Arrive at Baltra Island and transfer to the dock to board Yacht La Pinta. Disembark (dry landing) in the afternoon on North Seymour Island to walk along the coast and see the interiors of the island which house a number of bird colonies including frigate birds, swallow tailed gulls, and blue footed boobies as well as sea lions and iguanas. There’s an opportunity after for snorkelling or exploring the coast before an evening briefing.
Explore the coast via dinghy on a guided tour and find out about the volcanic landscape and dramatic geology of the surrounding area. Flightless cormorants make this particular locale their home and share with sea lions, seals, penguins, and rare birds. Weather permitting; a snorkelling expedition of the partly-sunken Ecuador Volcano can be undertaken near the tip of Isabela Island, a frequent visitation site for green sea turtles. Punta Espinoza is the next stop on this voyage in the afternoon, beginning with a mile walk over dark magma through a baron backdrop which is inhabited by an abundance of native animals including iguanas, crabs, and hawks. A briefing will take place in the evening along with dinner.
Today you will be disembarking at Urbina Bay (wet landing) at the bases of volcanoes Alcedo and Darwin. This land is rich in coral and sea shells and is occasionally home to giant tortoises and a great place for spotting finches. After a hike, there’s an opportunity for snorkelling around the shoreline and spotting penguins the length of the cove, followed by lunch on board. Tagus Cove is next, a popular place for pirates and whalers to make anchor over the centuries. The fragrant palo santo tree can be found growing in this area. Make your way uphill to Darwin Crater, a salt water deposit with a breathtaking view at the top. You may take the opportunity to swim, snorkel or ride kayaks from the pangas before an evening briefing and dinner.
Disembark today at Rábida Island (wet landing) to find yourself on a red-coloured beach due to the iron content in the area. Take a walk along the beach to catch sight of a variety of wildlife from sea lions, mockingbirds, and warblers. A salt pond, hidden close to the beach, is often home for flamingos during migration. Snorkelling is encouraged around this area for the high quantity of underwater life and gorgeous landscape. Lunch on board as you are taken to the next island, the route of which is often a dolphin spotting site. The next area for disembarking is Cerro Dragón (dry landing) with its salted water lagoons frequented by a myriad of lagoon birds including pintail ducks, sandpipers, stilts, and sanderlings. A panoramic view of the bay and western islands can be found as the trail heads inland, leading to an area littered with arid vegetation, perfect for spotting many types of birds including the widespread flycatcher. Dinner is accompanied with a briefing of the day ahead.
Disembark in the morning (dry landing) for a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station, home to the giant tortoise “Lonesome George” as well as a prickly-pear cactus forest and a number of local birds. This is followed by lunch at the poolside of the Finch Bay Eco Hotel before visiting the highlands of Santa Cruz Island, known for the formation of its twin pit craters, Los Gemelos, and its striking Scalesia forest. Weather permitting; between December and mid-April, a trip to see giant tortoises in the wild can be included. The evening holds the next expedition plan and dinner.
Disembark today (wet landing) at Post Office Bay and see the post office made from a barrel that has been stood for over two centuries, where you will learn all about the history of man on the islands in the forms of whalers and pirates. Take a panga ride along the interconnecting water channels of Floreana where you can spot sea lion colonies, rays, turtles, and penguins. Baroness Cove (wet landing) hosts a walk to the observation tower to better view the wonders of the surrounding islets. Snorkelling and kayaking opportunities can be taken from here followed by an on board lunch. Next you’ll disembark (wet landing) at Punta Cormorant for a walk on the beach passing by salted lagoons for more bird spotting. From December to May, sea turtles can be seen laying their eggs upon the white-sanded beach. Snorkelling is a possibility from here, with “The Devil’s Crown” for advanced snorkelers, or glass-bottom boat rides. Briefing to follow in the evening followed by dinner.
Begin the day by disembarking (wet landing) onto a white-sanded beach favoured by sea lions. The prickly-pear cacti in this area are renowned for their humongous tree-sized trunks. Land iguanas, native to this island only can be spotted on the walk in the afternoon. Snorkelling and swimming can be undertaken from this beach before lunch on board. Next island for disembarking onto (dry landing) is South Plaza Island, the aquamarine water juxtaposes beautifully with the brilliant white sands and pitch black lava of the shoreline. The rocks in this area are alive with orange crabs and green seaweed. The colourful theme continues with the rouge sesuvium blanketed around the green prickly-pear cactus while yellow land iguanas rest patiently beneath. The coastline houses more sea lion colonies, as well as frigates, gulls, and shearwaters glide and compete for food along the shore. The evening brings the final briefing and dinner.
Depart to the port and onto the airport for your flight back to the mainland.