Located on the north-eastern coast of Isla Santa Cruz and featuring the backdrop of
a floating barge abandoned by American soldiers in World War II, the deserted white
sand beaches of Las Bachas (Barge) are home to the nesting habitat of the
Galapagos sea turtles. Snorkel, Swim or just relax in crystal clear waters in the most
important site for sea turtles, flamingos and migratory birds in the Galapagos.
Forged from ocean born Lava, South Plaza Island or Isla Plaza Sur, the southern
partner of two small crescent-shaped islands is located off the east coast of Santa
Cruz. This popular site is home to an enormous variety of strange and beautiful flora
and fauna. A large colony of Galapagos Land Iguanas, bask on the volcanic rock or
eat their favourite plants - the sprawling perennial herb - Sesuvium portulacastrum
and the abundant Prickly Pear Cactus. Competing for your attention are the
numerous members of the resident Sea Lion population (one of the largest
gatherings in the archipelago) and the brightly coloured Sally light foot crabs. The
cliffs overlook the ocean to the south, a great place to spot large marine life like
manta rays.
Officially the oldest island geologically, Santa Fe Island lies southeast of Santa Cruz
Island within sight of Puerto Ayora. One of the more charming and sheltered coves in
the islands. It features a protected aqua lagoon anchored by a peninsula of small
islets. Meet Sea Lions as they socialise amongst their peers. Converse with the
Galapagos Hawks as they sit atop their bushy perch. After dancing with the Marine
Iguana, hike the trails until you reach the gigantic prickly pear cactus that grow at the
cliff tops.
DAY 3, SATURDAY ISLA ESPAÑOLA: Gardner Bay /Islote Gardener /islote
Osborn AM – Punta Suárez PM
Otherwise known as Hood Island, The popular Espanola Island is the southern-most
island of the archipelago. Gardner Bay, located on the eastern side, is a nursery for
almost all the world’s 24,000 waved albatross. A beautiful white sand beach dotted
with its many Sea-Lion residents, is the perfect spot to stop and absorb your
surroundings. Visitors can hike among the Mockingbirds and snorkel with the tropical
fish along the rocky shore.
The famous blowhole defines the incredible landscape of Suarez Point (Punta
Suarez). The stunning ocean front is home to the large waved albatrosses and
carnivorous Mockingbirds launching off the cliffs. An amazing array of exotic birds
can be spotted while hiking this challenging terrain. A photographer’s paradise.
DAY 4, SUNDAY ISLA FLOREANA: Post Office Bay AM – Punta Cormorant
Devil`s Crown PM
Famous for its unofficial mail box and mysterious history, Post Office Bay is located
on the far south island of Floreana. 18th century whalers set up a barrel to send mail
home on passing ships. The system still works. Leave a postcard, but make sure you
take one from the barrel and see it delivered.
Located on the north coast of Floreana Island, Punta Cormorant visitor site boasts a
large flamingo lagoon also visited by other exotic birds. The beaches are also
interesting. The sand glitters with a tint of green due to the volcanic olivine crystals
present in the underlying geology.
The best snorkelling in the Galapagos can be enjoyed around Isla Floreana, in
particular the Devil's Crown. The volcanic crater has coral reef in its centre where
you can swim with sharks, rays and tropical fish.
DAY 5, MONDAY ISLA SANTA CRUZ: Charles Darwin Station AM – Crater
Gemelos Highlands PM
Home to many giant tortoises, the Charles Darwin Station offers visitors a unique
experience. The older 4ft tortoises are accustomed to being around humans, so
they're happy to stretch out their necks and pose for photos. Due to the breeding
program, you can even see the baby tortoises.
Formed by collapsing surface geology, Los Gemelos Pit Craters are not actually
volcanic craters. Hike the circular path around the larger crater and through this
incredible landscape to the Scalesia forest where visitors can observe some
outstanding terrestrial land birds, especially the woodpecker finch and the vermillion
DAY 6, TUESDAY ISLA SANTIAGO: Puerto Egas AM – Playa Espumilla /Caleta
Bucanero PM
Puerto Egas otherwise known as James Bay is the natural habit of the quizzical
Galapagos hawk and the spritely Galapagos lava lizard. The interior of the site
features stunning rock formations and hiking trails that lead toward the coast where
lava flows have joined to create an amazing landscape. Snorkel with reef sharks,
turtles and rays, or relax amongst the Galapagos fur seals as they play in the grottos
and tide pools.
Espumilla Beach is another fantastic snorkelling location. Spend time amongst the
varied species including marine turtles, moray eels, sharks and octopus. Marine
iguanas watch nearby as herons and pelicans hunt the Sally Lightfoot crabs.
The Bartholomew Island visitor site is one of the jewels of the Galapagos. The
famous Pinnacle Rock is the centre piece of an extraordinary landscape. Hike the
extinct Volcano summit and enjoy the multi coloured lava formations and the
spectacular views. More snorkelling is to be had on the perfect east side beach
where Galapagos penguins band together on the rocks, sea lions snooze, and sea
turtles nestle in the shallows - The south beach is accessed by a small path along
the mangroves and over the great sand dunes.
Covered in accordion style corrugated lava formations, Bahia Sullivan is a site of
great geological significance. Locusts and lava lizards dot the blackened landscape
as you look across the bay to an amazing view of Pinnacle Rock. This stunning
volcanic site is an awesome reminder of the spectacular molten lava that once
flowed here.
Formed by subaqueous lava flows and raised up by tectonic events, North Seymour
Island is yet another haven for abundant wildlife. Land & marine iguanas and sea
lions call this island home. Hike the trails and you may see blue-footed boobies
perform their mating rituals or the mass feeding frenzies of the large flocks of
seabirds. The Interior of the island provides magnificent frigate birds their largest
nesting site in the Galapagos. Low lying bushes provide adult birds a perch to
protect their chicks. This site brings another brilliant chance to snorkel - say hello to
the local garden eels, reef sharks and rays and then it’s time to say farewell until
next time.

galapagos photo expedition with darren jew