Galapagos Island Hopping - 5 Days to Santa Cruz,
San Cristobal and Isabela
Day 1: SAN CRISTOBAL ADVENTURE
Your morning flight from the Ecuadorian mainland will arrive at San Cristobal Island, from there you can make your way to your hotel. Wander around the town and choose somewhere to have lunch. Once you’ve eaten, your Galapagos wildlife voyage begins with a self-guided walk to explore the local Interpretation Center, delving deep into unique wildlife, geology, natural history, and human history of these amazing islands. In the evening, you’re free to taste some of San Cristobal’s legendary seafood in the port of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno by yourself. (-)
Day 2: SNORKEL THE NORTHERN COAST OF SAN CRISTOBAL
A day dedicated to discovering the astonishing underwater world of the Galapagos, snorkeling in crystal waters! Our knowledgeable guides lead a shared group in search of sea turtles, frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, and Nazca boobies around the nearby coves and cliffs. It’s likely you’ll find yourself playing with sea lions – the young pups are ever-curious and mischievous. There’s every chance that we’ll be sharing the seas with eagle rays, golden rays, Galapagos sharks, starfish, clams, and thousands of tropical fish as we snorkel.
When the afternoon sun begins to fade, we come back to the hotel for a peaceful evening enjoying the sleepy island town. (B, Box Lunch).
Day 3: DISCOVER ISABELA’S BEACHES, LAGOONS AND ISLETS
We breakfast, then bid farewell to San Cristobal to board our light aircraft for an inspiring journey across the islands’ crystal seas and jagged scenery to Isabela Island, one of the most volcanically active spots on the planet. In fact, many locals witnessed the last major eruption in 2005.
Once checked into your hotel, set out on a one-of-a-kind, self-guided easy hike. Isabela is a true treasure trove. As you explore along wooden walkways, observe an incredible variety of fauna and flora, including giant tortoises, flamingos, finches and mockingbirds. Continue through coastal ecosystems including white sand beaches, the alluring poison apple forest, a gaping lava tube, dark mangroves and brackish lagoons.
Seafood, Ecuadorian and international cuisine are all available in the small beach town of Puerto Villamil, and you’re free to sample them by yourself. You can grab a quick dip in the ocean, or a swing in a hammock, before setting out to explore the Tintoreras visitor site, as part of a shared basis boat tour. It’s a group of small rocky islets filled with hidden coves and isolated beaches, explored by small boat and with snorkeling gear. Get ready for close encounters with the endemic Galapagos penguin, as well as reef sharks, sea turtles and sea lions. At the end of the day, your evening is free and easy. (B).
Day 4: CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH STATION - SANTA CRUZ BAY TOUR
We take an early morning public speed boat out of Isabela, heading for Santa Cruz Island and Puerto Ayora, the Galapagos’ largest settlement. We meet you at the dock and head to the hotel.
A short walk from the port is the famous Charles Darwin Research Station and the National Park’s tortoise breeding program – head there on your own to discover the nerve center of Galapagos scientific research and conservation.
Once you’ve had lunch on your own in Puerto Ayora – where there are options aplenty for you to choose from – we join a naturalist guide and with a shared group we take a boat and head west from the port, pausing by the Lobería where we can observe sea lions. We arrive at the islet of Punta Camaño, a perfect spot to put on our snorkels, masks and fins to swim with sea lions and brightly colored fish. Getting romantic in the Canal del Amor, we then come to shore at Playa de los Perros, where inky-black marine iguanas warm themselves on the rocks.
Afterwards, stroll by yourself around the port, browsing through its shops, restaurants and bars in the evening. (B)
Day 5 - TRANSFER OUT
Finally, it’s time to bid a fond farewell to the Galapagos. You board a transport to take you north over Santa Cruz Island to the Itabaca Channel. At this point we leave you to continue your journey alone: all that remains is a hop on a ferry and a short bus ride to take you to Baltra Island’s airport. (B)
2023 prices per person, double occupancy in US$: $1594 in comfort hotels, $2149 in premium hotels.
Holiday Season supplement: $317.00 per person from December 18th to January 03rd.
Comfort: Opuntia, Casita de la Playa and Fernandina
Premium: Golden Bay, Iguana Crossing and Angermeyer Waterfront Inn
BOAT TRAVEL TIME: Two hours
SMALL AIRCRAFT FLIGHT TIME: 40 minutes
The weight restriction per person for the interisland flight from San Cristobal to Isabela is 25 pounds in one piece of luggage.
ALTITUDE: 0 – 3,688 feet (1,124 meters) above sea level
WEATHER: During the warm season from January to May, air temperature is around 77 to 83 F (25 to 28 C) at sea level. During the cool season from June to December, air temperature is around 70 to 75 F (21 to 24 C) at sea level. Temperature decreases with altitude.
WATER TEMPERATURE: During the warm season from January to May, water temperature hovers around 77 F (25 C). During the cool season from June to December, average water temperature is about 72 F (22 C). Water temperature also varies significantly by location.
SUGGESTED ITEMS TO PACK: Walking shoes, rain jacket, water bottle, non-cotton trekking clothes, sunblock, sun hat, and repellent.