Galapagos is a unique destination on the planet, no wonder has been declared UNESCO World Heritage due to the endless diversity of fauna and flora this archipelago has, including species that you will only see them here. During this tour you will have the opportunity to know the most important islands with activities that include Española Island, Kicker Rock, Santa Cruz Highlands, Isabela Island and much more.
Once you’ll arrive to San Cristobal airport, a Spanish speaking driver will drive you to your hotel where you can rest and get ready to start of a magical Island hopping experience.
Located two hours from San Cristóbal, Española is the southernmost island and one of the oldest in the Galápagos archipelago. The island’s flat profile is extremely dry with only a few inches of rain per year. Despite the dry climate the island is one of the world’s only known nesting sites for the Waved Albatross (Galapagos Albatross). From April to December this island is covered with these adorably clumsy birds. Blue-Footed and Nazca Boobies as well as many other bird species also call this island home.
Another unique species found only on Española Island is the Green and Red Marine Iguana (also known as Christmas Iguanas). Quite often you will be greated by these colorful reptiles. A visit to Gardner Bay for some open water snorkeling completes this island visit. Whale sightings are common (but not guaranteed) during the openwater cruise to/from San Cristóbal Island.
Kicker Rock is a stone formation, located on the coast of Isla San Cristobal, a magnificent island in the middle of the sea, and is shaped like a giant sleeping lion, hence its name. The rocks are remnants of a vertical tuff stone conformation, is the favorite place for the shelter of several species of seabirds, and its main attraction is the activity of snorkeling or diving, where many Galapagos sharks observed, hammerhead sharks, sea turtles, octopuses and an array of tropical fish, and depending on the season are dolphins and whales.
The highlands of Santa Cruz are a deep green, contrasting beautifully with much of the dry, lower islands. The dominant vegetation in the highlands is the Scalesia trees, creating the lush green color. After we will do, a short ride will take you to a 600-acre private reserve where the giant Galapagos tortoises freely roam, graze, and sleep. Walking among the tortoises in wild, will be one of the most treasured moments of your trip.
After visiting these prehistoric creatures on their natural habitat, 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 see lava stalagmites, stalactites, sulfur, mineral-colored walls, and the rippled floor formed from lava along this unique lava formations.
ON THE NEXT DAY YOU HAVE 3 OPTIONS, NORTH SEYMOUR, BARTOLOME AND PLAZAS, ACCORDING TO THE OPERATIONS DAYS OF OUR OPERATORS ON THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS. FIND THE OPTIONS BELOW
North Seymour Island (Tuesday or Saturday)
North Seymour Island is teaming with life and is a great visitor site on Galapagos! You might have to give way to a passing sea lion or marine iguana. Blue-footed boobies nest on either side of the trail where mating pairs perform their courtship dance. Further along the rocky shore a strand of white sand lies inland, and large flocks of seabirds mass for outstanding feeding frenzies, rendering a tableau for us from ages long past. The trail in North Seymour Island turns inland to reveal the largest nesting site in the Galapagos of the magnificent frigate bird. These huge, dark acrobats have 5 foot wingspan, and males, with inflated scarlet gular pouches, sit precariously in low bushes to watch over their equally large chicks.
Bartolome (Monday or Friday)
Here is where you’ll see the most photographed view of the islands walking about 600 meters to the summit of the island. The walk is surreal, taking you through recent volcanic eruptions and Mars-like landscape. It’s a walk through evolution, comparing the beginnings of Bartolome to the more developed islands in the Archipelago.
This is a great snorkeling spot as well due to the abundance of underwater rocks and formations. Here, look for penguins, sharks, rays, sea stars, flounders and an array of colorful tropical fish.
Plazas Island (Thursday or Sunday)
The Plazas are a pair of islets situated just off the east coast of Santa Cruz. Only South Plaza is a Visitor Site and is another example of a geological uplift. In this case, the southern portion of this narrow islet (only a couple hundred yards wide) has considerably more uplift to it, forming cliffs with spectacular views. The tour begins with a dry landing. There is often a sea lion guarding the natural dock; let the Guide take care of the situation (which is often achieved with little more than a clapping of the hands).
The trail leading to the cliffs goes through a combined Coastal and Dry Vegetation Zone with prickly pear cactus and extensive patches of salt-tolerant Sesuvium. The Sesuvium is usually seen as distinctive red mats, although it turns bright green when rainfall is abundant.
One of the first stops is in a small “forest” of prickly pear (Opuntia) cactus, which provides ample food to a population of land iguanas, also found in this area. For most visitors, it will be the only opportunity to see land iguanas.
“Las Tintoreras,” is a chain of small islets full of cove and hidden beaches. The islet of Tintoreras is situates in the south of Puerto Villamil. It has a bay where it is possible to see sea lions, marine turtle, iguanas, manta rays, etc. This bay is connected by a superficial crack with crystalline water which is closed off during low tide. In this crack, it is possible to see the sharks from Blanca Point swimming with the rest of the tropical fish and sea lions.
This is the most spectacular site for scuba diving in Isabela Island. The water is shallow, calm and very clear- a sea sanctuary. A series of lava flows have produced unique geological formations, a series of arcs and tunnels underneath and above the water- a habitat for many local Galapagos Species. The entrance to the site is shallow and the waves can be strong, for this reason, the access can be complicated. The best time to visit the tunnels is between January and May.
It is an exciting boat Adventure to a very unique geological site, a snorkeling paradise and home to various species of the incomparable enchanted islands. There is an extension of 800 meters and an average temperature between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius. The large quantities of seabirds such as the Albatros, Flamingos, Blue Footed Boobies, the magnificent frigate bird, are on the banks, where you can also see distinct species feeding such as the tortoises, iguanas, sea lions, manta rays, penguins, lobsters, and sea snakes. In a geographic context of countless colors and textures due to the different types of volcanic lava, and the colorful desert vegetation which includes Xerophitic plants among: cactus, “Palo Santo” (holy wood), and carob trees.
You will be picked up by one of our drivers and taken to the airport to catch your flight.
Gulliver Expeditions is a tour operator that offers unique Ecuador and Peru tours. Specialized in adventure travel such as climbing, mountain biking and horseback riding. We offer both pre-planned packages as well as tailor-made tours that can include the Amazon rainforest, once-in-a-lifetime Galapagos cruises and expeditions to Machu Picchu.