DAY 3-8: Galápagos Islands
Listed below is a sample of islands we may visit during our expedition.* (B,L,D Daily)
North Seymour: Follow coastal trails past playful Galápagos sea lions on this wildlife-rich central island. Continue inland through a silvery forest of endemic palo santo trees, where frigatebirds nest, blue-footed boobies dance, and where we may also encounter prehistoric-looking land iguanas feeding on cactus.
Isabela: Cross the Equator at Volcán Ecuador, northernmost of Isabela’s six great shield volcanoes. Keep an eye open for whales and dolphins, sea turtles and the elusive ocean sunfish. Over two days, land in the footsteps of Darwin and Melville, and look for wildlife along the wildly eroded volcanic shore.
Fernandina: One of the most active oceanic volcanoes in the world, Fernandina is the youngest and most pristine island in Galápagos—and home to the strange flightless cormorant, Galápagos penguins and the largest marine iguanas. Hikes ashore lead across impressive recent lava flows.
Española: See swallow-tailed gulls, Española mockingbirds, Nazca boobies and, seasonally, the world’s only population of waved albatross at this birdy paradise, also home to vividly colored marine iguanas. Watch sea lions on the wide sand beach, and snorkel offshore, at Gardner Bay.
Floreana: Follow a trail past a rose pink-tinted lagoon frequented by flamingos. Snorkel among sea lions and abundant fish, or cruise along Champion Islet by Zodiac. Visit the famous barrel at Post Office Bay.
Santa Cruz: Visit Puerto Ayora, the largest town and headquarters of both the Galápagos National Park and Charles Darwin Research Station. See the monument to Lonesome George, and tour the giant tortoise breeding corrals. See the giant tortoises roaming in the wild in the lush, green highlands.
Bartolomé: Climb the steps to the summit of this 300-foot volcanic wonderland for stunning views. Explore, swim and snorkel from the beach. You might even see Galápagos penguins, one of world’s rarest.
Santiago: Explore tide pools and look for fur seals sheltered in quiet grottos of black basalt. Swim, snorkel, kayak and paddleboard along Santiago’s spectacular coast, and explore an enchanting coastal forest where Charles Darwin once walked.
Genovesa: Sail across the Equator to the remote northern realm of the Galápagos, surrounded by warmer tropical waters.
San Cristobal: Search for red-footed boobies and the endemic mockingbird and lava lizard—found only on this easternmost island, and dig your toes into the powdery white sand at a gorgeous beach fronted by iconic Kicker Rock. Explore Baquerizo Moreno, where sea lions thrive in the middle of town.