Santa Cruz Island:
Finch Bay Eco-Hotel
8 Days/7 Nights
Departs Sunday from Balta
 

7
Nights Includes

 

• All Ground Transfers

• 7 Nights Finch Bay
Eco-Hotel

• Galapagos National Park Fee

• Guided Island
Eco-Tours

• All Meals

If you prefer an alternative to a cruise, charming Finch Bay Hotel is the perfect land-based
option. It is located at Academy Bay on Santa Cruz Island, across the bay from the small townof Puerto Ayora. Named after the famous Darwin’s Finches abundant in the nearby
mangroves, the hotel is just steps away from a sandy beach. The hotel has 21 premium rooms,and 6 oceanview rooms with private bath an air-conditioning. Amenities include a restaurant,bar, and swimming pool. Guests can select from a wide range of optional activities includingsnorkeling, diving, kayaking, bicycling and bird watching. Visit the Charles Darwin ResearchCenter; explore the quaint town of Puerto Ayora. Two yachts are available for day excursions.

Sunday ~ Arrive Santa Cruz Island: Upon arrival to the airport at Baltra Island, you will be taken across the Itabaca Channel to Santa Cruz Island. Where a bus will take you to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island for a visit the Giant Tortoises Reserve in their natural habitat, a once in a lifetime experience! A stop is then made at the Twin Pit Craters, great depressions of volcanic material, formed by a long process of slow sinking of the ground, where exceptional Scalesia trees, ferns, mosses and orchids can be seen in the surroundings. Box lunch is provided and then on to the Finch Bay Eco Hotel to enjoy its multiple attractions: pool, the white coral beach in front of the hotel and rest on your hammock. In the evening, dinner includes the delicacies of local and international gastronomy, one of the main reasons people choose the Finch Bay Hotel.
(Lunch, Dinner, Accommodations, Finch Bay)

Monday ~ North Seymour Island: A stroll on flat terrain allows the observation of Palo Santo
trees and colonies of bluefooted boobies, swallowtailed gulls and magnificent frigate birds.
PM: Las Bachas, After WWII, US military barges were beached and abandoned here. Locals referred to the beach as the barges beach, a name that morphed to “bachas”. Today it is an important nesting area for the east Pacific green sea turtle.
Located on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, it is a glorious white beach, with several brackish lagoons only a few steps away from the sea. These lagoons are the feeding grounds of various wading birds, from stilts to flamingos. Fantastic snorkeling, swimming, or simply enjoying the white soft beach. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Accommodations, Finch Bay)

Tuesday ~ Plaza Island: This is the southern partner of two small crescent-shaped islands
that lie just a few hundred meters off the east coast of Santa Cruz. The northern
island is used for scientific purposes only. South Plaza is one of the smallest yet richest islands in the archipelago. Our landing is in the channel between North and South Plaza, where the island slopes down toward the water. Further up the shore a carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents serves as groundcover for a grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cactus. Yellow-gray land iguanas sit beneath, waiting patiently for pears to drop. The trail gradually follows the tilt of the island to the cliffs that overlook the ocean to the south, where swallow-tailed gulls nest. The overlook is a great place for spotting large marine life, including manta rays. Surf pounds an inlet at the western corner of the island, where a colony of sea lion bachelors make their home, accounting for the surface of the rocks, polished by the oils of their fur. Your guide will find the right spot to snorkel, whether on Plazas Island or Punta Carrion: The shoreline of Las Plazas makes for excellent snorkeling in a sea lion colony of nearly a thousand.
(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Accommodations, Finch Bay)

Wednesday ~Santa Cruz Island: Stay at Santa Cruz Island and enjoy the activities of your choice. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Accommodations, Finch Bay)

Thursday ~ Santa Fe Island: A short trek leads through woods of Opuntia cacti and Palo Santo trees. Land iguanas (endemic to Santa Fe), lava lizards and colonies of sea lions can be
observed. There is opportunity to swim and snorkel. Santa Fé offers one of the more beautiful and sheltered coves in the islands. Its turquoise lagoon is protected by a peninsula of tiny islets forming an ideal anchorage. The island lies to the southeast of Santa Cruz within sight of Puerto Ayora. Like North Seymour, Santa Fe has been uplifted seismically, and you can see underwater lava formations. A wet landing in a sandy white beach brings us into contact with one of the many sea lion harems. Bulls view for the right to be Beach Master, while smaller males masquerade as females, intent on making stealthy mating moves. Galápagos hawks are often easily approached, perched atop salt bushes. The giant prickly pear cactus found here live up to their name, with tree-sized trunks! Our goal is to spot one of the large species of land iguana native to Santa Fe. Beige to chocolate brown in color with dragon-like spines, these huge iguanas truly resemble dinosaurs. An indigenous species of rice rat also inhabits the thickest, and lucky hikers can spot harmless Galápagos snakes. After the hike, there is nothing more inviting than a swim in the calm waters of the bay. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Accommodations, Finch Bay)

Friday ~ Tortuga Bay: It is considered the nicest spot of the archipelago, a peaceful corner for the nature lover. Tortuga Bay’s name comes from the sea turtles that go there to lay their eggs. Excellent bird watching can be found along the way and at the Bay.
Back to the Finch Bay Eco Hotel for lunch. Free time in the afternoon to relax by the pool or on the beach, enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of the hotel, or visit Puerto Ayora and mingle with the locals.
(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Accommodations, Finch Bay)

Saturday ~ Bartolome Island: The trail is a fairly steep climb on wooden steps to the summit, worth the effort, as there is a spectacular view of the Galapagos scenery from above.
Interesting lava formations and tuff cones can be observed. Sea lions and penguins swim in the vicinity of Pinnacle Rock. Enjoy snorkeling or swimming from the beach. Bartolomé is famous for Pinnacle Rock, a towering spearheaded obelisk that rises from the ocean’s edge and is the best known landmark in the islands. Galápagos penguins—the only species of penguin found north of the equator—walk precariously along narrow volcanic ledges at its base. Sea lions snooze on rocky platforms, ready to slide into the water to play with passing snorkelers. Just below the surface, shoals of tropical fish dodge in and out of the rocks past urchins, sea stars and anemones. A perfectly crescent, pink-and-white sandy beach lies just to the east of the pinnacle. Sea turtles use the beach as a nesting site and can sometimes be found wading in the shallow water near the shore, or resting in the sand to recover from the arduous task of digging nests, laying eggs and
covering them over. Penguins dot the nearby rocks of the next landing site, less than a kilometer along the eastern shore. Here the submerged walls of a tiny volcanic crater give the impression of a fountain pool. The first dry landing is the entrance to a 600-meter (2000-foot) pathway complete with stairs and boardwalks leading to Bartolomé’s summit. The route is not difficult and presents a museum of vulcanology; a site left untouched after its last eruption, where cones stand in various stages of erosion and lava tubes form bobsled-like runs from the summit. At the top you will be rewarded with spectacular views of Santiago Island and James Bay to the west, and far below, Pinnacle Rock and our beach, where the crystal blue waters of the bay cradle your yacht. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Accommodations, Finch Bay)

Sunday ~ Depart: Leave the hotel early in the morning for a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station, and the giant tortoise pens within an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest home to many land birds. These are the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and
the National Park administration.
After visiting the Charles Darwin Research Station, you will proceed directly to the airport, overland transfer to the airport in Baltra Island, to take the flight back to the continent. Please check carefully that all your belongings have been packed and don’t leave anything in the hotel, Have
a nice trip! (Breakfast, Finch Bay)

 


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