Thank you for the fantastic trip to Ecuador that you and your team planned for us. The planning process was excellent and SET took so much time in answering all my zillions of questions. SET was personal & professional. You made it so easy from beginning to end. It was customised perfectly for the 2 of us. Our guide was amazing!!! He was so friendly & knowledgeable. We got a real sense of the people, history & culture. In a short time we felt we had experienced the very best of Ecuador. We look forward to our next journey with you.
Why choose this trip?
This Galapagos 6 day land tour will keep you busy, snorkelling at Kicker Rock, hiking Sierra Negra Volcano and kayaking in a bay off the coast of Isabela Island. Expect to be immersed in the wildlife each day, while having the chance to connect with the inhabitants of the islands during your free time exploring towns like Puerto Ayora and Puerto Villamil.
What’s the Activity level?
While you don’t need to be an athlete, a reasonable degree of fitness is recommended. A four to six hour hike up the volcano, Sierra Negra on Isabela Island, is the most rigorous day for the majority of people. You don’t have to be an avid hiker but you do need to be comfortable walking for that amount of time. Don’t worry, we stop several times for water, rest breaks are frequent and the view from the top is definitely worth the walk.
What’s the transport and accomodation like?
Experience a variety of transport from flights to boat. Accommodation is cosy 3-star standard but comfortable with en-suite rooms. Hotels are chosen for their safety, location, ambiance and friendly staff. We pride ourselves on booking small family run hotels wherever possible.
*All our tours are non-smoking
Duration: 6 days / 5 nights. Start and end in Quito, Ecuador
Trip focus: An active land based trip. Stunning wildlife viewing and close encounters
Accommodation: 5 nights simple hotels in Galapagos
Group size: Maximum 15, SET representative in Quito, tour leader and naturalist guides throughout
Single supplement: US$599
Operator: This tour is run by one of our trusted local partners
- 5 nights in single or double accommodation
- Private bathroom (clean and comfortable)
- Meals daily as specified in tour (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
- Drinking water
- Flights to and from the Galapagos to Quito
- All land and sea transport
- Sea kayaks
- Mountain bikes
- Snorkeling equipment
- Naturalist guides authorised by national park of Galapagos
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:
- International Flights
- Travel Insurance
- $100 park entry fee – cash only
- $20 ingala fee – cash only
- 2 evening meals (budget $5-$15 per person per meal)
- $10 per day Wetsuit Rental – cash only
- Drinks other than water
- Tips for local support crew
- Tip for tour leader/guide
Ask about your opportunity to surf what are considered to be some of the best waves to be found in Latin America. San Cristóbal Island especially and Isabela Island offer world-class surf throughout the year.
WHERE WE DIVE:
Leon Dormido – Kicker Rock (intermediate) tropical fish, Galapagos shark, batfish, occasional scalloped hammerhead shark, eagle and golden rays, moray eels, green sea turtles, stingrays, barracuda, triggerfish, boxfish, frogfish, and plenty more!
DAY 1 – ARRIVAL DAY SANTA CRUZ, VISIT TORTOISES IN THE HIGHLANDS, EXPLORE PUERTO AYORA
This morning, you’ll fly to Baltra. As you make your way to Puerto Ayora, the capital of Santa Cruz, you’ll begin your first activity with a stop in the highlands to visit a private giant tortoise reserve. You’ll also have the chance to explore some nearby lava tunnels and gain a better appreciation of the natural forces that created these islands.
You’ll continue on to Puerto Ayora, and after a quick check-in, head out to explore town. Tonight, your guide will lead you to the Calle de los Kioskos (Kiosks Street).
Meals Included: Lunch and Dinner
DAY 2 – VISIT TORTUGA BAY, OPTIONAL CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH STATION VISIT, PUBLIC BOAT TO ISABELA
This morning take a short walk that ends in white sand and luscious waves. Further along is Tortuga Bay, ideal for swimming, sometimes friendly baby sharks can be seen here too! There’s a nice walk through a cactus forest, a chance to spot nesting blue-footed boobies or massive marine iguanas.
We’ll head back to town at any time. For those interested, an optional visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station is suggested.
After lunch, we’ll hop on board for our boat ride to Isabela Island. After check-in, we’ll go for a stroll through the picturesque town of Puerto Villamil. Along its white sand beach we’re sure to find the perfect spot to toast in our first Isabela sunset, arguably the most beautiful of all the islands.
SURFING: Sometimes it’s possible to surf or boogie board at Tortuga Bay. Please tell your guide ahead of time if this is something you’d like to do.
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch
DAY 3 – HIKE SIERRA NEGRA VOLCANO AND VOLCAN CHICO, OPTIONAL KAYAK
Lace up your hiking boots – we’re hiking up a volcano! At the top, we’re met with a 9km view that stretches across one of the most active calderas in the world.
We’ll continue around the rim, stopping at various lookouts along the way, en route to Volcan Chico. We’ll cross fields of lava and small lava tunnels until we reach a lookout that boasts breathtaking views reaching to the north of Isabela. We make our way back to town in early afternoon.
Return to town just in time for a sunset dip before your independent dinner. As always, your guide will be more than happy to help you find a local spot to dine.
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch
DAY 4 – VISIT GIANT TORTOISE BREEDING CENTRE, FLY TO SAN CRISTOBAL, VISIT LA LOBERIA
After breakfast, we’ll head off for a leisurely walk through a coastal lagoon. This mangrove-lined path will lead us to Isabela’s Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre where we’ll see giant tortoises in all stages of development.
This afternoon, you’ll take an early flight to the island of San Cristobal. You’ll arrive just in time for lunch before you head out for your first activity: a visit to La Loberia. This area frequented by sea lions. In other words, it’s a sea lion hang out! There we’ll be able to watch sea lions sunbathing and vying for our attention. On the way back to town, your guide will point out their favourite spots to dine.
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch
DAY 5 – SNORKEL AT KICKER ROCK, OPTIONAL BIKE RIDE
Today we take to the water to get a glimpse of the underwater world of Galapagos. Cruise along the coast and drop anchor for an introductory snorkel, where we’ll get our fins wet in search of damselfish, puffer fish, and, hopefully, curious sea lion pups.
Continue on to Kicker Rock to explore the final remains of a tuff cone rising over 143 meters out of the ocean.
A beautiful beach accessible only by boat will be our final stop. After lunch on board, feel free to spend your time swimming in the turquoise water or snapping photos of Kicker Rock in the distance.
Then head back to town late afternoon and have some time to explore town.
Tonight, we head to one of our favourite spots for some open air dining. It’ll be a well-deserved farewell feast as this is the last night in the Enchanted Islands!
DIVING: Occasionally, the option to dive is available. Please inquire in advance.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
DAY 6 – DEPARTURE DAY - OPTIONAL VISIT TO INTERPRETATION CENTRE AND TIJERETAS, FLY TO QUITO
Today is the last day of your tour and you get to choose how you’d like to spend your morning. Squeeze in some souvenir shopping, head to the beach for one last swim or visit the Interpretation Center to learn about the history and mystery of the archipelago. There’s a short hike to Tijeretas, a panoramic lookout over the town and Kicker Rock, for those who are interested.
This afternoon, you’ll fly back to the mainland. If you are spending more time in Ecuador, you may want to book a day tour or excursion to see another part of the country. Safe travels!
Meals Included: Breakfast
We had planned the trip around wildlife viewing plus a Cuban experience. The wildlife in Costa Rica, particularly birds, was outstanding. Cuba lived up to expectations with great music, awesome cars and fascinating history. As Darwin enthusiasts Galápagos Islands was all we expected and still managed to surprise on a daily basis. Four nights in the Amazon at Napo Lodge was a great finale to an outstanding holiday.
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