Island
PM: South Plaza Island
Morning visit to Santa Fe Island, home to one of the most beautiful and sheltered bays of the archipelago, and to some of the best snorkeling - with its crystal clear waters. Certainly one of the best locations to see sea turtles, swim with sea lions and get a glimpse of the Galapagos White-tipped Shark. After a wet landing you will walk up to a nearby cliff to see the land iguanas through an area of Opuntia Cactus. In the afternoon we visit South Plaza Island and its land iguanas wandering through bright red carpet weed. We will see swallow tailed gulls nesting around the overhang tops and red-billed tropicbirds, frigatebirds and shearwaters flying with dancing displays. (B, L, D)
Day 4:  Fernandina - Isabela
AM: Fernandina Island : Punta Espinosa
PM: Isabela Island : Urbina Bay
In the morning we visit Fernandina Island, home to La Cumbre volcano, which erupts frequently (most recently in May 2005). We visit Punta Espinosa, a narrow spit of land, where a number of unique species, such as marine iguanas, sea lions, flightless cormorants, herons, egrets and Galapagos hawks can be seen in close proximity. Afternoon visit to Urbina Bay, directly west of Isabela’s Volcano Alcedo, where we will make an easy, wet landing (a hop into a few inches of water). We walk on a stretch of three miles (5 km) of the marine reef that has been uplifted by as much as 13 feet (4 meters) out of the water. A highlight of this excursion are the giant land iguanas and giant tortoises, as well as the opportunity to go snorkeling amongst marine creatures, or just relaxing on shore.(B, L, D)
Day 5:  Isabela
AM: Isabela Island: Tagus Cove
PM: Isabela Island: Punta Vicente Roca
Morning visit to Tagus Cove on Isabela Island. A wooden stairway rises to the trail entrance and continues around Darwin Lake through a dry vegetation zone, and ends in a promontory formed by spatter cones. The site provides spectacular views of our anchorage in the bay, as well as Darwin and Wolf Volcanoes. In the afternoon we head north to Punta Vicente Roca. Snorkeling is incredible here as a result of the nutrient-rich waters of the Humboldt Current that bathe the western side of the archipelago. We will have a chance to see colorful fish, sea lions, penguins and sea turtles in the water. This is also a great spot to take an interesting panga ride to spot wildlife along the shores and cliffs. (B, L, D)
Day 7:  Santa Cruz
AM: Santa Cruz Island : Breeding Center, Charles Darwin Research Station
PM: Santa Cruz Island : Pit Craters, Wild Land Tortoises Reserve (Highlands)
Santa Cruz is the second largest island in the Galapagos and its capital, Puerto Ayora, is the economic center of the Islands. In the morning we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to see the Giant Tortoise and Land Iguana Breeding and Rearing Program. The Fausto Llerena Center is located on the island of Santa Cruz and is part of the Charles Darwin Research Station. The Fausto Llerena Center receives about 7,800 visitors a month and currently houses 925 youth and 70 adult turtles. It has been the primary center for the Galapagos Tortoise Breeding Project. This project, which began in the 1970′s has been an incredible success in helping repopulate the Galapagos Giant Tortoise population. Afternoon visit to the Highlands, where the dry coastal vegetation transitions to lush wet fields and forests overgrown with moss and lichens. Our destination is the Tortoise Reserve, where we will have chances see these animals in the wild walk through lava tubes and see the Gemelos, twin collapsed craters. (B, L, D).
Day 8:  Galapagos / Quito or Guayaquil
AM: San Cristobal: Interpretation Centre
Late AM: Depart for mainland Ecuador
Today your Galapagos cruise comes to an end, but before we bid farewell to the Grace we visit the Galapagos National Park Visitor Centre that presents a comprehensive exhibit of the islands’ natural history, human interaction, ecosystems, flora & fauna. From the Centre, a short trail arrives at Frigate Bird Hill, where both “magnificent-frigates” and “great-frigates” can be seen in the same colony. Next we return to the airport where we began our journey in the Galapagos for the flight back to the Ecuadorian mainland. (B)