Activity level: Moderate
Ship: Galapagos Eden
Day 1 begins with an early flight to the Galápagos Islands. Once there, you will head over to Bachas Beach to see many amazing sea creatures including flamingos, sea lions, and Sally Lightfoot crabs.
Bachas Beach Landing
Day one has you exploring the beautiful Bachas Beach where the soft and silky white sand is made from decomposed coral, which has made it a favorite location for nesting sea turtles. You may even spot the abundant Sally Lightfoot crabs that can be found on the lava rocks along the water’s edge. Be careful though, these ravenous crabs will eat anything they can get their claws on! You will also be able to trek across the Bachas Beach Landing to explore the wide range of wildlife, including flamingos, hermit crabs, black necked stilts, and sea lions.
Snorkeling (Darwin Bay)
The second day of the trip will begin with a visit to a sunken caldera for a fantastic snorkeling opportunity. Here you will be able to see large schools of tropical fish that seem to almost overrun the vertical walls, and, if you’re really lucky, you may even get the chance to see a manta ray or even a hammerhead shark.
Darwin Bay Visit
Once at Genovesa Island you will be able to take a beautiful walk along the white coral sands of Darwin Bay while surrounded by many species of bustling sea birds. You can even follow the trail to see nesting frigate birds, gulls, and boobies. Make sure to bring your camera as you will surely want to take a few shots with your new feathered friends.
El Barranco Visit
At Genovesa Island you will also be able to visit “El Barranco” aka Prince Phillip’s Steps which can be found at the southern tip of the island. Hike up the steps for the ability to experience a one-of-a-kind bird watching adventure as you take in a lively sea bird colony that also included the breeding grounds for red-footed and masked boobies.
Bartolomé Island Landing
Today you will hike to the summit of Bartolomé allowing you to fully appreciate and the islands’ not-too distant volcanic origins, and also in order to enjoy a breath-taking panoramic view – it’s one of the best views to be found among the islands! At the summit you can even see the other Galápagos Islands in the distance and Pinnacle Rock, the island’s famous towering landmark.
Snorkeling (Bartolomé Island)
Continue your exploration of the Island as you take the opportunity to swim and snorkel around Pinnacle Rock, an iconic Galápagos Islands volcanic rock formation. Bartolomé is the perfect location for those looking to explore the natural wonders of the Galápagos as it is home to Galápagos penguins, friendly sea lions, majestic sea turtles, and a huge variety of fish.
Sullivan Bay Visit
Finally, the day will end with a visit to Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island to see its striking and fascinating giant lava formations. This island’s harsh environment and relatively recent lava flows mean that very few plants have managed to survive. Enjoy a leisurely walk along the stunning lava formations before coming to a white-coral sand beach, where you can watch the abundant Sally Lightfoot crabs and sea lions that gather on the shore.
Black Turtle Cove Excursion
On the last day of this tour, you will explore the mangroves by panga, a local motorized dinghy, to find the rich marine wildlife that can be found living in the peaceful and protected waters. Especially keep an eye out for sea turtles and manta rays which are often seen in this tranquil ecosystem. Lucky visitors may also see a white tip reef shark gliding by.
Cerro Dragón Visit
The last destination on this tour is a visit to Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill) for some prime bird watching. Take a short walk from the beautiful beach to a hypersaline lagoon. This lagoon that boasts higher levels of salt than the ocean is frequented by pink flamingos, common stilts, pintail ducks, and many other species of birds. At Cerro Dragón you will also have the opportunity to pass through a Scalesia tree forest. This is a rare treat, as these trees, which are endemic to the area, are becoming scarce, with only 400 specimens of Scalesia trees left in the world.