Before departure, a bountiful buffet breakfast is served. Depending on the weekday and availability, enjoy 2 of these 4 full-day yacht explorations; North Seymour, Bartolome Island, South Plaza Island, Santa Fe Island. In addition, the programme includes a coastal exploration of Santa Cruz, Charles Darwin Research Station and tortoise breeding facilities.
North Seymour Island:
Your day includes a dry landing and a 1.5 km/1 mi walk over a mixture of sand and rounded boulders. Be amazed by land and marine iguanas, Nazca- and blue-footed boobies, frigates, sea lions and fur seals. The other highlight is Las Bachas, a stunning white beach with dreamy small brackish lagoons, home to various waders, such as plovers, stilts and flamingos. You have a chance to swim or snorkel here.
Santa Fe Island:
Santa Fe is an impressive volcanic island. After a wet landing on a fantastic white sandy beach amongst basking sea lions, we walk along a rocky terrain to find the island’s highlight: the endemic Santa Fe land iguana patiently waiting under the enormous giant cacti for falling fruits and pads. Other relevant species today are pelicans, boobies and the archipelago´s top predator, the Galapagos hawk. Return to the yacht and enjoy one of Galapagos best snorkelling sites. Lunch on board the Sea Lion yacht. Upon the cruise back to Puerto Ayora, we scan the sea surface for pelagic birds and whales.
Dolphins or whales are often seen in these waters. A dry landing marks the start of the 1.5 km/1 mi walk. The trail is a fairly steep climb on wooden steps to the summit, worth the effort, as there is a spectacular view of the Galapagos scenery from above. Interesting lava formations and tuff cones can be observed. Sea lions and penguins swim in the vicinity of Pinnacle Rock. Enjoy snorkelling or swimming from the beach.
South Plaza Island:
Your day includes 2highlights. One of them, the snorkelling/swimming site known as Punta Carrion. And just 8 nautical miles away, South Plaza Island shocks visitors with the sheer volume of amazing wildlife that greets them right upon arrival: dozens of frolicking sea lion pups, patrolling alpha male sea lions, basking marine and land iguanas, stunning red crabs and various Darwin finches await. The trail is over 1.5 km/1 mi long, over rounded boulders.
Santa Cruz Coastal Exploration & Charles Darwin Research Station and Tortoise Breeding Facilities:
We leave for Tortuga Bay, voted Ecuador’s best beach. We walk from Puerto Ayora’s western border, 2 km/1.3 mi along a fairly flat and straight paved path, where we explore and understand more about the arid zone´s deciduous forest and its inhabitants. First, we arrive to Playa Brava, a stunning 1 km long snow-white beach, a seasonal nesting site for the green sea turtles. A few minutes further, we reach Playa Mansa, a secluded natural mangrove cove, with clear and tranquil waters, ideal for swimming, snorkelling, paddling on tandem kayaks, or simply enjoying the landscape from the shade of a mangrove. We will board a small yacht to sail back to the hotel’s dock at Academy Bay. Lunch at the Finch Bay. For the afternoon, the grand finale includes strolling around the Charles Darwin Research Station where the highlight is the conservation program for the iconic giant tortoises.
All days you return to the Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel, and enjoy the sunset from its beachfront facilities. Dinner is up to you: choose the hotel´s signature cuisine or one of the many options in town. Overnight at the Finch Bay.