From the heights of the second largest volcanic crater in the world on horseback, to the depths of the enriched and unexplored waters of Galapagos, our carefully planned adventure tour is a must for all lovers of outdoor adventure. Whether you are swimming with the sea lions, giant manta rays, or just enjoying the company of the Giant Galapagos Tortoise, our 7-day adventure-tour is guaranteed to leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.
Day 3: Snorkel in Santa Fe Island and sea Kayak in Santa Cruz
After breakfast we navigate in a fast boat from San Cristobal to Santa Fe and the Santa Cruz Islands. Santa Fe Island is home to a beautiful crystal water cove where we snorkel with playful sea lion pups and florescent fish. We also explore a submerged rock where rays and marine turtles can be found. We continue in our boat to Santa Cruz, where we pick up our kayaks to travel around Divine Bay and Punta Estrada paddling through multiple lava channels of calm, turquoise waters. Within the channels, white tipped sharks and rays patrol beneath the waves, while colonies of blue footed-boobies, tropic birds, herons and marine iguanas perch among the jagged cliffs. We return to Puerto Ayora in the afternoon and spend this evening at leisure, to dine or explore alternatives in the Galapagos’ most populous town.
Day 5: Hike and exploration in Isabela
From Puerto Ayora, we board a fast boat for Puerto Villamil on Isabela Island. Isabela is the largest Island in the archipelago, formed by the merger of 6 shield volcanoes - Alcedo, Cerro Azul, Darwin, Ecuador, Sierra Negra and Wolf. All of these volcanoes except one remain active, making this island one of the most volcanically-active places on earth. Here we visit the Galapagos Rearing Center, to learn about tortoise development and conservation. We explore the bay in search of the unique Galapagos penguin and follow a trail along the coastline to observe dramatic lava formations and to meet a large colony of sea lions. The local mangroves and salty lagoons feature the mangrove finch, endemic to Isabela. We can also sight American oyster catchers, herons, flamingos and many other shore species. In the afternoon we are left to enjoy exotic white sand beaches. The evening is spent in this tranquil port town.
Day 1: Transfer and hike in San Cristóbal
We pick you up in the morning to board your flight to San Cristobal Island. Once we arrive, we hike to nearby Frigate Hill for splendid views of the coastline and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. And we’ll also enjoy our first encounters with local wildlife, since the hill is often visited by such Galapagos stars as the magnificent and great frigate birds, with cameos from blue footed boobies, swallowed tailed gulls, and Darwin finches. On our way back we can swim from the white sand of Mann Beach. Our first evening is free for exploring around town.
Day 2: Sea kayak Playa Ochoa and snorkel in Leon Dormido
We slip into our ocean kayaks and spend the morning paddling along the coast to reach Playa Ochoa. This journey is filled with sea lions, marine turtles, blue footed boobies and frigates birds. At Playa Ochoa we take-out to relax, enjoy the beach, or swim with the visiting sea lions. After lunch we paddle over to Leon Dormido, the jagged remains of an old tuff cone whose flanks are covered with seabirds. Leon Dormido offers excellent snorkelling, and for certified divers, one of the best dives in the Islands. Here we get good opportunities to see hammerhead and white tipped sharks, eagle and golden rays, and dozens of species of tropical fish, clams, starfish and marine invertebrates. In the afternoon we return for our hotel for our last evening in San Cristobal.
Day 4: Hike and mountainbike in the Santa Cruz highlands
We transfer to El Chato reserve in the upper realm of Santa Cruz Island, natural habitat of the Galapagos tortoise. As we seek these lumbering giants, we’ll also come across pintail ducks, egrets, flycatchers, finches and frigate birds bathing in fresh water lakes. We explore lava caves, incredible volcanic tunnel formations, and Media Luna, an old collapsed crater on top of Santa Cruz Island. Following a trail through Miconia forest, we’ll reach a point with great views down to the coastline. Following lunch, we prepare our mountain bikes to ride mostly downhill through highland farmlands and small villages to El Garrapatero beach. El Garrapatero is an expansive beach area, including a fresh water lake where you can come across pink flamingos, herons, grebes, stilts and other shore birds. Relax on this perfect, white beach after a full day of hiking and biking. On the way back to our hotel, we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn about conservation and management efforts in the archipelago. In the evening, you’re free to relax at your beach front hotel, or else join the local nightlife, liveliest at the weekend.
Day 6: Horseback ride and hike in Isabela
From Puerto Villamil, we head up to the highlands to prepare our horses for a ride of about 6 miles (9 km) on irregular terrain until we arrive at the rim of the Sierra Negra volcano. Sierra Negra is the second largest caldera in the world. From this viewpoint you have a fantastic prospect of the 6 x 5 mile-wide caldera, the other the volcanoes and the Perry Isthmus beyond. Form here we hike to Chico Volcano with its puffing fumaroles and striking lava formations, examples of the geological events that have formed the Galapagos Islands over millennia. In the late afternoon, we return to Puerto Villamil for our last evening on the “Enchanted Islands.”
Day 7: Isabela- Santa Cruz, transfer out
In the morning we navigate back to Santa Cruz Island, to transfer by bus to Baltra Island, for our flight back to the continent. An optional, one- or more-day diving tour extension is highly recommended.
Ecuador’s sun shines for everyone ®