GALAPAGOS WILDLIFE 5 OR 7 DAYS TOUR | ESSENTIAL

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OVERVIEW

Calling the curious, the insatiable, and those who live to learn and adventure! 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, eco-friendly 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. Galapagos wildlife is truly one-of-a-kind and the memories they’ll give you and the ones you love will last a lifetime. We exist to share our Galapagos expertise, and love for the islands, with each and every one of our guests.

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

Enjoy peace of mind with our top technical North American safety standards and liability insurance coverage.

WHERE WILL YOU STAY?

Opuntia Hotels, a network of quality Galapagos hotels with eco-initiatives, exceptional service, comfort, all close to the ocean.

CLICK HERE

QUICK FACTS

DESTINATION
Galapagos Islands: San CristobalSanta Cruz, and Isabela

DATES & PRICES
5 Days from $1340
7 Days from $1780

CATEGORY

Essential

EXPEDITION TYPE
Wildlife

EXPEDITION LEVEL
Easy hikes, snorkeling, and kayaking

ACCOMMODATIONS

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

Premium 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 $525 – or do your own

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.
  • Are perfect for budget-minded travelers.

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
Your morning flight from the Ecuadorian mainland will arrive at San Cristobal Island, from there you can make your way to your hotel. Wander around the town and choose somewhere to have lunch. Once you’ve eaten, your Galapagos wildlife voyage begins with a self-guided walk to explore the local Interpretation Center, delving deep into unique wildlife, geology, natural history, and human history of these amazing islands. In the evening, you’re free to taste some of San Cristobal’s legendary seafood in the port of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno by yourself. (-)
DAY 2: SNORKEL THE NORTHERN COAST OF SAN CRISTOBAL

A day dedicated to discovering the astonishing underwater world of the Galapagos, snorkeling in crystal waters! Our knowledgeable guides lead a shared group in search of sea turtles, frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, and Nazca boobies around the nearby coves and cliffs. It’s likely you’ll find yourself playing with sea lions – the young pups are ever-curious and mischievous. There’s every chance that we’ll be sharing the seas with eagle rays, golden rays, Galapagos sharks, starfish, clams, and thousands of tropical fish as we snorkel.

When the afternoon sun begins to fade, we come back to the hotel for a peaceful evening enjoying the sleepy island town. (B, Box Lunch).

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

We breakfast, then bid farewell to San Cristobal to board our light aircraft for an inspiring journey across the islands’ crystal seas and jagged scenery to Isabela Island, one of the most volcanically active spots on the planet. In fact, many locals witnessed the last major eruption in 2005.

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, including 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, and you’re free to sample them by yourself. 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).

DAY 4: HIKE IN ISABELA'S HIGHLANDS

We leave the coast, and with a shared group drive up to the great Sierra Negra volcano, continuing on foot when the road turns into a walking trail. We walk through the captivating highland environment; sometimes our path is surrounded in other-worldly mist. At the top, at the volcano’s edge, centuries of volcanic activity reveal themselves to us, as we drink in the astounding sight of different tones of lava, pristine landscapes and a stunning ocean backdrop.

We take a break and enjoy the views, then hike the rim to the caldera. Groups who are not yet tiring can continue on to the caldera of Volcan Chico (“little”), a mystical panorama of sulphur deposits, remarkable lava formations and even wheezing fumaroles of vapor.

Coming back to the lowlands, we pass our final afternoon on Isabela unwinding on the pristine beaches and absorbing the laidback vibe. You choose your dinner arrangements among the various restaurants and bars by yourself.(B, Box Lunch).

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

We take an early morning public speed boat out of Isabela, heading for Santa Cruz Island and Puerto Ayora, the Galapagos’ largest settlement. We’ll be waiting for you at the dock to show you to your hotel.

After a quick turnaround, we head out in search of the famous Galapagos giant tortoises. We make our way up to the highlands where these hulking creatures make their way through the territory they made their home many centuries ago. It is truly an honor to walk in the stately presence of these gentle giants. Look out for pintail ducks, Darwin’s finches, frigate birds, egrets and the vermillion flycatcher in this exuberant, verdant ecosystem. Lunch is served at a traditional hacienda in the highlands.

We head 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. In the evening, there are plenty of options in town for dining on your own and a handful of bars. (B, L).

DAY 6: BAY TOUR, SNORKEL AND TORTUGA BAY ADVENTURE

A whole day to investigate Puerto Ayora’s amazing ecosystems. A naturalist guide joins us after breakfast and with a shared group we take a boat and head west from the port, pausing by the Lobería where we can observe sea lions. We arrive at the islet of Punta Camaño, a perfect spot to put on our snorkels, masks and fins to swim with sea lions and brightly colored fish. Getting romantic in the Canal del Amor, we then come to shore at Playa de los Perros, where inky-black marine iguanas warm themselves on the rocks.

You can have lunch on your own in Puerto Ayora – where there are options aplenty for you to choose from – before taking a short hike to one of the world’s most splendid beaches: Tortuga Bay. If you’ve got energy to spare, rent a surf board at the first beach you come to, or a kayak at the second. The second beach is a calm spot for those wishing to relax, surrounded by mangroves and perfect for spotting wildlife or taking a dip. You can choose your dinner arrangements on your own. (B).

DAY 7: TRANSFER OUT
Finally, it’s time to bid a fond farewell to the Galapagos. Accompanied by a guide, you board a transport to take you north over Santa Cruz Island to the Itabaca Channel. At this point we leave you to continue your journey alone: all that remains is a hop on a ferry and a short bus ride to take you to Baltra Island’s airport. (B)

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

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

We take an early morning public speed boat out of Isabela, heading for Santa Cruz Island and Puerto Ayora, the Galapagos’ largest settlement. We meet you at the dock and head to the hotel.

A short walk from the port is the famous Charles Darwin Research Station and the National Park’s tortoise breeding program – head there on your own to discover the nerve center of Galapagos scientific research and conservation.

Once you’ve had lunch on your own in Puerto Ayora
– where there are options aplenty for you to choose from – we join a naturalist guide and with a shared group we take a boat and head west from the port, pausing by the Lobería where we can observe sea lions. We arrive at the islet of Punta Camaño, a perfect spot to put on our snorkels, masks and fins to swim with sea lions and brightly colored fish. Getting romantic in the Canal del Amor, we then come to shore at Playa de los Perros, where inky-black marine iguanas warm themselves on the rocks.

Afterwards, stroll by yourself around the port, browsing through its shops, restaurants and bars in the evening. (B)

DAY 5: TRANSFER OUT
Finally, it’s time to bid a fond farewell to the Galapagos. Accompanied by a guide, you board a transport to take you north over Santa Cruz Island to the Itabaca Channel. At this point we leave you to continue your journey alone: all that remains is a hop on a ferry and a short bus ride to take you to Baltra Island’s airport. (B)
Ask us about additional activities and experiences we can organize for you.

NEED HELP PLANNING OR BOOKING YOUR TRIP? WE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU, PLEASE FILL THE FOLLOWING FORM

Download 5 Days Itinerary
Download 7 Days Itinerary

PRICES

5 Days 2018 Price per person from $1340*

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 2018 Price per person from: $1780*

Ask us about additional activities and experiences we can organize for you.
Upgrade to premium hotels: $769
Only hotel & transfer package, without excursions/activities: $1220

* Holiday Season supplement: $273.00net per person “Subject to change” from December 18th to January 3rd.

Daily departures, subject to Availability, please request more information Here

REVIEWS

rating-star5
One of Our Best Trips Ever!
The Galapagos was on our Bucket List and it could not have been better. From the start to finish, everyone from Neotropic Expeditions made our trip wonderful and a memorable experience to last a lifetime. We will highly recommend your company to our friends.
Eva Goldfield (59) from the United States
rating-star5
A Trip of a Lifetime
Our guides had extremely profound knowledge of the local flora and fauna, the eco-system, biodiversity and history of the Galapagos Islands. They were very polite and helpful. We will definitively recommend the tour!
David (62) & Elizabeth 63 from the United Kingdom
rating-star5
Highly Recommended!
Our guide spoke excellent English and was extremely friendly and helpful. We will definitively recommend this tour to our friends.
Rafal (40) & Dorota (36) from Poland
rating-star5
Superb Attention & Service
“I was truly impressed by the service level and the knowledge of the guides. My personal highlight of the tour was the view on the volcano Antisana.”
Brian (62) form New Zealand
rating-star5
Fantastic!!
Our guide just knew so much about the islands, simply amazing. We also loved our hotels, so cozy and nice!
Brooke (30) & Janette (29) from the United States
rating-star5
Wonderful Experience
We totally enjoyed our trip to the Galapagos with your business! We loved being a group of “2 + guide”!
Christine (65) & Ann (70) from the United States
rating-star5
Loved it, truly amazing!
“Superb attention from Tomas, our guide. He responded immediately to all our interests. Excellent service.”
Diane (54) & Terry (54) from the United Kingdom

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

INCLUDED

Accommodations in comfort class hotels, shared services throughout the program, meals as listed (B = breakfast), (BL = Box Lunch), bilingual Galapagos naturalist guide, all sea and land transportation during the tour.

NOT INCLUDED

Flights to and from Galapagos, entrance fee to Galapagos National Park, Galapagos transit card, tips, hotel & restaurant beverages.

NOTE

This itinerary is subject to change without notice due to seasonal changes, inclement weather conditions, and adjustments of Galapagos National Park policy.

The Weight restriction per person for the Inner Island flight from San Cristobal to Isabela is 25 pounds in one piece of luggage.

BOAT TRAVEL TIME: Two hours

SMALL AIRCRAFT FLIGHT TIME: 40 minutes

SEASON: Year-round

ALTITUDE: 0 – 3,688 feet (1,124 meters) above sea level

WEATHER: During the warm season from January to May, air temperature is around 77 to 83 F

(25 to 28 C) at sea level. During the cool season from June to December, air temperature is around 70 to 75 F (21 to 24 C) at sea level. Temperature decreases with altitude.

WATER TEMPERATURE: During the warm season from January to May, water temperature hovers around 77 F (25 C). During the cool season from June to December, average water temperature is about 72 F (22 C). Water temperature also varies significantly by location.

SUGGESTED ITEMS TO PACK: Walking shoes, rain jacket, water bottle, non-cotton trekking clothes, sunblock, sun hat, and repellent.