Seaman Journey D Itinerary
Itinerary D: 11d-10n Friday to Monday
DAY 1 FRIDAY MAINLAND – GALAPAGOS
AM: FLIGHT TO GALAPAGOS FROM QUITO OR GUAYAQUIL
Seaman Journey D itinerary: Before taking the flight you must pay 20 USD at the Galapagos Government Council counter that is the fee for the migration control card. Afterwards you will be able to take a flight that takes 2 1/2 hours from Quito to and 1 1/2 hours from Guayaquil. Once in Baltra the passengers must go through an inspection point from the airport to make sure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the Galapagos Archipelago. Also, this inspection point is where passengers have to pay for the entrance to the Galapagos National Park under the following parameters:
Our guide will pick you up and will carry your luggage to the bus that transports the tourists to the ferries to cross the Itabaca Channel, after this passengers will be taken by another bus to the first visit to Ranch Mazanillo where visitors must wear comfortable walking shoes, light clothing and to carry a waterproof jacket, sun-block lotion, a camera and repellent for the first activity. The visit to Ranch Manzanillo includes a picnic lunch and a short walk before going on board the Motor Catamaran. It is important to follow these instructions in order to accomplish this itinerary properly. Also, please be aware that passenger´s luggage will be sent directly to the Seaman Journey catamaran.
PM: SANTA CRUZ HIGHLANDS
Visitors will be delighted by the island’s variety of life and geology as they will be journeying across Santa Cruz into the highlands. Beginning at the coast and traveling across Santa Cruz the road departs from Puerto Ayora climbing through the agricultural lands and into the mist covered forests. Santa Cruz possesses all of the various life zones present in the archipelago. As you travel through these zones birders are enchanted. Whether it’s the bright red feathers of a vermillion flycatcher or one of Darwin’s Finch almost every bird present in the islands can be found here. Santa Cruz offers excellent opportunities for viewing wild Galapagos Tortoises. Tracking tortoises is not the only exciting activity to be found in the highlands. There are also plenty of lava tubes, sinkholes and craters to explore. Theses eerie formations offer a fascinating hike into the belly of the island to view its volcanic make-up.
DAY 2: SATURDAY GALAPAGOS CRUISE FERNANDINA ISLAND
AM: MANGLE POINT
Off the eastern coast of Fernandina is Mangle Point a superior snorkeling site and a beautiful location for riding in a panga or zodiac through a grove of mangrove trees. A hike of about 1/2 miles is possible. Whether you hike, snorkel, or stay in your panga for a ride through the red mangrove trees, this second site of Fernandina Island is equally memorable. While you are on your
ride, you are likely to see sea lions, tortoises, pelicans, rays and birds too numerous to name them all.PM: PUNTA MORENO
Punta Moreno is located on the north coast of Isabela Island between the volcano Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul volcano. The trail runs along a lava flow Pahohoe (solidified lava in the form of corrugated or an accordion) into a complex of coastal lagoons, its main attraction are several species of birds which can be found around this lakes and mangroves.
DAY 3: SUNDAY GALAPAGOS CRUISE ISABELA ISLAND
AM: URBINA BAY
Urbina Bay is located at the base of Alcedo Volcano on the west coast, between Tagus Cove and Elizabeth Bay. This area experienced a major uplift in 1954, causing the land to rise over 16 feet. The coast expanded half a mile out, leaving marine life stranded on the new shore. This area is also a great place for snorkeling. Urbina Bay is a path that starts at the beach where a landing is made wet, the course is approximately 3200m, and substrates through the sand, pumice, lava, coral and vegetation in a coastal area suffered an uprising and the listener can appreciate iguana burrows. It is an ide al place to see red and blue lobster.
In Bahia Urbina you can see a lot of Darwin’s finches. Its main attraction is the land iguanas, larger than in places like South Plaza Island, Galapagos tortoises also in the wild, sometimes even out of season they are on the bottom of the islands. Also in this area stands a large amount of vegetation, chamomile and Rosewood, but among all these plants stand out the beautiful flowers of cotton Darwin, endemic to the Galapagos Islands.
PM: TAGUS COVE
Tagus Cove is located west of Darwin Volcano on Isabela Island. This was a favorite spot for pirates and whalers, a tradition is still observed that has continued since that time: the inscription of the names of boats. At the start of the walk, going up and passing the staircase, is a small cave where you will find inscriptions dating to the 1800s. Its name originated from a British warship that went through the islands in 1814 looking for Galapagos Tortoise for food. Due to explosive eruptions must have occurred at the site, the substrate has a large amount of volcanic rocks of different sizes, among the most common are little balls of nearly spherical shape known as the “lapilli” or petrified rain.
DAY 4: MONDAY GALAPAGOS CRUISE FERNANDINA ISLAND / ISABELLA ISLAND
AM: ESPINOZA POINT
Espinoza Point is a place famous for its large colonies of marine iguanas and a habitat of unique species like the
flightless cormorant, Galapagos penguin, Galapagos hawk, and Galapagos snake.
PM: ISABELA: VICENTE ROCA POINT
One of the most impressive and spectacular places of the enchanted Galapagos Islands; with high cliffs and tuffstone, ash and lava formations give this area a majestic touch. Located in the north-western coast of the island; comprises two distinct inlets. This large bay has a spectacular marine life. Here, you can see seahorses, sea turtles and the strange yet fascinating Mola-mola or sunfish. This bay is a great place to practice Panga Ride and Snorkeling. We also found: Penguins, Blue-footed boobies, Terns, Boobies, Sea lions. Also you can snorkel and observe sea turtles, stingrays and puffer fishes.
DAY 5: TUESDAY GALAPAGOS CRUISE SANTIAGO ISLAND
AM: PLAYA ESPUMILLA / BUCANERO
Espumilla beach is located in northern coast of Santiago Island in James Bay. During the last presence the El Niño phenomenon, one of the two lagoons in this site, underwent a process of sedimentation, thus causing the disappearance of a representative colony of flamingos. The main attractions are the palosanto forest and the marvelous. The beach is an important site for nesting marine turtles.
PM: PUERTO EGAS, SANTIAGO ISLAND
Its black beach is located at the west side of the island and is the main attraction of the island. Their volcanic tuff deposits have favored the formation of this special black sand beach.
This site is called Puerto Egas, because there was an attempt of company of Hector Egas, to start the exploitation of salt, which failed because the price of salt in the continent was very cheap, and did not justify its exploitation in Galapagos. The project was abandoned and they left their infrastructure.
DAY 6: WEDNESDAY GALAPAGOS CRUISE RABIDA / CHINESE HAT
Rábida Island is unique because the red color of the rocks and sand. The volcanic material in this island is very porous and external factors as rain, salt water, and sea breeze have acted as an oxidizing agent.
A short walk along a trail lead you to a coastal lagoon behind the beach which permits you to observe the land birds such as finches, doves, yellow warblers, and mocking birds. At the lagoon there is a colony of flamingos.
PM: CHINESE HAT
This is a small islet (1 sq km) located just off the southeastern tip of Santiago Island. It is a recent volcanic cone, shaped like a Chinese hat when seen from north side. On the west you can see lava
formations, formed under the sea and raised upward, this is why coral heads are found on the lava. This is an excellent visit for interpretation of geological features such as lava tubes and lava flows. The landscape is covered by sea lions colonies, marine iguanas, and Galapagos penguins.
DAY 7: THURSDAY GALAPAGOS CRUISE SANTIAGO ISLAND
AM: SULLIVAN BAY
Santiago, also called James, or San Salvador Island, is located in the west central part of the Galapagos archipelago. It is the fourth largest island in the archipelago (following Isabela, Fernandina and Santa Cruz). Along with some of the large western volcanoes of Isabela and Fernandina, Santiago is also volcanically active, with many young flows and cones to be seen, particularly along the south, west, and east coasts. These may even be seen from the summit of Darwin Volcano and from space. A number of historic eruptions have been reported over the last 2 centuries. Santiago actually consists of two coalesced volcanoes: a typical shield volcano on the northwest end and a low, linear fissure volcano on the southeast end.
Bartolome Island is situated in the Sullivan Bay. It has an altitude of 114 meters, from where we can observe one of the most beautiful sceneries of the Galapagos Islands such as: Volcanic cones, lunar – like craters, lava fields, and the famous Toba formed pinnacle eroded by the sea. There is very little vegetation on this island.
It has two breathtaking beaches where marine turtles exist and at the base of the pinnacle, as well as a very small colony of Galapagos penguins.
DAY 8:FRIDAY GALAPAGOS CRUISE SANTA CRUZ ISLAND
AM: BACHAS BEACH
These two small beaches are found to the West of Turtle Cove. Their sand is made of decomposed coral, which makes it white and soft, making it a favorite nesting site for sea turtles. Behind one of the beaches there is a small brackish water lagoon, where occasionally is possible to observe flamingos and other coastal birds, such as black-necked stilts and whimbrels. The other beach is longer, but it has two old barges that were abandoned during the Second World War, when the USA used Baltra Island as a strategically point to protect the Panama Channel.
PM: NORTH SEYMOUR
Is an uplifted (as opposed to volcanic) island and so is generally flat and strewn with boulders. There are good nesting sites here for a large population of magnificent frigate birds. Blue-footed boobies perform their courtship dance in the more open areas and swallow-tailed gulls perch on the cliff edges. Despite the tremendous surf that can pound the outer shore, sea lions haul out onto the beach and can be found bodysurfing.
DAY 9: SATURDAY GALAPAGOS CRUISE GENOVESA ISLAND
AM: EL BARRANCO
The visitor site of El Barranco is located in the southern part of Darwin Bay on Genovesa Island. The trail is on volcanic rock that has a length of 1.5 km and the tour can be done in about 2 hours. The youngest area of the island, from a geological point of view, lies in this area. The cliffs located in the south are composed of very fragile lava. The natural erosion that has occurred in these lava flows has become the ideal place for nesting Storm Petrels. You can see two species of petrels that nest in cavities and holes in the lava. One of its main predators is the short-eared owl. The red-footed booby nests only in the outer islands of the archipelago, Punta Pitt, Gardner (Floreana), Wolf, Darwin and Genovesa. Also present on this island is the masked booby. During the “panga rides” along the cliffs fur sea lions can be seen and several species of seabirds.
PM: DARWIN BAY
This bay has its origin when the crater of this island collapsed below sea level. The wet landing is on a beautiful white coral sandy beach. This is a favorite island for birdwatchers: red footed-booby, masked boobies, wandering tattlers, lava gulls, whimbrels, yellow-crowned, and black-crowned lava herons, and yellow warblers can be seen in the area.
Continuing on the trail, visitors climb gradually to the edge of the cliff seeing Red-Foots nesting in the Mangrove trees below. Bird watching includes sightings of sharp-beaked finches, large cactus and ground finches, Galapagos doves, and swallow-tailed gulls. Reaching the end the trail at the cliff’s edge offers an incredible view of the island and the many birds living there.
Plazas is located at the east of Santa Cruz Island, and forms part of two islands known as Islas Plazas. Despite its small size, some of the most interesting and outstanding species of the Galapagos are found here. The Plazas land iguanas are smaller than its relatives found at other islands. Throughout
the island are several hybrid iguanas, a result of crossing a male marine iguana and a female land iguana, they are unique, recognizable at first glance by their black/gray color, with a land iguana’s crest, but face and tail of the marine iguana. The big population of iguanas is due to the presence of tunas, their favorite food. Swallow tailed gulls nesting in the rugged cliffs are seen along with other sea birds as: Audubon shearwaters, red-billed tropicbirds, frigate birds, and brown pelicans.
PM: SANTA FE
Located in the southeastern part of the Galapagos, this island was formed from an uplift instead than a volcanic origin, this is why is mostly flat. There are some theories which assure this could be the oldest island in the Archipelago. Santa Fe is the home of a number of endemic species like the Galapagos hawk, Galapagos snake, Galapagos mockingbird, rice rats, and one of the two species of lands Iguanas of the islands. After disembarking in the beautiful and clear waters you will be in contact with one of the many sea lion colonies. Along the trail many salt bushes can be seen as well giant Pickly pear cactus, gigantism is a characteristic of oceanic islands. There are great possibilities of snorkeling with playful sea lions and tropical fishes.
DAY 11: MONDAY GALAPAGOS CRUISE SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND
AM: JACINTO GORDILLO BREEDING CENTER
In 2004 the Breeding and Rearing Center for young tortoises Jacinto Gordillo, named after a famous settler, was located in Cerro Colorado, San Cristobal Island, in order to take care of young tortoises. In 2008 an assisted reproduction program started on the island with due to the birth of a little turtle in captivity.
After the morning excursion you will be taken to the airport for your flight to the mainland.
Transfer to San Cristobal airport
Flight to Quito or Guayaquil
|FRIDAY||AM: Baltra. Transfer a Pto. Ayora
PM: Highlands of Santa Cruz . Twin craters
|SATURDAY||AM: Fernandina: Punta Mangle
PM: Isabela: Punta Moreno
|SUNDAY||AM: Isabela: Bahía Urbina
PM: Isabela: Caleta tagus
|MONDAY||AM: Fernandina: Punta Espinoza
PM: Isabela: Punta Vicente Roca
|TUESDAY||AM: Santiago: Playa Espumilla – Caleta Bucanero
PM: Santiago: Puerto Egas
|WEDNESDAY|| AM Rabida
PM: Sombrero Chino(chinese hat)
|THURSDAY||AM: Santiago: Bahía Sullivan
|FRIDAY||AM: Visit to the Isla Bachas
PM: Visit the Island of Seymour
|SATURDAY||AM: Genovesa El Barranco
PM: Genovesa B. Darwin
|SUNDAY||AM: Plazas Sur
PM: Santa Fe Island
|MONDAY||AM: San C: Center. Crianza Jacinto Gordillo-Junco
Transfer to the airport