GTCN – 114 GALAPAGOS ISLAND HOPPING HOTEL BASED PROGRAM
CASA NATURA GALAPAGOS LODGE – ISLAND HOPPING
SAN CRISTOBAL & SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS – SIX DAYS / FIVE NIGHTS
DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN SAN CRISTOBAL
Arrival at San Cristóbal airport. Reception and transfer to the selected hotel to leave baggage. Upon arrival, we will visit the Interpretation Center to learn about the history and origin of the Galapagos Islands. We will go to Cerro Tijeretas, natural viewpoint with a panoramic view of the island, called like that because of the frigates of the place that have a tail ending in form of a pair of scissors. The Cerro Tijeretas is considered one of the most important points to visit in the island. It was one of the first places where the English biologist, Charles Robert Darwin landed. This is why there is a statue in his honor. We will continue the path to Punta Carola to observe the wonderful fauna and flora of the island. We will finish the day with a snorkeling activity at Playa Mann. Transfer to the selected hotel in San Cristóbal Island
DAY 2: TOUR KICKER ROCK (LEON DORMIDO)
After breakfast at the selected hotel, we will board a small boat for “Kicker Rock”. The rocks are also known as “Sleeping Lion”, due to its resting “lion’’ shape. Starting from the main pier of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the boat will take us to the “Sleeping Lion” where we will be able to snorkel. We may observe a variety of species such as rays, Galapagos sharks, pelicans, reefs, sea turtles and much more. Then we will visit one of the beaches nearby (Manglecito, Puerto Grande or Cerro Brujo) to rest and enjoy a beautiful day. At the end of the tour, we will return to the pier to go to the hotel. Free afternoon. (B) and (L)
DAY 3: SANTA CRUZ ISLAND
After breakfast, we’ll cross to Santa Cruz Island by speed boat (2 hours ride). Arrive to Puerto Ayora. We will stop at the highlands of Santa Cruz to visit a giant tortoise’s private reserve. Here it is possible to observe them in their natural habitat. After Lunch we will visit the famous Charles Darwin Station that has an interpretation center of natural history of Galapagos. The Charles Darwin station is an international non-profit research organization that aims to protect the Galapagos Islands. This is why this place is a mandatory stop to learn the history and origin of the Galapagos Islands. Transfer to Casa Natura Galapagos Lodge. (B) and (L)
DAY 4: BAY TOUR
This day after breakfast at Casa Natura Galapagos Lodge we´ll take the speed boat for a visit to Santa Cruz Island´s bay. The tour takes around 3 hours and a half. Starting from the main pier of Puerto Ayora, the boat will take us to “Lobería,” so named for the sea lions colony that are there, It is possible to snorkel near this place where you may see the diversity of colorful fish. We´ll also visit Punta Estrada, Sharks´ Channel, Playa de los Perros, and Grietas. During this visits we may find species like Tintoreras sharks, sea turtles, marine iguanas, crabs, pelicans, and some other marine birds. At the end of the excursion we´ll returns to the pier. We will have the rest of the afternoon free. (B) Overnight at Casa Natura Galapagos Lodge.
DAY 5: DAY SAILING TOUR TO ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ISLANDS:
NORTH SEYMOUR, PLAZAS ISLAND, BARTOLOME ISLAND OR SANTA FE ISLAND
Breakfast. Transfer to the pier to take boat for a shared daily tour to North Seymour, Plazas Island, or Santa Fe islands (according to availability). In the afternoon transfer back to the lodge.
Overnight at Casa Natura Galapagos Lodge in Santa Cruz Island.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch during the cruise
DAY CRUISE TOURS INCLUDES: Land and marine transportation, Bilingual naturalist guide, Lunch on board
NOT INCLUDED: Snorkel equipment. Tips and gratuities to guide and crew
NOTE: Description for the boat tours to North Seymour, Plazas Island, Bartolome Island or Santa Fe Island at the end of this tour. All the boat excursions are based on shared services. Spaces are subject availability.
Boats are capacity for 16 passengers only, in some exceptions boats can be capacity for 20 passengers.
DAY CRUISE TOURS DESCRIPTIONS:
FULL DAY NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND
Around 8:00 AM we will picked up by the hotel. Transfer to Itabaca Chanel where we’ll board the boat. After 45 minutes sailing (approx.) we land at North Seymour Island. This, is a wonderful island to hike. In this island we´ll find Palo Santo (incense stick) tress, and also might see blue footed boobies in breeding colonies making its courtship dance (depend of the season), swallowed tail gull sitting in the cliffs and admire large number of frigate birds in their nests. One of the best attractions in the Galapagos Islands is watch the frigate birds with their enormous red pouches hanging up from their necks. In other part of the island we may see sea lions playing and surfing in the waves.
Seymour is mostly arid and flat, and has simple vegetation like palo santo, cactus, salt bushes and others. The trail of the National Park is circular and has 2 kilometers long, crosses the interior of the island and takes us to explore the rocky coast. Also this trail will take us to some of the largest colonies of sea birds in the Galapagos Islands. After the visit we will go to Bachas Beach for swimming and snorkeling. We´ll go back to the boat for lunch and sailing back to Santa Cruz.
FULL DAY SOUTH PLAZAS ISLAND
Around 8:00 AM we will picked up by the hotel. Transfer to Itabaca Chanel where we’ll board the boat. After 1 ½ hours sailing (aprox.) we land to South Plazas Island.
This island is located at the east of Santa Cruz and is the partner of North Plaza, there are two islets separate by a small channel of turquoise water that contrast with the a red natural carpet (sesuvium) and cactus.
When we arrive to the island, will be greeted by a Galapagos sea lions court. During the visit we´ll probably see a variety of sea birds fishing and flying really close to the cliff. We also find two different kinds of iguanas, the land iguana with their yellow-brown color eating cactus and the marine iguana having a sunbath. The second part of the tour is Carrión Point, where we can enjoy a unique experience doing snorkel. We might found white tip reef shark, different kinds of reef fishes and if we are lucky some marine turtles and sea lions. We´ll go back to the boat for lunch and sailing back to Santa Cruz.
FULL DAY SANTA FE ISLAND
Around 8:00 AM we will picked up by the hotel. Transfer to the pier where we’ll board the boat. After 2 hours sailing (approx.) the yacht will arrive to Santa Fe Island.
A short 300 meter trail takes us to one of the tallest stands of Opuntia Cactus in the island. From this point we can look out for endemic land iguanas, sea lions in white sand beach resting waiting for pictures. Crabs, nocturnal herons, marine iguanas, mockingbirds and Galapagos doves are often seen in Santa Fe island. After the hike will make snorkeling in the bay where tranquil turquoise waters make it one of the best places to admire the fauna of the Galapagos. After lunch on board the yacht we will go back to Puerto Ayora.
DAY 6: DEPART GALAPAGOS ISLANDS
Breakfast at Casa Natura Galapagos Lodge and Transfer out to Baltra’s airport. Flight black to mainland for connections to our next destination.