|Day 1||Thursday||Flight to Baltra Airport (GPS)||L D|
|Highlands (Santa Cruz)|
|Day 2||Friday||Islote Champion - Cormorant Point (Floreana)||B L D|
|Baroness Lookout & Post Office Bay (Floreana)|
|Day 3||Saturday||Gardner Bay (Espanola)||B L D|
|Punta Suarez (Espanola)|
|Day 4||Sunday||Punta Pitt (San Cristobal)||B L D|
|Cerro Brujo (San Cristobal)|
|Day 5||Monday||Centro de interpretacion (San Cristobal)||B|
|Transfer to San Cristobal Airport (SCY)|
Upon arrival at Baltra Airport, travelers pass through an airport inspection point to make sure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands, and to pay the park entrance fee of $100 (unless it has been prepaid). A guide will meet you, help you collect your luggage, and escort you on a short bus ride to the harbor.
The road to the highlands leaves from Bellavista, a small village located at a 15-minute drive from Puerto Ayora, and passes through the agricultural zone, near the National Park boundary, the Miconia Zone, and then goes to the Fern and Sedge zone. With clear weather, this area boasts beautiful scenes of rolling hills and extinct volcanic cones covered with grass and lush greenery all year round. Here you will visit the Twin Craters, which are two pit craters, as well as a local ranch where we can observe the giant tortoise of Santa Cruz Island in its natural habitat.
Post Office Bay is one out of three nearby visitor’s sites on Floreana's northern coast. Bring your postcards and post them in the peculiar barrel on this historic site. The barrel commemorates an improvised mail service that was set-up for communication between British 16th-century whalers and poachers.
The striking white beach at Gardner Bay is an important breeding site for Pacific green turtles. However, 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 they start to fish at five months. During the breeding and mating season, the colony becomes even bigger.
Huge ocean waves crash onto the southern basaltic cliffs of Suarez Point, forming a spectacular blowhole, where the water sprays meters high into the air (depending on the season, the tide and how strong the sea breeze pushes the waves). Take your time for a meditative break in silence on this emblematic viewpoint.
The primary attraction of this site is the coral sand beach, an excellent place to swim and snorkel. Witch Hill is the remains of a tuff cone and one of the first sites visited by Charles Darwin. It has an impressive landscape, where it is often possible to see coastal and migratory birds, including pelicans, blue-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls; as well as sea lions and marine iguanas. At times, the lagoon is completely dry and deposits of salt can be found at the bottom. The people of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno used to use the lagoon as a salt mine.
Cerro Colorado Tortoises Protection and Growing Center, located at approximately 40 minutes by bus to the southeast of the island, was built to improve the status of the population of the island tortoises. The center includes a large corral, a Visitor Center, breeding center and an interpretative trail. Along this trail, it is possible to see different species of native and endemic plants as well as birds like the San Cristóbal mockingbird, yellow warblers, many species of finches and the Galapagos flycatcher. On your visit to Colorado Hill, you will get to discover the amazing and emblematic giant Galapagos tortoises in the tortoise breeding center, and maybe even get to see one hatch (seasonally)! In addition, you will get to see how much hard work is put into saving the last local giants of San Cristóbal.
Assisted by the naturalist guide and some crew members, the dinghy will bring you and your luggage to the San Cristóbal Airport, where we will take the shuttle back to the airport.