Day 1: San Cristobal Island
Upon arrival to San Cristobal Galapagos Airport you will be picked by a Spanish speaking driver for a short transfer to your hotel. Free time for lunch, and then you will begin with your first visit to El Junco Lake at San Cristobal Highlands, for spectacular panoramic views across San Cristobal Island from the Highlands to the coast. A gentle hike around the lake shore takes approx. 30 minutes, where you can see Frigate birds cleaning the salt water from their feathers.
Next stop is Galapaguera Tortoise breeding center where young tortoises are cared for until they are big enough to be released into the national park. The tour takes about one hour, during which time you will see giant tortoises, and learn about conservation work to protect this fascinating species. There are also many baby tortoises in protected pens, where they are kept safe from predators until they reach the age of 7 years.
The trip ends with another highlight, the secluded Puerto Chino beach. On the rocks you can often find Blue Footed Boobies, as well as Sea Lions on the sand, lazing around, cuddled up in pairs. The tranquility on the beach is only broken when the Alpha Male turns up! There is free time to relax at the beach, or go for a swim or snorkel. (Private Tour)
Day 2: San Cristobal Island
Today you will visit one of the most famous snorkel sites at the Galapagos islands – Kicker Rock! Some people see this rock formation as a frog, others see it as a sleeping lion, hence the name ¨Leon Dormido¨ in Spanish. During snorkeling you may see a variety of tropical fish, sea turtles, and if lucky even sharks. Black tipped reef shark and hammerhead shark are often found in this area. After snorkeling there is time to visit a beautiful white sand beach on the north west side of San Cristobal for free time. Arriving back to port in the afternoon, you can enjoy the rest of the day strolling the boardwalk, sipping cocktails, or relaxing with a stunning sunset at Playa Mann. (Shared Tour)
Activities and Services
English speaking guide
Day 3: San Cristobal Island
A full day at leisure to discover San Cristobal at your own pace, with lots of possible activities available. We recommend you to visit the Interpretation Center, Las Tijeretas and Punta Carola for a fun half day trip. At the Interpretation Center you can learn about the human history of Galapagos from its discovery until today. Behind the Center you can take the 30-min Frigate Bird Hill trail to get to a beautiful spot called Las Tijeretas. There is a small trail going up the hill from where you can enjoy stunning views, or heading down you reach a point from where you can enter the water for excellent snorkeling. It´s well worth the visit! Returning on a different path you will reach the peaceful white sand beach of Punta Carola. A quiet beach which has the perfect mix of swimming, sand for relaxing, Sea Lions for watching and taking photos, ¡and even snorkeling if you can´t get enough! It´s also a great place for watching the sunset in the evening.
Day 4: Puerto Ayora
In the early morning you´ll take the speedboat to Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz island. Of course, no Galapagos trip would be complete without a visit to the Highlands of Santa Cruz! This is the best place to see the Giant Tortoise up close in its natural habitat, they roam the lush highlands searching for food or cooling off in the muddy pools. Wander the trails while your guide will explain some interesting facts about these gentle giants. There is also a lava tunnel that you can explore.
Next on the program is a visit to the Charles Darwin Station where you will receive more background information from your guide about the islands, with a focus on Darwin´s theories as well as the breeding work on various tortoise populations. You will also have plenty of free time for souvenir shopping at the excellent boutiques in Puerto Ayora town, and enjoy superb dining in Santa Cruz. (Private)
Please note that the speedboat is a public service which is usually full, and is a bumpy ride for approx. 2 ½ hours each way. If you would prefer more comfortable transport then let us know and we can change you to an small plane flight between Islands instead. B ear in mind that the luggage limit is just 12kg per person.
Day 5: Puerto Ayora
Today you have the opportunity to discover one of the uninhabited islands on a navigable excursion. The tour includes a guided hike on the island and some time for snorkeling, with lunch on board the yacht. The exact destination depends upon daily availability, but will be one of the following options:
Bartolome: the site of the iconic Galapagos landscape of Pinnacle Rock, where you can take your perfect photo. You do have to climb 364 steps to get here, but the reward is immense. Along the way you can see lava fumaroles, and enjoy the incredible lunar style landscape. With a bit of luck, you may also see the world´s only tropical penguin here! After the land visit, you´ll have time to explore the amazing underwater wildlife while snorkeling.
North Seymour: One of the best islands for Galapagos birdlife, where you can see Frigate Birds, swallow tailed gulls and the famous Blue Footed Boobies who nest here. With red colored soil and red carpet vine growing on the island the scenery is exotic. Another interesting species found on North Seymour is the Land Iguana, a unique species from the ones seen on other islands.
South Plazas: This small but scenic island has a fantastic concentration of wildlife, from Sea Lions to Land Iguana´s and many bird species, including Frigate Birds, Lava Gulls and Red-Billed Tropicbirds. The dramatic cliffs, blue seas and spectacular natural red-carpet of algae make the scenery of this island particularly pretty.
Santa Fe: A very diverse island with a beautiful white sand beach where Sea Lions bask in the sun. The island is covered with huge cactus trees, food for the Land Iguana population that is endemic to this Santa Fe. The walk up is quite rocky buy you´ll be rewarded with stunning views at the top. Santa Fe is also considered one of the best snorkeling sites in Galapagos where sharks are often seen!
English speaking guide
Day 6: Puerto Villamil
Today you will have a free day with transport to Isabela
You have the option of taking a morning speedboat (around 7am) or an afternoon speedboat (around 2pm) to Isabela Island. Should you opt for the morning boat, you will have a free afternoon in Isabela where you can visit Concha Perla, the Flamingo Lagoon, or perhaps rent bikes and visit the Wall of Tears. At Concha Perla, you can rent snorkel gear and have an easy, yet beautiful visit on your first afternoon on Isabela. You could also take a walk to the Flamingo Lagoon where you can find the Galapagos flamingos walking about. Another option would be to rent bikes and head out to the Wall or Tears along the well-marked trails.
If you prefer an afternoon speed boat, you will have a free morning in Santa Cruz where you can visit Tortuga Bay or Las Grietas on your own before your trip to Isabela. Tortuga Bay, about an hour walk from town, is a nice morning visit as you will have the chance to see wildlife up close. Also, you could take a water taxi to visit Las Grietas before the morning crowds arrive. Here you can have a nice swim in this spectacular location.
** Please let your salesperson know your preference before finalizing your reservation so that we can plan your transportation accordingly.
Day 7: Puerto Villamil
Free afternoon: Today’s tour takes you to Los Tuneles by boat, this is a fascinating landscape of huge lava tunnels. You begin on land where Blue Footed Boobies often nest, and afterwards can enjoy snorkeling at one of the very best snorkel sites at Galapagos! White Tipped Reef Sharks, MarineTurtles, Sting Rays, Sea Lions, Eagle Rays and even Sea Horses are regularly seen here! In the afternoon you have free time to explore Isabela ́s treasures on your own. If you want to do more snorkeling, the Concha Perla is close to town and a beautiful spot for snorkeling close to the mangrove trees in clear waters, or head down to the port where penguins and sea lions can often be seen swimming. You also have a stunning white sand beach at your disposal, for relaxation or a nice stroll. (Shared Tour)
Day 8: Puerto Villamil
In the morning you will visit Las Tintoreras and the Bay area. This trip combines three interesting activities: 1. Panga ride = cruising around the bay by boat, observing wildlife such as Blue Footed Boobies, Galapagos Penguins (depending on the season), Galapagos Sea Lions, Pacific Green Sea Turtles, amongst others.
2. Guided trail hike = a 45 min trek around the islet, passing close to a huge Marine Iguana colony, as well as Galapagos Sea Lions, Sally Lightfoot Crabs, White-Tip Reef Sharks and more.
3. Snorkeling = in the bay area, hopefully accompanied by Pacific Green Sea Turtles, Galapagos Sea Lions, White-Tip Reef Sharks, as well as a variety of rays (Spotted Eagle Rays, Diamond Stingrays, Golden Rays).
You will arrive back to your hotel mid-afternoon, with free time to enjoy the beach, and one final amazing sunset to end your Galapagos experience on a hig. (Shared Tour)
Activities and Services
English Speaking Guide
Day 9: Puerto Villamil
Today is all about landscapes and volcanoes! A guided 4 to 5 hours return trek takes you up to the summit of Sierra Negra volcano for wonderful views into one of the largest calderas in the world. Descending further you can visit Volcan Chico, to witness the incredible landscape of smouldering cones and craters formed by various past eruptions; it literally feels like you're walking on the moon! You will arrive back to your hotel mid-afternoon, with free time to enjoy the beach, and one final amazing sunset to end your Galapagos experience on a high.
Activities and Services
English Speaking Guide
Day 10: End of Itinerary
An early morning speedboat transfers you back to Puerto Ayora in Santa Cruz, from where you will be transferred to Baltra airport for your flight out.
Airport transfer (Spanish Speaking Driver)