1 Start Santa Cruz, Galapagos
Clients should aim to arrive at our start hotel in Santa Cruz this afternoon/evening. Please note that each person must take cash with them to pay for a USD20 transit card (payable on departure from mainland Ecuador) and a USD100 national park entry fee (payable on arrival into the Galapagos). You may want to take a short walk to visit the Charles Darwin Centre this afternoon to learn about the ecology of the islands, their origin and formation, this is optional and can easily be arranged independently. Stay: Hotel Dejavu or similar.
2 Board Nemo II; visit Bachas Beach.
This morning you will be met at your hotel and transferred to our boat, the Nemo II, which will be anchored a short distance away in Santa Cruz. Once on board we'll be assigned our cabins, meet the crew and get to know our naturalist guide and fellow travellers over lunch. For the rest of your schedule you will follow cruising itinerary A. Our navigation begins by heading to Bachas beach. The name is “Spanglish” for 'barges', which were wrecked offshore during World War II. There is a delightful swimming beach here with a lagoon behind, and a longer beach for a stroll and wildlife-watching. The saltwater lagoon often has Great Blue herons and small waders such as Sanderlings. Both beaches are nesting areas for Green sea turtles which leave tracks in the sand, especially from November to February. Stay Four Nights: Nemo II
3 South Plazas & Sante Fe
Morning Sante Fe Island: After navigating to Santa Fe Island we spend some time in one of the most beautiful coves in all of the Galapagos, with its white sandy beaches and turquiose waters. In the large Sea lion colony bulls vie for the right of beachmaster whilst cows laze in the sun. The loop trail leads us past salt bushes where Galapagos hawks can be seen at close range, alongside the largest land iguanas in the Galapagos. Afternoon South Plazas Island: This afternoon we navigate to South Plazas island, where the biggest population of land iguanas in the Galapagos can be found. The iguanas here are yellow-brown and feed on the fruit and pads of the Prickly Pear Cactus. As we walk alongside the sea cliffs, Swallow-tailed gulls, Frigate birds, Audubon shearwaters, Red-Billed tropicbirds, Brown pelicans, Blue-footed and Masked boobies are frequently seen.
4 San Cristobal Island
A day at San Cristobal Island to discover Cerro Brujo, a striking eroded tuff cone and one of the first sites visited by Charles Darwin. We have a landing to explore the white sand beach where Blue-footed boobies, Brown pelicans, Sea lions and Marine iguanas are all found, before making our way to explore the striking spear of Kicker Rock and the nearby Sea lion colony of Isla Lobos.
5 Espanola Island
Morning Punta Suarez: Arriving at Espanola Island, we spend the morning at Punta Suarez on the western tip where Sea lions, sea birds and the largest Marine iguanas of the Galapagos are found, along with Masked boobies nesting among the rock formations. Afternoon Gardner Bay: A 45 minute boat ride from Punta Suarez takes us to Gardner Bay, a stunning stretch of white-sand beach with excellent possibilties for swimming and snorkelling. Visitors can find migrant, resident and endemic wildlife include brightly coloured Marine iguanas, Espanola lava lizards, Hood mockingbirds, Swallow-tailed gulls, Galapagos hawks and a large colony of Waved albatross.
6 Disembark Nemo II, end Baltra Airport.
Morning Santa Cruz Highlands: An early start to discover the highlands of Santa Cruz and its incredible vegetation zones. We visit a private finca called 'Las Primicias' which offers the best possibility to see Galapagos giant tortoises in their natural habitat. Afternoon transfer out to Baltra Airport: We say farewell to the Galapagos Islands after this morning's excursion and head to the airport on Baltra. Organise onward connections from Baltra today or you may prefer to stay in the Galapagos a little longer, in which case please speak to us about post-tour accommodation in Santa Cruz.