Dragon Hill | Galapagos
Espinoza Point | Fernandina
Charles Darwin Station | Gapalagos
Post Office Bay | Floreana

High-class Western Islands Motor-Vessel Trip

Discover the natural treasures of the Archipelago by cruising on board one of the most emblematic Vessels, the Santa Cruz II. Our package allows you to visit the most renowned locations in the Western part plus wonderful sites in the Central and part of the Southern Archipelago, all in just 5 days for a short yet diverse itinerary.

Thursday: Arrival / Baltra

Departure from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra Island (2 ½-hour flight). Arriving in the Galapagos, passengers are picked up at the airport by our natural guides and taken to a ten-minute bus drive to the pier to board the M/V Santa Cruz II.

PM: Dragon Hill

The north shore of Santa Cruz hosts the fascinating landscapes of Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill). The first part of the walk here passes by a brackish-water lagoon that’s frequented by Flamingo, shorebirds and Pintail ducks. Further inland, the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western islands of the archipelago, as well as a chance to check out some land iguanas.

AM: Vicente Roca Point

In the morning, guests will get to explore the coast by dinghy, all while naturalist guides explain the dramatic geology of the area. This site is also a nesting place for endemic birds such as Galapagos penguins, boobies and flightless cormorants. Weather permitting, guests will get the chance to snorkel alongside the cliffs of this area that are rich in marine life, often times visited by green sea turtles and oceanic sun fish (Mola mola). 

PM: Espinoza Point

The afternoon is dedicated to exploring Fernandina, the youngest island in the archipelago. The complete absence of introduced animals is one its biggest features, as Fernandina boasts a very unique environment with a very high density of marine iguanas. Other creatures found here include sea lions, Sally light-foot crabs, penguins, Galapagos hawks and the flightless cormorants.

AM: Charles Darwin Station

In the morning, guests disembark (dry landing) in Puerto Ayora to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. The Station consists of a giant tortoise Breeding Center and an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest that is home to many land birds. The Station also serves as the headquarters for scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. Following this visit, guests will board a private transport to head up and enjoy lunch in the cooler highlands of Santa Cruz Island, which is an entirely different ecosystem.
 

PM: Santa Cruz Highlands

Guests will have several options to choose from in the afternoon, these of which can be discussed in advance with your Expedition Leader. At the end of the afternoon’s activities, guests will return to Puerto Ayora and hop aboard the Santa Cruz II.

AM: Baroneses Lookout & Post Office Bay

In the morning, dinghy ride along the maze of channels on Floreana’s north shore can be enjoyed. Afterwards, guests will get to experience Baroness Cove with its breathtaking views. Later on, land at Post Office Bay to visit the historic barrel that has served as a post office in the archipelago for over 200 years; guests will be invited to leave their own postcard. Snorkeling activities are offered right off the beach. Afterwards, guests will head back aboard for lunch.
 

PM: Champion Islet & Cormorant Point

In the afternoon, hop aboard the dinghies (for snorkeling) or the glass-bottom boat to explore the underwater wonders around Champion Islet – an extinct shield volcano that’s regarded as one of the best snorkeling spots in the archipelago. From there, it’s onwards to Cormorant Point, beginning with a wet landing on an olivine-crystal beach for a leisurely walk that includes a brackish-water lagoon where bird species such as American flamingos, pintail ducks, common stilts, herons, sandpipers, and other birds tend to gather. After this, guests will continue their walk over to a white-sand beach, where sea turtles emerge from the sea at night to nest (from December to May).

In the morning, your journey ends with transfer to airport for flight back to Mainland.

 

Galapagos map

Highlights

  • Enjoy the comfort and luxury of your incredible vessel and its ample social areas
  • Enjoy excursions on small groups to get the best out of each location with your experienced and friendly guide
  • Amazing hiking and snorkeling at Egas Port
  • Great variety of wildlife at Punta Espinoza, including endemic Penguins, Marine Iguanas and the Flightless Cormorant
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