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Dolores Veintimilla N2 - 68 y Rita Lecumberri

Quito - Ecuador

Fairfield, CT, USA

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US: +1.203.443.9365

Quito, Ecuador: +593.999.721.198

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Odyssey Itineraries
Cruise A: 6 Days / 5 nights
Tuesday - Sunday
 

Day 1 - Tuesday: San Cristobal Island

At San Cristobal Airport you have to pay your Galapagos National Park entrance fee and your luggage is inspected. In front of the arrival hall you will meet your naturalist guide and fellow passengers, and you will be transferred to the harbour of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Our inflatable dinghy brings you the last stretch to the yacht.

Colorado Hill (San Cristobal)

The giant tortoise breeding center on Colorado Hill bears the official name Galapaguero Jacinto Gordillo, but in daily use it is simply called after the red hill on which it is located. This and similar breeding centers on Santa Cruz and Isabela are the most comfortable places where you can see Galapagos giant tortoises. All are created to rescue these endangered giants. Around the large corral, there is a botanical trail and an interesting visitor’s center. In here the natural history of the local giant tortoises is explained to you; including the relationship and evolutional differences between these and other (sub)species. On the trail you can spot songbirds as well, such as yellow warblers, endemic Galapagos large-billed flycatchers and the Chatham mockingbird (even ‘more’ endemic, while unique to this island alone), that put Darwin on track of his evolution theory.

Day 2 - Wednesday: Espanola Island

Suarez Point

Home of the famous Pinnacle Rock, Bartholomew consists of an extinct volcano with a variety of red, orange, black and even green volcanic formations. A trail of stairs leads to the summit of the volcano, boasting one o the best views of the islands. The beach is perfect for snorkeling and possible sightings of the Galapagos Penguin.

  • Type of landing: Dry and Wet

  • Difficulty: Moderate / Difficult. Walk up to the top of volcano 114 meters, 375 wooden steps

Gardner Bay (Española)

The striking white beach at Gardner Bay is an important breeding site for Pacic green turtles. But without doubt its main attraction is the Galapagos sea lion colony. Females stay year round in this nursery, suckling their pups up to an age of 3 years, although these start to learn shing already after 5 months. During the breeding- and mating season the colony becomes even more populous. The strongest bachelors and elder males return from their secluded bases and start again to conquer and defend a part of the 1300 m / 4250 ft long beach. Pregnant females choose the best territory to give birth, and will mate again with their landlord within a month. 

Day 3 - Thursday: Devil's Crown ( Floreana) - Cormorant

AM: Devil Crown ( Floreana )

With no less than ve sea currents, the marine reserve is even more diverse than the archipelago above sea level. For many Devil’s Crown is snorkelling site number one of Galapagos, and even one of the very highlights of your cruise. The jagged crater rim just protrudes sea level, and continues to be beaten by the waves. The depth and very transparent waters of this deep-water snorkelling site gives you some sensation of ying. 

AM: Cormorand Point ( Floreana )

The peninsula of Cormorant Point forms the extreme north cape of Floreana, which is pockmarked by numbers of smaller volcanic cones and covered by tropical dry forest (predominently palo santo). At the landing beach you will be welcomed by a small Galapagos sea lion-colony. The green sand on this beach contains a high percentage of glassy olivine crystals that have been blown out by the surrounding

PM: Post Office Bay ( Floreana)

Post Oce Bay is one out of three nearby visitor’s sites on Floreana’s northern coast. Bring your postcards and post them in the peculiar traditional barrel on this historic site. These might arrive home quicker than you! The barrel commemorates an improvised mail service that was set-up for communication between British 16th century whalers and poachers. The novel of Moby Dick is inspired on the whaling epoch around Galapagos. Whale oil was very demanded for illumination and smelly ambergris was an essential ingredient for perfumes, but the Atlantic got already depleted. Like James Bay on Santiago, Floreana used to be a popular base to complement stocks. 

Day 4 Friday: AM - Barrigton Bay ( Santa Fe ) - PM South Plaza

AM: Barrington Bay ( Santa Fe )

Practically every animal on the extraordinary island of Santa Fe is unique; endemic to Galapagos, or even to this island alone and therefore extremely vulnerable! Apparently evolution has had enough time and isolation to create the wonders that will surprise you nowadays. And indeed, geologists have determined that Santa Fe is the remnant of probably the most ancient volcano of Galapagos; the 259 m / 850 ft high hill is all that remains from its former cone. Evidences of volcanism, such as 3,9 million old sub-areal volcanic rocks, debunk theories that this would be another tectonic uplift around Santa Cruz. Almost every visitor of Santa Fe would like to get a glimpse of the rare Barrington land iguana. But this pale version is not as easy to spot as its modelling counterparts on South Plaza. This one sometimes asks for an adventurous search, rather untypical for Galapagos; and other times it surprises waiting for you next to the path. Whether you spot it, or not, you will keep going from one surprise into the other. Your experience starts already before anchoring at Barrington Bay, when the contours of its bizarre giant opuntia. 

PM: South Plaza

Although in line of sight of the main island Santa Cruz, the southern of both Plaza islets is quite dierent and diverges even from all other sites in the National Park. At the same time it is so typical Galapagos, with its sharp contrasts, amazing diversity and high concentration of wildlife. It is one of most popular, not to be missed islands, and denitely another highlight of your cruise. There are several large Galapagos sea lion colonies, and this islet is best place to encounter the endemic Galapagos land iguana. Watch your step and don’t stumble over one of them when the equally bizarre giant prickly pear cactus-trees distract you! These reptiles are not only ugly: as nobody less than Charles Darwin pronounced: but also extreme photogenic with strikingly yellowish or saron-colours, and very patient models. On South Plaza the land iguanas remained somewhat smaller because of overpopulation and severe food competition. 

Day 5 - Saturday: AM - North Saymour - PM Bachas Beach ( Santa Cruz )

AM - North Seymour

The former seabed of the uplifted tabletop of North Seymour is strewn with boulders and overgrown by dry shrubs. Nevertheless this islet is one of most visited sites, and overloaded with bird life. The surprising proximity to South Seymour (better known as Baltra) enables an ideal combination with your ight to or from Galapagos, either for a quick introduction or for a last farewell. Two emblematic hosts say “Hello” or “Goodbye”. An easy circular path takes you through the archipelago’s most extensive colonies of blue-footed boobies and frigate birds. At the start of the (shifting) breeding season adult frigatebird-males blow up their vivid red pouches to impressive football-sized balloons. 

PM- Bachas Beach ( Santa Cruz ) 

Strolling along its coastline, the blinding white Bachas Beach appears full of natural life. But both the turquoise bay and the symmetrical to cone-islet of Daphne Major pull your eyes to the horizon as well. Much closer, in the intertidal zone at your feet, run impressive sparkling orange coloured and heavy-armed sally lightfoot crabs around the dark basaltic rocks.

Day 6 - Sunday: AM - Mosquera - PM Transfer to Baltra Airport

AM: Mosquera

Though close neighbours, Mosquera and North Seymour oer a very dierent experience; diverging habitats attract dierent residents. While North Seymour contains large breeding colonies for boobies and frigatebirds, Mosquera stands out by one of the largest concentrations of Galapagos sea lions in the entire archipelago. It’s also one of the few spots inside the National Park where you can stroll around freely, without being restricted to a trail. Galapagos sea lions are real beach lovers and Mosquera oers beautiful white coral sand beaches contrasting with the azure coloured water. This islet is just a few meters higher than a sandbank and doesn’t complicate their landing, and they can roll relaxed in the surf. For shing they just have to enter the Itabaca Channel, which is a sort of natural tramp in which lots of marine life and schools of sh are concentrated.

Transfer to Baltra Airport

Assisted by the guide and some crew-members the inatable dinghy will bring you and your luggage to Baltra, where we take the airport shuttle. Your guide will accompany you to the check-in counters in the departure hall. We expect that you will return home with stunning pictures and unforgettable memories for life!

 

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Cruise B: 5 Days / 4 nights
Sunday- Thursday
 
Cruise C: 5 Days / 4 nights
Thursday - Tuesday - every 14 days
 

Day 1: Baltra Airport - Dragon Hill

Upon arrival, our representatives meet you at the airport for the transfer to the Cormorant.

AM: Arrival at Baltra Airport

At Baltra Airport you have to pay your Galapagos National Park entrance fee and your luggage is inspected. See Getting there for ight and arrival information. In front of the arrival hall you will meet your naturalist guide and fellow passengers, and be transferred to the landing dock by airport shuttle. Our in stable dinghy brings you the last stretch to the yacht.

PM: Dragon Hill ( Santa Cruz )

The short walk crosses the coastal vegetation zone, as well as the somewhat higher arid zone with vulnerable tropical dry forest. In the warm and wet season in the rst half of the year all turns green. Evergreen giant prickly pear cacti with internal reservoirs followed a dierent survival tactic in this dry climate than the leaf dropping palo santo trees; nally both were successful. Moreover, this is a very photogenic spot as well, with breath-taking panoramas over the bay and towards an intriguing steep volcanic spout of red lava that overlooks the area. Not in the last place Dragon Hill has become popular because of its saline lagoons behind the beach; these contain algae and shrimp and attract seasonally foraging American amingos. Dragon Hill is best location on Santa Cruz to observe them.

Day 2: Rabida - Chinese Hat

AM: Rabida

The anchorage-site at the northern headland of Rabida is the only point in its shoreline that is not guarded by a barrier of rocks and armed with giant prickly pear cacti. The sharp corner of the bay holds a striking red beach that adds colour to your photo album. Walk to the end of the beach, blocked by spectacular brickreddish clis that contain oxidized iron. Especially short after sunrise and short before sunset, colours become more intense, and the rusty sand and rocks seem to blaze! Outside the mating season this remarkable red beach is occupied by a large bachelor colony of Galapagos sea lions that will welcome you. The beach wall on this compact spot holds a small and shallow, greenfringed lagoon. Although the water is salty, this pool is the most fertile place on the otherwise very arid islet, so it attracts all kind of aquatic and wading birds such as pintails (or Bahama ducks) and sometimes even American amingos (although these seem to have found better foraging places). In the surrounding mangrove bushes many dierent species of songbirds are looking for hiding and breeding places between the evergreen foliage. Palo santo trees that drop their leaves in the dry season cover the rest of the island.

PM: Chinese Hat

Chinese Hat is a 52 m / 170 ft high volcanic cone, forming another islet right out o the coast of Santiago. Approaching from the north you certainly will agree with its name. Because the primordial re has been extinguished recently, you can learn more about volcanism, lava bombs and lava tunnels. On the beach there are also curious pillow-type lavas with coral heads on top! These spheres have a submarine history and were uplifted above sea level. You arrive exactly on time to witness next chapter about colonization by pioneers! Chinese Hat does not appear that inhospitable any more as Bartolome and lunatic Sullivan Bay. This tiny, rusty-coloured islet just begins to sprout. Beautiful beaches of white coral sand arose, and holes in the infertile, but eroding lava elds are getting lled up with lava sand, facilitating as well inland places for rooting. Galapagos sea lions and countless marine iguanas contribute to fertilization. Everything together creates more favourable options for newcomers, like saltbush, which sticks at the beach and sesuvium that rolls out a discolouring carpet, turning from green into red in the dry season. Colonization of Chinese Hat will probably occur in a much higher pace than elsewhere; hence Santiago is just a stone’s throw away, although its eastern tip is also lifeless. The separating channel with its turquoise waters is about 100 m / 300 ft wide. Across, at the foot of the clis lives a small colony of Galapagos penguins, which you might see occasionally during the inatable dinghy-ride.

Day 3: Darwin Bay ( Genovesa ) - Prince Philip's Steps ( Genovesa )

AM: Darwin Bay ( Genovesa )

Inside the submerged caldera of Genovesa lies Darwin Bay, with a diameter of more than 1,5 km / 1 mi and it is almost 200 m / 650 ft deep. Confusingly the beach deep inside the caldera has been called Darwin Bay as well… This quiet site is Galapagos in miniature! The small-scaled area will surprise you again and again, walking along a coral sand beach, crossing barren lava formations and creeks, passing tidal pools, shrubs and further ahead following the top of some clis. In this extremely varied and peaceful ambience, every single species has occupied its own ecological niche (or preferred habitat) without disturbing others. Whimbrels and wandering tattlers forage actively along the surf, next to resting Galapagos sea lions. Herons wait motionless at the tidal pools and creeks behind the saltbushes. Impressive frigatebirds (both species, as on North Seymour and Pitt Point) and red-footed boobies nest in the mangroves, where you can also notice vocalists such as the yellow warbler, Darwin’s nches and the Galapagos mockingbird (although this island is: similar to Española: relatively poor in song bird species). Unique is that two subpopulations of the same species large cactus nch dier from singing.

PM: Prince Philip's Steps ( Genovesa )

Genovesa has a royal touch. And that’s not only because of its former English name Tower (after the Royal Palace in London). The often used English name of the visitor’s site El Barranco commemorates the 1964 visit of the Duke of Edinburgh, a Galapagos lover since the rst hour and patron of the Charles Darwin Foundation. In his footsteps (and in those of Prince Charles) you will be able to admire one of Galapagos’ favourite birding spots with largest breeding colonies of Nazca and red-footed boobies. Before landing you will make an inatable dinghy-ride along the eastern arm of the caldera. On approach, the massive 25 m / 80 ft high walls become overwhelming, and will give you a better impression of the dimensions of this crater. Sometimes a Galapagos fur seal is resting on one of the ledges at the base. You also will see rst seabirds, although the real spectacle nds place on top and on the outside of the rim, which provide better perching and nesting places.

Day 4: Bartolome - Sullivan Bay

AM: Bartolome

Nothing is too much promised when the National Park authorities praise Bartolome as ‘agship site of the Galapagos Islands’. Although tiny (just 1,2 km² / 0,46 sq. mi) and lifeless at rst sight, this young islet oers you some of the best panoramas and wildest landscapes in the entire archipelago. Surprisingly these warm equatorial waters with coral reefs are even one of the best places in the archipelago to encounter endangered Galapagos penguins! Galapagos’ landmark ‘Pinnacle Rock’ towers prominently over an isthmus with paradisiacal sand beaches on each side, and emerald coloured bays. Underwater, a second, completely distinctive world opens up to you. The warm, clear and shallow waters are ideally for snorkelling between surgeonshes, harmless whitetip reef sharks and Pacic green turtles. If you are lucky you can even catch the sight of shing Galapagos penguins. To enjoy the postcard view of the idyllic ‘Pinnacle Bay’ you have to cross a third, dramatic type of scenery, climbing the stairs to the viewpoint on top of the island (114 m / 375 ft). During this geologically and botanical interesting climb, you will nd yourself in the middle of several very close spatter cones, craters, and lightweight lava droplets, that where spewed out by spectacular fountains and cooled and solidied in the air. Bartolome is among the youngest of the islands, and on a geological scale just recently born out o re. The Summit Trail is ideal to witness how scanty pioneer vegetation such as lava cactus is struggling to cover the lunar-like volcanic landscape of majorly virgin, uneroded lava elds.

PM: Sullivan Bay

Sullivan Bay is incomparable to any other visitor’s site; the miraculous bas-reliefs you will observe in the crust of the lava ow are unique to Galapagos and Hawaii. Those who are interested in geology and volcanology really should not miss the opportunity to witness earth formation in process, although it is unlikely that you will notice real reworks and lava fountains on spot. Anyway, the power of volcanic activity will impress you forever. Setting foot at the Sullivan lava stream is like landing on the moon. The desolate, stretched-out elds seem mostly lifeless, but this doesn’t mean that there is nothing to see. In contrary! And this can best be proofed by its popularity amongst photographers, especially those who have eye for detail and love close-ups. And there is even some life! Pacic green turtles sometimes use the tiny white sand beach to lay their eggs, and eventually you also might spot a strayed heron.

Day 5: Highlands ( Santa Cruz ) - Transfer to Baltra Airport

AM: Highlandsn ( Santa Cruz )

Because wild Galapagos giant tortoises don’t stop at ocial National Park boundaries, dozens of them also roam and even mate on the adjacent woodlands in the populated agricultural zone of Santa Cruz. Thanks to the semi-open pastures and scalesia-woodlands, and their concentration around muddy pools, these farmlands are best place for a quick visit. Armed with a rain poncho and (provided) rubber boots you will get good chances to approach wild Galapagos giant tortoises just within a few meters. Most time of their stretched lives is spent slowly and silently, except for a warning hiss, or loud screams during mating, which you can here from far in the rst half of the year. Subsequently females leave the highlands and descend all the way down to the beaches to dig holes and lay their eggs. It is estimated that in 2015 about 32.000 tortoises live in the wild in all the islands, most on restricted locations of Isabela. 

AM: Transfer to Baltra airport

Assisted by the guide and some crew-members the inatable dinghy will bring you and your luggage to Baltra, where we take the airport shuttle. Your guide will accompany you to the check-in counters in the departure hall. We expect that you will return home with stunning pictures and unforgettable memories for life!

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Day 1- Thursday: Arrival at Baltra Airport - Charles Darwin Research Station

Upon arrival, our representatives meet you at the airport for the transfer to the Cormorant.

AM: Arrival at Baltra Airport At Baltra

Airport you have to pay your Galapagos National Park entrance fee and your luggage is inspected. See Getting there for ight and arrival information. In front of the arrival hall you will meet your naturalist guide and fellow passengers, and the airport shuttle will transfer you to the ferry across the Itabaca Channel. On Santa Cruz you continue by bus through the lush highlands to the harbour of Puerto Ayora. Our inatable dinghies bring you the last stretch to the yacht.

PM: Charles Darwin Research Station

On the outskirts of Puerto Ayora you will visit the shared area of the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) and the headquarters of the Galapagos National Park Service. From here the indispensable conservation management and biological research of this unique archipelago and its surrounding waters are directed. This complex houses a bunch of interpretation and information centers about the National Park and the Galapagos Marine Reserve around. Most memorable from this visit will probably be the successful breeding center and the enclosures with Galapagos giant tortoises; even after the death of its world famous resident, emphatically called ‘Lonesome George’ ( † June 2012; the last known individual of the Pinta subspecies, who sadly failed to reproduce ospring). Meanwhile its remains have been mummied and stued, but at present Galapagos has no climatic controlled facilities to show it in a conservative way to public. For other species and subspecies the breeding project started just in time to save them from extinction. Most remaining adult giant tortoises in the corals are former pets and many of them are accustomed to human company. For centuries these emblematic reptiles have made Galapagos famous. Hundreds of thousands of them used to crawl around before the devastating epoch of pouching. Even the name of this archipelago refers to these prehistoric dwellers. On certain islands their shells evolved into pronounced shapes of riding saddles or ‘galapagos’ in Spanish. 

Day 2 Friday: Whitetip reef shark channel ( Isabela ) - Sierra Negra ( Isabela )

AM: Whitetip reef shark channel (Isabela )

Just outside the harbour of Puerto Villamil on the largest island of Isabela, a group of islets protrude just above the ocean. These barely noticeable rocks form one of the most emblematic sites that you will visit during your cruise. The jagged black formations, dotted with mangrove and candelabra-cactus, are the remnants of a lava stream that has ended up into the ocean. Meanwhile these are being demolished by the waves, and a collapsed lava tube forms a channel that lls-up on high tide, while the entrance is closed on low tide. Marine life gets trapped, including spectacular whitetip reef sharks (called tintoreras in Spanish, as is the site’s ocial name). 

AM: Sierra Negra (Isabela)

Sierra Negra is the 3rd highest volcano of Isabela and the 5th highest of Galapagos (1124 m / 3687 ft). It erupted 7 times in the 20th century, and last time in October 2005. It is the only major volcano of Isabela whose crater regions are actually opened to tourism. A mysterious half-day hike through the cloud forests takes you to a viewpoint at the rim, oering the opportunity of fantastic sights into the impressive caldera (clear weather required, though unpredictable; thanks to prevailing winds clouds usually tend to dissolve at the viewpoint). The caldera measures about 7 x 9 km / 4.5 x 6 mi across, and the largest of the archipelago. Since the discovery of so-called super volcanoes like Yellowstone it shouldn’t appear any more in the listing of largest craters in the world. 

PM: Arnaldo Tupiza Tortoise Breeding Center (Isabela)

In the breeding center Arnaldo Tupiza you can see hundreds of giant Galapagos tortoises of all sizes (the vulnerable hatchlings are not gigantic at all, even smaller than the size of your hand)! This project just outside Puerto Villamil is created to rescue the endangered populations that live on ve dierent locations on both southernmost volcanoes of Isabela. One thing becomes clear on your visit: it’s hard work to save these queer creatures for extinction by reproduction in captivity and repopulation, but the good news is that these important programs are successful and so far have saved several species for extinction. 

Day 3 Saturday: Moreno Point ( Isabella ) - Marielas Islets & Elizabeth Bay ( Isabela )

AM: Moreno Point (Isabela)

Moreno Point tells you the intriguing story how the famous lunatic lava elds of Sullivan Bay (Santiago) could develop in future, when parts of the crust break and fall into the undermining lava tunnels. Pits and holes close to the coast gradually ll-up with seawater. The once lifeless area becomes dotted with tidal pools and ltration lagoons that oer new opportunities to pioneer vegetation; nally the lava cacti get company. This site counts with two more species of cacti, from which the candelabras can grow up to 7 m / 23 ft tall, and dominate the rest of the shrubby vegetation. Fringes of reed, sea grass and mangrove bushes surround the picturesque lagoons that have been transformed in lush oases. Your pictures get the perfect nish touch when bright American amingos and aquatic birds have come to forage in the largest lagoon as well. In the wet season the fresh, promising greens become even more intense and contrast strongly with the dead, pitch-black lava. The pioneer vegetation seems on the winning hand; just until Sierra Negra volcano spits a new layering cover, and the story starts all over again.

 

PM: Marielas Islets & Elizabeth Bay (Isabela)

Although there is no landing point, the marine visitor’s site of Elizabeth Bay oers actually two in one. You will undertake a prolonged ride by inatable dinghy that combines a visit to the Marielas Islets in the mouth of the bay, with the mangles in its innermost heart. In 1963 these highest mangles of Galapagos were close to complete destruction, when Volcán Chico, a parasitic cone of Sierra Negra, sent lava ows to this 20 km (11 mi) distant bay. Miraculously the ows came just a few kms back to a halt. The Marielas islets are an excellent place to spot marine iguanas and Galapagos penguins, which prefer places in the front row at the base of the clis. The Galapagos penguin is considered as endangered with just some 1500 birds over all archipelago, and therefore the rarest penguin species worldwide. So don’t expect vast colonies of uncountable numbers as in Antarctic regions, but rather small family groups. On top of these ochre colored and reddish oxidized remnants of a crumbled tu cone grow several lofty palo santotrees. These provide magnicent frigatebirds a lookout far over the open sea to watch for and rob returning blue-footed boobies. Next the inatable dinghy will turn landwards, leaving the surf behind and enter the calm estuary of Elizabeth Bay through a quite narrow entrance. Whilst exploring the lagoons and shallow creeks, the outboard engine is turned o, so that you can enjoy the sounds of nature. Graceful Pacic green turtles swim in slow motion around, sometimes popping-up their heads for breathing. 

Day 4 Sunday: Moreno Point ( Isabela ) - Marielas Islets & Elizabeth Bay ( Isabela )

AM: Moreno Point ( Isabela )

Moreno Point tells you the intriguing story how the famous lunatic lava elds of Sullivan Bay (Santiago) could develop in future, when parts of the crust break and fall into the undermining lava tunnels. Pits and holes close to the coast gradually ll-up with seawater. The once lifeless area becomes dotted with tidal pools and ltration lagoons that oer new opportunities to pioneer vegetation; nally the lava cacti get company. This site counts with two more species of cacti, from which the candelabras can grow up to 7 m / 23 ft tall, and dominate the rest of the shrubby vegetation. Fringes of reed, sea grass and mangrove bushes surround the picturesque lagoons that have been transformed in lush oases. 

PM: Marielas Islets & Elizabeth Bay (Isabela)

Although there is no landing point, the marine visitor’s site of Elizabeth Bay oers actually two in one. You will undertake a prolonged ride by inatable dinghy that combines a visit to the Marielas Islets in the mouth of the bay, with the mangles in its innermost heart. In 1963 these highest mangles of Galapagos were close to complete destruction, when Volcán Chico, a parasitic cone of Sierra Negra, sent lava ows to this 20 km (11 mi) distant bay. Miraculously the ows came just a few kms back to a halt. The Marielas islets are an excellent place to spot marine iguanas and Galapagos penguins, which prefer places in the front row at the base of the clis. The Galapagos penguin is considered as endangered with just some 1500 birds over all archipelago, and therefore the rarest penguin species worldwide. So don’t expect vast colonies of uncountable numbers as in Antarctic regions, but rather small family groups. On top of these ochre colored and reddish oxidized remnants of a crumbled tu cone grow several lofty palo santotrees. These provide magnicent frigatebirds a lookout far over the open sea to watch for and rob returning blue-footed boobies. Next the inatable dinghy will turn landwards, leaving the surf behind and enter the calm estuary of Elizabeth Bay through a quite narrow entrance. 

Day 5 Monday: Espumilla Beach ( Santiago ) - Puerto Egas ( Santiago )

AM: Espumilla Beach (Santiago)

Espumilla Beach is a visitor’s site at the northern end of James Bay, on the western coast of Santiago. This beach has revived as an important breeding site for turtles, as it is no longer suering from digging wild pigs. The turtles return year after year to burry their eggs into the cinnamon coloured sand dunes. About two months later (roughly from February to August) the eggs hatch at once. Most vulnerable hatchlings never will reach sea, and form a banquet for predators such as herons, frigatebirds, mockingbirds and ghost crabs. The beach ridge hides a mangle with two picturesque lagoons on the backside. The colony of American amingos and aquatic birds used to be its main attraction, but after the climate phenomenon of El Niño, strong sedimentation altered the brackish water environment, and it no longer contains their food

PM: Puerto Egas ( Santiago )

Dominated by the 395 m / 1300 ft high Pan de Azúcar (Sugarloaf), Puerto Egas is the southernmost pearl in the necklace of visitors sites along James Bay. It is named after Héctor Egas, who made a second attempt to mine salt commercially out o an inland crater lake in the 1960s. Santiago and its surrounding islets stand out by their spectacular and unique volcanic and coastal landscapes, and Puerto Egas is no exception. The masterly sculptured coastline of black basalts, polished multi-coloured ash-layers, collapsed lava tunnels, natural arches, caves and blowholes such as ‘Darwin’s toilet’ and tidal pools form again very photogenic scenery. If you are rather a wildlife lover, you will also fully enjoy this unique place that probably will become your favourite on this island. You will nd lots of representative members of the Galapagospopulation. Right below a spectacular rock arch in a grotto at the end of the beach a colony of Galapagos fur seals has occupied the shade, sheltering from the equatorial sun. Unlike the more common Galapagos sea lion this smaller species of seal is no beach lover at all, due to their adorable, but insulating coats. This outstanding refuge is the very best place throughout the archipelago to see these endemic, shy and once heavily hunted marine mammals. Puerto Egas also teems with extremely varied intertidal life, especially on low tide. 

Day 6 Tuesday: Lobos Islet ( San Cristobal ) - Transfer to San Cristobal Airport

AM: Lobos Islet

Guess only once what you get to see at Lobos Islet… If you know a few words of Spanish, you will not be surprised that its beach harbours a colony of Galapagos sea lions. As in other colonies in the archipelago you can approach nurturing females within a few meters. In the breeding season this colony is also visited by very territorial males, defending and mating the harem on their part of the beach. Though at rst sight barren rocks overgrown by palo santo, this low islet houses more than just Galapagos sea lions. Two other emblematic species of Galapagos also breed here. Male blue-footed boobies and great frigate birds try to impress the females (and tourists) with clumsy dances heaving their striking blue feet or blow-up their balloon-sized scarlet pouches. Later in the breeding season the uy and hungry chicks cry for food and when their wings get strong enough these will learn to.

AM: Transfer to San Cristobal airport

Check-in and ight back to Guayaquil or Quito. Assisted by the guide and some crew-members the dinghy will bring you and your luggage to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, where we board a private bus to the airport. Your guide will accompany you to the check-in counters in the departure hall. We expect that you will return home with stunning pictures and unforgettable memories for life!

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US: +1.203.443.9365

Quito, Ecuador: +593.999.721.198

Dolores Veintimilla N2 - 68 y Rita Lecumberri

Quito - Ecuador

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