Inside Galapagos Islands
Day 1: San Cristóbal - Interpretation Centre – Snorkelling
Upon arrival at the airport on San Cristobal, you will go immediately to the Galapagos immigration area. Here you will need to present your passport and pay your USD 100,- Galapagos National Park fee. This payment must be made in cash. The National Park Service does not accept Traveller’s Cheques or credit cards. The Park officials will then inspect your carry-on luggage to ensure that you have not inadvertently brought any prohibited plant or animal products (see the Galapagos National Park rules). As you exit the immigration area, you will be met by your tour guide who will take you to the hotel. Afterwards you will visit the San Cristobal Interpretation Center, located in a scenic setting, where visitors can obtain information that will help them understand more about the natural history of the Galápagos, with emphasis on human history and conservation. This first tour will help you to understand and gain more from the next 6 days of activities. In the afternoon you will have the opportunity to swim and snorkel on the northern side of the bay, a perfect spot to relax and contemplate the wonderful and unique history of these islands. You will have dinner and spend the night in the hotel. -/L/D
Day 2: Hacienda El Cafetal – Galapaguera semi natural – Loberia
In the morning you will visit the coffee plantation El Cafetal where you will learn how coffee is produced, from the plant to the cup, followed by a timely mid-morning sample.
Afterwards you will continue to the Galapaguera, a project to introduce the local endemic Giant Tortoise back into the wild. Here you can observe these giants and get to know the typical flora of the island during your walk through this little reserve. After lunch you will walk from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno through the typical dry forest of this area to the beach “la Loberia” where you can observe sea iguanas and swim with the local sea lion colony. You have also the possibility to snorkel. You will have dinner and spend the night in the hotel. B/L/D
Day 3: Island Lobos / Island San Cristobal - Sleeping Leon – Cerro Brujo (hiking – snorkelling)
Today you will embark on a trip to Lobos Islet which is a seasonal nesting location for the blue footed booby, a main attraction of the islands; their courtship ritual really is quite impressive, with the gathering and passing of twigs for the nest that will never be built! The basalt island outcrop is actually named for the numerous sea lions that frequent the island, basking, or better said, sleeping in the sunshine. Lobos Islet is located 1 hour across a small channel up the coast from Wreck Bay and Puerto Baquerizo, north of San Cristobal Island (also known as Chatham Island). After a one hour hike over the island you can snorkel with sea lions along the coastline.
Afterwards you will return to San Cristobal and visit the massive tower of rock called Leon Dormido or Kicker Rock, which rises majestically out of the deep-blue ocean. Here you can also go snorkelling and often see some of the bigger inhabitants of the ocean such as sharks, rays and giant turtles. Furthermore, you will visit Cerro Brujo, a fascinating volcanic crater-shaped landscape situated around the north coast of San Cristobal. At the wide sandy beach you can relax and have yet another dip with the snorkel gear. Dinner and accommodation in the hotel. B/L/D
Day 4: Island Santa Cruz – Charles Darwin Station
In the morning you will be transferred by a public lancha (small speedboat) to Santa Cruz island and on to Puerto Ayora, a little harbour popular with sailors as well as with sea lions and pelicans! After lunch you will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. The station is also a tortoise breeding and rearing centre, where tortoises of different subspecies are prepared for reintroduction into their natural habitats. The most popular inhabitant of this island is probably Lonesome George, the only survivor of his specific tortoise species. After the visit you will have the opportunity to explore the quaint village with its little shops and fish market, a great attractor of many local seabirds, as well as the tourists! Accommodation at the hotel. B/L/D
Day 5: Tour through Academy Bay (Canal Del Amor Bahia de Franklin-Grietas-Loberia) – Afternoon free time
In the morning you walk to the harbour and start a half day trip in a small boat through the wide Academy bay. During the trip you can observe the diversity of the underwater world along the pacific island, with brightly coloured fish and the not so bright but sleek outline of sharks cruising the depths. You will visit the “Lovers Channel”, the beach “Playa de los Perros” and the bay “Bahia de Franklin”. A little walk leads you to “Las Grietas”, a natural basin between high rocky walls. After lunch you have some free time to explore this paradise. Dinner and accommodation at the hotel. B/L/D
Day 6: Island Santa Cruz – El Chato – Túneles – Gemelos - Tortuga Bay
In the morning you will visit the highlands and the double crater Caldera de los Gemelos, which is known for its diversity of around 300 different fern species and close by “forest” of sunflowers. Exploring the highlands of Santa Cruz you pass by different vegetation zones, from the dry lower region full of cacti to the Scalesia forests in the humid highlands. In the highlands you will investigate one of the labyrinth-like lava tunnels; some of them are up to 2km in length. You will take a walk through the natural habitat of the giant tortoises, and onto the Chato lagoon which is often frequented by frigate birds and other seabirds, which come to wash sea salt from their feathers. For lunch you will return to Puerto Ayora and subsequently continue to Tortuga Bay. Here you can spot several species of Darwin’s finches. The sunsets here are excellent as well as punctual (be reminded the islands are situated on the equator). The west cove offers a nice snorkelling and swimming area, a great spot for relaxing. The white sandy beach is considered by many to be the nicest in the archipelago. Its name comes from the sea turtles that come here to lay their eggs, year after year. Other species to be found, include pelicans, flamingos and marine iguanas. Dinner and accommodation at the hotel. B/L/D
Day 7: Transfer Out B/-/-
In the morning you cross the highlands of Santa Cruz and the canal of Itabaca to reach the airport at Baltra where you catch your flight back to the mainland.
B= breakfast; L= Lunch; D= Dinner
2 Possibilities for the accommodation
USD 1625,- per person
With 1 person: USD 145.-
Single supplement USD 165.-
USD 1925,- per person
With 1 person: USD 3345.-
Single supplement USD 449.-
Guayaquil - Galapagos – Guayaquil: USD 356,- per person
Guayaquil – Galápagos – Quito and viceversa: USD 382,- per person
Quito – Galápagos – Quito: USD 407,- per person
All transfers in private transportation, excursions, accommodation based on double rooms in the hotels mentioned or hotels of the same category, meals according to the itinerary description (B: breakfast, L: Lunch; D: Dinner), English speaking guide during the round trip.
Beverages, extra charge for single rooms, international airport tax (USD 38,-) personal items, tips, travel insurance, luggage and everything not stated in the itinerary, Galapagos Park Entrance Fee (USD 100,-), flight Quito-Galapagos-Quito.
Note: The itinerary of the Galapagos tour can be changed by the guide or the boat captain due to security reasons as well as by the national park administration due to changing national park rules. Nevertheless the security and the interest of the passengers will always have first priority.