Darwin's Triangle Long - 3 islands
6 Days / 5 Nights
Day 1: Quito or Guayaquil - Santa Cruz
Ferry crossing to Santa Cruz Island (10-minute ride). Arrival at Santa Cruz around 11:30 AM (depending on your flight schedule).
The adventure starts with an Academy Bay Tour at La Loberia, where you can snorkel with sea lions (optional) and enjoy a 40 minute navigation of Tortuga Bay.
As we enter the white sandy beach, we 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, we take a very short hike to the marine iguana nesting site.
The walk back is through a prickly pear forest carpeted in crimson sesuvium with black lava outcroppings home to more marine iguana colonies.
Briefing and Dinner at Aventura lodge.
Day 2: Santa Cruz - Floreana
Breakfast at the Lodge,
The adventure will start with a trip to "Los Gemelos" (The Twins), two enormous collapsed lava chambers-a breathtaking visual reminder of the power of nature.
The short, easy hike to each of the twins is swarming with endemic flora and fauna, including the remaining Scalesia Forest, draped in liverwort, with large and small tree finches, the beautiful vermillion flycatcher, and more. It's a wonderful introduction to the majestic power of the forces of nature and the great biodiversity of the Santa Cruz Highlands.
We will visit a 600-acre private reserve where the giant Galapagos tortoises freely roam, graze, and sleep. Sometimes it's a bit muddy here, so before setting out, we provide a selection of field boots to choose from, including large sizes for men. You will be transported through this tropical environment by truck, and from there you walk through fields to blend with these gentle giants.
As prehistoric as these creatures look, wait until you hear what they sound like! After visiting the tortoises, we'll take a 5-minute ride 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 wander 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
Lunch will be served at the hotel. After that, departure to Floreana, our navigation will take two hours approximately (According to sea conditions).
Arrival at Floreana Island.
Visit to Black Beach to enjoy this beautiful spot and swim, snorkel, or simply relax by enjoying the special scenery or a walk to La Loberia.
Check in at Floreana Lodge.
BBQ dinner at a local restaurant to enjoy Galapagueña food and the warm hospitality of one of the first families to arrive at the island and learn from them about the mysteries of Floreana.
Day 3: Floreana - Isabela
Breakfast at the local restaurant.
Departure in an open-air bus that will transport you up to the highlands of Floreana while your Naturalist Guide begins filling you in on the history of this, the first settled island in the Galapagos.
You will walk up to see the Asilo de la Paz (Peace Asylum), where a spring is located-a natural spring that attracted pirates, whalers, and later settlers to Floreana because it was one of the very few year-round sources of fresh water in the Galapagos.
The Cueva de los Piratas (Pirate's Cave) is quite literally where pirates carved temporary shelter out of soft stone.
It is also where one of the original settlers, Margret Wittmer, gave birth to a son, Rolf, who is still living.
Some have jokingly referred to it as the "Stonehenge" of Floreana because of its interesting shapes. Cerro Pajas (Bird Hill) truly lives up to its name, with a multitude of Floreana finches.
It also offers spectacular views of the island and the sea below. We will visit a tortoise reserve where you can watch many of the giant tortoises up close and personal.
All the while, your Naturalist Guide will be pointing out the wildlife and filling you in on the colorful history of Floreana's first inhabitants, like the Baroness, and re-telling the legend of the "Floreana Mystery", which involves the mysterious deaths of several inhabitants. The mystery has never been solved.
Departure at 11:00 AM for Isabela. Sailing time is 1.5 to 2 hours. We will arrive at Isabela between 12:30 and 1:00 PM. Arriving in the port is a visual feast, with stunning green and turquoise water so clear you can see turtles, sea lions, and penguins as though looking through glass. We will check into the Red Mangrove Isabela Lodge and have a hot, wholesome lunch.
(Time scheduled could change according to sea conditions).
Departure to "Las Tintoreras" and Bay Tour. After lunch, we will board a smaller craft to head out across the port, slowing down to view blue-footed boobies and Galapagos penguins sharing the same rocky sunbathing space, before turning a bend and docking.
From there we take an intriguing walk through a jagged lava field, passing abundant colonies of marine iguanas, to see a small canal full of resting white-tipped reef sharks.
If the tide is low, they are sometimes a mere two feet below the surface.
The views from here are something you will take with you for the rest of your life! The black, treacherous lava field, the emerald green sea, the forest green mangrove, and the cloud-capped volcanoes of Isla Isabela create an afternoon backdrop you are not likely to ever forget.
Once you return to the dock, you can snorkel in this warm, shallow bay surrounded by mangrove, for an opportunity to see white-tipped reef sharks, sea lions, penguins, and, of course, the mystery of the mangrove below the surface. Don't worry, white-tipped reef sharks are not aggressive, merely fascinating.
We'll have a bit of time to relax and shower before briefing and dinner in the Lodge at 7:00. (Time scheduled could change according to sea conditions).
Breakfast at the lodge.
Departure for Sierra Negra Tour, vehicles of local providers will drive us up through the humid highlands to the slopes of Volcan Sierra Negra.
Then we hike to arrive at the caldera (crater) of Sierra Negra.
With 4 miles across, it is the second largest in the world.
The views are breathtaking! We will relax a bit and have a snack on the edge of the caldera (crater).
For the hardiest of the group, there is the option to continue on a especially difficult one hour walk to Volcan Chico, where fumarole activity is abundant, and again, the views are spectacular.
This is not an easy hike, however, because it is mostly across sloping lava fields.
After returning from Sierra Negra, we will have lunch at Campo Duro.
Campo Duro is a beautiful an organic farm whose food is prepared with their local production and a lava rock-grill, have a sight to the fruit trail and eat some of them, also have a rest in one of their hammocks and breath the clean air above a big "Mango tree".
This property also takes care of giants? tortoises in liaison with the Galapagos National Park.
Back to the lodge, time to discover Isabela on your own or go snorkeling, swimming or simply relax.
Briefing and dinner at the Lodge.
Day 5: Isabela - Santa Cruz
Breakfast at the Lodge.
Departure to "Humedales" Tour.
We begin with a drive out of town along the most beautiful, white sand, palm lined beach in all of Galapagos-Long Beach.
This beach, straight from the cover of a travel magazine, stretches on for 3 kilometers before the National Park, where we will walk up the trail for astounding views from the top of "Cerro Orchilla".
Visit the "Muro de Las Lagrimas" (Wall of Tears), a unique construction built by the backbreaking of prisoners of a penal colony centuries before. The path to the Wall of Tears is abundant with lava lizards-the males are larger and striped and the female's red-throated.
11:00 AM, departure Isabela for Santa Cruz.
Sailing time is 1.5 to 2 hours.
Arrive in Puerto Ayora around 12:30 to 1:00 PM.
Check in at Aventura Lodge and lunch.
Departure 3:00 PM for guided tour of the fascinating Charles Darwin Research Station.
After the Darwin Station, there will be free time to shop for souvenirs or browse the shops along Charles Darwin Avenue.
Dinner 7:00 PM at Aventura Lodge
Day 6 : Santa Cruz - Quito or Guayaquil
Breakfast at the lodge.
Departure 3 hours before your flight in order to arrive back at the Baltra Airport the requested 1.5 hours before your flight.
Transport and guide included from the hotel to the airport.
•10% Service Charge as per Ecuadorian Law.
•All Meals mentioned on the programs.
•Soft drinks during meals.
•Excursions with English speaking Naturalist guide.
•Free internet wireless service while in Santa Cruz.
•Internet service at front desk while in Isabela
•When in Puerto Ayora and Isabela, free use of bikes.
•25% discount for children under 10 years old.
•All snorkeling gear.
•All diving equipment except dive computers which can be rented separately.
Rates do not include:
•Air ticket to /from Galapagos
•Entrance fee to the Galapagos National Park ($100 International visitors and $6 Ecuadorians)
•Control Visitor Card ($10)