Adventure at the Galapagos
Discover the wild nature and dream beaches of beautiful Galapagos Islands, the pearl of Ecuador. After an amazing tour of the capital city, Quito, the first Unesco's Cultural Heritage Site, you will embark on a Mc Cormorant or Mc Ocean Spray and depart on a spectacular cruise of these islands. Your sailing tour in the Galapagos will include:
Today a representative of Haugan Cruises will meet guests at Tababela airport located 40 km from Quito. After a 50 minute drive clients will arrive to the capital of Ecuador, Quito, located 2,830 meters above sea level and the first World Cultural Heritage Site declared by Unesco in 1978.
During this route you will receive an overview about all the programs during your stay in Ecuador as well as important information about the country. Once in the selected hotel the representative of Haugan Cruises will provide assistance during the check in.
After a pick up by a Haugan Cruises representative in the selected hotel,you will have the opportunity to visit a real colonial city, the first World Cultural Heritage Site. Quito shows its colonial architecture, culture as well as its charming citizens.You will stroll in special and important corners of the city like Independence Square with its awe inspiring Cathedral, Presidential Palace and Archbishop's Palace.
You will also admire the church of La Compañia, regarded as the finest example of baroque architecture in America, not forgetting the church and monastery of San Francisco. Your tour will then take you to Panecillo Hill, an ideal location for a panoramic view of this historic capital.
After a walk in colonial Quito, you will be taken on a 40 minute drive north to Pomasqui, known as the middle of the world where an invisible line is located, first called the Equator by Charles Marie de La Condamine in 1736 during the French Geodesic Mission. To honor this you will find the “Mitad del Mundo” monument, where you can stand with one foot in both hemispheres.
Lunch is served at one of the best Ecuadorian cuisine restaurants to complete the sensorial experience of this day.
Today a representative of Haugan Cruises will meet you at your hotel in Quito. After a 50 minute drive you will arrive at Tababela International Airport. During this route you will receive an overview about your flights. Once in the airport a representative of Haugan Cruises will provide assistance during the check in and luggage registration.
You will arrive at Baltra Island in the Galapagos in the morning. After passing through immigration and baggage claim you will be met by the Cormorant staff and transferred to the yacht. You will be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before lunch and a welcome briefing. The afternoon visit, Bachas Beach, is located on the north shore of Santa Cruz, and is a great swimming beach. One of the few remnants of the U.S. World War II, a floating pier, is present here.
You may see flamingos, sally-lightfoot crabs, hermit crabs, black-necked stilts, and whimbrels. Sea turtles also nest off the beach.
Today your morning visit includes Bartholomew Island, home of the famous Pinnacle Rock. Bartholomew consists of an extinct volcano with a variety of red, orange, black and even green volcanic formations. You will take a trail of stairs to the summit of the volcano (about 30 or 40 minutes), where you will enjoy one of the best views of the islands. You will also visit a small, beautiful beach, surrounded by the only vegetation found on this barren island. The beach is perfect for snorkeling where you may even see the Galapagos penguins.
Then you'll move on to Sullivan Bay, located southeast of Santiago Island. This bay is of great geological interest: the area is covered by Pahoehoe lava flows combined with A’A lava. It was very active 200 years ago. This flow is geologically very young. The magma formed is flat, but the movement of underground lava, the rapid cooling and other eruptions led to the break in many places. 200 meters around the landing, you can see patterns of vegetation that were burned during the eruption. A visit to this area of black lava is preferable in the afternoon because the temperature is more pleasant and the light is better for photographs.
In the morning, you will head to South Plaza Island. This small island with steep cliffs was formed by rising lava and is now covered by Opuntia cacti. It is also home to one of the largest sea lion colonies as well as colorful yellow and red land iguanas. The most characteristic plant is the Sesuvium. During the rainy season its color is a greenish to yellowish tone and in the dry season (end of June through January) a bright red.
Your afternoon visit is to Santa Fe Island, formed by a volcanic uplift. Santa Fe (Barrington) is home to the small picturesque bay and anchorage on the island northeast coast. The bay has two visitor trails, one leading to a scenic viewpoint atop a cliff and the other spanning from a small beach to a tall prickly pear cactus forest. The island is home to a colony of sea lions which would be more than happy to join you for a swim. Santa Fe also has its own sub-species of land iguana.
Today you will visit Witch Hill (Cerro Brujo) in the morning where you will explore one of the nicest beaches in the Galápagos. You'll be tantalized by the texture and sight of the powdered, soft, white sand. With a colony of sea lions and blue-footed boobies, this scenic place is bustling with life. Just beyond the beach is a lagoon, thriving with egrets and great blue herons. The turquoise water and abundant marine life will invite you to snorkel.
In the afternoon you will visit Pitt Point, which is the northeastern most site on Isabela. After an easy hike, you will be rewarded with a unique treat. Herein lays the only nesting site which hosts all three species of Galápagos boobies. Photographers will be thrilled with this intimate natural experience. The attractive volcanic tuff formations will have geologists and laymen alike imagining the forces of nature that possessed the earth to create this land.
In the morning you will visit Lobos Island, a rocky bay just a 30 minute walk from Puerto Baquerizo. You will certainly note the beautifully colored plants in the area down by the beach and the enormous colony of Galapagos sea lions. They are normally here and dozens can be seen at any time as well as shore birds and marine iguanas.
In the afternoon you’ll enjoy a dinghy ride and snorkeling around Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido), known as the Sleeping Lion because of its resemblance to it. This site is located off the coast of San Cristobal. The remains of a lava cone eroded by the sea and two vertical rocks rising 500 feet above the ocean form a small channel that is navigable by small boats.
This Galapagos Islands natural monument has become a favorite sight for cruises due to the many tropical birds, frigate birds and boobies that fill the surrounding air. Beneath the sea the crystal waters offer a brilliant show of colorful tropical fish and invertebrates.
Today you'll head towards Española Island, the southernmost island of the Galapagos and the breeding site of nearly all of the waved albatrosses in the entire world. Española is densely populated with mockingbirds, blue-footed and Nazca boobies, Darwin finches, Galapagos doves, hawks, red and green marine iguanas, and loads of sea lions.
In the morning you will arrive at Suarez Point. This area is great for spotting bluefooted boobies, albatrosses and Nazca boobies. A beautiful site on the ocean front, the large waved albatrosses use the cliff as a launching pad. The famous attraction is the magnificent blowhole, spurting water high into the air. This site presents wonderful photographic opportunities.
Finally you'll reach Gardner Bay, on the eastern side of the island, the breeding site of nearly all of the world´s 12,000 pairs of waved albatrosses. It has an ample white sandy beach with a myriad of sea lions, perfect for relaxing. Its rocky shores make this site a great place for diving and snorkeling.
Today you will visit two sites on Floreana Island. Floreana is known for its fabulous snorkeling sites, its vibrantly pink flamingos and its black sand beaches. You will head to Cormorant Point in the northern part of Floreana. You'll enjoy a hike to a saltwater lagoon which is home to flamingos and other sea birds. The trail continues to another beach known as Flour Beach because of the very fine white-sand particles it is made of. This beach is also home to turtles.
You will also get to swim in Champion Islet, one of the best snorkeling sites in the Galapagos Islands. In the afternoon, you will visit the famous Post Office Bay and Baroness Viewpoint. You will land on a beach and head to a spot where 18th century whalers once placed a wooden barrel for use as an unofficial mail box. The custom continues to this day with Galapagos visitors. So, don’t forget your postcards, and don’t be surprised if the post card arrives to its destination before you even get home! Baroness Viewpoint offers spectacular views of the coastline and is a great place to learn more about the endemic mangroves.
In the morning you will start at the Charles Darwin Station- Breeding Center "Fausto Llerena" home to turtles ranging from 3-inches (new hatchlings) to 4-feet long. Here you will observe the various sub-species of turtles interacting with each other, and possibly with you. Many of the older turtles are accustomed to humans. The babies are only kept until they are about four years old, or large enough to survive in the wild. These conservation efforts continue to be extremely successful.
After this final visit, you will be transferred to Baltra’s airport in time to catch your flight back to the mainland. Please keep in mind that on departure days, your morning visit will be early and short since we need to be prepared before heading back toward the airport for your returning flight to Ecuador’s mainland. Itineraries and activities subject to change without prior notice. Depending on weather conditions and water currents, some wildlife described above may not be visible.
In Quito airport, a representative of Haugan Cruises will meet you and after a 50 minute drive you will get to Quito.
Today your tour ends. A representative of Haugan Cruises will meet you at your hotel. After a 50 minute drive you will arrive at Tababela International Airport. During this route you will receive an overview about your departure flight.