GTHR-108 – GALAPAGOS ISLANDS
HOTEL RED MANGROVE – ISLAND HOPPING
SANTA CRUZ & ISABELA ISLANDS – SIX DAYS / FIVE NIGHTS
DAY 1: TRANSFER IN + HIGHLANDS + CHARLES DARWIN STATION
Upon arrival in Baltra Airport, meeting, assistance and land transfer to Santa Cruz and the hotel. On the way, we will explore the island’s highlands with its green vegetation and a visit to a local ranch where we will be able to see Giant Turtles in their natural habitat. Lunch at the ranch. We will head to the Charles Darwin Station. The center is a reservoir of information on habitats and local conservation, as well as other fascinating relevant statistics. The most striking attraction of this station is certainly the Tortoise Breeding Center, where it is possible to view tortoises of varied sizes and shapes. Travelers here can freely walk and get their photos clicked with the tortoises. Among other inhabitants at the center, you can see the land and marine iguanas and different species of birds. After this visit we will head to Puerto Ayora and your hotel.
Overnight accommodations Hotel Red Mangrove
Meals: Lunch, Dinner
DAY 2: TRANSFER TO ISABELA + TINTORERAS ISLET+ WALL OF THE TEARS
After breakfast, we board the yacht bound for Isabela Island, two hours navigation away. After arriving in Puerto Villamil, we will take a fiberglass boat that will take us to visit the white-tip sharks (tintoreras), and the marine iguana and penguin colonies. Then we snorkel in the sector to observe tropical fish, sea turtles and sharks, return to Puerto Villamil. In the afternoon we will visit the Wall of Tears in order to get to know more about the history of this island which was a prison in the past and our last visit will be the breeding center of Isabela tortoises. Departure to the hotel.
Overnight accommodations Hotel Iguana Crossing
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 3: SIERRA NEGRA VOLCANO or CAPE ROSE (TUNNELS)
Today after breakfast, we go by car until reaching the mountainsides of the Sierra Negra Volcano. This volcano considered as one of the oldest of Isabela. We will walk about 40 minutes and then continue our way until the crater of the volcano. With a little bit of luck, we will be able to see the sparrow hawk of the Galapagos. We will get to know the geology of the Sierra Negra Volcano. Most this island was formed by AA lava. Return to the Hotel.
Overnight accommodations Hotel Iguana Crossing
Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch, Dinner
After breakfast, we will visit a unique place in the islands, “Los Túneles”. Our trip starts on board a speedboat for a 45 minutes’ drive. Our experienced captain will securely lead us across the waves that normally hide this treasure. The Tunnels were formed millions year ago when rivers of liquid lava ran across the island reaching the coast shore. The cold water froze their superficial layer isolating the interior while liquid lava kept flowing into the sea. When the eruption finished, a hollow structure was formed and its wall later broke allowing water to come inside and creating tunnels. Our guide will join us along hundreds of tunnels while we snorkel and discover the marine life such as sharks, lobsters, penguins, sea lions, boobies, marine turtles among other endemic species from Galapagos. A snack will be served on board. If lucky enough, we will have the chance to witness giant manta rays feeding in open waters. Back to Isabela. (B/BL/D)
DAY 4: FLAMINGOS POUND + BREEDING CENTER + TRANSFER TO SANTA CRUZ
Breakfast at the hotel and departure to the Breeding Center, on the way we will stop at the Flamingos pound. At the breeding center you will learn more about the breeding and reproduction of the Tortoises. In the afternoon transfer to the pier to take the speedboat to Santa Cruz island. Arrival and transfer to the hotel. (B/L/D)
DAY 5: DAY TOUR TO ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ISLANDS: BARTOLOME /SANTA FE /SEYMOUR NORTE + BACHAS /PLAZAS + PUNTA CARRION.
BARTOLOME / SULLIVAN
After breakfast, you will be picked up and transferred to the Itabaca Channel to board the yacht that will take you to Bartolome, an island with turquoise waters and beautiful white sand beaches.
After 2 hours of sailing, arrival, and tour starts climbing a staircase. From the top you will see a spectacular landscape, where you will see two beautiful bays and fascinating formations of lava and volcanic cones. Here is the famous Pinnacle, which is a huge black lava formation that has eroded over time, representing the most recognized image of the archipelago. Near Pinnacle Rock you will also see two beautiful beaches in the form of a crescent.
This island offers some of the most beautiful landscapes of the archipelago. It is an extinct volcano and has a variety of red soils, orange, green, black and shiny volcanic formations. This is the perfect place to observe the Galapagos penguins. Moreover, you will practice snorkel with sea turtles, sharks, white tip reef, tropical fish, sea lions and many other unique marine species. After lunch, you will visit Sullivan Bay. Here you can see some amazing lava formations, the product of a volcanic eruption in 1903. This is an excellent example of typical forms and colors that contrast with older types of lava.
Take also into account that Bartolome Island is the breeding ground of the green sea tortoises. They come to the shores of the island to nest during the months of January and March, every year. Tour ends at approximately 5:00 pm. Transfer to the hotel.
SANTA FE ISLAND FULL DAY (LAND VISIT):
After breakfast, you will be picked up and transferred to Puerto Ayora dock, to board the yacht to Santa Fe, which is a central island surrounded by an incredible turquoise bay water. This island is protected by a natural barrier of rocks, where colonies of sea lions and hawks can be found. After 40 minutes of navigation, you will discover a beautiful beach with a colony of sea lions resting and enjoying the sun!
You will continue following a path full of two species of land iguanas that can be found only on this island. Their main food are the leaves and fruits of the large and thick cactus, which are also endemic, and the major attraction of this island. Crabs, night herons, sea iguanas, mockingbirds and ground doves are seen frequently in this area. After the walk, lunch will be served on board. Then, you will do snorkeling. This bay is excellent for practicing this activity that is perfect to find some species, such as sea tortoises, and stingrays. Tour ends at approximately 5:00 pm. Transfer to the hotel.
SEYMOUR NORTE / PLAYA BACHAS
After breakfast, you will be picked up and transferred to the Itabaca Channel to board the yacht that will take you to North Seymour Island, which is a great place for hiking. There is a visitor or circular path about 2 miles long that crosses the interior of the island and allows you to explore the rocky coast path. During this trail, you will be able to discover some of the largest seabird colonies on the Galapagos Islands. Moreover, you will have the opportunity to observe the nesting sites of blue-footed boobies, and the bright and colorful frigates that are visible throughout the year. These two species represent one of the biggest attractions of Galapagos. The frigates inflate their red chest when they try to attract or draw attention to their couples. These birds are also well known to steal food from the blue-footed boobies. Additionally, you cannot miss the funny ritual or dance performed by the blue-footed boobies, in order to attract their couples.
After lunch, we will snorkeling with green sea tortoises, and the famous Galapagos sharks, you will also appreciate the sea lions playing and surfing in the sea. Then, visit the Bachas beach, where you will enjoy resting and swimming in the wonderful Galapagos Sea. Tour ends at approximately 5:00 pm. Transfer to the hotel.
ISLAS PLAZAS / PUNTA CARRIÓN
After breakfast, you will be picked up and transferred to the Itabaca Channel to board the yacht that will take you to Plazas. After 2 hours of navigation, the first attraction to see are the largest colonies of sea lions of the archipelago. Then, just a few meters behind the dock, a group of land iguanas can always be observed. The trail goes through the other side of the island, which is very small and rectangular. You will walk along a ravine, where you can enjoy the way along with land iguanas, some marine iguanas and birds, such as: blue footed and masked boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, puffins and tropical birds. Besides of this, frigates and pelicans can also be found on the area. Lunch will be served on board.
Despite its small size, this island is the home of a large number of species, and it is famous for its extraordinary flora, including attractive beautiful trees and cactus, where a large colony of Galapagos land iguanas live. Therefore, this island is very popular among local and foreign visitors. Depending on the season, vegetation changes its color from bright green in the rainy season to orange and purple in the dry season. You cannot miss this spectacular landscape! Tour ends at approximately 5:00 pm. Transfer to the hotel. (B/L/D)
DAY 6: TRANSFER OUT.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland. (B/-/-)
*The visits to the islands are subject to change due to climate, logistical and safety reasons, or decisions of the Galapagos National Park.
• Pick-ups for the day tours are made from 06:45 am to 7:30 am. • The return or departure schedule of the tours are approximate. There are no exact timetables because there may be climatic or logistical conditions that may vary.