Complete - Santa Cruz, Isabela & San Cristobal

Complete - Santa Cruz, Isabela & San Cristobal

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

Trip Details

8 Days / 7 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 the Sierra Negra. This tour takes about 6 to 7 hours and a small box lunch is included. You will be picked up for a transfer by car or chiva (open wooden bus) to the foot of Volcano Sierra Negra. From here you start to hike up the volcano to see the 2nd largest caldera in the world, almost 10km diameter. Here you will see the alien landscape of lava fields and fumaroles. Then you continue the hike for another 1-1.5 hours to the spectacular sights of Volcano Chico who had its last eruptions 1979 and 2005. This hike will take you about 6 hours. Although it is possible to see animal life, the focus of this hike is on the interesting geology. The lava eruptions have created a beautiful landscape. The hike is a hard one as you will walk up the hill and partially on rocky lava stones. At the end of the tour you will be transferred back to your hotel and you have the rest of the afternoon off to relax or explore the island on your own.

  • Budget: Gran Tortuga / Las Fragatas or similar
  • Standard: Wooden House/ La Laguna or similar
  • Comfort: Hotel Albemarle suite/ Casita de Marita suite or similar

Included: Day tour to Sierra Negra – Transport- Lunch – Overnight BB
Excluded: Dinner


Day 4

Today you will have a half day tour to ´Las Tintoreras´. The islet Las Tintoreras is located south of Puerto Villamil which you will visit in a small boat with a naturalist guide. During your boat ride you will most likely be able to observe Galapagos penguins, blue footed boobies, sea lions and more. The bay of Tintoreras is connected to a crevice of crystal clear water, that's shallow and when the tide is low, the entrance closes. In this crevice, you can see how reef sharks rest and swim. After half an hour you will set foot to the islands. Most of the trail is lava AA, except for a white sand beach and a black stone beach. At the first beach are colonies of sea lions, it is also a nesting site for marine iguanas, during the nesting season. Throughout the trail you can see many marine iguanas in the rocks or under the mangroves. Las Tintoreras is one of the few places where the iguanas breed successfully because of the absence of non-native animals that could kill the youth. After the walk it is time to snorkel in the bay.
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

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

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 7

Today you will have a full day tour to either Kicker Rock or Isla Lobos. Please be aware that you will only visit one of these places. See descriptions of the tours below.

This is a day tour and both lunch and snorkeling equipment are included. With a small boat you will go to Isla Lobos. From the boat you can already observe much of the wildlife, before you disembark on Isla Lobos, where during the guided visit over the land you can observe frigate birds, blue footed boobies and sea lions that inhabit the island. You will take a walk on land. Afterwards you will have time to snorkel in the small canal between the two islands and will be able to swim with playful sea lions and observe rays and turtles. After this visit the tour will continue to Playa Ochoa or a similar beach. You will have a lunch box at the boat or at some days you will have lunch afterwards in a local restaurant. This white coral beach offers the opportunity to walk around and relax and swim in shallow waters before returning to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.

This is a day tour and both lunch and snorkeling equipment are included. With a small boat you set sail for the lava formation in the middle of the ocean called Kicker Rock (or León Dormido in Spanish as they say it looks like a sleeping sea lion). First you will circle around the rock formation to observe the different bird species that use the rock formation as a resting or nesting place. Afterwards the boat will anchor and you will jump of the boat to snorkel the canal in between the rock formation. Beware that the currents can be strong and that you will be snorkeling in open waters without being able to see the bottom. Here you will be able to spot different shark species (sometimes even hammerheads!), turtles, rays and more. In some seasons you might encounter jellyfish which can sting, however a wetsuit will be provided when this is the case. After the snorkeling you will continue to Manglecito or a similar beach. You will have a box lunch on board. This white coral beach offers the opportunity to walk around and relax and swim in shallow waters before returning to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.

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

Included: Full day tour with activities as described – Lunch – Transport- Snorkeling equipment – Overnight BB
Excluded: Dinner


Day 8

In the morning you will have time to explore the island of San Cristobal on your own before 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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