We have the opportunity to offer you an amazing trip to the Galapagos Islands as an extra part of Andes Overland LIMA – QUITO. A unique and once in a lifetime experience on one of the world’s most beautiful islands. You can visit the Galapagos either by an Island Hopping program, where you sleep in hotels on the islands or on a cruise.
Due to the isolation from the mainland, some of the most unusual species in the world evolved on the Galapagos, including giant tortoises, marine iguanas, the world’s only equatorial penguin and the blue – footed boobies. Which are birds, not boobies. After our visit to Guayaquil, you will fly to the island Baltra, where after a nice lunch your island hopping experience or cruise begins at Puerto Ayora.
Both the Island hopping program and the cruise are available as 5 or 8-day trip. Additional information on the cruises can be requested. Please don´t hesitate to contact us.
Note that the Galapagos is only available along with Andes Overland Lima -Quito and that it is instead of another part of this journey.
Itinerary Island Hopping
Day 1 – Arrival Baltra
You can arrive to the Galapagos only by flight, and from either Quito or Guayaquil (air ticket not included). Our English speaking guide will be waiting for you at the airport in Baltra, who will then take you to the port of Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz Island) for lunch. Afterwards, we will take the Public speedboat to Isabela (14:00), which lasts approximately two and a half hours. After arriving at Isabela, we will take a brief rest at the hotel and then head to the Flamingo Lagoon, which is the largest coastal lagoon found in the Galapagos and is one of the main reproductive sites for the majority of flamingos.
Day 2 – Isabela Island
Early in the morning (8:00 am), after breakfast, we will prepare ourselves for the Sierra Negra Volcano hike by putting on comfortable walking shoes and possibly a rain jacket, making sure our cameras are stored in waterproof bags, making sure to bring sunscreen, water, and hats, and finally by preparing our box lunch at the hotel to take with us. We will then travel approximately 45 minutes by truck or bus to begin the 12 km hike (appx. 3 hours). The hike is long in terms of distance, but not very difficult as the inclines and declines are quite gradual. There is an option to ride horses for an additional cost, and if interested please let us know beforehand. Sierra Negra Volcano has the second largest crater in the world, measuring approximately 6 miles in diameter and 300 feet deep. We will reach Volcan Chico before heading back, which should provide a spectacular view of the incredible moonlike terrain.
Once we get back to the hotel we will take a short break to rest. The rest of the afternoon will be spent snorkeling in Concha Perla, where we can swim with sea lions, colorful varieties of fish, and with luck sea turtles. Return to the hotel to rest before heading to dinner at a local restaurant indicated by the guide.
Day 3 – Isabela Island
After breakfasts, we will prepare ourselves for the visit to Tintoreras Islet, for which we will make our way to the dock of Puerto Villamil in order to embark on small speedboats that have a capacity of 12 passengers each. After a short ride (appx. 20 min.) we will arrive at Tintoreras Islet. The name of the islet derives from the sharks that live in the waters surrounding the islet that have whit-tipped fins, which are known as “Tintoreras”. The islet is one of fascinating places on Isabela Island and in fact all of the Galapagos. In this one area, we can see sea lions, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, Sally Lightfoot Crabs, sea turtles, pelicans, and Galapagos Penguins. As the island is one of the main breeding sites for the marine iguanas, it is an excellent place to see numerous amounts of these creatures close-up. After the hike through the islet, we will get back on the boat and cool off by snorkeling in the waters nearby, where we can see multicolor fish, starfish, sea-urchins, and with luck manta rays, sharks, and sea lions that may swim with us close up. After this fascinating experience, we will return to the hotel for lunch.
In the afternoon, we will visit the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center of Isabela, where we will be able to see a variety of species of giant tortoises in captivity. We will also hear how this center has successfully been able to breed and raise the giant tortoises in order to preserve many of their endangered subspecies. Afterwards, we will visit the Wall of Tears (Muro de las Lagrimas). Between 1946 and 1959 Isabela Island was used as a penal colony by the Ecuadorian government, and the prisoners were obligated to construct this wall out of the sharp and hard volcanic rocks. The wall is 100 meters long and 7 meters high, and the name is derived from the arduous and painful nature of the conditions in which the prisoners were forced to work and through which many prisoners lost their lives. On the way back we will make a visit to a Lava Tunnel near the Wall, as well as visits to Mirador Orchilla, Estero de Isabela, and Playa del Amor. Return to the hotel to rest before heading to dinner at a local restaurant indicated by the guide.
Day 4 – Santa Cruz Island
At 5:00 a.m. we will prepare ourselves to go to the dock (wake-up at 4:30 AM). We will take the public speedboat, which leaves at 6:00 a.m. (subject to change), From Isabela to Puerto Ayora (2 hours and a half estimated travel time).
Upon arrival, the guide will take us to eat breakfast, after which we will take a short rest before making our way to the Highlands of Santa Cruz. Here we will have the unforgettable opportunity to observe the famous Giant Tortoises in their natural environment, which also known as Galapagos, and it is from these wonderful creatures which the Islands derive their name.
We will also be able to see the famous Galapagos Finches, Bird Wizards, as well as endemic vegetation such as Escelacias forests and Matazarnos. After our incredible encounter with the Giant Tortoises, we will return to Puerto Ayora for lunch.
The afternoon before the guide will have indicated the hour to meet to begin the visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station. Here we will find a variety of Giant Tortoise representing their fellow specie of each island in the archipelago. We will also listen to the ongoing conservation efforts directed at preserving the Giant Tortoises, as well as the environment of the archipelago as a whole. After this, we will make a short visit to the Art Galleries of Puerto Ayora and then eat lunch. Return to the hotel to rest before heading to dinner at a local restaurant indicated by the guide.
Day 5 – Goodbye, Galapagos!
On the final day we recommend waking up at 6:00 am to have enough time to prepare ourselves for the transfer from Puerto Ayora to Baltra Airport. We will eat breakfast there, and then depart for Baltra where you will catch your return flight to either Quito or Guayaquil
- Accommodation in selected hotels and rooms. The hotel selection depends on the category of hotels that you choose.
- All meals (breakfast – lunch – dinner) We utilize local restaurants for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which also depend on the category of hotel that is chosen, as not all hotels have restaurant services. Consist of the meal of the day (not a la carte). If you would prefer a la carte style meals they can be made available for an extra charge.
- All land and sea transportation within the Galapagos during the program
- Bilingual naturalist guides for each island and all activities
- Excursions and visits during the program
- Snorkeling Equipment (mask, fins, tube)
- Transfer Puerto Ayora – Isabela – Puerto Ayora by Public speedboat
- Transfer Baltra – Puerto Ayora – Baltra (by truck or by bus depending on group size)
- Air Ticket
- Galapagos National Park Entry Fee – $100.00 US pp.
- Isabela Dock Fee – $5.00 US pp.
- Migratory Control Card – $20.00 US
- Water taxi from dock to speedboat (Isabela, Santa Cruz Islands – depending on the tide) – $ 1.00 US per person per ride
- Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages