During World War II, Baltra served as a U.S. military base protecting the Panama Canal from enemy attack. Now the cactus-strewn landscapes of Baltra are home to the region’s main airport and where you will meet the ship. From the airport, it is just a short bus and tender ride to the ship.
Daphne is a satellite volcanic cone located north of Santa Cruz Island. The crater floor is an important breeding site for blue-footed boobies. The cliff shore of the island is home for sea lions, pelicans, blue-footed boobies, and tropic birds which can be observed during the circumnavigation of the island
With its sandy beach and black –rock, blue-water grottos, this stop offers a taste of the Galapagos geology, some great snorkeling, and an opportunity to see shore birds and Galapagos fur seals. Excursion options: long walk along the shore to the grottos to see fur seals, followed by optional swimming and snorkeling or a shorter coastal walk.
A small island south of Santiago, Rabida is best known for its red sand and eroded volcanic landscape. A nesting colony of pelicans makes its home here, along with sea lions and some sea birds. Excursion options: coastal exploration ride, short walk, swimming, and snorkeling from the beach.
Elizabeth Bay is one of the western-most points in the Galapagos. A scenic tender ride along this sheltered inlet offers viewing of a wide variety of wildlife and a wonderful mangrove ecosystem.
Historically an anchorage for pirates and whalers, this site offers a breathtaking view of Isabela, its volcanoes, and a saltwater lagoon. Along the shore, seabirds, penguins, sea lions, sea turtles, and nesting flightless cormorants can often be found. Excursion options: coastal exploration, walk, snorkeling and kayak.
During a volcanic eruption in the early 1900’s, this area of Santiago was covered with flowing lava. Today, the hardened fields of black rock create a geologic wonderland. Take advantage of the cool of the early morning for a walk at this amazing site. Excursion options: Walk.
Bartolomé Island offers one of the region’s most photographed views, and is a spectacular geological setting. Its barren moon-like volcanic landscapes, spatter cones, and pinnacle rock make for a unique stop. It is also home to the endemic Galapagos penguin and provides an excellent opportunity for snorkeling. Excursion options: hike up some 368 stairs “To the Top” of the volcano, a zodiac ride, and an optional beach swim or snorkel.
Behind one of the most beautiful white sand beaches in all of the Galapagos, you will find two small ponds that often have flamingos feeding in the shallows. It is also one of the largest nesting areas for the Pacific green sea turtle. Excursion options: short beach walk to look for flamingos, followed by an optional opportunity to swim, snorkel from the beach, or just relax on the shore.
A small island just north of Baltra, North Seymour is home to the largest colony of frigate birds in the Galapagos. While keeping an eye out for male frigates trying to impress potential mates with an inflated red neck pouch, you may also see blue-footed boobies dancing in a timeless courtship ritual. Sea lions and large land iguanas also roam about this rocky terrain. Excursion options: a long rocky walk, coastal exploration ride and short easy walk; or simply a scenic coastal exploration tour along the coast to view wildlife and the geology of the area. Experienced snorkelers will also have an option of deep water snorkeling.
Visit the small waterfront town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the administrative capital of the islands. Excursion options: a tour of a local interpretation center and time for shopping or a fast-paced long walk to view scenic vistas, followed by a visit to the interpretation center.
Thought by many to be the most spectacular site in San Cristobal, Punta Pitt allows for the rare opportunity to visit the one of the few locations in the Galapagos where you can observe all three species of boobies–Blue, Red and Nazca–and two species of frigate birds nesting in the same area. You will have an opportunity to explore its volcanic terrain as well as beach swimming. Excursion options: zodiac, hike and swim.
The main population center of the islands, Puerto Ayora is home to the National Park Service tortoise-breeding center and the Charles Darwin Research Station. You will be able to visit the breeding center and walk through the Research Station. You will also have the opportunity to take a bus ride to the highlands to observe giant tortoises in the wild and walk through a lava tunnel. In addition, you will have an exclusive opportunity to participate in the Scalesia reforestation project.
Baltra is home to the region’s main airport, and where you will fly out after a tender and bus ride to the airport
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