Kayaking and hanging out with seals in the Galapagos

GALAPAGOS KAYAK EXPEDITION, 7 DAYS

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Experience the Galapagos Islands in the most active and engaging ways!

Immerse yourself in one of the world’s richest and most unique marine ecosystem. This program is a comprehensive kayaking experience with exclusive access to three different islands. Highly rated kayaking/ naturalist guides combine sea and land excursions for a full natural history and evolutionary tour. You will be sure to encounter many friendly species of Galapagos wildlife as you paddle with penguins, sea lions, marine iguanas, sea turtles and sharks. Snorkeling hiking and biking experiences included.

Itinerary

DAY 1: SEA KAYAK & SNORKEL IN DARWIN BAY AND INTERPRETATION CENTER

After a morning flight to San Cristobal Island, we’ll greet you at the airport and head to our Hotel. After lunch and a quick introduction, we head to the water for an easy paddling afternoon. We fit into our kayaks and paddle along the coast. We have our first encounters with the local wildlife including sea lions, sea turtles, iguanas, frigate birds, and boobies. On our way back to town, we will visit the Galapagos Interpretation Center to learn about the unique wildlife, geology, history, and social dynamics of the Galapagos. (L)

DAY 2: SAN CRISTOBAL’S NORTHERN COAST AND SEA KAYAK

Our second day begins with a boat ride in San Cristobal’s north coast. We may visit Leon Dormido (Kicker Rock) or Punta Pitt. The visiting site will depend on the weekday according to Galapagos National Park regulations. We’ll put on snorkels and fins to interact with sea lions, as well as marine iguanas and countless reef fish. We’ll swim with spotted eagle rays, golden rays, Galapagos sharks, starfish, clams, and fish of every shape, size, and color. With luck, we might even see some menacing but harmless hammerhead sharks!

After a full day spent exploring the seas, we head back to town to prepare our second kayak excursion. We will paddle along the coast where we can spot blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, and more seabirds. This place is full of native wildlife and amazing lava formations and after this beautiful walk, we will paddle back enjoying of a stunning sunset. (B, L)

DAY 3: KAYAK EXPLORATION OF TINTORERAS ISLETS AND MOUNTAIN BIKE THE COASTLINE
After breakfast, we say goodbye to San Cristobal and take a quick, 40-minute plane ride to Isabela Island. Upon arrival, we jump into our kayaks and paddle along the coastline and around coves, islets and mangroves, home to the endemic Galapagos penguin. We continue our journey, padding through small islets known as Las Tintoreras, where we can see hundreds of marine iguanas, reef sharks, scenic beaches and lava formations. In the afternoon we embark on an easy bike ride that will take us through a wide variety of environments and ecosystems. Along the way, we’ll pass through white sand beaches, mangrove forests, and brackish lagoons, and into a lava tube cave. As we ride, we’ll pass giant tortoises, flamingos, and other wildlife. At the end of our ride, we arrive at El Muro de las Lagrimas (the Wall of Tears). When Isabela was used as a penal colony, prisoners constructed this towering wall of lava rocks for no other reason than to keep themselves distracted from the madness of isolation. After a delicious dinner, we can enjoy a wander the idyllic sand streets of Puerto Villamil. (B, L, D)
DAY 4: VOLCANO HIKING IN ISABELA’S HIGHLANDS

This morning, we’ll drive up the flanks of the Sierra Negra volcano until the road ends. Here, we continue on foot and hike into a surreal world of geological history. On the hike up, we can admire incredible views of the surrounding volcanoes and sea, as well as the distinctive highland ecosystem around us. But the real prize is at the top - when we arrive at the rim of the Sierra Negra volcano, we are treated to a truly breathtaking vista. Sierra Negra is the second largest active caldera on the planet, over six miles at its widest point. We’ll hike the rim of this enormous crater and, if we feel energetic, continue on to the caldera of Volcan Chico, an otherworldly landscape of vibrant hues created by sulfur deposits. Here we can explore spectacular lava formations and fumaroles. We’ll head back to the lowlands in time to spend our last afternoon on Isabela relaxing on the perfect beaches and soaking up the island-life atmosphere. (B, L, D)

DAY 5: HIKE WITH GIANT TORTOISES, EXPLORE LOS GEMELOS, AND CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH STATION

After bidding a fond farewell to Isabela, we board a fast boat for a scenic ride to Santa Cruz Island. After we arrive, we head to El Chato reserve in the Santa Cruz highlands, home to several subspecies of Galapagos giant tortoise. Hiking through El Chato’s beautiful highland scenery with these lumbering giants is an unforgettable experience. As we hike, we see other highland wildlife such as pintail ducks, egrets, flycatchers, and finches. We’ll also visit a freshwater lake where frigate birds gather to wash the salt off their feathers.

Our next stop is a group of massive volcanic tunnels that were created by underground lava flows. According to legend, pirates once used these tunnels to hide from pursuing Spanish ships and stash plundered Inca gold. After walking through these fascinating geological formations and reliving some pirate stories, we continue to Los Gemelos, a pair of volcanic sinkholes near the top of the island. Los Gemelos are covered with a beautiful endemic Scalesia forest. As we hike through this unique environment, we keep an eye out for the elusive short-eared owl and other endemic wildlife.

 

If there is enough time we may visit the Charles Darwin Research Station where local scientists rear endemic animal and plant species for educational scientific, and conservation purposes. Here we´ll learn about the ongoing conservation efforts to protect the future of the Galapagos. Dine on our own at any of Puerto Ayora’s many outstanding restaurants. (B, L, -)

DAY 6: KAYAK IN LAVA WALL CHANNELS AND EXPLORE TORTUGA BAY THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BEACH IN SANTA CRUZ

Today we’ll head back to sea in kayaks to explore the unique landscape of nearby Punta Estrada and Divine Bay. As we paddle through towering lava channel walls, we can see rays and white-tipped reef sharks below us in the serene, clear water. We can also paddle right up to the fearless blue-footed boobies, lava gulls, herons, sally lightfoot crabs, and marine iguanas perched along the cliffs. In the afternoon, we hike to Tortuga Bay, a beautiful white sand beach and the preferred nesting site for thousands of black sea turtles. To reach this isolated beach, we hike a six-kilometer trail through a beautiful dry forest, home to hundreds of land iguanas. After a relaxing afternoon on Tortuga Bay’s pristine beach, we return to Puerto Ayora to spend our last evening in the Galápagos at leisure in the archipelago’s most populous town. (B, L)

DAY 7: EXPLORE PUERTO AYORA WORK SHOPS AND ARTISANAL CHOCOLATE PRODUCTION - TRANSFER OUT

If we have some extra time before the flight we will explore Puerto Ayora’s shops for fine handcrafts, jewelry, and souvenirs! We will also visit a chocolate workshop to learn how the sweets are made on Galapagos. We transfer to the Baltra airport. The ride takes about 45 minutes through the highlands to the Itabaca Canal, and then another 30 minutes to the airport. (B)

Quick Facts

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

Dates & Prices
7 Days from $3760

Category
Premium

Expedition Type
Adventures

 

Expedition Level
Easy hikes, snorkeling, kayaking, and biking 

Accommodations: Choose your  hotel category.

Comfort Hotels: Casa Opuntia, Casita de la Playa, Isla Sol or Similar

Select Hotels:
Iguana Crossing, Angermeyer, Golden Bay, Casa 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 $565 – or do your own

Seal Sharing a Kayak with Tourist on Galapagos Adventure Tours

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