Experience the Galapagos Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most unique ecosystems and iconic travel destinations on the planet. Savor the Galapagos Islands and explore unspoiled sceneries and a fascinating flora and fauna found nowhere else.
This exclusive Galapagos Island Hopping voyage offers you accommodation on four different Islands of the archipelago, and a unique opportunity to get to know unique flora, fauna and people, first hand.
Explore the historical Floreana Island, home of the legendary Wittmer family.
Walk up to the rim of the Sierra Negra volcano on Isabela Island.
Enjoy the fabulous Tortuga Bay Beach and the famous Charles Darwin Research Station.
Walk with giant Galapagos Tortoises in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island.
Flying from Quito or Guayaquil, you will arrive at around midday (local time) to the airport of San Cristobal Island in the small city of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, where you will be greeted at the lobby by our Naturalist Guide. Your baggage will be handled by one of our crew members who transports them directly to the Hotel while our bus transport takes us to the hotel where we welcome you with a drink before being allocated in your rooms.
Following lunch our guide will give a short explanation about the afternoon activities. At 2 p.m. we start our walking tour to visit the Interpretation Center of San Cristobal, located in the outskirts of the small city of Pto. Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the Galapagos Province. The guide gives us a great introduction to the islands, from the natural and human history, to the actual efforts taken by the National Park and marine reserve to protect the fragile environment.
We then walk up to the place known as Frigate Bird Hill. This short hike starts from the interpretation Center and takes about 30 minutes to reach the top of the hill, where visitors are treated to a spectacular view of the white beaches and the amazing Kicker Rock formation emerging from the Pacific Ocean. The hill is often visited by both the species of “magnificent” and “great” frigate birds who nest here in certain times of the year. Then we descend towards the small cove known as Punta Carola, a place where we find a colony of cute sea lions. A great spectacle! Walk back to the hotel for a well-deserved rest.
A.M.: San Cristobal Highlands (El Progreso – Centro de Crianza Tortugas – Puerto Chino)
After breakfast, our transport will take you up to the highlands of San Cristobal Island. Our first visitor point will be to Laguna El Junco (El Junco Lagoon). Rainwater and condensation have collected for hundreds of years in the caldera of an extinct volcano, creating this haven for frigate birds. The lake is the main water supplier for the island population and thus of vital importance today. Hiking around the lake offers views of practically the entire island including San Joaquin Hill, the island's highest point.
Our next stop will be at Cerro Colorado Tortoises Breading Center. Here we can learn about the hard work developed by scientists to preserve the species of the Giant Galapagos Tortoises. There is a nice walk on a trail which permits you to be in close contact with the tortoises of the different sizes, from the tiny ones to the giant oldest ones. After this our transport will take us to the south east side of the Island, to a parking area from where a 15 minutes’ walk takes us to a beautiful beach known as Puerto Chino. This amazing place is located 24.5 km from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and it is composed by white sandy beach. Here and with little luck we can observe marine turtles, frigate birds, blue footed bobbies, Galapagos pelicans and other marine birds. The entire area is very scenic. After our visit, we will be transported back to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno where you will have time for lunch (on your own).
In the afternoon we make a tour to the place known as La Loberia where we find a huge colony of sea lions. The area is a nice small cove where we can swim in the company of playful sea lions. Transport back to the hotel and in the evening, we enjoy a group dinner in the hotel restaurant.
A.M.: Travel to Floreana, visit Highlands, Lunch
P.M.: Travel to Isabela, visit Humedales y Centro Crianza
Our day starts with and early breakfast and then at 6:30 a.m. we start our 2.5 hours navigation towards the historical Floreana Island. Floreana has an area of 173 square km (67sq mi) formed by volcanic eruptions like most main islands of the archipelago, with the highest point being Cerro Pajas at 640m (2,100ft). In Puerto Velasco Ibarra, the small town existing in the area, is living a population of about 120 persons. The small town has a nice simplicity and exudes a lot of calm and tranquility.
Upon arrival at the shores of Puerto Velasco Ibarra, a local community “marine taxi” will transport us from the Yacht to the pier from where a local transport called “chiva” will take us up to the highlands to the place known as “Asilo de La Paz” (Haven of Peace), known for its bizarre history as one of the first occupied spaces of the islands by a German family with the last name of Wittmer. We will enjoy the beautiful surroundings with native flora and perhaps we will encounter some Giant Galapagos tortoises roaming freely on the forest. Later we explore the caves where the Wittmer family used to live and then we return to the town to enjoy a lunch in one of the small local restaurants.
After lunch we start our navigation towards Isabela Island where we expect to arrive after 2.5 hours of navigation to Puerto Villamil, one the nicest towns of the archipelago. Same as in Floreana, a local “marine taxi” will take us from the yacht to the pier of Pto. Villamil and from where a local transport will take us to the “Iguana Crossing” Hotel located in front of a beautiful beach and where we will overnight for 2 nights.
After checking in, we will go for a walk to the place known as “Los Humedales” (Wet-Land). This awesome area is characterized by sandy beaches, rocky shores, and mangroves. During the walk along the main trail, you can see all four species of mangroves found in Galapagos and observe pink flamingos and migratory birds. Continuing the path, we arrive to the Tortoise Breeding Center, where we can see tortoises from all sizes and from different subspecies. After finishing our afternoon visit, our transport will take us back to the hotel. Free time to enjoy the beautiful beach of Puerto Villamil.
A.M.: Sierra Negra or Tintoreras
Weather depending, in the morning we can visit the beautiful place known as Tintoreras or make a hike up to the rim of the impressive Sierra Negra Volcano.
Tintoreras: Access to this location is easy, visitors can land during high or low tide to this beautiful visitor site located south of Puerto Villamil. It has a small bay of completely calm turquoise waters, where you can appreciate sea lions, sea turtles, marine iguanas, rays and many more species of oceanside fauna and flora. The bay is connected to a shallow crevice of crystal-clear water which closes when the tide is low and is a favorite resting spot for sharks and fish life. Most of the trail in this visit point is “Ah Ah” type lava, except for a white sand beach and a black stone beach.
The first beach we will encounter is popular with sea lions that are found sleeping peacefully, as well as marine iguanas that nest in the area. The second beach is surrounded by button and white mangrove. Throughout the trail you can see many marine iguanas in the rocks or under the mangroves. During nesting season, be very careful when exploring the area. Reef sharks (here known as Tintoreras) have nocturnal feeding habits and certain individuals remain inside the crevice and marine ponds during the day to rest. For this reason, you are not allowed to swim in this place.
We’ll head back to the hotel for lunch and then you will have a free afternoon to enjoy the beautiful beach of Isabela Island.
Sierra Negra Volcano: It is a large shield-type volcano located at the South eastern end of Isabela Island and it rises to an altitude of 1124m. It's situated between with the volcanoes Cerro Azul to the west and Alcedo to the north. It is also one of the most active of the Galapagos volcanoes with the most recent eruption in June 2018. Our guided tour to the volcano starts at Puerto Villamil with a car drive of about 30 minutes to where we start our 1 to 1.5 hour walk towards the rim of the giant caldera along its East side. The view is amazing and impressive since the caldera is considered the 2nd biggest crater in the world. From the several viewpoints located along the rim of the crater we can observe down inside of the crater the recent lava flow. After another 2 hours hike from the rim of the Sierra Negra crater to the area known as Chico Volcano, we will find an interesting sight where it is possible to observe some fumes and explore this Martian-like landscape. From here we can also observe the faraway volcanoes of Isabela Island. This last visit is recommended for those tourists with good physical conditions and depends on the group.
Return to Pto. Villamil for lunch and afterwards you will have a free time to enjoy the beautiful sandy beach of Isabela.
A.M.: Isabela – Pto. Ayora
P.M.: Visit F. Llerena Interpretation Center & Charles Darwin Station
The day starts with breakfast in the hotel. At 8 a.m. the transfer to the pier to board the Yacht and immediately we start our navigation towards Santa Cruz Island. We will arrive after 2.5 hours of navigation to the city of Puerto Ayora, the town with the biggest population in the archipelago. Disembark and walk to the Ikala Galapagos Hotel where after checking in, we will enjoy a nice lunch.
After a short rest we start a walk to visit the Fausto Llerena Interpretation Center where we learn about the Galapagos National Park work and observe tortoises of different species and sizes and land iguanas. Here we will also be able to observe the body of the world-famous tortoise Lonesome George which now is in exhibition at the museum of the interpretation center. Walking further, we will find the Charles Darwin Station where the scientists develop their research work to protect and conserve the amazing nature of Galapagos. Here we will visit the small museum of the station. Free time.
A.M.: Tortuga Bay
P.M.: Las Grietas
After breakfast in the hotel, we start our day hiking towards the shores of the Pacific Ocean, to one of the most beautiful beaches of the Galapagos, a place known as Tortuga Bay. After some 40 minutes to 1-hour walk, we arrive to the heavenly spot, where the soft coral sand and nice scenery make this a special location for anyone visiting. The first part of the beach has strong waves so not recommended for swimming but walking west we will reach a beautiful bay of calm water. Here we can observe colonies of Marine iguanas, boobies and marine birds, as well as mangroves, cacti forest and interesting flora of the coast. Time to enjoy the beach and then we will return to the town. Free time for lunch and rest in the hotel.
In the afternoon, we will make a walk to visit the place known as Las Grietas. This is a place where you can swim in crystal clear waters surrounded by craggy rock walls. On the way (30 to 40 minutes’ walk) to this place we'll find plenty of incredible nature on the path to the relatively hidden swimming spot, which you can reach by crossing a rocky lava field and walking by a cactus forest, before finally descending to the cool waters. Jump off the rock platform to make a splash or grab your snorkel to check out the mysteries that lie beneath the surface. Walk back to Puerto Ayora where you will have a free time for last shopping and visits of this dynamic town.
In the morning we enjoy breakfast in the hotel and then with our private transport, we take you up (20 minutes) to the highlands of Santa Cruz island to visit el Manzanillo private farm (or similar). There we will have an amazing experience observing the giant Galapagos tortoises on natural state. Tortoises are very sensitive and will typically withdraw into their carapaces as soon as they see you coming close. It is very important not to bother, touch or feed these amazing animals.
Then, we continue our drive (20 minutes) towards the Itabaca Channel which separates Santa Cruz island from Baltra Island, but before we arrive to the channel, we will be stopping by the natural formation known as “The twins” (Los Gemelos) Craters, that lies on the route to the Itabaca Canal. There 2 craters formed by the collapse of the lava flow. Then we continue our trip and after crossing the channel, a public airport bus will take us to the airport where our guide will assist you with the airline check inn process. Enjoy your flight back to the continent (Guayaquil or Quito).
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