5 DAYS / 4 NIGHTS GALAPAGOS ISLAND HOPPING
Santa Cruz – Isabela – Floreana
(from/to Airport Baltra)
Departure every Saturday
Galapagos Elements takes you on an amazing 5 days / 4 nights exploration through the Galapagos archipelago. This Galapagos Island Hopping is designed for traveleres who appreciate the amenities of a charming boutique hotel on Santa Cruz Island, combined with the comfort of a first class yacht for the Galapagos Island Hopping. This way of traveling allows you to get to know both the unique nature and animal kingdom of three main Galapagos Islands as well us the lively town and social life of Puerto Ayora.
Your Galapagos experience on Santa Cruz Island includes the main attractions such as the visits to the giant turtoises. to the important and well known Charles Darwin Station, the fantastic Tortuga Bay beach with it's wildlife and aperfect place for swimming and Las Grietas visitor point in the highlands of Santa Cruz.
Our next stop will be on Isabela Island. Los Humedales (wet lands) is characterized by sandy beaches, rocky shores and mangroves and considered one of the hidden gems of Isablela Island. A faboulus place for bird lovers and a mating area for pink flamingos. You will also visit Las Tintoreras, a small group of islets with a rich wildlife.
Then, we will head to the historical Floreana Island, the first of the Galapagos Islands to be colonized by Ecuadorians. Giant turtoises can be seen along the way up to Asilo de La Paz, which was home of the legendary Wittmer family.
PRICE (PER PERSON)
Seat-in (double occupancy)
USD 2990 pp
USD 2940 pp
Private Charter (d.o.), based on 2 pers.
USD 5020 pp
Private Charter (d.o.), based on 4 pers.
USD 3170 pp
Overnights at Hotel Ikala, Puerto Ayora (or similar)
All transfers and excursions as per detailed program
Naturalist guide (english speaking)
Meals: Daily breakfast, lunch days 1,3,4, dinner day 2
Galapagos National Park entrance free USD 100 per person (payable upon arrival)
Tip and other expenses
Drinks and more meals
DAY 1 – SATURDAY
Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz Island)
At your arrival at the airport of Baltra Island, our guide welcomes and arrange your transfer to the city of Puerto Ayora, the biggest on the Galapagos Archipelago. On the way, we should cross the beautiful Itabaca Channel which separate Baltra and Santa Cruz Islands.
Once on the other side of the channel our private transport will take you up to the highlands of Santa Cruz island to visit a private farm where we will do a nice hike in a beautiful natural environment and where we will have our first Galapagos amazing experience observing the giant Galapagos Turtles 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 beautiful animals. In the area we can also observe different species of highland Galapagos birds including the tiny Galapagos Rail and, we with little luck perhaps observe the less common Vegetarian Finch and the endemic subspecies of Vermilion Flycatcher finches.
Enjoy lunch in the local restaurant and then time permitting, perhaps we can also visit one of the lava tunnels of the area. Transport to the hotel in the town of Puerto Ayora and free time.
DAY 2 – SUNDAY
Santa Cruz Island
After an early 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, to the 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, blue footed 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 (on your own) and rest.
In the afternoon, we make a walk to visit the Fausto Llerena Interpretation Center where we will learn about the Galapagos National Park work and observe turtles of different species. Walking further, we will find the Charles Darwin Station where we will able to observe the embalmed body of the world-famous turtle Lonesome George which now is in exhibition at the museum of the interpretation center.
After enjoying this wonderful walk, we have free time before we will invite you for a nice dinner in the hotel restaurant.
DAY 3 – MONDAY
The tour to Isabela Island starts in the morning at about 6:30 a.m. when our guide will pick up you from the hotel and after a short walk you are at the pier of Puerto Ayora, from where a local aquatic taxi will take us to the Galapagos Element Wind Yacht to sail to the city of Pto. Villamil on Isabela Island. During our navigation of 2.5 hours, there are great chances to observe marine turtles, manta rays, several species of marine birds and perhaps whales.
Once at Pto. Villamil, a local aquatic taxi will take us to the pier from where private transport leads us to the center of the town from where afterwards we start our walk to the place known as “Humedales” (wet areas) where we find a well-maintained trail which we will follow while observing this beautiful place composed by lagoons and rocks and surrounded by 4 species of exuberant mangroves and typical trees of the area. In the lagoons we can observe flamingoes and migratory birds such as the charran or Gaviota de Galapagos (Creagrus furcatus), la Cerceta aliazul, etc.
The walk with end at the Isabela Interpretation Center where our guide will explain us about the different activities developed by the National Park to protect the fragile environment. Here we will also find Giant Galapagos Tortoises of different species and sizes. Our transport will take us back to the town where we will enjoy lunch (included) in one of the local restaurants.
A short rest will be followed with a visit to the place known as “Las Tintoreras”, a very scenic area where we find colonies of marine iguanas, sea lions, and as one of the main attractions, we will be able to observe the sharks known as Tintoreras (White-tipped shark) resting in the channels formed by lava flows. Later, we can do some snorkeling activities perhaps with the company of sea lions, penguins and marine turtles.
In the area close to the pier, we will have time for rest and enjoy the beach before we embark our Galapagos Element Wind speed yacht for sailing back to the city of Puerto Ayora.
DAY 4 – TUESDAY
This 1-day tour to Floreana Island starts in the morning at 6:30 a.m. with a short walk to the pier of Puerto Ayora, from where a local aquatic taxi will take us to the first-class Galapagos Element Wind speed Yacht with which we will start sailing to the small town of Puerto Velasco Ibarra located on the Floreana Island. With little luck and during the navigation, we may be able to observe marine turtles, manta rays, several species of marine birds and perhaps whales.
Once we arrive at Pto. Velasco Ibarra, a local aquatic taxi will transport us from the speed boat to the pier of the town. There we will great chances to meet on the pier right away with sea lions and marine iguanas enjoying the morning sun! Then we will take a local transport known as “Chiva” to start a 30 minutes ride up to the highlands of Floreana Island. The chiva will ascend following a mood road surrounded by typical dry vegetation of the coastal area and later, as we ascend, the vegetation will transform into a lush, green vegetation. On this area we also find some farms with plantations of bananas, coffee, cacao, and other tropical plantations.
Our short drive will end at the “pampada” from where we start a beautiful walk which permit us to observe the typical flora of the area. On our way we will also encounter some giant Galapagos turtles, which are very sensible and shy and if we approach them, immediately will hide their head under the shell. It is very important not to touch or feed these amazing animals. Our walk will continue until we reach a rocky area at base of the hill and where we find the place known as “Asilo de la Paz” (Peace Asylum), a historical place where the German Wittmer family established when arrived to Floreana in 1932.
During our walk we will observe the caves used as their home before moving to the place which now is known as Puerto Velasco Ibarra. The whole ambiance of the Asilo de la Paz is of a complete tranquility, with a landscape of exuberant green and if weather permits, we can enjoy awesome views of the surrounding hills and perhaps of the Pacific Ocean. After this visit, we descend to the point where we meet the chiva which will transport us back to the town where we will enjoy a lunch (included) prepared in a local small restaurant.
After a short rest, we make 900 meters walk to the place known as “La Loberia”, a bay of beautiful scenery. The main attraction of this place is the presence of a small colony of sea lions (Zalophus wollebacki).
There is also a great chance to observe marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) resting on the rocky areas, and on the waters of the bay we will be able to observe marine turtles (Chelonia midas agazzisi). We also will have time to spend on this amazing place perhaps snorkeling, or just taking pictures and then we return to the town where you will have a free time before we aboard our Galapagos Element Wind Yacht which will transport us back to the city of Puerto Ayora. Enjoy a free time and hotel accommodations.
DAY 5 – WEDNESDAY
Santa Cruz Island
In the morning we enjoy breakfast in the hotel and then with our private transport, we take (30 minutes) you up to the highlands of Santa Cruz island where we will be stopping by the natural formation known as “The twins” (Los Gemelos) Craters, that lies on the route to the Itabaca Canal. Los Gemelos in fact are not actual craters caused by impact or volcanic craters, but they are sink holes that were created when the volcanic roof of empty magma chambers collapsed from tectonic shifts and erosion over time.
The area surrounding “Los Gemelos” has very different climate from other parts of the island and are surrounded by scalesia (scalesia pedunculata) forests and it is the habitat for bromeliads, orchids, mosses, lichens and many birds. Here, we also find the vermillion flycatcher, several species of Darwin finches, and with little luck we will observe short-eared owls.
Then we continue our trip to the Itabaca Canal and after crossing it, 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).