A US$20 per person transit card is payable on departure at Quito Airport and a US$100 per person national park entry fee is payable on arrival on the islands. Please have cash on hand for these transactions as credit cards can be time consuming.
On arrival to the Galapagos islands you are met at the arrival’s hall by your naturalist guide and then transferred to the cruise, the Grand Daphne, anchored at Itabaca Channel. To get here you take the local bus from the airport to the dock. The guide will give you the ticket for this, and once you are at the dock, you reach the boat via dinghy. Once on board you will be assigned your cabin, meet the crew members and get to know your naturalist guide and fellow travelers over a delicious lunch.
Afterwards, you head to Santa Cruz island and see the sandy, white beaches of Las Bachas which are a nesting site for the Pacific green turtle, and marine iguanas are also commonly seen. The sand here is particularly white and soft as it is made of decomposed coral. The rocks provide great snorkelling and are the perfect habitat for the Sally Lightfoot crabs, which are plentiful on the island. A saltwater lagoon near to the beach is home to flamingo and whimbrel, and also look out for great blue herons. Remnants of a floating pier can still be sighted, and it is a testimony to the US presence in the Galapagos during World War II.