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Explore the Galapagos

Overview

After arriving into Quito, take a short flight over to Baltra Island where your Galapagos Island-hopping adventure begins! Every Island in the Galapagos has a different reason for visiting it - some are popular spots for land iguanas, seals, Darwin Finches etc, and others are ideal spots for diving and snorkeling to see the under water life in all its beauty. This itinerary covers a nice combination of what the islands have to offer!

First visit Santa Fe Island and sail around to South Plaza Island. On this day you will have the opportunity to spot your first land iguana as well as the chance to snorkel in the tortoise waters. You then sail on to North Seymour Island and Santa Cruz Island for walks along the coast and excellent bird watching opportunities. This is also an important nesting area for East Pacific Green Sea Turtles.

Head on to Bartolome Island, making your way to Sullivan Bay (or James Island). Bartolome Island is a real icon of the Galapagos, take a walk to an excellent viewpoint to really admire the extent of this incredible wilderness.

If you like the look of this tour but do not want to do a cruise, we can arrange for you to stay in a hotel on The Galapagos and take excursions out everyday instead! Get in touch for details.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival - Quito
On arrival into the striking city of Quito, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Day 2: Quito - Baltra
In the morning, take a flight from Quito to Baltra. Arrive into Baltra airport where you will take a ferry across to Santa Cruz Island. On arrival on the island, take a 30-minute bus ride up to a restaurant in the Highlands to enjoy some lunch, before continuing on to Puerto Ayora. In the afternoon, visit the amazing Charles Darwin Research Station, the giant tortoise pens and an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest home to many land birds! These are the headquarters of scientific investigation and conservation. Later on you can take a stroll along the main street of Puerto Ayora before boarding the yacht, where you will be given a review of the expeditions plan for the coming days, a Captain’s welcome cocktail and dinner. Then it is time to set sail on your island-hopping adventure!

Day 3: Santa Fe Island - South Plaza Island
This morning, step off the boat and onto sandy white beaches and crystal clear seas. On the beaches, sea lion harems and Galápagos hawks are common - the hawks perched atop salt bushes. The endemic land iguana, unique to this island, may be spotted during your time on the island as well so keep a look out! You can do some snorkeling and swimming from the beach in the sublime waters, then go kayaking or take a ride in a glass-bottom boat! On South Plaza, the turquoise waters of the channel contrast brilliantly with the bright sand and black lava of the shoreline. A grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cacti beyond is a magnificent sight and this is populated by yellow-gray land iguanas. Along the coastline you can find sea lion colonies, while sea birds play with the thermals that form along the cliffs of this small but amazing island.

Day 4: North Seymour Island - Santa Cruz Island (Las Bachas)
The morning starts with an enjoyable walk along the coast and the interior of the island, a favorite of many visitors, observing numerous bird colonies as well as sea lions and marine iguanas. There are opportunities for snorkeling or coastal exploration and a ride in the glass-bottom boat for great views of the underwater world. After WWII, US military barges were beached and abandoned at Las Bachas Island. Locals referred to the beach as the barges beach. Today it is an important nesting area for the East Pacific Green Sea Turtle. Located on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, it is a glorious white beach, with several brackish lagoons only a few steps away from the sea. These lagoons are the feeding grounds of various wading birds, like stilts and flamingos. You can then swim and/or snorkel from the beach before dinner.

Day 5: Bartolomé Island - Sullivan Bay (James Island)
This morning, a Galápagos icon awaits: Bartolomé Island. You start the day with a steep climb up a wooden staircase, but the view from the top is well worth the effort! Following the walk, take a ride in a dinghy around the iconic and colossal Pinnacle Rock, followed by some snorkeling. You have another chance to ride in the glass-bottom boat here too. After lunch, board the pangas and sail to land at Sullivan Bay on the east coast of Santiago. A white coral sand beach, with a trail over a lava field, this area is also great for swimming. This is the perfect place to see and feel the volcanic origin of Galápagos while observing its incredible wildlife.

Day 6: Baltra
After breakfast, leave for the airport to take the flight back to Quito for your onward journey.

Please remember that the exact route and programme may vary according to weather and ocean conditions and the wildlife encountered. This itinerary is also subject to change without previous notice due to readjustments of the National Park policies and regulations.

Map

Essentials

Included:
  • Accommodation
  • All Meals
  • Island sightseeing
  • Naturalist guides and lecture services in English/Spanish
  • Snorkeling gear
  • Medical care on board (but not the cost of medication)
  • Shared transfers from main hotels in Quito and Guayaquil to/ from the airport
  • Not Included:
  • International flights
  • Internal flights
  • Wet Suits (available for rent)
  • Tips
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Essentials

    Are you wondering about flights, deposits and other bits and pieces? Here are a few items of essential information that could help with the planning of your trip with Tango Tours. If you have any questions please just contact us.

    International Flights
    Getting to The Galapagos Islands is straightforward from most areas of the world, but you may find that the choice is bewildering, or you’re not sure about the easiest route. Tango Tours are experienced in planning flights both to Latin America and within Latin America, and we are very happy to advise you on the different choices available. Because prices tend to increase closer to your departure date, we advise that you buy your international flight tickets as soon as you have made a decision about your tour. As an ATOL bonded tour operator, we can assist in your purchase of international flights. In fact, your entire tour can be protected under our ATOL licence by booking your international flight with us. Please note that flight tickets are non-refundable and 100% of your flight ticket price is payable on tour confirmation.

    Internal Flights
    As with international flights, Tango Tours' friendly and knowledgeable staff are on hand to book your internal flights for you if required. For some itineraries, you need to arrive at a particular destination at a required time/date therefore, it is vital that you book the correct flights and times of arrival. Our ATOL licence will protect your whole tour if your internal flights are purchased through us. Please note that flights are non-refundable and 100% of your flight ticket price is payable on tour confirmation.

    Payments
    To confirm your booking with Tango Tours, we require a payment of 20% of the ground-based arrangements and 100% of all flights. The remaining balance of your tour is then payable 10 weeks prior to departure. For any bookings made within these 10 weeks, the full amount is payable.

    Activities
    We have provided a brief overview of the activity/excursion information in the itinerary. Please remember that the exact route and programme may vary according to weather and ocean conditions and the wildlife you encounter. The Expedition Team is in charge of planning the daily activities and logistics involved. It's also subject to change without previous notice due mainly to readjustment of the National Park policies and regulations.