Flamingo Lake | Isabela
The Tunnels | Isabela
Volcanoes | Galapagos
Tintoreras | Isabela

Galapagos Encounter Island Hopping

Galapagos Land Based Tour

Flight from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra´s airport where a naturalist guide will meet you and then transfer you to Puerto Ayora.

Then, you will have lunch at the harbor, and eventually, we continue with the transfer to the pier in order to embark on a public speedboat that will take you to Isabela Island (approximately 2-2.5 hour navigation). Upon arrival you will be met and taken you to the hotel for check in. Afterwards, you will visit the Lake of the Flamingos.

L/D

Tuneles Tour. It takes 45 minutes to an hour to reach “Los Tuneles” from Puerto Villamil and this tour will leave at approximately 9.00am and return at 1.30 pm.

The backdrop begins with Volcan Sierra Negra looming in the background and, as you approach the Roca Union, the boat will slow down for you so you can take in the Nazca Boobies, Blue-Footed Boobies perched side by side and sea lions taking time out. In the water you are often able to see many tropical fish and giant mantas on the surface, waiting to be ¨cleaned¨ by the wrasse. Also, turtles are a common sight.

Entering Los Tuneles can sometimes be tricky, but when the sea is calm it almost feels like you are surfing in by boat along the breakers.
Inside the breakers, the water is calm, shallow and crystal clear. It is to be compared to snorkeling in an aquarium! First, you pass through the labyrinth of lava tubes that have spilled over into the sea as time and the ocean has created a maze of these tubes, many of which are now lava arches with narrow passes above the sea. Some are still intact and you are able to land and walk for a short time, whilst viewing 2 active volcanoes in the background. To the south is Cerro Azul which and to the north is Sierra Negra. While walking above the water you are often able to see

In places, you can swim under the water and through an arch into something similar to a cave without a roof, open to the sky, an area that many colorful angelfish favor.

In the afternoon. Visit the Wall of Tears, a stretch bike, the wall has a length of 100m and a height of 7m. The name is derived from the difficult and painful nature of the conditions in which the prisoners were forced to work. Visit a Lava Tunnel near the Wall, as well as visits to Mirador Orchilla, Estero de Isabela, and Playa del Amor.

Approximately at 7:30 am, the trip to Sierra Negra Volcano will start. The passengers will be transported by bus or other transportation for about 45 minutes to the Galapagos National Park control site in order to record the visit. Then, we will begin a trek to the Sierra Negra and Chico Volcano. During the trek, a box lunch would be provided. In the afternoon, we will return to the hotel.

B/L/D

Breakfast. Prepare for the kayaking excursion. Go to the dock of Puerto Villamil in order to embark on small speedboats . After a short ride (approx. 20 min.), we arrive at Tintoreras. After the hike through the islet, we will have time to practice kayak near the islet. We Return to town for lunch.

In the afternoon, visit the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center of Isabela, where we will be able to see a variety of species of giant tortoises in captivity.

B/L/D

At 05:30 am, you will be transferred to the Port for embarkation. Your arrival in Santa Cruz is around 08:30. The guide will pick you up in order to go to El Garrapatero, which is a wide bay with multiple sandy beaches. It is a nice area for swimming and relaxation, while you enjoy the wonderful view.

After a short break is made, we will visit the Charles Darwin Station. At the station, we will be able to see a variety of species of Giant Tortoises in captivity. We will watch their different size and age, and learn the Islands they originally come from.

We will listen to the ongoing conservation efforts directed at preserving the Giant Tortoises, as well as the environment of the archipelago as a whole.

B/L/D

After breakfast, the guide will meet you in the hotel´s lobby in order to take you to the dock, and start the tour. Lunch will be included on board the small yacht. In the afternoon, you would return to the port.

Lying just to the north of Baltra, Seymour is a low island consisting of uplifted submarine lava. The dry landing on black basaltic lava can be slippery. After a short climb over the “pillow lavas” the rest of the trail is flat and easy, apart from some boulders on the frigate bird loop. The landing is rich in wildlife: sea-lions, swallow-tailed gulls, lava gulls, tropicbirds, brown noddy terns, and pelicans. The trail is a large loop; you can either go clockwise along the shore or head inland to visit the booby colony first.
Right of the trail is saltbush clumps on which magnificent frigate birds nest. Males and females nest in the trees; frigates are unusual for Galapagos seabirds in building a nest of twigs.

A side trail goes inland to the breeding area. Here it can get a bit rocky, so watch your step. Another branch turns the other way to a flatter area where blue-footed boobies nest. During courtship, they spend hours handing nesting materials (twigs and small stones) to each other, but never actually construct a nest. The area where the eggs are laid is marked by a ring of white guano. The palo santo trees here are an endemic species. During the garua season they look dead, but after the rains in February, they turn green almost overnight. Other endemic plants include Opuntia cactus, Croton, Castela, and Sesuvium. On rare occasions, large land iguanas are seen under a shady bush. They were originally from Baltra (or South Seymour) but were brought over here by scientists many years ago to see if they would survive.

B/L/D

In the morning, a guide will be waiting for you, to transfer to the airport in Baltra, so you can take your flight back to Quito or Guayaquil. On the way, we will make a brief stop in order to visit Highlands of Santa Cruz. It is a memorable occasion to observe the famous Giant Tortoises or Galapagos. Contemplation of the famous Galapagos Finches, Bird Wizards, as well as endemic vegetation

 


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