The Other Side of Galapagos - Island Hopping Adventure

The Galapagos Islands feature an extraordinary habitat where people and wildlife peacefully coexist. This 6-day land-based adventure is a captivating way to experience the wildlife wonders and epic landscapes while practicing sustainable tourism and preserving the natural heritage of this amazing destination. Perfect for travelers on a tight schedule, this trip will whisk you away on an exploration through the islands of Santa Cruz and Isabela. Your expert local guides will make sure you get the most out of every day, from extraordinary lodges to spectacular excursions. Combine this itinerary with a few nights on mainland Ecuador before and after, for an ideal blend of relaxation, culture, nature, and discovery. Please note that this itinerary is offered as a scheduled group departure, so you will be joining other travelers on your journey!

Daily Itinerary

1: Baltra Arrival - Santa Cruz

Baltra Arrival - Santa Cruz
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Airport Transfer
  • Accommodation: Galapagos Magic Tented Camp
  • Meals: D

Welcome to the Galapagos! You will be picked up at the airport in Baltra and transferred to your accommodations on Sant Cruz Island. (This service is on a group basis.)

Galapagos Magic Lodge is a safari-style tented camp perched high on Santa Cruz overlooking the ocean. The sounds of nature will serenade us and we’ll be able to feast our eyes on the mountains and forests surrounding the Camp. Also, enjoy the peace of having the entire hillside to ourselves, with the exception of seasonal resident giant tortoises.

2: Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Yacht Cruise to a Neighboring Island
  • Transportation: Internal Transfer
  • Accommodation: Galapagos Habitat
  • Meals: B, L

Yacht Cruise to a Neighboring Island

Today you will embark on a motor yacht cruise to enjoy a half-day excursion to one of the neighboring islands. Onboard you will have the support of welcoming crew members and knowledgeable naturalist guide, to allow you to experience the wonders of these remote islands in both comfort and style.

You have the opportunity to visit North Seymour and Bachas, South Plazas, Santa Fe Island, 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. Please note that the islands visited may vary according to National Park regulations. (This service is on a group basis.)

After your cruise you will be transferred to your hotel in the main town of Puerto Ayora. Check in and enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure. (This service is on a group basis.)

3: Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Cerro Mesa & Kayak at Garrapatero
  • Accommodation: Galapagos Habitat
  • Meals: B, L

Today you will have multiple activity options to choose from! We have selected the following suggested program to give you an idea of what is possible to do with this day (Please Note: This activity can be replaced with one of the other optional activities noted in the drop-down menu below. Please let your travel specialist know your activity preference during the planning process).

Cerro Mesa & Kayak at Garrapatero

Visit Cerro Mesa viewpoint from where you can admire the whole southern shore of Santa Cruz. Continue towards one of the iconic formations in Galapagos resembling a crater from where you 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, kayak 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. You can make a short walk to the brackish lagoon where we have high possibilities to find pink flamingos. (This service is on a private basis.)

4: Santa Cruz - Isabela

Santa Cruz - Isabela
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Island Transfer
  • Tour: Tintoreras Islands
  • Accommodation: Wooden House Lodge
  • Meals: B, L

Today you will take an early morning 2.5 hour speed boat transfer to Isabela Island. On arrival at the dock in Puerto Villamil you will be transferred to your hotel for check-in. (This service is on a group basis.)

Tintoreras Islands

The adventure begins with a visit to the Tintoreras Islands, 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 archipelago’s iconic wildlife: white-tipped reef sharks, sea lions, turtles, rays, penguins, and of course pelicans and blue-footed boobies. After walking on the island, you 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! (This service is on a group basis.)

5: Isabela

Isabela
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Sierra Negra & Volcan Chico Hiking
  • Accommodation: Wooden House Lodge
  • Meals: B, D

Sierra Negra & Volcan Chico Hiking

You will have the whole day to explore the Isabela highlands! The day begins with a hike 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 might see Galapagos hawks, finches, flycatchers and short-eared owls en route.

Once you reach the rim of the Sierra Negra crater, the second largest in the world after the Ngorongoro in Tanzania, you will see the real reward for your 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 you head towards Volcan Chico, you may get the feeling that you 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, you will 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. You will then head back down to complete your day of hiking (16 km - 9.94 miles in total) and relax on the beaches of Puerto Villamil. (This service is on a group basis.)

6: Isabela - Santa Cruz - Baltra Departure

Isabela - Santa Cruz - Baltra Departure
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Island & Airport Transfer
  • Meals: B

This morning you will take an early morning 2.5 hour speed boat ride back to Santa Cruz Island. Upon arrival at the dock you'll be transferred to Baltra Airport for your ongoing flight to the mainland. (This service is on a group basis.)

Accommodation

Galapagos Magic Tented Camp

Galapagos Magic Tented Camp

The Galapagos Magic Tented Camp is a tortoise camp, perched in the highlands of Santa Cruz and surrounded by a Scalesia forest and volcanic caves. This is the native habitat for wild tortoises, where you will be able to enjoy an intimate encounter with nature. The areas around the campsite are home to several dozen giant tortoises, seen roaming around property from June through February. During the months of March, April and May the giant tortoises generally move to lower elevations, though a handful sometimes remain, so keep your eyes out!

Galapagos Habitat

Galapagos Habitat

Welcome to our Galapagos Habitat Eco Luxury Hotel, an exclusive ecological experience. Our iconic Galapagos hotel is situated right on the waterfront — surrounded by both Galapagos wildlife and mangroves that give a delightful sense of seclusion in the town of Puerto Ayora — on Santa Cruz Island, in the heart of the Galapagos Islands. Secluded and seductive, our 17 rooms and suites are distributed all around our property as the hotel developed organically with its original owners. It’s a wonderfully natural setting, washed by the ocean breeze and shaded by the mangroves… inimitably Galapagos.

Wooden House Lodge

Wooden House Lodge

Convenience, comfort and simplicity is offered at the charming Wooden House Lodge on Isabela Island in the Galapagos. At the property, you are invited to enjoy all that this lively area has to offer and make the most of your stay. This cozy and welcoming lodge is managed by a local family, who has been involved in tourism for over 30 years. The hotel features a homey and laid back atmosphere, ideal for those of you looking to relax during your unique Galapagos experience. All guest rooms feature a variety of comforts, and the property itself offers many recreational opportunities, such as fishing, diving and horse riding.

Pricing and Details

Starting from $ 2,688 per person

*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.

Price Includes

  • Full support before, during & after your trip
  • Meals as mentioned
  • Accommodation as mentioned
  • Tours/activities as mentioned
  • Transport as mentioned

Price Excludes

  • International & domestic flights
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Entrance visas when applicable
  • Other services not mentioned
  • Tips and gratuities to guides, drivers
  • Taxes and fees

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While we have sample itineraries to help you create the perfect trip, we encourage you to travel at your own pace with a custom itinerary ‐ or simply book accommodation and excursions to travel with full flexibility. We also give you access to an amazing product line that would be very difficult to find otherwise.
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Our trips directly benefit local communities through a variety of educational, environmental, and cultural initiatives. Additionally, all of our partners have been qualified as upholding a level of service that we truly stand behind. We strive to work exclusively with like‐minded partners who are committed to making sure tourism does not have a negative impact on destinations.

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Our entire team is dedicated to making this custom journey come true. Request a free quote by filling out the form and please share any details to help us customize this perfect trip just for you.

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This is just one of many authentic travel experiences offered by Global Basecamps. If you are interested in more unique destinations to the Galapagos Islands with unprecedented planning and extraordinary service visit our main Best Galapagos tours page to browse other sample trips.
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