Flightless Cormorants, Flamingos (3 possible sites), Mangrove Finch, Medium Tree Finch, fur seals sleeping that you can approach closely, more human history (Wittmer's Cave on Floreana, Post Office Barrel, ancient mariner graffiti, salt mine ruins), possible giant tortoises in the wild, greater variety of lava flows, younger islands, giant uplifted coral beds, more Brown Noddy Terns, higher likelihood of seeing marine iguanas feeding, a big variety of beaches, higher likelihood of whales and dolphins, possible giant sunfish... Enjoy all this and much more on while cruising the West side of the Galapagos Islands on board the MY Passion.
After arriving at Baltra airport we will be greeted by an Angermeyer Cruises representant to then board a bus which will take us to Puerto Ayora, for the first visit on the islands: the Charles Darwin Research Station and the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center
Here, we will see tortoises from different islands. The animals are found in large semi natural pens for their protection, but also to ensure an easy view for the tourists. The pens are divided according to four different stages: eggs, neonates, juveniles (held here until they are mature enough to be "repatriated"), and adults.
Afterwards we will head back to Puerto Ayora, where we will have some time to explore the town and shops by ourselves before boarding the M/Y Passion at around 17:00. Once on board, we will be welcomed by the crew and captain, have a short security drill and enjoy dinner and the briefing for the next day´s activities.
We spend the day on Floreana, legendary homestead of infamous Baroness Eloise Von Wagner de Bousquet. Wet landing onto the olivine beaches of Punta Cormorant; we will be seeking Greater Flamingos on our way to another special beach with the finest sand you’ll set your foot on, a sea turtle nesting ground where sharks and rays also visit regularly. We end the outing on a short panga ride to Devil’s Crown, a key snorkeling site.
After lunch we will visit Post Office Bay (wet landing), where you can drop your postcards in the barrel as the whalers did centuries ago.
This morning we will visit Floreana Island´s black beach, to learn about the intriguing human history of the island and it´s first inhabitants.
Floreana was the first islands in the Archipelago to be inhabited, since it has one of the very few fresh water sources. We will visit this fresh water source known as “Asilo de La Paz”, as well as the caves that served as hideouts for pirates and where the first “Galapegueño” was born, according to Floreana stories, which involve the infamous Baroness Eloise Wagner von Bousquet and her lovers, which mysteriously began to disappear after settling in the island.
After our visit, we will have the best opportunity for a not so usual but well beloved activity in the Archipelago, a full afternoon navigation to look for Whales and Dolphins. The waters of the Galapagos form the second largest marine reserve in the World, and this marine reserve have a very rich wildlife. The biggest representatives of the underwater Fauna are the different species of Whales and dolphins found here. We will navigate form Floreana to Isabela Island while looking for these fascinating creatures, which tend to show themselves in this area.
We arrive at Isabela, the largest island in the Galapagos. After breakfast, we step ashore at Punta Moreno (dry landing) onto a superb pahoehoe lava flow surrounded by giant shield volcanoes, some still active! From here we will do a short hike to a lagoon where flamingos are usually present.
Panga ride in and around Elizabeth Bay, a salt-water lagoon surrounded by the largest red mangroves of the Galapagos. Here, it is usual to see sea turtles come near our zodiac to greet us. Flightless cormorants and Galapagos penguins are also more abundant in this part of the archipelago.
We disembark at Urbina Bay (wet landing) onto a black sand beach, nesting site for Green Sea Turtle. We take a brief hike inland in search of land iguanas and giant tortoises (seasonal) that migrate to and from the highlands. At the beach, we will admire the remains of a geological uplift exposing coral heads and marine fossils; and if the sea conditions and time are on our side, we will also snorkel in these waters.
We cross Bolivar Channel to Fernandina Island, one of the world’s most unspoilt sites, and disembark (dry landing) at Punta Espinosa. Strolling along the shoreline, we will be on the look out for Flightless Cormorants, Galapagos sea lions, Galapagos penguins and hawks, sooty-coloured marine iguanas and bright red-orange Sally Lightfoot Crabs.
Dry landing near Tagus Cove, historic pirate hideaway where names of countless ships are recorded for posterity on the cliff face. Hike through beautiful Galapagos landscapes to Darwin Lake, a salt-water crater lagoon surrounded by tuff stone.
At Punta Vicente Roca we will do a panga ride around the beautiful coast line before jumping into the water to enjoy one of the best snorkelling sites of the Galapagos. The underwater cliffs found here are filled with enough colors and life to amaze everyone looking at them for the first time.
After three days exploring the fabulous western islands, we head to central Santiago to disembark at Espumilla (wet landing), onto a golden-coloured sand Green Sea Turtle nesting site. A forest trail will take us through some of the largest specimens of Palo Santo on the islands to observe Yellow Warblers, the unbelievably tame Galapagos Flycatcher and the ever-intriguing Darwin’s finches.
At Puerto Egas (wet landing) we disembark on a dark sand volcanic beach with an interesting history of human settlement. Sleepy Galapagos fur seals lounge under arches of lava carved by the ocean and occasionally dip into the crystalline pools, also known as “grottos”. Walk along the shore and observe the abundant marine life.
We disembark on North Seymour (dry landing), a small uplifted island, where we will walk right up to bird nesting colonies of the two species of Frigatebirds, Blue-footed Boobies and Swallow-tailed Gulls, and experience, depending on season, spectacular displays. After this visit the ship will sail to Baltra where passengers ending their trip will disembark and passengers beginning their cruise will join us on board.
Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your South American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first hand experience, our consultants will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.
Chimu Adventures undertakes a number of sustainability measures within its operations including:
1) Only using local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprints. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting.
2) Where possible, using locally owned and operated boutique hotels to maximise the return to the local community.
3) Chimu’s “Pass it on” programme has provided funding to hundreds of local community projects in Latin America. Our aim is to empower local communities, helping them to develop their own infrastructure for the future. Since 2006, we have been working with Kiva (a well-known Non-Governmental Organisation), providing hundreds of loans to local businesses all over South America.
4) In our pre tour information we provide a range of tips and advice on how to minimise your impact on both local environments and communities.
5) Chimu Adventures’ offices also take a number of sustainability measures including carbon offsets for company vehicles and most staff travel. Chimu Adventure’s internal processes are also structures to create a paperless office and to reduce waste. There are also internal programmes to help staff minimise their carbon footprint such as our staff bike purchase assistance plan which encourages office staff to commute to work via bicycle. Currently almost half of our office based staff commute to work via bicycle.