Galapagos Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Expedition
Activities: Stand Up Paddle (SUP), Easy Hiking, Biking, Snorkeling, and Wildlife Interaction.
This adventure is a complete SUP experience with exclusive access to three different islands and multiple Islets. Highly rated SUP naturalist guides combine sea and land excursions with a focus on natural history and evolution. You will come face to face with penguins, sea lions, marine iguanas, sea turtles and sharks as you SUP around the Islands in this marine sanctuary. Snorkeling, hiking, and biking experiences complement your journey, and stays at our selected hotels guarantee your comfort in each of the southern islands of the archipelago.
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Travel Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Moderate
Group Size Small Group
- Exclusive SUP experience in three Galapagos Islands.
- Stand Up Paddle with penguins, sharks, marine iguanas, turtles, and playful sea lions.
- Quality Stand Up Paddle Boards.
- Snorkel at multiple sites and see hundreds of rays and tropical fish.
- Walk amongst giant Galapagos tortoises in their natural habitat.
- Hike the rim of the second largest active volcano caldera in the world.
- Enjoy quality stays in our Opuntia Hotels.
- We apply (ACA) American Canoe Association standards and guidelines.
- Seventy percent of your vacation investment stays in the Islands and supports local economy.
Accommodations in comfort or premium class hotels, meals as listed (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = Dinner), top quality SUP gear, Galapagos SUP and naturalist guides, all sea, land, and inter-island air transportation.
Flights to and from Galapagos, entrance fee to Galapagos National Park, Galapagos transit card, tips, hotel & restaurant beverages.
INTERPRETATION CENTER AND WALK TO FRIGATE HILL
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 begin with a visit to the Galapagos Interpretation Center to learn about the unique wildlife, geology, history, and social dynamics of the Galapagos. After our visit, we walk to Tijeretas (Darwin Bay) along natural lava rock trails. The path is surrounded by native plants like Galapagos cotton, palo santo, acacia, and cacti, and we will spot blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, pelicans, herons, gulls, warblers, mockingbirds, and finches in the vegetation and sea cliffs. (L, D)
SUP IN SAN CRISTOBAL’S FAR NORTHERN COAST, SNORKELING AND BEACHES
We head out for a full day on the water. We set up our gear and after a safety briefing we hop on our SUPs and paddle along the coast. Our first stop is Darwin Bay, the site where the HMS Beagle landed when Darwin first arrived to the Galapagos. We have our first encounters with the local wildlife including sea lions, sea turtles, iguanas, frigate birds and boobies. We continue along the coast (down current) exploring and enjoying the incredibly diverse coastline. Once we reach Playa Ochoa we leave our Stand Up Paddle boards and continue exploring the coast by boat. We may visit Leon Dormido (Kicker Rock) or Punta Pitt.
The visiting site will depend on the week day according to Galapagos National Park regulations. We’ll put on snorkels and fins to interact with sea lions in the water, 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.
After a full day spent exploring the seas, we head back to port for a well-deserved rest at our hotel. (B, L, D)
SUP EXPLORATION OF TINTORERAS ISLETS AND COASTLINE BIKE RIDE TO WALL OF TEARS
After breakfast, we say goodbye to San Cristobal and take a quick, 40-minute small airplane flight to Isabela Island. Upon arrival, we jump on our Stand Up Paddle boards and SUP 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 see hundreds of marine iguanas, reef sharks, scenic beaches and lava formations.
In the afternoon, we embark on an easy bike ride that leads us through a wide variety of environments and ecosystems. Along the way, we discover white sand beaches, mangrove forests and brackish lagoons, and a lava tube cave. As we explore, we’ll see giant tortoises, flamingos, and other wildlife. At the end of our ride, we arrive to the historic Muro de las Lagrimas site (the Wall of Tears). This wall was built by forced labor when Isabela was a penal colony. The evening is free to wander the idyllic sand streets of Puerto Villamil. (B, L, D)
VOLCANO HIKING IN ISABELA’S HIGHLANDS
This morning, we drive up the flanks of the Sierra Negra volcano to the highest road point in the Galapagos. Once there we continue on foot and hike into a surreal world of geological history. Incredible views of surrounding volcanoes, and the endemic highland ecosystem await us. The real prize is at the top – when we arrive at the rim, 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 along the rim of this enormous crater and, and if your group is feeling energetic, we may delve deeper to Volcan Chico and smaller caldera. This is an otherworldly landscape of vibrant hues, sulfur deposits, lava formations and fumaroles. We’ll head back to the lowlands in time to spend our last afternoon on Isabela relaxing on the perfect white sand beaches and soaking up the island-life atmosphere. (B, L, D)
SUP IN LAVA WALL CHANNELS AND EXPLORE THE TORTOISE HIGHLANDS IN SANTA CRUZ
We travel by speedboat or internal flight to Santa Cruz Island, keeping an eye out for dolphins along the way. Today we’ll get back to Stand Up Paddle boarding to explore the unique landscape nearby Punta Estrada and Divine Bay. As we SUP through towering lava channel walls, we 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 head to El Chato nature reserve in the Santa Cruz highlands, home to the largest species of Galapagos tortoise. It is an honor to hike among these fascinating, gentle giants, who can live to be over 175 years old. El Chato is also home to many pintail ducks, finches, frigate birds, egrets, and the beautiful vermillion flycatcher. We continue exploring through some incredible lava tunnels created by flowing magma. Legend has it that the buccaneers who once frequented the Galapagos used these deep caves to hide Inca gold plundered from Spanish ships!
In the late afternoon we return to the hotel and get ready to celebrate our once-in-a-lifetime trip with a delicious dinner. (B, L, D).
SUP TORTUGA BAY & CHARLES DARWIN STATION
In the morning we’ll take a short hike through a distinctive dry forest to the stunning, pristine beach of Tortuga Bay. Along the way, we find many native birds, lizards, and plants. We emerge from the forest onto the spectacular Tortuga Bay, home of one of the most beautiful beaches in the Galapagos. Soft, white, fine sand and pristine turquoise waters welcome us for a perfect SUP exploration.
SUP in Tortuga Bay is one of the most beautiful experiences that Galapagos offers. In Tortuga Bay you can paddle next to mangroves trees that is home of many marine species as sea turtles, baby black and White tip reef sharks and schools of fishes. After 1 hour SUPs exploration we come back to the beach to return to Pto Ayora to have lunch.
In the afternoon we`ll visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn from local scientists about the ongoing conservation efforts on these enchanted islands. The Research Station rears endemic plants, land iguanas, and giant tortoises for educational, scientific, and conservation purposes. Here, we can learn more about the diverse evolutionary paths and characteristics of the animals and plants that we just met. Farewell dinner. (B, L, D).
Transfer to Baltra Island for our return flight to the mainland and bid a fond farewell to the Galapagos. (B)
Opuntia Hotels, a network of quality Galapagos hotels with eco-initiatives, exceptional service, comfort, all close to the ocean. Or similar comfort class hotel.
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
ADVENTURE ACTIVITY DURATION (STAND UP PADDLE, HIKE, SNORKEL): Two to three hours per activities
ALTITUDE: 0 – 3,688 feet (1,124 meters) above sea level
WEATHER: During the warm season from January to May, air temperature is around 77º to 83º F (25º to 28º C) at sea level. During the cool season from June to December, air temperature is around 70º to 75º F (21º to 24º C) at sea level. Temperature decreases with altitude.
WATER TEMPERATURE: During the warm season from January to May, water temperature hovers around 77º F (25 º C).During the cool season from
June to December, average water temperature is about 72º F (22º C). Water temperature also varies significantly by location.
Personal SUP gear, walking/hiking shoes, light water jacket, water bottle, non-cotton clothing, sunblock, sun hat, and repellent.