When planning your perfect Galapagos vacation, the first thing you’ll probably notice is the amount of choices. Between which islands to visit, what to do, and how to travel to the islands, Galapagos planning might feel a bit overwhelming. Luckily for you, our destination experts have put together an 8-day itinerary that includes the best things to do and see in the Galapagos. Take the stress out of planning and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime trip today! Check out the highlights of the itinerary below:
The Highlands in themselves are a beautiful sight due to their lush greenery. Here, the giant Galapagos tortoises freely roam, graze, and sleep. Many tell us that walking among the tortoises is one of their favorite moments of their trip. The highlands also contain a 1,350 ft long (450 m) illuminated lava tunnel. With a ceiling nearly 20 feet high in most places, this is an incredible opportunity to see lava stalagmites, stalactites, mineral-colored walls, and rippled floors formed from lava.
Las Tintoreras is a chain of small islets full of coves and hidden beaches. It has a bay where it is possible to see sea lions, marine turtles, sharks, iguanas, manta rays, Galapagos penguins, and blue footed boobies. Among these turquoise crystal clear waters, activities include walking, snorkeling, and wildlife observation.
Climbing the Sierra Negra volcanic crater is simply not to be missed for geology lovers and adventure seekers. Since its last eruption in 2018, the geographically unique Sierra Negra Volcano is home to incredible lava paths adorned with the local plant and animal life. Sierra Negra is also an excellent place for birdwatching. This volcanic crater is the second largest active volcanic crater in the world. On the way back from this hike which can only be described as Mars-like, we enjoy our last evening on the beaches of Isabela Island.
The Bay Tour is always a favorite in the Galapagos. This tour combines snorkeling, hiking, and learning about the islands. This tour spends 4 hours exploring multiple spots on Santa Cruz island. A local naturalist guide accompanies you in this excursion and explains to you the secrets of the Galapagos flora and fauna.
With gorgeous islands and wildlife unique to the archipelago, the Galapagos is an experience of a lifetime. Start planning your summer vacation now to get the best options. With 15 years of experience, we have access to some of the most respected day tour operators, guides, and hotels.
Welcome to Ecuador!
At the airport a spanish speeking guide will pick you up and bring you to your hotel.
At a coordinated time one of our drivers will pick you up from your hotel to bring you to the airport in Quito to catch
your flight to the Galapagos Islands, to Baltra. Highland of Santa Cruz with spanish speaking driver
Travel Time: 1 hour
Once you’ll arrive to Baltra airport, a Spanish speaking driver, will wait for you to drive you to the Highlands. 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.
You will get lunch on the Santa Cruz Highlands.
Speedboat: Santa Cruz – Isabela
Travel Time: 2.5 hours Please be at the pier to check in on the speed boat. From Santa Cruz pier to the Speed boat you will have to pay the water taxi ($0.50pp). Once arriving in Isabela you will have to pay the water taxi ($1.00pp) from Speed boat to Isabela’s pier. At your arrival you will pay $10pp entrance fee (Isabela local tax). Finally you can take a taxi ($1pp) to get to your hotel.
Las Tintoreras, is a chain of small islets full of cove and hidden beaches. The islet of Tintoreras is situates in thesouth of Puerto Villamil. It has a bay where it is possible to see sea lions, marine turtle, iguanas, manta rays, etc. Thisbay 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. It is necessary to travel in a boat to get to Tintoreras, and the access and routes are easy. It takes about 10 minutes from the dock of Villamil Port to get to Las Tintoreras. There, you will find the local Galapagos penguin, as well asreef sharks, marine turtles and sea lions.
Climbing the Sierra Negra volcanic crater is simply not to be missed for geology lovers and adventure seekers. Since its last eruption in 2018, the geographically unique Sierra Negra Volcano is home to incredible lava paths adorned with the local plant and animal life. On the way to Sierra Negra Volcano, there is an evident change of scenery as you get closer to the highlands, from volcanic dryness with black soil and little vegetation to a humid florest with local and foreign plants introduced into the environment. Sierra Negra is an excellent place for birdwatching (finches and “curracas” among many others). There are two paths to take, depending on the stamina of each person, one is a circuit which goes until the Sierra Negra Volcano lookout, and the other path goes is a straight way to the to the Chico Volcano. In the morning we will travel by car to the highlands of Isabela, following the route until the end of the road. There, we will begin a hike to a new geological world. During the hike we will have the opportunity to admire the beautiful views and incredible contrast between the volcanoes and the sea, to finally arrive to the edge of the Sierra Negravolcanic crater, the second largest active volcanic crater in the world. From there we will walk around this enormous 30 square mile crater. If we still have the energy, we can continue walking top the Chico Volcano, a place with very unique scenery where there is a fusion of shades of red, oranges, yellows and blacks. Here, we can observe fumeroles and spectacular lava formations. On the way back from this hike which can only be described as Mars- like, we can enjoy our last evening on the beaches of Isabela Island.
You have the morning to your own disposal.
Transfer Out Isabela dock
Speedboat: Isabela – Santa Cruz
Travel Time: 2.5 hours
Please be at the pier to check in on the speed boat. From Isabela pier to the Speed boat you will have to pay the water taxi ($1.00pp). Once arriving in Santa Cruz you will have to pay the water taxi ($0.50pp) from Speed boat to Santa Cruz’s pier. Finally you can take a taxi ($1pp) to get to your hotel.
The bay tour, also known in Spanish as “Tour de Bahía”, is a must in the Galápagos. This is tour combines snorkeling, hiking, learning about the islands and relaxing. You can explore several spots of Santa Cruz Island in a period of 4 hours. During the tour you are accompanied by a Naturalist Guide that will explain the secrets of the Galápagos flora and fauna. We take you to fascinating spots like the “Lobería” and “Las Grietas” where you will snorkel, hike, and learn about the Islands.
Transfer Puerto Ayora-Baltra
Travel Time: 0,5 hour
Baltra – Guayaquil
At a coordinated time one of our drivers will pick you up from your hotel to bring you to the airport in Baltra to catch your flight back to the mainland, to Guayaquil.
• International Flights
• Additional Entrance Fees
• Drinks and Alcoholic Beverages
• Travel Insurance
• All meals not mentioned above
• Anything, which is not mentioned under Inclusions
Call a Travel Specialist
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(+1) 315 636 0940
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.