Day 1: Quito or Guayaquil - Santa Cruz
Breakfast and Lunch
Upon arrival at Baltra airport, take a short bus ride to Itabaca Channel, followed by a 5 minutes ferry ride to Santa Cruz Island. Take a bus to Puerto Ayora and get to the Hotel. (Ask for private transfers details).
After lunch, the afternoon adventure starts with a trip to "Los Gemelos" two enormous collapsed lava chambers, a wonderful introduction to the majestic power of the forces of nature and the great biodiversity of the Santa Cruz Highlands. This short, easy hike to each of the twins is swarming with endemic flora and fauna, including a remnant of Scalesia Forest, draped in liverwort, lichens and mosses, where is easy to spot some Darwin finches and perhaps the short eared owls. Then, take a short bus ride to Primicias, a private reserve where you will see the giant Galapagos tortoises freely roaming, grazing, and sleeping. Sometimes it's a bit muddy here, so before setting out, we will provide a selection of field boots (Wellington boots). Walking among the tortoises in wild, will be one of the most treasured moments of your trip. After visiting these prehistoric creatures we'll take a 5-minute ride to the entrance of a illuminated lava tunnel. With a ceiling nearly 20 feet high in most places, her eyou can see lava stalagmites, stalactites, sulfur, mineral-colored walls, and the rippled floor formed from lava along this unique lava formations.
Ask for Le Carte Dinner (Special price for our tour guests)
Day 2: Santa Cruz - Isabela
Breakfast, lunch and dinner Early in the morning take a short ride (Red Mangrove Private transportation ) to Canal de Itabaca or Academy Bay (depending on the sea conditions) . Upon arrival you will be instructed about basic techniques on sea kayaking, escorted by a watercraft and guided by a certified specialist to guarantee an outstanding and safe kayaking morning. Take your kayak and start the journey along the shore of the paradisiacal Santa Cruz Island, enjoying a beautiful scenery full of contrasts. Snorkeling, with high chances to see sea lions, green sea turtles and countless schools of tropical fish. Travel to Isabela (Depending on the number of guest, the travel may be in public or Red Mangrove Transportation) the navigation takes about two hours. In this navigation you may see marine life such as whales, dolphins, manta rays among others. Upon Arrival enjoy welcome cocktail at our deck located in front of this white sand beach where complimentary wine and local beer will be served with a wide variety of snacks and beverages.
Day 3: Isabela
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner 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 second biggest active crater in the world. With 4 miles across (10km), We will hike about 800 mts to reach the rim of the caldera (crater) of Sierra Negra, from where the views are breathtaking. After about 6 km bordering the caldera on and easy trail, relax a bit and have a snack at a nice resting site under a "Jaboncillo" tree. For the hardiest of the group there is an option to continue on an especially difficult one hour walk to Volcan Chico, (this is not an easy hike, it is mostly across sloping lava fields for 2 kms ) just northwest of the caldera where fumarole activity is abundant, and again from here, the landscape is spectacular. (Total hike from the starting point to the Volcan Chico area is 8 kms) Lunch at a Local Farm The food is prepared with vegetables and fruits grown locally at the farm After Lunch relax and take a walk in this beautiful place where in liaison with the Galapagos National Park, this property also takes care of giant tortoises under a special granting program that your guides will carefully explain to you. Get back to the lodge and then take a short ride to the Concha Perla site. Walk among the mangroves for about 150 mts on a board walk, to reach the dock, where you can start snorkeling on this lagoon-like Bay. High opportunities to share the water with sea lions, green turtles, schools of tropical fish and enjoy the beauty of the underwater scenery.
Day 4: Isabela - Santa Cruz
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Departure to "Las Tintoreras" and Bay Tour. We will board a small craft to head out across the port, slowing down to view blue-footed boobies and, perhaps Galapagos penguins. Take an intriguing walk through a jagged lava field, passing abundant colonies of nesting marine iguanas and sea lions, to see a small canal of shallow waters, full of resting white-tipped reef sharks. The views from here are something you will take with you for the rest of your life !The black, treacherous lava field, the emerald green sea, the green mangroves, and the cloud-capped volcanoes of Isabela, create an afternoon backdrop you are not likely to ever forget. Once you finish the walk, you can 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. Depart to Santa Cruz. Our navigation will take about 2 to 2.30 hours depending on sea conditions. Eenjoy a guided tour to the fascinating Charles Darwin Research Station where you can learn about one of the most successful reptile breeding programs.
Day 5: Santa Cruz
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Las Grietas" a natural geological crack. Two lava fissures in shape of walls which formed from water filtering and erosion, a place known for its clear brackish water and exotic characteristics typical of a volcanic island. "Playa de los Alemanes" or German's beach, one of the most famous in Santa Cruz for its Crystal clear turquoise water and exuberant vegetation of Mangrove forests. Also home to the iconic and endemic marine iguanas of the Galapagos. Free afternoon.
Day 6: Santa Cruz - Quito or Guayaquil
Breakfast, Take a transfer to the airport for your flight to Mainland Ecuador Ask for transfer details and rates, 1-888-254-3190