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Southern Galapagos Discovery

Overview

This unique itinerary begins on Santa Cruz Island, the most populous in the archipelago. Here, explore the highlands of the islands with their lush vegetation before venturing down to the world-famous Charles Darwin Research Station to meet giant tortoises face to face.

After boarding the boat at the end of the day, sail south to the island of Floreana, where you disembark at Post Office Bay in the morning and Punta Cormorant in the afternoon. Both are full of life and history.

Next, head west to Española Island, with its remarkable visitor site: Punta Suarez. Here, you can wander along the rugged coastline, home to hundreds of marine iguanas, sea lions, marine birds, and even albatross (at certain times of year). In the afternoon, Gardner Bay provides a wonderful setting for a combination of beach-time, swimming, snorkelling or exploring aboard the glass-bottom boat.

San Cristobal Island is next, the capital of the Galapagos Province. Explore the northern shores of the island, visiting the fascinating sites of Punta Pitt and Cerro Brujo, following in the footsteps of a young Charles Darwin on his visit in 1835. A truly remarkable adventure - this is a once in a lifetime opportunity that cannot be missed!

Itinerary

Day 1: Santa Cruz - Baltra
Arrive at Baltra airport and head to the Itabaca Channel to take a ferry across to Santa Cruz Island. A 30-minute bus ride then takes you to a restaurant in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island to enjoy lunch, and then continue to Puerto Ayora. Depending on local weather conditions up in the highlands, a short hike is an option which will be a great introduction to some Galapagos wildlife. After driving down from the highlands, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise pens within an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest home to many land birds. These are the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. Later this afternoon, stroll along the main street of Puerto Ayora before boarding the yacht. You have a chance then to review the expeditions plan for next days and set sail! Enjoy a Captain’s welcome cocktail and dinner on board this evening.

Day 2: Floreana
After breakfast, land at Post Office Bay to visit the historic barrel that has served as an informal post office in the archipelago for over two centuries! There is a chance here for some snorkelling off the beach too. The next stop is Punta Cormorant - taking in an olivine-crystal beach and an easy walk by a brackish water lagoon where bird species like stilts and flamingos may be observed. On the other side of the island, you'll come to a white-sand beach where sea turtles come out at night to nest. Snorkeling is possible at the lovely “Champion Islet” site, or take a ride in the panga or glass-bottom boat.

Day 3: Española
Today take a morning outing at Punta Suarez. Embark on an exciting walk on lava/boulder terrain to visit its unique sea bird colonies, including the waved albatrosses (April - January), boobies, swallow-tail gulls, mockingbirds, and the famous “blowhole”. Also, look out for red-green-black marine iguanas. In the afternoon, set down at Gardner Bay with its beautiful, white coral beach for a short walk to observe Galapagos sea lions, finches, maybe a hawk or just enjoy the beach. There is great snorkelling in this area, alternatively kayak, or enjoy the glass-bottom boat. The turquoise colour of the waters at this location are a favourite spot for photographs - truly spectacular.

Day 4: San Cristobal
This morning land on the eastern tip of San Cristobal Island. The trail that ascends from the beach provides spectacular views of the shoreline and is the only site in the Galapagos where the three species of boobies can be found together, joined by the two frigatebird species plus a colony of bachelor sea lions. After the walk, if conditions are favourable, there is a chance to swim, kayak or snorkel from the beach or hop onto the panga for a ride along the coast. In the afternoon, following lunch on board, set out on a panga ride along the shores of tuff-stone layers which take you to Cerro Brujo's expansive, white coraline beach, great for walking, with rewarding birdwatching including good views of both sea and shore birds. Also, keep your eyes open for Galapagos sea lions. These are the very shores that Charles Darwin walked upon, back in September 1835! After the walk, there is a chance to swim and snorkel for the rest of the day.

Day 5: San Cristobal
After breakfast, depart to the pier and transfer to the airport for your flight back to the mainland.

Map

Essentials

Included:
  • Accommodation and meals on board
  • Island sightseeing
  • Professional lecture services and biologist guides
  • WIFI on board
  • Snorkelling gear
  • All transfers
  • Not Included:
  • Flights to/from Galapagos
  • Galapagos National Park admission fee (approx.$100)
  • Transit Control Card for Galapagos ($20 per person)
  • Wet Suits
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Tips
  • Essentials

    Are you wondering about flights, deposits and other bits and pieces? Here are a few items of essential information that could help with the planning of your trip with Tango Tours. If you have any questions please just contact us.

    International Flights
    Getting to The Galapagos Islands is straightforward from most areas of the world, but you may find that the choice is bewildering, or you’re not sure about the easiest route. Tango Tours are experienced in planning flights both to Latin America and within Latin America, and we are very happy to advise you on the different choices available. Because prices tend to increase closer to your departure date, we advise that you buy your international flight tickets as soon as you have made a decision about your tour. As an ATOL bonded tour operator, we can assist in your purchase of international flights. In fact, your entire tour can be protected under our ATOL licence by booking your international flight with us. Please note that flight tickets are non-refundable and 100% of your flight ticket price is payable on tour confirmation.

    Internal Flights
    As with international flights, Tango Tours' friendly and knowledgeable staff are on hand to book your internal flights for you if required. For some itineraries, you need to arrive at a particular destination at a required time/date therefore, it is vital that you book the correct flights and times of arrival. Our ATOL licence will protect your whole tour if your internal flights are purchased through us. Please note that flights are non-refundable and 100% of your flight ticket price is payable on tour confirmation.

    Payments
    To confirm your booking with Tango Tours, we require a payment of 20% of the ground-based arrangements and 100% of all flights. The remaining balance of your tour is then payable 10 weeks prior to departure. For any bookings made within these 10 weeks, the full amount is payable.

    Activities
    We have provided a brief overview of the activity/excursion information in the itinerary. Please remember that the exact route and programme may vary according to weather and ocean conditions and the wildlife you encounter. The Expedition Team is in charge of planning the daily activities and logistics involved. It's also subject to change without previous notice due mainly to readjustment of the National Park policies and regulations.