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Galapagos Island Hopping

Duration
5 Days
Prices From:
US$ 4,860

Explore the world-famous Galapagos Islands on this island-hopping journey by land. Combining island stays with day trips, you’ll explore volcanic landscapes and snorkel through tropical waters, spotting incredible wildlife like penguins, marine iguanas, and giant tortoises along the way.


This 5-day Galapagos vacation hops between two of the most popular islands in the archipelago, Santa Cruz Island and Isabela Island.

Your Ecuador vacation begins with a transfer from Quito to Santa Cruz Island, home to the capital of the Galapagos, Puerto Ayora. After snorkelling through the turquoise waters of the Ithabaca Channel and seeing blue-footed boobies, sea lions, and white-tipped reef sharks, head on to the Santa Cruz Highlands, home to the spectacular Giant Tortoises that have fascinated globetrotters since the times of Charles Darwin.

During your time on Santa Cruz Island, you’ll stay at the Magic Galapagos Tented Camp, a premium camping experience where your only island companions are the giant tortoises that share the hillside. The next day, take a day trip to South Plaza Island to visit a colony of sea lions before mooring at Punta Carrion, where you can snorkel through waters filled with tropical fish and stingrays. Head onto land to pass through a prickly-pear cactus grove and see yellow-grey land iguanas and swallow-tailed gulls.

Continue your Galapagos vacation to Isabela Island, where you’ll stay at the oceanfront hotel, Isamar Hotel Galapgos. Tour Tintoreras, a small group of islands near Puerto Villamil that are a microcosm of the Galapagos archipelago. Spot sea lions, turtles, rays, penguins, and pelicans as you travel throughout the islands. Then explore the highlights of Isabela Island. Bike along the Wetlands Trail to see marine iguana colonies and mangrove trees. Hike the island’s volcanic landscape, skirting the rim of Sierra Negra Volcano, which has the second-largest crater in the world. Pass through a landscape of fog and drizzle in the shadow of the volcano and spot hawks, finches, and short-eared owls and you make for Chico Volcano, where you’ll cross a Mars-like landscape of lava tubes and fumaroles.

Close out your time in the Galapagos on the picturesque beaches of Puerto Villamil before connecting back to Quito for your onward journey.


 

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Duration
5 Days
Prices From:
US$ 4,860

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Quito to Santa Cruz Island

You will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight to the Galapagos. On arrival in Baltra's airport, you will be transferred to Santa Cruz Island and onto your hotel in Puerto Ayora. 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 transit through the facility. It was the first ecological airport in the world.

Enter the airport through a special VIP lounge where you will have a chance to change clothes, put on some sunscreen and get a cool drink before transferring to the Itabaca Channel to explore its turquoise waters. You have a chance to kayak, snorkel and stand up paddleboard where we will see some of the famous Galapagos wildlife such as blue-footed boobies, sea lions, brown pelicans, a variety of herons and white-tipped reef sharks.

The ocean (sit on top) kayaks come in doubles or singles, and life jackets are provided. A support boat escorts you throughout the water activities to ensure safety and to provide water, snacks and towels between activities.

From Itabaca Channel, head up to the Santa Cruz highlands to one of the private reserves that borders the National Park where the famous Giant Tortoises inhabit in the wild.

Afterwards you drive to your exclusive giant tortoise reserve where the tented camp is located. Perched high on a hillside overlooking the ocean, Magic Galapagos Tented Camp will be your home for the next two nights. The sounds of nature will be a lullaby in the evenings, and the Milky Way will be your night light. Feast your eyes on the mountains and forest surrounding the lodge, and enjoy the peace of having the entire hillside to yourself, with the exception of seasonal resident giant tortoises.

Dinners are sumptuous three course affairs, prepared by expert chefs in an open-air kitchen in the main lodge. A favorite post-dinner activity is a short walk to the natural lava tubes on the reserve for a night cap in the one-of-a-kind 'Lava Lounge!' It's the perfect spot to relax around the fire and share stories from the day's adventures.

Meal Plan Lunch and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Galapagos Magic Tented Camp

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Location View map
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    Galapagos Magic Tented Camp



    Magic Galapagos (also known as Galapagos Magic) is a tented camp set in a private reserve in the highlands of Santa Cruz. It's quite usual to see giant tortoises roam through the grounds of the camp, and it's a pleasure to share this peaceful location ...

    Magic Galapagos (also known as Galapagos Magic) is a tented camp set in a private reserve in the highlands of Santa Cruz. It's quite usual to see giant tortoises roam through the grounds of the camp, and it's a pleasure to share this peaceful location with them. After a day out exploring it's a treat to return here, take in a glorious sunset, enjoy a drink by the campfire and then sit down to a superb three course dinner. The 'lava lounge', formed out of natural lava tubes, is the ideal place to round off the day, chatting to other guests and sipping a nightcap.

    Facilities

    • Restaurant
    • WiFi

    More Details

Day 2

Santa Cruz Island

After breakfast, head back to the Itabaca Channel where you will board a yacht for your trip to South Plaza Island. Just a few hundred meters from the eastern shore of Santa Cruz Island, the Plazas Islands were formed from an uplifted seabed, almost giving them a tilted tabletop quality. We will disembark (dry landing) on South Plazas where we will be greeted by a colony of sea lions.

The yacht then moors at Punta Carrion, where you have the chance to snorkel in its beautiful waters. Swim with a variety of tropical fish and graceful rays, and if you are lucky, you may see white-tipped reef sharks that rest on the sandy ocean floor.

As we make our way up the shore, we will come upon a carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents. The succulents are a beautiful groundcover in color contrast to the luminescent green prickly-pear cactus grove that dots the shore – it's an incredibly unusual and memorable vista. Yellow-gray land iguanas sit beneath the cactus patiently waiting for pears to drop.

Make your way further along the trail, where you approach the southern cliff of the island. From there, observe nesting swallow-tailed gulls and several sea birds such as tropic birds, Nazca and blue footed boobies, as well as spend time taking in the beautiful views.

Enjoy lunch on the yacht with island views before returning to Santa Cruz.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 3

Isabela Island

Today, take an early morning speed boat transfer to Isabela Island where you check into your hotel. The adventure then begins with a tour of the Tintoreras, a group of small islands near the village of Puerto Villamil. The islands are named after the white tipped 'Tintoreras' reef sharks that swim in these calm waters. On Tintoreras, you will see almost all of the archipelago's iconic wildlife: white-tipped reef sharks, sea lions, turtles, rays, penguins, and of course pelicans and blue footed boobies. It's like the Galapagos in miniature! After walking on the island, take 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!

In the afternoon, bike the Wetlands Trail where you can see marine iguana colonies and a number of different types of mangrove trees (all four can be seen here) as well as enjoying the network of trails, beaches and historic sites. At the end of the trail is the Wall of Tears, built in the late 1940's by Second World War prisoners held at the US base on the islands. Your guide will explain the importance of the Wall of Tears, giving us a glimpse into the lives of the island's previous inhabitants. On this network of trails you will catch some beautiful views of the village below and we will have the chance to see birds and, maybe even some wild giant tortoises.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Isamar Hotel Galapagos

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Location View map
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    Isamar Hotel Galapagos



    Set in a fishing village, this all-inclusive, oceanfront resort is an 8-minute walk from Flamigo Lagoon, 3 km from the Aeropuerto de General Villamil and 7 km from the Wall of Tears historic site.

    Set in a fishing village, this all-inclusive, oceanfront resort is an 8-minute walk from Flamigo Lagoon, 3 km from the Aeropuerto de General Villamil and 7 km from the Wall of Tears historic site.

    Facilities

    • Beach Access
    • Deck
    • Rooftop Terrace
    • WiFi

    More Details

Day 4

Isabela Island

Hiking Day!

Volcanic eruptions created all of the islands in the Galapagos, and you will get to see this geologic process first-hand as you explore Isabela, one of the youngest and most volcanically active islands of the archipelago.

You 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, you may see Galapagos hawks, finches, flycatchers and short-eared owls en route.

You then reach the rim of the Sierra Negra crater, the second largest in the world after the Ngorongoro in Tanzania. 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 you head towards Volcan Chico, you may get the feeling we are walking on Mars due to the alien landscape. While it appears to be utterly desolate, a closer look reveals small lizards scurrying among the rocks. From its rim, we will enjoy more amazing views along with lava tubes and fumaroles.

After Volcan Chico and its extreme landscape, relax under the shade of a lovely "jaboncillo" tree to enjoy your box lunch while taking in the spectacular and expansive views over the central and northern parts of Isabela Island. In the distance, you will be able to see Fernandina, Pinzon and Santa Cruz Islands. Then head back down to complete our day of hiking and relax on the beaches of Puerto Villamil.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 5

Isabela Island to Quito

Today, take an early morning speed boat back to Santa Cruz and then a transfer by land to Baltra for your onward journey back to the mainland.

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

Daily

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • Airport transfer in Quito on Day 1
  • Quito - Galapagos Return flights
  • Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee
  • Migration Control Card
  • All accommodation
  • All transport
  • All tours as listed
  • Meals as indicated

PRICE EXLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes unless specifically indicated
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

TB CONDORTQUI1219SG: GIH 2
1 Dec 2019
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