March 29, 2024

Galapagos Birding and Natural History by Sea and Land Sept 6-16 2024

Join our 2nd adventure for birders and nature lovers combining the best of the top island of the Galapagos, by sea and land, providing a huge bird and wildlife diversity of the evolution capital, plus great hiking and snorkeling (optional) activities.


  • Pelagic seabirding oportunities.
  • 5 nights on a liveaboard (Exploring North Seymour, Santiago, Bartolome, Genovese, South Plaza, Santa Fé and Lobos Islet).
  • 4 nights by land (2 in Santa Cruz (Including Floreana) and 2 in San Cristóbal (Including Española)).
  • Top birding featuring the endemic species.
  • Discover the evolution of birds with the Darwin Finches and Mockingbirds.
  • Learn about the giant sea turtles and other reptiles evolution.
  • Snorkel with the Galapagos Penguins, reef sharks and sealions.
Blue-footed Boobies are a star bird to spot in many of the locations of the trip.

This classic s route cruises the Galapagos’ oldest islands by sea and land, where evolution had enough time to create unique species and subspecies, which became emblematic figureheads that differ from island to island. The nutrient-rich Humboldt Current that flows past these coasts allows life to reach unusually high levels of abundance, which you will witness first-hand during your hiking, birding, snorkeling adventures.

LOGISTICS:– Group size (Max 8 pax). A minimum of 4 people are required to run the trip. – Tour starts Sept 06 2024, when we must arrive in Quito and spend one night close to the airport. – Sept 07, we travel by plane in the morning from Quito to Baltra in the Galapagos Islands (This flight is included in the price by early bookin).  Upon arrival a National Park fee must be paid on the island for the whole trip ($200 pp in cash). -Sept 15 we fly from San Cristóbal to Quito for your flight home. – . We spend 2 nights in Santa Cruz, 5 nights on the liveaboard and 2 nights in San Cristóbal. The liveaboard features: Sun deck: Solarium with loungers and stunning views. Amenities: Private bathroom with a hot shower, toilet and washbasin, biodegradable soap, shampoo and conditioner; Air conditioning; Closet and Towels. Snorkeling gear.

Galapagos sea lion pup. Jonathan Newman.

Day 1 Friday Sept Sept 6. Quito – Ecuador

Flight from your country to the City of Quito, and stay in an airport hotel the day before the flight to Baltra in the Galapagos Islands. This day lodging is covered by every traveler. We can recommend flights and book accommodations required. 

Day 2 Saturday Sept 7. Quito to Baltra & Santa Cruz (Galapagos Islands)
Early morning flight to Baltra, we have an early meeting and check in as a group for the travel card to the islands and then airplane check in. Upon arrival at Baltra airport (, you will pass through an airport inspection point to ensure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands, as well as to pay the park entrance fee of $200 (Cash only).

Baltra Airport, welcome to the Galapagos Islands. Serge Arias.

A local guide will meet us, help to collect your luggage, and escort us on a short bus ride to the Canal and the Ferry to Santa Cruz. Our birding and natural history adventure starts here, birds to be spotted around the terminal includes Small and Medium Ground Finches, Common Cactus-Finch, Galapagos Warbler and Galapagos Dove. A private transfer will take us to the Puerto Ayora, main town in San Cruz island, we will stop at Los Gemelos (, two sinkholes in the highlands, with the last remnants of Scalesia forest, special habitat for our encounter with target birds such as Woodpecker Finch, Large Tree-finch, Small Tree-finch and Green Warbler-finch. This area is also home of the declining population of the Brujo Flycatcher (Little vermilion). We will then drive and check in our lodge, then we will explore the grounds of the village of Puerto Ayora. We will walk along the fishermen dock in search of Lava Gull and the access road to the Charles Darwin Research Station in search for Galapagos Dove, Galapagos Flycatcher, Galapagos Mockingbird, Vegetarian Finch and Large Ground-finch. We will explore the town for dinner (Breakfast, Lunch and dinner at your own).  Overnight at the Hotel Verde Azul.

Galapagos Dove, an endemic to the Galapagos Island, restricted to specific locations.

Day 3 Sunday Sept 8. Floreana Island.

This morning we have an early breakfast and a full day trip to explore the Floreana Island. We will have an early breakfast (optional) on our way to the dock. Then we will sail for two hours to the Punta Cormoran (, where will search for Flamingos, Galapagos Pintails and migratory waders. Floreana Mocking is located in a restricted islet that we will circumnavigate (if weather allows) to check for the bird perched on the cactus and bushes along the Champion Islet. We will have lunch then in the afternoon we will visit Asilo de la Paz ( from Puerto Velazco Ibarra in the highlands of Floreana searching for the rare endemic Medium Tree-finch. Other target birds in the area include Paint-billed Crake and Dark-billed Cuckoo. We will sail back in the afternoon and explore the town for dinner. Overnight at the Hotel Verde Azul. (B)

American Flamingo, a must see at Punta Cormoran. Jonathan Newman.

Day 4 Monday Sept 09. Santa Cruz and North Seymour.

This morning we take birding along the local hotspots including a visit to the Charles Darwin Station Facilities (, this area includes lowland scrub and woodlands, this area is great to get close views to the Vegetarian Finch and the Large Ground-finch.

Large Ground-Finch. Jonathan Newman.
Vegetarian Finch. Jonathan Newman.

Then we will travel to the Baltra dock for taking a liveaboard for 5 nights exploring the remote locations in the eastern islands of the archipelago for birding and natural history adventures. We will settle in our boat and then we will take a panga ride and walk at the North Seymour Island ( This flat island hosts a large colony of Great Frigatebirds and Blue-footed Boobies and is also a great place for the endemic Galapagos Dove, Red-billed Tropicbird, Swallow-tailed Gull and Galapagos Shearwaters. The shore visit includes close encounters with sealions and marine iguanas basking in the sun. This night we will sail to the shore of Santiago Island and the Bartolome Islet. Overnight at liveaboard. (BD).

Red-billed Tropicbirds a highlight in South Seymour. Jonathan Newman.

Day 5 Tuesday Sep 10. Bartolome and Sullivan Bay.

This morning we are visiting the Bartolome islet (, and its popular Galapagos Penguin Colony. Peachy sandy beaches spark all over with the dramatic lunar looking landscape including the Pinnacle Rock, and we will take al walk to the summit trail learning about the geology and searching for Galapagos Hawk and Blue-footed Boobies, including optional snorkeling (one of the best of the islands) with the Sealions, Penguins, Marine Iguanas and White-tipped Sharks.

In Baltolome we will take a walk uphill to visit the famous lookout point overlooking the pinnacle rock and the Santiago Island. Serge Arias.

In the afternoon we will take walk along the Pahoehoe lava flows of Sullivan Bay in Santiago ( in search for lava lizards, Galapagos Doves, shorebirds and more Galapagos Penguins. We will have another snorkeling opportunity. This night we will navigate to the claimed bird island of Genovese, accessible only by liveaboard. Overnight at liveaboard. (BLD).

Galapagos Penguin, we will spend some time by visiting a colony and snorkel with them along the Bartolome shores.
In the area we will expect a lot of penguin action.

Day 6 Wednesday sept 11. Darwin Bay and El Barranco. Genovesa.

The morning will be spent at the Darwin Bay ( where we will be welcomed by hundreds of Boobies and Frigatebirds. Top birds here include 3 endemics the Genovese Ground-finch, Genovese Cactus-finch and the Genovese Mockingbird, plus a subspecies of the Grey Warbler-finch and the Large Ground-finch. The island is home to a colony of the endemic Lava Gull, perhaps the rarest gull in the world, plus the charismatic Swallow-tailed Gulls, the only nocturnal gull species in the world. Red-footed boobies are also abundant at this location. In the Afternoon we visit El Barranco ( where the fractured lava cliffs are home to nesting seabirds including a colony of Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrels, the favourite food of the Galapagos Short-eared Owl (one of our main targets).  The trail is dotted with red-footed and Nazca boobies. At the same time, the base of the cliffs provides restful, shaded areas for Galapagos fur seals and other wildlife. At both locations snorkeling is optional. At night we will cruise to the South Plaza Islet at the East of Santa Cruz. Overnight at liveaboard. (BLD).

Nazca Boobies will cruise the skies and will be abundant at El Barranco. Jonathan Newman.

Day 7 Thursday Sept 12. South Plaza Islet and Santa Fe Island.

Begin the day with a visit to South Plazas Island (, one of the smaller yet vibrant islands in the Galapagos. This island is renowned for its extraordinary flora, including towering cacti and the striking Sesuvium plant, which changes from green to bright red during the dry season. South Plazas is also home to a large colony of land iguanas, which are often seen lounging under the cacti or wandering around. The steep cliffs on the southern part of the island provide a haven for various seabirds, including Swallow-tailed Gull and Red-billed Tropicbirds. Keep the eyes peeled as Kelp Gull is usually reports here. Galapagos Dove, Galapagos Mockingbird and Common Cactus-finch are common in the islet.  Sea lions frequent the coastline and offers an excellent opportunity to observe their playful antics in the water. The Galapagos land iguanas are also a top attraction for nature lovers.

Swallow-tailed Gull, the only nocturnal gull in the world and breeding endemic to the Galapagos Islands.

At lunch time we will sail to the Santa Fe Island, for a walk at the Barrington Bay ( This arid location is home to the endemic Santa Fe land iguana, and one subspecies of Galapagos Mockingbird and one of the Grey-Warbler-finch. This area is also a great place to spot the Galapagos Hawk. We will explore the giant prickly pear cactus forest in search for the endemic wildlife. Galapagos Yellow Warbler, Galapagos Dove, Nazca Boobies, and Common Cactus-finch are also found here. At night we will sail to the Puerto Baquerizo Moreno in the San Cristobal Island. Overnight at liveaboard. (BLD).

Day 8 Friday September 13. Interpretation Center and Lobos Islet. San Cristóbal.

Situated on the outskirts of Puerto Baquerizo, the Interpretation Center ( serves as a rich repository of the history of human presence in the Galapagos Islands. Its exhibitions chronicle the stories of early Spanish explorers up to the present day, highlighting prominent visitors such as Charles Darwin. The displays at this center illustrate the challenges and perils faced by the first settlers as they endeavored to survive in the rugged Galapagos environment. Birds along de interpretation center and the town includes Galapagos Flycatcher, San Cristobal Mockingbird, Lava Gull, Small Tree-finch, Medium Ground-finch, Small Ground-finch and more.

Galapagos Pintail, a subespieces of the White-cheeked Pintail.

After lunch we will visit he Lobos Islet’s beach, that harbors a large colony of Galapagos sea lions ( As in other colonies in the archipelago, you can approach nurturing females within a few meters. In the breeding season, this colony is also visited by territorial males, defending and mating the harem on their part of the beach. This low islet is home to more than just Galapagos sea lions. Two other emblematic species breed here: male Blue-footed Boobies and Great Frigatebirds who try to impress the females (and tourists) with clumsy dances, heaving their striking blue feet or blowing up their balloon-sized scarlet pouches. During the breeding season, the fluffy and hungry chicks cry for food, and when their wings get strong enough, they will learn to fly. Other top birds here include, Galapagos Pintail, Lava Gull, Elliot’s Storm-Petrel and Brown Noddy. Optional Snorkeling. Overnight at liveaboard. (BLD).

Elliot´s Storm Petrel. Jonathan Newman.

Day 9 Saturday Sept 14. San Cristóbal Highlands.

Your day begins with a journey to the highlands of San Cristobal Island, offering a different perspective of the Galapagos’ unique ecosystem. This lush and verdant area contrasts sharply with the coastal zones. The highlands are home to a variety of bird species, giant tortoises in their natural habitat, and a rich array of plant life, including endemic trees and ferns. You’ll have the opportunity to walk along paths that meander through this lush landscape, offering a chance to observe the giant tortoises up close and personal. The highlands also provide panoramic views of the island, showcasing its diverse topography. Birds such as the San Cristobal Mockingbird, Small Ground-finch, Medium Ground-finch and Gray Warbler-finch are common in the area. In the middle of the day we will settle at our hotel in the San Cristobal Island. We will explore the Puerto Baquerizo for lunch and in the afternoon we are taking a walk to the Loberia and Cliffs South of Puerto Baquerizo (, Small and Medium Ground-finches will be active along the walk, we will spot Blue-footed Boobies diving for food and at the end of the cliff we will find a lookout point overlooking the ocean and an active nesting colony of Swallow-tailed Gulls and Red-billed Tropicbirds. Wandering Tattlers and Striated and Lava Herons are found at this location too. Sealion pups will be playful along the shore.

The colorful town of Baquerizo Moreno in san Cristóbal will be our base for the last 2 nights of the adventure. Serge Arias.

For lunch and dinner, we will explore the colorful town and visit the walkway along the shore and stopping at the Charles Darwin Sculpture. After dinner if weather allows we will explore the upper villages in search for the local subspecies of the Barn Owl. Overnight at the Royal Galapagos Inn (B).

In the San Cristobal highlands we expect close encounters with the iconic Giant Tortoises.
Lava Heron, a Galapagos specialty.

Day 10 Sunday Sept 15. Española.

The striking white beach at Gardner Bay is our destination for the morning at Española Island,  ( this is an important breeding site for Pacific green turtles. Española Mockingbird and Española Cactus Finch are usually easy to spot in the area. This spot is also famous for its Galapagos sea lion colony. Females stay year-round in this nursery, suckling their pups until they are three years old, although they start to fish at five months. During the breeding and mating season, the colony becomes even bigger.

Galapagos Hawk.

In the afternoon we are visiting Suarez Point ( Huge ocean waves crash onto the southern basaltic cliffs of Suarez Point, forming a spectacular blowhole, where the water sprays metres high into the air (depending on the season, the tide and how strongly the sea breeze pushes the waves). Take your time for a meditative break in silence on this emblematic viewpoint and keep your eyes peeled since we visit a nesting colony of Waved Albatross (top target), plus the endemic Española Mockingbird and Española  Cactus-Finch are usually easy along the trail, here we will also have close views of nesting Blue-footed and Nazca Boobies, Red-billed Tropicbird and Swallow-tailed Gulls, the island also offers potential views of the Galapagos Hawk too. The Galapagos Oystercatcher can be spotted at the landing site. Overnight at the Royal Galapagos Inn (BL).

Waved Albatross. A target dream bird of the expedition.
At Punta Suarez we will visit the only active nesting colony of Waved Albatross in the World. Jonathan Newman.
Española Mockingbird. Jonathan Newman.
Endemic Española Lava Lizard. Jonathan Newman.

Day 11 Monday Sept 16. El Junco San Cristóbal and departure.  

This morning we have an early start, by visiting the local hotspots in search for the specialties, great views and exploring the natural wonders of the island. We will visit El Progreso and El Junco for the Woodpecker and Vegetarian Finch, plus more great views of the San Cristóbal Mockingbird, Galapagos Pintail, Gray-warbler finch, Small Ground-finch and more.

Gray Warbler-Finch at El Junco, San Cristóbal.
Highlands of San Cristóbal. Serge Arias.

El Junco ( is the only freshwater lake in the area. Common Gallinule is usually found in the area. At el Junco Great and Magnificent Frigatebirds visit to wash the salt of their feathers by plunging and shaking in the small lake. We will collect our luggage and travel to the airport in San Cristobal for our flights back home or starting one of our extensions.

A set of Darwin Finches (Small Ground-Finch) at El Progreso, San Cristóbal.

PRICE: USD $4500 PP.


  • Lodging in double rooms on board and land with private facilities.
  • Meals as given in the itinerary.
  • Full time bilingual bird-nature tour leader.
  • All excursions as mentioned in the itinerary. Some of them with a local guide too.
  • All transfers in Galapagos (airport-yacht-hotels-attractions-airport transfers are only guaranteed if the flight has been booked through us).
  • Snorkeling gear (masks, flippers and snorkel) during the liveaboard days.
  • Roundtrip flight Quito to Balta and San Cristóbal to Quito if tour is booked by June 30.
  • Transit Control Card (USD 20 pp. subject to change).
Marine Iguanas in San Cristóbal.


  • International Flights to Quito. We can recommend flights.
  • First night in Quito (we can recommend and help if requested in advance).
  • Galapagos National Park entrance fee (USD 200 pp, subject to change). This fee should be given in cash and paid per person upon arrival in Baltra.
  • Airport transfers in Galapagos (only included if the Galapagos flight has been booked through us on the scheduled cruise dates. * If your arrival/departure is different than our scheduled cruise flights, the shuttle service is not included and there is an extra fee for changing flights).
  • Soft and alcoholic drinks.
  • Tips to crew and your guides.
  • Travel insurance and other items of personal nature.

More information and details drop us a line or by WhatsApp +506 83589938 with Serge. Flock with us to Galapagos.