Island Hopping in the Galapagos Islands


Seven days of wildlife, history and amazing experiences… the Galapagos Islands are all about immersing yourself in the natural wonders of this very special place.

This itinerary offers an alternative to cruising for those travellers who want to stay on land instead of on a boat. It is part self-exploration and part guided small group tour. The small group element is led by a bilingual naturalist guide on a private speedboat.

Most meals are included with a range of accommodation options you can choose from to suit your comfort level and budget. If you want to extend your stay, you can easily combine this itinerary with a cruise to reach some of the other islands or add extra time in Santa Cruz with additional day trips.

Day 1. Galapagos – Highlands

DAY 1. GALAPAGOS – HIGHLANDS

You will fly into the Galapagos and be met upon arrival in Baltra where you will journey across Santa Cruz to the Highlands. The road has stunning views through the agricultural zone and into the mist-covered forests. Along the way you will call in to one of the ranches and go searching for tortoises. After lunch you’ll continue to Puerto Ayora where you will spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure.

Day 2. Puerto Ayora

Day 2. PUERTO AYORA

This morning you can walk to Tortuga Bay. The route will give you a glimpse of many of the land birds on the island before leading you to ‘Playa Mansa’, a beautiful beach ideal for swimming… and spotting the many native marine iguanas.

There will also be time to explore the town today. At the fish market you will be joined by the local wildlife who like to hang out hoping for scraps!

A visit to the Charles Darwin Station will set the scene for much of your trip, with information on habitats and local conservation as well as other fascinating statistics. The Tortoise Breeding Centre is a highlight as is the chance to see the legendary ‘Lonesome George’, a symbol of conservation on the islands.

Day 3. Floreana Island

DAY 3. FLOREANA ISLAND

After breakfast you will take the 2.5-hour speedboat ride to Floreana Island. The human history of Floreana is incredibly fascinating. It was the site of the first post office established by whalers in 1793. It was the first island to be colonised and it has served as a short-lived penal colony. In 1932, Rolf Wittmer was the first person to be born in the Galapagos Islands and in that same decade there was a spate of mysterious disappearances. There is a lot of history to discover in this fascinating place!

Floreana is very much a self-sustaining island so on arrival on the island you will tour a local farm to learn more about the local way of life and enjoy a lunch prepared with foods harvested from the farm.

Your next visit is to Asilo de la Paz, a primarily historical site where you can venture into a pirates’ cave and see the freshwater spring, which serves as the main water source for the population. You can also learn about the way the early residents of Floreana lived in caves amongst extreme conditions. And if you are all about the wildlife, you will also go to a nearby corral that hosts the local giant tortoise population.

In the evening, you will have a barbeque on the beach where you can enjoy the Floreana peace and quiet and taste locally harvested food.

Galapagos Sea Lion

DAY 4. SNORKELING ‘LA LOBERIA’ AND ISABELA ISLAND

Today you will visit ‘La Loberia’, a sea lion breeding area. A short walk along the shore is just a warm up to jumping in the bright turquoise water where you may be swimming amongst sea lions, sea turtles, manta rays and a variety of colourful coral fish.

After a delicious lunch prepared with food harvested from the farm, you will take the 2.5-hour speedboat journey to Isabela Island.

Day 5. Sierra Negra – Tintoreras

DAY 5. SIERRA NEGRA – TINTORERAS

Today starts with a two-hour walk to the crater of the Sierra Negra Volcano. With a little bit of luck, you might glimpse the Galapagos Sparrow Hawk, but either way, the view of the crater is spectacular. The volcano is also a chance for a history lesson about how much of the island was formed by Aa lava.

In the afternoon you will visit Tintoreras Islets, where the crystalline waters are inhabited by white-tipped reef sharks, Galapagos penguins, marine turtles and sea lions. There is a beach here that is one of the few sites where marine iguanas can successfully reproduce.

Day 6. Flamingo Lagoon

DAY 6. FLAMINGO LAGOON – TORTOISE BREEDING - TUNELES

You will begin your day with a 2km walk to Flamingo Lagoon where you will learn about the vegetation and geology of Isabela Island… and you might even get to spot the flamingos feeding! Following this you will continue onto the tortoise breeding centre.

In the afternoon you will go on a 45-minute boat trip to a hidden treasure, ‘Los Tuneles’. The tunnels were formed millions of years ago when cold water froze the outer layer of the liquid lava rivers that ran across the island. You will be able to snorkel through the tunnels and discover the local marine life – sharks, lobsters, penguins, sea lions, boobies, marine turtles and more – as you go. If you’re lucky, you will see giant manta rays feeding in open waters.

Day 7. Galapagos - Onward Travel

DAY 7. ONWARD TRAVEL

This morning you can fly back to Santa Cruz to connect with your flight to Guayaquil. Alternatively, you travel back to Santa Cruz by boat to enjoy an extended stay in the Galapagos Islands.

We would love to tailor an itinerary for you that helps you have your own unique Galapagos experience. Contact us to have a chat about the wildlife and experiences that interest you and we will create a magical journey for you.

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