Home » M/V Evolution 8 day: Footsteps Back in Time
In the morning, visit South Plaza Island - one of the smallest yet most colorful islands in the Galapagos. Yellow land iguanas wander through bright red carpet weed, waiting from prickly pears to drop from green cactus. Orange sally lightfoot crabs dot the blackened lava above the landing site, all surrounded by turquoise waters. We'll see swallow tailed gulls nesting along the up-tilted end of the tiny island, while red-billed tropicbirds, frigatebirds and shearwaters fly in dancing displays. You''ll also have the chance to see blue footed boobies along the cliff's edge.
In the afternoon, go snorkeling at Punta Carrion followed by a visit to Mosquera. While Mosquera is little more than a large sandbar, it is home to a playful colony of sea lions.
Morning visit to Chinese Hat Islet, a fairly recent volcanic cone; it has the shape of a down-facing Chinese hat. On the rocky shoreline of nearby Santiago, Galapagos penguins are often seen. There is a small sea lion cove on the north shore, where boats anchor and land at the visitor site. Late morning snorkeling with sea lions and penguins and swimming opportunities in the cove.Afternoon visit to James Bay, where you willl land on a black beach with intriguing eroded rock formations. A trail leads to a series of crystal-clear grottos with a natural bridge formed of broken lava tubes. This is the best place in the Galapagos to see fur seals and equally best place to see samurai like marine iguanas feeding in tidal pools nearby. You will find a colony of sea lions here and Galapagos hawk frequent the area. Snorkeling offers encounters with Green Sea Turtles and tropical fish.
Tower Island could serve as a film set for a secret submarine base! The southern part of the island is an ocean-filled caldera ringed by the throat of a sizeable and mostly submerged volcano. The island sits to the northwest, slightly removed from the Galapagos archipelago. It is also known as "Bird Island," and Darwin Bay, where we land first, lives up to that name in a spectacular way! A gorgeous tidal grotto forms the backdrop to the gaggle of nesting and soaring seabirds birds and path leads up to the rookery cliffs for views of the bay and colonies of gulls, tropic birds and frigates.Take time to kayak beside the walls of the sunken caldera before your afternoon visit to Prince Philips Steps. This is the best Galapagos landing site to see red footed boobies, comically perched by wrapping big red feet around tiny branches. We walk a short distance to seek out short eared owls preying on swarms of storm petrels. The snorkeling at the foot of thesteps is amazing with large, brightly colored tropical fish taking on a neon quality against the black lava background.
Morning visit to North Seymour Island which is teaming with wildlife! Cliffs only a few meters high form the shoreline are home to swallow-tailed gulls. A tiny forest of silver-grey Palo Santo trees stands just above the landing, where a trail will take us to see sea lions, marine iguanas, blue footed boobies, pelicans, magnificent frigatebirds and land iguanas.
Floreana has had a colorful history: Pirates, whalers, convicts, and a small band of somewhat peculiar colonists—a Baroness among them—who chose a Robinson Crusoe existence that ended in mystery and death. We visit Post Office Bay, where in 1793 British whalers set up a barrel as the island's Post Office, to send letters home on passing ships. A stairway leads down into a natural lava cave where you can literally swim in a grotto under the ocean!
Santa Cruz is the second largest island in the Galapagos and its capital, Puerto Ayora, is the economic center of the Islands. In the afternoon, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to visit the Giant Tortoise and Land Iguana Breeding and Rearing Program. Here used to be home to the famous Lonesome George (now deceased), the last of his particular race of tortoise.Afternoon visit to the Highlands, where the dry coastal vegetation transitions to lush wet fields and forests overgrown with moss and lichens. Your next destination is the Tortoise Reserve, where you will have chances see these animals in the wild and explore a lava tube.