Travel to Quito for your flight to Baltra, the gateway to the Galapagos Islands. Take a flight from Baltra to Puerto Villamil, followed by a transfer to Scalesia Lodge. Situated in Isabela Island's highlands, nestled on the slopes of a volcano, the lodge is a contemporary and lavish tented resort. It occupies a 40-acre expanse of enchanting woodland, offering a breathtaking vantage point overlooking Isabela Island's coastline, the expansive Pacific Ocean, and the neighboring Galapagos Islands that speckle the distant horizon.
Later in the day, embark on a visit to Sucre's cave, enjoying a leisurely stroll to immerse yourself in the local flora and endemic plant life. Progressing to Mirador de Mango, you'll be rewarded with sweeping vistas of southern Isabela and its agricultural terrain. This location also presents an opportunity for observing finch birds.
Today's itinerary includes a captivating exploration of some of Isabela's finest attractions: the Sierra Negra and Chico Volcano. Sierra Negra stands out as one of the most actively volcanic peaks within the archipelago. With a crater ranking as the second largest worldwide, boasting a diameter of 10 kilometers, it's a remarkable sight. Volcan Chico, equally an active volcano, presents sulfur vents within its vicinity. This outing entails an approximately 6-hour trek, allowing you to fully revel in the magnificence of these volcanoes.
For those opting not to partake in the hike, an alternative option involves a visit to the Tuneles. A brief 30 to 40-minute journey aboard a swift small boat will transport you to this distinctive location, where the interplay between lava flows and ocean waves has shaped the landscape over numerous years. The Tuneles is a veritable marine haven, inhabited by creatures such as white-tipped reef sharks, Galápagos green sea turtles, Galápagos sea lions, manta rays, parrot fish, yellowtail surgeon fish, and a myriad of others.
Following these activities, return to the Lodge for lunch. In the afternoon, bask in the pleasures of Concha Perla, a spot where you can indulge in swimming and snorkeling amidst an array of tropical fish, sea lions, penguins, and turtles. Moreover, the opportunity to observe as many as 20 different bird species is also on offer.
In the morning, partake in an excursion to Tintoreras, a small islet crafted by lava flows and situated a brief 10-minute dinghy ride away from Puerto Villamil. Its name originates from the Spanish term "Tintoreras," denoting the white-tip reef sharks that frequently inhabit the surrounding waters. This area boasts a diverse array of creatures including sea lions, marine iguanas, and penguins. It provides an excellent setting for snorkeling enthusiasts. Return to the hotel in time for lunch.
During the afternoon, explore a historical landmark on Isabela Island known as El Muro de las Lagrimas (The Wall of Tears). Constructed from substantial lava blocks, this wall was erected by exiled prisoners between 1945 and 1959, serving as a punitive endeavor during Isabela's period as a penal colony.
In the early hours of the morning, make arrangements for transportation to the airport, where you will catch your return flight to Baltra. Upon your arrival, you will be greeted and transferred to Puerto Ayora. Embark on an excursion to Las Grietas, an entrancing location within the Galápagos Islands. Despite its simple name, "Las Grietas," meaning "the Crevasses," holds a place as one of the archipelago's most captivating destinations. It comprises a series of three elongated, nearly rectangular pools nestled among towering lava cliffs.
Later during the day, venture to Tortuga Bay beach. Situated to the southwest of Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island, the name "Tortuga Bay," signifying "turtle," underlines its importance as a prime nesting site for sea turtles. Following your visit, you will be transported to Finch Bay Hotel.
Embark on a day excursion to one of these islands: Bartolome Island (available on Saturday and Sunday), Santa Fe Island (on Wednesday), South Plazas Island (on Tuesday and Friday), or North Seymour Island (on Monday and Thursday). After your island adventure, spend the night at Finch Bay Hotel.
NOTE: Itineraries in Galapagos subject to change without notice. The sequence of visits might be altered depending on arrival of flights to Baltra or Isabela, weather conditions, or other unexpected circumstances beyond our control.
Transportation will be arranged from your hotel to the airport in Quito. Following that, embark on a 30-minute flight that will bring you to Puerto Francisco de Orellana, which is commonly referred to as Coca. Upon your arrival in Coca, a naturalist guide will be there to greet you. You will then transition to a larger motorized canoe, embarking on a two-hour journey along the Rio Napo, which will lead you to Sacha Lodge.
Upon reaching Sacha Lodge's private reserve, the initial activity for guests involves a walk along an elevated boardwalk within a dense flooded palm forest, an area frequently inhabited by several species of monkeys. Subsequently, traditional dugout canoes are available to transport you across Pilchicocha lake to reach the lodge. With ample time remaining upon arrival, you can settle in, engage in bird-watching, take a refreshing swim, or embark on a canopy walk before dinner.
The activities are carefully spread across an expansive region, providing visitors the chance to explore diverse and equally captivating environments. An essential stop is our on-site butterfly farm, an experience not to be overlooked.
Among the standout features of Sacha Lodge is our exceptional Canopy Walk. This unique suspension walkway is one of the few in the world that is rigid and self-supporting. With observation platforms situated every 12 meters on two of the three towers, the walk is accessible to all. Extending to a length of 275 meters (900 feet), this elevated walkway is positioned 36 meters (120 feet) above the forest floor.
A recent addition is the Treetop Walk, designed to immerse us in the intricate life of the rainforest's understory. Comprising five observation platforms encircling tree trunks beneath the canopy, these platforms are positioned at varying heights of 20 to 65 feet and are linked by bridges. The Treetop Walk spans a 240-foot path, providing a rare glimpse into this seldom-observed layer of the rainforest.
Guests particularly enjoy navigating dugout canoes along waterways rich in tannins, with dark-colored waters winding through flourishing landscapes of lianas, bromeliads, and palm trees. Additionally, an observation tower standing at 43 meters (135 feet) altitude affords an opportunity to ascend into and above the rainforest canopy, granting a stunning panoramic view of the surroundings.
A mere ten-minute journey across the Napo River leads to the Nueva Providencia Interpretation Center, an engaging space where guests can connect with local women from the community and learn about the Kichwa way of life. The visit concludes with a delightful sampling of local cuisine.
For those with a penchant for adventure, the day's exploration doesn't necessarily conclude with dinner. Guided night walks and canoe trips illuminated by flashlights frequently unveil creatures like caimans, rarely spotted during daylight hours.