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Seaman Journey F itinerary
Itinerary F: 15d-14n Friday to Friday
DAY 1: FRIDAY MAINLAND – GALAPAGOSSANTA CRUZ ISLAND
AM: FLIGHT TO GALAPAGOS FROM QUITO OR GUAYAQUIL AIRPORT
Seaman Journey F itinerary: The flight from Quito to the Galapagos is approximately 2 ½ hours. Upon arrival at Baltra travelers pass through an airport inspection point to insure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands and to pay the park entrance fee of $100 (unless prepaid), and $20 for the INGALA card which is an identity card that you need.
Guides will meet you, collect your luggage, and escort you on the short bus ride to the harbor. Motorized rafts, called „Pangas‟ will transport you to the M/C Seaman Journey and our crew will welcome you onboard. After departure and lunch, the first island visit is made.
PM: SANTA CRUZ HIGHLANDS
Journeying across Santa Cruz into the highlands visitors are delighted by the island’s variety of life and geology. 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
AM: ESPINOZA POINT
Espinoza Point is a place famous for its large colonies of marine iguanas and as the 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 causi ng 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 across 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
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.
DAY 10: SUNDAY GALAPAGOS CRUISE SANTA CRUZ ISLAND
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 h ere. 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.
PM: INTERPRETATION CENTER
It is an interpretation center with exuberant gardens and stunning ocean views in contrast with the 1960´s buildings in Charles Darwin Center. Visitor to the interpretation center can learn a lot ovenr the geological and human history of the islands, conservation facts and natural history. This is the oldest museum of the Natural History of the Galapagos Islands that is trying to preserve the nature of the islands.
DAY 12: TUESDAY GALAPAGOS CRUISE SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND
A short visit to the natural Galapaguera that is a good place to observe Galapagos tortoises in its natural habitat. San Cristobal Island also has some species of endemic animals among which are: the mockingbird, San Cristóbal mockingbird, Lava Lizard, Microlophus bivittatus (formerly lizards Galapagos were classified in the genus Tropidurus), one of the species geckos, Phyllodactylus leei and turtles. All these species can be observed in this place .The beach is large and serves as a nesting sea turtles. In the months of January to May is common to find traces of females who have risen to the sand dunes to lay their eggs.
PM: CERRO BRUJO
Cerro Brujo is a beautiful beach of white coral beach where you can swim and watch birds and sea lions, plus you can snorkel. This is the first coast where Charles Darwin walked in 1835. In this marvelous lava landscape where you can see seabirds like blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, herons, frigate birds and shore birds. The protected bay is very popular to observe young tortoises and for swimming. The pools with salty water behind the sand dunes were used for the fishers as a salt mine in order to preserve food for the local population.
Among the fauna that you can observe the Chatham Mockingbird and the San Cristobal Lava Lizard, both species
are endemic to the island and unique to the area as they cannot be observed nowhere else. Also you can find the island canary, the Galapagos turtles and with luck the little bird known as the Pájar o Brujo in Spanish, an endemic specie from San Cristobal Island. The vegetation covers all the route where you can find species like the candelabrum cactus and carob trees. Located on the north coast of Isla San Cristobal it is a peaceful place with white sand and crystal water, a perfect combination for an incredible stay.
DAY 13: WEDNESDAY GALAPAGOS CRUISE ESPAÑOLA ISLAND
AM: GARDNER BAY
Located on the north-eastern coast of Hood, Gardner Bay provides an excellent beach for relaxing, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and the opportunity to observe sea lions. Here we can also observe sharks in the crystal clear ocean
PM: SUAREZ POINT
This area is great for spotting blue-footed boobies, albatrosses and Nazca boobies. A beautiful site on the ocean front, the large waved albatrosses use the cliff as a launching pad. The famous attraction is the magnificent blowhole, spurting water high into the air at least from 50 to 75 meters high. This site presents wonderful photograph opportunities.
DAY 14: THURSDAY GALAPAGOS CRUISE FLOREANA ISLAND
AM: CORMORANT POINT
This site offers probably the best flamingo lagoon in the Galapagos; it is also one of the largest in the islands. It‟s situated between two tuff lava cones that give the area a special atmosphere. There are various species of shorebirds to observe besides flamingos; the most frequent are common stilts, white-checked pintail ducks, and other migratory birds. It is very interesting to see the two distinct beaches: “The Green Beach” (due to its high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand) and the “Flour Sand Beach” which is made up of coral.
PM: POST OFFICE BAY & BARONESS LOOKOUT
Historically, this site is the location of a wooden barrel that wasplaced in the 18th century by the crew of a whaling ship. It has been used since this time by mariners and tourists as a post office. The idea is to carry letters or postcards to their destination by hand. Apart from being the Post Office Barrel, this site was the landing area for some of the first colonists. We will continue to the north of the island and will ascent to an elevated slope to enjoy a beautiful vista at the Baroness lookout. It is said that Baroness Eloisa Von Wagner loved this place and spent several hours watching the horizon. Within walking distance (30 m) are the ruins of what is known as her house. From this lookout, the landscape covers the coastline from the Enderby islet to Post Office Bay, as well as Cerro Pajas, the pool of flamingos and wide forest of Palo Santo.
DAY 15: FRIDAY GALAPAGOS CRUISE SANTA CRUZ ISLAND
AM: CHARLES DARWIN STATION
Although the great majority of Galapagos visitors come here to observe and appreciate natural wonders, it is also interesting to learn how the protection and conservation of the islands are carried out. One of the main attractions are the National Park information center, the Van Straelen Exhibition Hall, the Breeding and Rearing Center for young tortoises, Lonesome George (turtle from Pinta), and adult Galapagos tortoises in captivity.
After the morning excursion you will be taken to the airport for your flight to the mainland.
Transfer to Baltra 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
PM: Sombrero Chino
|THURSDAY||AM: Santiago: Bahía Sullivan
|FRIDAY||AM: Visit the island of Bachas
PM: Visit the island of Seymour North
|SATURDAY||AM: Genovesa El Barranco
PM: Genovesa Bahía Darwin
|SUNDAY||AM: Plazas Sur
PM: Santa Fe
|MONDAY||AM: San C: Center. Crianza Jacinto Gordillo-Junco
PM: San Cristobal Interpretation Center
|TUESDAY||AM: San Cristobal Galapagos Natural
PM: San Cristobal Cerro Brujo
|WEDNESDAY||AM: Española Bahía Gardner – Islote Gardener
PM: Española Islote Osborn – Punta Suarez
|THURSDAY||AM: Florena Punta Cormorant – Champion
PM: Florena Bahí Post Office
|FRIDAY||AM: Visit Charles Darwin Station – Twin craters
Transfer to the airport in Baltra