The Galapagos Classic – 7 days

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ITINERARY 

Please note that itineraries can be changed last minute for the following reasons:

  • National Park decision to close a site for maintenance of potencial threat (invasive species, suspicion of avian flu..)
  • Meteorologic reason (captain decides to skip a visit on a boat day trip for example because of ocean conditions)

Day 1: Arrival on San Cristobal island, meet the sea lions!

You will be picked-up at the airport by your private certified guide and he will take you to the hotel. After your lunch with the guide you will visit the Interpretation Center, where the guide will talk to you about the formation, colonization and actual situation of the islands. Then you will follow the trail to the Frigate bird hill, a viewpoint from which you have a beautiful view over the island. You will be able to snorkel the shallow waters of Tijeretas Bay or Carola beach (according to the tide your guide will take you to the best spot), where you can see sea lions, various tropical fishes, and turtles. Your small hike will finish at Carola beach from where you will go back to the hotel and have evening free.
For Dinner, you have several options in town to choose from, ask our guides or staff for their currents favorite spots 🙂

Meals included: Lunch – Tour with a private guide

Day 2: Kicker Rock- snorkeling at the foot of the volcanic tuff cone

You will navigate approximately 45 minutes to  the famous Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido – sleeping Lion), a volcanic formation amid the ocean. There you have chances to snorkel with sharks, rays, turtles and if you are lucky even hammerhead sharks! Every day is different so let nature surprise you. The wall of the rock itself is amazing with lots of tropical fishes, starfishes, corals.. The boat also takes you to a beautiful, pristine beach, where you will have time to relax and swim. you will be back in the mid afternoon. The rest of the afternoon will be at your leisure.

Note: To do this excursion you need to be a confirmed swimmer. If this is not your case, we can offer you an alternative excursion. 

Meals included: Breakfast and lunch – Shared tour max 12 on board

Day 3: from San Cristobal to Isabela: Flying  to the youngest of the poblated islands of Galapagos

In the morning we will pick you up at the hotel and accompany you to the airport, where you will do your check-in for the flight to Isabela (estimated elapsed time: 40 min.). Our staff will welcome you and accompany you to your hotel. As the plane schedule can change some day, we let the morning free, just in case. But  you can easily walk to the  Flamingo Lagoon or just enjoy the stunning front beach. For the afternoon we offer you 2 different activities (you will need to choose at booking):

  1. A kayak or “Stand Up Paddle” tour in the bay. Exploring the bay this way is nice because you can spot wildlife in a smooth way, without the noise of a boat motor. You may spot during this tour sea lions, pelicans, maybe spot rays and turtles near the kayak.
  2. A boat tour to Tintoreras islet: this small islet near the port is interesting as you can spot marine iguanas usually and sometimes sharks in a small water channel that you can see from the islet. this tour also includes a snorkeling session, in shallow water where you can usually see tortoises and different kind of tropical fishes.

The evening is at your free disposal. Sunset can be pretty amazing on Isabela, also called “La cuna del sol” (literally: the sun’s crib)

Meals included: Breakfast and lunch – Shared plane to Isabela and shared tour max 16 people in the afternoon.

Day 4: Sierra Negra, hiking on a volcano

Today you will leave the ocean behind and reach the highlands of Isabela, where you will begin an amazing hike that takes you from greenish and fertile lands to arid and moonlike sceneries. You walk through spectacular lava landscapes and have views of the northern volcanoes of Isabela and Fernandina. The hike to the Sierra Negra Volcano and Volcano Chico is 16 km long (duration approx. 6 hours), but worth every effort. You see the second largest volcanic crater in the world and explore different vegetation zones. You get a lunch box for the hike as you won’t be back until early-mid afternoon.

Note: this is a long hike and you need to keep up with the group rythm. If you do not feel like doing it, let us know and we will offer you an alternative visit this day.

Meals included: Breakfast and box lunch – Shared tour max 16 people 

Day 5: The tunnels, where the lava meets the ocean

Today you go by boat to Cabo Rosa (45 mn boat ride), where lava has flowed into the ocean and formed beautiful lava tunnels. There you may see penguins, blue-footed boobies and sea turtles. However the Highlight is snorkeling. You have the chance to see sharks, sea turtles, sea lions, rays, seahorses and many tropical fishes. The tour to Cabo Rosa takes about 5 hours and can take place morning or afternoon (according to the National Park schedule). Rest of the day free.

Meals included: Breakfast and  box lunch – Shared tour max 12 people on board

Day 6: To Santa Cruz island – let’s meet the giants of Galapagos!

This day will begin early as at 5:00 (yes, AM) we will pick you up at your hotel and accompany you to the pier, where you will take the shared speed boat  to Santa Cruz (approx. 2-hour ride) -and before you ask no, there is no later boat in the morning ;)- . At the harbor, our staff will welcome you and accompany you for a well deserved breakfast.  The guide will drive you to a ranch in the highlands to see giant tortoises in their native environment! After lunch, you will continue to Garrapatero Beach where you will have the opportunity to swim. In the evening, you will be free to wander around Santa Cruz. You can choose among a lot of restaurants in town for dinner. As it is the biggest town of the archipelago, this is also the best place for souvenir shopping. We recommend you a walk at night along the pier where you can often spot juvenile blacktip sharks swimming!

Meals included: Breakfast and lunch – Shared boat to Santa Cruz and then visits with a private guide

Day 7: Baltra airport and saying goodbye to this incredible place!

If there is enough free time until your transfer to the airport we suggest that you visit the Charles Darwin Station (entrance free) .Your driver will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the Itabaca Channel, which you will cross on a ferry. For the last part of your trip to the airport you will take the public bus. Your driver will accompany you until the check-in point where your program ends with your return flight to the mainland. Baltra used to be an american military basis during WW2 and the first airport of the islands.

Meals included: Breakfast -Private car to Itabaca channel and then shared ferry + bus

ACCOMODATION:

Accomodation is a huge part of the success of a trip.We offer 3 categories of hotels/price. We use the hotels listed below OR SIMILAR, according to the availability. We will always give you the names of the hotels as soon as you book so you can check them.