This Eco tour offers the possibility to enjoy of the amazing fauna and flora of Galapagos southern islands on board of the Eden yacht.
Activity level: Moderate
Ship: Galapagos Eden
On the first day of this tour you will fly to San Cristóbal Island. There you will meet your guide and transfer to the boat. In the afternoon, you will head to Isla Lobos which is known for its friendly and playful sea lions.
Isla Lobos Visit
Experience amazing wildlife encounters as you explore this tiny island both by foot and by boat. A panga (dinghy) ride will take you to see the sea and shore birds nesting and feeding. You can also spot a small colony of blue-footed boobies and two different species of sea lions.
Santa Fe Island Visit
Visit Santa Fé for amazing wildlife watching opportunities. Hike towards the cliffs along the island’s northern shore to view the forest of giant prickly pear cactus (Opuntia), which is home to endemic land iguanas. It is also one of the best locations to see sea turtles, sea lions, and maybe even get a glimpse of a whitetip reef shark from the panga.
South Plaza Island Visit
Visit South Plaza, one of the smallest islands in the Galápagos, which has one of the largest populations of land iguanas. Walk along a path through a cactus forest and view a combination of dry and coastal vegetation on this lively island, home to a wide range of fauna, including incredible bird life. Spot red-billed tropic birds and indigenous swallow-tailed gulls resting on the cliffs, and sea lions playing in the waters.
Charles Darwin Research Station Visit
The third day of this tour will begin with a visit to Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, which is the best place to observe the many species of tortoises and land iguanas in captivity. Here you’ll see the famous Galápagos tortoise, which was brought back from the brink of extinction. You can see the adult tortoises that live in the corral and also check out the nursery where the young tortoises are raised until their shells have hardened.
This area is also where the Charles Darwin Research Station is located. This scientific organization was started in 1964 and works to preserve the ecosystem of the Galápagos Islands through the conservation efforts of researchers, scientists, and volunteers. While the actual offices are not open to the visiting public, the research station does have a study location for international scientists and environmental education for the local population.
Highlands Giant Tortoises Visit
At the end of the day you will head to Santa Cruz’s lush highlands to visit the El Chato Reserve. The reserve is the best place to see giant tortoises in their natural environment. You can also explore the reserve’s lagoon and lava tunnels. Keep an eye out for owls while exploring the tunnels’ as they are often found roosting in the entrances.
Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre Visit
Walk through the wetlands of this Island to visit the Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre. This center and its breeding program were established in the late 1950s to prevent the extinction of the giant tortoise and to protect the noble creature.
Flamingo Lagoon Visit
Nature lovers will enjoy the opportunity to spend some time exploring Isabela’s natural beauty. Enjoy a walk to the Galápagos Islands’ largest coastal lagoon, which is also a one of the main breeding grounds for flamingos. On the way to the lagoon you can make stops at a lookout point with amazing views, natural pools, beaches, and a mangrove swamp.
Wall of Tears Visit
Finally take a tour of the somber ‘Wall of Tears’. This historical site is a tribute to the prisoners of a penal colony on the island, who were forced to build a wall using huge blocks of lava. Many prisoners died while constructing the wall between 1946 and 1959.
Punta Moreno Visit
Today you will visit Punta Moreno and explore its fascinating landscape, which is the site of black lava flows and a one-of-a-kind system of brackish lagoons that bring in a wide variety of wildlife. Here you can spot Darwin’s finches, Galápagos doves, penguins, and many other rare and exciting animals! This is a visit you will definitely want to bring your camera along for to take some shots of the island’s amazing scenery. Punta Moreno also boasts a panoramic viewpoint of three of Isabela’s impressive volcanoes: Alcedo, Sierra Negra, and Cerro Azul.
Elizabeth Bay Panga Ride
Next, head out by panga to explore the bay, trying to find the wildlife that hides out among the mangroves. In these sheltered waters you may spot marine turtles, rays, and flightless cormorants. You can also see blue-footed boobies, penguins, and pelicans flying around and feeding on the abundant marine life.
Tagus Cove Visit
The sixth day of this tour will begin with a visit to Tagus Cove. This anchorage site on Isabela Island was popular with whalers and pirates. You will be able to tour the area on foot to take in brilliant views of Darwin Lake (a spherical saltwater crater), the bay, and the Darwin and Wolf volcanoes. Upon docking, you can get to the trail entrance via a wooden stairway. Then follow the trail across the dry vegetation zone. You’ll then continue on by climbing up to a promontory made of spatter cones (small volcanic cones).
Punta Espinoza Visit
This not-to-be-missed site offers a variety of different trails to explore the largest colonies of marine iguanas and sea birds that make their home here. You can also follow a path that leads along the beach and across lava flows to explore one of the least-visited places in the Galápagos.
Puerto Egas Visit
Explore the beautiful shoreline of Puerto Egas, aka James Bay. The beach is home to a plethora of wildlife, so you can spot a many types of shore birds and reptiles.
Snorkeling (Puerto Egas)
Grab a snorkel and jump right into the water to explore Puerto Egas’ remarkable underwater world. While snorkeling, keep your eyes peeled for reef sharks, rays, and turtles. Afterwards, you can visit the large tidal pool area where you can see Sally Lightfoot crabs and marine iguanas everywhere.
On the final day of the tour, visit North Seymour for guided walks where you can examine native birds and wildlife, including a vast colony of sea lions. Finally, disembark at Baltra and then fly back to Quito.
North Seymour Island Visit
Have an astounding wildlife experience visiting while visiting the very lively North Seymour Island! Follow various trails to experience all the action (you may need step)