You will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight to San Cristóbal Island, Galapagos.
Arrive San Cristóbal Island. Upon arrival to the Galapagos Islands from mainland Ecuador, you are met by members of your vessel's expedition team at the airport. You will be transferred to your awaiting vessel for embarkation and commencement of your 7-night Galapagos Islands cruise.
Note: The cruise itinerary is subject to change without notice for various factors including but not limited to: safety, weather, mechanical breakdown, unforeseen emergencies, and the discretion of the Captain, Guide, and the Galapagos National Park. The Galápagos is a natural ecosystem, making animal encounters there ultimately unpredictable and therefore exceptional in the way they typically occur. Though Galápagos species seem to have little fear of humans, they are wild animals subject to environmental factors, including their own instincts that can affect sightings, which means these encounters cannot be guaranteed. Accepting all these factors, including adhering to the rules of the Galápagos National Park, is a condition of participation on this trip.
Types of Landings: Wet and Dry
Wet Landing: Pangas (Zodiac-type boats) cannot always make it all the way to an island’s shore because of conditions that could damage a propeller, so wet landings are sometimes necessary. A wet landing is made from as close to the beach as possible, where you will have to step out into a foot or so of water. You’ll do this by swinging your feet out over the side of the panga and then stepping into the water. You’ll reverse the procedure when you get back in the boat; sit down facing outwards and swing your feet in. You can go barefoot or wear water-sports sandals for wet landings.
Dry Landing: For a dry landing, the panga will make its way up against a natural dock of lava rocks or a man-made dock. You may wear your shoes or hiking boots. These landings may be a bit tricky because the panga is moving with the waves, and the rocks you step on are often slippery. They usually, however, have intermittent, flat portions. Your guide will offer you a hand as you disembark. When accepting a hand, grasp the guide’s wrist. The guide, in turn, will grasp yours in a “sailor’s grip” or wristlock. Once on the shore, place your feet carefully on the first few feet of rocks, which could be wet, depending on the tide level.
There will be a briefing onboard about the boat and the island.
Your excursions today are at Lobos Island (San Cristóbal Island) and León Dormido/Kicker Rock (San Cristóbal Island).
San Cristóbal Island
San Cristóbal is the easternmost and one of the oldest islands in the Galápagos, with eroded volcanic peaks in the north and densely vegetated slopes in the south. The provincial capital of the Galápagos, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, lies at the head of Wreck Bay at the southwest tip of the island. One of the archipelago’s two airports is here (the other is on Baltra Island). In 1998, the Galápagos National Park Service opened the San Cristóbal Interpretation Center here, giving visitors the opportunity to learn more about the plants, ecosystems, wildlife, and human history of the archipelago.
San Cristóbal is the only island in the Galápagos with permanent freshwater, held in a small lake named El Junco near the top of the island. Because of this availability of water, the island was settled early in Galápagos history. In fact, Charles Darwin’s first stop in the Galápagos was on San Cristóbal in 1835 when the island was the home of the archipelago’s governor.
Lobos Island (San Cristóbal Island)
A narrow arm of seawater separates the basaltic rock outcropping of Isla Lobos from San Cristóbal. Rollicking sea lions and blue-footed boobies share the white sand beach. There are short hikes on the island and it is a great place to snorkel. Landing: Dry or wet.
León Dormido/Kicker Rock (San Cristóbal Island)
Rising several hundred feet above the water, this majestic volcanic monolith is one of the most photographed sites in the islands. Keep an eye on the cliffs for blue-footed and Nazca boobies and frigatebirds. While there are no landing sites, Kicker Rock provides excellent snorkeling opportunities. You may see Galápagos and hammerhead sharks, spotted eagle rays, turtles and tropical fish. Landing: None.