The Island Hopping Galapagos experience was created reveal the full magic of the enchanted islands to travelers who wish to explore the Galapagos outside of the usual cruise format.
Land-based tours are an attractive alternative to enjoy the fabulous Galapagos Islands with your family or friends.
Frequently you can save money, have better access to SCUBA diving, and spare a travel mate’s propensity to sea sickness by staying in hotels versus on a boat.
Galapagos Land Tours (Island hopping tours) are the perfect way to explore the Galapagos islands with freedom & flexibility.
Transfer from the airport to your hotel. A bilingual guide will pick you up from the airport and will transfer you to your hotel. They will be able to assist you in anything you may need. Accommodation in Quito.
*In case of flight delay due to events out of our control, an extra transfer might be charged.
The tour begins visiting Quito`s downtown, one of the biggest and best-preserved colonial centers in South America. Our first point we will be the Independence Square or “Plaza Grande”, surrounded by important historical buildings, followed by a visit to the iconic La Compañia de Jesus church, which dates back to the 17th century and is considered one of the most beautiful baroque churches in South America. Also, other must see highlights are: The San Francisco Church and Monastery, built a few months after the arrival of the Spaniards in the 16th century. Lunch is not included (but can also be arranged with an extra cost at a nice local restaurant in the old town).
Continue to the middle of the world guide tour.
Your journey begins upon arriving at the Baltra airport, where you will be met by a member of our staff. From the airport, you’ll be transported by shuttle to the Itabaca Channel, and, after a short ferry ride, you will arrive on Santa Cruz Island.
Once on Santa Cruz, we journey across the island into the highlands, experiencing the island’s variety of wildlife and landscapes along the way. In the highland area, we’ll make a stop at one of the ranches where we will have the chance to have lunch surrounded by the archipelago’s iconic giant tortoise species, which are easily observable in the area. Afterwards, we will have the opportunity to visit, and walk through, a tunnel formed by lava flows after a volcanic eruption.
Later on, we will have time to visit the Santa Cruz Brewery, a small business that produces one of the local artisanal draft beers. Here, we will have the opportunity to understand the complex and delicate processes that the brewery applies to get delicious and unique types of beers on the isolated Galapagos Islands. We’ll then have time to taste some of the beers before continuing the journey to Puerto Ayora, where we will have the rest of the day off for leisure. Accommodation will be at the selected hotel.
This morning, after breakfast, we will head to Puerto Ayora´s pier where we’ll take our private speed boat to Floreana Island; this ride will take 2h30 minutes approx. Floreana has, arguably, the most interesting human history of all of the Galapagos Islands.
Arriving on the island, we’ll visit a local farm which will teach us more about people’s way of life on the island. Here, far from technology and development, the inhabitants wish to optimize their resources to achieve a very self-sustaining lifestyle. During this visit, we’ll visit a lagoon where it is possible to observe frigate birds and we’ll also have the opportunity to feed the farm animals and harvest vegetables.
We will enjoy a delicious lunch prepared with the produce harvested from the farm. After lunch, we’ll continue with our next visit, the “Asilo de la Paz” in the Highlands as well as a Tortoise Breeding Center. Accommodation at one of the rustic hotels which is run by the second generation of a family that arrived after the Ritter family abandoned the island.
Today, after breakfast, we will begin our excursion to “La Loberia”, a sea Lion breeding area. We’ll start our first marine excursion in the bright turquoise water where we might be able to swim with sea lions, sea turtles, manta rays and a variety of colorful reef fish.
After a delicious lunch, we’ll take our speed boat to Isabela Island; this ride will take us 2h30 minutes approx. Arriving on Isabela, we’ll have a leisurely free afternoon. Accommodation at the selected hotel.
After having breakfast, we’ll have a short ride to the Isabela Breeding Center, where we’ll learn more about the efforts taken to preserve and promote the reproduction of some of the Giant Tortoise species found in the Galapagos. Later on, we will continue through a mangrove path that connects with a series of lagoons where flamingos rest and feed. This walk is ideal for understanding Galapagos’ biodiversity, and how local species have adapted to the Enchanted Islands’ harsh conditions. Today, lunch will be your choice and on your own.
In the afternoon, we will visit the Tintoreras Islets located a short distance from Puerto Villamil and home to a great variety of wildlife. The turquoise, crystalline waters are inhabited by white-tipped reef sharks, Galapagos penguins, sea turtles, and sea lions, It is also one of the few sites where marine iguanas can reproduce successfully. Once we reach the Tintoreras islets, we’ll get to know a lot of these species. As well as the biodiversity, this area of the island has a very rugged volcanic landscape, which changes as you travel to each island. Accommodation at the selected hotel.
Today, we’ll visit the iconic Sierra Negra Volcano, which has the second widest crater of any active volcano on Earth (10 km – 6.21 mi approx.); but first, we’ll be driven along the highlands of Isabela towards the entrance checkpoint.
We will hike approximately 2 km (1.24 mi) up to the first lookout point of the volcano, where we’ll have time to enjoy a snack while we catch our breath and let the amazing view amaze us. After our rest, we will continue our hike until reaching Sierra Negra’s furthest lookout point. Later on, we’ll return to Puerto Villamil, to have lunch and then board our private speedboat, and continue our journey back to Santa Cruz Island.
Once we arrive at Puerto Ayora, we will be free to enjoy and explore this iconic town for the last night on the Enchanted Islands. Accommodation at the selected hotel.
After breakfast, we will have a short visit to the Charles Darwin Station. The center is a reservoir of information on habitats and local conservation as well as other fascinating relevant statistics. The most striking attraction of this station is certainly the Tortoise Breeding Center, where it is possible to view tortoises of different shapes and sizes. Additionally, in order to fully take advantage of our visit to the Galapagos Islands, we will be able to visit the station where legendary “Lonesome George” is exhibited as the last of his species. In 2012, after his death, he was shipped to New York to the American Museum of Natural History in order to start an embalming process for his conservation. Lonesome George was exhibited in the museum for one year. Now Lonesome George is back in the Charles Darwin research station, as a "symbol" of conservation. Afterwards, transfer back to the Baltra airport to take your international flight.