Galapagos Wildlife 5 or 7 Days Tour | Essential

OUR “ESSENTIAL” TRIPS…

  • Follow a set itinerary with shared transportation
  • Explore three islands by land, sea and small-plane flight
  • Include excellent hotels
  • Enrich with different guides’ perspectives
  • Allow you to choose where and what you eat
  • Mean free time to do your thing

Overview

Explore and enjoy the Galapagos like few can. Hike, swim, snorkel. Get up close to amazing creatures and pristine nature. Learn from top naturalist guides. Kick back at our great hotels. Explore at your own pace and avoid sea-sick cruising. Enjoy flexibility – while appreciating the peace of mind that we’ve thought everything through for you.

Why travel with us?

  1. Land-based specialists
  2. Trips benefit local people, are nature-friendly and minimize carbon footprints
  3. We are direct managers of the hotels where you stay
  4. 20 years’ experience in adventure travel
  5. Safety first: we don’t cut corners
  6. Top-of-the-line equipment
  7. We love what we do

Want to…?

  • Flow between islands and activities with minimal transit time and maximum contact.
  • Follow Darwin’s footsteps to meet the Galapagos’ endemic wildlife.
  • Relax on beautiful beaches with sea lions and marine iguanas.
  • Walk among giant Galapagos tortoises in their natural habitat.
  • Hike through a wide variety of environments and ecosystems
  • Snorkel with tropical fish, rays, sea lions, and sharks.
  • Explore local food and scene.
  • Travel with a purpose.

BOOK THIS TRIP

QUICK FACTS

DESTINATION
Galapagos Islands: San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, and Isabela

DATES & PRICES
5 Days from $1339
7 Days from $1779

BLACK FRIDAY 
5 Days from $1072
7 Days from $1424

CATEGORY
Essential

EXPEDITION TYPE
Wildlife

EXPEDITION LEVEL
Easy hikes, snorkeling, and kayaking

ACCOMMODATIONS
Comfort Hotels: Casa OpuntiaCasita de la Playa, Isla Sol

Premium Hotels: Iguana CrossingAngermeyerGolden BayCasa Baronesa

FLIGHTS
Arrive to San Cristobal (SCY)
Depart from Baltra (GPS)
Book: Avianca, LATAM or TAME from Quito or Guayaquil
We can arrange your flights from $380 – or do your own

Photos & Video

ITINERARY & MAP

Our essential tours are the same until day 4, from that point you have the liberty to choose between a 5 or 7 days tour.

See the complete itinerary below, please click on each day for full details.

DAY 1: SAN CRISTOBAL ADVENTURE


After a morning flight from the Ecuadorian mainland to San Cristobal Island, we meet you at the airport and head to our hotel. You can explore the town and have lunch. Early in the afternoon, start your Galapagos adventure with a self-guided walk to visit the local Interpretation Center to learn about the unique wildlife, geology, natural history, and social dynamics of the unique Galapagos archipelago. Back at the hotel, you’re free to enjoy some island seafood specials in the port of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.

Strangely, San Cristobal is the Galapagos’ capital but not its biggest settlement.

DAY 2: SNORKEL THE NORTHERN COAST OF SAN CRISTOBAL


A whole day to snorkel amid the underwater wonders of the Galapagos! In the company of our experienced guide, we search the nearby coves and cliffs for sea turtles, sea lions, frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, and Nazca boobies. There’s also the chance to get up close and personal with sea lions – the young pups are ever-curious and playful. As we snorkel, we might spot eagle rays, golden rays, Galapagos sharks, starfish, clams, and thousands of tropical fish. With luck, we may even come across hammerhead sharks. As the sun sets on our day under the waves, we return to the hotel for a relaxed evening at the coastal town. (B, Box Lunch).

We either visit Leon Dormido (Kicker Rock), Punta Pitt or Cerro Brujo. The visitor site depends on the day of the week and the Galapagos National Park regulations.

DAY 3: DISCOVER ISABELA’S BEACHES, LAGOONS, AND ISLETS


After breakfast, we say goodbye to San Cristobal to board our small plane for a thrilling flight across the archipelago’s azure waters and volcanic landscapes to Isabela Island. Amazingly, it is still in the throes of creation, formed by six active shield volcanoes. In fact, Isabela is one of the most volcanically active spots on the planet.

Once checked into your hotel, set out on a one-of-a-kind, self-guided easy hike. Isabela is a true treasure trove. As you explore along wooden walkways, observe an incredible variety of fauna and flora, from giant tortoises, flamingos, finches and mockingbirds. Continue through coastal ecosystems including white sand beaches, the alluring poison apple forest, a gaping lava tube, dark mangroves and brackish lagoons.

Seafood, Ecuadorian and international cuisine are all available in the small beach town of Puerto Villamil. You can grab a quick dip in the ocean, or a swing in a hammock, before setting out to explore the Tintoreras visitor site, as part of a shared basis boat tour. It’s a group of small rocky islets filled with hidden coves and isolated beaches, explored by small boat and with snorkeling gear. Get ready for close encounters with the endemic Galapagos penguin, as well as reef sharks, sea turtles and sea lions. At the end of the day, your evening is free and easy. (B).

Isabela is the largest island in the Galapagos, shaped like a seahorse

DAY 4: HIKE IN ISABELA’S HIGHLANDS


From the coast, we join a naturalist guide and shared group to drive up the flanks of the mighty Sierra Negra volcano. Where road the peters out, we continue on foot. We hike through the intriguing highland ecosystem, which is at times smothered in dreamy clouds. At the top, at the volcano’s rim, a surreal world of geological history unfolds before us, with incredible views of the surrounding volcanoes and ocean, a pristine other-worldly scene to savor.

After a break to catch our breath and take in the views, we hike the rim of this enormous crater and, if the group is feeling energetic, continue on to the caldera of Volcan Chico (“little”), a surreal landscape of vibrant hues created by sulphur deposits. Here we can explore spectacular lava formations and even huffing fumaroles of vapor.

We return to the lowlands in time to spend our last afternoon on Isabela relaxing on the perfect beaches and soaking up the island-life atmosphere. Dinner arrangements are free. (B, Box Lunch).

The second largest active caldera on the planet, Sierra Negra is over six miles across at its widest point. A monster!

DAY 5: CROSS TO SANTA CRUZ FOR A HIKE IN THE HIGHLANDS


We leave Isabela early aboard a public speed boat, for our ride east to Santa Cruz Island and Puerto Ayora, the archipelago’s largest settlement. We meet you at the dock and head to the hotel.

There’s no time to lose as the famous Galapagos giant tortoises await. We drive up to the highlands where these lumbering creatures heave their way through their natural habitat. It is truly an honor to walk in the stately presence of these gentle giants. Spot pintail ducks, Darwin’s finches, frigate birds, egrets and the vermillion flycatcher amid this lush, green ecosystem.

Private transportation will take us back to the coast at Puerto Ayora. You’re free to enjoy the port’s array of shops and restaurants, before perhaps visiting the Charles Darwin Research Station and the National Park’s tortoise breeding program on your own, or enjoying the hike out to the snorkeling site of Las Grietas. In the evening, there are plenty of options in town for dining and a handful of bars. (B)

Galapagos tortoises can reach 4 feet in length, weigh 475 pounds and live up to 175!

DAY 6: BAY TOUR, SNORKEL AND TORTUGA BAY ADVENTURE


A day dedicated to exploring Puerto Ayora’s fascinating natural environment. After breakfast, we join a naturalist guide and shared group to make our way west from the port, stopping by the Lobería where sealions can be observed. We come to an islet called Punta Camaño, a great place to don our snorkels, masks and fins to meet sea lions and schools of fish. Passing through the romantically-named Canal del Amor, we disembark at Playa de los Perros, where, after a short walk, groups of jet-back marine iguanas bask beneath the sun’s rays, occasionally slipping off into the sea to feed.

Following lunch in Puerto Ayora – where there are options aplenty for you to choose from – one of the world’s most beautiful beaches lies a short hike from town: Tortuga Bay. If you feel energetic, at the first beach you come to you can rent a surf board, or at the second beach, a kayak. If you prefer to relax, the second beach is tranquil, hemmed by mangroves and ideal for observing birdlife or going for a swim. Dinner is free. (B).

Tortuga Bay: #10 on TripAdvisor’s Top 25 Beaches in the World

DAY 7: TRANSFER TO AIRPORT


Finally, it’s time bid a fond farewell to the Galapagos. You board a shared transport to take you north over Santa Cruz Island to the Itabaca Channel, where a short hop on a ferry and a short bus ride takes you to Baltra Island’s airport.(B).

If you choose a 5-Day itinerary, days 4 and 5 are as follows:

DAY 4: SANTA CRUZ BAY TOUR – CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH STATION


We leave Isabela early aboard a public speed boat, for our ride east to Santa Cruz Island and Puerto Ayora, the archipelago’s largest settlement. We meet you at the dock and head to the hotel.
we join a naturalist guide and shared group to make our way west from the port, stopping by the Lobería where sealions can be observed. We come to an islet called Punta Camaño, a great place to don our snorkels, masks and fins to meet sea lions and schools of fish. Passing through the romantically-named Canal del Amor, we disembark at Playa de los Perros, where, after a short walk, groups of jet-back marine iguanas bask beneath the sun’s rays, occasionally slipping off into the sea to feed.

Following lunch in Puerto Ayora – where there are options aplenty for you to choose from – visit heart of scientific research and conservation in the Galapagos on your own: the famous Charles Darwin Research Station and the National Park’s tortoise breeding program. Following the visit, wander through the port’s streets with its shops, restaurants and bars in the evening. (B)

Galapagos tortoises can reach 4 feet in length, weigh 475 pounds and live up to 175!

DAY 5: TRANSFER TO AIRPORT


Finally, it’s time bid a fond farewell to the Galapagos. You board a shared transport to take you north over Santa Cruz Island to the Itabaca Channel, where a short hop on a ferry and a short bus ride takes you to Baltra Island’s airport.(B).

BLACK FRIDAY PRICES 20% OFF

5 Days 2017/2018 Price per person from $1339*
5 Days 2017/2018 Price per person from $1072*

Ask us about additional activities and experiences we can organize for you.
Upgrade to premium hotels: $530
Only hotel & transfer package, without excursions/activities: $988


7 Days 2017/2018 Price per person from: $1779*
7 Days 2017/2018 Price per person from: $1424*

Ask us about additional activities and experiences we can organize for you.
Upgrade to premium hotels: $769
Only hotel & transfer package, without excursions/activities $1,220

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Galapagos Wildlife Essential

REVIEWS

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

*Minimum Age: 7 years.

Accommodation: 4 or 6 nights in comfort class hotels.

Deposit: A deposit of 20% of the total cost of the trip is required immediately upon confirmation. Full payment 60 days prior to your trip except for last minute sales. All our rates are in US Dollars.

Additional Costs: Flights to and from Galapagos, entrance fee to Galapagos National Park, Galapagos transit card, Meals not described, tips, hotel & restaurant beverages. Travel insurance.

INCLUDED
Meals as listed (B = breakfast, BL= Box Lunch), local bilingual Galapagos naturalist guide, all sea, and land public transportation during the tour.