7 Day Premium Galapagos Multisport Tour
DAY 1: INTERPRETATION CENTER, HIKE AND SNORKEL TIJERETAS
After a morning flight to San Cristobal Island, you will be greeted at the airport and head to your hotel. After lunch and a quick introduction, you begin your journey at the Galapagos Interpretation Center to learn about the unique wildlife, geology, history, and social dynamics of the Galapagos.
After this visit, we hike to Tijeretas along natural trails formed of lava rocks. The path is surrounded by native plants like Galapagos cotton, palo santo, acacia, and cacti, and we will spot blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, pelicans, herons, gulls, warblers, mockingbirds, and finches in the vegetation and sea cliffs. Guides interpret this amazing flora and fauna in the context of the natural history we just learned. We also enjoy scenic views of the rugged coastline and the tranquil town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.
We cool off from our hike with a refreshing snorkeling session at postcard-worthy Carola Beach, surrounded by sea turtles, sea lions, and marine iguanas, and bask in the setting sun. After dinner, we’ll explore the friendly, laid-back beach town and stroll down the boardwalk to visit the neighboring colony of Galapagos sea lions. (L, D)
DAY 2: KAYAK & SNORKEL IN ISLA LOBOS & LEON DORMIDO
We slip into our ocean kayaks and spend the morning paddling along the coast, going north exploring bays and coves full of local wildlife – including Darwin Bay, the site of the first landing of the HMS Beagle. The route is home to colonies of sea lions, marine turtles, bluefooted boobies, and frigate birds. Once we reach Playa Ochoa, we continue on to nearby Isla Lobos on the lookout for marine iguanas and sea lions. This is a fantastic snorkelling site where we are nearly guaranteed to enjoy one of the best sea lion encounters in the entire archipelago. We continue on to Leon Dormido, the jagged remains of an old tuff cone whose flanks are home to thousands of sea birds. At Leon Dormido, we enjoy excellent snorkelling; for certified divers, this is also one of the best dives in the islands. There is a good chance of seeing Galapagos sharks, eagle and golden rays, as well as dozens of species of tropical fish, clams, starfish, and marine invertebrates. With a little luck, we may also swim with hammerhead and white-tipped sharks. We return to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno for dinner and our last evening in our San Cristobal waterfront hotel. (B, L, D)
DAY 3: MTB COASTLINE EXPLORATION & KAYAK IN TINTORERAS
In the morning we take a small aircraft interisland flight from San Cristobal to Isabela Island. Isabela is the largest Island in the archipelago, formed by 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. When we arrive we set up our mountain bikes to explore the beautiful coastline for its scenery and wildlife treasures. We begin with a visit to El Muro de las Lágrimas which means Wall of Tears, a historic site that dates back between 1946 and 1959 when Isabela Island was used as a penal colony. The wall was built with lava blocks and had no other purpose than of keeping prisoners busy from the madness of isolation. We continue riding along the coast as we explore expansive white sand beaches, mangroves and brackish lagoons. This area is filled with birdlife such as American oyster catchers, herons, flamingos, finches and many shore birds, as well as sea lions and marine iguanas. In the afternoon we take our ocean kayaks and paddle out to Tintoreras, a set of small Islets within Isabela bay. The Islets are filled with wildlife and are home to the Galapagos Penguin, the only penguin that lives in equatorial region. We will also see sharks, marine turtles, sea lions and much more wildlife as we explore its many small coves and beaches. (B, L, D)
DAY 4: VOLCANO DISCOVERY HIKE IN THE ISABELA HIGHLANDS
From Puerto Villamil, we drive to the highlands up to where the road ends. Here we prepare our day packs and walk into a world of recent geological history. We walk on dirt trails until we arrive to the rim of the Sierra Negra volcano. Sierra Negra is an active volcano which last erupted in October 2005. We explore along the rim of the huge 6x5 mile-wide (9x8 kilometer) lava-filled crater. We may also get views to the other Isabela volcanoes and the Perry Isthmus and beyond. Optionally, we continue our hike all the way to Volcano Chico, an incredible area that offers puffing fumaroles and extraordinary lava formations, great examples of the dramatic geological events that have forged the Galapagos Islands over millennia. In the afternoon, we return to Puerto Villamil for our last afternoon in its exotic white beaches. (B, L, D)
DAY 5: HIKE IN SANTA CRUZ ISLAND
In the morning we take a fast boat from Isabela to Santa Cruz Island. On our way we will be on the lookout for dolphins and whales. Once we arrive we head to El Chato reserve in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island which is the natural habitat of the incredible Galapagos Tortoise. We hike in this reserve to learn about these lumbering giants. We also come across highland wildlife such as pintail ducks, egrets, flycatchers, finches, and frigate birds bathing in freshwater lakes. We also walk into and explore some amazing volcanic tunnels that were created by hot flowing lava. As we walk in these underground geological formations we revive tales of buccaneers hiding Inca gold. We continue to Los Gemelos, two volcanic craters near the top of the Island. We walk around these deep craters through a beautiful Scalesia forest covered with epiphytes and ferns. In this habitat we may see the short-eared owl, one of the two owls that live in the Islands. We return to town for the evening. (B, L, D)
DAY 6: SEA KAYAK IN SANTA CRUZ & HIKE TO TORTUGA BAY
After breakfast, we put-in our kayaks and paddle around Divine Bay and Punta Estrada, through calm turquoise waters that wind through high-walled lava channels. Within the channels, white-tipped sharks and rays tour beneath the clear water, while colonies of bluefooted boobies, tropic birds, herons, crabs and marine iguanas perch along the jagged cliffs. In the afternoon, we hike to Tortuga Bay, a beautiful white sand beach area, nesting site to thousands of marine turtles. This trail is 3½ miles (6 kilometers) long and crosses through a dry forest lava habitat home to hundreds of iguanas.
If there is enough time we’ll stop for a visit at the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn from local scientists about the ongoing conservation efforts on these enchanted islands. The Research Station rears endemic plants, land iguanas, and giant tortoises for educational, scientific, and conservation purposes. Here, we can learn more about the diverse evolutionary paths and characteristics of the animals and plants that we just met.
We return to Puerto Ayora to spend the evening at leisure in the Galapagos’ most populous town. (B, L, D)
DAY 7: RESEARCH STATION & TRANSFER TO BALTRA ISLAND & AIRPORT
In the morning we transfer by vehicle to Baltra Island for our airport connection back to the continent. (B)
This week long adventure takes you kayaking with sea turtles, sharks, and sea lions, hiking active volcanoes, mountain biking along coastlines, snorkeling tropical waters alive with beautiful fish and relaxing on sandy beaches next to sea lions and marine iguanas. After long days of fun, return to our eco-friendly boutique hotels for splendid meals and superb hospitality. Your adventure is led by local certified naturalists and the best adventure guides in the world. This Multisport Adventure is the ultimate combination of adventure, comfort, and wildlife interaction
2017 Fixed Departure Prices: US$2945 per person double occupancy with comfort hotels, US$3430 with premium hotels. Single supplement is US$608 in comfort, US$1050 in premium.
2017 Fixed Departure Dates: Jan. 25-31, Feb. 2-8, March 4-10, April 6-12, May 21-27, June 12-18, July 25-31, Aug. 23-29, Sept. 22-28, Oct. 3-9, Nov. 4-10, Dec. 1-7
Air fares, INGALA cards and Galapagos National Park entrance fees are not included.
INCLUDED: Accommodations in good hotels; all meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily); all adventure and protective equipment; professional English-speaking guide; professional Galapagos naturalist guide; land transportation and inter-island (marine or air)transportation.
Comfort: Opuntia, Casita de la Playa and Fernandina Premium: Golden Bay, Iguana Crossing and Angermeyer Waterfront Inn
NOT INCLUDED: Airfare to/from Galapagos (subject to change); Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee (subject to change); hotel & restaurant beverages, staff or guide tips
**PLEASE NOTE** This itinerary is subject to change without notice due to seasonal changes, last minute weather conditions, and adjustments of Galapagos National Park policy.
BOAT TRAVEL TIME: 2 to 3 hours
SMALL AIRCRAFT FLIGHT TIME: 50 minutes
PADDLE, HIKING, OR ACTIVITY DURATION: 2 to 4 hours per day
SEASON: All year
ALTITUDE: Sea level to 2,000 feet (600 meters)
AVERAGE TEMPERTATURES: December to May: 80ºF to 90ºF / 25ºC to 30ºC. June to September: 60ºF to 70ºF / 15ºC to 20ºC. October to December: 70ºF to 80ºF / 15ºC to 25ºC.
WATER TEMPERATURE: The waters of the Galapagos Islands are a unique mixture of warm and cold water, ranging between 65ºF and 85ºF.
SUGGESTED ITEMS TO PACK: hiking shoes, water sandals, rain jacket, flashlight, water bottle,
non-cotton trekking gear, sunblock, hat, and mosquito repellent