The Other Side of Galapagos - 6 or 5 days
On the 6 day itinerary, guests will stay on both Santa Cruz Island and the charming Isabela, as well as visit a nearby island on a small yacht day excursion. On the 5 day itinerary, guests will just stay at 2 different places in Santa Cruz. These private departure itineraries come with flexbility to choose some activities, and also offers hiking and snorkeling excursions.
Travelers will have the chance to see almost all the archipelago’s iconic wildlife: white-tipped reef sharks, sea lions, turtles, rays, penguins, pelicans and blue footed boobies. They will see it with few other travelers, as we include private hikes and tours, except for the day cruise.
These are both Safe Travels tours
6 Day Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival Galapagos.
Today we arrive in Baltra Island, the gateway to the Galapagos. This tiny island was a military base during the Second World War and hosts the Islands’ principal airport. The airport was built using the most advanced environmental techniques to reduce emissions and energy use, some of which you’ll notice as you walk through the facility. This was the first ecological airport in the world.
From the Itabaca Channel we head up to the Santa Cruz highlands to a private reserve that borders the National Park, where we can see the famous Giant Tortoises roaming in the wild.
Night at Galapagos Magic (Standard Tent)
Included: transportation , accommodation ,lunch, dinner ,
Day 2: Navigable Tour to Neighbor Island
Windrose is the newest yacht for Galapagos travel, a state-of-the-art Sunseeker Manhattan 74-foot motor yacht. She cruises at unprecedented speed, in wonderful comfort, with catering facilities on board for snacks and lunch, space for everyone to relax, passionate naturalist guide and dedicated crew.
You can visit North Seymour and Bachas, South Plazas, Santa Fe Island or Bartolome, and Sullivan Bay. Along the way, you might see leaping rays or other sea life, while enjoying the vastness of the Pacific. The yacht tour lets you see the Islands and their wildlife in their most pristine state. Island visited may vary according to National Park regulations
Night at Ikala Hotel (Standard room)
Included: transportation , accommodation and breakfast , local guide , lunch
Day 3: Free Day or choice of Optional tours
Today we have multiple choices of activities available or if you feel like unplugging from the world and relaxing completely at our Giant Tortoise Sanctuary enjoying the views, walk to the Lava Tunnels or simply enjoy of the peacefulness.
1. Walk to Las Grietas & Kayak at Tortuga Bay (private basis)
From Puerto Ayora main pier we take a water taxi to the “Other Side Pier”. At this point we start an easy walk for about 1 Km (~0.6 mile) until we reach Las Grietas. This is a stunning geological formation named as fissure where we can see two impressive rock walls with an elongated crystal clear water pond ideal for snorkeling. The Research Center offers a brand new Interpretation Center with some of the most important samples of the Center Collection.
Later, visit to Tortuga Bay. After walking through a deciduous forest for 2.5 Km (~1.5 miles) we will reach one of the most beautiful beaches in the archipelago. We will continue walking along this white sand beach for another 1 Km (~0.6 mile) until we reach the Playa Mansa where we can enjoy a special kayaking ride around the Bay. Add US$371 per person
2. Cerro Meza & Kayak at Garrapatero (private basis)
Visit Cerro Mesa viewpoint from where we can admire the whole southern shore of Santa Cruz. Continue towards one of the iconic formations in Galapagos resembling a crater from where we will start a hike downhill for about 30 minutes to the bottom of this collapsed crater. Explore the area, recover energies and start the hike uphill for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Excellent opportunities to find endemic species such as the Wood-pecker Finch and being very lucky giant tortoises.
Later, kayaks at Garrapatero. Walk for about 500 mts (~0.3 mile) on a flat and easy terrain through a deciduous forest until we reach El Garrapatero beach. Kayaking activity takes place from the beach along the bay for about 45 minutes. We can make a short walk to the brackish lagoon where we have high possibilities to find pink flamingos. Add US$412 per person
3. Coffee farm and Sugar Cane mill & Highlights of Puerto Ayora (private basis)
In the morning, visit Organic Coffee Farm & Sugar Cane mill. Departure from your hotel towards the farming area of El Cascajo. Visit one of the most traditional farms in the area where we can find real organic coffee and sugar cane plantations. We will learn about all coffee and sugar cane growing and production process including a handcrafted sugar cane mil and distillery where the farmers produce a traditional sugar cane liquor.
Later, visit to Charles Darwin Research Station. The Charles Darwin Research Center is the matrix of all the scientific researches in the Galapagos Islands. It is from these headquarters from where all the most sensitive conservation projects are being directed. The conservation and preservation of giant tortoises, marine iguanas among others are some of the examples of the Center labor. We can walk along the core of the Research Center where we can find the corrals where the giant tortoises are being breed as well as the corrals where the land iguanas are being studied. The Research Center offers a brand new Interpretation Center with some of the most important samples of the Center Collection.
Afterwards, visit to wooden workshops in Galapagos. Inspired by the unique beauty of the islands and using cedrella´s wood; one of the introduced species in Galapagos several years ago; galapagueños artists have dedicated their lives to capture in this wood images of fauna and flora of the archipelago. Their pieces are full are full of creativity and details that reflect the naturalness of the enchanted islands. During this visit we will know more about these skilled hands. Add US$340 per person
4. Navigable Tour to other neighbor islands (sharing basis)
Embark our motor yacht and enjoy of a daily excursion with welcoming crew members and a knowledgeable naturalist guide, and experience the remote islands in comfort and style.Our daily excursions will take you to experience the Galapagos Islands in a safe and comfortable manner. Add US$505 per person
** These excursions are subject to availability and change without prior notification
Night at Ikala Hotel (Standard room)
Included: accommodation and breakfast
Day 4: Santa Cruz Island- Isabela Island
Today we take an early morning speedboat to Isabela Island where we will check into our hotel. Our adventure begins with a tour of the Tintoreras, a group of small islands close to the town of Puerto Villamil. The islands are named after the white tipped ‘Tintoreras’ reef sharks that swim in these calm waters. On the Tintoreras we will see almost all the archipelago’s iconic wildlife: white-tipped reef sharks, sea lions, turtles, rays, penguins, and of course pelicans and blue footed boobies. This is a Galapagos in miniature! After walking on the island, we will have a chance to snorkel in the bay. Don’t be surprised if some of the penguins or sea lions jump in to play alongside you in the water!
Night at the Hotel Isamar (Double standard room)
Included: excursion , transportation , lunch , accommodation and breakfast
Day 5: Hiking Sierra Negra
Volcanic eruptions created all the Galapagos Islands, and you will have a chance to see this geologic process first-hand as we explore Isabela, one of the archipelago’s youngest and most volcanically active islands.
We have the whole day to explore the Isabela highlands, and we start by hiking up to the crater of the massive Sierra Negra volcano, and then onward to the rim of the Volcan Chico. This fascinating walk usually begins with some morning fog and drizzle, which sometimes persists in the shadow of the volcano, adding to its mysterious character. Despite the drizzle, we may see Galapagos Hawks, finches, flycatchers and Short Eared Owls en route.
When we reach the rim of the Sierra Negra crater, the second largest in the world after the Ngorongoro in Tanzania, we will see the reward for our efforts. The crater is so large, and the views so expansive, photos can’t do it justice, but bring your binoculars and camera anyway!
Later, as we head towards Volcan Chico, we may get the feeling we are walking on Mars due to the alien landscape. And while the land appears to be utterly desolate, a closer look will reveal small lizards scurrying about among the rocks. From the crater’s rim, we will enjoy more amazing views along with lava tubes and fumaroles.
After Volcan Chico and its extreme landscape, we will be able to relax in the shade of a lovely “jaboncillo” tree, and enjoy our box lunch while taking in the spectacular and expansive views over the central and northern parts of the Island. In the distance, we will be able to see Fernandina, Pinzon and Santa Cruz Islands. We then head back down to complete our day of hiking (16 kilometers / 9,94 miles in total) and relax on the beaches of Puerto Villamil.
Night at the Hotel Isamar (Double standard room)
Included: excursion , English speaking guide, transportation , accommodation and breakfast
Day 6 Isabela Island- Santa Cruz Island- Baltra
Today we take an early morning speed boat back to Santa Cruz and then transfer by land to Baltra for our onward journey or flight back home.
Included: breakfast, transportation
5 Day Itinerary
Day 1 - as on 6 day itinerary
Day 2: Navigable Tour to Neighbor Island
Days 3 & 4 - Free days or optional activities (as on 6 day tour) with overnights at the Ikala Hotel
Day 5 - transfer out
2023 Price per person, double occupancy in US$:
Prices do not include the optional add-on activities or holiday supplement for Christmas and New Years
Included: Accommodation, Meals mentioned in the itinerary, Transfers & ground transportation, Boat excursions with snorkeling on a sharing basis, English-speaking naturalist guide, Meals and Activities detailed in the itinerary
Not Included: Flights (all flights from mainland Ecuador to the Galapagos Islands can be arranged upon request), Galapagos National Park entrance fee (US $100 per adult/$50 per child under 12), tourist transit card (US $20 per person), Beverages, Laundry service, Insurance (prior to your journey please ensure your travel insurance is valid in your country of origin), Gratuities
Galapagos Magic, Santa Cruz Island
Galapagos Magic is a million miles from the world’s hustle and bustle. Set in the highlands of Santa Cruz (and away from the waterfront crowds), this totally unique property surprises and delights. All six safari tents have gorgeous views, and guests are surrounded by nature as they sleep. Galapagos Magic is a place to relax, walk the beautiful mountainside, turn your gaze to the beautiful heavens and to admire nature. Giant tortoises call Galapagos Magic their home much of the year, and guests might see a handful slowly moving through the grounds or many dozens dotting the meadow.
Sunsets from Galapagos Magic are, well, magic! Enjoying the last light of day with a cocktail on the meadow deck is a relaxing pastime, as is sharing stories of the days’ adventures in front of the open-air main lodge’s crackling fire. Magic serves sumptuous, three course dinners. The chefs use their culinary skills in the open kitchen to turn local ingredients into creative and elegant dishes. An after dinner stroll to the ‘Lava Lounge’ for a nightcap is the perfect way to end the day.
Capacity – 20 people
4 elevated tree houses
6 raised, walk-in tents
Ikala Galapagos Hotel Puerto Ayora
Surrounded by beautiful trees and ample garden space, The Ikala Hotel seems to rise from the Canopy…. This is your new oasis of peace, tranquility and freshness in the Galapagos Islands. A brand new hotel built upon the concepts of luxury, sustainability, and protection of the environment.
The Ikala Hotel features 4 comfortable standard rooms, 17 ample and comfortable suites, and a large duplex (2 floors) with separate living and kitchen area in the lower floor and the bedroom in the second floor. One of the suites is equipped to receive guests with physical disabilities.
ALL ROOMS INCLUDE:
• Private Bathrooms
• Air Conditioning
• Silent Fans
• Entertainment System
With a general décor to highlight calmness, the closeness to the ocean, wildlife and the raw materials such as wood, stone, leaves and water, your stay in the Ikala Hotel will be memorable.
Hotel Isamar, Isabela Island
The Isamar Hotel is idyllically located on Isabela’s beautiful white sand beachfront. Its setting gives guests sweeping views of Pacific waves, swaying palm trees and boats bobbing on the water.
The beautiful Galapagos retreat is walking distance to the tortoise breeding center, the flamingo lagoon, water activities and to the sandy streets of town where guests will find bakeries, restaurants and bars.
IsaMar’s rooms are the perfect base for exploring Isabela’s wonders. Hearty meals are available to keep visitors going on hikes and water activities, and outdoor social areas are ideal for taking a siesta, reading a book or stargazing late into the evenings.
Capacity – 10 rooms in five blocks
Full service restaurant and bar
Outdoor social areas
hot and cold water
one queen bed and one twin bed