- October 12, 2014 - Guayaquil/Galapagos/Embark
- This morning, fly to San Cristobal, Galápagos for embarkation. During lunch, we sail to Cerro Brujo for a magnificent introduction to the wildlife. Snorkel or walk the island’s sandy shoreline looking for land iguanas, sea lions, and unusual birds.
- October 13-18, 2014 - Exploring the Galapagos Islands
Although exact routing depends on the National Park Service, we may visit the following islands:
The exclusive home to waved albatross (April - December) and particularly colorful marine iguanas, Española is also a paradise for Darwin’s finches, sea lions galore, and the famous blue-footed boobies. Snorkel and stroll along the island’s lovely beaches.
At Champion Islet, you’ll snorkel among sea lions in clear waters, and then spend time looking for the endangered Floreana Mockingbird.
Today you’ll visit a successful breeding ground for tortoises run by the Galápagos National Park and the Charles Darwin Research Station. You’ll have the opportunity to hike around the wetlands, home to many shore birds. This afternoon you may choose to visit the highland and hike to the rim of the Sierra Negra Volcano, one of the widest calderas in the world.
- Dragon Hill and Guy Fawkes, Santa Cruz
Today you will hike over white sandy beaches to visit the last remaining population of Santa Cruz land iguanas at Dragon Hill. Keep on the lookout for shore birds and flamingos as you hike along a salt water lagoon. Then, you will have time to snorkel. During your zodiac ride to shore, you may be able to spot fur seals, blue-footed boobies, pelicans and sea lions. You’ll spend time in the small town of Santa Rosa before traveling to Miguel Angel Arias’ ranch. From the ranch, you’ll hike into El Chato Preserve to find tortoises in the wild. Later, you’ll have the opportunity to explore a lava tunnel.
You will visit Sombrero Chino, a charming volcano named for its resemblance to a “chinese hat.” You may take Zodiac rides, kayak or go ashore to admire the volcanic landscape, and snorkel in an area frequented by penguins, sea lions and small reef sharks. In the afternoon you’ll view the famous Pinnacle Rock. You’ll be able to distinguish the older reddish-brown lava from the younger black lava and identify many interesting features. You may have additional opportunities to swim and snorkel.
On Genovesa, you’ll walk among swallow-tailed gulls, red-footed boobies and Nazca boobies and keep a look out for hunting short-eared owls. You’ll ride Zodiacs, kayak along the caldera, and snorkel among large schools of parrot fish, possible hammerhead sharks and golden rays.