This morning you will have an early transfer to the airport for your flight to the Galapagos Islands. On arrival in Baltra, you will be met by your naturalist guide and transferred to the Xavier, moored in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island.
Please note that the Galapagos National Park charges a visitor fee of USD100, payable on arrival, which funds park maintenance and supervision in the Galapagos, as well as ecological study and conservation.
The Galapagos Islands are located about 1000 kilometres (620 miles) off the Pacific coast of South America. The archipelago is comprised of 13 major islands and scores of islets that served as a living laboratory for Charles Darwin, the renowned evolution theorist. Long before Darwin arrived in the Galapagos, seafarers knew these isolated islands as home to some of the strangest and most wonderful wildlife imaginable, including birds that could swim but no longer fly, aquatic iguanas, dragon-like lizards left over from prehistoric times and the giant Galapagos tortoises for which the islands were named. Covering nearly 5000 square kilometres (3100 sq. miles), the Galapagos Islands are now a National Park.
This afternoon we head to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island and visit El Chato Reserve, to see giant land tortoises in the wild in their natural environment. We explore the Reserve’s lagoon and lava tunnels, keeping an eye out for owls that often roost in the entrances to the tunnels.
Back on board the Xavier III you can relax on the outdoor deck, take in the views and enjoy local and international cuisine. The ship sails overnight ensuring that you arrive at the next destination relaxed and ready to explore, whilst maximising time spent on the islands.