Seaman Journey D itinerary
Itinerary D: 11d-10n Friday to Monday
DAY 1 FRIDAY: FLIGT TO GALAPAGOS
This day you will fly from Quito, Ecuador to the Galapagos. Due to the Galapagos Government, a fee of 20 USD must be paid for the migration control card. Afterwards, you will enjoy a quick 4 hour flight, with a quick stop at Guayaquil.
Once in Santa Cruz, passengers must go through an inspection point at the airport to make sure that no foreign plants or animals are being introduced to the archipelago. Also, this inspection point is where passengers have to pay for the entrance to the Galapagos National Park under the following parameters: Adult Passengers $100 and Children $50 (under 12 years old).
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 should 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 yacht.
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. Birds will surround you across this path. 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 to observe the 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 ready to be explored.
DAY 2 SATURDAY: FERNANDINA ISLAND
AM: MANGLE POINT
Off the eastern coast of Fernandina, Mangle Point can be found, 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. 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: MORENO POINT
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, where several species of birds which can be found around this lakes and mangroves
DAY 3 SUNDAY: 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, which caused 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 to snorkel. Urbina Bay is a path that starts off with a wet landing. The course is approximately 3200m, and made up of sand, pumice, lava, coral and vegetation where one can observe iguana burrows. It is an ideal place to see red and blue lobster!
In Bahia Urbina you can see Darwin’s finches. Its main attraction is the land iguanas, which are larger than in places like South Plaza Island and Galapagos tortoises also in the wild, sometimes even out of season they are on the bottom of the islands.
A large amount of vegetation can be observed such as chamomile and Rosewood, but among all these plants, the beautiful flowers of cotton Darwin, endemic to the Galapagos Islands stand out.
PM: TAGUS COVE
Tagus Cove is located west of Darwin Volcano on Isabela Island. This was a favorite spot for pirates and whalers, and it was them who started the following tradition: the inscription of the names of boats. At the beginning of the trail, you will see a small cave where you will find inscriptions dating to the 1800s.
Its name originated from a British warship that went across the islands in 1814 looking for Galapagos Tortoise for food.
Due to former eruptions, 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: FERNANDINA ISLAND / ISABELLA ISLAND
AM: ESPINOZA POINT
Espinoza Point is a famous place known 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: 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, is Punta Vicente Roca. It is located in the north-western coast of the island; comprises two distinct islets. 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 can as well find: Penguins, Blue-footed boobies, Terns, Boobies, Sea lions. Also you can snorkel and observe sea turtles, stingrays and puffer fish.
DAY 5 TUESDAY: SANTIAGO ISLAND
AM: PLAYA ESPUMILLA / BUCANERO
Espumilla beach is located on the northern coast of Santiago Island in James Bay. During the last presence of 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 nesting of baby turtles.
PM: PUERTO EGAS
Cerro Brujo is a beautiful 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 ever walked on in 1835. In this marvelous lava landscape, 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 by the fishermen as a salt mine in order to preserve food for the local population.
Among the fauna, you can observe the Chatham Mockingbird and the San Cristobal Lava Lizard, both species being endemic to the island and unique to the area as they cannot be observed nowhere else.
Furthermore you can find the island canary, the Galapagos turtles and with luck the little bird known as the Pájaro 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, here Cerro Brujo, is the place where we can find a relaxing and beautiful place to be at.
DAY 6 WEDNESDAY: RABIDA ISLAND / CHINESE HAT
AM: RABIDA ISLAND
Rabida Island is unique due to the red color that colours all rocks and sand. The volcanic material in this island is very porous and external factors as rain, salty water, and sea breeze have acted as an oxidizing agent.
A short walk along a trail leads you to a coastal lagoon behind the beach which permits you to observe the land birds such as finches, doves, yellow warblers, and mockingbirds. 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 the north. On the west you can see lava formations, formed under the sea and raised upwards, 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: SANTIAGO ISLAND / BARTOLOME 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: 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 it is occasionally 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
North Seymour is an uplifted (as opposed to volcanic) island. Therefore, it 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: GENOVESA ISLAND
AM: EL BARRANCO
The visitor site of El Barranco is located in the southern part of Darwin Bay from Genovesa Island. The trail is on volcanic rock, consists of 1.5 km and can be done in about 2 hours. The youngest area of the island, from a geological point of view, lies on this area. The cliff is located in the south, are composed of very fragile lava. The natural erosion 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 and several species of seabirds can be seen.
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 that allow the following species to be seen: red footed-booby, masked boobies, wandering tattlers, lava gulls, whimbrels, yellow-crowned, and black-crowned lava herons, and yellow warblers.
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 of the trail, at the cliff’s edge an incredible view of the island and the many birds living there can be observed.
DAY 10 SUNDAY: SANTA CRUZ ISLAND / SANTA FE 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 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 seabirds 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 it 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 land 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 fish.
DAY 11 MONDAY: 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. All of this will be learnt at the Jacinto Breeding Center. One can not only learn about breeding processes but as well get engaged and experience why they this breeding centre does what it does.
After the morning excursion you will be taken to the airport for your flight to the mainland.
|FRIDAY||AM: Flight to Galapagos
PM: Highlands of Santa Cruz
|SATURDAY||AM: Fernandina Island, Mangle Point
PM: Isabela Island, Moreno Point
|SUNDAY||AM: Isabela Island, Urbina Bay
PM: Isabela Island, Tagus Cove
|MONDAY||AM: Fernandina Island, Espinoza Point
PM: Isabela Island, Vicente Roca Point
|TUESDAY||AM: Santiago Island, Playa Espumilla
PM: Santiago Island, Puerto Egas
|WEDNESDAY|| AM Rabida Island
PM: Chinese hat
|THURSDAY||AM: Santiago Island, Sullivan Bay
PM: Bartolome Island
|FRIDAY||AM: Bachas Island
PM: North Seymour
|SATURDAY||AM: Genovesa Island, El Barranco
PM: Genovesa Island, Darwin Bay
|SUNDAY||AM: Santa Cruz Island, Plazas
PM: Santa Fe Island
|MONDAY||AM: San Cristobal, Jacinto Gordillo Breeding Center
Transfer to the airport