Full Adventure in Galapagos – 3 Islands – 8 Days / 7 Nights by Marcelina


Places Visited

Santa Cruz, Floreana, Isabela

 

Introduction to the trip

You will have the opportunity to enjoy a Full Adventure in the Galapagos Islands: Santa Cruz, Floreana and Isabela in our original Red Mangrove style. With only a short navigation from island to island, you will experience the best of each.

 

During your vacation in the Galapagos, don’t miss the other half! Do a day of scuba diving with your land tour package.

 

Day 1: Quito or Guayaquil – Santa Cruz

 

AM

Upon arrival at Baltra airport, take a short bus ride to Itabaca Channel, followed by a 5 minutes ferry ride to Santa Cruz Island. Take a bus to Puerto Ayora and get to the Hotel.

(Ask for private transfers details).

Lunch at Aventura Lodge.

 

PM

Tour to Garrapatero Beach

Depart to Garrapatero beach, a 25 minutes bus ride to the right spot were an easy trail start to lead you to the beach in only 15 more minutes.

This beautiful white sandy beach is known for its finches and a place where you can relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

This is one of Santa Cruz’s most peaceful and tranquil settings, the 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) of sand that compose El Garrapatero Beach is a tropical paradise. It is about 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) northeast of Puerto Ayora.

Surrounded by beautiful mangrove trees, the beach is home to an incredible array of birds and mockingbirds.

You can also find marine iguanas, shrimp, Galapagos penguins, oystercatchers, and patillos amongst the white sands and clear blue water.

Overnight at Lodge

 

Day 2: Santa Cruz – Floreana

 

AM

Breakfast at the Lodge. This morning the adventure starts with a trip to “Los Gemelos” (The Twins), two enormous collapsed lava chambers, a wonderful introduction to the majestic power of nature and the great biodiversity of the Santa Cruz Highlands. This short, easy hike to each of the twins is swarming with endemic flora and fauna, including a remnant of Scalesia Forest, draped in liverwort, lichens and mosses, where is easy to spot some Darwin finches and perhaps the short eared owls.

 

After “Los Gemelos”, a short bus ride will take us to a 600-acre private reserve where the giant Galapagos tortoises freely roam, graze, and sleep. Sometimes it’s a bit muddy here, so before setting out, we will provide a selection of field boots (Wellington boots) to choose from, including large sizes for men.

 

Walking among the tortoises in wild, will be one of the most treasured moments of your trip. After visiting these prehistoric creatures on their natural habitat, we’ll take a 5 minute ride to the entrance of a 450-meter (1350 feet) illuminated lava tunnel. With a ceiling nearly

20 feet high in most places, this is an incredible opportunity see lava stalagmites, stalactites, sulfur, mineral-colored walls, and the rippled floor formed from lava along this unique lava formations.

Return to the Lodge. Lunch will be served at the Aventura Lodge.

 

PM

After lunch, departure to Floreana. The journey will take about 2 hours depending on sea conditions.

Arrival at Floreana Island.

Upon arrival, and before check in, visit Black Beach, a black sand beach where you can swim, snorkel, or simply relax watching a beautiful sunset at great scenery. Walk back to the lodge.

Check in at Floreana Lodge.

Dinner at Local Family House, owned by the first Ecuadorians that settled this island.

Briefing and overnight at the Lodge.

 

Day 3: Floreana

 

AM

Breakfast at a local family’s house.

After breakfast we will take a 20 minutes bus ride in a traditional bus called “chiva” (without windows and doors) until the entrance of Cerro Allieri one of the highest points in Floreana

(340m) from here you can enjoy an overwhelming view of different landscapes and the town of Puerto Velasco Ibarra.

 

The hike around Cerro Allieri takes around two hours round trip.

One of the main attractions of Cerro Alieri is its unique vegetation. Of 48 species of identified plants, 56% are native and 33% are endemic. They are shrubs and trees of

Darwiniothamnus tenuifolius, Lippia salicifolia, Lecocarpus pinnatifidus, Linum cratericola,

Scalesia pedunculata, and so on. The Linum Cratericol, is a species critically endangered. It was believed extinct until 1997, when GNP and CDRS personnel rediscovered it. Now, only 40 plants are found, and have not yet regenerated This is also a good spot to find Darwin finches, and among them, the medium tree finch, a species also consider critically endangered.

Return to town and typical lunch with a local family.

 

PM

After lunch, enjoy an exciting walk to La Loberia, one of the most beautiful spots in Floreana where you can swim and snorkel, or just take some time to explore the little town of Puerto Velasco Ibarra, and be ready to capture the beauty of the islands as a reminder of this memorable experience.

Dinner at Local Family House, owned by the first Ecuadorians that settled this island.

Briefing and overnight at the Lodge.

 

 

Day 4: Floreana – Isabela

 

AM

Breakfast at a local family s house.

After breakfast, departure in an open-air bus (chiva) to the highlands of Floreana. During the bus ride, of about 40 minutes, your Naturalist Guide will be pointing out the wildlife and filling you in with the colorful history of Floreana’s first inhabitants, like Patrick Watkins, the Wittmers, the Baroness, and the Ritters, re-telling the legend of the “Floreana Mystery”, which involves the mysterious deaths of several inhabitants, mystery that has never been solved.

 

At 450m high, we reach Asilo de la Paz (Peace Asylum), just behind Cerro Las Pajas (Straw Hill) in the agricultural area of the island. The main attractions are of an historic type: one is the cave of pirates and the other is the freshwater spring. The two sites are located at the base of the hill, where is still possible to find the endemic Scalesia (Scalesia pedunculata), as well as a good number of Galapagos Petrel nests (Pterodroma phaeopygia), once at a border of extinction due to the predation of cats and rats, introduced to the island when Ecuador took possession of the archipelago in 1832. At present, and thanks to the GNP efforts and a special conservation project, the success of the Galapagos petrel (local name: pata pegada) hatchlings reaches 98%.

The cave of the pirates has its history since it was the home of the first settlers of the island, while the spring found in Asilo de la Paz provides water to the entire population of Floreana

(130 people approx).

Also, near Asilo de la Paz, the National Park Service built a special enclosure where you can see some Galapagos tortoises (from various islands) held in captivity for educational and scientific purposes.

Back to town for our trip to Isabela, at around 11H00. Our navigation will take about 2 hours depending on sea conditions.

 

Arrival at Isabela Island between 12H30 to 13H00. We will check into the Red Mangrove

Lodges and have a hot, wholesome lunch.

 

PM

After lunch, departure to “Las Tintoreras” and Bay Tour.

At the main dock, we will board a smaller craft to head out across the port, slowing down to view blue-footed boobies and Galapagos penguins sharing the same rocky sunbathing space, before turning a bend and docking.

From there, we take an intriguing walk through a jagged lava field, passing abundant colonies of marine iguanas and sea lions, to see a small canal of shallow waters, full of resting white-tipped reef sharks.

The views from here are something you will take with you for the rest of your life! The black, treacherous lava field, the emerald green sea, the green mangroves, and the cloud-capped volcanoes of Isabela, create an afternoon backdrop you are not likely to ever forget.

Once you finish the walk, you can snorkel in this warm, shallow bay surrounded by mangroves, for an opportunity to see white-tipped reef sharks, sea lions, sea turtles, and, of course, the mystery of the mangrove below the surface. Don’t worry, white-tipped reef sharks are not aggressive, but merely fascinating.

Once we return to the lodge, we’ll have a bit of time to relax and shower before briefing and dinner.

Overnight at Lodge.

 

Day 5: Isabela

 

AM

Breakfast at the lodge.

Departure for Sierra Negra Volcano. Vehicles of local providers will drive us up through the humid highlands of Isabela, to the slopes of Volcan Sierra Negra, considered the oldest volcano on Isabela. We will hike about 400 mts to reach the rim of the caldera (crater) of

Sierra Negra, from where the views are breathtaking!. With 4 miles across (10km), it is the second largest caldera in the world (The largest is Ngorontgoro in Tanzania).

 

On 22 October 2005 an eruption, that lasted one week, occurred in the northeast side of the caldera of Sierra Negra volcano. The lava flow covered much of the interior of the caldera and in some places rose more than two meters.

 

After bordering the caldera some 5 kms on and easy trail, will relax a bit and have a snack at a nice resting site under a “Jaboncillo” tree.

For the hardiest of the group, there is an option to continue on an especially difficult one hour walk to Volcan Chico, just northwest of the caldera where fumarole activity is abundant, and again from here, the views are spectacular.

This is not an easy hike, however, because it is mostly across sloping lava fields.

After returning from Sierra Negra, we will have lunch at a local farm.

 

PM

This place is owned by one of the first families in Isabela, they prepare the food with vegetables and fruits grown locally at the farm.

In liaison with the Galapagos National Park, this property also takes care of giants tortoises under a special ?patronage? Program that your guides will carefully explain to you.

Back to the lodge, you will have time to discover Isabela on your own. Enjoy snorkeling, swimming or simply relax or walk the town to discover the typical Galapagos style of life.

Briefing, dinner and overnight at the Lodge.

 

Day 6: Isabela

AM

Breakfast at the Lodge and departure by fast boat to Los Tuneles .

On this trip, you will enjoy seeing the beautiful Galapagos wildlife such us giant mantas rays,

sea turtles, sea lions, and more, as we sail out from the majestic Sierra Negra Volcano.

While snorkeling at this site, experience close encounters with many species of fish, rays,

sea turtles and perhaps the Galapagos penguins.

Only here in Galapagos, you are able to snorkel with penguins and sea lions on the same

spot! (This activity and time schedule may change according to sea conditions).

Return to the lodge.

PM

Late lunch at Isabela Lodge. Afterwards time to relax and discover the town of Puerto

Villamil on your own.

Overnight at our Lodge

 

Day 7 : Isabela – Santa Cruz

 

AM

Breakfast at the lodge.

After breakfast ride through town enjoying the simplicity of this traditional island and searching for the Flamingo spots. Visit the Galapagos National Park Isabela Breeding Station where you will be able to know the different species of Galapagos tortoises, the growing process from the new-borns up to the centenary individuals found on their stations.

Hike along a beautiful boardwalk for about 45 minutes enjoying part of the Isabela wetlands, with high opportunities to see flamingos and other stunning birds.

Before returning to the lodge, visit the well-known Playa del Amor (Love Beach) and enjoy the magical feeling of this organic sand beach surrounded by mangroves.

Back to the lodge for lunch.

Lunch at Isabela Lodge.

 

PM

13H00. Depart to Santa Cruz. Our navigation will take about 1.5 to 2 hours depending on sea conditions.

Arrival and check in at Santa Cruz Lodge.

Then, enjoy a guided tour to the fascinating Charles Darwin Research Station where you can learn about one of the most successful reptile breeding programs in the world.

Founded in 1964 the Charles Darwin Research Station is supported by over 100 scientists and researchers from around the world, with the unique purpose to study, support and instrument the conservation efforts of the islands.

Dinner at Aventura Lodge.

Overnight at Lodge.

 

Day 8: Santa Cruz to Quito or Guayaquil

 

AM

Breakfast at the Lodge.

Take a transfer to the airport of Baltra.

 

IMPORTANT NOTES:

Rates include:

  • · 10% Service Charge as per Ecuadorian Law.
  • · All Meals mentioned on the programs.
  • · Soft drinks during meals.
  • · Excursions with a Freelance English speaking Naturalist guide, provided by the Galapagos National Park.
  • · Free internet wireless service while in Santa Cruz and Isabela.
  • · When in Puerto Ayora free use of bikes.
  • · 25% discount for children under 10 years old.
  • · All snorkeling gear.
  • · All diving equipment except dive computers which can be rented separately.

 

Rates do not include:

  • · Air ticket to /from Galapagos (Inquire with us about flight schedules and prices)
  • · Entrance fee to the Galapagos National Park ($100 International visitors). Must be paid with cash
  • · Control Visitor Card ($10). Must be paid with cash
  • · Personal expenses
  • · Alcoholic Beverages
  • · Gratuities
  • · Transfer IN/OUT

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