Galapagos Islands Wonders Tour

9 days – 8 nights

Day 1: San Cristobal Island (Interpretation Centre, Tijeretas Hill)


The flight from Quito to Guayaquil is a 1/2 hour and from Guayaquil to the Galapagos is approximately 2 hours on a Boeing 727. Upon arrival at San Cristobal Island´s airport, travellers pass through an airport inspection point to insure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands and to pay the park entrance fee of $100 (unless prepaid). Guides will meet you, collect your luggage and escort you on a short bus ride to the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno where your hotel is located, we check in. We will enjoy lunch at a Restaurant in town and then proceed to visit the Interpretation centre, here we will learn about the geological formation of the archipelago and will get an insight regarding life on the Islands.

After our first introduction to the Islands and their geological formation, we will have a hike up to the summit of Tijeretas hill (Frigate bird hill). The trip to the Hill takes approximately 20-40 minutes. Once there, we are treated to a spectacular view of the white sand beaches on one side and the roofs of Puerto Baquerizo on the other. The hill has large populations of Frigate birds, giving it its name. Here it is possible to see Magnificent Frigate birds and Great Frigate birds in the same colony. This is the perfect place to compare and learn to distinguish them. You will also find other bird species.

This site offers some safe snorkelling without strong currents. It is great for beginners, but experienced skin divers will not be disappointed by the variety of marine life. You can find sea lions, sting rays, a variety of reef fish including barber fish and butterfly fish among others.

We return to our Island hotel. We will enjoy a welcome dinner and our guide will introduce us to the Islands with an evening lecture on the wildlife and geology of the Galapagos sanctuary.

Day 2: San Cristobal Island (Playa Grande, Kicker Rock, Lobos Island)


We start by navigating along the coast as we head to Playa Grande, at this site it is possible to observe tropic birds, swallow tailed gulls, lava herons among other bird life. This is a beautiful wide sandy beach that offers great snorkelling opportunities in calm waters. There is a mangrove forest where brown pelicans nest. The site offers majestic views of Kicker rock.

After a box lunch, we will depart on our boat to Kicker rock, a massive rock formation that rises out of the ocean in front of San Cristobal Island. From our boat we can observe nesting blue footed and masked boobies among other sea birds, this is also a great site for snorkelling, and we can see some of the bigger inhabitants of the ocean such as sharks, rays and giant turtles.

We will end our day with a visit to Lobos Island an important nesting site for blue footed boobies and frigate birds. From our boat we will be able to observe the booby mating ritual where they dance in circles and gather twigs for the nest. The Island is named for the many sea lions found here, we will get a chance to snorkel with them and observe the marine life.

Return to our hotel in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, evening briefing on next day activities and nature lecture.

Day 3: Española Island


Our day starts early in the morning at the Baquerizo Moreno Dock, where the adventure begins. We will be by the hand of our bilingual guide, who is going to help us board the zodiac that will take us to the Galapagos Hopper Catamaran.

After a navigation of approximately 2.5 hours, we will arrive at the Española Island, considered the crown jewel of the Galapagos archipelago! Here we will enjoy a full day of activities.

Española Island is located at the south side of the archipelago, 22 miles from San Cristobal Island. Here, we will be astonished by two main locations, our visitor site Punta Suarez and Gardner Isle.

At Punta Suarez, which is located at the northeast of the Española, we will be amazed by the nesting Nazca Boobies as well as the famous blue-footed boobies, finches and Galapagos dove. But, hold on! If we are traveling between May and
December, we will be able to visit the world’s entire population of Waved Albatros, as it only nests in this area. There also is the presence of sea
lions and marine iguanas. We will have the opportunity to enjoy the amazing landscape of the cliffs and the blow hole.

Because this side of the island is a rocky terrain, we should wear comfortable shoes (no sandals), bring enough water for a two hour hike, and if we want we can bring our trekking poles. Later on, we will move on to Gardner Isle, at the northeast side of the Española Island. Here, we can do snorkeling among the friendly and playful sea lions, and we will be astonished by the colorful
fish within the turquoise water of the bay.

As soon as we board again the Galapagos Hopper Catamaran, we will be received with a refreshing and delicious snack, and for the lunch we will enjoy a three course meal. Also, we will have soft drinks, coffee, tea and infusions available on board.

Day 4: San Cristobal – Floreana (Puerto Velasco Ibarra, Highlands)


We leave San Cristobal and navigate towards Floreana, the south eastern most Island in the archipelago. We will disembark at black beach and arrive at the small sleepy town of Puerto Velasco Ibarra, this is the site of many legends and lore of the first human inhabitants of the Islands. The population is under 150 people.

After lunch we will ride a truck to the highlands Scalesia forest in search of the Floreana finch, yellow warblers, flycatchers and other birdlife, we will also visit the “Asilo de la Paz” (peace asylum) where we find the lagoon, natural water source for the Island. There are wonderful views of the Island and it is possible to visit the lava tunnels and the natural caves. Upon return we have time to visit “La Loberia” a beautiful beach with volcanic lava formations and a colony of playful sea lions, shore birds, this is a good snorkelling site as well.
Return to our beachfront hotel in Puerto Velasco Ibarra, evening briefing on next days activities and nature lecture.

Day 5: Floreana (Devils Crown) – Isabela (Puerto Villamil, Wall of Tears, Tortoise Breeding Centre)


We leave our haven of peace on Floreana and navigate to the Devils Crown, this is a small volcanic cone half submerged in the sea forming a rough circle of jagged rocks hence the name devils crown. The area boasts some of the best marine life in the archipelago, as we snorkel we will be able to spot rays, sea turtles, yellow and black Moorish idols, hammer head sharks, sea lions.

We continue our journey to Puerto Villamil on Isabela the largest Island and one of the most interesting in the Galapagos. The town of Villamil is home to some 2000 people, its beachfront location, sand streets surrounded by palms and small lagoons make it a small paradise by its own.

After lunch we will visit the “wall of tears” a historic sight, built between the 1940´s – 1950´s by prisoners when a penal colony existed on Isabela at the time. The wall was built by piling volcanic rocks on top of each other, the purpose was to avoid the prisoners going mad from having nothing to do.   We will continue our voyage by following a beautiful trail that leads us through mangroves, dry forests, flamingo filled lagoons and lava fields on our way to the tortoise breeding centre. At the breeding centre we will be able to observe these gentle giants of all ages and learn the process of reintroducing the tortoises into the wild.

Return to our hotel in Puerto Villamil, evening briefing on next days activities and nature lecture.

Day 6: Isabela Island (Sierra Negra Volcano, Volcan Chico Crater)


We depart Puerto villamil by truck heading for the highlands of Isabela Island. After an approximate 45 min. ride we reach the parking lot. From the parking area we will enjoy a short hike to the rim of the Sierra Negra volcano, the crater is 6 x 5 miles wide, the largest in Galapagos and the second largest on the planet after the Ngoro Ngoro crater in Africa.

For the second part of our excursion we ride on horses. Our horseback ride takes around  the rim of the crater to the Volcan Chico trailhead. From here it is necessary to continue on foot, only to be rewarded by breathtaking views of the Perry Isthmus, the other Island volcanoes, puffing fumaroles and extraordinary lava formations.

After a delicious box lunch at the crater rim we return to Puerto Villamil. We will be able to enjoy the white sand beaches and relax for the rest of the afternoon.

Evening briefing on next days activities and nature lecture.

Day 7: Isabela Island (Tintoreras, Wetlands) – Santa Cruz Island (Puerto Ayora, Charles Darwin Station)


Today we will visit the small islets across the Isabela bay, they are named “Tintoreras” after the white tipped reef sharks that rest and bask in the channels formed by the lava grotto.  This is an excellent site for spotting Galapagos penguins, marine iguanas and nesting blue footed boobies. Nowhere else in the world do penguins come face-to-face with sea lions and blue-footed boobies at the same time.
We will enjoy a short visit to the wetlands where we will be able to hike along a nice trail visiting several lagoons in search of birdlife and incredible scenery.

After lunch we leave Puerto Villamil, we will navigate to Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. On our way we will be on the lookout for dolphins and whales. Upon arrival we will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, here we will learn about the conservation of the Islands. The station has a tortoise breeding centre and is home to the famous “Lonesome George” (not so lonesome anymore).
Return to our hotel in Puerto Ayora, evening briefing on next days activities and nature lecture. Those willing to enjoy the Galapagos nightlife have several options in Puerto Ayora.

Day 8: Santa Cruz Island (Tortuga Bay, El Chato Tortoise Reserve)


We will start our day with an easy hike to one of the most beautiful beaches in the Galapagos Islands, Tortuga Bay, the walk is aprox. 1 hour from the town centre. The trail leading to the beach is great for birdwatching, it is easy to spot several species of finches along the path. Tortuga bay is named after the sea turtles that come here to lay their eggs. Other species can be found, including pelicans, flamingos and marine iguanas. There are two beaches at this site one has big waves and strong undertow, not adequate for swimming very popular with surfers, and there is a second beach in the west cove with calm waters surrounded by red mangroves, great for swimming and snorkelling.
After lunch we will head to El Chato reserve in the highlands of Santa Cruz, here we will be able to spot giant tortoises in the wild. They are usually found in groups soaking in the mud pools. The vegetation is lush and there are good opportunities for birdwatching around the lake, specially easy to spot are pintail ducks, finches, egrets, frigate birds flycatchers, Galapagos doves, frigate birds amongst other species. This area also affords majestic views of the surrounding Islands and the possibility of exploring the volcanic lava tunnels.
Return to our hotel in Puerto Ayora, farewell dinner and evening briefing on next days activities. For those of you who have chosen the “comfortable expedition” class hotels you will have the option of spending the night in the highlands at the wonderful Galapagos Safari Camp.

Day 9: Santa Cruz Island (Tortuga Bay, El Chato Tortoise Reserve)


Today we will enjoy our last excursion in the enchanted isles. We will cross the highlands of Santa Cruz and make a stop to visit the twin volcanic craters known as “Los Gemelos”, here we will witness again the volcanic formation of the archipelago as we enjoy the beautiful scenery composed of rolling hills and extinct volcanic cones covered with grass and lush greenery.

We will then transfer to the Baltra airport for our flight back to mainland Ecuador.


  • Transportation between islands
  • Bilingual tour guide
  • Detailed meals
  • Hotels
  • Snorkeling equipment


Not Included

  • Tips
  • Personal Expenses
  • Airfare tickes
  • Aditional activities


Let’s travel!

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Santa Cruz Experience

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Island hopping with Isabela

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