M/Y Coral I & Coral II  cruise  are perfect to explore the Galapagos Islands.

The Coral I & II are gorgeous, comfortable, sister yachts in the Galapagos Islands offering charming social areas distributed on three decks, with both outdoor and interior spaces allowing you to enjoy an intimate expedition experience in your own way. With a capacity for 36 and 20 guests respectively, the vessels offer open deck areas with a Jacuzzi to make the best of your relaxing time while cruising the islands. The interiors are thoughtfully designed to resemble a private yacht experience in a cozy ambiance. The restaurant serves delicious Ecuadorian and international cuisine even extending to a BBQ dinner on the open-air Moon Deck. They are the perfect cruise vessels for charter groups where the thrill and comfort are guaranteed.

The M/Y Coral I and the M/Y Coral II have a total of 18 and 11 cabins respectively. The Ocean View, air-conditioned cabins can accommodate twin beds or a full size bed with  private facilities. Additionally, matrimonial, double or triple options are available. We have interconnecting doors suitable for families or friends traveling together. Each cabin includes: safe, entertainment system with LCD TVs, hair dryer, special bedding in each category, and remodeled furniture in each cabin. Our voltage is set for 110-220 volts/60 Hz.

All cabins have an independent air conditioning system, soft music, and some of the can be interconnected.

ITINERARIES

Cruise A (Sun – Wed) 4 days / 3 nights

Day 1: Sunday
– AM – Baltra airport
Departure from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra (2 ½ hours flight). Arriving in Galapagos, passengers are picked up at the airport by our naturalist guides and taken on a ten minute bus drive to the pier to board the M/Y Coral I or M/Y Coral II.

– PM – Fausto Llerena Breeding Center – Charles Darwin Station (Santa Cruz Island)
Dry landing. We visit the Station where the Galapagos giant tortoise breeding program takes place as part of our efforts to preserve the fragile Galapagos environment and where the famous Lonesome George (the last surviving specimen of his specie) lived for decades. The program is conducted by GNP staff with the collaboration of scientists from the CDRS. Eggs are brought from the Galapagos Islands of Pinzon, Santiago and Santa Cruz to the station. The eggs are incubated artificially; the “galapaguitos” (little Galapagos) are born and reared until the age of 5 years, when they can survive the effects of introduced predators (rats, pigs and dogs). Then they are returned to their native areas. Since 1970, more than 2000 “galapaguitos” have returned to the native areas. Admire a prickly-pear cactus forest and variety Darwin Finches and other land birds. The Darwin Station also works providing environmental education to communities and schools within the Islands, and to tourists visiting the Galapagos Islands. If time permits, you will also have some free time to visit the town and shop for souvenirs.
Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: flat
Duration: 1h30 walk

Day 2: Monday
– AM – Champion / Devil’s Crown / Post Office (Floreana Island)
Champion is a small Islet located just offshore Floreana Island, offers great dinghy rides or snorkeling along a nice wall filled with a variety of marine wildlife like the endemic Black Striped Salema, the Blue Lobster, Long Nose Hawk fish, Sea Horses, Coral Hawk fish, Sea Lions, and the famous Red-lipped batfish. Devil’s Crown is considered one of the best sites for snorkeling, here you can watch Galapagos Penguins, Sea Lions, turtles, sharks, dolphins and fish diversity. A wet landing in the north side of Floreana takes to the bay of Post Office, is so-named because in 1793 Captain James Colnett installed a wooden barrel which served as an informal post office for sailors passing through, who would take letters with them to their destinations. Today, our visitors continue the tradition by placing unstamped postcards inside the barrel that should reach their destinations for free. It can take weeks, months, even years, not arrive at all, or even arrive before you! We may also encounter Darwin Finches, Yellow Warbler and Lava Lizards. Great snorkeling opportunities with Green Pacific Sea Turtles as well, this island is best known for its endemic vegetation: Scalesia villosa, Lecocarpus pinnatifidus, and Galapagos milkwort. Snorkelers can practice on the main beach among playful sea lions.
Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy and walk on a flat terrain
Duration: 30 minutes walk / 1 hour snorkeling

– PM – Cormorant Point
Wet landing on an olivine green sand beach. We hike from the black mangrove beds to a brackish lagoon, which usually holds one of the largest flamingo populations in the Galapagos. This island features some endemic plants such as Scalesia villosa, White and Black Mangrove, and Holy Stick. The trail continues to a beautiful white-sand beach, one of the most important nesting sites of Green Pacific Sea Turtles. It is important to avoid walking in the water due to the Sting Rays that may be hiding in the sand, which can stab or wound humans in self-defense if accidentally stepped on. From the beach one can spot Sea Turtles, Blue-footed Boobies plunging into the water, and small Reef Sharks floating along the shoreline in search of food. This coral sand beach marks the end of our trail, and we head back to the olivine beach we landed on to swim or snorkel amongst Sea Turtles, Reef fish, Sea Lions and, on a good day, White-tipped Reef sharks. A small colony of Galapagos Penguins resides on Floreana and can sometimes be observed as well.
Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy
Duration: 1 hour walk / 1 hour snorkeling

Day 3: Tuesday
– AM – Osborn & Gardner Islets / Gardner Bay (Espanola Island)
Osborn and Gardner Islets are great places for snorkeling with the chance of having Sea Lions joining you, and allow you to observe Parrot fish, Butterfly fish, Manta Rays, White-tipped Reef Sharks, and probably Red-lipped bat fish. Wet landing in Gardner Bay, on a beautiful white coral sand beach guarded by a colony of Sea Lions. There are no trails, so we stay along the shore where we can spot Galapagos Hawk, American Oystercatcher, Galapagos Dove, Hood Mockingbird, Yellow Warbler, Lava lizards, Marine iguanas, and three species of Darwin Finches: a subspecies (Geospiza fuliginosa) of the Large Cactus Finch, which is similar to the large ground finch, the Small Ground Finch (Geospiza fuliginosa) and the Warbler Finch (Certhidea olivacea) which is another endemic subspecies. Swimming and snorkeling offers a great variety of Galapagos marine wildlife: King Angelfish, Creole fish, Damsel fish and Parrot fish.
Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy
Duration: 1 hour walk / 1 hour snorkeling

– PM – Suarez Point (Espanola Island)
Dry landing. An island of geological interest being one of the oldest in Galapagos, it has a high percentage of endemism because it is also one of the most isolated in the archipelago. This, and the great number as well as variety of wildlife found make this site one of the most attractive in the Galapagos.

We explore volcanic formations and a riveting wildlife: large colonies of Sea Lion and seabirds including Española mockingbird, Nazca boobies and the spectacular Red Billed tropic bird. You will also encounter singular Marine iguanas that have a turquoise color with red in the breeding season, Lava lizards, and the colorful Sally Light Foot crabs.
A somewhat lengthy hike will bring you among Nazca and Blue-footed boobies, right up to nesting grounds that sometimes overlap the trail. Other birding favorites include Galapagos Dove, Galapagos Hawk, Swallow-tailed gulls and the world’s largest colony of Waved Albatross, an unequivocal highlight during mating season (April-December).
Admire the island’s dramatic backdrop, featuring the famous “Soplador”, a seaward blowhole that shoots water at some 23 m. (75 ft.) in the air.
Difficulty level: demanding
Type of terrain: rocky
Duration: 2h30 walk

Day 4: Wednesday
– AM – Daphne
We circumnavigate the islet of Daphne, an eroded tuff cone formation that was created by successive volcanic activity, for an opportunity to see Darwin Finches, Blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, Red-billed tropicbirds, Swallow-tailed gulls, Brown Noddies. Afterwards, you will go straight to the airport for return flight to Guayaquil or Quito.

Cruise B (Wed - Sun) 5 days / 4 nights

Day 1: Wednesday
– AM – Baltra airport
Departure from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra (2 ½ hours flight). Arriving in Galapagos, passengers are picked up at the airport by our naturalist guides and taken on a ten minute bus drive to the pier to board the M/Y Coral I or M/Y Coral II.

– PM – Eden Islet / Ballena Bay (Santa Cruz Island)
Off the western coast of Santa Cruz, Eden Islet offers opportunities to see Nazca and Blue-footed boobies, Reef sharks, and Endemic Salemas, either from the dinghy or during snorkeling. Wet landing in “Ballena” (Whale) Bay, this is a beautiful green sand cove at the base of Dragon Hill on the west coast of Santa Cruz Island. The beach contains a large amount of olivine crystals of volcanic origin. The crystals were formed when the magma was still underground. The content is magnesium, iron and silica. A small population of tortoises from Pinzón Island lived at the site, but were probably taken by whalers or previous inhabitants. Opportunity to see marine iguanas and sea birds followed by snorkeling.
Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: rocky
Duration: 1 hour walk / 1 hour snorkeling/swimming

Day 2: Thursday
– AM – Vicente Roca Point (Isabela Island)
This point is a promontory with two protected turquoise coves on either side of the remains of a tuff cone, one of them accessible from the sea only through water-filled subterranean passages, so it is a marine-only visitor site with really great opportunities for deep-water snorkeling thanks to its location at one of the richest marine ecosystems on Earth (Bolivar Channel). In this part of the Galapagos, the upwelling of cold water currents from the West offer an abundant food supply for marine species that supports a wide variety of marine life: Red-lipped batfish, Sea horses, Frogfish, Nudibranchs and Octopi, the Mola mola or Sun fish has also been spotted close to the rock walls. It is common to observe groups of dolphins, Sea Lions and tunas feeding here. The geological formations here are very impressive, a sheer cliff provides the perfect setting for a dinghy ride along the coast to observe a great diversity of sea and coastal birds: Noddies, Brown pelicans, Galapagos Penguins and Flightless Cormorants. Marine birds such as Pelicans or Nazca and Blue-footed boobies are often seen feeding all at once in these waters. There are whale-watching opportunities during the cold season (May – December) while navigating from Vicente Roca Point to Espinosa Point.
Duration: 1 hour snorkeling / 1 hour dinghy ride

– PM – Espinosa Point (Fernandina Island)
Dry landing. Espinosa Point is the only spot that we visit on Fernandina, and from it we can see the island of Isabela across the Bolívar Channel, an area that boasts some of the highest diversity of endemic sea fauna in the Galapagos. The largest, most primitive-looking race of marine iguanas are found mingling with Sea Lions and Sally Lightfoot Crabs; a wonderful opportunity to encounter Flightless Cormorants at their nesting sites, Galapagos Penguins and the “King” of predators on the Islands, the Galapagos Hawk.
“Pa-hoe-hoe” and “AA” lava formations cover the majority of the terrain. Vegetation is thus scarce inland, but we encounter Brachycereus cacti and extensive mangrove beds lining the shores.
Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: rocky
Duration: 2 hours walk / 1 hour snorkeling

 Day 3: Friday
– AM – Urbina Bay (Isabela Island)
Wet landing on a volcanic black beach. Depending on the season, we may find Giant tortoises, Land iguanas and the unusual Flightless Cormorant. After a short walk inland, snorkeling time is allotted, giving you yet another chance to swim with Sea turtles, Sea lions and countless tropical fish. Urbina Bay features a wide variety of plant life that changes depending on the season. We can observe the beautiful colors of plants that attract different insects, birds and reptiles. We will explore the uplifted coral reef that resulted from 1954 volcanic activity, with a spectacular view of Alcedo Volcano.
There are whale-watching opportunities during the cold season (May – December) while navigating from Urbina Bay to Tagus Cove.
Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: flat
Duration: 1h30 walk / 1 hour snorkeling

– PM – Tagus Cove (Isabela Island)
Dry landing on Galapagos’ largest Island where we will learn about the eruption of the five volcanoes that formed it. The trail leads to Darwin salt-water Crater Lake and excellent views of lava fields and volcanic formations. This us a great site to see landbirds such as Galapagos Hawks, Ground and Tree finches, Large-billed flycatchers and Yellow warblers.
We will return by the same path for a dinghy ride along a shoreline full of marine wildlife, where we will admire a variety of Seabirds such as Blue-footed booby, Brown Noddy, Terns, Flightless Cormorant and, depending on the season, a large number of Galapagos Penguins which are only 35 cm tall; the only penguin species in the world to extend its range into the northern hemisphere along the Equator. They lay their eggs in small cracks of lava, on the lower parts of the island near the shoreline not reached by the ocean waves. Most of the individuals live on this Western portion of Isabela, others are scattered further South on the Island. We will have an opportunity to snorkel in deep water.
Graffiti believed to have been left by19th-century pirates is a curious reminder of an intriguing past. Many names of the early visitors to this site, pirates and whalers, are written on the cliffs along the shore.
Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: flat and steep
Duration: 1 hour walk / dinghy ride 40 minutes / deep water snorkeling: 1 hour

Day 4: Saturday
– AM – Salt Mines / Egas Port (Santiago Island)
Wet landing a beach of black volcanic sand, visited by Darwin in 1835. Salt Mines visitor site has an important history, on 1683 William Ambrose Cowley visited this place, it was he who gave the English name of James to the Bay and the Island. British buccaneers anchored in this whole area during the 1600s since it was a good place to provide them with water, tortoises and salt from the salt-lake that lied down into the crater. The first part of Egas Port trail is comprised of volcanic ash (eroded tuff) and the other half of the trail is partially uneven terrain, comprised of volcanic basaltic rock that lounges the shoreline and take you to the best tidal pool areas in the Galapagos that are populated by Fur Seals and Sally Lightfoot crabs.
The unique, truly striking layered terrain of Santiago’s shores is home to a variety of resident and migrant birds including the bizarre Yellow-crowned Night Heron, the Galapagos hawk is often observed in this area as well. Snorkeling in this place is a highlight, astounding array of marine wildlife including Lobster, Starfish and Marine iguanas grazing on algae beds alongside Sally Lightfoot Crabs. Snorkeling also offers rarities such as Octopus or Squid. At this visitor site you can observe the two species of sea lions: Fur “seals” and Galapagos Sea Lion. Colonies of Endemic Fur Seals swimming in cool water pools formed by volcanic rocks can be seen.
Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: the first part flat and then semi rocky
Duration: 1h30 walk / 1 hour snorkeling/swimming

– PM – Sullivan Bay (Santiago Island)
Wet landing. This visitor site located at the Southeastern portion of Santiago Island is of important geologic interest, features extensive Pahoehoe lava flows believed to have been formed during the last quarter of the 19th century. In the inland section of the trail, in the middle of the lava flow, appear older reddish-yellow-colored tuff cones where Mollugo plants and their yellow-to-orange whorled leaves which usually grow out of the fissures. Walking on the lava is breathtaking, this flow is geologically very young, the magma formed is flat but the movement of underground lava, the rapid cooling, and other eruptions make it look like it just solidified.
Difficulty level: demanding, 1.5 km path
Type of terrain: flat volcanic lava
Duration: 1h30 walk / 1 hour snorkeling/swimming

Day 5: Sunday
– AM – “El Chato” Reserve (Santa Cruz Island)
Dry landing. We will reach the Santa Cruz highlands and visit a private farm and natural tortoise reserve “El Chato” / “Primicias”, where Giant Tortoises are found in their natural habitat, as well as land birds such as Tree and Ground Finches, Vermillion Flycatchers, Paint-billed Crakes, Yellow Warblers and Cattle Egrets. The journey to the reserve offers great opportunities to see the contrasts that the islands offer in regard of variety of ecosystems, life and geology, the road goes from the coast through the agricultural zone and straight up to the dense forests of the highlands that emerge from a light fog. Often, tortoises are also seen on the way, wandering through pastures in the agricultural zone. Land birds can also be observed along the excursion, this visit is actually of important interest for birdwatchers since they can observe here almost every land bird present in the islands.
Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: flat & muddy sometimes (depending on season)
Duration: 45 minutes drive / 1h30 walk

Baltra airport
In the morning you will go straight to the airport for return flight to Guayaquil or Quito.

Cruise C (Sun - Wed) 4 days / 3 nights

Day 1: Sunday
– AM – Baltra airport
Departure from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra (2 ½ hours flight). Passengers are picked up at the airport by our naturalist guides and taken on a ten minute bus drive to the pier to board the M/Y Coral I or M/Y Coral II.

– PM – Fausto Llerena Breeding Center – Charles Darwin Station (Santa Cruz Island)
Dry landing. We visit the Station where the Galapagos giant tortoise breeding program takes place as part of our efforts to preserve the fragile Galapagos environment and where the famous Lonesome George (the last surviving specimen of his specie) lived for decades. The program is conducted by GNP staff with the collaboration of scientists from the CDRS. Eggs are brought from the Galapagos Islands of Pinzon, Santiago and Santa Cruz to the station. The eggs are incubated artificially; the “galapaguitos” (little Galapagos) are born and reared until the age of 5 years, when they can survive the effects of introduced predators (rats, pigs and dogs). Then they are returned to their native areas. Since 1970, more than 2000 “galapaguitos” have returned to the native areas. Admire a prickly-pear cactus forest and variety Darwin Finches and other land birds. The Darwin Station also works providing environmental education to communities and schools within the Islands, and to tourists visiting the Galapagos Islands. If time permits, you will also have some free time to visit the town and shop for souvenirs.
Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: flat
Duration: 1h30 walk

Day 2: Monday
– AM – Santa Fe Island
Wet landing on a white sand beach surrounded by a Sea Lion colony; we continue walking through an endemic cactus forest as we search for the endemic Santa Fe land iguana, the largest in the islands and distinctively paler. This island is home to a number of endemic species including Galapagos Hawk, Galapagos Snake, rice rats, a variety of finches and one of the four species of Galapagos mockingbirds. Deep-water snorkeling.
Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: rocky
Duration: 1h30 walk / 1 hour deep-water snorkeling

– PM – South Plaza (Plaza Island)
There are two Plaza Islands located east of Santa Cruz Island, though visitors only land on South Plaza, this is a dry landing on the Northern part of the Islet. The walk begins with an impressive cactus forest surrounded by the colorful yellow and red Land Iguanas and Marine Iguanas; as we reach its highest point, be on the lookout for Tropicbirds, it is also home to one of the largest Sea Lion colonies.
In South Plaza there is a large colony of the smaller sized Land Iguanas. The population is approximately 300 individuals. They feed on all kinds of vegetation, but during the dry season survive on the fruits and flowers of Opuntia cacti. We will encounter the one and only Galapagos Hybrid Iguana. A bright red landscape is characteristic of the Island during the dry season (June – January) when the succulent plant Sesuvium edmonstonei turns red. Its regularly greenish to yellowish. The Portulaca oleracea is also common in South Plaza, it is the favorite food of the land iguanas.
Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: rocky
Duration: 2 hours walk

Day 3: Tuesday
– AM – North Seymour Island
Dry landing. Off of Baltra Island (where one of the airports is located) and not far from Santa Cruz, North Seymour was formed by series of underwater volcanic lava deposited in layers on the ocean floor. An approximately two hour walk amidst large nesting colonies of Blue-footed boobies, Magnificent and Great frigate birds, and Swallow-tailed gulls for an in depth encounter with sea bird breeding cycles. You will also encounter Sea Lions, Land Iguanas, and on a lucky day, you might even come across a Galapagos Snake.
Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: rocky
Duration: 2 hours walk, 30 minute snorkeling

– PM – Bachas Beach (Santa Cruz Island)
Wet landing on the North side of Santa Cruz; behind the beach lie two small flamingo ponds with iguanas, coastal birds, Darwin Finches, Mockingbirds, and Gulls, as well as interesting native and endemic vegetation, red and black mangroves, salt bushes, and much more. This beach is one of the main nesting sites of sea turtles in the Galapagos. A female can lay eggs 3 or 4 times with an average of 70 eggs each, but then spend 3 or 5 years without breeding.
At this paradisiacal site we will also find the remains of barges that sank long ago, once property of the United States Navy when they operated an airbase on Baltra Island during World War II. That is why the beach is called “Bachas” because the word “barges” in English was hard to pronounce for the local people.
Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy
Duration: 1 hour walk / 1 hour snorkeling/swimming

Day 4: Wednesday
– AM – Interpretation Center & Tijeretas (San Cristobal Island)
Dry landing in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, capital of the Galapagos Islands. Passengers visit the Interpretation Center, that is one of the components of the project “Plan of Interpretation and Environmental Education for the Galapagos Islands”, an excellent place to learn about natural history in the Islands. The Museum of Natural History displays information on the volcanic origins of the islands, their remoteness from the continent, ocean currents, climate, the arrival of the different species and their colonization, among other points of interest. The human history is also showcased, chronologically narrating the most significant events related to the discovery and colonization of the islands.
A high intensity hike might be taken to visit Tijeretas Hill to admire beautiful landscapes ending with a magnificent view of a nearby large Frigate bird colony. If time permits, free time in town for shopping.
Difficulty level: easy-intermediate
Type of terrain: flat
Duration: 1 hour visit plus 1 hour to Tijeretas

– PM – San Cristobal Airport (San Cristobal Island)
After the visit you will go straight to the airport for return flight to Guayaquil or Quito.

Cruise D (Wed - Sun)5 days / 4 nights

Day 1: Wednesday
– AM – San Cristobal airport (San Cristobal Island)
Departure from Quito or Guayaquil to San Cristobal (2 ½ hours flight). In Galapagos passengers are picked up at the airport by our naturalist guides and taken on a ten minute bus drive to the pier to board the M/Y Coral I or M/Y Coral II.

– PM – Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve (San Cristobal Island)
Dry landing in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Passengers visit the San Cristobal Tortoise Breeding and Rearing Center for young tortoises called “Jacinto Gordillo” located in the vicinity of Cerro Colorado, from which it derives its name. This is one of the few places where you can see Calandrinia galapagosa, a plant endemic to San Cristobal. Passengers can learn about the National Park’s conservation programs and also about an assisted reproduction program that started after the birth of a little turtle in captivity. If time permits, passengers will have the opportunity to visit the port village, have a drink or shop for arts and crafts and other souvenirs.
Difficulty level: intermediate
Duration: 40 minutes bus drive to the Reserve / 1 hour visit

Day 2: Thursday
– AM – Cerro Brujo (San Cristobal Island)
Wet landing. Cerro Brujo is an eroding tuff cone that at several locations is composed of aa lava formations, and a beautiful white sand beach, great for snorkeling and sunbathing. We visit a lagoon where migratory bird species can be seen: Black-necked Stilts, Ruddy Turnstones, Whimbrels, other sandpiper species and White-cheeked Pintails. Cerro Brujo offers beautiful views of Kicker Rock, the southern part of San Cristobal and the adjacent coast.
Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy
Duration: 1 hour walk / 1 hour snorkeling

– PM – Pitt Point & Pitt Islet (San Cristobal Island)
Wet landing followed by a high intensity hike on rocky terrain. The trail includes an olivine beach of 90 meters long and a path that climbs to the top of a volcanic tuff, through several magnificent viewpoints. This is probably the only site where the three booby species of the Galapagos can be seen together: Nazca, Blue-footed, and Red-footed; as well as the two species of Frigate birds and a Sea Lion colony; it is also excellent for dinghy rides and snorkeling, where a good range of sea birds can be observed.
Difficulty level: demanding
Type of terrain: rocky and steep
Duration: 2h30 walk

Day 3: Friday
– AM – Mosquera Islet
Wet Landing, Mosquera Islet is located between North Seymour and Baltra Islands, this flat, sandy island has a large colony of Sea Lions. It is also an excellent site for observing shorebirds such as Herons and Lava Gulls. There is no trail on Mosquera Island, so any visitor can enjoy the open area. Most of the islet is covered with sand and barren lava rock. Very little Sesuvium portulacastrum grows on the sand.
Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy
Duration: 1h30 walk & snorkeling

– PM – Bartolome Island
Dry landing. We discover a fascinating moonscape formed by different volcanic parasitic cones – lava bombs, spatter, cinder cones – as we hike to the summit for impressive views of the surrounding islands. Bartolome offers the best views of the Galapagos, including fascinating geological formations such as Pinnacle Rock, the most photographed site of the islands. We also encounter Marine Iguanas and Lava Lizards.
Beach time is a great opportunity to snorkel and see (perhaps swim with) Galapagos Penguin, Sea Turtles and White-tipped Reef Shark, among a great variety of colorful fish. For many visitors, this may turn out to be one of the best of snorkeling experiences; the water here is generally clear, without too much surf and full of marine life.
Due to its geographical location, the lack of vegetation is immediately noticeable. Pioneer plants are observed, so called because they are the first to establish roots on new ground. They include Tiquilia nesiotica (which is endemic to the island) and Chamaesyce (known as sand mat or spurge in English), lava cactus, and Scalesia bushes. Behind the beach we have dunes covered by mangroves.
Difficulty level: intermediate.
Type of terrain: trail made of steps (370 steps)
Duration: 1h30 walk / 1 hour snorkeling/swimming

Day 4: Saturday
– AM – Rabida Island
Wet landing. Dark-red sand covers these unique beaches with incredible landscape; Rabida is considered the epicenter of the Galapagos Islands due to the diversity of its volcanic geology. Nesting Brown Pelicans are found from July through September and nine species of the famous Darwin Finches can be seen. We will also take a dinghy ride along cliffs to observe nesting seabirds, and snorkel off the coast, where marine life is particularly active.
Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy
Duration: 1h30 walk / 1 hour snorkeling / ½ hour dinghy ride

– PM – Chinese Hat Islet
Located off the Southeastern tip of Santiago Island, separated by a small channel of turquoise waters, this islet is shaped like a Chinese hat when seen from distance. A nice scenic hike is taken starting from a white sandy beach around the cove where a colony of Sea Lions can be seen along with American Oystercatchers, Marine Iguanas, Lava Lizards and Sally Lightfoot crabs, then follow the trail through delicate well preserved remnants of volcanic rock that are not found elsewhere in this condition, this visit provides an excellent opportunity for the interpretation of geological features such as lava tubes and lava flows. The islet itself is beautiful and is definitely worth a trip, there are strict restrictions on number of visitors to this site so not many people get the chance to explore it. The snorkeling is fantastic, you have the opportunity to swim among colorful tropical fish, Sea Lions, Galapagos Penguins and White-tipped Reef Sharks. Mating Eagle Rays flopping in the water might also be seen.
Difficulty level: intermediate
Type of terrain: rocky
Duration: 1 hour walk / 1 hour snorkeling

Day 5: Sunday
– AM – “El Chato” Reserve (Santa Cruz Island)
Dry landing. We will reach the Santa Cruz highlands and visit a private farm and natural tortoise reserve “El Chato” / “Primicias”, where Giant Tortoises are found in their natural habitat, as well as land birds such as Tree and Ground Finches, Vermillion Flycatchers, Paint-billed Crakes, Yellow Warblers and Cattle Egrets. The journey to the reserve offers great opportunities to see the contrasts that the islands offer in regard of variety of ecosystems, life and geology, the road goes from the coast through the agricultural zone and straight up to the dense forests of the highlands that emerge from a light fog. Often, tortoises are also seen on the way, wandering through pastures in the agricultural zone. Land birds can also be observed along the excursion, this visit is actually of important interest for birdwatchers since they can observe here almost every land bird present in the islands.
Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: flat & muddy sometimes (depending on season)
Duration: 45 minutes drive / 1h30 walk

Baltra airport
In the morning you will go straight to the airport for return flight to Guayaquil or Quito.

 

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