Endemic Itinerary E
Thursday – Tuesday
Day by day itinerary description
Thursday AM Visit: Baltra Island Airport.
Meet upon arrival to Baltra airport and transfer to the Galapagos Endemic catamaran.
Thursday: PM Visit: Bartolomé/Bartholomew Island.
Bartholomew is a small but scenic island, home to the iconic, pointy Pinnacle Rock. There are only two visitor areas on Bartholomew: a series of wooden steps leading to a scenic overlook and a small, sandy beach. There’s not a lot of wildlife on the way up the steps – look for lava lizards – but the view is spectacular. The small beach is one of the better snorkeling spots in the Galapagos, as there is a small penguin colony there and the penguins enjoy darting around snorkelers underwater. You can also see any number of fish and rays, and maybe even a shark or two if you’re lucky.
Friday: AM Visit: Corona del Diablo/Devil’s Crown, off of Floreana Island.
The Devil’s Crown is a jagged set of rocks in a roughly circular shape off of Floreana Island: they are the final remnants of an ancient volcanic crater mostly eroded over the ages. It’s a marvelous snorkeling spot: the deep water on one side is good for seeing large rays, sharks and other spectacular large marine life, while the interior of the ‘crown’ is calm and often full of playful sea lions.
Friday AM Visit: Punta Cormorant/Cormorant Point, Floreana Island.
Cormorant Point features two beaches and a flamingo lagoon, but oddly enough, no cormorants (which are found mostly in the western islands of Fernandina and Isabela). Cormorant point is sort of like two sites in one: the landing site is a green sandy beach popular with sea lions, but a short walk takes you to the other side of the point and a gorgeous white sand beach. You can wade in up to your ankles, but don’t go any deeper: the waters of this beach are full of stingrays! On most days, you can see dozens of them just off the beach.
Friday: PM Visit: Mirador de la Baronesa/The Baroness’ Overlook, Floreana Island.
From a sandy beach, a short trail leads to the Baroness’ overlook, where visitors will get a good view of the Floreana coastline. Ask your guide for the story of the “Baroness of the Galapagos.” It’s a murder mystery which is unsolved to this day! After a visit to the overlook, there will be the opportunity to take a panga ride along the coast or take out one of the sea kayaks.
Friday: PM Visit: Bahía Post Office/Post Office Bay, Floreana Island.
Back in the day, whalers and other ships roamed the seas, often for years at a time. For the men who worked these ships, communication with home was very difficult and they would leave letters in certain places around the globe: one such drop off was a barrel at what came to be known as “Post Office Bay.” The barrel is still there: leave your own letter for a loved one! The site also features a nice sandy beach perfect for relaxing or snorkeling.
Saturday AM Visit: Sombrero Chino/Chinese Hat, off Santiago (James) Island.
Chinese Hat, named for its distinctive conical shape, is a visitor site memorable for geology and animal life. The island is known for lava tubes and pillow formations, meaning that it likely was formed underwater and later was pushed to the surface by geological forces. Besides being an informative case study in volcanic geology, Chinese Hat is home to sea lions, penguins and Sally Lightfoot Crabs. The hike is followed by panga rides, snorkeling and, kayaking.
Saturday: PM Visit: Seymour Norte/North Seymour Island.
Another visitor favorite, North Seymour has something for everyone. The Frigate Birds and Blue-Footed Boobys nest right next to the rocky trail, allowing for spectacular photographs. The island is home to a booming population of Land Iguanas, often seen contentedly munching on cactus pads. There are usually dozens of sea lions near the landing site and along the beach. As if that’s not enough, the snorkeling is excellent!
Sunday: AM visit: Caleta Tortuga Negra/Black Turtle Cove, Santa Cruz Island.
Black Turtle Cove is a lagoon on Santa Cruz Island. It is a maze of mangroves, and pangas are forced to paddle so that their motors do not disturb the wildlife there. You never know what you’ll see in Black Turtle Cove: there might be sharks, sea turtles, herons or even a school of Golden Rays gently gliding through the water. There is no swimming or snorkeling permitted in Black Turtle Cove.
Sunday: PM visit: Playa las Bachas/Bachas Beach, Santa Cruz Island.
The name “bachas” is derived from the English word ‘barges’ and dates from World War Two, when the USA had a military base in the Galapagos Islands. Bachas is a lovely beach, great for swimming or some easy snorkeling off shore. Shore birds like whimbrels and stilts are common, as are sea lions and Sally Lightfoot crabs. A brackish lagoon popular with flamingos is a short walk from the main beach.
Monday: AM visit: Bahía Darwin/Darwin Bay, Genovesa (Tower) Island.
The long-eroded remnants of a prehistoric volcanic crater, Genovesa Island has a distinctive crescent shape. A memorable visitor site on the bay leads through some mangroves and past many nesting birds including Red-footed and Nazca Boobys, Frigate Birds, gulls and more. From February to June, the Frigate Birds inflate their bright red throat pouches. Look for stingrays trapped in tidal pools at low tide. Following the visit, our guests will have the opportunity to snorkel, kayak or take a panga ride around the tranquil bay. Snorkelers sometimes see Hammerhead sharks!
Monday: PM Visit: El Barranco/Prince Philip’s Steps, Genovesa (Tower) Island.
Across Darwin Bay from the morning visitor site, Prince Philip’s Steps is a spectacular site for bird lovers. After a brief clamber up a rocky bluff, visitors emerge onto a plateau where they can see the elusive Short-eared Owl: this site is one of the only places in Galapagos where these birds are commonly seen. Look for Red-footed and Nazca Boobys, storm petrels and Tropic Birds. The visit is followed by the chance to do some more snorkeling or kayaking in the bay.
Tuesday: AM Visit: Los Gemelos/The Twins, Santa Cruz Island.
The “twins” of the leafy highlands of Santa Cruz island are two sinkholes created long ago by underground lava tunnels which collapsed. A shady trail covers the short distance between the main road and the two sinkholes. Your guides will explain about the special forest found in and around the sinkholes: it is home to many Scalesia pedunculate trees, endemic to Galapagos. The Twins visitor site is a good place to see finches, Vermilion Flycatchers and mockingbirds.
After our visit you will be transferred to Baltra airport to take your return flight to mainland Ecuador. Assistance and farewell at the airport.