Itinerary A: 2013
Day 1:  Sun: Baltra - Bachas
AM: Baltra / Transfer In
You land on the island of Baltra where the U.S. Air Force built a runway during WWII to strengthen U.S. presence in the Pacific.
Upon arrival you are met by yacht staff and drive from the island of Baltra to the Itabaca canal, where the Encantada is waiting.
We board the yacht, settle into our cabins and enjoy lunch.

PM: Bachas Beach
Then it s a short cruise to the north side of Santa Cruz Island for a visit to Bachas Beach; the perfect introduction to the Galapagos. Here we walk along the beach and you are introdu ced to the wonder of the flora and fauna of the islands. There are Sally Lightfoot crabs, perhaps sea turtles, various wading birds, pelicans flying, and much more.
We return to the boat in our dinghy to enjoy sunset over the Galapagos. Then, in the night, we begin our voyage across the sea towards Plazas Island.
Day 2:  Mon: Plazas Island - Santa Fe
AM: Plazas Island
Plazas Island is a small island with steep cliffs. We transfer by dingy to the shore to walk along a well-marked trail, passing cactus and a number of iguanas, both land and sea. In fact this is one place where the two have hybridized. There is a large sea lion colony here and their barks can be heard during our walk.

PM: Santa Fe
After our visit we return to the boat and cruise to Santa Fe island, located roughly halfway between Santa Cruz and San Cristobal islands. There is a small and picturesque bay here where we drop anchor and then head to shore to walk. It s a lovely island for exploring, replete with prickly pear cactus and an endemic land iguana. There are many other species to view including lava lizards, Galapagos hawks, Audubon Shearwaters, brown pelicans, Galapagos mockingbirds, yellow warblers and more. We overnight in this protected harbor and enjoy the sunset.
Day 3:  Tue: San Cristobal
AM: Kicker Rock
Morning finds us at San Cristobal Island. Our first stop is Leon Dormido or Kicker Rock, which just from the sea in geologic splendor. It s one of the most notable places in the Galapagos and one where past trips have seen dozens of dolphins.
It s a fantastic place to snorkel, swimming through a passage between the rocks. Colorful sea stars dot the walls, hundreds of brilliant fish swim by and we often see rays, sharks and sea turtles.

Lobos Island
After this memorable snorkeling we cruise about 40 minutes to Isla Lobos or sea lion island. This is a special place to snorkel and swim with playful young sea lions who seem to get as much delight from us as we from them. As we snorkel, pelicans and boobies y overhead.

PM: Interpretation Center
After lunch we continue on to the port town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno; the second largest town in the islands. It is the provincial capital of the Galapagos and the locationn of one of the two main airports. Over a hundred years ago this town started out as a penal colony. Today it has a lovely waterfront where sea lions lounge. Our highlight is the excellent National Park Interpretation Center which provides an excellent overview to the Park s natural and human history.
After our visit here we walk back into town and you have time to explore a bit before returning to the boat.
Day 5:  Thu: Floreana
AM: Post Office Bay
An overnight cruise takes us to Floreana Island and a stop at the famous Post Once Bay where 18th century whalers left messages in a wooden barrel as an unoofficial mail box.

Baroness Lookout
We pass through the small port town on our way to explore the highlands of the island that has an intriguing human past. From the interior are views of the coast and landscape around.

PM: Cormorant Point
We return to the sea and cruise to Punta Cormorant where we go ashore for a wonderful walk along a sandy beach and visit a lagoon where pink flamingoes along with other shore birds wade and feed. The beaches are very special here as well. One is a green sand beach, created from olivine crystals that come from silicates made up of magnesium and iron.
Another beach is known as flour beach with powdery white sand.

Champion Islet
We then continue to the small islet called “Champion” which is considered one of the top snorkeling spots in all the islands. With masks and fins you explore an underwater wonder world and are likely to be snorkeling with sea turtles, many colorful reef sh, white-tipped reef sharks and possibly even Galapagos penguins.
Back on board the Encantada we enjoy the sunset and dinner. Later in the night the engines start for a cruise north to Santa Cruz Island.
Day 6:  Fri: Santa Cruz
We wake in the harbor of Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz, the largest town in the Galapagos Islands. A short walk takes us to the Charles Darwin Research Station and an opportunity to learn more about conservation work in the Galapagos. This is the home to Lonesome George, the last known tortoise carrying the gene pool of Floreana Island. This is also the most important tortoise breeding center on the island from which young tortoises are reintroduced into the wild. After a relaxed morning in town we transfer across the island by bus, across the Itabaca canal by ferry, and then another 10 minutes by bus to the airport on Baltra.
A two-hour flight gets us to Guayaquil.