Located in the Pacific Ocean some 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, this archipelago and the surrounding marine reserve have been called a unique “living museum” and showcase of evolution. This “living laboratory” of evolution inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection, and continues to offer a unique opportunity to explore a pristine natural ecosystem. A compilation of activities will give you a broad perspective of the Galapagos' natural history. Embark on different journeys everyday and discover the beauty of 3 Islands of this unique archipelago. Snorkel with sea lions, sharks, rays, sea turtles and hundreds of colorful fish species; hike through some of the most dramatic volcanic landscapes; relax on some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet.
DAY 1: Transfer in at Baltra airport. Private tour through the Highlands of Santa Cruz where you'll visit a Giant Tortoise Reserve, located on the natural path tortoises take every year as they either migrate to higher moist locations during the garúa season (June-September), or when they descend to the warmer lowlands during the wet season. The Galapagos giant tortoise is the largest living tortoise species, weighing up to 250 kg (550 lb). You'll visit one of the island’s lava tunnels, significant geological formations that take you back in time and allow you to remember how lava flows formed the islands. Lunch in the reserve and transfer to your hotel. DAYS 2 & 3: Full-day yacht explorations, that include the service of a Galapagos Certified Naturalist Guide and lunch. Depending on the booking date and availability, you'll visit one of the following islands and return to Santa Cruz in the afternoon: • North Seymour Island was lifted from the ocean floor by a seismic event, and its origins as a seabed give the island its low, flat profile. Cliffs are only a few meters high form the shoreline, where swallow-tailed gulls sit among the ledges and rocks. A tiny forest of silver-grey Palo Santo trees stands just above the landing, usually without leaves, waiting for the rains to burst into bloom. This island is teeming with life! • Bartolome Island is famous for Pinnacle Rock, a towering spearheaded obelisk that rises from the ocean’s edge and is the best-known landmark in the islands. Galapagos penguins—the only species of penguin found north of the equator—walk precariously along narrow volcanic ledges at its base. Sea lions snooze on rocky platforms, ready to slide into the water to play with passing snorkelers. • South Plaza Island is a small island full of fascinating wildlife, both along its shore and along its dramatic, wind-swept cliffs: sea lions, land iguanas, swallow-tailed gulls, Opuntia cacti and vegetation that changes colors according to the season. South Plaza is one of Galapagos’ most impressive visiting sites. • Santa Fe Island offers one of the most beautiful and sheltered coves in the islands. Its turquoise lagoon is protected by a peninsula of tiny islets forming an ideal anchorage. The island lies to the southeast of Santa Cruz within sight of Puerto Ayora. Here you'll have a great opportunity to snorkel together with sea lions. DAY 4 After breakfast, you'll be transferred to Baltra airport to catch your flight back to the mainland.