Summary : Experience a truly intimate encounter with the Galapagos on this semi-guided land program. Stay in three lodges on three different islands--Santa Cruz, Floreana, and Isabela--and delight in the abundant, unusual, and surprisingly approachable wildlife--from Galapagos giant tortoises to playful sea lions to the fascinating blue-footed boobies. "Darwin's Triangle" offers a wonderful array of activity options such as hiking and snorkeling.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Snorkeling
$1,791 to $2,556
Upon arrival into Puerto Ayora, check into the Aventura Lodge and have lunch. This afternoon, you will have a guided tour of the Charles Darwin Research Station. After the Charles Darwin Research Station, you have time to explore Puerto Ayora on your own; go shopping, observe the fishermen or simply relax in the Aventura Lodge. Dinner is at the lodge.
Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge
Today's adventure begins with a trip to "Los Gemelos" (The Twins), two enormous collapsed lava chambers—an awe-inspiring visual reminder of the power of nature. The short, easy hike to each of the twins is teeming with endemic flora and fauna. Also, visit a 600-acre private reserve where the giant Galapagos tortoises freely roam, graze and sleep. Then, travel to the entrance of a 450-meter (1350 feet) illuminated lava tunnel. With a ceiling nearly 20-feet high in most places, this is an incredible opportunity to ramble through the remnants of one of the most powerful forces in nature—lava flows! Stalagmites, stalactites, sulfur, mineral-colored walls, and the rippled floor formed from lava can all be experienced in this uniquely Galapagos stroll.
Enjoy lunch at the hotel and depart to Floreana. Arrive at Floreana Island where you'll visit Black Beach to swim, snorkel, or simply relax by absorbing the special scenery or walk to La Loberia. Check in at Floreana Lodge before attending a barbecue dinner hosted by a local family. At dinner, you can enjoy Galapaguena food, as well as local traditions and culture. Experience the warm hospitality of one of the first families to arrive at the island and learn the mysteries of Floreana from them.
Red Mangrove Floreana Lodge
An open-air bus will transport you to the highlands of Floreana while your guide explains the colorful history of this first-settled island in the Galapagos. Walk up to see the Peace Asylum, an artisan spring that attracted pirates, whalers and later, settlers to Floreana. The Pirate's Cave is where pirates carved temporary shelter out of the soft stone. Bird Hill truly lives up to its name with a multitude of Floreana Finches. Before lunch, set sail for Isabela. Weather and tides permitted, cruise by Isla Tortuga abundant with frigates and blue-footed boobies. Arriving in the port is a visual feast with stunning waters so clear you can see turtles, sea lions and penguins as though looking through glass. Then, check-in to the Isabela Lodge where you can enjoy lunch.
After lunch, walk through a lava field to observe a small canal full of resting white-tipped reef sharks. The black lava field, the emerald green sea, the forest green mangrove and the cloud capped volcanoes of Isla Isabela is the sort of afternoon backdrop you are not likely to ever forget. Back at the dock, you can snorkel for an opportunity to see white-tipped reef sharks, sea lions, penguins and more. Then, you'll have a bit of time to relax before a briefing and dinner at the lodge.
Red Mangrove Isabela Lodge
Begin your day with a drive along the stunning coast of Long Beach, a white-sand, palm-lined beach stretching for 3 kilometers to the National Park. Here, you will walk up a trail for astounding vistas from Cerro Orchilla. Then, visit the Wall of Tears, constructed of jagged volcanic rocks which were carried back-breaking distances by prisoners centuries before. The path to the Wall of Tears is abundant with lava lizards and various species of birds. Depart Isabela for Santa Cruz and upon arrival into Puerto Ayora, check into the Aventura Lodge and have lunch.
After lunch, you can decide if you want to continue experiencing the Galapagos or if you want to relax and enjoy your last afternoon in Galapagos on your own. The Naturalist guide will offer an interesting hike (2.5 km) to Tortuga Bay, one of the most beautiful white sandy beaches in the Galapagos. You will have a chance to observe different marine species, like sting rays and baby reef sharks in the shallow waters of the mangrove ecosystems. After swimming on the beach, enjoy a walk back to the hotel. Dinner at the lodge.
Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge
After breakfast at the lodge, you will be transferred to the Baltra airport for your flights home.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Lodge accommodations; all meals; soft drinks during meals; service charge; activities and excursions with English speaking Naturalist guide as outlined in the itinerary; wireless Internet service while in Santa Cruz; Internet service at front desk while in Isabela; use of bikes in Puerto Ayora and Isabela; snorkeling gear; diving equipment except dive computers which can be rented separately.
International airfare; airfare to/from Galapagos; Galapagos National Park entrance fee, USD$100 (children under 12 subtract $50); Galapagos Transit Card ($10 per person); items of a personal nature (phone calls, laundry, etc); alcoholic beverages; gratuities; passport and visa expenses; travel insurance.
Airfare between Quito/Guayaquil and the Galapagos Islands:
The flights between mainland Ecuador (Quito or Guayaquil) and the Galapagos Islands are an additional cost. To secure your seats on often overbooked flights, ExpeditionTrips must reserve these flights for you at the time of booking. Approximate cost (including service fee): $450-$550 per adult; $250-$325 per child under 12 (copy of passport required).