Baltra to San Cristobal itinerary

Baltra to San Cristobal itinerary
Focussing on natural history, sustainable travel and a jolly good time, Silversea’s voyages to the Galapagos are nothing short of spectacular.

Day by day

Day 1 : Baltra Island & Daphne Major Island
Baltra Island, also known as South Seymour, is truly the entrance to the Galapagos Islands. Despite not being considered as part of the National Park proper, Baltra definitely offers a taste of the weird and wonderful nature that thrives on the islands. The island is located in the central part of the archipelago. At just eight sq. mi it is one of smallest islands, yet its flat, volcanic rock surface and central location in the archipelago makes it an ideal place for one of the islands’ two airports. The airport was built by the US Air Force, who used it as an army base during WWII. As a travel destination in itself it offers few attractions, and all travellers who come here are just passing through, either on either way to or from the islands. There is no tourism infrastructure (save a few agencies that offer tours of the islands) or shops on Baltra and any purchases that you might wish to make should be done at the airport if they can. However, land iguanas and Galapagos finches are popular sights, and the iguanas are often seen running across the runway itself. You will be amazed how playful sea lions and some sea birds welcomed you at the pier.

North of Santa Cruz Daphne Major is a small volcanic island, a sparsely vegetated tuff cone with an area of less than half a square kilometer. It is extremely difficult to land on and can only be visited by special permit. Most ships only cruise past it or might even circumnavigate the island. Devoid of larger trees, the rim of the volcano’s cone rises to 120 meters. Cactus bushes, small trees and herbs provide food for several finch species –and a ground-breaking study in evolution over a forty year time span showed how food resource availability has led to evolutionary changes in finches. Apart from these small land birds, Red-billed Tropicbirds, Magnificent Frigatebirds and Nazca and Blue-footed Boobies also nest on Daphne Major and can often be seen soaring.
Day 2 : Genovesa Island: Darwin Bay & El Barranco
Genovesa is one of the northernmost islands of the archipelago. Genovesa’s southern side of the shield volcano’s crater collapsed and a protected bay known as Darwin Bay was formed. The island is often referred to as the “Bird Island” as the numbers and species of land and seabirds on Genovesa are quite extraordinary. There are two visitor sites, and Prince Philip’s Steps give access to the flat plateau above the bay. Named after Prince Philip who visited the Galapagos on two occasions, the “steps” are mostly natural. The steep cliffs are home to Red-billed Tropicbirds, while Magnificent Frigatebirds, Nazca and Red-footed Boobies prefer the top. The plateau above Prince Philip’s Steps has a palo santo forest and an extensive lava field. This is an area where one of the Galapagos’ top predators, the Short-eared Owl, is hunting storm petrels. The Short-eared Owls are extremely well camouflaged and are not always easy to spot in between the rocks.

At Genovesa Island the ship tucks into Darwin Bay, an ancient volcanic crater now flooded by the sea. Zodiacs land on a picturesque sandy beach where Galapagos sea lions often rest on the fine, white sand. Explorations along the shore may reveal marine iguanas looking like prehistoric dinosaurs in miniature. By heading inland a short distance visitors could encounter seabirds of all shapes and sizes nesting in the vegetation. Scores of immature Red-footed Boobies perch on branches within an arm’s reach of the path. In addition, watch for Great Frigatebirds and Yellow-crowned Night Herons along the walk. There is also fantastic snorkeling in the waters of Darwin Bay with the opportunity to see large schools of reef fish and brightly colored sea stars.

Itinerary Map

Tierras Altas de Santa Cruz | Giant tortoise | Galapagos Islands
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Punta Moreno | Frigate | Galapagos Islands
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Punta Suarez | Yellow-crowned Night Heron | Galapagos Islands
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Includes

Economy Class Roundtrip between Ecuador and Galapagos
Transfers (between airport, hotel and ship)
Pre cruise Hotel in Quito (2 nights)
"Quito by Night" Tour
National Park fees
1 post cruise day room in Guayaquil for guests with flights after 10pm
Guided Zodiac, land and sea tours, and shoreside activities led by the Expeditions Team
Enrichment lectures by a highly qualified Expeditions Team
Spacious suites
Butler service in every suite
Unlimited Free Wifi
Personalised service – nearly one crew member for every guest
Choice of restaurants, diverse cuisine, open-seating dining
Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship, including champagne, select wines and spirits
In-suite dining and room service
Onboard entertainment
Onboard gratuities

Does not include

Highlights

Hiking & Kayaking
Snorkeling from the beach
Deep Water Snorkeling
Silver Origin
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