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Highlight Galápagos 9 Days Tour

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9 days / 8 nights 
     – 7 full days, 2 half days in total –
This tour offers a good alternative to cruises, for travelers wanting to visit the Galapagos without spending all their savings! We do not sacrifice on visits; you’ll see plenty of endemic and native species and have great snorkel excursions. We offer 6 versions in total with lengths of 5,6,7,8 and 9 day tours. Our guides are English speaking, and our hotels are nice, clean and welcoming. There is a possibility of upgrading hotel if you want more comfort. We provide the snorkel equipment and wetsuits, so there are no hidden costs; just bring extra cash for after tour beers, tips and souvenirs to bring home!  If you do not want to be stuck on a boat, want to join a fun group and enjoy the Galapagos as its best, don’t hesitate!
THESE TOURS HAVE FIXED DEPARTURE DATES; PLEASE CHECK BELOW TO SEE WHICH DATE FITS YOU.
Itinerary:

Day 1San Cristóbal

We will pick you up on arrival at the airport of San Cristobal Island and take you to the hotel. After a nice Ecuadorian lunch with the guide, you will visit Loberia: a beautiful beach with a great snorkeling spot! During the snorkel you may find sea turtles, rays, sea lions and many species of colorful fishes. After that you will do a nice hike to a cliff where you can observe many marine iguanas and birds such as blue footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls and frigate birds. In the afternoon you go back to the hotel and get ready for dinner.
Meals included: lunch and dinner
Difficulty: EASY

Day 2San Cristóbal

. Today we give you the option of going to one of these 2 excursions: (please let us know at booking your preference)

Option 1 – LOBOS ISLAND (more hiking):

On a 30 min boat ride from the port you arrive on Lobos Island, as it name implies a home to a large sea lion colony. But that’s not the only thing you’ll find while you’ll hike and snorkel at the island on this half day tour. During the hike, you hopefully spot blue footed boobies, marine iguanas and frigate birds, while during snorkeling you can often see the marine iguanas eating, as well as rays and turtles in the sandy bottom that separates Lobos Island from the mainland of San Cristobal. This tour is includes a stop at Playa Ochoa. In the early afternoon you be back at the port. Difficulty: EASY

Option 2 – KICKER ROCK (more snorkeling):

You will visit the famous Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido – sleeping Lion), a volcanic formation amid the ocean. There you will be able to snorkel with sharks, rays, turtles and if you are luck also with hammerhead sharks! After lunch on the boat you will go to a beautiful, pristine beach, where you will have time to relax. At afternoon you will be back at the port. Shared tour max 12 on board
Difficulty: MEDIUM (snorkeling in open water)

The rest of the afternoon is free until dinner. You can use it for shopping or go and visit the interpretation center (entrance free), tijeretas, playa carola and playa mann. You will meet with the whole group for dinner where the guide will give you the details for the next day.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3Española

Departure by boat to Española island. The boat ride takes 1h30 each way approx. At arrival you will disembark at Punta Suarez where you will begin a hike, looking for Nazca and blue footed boobies.. After the hike you will go back on board for lunch and then reach a snorkel spot where those who want can enjoy a snorkel session and look for tropical fishes, rays..back to San Cristobal port in the end of the afternoon. Please note : Albatrosses are not on the island from late December to beginning of April approx. Still you have a lot of wildlife to see). After the tour you have a bit of free time and then you will meet with the whole group for dinner where the guide will give you the details for the next day.
Meals included: breakfast ,lunch, dinner
DIFFICULTY: EASY

Day 4San Cristóbal - Floreana - Isabela

Breakfast will be served in your hotel. Then you will be picked-up to go to the pier where you depart around 7AM to Floreana island. The private boat ride lasts for about 2,5 hours. Upon arrival, you will visit the highlands, a place called “Peace Asylum”, where the first colonists of the islands settled – the guide will tell you all about the mysteries. During the short hike you will be able to spot Galapagos giant tortoises. After lunch in the small village “Puerto Velasco Ibarra” you will go snorkeling at a beautiful, black sanded beach nearby the pier. Afterwards you will continue on the boat to Isabela Island (approximately 1,5 hour ride). Isabela is one of the youngest islands which still has moderate volcanic activity. It’s a beautiful island with a long white sandy beach and a clear bay located near to the pier. Upon arrival you will be driven in a taxi,bus or chiva to the flamingo lagoon to spotthese beautiful animals (if time allows, otherwise it will be re-scheduled throughout the stay in Isabela). After that, you will get a transfer to the hotel to get ready for dinner.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Difficulty: EASY

Day 5Isabela

Today you must choose upon booking between the Volcano (trekking tour) and Cabo Rosa (snorkeling tour as a supplement)!

Option 1 – VOLCANO HIKE (included in the price)

Early in the morning you will be picked-up and driven towards the highlands: You will start a 16km trekking (6 hours!) to the Sierra Negra and Chico volcano. The first stop on the hike is the Sierra Negra Volcano, which has the second largest active crater in the world of 10km diameter. The second part of the hike takes you to Chico, a cone of Sierra Negra with moon-like sceneries. This gives you an idea of how the islands looked at their creation. After you’re returned from the volcano, you will be transported to a local farm where lunch will be served. Back at the hotel around 3:30 PM.
Difficulty: MEDIUM

Option 2 – CABO ROSA TUNNELS: THIS OPTION HAS AN EXTRA COST!

If you prefer snorkeling over hiking this is a great opportunity. You can take the excursion to Cabo Rosa (45 mn boat ride each way), 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. Difficulty: EASY

Why is this tour not included?
Many people who choose an island based tour prefer to spend a full day on land without navigation. The volcano tour is accompanied by our guide. If you choose to do the Cabo Rosa Tunnels you pay extra and join a day tour excursion with another group of people and a different guide. The boat is limited to 10 people.

The rest of the day is at leisure. You can enjoy the beautiful beach in Isabela or you can snorkel in the Concha de Perla Lagoon.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 6Isabela - Santa Cruz

In the morning you will visit the Tintoreras Islet near the pier, where you have a short hike and snorkel. There you can spot small Galapagos penguins, sea lions, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies and often you can even spot white-tipped sharks in one of the channels. Afterwards you will continue with our private boat to Santa Cruz (2 hours). Upon arrival you will be transferred to the hotel to get ready for lunch and change for the afternoon program. Once finished with lunch you will take a boat to the Tortuga Bay beach (20min ride), where spot a huge marine iguana colony andenjoy a last swim into the Galapagos waters . On the return from Tortuga Bay you will walk 3 km back to Puerto Ayora, passing through a giant endemic cactus forest.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Difficulty: EASY TO MEDIUM

Day 7Seymour

Today you will be picked up at your hotel by bus and taken to the channel of Itabaca at the northern part of the island. You will then board a yacht and navigate (approx 1 hour) to North Seymour: this island is a true open zoo: we can spot from really close: swallow tailed gulls, sea lions, marine iguanas, land iguanas, blue footed boobies, frigate birds. We will hike around 1.5 hours on the island. Then you will have lunch on board while navigating to Bachas: Bachas is a beautiful beach in the north of Santa Cruz which is just accessible by boat. There the blue ocean contrasts with the black of the lava rocks and the smooth White sand of the beach. There is also a lagoon where we sometimes can spot flamingos
. Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner
Difficulty: EASY

Day 8Bartolomé

Today also you will be picked up at your hotel by bus and taken to the channel of Itabaca at the northern part of the island. You will then board a yacht and navigate (approx 2.5 hours ** note that the navigation to is long but the ) to Bartolomé. We’ll disembark and begin the hike on to the top. The trail has been arranged so it is easier and less harmful for the island, leaving less steps. Arrived on the top we will have an amazing view over the island, the bay, and the pinnacle rock. This rock is believed to have been cut in two during the second world war when the American soldiers were training on Baltra military base.You will also snorkel there.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner
DIFFICULTY: MEDIUM

Day 9Santa Cruz - Baltra Airport

In the morning you will reach the airport with a stop to visit a lava tunnel. Sometimes you can spot a Galapagos owl. You will be accompanied until the Check- in point at the airport
Meals included: Breakfast

General Information:
The program can change due to unforeseen circumstances (such as strikes or meteorological conditions) without prior notice.
  • FLIGHT IN The flight IN must be to San Cristobal Island (code SCY).
    Airlines flying to this island areeither LATAM,AVIANCA or TAME.
  • FLIGHT OUT: The flight OUT must be out of BALTRA (code GPS).
    Departures from this island are operatedeither by LATAM, TAME or AVIANCA.
    -Please choose the latest flight leaving around 1PM (not before or you would be missing the tunnel activity)
  • MEALS: Meals are not “a la carte”, but menus. Please let us know, if you haveany allergy orspecial diet. Typical meal is soup, main plate with vegetables and rice, fresh made juice and a dessert. Coffee and alcoholic drinks are not included.
  • TRANSPORTATION: Is made by small speedboats between islands. Navigation times can take up to 3 hours due to the distance between islands and currents. We cannot control the ocean, if a swell comes in the ride can be bumpy, especially during the Garúa season (sfrom June to September approx). If you are usually subject to motion sickness please bring parches or pills (you can also buy pills on Galapagos).From experience, the parches are really effective).
  • RYTHM OF THE TOUR: This is a pretty active tour, you need to be fit (be used to hiking and swimming). Specifically the volcano hike is demanding and the group cannot wait too long for slow hikers. If you have doubts that you cannot follow the volcano hike we recommend you to book the alternative Cabo Rosa tour. The issue is that you cannot be left behind on the tour to the volcano due to the National Park restrictions; the group has to be always accompanied by the guide. To make most out of the time spent on the Galapagos Islands, early wake ups are scheduled. If you would like to spend some extra days on your own without itinerary we will be happy to help you to book extra nights before and/or after the tour.
  • GUIDES: On tours to Kicker Rock, Lobos Island,Española,Cabo Rosa, Seymour and Bartolome you will be joining a day tour excursion with different guides than the rest of the tour.(valid only for 6 days and more Highlight tours .
Hotels:

For this tour we offer 2 categories of hotels:

** we use these below or similar according to availability at the moment of booking. We will always reconfirm hotel names before your final booking

  • Tourist class: simple and clean, with private bathroom in each room and hot water such as Algarrobos (San Cristobal), Iguana (Isabela), Déjà Vu (Santa Cruz
  • Tourist superior class hotels: larger rooms, TV, Air-Conditioning such as Casa Playa Mann (San Cristobal), Isabela Beach House (Isabela), Villa Laguna (Santa Cruz)
Prices:

Prices Include

  • All meals on the islands as mentioned in the program
  • Tours with English-speaking guides
  • All transportation (boat, bus, taxi)
  • Snorkel gear and short wetsuit
  • Accommodation in double or triple room occupancy
  • Isabela entry fee

Prices Exclude

  • Flights from and to mainland Ecuador
  • Entrance fee to the Galapagos National Park
  • 100$ per adult, 50$ per child (12 years and under)
    − CASH ONLY: bring cash with you. There is NO ATM at airport!
    − These prices are subject to change without previous notice from the Galapagos Authorities
  • Migration card
    − 20$ per person
    − bought at the airport (Quito or Guayaquil) − CASH ONLY
  • This price is subject to change without previous notice from the Galapagos Authorities
  • 12% Ecuadorian VAT (only valid for the Ecuadorian residents)
  • Travel insurance: mandatory for all tourists entering Ecuador
    (you can be asked for it when entering the country)
  • Single supplement if you are a solo traveler
  • All not mentioned in the program
  • Tips

Tourist class hotels

per person Single room supplement +340 USD
+ USD 149.- supplement for the Cabo Rosa Tunnels option on Day 5

2579 USD

Tourist superior class

per person Single room supplement +596USD
+ USD 149.- supplement for the Cabo Rosa Tunnels option on Day 5

3004 USD

Departure dates:

if you are a group of 10 or more, we can organize private departures too