Discover three of the unique Galapagos volcanic islands: Santa Cruz, Isabela and Floreana, and their splendid places where the wildlife does not know fear of human visitors. This lodge-based Galapagos program sails you to various islands by day, returning to three distinct lodges by night.
The Galapagos Island Hopper immerses you in an incredible close encounter with nature, while you explore the land that inspired Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution. Get to see Isabela Island's seahorse shape, as a product of the merging of six large volcanoes into a single land mass. On this island, Galápagos penguins, flightless cormorants, marine iguanas, pelicans and sally lightfoot crabs abound. In Floreana, a sea bird that spends most of its life away from land can be seen: the Galapagos petrel. In the highlands of Santa Cruz admire exuberant flora, lava tunnels and large tortoise populations. At the end of this adventure, you will leave the islands with special memories of this remote place of exquisite volcanic formations and extraordinary flora and fauna.
During your vacation in the Galapagos, don't miss the other half! Do a day of scuba diving with your land tour package. If you are not certified, ask about Discover Scuba Diving or Padi courses to explore the underwater realm and get the very most out of your Galapagos tour!
Most Galapagos cruise travelers will require pre- and post-cruise accommodations in Ecuador, round-trip flights, National Park entrance fees & transit cards etc. Choose our Galapagos Cruise Package or work with our experts on a custom Galapagos tour. See trip notes for more details.
Day 1 - Quito to Santa Cruz
Upon arrival at the Baltra Airport travel by bus to the Itabaca Channel, followed by a 5 minute ferry ride to Santa Cruz Island. A private charter bus will take you south to the town of Puerto Ayora and the Aventura Lodge. Here, the group will be greeted by the Naturalist Guides and the tour escorts and have lunch at Aventura Lodge.
After lunch, depart to Garrapatero beach. Enjoy a 25 minute scenic bus ride to an easy trail that will lead you to the beautiful white sandy beach which is known for its flamingos and finches, for a chance to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.Accommodations: Red Mangrove Aventura LodgeIncluded Meals:
lunch and dinner
Day 2 - Santa Cruz Highlands & Floreana
Early wake up call and breakfast before departing on our morning giant tortoise quest. Begin this tour with a trip to "Los Gemelos" (The Twins), two enormous collapsed lava chambers. The short, easy hike to each of the twins is teeming with endemic flora and fauna, including the remaining scalesia forest, large and small tree finches, the vermillion flycatcher and more. It's a wonderful introduction to the great biodiversity of the Santa Cruz Highlands. Afterwards, visit a 600-acre private reserve where the giant Galapagos tortoises freely roam, graze and sleep. After visiting the tortoises, take a 5-minute ride to the entrance of a 450 meter lava tunnel. With a ceiling nearly 20 feet high in most places, this is an incredible opportunity to ramble through the Galapagos most dynamic geological events, lava flows. Stalagmites, stalactites, sulfur and mineral colored walls and the rippled form of a floor of lava can all be experienced in this uniquely Galapagos hike.
Return to Aventura Lodge for lunch and departure for Floreana. Our navigation will take about 2 hours depending on sea conditions. Upon arrival, and before check in, visit La Loberia, a very beautiful location to swim, snorkel, or simply relax watching a colony of sea lions and great scenery. Walk back to the lodge and check in at Floreana Lodge. Dinner at Local Family House, briefing and overnight at the Lodge.Accommodations: Floreana LodgeIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 3 - Floreana & Isabela
Breakfast at a local family's house followed by departure in an open-air bus (chiva) to the highlands of Floreana. During the 40min bus ride your Naturalist Guide will be pointing out the wildlife and filling you in with the colorful history of Floreana's first inhabitants and the legend of the "Floreana Mystery". At 450m high, "Asilo de la Paz" (Peace Asylum) has main attractions of an historic type: one is the cave of pirates and the other is the freshwater spring. The two sites are located at the base of the hill, where is still possible to find the endemic Scalesia, as well as a good number of Galapagos Petrel nests which were once at a border of extinction due to the predation of introduced cats and rats. Also, near Asilo de la Paz, the National Park Service built a special enclosure where you can see some Galapagos tortoises (from various islands) held in captivity for educational and scientific purposes. Head back to town in time for our trip to Isabela, which will take about 2 hours depending on sea conditions.
Upon arrival at Isabela Island check into the Red Mangrove Isabela Lodge and have a hot, wholesome lunch. After, depart to "Las Tintoreras" and enjoy a Bay Tour. Dock and take an intriguing walk through a jagged lava field, passing abundant colonies of marine iguanas and sea lions, to see a small canal of shallow waters, full of resting white-tipped reef sharks. The black, treacherous lava field, the emerald green sea, the green mangroves, and the cloud-capped volcanoes of Isla Isabela create an afternoon backdrop you are not likely to ever forget. After the walk, snorkel in this warm, shallow bay surrounded by mangroves, for an opportunity to see white-tipped reef sharks, sea lions, sea turtles, and, of course, the mystery of the mangrove below the surface. Don't worry, white-tipped reef sharks are not aggressive, but merely fascinating. Once we return to the lodge, have a bit of time to relax and shower before briefing and dinner.Accommodations: Isabela del Mar LodgeIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 4 - Isabela
Breakfast at the lodge followed by departure to Sierra Negra Volcano. Vehicles of local providers will drive us up through the humid highlands of Isabela, to the slopes of Volcan Sierra Negra, considered the oldest of the volcanoes on Isabela. Then hike to arrive at the caldera (crater) of Sierra Negra for breathtaking views. After bordering the caldera, relax a bit and have a snack at a nice resting site under a jaboncillo tree. For the hardiest of the group, there is the option to continue on an especially difficult one-hour walk to Volcan Chico, just northwest of the caldera where fumarole activity is abundant, and again, the views are spectacular.
After returning from Sierra Negra, have lunch at Campo Duro - a beautiful organic farm whose owners prepare their food with vegetables and fruits grown locally at the farm. Prepared at a lava rock-grill, enjoy a delicious meal and after lunch take a walk among the fruit trails or just take a nap in one of their hammocks and breath the clean air above a big Mango tree. In liaison with the Galapagos National Park, this property also takes care of giants tortoises under a special 'patronage' program that your guides will carefully explain to you. Back to the lodge for time to discover Isabela on your own. Enjoy snorkeling, swimming or simply relax or walk the town to discover the typical Galapagos style of life. Briefing and dinner at the Lodge.Accommodations: Isabela del Mar LodgeIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 5 - Isabela to Santa Cruz
Breakfast at the lodge, then departure to the "Humedales" (Wetlands) Tour. Begin with a drive out of town along the beautiful white sand palm lined beach of Vilamill, one of the most beautiful beaches in the entire Galapagos. This beach, straight from the cover of a travel magazine, stretches on for 3 kilometers before the National Park boundaries. Walk up the trail to the summit of Cerro Orchilla, for an astounding view from the top. Visit the "Muro de las Lagrimas" (Wall of Tears), a unique construction built by the backbreaking labor of prisoners of a penal colony centuries earlier.
Lunch at Isabela Lodge and depart to Santa Cruz. Our navigation will take about 1.5 to 2 hours depending on sea conditions. Arrival and check in at Santa Cruz Aventura Lodge, then enjoy a guided tour to the fascinating Charles Darwin Research Station where you can learn about one of the most successful reptile breeding programs in the world and perhaps, meet the most famous giant tortoise: Lonesome George, also known as the world's rarest creature. Dinner and overnight at Aventura Lodge.Accommodations: Red Mangrove Aventura LodgeIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 6 - Baltra to Quito
Breakfast at the Lodge. Depart for your transfer to the airport of Baltra, for your flight back to the mainland. Services end upon arrival to Quito, unless you have chosen to book onto our exclusive package which includes transfers and a hotel night.Accommodations:
In addition to the 6-day itinerary listed above, there is a 5-day option. Please call for more detailed information.
5 Day Itinerary:
Day 1 - Baltra, Santa Cruz & Highlands
Day 2 - Santa Cruz & Floreana
Day 3 - Floreana and Isabela
Day 4 - Isabela and Santa Cruz
Day 5 - Baltra, Return Quito
GALAPAGOS CRUISE INCLUSIVE PACKAGE:
For your convenience we offer an Inclusive Package with three nights hotel accommodations in Quito or Guayaquil, all airport/hotel transfers, Galapagos flights, Galapagos National Park entrance fees and taxes, Galapagos migration card and your Galapagos cruise. View details of our Galapagos Cruise Inclusive Package
Travelers not interested in our inclusive package must purchase Galapagos flights in conjunction with their Galapagos cruise.
GALAPAGOS CRUISE CUSTOM PACKAGE:
If you are booking a cruise-only program our experts can assist with hotels, transfers, flights and tours. Contact AdventureSmith Explorations about customizing your tour or the possibilities of combining this trip with our Mainland Ecuador
and Peru: Machu Picchu
extensions. We are Galapagos cruise and Ecuador travel experts and our staff can help you customize the perfect Galapagos cruise or Ecuador tour package.
Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, National Park regulation or at the captain's discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of adventure travel unique.
7 nights Galapagos lodge accommodations including all meals specified and soft drinks during meals, land tours with an experienced English-speaking Galapagos Islands naturalist guide, 10% service charge per Ecuadorian law, free use of bicycles in Puerto Ayora and Isabela, snorkeling gear, diving equipment (except dive computers, which can be rented).
Air transportation to/from Galapagos, transit control card, Galapagos National Park entrance fee, gratuities, alcoholic beverages, items of a personal nature, luggage fees or insurance of any kind. For an additional $30 per night, unlimited domestic alcoholic drinks are available. 10% surcharge for December 2013 departures.
Rooms used at Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge are Standard Mangrove View. Changes to Superior Ocean View or Suite Ocean View Rooms may be provided at additional cost based on availability.
Families & Children:
A special family discount of 50% off for a child under 10 is available when sharing with 2 adults.
Arrival & Departure:
This trip begins and ends at the Baltra Airport in the Galapagos Islands. Most flights to the Galapagos will depart Quito or Guayaquil between 7:00am-9:00am on day 1 and return between 2:00pm-5:00pm on the final day. We highly recommend travelers arrive Ecuador 2 days prior to their Galapagos Discovery Tour. Galapagos flights must be purchased in conjunction with your Galapagos Island Hopper.
Payment & Cancellation:
In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $300 is required at the time of booking. A Reservation Form
, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Cancellations are subject to the following per-person fees, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 90 days - deposit refunded
89 to 45 days - 50% of deposit
44 to 21 days - 100% of deposit
20 to 0 days - 100% of total trip cost
Terms & Conditions:
This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions
. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information is sent upon confirmation.
We highly recommend our travelers protect their investment with travel insurance. Please note that you must purchase your travel insurance policy within 14 days of booking your trip for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions. Click the link below for a selection of policies from our partners at Travelex.
Due to the ideal locations of the Galapagos Island Hopper's lodges, you may use any free time to enjoy unguided additional activities such as hiking, kayaking snorkeling and swimming. This trip is fully customizable with a variety of options like scuba diving, health and fitness, extended explorations or even replacing the boat trips with flights to gain a different perspective on the islands. Each option can enhance your experience, so call for more information to find a the package that is right for you. There are numerous opportunities to swim and snorkel. Easy-to-use, sit-on-top kayaks are also available.
The Galapagos Island Hopper lodge-based trip will be enjoyed by anyone who is in good health and leads an active life. Daily excursions from the day boat to the islands will be made. Trip members will hike from the landing point to specific areas for wildlife observation. Hiking time for most landings will be a couple of hours roundtrip with lots of time to stop to study, photograph and enjoy the flora and fauna. Some landings are dry but many are "wet," requiring cautious footing on slippery rocks. The boat staff will be on hand to assist.
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