M/V Santa Cruz: 4 Nights Cruise

DETAILS

Departure: Monday
Return:Friday

MONDAY

Baltra Island
Arrival by plane to Baltra Island and immediate transfer by bus (5 minutes) to the Itabaca Channel, to cross by ferry to the Island of Santa Cruz.
NOTE: Guests should arrive to Galapagos with the proper attire to start their expedition right away.

Puerto Ayora and Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz Island)
Cross the Itabaca Channel, between the islands of Baltra and Santa Cruz and disembark at the public dock (dry landing) for a bus ride to the highlands of the Island to view the islands' most famous reptile: the giant tortoises in their wild habitat. The vegetation of the area includes the Scalesia Forest (an endemic giant daisy tree) and birds such as the vermilion flycatcher, will delight everyone with its scarlet feathers against an emerald green forest. Look for Darwin's finches (most of them from the tree-finch group), particularly the famous Woodpecker Finch. After lunch, proceed to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and the rearing in captivity program for the famous giant tortoises. Here we will get to understand the conservation efforts promoted by this institution, and stroll among an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest where endemic land birds can be seen. After a stroll along the main street of the town of Puerto Ayora, board the MV SANTA CRUZ. Cabin assignment and introductory welcome talk.

TUESDAY

Bartolomé Island
Disembark at Bartolomé Island (dry landing) for a hike to the summit. Great way to start the day. This is a steep climb aided by a wooden staircase; the view from the top is worth the effort. Panga ride around colossal Pinnacle Rock, time to enjoy the beach (wet landing) and snorkeling. Chance to snorkel next to Galápagos Penguins. There is also the possibility to ride on the glass bottom boat for great views of the underwater world. Lunch on board.

WEDNESDAY

Rabida Island (Jervis)
Disembark at Rabida Island (wet landing) on a red-colored beach, due to the unusually high content of iron in the volcanic material. A gratifying stroll along the beach of this small island (1.9 sq. mi.) allows the observation of a large colony of sea lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and several species of Darwin's Finches. Very close to the beach, hidden behind a strip of green saltbush, is a salt pond where at times Greater Flamingos migrate to; these spectacular birds feed on the brine shrimp found in this saline pond. From June to November pelicans nest in the surroundings. This is a great place to snorkel from the beach, both for beginners as well as for experienced snorkelers, due to the unique combination of underwater species and submarine landscapes. During navigation to our next island, we will keep our eyes open for dolphins.

THURSDAY

Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristóbal (Chatham) Island)
Disembark at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. This small attractive port is the provincial capital of the Galápagos Islands (population 4,000), along a crescent-shaped bay. A bus ride takes guests to visit the breeding center for tortoises La Galapaguera at Cerro Colorado. Seeing the semi-saddle back shape of the tortoises can be a great way to understand adaptation to dry-tropical environments. The rewarding fauna of this island may not only be the giant tortoises, since many island-specific endemics are found here. It includes mockingbirds, lava lizards, and the vermilion flycatchers. If time allows, a quick visit to El Junco Lagoon (the only permanent freshwater lagoon of the islands) could bring many surprises. Return to the MV SANTA CRUZ for lunch.
Cerro Brujo (San Cristobal Island)

FRIDAY

Baltra Island
The MV SANTA CRUZ docks at Baltra Island and guests are transferred the airport to take the flight back to the continent.

PRICES
Rates: (For today's date. Prices are per person in selected accommodation)
CABIN SINGLE DOUBLE TRIPLE
Junior Suite Twin
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Master Suite double
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Standard Single
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Standard Twin
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Standard Twin
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Standard Twin
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Superior Double
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Superior Twin
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ITEMS INCLUDING THE M/V SANTA CRUZ 3 Nights Cruise

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