Authentic - Santa Cruz & Isabela

Authentic - Santa Cruz & Isabela

Please note that the itinerary is subject to changes due to weather conditions and operational decisions.

Trip Details

6 Days / 5 Nights

Day 1

Today you will arrive to the airport of Baltra, one of the Galapagos Islands. You will be picked up at the airport and transferred to the island Santa Cruz. You will first cross the Itabaca channel by a ferry boat and then you will continue by car. Your first stop will be at the highlands of Santa Cruz. The “Parte Alta” as the highlands are called in Spanish is very lush and green and is the natural habitat of the giant Galapagos tortoises. You will visit a private rancho (El Chato) where you will have lunch. Here you walk between the trees and search for the giant tortoises that prefer to stay close to the small lagoons. You also will visit the lava tubes, which are formed when the surface of a lava stream solidifies, but the inside stays liquid and flows out like a river. After this tour you continue by private transport to your hotel. Here you will have a meet & greet with one of our staff members who will explain the rest of your itinerary to you. You have the rest of the afternoon free to explore Santa Cruz on your own.

  • Budget: Hotel Brisas del Pacifico/ La Peregrina or similar
  • Standard: Hotel Fiesta / Zurisaday or similar
  • Comfort: Hotel Angermeyer / Hotel Silberstein or similar
  • Special stay: Royal Palm/ Finch Bay or similar

Included: Private transport with Spanish speaking driver and English speaking assistant – Itabaca canal- Visit to highlands – Lunch – Meet & greet – Welcome package- Free use of snorkeling equipment during entire stay – Overnight BB
Not included: Dinner- national flight- INGALA migration card- entrance fee NP Galapagos

Day 2

Today you will have the morning off to explore the beautiful island of Santa Cruz on your own. In the afternoon you will be transferred from your hotel to the dock of Santa Cruz from where you will take a lancha (motorized small boat) to the island of Isabela. The boat ride will take about 2 hours and depending on the weather, it can be a bit bumpy. Arriving to the dock of Isabela you will be transferred to your hotel, where you will have a meet & greet with a staff member to learn more about your program on this interesting island.

  • Budget: Gran Tortuga / Las Fragatas or similar
  • Standard: Wooden House/ La Laguna or similar
  • Comfort: Hotel Albemarle suite/ Casita de Marita suite or similar
  • Special Stay: Iguana Crossing / Chez Manany or similar

Included: Transfer to dock of Santa Cruz – Transport in lancha to Isabela – Transfer to hotel on Isabela Island – Meet & greet – Overnight BB
Excluded: Lunch – Dinner – taxi boats

Day 3

Today you will have a full day tour to ´Los Tuneles´. This tour takes about 6 to 7 hours. Snorkeling equipment and a box lunch are included. This site is one of the most spectacular places for snorkeling in Isabela as the water is shallow, clear and calm. This marine sanctuary is characterized by its unique geologic formations. A series of lava flows have produced a number of arches and tunnels both under and above water, where you find a number of animal species that have taken up residence in these magnificent formations. The entry into this site is shallow and the waves can be quite strong, for this reason it is not always feasible to enter this site in which case you will go to an additional snorkeling point outside Los Tuneles. Under these unique underwater lava formations, you´ll be able to snorkel with a huge variety of large sea life such as sea turtles, manta rays, white tipped sharks, sea horses, and more. The tour also includes a walk through this incredible landscape.

  • Budget: Gran Tortuga / Las Fragatas or similar
  • Standard: Wooden House/ La Laguna or similar
  • Comfort: Hotel Albemarle suite/ Casita de Marita suite or similar
  • Special Stay: Iguana Crossing / Chez Manany or similar

Included: Tour Los Tuneles – Lunch – Snorkeling equipment – Overnight BB
Excluded: Dinner


Day 4

Today you will have a half day tour to ´Humedales´ or in English, the Wetlands of Isabela. Your first point of visit will be the Wall of Tears (30 minutes by car). You follow the small path to get to the most important historical sight of Isabela. About 300 prisoners worked on the Wall of Tears in the most horrible conditions. The name Wall of Tears comes from the guards who would use to say: ‘Here, the strong will cry and the weak will die’. There are signs along the way that tell you some more about the history in English. In the surroundings it is possible to see Giant Tortoises in the wild. If the weather allows it, walk up a viewing point to see the volcanic landscape of Isabela Island. If you have time left and the tide is low, your driver might also take you to El Estero, a small beach where you can see 3 types of mangroves, penguins and blue footed boobies if you are lucky! You also will visit the flamingo lagoon called Pozo de las Diablas where most of the year the flamingos spend their time. Finally you end at the breeding center 'Arnaldo Tupiza Chamaidan', where you can see tortoises of all sizes.
In the afternoon you will be transferred from your hotel to the dock of Isabela. Here you will take the lancha back to Santa Cruz Island, which will take about 2 hours. Once you have arrived you will be transferred to your hotel on Santa Cruz.

  • Budget: Hotel Brisas del Pacifico/ La Peregrina or similar
  • Standard: Hotel Fiesta / Zurisaday or similar
  • Comfort: Hotel Angermeyer / Hotel Silberstein or similar
  • Special Stay: Safari Camp/ Finch Bay or similar

Included: Activities as described – Transfer to dock of Isabela – Transport in lancha to Santa Cruz – Transfer to hotel on Santa Cruz – Overnight BB
Not included: Lunch – Dinner – taxi boats

Day 5

Today you will have a full day tour to North Seymour, Bartolome, Santa Fe, Plazas or Floreana. Please be aware that you will visit one of these places in your day tour. Which one this is, will be confirmed with you in a later stage. See the descriptions of the day tours below. In all tours lunch and snorkeling equipment is included.

Your first stop will be a refreshing one; you will be snorkeling at Punta Carrion where you will see colorful fish and sea turtles. Afterwards you continue to Plazas. There are actually two islands, Plaza Norte and Plaza Sur. Only Plaza Sur, the southern bigger island is visited by tourists. This island has a lot to offer. The flora and fauna will astonish you. This island is mostly known for the many land iguanas that live on it. When you are a little further from the coast, it looks like you’ve walked into the movie “Jurassic Park”, because you will be eye to eye with beautiful green, yellow and orange land iguanas. This is all surrounded by beaches, beautiful cacti and in the background the blue ocean. At the coast the male sea lions live in peace. The militant lifestyle is only maintainable for males who are in their prime. The elders spend their last days in colonies, of which one can be found at Plaza Sur. It is sensational to see how the sea lions and iguanas mix. They play together as real pals. This island also offers a lot to bird lovers and a so called “birdwatchers paradise” can be found; a steep cliff with swallow tailed gulls, masked boobies, blue-footed boobies, tropical red bill birds, frigates, pelicans and Audubon's. The gulls, partners forever, are always here cuddling or nesting.
North Seymour is located north of the island Baltra. The island has a surface area of only 1.9 square kilometers and is almost totally flat. At this island there are the breeding colonies of the frigates, the blue-footed boobies and the swallow tailed gull. To impress the female frigates, the male blows up his red throat bag. To attract more attention they fly around in the surroundings of the female. You can imagine that this is not too easy with a blown-up throat bag, because they lose their balance quicker. It is interesting to watch. Afterwards you will navigate towards the beach of Bachas. Here you can relax at the beach and follow the trails of the nesting sea turtles and snorkel a bit and swim at the beach. There is also a trail leading to a flamingo pool where there might be flamingos, on the way you see the shipwreck of Bachas.
The beauty of this Island is best appreciated from the trail which climbs the fault cliff overlooking the southern half of the bay. This plateau is also the best place to find the large land iguanas (Conolophus Pallidus) that are endemic to Santa Fe Island. The Santa Fe land iguana lives nowhere else in the world and, in fact, on no other Galapagos Island. A sub-species of the famous endemic Galapagos land iguana, the Santa Fe variety is yellowish-green in color and can grow to over one meter in length. At the beach of Santa Fe you can observe a sea lion colony and in the bay there are often rays, white tip sharks and sea turtles. At the rocky side of the bay you will snorkel with colorful fish.
This is a full day tour and breakfast (in most cases), lunch and snorkeling equipment are included.
Bartolomé is a bit further away than other islands, therefore you start early today. The first stop will be a refreshing one. At Sullivan Bay you snorkel from the boat or relax at the beach. Here you can find, from December until April, green sea turtles that come ashore to lie in the sun. This is special because in other places the turtles only come ashore at night to lay eggs. During the day they are staying in the safe water. Snorkeling is almost a must here. With a little luck you will see the “Moorish Idol”; this is the most beautiful fish from the Galapagos. Afterwards you continue to Bartolome. The island has a surface area of only 1.2 square kilometers and the highest point of the island is at 114 meters. You can reach this point by taking a path through an almost surrealistic landscape and past recent signs of volcano eruptions. You will visit the highest point of the island with a spectacular view over the lava in different colors, the many volcanoes and the deep blue see as well as the famous “Pinnacle Rock”.
Floreana is an inhabited island, with only 60 inhabitants and an impressive history of them. This tour to Floreana will take you past the pirates and settlers history and have you enjoy its natural beauties at the same time. During your visit you will visit the highlands, including Asilo de la Paz located with the pirate cave and the fresh water springs. Afterwards you will visit Playa Negra where you can swim with different types of fish and seals. Later you will go to The Loberia, which has a 900 meter long path which passes through the Galapagos National Park. You can also observe marine iguanas along the banks and along the rocky reefs of the bay you can observe a large quantity of Chelonia turtles. Snorkeling is the main activity that you can do here. You have the lunch in a restaurant of the island before your return to Santa Cruz.
  • Budget: Hotel Brisas del Pacifico/ La Peregrina or similar
  • Standard: Hotel Fiesta / Zurisaday or similar
  • Comfort: Hotel Angermeyer / Hotel Silberstein or similar
  • Special Stay: Royal Palm/ Finch Bay or similar

Included: Activities as described in full day tour – Lunch – Snorkeling equipment – Transport- Overnight BB
Not included: Dinner


Day 6

After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport of Baltra. From here you will take your flight back to the mainland.

Included: Breakfast – Transfer to airport- Itabaca canal
Excluded: Lunch- national flight

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