Galapagos: Archipel II I 5 day Southern

From Baltra to San Cristobal
  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos Islands
  • Small Ship Cruising
  • Wildlife and Nature
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Tour Description

Experience a memorable 5 days in the Galapagos, taking a  southeastern route to visit some of the  oldest islands in the Galapagos. This has given evolution time to create unique subspecies. Begin in Santa Cruz looking out for the Galapagos Giant tortoise in the wild, before cruising south to Floreana to explore the beaches and coves of this volcanic island, sea lions will greet you on the beach, stringrays bury themselves in the sand ready to give you a friendly tickle, and flamingos pose for your photos. Don't forget to bring a postcard to "send" from Post Office Bay. The white sands on Espanola are stunning, and Suarez Point offers dramatic cliff landscapes and is paradise for nature and birdlovers alike. Pitt Point is the eastern most point of the Galapagos and home to all three species of boobies: blue-footed, red-footed and Nazca booby; as well as both species of frigate bird (great and magnificent). There is more swimming, wildlife and exploring to be made on San Cristóbal, and the lovely Archipel II to relax on in between all the excursions.

 Ask us for other exciting itineraries on the Archipel II 

Viva's Best Bits...

Spot Galapagos giant tortoises, roaming through the highlands in Santa Cruz

Dramatic and full of wildlife, visit Española with waved albatrosses, marine iguanas and more.

"Journey to the far east - Pitt Point gives you the chance to see all 3 boobies, Nazca, blue- and red-footed boobies!" Tara, Team Viva

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Baltra

Fly from Quito or Guayaquil to the Galapagos Islands. A guide will meet you, help you collect your luggage, and escort you on a short bus ride to the harbour.

PM - Highlands (Santa Cruz)
The road to the highlands leaves from Bellavista, a small village located at a 15-minute drive from Puerto Ayora, and passes through the agricultural zone, near the National Park boundary, the Miconia Zone, and then goes to the Fern and Sedge zone. With clear weather, this area boasts beautiful scenes of rolling hills and extinct volcanic cones covered with grass and lush greenery all year round. Here you will visit the Twin Craters, which are two pit craters, as well as a local ranch where we can observe the giant tortoise of Santa Cruz Island in its natural habitat.

Day 2
Floreana

AM - Cormorant Point (Floreana)
The peninsula of Cormorant Point forms the extreme north cape of Floreana, which was formed by a number of smaller volcanic cones, covered by tropical dry forest (palo santo). At the landing beach, you will be welcomed by a small Galapagos sea lion colony. The green sand on this beach contains a high percentage of glassy olivine crystals which have been blown out by the surrounding tuff cones.
The ‘flour sand’ beach on the southern side of the peninsula is formed of even finer white coral sand which feels very smooth on your feet. Parrotfish have pulverised it, grinding the calcareous skeletons of living coral. You can spot schools of stingrays who love the sandy bottom to hide themselves. During the first months of the year, Pacific green turtles come ashore to bury their eggs.

PM - Baroness Lookout & Post Office Bay
Post Office Bay is one out of three nearby visitor’s sites on Floreana’s northern coast. Bring your postcards and post them in the peculiar barrel on this historic site. The barrel commemorates an improvised mail service that was set-up for communication between British 16th-century whalers and poachers.

Day 3
Española

AM - Gardner Bay (Española)
The striking white beach at Gardner Bay is an important breeding site for Pacic green turtles. However, without doubt its main attraction is the Galapagos sea lion colony. Females stay year-round in this nursery, suckling their pups up to an age of 3 years, although they start to fish at five months. During the breeding and mating season, the colony becomes even bigger

PM - Suarez Point (Española)
Huge ocean waves crash onto the southern basaltic cliffs of Suarez Point, forming a spectacular blowhole, where the water sprays meters high into the air (depending on the season, the tide and how strong the sea breeze pushes the waves). Take your time for a meditative break in silence on this emblematic viewpoint, and convert this unforgettable moment into a lifetime experience.

Day 4
San Cristóbal

AM - Pitt Point (San Cristóbal)
Two wind sculptured tuff cones at Pitt Point make up the extreme eastern end of San Cristóbal, and thus, the archipelago as well. These cliffs were the first sight of land when HMS Beagle and Charles Darwin arrived on the 15th of September, 1835. On the small green sand beach, you will be welcomed by a group of barking Galapagos sea lions. This is a bachelor colony, where males usually relax and prepare themselves for fighting and mating. From the saltbush and spiny shrubs behind the beach, a trail leads up to an area of tropical dry forest vegetation: most of the year there are leafless palo santo trees, yellow cordia shrubs, tiny prickly pear cacti and carpetweed that turns red in the dry season. After the somewhat steep climb through a gully to the clifftop, you can wander around the only colony in Galapagos that is home to all three species of boobies: blue-footed, red-footed and Nazca booby; as well as both species of frigate bird (great and magnificent), famous because of their scarlet balloon-sized pouches during mating season. Frigate birds attack returning boobies and conduct aerial battles rather than fishing for themselves.

PM - Witch Hill (San Cristóbal)
The primary attraction of this site is the coral sand beach, an excellent place to swim and snorkel. Witch Hill is the remains of a tuff cone and one of the first sites visited by Charles Darwin. It has an impressive landscape, where it is often possible to see coastal and migratory birds, including pelicans, blue-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls; as well as sea lions and marine iguanas. At times, the lagoon is completely dry and deposits of salt can be found at the bottom. The people of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno used to use the lagoon as a salt mine

Day 5
Depart San Cristobal

Interpretation Centre (San Cristóbal)
Cerro Colorado Tortoises Protection and Growing Centre, located at approximately 40 minutes by bus to the southeast of the island, was built to improve the status of the population of the island tortoises. The centre includes a large corral, a Visitor Centre, breeding centre and an interpretative trail. Along this trail, it is possible to see different species of native and endemic plants as well as birds like the San Cristóbal mockingbird, yellow warblers, many species of Finches and the Galapagos flycatcher. On your visit to Colorado Hill, you will get to discover the amazing and emblematic giant Galapagos tortoises in the tortoise breeding centre, and maybe even get to see one hatch (seasonally)! In addition, you will get to see how much hard work is put into saving the last local giants of San Cristóbal.

Transfer to San Cristobal Airport for your departing flight.


What’s Included

Accommodation
  • Included Copy 20 Sea View Double or Twin Cabin, ensuite, onboard the Archipel II
  • Included Copy 31 Solo travellers are able to book a twin cabin on a same sex sharing basis - No surcharge
Food
  • Included Copy 20 All Meals while on board, Filtered water, tea and coffee.
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 All guided excursions & activities as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Included Copy 20 Beach towels & snorkelling gear (snorkel, mask, flippers)
  • Included Copy 7 Galapagos Islands National Park Entrance Fee USD$100 (Payable locally)
  • Included Copy 7 Ingala Tourist Card USD$20 (Payable locally)
  • Included Copy 7 Return flights Quito or Guayaquil / Galapagos Islands
  • Included Copy 20 Use of kayaks (at permitted sites) is included.
  • Included Copy 31 Optional wetsuit hire
  • Included Copy 20 A National Park certified naturalist guide
Transportation
Archipel II - Galapagos Catamaran

16 Passengers

Activities

  • Included Galapagos giant tortoises in their natural habitat
  • Included Guided Hikes, walks and land excursions
  • Included Great bird life- flamingos, Blue and red footed boobies, albatross, and frigate birds
  • Included Swim, snorkel or kayak
  • Included Great photo opportunities - like marine iguanas on the beach
  • Included Breeding colony of American flamingos on Floreana
  • Included Bring a postcard to mail home from the Galapagos at Post Office Bay
Click here for dates & prices
Duration

5 days

Price from

$2,895 USD

Per person, twin share

Departs select Thursdays