Schiff: Windrose Yacht
Operates only on Monday & Friday
Activity level: Moderate
Tour style: Hiking & Snorkeling
Pick up: 7:00 am
Departure & Return location: Hotel
Return time: 17:00
This is a full day tour visiting both North Seymour islands and Bachas beach departing from Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz island.
You depart on a small bus that take you through the highlands to the other side of the island to the Itabaca channel, from here we will board our small day trip boat (Windrose luxury yacht - other boats and budgets available, just ask).
Once on board you will get a briefing from the captain and the crew, a safety drill and snorkeling equipment fitting takes place. The boat will start its motors and your adventure starts as you navigate north bound without leaving site of the volcanic shores and ocean rocks that make up this part of the Galapagos archipelago. North Seymour will be soon in site, the captain will set anchor in a quiet bay and you will board a zodiac that will take you to the landing site. This is a dry landing (you will need to wear sneakars for this hike. Once you land your guide will scare away the guarding sea lions that lay at the head of the path and you will start walking on a flat sandy trail that will lead you into this wildlife rich, yet very small island.
One of the first stops is the Frigate bird nesting site, in season the male magnificent frigate birds will infalte their read pouch to attract females. At the nesting grounds you will also be able to spot baby and juvenile frigates, and observe the parents flying above and stealing food from the nearby booby colony. An interesting fact is that frigate birds do not dive into the ocean for food, but they are known as the pirates of the sky as they steal food from other birds. A frigate bird can fly days just by cruising with its wings spread, one of the fastest and most gracious birds to observe in the Galapagos sunny sky.
As you move inland you will start spotting blue footed boobies, depending on the time of the year these clumsy on land but masters of the sky will be either nesting or dancing. The Blue footed booby dance is one of the most elaborate courtship rituals in mother nature, where several factors come into place for success - having the best shoes counts! - the deeper color of blue of the feet will ensure the male is more appealing to the female. The dance includes waddling around in circles, picking up twigs (nest architecture skills) and bending over backwards with wings in the air. An intersting fact is that juveniles do not have blue feet until they reach adulthood and they are completely white and start taking from and elegance as they grow older.
This aproximate 2 hour hike is one of our favourites in the islands, it is not strenous, it is on flat land and it brings you in close distance with some of the most amazing and fearless feathery friends.
Say goodby to the North Seymour island and after a quick navigation back towards Santa Cruz you will arrive at the white sandy beaches known as las Bachas, a mispronounciation of the Barges in Spanish, refering to sunken cargo boats that existed in the area. This is a wet landing site, so forget expensive shoes and think of sandals of even barefeet. After a short walk the guide will find a quite place for you to place your snorkeling gear and you will enjoy a quick visit of the inner lagoon where pink flamingos can be observed feeding and posing on one or another leg. Back to the white sand beach and turqoise waters for some amazing snorkeling, here you will be able to swim with playful fin pulling sea lions, sea turtles, manta rays, colorful reef fish and white tipped reef sharks. All part of a fun day.
Lunch is included during this full day tour. Easy walks, great willdife viewing and plenty activity before returning to Santa Cruz and back to your hotel in the highlands or at Puerto Ayora.
We have a series of well planned Galapagos multi day tour packages that include this visit and other interesting sites.
We recommend to bring a small (waterproof) backpack, comfortable walking shoes, sneakers or rubber soles, shorts or light-weight trousers, t-shirts, long and short sleeved shirts, windbreaker, bathing suit, hat or cap, sun block, sunglasses, binoculars & camera.