Arrival in the Galapagos
Today we arrive in Baltra Island, the gateway to the Galapagos. This tiny island was a military base during the Second World War and hosts the Islands’ principal airport. The airport was built using the most advanced environmental techniques to reduce emissions and energy use, some of which you’ll notice as you walk through the facility. This was the first ecological airport in the world.
We dive into our adventure as soon as we arrive! We enter the airport through a special VIP lounge where you will have a chance to change clothes, put on some sunscreen and get a cool drink before we transfer to the Itabaca Channel to explore its spectacular turquoise waters. We will have a chance to kayak, snorkel and stand up paddleboard (SUP), as well as encountering some of the most famous Galapagos wildlife such as blue-footed boobies, sea lions, brown pelicans, a variety of herons and white-tipped reef sharks.
There’s no better introduction to the Galapagos than to get on the water as soon as possible! We will glide through beautiful red mangrove forests and along lava rock cliffs on water so clear we can see the marine life in the shallows. Our ocean (sit on top) kayaks come in doubles or singles, and life jackets are provided. A support boat will escort us throughout our water activities to ensure safety and to provide water, snacks and towels between activities.
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Kayak: 1.5-2 hours depending on fauna activity and skills of kayakers
Means of Transportation: boat, kayak, stand up paddleboard and private transportation to Galapagos Magic.
From the Itabaca Channel we head up to the Santa Cruz highlands to a private reserve that borders the Galapagos National Park, where we can see the famous Giant Tortoises roaming in the wild.
After lunch we drive to our exclusive giant tortoise reserve where our tented camp is located. Perched high on a hillside overlooking the ocean, Galapagos Magic Tented Camp will be our home for the next two nights. The sounds of nature will serenade us in the evenings, and the Milky Way will be our night-light. We’ll be able to feast our eyes on the mountains and forests surrounding the Camp, and enjoy the peace of having the entire hillside for us, with the exception of seasonal residents giant tortoises.
Watching the colorful sunset from Magic’s western perch is the perfect segue into evening. Dinners are sumptuous three
course affairs, prepared by expert chefs in an open-air kitchen in the main lodge. Night at Galapagos Magic (Standard Tent)
Includes: English speaking guide, private transportation, guided excursion, Airport VIP services, kayaks, lunch, dinner and accommodation at Galapagos Magic.
Navigable Tour to neighbor islands (shared basis activity)
Embark our motor yacht and enjoy of a daily excursion with a welcoming crew members and knowledgeable naturalist guide, and experience the remote islands in comfort and style.
Our daily excursions will take you to experience the Galapagos Islands in a safe and comfortable manner. We can visit North Seymour and Bachas, South Plazas, Santa Fe Island or Bartolome and Sullivan Bay.
** These excursions are subject to availability and change without prior notification Night at Galapagos Magic (Standard Tent)
Includes: Breakfast, English speaking guide, private transportation, box lunch, guided excursion, dinner and accommodation at Galapagos Magic.
Today we take an early morning speedboat to Isabela Island where we will check into our hotel. Our adventure begins with a tour of the Tintoreras, 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 almost all the archipelago’s iconic wildlife: white-tipped reef sharks, sea lions, turtles, rays, penguins, and of course pelicans and blue footed boobies. This is a Galapagos in miniature! After walking on the island, we 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!
In the afternoon we will bike the Wetlands Trail, where we can see marine iguana colonies and a number of different types of mangrove trees (all four species can be seen here) as well as enjoying the network of trails, beaches and historic sites. At the end of the trail is the ‘Wall of Tears’, built in the late 1940’s by Second World War prisoners held at the former US base on the island. Our guide will explain the importance of the Wall, giving us a glimpse into the lives of the island’s previous inhabitants. On this network of trails you will enjoy some beautiful views of the village below and have the chance to see birds, and maybe even some wild giant tortoises.
Night at Isamar Hotel (Standard Room)
Includes: Breakfast, guided excursion, English speaking guide, private transportation, equipment rental, lunch, dinner and accommodation
Volcanic eruptions created all the Galapagos Islands, and you will have a chance to see this geologic process first-hand as we
explore Isabela, one of the archipelago’s youngest and most volcanically active islands.
We have the whole day to explore the Isabela highlands, and we start by hiking 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, we may see Galapagos Hawks, finches, flycatchers and Short Eared Owls en route.
When we reach the rim of the Sierra Negra crater, the second largest in the world after the Ngorongoro in Tanzania, we will see the reward for our 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 we head towards Volcan Chico, we may get the feeling we are walking on Mars due to the alien landscape. And while the land appears to be utterly desolate, a closer look will reveal small lizards scurrying about among the rocks. From the crater’s rim, we will enjoy more amazing views along with lava tubes and fumaroles.
After Volcan Chico and its extreme landscape, we will be able to relax in the shade of a lovely “jaboncillo” tree, and enjoy our box lunch while taking in the spectacular and expansive views over the central and northern parts of the Island. In the distance, we will be able to see Fernandina, Pinzon and Santa Cruz Islands. We then head back down to complete our day of hiking (16 kilometers / 9,94 miles in total) and relax on the beaches of Puerto Villamil.
Night at Isamar Hotel (Standard Room)
Includes: Breakfast, guided excursion, English speaking guide, private transportation, lunch, dinner and accommodation
Today we take an early morning speedboat back to Santa Cruz and then transfer by land to Baltra for our onward journey or flight back home.
Includes: Breakfast, English speaking guide and private transportation.