Breakfast service. Deep water snorkeling. Visit to Bartolome. Dry landing. Nature walk.
Chinese Hat Islet
Visit to Chinese Hat, a tiny island just off the southeast tip of Santiago. Its name describes the island's shape. Those visitors who travel to the island will find its special landscape worth the visit. Though centrally located it is one of the least visited sites in the area. National Park Service restrictions have limited the number of visitors to Chinese Hat. Multi‐day cruises with 14 passengers or less are the only ones permitted at this site. The landing is on a beautiful crescent‐shaped white sand beach, home to Sea Lions and Sally Lightfoot Crabs. The trail on Sombrero Chino's explores its volcanic origin, one of the most evident in the islands.
The lava rock is very fragile and tends to break off when people walk over it. The sharp outcroppings caused from these breaks make it necessary to wear good walking shoes. Patches of Pahoehoe Lava, cracked lava and lava tubes can be found on the island. While the path does not lead up the striking red rust sides of the Chinese Hat to the caldera, it does venture high enough on the island to offer some spectacular views of the waves crashing below. Snorkeling in the waters near Chinese Hat can create a stir; white‐tipped sharks frequent the area, as do the playful Galapagos Penguins and Sea.
Santiago Island: Sullivan Bay
Lunch service. Santiago Island. Wet landing at Sullivan bay. Nature walk. Deep water snorkeling.
This fascinating volcanic site was named after Bartholomew James Sullivan,the first lieutenant on HMS Beagle, the ship that brought Charles Darwin to the Galapagos. This unique landscape is composed of a pair of eroded scoria lava cones which were engulfed by a recent (in geological terms) pahoehoe lava flow and which is considered one of the finest in the world.There are easy to spot tuff cones, miniature spatter cones, and the imprints of tree branches in the once molten rock all over the island. Though the lava flow is over 170 years old, it looks much more recent because of its isolation on the island, that has greatly helped to its preservation.Pioneer plants such as Brachycereus cactus and the endemic herb Mollugo are starting to colonize the dark grey rocks and lava, preparing the way for other plant species.
Guide briefing. Farewell cocktail. Dinner service and navigation to Santa Cruz Island.