If you want to take a holiday but you don’t know where, I recommend you to go on a Galapagos cruise and let its magnificent fauna and landscapes to surprise you. Galapagos is an archipelago situated in Ecuador, and it is visited by thousands of tourists every year. The best option if you are thinking of visiting it is to take a first class Galapagos Islands cruise, like Nemo II.
Here, I present you in detail one of the itineraries, the South itinerary, in which you can enjoy 5 days visiting beautiful islands in the Galapagos archipelago.
AM: Baltra Island, Embarkation
After arriving at Baltra airport you will be greeted by a representative of the vessel then board the Nemo II, enjoy a welcome drink, and have lunch.
PM: Bachas Beach – wet landing. Activities: hiking.
The name is “Spanglish” for 'barges' which were wrecked offshore during the World War II. A common first landing site, there is a delightful swimming beach here, with a lagoon behind, and a longer beach for a stroll and wildlife‐ watching. The saltwater lagoon behind often has great blue herons and small waders such as sander lings and semi‐palmated plovers. Both beaches are nesting areas for green sea turtles, which leave tracks in the sand to the back of the beach, especially from November to February. A wet landing and open area on the beach mean one can explore at leisure.
Visiting South Plaza begins with a dry landing. The rocky trail circumnavigates the island displaying the combination of dry and coastal vegetation zone. South Plaza has one of the largest populations of Land Iguanas in the Galapagos. The Iguanas seem to be everywhere once you land. These larger than average Yellow‐Brown Land Iguanas feed on the fruit and pads of the Prickly Pear Cactus. South Plaza is also home to Marine Iguanas living along the coast and a Hybrid Iguana whose fathers are Marine Iguanas and Mothers are Land Iguanas. As the walk continues along the sea cliffs Swallow‐Tailed Gulls, Frigate birds, Audubon Shearwaters, Red‐Billed Tropicbirds, Brown Pelicans, Blue‐Footed and Masked Boobies are frequently seen. Beneath along the shore a colony of Bachelor Sea Lions can be seen.
After lunch navigation to Santa Fe
Visit to Santa Fe Island, home to one of the most beautiful coves in all the Galapagos, Santa Fe is located in the southeastern part of Galapagos, 2 1/2 hours from Santa Cruz and 3 hours from San Cristobal. Santa Fe was formed from an uplift (rather than a volcano) giving the island a relatively flat surface rather than the typical conical shape of the other islands. Visits to Santa Fe begin with a panga ride across the lovely turquoise lagoon. Once ashore you are brought into contact with of the many sea lion colonies in the Galapagos. Bulls vie for the right of beach master while cows laze in the sun. The loop trail around the islands leads past the salt bushes where Galapagos Hawks can easily be approached. Santa Fe is home to endemic Land Iguanas. These iguanas are the largest in the islands and they are beige to chocolate brown in color and resemble small dinosaurs. Reaching the summit there is a stunning view of the cove beneath.
Dinner and navigation to San Cristobal
AM: San Cristobal, Cerro Brujo – wet landing. Activities: hiking, panga explorations, snorkeling
One of the first sites visited by Charles Darwin, Cerro Brujo is a beautiful white sand beach where brown pelicans, blue‐footed boobies, sea lions, and marine iguanas are all found. An onshore version of nearby Kicker Rock, Cerro Brujo is a very striking, eroded tuff cone.
AM: San Cristobal, Kicker Rock – no landing. Activities: panga explorations, snorkeling
Also known as León Dormido these rocks are located off the coast of San Cristobal. It is the remains of a lava cone eroded by the sea, the two vertical rocks rising 500 feet from the ocean form a small channel that is navigable by small boats. This natural monument has become a favorite sight for cruises due to the many tropicbirds, frigates and boobies that fill the surrounding air. Beneath the sea the nearly crystal waters offer a brilliant show of colorful tropical fish and invertebrates.
PM: San Cristobal, Lobos Island – dry landing. Activities: hiking, panga explorations, snorkeling.
Lobos Island, as its name suggests is famous for its population of sea lions and fur sea lions. You will also encounter a nesting ground for the great frigate bird and a small number of blue footed boobies BREEDING CENTER; here it is explained, in a simple manner, the natural phenomena that created the Galapagos Islands. They explain the series of natural processes, such as volcanic eruption and marine current locations that have led to the amazing islands that you are now visiting.
Dinner and Navigation to Espanola Island
AM: Española Island, Punta Suarez – dry landing. Activities: hiking
Arrival to Española Island, in the morning Punta Suarez, found on the western tip of Española, Punta Suarez offers great wildlife such as Sea Lions, sea birds and the largest Marine Iguanas of Galapagos. This is one of the best sites in the Galapagos. The amount of wildlife is overwhelming. Along the beach there are many Sea Lions and large, colorful Lava Lizards and Marine Iguanas. As you follow the trail to the cliff's edge Masked Boobies can be found nesting among the rock formations. As you follow the trail to the cliff's edge Masked Boobies can be found nesting among the rock formations. After a short walk down to a beach and back up the other side Blue‐Footed Boobies are seen nesting just off the trail.
PM: Española Island, Gardner Bay, Gardner Islet, Osborn Islet – wet landing. Activities: hiking, panga explorations, snorkeling, swimming
Visit to Gardner Bay, this bay is a 45‐minute boat ride from Punta Suarez. It has a white sand beach and there is a small colony of sea lions. The possibilities for swimming or scuba diving are excellent here. Visitors find migrant, resident, and endemic wildlife including brightly colored Marine Iguanas, Española Lava Lizards, Hood Mockingbirds, Swallow Tailed Gulls, Blue Footed and Masked Boobies, Galapagos Hawks, a selection of Finch, and the Waved Albatross. Snorkel and go on a panga ride at Gardner Islet, and at Osborn Islet snorkel once ore.
At night, Dinner and navigation to Santa Cruz
AM: Santa Cruz, Highlands – dry landing. Activities: hiking
The highlands of Santa Cruz have incredible zones of vegetations. There you will visit the private finca “Las Primicias”. This reserve offers you one of the best possibilities to see the huge tortoises of Santa Cruz Island in their natural habitat. You can observe them from very close.
So, don’t think it more and book you place in the Nemo II Galapagos cruise and enjoy this incredible opportunity of visiting the amazing islands among the archipelago.
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