New Year in Galapagos
Galapagos Island Hopping
Discover the wonders of nature in the Galapagos Islands, start 2020 in a unique natural paradise, full of unimaginable species and intense experiences in the middle of the enchanted islands
- Day 1: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 1, 2020
FLY TO GALAPAGOS (SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND) - INTERPRETATION CENTER- PUNTA CAROLA
Meet your guide at the hotel reception on time for your transfer to the airport for your flight to Galapagos. You will be assisted at the airport for your check-in and all the procedures before flying to Galapagos. Arrival in San Cristobal, after a 3 hours’ flights (with a short stop in Guayaquil to refuel and board other passengers) meet by your guide outside the airport who will take you to the bus and transfer to your hotel. After checking-in you will have time to enjoy lunch at one of the restaurants of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the Galapagos province. Prepare to be enchanted by this remarkable island.
The 5500 permanent residents of the town are employed primarily by the government or within the fishing industry and the town's unique character is deeply enmeshed with the sea. San Cristobal is less visited by tour boats, therefore it provides amazing opportunities for exploring natural Galapagos ecosystems and wildlife. The first stop on this trans-island journey is at El Junco, a freshwater lagoon nested in the center of the islands. Here you can view Frigate birds and other water fowl bathing in the lagoon. Moving on from the lagoon you will stop at La Galapaguera, San Cristobal’s Tortoise research and conservation center, where a short walk through the jungle allows you to see and learn about this island’s growing Tortoise population in a natural setting. Later on, we will continue to Punta Carola. It is a very nice beach spot to refresh and have some quality snorkel.
Two nights at hotel Sea Side hotel in San Cristobal incl. BB and local taxes-Ocean Front rooms.
- Day 2: THURSDAY, JANUARY 2, 2020
KICKER ROCK ISLAND VISIT
This day you will have the chance to visit one of the most remarkable icons of the islands: Kicker Rock (a.k.a. León Dormido), which is the remains of a volcanic cone that has been eroded by the sea. Above the water, the monolithic rock formation towers over 500 feet above the Pacific Ocean and is home to a number of Tropicbirds, Blue-footed Boobies and Frigate birds. But, the true appeal of this location occurs below the surface of the sea. The natural erosion of this ancient cone has created a channel between the rocks that provides the ideal habitat to view a variety of sharks and rays including Spotted Eagle Rays, White-tip Reef sharks, the elusive Galapagos Shark and Hammerheads! Because there are no safe places to moor at Kicker Rock, a lunch stop and swim at Manglesito Beach.
- Day 3: FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 2020
TRANSFER TO FLOREANA- “ASILO DE LA PAZ”- ISABELA
The Asilo de la Paz is a hill 450m high that is behind Straw Hill in the agricultural area of the island. The main attractions are of an historic type: one is the cave of pirates and the other is the freshwater spring. The two sites are located at the base of the hill.
Both the cave as well as the spring is on private property but the surrounding area belongs to the Park. A Scalesia pedunculata woodland exists, in good condition, Straw Hill is an area where the Galapagos Petrel nests. Near Asilo de la Paz, the National Park Service built a corral where you can see Galapagos tortoises (from various islands) captivity. The agricultural area of Floreana is known for its plum orchards, tamarind and especially citrus. These were introduced to the island from that time Ecuador took possession of the archipelago in 1832. The spring found in Asilo de la Paz provides water to the entire population of Floreana (100 people approx).
The cave of the pirates has its history since it was the home of the first settlers of the island, Patrick Watkins lived there first, then Dr. Ritter and his companion Dora Strauch and then the Wittmer family. The cave was used temporarily by the latter as a den till they built a proper house. After this visit you will have the chance to hang around the Playa Negra of Floreana. Lunch will be served at a small restaurant.
Transfer in the afternoon to Isabela.
Two nights at hotel Iguana Crossing in Ocean Front rooms incl. Breakfast and local taxes.
- Day 4: SATURDAY, JANUARY 4, 2020
SIERRA NEGRA VOLCANO
The Sierra Negra volcano is one of five volcanos on the island of Isabela, and boasts the second largest volcanic caldera in the world (Yellowstone National Park in the United States is the largest in case you were wondering). On the Sierra Negra Volcano tour you hike to the rim of the six mile wide crater and then trek across an alien landscape of lava fields and fumaroles. The Sierra Negra is one of the most active volcanoes in the Galapagos, with the last eruption in 2005. Though you probably won't see any lava flowing, you will have the opportunity to explore thermal vents and other fascinating geologic features before stopping for a snack near Volcan Chico. The vistas from this spot are among the most breathtaking in Isabela and on clear afternoons afford views of the northern volcanoes on Isabela and Fernandina. A Box lunch will be served after this challenging but rewarding day. Return to the hotel for free afternoon time, dinner and overnight.
- Day 5: SUNDAY, JANUARY 5, 2020
AM TINTORERAS & PM TRANSFER TO SANTA CRUZ
Meet by your guide at the hotel lobby and transfer to the airport for a flight Isabela, the biggest island of the Galapagos. After a short flight of about 30 minutes in small aircrafts with capacity of 8 guests each you will arrive at the airport in Isabela where your guide will be waiting for you to take you to the hotel. Small transfer of about five minutes over the village called Puerto Villamil which inhabitants’ count about 2000. The island remains one of the gems of the archipelago.Our first visit will be of Las Tintoreras.
The emerald waters of Las Tintoreras abound with marine life and there are animals to see in the water, in the air and on the land. On the shores of Las Tintoreras you can find Galapagos Penguins perched like dolls by the water’s edge. A brief walking tour across A’A’ lava flows provides additional up-close encounters with Marine Iguanas, resting White Tip Sharks, and new-born Sea Lions. In the afternoon you will be transferred to Santa Cruz Island. Arrival and transfer to your hotel.
2 nights at hotel Habitat in double suite (Ocean View) incl. Breakfast and local taxes.
- Day 6: MONDAY, JANUARY 6, 2020
NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND
North Seymour Island is a natural haven for some of the most sought after residents in the Galapagos Islands, the Blue-Footed Boobie. A nature trail meanders leisurely through large colonies of nesting Frigate birds and Blue-Footed Boobies. Depending on the time of year, this is an excellent place to witness the thrilling mating rituals these birds are famous for. You can also intimately observe the fascinating dynamics between a mother and its chick. Just off shore you can often witness the original Galapagos surf club members, Sea Lions riding the crashing waves all the way into shore. This tour also stops at isolated Bachas beach for a refreshing snorkel in the tepid waters. A side trip to a small lagoon provides an opportunity to see feeding Flamingos. Due to its teaming wildlife and close proximity, North Seymour is one of the most popular day tours from Santa Cruz and is not to be missed!
Before arriving in your hotel, we will make a stop in the highlands of Santa Cruz to visit a Coffee Plantation. LAVA JAVA. an organic coffee that is both good for the environment and gratifying to the most health and quality conscious consumers. The visit includes a spectacular ocean views from a natural, cool forest setting. You will be able to see and experience what makes this coffee and its process special. After the tour, you can enjoy a hot cup of freshly brewed Lava Java coffee on the very farm on which it was grown and roasted.
Upon arrival in Santa Cruz, you will be transferred to a Coffee plantation in the highlands of Santa Cruz to taste the
- Day 7: TUESDAY, JANUARY 07, 2020
SANTA CRUZ HIGHLANDS - TRANSFER OUT
Early in the morning after breakfast, our guide will pick us up from the hotel to take you to the Highlands of Santa Cruz, here you can admire the giant tortoises in their natural state, see the lava tunnels on the way to the airport for your flight back to the mainland.
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