The Bay Tour begins at the main dock in Puerto Ayora, only 5 minutes from the hotel. Guests will visit Sea Lion Island and if weather permits, guests will get to swim and snorkel with the playful sea lions that are always curious of human visitors. Guests will also visit the highlights of Academy Bay, including the Canal del Amor, the Canal de los Tiburones, "Las Grietas" and la Playa de los Perros. Cameras are highly recommended as there are usually sightings of Galapagos Sharks (related to white-tipped sharks), sea lions, blue footed boobies, marine iguanas, and manta rays.
Lounge underneath the mangroves while the kids go snorkeling. Or float in the tranquil waters and work on your tan. Watch for Crabs, Blue Footed Boobies, Marine Iguanas and Bahama Ducks.
An excursion to the Highlands is a special treat so that you may enjoy seeing tortoises in the wild while taking in the natural beauty of the island. After a 25 minute ride to the Highlands, walk thru the vegetation to find Giant Tortoises relaxing in a pond or munching on papayas that have fallen from the tree. After seeing the real tortoises, climb into one of the fossilized tortoise shells left behind from tortoises of yesteryear and take an original picture to show your friends. While in the Highlands you will have the option to visit geological formations like a natural lava tunnel or twin pit craters "The Gemelos" or both, depending on your energy level! The "Gemelos" or Twin Pit Craters, located in the Scalezia zone of the island, are a great place for bird watching. Look out for Darwin Finches, Galapagos Doves and Cattle egret.
If you would like to visit the most beautiful white sand beach in Santa Cruz we can arrange that as well! This includes a 25 minute walk thru a fragrant Palo Santo forest, filled with Santa Cruz Mockingbirds and Darwin Finches, to Tortuga Bay to a beautiful powder white sandy beach. Guests can body surf in the Pacific's cool waters or snorkel in a peaceful lagoon located just at the end of the beach.
Watch for Brown Pelicans, American Oystercatchers, Marine Iguanas, and Blue Herons.
"The Station" as the locals call it, it was home to Lonesome George, as well as, Santa Cruz's Tortoise Breeding Center. Experience the wonder of these Giant Tortoises up close as you enter their corrals and take photos with these magnificent creatures. Try to catch a glimpse of Lonesome George as he naps under a shrub.
Stop by the interpretation center, it's a fantastic place to learn about the conservation of the islands, geology and the movement of the tectonic plates. Incredibly small, the young tortoises are the highlight of the visit, it's difficult to imagine that a 500-pound Giant Galapagos can start so tiny!