Day 1: Hotel/Airport Transfer and Hiking in San Cristobal Island
Transportation will be prearranged to pick you and your party up at your hotel in Quito or Guayaquil and transfer you to the airport to board your flight to San Cristobal Island, Galapagos. Enjoy lunch with traditional Galapagos cuisine and prepare for your adventure. Your journey begins after hiking down to the Darwin Interpretation Center.
Here, information on the islands is provided, including the formation and history of the Galapagos. It is here where you will first really experience the uniqueness of the Galapagos and see some of the rarest wildlife in the world. After your introduction to the Islands, enjoy an inviting swim at Mann Beach or Carola Beach. The evening is yours to either explore the local shops of San Cristobal Island or indulge at one of the restaurants.
Day 2: Sea Kayaking at Playa Ochoa/Snorkeling at Leon Dormido
The day begins early in the morning by kayaking north, along the coast, working your way to Playa Ochoa. Along the way, wildlife surrounds you as you discover bays, coves, marine life, and indigenous Galapagos birds. Once you and your party have reached Playa Ochoa, you can relax on the sand or swim with sea lions that play in the water. Energize yourself with a hearty lunch and begin your hike towards Lobos Island near Santa Cruz.
It is here where you will observe the distinctive lava lizards and marine iguanas. Look closely at the birds and you will see blue-footed boobies, frigates, and other native birds soaring in the sky. The final destination includes a challenging hike to jagged cliffs of Leon Dormido. Leon Dormido is one of the best places to snorkel and dive in the Galapagos Islands, where hammerheads, white tipped sharks, tropical fish, rays, and a variety of marine life can be seen. During the afternoon, you and your group will return to your hotel rooms and celebrate your last evening in San Cristobal Island.
Day 3: Snorkeling in Santa Fe Island/Mountain biking in Santa Cruz Highlands. Enjoy breakfast and then board your boat to transfer from San Cristobal Island to the Santa Fe and Santa Cruz Islands. Santa Fe Islands is famous for its crystal clear water coves where sea lions and their pups joyfully play and vibrant tropical fish, Galapagos turtles, and rays swim below. After snorkeling, your journey continuesas you board your boat to Santa Cruz Island where the famous tortoise, Lonely George, resides.
Here you will also see some of the most graceful, indigenous, and interesting birds in the Galapagos, such as finches, frigates, flycatchers, ducks, and egrets. Here, you and your party will explore the incredible lava caves, with some of the longest tunnels in the world. If it is a clear day, you will be able to view Media Luna, a crater at the top of Santa Cruz Island. Next, you will drive to Cerro Mesa, where mountain bikes are waiting for you. This 20 kilometer part dirt, part paved path cuts through the highland farms, down to Bellavista village, and finishes at Puerto Ayora, where you will be staying the night in your hotel.
Day 4: Hiking/Sea Kayaking, Santa Cruz
The day begins after breakfast. Once your kayak is picked up you will paddle on bright turquoise waters around Divine Bay and Punta Estrada. In the waters below, white tipped sharks and Galapagos rays swim, blue-footed boobies, herons, and tropic birds perch on rocks and soar in the sky, while marine iguanas sun bathe on the cliffs.
When returning to your hotel, you and your group will stop along the way at the Charles Darwin Research Station, visit Lonely George, the last tortoise of this species in the world, and learn about all of the conservation efforts that have taken place to preserve the Galapagos Islands, the wildlife, and its beauty. Afterwards, an optional 6 kilometer roundtrip hike to Tortuga Bay is available. This self-guided tour will take you to one of the most breathtaking beaches in the Islands. Once you return to Puerto Ayora the evening is yours to explore, dine, or relax while you absorb the Galapagos experience thus far.
Day 5: Hike and Explore Isabela Island
Formed by 6 volcanoes, Isabela Island is the largest island in the Galapagos. All but one volcano remains active, which makes Isabela Island one of the most active volcanic areas in the world. You and your party will depart Puerto Ayora via boat to Puerto Villamil located on Isabela Island.
While visiting the Galapagos Rearing Center, educational information is provided about tortoise development and conservation techniques and efforts. You will partake in a search for the Galapagos penguin, explore massive lava formations and be welcomed by an audience of sea lions. Exotic birds such as flamingos, herons, and the native Mangrove Finch can be observed wondering the lagoons. The afternoon is reserved for relaxing and the night is filled with exploring the port town of Puerto Villamil.
Day 6: Isabela Island by Horseback and Hiking
Today is filled with exploring Isabela Island via horseback and hiking. The day begins with a horse ride of about 9 km on rugged terrain up to the highlands until the edge of Sierra Negra is reached. Measuring 6 miles by 5 miles, the Sierra Negra caldera is the second largest caldera on earth. From this point, you and your group will hike to Chico Volcano, the volcano that is responsible for some of the Galapagos’ remarkable formations. Your group will return to Puerto Villamil in the late afternoon, while the last day in the “Enchanted Islands” is remembered in the evening.
Day 7: Depart Isabela/Depart Santa Cruz/Transfer to Baltra/Transfer to Airport. You and your party will depart Isabela Island and return to Santa Cruz. From there, you will be transferred to Baltra Island and to the airport for your flight back to your home. If you have more time to visit the Islands, a diving tour can be arranged if you wish to extend your stay one or more days.
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