Ecuador: Galápagos

Select Experience Tour, Ecuador: GalápagosSelect Experience Tour, Ecuador: Galápagos

Ecuador

Galápagos

overview

Step into nature on this Galápagos adventure—a walking meditation on the wildlife, landscape, and local culture. Explore Isabela, the archipelago’s largest but least-visited island, where tidal lagoons, steaming volcanoes, and fumaroles play host to sea lions, penguins, and many striking species of birds. In Tintoreras, the Humedales, follow walkways past unique rock formations to a tortoise breeding center. On Santa Cruz, spend your days reef snorkeling and trekking to remote areas where blue-footed boobies and giant iguanas roam. Sublime sunsets on perfect beaches make every day in the Galápagos unforgettable.

 

Activity Level
Activities vary and
are accessible to
most fitness levels;
see full itinerary
Meet
Seymour Airport,
Baltra, Galápagos
Depart
Seymour Airport,
Baltra, Galápagos
Daily Itinerary
Download printable
itinerary
Select Experience 
5 days, 4 nights Trip Includes 

Trip Includes

  • Four breakfasts and four lunches
  • Accommodations for two nights in a boutique hotel and a historic waterfront inn
  • Private guided Humedales walk with certified bilingual guide
  • Private nature walk on Isabela Island with certified bilingual guide
  • Private Santa Cruz Island walk and Tortuga Bay exploration with expert bilingual guide
  • Private Bahia Ballena snorkeling excursion with expert bilingual guide
  • All transportation from meeting to departure point including inter-island flights
  • Basic travel insurance coverage
  • 24-hour emergency service
  • The unbeatable and cumulative experience of the CW staff
Number of Travelers
Total in your party
Price From
per person double occupancy

Airfare: $350 (subject to change)

*Surcharges may apply for New Year’s, Christmas, or other national holidays

Call 800.234.6900 to book this trip.

REQUEST RESERVATION

gallery

Itinerary and Accommodations

Days
Destination
1
Galápagos
View on map
2
Galápagos
View on map
3
Galápagos
View on map
4
Galápagos
View on map
5
Galápagos
View on map
Day 1

Galápagos

Arrival to Isabela Island via Baltra; Humedales walk, 2 hours, easy

Upon your arrival to Baltra and the Galápagos, you meet your guide and continue directly on to the island of Isabela (a 20-minute flight).  The largest island of the archipelago, remarkably beautiful and seahorse-shaped, Isabela is 80 miles long and a well-kept secret—it is one of the least-visited of the Galápagos Islands and a perfect start to your exploration. Upon arrival, you check into your home for the next two nights. The timeless fishing village of Villamil still has sandy streets where locals and visitors alike walk barefoot. With a population of only 2,000, the way of life is quiet, and you soon adjust to the relaxed pace.

Your exploration begins with a guided walk on the southern end of the island to the “Humedales,” literally the “wet places” or brackish lagoons where all four mangrove species of the Galápagos grow. Mangroves are the first plants to take hold on an island, and the wetlands where they grow are thus a breeding ground for marine iguanas and also a nesting site and stopping point for migratory birds—you may spot Darwin finches, Galápagos flycatchers, pink flamingoes, and pintail ducks. A network of level gravel paths and wooden walkways lead to a tortoise breeding center that has released over 2,000 giant tortoises in the past few years alone. Winding past pools and secluded beaches, you walk back along the shore to town, perhaps pausing to get a feel for local life, or returning to your hotel to swim or relax before dinner on your own.

Iguana Crossing Boutique Hotel

Galápagos, Ecuador

Located steps from the ocean, this stylish and modern hotel has just 12 spacious rooms, all with either Pacific or volcano views. With an intimate feel, it offers personalized service, an infinity swimming pool, Jacuzzi, and a high sustainability rating. Its restaurant features locally sourced products, including coffee and fresh seafood, and a short walk brings you to the laid-back town of Puerto Villamil or a rich lagoon, a bird-lover’s haven for early morning walks.

Day 2

Galápagos

Sierra Negra to Volcan Chico, 10 miles, moderate to challenging. Shorter option, El Mirador, 4 miles, easy

After breakfast and a one-hour drive to the Isabela Highlands, you gain an entirely new perspective on the Galápagos experience. At the starting point of today’s walk, you immediately notice the difference in vegetation and weather—fostered by the southeast trade winds that bring significant humidity to the southern side of the island. The lowland landscape of prickly pear and the endemic candelabra cactus that dominate the coastal areas gives way to more lush and diverse flora, including bromeliads and epiphytes. Your path leads to the rim of the Sierra Negra Volcano, about a 20-minute gradual ascent. The Sierra Negra Volcano stands at 3,690 feet and last erupted in 2005, subsequently depositing a new and dramatic layer of lava. This caldera, the world’s second largest, measures approximately 6½ miles in diameter. Circling the caldera on foot, you spot a variety of birds, including finches and flycatchers as well as the Galápagos hawk, as lava lizards scuttle underfoot.

The longer walking option proceeds from the caldera’s rim to the Chico Volcano to see fumaroles (gas and steam vents in the earth’s crust) and unusual lava formations, a striking visual record of the islands’ geological history. From the highest vantage points, you enjoy spectacular views of Isabela’s other volcanoes and nearby islands. Along the walk you are introduced to Aa and Pahoehoe lava, feel the steam beneath your feet, and witness new life being created within the most inhospitable of environments. Alternatively, the shorter walk option is to the El Mirador lookout. Returning to your hotel in the later afternoon, there is ample time to relax and enjoy an independent evening of dining.

Iguana Crossing Boutique Hotel

Galápagos, Ecuador

Located steps from the ocean, this stylish and modern hotel has just 12 spacious rooms, all with either Pacific or volcano views. With an intimate feel, it offers personalized service, an infinity swimming pool, Jacuzzi, and a high sustainability rating. Its restaurant features locally sourced products, including coffee and fresh seafood, and a short walk brings you to the laid-back town of Puerto Villamil or a rich lagoon, a bird-lover’s haven for early morning walks.

Day 3

Galápagos

Flight from Isabela Island to Baltra Island; Santa Cruz Island; Highlands of Santa Cruz; Cerro Crocker, 4 miles, moderate to challenging; or Tortuga Bay, 3 miles, easy

This morning, you board a short (20-minute) flight from Isabela to Baltra Island, and then cross the Itabaca Canal to Santa Cruz Island. Depending on the arrival time of the flight, you transfer to the town of Bellavista and to a site known as the hill of Media Luna, where you walk along a narrow path leading to Cerro Crocker—a dormant volcano and, at 2,834 feet, the highest point on Santa Cruz. Along the trail you will see great native and endemic flora and fauna such as the scalesia, miconia, and fern sedge zones, as well as birds such as the vermilion flycatcher, the elusive Galápagos rail, and the paint-billed crake. Returning along the same path to Media Luna, you continue to the town, or, alternatively, you may choose to make a stop at Tortuga Bay—a beautiful, fine white-sand beach, with spectacular sunsets. You may choose to enjoy the remainder of the afternoon swimming or walking the beach before settling in to your hotel.

Angermeyer Waterfront Inn

Galápagos, Ecuador

A historic family-run property located on the waterfront has been designed to incorporate the natural surroundings of the Galápagos—highlighting unmatchable views with spacious guestrooms. Near town, but in a serene setting, its private waterfront deck and pier invites relaxation and offers alfresco dining and drinks, and the on-site cozy bar and café has its original fireplace. Please note all guest rooms are non-smoking.

Day 4

Galápagos

Bahia Ballena snorkeling excursion

Following breakfast, your day on the water starts with a short boat ride from Puerto Ayora to the sandy beaches of La Fe—an ocean inlet where Galápagos sea lions and marine iguanas bask on carpet weed and lava rocks. In this privileged snorkeling location, you swim through an underwater world of lava rocks and small reefs teeming with tropical marine life such as king angel fish, barberfish, striped salema fish, damselfish, surgeonfish, and gnarled sea cucumbers. At depths up to 30 feet, the sandy ocean floor is home to pacific green sea turtles and long-tailed stingrays of different shapes and sizes. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the leatherback sea turtle during their migratory stage. This spot is also home to the predominant Darwin’s finch—described in the Pulitzer-Prize-winning The Beak of the Finch—as well as the yellow warbler, a species that navigates candelabra and prickly pear opuntia cacti in search of food and nesting spots. When they aren’t trying to steal fish from blue-footed boobies, frigate birds keep a close lookout from the red, black, and white mangroves abundant in the lava field landscape.

Angermeyer Waterfront Inn

Galápagos, Ecuador

A historic family-run property located on the waterfront has been designed to incorporate the natural surroundings of the Galápagos—highlighting unmatchable views with spacious guestrooms. Near town, but in a serene setting, its private waterfront deck and pier invites relaxation and offers alfresco dining and drinks, and the on-site cozy bar and café has its original fireplace. Please note all guest rooms are non-smoking.

Day 5

Galápagos

Departure from Baltra

Time permitting, this morning you may opt for a final visit to the giant Galápagos tortoises in the wild, before transferring to the airport for your flight home or to your next destination, bidding adios to these beautiful isles.

Itinerary Disclaimer

Bear in mind that this is a typical itinerary, and the actual activities, sites, and accommodations may vary due to season, special events, weather, or transportation schedules. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary since tour arrangements are made up to a year in advance, and unforeseen circumstances that mandate change may arise. Itinerary changes are made to improve the tour and your experience. If you are currently booked on a CW adventure, an itinerary has been sent to you for your exact departure date. Please call CW at 800.464.9255 if you have any questions about the exact itinerary or hotels selected for any of our tours.

PDF Download Capture: