Seeking giant tortoises
You will land in Baltra Island and cross the narrow Itabaca Channel to Santa Cruz accompanied by a bilingual naturalist guide who will take you to a farm in the highlands for a tasty lunch. You will then do a complete tour of the area, exploring various vegetation zones and microclimates, walking around pit craters, through lava tunnels and getting acquainted with endemic Scalesia and Guayabillo forests. At the Tortoise Reserve, you will observe the emblematic giant tortoises in their natural habitat and the abundant bird life of the highlands. Your tour will end at Galapagos Safari Camp where you can enjoy a sunset cocktail followed by dinner.
Day 2 - 5
Cruising to neighboring islands
After an early wake-up, you will take a boat trip to explore one of the neighboring islands (North Seymour, Bartolomé, Plazas or Santa Fé). Each island has a particular natural habitat and you will be guided through the intriguing marvels of your destination. The Galapagos Marine Reserve is the second largest reserve in the world; here you will be able to snorkel off the boat and experience the richness of the aquatic species. Alternatively, if you are SCUBA certified we can replace one or both day trips with diving.
Exploring the East
In the morning you will be driven to the Eastern part of the island. At 490 mts. above sea level, Cerro Mesa offers dramatic views, has the largest crater on Santa Cruz and numerous endemic plants as well as up to 7 subspecies of finches and the Vermillion Flycatcher. After lunch you will visit Garrapatero – a pristine beach where the contrast of mangroves, black lava, white sand and turquoise water, in addition to the buzzing coastal bird life and the small pink flamingo lagoon, is sensational. Kayaking and mountain biking is available.
Science and relaxation
Today you will tour the renowned Charles Darwin Research Station in the morning, followed by lunch in one of Puerto Ayora’s vibrant restaurants. You can spend the rest of the day relaxing at Tortuga Bay – a two-kilometre white sand beach. The trail to get there gives the opportunity to explore the arid zone without struggling over broken lava. Alongside some very impressive cacti, there are other interesting arid zone plants. At the far end of the bay there is a large, calm mangrove lagoon, rich in wildlife and ideal for walking and swimming.
Sunrise walk and departure
On your last day you can tour the farm at your leisure or enjoy the sunrise before your airport transfer.