Galapagos Loop 6D / 5N

WEEKLY DEPARTURES FROM SUNDAY TO FRIDAY

DAY 1: SUNDAY – TRANSFER IN SANTA CRUZ – HIGHLANDS (L)

Arriving to Baltra we will take a shuttle thought out Santa Cruz Island journeying across the island into the highlands, visitors are delighted by the island’s variety of life and geology. Beginning at the coast and traveling north along the road to Puerto Ayora, the road climbs through the agricultural zone and into the mist-covered forests of the highlands. Santa Cruz possesses all of the various life zones present in the archipelago, with wonderful birding opportunities. Whether it’s the bright red feathers of a Vermilion Flycatcher or one of Darwin’s finches almost every land bird present in the islands can be found here. Continuing we will stop in one of the ranches, food is served in these ranches and the best part is that passenger will be able to explore the grounds in search of tortoises. Descending through the agricultural zone into the Transition Zone where the Tortoise Reserve is located, the introduced vegetation of the farmlands is replaced by native vegetation. After lunch continue to Puerto Ayora for rest of the afternoon at leisure. Accommodation in selected hotel

OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL ACTIVITY TORTUGA BAY (ONLY AVAILABLE FOR PASSENGERS ARRIVING IN FIRST FLIGHT)
The trail to Tortuga Bay starts from the main street in Puerto Ayora and takes about an hour walking. The trail goes through the arid zone and many land birds can be seen along the way. Arriving to Tortuga Bay beach you will find the first beach “Playa Brava” this beach is with open waters and strong under currents not recommendable for swimming, if you continue 20 minutes walking you will arrive to “Playa Mansa” ideal for sun bathing swimming and photo shooting, you will also find marine iguanas along the shore

DAY 2: MONDAY- TRANSFER TO FLOREANA ISLAND – SNORKELING AT LA LOBERIA (B)

This morning after breakfast we will head to take our speed boat to Floreana Island for a 2h 30 minutes approx. Time. This Island gives place to the first inhabitants of the Galapagos Islands. Descendants of the original population of the Island still live here. In this island you will be encountered with history legends that will give you a full understanding of the population development in the Galapagos Islands. We will arrive to Floreana, after checking in in our lodge we will begin our excursion with a walk for approximately 30 minutes towards la Loberia – A sea Lion breeding space- here we will start our first marine excursion in the bright turquoise water where you might able to swim with sea lions, marine turtles, manta rays and a variety of colorful coral fishes. In the afternoon we will return to hotel to relax in lodge where if possible, you can exchange experiences with the locals and eventually meet some members of the original families that arrived to the Islands. Accommodation in selected lodge/hotel

DAY 3: TUESDAY – HIGHLANDS FLOREANA – PIRATES’ CAVE – TORTOISE BREEDING CENTER – TRANSFER TO ISABELA (B)

This day after breakfast, our guide will pick us up and we will get on board of a “Chiva”- Traditional old fashioned bus from the Island that will take us to the highlands of the Island. On the way our guide will and give us an idea of the colorful history of some of Floreana’s first inhabitants, such as the Wittmers (whose descendants still live on the Island), the ‘Baroness’, and the pirates that once visited here. They will also tell you about the “Enigma of Floreana”, involving the mysterious deaths of several of the Island´s inhabitants, a riddle that has never been solved. Also our naturalist guide will point out the wildlife of this particular Island.
Once we reach the Highlands we will head to “Asilo de Paz”, we will take a low level hike, exploring pirate caves, and visit fresh water springs that provide fresh water to the islanders. Along this way we will also see Giant tortoise’s species from this island.  Return to lowlands to take speed boat to Isabela this ride will take approx. 2h30 min. Arriving to Isabela you can have lunch and relax for the rest of the day in the pristine beaches of the biggest and one of the newest Islands.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITY WALL OF TEARS WIH BICYCLES:

After lunch in Isabela upon arrival, our guide will give you the opportunity to help you renting bikes (Prices vary from USD 25-30 per person)  so you can take advantage of the afternoon and head onto the “Wall of tears” on your own. If you decide to proceed with this excursion It is a 6-km ride (one-way) from the lagoon. About half way to the Wall, the trail passes a white sand beach with surrounding lagoons where all four species of mangroves that exist in Galapagos can be seen. The trail continues through the dry zone until reaching the Wall. A penal colony existed on Isabela from 1944 to 1959. The Wall of Tears was built by the prisoners to keep them busy. It stand 5-6 m high, 3 m wide and is approximately 100 m long. It is a testament to a period of cruelty and torture. Return for accommodation in selected hotel

DAY 4: WEDNESDAY – SIERRA NEGRA AND CHICO VOLCANOES (B, BL)

Breakfast. Today, we go by car until reaching the mountainsides of the Sierra Negra Volcano. This volcano is considered as one of the oldest of Isabela. We will walk about 40 minutes and then continue our way by riding horses (or you can continue by walking) until the crater of the volcano. With a little bit of luck, we will be able to see the sparrow hawk of the Galapagos. We will get to know the geology of the Sierra Negra Volcano. Most of the part of this island was formed by AA lava. We will have a box lunch and visit el Chico Volcano. Return to the hotel afternoon at leisure to enjoy marvelous coral sand and turquoise water beaches.  Overnight in selected hotel.

OPTIONAL- ADDITIONAL ACTIVITY TINTORERAS ISLETS AFTER SIERRA NEGRA:
The Tintoreras Islets, located a short distance from Puerto Villamil, is home to a great variety of wildlife. Its turquoise, crystalline waters are inhabited by white-tipped reef sharks, Galapagos penguins, marine turtles and sea lions. One of its beaches, surrounded by mangroves is one of the few sites where marine iguanas can reproduce successfully. Reaching the Isle of Tintoreras, we will get to know a lot of these species. Most of the part of this island is formed by AA lava. Return to the hotel

OPTIONAL ACTIVITY INSTEAD OF SIERRA NEGRA VOLCANO
THE TUNNELS (B)
Today we will visit a unique place in the islands, “Los Tuneles”. Our path starts on board our speed boat on a 45 minutes trop. Our experienced captain will securely lead us across the waves that normally hide this treasure. The Tunnels were formed millions year ago when rivers of liquid lava ran across the island reaching the coast shore. The cold water froze their superficial layer isolating the interior while liquid lava kept flowing into the sea. When the eruption finished, a hollow structure was formed and its wall later broke allowing water to come inside and creating a tunnel. Our guide will join us along hundreds of tunnels while we snorkel and discover the marine life such as sharks, lobsters, penguins, sea lions, boobies, marine turtles among other endemic species from Galapagos. A snack will be served on board our boat. If lucky enough, we will have the chance to witness giant mantarays feeding in open waters. Afternoon return to Isabella for accommodation in the selected hotel.

DAY 5: THURSDAY- TORTOISE BREEDING CENTER + FLAMINGO´S LAGOON+ SANTA CRUZ (B)

After breakfast, our guide will take us to visit the Famingo’s Lagoon. This is a approx. 2km trail where we will have explanation of the vegetation and geology of this young Island, Isabela Island. Arriving to the Flamingo lagoon we might be able to see Flamingos feeding in this lake. This is an artificial lake,  due to the excavation for construction the lake was made up by the rain.  After this we will continue to visit the Tortoise breeding center , in this place you will learn more about the reproduction and breeding of the Tortoises. Back to Puerto Villamil  to take our boat and transfer to Santa Cruz. Rest of the afternoon at leisure in Puerto Ayora and accommodation in hotel.

DAY 6: FRIDAY – CHARLES DARWIN STATION – TRANSFER AIRPORT FLIGHT BACK (B)

After breakfast, we will head to the Charles Darwin Station. The center is a reservoir of information on habitats and local conservation, as well as other fascinating relevant statistics. The most striking attraction of this station is certainly the Tortoise Breeding Center, where it is possible to view tortoises of varied sizes and shapes. Travelers here can freely walk and get their photos clicked with the tortoises. Among other inhabitants at the center, you can see the land and marine iguanas and different species of birds. After that transfer to the airport.

EXTENSIONS FOR ITINERARY:

EXTENSION A
-DAY 6 FRIDAY: FULL DAY TOUR BARTHOLOME ISLAND (B, L)
-DAY 7: SATURDAY – FULL DAY TOUR NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND (B, L)
-DAY 8: SUNDAY – CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH STATION + TRANSFER OUT (B)

EXTENSION B
-DAY 6: FRIDAY – TRANSFER TO SAN CRISTOBAL-FRIGATE HILL & INTERPRETATION CENTER (B)
-DAY 7: SATURDAY – LOBOS ISLAND (B, L)
-DAY 8: SUNDAY – TRANSFER OUT (B)

EXTENSION C
-DAY 6 FRIDAY: FULL DAY TOUR BARTHOLOME ISLAND (B, L)
-DAY 7: SATURDAY – FULL DAY TOUR NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND (B, L)
-DAY 8: SUNDAY– INTERPRETATION CENTER – FRIGATE HILL – PUNTA CAROLA (B, L)
-DAY 9: MONDAY – TRANSFER OUT (B)

INCLUDED:

-Transfer Airport – Hotel – Airport
-Accommodation in Santa Cruz in the selected hotel with breakfast.
-Meals noted (as per the program – depending at the meal it can be at the hotel, onboard or at local restaurant)
-Excursions mentioned in the itinerary
-Bilingual Naturalist Guide in all Excursions

NOT INCLUDED:

-Airfare to/from Galapagos
-Etrance fee to the Galapagos National Park (US$ 100 per person )
-Galapagos Migration Card (US$ 20 per person)
-Optional excursions as supplement
-Drinks and not mentioned meals
-Tips (it is not mandatory)
-Extra expenses.

Note:

Departures with minimum 2 pax