Itinerary A: with EspaƱola: 2013
Day 1:  Sat: Baltra - North Seymour
Arrival at the airport in Baltra & transfer to the dock. Check-in to your cabin. Introductory briefing & safety drill

North Seymour is a perfect introduction to the Galapagos Islands. Fauna abounds and you will soon find yourself surrounded by frigates and blue footed boobies. Keep an eye out for land iguanas and sea lions too!
Day 2:  Sun: South Plaza - Santa Fe
South Plaza Island, although quite small, is actually home to a large Opuntia cacti forest, land iguanas and one of the largest sea lion colonies in the central region of the archipelago. An endemic plant, Sesuvium, inhabits this island and is a great climate indicator as its color is a greenish-yellowish during the rainy season and a bright red during the dry season. You will also be able to see Nazca boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, other kinds of sea birds as well as different types of finches. Difficulty level: Moderate.

Santa Fe was formed by uplifting, rather than by a volcano. Some of the island’s endemic species include the Galapagos Hawk, Galapagos Snake, rice rats, different types of finches, and the Galapagos Mockingbird. The visit includes a hike on a trail past salt bushes where Galapagos hawks as well as the Santa Fe land iguanas tend to roam. Playful sea lions may accompany you during your snorkeling activities.
Day 3:  Mon: San Cristobal Island
Punta Pitt is located on the eastern tip of San Cristobal Island and is a great place to see Nazca boobies and blue footed boobies. You will hike up to a plateau where the view and landscape are so spectacular it is definitely worth the effort. You can also enjoy kayaking, snorkeling and panga rides at Punta Pitt.

Located on the north coast of San Cristobal Island, this eroding tough cone offers a fantastic landscape as well as wonderful swimming, snorkeling and panga ride experiences. Cerro Brujo’s gorgeous beach is also home to many sea lions and it’s also the first coast where Charles Darwin first stepped foot on in the Archipelago! You will also see a beautiful lagoon used by the locals of Baquerizo Moreno Port for salt mining as well as two different species of halophytes (rare plants that grow in soils with a high salt content)
Day 4:  Tue: Floreana
Floreana is one of the Galapagos most famous, or shall we say, “infamous” of islands due to many strange stories regarding past settlers. There are many wonderful and diverse sites to visit including Post Office Bay and the “Baroness’s Viewing Point”. Marine life also abounds in Floreana’s coastal regions making it a fantastic site for snorkeling. Flamingos also populate the island and may be seen during your visit.

The Baroness’s Viewing Point is the perfect place to take in the special scenery that defines Floreana, and a great spot to learn about the mysteries of Floreana’s early settlers.

In the 18th century whalers passing through the islands placed a wooden barrel on Floreana Island for use as an unofficial mail box. The tradition continues today as
visitors leave addressed postcards in the barrel and sort through left mail to deliver at home. This is one of the archipelago’s most famous spots. Don’t forget to look in your logbook for your postcards! For the more adventurous, there is an option for a visit inside a lava tunnel. This tunnel has been kept untouched and completely natural, so please, watch your step! Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate

A great site for bird-watching, Cormorant Point has a large lagoon where everything from Flamingos to Stilts and Pintail Ducks tend to roam. Don’t forget your binoculars! Prior to the excurions, you will also have an opportunity to participate in a magnificent snorkel at Champion Islet.
Day 5:  Wed: Isabela
Elizabeth Bay is one of the furthest points of the Galapagos that we will visit on our cruise. We will enter a sheltered cove accessible by panga only – a wonderful mangrove ecosystem that is a refuge for sea turtles, rays, blue-footed boobies, penguins, herons and more.

Moreno Point is located just southwest of Elizabeth Bay on the west coast of Isabela Island. Observe and learn about different types of lava and pioneer plants while being surrounded by some of the most incredible scenery that Galapagos has to offer. You will also have an opportunity for a panga ride along the striking rocky shores. In the tide pools green sea turtles or white-tip.
Day 6:  Thu: Santa Cruz
On your visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station you will gain insight into the huge efforts being made by scientists, guides, rangers and park managers to preserve this UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will see the famous Galapagos tortoises that are the islands’namesake.

After the visit we drive to the green highlands of Santa Cruz, where you will visit a tortoise reserve to search for giant tortoises in their natural surroundings.
Day 7:  Fri: Española
Gardner Bay offers the chance to enjoy a wonderful white sandy beach. It is home to one of the most important colonies of sea lions, and it is also a nesting site for sea turtles. Throughout the morning there are opportunities for swimming, snorkeling and kayaking

Punta Suárez is one of the most popular and attractive sites in the Galapagos. Due to its isolation from other islands, it has a high proportion of endemic fauna. A few steps inland from the landing site, groups of Española marine iguanas bask in the sun. Further inland, Nazca and blue-footed boobies nest near the trail, Galapagos doves peck around unaware of visitors and finches go about their day to day business. The trail continues towards a blowhole, which is a fissure in the lava where water spurts high into the air like a geyser. The cracks in the cliffs are home to swallow-tailed gulls and red-billed tropicbirds. Further up the cliff in an area of low-lying trees you will find waved albatrosses nesting. The 15,000 to 17,000 pairs of albatrosses on Española represent almost the entire population of this species on the planet. They perform one of the most spectacular courtship rituals of the animal world.
Day 8:  Sat: Baltra
Mosquera Islet: This tiny islet is actually home to a huge population of sea lions and is also home to many shorebirds. While at Mosquera, keep your eyes peeled as there are occasional reports of dolphins and orcas.

Baltra airport
 
Itinerary B: with Genovesa: 2013
Day 1:  Sat: Baltra - Santa Cruz
Arrival at the airport in Baltra & transfer to the dock. Check-in to your cabin. Introductory briefing & safety drill

Black Turtle Cove is one of the most beautiful marine sites in the Galapagos. It is a complex maze of tranquil salt-water inlets, surrounded by three different species of mangrove. Its waters are a nursery site for sea turtles, rays and sharks as well as a nesting site for sea birds. This site is only accessible by panga
Day 2:  Sun: Rabida - Santiago
Rabida is a small island with red volcanic rocks surrounding a beautiful red sand beach, where there is a colony of sea lions and a pelican nesting site. The trail leads to a salt water lagoon where shore birds can be seen. Rábida is considered to be one of the best snorkeling sites in the Galapagos Islands, and you will also have the opportunity to go snorkel, kayak or panga ride.

Puerto Egas (James Bay) is located on the northwest side of Santiago Island. The landing is on a black beach with eroded rock formations in the background. The trail crosses the dry interior, where the remains of a salt mining enterprise can still be seen, and then continues along the coast. Tidal pools are home to a variety of invertebrate organisms, including sea urchins, octopus and starfish. You will also see marine iguanas, finches, oyster catchers and possibly the Galapagos Hawk. The trail leads to the Fur Sea Lion Grottos, one of the only places in the islands where these unique animals can be seen. After the walk, you will have time to swim or snorkel off the beach, where you will see sea lions, fish and maybe some turtles, rays and maybe some reef sharks.
Day 3:  Mon: Isabela - Fernandina
Tagus Cove was historically used as an anchoring place for pirates, buccaneers and whalers. Here you will see the names of hundreds of ships painted on the high ridges (a practice now forbidden). On the hike, the trail goes through an area of vegetation and the volcanic landscape of Darwin volcano. At the top of the trail, you will enjoy an incredible view of the whole cove and Darwin Lake.

The early morning activity is followed by kayaking or a panga ride, where you will have the opportunity to see a large number of blue-footed boobies perched on the ledges of the cliffs, as well as marine iguanas, penguins, brown pelicans, brown noddy terns and swallow-tailed gulls. While exploring the channel between Fernandina and Isabela Islands, we sometimes encounter dolphins and whales.

Fernandina Island is one of the most pristine ecosystems in the entire world and also one of the most dynamic. La Cumbre Volcano last erupted in April 2009, and also dominates the landscape, with lava fields stretching towards the ocean from its base. Punta Espinoza is a narrow piece of land where some of the most unique Galapagos species can be seen, including the flightless cormorant, Galapagos snakes, marine iguanas, penguins and the Galapagos hawk
Day 4:  Tue: Isabela
Urbina Bay is located in Western Isabela, at the foot of Alcedo volcano. This is the spot where the Galapagos National Park began their successful eradication of goats on Isabela Island. After a wet landing on a beautiful black-sand beach, you may be able to observe sea turtle nesting sites. This area is also known for penguin and flightless cormorant sightings and is one of the best places to see Darwin’s finches as well as large land iguanas. Also, be on the lookout for Galapagos tortoises which like to feed within the site’s dense vegetation.

Punta Vicente Roca is a wonderful snorkeling site, where you can usually see turtles as well as all kinds of fish. For those who do not snorkel, a panga ride will give you the opportunity to study some of the Galapagos’ spectacular geological rock formations. Nazca boobies, pelicans, swallow-tailed gulls, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants and penguins are often seen in the area.
Day 5:  Wed: Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Research Station
On your visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station you will gain insight into the great efforts being made by scientists, guides, rangers and park managers to preserve this UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will see the famous Galapagos tortoises that are the islands’ namesake.

After the visit we drive to the green highlands of Santa Cruz, where you will visit a tortoise reserve to search for giant tortoises in their natural surroundings.
Day 6:  Thu: Genovesa
Genovesa, or Tower Island, is the northernmost island that is allowed to be visited by naturalist (non-diving) cruises. This island is extremely remote and home to literally millions of birds belonging to many different species including the red footed booby as well as frigates, swallow-tailed gulls and even endemic owls! There are two sites on Genovesa that are visited by the M/V Eclipse.

El Barranco, also known as Prince Phillip’s Steps, is a steep path with stairs carved into the rock which leads to a plateau full of bird life amongst a Palo Santo forest. You will see Nazca boobies, Galapagos doves, mockingbirds and petrels. With some luck, you may spot a short-eared lava owl.

Darwin Bay’s soft, coralline white sand is only the beginning of a spectacular excursion. A trail from the beach takes you into lush mangroves where red footed boobies nest. Other locals include sea lions, swallow-tail gulls, frigates and more. Snorkeling is a must here as sharks, colorful reef fish, rays and tortoises are common.
Day 7:  Fri: Bartolome - Santa Cruz
Bartolome is a small island that has two visitor sites. At the first site, you can snorkel around Pinnacle Rock, where penguins are usually seen. Then, it’s back on board for a quick change of clothes followed by a short dinghy ride to a dry landing for a climb to the highest point on the island. On the way up, you will encounter different volcanic formations, including spatter and tuff cones, lava flow and lava tubes. From the summit you will have a wonderful view of Sullivan Bay. For those not interested in the hike, there is the option of a panga ride. Usual fauna and flora also includes sea lions, pioneer plants, reef sharks, rays and colorful reef fish.

The name Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill) stems from the fact that it was one of the few sites on Santa Cruz Island where a healthy population of land iguanas were found in 1975. After landing at a pier, a hike takes to you to a salt water lagoon behind the beach, frequented by common stilts, pintail ducks and occasionally flamingos. A short walk up the hill leads you to a land iguana nesting site, with breathtaking views of the bay. You will have the chance to go swimming after the walk.
Day 8:  Sat: Santa Cruz
Las Bachas Beach is located in the north of Santa Cruz Island. Its soft, white sand is derived from decomposed coral, making it a favorite nesting site for sea turtles. Behind the beach there is a small brackish lagoon, where it is possible to observe flamingos and other coastal birds, such as black-necked stilts and whimbrels.

Baltra airport