DEPARTURE: 6:30 AM (includes transportation from hotel tour Boat ) , you should be already landed in San Cristobal Island one day before the tour to Españolaisland. / RETURN: 17: 00 (tour ends at pier, transportation to hotel not included , on own.)
BRIEF ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION: 2-hour navigation to the uninhabited island, snorkel in Gardner Bay, 1.2-mile hike along rocky terrain at Suarez Point, return navigation to San CristobalIsland
HIGHLIGHTS: Waved Albatross (April-December), large-billed cactus finch, Nazca boobie birds, Galapagos Dove, Galapagos Hawk, marine iguanas, fish, sea stars, and sea lions.ESPANOLA ISLAND
ESPAÑOLA - HOOD ISLAND .- With an age of approximately 3.3 million years, this uninhabited island is known as the oldest in the Archipelago. Perhaps best known for its population of endemic Waved Albatross, this day tour offers an up close and personal experience of birdwatching as well as a glimpse of the incredible life under the water, too!
The program begins at the tourist pier at 6:30AM where the local authorities must inspect the boat and our day packs to ensure we are not transporting plants, seeds, or animal remnants, in order to protect the integrity of the uninhabited island of Espanola.
Once aboard, get comfortable for the 2-hour navigation. A light, yet delicious breakfast and fresh Galapagos coffee will be served on board, as well. Keep your camera handy, as you never know what you might see during these trips!
Arriving to Gardner Bay, we will prep our snorkel gear and wetsuits and jump overboard! The snorkel activity is in a protected bay. The water isn’t too deep, and it’s a good thing, because the ocean floor is littered with various species of sea stars, corals, and urchins. Schools of fish, sea lions, rays, and maybe even sea turtles and Galapagos sharks can be found in this site. Above water, the cliffs provide refuge for Nazca boobie birds, sea lions, and Sally Lightfoot crabs. Back on the boat, both hot and cold drinks are awaiting you, as well as a snack of fresh fruit from our highlands farm.
We next navigate to our second site visit, Suarez Point, but first, lunch! Our crew will serve you up a fresh and filling lunch to refuel your body before we disembark and begin our 2-hour hike. Closed-toe shoes are recommended for the rocky trail, but we have a “wet landing” first, a quick ride on the zodiac from boat to beach.
On the beach, we will first notice the fine white sand and the black lava rocks, hiding the marine iguanas and Sally Lightfoot crabs, maybe even some slumbering sea lions! Keep on the lookout for lava lizards and Galapagos snakes (harmless, like a common garden snake). Your Naturalist Guide will assist in pointing out all the wildlife found along the trail, from the Nazca boobies, Galapagos Mockingbirds, to the famous Waved Albatross found nesting in the area from April to December, colonies of marine iguanas, Galapagos Hawks, Galapagos Doves, warbler finch, and the large-billed cactus finch, also endemic to the island. Most of the trail meanders along the rocky shore, and the turquoise waters crash onto the rocks, providing light ocean spray and a cool breeze to enjoy your trek.
As the looped trail returns toward the beach, notice the change in plant life and the niches of each bird. Finally, returning to the beach where you began your trek, the zodiac awaits to return you to the boat. Cool drinks, fresh fruit, and a delicious local dessert nourish you along the return trip, arriving to Pto. Baquerizo Moreno around 5PM..
DISCLAIMER: THIS ITINERARY IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE DUE TO WEATHER CONDITIONS OR CHANGES IN CONSERVATION REGULATIONS BY THE GALAPAGOS NATIONAL PARK OR LOCAL AUTHORITIES.