Explore the rich wildlife of the Galapagos Islands from a different perspective while visiting Santa Cruz, North Seymour, and San Cristobal as you enjoy many activities and investigate beaches in areas unvisited by most tourists.
Upon arrival to Galapagos, you will take the bus to the Itabacca Channel. On the other side, a driver will wait for you and drive you to your hotel.
Later in the afternoon, you will join a shared tour of the highlands. The highlands of Santa Cruz are a deep green, contrasting beautifully with much of the dry, lower island. The dominant vegetation in the highlands is the Scalesia tree, which creates a lush green color. Afterward, we will do a short ride that will take you to a 600-acre private reserve. Giant Galapagos tortoises freely roam, graze, and sleep. Walking among the wild tortoises will be one of the most treasured moments of your trip.
After visiting these prehistoric creatures in their natural habitat, we’ll take a 5-minute ride to the entrance of a 450-meter (1476 ft) illuminated lava tunnel.
North Seymour Island is teeming with wildlife and is one of the best visitor sites in the Galapagos! You may have to give way to a passing sea lion or marine iguana because they are everywhere. Blue-footed boobies’ nest on either side of the trail where mating pairs will perform their courtship dance. Further along the rocky shore a strip of white-sand lies inland and large flocks of sea birds are seen in massive communities in feeding frenzies, diving into the ocean all at once; rendering a picturesque scene the same as ages long past. The trail in North Seymour Island also turns inland to reveal the largest nesting site of the magnificent frigate birds in the Galapagos Islands. These huge acrobats have a 5-foot wingspan and males display bright red, scarlet gular pouches when on the lookout for a mate. These frigate birds can be seen sitting precariously on low branches watching over their chicks.
In the morning the speedboat to San Cristobal will leave at 7:00 am
Upon arrival, you will join the tour to Kicker Rock, or as the locals call it, “Leon Dormido” aka Sleeping Lion.
Kicker Rock is a large rock formation located on the coast of San Cristobal Island that has eroded over time creating a magnificent island in the middle of the sea. The two rocks are remnants of a vertical tuff cone formation and are a favorite of several species of seabirds looking for shelter. The main attraction is the snorkeling or diving activity where many Galapagos and hammerhead sharks can be seen at the ocean’s bottom, as well as sea turtles, manta rays, octopus, and a wide array of tropical fish.
The El Junco Lagoon is the only freshwater lagoon in Galapagos. This small body of water is 650 meters above sea level. Thus, it is a great place to go to see how the vegetation changes at different elevations of the islands. Dozens of Frigatebirds frequent the lake, flying above it and brushing the water with their wings. The Interpretation Center and the Galapaguera are both located near Cerro Colorado.
This is one of the few places where you can see Calandrinia Galapagosa, an endangered plant endemic to San Cristobal. The Galapaguera was built to improve the population of the San Cristobal Giant Tortoise (Geochelone Chathamensis). It provides an environment for the tortoises with similar conditions to their natural state and therefore promotes the development of tourism in San Cristobal. Puerto Chino is an area about 15 mi (24,1 km) from the main port of San Cristobal and the capital of the Galapagos, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Close by is the Interpretation Center. During the trip, there is the chance to see other endemic plants such as the Lecocarpus Leptolobus. The Clandrinia mentioned beforehand is a succulent that stores water and has a reddish tint that reduces its rate of photosynthesis to keep its internal fluids longer. During the visit to these areas, you will see an Opuntia Cactus forest and once the beach is reached, there are opportunities to view Darwin’s finches, blue-footed boobies, and pelicans.
Port Chino is a 24,1 km distance from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, a few kilometers from the Interpretation Center. During the trip, you will have the chance to see endemic plants such as the Lecocarpus Leptolobus and Calandrinia Galapagosa. The Calandrina Galapagosa is a succulent plant that stores water and acquires a reddish tint to reduce its rate of photosynthesis to keep its internal fluids. Lecocarupus leptolobus is an endemic genus of the Compositae family which comprises four species. During the walk of about 15 minutes, you can see a forest of Opuntia Cactus. Having reached the beach you will be able to see Darwin’s finches, blue-footed boobies, and pelicans.
Based on the time of your departing flight, a driver will pick you up to bring you to the San Cristobal airport for your flight back to Quito or Guayaquil.
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