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Galapagos Islands Vacations | 8 Days in San Cristobal, Isabela & Santa Cruz Island

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8 Days
Quito or Guayaquil Airport
Baltra Island Airport
Max People : 10
Galapagos Islands Vacations | 8 Days in San Cristobal, Isabela & Santa Cruz Island

Our 6-day Trip to Galapagos is a land excursion that focuses on the “Lost Paradise” of Galapagos (Isla Isabela), while also visiting Santa Cruz Island.

This complete trip will take you through the most incredible places in the Galapagos, from the impressive volcanic landscape of the Sierra Negra Volcano, the geological formations of Cabo Rosa to the home of giant tortoises in the highlands of Santa Cruz. .

On the way you will find the unique fauna that makes Galapagos an incredible and unforgettable place.

Choose from a convenient selection of hotel classes and discover the Galapagos Islands accompanied by a bilingual naturalist guide.

Departure Location

San Cristobal Island Airport – (SCY)

Return Location

Baltra Island Airport – (GPS)

Departure Time

You must arrive before 11:00 AM.
*Ask for more details.

Return Time

Approximately after 11:00 AM. 
*Ask for more details.

Price Includes

  • Accommodation in selected hotels (double rooms)
  • All meals in Galapagos (breakfast – lunch – dinner)
  • All land and sea transportation within the Galapagos during the program
  • Excursions and visits during the program
  • Bilingual naturalist guides for each island and all activities
  • Snorkeling Equipment (mask, fins, tube)
  • Transfer Puerto Ayora – Isabela – Puerto Ayora by Public speedboat
  • Transfer Baltra – Puerto Ayora – Baltra (by truck or by bus depending on group size)

Price Excludes

  • Air Ticket
  • Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee ($100 USD)
  • Galapagos Transit Control Card ($20 USD)
  • Isabela Dock Fee ($20 USD)
  • Baltra Airport Transportation – Itabaca Channel ($5 USD)
  • Itabaca Channel Transportation – Baltra Airport ($5 USD)
  • Transfer between hotels and restaurants
  • Water taxi from dock to speedboat ($1 USD)
  • Soft-drinks and alcoholic beverages.
  • Tips
Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in San Cristobal / Interpretation Center / Tijeretas / Playa Calora
Day 2: Highlands + Progreso OR choose between OPTIONS A or B
Day 3: Transfer to Santa Cruz / Charles Darwin Station / Highlands
Day 4: Tortuga Bay / Transfer to Isabela Island / Flamingos Lagoon
Day 5: Sierra Negra Volcano / Concha Perla
Day 6: Full Day Navigable Tour to Cabo Rosa aka. Los Tuneles
Day 7: Tintoreras Islet
Day 8: Transfer out Baltra

You can arrive to the Galapagos Islands only by flight from either Quito or Guayaquil (air ticket not included). Our guide will be waiting for you at the airport on San Cristobal Island where the tour will begin.

From the airport we ride for the hotel to check-in and get comfortable. After checking in, you will eat lunch in a local restaurant that serves “menu of the day” style lunches (not a la carte). After lunch we will visit the San Cristobal Interpretation Center where the guide will explain how the Galapagos Islands were formed, the evolution of species, the migration of the animals, and the human settlements within the Galapagos.

After visiting the Interpretation Center, we make our way to “Cerro Tijeretas”, or “Frigate Hill”. Here you can have a close up with the Galapagos marine life and do some snorkeling. Colorful fish species, starfish, sea urchins inhabit the crystal clear waters in this area.

The afternoon continues with a visit to Playa Carola, where you will have time to enjoy the beautiful beach before returning to the hotel to rest and eat dinner (at the local restaurant specified by the guide).

Accommodations in the hotel class of your choice

After breakfast the day begins with a short bus or truck ride (depending on the size of the tour group) to visit the Highlands of San Cristobal. Along the way we will make a stop at the Mirador de la Soledad where you may enjoy a magnificent view of the island. Afterwards we will make our way to the Laguna del Junco, the only freshwater lagoon in San Cristobal, and also where frigate birds come to wash their wings.

We will then make a short stop at Playa de Puerto Chino before eating a lunch in the Highlands. On the way back you will pass by the spot where the island‘s locals cultivate their food and the famous Galapagos Coffee. We will then arrive at the hotel to rest and eat dinner at a local restaurant specified by the guide.

* OR pick one of the OPTIONS below

* NOTE: The following options are subject to availability and last minute changes.

OPTION B has an additional cost. Please, let us know what you prefer beforehand so we can arrange the excursion and advice on availability.

OPTION A – The short navigation towards Isla Lobos will begin after breakfast around 9:00 am. Los Lobos is a small islet separated from the main by a narrow channel. In this site you can find nesting blue-footed boobies (according to season) and, of course, a large colony of sea lions that rest and play on rocky shores. Many birds inhabit the place such as frigates, brown pelicans, lava gulls, common boobies, yellow warblers and finches.

The snorkeling in the clear waters of the channel is unforgettable; it is perhaps the best site to swim side-by-side with sea lions. A stop will be made afterwards at Playa Ochoa to relax at the beach and enjoy the great view. We return to Puerto Baquerizo between 2:30 – 3 PM. After a rest, you will have dinner in the restaurant specified by the guide.

OPTION B – This site is also knows as Sleeping Lion or “León Dormido”. Getting to this spot takes 1h of navigation in a speedboat. The first stop will be right before Kicker Rock (going down of Cerro Tijeretas) for some fine swimming and snorkeling. Kicker Rock itself is considered one of the most outstanding snorkeling sites in the Galapagos. The excursion consists of two snorkel immersions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon after lunch.

A Box Lunch will be served in the boat, as these parts of the islands are inhabited. Afterwards, we will make our way towards a deserted beach to observe wildlife and relax. We will head back to the boat and return to San Cristobal. Return time to Puerto Baquerizo is scheduled around 4pm. After a rest, you will have dinner in the restaurant specified by the guide.

Accommodations in the hotel class of your choice

At 6:00 a.m. get ready to go to the dock (wake-up at 5:00 AM). We will take the Public speedboat, which leaves at 7:00 a.m. (subject to change), to Puerto Ayora (2 hour estimated travel time). Upon arrival and after breakfast, the guide will have indicated the hour to meet to begin the visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station, home to a large a variety of Giant Tortoise representing of each island in the archipelago.

We will also listen about the ongoing conservation efforts directed at preserving the Giant Tortoises, as well as the environment of the archipelago as a whole. After this, make a short visit to the Art Galleries of Puerto Ayora and then eat lunch. In the afternoon we make our way to the Highlands of Santa Cruz.

Here you may observe the famous Giant Tortoises in their natural environment, which also known as Galapagos, and from where the name of the Islands derive. Also catch sight of the famous Galapagos Finches, Bird Wizards, as well as endemic vegetation such as Escelacias forests and Matazarnos. After this encounter with the Giant Tortoises, return to Puerto Ayora for lunch

Accommodations in the hotel class of your choice.

In the morning the guide will indicate the meeting time for a 45-minute trip to the beautiful white sand beach called Tortuga Bay.

This is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Galapagos; here we can enjoy at the white sand beach and observe pelicans, fish, sea iguanas and other species of wildlife. Return to the hotel to rest. Dinner will be served at a local restaurant indicated by the guide.

After lunch we will begin the journey from Puerto Ayora to Isabela Island at 2:00pm (subject to change) via public speedboat (approx. travel time 2 ½ to 3 hrs.) A guide will be waiting for you in Puerto Villamil and then lead you to check in at the hotel.

After a brief rest we will take a short walk to visit the Flamingo Lagoon, one of the natural breeding sites of the Galapagos flamingos. Return to the hotel to rest and eat dinner at the local specified restaurant.

Accommodations in the hotel class of your choice.

Early in the morning (8:00 am), after breakfast, you will get ready for the Sierra Negra Volcano hike (comfortable clothes, walking shoes and a light rain jacket are recommended).

Make sure your camera is stored in waterproof bags, wear some sunscreen, bring water, and a hat! A box lunch will be prepared by yourself at the hotel with the foodstuff of your choice. We will then travel approximately 45 minutes by truck or bus to begin the 12 km hike (appx. 3 hours).

The hike is long in terms of distance, but not very difficult as the inclines and declines are quite gradual. There is an option to ride horses for an additional cost, if interested please let us know beforehand. Sierra Negra Volcano has the second largest crater in the world, measuring approximately 6 miles in diameter and 300 feet deep.

We will reach Volcan Chico before heading back, which should provide a spectacular view of the incredible moonlike terrain. Once we get back to the hotel we will take a short break to rest. On the afternoon you will get to do some fine snorkeling in Concha Perla.

There you can swim with sea lions, colorful varieties of fish, and with luck sea turtles and rays. Return to the hotel to rest before heading to dinner at a local restaurant specified by the guide.

Accommodations in the hotel class of your choice.

Cabo Rosa aka. Los Tuneles is perhaps one of the most beautiful sights in the archipelago. Continuous volcanic eruptions petrified into tunnel-like lava formations right in the middle of the sea, and crystal clear turquoise water allows an amazing view of marine vegetation and playful sea lions.

The tour begins early at 8:00am via speedboat and the first stop is a small islet in the middle of the ocean, home to pelicans, blue-footed boobies, and sea lions. Finados snorkeling site is the next stop, where you can swim next to sea turtles, Tintoreras sharks (endemic to the islands), trumpetfish and surgeon fish. With some luck, eagle and golden rays will come to this site too. Getting to Los Tuneles will take around 1 ½ – 2 hrs. Once there, the speedboat will navigate through various spots in and around the Lava Tunnels. Here you get the chance to do some more snorkeling and enjoy some short walks while observing the landscape and wildlife inhabiting the area. A box lunch will be provided for this day. Return to Isabela Island is programmed at 15h00. Dinner will be served at the local restaurant specified by the guide.

Accommodations in the hotel class of your choice.

After breakfasts, get ready to visit to Tintoreras Islet. First we will make our way to the dock of Puerto Villamil in order to embark on small speedboats (12 passenger capacity).

After a short ride (approx. 20 min.) we will arrive at Tintoreras Islet. The name of the islet derives from the sharks that inhabit in the waters surrounding the islet, the famous white-tipped fins Tintorera Sharks. The islet is one of the most fascinating places on Isabela Island.

Galapagos sea lions,marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, Sally Lightfoot Crabs, sea turtles, pelicans, and Galapagos Penguins can all be found in this site. It is also one of main breeding sites for marine iguanas, and a great spot to get a close-up with them. After a hike around the islet, we will get back on the boat and cool off by snorkeling in the waters nearby. Swimming next to multicolor fish, starfish, sea-urchins, and with luck manta rays, sharks, and sea lions is a major highlight in this excursion.

After a fascinating experience we will return to the hotel for lunch. In the afternoon we you visit the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center of Isabela. Here you can observe a variety of species of giant tortoises. You will also hear how this center has successfully breed and raise the giant tortoises to preserve many endangered subspecies.

Afterwards, we will visit the Wall of Tears (Muro de las Lagrimas). Between 1946 and 1959 Isabela Island was used as a penal colony by the Ecuadorian government, and the prisoners were obligated to construct this wall out of the sharp and hard volcanic rocks. The wall is 100 meters long and 7 meters high, and the name is derived from the arduous and painful nature of the conditions in which the prisoners were forced to work.

On the way back we will make a visit to a Lava Tunnel near the Wall- Visits toMirador Orchilla, Estero de Isabela, and Playa del Amor are also programmed. We will then return to the hotel to rest before heading to dinner at a local restaurant specified by the guide.

Accommodations in the hotel class of your choice.

On the final day we recommend waking up at 5:00 am to have enough time to get ready for the transfer-out from Isabela to Puerto Ayora.

We will take the public speedboat, which leaves from the dock at 6:00 am (subject to change), and arrive in Puerto Ayora (approx. 2 ½ hrs. depending on the tide). We will eat breakfast there, and then depart for Baltra where you will catch your return flight to either Quito or Guayaquil

NOTE: Itinerary is subject to change due to operational matters, Galapagos National Park dispositions or circumstances beyond our control (force majeure).
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