Day 1: Fly to the Galapagos Islands. Transfer to the Treasure of Galapagos catamaran, then take an afternoon excursion
After a general introduction and lunch, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn about the protection and conservation of the islands, and to see the giant tortoise breeding and rearing centre.
Day 2: Galapagos excursions on Santa Cruz
Enjoy a morning visit to Ballena Bay, where the beach contains a number of volcanically formed olivine crystals. After lunch, ascend to Cerro Dragon, with land iguanas and flamingos near the two lagoons. You can snorkel here.
Day 3: Galapagos excursions on Isabela
In the morning, visit the Tintoreras archipelago by zodiac boat, where sea lions, marine iguanas and sea turtles can be found, and white-tipped reef sharks rest in the shallow waters. After lunch, there is a dry landing at Humedales, a network of coastal mangroves and brackish lagoons. This is an important feeding area for the Galapagos penguin and a nesting site for green turtles. A number of species rely upon this wetland habitat, including ghost crabs, fiddler crabs, oystercatchers and flamingos.
Day 4: Galapagos excursions on Isabela
Today you will continue to explore Isabela Island, walking the black lava flow trail between two volcanoes to Punta Moreno. Spend the afternoon at Urbina Bay, a black sand beach home to marine and land iguanas, and green sea turtles. You can snorkel here.
Day 5: Galapagos excursions on Fernandina and Isabela
Marine iguanas gather to bask in the sand at Punta Espinosa, at the north-eastern tip of Fernandina Island. This visitor site is home to several intriguing Galapagos species, including the flightless cormorant. After lunch, return to Isabela Island and visit Tagus Cove, where you climb up for views of Darwin's Lake, a saltwater lagoon in a tuff cone, and the lava fields of Darwin volcano. There are cave inscriptions of ancient pirates who used the coves as shelter.
Day 6: Galapagos excursions on Santiago and Rabida
You will make a wet landing at Puerto Egas, a volcanic black sand beach with quick-footed lava lizards, herons, Galapagos hawks, rock pools and underwater rock formations which are full of fauna. In the afternoon, continue to Rabida, 5km south of Santiago Island, where the high iron content gives a distinct red colour to the sand and rocks. The main attraction here is the salt water lagoon, with flamingos, pelicans and boobies. The clear waters are very good for snorkelling.
Day 7: Flight to Quito/Guayaquil
Journey from the Galapagos to Quito
After breakfast, enjoy your final Galapagos excursion to Bachas Beach on Santa Cruz Island, where the soft white sand is perfect for nesting sea turtles. You sometimes snorkel here. Coastal birds such as black-necked stilts and whimbrels also populate a water lagoon behind one of the beaches.