Best of - Santa Cruz & San Cristobal

Best of - Santa Cruz & San Cristobal

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

Trip Details

5 Days / 4 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. You will pass the “Parte Alta” as the highlands are called in Spanish; the very lush and green part and the natural habitat of the giant Galapagos tortoises. Passing the high lands you will be dropped off at 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

Included:Private transport with Spanish speaking driver– Itabaca canal- 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 a full day tour to North Seymour, Bartolome, Isabela, 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 3

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 4

Today you will have a full day tour to the highlands of San Cristobal. In about 30 minutes your driver brings you to your first stop: El Junco Crater Lake, the only sweet water lake on the Galapagos Islands. Afterwards you continue driving to Puerto Chino, a beautiful white sanded beach (watch out for horseflies). Follow a path that leads you passing the typical Opuntia cactuses until you get to the white sandy beach of Puerto Chino. Here you can make a small walk passing the lazy sea lions that sleep on the beach, towards the blue footed boobies on the rocks. From the top you have an amazing view and you might see some sea turtles in the turquoise seawater. You will walk back to the car so you can continue to La Galapaguera, a breeding center with very nice wooden walkways and clear indications. To get to the station your taxi driver brings you to the entrance, from where you can walk towards the incubation center. Along the way you might have to step over a tortoise, as they walk around loose in this area! After the tour you will have lunch and then the driver brings you back to your hotel.

  • Budget: Casa de Jeimy/ Casita de la Isla or similar
  • Standard: Hotel Katarma / Pimampiro or similar
  • Comfort: Sea Side or similar

Included: Activities as described – Lunch – Overnight BB
Not included: Dinner

Day 5

In the morning you will have time to explore the island of San Cristobal on your own. In the afternoon you will be transferred to the airport of San Cristobal. From here you will take your flight back to the mainland.

Included: Breakfast – Transfer to airport
Excluded: Lunch



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