Galápagos — West & Central Islands aboard the Monserrat


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    On this cruise you’ll view the Galápagos from the deck of the comfortable Monserrat as she cuts through blue waters bound for another island paradise loaded with natural splendour. You’ll get up-close and personal with aquatic wildlife like sea lions and turtles, hike over volcanic lava flows to view the landscapes of Bartolomé, and relax on the stunning white-sand beaches of Santiago.

    Itinerary

    Day 1 Quito
    Arrive at any time.

    Day 2 Quito/Puerto Ayora
    Early flight to Baltra. Meet the guide and transfer across the island of Santa Cruz to Puerto Ayora to board the ship. Take an afternoon excursion to the highlands to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat. (B, L, D)

    Day 3 Sullivan Bay/Bartolomé Island
    Visit Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island to see giant lava formations contrasting the white-coral sand beach. Continue to Bartolomé for a guided tour to see the dramatic volcanic features before hiking to a panoramic viewpoint. (B, L, D)

    Day 4 Bachas Beach/Cerro Dragón
    Visit the beach on Las Bachas and relax or swim in the crystal waters. Continue to Cerro Dragón on the west coast of Santa Cruz to see land iguanas and a saltwater lagoon frequented by flamingos and other species of birds.

    In the afternoon, visit Cerro Dragón, on the west coast of Santa Cruz Island. See land iguanas as well as a saltwater lagoon frequented by flamingos and various species of birds. (B, L, D)

    Day 5 Black Turtle Cove/Mosquera Island
    Take a morning panga ride and look for marine life in Black Turtle Cove before navigating back to Baltra for lunch. In the afternoon, sail to Mosquera and walk along the beach and observe the vast sea lion colonies. (B, L, D)

    Day 6 Isabela Island
    Arrive at Puerto Villamil, home to the small community that lives on Isabela Island. In the morning, hike the Sierra Negra volcano, which has the largest basaltic caldera in the Galápagos. Visit Las Tintoreras and the tortoise breeding centre in Puerto Villamil in the afternoon. (B, L, D)

    Day 7 Chinese Hat/Rábida Island
    In the morning, the boat arrives at a small uniquely shaped island off the southern tip of Santiago called Chinese Hat. Here it is often possible to see Galápagos penguins, and the marine life is fantastic for snorkelling. There is also a large sea lion colony as well as many marine iguanas that can be seen while walking amongst the volcanic scenery. Trek to see good views of the island’s volcano. (B, L, D)

    Day 8 Puerto Egas/Santiago Island
    Morning excursion to Puerto Egas to see the salt crater as well as a dark sand beach and tidal pools. Continue to Playa Espumilla, one of the most idyllic beaches in the Galápagos Islands, which boasts thick mangroves and flamingo and sea turtle nesting sites. Head to Buccaneer Cove to witness the towering cliff wall rock formations. Continue to Puerto Egas to see the salt crater as well as a dark sand beach and tidal pools.

    Santiago Island has seen its share of human activity from whalers and pirates over the years, and despite the introduction of goats to the island many years ago, the wildlife of Santiago has otherwise flourished and provides outstanding viewing opportunities. The island boasts marine iguanas, sea lions, fur seals, land and sea turtles, among others. Enjoy great wildlife viewing both on land and in the water. (B, L, D)

    Day 9 North Seymour/Quito
    Visit North Seymour for guided walks to observe birds and wildlife, including vast sea lion colonies, marine iguanas, swallow-tailed gulls, magnificent frigate birds, and blue-footed boobies. Disembark at Baltra and fly back to Quito.  You will arrive back at the hotel in the early evening. (B)

    Day 10 Quito
    Depart at any time.

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