Day 1: Puerto Ayora
Welcome to the island of Baltra! Your flight arrives in the morning and our guide will be waiting for you at the arrival area and carry a sign with your names on it for you to recognize. A short bus ride takes you first to the Itabaca Channel where you will catch the ferry to cross over to the other side from where your trip starts.
The first visit is at the Highlands of Santa Cruz – this is the best place to see the Giant Tortoise up close in the wild. They roam the lush highlands searching for food or cooling off in the muddy pools. You will 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.
After this activity, you will visit the Charles Darwin Research 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. In the late afternoon you will also have plenty of free time for souvenir shopping at the excellent boutiques in Puerto Ayora town, and enjoy superb dining.
Tour duration: 4 Hours / Type: This is a privately organized tour
Day 2: Puerto Ayora
Today you have the opportunity to discover one of the uninhabited islands on a boat excursion. The tour includes a guided hike on the island and some time for snorkeling, with lunch on board. 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!
Tour duration: 7-8 Hours / Type: This is a shared tour service
Day 3: Puerto Villamil
A morning transfer to the dock in time for your speedboat to Isabela Island. At your arrival, our guide will be waiting for you to take you to the hotel to leave your bags.
Then, your adventure starts and takes you over the trail along the beach and through the wetlands all the way to the Wall of Tears. Along the way you will discover mangrove forests, hidden beaches, swamp areas, lava tunnels and lookout viewpoints. In the wetlands you can also spot land tortoises living in the wild! You will also pass by the Tortoise Breeding Center where you will visit the breeding program of various species of land tortoises.
Tour duration: 2 Hours / Type: This is private tour service.
Las Tintoreras is a delightful place reached by 10 minute boat ride. "Tintoreras”, is the Spanish name for White Tipped Reef Shark. Here you will walk through a jagged ¨AA¨ lava field, passing abundant colonies of marine iguana´s, to see a small canal full of resting white tipped reef sharks. The black, treacherous lava field, the emerald, green sea, the forest green mangrove and the cloud-capped volcanoes of Isla Isabela is the sort of afternoon backdrop you will not soon forget. After the visit of the island, you will snorkel the warm, shallow bay surrounded by mangrove, for an opportunity to see white tipped reef sharks, sea lions, penguins and more.
Tour duration: 3 Hours / Type: This is a shared tour service.
Transfer hotel-dock in Santa Cruz (Spanish)
Inter-Island speedboat to Isabela
Transfer dock-hotel in Isabela (English)
English speaking guide (tour)
Transfer hotel-meeting point (Tintoreras - Spanish)
Boat transport (Tintoreras-shared)
English speaking guide (on board)
Snorkel equipment (on board)
Isabela dock fee ($10pp)
Hotel early check-in
Day 4: Puerto Villamil
Today you can choose between a snorkel trip to Tuneles & Cabo Rosa or a hiking trip to Sierra Negra & Volcan Chico.
A boat ride of about an hour and a half takes you to Tuneles; this is a fascinating landscape of huge collapsed lava tunnels. You begin on land where blue footed boobies often nest. Afterwards you will enjoy superb snorkeling at Cabo Rosa - this is one of the very best snorkel sites in Galapagos! White tipped reef sharks, green marine turtles, sting rays, sea lions, eagle rays and even sea horses are regularly seen here!
An incredible hiking trip that is all about landscapes and volcanoes! A guided 4 to 5 hours return trek takes you up to the summit of the active Sierra Negra volcano for wonderful views into one of the largest craters 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!
Tour duration: 5-6 Hours / Type: Sierra Negra is a privately organized tour service / Tuneles & Cabo Rosa is a shared service
Day 5: End of Itinerary
An early morning inter-island speedboat will take you back to Puerto Ayora where our driver will meet you and immediate transfer you to Baltra Airport in time for your flight back to the mainland of Ecuador.
Activities and Services
Transfer hotel-dock in Isabela (Spanish)
Inter-island speedboat ticket to Santa Cruz
Transfer dock-Baltra Airport (Spanish)
Baltra airport bus Lobito (Incl. Itabaca ferry)